Counterfeit Coins and their impact on our hobby

Hello everyone and I hope that this finds you all in good health! I know this is one topic that I continually go back to and it makes me angry. It fires me up to no end. I work extremely hard for my money as you do and some shmuck is out there making counterfeit coins that look and feel like the real deal. Something that can fool even the best of collectors and dealers. If you look online there are a few things that can perk up your altertness and make you automatically know that something is a counterfeit or not and there are some other not so easy to spot things that many of us don’t know to look for. Before I go on, I’m going to put up 4 photos of coins I got off the web, all on ebay, and I want you to see if you can spot the fakes just from the photos. These could be available for sale ANYWHERE so see if you can spot the fake or fakes.

It’s very difficult at times to spot a fake coin. More so in Bullion but even these counterfeiters are getting clever. If you took a good look at the American Silver Eagle’s above, which one do you think is a fake? If you guessed the first one and the last one you would be correct. The one in the center is the only real one out of the group. Looking at the ebay listings can be a pretty good give a way as to if something is counterfeit. If there is a coin coming from China, I would bet a good weeks pay it is counterfeit. Nothing screams fake as shipping from CHINA. Most of our current fakes being discovered are from this country. They are usually being sold much cheaper online which is another big way of telling a fake. If an American Eagle isn’t over spot price then you probably have a fake.

What other ways can you tell if something is a counterfeit? There is an acid test you can perform. The kit is relatively cheap however I highly do not recommend this method as you need to scratch the coin on a surface to remove some of it to test if it’s silver.

You can buy a loop and go over the coin very thoroughly. Many counterfeiters use a mold to make their coins instead of the regular minting process as we do. With this, you can sometimes see lines on the coin that would not appear from a minting process but rather if the coin was made in a mold.

If you’re heavy into the collecting or selling business like I am, you can purchase a machine that will tell you if the content of a coin is what it is supposed to be. I recently purchased a Metylitics precious metal verifier to use when buying and selling coins. I want to be able to use it when buying so I don’t acquire any counterfeits and get ripped off and I want to be able to run that coin across this to show the buyer that they are getting what they say they are.

I’ll end with this. The community has come a long way in trying to prevent counterfeits, we have a task force that is actively pursuing the federal government to stop these coming in to our borders from China. They are doing a great service to us, the collectors but there are things that we can do as well. While you’re surfing the web, check out those listing which are obvious fakes and report them. Report them to ebay or wherever you are shopping. If the coin is fake, it has to have COPY on the coin or you cannot own it or sell it. Plain and simple. I go through listings a couple times a week and force myself to report 5-10 listings every time I’m on. Do your part, even if you think it’s nominal in the grand scheme of things every little bit helps!


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