The Evolution of Fake Gold Coins

For many the phrase “fake gold” conjures up images of con artists in China painstakingly hollowing old gold bars or carefully applying a thin layer of pure gold to an otherwise worthless coin, but China was not always “king of the counterfeits.” Actually, the history of fake gold coins goes back almost as far as pure gold coins.

An ancient mathematician devised a way to test the purity of gold coins. First, he would take two cups and put an equal amount of water in each one. Next, he would put what he knew to be a real gold coin in one cup and record how much water was displaced. Then, he would place a questionable coin into the second cup and if the second coin displaced less water than the first, he had a fake coin. As recently as the 1970s counterfeit coins were produced in the Middle East, and although many of those coins did contain one ounce of pure gold they were not the pre-1933 U.S. rarities they were supposed to be.

New ways to test coinage have been innovated throughout the centuries. Many tactics have been used, from biting into a coin to acid tests to computerized equipment that can accurately determine whether or not a coin is authentic. Companies like have a full range of checks and balances that incoming coins must go through before they can be sold to other investors, and organizations like PCGS and NGC help investors determine the authenticity of older coins. To learn more about counterfeit gold coins and to discover how savvy investors protect themselves from such scams scroll down or call directly at 800-425-5672 for your free copy of our award-winning guide Insider’s Secrets to Gold Coin Investing.

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