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How Can I Avoid Silver Eagle Coin Fraud and Other Fake Silver Coins?

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By Susan Headley. Coins Expert

Question: How Can I Avoid Silver Eagle Coin Fraud and Other Fake Silver Coins?

Coin fraud is an unfortunate reality in the coin collecting marketplace, but you can avoid buying fake silver coins, and avoid coin fraud in general, by learning how to spot fake coins. We will use a fake Silver Eagle to demonstrate some easy steps to avoid buying fake coins.

If you want to avoid buying fake silver coins and becoming a victim of coin fraud, you first need to learn what the genuine coin looks like. Then it's just a matter of making some comparisons, and employing a little bit of common sense. To give an example, we'll use a fake silver coin type that is being produced in large numbers in China: the fake American Silver Eagle Bullion coin.

Coin Fraud - Fake Silver Coins

Follow these 6 easy steps for detecting fake silver coins in general:

  1. Does the silver coin look right? Any highly experienced coin authenticator will tell you that they often can't tell you why a given specimen is fake, (short of

    doing a full objective analysis, as explained below.) All they can say is that it doesn't "look right." Learn what the genuine silver coin looks like, and when you get that little red flag waving in your head that something looks wrong, even if you can't put your finger on exactly what is wrong, trust your senses and don't buy the coin!

  1. How much does the silver coin weigh? Most fake silver coins are made from silvery metal alloys that weigh less than genuine silver. Weigh the coin in question; if the weight is wrong for the type, don't buy it! Even overweight coins are problematic, because they might be silver-plated lead.
  2. How does the surface of the silver coin look? Fake silver coins may or may not have a silver-plated finish on them. Although higher-quality struck fakes might look pretty convincing if they're plated, many fakers don't even bother to plate the coin! Silver has a distinctive sheen to it that is neither too harsh nor too soft or "soapy" looking.

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Diagnosing a Fake Silver Eagle Bullion Coin

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