It’s common knowledge that gold and silver can be an excellent investment nowadays. Due to their high price values and growth potential this 2020, many people are interested in owning and keeping these precious metals. However, buying gold and silver for the first time can be challenging, especially when it comes to verifying their authenticity.
Luckily, determining whether these valuable metals are fake or real is easier than you think, thanks to the number of methods that allow you to start the examination process on your own.
So, if you’re planning to buy gold and silver, here are ways you can check their authenticity from the get-go:
Inspect The Markings Thoroughly
One great way to know whether your exquisite metals are authentic is to scrutinize their markings. Here are some markings you need to check during the inspection:
- Mintmark – Generally, every real gold or silver coin contains the mintmark of their producer. The mintmark refers to a letter or symbol that indicates the location of their production. Therefore, if this feature is missing on the coins you’re buying, it can indicate that the product is fake.
- Other Common Markings – Aside from the mintmark, it’s also crucial to pay attention to other typical markings. These can include the purity, serial numbers, denomination, and mintage year. While these markings are seemingly insignificant, they can still help you verify the authenticity of gold and silver by merely keeping a closer look at the small details, such as the text font and the artwork’s intricate designs.
By finding some inconsistencies, you can quickly spot a fake article from a genuine piece. However, if you want to skip the hassle of inspecting the markings yourself when you buy gold and silver, the best approach is to contact a reputable dealer of precious metals in your area.
Compare The Size And Weight
Typically, both gold and silver are considered dense metals. This means that they’re solid or compact than other base metals you can find in the market. However, people who are selling fake gold and silver will do something to copy these metals’ diameter and thickness.
For example, most counterfeits are actually larger or smaller in diameter or thickness than the real ones. Because of this, it’s a good idea to examine and compare their width and depth by using a jeweler’s scale or a set of calipers.
Also, if you want to be sure about your bullions’ legitimacy, always look at the specifications section of the pieces you’re purchasing. It is important to note that most real gold and silver are made with almost the same diameter, weight, and thickness. So, it’s good to check the product pages first for comparison purposes.
Test The Sound
Who would have thought that you can differentiate real gold and silver from counterfeits through a sound or “ping” testing? Well, this method remains to be one of the most effective ways to know the authenticity of the precious metals you’re dealing with. Generally, the term “ping” is defined as the sound you’ll hear when striking a metal piece. Compared to base metals, gold and silver come with a longer chime, and don’t produce a dull sound.
Moreover, to get started with the sound testing, all you need to do is to use another non-abrasive metal to strike it against your gold or silver. Then, listen carefully as it rings for, more or less, two seconds. When you hear a weighty, non-ringing sound, your bullion coin is fake.
Measure The Magnetism Of Your Bullion Pieces
It’s important to remember that genuine gold and silver aren’t magnetic. That said, you should consider checking the magnetism of your bullion pieces to figure out whether they’re pure or made partly of alloy.
To do this, get a small magnet and float it above your precious metals. When the magnet and your articles absorb each other, it can signify that the metals are counterfeit. However, due to modern innovations that make fake metals non-magnetic, it’s best to conduct other inspection methods to ensure the bullion’s genuineness.
Do Acid Testing
If you can buy some affordable acid test kits for metals, it can be a great way to find your pieces’ authenticity. To begin, you need to get a sample of the metals and drop acid on them. From there, pay attention to the bullions as they change color. When you see a significant change in colors, such as green in gold and any other color except red, green, and brown in silver, it’s a confirmation that your articles aren’t real at all.
However, just like other hazardous chemicals, using acids can be very dangerous. As such, you should handle it with care and caution to avoid accidents.
With the tips mentioned above, it’s clear that validating the genuineness of gold and silver doesn’t have to be difficult at all. If you’re familiar with the essential details to look at, you’ll be more confident about finding authentic precious metals for your investments.
Hopefully, you find this article helpful when it comes to testing the authenticity of your bullion pieces.
Interesting related article: “What is Gold?”