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Posted: 10/14/2008 4:08:48 PM EDT
I intend to find a coin shop and purchase some gold/silver. I need help with the following questions;

How can I determine if the gold/silver, bar/coin is authentic? and percentage of gold/silver?

How soft is gold? Can a one ounce bar of 99.9% gold be cut with a knife?

What scams am I most likely to encounter?

How do I keep from being a sucker paying $200.00 for a $100.00 piece?

If you know the answers or know of a good FAQ or website to check, I'd really appreciate the help!
Link Posted: 10/14/2008 5:57:32 PM EDT
Are you in North Texas? If so go to see Mike at Lone Star Mint in Plano. Call first to make sure they have what you want in the store. 800-654-6716.
Link Posted: 10/15/2008 5:38:15 AM EDT
Get yourself a small digital scale and a micrometer. You might find both at Walmart. Or Home depot.
Check the thickness and the diameter of the coin. check the weight. Compare to specs you find online for coins. Fake coins will not even be close. They will be correct weight but 54% thicker or correct size but way to light. This is all you need to do. Stick to the coins. Krugerrands and Eagles. 1/10oz to 1oz. Do not buy "rare" shit or "sets". Stick to the basic standard coins I mentioned. No one cares about mintage outside of the coin nerd world.
Gold is at $833 an oz right now. But you will not be able to buy it at spot. The spot price is the "paper gold" price. Everyone is buying PMs right now so there is a supply and demand thing going on. Expect to pay a $50-$100 premium over spot for 1oz coins right now. Fractional (1/10oz to 1/2oz) coins will demand alittle higher premium.
Stay away from silver unless you are getting it for cheap. Somewhere around spot+$3-4.
Link Posted: 10/15/2008 12:04:29 PM EDT
If you're a reloader you might buy a scale that would also display in grains as a unit of measure.
Link Posted: 10/15/2008 12:05:21 PM EDT
Oops...double post.
Link Posted: 10/15/2008 12:10:47 PM EDT
You are liable to pay over the odds if you shop at a local coin shop.

You might be better going to somewhere like APMEX and ordering from them.
You also don't have to worry about them cheating you on gold/silver content.

Most sellers will NOT appreciate you taking a knife to anything to determine if its gold or not. In fact. a lot of the smaller bullion and coins are sealed in containers.
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 9:15:41 AM EDT
this is the only tester that I know of. http://www.fisch.co.za/principle.htm
Link Posted: 10/16/2008 2:10:44 PM EDT
The Fisch is good. But overpriced. It is like paying $200 for a PMAG. Like I said, get yourself a slide ruler and a small digital scale. Simple as that. If the coin is lead, it will be way too big or way underweight. Not even close. You can get the coin specs using google. Search "gold coin specs" or something like that. I'll post the popular sizes later tonight.
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