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NGC article on fake 1928 SA sovereigns

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Hi all,

was just reading the following article:-


At no point does the TPG mention the gold content of these fakes which I assume would be incorrect. 

Spotting fakes will be easy if you get 4 together, but in this day and age, I had assumed the first check for authenticity a major TPG would do to save time would be to analyse the metal content with some flash XRF equipment.

Any thoughts?




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I know there was a disparity of silver bullion price($0.45-$0.60 per ounce) to face value with Morgan dollars($1) in the late 20th century, some 2 million+ fakes were estimated to be made and were only picked up on in 2005 or so through thorough die pairing analysis. Regarding precious metal content these coins showed an actual higher silver content than their authentic comrades(up to 96% where there should only have been 90%) but looking at the difference in bullion vs face value these guys were still doubling their money.

Possibly the same case could be said for sovereigns and their contemporary face value vs £/$ market per ounce?

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Thanks for the response rpeddie.

I thought it would be worth mentioning in the article by the TPG either way to at least acknowledge they carry out a check on the metal composition...perhaps they don't!

I guess the size and weight of these fakes would be correct which would be a strong indicator they are in fact gold, although again surely the quickest method for a TPG would be to blast coins (in bulk where possible) with an XRF gun?

Does anyone have any insight as I know little about the history of forgeries. Is it a case of melting down fraudulently obtained gold into small, reliable, saleable items (a common dated sovereign being an obvious choice)?


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I assume the alloy was close enough - it looks like the fakes were of moderate quality (produced with dies at least) so they may have gone to the effort of using gold from common-date sovereigns, though I didn't think the 1928SA sovereign was terribly rare or expensive.

I don't think it would have been fraudulently obtained gold (but anything is possible). Not sure whether the coins in question were just meant to be an easy means of exchanging value or to deceive a collector though - they do look fake but it's not a rare coin I believe.

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