Counterfeit coining is a lucrative business, as deceptive manufacturers use low-quality materials to create coins that are perceived to have higher values. This means you must be particularly vigilant when examining pieces to add to your collection. The following guide offers a few tips to ensure you don't spend your hard-earned money on fake pieces.
How to Identify Fake Coins
1. Look for Mint Marks
Inconsistencies with mint marks could be causes for concern. These marks are like letters of authenticity. For instance, with U.S. currency, the markings denote which U.S. Mint branch made a coin series. This agency is the country's only manufacturer of legal tender coinage. The marks are placed in the same locations on each coin in a series, so look at collecting books for reference. These resources contain pictures, descriptions, and histories to better help you identify counterfeits.
2. Examine the Relief
Relief refers to the markings that are raised above the flat surface, such as "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency. When compared to an authentic piece, the relief on a counterfeit is usually raised too high or rests too close to the field—the blank area of the coin. You can test this by stacking the piece in question with real ones in the same series. This makes it easier to tell whether the relief is wrong, as the stack won't stand up straight.
3. Try the Magnet Test
Bullion coins are made of precious metals. Skilled counterfeiters create colors and finishes that make iron and steel look like gold and silver. However, magnets won't stick to real precious metals. If a coin is attracted to a magnet, it means it is made of an element other than what's advertised.
If you're looking for authentic coins to add to your collection, turn to Collector's Palace Coins & Jewelry in Streetsboro, OH. The shop has been catering to coin collectors in northeast Ohio since 1990, and its knowledgeable staff will help you find rare and valuable gems. The business also carries other sought-after collector's items, including comic books, vintage toys, and sports memorabilia. Visit the website to see what types of products the store buys and sells, and connect on Facebook for updates and announcements. Call (330) 626-2464 to inquire about the available inventory.
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