With inflation rising, American consumers are looking into precious metals and diamonds as a safe haven for their money. The demand for physical gold, silver, diamonds, gemstones, and fine art is about to break new records. But what can the average buyer of gold and silver products do to be protected against counterfeits? The answer may be surprisingly simple.
A Digital Scale May Identify Fake Coins
A quick and easy way to check the authenticity of coins and bars you’ve recently bought is a weight test. A weight test doesn’t require much. All you’ll need is an accurate scale and knowledge of the item’s official weight. Many folks believe that an accurate weight test will require a very expensive laboratory scale. But the truth is that most bad coin fakes can be identified with a fairly inexpensive pocket scale. (Get a scale from 10dollarscale.com.)
Before weighing your item, position your scale on a flat surface. Then turn on the scale, tare it, and gently place your coin in the middle of the weighing platform. Wait a few seconds for the final result and note the weight. You can now compare your determined weight with the official weight, which you can find on the mint’s website or in relevant reputable literature.
A High Gold Price Results in More Fakes
Besides the inflation chaos, the stock market has taken a huge hit. Real estate is hyper-inflated and not an option for new investors at this price point. So what are people doing in times of economic uncertainty? They’re buying gold and silver. Americans love items like silver dollars and gold dollar coins. The problem is that more and more fakes are being put on the market.
There are even fake American Eagle coins in circulation that are made of solid silver. At least in that case you’re buying solid silver, but you’re still buying and paying for a fake.
Why would someone use solid silver to produce Eagle fakes? It’s the huge premium being paid for nice Silver Eagle coins. Collectors are paying between $5 and $10 on top of the material value for each one.
Fortunately, most illegal operations are unable to create a perfect fake. Something usually raises a red flag, and most of the time, it’s the weight. A one-troy-ounce silver coin will always weigh 31.1 grams; your scale might show something between 31 and 31.2 grams, which is fine, but anything more or less than that is cause for concern. If the weight is off, it’s very likely a fake. You should return the coin in question to the seller you bought it from.
Use Your Scale to Verify a Diamond
Another popular investment item is diamonds. While a digital scale is able to detect fake coins, it can’t detect fake diamonds. However, you can use a scale to verify the size of a diamond you’ve purchased. Some fraudulent sellers are including certificates for higher-quality diamonds with purchases of lower-quality diamonds—so using a scale to verify the weight can’t hurt.
Economic turmoil will always attract fraud, as consumers are more vulnerable. While a few simply need to park their wealth in a safe haven, many are struggling with financial hardship. The number of smaller and bigger scams is escalating, so it’s especially important to know what you’re buying. With the information you’ve just learned, you’ll be better prepared for and protected from potential scams.