How to Protect Your Precious Metal Assets: Avoiding Fake Silver and Gold in Your Collection

An important aspect of purchasing precious metals, be it for a coin collection or a bullion stack, is protecting yourself from fake silver and gold. This article will discuss some methods that may be useful for the purpose of verifying if silver and gold are real.

precious metal analyzer for gold and silverprecious metal analyzer for gold and silver

How to Tell If Silver and Gold Are Real?


While determining the purity of silver and gold can be an involved process in some situations, there are many methods that may help you determine if the silver and gold you are considering buying are real. While some of them require knowledge and expertise there are some things you can do to try and avoid buying fake silver or gold yourself although none are 100% foolproof and consulting a professional is always recommended. Right off the bat, determining where the coin came from and that it has the proper identifying marks, or mint marks, will be immensely helpful. As many precious metal products have their weight and purity inscribed on them, this can also be verified. Verifying weight is a little easier than verifiying metal content, as troy ounce scales are not hard to come by, while a precious metal verifier can be more cost prohibitive.  Other quick tips include checking if the suspected precious metal is metallic via the “ping test,” and even acid tests that can verify the contents of a precious metal via a chemical reaction.

Whatever method you chose, we do NOT recommend using techniques that could potentially harm your coin through scratching, dropping, or tarnishing. One of the easiest ways to tell if the precious metals in your collection are real is to find a trusted bullion or coin dealer who has good reviews and customer experience ratings as well as good relations with the Better Business Bureau and other members of the numismatic community. Nothing beats building a relationship with a trustworthy dealer and being assured that your purchases are as authentic as can be.


For more information on how to tell if you gold and silver are real, keep reading on this Info-Vault article.

How to Find Reputable Coin and Bullion Dealers


Some dealers specialize in coins, and others in bullion, but often, will carry and specialize in both. Coin and bullion dealers are professionals who can aid you in the buying and selling of coins, assist with coin appraisals, and may be able to point you towards scarcer coins, while giving invaluable information about the releases you are seeking. However, not all coin dealers are made equal and it is important to do your due diligence before your spending your hard earned money. 


Online Coin and Bullion Dealers


The best online bullion dealers are quite easy to spot. The best dealers are well-known in the collecting and stacking communities. In addition to that, they advertise widely.


If you’re looking for the best online silver bullion dealers, then start with those that have been in business for a significant amount of time. Bullion dealers that have been in business for a while are sure to have a reputation among collectors and stackers, whether it’s good or bad. Also, as mentioned above, be sure to check out the reviews from other customers and to make sure they are recent reviews. Just because a company was offering top notch service ten years ago, does not mean they are today.


You can also look to see if the dealers you’re considering have relationships with Mints and professional organizations such as coin grading services. Many online coin and bullion dealers also have accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). In addition, both major grading services Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) authorize dealers who carry their products which is often a very good sign. NGC even offers  a Dealer Look Up directory that can help you find coin and bullion dealers both online and locally. The American Numismatic Association (ANA) and Professional Numismatics Guild (PNG) offers similar services and are great resources for investigating potential dealers.


ModernCoinMart is proud to be an authorized Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) dealer as well as a member of the Certified Coin Exchange (CCE), American Numismatic Association (ANA), and Professional Numismatics Guild (PNG). Be sure to check out our multitude of positive reviews and to check out our EBAY store which has a positive feedback score of over 99.9%.

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Local Coin and Bullion Dealers


Reputable local dealers can be identified in much the same way that online dealers can be. You will want to dig into reviews and past customer experience, as well as check their accreditation with major numismatic organizations.

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