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With precious metal prices increasing fake coins are becoming more commonplace, but with a few simple checks you can make sure you keep yourself safe from buying fake coins.
Its a sad truth that if you search on ebay for gold coins, sovereigns you will see lots of fakes.
A coin dealer and coin collectors can quickly spot a fake, it doesn’t take much handling of bullion coins before you can spot coins where there is something ‘off’ about them.
What if you’re not secure in that knowledge or haven’t had the handling experienc?
Luckily there are a few key tests anyone can perform to ensure your coins are real.
Look closely at your coin, most fakes are bad fakes and the detail is simply not good enough. Google a good quality image of your coin and observe any differences. Pay attention to the edges of the coins, lots of fakes tend to have smooth edges rather than bevelled. Eyes. Strange to note, forgers just can’t seem to get the eyes right! It’s a great place to start.
This is a great way to tell if your gold sovereign is a fake or not. Gold is one of the most dense metals in the world and it’s quite simply almost impossible to make a coin of the same dimensions of a gold sovereign that weighs the same.
So invest in some digital scales off ebay, they can be brought for under a tenner and weigh your coin.
Remember if you are weighing a gold sovereign that has been in circulation and is over a hundred years old, it could have lost a little weight 0.1-0.9g simply by ware.
Rarely however have I seen or heard of a coin with over 1g difference that wasn’t a fake. Certainly true to say a full gold sovereign may be a tiny bit under weight if old, again I’ve never seen a real full gold sovereign that weighs over 8g, I have however seen a fair number of fakes!
Does size matter? In the coin game, yes!
Google the dimensions of your coin and check them against the coin you are checking out. The depth of a coin is a great tell and something a sovereign forger has to exploit to gain the correct weight.
There is an amazing little tool that doned the shops of old that weighed, and sized full and half sovereigns in an instant, a folding sovereign weighing scale is a great investment if you plan of buying a few sovereigns.
Old fashioned sovereign scales. These would be on all shop counters a hundred years ago.