Fake Gold and Silver Coins

By | November 13, 2015
Golden Color but No Gold Content

Sacagawea Dollar Coin : Golden Color but No Gold Content

If you are just starting out, don’t be fooled by fake gold and silver coins. What do we mean by this? We are referring to coins that have a gold or silver color but no precious metal in their content. Since 1965 all US dimes and quarters produced by the US Mint have a silver color – but they have no silver content. They are made of a cheap alloy – that were it meted down – would be worth a few cents at best. Likewise, The modern Sacagawea dollar coin has a golden color but contains no gold.

Roosevelt Dime

Modern US Dime: Silver Color but No Silver Content

Similarly, Canadian dimes, quarters and halves, which used to be made of 80% silver, no longer have silver content. They also are made of a cheap alloy. Yet they still have a silver coloration.


Authentic US Silver Coins

  • Just because a coin has a silver color doesn’t mean it’s made of silver. Fortunately, all US dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars coins mined prior to 1965 for general circulation were minted with silver content. Most of these were made from a 90% silver – 10% copper alloy. The copper was added to give the coins additional durability.
90% SIlver Content

Mercury Dime Reverse: 90% Silver Content. No Longer Minted.


Authentic US Gold Coins

  • Accordingly, just because a coin has a golden color doesn’t mean it has gold content. No US coin minted for general circulation after the year 1933 has any gold content. Unless it’s a bullion coin such as an American Gold Eagle, any gold-colored US minted coin with a date of 1934 and higher is not made of gold.

    Gold Half Eagles

    Gold Half Eagles: Made of Real Gold. No Longer Minted

Fake Gold and Silver News from NBC 

Recently, NBC published an article highlighting the concern about fake gold and silver coins that are flooding the marketplace. According the that piece, “There’s a reliable supply of bogus coins coming from China into the U.S., and it has been getting more authentic-looking over the years.” The article goes on to say, “Most of the counterfeit coins are made from a base metal, like tungsten, that is plated with a little gold. This way it will pass the acid test that indicates gold. If it is well-made, the fake will weigh the same as the genuine piece, making it even harder to spot”.

Buy from Reputable Dealers

If you are new to collecting or investing in gold and silver coins, welcome to this site. As you navigate around this site you’ll find a wealth of educational information to help you. You certainly don’t want to buy fake gold or silver coins thinking you have items with precious metal content.

Here’s a useful and important tip: If you are just starting out make sure you buy from reputable dealers. Our preferred gold and silver coin broker, Golden Eagle Coins, has been in business for over three decades and will serve you well.


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2 thoughts on “Fake Gold and Silver Coins

  1. Tim

    Interesting post about the actual content in the coins today.

    Personally I never thought normal coins had real gold or silver in them anyway as they are simply representing a currency value, with no worth in themselves.

    It is interesting to note that they used to though and do not anymore though. Why is that exactly I am curious to know? Like why did they stops making them with real silver and gold?

    1. Mike Post author

      Thanks for visiting Tim. Lot’s of people don’t understand that our current form of money is Fiat Currency and is not made of or backed by gold or silver. Governments stopped making money based on gold and silver for one simple reason – they wanted to control it!


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