Bullion Authentication and Counterfeit Detection
As economic times have become more uncertain, buyers are increasing their precious metals purchases, and counterfeiters are looking to cash in on the increase in demand, as well as the increases in the spot prices. As a national bullion dealer, we take on the responsibility of protecting our clients to insure that they are buying authentic gold, silver, platinum and palladium coins and bars. We have an Authenticity Guarantee that allows you the peace of mind when buying your precious metals. The way to have assurance that you have 100% authentic gold and silver products is to:
- Buy from a dealer that uses the best authentication technology, and faithfully tests all products that they sell.
- Understand the different types of technology and testing available
For many years, the only non-destructive professional metal tester available was an X-Ray Flourescence (XRF) machine. Even the portable versions require a $10,000+ investment, but more importantly, they cannot see through anything but the thinnest of plating to analyze the core of a coin or bar. Essentially, they provide a false sense of security, and do so at a high investment cost. As a veteran bullion dealer, Fisher Precious Metals is not willing to allow any risk on behalf of their clients. Having invested in state-of-the-art technology, we authenticate every coin and bar that we both buy and sell. In lieu of an XRF machine, we use multiple forms of premium coin and bar authentication verifiers:
- The Sigma Metalytics Precious Metals Verifier and;
- The Bullion DNA Authentication unit from the Royal Canadian Mint
- The MintMark SI™ Decoder Lens
- The Pamp VeriScan Application
These tools, coupled with weight, dimensions and a Neodymium Rare Earth magnet allow us to verify and authenticate all coins and bars. The Sigma Metalytics Verifier allows us to test any common coin or bar, and provides a reading in a couple of seconds without having to use acids, gels or filing (all of which are considered “destructive” forms of testing.) The Verifier unit is able to authenticate and penetrate 2 mm or more in to the coins and bars within seconds, thus immediately identifying attempts to plate a coin.
Using electromagnetic waves that penetrate in to the coin or bar, plating and surface features are simply ignored and the main body of metal is assessed. Better yet, The Verifier can authenticate through plastic cases, so graded coins do not need to be removed from their protective holders.
The Bullion DNA Program from the Royal Canadian Mint allows authorized national bullion dealers to authenticate gold and silver Royal Canadian Maple Leaf coins directly with the mint. For the years 2014 and later for gold Maple Leafs and 2015 and later for silver Maple Leafs, the Royal Canadian Mint has micro-engraved every coin with an anti-counterfeiting mark: a textured maple leaf and the coin’s production year. The Mint’s non-destructive activation (DNA) technology captures images encrypted with a string of code and stores these in the Royal Canadian Mint’s secure database.
Authorized Bullion DNA dealers such as Fisher Precious Metals own the hardware and software that make up the Bullion DNA anti-counterfeiting technology ecosystem. Digital authentication is now the new mint level state of the art anti-counterfeiting technology, providing peace of mind for precious metals buyers. The major sovereign mints will likely follow in the footsteps of the Royal Canadian Mint, it will just take some time.
At the end of the day, you need to buy from a reputable dealer that will be happy to authenticate your gold and silver right in front of you, or assure you that they have done so prior to shipping to you. We welcome you to bring any items you have purchased, no matter from whom, to have them tested in our office at no charge. Rest assured that you will have authentic gold and silver moving forward!