Wow! 2020 is one upside down year – Covid-19, fires, increased rules and regulations and at the same time, “out of control unruliness,” etc… What’s next? That I have no idea, but what I do know is there are more people buying coins, silver, and gold. Here are some tips to help you or your loved ones make informed choices.
Avoid counterfeits! Most counterfeit coins brought into the coin shop for evaluation are underweight. One counterfeit seen often is that of an American Silver Eagle coin, made from 1986 to date. Authentic examples are stunning and highly recommended at the right price. People buy this coin for the silver and for collecting a full set. The reverse design of this coin is changing in 2021 and this is the last year for the bullion version of the current design. This coin is pure silver and made by the United States Mint. The coin will have a weight of 31.1 to 31.3 grams. That being said, tons of fakes have been made that have a weight of under 20 grams to around 26 grams. These fakes have a silver look but are not made of precious metal. Many times the counterfeiter will house the fake in a white rectangular holder to mimic an official certification holder and then that’s placed in a sealed thin plastic sleeve. Unfortunately, just because you have the correct weight does not mean the coin is guaranteed authentic. The Silver Eagle coin will have an exact diameter of 40.6 mm, and will have a metal content of .999 silver which can be measured by a metal analyzer.
Most people who unknowingly buy cheap fakes lack two things. A Guide Book of United States Coins 2021 74th ed. Edition which will have all weights and diameters of United States coins. And the second is a digital scale that can be purchased for $20 at my coin shop. The right digital scale is a great way to eliminate the most common of counterfeits. There are many other factors to consider to determine a coin’s authenticity and the best advice is to see a trusted dealer. Many high value coins will need to be sent to PCGS or NGC to determine authenticity and grading. Call or stop by Thoreson Numismatics in Turlock if you have coin or precious metal questions or need a consultation in 2020. Our number is 209-668-3682.