Don’t judge a book by its cover! Spotting counterfeit coins.

In Blog by gmtc1 Comment


One of our regular customers brought in the above Silver American Eagle (on right) after purchasing it at a local show over the weekend.  When purchasing bullion outside of your regular source and at a discount, it’s easy to overlook some very important, otherwise easily recognizable signs that something is wrong with the coin.The obverse of the coin appears to be correct if looked at quickly. The reverse is clearly wrong as it is not inverted. The reverse also has many spacing and font issues.  The fake surprisingly has the correct weight but the thickness is significantly off. The correct thickness of a Silver American Eagle is 2.2mm whereas the counterfeit example is 3.2mm. This difference is obvious to me when holding the coin as we hold them on a daily basis.

The lesson to be learned here is that a “great” deal turns into a TERRIBLE deal when the purchaser doesn’t use due diligence. No Numismatic professional is going to sell a $55 item for under spot. My customer’s “great” deal ended up being $20 worth of useless copper nickel.

Precious Metals should only be purchased from reputable dealers.


  1. Pete

    I have acquired a 2 1943 pennies that are copper color. It does not stick to a magnet so it possibility of copper. I have other 1943 pennies that are steel color. I understand that the copper ones are valuable. How can I be certain that it is not a fake? This was with other rolls of pennies as well as some older coins. !919p. 1937p. 1954s rolls etc but this and several others coins where loose or singles. I do not know much about coins except what is on the Internet

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