Letter: Pre-1965 90% Silver Coins are the Best Defense Against Counterfeits

Dear Editor:
Those buying  silver and gold coins and bars need to be aware. I work in the industry at a well known coin shop in the mid-west. Time after time…week after week customers try to sell us fake items that they purchased from eBay, pawn shops, Craigslist, and elsewhere. It has become a bigger issue over the the last year and especially so in the last few months.

When purchasing coins and bullion from customers we use our scales to make sure items are of proper weight, we use our calipers to check diameters, and we have the benefit of having an “x ray” machine to scan metal composition. The fakes are becoming more common place. I could spend hours describing the types of fakes that have come into our shop just over the last month. I could spend hours explaining how we have worked with local authorities and even the the FBI on counterfeit stings on fake Morgan dollars and Seated Liberty dollars. 

The Schumer has hit the fan on fakes. JWR has long recommended 90% silver (junk) coins and he is dead right. Those coins are now the only ones that I recommend to my new customers who are looking to buy!

Junk silver isn’t made anymore…the last year minted was 1964 and that pertains to U.S. dimes, quarters and most halves. These coins can not be properly counterfeited. The fakes I have seen are horrible, made out of lead, they don’t feel or look correct, and more importantly they don’t pass the “sound” test.

The “sound” test is simple…drop a silver coin on a glass surface or hard floor and it makes a nice “ting” sound, but the fakes go  “clunk” or “thud”.

In recent months we have seen fake 1-oz gold bars, 1-oz gold coins, 1-oz silver, 10-oz silver bars, and so forth. Two small shops in our region have been fooled and are now out $20,000 and $5,000 on fakes that they bought without doing their due diligence.  

90% silver [pre-1965] U.S. coins are the only safe way to go from here on out, folks. They are becoming harder to find and there is a reason for that. Stay safe and prepared,  –
The Silver Bull