Fake gold sovereigns

By nedyne on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 - 6:10pm

Today I went to a shop to buy some British gold sovereign coins. It's an established, well-known house with several branches in this city (in South America). I negotiated a price 3% above the spot price of gold.

The clerk asked me if I wanted to buy "regular" sovereigns or some in particular. I said "regular," not really stopping to think what exactly he meant by that. I tested the weight, diameter, thickness (with a caliper), non-magnetism and ring of each. Some of the coins where up to 2% lighter than spec (and I tested with a 0.01g scale), which was odd, so I asked the clerk to exchange at least the ones that we off by most in weight. The other tests were fine. I was almost about to conclude the transaction when I decided to compare two coins with a magnifying glass. I noticed that one had a markedly greater level of detail in St. George's depiction than the other. I asked, and it turned out that the few coins that had great detail were made by the Royal Mint. The others (most of them) were not; these he called "regulars." What?

To me, a coin that looks like a sovereign and is sold as a sovereign but was not made by the Royal Mint is what I call counterfeit. The fact that the coin has all or almost all of the fine gold contents of a genuine sovereign is besides the point. Is it just me?

The clerk insisted that both the "regular" and the genuine coins were worth exactly the same because only the gold contents counts and that any other shop will pay me the same for both. Apparently, there are so many "regular" sovereigns in this country that shops have stopped making a distinction between them and the genuines, although genuines are much more scarce (in fact he only had a couple of genuines to sell).

I decided not to buy. I'm not convinced with these fakes that have the same gold contents. They passed the ring test (using the Bullion Test Android app), so they are not supposed to be tungsten-filled, and passed the other tests too.

He also has genuine Chilean gold coins. I'll ask around, and maybe I'll buy some of those.





Login or Register to post comments