Can a fake gold coin look exactly like a real one?

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A question by 123tim :  


I’ve got some specific details to share:

I recently made a purchase of one of those ‘internet’ coins like Dogecoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc., that are supposedly recreated with gold. I bought it from an online retailer, a reputable seller on platforms like Etsy or eBay. The product description mentioned the following specifications:

  • Diameter: xx mm
  • Thickness: xx mm
  • Weight: xx ounces of cast pure gold (xx grams)
  • Certificate of Authenticity included

However, when the item arrived, it didn’t come with the promised Certificate of Authenticity. I contacted the seller, and they apologized, promising to send it in a few weeks, which has made me a bit suspicious.

To assess the authenticity of the coin, I ran a few simple tests:

  1. Weight: It feels quite dense.
  2. Sound: I tried tapping it with a pen and my finger, and it produced thud-like sounds.
  3. Magnetic: It appears to be non-magnetic.

Given these observations, are there any significant red flags that raise doubts about the authenticity of the coin at this point? Would you recommend returning the item?



Provide a response using the comment section. After review we will update the answers.

Yes, a fake gold coin can look exactly like a real one. Counterfeiters are becoming more sophisticated, and they can produce fake coins that are difficult to distinguish from real ones. However, there are several methods that can be used to detect fake gold coins, such as the ping test, weight and size test. It’s important to purchase gold coins from reputable dealers and to have them evaluated by a professional if you suspect they may be fake.


“If you’ve purchased a non-government minted gold round online and have concerns about its authenticity, there are a few steps you can take. First, consider taking it to your local coin shop (LCS) and have them perform a sigma test to verify its legitimacy. Another option is to acquire gold test acid and conduct a scratch test, although the sigma test at an LCS is generally more reliable. When it comes to using rare earth magnets for testing, it’s effective for silver but not recommended for gold due to the potential presence of tungsten fakes. Gold can often be alloyed with silver, rendering the magnet test less conclusive.”


“For future purchases, it’s advisable to only buy from reputable online gold sellers like APMEX, SDBullion, or JMBullion, as they have solid reputations and are less likely to sell counterfeit items. Additionally, consider exploring the PMSForSale subreddit, which utilizes trusted middlemen to facilitate transactions, providing added security for both new buyers and sellers in the precious metals community.”


I’m sorry to say, but the most substantial red flag here is the buyer’s lack of familiarity with gold, which puts them at risk of potential scams. Purchasing gold at $3600 per ounce is notably high unless the coin holds significant numismatic or rarity value. If it weren’t for your username, I might even consider this post as a trolling attempt.


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