Detecting Counterfeit Coins and Fake Bullion

Bullion is big business in Singapore right now, and this industry has been growing year on year. This is where the world’s biggest bullion storage vaults are, where some of the fastest growing bullion dealers have set up shop. Most of the industry is clean and honest, but where you find a lot of money and a lot of reputable businesses, you will also find a lot of scammers and fraudsters trying to get a piece of the action. With that in mind, just how can you ensure the metals and the coins you buy are legitimate?

Check what you buy

You might not always get a chance to check the metal or the coin before you buy, especially if you’re buying online. If you get a chance to pickup the product, to feel it and look at it, then by all means do. The most experienced can detect whether gold or silver is real from look and feel alone. You should study the product as much as you can, even if you know it’s real, because then you’ll know what to look for in the future.

If you get the product home, then be sure to study it with a magnifying glass. If it is a coin then check the diameter and weight against the official data online. This applies to rare coins that have a huge premium because of that rarity, as opposed to precious metal content. As for bullion, the best and quickest way is to use a normal magnet for gold (real gold won’t stick but most fake golds will) and a Neodymium magnet for silver, which reacts in a unique way when in contact with silver.

Stick with reputable dealers

There are plenty of reputable dealers in Singapore, so you never need to venture out of this legitimate field. There are times when you might be able to get a bargain elsewhere and these aren’t always scams, but don’t let greed get in the way of common sense and do your research. If the dealer is legitimate, with experience and the right certificates and licenses, then the products they sell are usually legitimate as well.

Ask for a COA

Proof coins produced in the last 50 years or so typically have a Certificate of Authenticity. These are usually easier to check for legitimacy than the coins themselves, as fakes are riddled with spelling mistakes and are just generally poorly put together. If there is no COA then ask why. Be suspicious, because it might work in your favour.

Be wary of eBay

You can get a lot of bargains on eBay and there are reputable dealers there, but you should be cautious of dealing with these. Whilst you might find 1 scam dealer for every 50 in Singapore, the ratio is much higher on eBay. It is a minefield of scam sellers, fake bullion and counterfeit coins. If you do insist on using eBay, then be sure to use a credit card or PayPal to complete the purchase, and then check the product thoroughly when you get it. If you discover that it is fake, then express your concerns to the seller and see how they react. If they do not take it back, apologise and give you a refund, then you can initiate a chargeback and get your money back.

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