There have been stories of fake gold bullion coins circulating in the market. You would think that it would be hard to dupe a someone working at gold bullion dealership with years of experience in buying and selling things like gold bullion or numismatic coins, but scammers go to great lengths to produce coins that look perfect and legit. These coins may even come sealed with PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Services) holders and holograms. They may even have the right PCGS numbers and weigh properly but turn out to be fake.
The first mistake that people make is trusting that just because the coins that they are being sold have PCGS grading then that is all you need. Grading is important. it tells you how perfect or poor the condition of a coin is. The PCGS is the leading grading service in the industry. The grade of a coin is important as it determines the value of a coin. This is why buyers would consider coins that have PCGS verification but this can be forged. If you are new to coins the best thing to do is to check with the PCGS yourself or you could find yourself out of thousands of dollars.
A gold bullion dealer can come across some beautiful gold bullion coins that seemed perfectly legit. They had PCGS markings and graded as uncirculated coins (which means they had no flaws and no signs of wear). This made them quite valuable. To verify, the dealer sent the coins to PCGS for confirmation only to find out that the coins were not only counterfeit but the holder of the coins was fake too.
To be doubly sure that he indeed got the quality of gold, the dealer, did more than subject them to an acid test but he actually took them for X-ray fluorescence testing. XRF is a non-destructive test method that is fast and accurate. It gives a reading on the purity and the composition of the metal. Acid tests aren’t particularly good at providing the exact percentage of elements in a coin. XRF is more advanced and does more than what an acid test can. This particular dealer found that there was less gold than but plenty of lead and nickel which when weighed and expertly plated with gold can fool most people. If you are new to gold bullion coins, you should do your research. Educate yourself about the gold coins and how to tell the fakes from the real thing.
There has been a large numbers of counterfeit coins bearing the PCGS label and a lot of NCG (encapsulated coins) in the market and most seem to come out of China. These have been making their rounds in auction sites and showing up at pawnshops. So, if you are going to buy gold bullion coins from a pawnbroker or a bullion dealer, you should be doubly sure that you are paying for the real deal and not something masquerading as the real thing. Invest in a portable XRF analyser. These may not be cheap but they can save you from making costly mistakes or losing your money buying coins that turn out to be fake.