Quick and Easy Fake Silver Coin Tests

Three Easy Ways to Tell a Coin is Fake

Written by Adam English
Posted September 3, 2013

Outsider Tip of the Week

While fake coins are rampant and many are very hard to spot, there are some simple tests to help you avoid buying worthless junk coins.

Here are three things to consider:

1. Weight. Most fake coins are made from alloys that look similar to silver. However, it is really difficult to match the width and radius of a silver coin while getting the weight right. If the coin is over or underweight, don't buy it.

2. Surfaces. Many counterfeiters don't go to the trouble to make silver coins look just right. If the coin isn't even plated, the sheen will not be right and a simple comparison will do. If it is plated, using a magnifier may show spots where the plating process didn't fill in tiny spots or crevices.

3. Check the Edges. The edges of silver coins can often give away a forgery before the flat surfaces do. If the coin's edges should be reeded (grooved), but aren't — or vice versa, it is almost certainly fake, because that is a rare minting error.

If you see a seam around the edge, a dull stripe down the middle where a plating process didn't cover it all, a protrusion on the edge, or file marks from removed protrusions, the coin is suspect — and you shouldn't buy it.

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