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How to Identify Fake Gold Coins


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In the current economic climate that may be a sensible idea.
Some Gold Bullion coins have more than double in value in the past year.

Gold coins are one of the most collectible objects in the World.
They have a beauty both visually and are incredibly tactile.
People actually derive pleasure from the touch of gold.
That feeling is heightened by the knowledge of the worth of a gold coin.

Regrettably there are many counterfeit coins circulating.
A few dealers frankly do not care as the coin is still a piece of gold.
However with collectible gold coins this is a more serious problem.

Most Fake Gold Coins are actually made of gold and the profit for the counterfeiter
comes in the difference between the value of the Gold and the value of the coin to a collector.

Generally speaking, more valuable coins are the fakers choice to produce.
That way they make more profit.

Gold is relatively speaking a very soft metal and the old test was to bite on the coin.
Coins pre 20th Century were usually made with pure Gold (or almost pure Gold)

Sadly this is no longer a valid test as modern Gold coins have varying amounts of base metals
added to make it easier to manufacture them and so that the coins will last in circulation.

One of the most faked coins is the US $20 Coin which has raised lettering near the edge.
The Real coins have these letter flats on the top.

In Counterfeit $20 Gold Coins in uncirculated condition these letters are rounded at the top.
It is fairly difficult to otherwise identify this coin as a fake as it is a usually made of the
correct amount of gold.

Other popular coins may be more difficult to identify.

So how do you tell a Fake?

Research is the proper answer. Your local museum or coin dealer will have some coins that you can
inspect and compare with suspect coins.

Find out the actual weight that a coin is supposed to be. This also applies to the measurements.
(One of the ways fakers make more money is to make the coins a tiny bit thinner but this is
noticeable on a coin scale).

Although Victorian Fakes of Sovereigns do exist, you are unlikely to come across them.
They were sometimes produced by using clay or plaster of paris moulds made from original sovereigns
and this produced a fairly clumsy forgery with blurred text and sometimes a very flat top due to
being filed with a fine steel file. These are obvious with a magnifying glass.

Fakes will often have other base metals added and the colour is then noticeably different.
Some Double Eagles have copper mixed to debase them a little and this gives them a mottled look.

Fakes to watch out for are the Tudor Angels and Half Angels as these fetch serious money .
If you are contemplating investing seriously in medieval Gold coins then please research before you buy.

Bullion Coins such as Krugerrands or Gold Sovereigns are less likely to be fakes as there
is little profit in them for the forger.

Keith Jones - I was a coin dealer for over 12 years. To learn more about Gold coins and collecting Hammered Gold Coins please visit Where you will find lots of helpful information.


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