Silver Coin Collectors and Pawn Shops are Getting Duped: “Very High Quality Fakes”
May 6th, 2013
With rising precious metals prices comes the age-old scam of counterfeits.
Fake gold coins and bars, many originating from China, have been discovered at dealers all over the world, including some high profile banks. Some analysts have even suspected that central banks, which hold thousands of tons of gold, may have fallen prey to the scam.
With silver having recently achieved all times highs and currently trading at around $25 per ounce, counterfeiters see a potential boon for their bottom lines. Counterfeiting silver isn’t new, and numerous fake 100 ounce silver bars and U.S. Morgan dollars have been discovered to date. But now the scammers have turned their sights on the official one ounce bullion coin of the United States – the American Silver Eagle. In April, the US Mint sold in excess of four million silver eagles, highlighting the surging popularity of the coin.
With many more millions of ounces being traded on the open market at traditional coin shops, online retailers and popular auction web sites, unscrupulous counterfeiters can easily slip fake coins into the mix. They do so through online auction sites, where unsuspecting buyers think they’re getting the real thing. Those collectors may then end up visiting a broker in their local area who unknowingly purchases the bunk coins and resells them to other buyers. The process happens everyday and is responsible for perhaps tens of thousands of fake silver coins and bars now in circulation.
In Hamilton, Ontario, the problem is so widespread that they have dedicated a special task force to investigate the five hundred fake American Eagles discovered in the hands of dealers and private owners.
Buyer beware, because that 99.9% silver coin you think you may have in your possession may be nothing more than practically worthless silver plated brass: