A good friend of mine, who runs a bricks and mortar shop in East Grinstead, has warned me of a new ruse that has been recently attempted at his emporium.
It is a variation on an old theme, but a bit subtler. It is the use of hallmarked gold catches being soldered on to gold plated silver chains.
When the price of gold rocketed a number of retailers started selling gold plated silver chains and bracelets as the prices move out of their demographics. The fakers have cottoned on to this. The gold will have had the gloss taken off and aged, so it looks genuine. With the hallmarks on the clasps it would look to the eye to be real gold.
The only sure fire check is the “acid test”. Cut into a link and use a testing solution, once the plate has been broken the acid will fizz bright green.
There is a batch of fake, good quality tungsten “gold” coins now in circulation. Tungsten was very difficult to work with as it is a brittle metal, but it would seem technology has moved forward.
There are some 1oz Gold Krugerrand’s in circulation bearing the date 1984, which are the correct weight and size. This thwarts the test of weight and size as previously coins were either underweight or oversized.
The correct weight for a 1oz Krugerrand is 33.93 grams, comprising of 31.1035g of gold and 2.826g of copper. This gold blend is known as Crown Gold is what gives the Krugerrand its distinctive colour.
A 1oz Krugerrand should be 32.77mm in diameter, 2.84mm thick and have 160 serrations around the edge, proof coins made specifically for collectors have 220 serrations around the edge.
The only differentiator is the sound of the coin when struck, producing a dull thud rather than distinctive ring.
Beware of any 1984 1oz Krugerrand you are offered.