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How Can I Trust This Bullion Is Real?

We expect precious metals prices to increase in a bull market trend for potentially another 5-7 years.

In that time, we also expect an increase in cases of scammers taking advantage of would-be investors. Most of the time, this occurs with unscrupulous dealers taking advantage of investors with high premiums on products with promised future collectible value.

But as with any high value items that people collect, counterfeiters also prey on unsuspecting buyers.


Fake gold bars (typically blocks of tungsten or other cheaper metal plated with gold) are relatively common in the gold industry and often easy to detect, but more recently reports have surfaced of real gold bars stamped with false branding. The gold is real, and very high purity, but with the markings faked to imitate well-known refineries to flout global measures to block conflict minerals and prevent money-laundering.

But while counterfeit technology has developed over the years, the precious metals industry has developed even more sophisticated technology to prevent counterfeiting, working tirelessly to make sure their authentic products are easily identifiable and verifiable if you know what to look for.

When investing in precious metals, you want to make sure that the gold, silver, platinum, and palladium that you are buying is legitimate. How does one go about this?

  • Buy only from trusted sources. You do not have to worry about verifying the authenticity of your precious metals bars and coins if you trust the source you purchase them from. Do your research when it comes to selecting a dealer, and you’ll never have to worry about the purity and authenticity of the metal you buy. This is the best method for protecting yourself from counterfeit as reputable dealers go to extreme lengths to make sure their products are the real deal.

    While buying directly from other gold owners on websites like eBay may seem tempting so you can avoid paying higher premiums, you are putting yourself at risk when you buy from unverified internet sources. There’s no way to make sure that the person you are buying from is who they say they are and you could be left without real recourse if they turn out to be a scammer.

  • Store only with trusted depositories. Likewise, if you are planning to store your metal at a depository, make sure that the storage program is fully insured, secure, and backed with a guarantee. If you aren’t physically laying eyes on your metal, you still want to do everything in your power to make sure that the metal that belongs to you is authentic and what’s in the vaults is as promised.

  • Inspect your purchases for unique design markers. Most modern coins and bars have anti-counterfeit measures integrated into their design. For instance, the British Royal Mint recently updated the design of the Britannia coin, introducing subtle new security features to make it incredibly hard to replicate for scammers. The new features include a latent image that acts like a hologram and changes from a padlock to a trident when the coin is seen from different angles, micro details created using advanced picosecond lasers to create the illusion of waves rolling behind the figure of Britannia as the coin is rotated, an inscription surrounding the figure of Britannia, and the addition of tincture lines – depicting colors and patterns on metal. These sophisticated technologies make it incredibly difficult for scammers to produce replicas that would even come close.

    In addition to markers like inscriptions, dates, and images, look also at structural details, like the evenness of the edge finishes, and that the relief, or the height of the design surface, should be easily stackable with coins of the same type.
  • Test your purchases. There are a number of simple tests that any investor can conduct to see whether the coins and bars they possess are real. Use a finely tuned scale to compare the actual weight of the item with the weight indicated in its markings. The “ping test”, where you gently strike the coin with a piece of metal to see if the coin rings, can also indicate whether the metal is real. There is also an acid test kit that can be used to test the metal, but if done improperly, this can damage the coin and devalue it. Stay away from methods of testing that require scratching, scraping, or dropping your gold or silver.


It is illegal to possess, buy, or sell counterfeits, so even if you unknowingly purchase falsified bullion, there could be negative consequences, especially if there comes a time when you need to liquidate and sell some of your holdings. Luckily, as we mentioned before, there’s little to no risk of encountering counterfeit gold and silver products if you are buying your bullion from a reputable, knowledgeable dealer (as many of the mints and refineries do not sell directly to the general public).

At ASI, we only source the coins and bars that we offer from reputable wholesalers that buy directly from mints and refineries, so you can rest easy that any bullion you purchase from us is the real deal. In most cases, our relationship with these wholesalers goes back decades as ASI has been in business since 1982. After being in business for so long, our longstanding reputation as a reputable dealer and industry leader is of top importance, and we only ever foster relationships with wholesalers and depository storage programs that will continue to deliver quality products and trustworthy service to our clients. We want to help you “Keep What’s Yours”… it’s our top priority.

If you’re ready to buy, give us a call at 800-831-0007 or simply send us an email. Or if you're not ready to invest yet, consider giving us a call for a free consultation to see what sort of precious metals investment would be right for your particular needs. You can also buy directly from us at