In both the investing world of physical gold or silver coins and the world of buying and selling gold or silver coins, counterfeit gold or silver coins are an obvious pitfall. A few counterfeit gold or silver coins can truly decimate your bottom line as an investor or dealer, and as a dealer, unknowingly selling a few counterfeit gold or silver coins can ruin your reputation. Therefore, whether you buy as an investor or as a professional coin broker, you should know how to test for counterfeit gold or silver coins.
Since the value of gold or silver coins in general, and rare gold and silver coins in particular, can be quite high there are exacting and expensive ways to determine counterfeit gold or silver coins. This blog article will show you a few ways that are considered to be the most exacting ways to test counterfeit gold or silver coins, and bars for that matter.
Ultrasonic Thickness Test For Counterfeit Gold Or Silver Coins.
Both gold and silver have unique physical properties that only they posses. In fact, this is the norm in the scientific world of elements. Gold and silver can both be found on the Periodic Table of Elements because they are pure building blocks of nature. All elements exhibit unique characteristics, and ultrasonic testing is a way to either confirm or deny that what you have in front of you are counterfeit gold or silver coins.
An ultrasonic tester in essence uses sound waves to penetrate and measure the density of whatever you are testing, and you then compare your readings to known standards. If you are measuring gold or silver bullion coins that are supposed to be 99%+ pure, and you get readings that are out of tolerance, then you know for certain that you have counterfeit gold or silver coins. This method also works very well for detecting counterfeit gold and silver bars.
This YouTube Video Explains How Ultrasonic Thickness Testing Works To Detect Counterfeit Gold Or Silver Coins And Bars.
Because ultrasonic testing equipment is somewhat expensive, the average investor in gold or silver coins that fears unknowingly buying counterfeit gold or silver coins will probably look to other methods for counterfeit detection. Perhaps prices will come down, as they are still several hundred dollars for an inexpensive, and of course you will still have to learn to use it correctly to test for counterfeit gold or silver coins. On the plus side however, ultrasonic testing does not mar or scar the gold or silver coin being tested.
An XRF Scanner Can Be Used To Test For Counterfeit Gold Or Silver Coins.
An XRF scanner is another device that you do not see everyday. This device is basically a handheld x-ray machine, but more specific, and as you might imagine, expensive. I will let the folks at Thermo Scientific explain how their XRF Scanner works:
“XRF is a non-destructive analytical technique used to determine the elemental composition of materials. XRF analyzers determine the chemistry of a sample by measuring the fluorescent (or secondary) x-ray emitted from a sample when it is excited by a primary x-ray source. Each of the elements present in a sample produces a set of characteristic fluorescent x-rays (“a fingerprint”) that is unique for that specific element, which is why XRF spectroscopy is an excellent technology for qualitative and quantitative analysis of material composition.”
So basically if you are testing for counterfeit gold or silver coins you can point this device at each individual coin and obtain a reading that can be used to determine elemental makeup. And, since testing for elemental makeup is perfect for detecting bullion counterfeit gold or silver coins or bars, an XRF scanner is the perfect tool for the job. In addition, an XRF scan leaves no marks on the gold or silver coins or bars being tested, like less sophisticated chemical tests do.
A Reputable Dealer Can Protect You From Buying Counterfeit Gold Or Silver Coins.
Both the XRF scanner and the ultrasonic density testing equipment will ultimately out any counterfeit gold or silver coins you may test. Although, both come at a cost. One way to assure yourself that you don’t end up buying counterfeits is to buy from an established and reputable dealer of gold and silver coins.
One way to determine a reputable dealer of gold and silver coins is to ask about their sales polices, costs of doing business, and the risks involved in buying gold and silver coins, outside of the risks of receiving counterfeit gold or silver coins. ITM Trading makes all of this information abundantly clear, in fact we insist on it.
Another way to authenticate a dealer of gold and silver is to check with the Better Business Bureau. Here is the ITM Trading BBB review.
In addition to testing for counterfeit gold or silver coins of the bullion variety, there are methods to test for counterfeit gold or silver coins that are actually real gold and real silver that both an XRF scanner and an ultrasonic test would miss, but more on that later.
Thank you for reading the ITM Trading blog.