Precious Metals

Counterfeit American Eagle gold bullion coins better quality

The 2009-dated American Eagle bullion coin at the top is counterfeit. A genuine example appears below.

Images courtesy of Dollartowne and Heritage Auctions.

An Ohio coin dealer reports receiving eight counterfeit American Eagle 1-ounce gold bullion coins of different dates from among 120 coins submitted by a New York dealer.

Donald Herres from Dollartowne in Bellbrook, Ohio, said the shipment containing the counterfeit coins was received May 22 from a longtime customer who did not know the eight coins were fakes until notified by Herres.

Herres said the eight counterfeits — one dated 1988, one 2001 and six 2009 — were determined to be fakes when he used an electronic precious metals verifier. Herres said he has been using the detection device since 2014 when he received a counterfeit 2003 American Eagle gold piece that had been submitted in a genuine 14-karat gold jewelry bezel.

Herres said while the eight counterfeits are more coppery in color than genuine American Eagle 1-ounce gold coins, the quality of the counterfeits is superior to others he has handled or otherwise seen. The recent eight counterfeits all weigh the proper weight of 33.931 grams, Herres said.

Herres said he does not know the metallic composition of the fakes, since the dealer who submitted them asked for their return.

Herres said packaging for the shipment of 120 coins that included the fakes comprised five U.S. Mint tubes of 20 coins each and a non-Mint tube of 20 coins. The eight counterfeits were housed in the non-Mint tube, Herre said.

Genuine American Eagle 1-ounce gold bullion coins are currently retailing for between $1,250 and $1,300 each.

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