How to Spot Counterfeit Gold

If you’re choosing to invest in gold or other precious metals, you’re making a wise investment in your future. The decision to buy gold and silver, or other precious metal investment shows you understand financial markets can vary wildly, and precious metals can be a way to stabilize and protect your portfolio.
 
The problem is, there are some illicit individuals who have made a career out of counterfeiting gold and other precious metals. When you buy gold, whether it’s gold coins, bars or some other form of gold, it’s very important to be careful who you choose to do business with.
 
Back in the prospecting days, when a suspicious man with a hunchback and a long mustache handed you a gold coin, you could bite down on it and know right away if someone was taking you for a sucker. Today’s gold counterfeiters are a little more sophisticated, but there are still ways to spot them and their fraudulent products.
 
You don’t have to be a gold expert to know when someone is trying to scam you. Here are some ways to spot counterfeit gold and some warning signs you might be dealing with a scammer.
 
How to Identify Counterfeit Gold
 
So how do you spot counterfeit gold? Here are some tips:
 
1. Gold Coins
There are numerous ways to determine if a gold coin is a fake. Make sure to look for these telltale signs.
 
• Color: Gold coins have a reddish gold color. If someone presents you with a gleaming yellow gold coin, look out. A pure gold bullion slug may look this way, but gold eagles, the most popular type of gold coin, are an alloy, and the gold contains other metals like copper and silver, giving it a bit of a duller tone. If your gold coin looks too golden, watch out.
 
• Design: Someone counterfeiting a gold eagle coin will have to get the features of the coin just right, including the location of the date and the appearance of the figures. Look up a picture of a gold eagle you know to be genuine and compare the features for location and accuracy.
 
• Texture: A gold eagle coin does not lay perfectly flat. It has a somewhat concave shape, which you can see easily if you look at the way the light reflects off it. If you have a perfectly flat gold eagle coin, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a fake.
 
gold eagle
 
• Weight: As you would expect, a 1-ounce gold coin should weigh 1 ounce — 1.09 troy ounce, to be exact. If it weighs more or less, you’re dealing with a fake.
 
• Dimensions: A 1-ounce gold coin is 32.70 mm in diameter and 2.87 mm in thickness. If your coin does not meet these specifications, you have a problem.
 
• Edge: Naturally, all gold eagles, like most coins, have a serrated edge. However, the gold eagle has a clean, rounded serrated edge. If the edge of your gold coin looks especially uneven or rough, you may be dealing with a phony.
 
• Sound: When you drop a real gold eagle on a hard surface, it makes a distinctive ping, almost a ringing sound. A counterfeit coin is more likely to produce a duller thud.
 
2. Gold Bars
 
Gold bars are a little different from gold coins. There are some features of gold coins that you would not necessarily expect to see in gold bars, and vice versa. That being said, there are ways to spot fake gold bars as well.
 
• Presentation: You will see many gold bars that come with an assay certificate and markings from the issuing entity, usually a bank. If the packaging, certificate or embossing on the bar looks unprofessional; something is misspelled; the font on the certificate or manner of sealing the packaging is messy; the name on the bar or the assay certificate is not one you recognize; or the serial number is missing from the assay certificate, the bar or both, you may be dealing with a fake.
 
• Weight: As with the gold coin, if you have a 1-ounce gold bar, it should weigh about a troy ounce — 31.1 grams. If it weighs noticeably more or less, you should be suspicious.
 
• Dimensions: A typical 1-troy ounce gold bar will be 15mm in length, 8mm in width and 0.4mm in thickness. If your bar is noticeably longer, shorter, wider, narrower, thinner or thicker, look out.
 
gold bar
 
• Sound: Like gold coins, gold bars have a distinctive pinging sound when dropped. Listen for it. Compare it to a bar you know is real if possible.
 
How to identify a trustworthy company?
 
As a layperson who is not a gold expert, your best bet is to buy your gold from a dealer or through an agent you trust. How can you be sure if the person you are dealing with for your gold is trustworthy? Here are a few signs to look out for when trying to determine if the person you’re dealing with is a gold expert or an expert scammer.
 
1. If the Person is Rushing an Investment Decision
 
There may be a good reason to act fast when it comes to gold investment. If the experts expect prices to rise, you want to get in on the deal before they do. However, urgency should be for your benefit, not the broker’s. If your broker seems overly eager to finish the deal as soon as possible, it may be because he wants to get your money before you realize something is up. With any important investment of your financial resources, you should take your time and be sure you are making the decision that’s right for you. Anyone who puts pressure on you to make a rushed investment decision is probably not someone to be trusted.
 
gold bar
 
2. They Don’t Like Questions
 
A reputable gold agent should be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the process. Watch out for agents that deflect questions, dismiss your concerns as nothing to worry about, or give convoluted answers that don’t seem to make a lot of sense. Don’t let any gold dealer make you feel like you can’t understand something just because you’re not a professional trader in precious metals. A good agent will be able to answer questions things simply enough that a layperson can understand them.
 
3. The Rep Isn’t Willing to Educate You Through the Process
 
Gold can be a great investment and can be a very profitable alternative to traditional financial products. You want a gold agent who is confident and understands the benefits of gold, but there are highs and lows with every type of investment. If you’re working with someone who tells you nothing can possibly go wrong, they’re not interested in helping you make an informed investment decision, they just want your money. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
 
Fortress Gold Group: A Name You Can Trust in Precious Metal Investment
 
When you buy your gold through Fortress Gold Group, you know you’re buying from a source you can trust. Fortress Gold Group is a Pro-Consumer Advocate, dedicated to educating the gold and silver investor and helping you protect yourself when purchasing these commodities. For even more insider tips and advice for buying gold and silver safely, get our Free Investor Kit.
 
Fortress Gold Group has been reliably offering gold investments to our clients for years. We are the only company that Ed Moy, former director of the United States Mint, trusts with his gold IRA. If you’re concerned about protecting your retirement in a volatile market, a gold-backed IRA or silver-backed IRA could be just right for you. These IRAs work just like regular IRAs, except the investment product supporting the IRA is gold or silver. Since precious metals tend to be more resistant to market forces, and often perform well when other investment products are lagging, you may find you have much more peace of mind with your gold IRA.
 
For more information on how to make a safe, smart gold investment with the experts that Inc. 500 rated the No. 1 Gold Firm in America, contact Fortress Gold Group today. Request more information now or call one of our precious metals specialists at 800-777-6177 for answers to any precious metals investing questions you may have.

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