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How to detect fake:

Silver Bullion Bar


Verifying authenticity is undoubtedly the single most important aspect of investing in precious metals. Chinese manufacturer have produced counterfeit silver bars from a number of mints including Johnson-Matthey, Engelhard, Sunshine, NWT & Pan American. Below are a few ways to identify counterfeit silver bars.


Silver Bullion Bar - Step 1, picture 1 Silver Bullion Bar - Step 1, picture 2
1
First, try the magnet test. Pass a magnet over the bar and see if there is any attraction between the bar and magnet. If there is, it's fake.

Authentic silver bars will never be attracted by a magnet. Most counterfeit bars will not either but you need to check everything.

Silver Bullion Bar - Step 2, picture 1
2
Next, check the width. Below is the width a bar should measure from each mint.

Engelhard or Johnson-Matthey
  • 1oz - 1-1/8" or 28.9mm
  • 5oz - 1-13/32" or 35.2mm
  • 10oz - 2-1/16" or 51.8mm
  • 100oz - 2-17/32" or 64mm


NWT or Pan American
  • 1oz - 1-5/32" or 29mm
  • 5oz - 1-3/8" or 35mm
  • 10oz - 1-13/16" or 46mm


Sunshine Mint
  • 1oz - 1-1/8" or 28.9mm
  • 5oz - 1-13/32" or 35.2mm
  • 10oz - 2-1/16" or 51.8mm

Silver Bullion Bar - Step 3, picture 1
3
Next, check the height. Below is the height a bar should measure from each mint.

Engelhard or Johnson-Matthey
  • 1oz - 1-31/32" or 50mm
  • 5oz - 2-3/8" or 60mm
  • 10oz - 3-1/2" or 89mm
  • 100oz - 6-15/32" or 164mm


NWT or Pan American
  • 1oz - 1-31/32" or 49.9mm
  • 5oz - 2-3/8" or 60.4mm
  • 10oz - 3-17/32" or 89.9mm


Sunshine Mint
  • 1oz - 1-31/32" or 49.9mm
  • 5oz - 2-3/8" or 60.4mm
  • 10oz - 3-17/32" or 89.9mm

Silver Bullion Bar - Step 4, picture 1
4
Next, check the thickness of the bar. Below is the thickness a bar should measure.

Engelhard or Johnson-Matthey
  • 1oz - 3/32" or 2.54mm
  • 5oz - 9/32" or 7.49mm
  • 10oz - 9/32" or 6.99mm
  • 100oz - 1-9/32" or 32.5mm


NWT or Pan American
  • 1oz - 3/32" or 2.1mm
  • 5oz - 9/32" or 7.3mm
  • 10oz - 5/16" or 7.58mm


Sunshine Mint
  • 1oz - 3/32" or 2.54mm
  • 5oz - 9/32" or 7.49mm
  • 10oz - 9/32" or 6.99mm
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