A few years back some fakes of this nature appeared on the market. Some of our clients have recently notifieded us that they are seeing them again, so we did a little research and checked our files on fake silver bars that have come through the refinery over the last few years.
These fake bars are silver clad (plated) bars made mostly of a mix of copper, zinc and nickel. A good way to spot these fakes is to check out their thickness. The fakes are noticeably thicker than the genuine bar. An authentic Pan American has a thickness of .083” or 2.10mm. The fakes come in at .126” or about 3.2mm. I have noticed that the fakes that have come in here were actually slightly heavier than one troy ounce, but that may not always be the case on these counterfeits. Also, if you file into the fakes you will see a significant color difference; the alloy used has a brass tone. The acid test will also expose these fakes once you file into them.
In talking to some of the coin and bullion dealers they have also seen fakes with the Sunshine Mint, Scottsdale bars and American Prospector coins, so be careful when buying these brands from the public.
Here is a YouTube video that shows the Scottsdale fake.
Please comment below to let us know what fakes you have come across or email us the information and we can post it as part of our Stebgo Alerts (Kiira@stebgo.com).