Counterfeit gold coins flood the market

So you want to have some gold in your portfolio, just to play it safe should the economy start to stall or the stock market tanks again.

Bullion coins are an easy way to do that. But watch out or you could get stuck with fake coins.

Counterfeits are "flooding the market at an astonishing rate," and compromising the investments of collectors, according to the American Numismatic Association

Most of these counterfeits are coming from China. Criminals buy them in bulk and then try to resell them online or via newspaper ads to unsuspecting buyers.

These knock-offs are typically made from a base metal, like tungsten, that is plated with a little gold. If it's well-made, the fake will weigh the same as the genuine piece, making it even harder to spot.

"As they've become savvier, they've been making [counterfeits] that look closer to the authentic product," said coin dealer Brad Karoleff.

If you want to buy gold coins, shop at a reputable dealer whether that's in person or online. You want a company that will guarantee what they sell you and stand behind it if there is a problem.

It might be cheaper to order from an unknown source, but that could wind up costing you thousands. And if you do get burned, you'll never see your money again.

More Info: Glitters, but Not Gold: Fake Gold and Silver Coins 'Flooding' Market

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