fake 1907 British Sovereign

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by teh_admiral, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. teh_admiral

    teh_admiral Member

    Hi CT community!

    I just received my "gold" sovereign from APMEX bought through Ebay (thank goodness for their counterfeit return policy!)

    It's a 1907 Edward sovereign, but when scratch and acid tested it only tests at 75% = 18k gold, not the 22k/91.67% gold that sovereigns are supposed to be minted at.

    Just how fake is this coin? Tungsten core with thick gold plating to register at 18k/75%? A forgery with 75%? A genuine sovereign but the minter diluted a batch?

    It is obviously more copper when sat atop my 22k 8 escudo, but would a faker go to the trouble of making it 75%?

    I'm waiting to see how APMEX responds through Ebay; I'm also protected by American Express thank goodness, but we'll see who says what first...
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  3. USCoinCollector42

    USCoinCollector42 Well-Known Member

    Can we see pictures? I'm interested to see how it differs from a genuine sovereign.

    Anyhow, I hope the situation ends up working in your favor :)
  4. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    You scratch tested it? Ow.
  5. asheland

    asheland The Silver Lion

    I would highly recommend not scratch testing coins.
  6. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Um, are you sure you didn't just hit a section of imperfect metal mixing? I wouldn't suggest scratch testing, since by definition you have severely damaged the coin, and it might not be fake.
  7. TyCobb

    TyCobb A product of PMD


    Even if it is fake, you damaged it. If I was a legit seller and didn't know it was fake, I wouldn't take it back because of the way it was tested. There's no way I am going to happily accept a return for an item I thought was real and then told by someone it is a fake because they scratch tested it. Who scratch tests gold coins that should be worth more than just melt? :sour:
    TheFinn likes this.
  8. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

  9. teh_admiral

    teh_admiral Member

    First of all, short of scratch testing on a block and then using acid on the block, how are we supposed to determine with 100% accuracy that it is the % gold we thought it was? Are you all against scratch testing because you don't want to find out you've bought 18k or 14k instead of 22k? Not only does scratch-testing do literally ALMOST zero damage it was tested by the jewelers to the MN Vikings. Dare I say they are professionals who do a good job without destroy the merch? It's not like the jeweler scratches the face of coins; they can test the edge without the edge showing anything, except that it is a random date circulated coin with plenty of edge wear upon arrival. I'll bet you my 8 escudo if you were to hand them a coin to have tested when you got it back you wouldn't be able to tell it was tested, and you would therefore owe me 8 escudo for losing the bet........ Also, the density test can be easily faked with heavy metals plated to appear 22k, and it was either here in cointalk or another forum that mentioned how there are 18k jeweler copies out there. I took it to American Rare Coin here in MN, and my guy says it LOOKS legit. But it's obviously more copper than my 8 escudo, and he says it could be due to the alloys in the sovereign. He also doesn't have an acid test kit so he could not be 100% sure.

    @desertgem thank you for the link!! Honestly that product LOOKS like 22k gold from the picture. Moreso than my sovereign.

    And yes I will take a picture and upload it after having it re-tested by Continental Diamond. Yes, I had my 1500 Carlos y Juana escudo as well as all gold tested. That's why it's painfully obvious from looking that the sovereign is not 22k. BUT like @medoraman said the first test COULD have found a poor mix spot, so I will ask them kindly to re-test it. Also: APMEX has actually a lot of negative feedback on Ebay regarding poor quality coins, items not shipped, etc. I HOPE they aren't scamming the majority while the minority of us who research coins do due diligence and end up calling them out.

    Thank you ALL for responding!! I am still looking for answers along the lines of experience... i.e. "I've bought many sovereigns, and some just LOOK copper-ish..." or "Ratios were harder to control and not as precise back in the UK..." I'd love to learn from your experiences...
  10. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    Where does the line begin and end when dealing with Apmex. What keeps someone from returning the coin as a fake, and keeping the real one? Even Apmex sending a fake and claiming that they sent the real one. who gets the shaft. And the fake coin?
  11. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Honestly, it is better to determine if its a fake of not by a picture of the coin. Do you think PCGS scratch tests coins sent to them?

    Btw, exact dimensions and weight would prove an inferior jewelers copy is not correct. You do know, don't you, that all gold coins look differently due to different alloys and methods of manufacture. Of course a sovereign will look different, so will a panda, US gold, or Kruggerand.

    If you are worried about authenticity, I can direct you to many local dealers. The South St Paul coin show is coming up, go there and see tons of gold for sale. I can meet you there and introduce you to some I have known for years.

    Edit: Btw, yes sovereigns DO look more coppery than some other issues.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  12. teh_admiral

    teh_admiral Member

  13. teh_admiral

    teh_admiral Member

    @medoraman Honestly, and no sarcasm, I'd be disappointed if PCGS and NGC don't acid-test them. I believe in their expertise and education, but I also believe "piracy" came from somewhere ;D The master jeweler says it's not 22k but above 18k. So I'm inclined to agree with @Pickin and Grinin : I wouldn't put it past people to buy the linked coin above and then attempt to send them to APMEX. Having said that, these are the first few gold coins I've bought. (The silver reales I got from ARC. I need to take one there tomorrow, because the pillar 8 reales I received today from Ebay tested for barely any silver content. But it looks and sounds legit...) Is a 19-20k sovereign acceptable? I wouldn't put it past the minters to lighten the coins while padding their pockets...

    And I'd love to go to the StP show!! But it's not a date #lols but for real tho... =D
  14. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Doesn't make sense. Faking a coin for just a few carats of weight is not really worth it for a coin this size. People of Apmex have seen more authentic gold coins than either of us ever will, and I have seen tens of thousands. Yours looks fine to me. Did it come with those gouges on the rim, or was that from testing?

    If you are concerned about authenticity, get off of Ebay and see coins in person like at good dealers or coin shows. If you want additional protection, buy certified examples. I just bought a couple of weeks ago a PCGS MS63 double eagle for $30 over spot. I didn't buy it for the slab, but it doesn't hurt. Certified gold short of the upper grades is really cheap, and no they do not need to damage a coin to ensyre its real. ANY scrape testing IS damaging a coin, and I guarantee I could see the damage if you showed me the coin.
    baseball21 likes this.
  15. teh_admiral

    teh_admiral Member

    @medoraman I didn't say APMEX faked it; I said they could have passed a fake along most likely unknowingly since they deal in bulk. It came with the gouges; it was an APMEX sale for random average circulated sovereigns. I do want to buy certified examples, but ARC doesn't always have the ones I'm looking for. And the ones they have that I want aren't for sale, because they're displays ;D

    I'll bring my 8 escudo and you can see if you can see what part of the rim they scratched, but you hafta promise to give it back!! =D I wouldn't scratch test a certified "mint" coin; I don't doubt we could all see the scratch then. But then again we wouldn't need to test an uncirculated coin (I hope... *puts*on*PotC*BluRay*)
  16. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    I am really wondering about how the return policy is, any coin I have ever bought, I bought in hand. Therefore there was an agreed sale. If it is fake I am able to make that determination myself. The Sale becomes a Sale. My Man, A hand shake is a hand shake, is a hand shake.

    This interaction with out eye contact puzzles me! o_O
  17. teh_admiral

    teh_admiral Member

    @Pickin and Grinin Eye contact isn't proof of not lying. But chemistry is! But I agree with your idea and feel I shouldn't have bought the sovereign from APMEX regardless of whether it is 19k or 21k; I would have preferred to have bought it from ARC or someone @medoraman has yet to introduce me to. And you're right: "Caveat emptor"......
  18. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    Combined with a hand shake usually is.:rolleyes:
  19. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    If you scratch test your coins, I know who I am never buying coins from
    TheFinn, baseball21 and TyCobb like this.
  20. teh_admiral

    teh_admiral Member

    @JCro57 If you don't scratch test your coins, then you'll never know for certain unless you got it straight from the mint. And even the mints "aren't doing enough" : https://www.numismaticnews.net/buzz/mint-absent-fight-fakes from 2017 too, so not outdated... Again: pirate. Privateer. Whatever. Just because no one wants a fake doesn't mean fakes aren't abundant. And what am I supposed to do with a less than 22k sovereign? Return it as a fake? Melt it for the gold? How would I have known without acid testing it? Until anyone can come up with a repeatable, scientific method for testing % gold, and unless y'all are buying flawless, uncirculated coins then y'all are crazy for thinking scratch testing reduces value. If anything scratch-testing is better than "certified" since you couldn't certify nor could I, but anyone with an acid kit can prove what real gold is... @desertgem found a link to plated fakes in how much time? Do you think a "lifetime of experience" will mean someone at APMEX going through how many coins won't make a mistake every now and again? APMEX got hit by fake PAMP bars, and XRF only goes as deep as the surface + a few microns : https://www.researchgate.net/post/I...ration_depth_is_for_X-ray_florescence_in_gold
  21. teh_admiral

    teh_admiral Member

    Put another way: I could've bought a copper coin plated in 24k gold that scratch tests at +18k because it's plated, and an XRF would say it's 22k gold because it can't penetrate the 0.2mm of plating on either side. So again: what do you all do when you KNOW your gold isn't the % as stated?
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