How can I spot a counterfeit gold or silver bullion product?

It is not as easy to spot counterfeit gold bullion as one might think. For example, the US government recently audited the New York gold bullion reserves. Here are some of the results:

-There are approximately 34,000 gold bars in the New York storage facility; 350 of these bars were selected for testing, or “assaying”. This means that only one percent of the New York gold holdings were checked for authenticity.

-The audit, which was overseen by the Government Accountability Office, took place from January though July.

-Our government has stated that approximately 1 to 1.5 grams of gold are irreplaceably destroyed by the assaying process. This means that over $35,000 in gold was deliberately destroyed, and our government has been mute on the operation’s additional expenditures.

Such an audit, although large in scale and operated by what has often been called an “inept” government agency, shows that such a process can be time-consuming, costly and leave many questions unanswered about the authenticity of one’s gold. Many household investors who are new to buying and selling gold are unaware that every coin and bar that enters one of the Gold Silver vaults must pass a 57-point inspection before being purchased. We deal directly with manufacturers like Credit-Suisse and the US Mint, and our rare coins have been independently examined and certified by either the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), as well as our in-house numismatist team.

Counterfeit silver is not very common due to the lack of profit margin. To test one’s gold look for a serial number on bullion bars, and certificates of authenticity that come with gold bullion coins. Rare gold coins are sealed in tamper-proof packets that prominently display serial numbers that can be verified online via PCGS.com and NGC.com. If you have questions about the authenticity of your gold and silver or you believe that a company may be selling counterfeit gold and silver contact the Better Business Bureau (www.BBB.org) and Gold Silver immediately at 1-800-394-3337.

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