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Gold $1274.8 -1.9
Silver $16.35 0.01
Talk to a representative: 855-242-4121

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Beware Counterfeit Gold and Silver

Gold has been high valued for millennia, and that is how long crooks have been trying to fool buyers using counterfeit gold. With gold prices rising today, counterfeiters are at it again, and advances in technology have made it harder to detect fake coins and bars.

Today, fraudsters have improved the appearance and feel of counterfeit gold, thanks to better mixes of alloys. Many scammers are cleaning up on eBay and Alibaba selling phony gold and silver coins to unwitting consumers. And no wonder: Gold prices have skyrocketed 26 percent this year and the volume of gold-coin sales is up 72 percent in the second quarter of 2016 compared to a year earlier. Dealers report a rising number of counterfeit coins (up 20 percent or more), although official statistics are hard to find.

There are a number of ways to detect a counterfeit coin:

  • Edges: Real coins have well-defined ridges and points, while fakes often do not
  • Color: Look for a shiny, bright finish in the real thing, versus duller surfaces on fakes. Beware of plated fakes.
  • Lettering: Actual coins have sharp, robust letters
  • Weight: Real coins are usually heavier than fakes. Watch out for counterfeits made with tungsten, which has similar density.
  • Size: Real coins are consistent in size, whereas the variety of metals in forgeries can create inconsistent sizes
  • Sound: Genuine gold and silver coins have a characteristic, deep-pitched ping that ring out longer when dropped.


Annual coin shows typically provide educational material that helps consumers learn more about coin counterfeiting and how to avoid being taken. Unfortunately, the Secret Service doesn’t seem to prioritize the crime of coin counterfeiting, which leaves detection and reporting to nonprofit groups and dealers. The bottom line is that you really can’t count on the government to protect you from fake coins.

But you are not completely at the mercy of scammers when it comes to gold coins. Your best assurance of buying genuine gold coins is to work with a respected dealer. Augusta Precious Metals has a spotless reputation and years of experience providing top-quality gold and silver coins to our customers. We guarantee the authenticity of every coin we sell, so you can buy with utter confidence. We sell a variety of gold and silver coin sizes and nationalities, and if you open an Augusta Precious Metals Gold IRA, you can get a tax deduction for your contributions. Contact us today and enjoy worry-free buying.


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Michael Dallo, CPA, JD, LL.M. is a tax attorney and certified public accountant (CPA) of Dallo Law Group, a Professional Corporation. For over 10 years, Michael has zealously represented hundreds of clients in resolving tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and California taxing agencies, as well as developing sound tax positions and arguments to minimize their federal and state tax liability.