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Testing Authenticity Of Gold And Silver South African Coins

Test authenticity of Krugerrands and other South African coins – Part 1

Have you ever wondered how to test authenticity of Krugerrand coins and other bullion South African coins? Due to the recent affair regarding Krugerrand coins and different counterfeits appearing on the market, collectors may have become more cautious when buying bullion South African coins.

If you want to arm yourself with skills and tools that will help you distinguish authentic South African coins from counterfeits and give you a peace of mind when it comes to your collectible coins, than read the following series of articles in which we will present different methods of and tools  for testing authenticity of your bullion South African coins.

There are several more or less complex tools and methods that will help you test your South African coins so you can avoid buying counterfeits, underweight  or under-spec coins:

  1. Visual identification: Simple and fast method where you visually test your South African coins using a jewelers lens, loupe or photographic software and compare them to the authentic coins of the same type.
  2. Weight measurement: Weight your coin using a precision scale and compare the measurement to the corresponding weight in a numismatic catalog.
  3. Diameter and thickness: Counterfeit coins often deviate from authentic coins in thickness or diameter. Use a digital caliper to measure your coin and compare result to the measurements of an authentic coin.
  4. Coin testers such as Gold Coin Balance or Fisch sets will help you test diameter, thickness, shape and weight of your Krugerrand coins.
  5. Magnets: You can test authenticity of your bullion South African coins using rare earth magnets that do not stick to gold and silver coins.
  6. Acoustic ring: Compare the ring that your coin resonates when gently hit with another coin, to a ring of another authentic coin of the same type.
  7. Density and specific gravity test: More complex method that allows you to measure density and specific gravity of a coin and compare it to density and specific gravity of the material that it should be made of.
  8. Electronic gadgets: There are several electronic gadgets that allow to test the authenticity of gold objects using ultrasound and other methods.
  9. Acid test: Application of appropriate acid to the metal induces a chemical reaction that gives you the answer if your coin (or at least its surface) is made of proper material. This is not a preferred method of testing valuable South African coins, because it can cause serious damage or ruins your coin if not used properly.

You can combine different methods of testing your South African coins to determine their authenticity and avoid buying counterfeits. Learn about the methods and tools in greater detail in the coming series of articles.

In the following video a reputable coin dealer presents some of the methods for testing gold and gold coins.

Sources: YouTube, A guide to identifying fake coins

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