Coin World is reporting that there has been an increase in the amount of counterfeit silver products on the market. Although counterfeit products have plagued the American market for years, and more recently United States coins, more and more counterfeit bullion products are starting to show up. A few weeks ago some counterfeit Silver American Eagle coins started to appear in the United States. More recently, privately minted silver bars and rounds are being found.
The easiest way to protect yourself from buying these bogus bars is to make sure that you purchase your silver bullion from a reputable and well established dealer. Find out how long the dealer has been in business and if they are a member of either the American Numismatic Association (ANA) or the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG). If you are interested in authenticating your own silver bullion purchases, you can learn from a dealer and Australia on how he has assembled his own bullion authentication kit. Given the amount of equipment and experience required, I would only recommend this if you are a high volume bullion purchaser or a dealer.
Image courtesy of: James Bucki and