Security is increasingly becoming an issue when buying precious metals. There are many companies in China that specialize in reproducing famous coins, from the ancient Chinese coins that have a square hole in the middle all the way up to renowned brands in the bullion market. These fake coins and bars (often filled with tungsten rods) are sold in large quantities, supposedly as souvenir replicas. Luckily, there are many government and private mints that take security very seriously and offer their precious metal bullion products with security features that are impossible to replicate by these Chinese low-tech coin producers.
As far as gold coins are concerned, give Canadian Gold Maple Leafs some consideration. A few years ago, the Royal Canadian Mint introduced two new security measures that make these coins extremely hard to duplicate. Radial lines that were engraved with micro-precision now emanate from the central design on both sides. The reverse of the coins also bears a special maple-leaf-shaped privy mark that has the last 2 digits of the year of mintage laser-engraved on it. These new security measures were also implemented on the silver, platinum and palladium version of the coins.
Bar-shaped Bullion Products with Security Features
One private mint that takes security very seriously is the Sunshine Mint. They produce precious metal bars in all sizes and their silver bars sell especially well. All Sunshine Mint bars have a special security feature – the MintMark SI™ – which is a special mint mark that can be verified with a special Sunshine Mint Decoder Lens. When looking through this decoder lens at an angle at the central design of rising suns with the MintMark SI™, the word “Valid” will appear. Alternately, a sunburst will appear when turning the decoder lens ninety degrees. So when buying gold or silver bars, consider the Sunshine Mint’s range of bullion products.
Another private mint of bullion products that is very dedicated to providing the utmost in security against counterfeiting is the renowned PAMP Suisse mint. Their exclusive Veriscan® technology is unique in its approach to detect counterfeits. All PAMP Suisse bars have their surface scanned before leaving the mint. Each physical object and therefore also each precious metal bar has a unique microscopic topography, kind of like a fingerprint. To verify the authenticity of a PAMP gold or silver bar, all a customer has to do is to scan the bar’s surface with a regular scanner and the certified VERISCAN software app. The result of that scan is then compared with the Veriscan® database. That technology makes all PAMP Suisse bars virtually bullet-proof from counterfeiting. All PAMP Suisse bars are furthermore enclosed within a tamper-evident assay card and the mint guarantees each bar’s weight and purity.