Jun 272016
 

With the launch of our official eBay Store, here’s some timely advice on how to avoid buying fake coins and bars.

At The Perth Mint we don’t like hearing about buyers and collectors who have unwittingly purchased fake coins and bars. While you are safe buying direct from us and any of our official distributors, we understand that the coin collecting community also loves to buy and sell among each other.

Unfortunately, increasingly sophisticated copycats are trying to ruin your day! Despite eBay’s rules and policies forbidding the listing of replicas, counterfeit items or unauthorised copies, just about every major manufacturer and respected brand worldwide has had one or more of its products imitated and offered for sale!

AvoidFakes

As a measure of the problem, even people experienced in gold and silver have been known to be caught out by such scams. They then have to go through the rigmarole of claiming their money back, a hassle which once outside the refund deadline can prove frustrating.

One savvy and enthusiastic eBay buyer recently showed us examples of two fake minted bars he’d fallen victim to, even though the seller had excellent feedback ratings. Fortunately he had an industry contact with an XRF metal analyser and was in the habit of having everything he bought immediately tested. But not everybody is lucky enough to have access to such equipment when they need it!

To avoid the sickly feeling of being duped, buyers of gold and silver bullion need to become as knowledgeable as possible about the dangers. The following insights (which apply equally to buying from eBay, pawn shops or that bloke in the pub!) combined with a precautionary buying strategy based on commonsense principles will help relieve you from any nagging doubts.

What’s at risk?

The problem extends across the full spectrum of bullion and numismatic products, comprising cast (poured) bars, minted bars, as well as gold and silver coins.

Firstly, some good news! The web was abuzz not long ago with a scary story about a cast gold bar which was found to contain rods of tungsten. It led to massive amounts of conjecture about how many similarly defaced bars might be in the market. In truth, however, this unnerving episode was probably over sensationalised. In the long experience of senior staff at The Perth Mint refinery, such fakes are actually a rare occurrence.

On the other hand, the eBay buyer who visited the Mint not long ago said he believes there are large numbers of fake coins and minted bars out there. While they often appear to look like the real thing, generally these practically worthless rip-offs are nothing more than tungsten, copper, lead, nickel or alloy plated in a just a few microns of precious metal.

And hear this. The problem is probably going to get even worse because of the availability of technology that makes copying so easy. The canny counterfeiters may also be starting to target low mintage releases like some of our Australian Lunar coins in the knowledge that they stand a better chance of tempting a collector keen to finish a series.

Some tell tale signs

It’s now more important than ever to look out for any tell-tale signs that will suggest coins and bars offered for sale may be fakes. A listing marked ‘No Returns’ is an obvious red flag. But check carefully that the product’s full specifications are included. Official refiners and manufacturers advertise precise weights and dimensions for their coins and bars and by replacing gold or silver with base metal, counterfeiters are highly unlikely to be able to match these specifications precisely.

When compared to an authentic bar of the same weight, our visitor’s fakes looked good and were accurate in both length and width. But they were way too thick because the lighter metal inside – something that was not revealed by the photographs used in the advertisement. So if any of the specifications are missing from a listing or incorrect by even a single gram or millimeter, then treat it with enormous skepticism.

It’s really obvious that something is up when prices look drastically low. Gold and silver are commodities and cannot, therefore, be bought at a discount. If you think you’ve spotted a bargain or are offered the deal of a lifetime, think again. If it looks too good to be true, it will be!

Know your seller

Let’s be clear, collectors and investors are most likely to be exposed to the risk of fake coins and bars when buying from unknown suppliers. If you don’t know them, why take the risk? Our visitor reinforced this point emphatically when we asked what advice he would like to share with others. Simply “ don’t buy on eBay if you don’t know the dealer.”

In some cases you may be able to physically check them out by visiting the shop and meeting the owner. Maybe talk to some existing customers too. But if that’s impossible, let government-owned mints such as us help you out by referring to their list of authorised resellers.

This really is the golden rule for people on eBay anxious to avoid fakes. The Perth Mint publishes a list of reputable dealers on its website. Based all over the world, they’ve worked with us for many years and when selling on eBay, can be relied upon to provide honest and ethical service. In Australia, buyers can also be confident of dealing with members of the Australian Numismatic Dealers Association from whom you’re going to get what you paid for.

With a little research, you should be able to find similar information from other world mints too.

Visit The Perth Mint’s official store on ebay.

POST A COMMENT

 
Jun 172016
 

After three appearances at Supanova, The Perth Mint is excited to be heading back to this year’s Perth event with more stunning coins featuring favourite sci-fi and pop culture characters.

PRIZES

Geeks are urged to check-in at The Perth Mint booth (No. 1625) where members of the coin design crew will be waiting to say “hi” and to enter your name in the draw for some highly sought-after collector prizes.

As well as silver coins from the official Star Trek program, each accompanied by Certificate of Authenticity No. 1, you could also win a 50th anniversary wall graphic featuring life-size images of Kirk and Spock together with a diagram of the legendary U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701.

Plus, we’re giving away a sensational 2oz silver high relief coin depicting Thor, the hammer-wielding God of Thunder. Because of the stampede for this extremely limited collectable when it was released earlier this month, we’ve quietly reserved one for an incredibly lucky visitor at Supanova!

SupanovaStripBlogImage_

DISCOUNTS

Exclusive discounts apply to all the coins sold from our Supanova booth. You can save between 15 and 25 percent on limited releases from programs like Star Trek, Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Bruce Lee, and our Super Powers base metal collectables.

ACTION PACKED

Supanova Perth has teamed up with an exciting line up of ‘Supa-Star’ guests for two action-packed days of fun! Come along in cosplay and participate in all sorts of competitions, check out many more exclusive expo deals and don’t forget to have a chat with our coin artists about their favourite characters and coin designs!

We’ll be at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre on Saturday, 25th June and Sunday, 26th June,  10am – 6pm. Get your tickets here!

POST A COMMENT

 
May 092016
 

For followers of Perth Mint sales and mintage data we’re pleased to announce that the latest figures for proof and collectable releases are available now. As well as Declared Mintages for 2013 coins, this update includes Sales-to-Date for 2014 and 2015-dated products as at 31 December 2015.

Click here to visit Numismatic Mintages where you can download the relevant data sheets in pdf format.

 POST A COMMENT

 
Apr 012016
 

Australian Map Shaped Ten-Coin Series

Our popular Australian Map Shaped releases featuring imagery of native animals is now officially a Ten-Coin Series.

The final coin, featuring Australia’s iconic wild dog – the dingo – will be issued in October 2016.

Collectors who’ve followed these coins with the aim of acquiring the complete series now have their objective clearly in sight.

  • 2012 Kookaburra – Sold Out
  • 2012 Emu – Sold Out
  • 2013 Kangaroo – Sold Out
  • 2013 Platypus – Sold Out
  • 2014 Koala – Buy Now
  • 2014 Saltwater Crocodile – Buy Now
  • 2015 Wedge-tailed Eagle – Buy Now
  • 2015 Redback Spider – Buy Now
  • 2016 Great White Shark – Buy Now
  • 2016 Dingo – Future Release (Final)

Treasures of the World ‘Locket’ Coins

Treasures of the World now comprises three silver coins and three gold coins.

  • 2013 Europe – Garnet
  • 2014 Australia – Gold
  • 2015 North America – Turquoise

Originally conceived as a five gold and five silver coin program, the final two annual releases have been cancelled as a result of production issues.

View available coins in this series here.

POST A COMMENT

 
Mar 312016
 

The Perth Mint will issue no further releases from the Australian Antarctic Territory Series.

The popular program was inspired by huge collector interest in our 2004 Mawson Station 50th Anniversary 1oz silver proof coin. A modern numismatic classic, it sold out rapidly in honour of legendary polar explorer, Douglas Mawson.

Featuring eleven subsequent coins, the series leaves a rich legacy of tributes to other Australian Antarctic explorers, as well as extraordinary wildlife and stunning natural phenomena found in the highest, driest, windiest and coldest continent on Earth.

The Complete SeriesAAT_12-CoinSeries

  • 2004 Mawson Station – Sold Out
  • 2005 Leopard Seal – Sold Out
  • 2006 Edgeworth David Base – Sold Out
  • 2007 Davis Station – Sold Out
  • 2008 Humpback Whale – Sold Out
  • 2009 South Magnetic Pole – Declared Mintage 6,703
  • 2010 Husky – Sold Out
  • 2011 Killer Whale – Sold Out
  • 2012 Emperor Penguin – Unavailable
  • 2013 Aurora Australis – Buy Now
  • 2014 Wandering Albatross – Buy Now
  • 2015 Elephant Seal ­– Buy Now

Collectors with all 12 releases now have the satisfaction of knowing that they have achieved the complete line-up in this outstanding program.

POST A COMMENT

 
Dec 152015
 

The Perth Mint Member Survey

Your views are important to us. That is why we would really appreciate your views on our products and services.

Please take 5 to 10 minutes to share your feedback with us by clicking on the link above to complete our latest annual Member Survey. All answers are anonymous and will be treated in confidence.

The survey closes on Friday 18 December 2015.

Thank you for participating.

Kind regards
Blog Team