In the counterfeit markets there are basically two types of fakes.
Bronze silver and gold plated counterfeits are more commonplace… while hollowed out bars have been sold as recent as 2012 in New York’s famous diamond district.
In general the smaller the product the more difficult and less profitable to make high grade counterfeits (like the professional fake 10 oz Credit Suisse gold bars which turned up in New York City’s diamond district in 2012 or in Australia or Canada)
But just because a product is small doesn’t mean China won’t make a silver or gold clad counterfeit version nor a professional more expensive thicker tungsten filled version.
There is some good news though.
Testing bullion products at home is not expensive or extremely difficult. Here is a helpful free guide including a YouTube video with testing apparatus links in the video’s description section.
Protecting buyers from fake product scams is a growing trend in the bullion industry as new counterfeit-proof features are being designed and featured on many popular bullion products:
Final note on fakes – be wary of silver and gold bullion deals too good to be true (contrary to many scam artist claims, you won’t be buying silver or gold bullion at 10% below spot price any time soon and there are more scams than my memory can serve me).
If you do buy bullion through eBay make sure to use protective third party payment systems like PayPal or credit cards.
We suggest buying your bullion from trusted dealers who source their metals direct from the mints.
Make sure your trusted bullion dealer also tests and verifies 100% of all the products they may buy and sell from secondary market sources.
The next article in our Beginners’ Guide to Buying Physical Bullion will discuss liquidating gold and silver bullion.