Non-Genuine Real Gold Krugerrands

Counterfeit Real Gold Krugerrands

Fake Krugerrand Made of Real Gold

Genuine Krugerrand and Non-Genuine Krugerrand Obverse Comparison

Genuine Krugerrand and Non-Genuine Krugerrand Reverse Comparison

Plagiarized Gold Krugerrands

Fake and Non-Genuine Gold Krugerrands Do Exist

The purpose of this article is to:

  • Show how to identify non-genuine and fake gold Krugerrands
  • What to do when presented with counterfeit gold coins
  • Share the experience I had with this type of gold bullion
  • Understand why Krugerrands are ideal bullion for counterfeiters
  • What to offer for real gold counterfeit gold coins
  • Know of documented historical precedents
  • Be able to apply this knowledge to other gold bullion types
  • To show videos and pictures of real gold counterfeit bullion

Why Counterfeit Gold Krugerrands

One Ounce Troy (1ozt) gold Krugerrands are the ideal gold bullion product to plagiarize. The reason is evident. As far as gold bullion goes, Krugerrands are abundant. On top of that, the 1ozt Krugerrand is arguably the best seller of the gold bullion industry. Thus, plagiarizers attempt to capitalize on the good name of the Krugerrand to both mint fake gold bullion (bullion with no-gold content), and non-genuine gold bullion (bullion with gold content). The idea is that such bullion will not be scrutinized much because of the brand name “Krugerrand”.

By far the most popular gold bullion round is the Krugerrand. The Krugerrand is the oldest one ounce troy (1ozt) based bullion in circulation. Mintage of the 1ozt gold Krugerrand started in July 3rd, 1967. Starting in 1980, the fractional gold Krugerrands (1/2ozt, 1/4ozt, 1/10ozt) came into production. Production of Canadian Maple Leaf started in 1979. Production of American Eagles in 1986. Thus, the Krugerrand, having for such a long time been the sole, and unchallenged 1ozt gold bullion round is by far the most minted gold bullion product.

Personal Experience with Counterfeit Real Gold Krugerrands

In early winter 2019, a customer brought an around (12) 1ozt Krugerrands lot for sale. Of those, about (8) if I remember correctly, looked a little different. As soon as I pointed that out, the customer agreed. Most people don’t pay as much attention to gold coins as dealers do.

Distinguishing Counterfeit Krugerrands

These were the facts:

  • The color was off when compared to confirmed genuine Krugerrands side by side. The tone was, it could be said, of a more pinkish/grayish hue.
  • Minting was off when compared side by side to confirmed genuine Krugerrands
  • All graphical imprinted elements into the gold round were there for sure
  • It is just that features were not as sharp as in the confirmed genuine Krugerrands
  • I would not really call the minting blurry, but it was a little mess. Like picture was taken very slightly off focus

What to Do? Test and Compare

I have seen a lot of Krugerrands. At that moment I had plenty of Krugerrands in inventory plus the good ones that the customer had. So for sure, something was off.

As an experienced gold dealer, I am very conscious that “it is easy to see what you want to see rather than what is in front of you”. The first thing to do is to test and compare.

What to Offer for Counterfeit Real Gold Coin? Scrap Value

The thing is this, other than as explained above, all else checked just fine. I tested the rounds chemically, electronically, and by density. Thus, my offer for the material was that of 22K scrap gold because Krugerrands are 22K gold.

After Melting Fine Gold Content Assay Results

The only solution to counterfeit gold coins, if they are made of gold, is to melt them. To further my knowledge about the situation, I took the non-genuine Krugerrands to the refinery to be assayed by themselves. The gold bullion was first, prior to melting, surface XRF tested. The surface had trace amounts of iron, manganese, and silver in addition to gold. Most likely that is why the color is off. However, the after melt assay of all the combined mass of non-genuine Krugerrands proved to be exact 22K, of the exact Krugerrand composition of 91.6% gold, the rest only copper.

Reasons to Mint Counterfeit Real Gold Bullion

The question is Why would someone want to go through the effort of minting Krugerrands and other gold bullion? Well, things like this have been happening for a long time. The main reasons are:

  • To sell bullion into the market without going through mints and not getting into any tax reporting
  • To launder money by selling gold bullion made from gold holdings for cash
  • To take advantage of the good name of an established brand by plagiarizing a product.

Documented Historical Precedents of Counterfeit Real Gold Bullion

Counterfeit Real Gold American Gold Coins

There is plenty of anecdotal and factual information about the mintage of real gold, not genuine gold bullion. In the early 20th century, American fractional gold coinage such as Quarter Eagle Indian Head, and Liberty Head coins were minted in other countries without US Mint approval. Those gold coins are of actually very good mintage quality, very hard to distinguish from the genuine American coins. I have seen many. They are still around after sometimes over one hundred years. One of the features that distinguish the American coins from the others is that the dots in the designer’s initials are deeply imprinted into the gold, while the others are not as deep of are convex rather than concave.

Counterfeit Real Gold Krugerrands

Minting non-genuine real gold Krugerrands is not simple. The alloy of the Krugerrand is called “Imperial Gold” and is made for high circulation. The British developed the alloy with the introduction of the Sovereign gold coins starting in 1817. Imperial gold is hard to work with because of its composition, which is 22 parts gold, 2 parts copper, out of 24 parts. It is just that it takes a good bit of goldsmithing expertise to achieve good results. That may be the reason the non-genuine gold Krugerrands are off color and the minting quality is for sure not up to the real thing’s standard.

Apparently in the 1970s non-genuine real gold Krugerrands were minted in large quantities. View video below.

Counterfeit Real Gold Bullion Lessons Learned
  • Fake Krugerrands and other gold bullion does exist
  • Non-genuine real gold Krugerrands, and other gold bullion, does exist
  • It is always a good idea to test and inspect gold bullion acquisitions closely prior to paying
  • Non-genuine real gold bullion is worth its scrap gold value because it has to be sent to the refinery
Gold Dealer Recommendations

  • Remember that in the gold business “it is easy to see what you want to see rather than what is in front of you”
  • Test, compare and inspect all bullion
  • Do not re-sell non-genuine gold bullion – Scrap it
Genuine Krugerrand Vs Non-Genuine Krugerrand Comparison

Counterfeit Real Gold Krugerrands 1970’s