Worried your gold is fake? Here are five ways to check if your gold is real

Julie Brownlee, Fsp Invest, 27 Nov. 2014

Tags: gold, fake gold, counterfeit gold, how to check for fake gold, check for counterfeit gold, buying gold, physical gold

Gold is a great addition to your portfolio as insurance. It can hedge your portfolio against a global economic crisis or a market crash.

But gold isn’t always what it seems. Gold counterfeiters are lurking to take advantage of unsuspecting investors.

So how can you find out if your gold is the real deal or in fact fake?

Read on to find out…

The rise of gold counterfeiters

In June in New York, police apprehended two gold counterfeiters for selling fake American Gold Eagle gold coins. Earlier in the year, in Portland, a gold buyer found his recently purchased haul of gold ingots were fake.

Even experts in the industry have fallen prey to gold counterfeiters, Peter Krauth in Money Morning US explains. Last year, a reputable jewellery store in Manhattan had fake gold bars.

So how can you protect yourself?

Five tests to check whether your gold is authentic

Test #1: Check your gold’s size
When it comes to physical gold in the form of coins or bars, they usually have very specific sizes. So check what the true dimensions of your item should be.

You just need to buy yourself a pair of callipers. You can use them to measure the diameter and thickness of your gold.

One sign of something awry is that your gold is bigger than it should. The counterfeiter is making up for the lack of weight by increasing the size.

Test #2: Check if your gold is magnetic
Gold isn’t magnetic. So if your gold is, it’s not real.

To check this, you need to buy a strong magnet and test your gold.

Test #3: Check your gold’s weight
The weight of your gold should be exactly as per its specifications. Just remember you need to weigh in troy ounces.

Test #4: Give your gold a good look
Know the characteristics of the gold item you’re buying. Check these.

If you’re buying a large quantity of gold, it makes sense to have it verified for your own piece of mind.

Test #5: X-ray or give your gold an ultrasound
X-rays are a good way to check if gold is genuine. Jewellers sometimes use this method. It can reveal the fineness and purity of the gold.

But an x-ray is only a surface test. It won’t tell you if there’s a void or other material inside your bar or coin.

Another option is an ultrasound. This provides a digital image of a gold bar. This shows up any flaws inside the gold.

You may find it difficult to get someone to do this test for you.

How to avoid investing in fake gold

These tests can help you determine if your gold is counterfeit or not. But to protect yourself, the best thing you can do is buy from a reputable dealer in the first place.

Look for approved gold dealers. And consider dealers who offer a product guarantee.

So there you have it, five ways to check if your gold is real.

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