Authenticity is arguably one of the single most important elements involved in buying gold and silver. You need to know what you are buying is real; else your hard earned money could all go to waste. Luckily, if buying from companies in the United States, the odds of buying fake items are very low. It may seem like the market is ripe for fraud, and it certainly is, but you might be surprised to learn that only a very small fraction of all gold and silver sold is fake or misrepresented. In the end, the easiest way to ensure legitimacy in any gold or silver product is by ordering from a dealer that you trust.
Real Gold and Silver Bars and Rounds
Authentic gold and silver bars and rounds should come from a mint with history. If you are ordering metals that have no markings on them, this would be the first red flag. Almost every piece of pure gold and silver is stamped by the mint that produced it. The common markings include weight and purity, with some pieces also including a mint name and a serial number.
It is a crime for a mint to produce a bar or round and to misrepresent its purity or weight. Now, this isn’t to say that an unscrupulous company couldn’t forge minted items. The best way to buy real gold and silver is to make sure that you are buying from a known company. No verifiable and credible mint is going to start selling fake gold and silver, as they would never get away with it for very long if at all. Sticking to trustworthy mints is a sure-fire way to ensure that you are buying legitimate pieces of gold and silver.
Real Gold and Silver Coins
Coins are different from bars and rounds in that they are minted by governments. Now, some countries do outsource the minting process itself, but you will never find a private mint that is producing legal currency for a country. One of the best ways to guarantee authenticity in coins is to buy in tubes or boxes.
When coins are initially produced, they are usually released in tubes (generally 20-25 coins per) and then packed within larger boxes of 200-500 coins per. If you buy in tube or box form, the seal from the mint will be an indicator of authenticity. These seals can be found on the outside of boxes as well on each individual tube. If the coins are packaged in their customary tubes (white with yellow cap for Maple Leafs, white with green cap for Eagles, for example), you can be assured that your coins are real.
Loose coins tend to be quite difficult to reproduce at a high quality level. If you have a fake coin in your hand and compare it with a known example, you will likely be able to notice the differences in weight, texture, and quality. Since loose coins are the most likely time for counterfeit issues to be discovered, it is most important for buyers to order only from dealers that they trust.
Measures to Take
Testing out and analyzing each piece of gold and silver that you own would be quite the tedious process. Instead, general inspection will suffice so long as you are buying from reputable sources. Don’t buy from anyone that you don’t trust. Remember that a deal that seems too good to be true usually is, and this also applies to gold and silver.
Most gold and silver dealers are honest in the products that they carry, but you should always keep an eye out for a company that is not completely trustworthy or offers products at astoundingly low prices. If you are careful, you will be able to steer clear of buying any illegitimate bars, rounds, or coins. Trust your instincts and always do your research when ordering any form of gold and silver.
Now that you hopefully have made your first purchase, let’s discuss how you can store your physical gold and silver.