Market dynamics have taught investors the importance of diversifying their investments. Silver coins, albeit not popular, are an investment niche with its own brighter sides. But isn’t that how great investment vehicles are: not being known to most people? 

Silver coins allow people to accumulate top-quality, beautiful pieces with exceptional fineness, hoping to get the right prices for them. And they often do, as the market is full of buyers who appreciate fine silver pieces. However, one has to wonder if the coin they admire so much is an original one or just a counterfeit piece of metal down the street.

This article will illuminate a few tricks sellers use to rip you off. Follow closely.

Physical Characteristics 

Some physical characteristics can tell you outrightly that you are looking at a fake silver coin. Specific weight and size are normally associated with the original silver coin, and any irregularities should ring some bells. But how else can you use the physical features of a coin to determine its authenticity?

Weight and Size

Let us first get this out of the way. Although you might not be in a position to master all the weights and sizes characteristics of all available coins, popular distributors like the U.S. Mint list the total weight of the silver coin in question. If you buy silver coins in Rochester MI and they weigh less or more than indicated on the dealer’s website, your coins are probably illegitimate. 

Evaluate the coins’ size and weight carefully. Before buying any coin, do thorough research to determine its weight and how it should look and feel. 

Sound Test

Wait, so there is a sound test for coins?

That’s right. You can actually identify the authenticity of a coin by the sound it produces after hitting another metal or floor. Coins with an original silver component produce a high-pitched sound, while fake silver coins make a dull thud. Try the sound test with your coin, and you could be surprised by what you find out.

It is important to note that the sound test should not be done in isolation. If possible, let it be just as a confirmation of what you will have found out after applying other techniques highlighted in this article.

Visual Inspection

Most counterfeiters will get the details and mint marks wrong on the coin. Just like other technical specifications, mints list the coins’ specifications on their websites. If the details do not coincide, your coin is probably fake. 

Although visual inspection is not completely foolproof, it could be a lifesaver if you have an eye for details. A magnifying glass can help you capture most finer details. 

Basic Testing Techniques

There are also some common ways of telling if a coin is an original silver. Let us look at the two main ones: magnet test and conductivity test.

Magnet Test

Magnet reactivity is quite simple. Since silver is not magnetic, it will not react whenever a magnet is pressed against it. However, your fake silver coins will be pulled closer.

If you are wondering if to buy silver coins in Rochester MI you have to carry a magnet around, the answer is yes. Magnetism test works with gold coin as well.

Conductivity Test

Silver is highly conductive. Place the silver coin on a pan, then gently heat it. After a few minutes, place an ice cube on top of the silver coin. If it melts, then your coin could be legit. The opposite is also true.

Ice cube testing is one of the most recommended ways of testing a coin’s authenticity.

Advanced Testing Options

You might also want to try the following advanced testing options.

Acid testing

Just put a drop of nitric acid on your silver coin. If the silver content is between 90 and 100%, the acid will turn creamy. If the silver content is between 65 and 70%, the precipitate will be green. If the colour of the nitric acid does not change, you have a fake silver coin.

X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Testing

XRF testing uses XRF guns and is mainly used by professional coin dealers. They give results in percentages, primarily in under 15 seconds.


 There are many counterfeit coins out there. Due diligence is no longer an option if you want to get the best value in the coin market. Although some counterfeit detection techniques seem a little bit far off, the best professional coin traders are willing to go all the way to get authentic coins.