How to Tell if Silver Bullion Coins are Authentic
One of the biggest risks in investing in physical silver or gold is that you may accidentally buy something fake. There are a lot of scammers out there and it is critical that you learn how to determine whether or not what you're about to spend your hard earned money on is a real piece of precious metal or just a hunk of pretty looking junk.
When I buy a coin, the first thing I do, is compare it to a real coin. If it looks different than a known authentic example, there's probably something wrong with it. This is not fool proof, of course, because some fakes look really good, especially to the untrained eye.
The next thing to consider is the context surrounding the coin. Now I always say, don't believe the stories the seller tells you. "It was my grandfathers, it must be real" or "I found this metal detecting." All of this is irrelevant. However, sometimes context clues can tip you off to a problem. To see an example of this and all the other methods I discuss, watch this video
The next test is to check the coin with a neodymium magnet. No precious metals should be magnetic. If the coin sticks to a magnet you know it's not real silver.
Finally, the single best test is to measure the coin's three key specs and compare it to the real coin's specs. The three key specs are weight, diameter, and thickness.
All of these methods take practice, but it is worth developing these skills so that eventually they become second nature to you. You will be less likely to make purchasing mistakes and less likely to lose money.