A 2003 American Eagle 1-ounce gold bullion coin that an Ohio dealer
received in a genuine 14-karat gold coin bezel from a customer has
been identified as fake.
Donald Herres from Dollar Towne in Bellbrook, Ohio, said April 21
that he believes he received the piece from an unknown customer
sometime earlier in the month.
The authenticity of the item came into question, Herres said, after
he shipped it and other bullion items to a bullion dealer.
Representatives for the bullion dealer didn’t think the 2003 piece was
genuine and returned it to Dollar Towne.
Herres said he subsequently notched the edge and placed a drop of
nitric acid on the notched area, turning it green, an indication of
base metal under gold plating.
Herres said he also had the piece examined and tested by a large
bullion liquidator in Ohio that preliminarily determined the piece was
likely heavily plated with gold over an alloy of base metals.
The composition of a genuine American Eagle gold bullion coin is
91.67 percent gold, 3 percent silver and 5.33 percent copper.
While the fake coin is the same diameter as a genuine coin at 32.7
millimeters, the weight of the fake is slightly heavier, at 34.194
grams, versus 33.931 grams.
The color of the counterfeit appears darker than a genuine gold
American Eagle and the surfaces of the fake don’t exhibit the normal
metal flow lines one would encounter on a genuine coin.
Herres figures he’s out at least $1,300 from the bogus piece, but
wanted to alert collectors and other dealers that such counterfeits
are in the marketplace.