Fake versus Genuine Coins
One of the major setbacks in starting a silver coin collection is the
risk of getting scammed by fraudulent coin dealers and spending a
fortune on fake silver coins. This is a very reasonable fear, or at
least a rational concern. In any kind of endeavor, there are always
people trying to take advantage of the naiveté or inexperience of other
people. Silver coin aficionados can avoid this by knowing
the difference between fake and genuine silver coins.
There are collectors who can readily tell when a coin is fake, even the
most sophisticated fraudulent ones, without being able to explain why.
By mere gut feelings, they can tell that something is wrong in the coin
and they’re usually right. However, that kind of intuition takes a long
time developing but knowing the basics helps a lot.
First, you should be familiar with the look and feel of genuine silver
coins. Acquaint yourself with the qualities of a silver coin – its
markings, its texture, its surface, its edges, its weight, etc… Try to
memorize the feel of a real silver coin in your hand. Do this with as
many different samples of silver coins as you can. This can take time
but it would be very beneficial to you in the end as you would be able
to avoid scammers and losing money.
A genuine silver coin usually weighs more than a fake one because fakes
are only made up of metal alloys. However, there are also silver-plated
lead fake coins, which make them heavier than the genuine. So you also
have to watch out for “overweight” silver coins.
Counterfeit silver coins are usually dull and kind of soapy when
compared to the genuine. Genuine silver coins are radiant and shiny.
Another way to test the authenticity of a silver coin is by testing its
sound when chinked with another coin. The dull clink sound of a fake
coin is also a usual giveaway. Genuine silver coins have that
distinctive ring of silver that sounds like a bell.
It also pays to know your coin history. Try to learn which coins were
minted at what year. Dates are a common mistake in coin forgery. So
check the year minted on the coin if that kind of coin was indeed in
circulation during that time. Also, some silver coins are reeded and
some are not. So, learn which coins are reeded and which are not. This
is also a common mistake by forgers.