Basics of Testing Gold & Silver and Identifying Fake Bullion

Posted by Vincent Tie on 08 May 2020


In this video, we put the knowledge and principles behind gold and silver testing in your hands. It is essential to understand the material properties of precious metals and the common metals used to counterfeit them. Learn why tungsten is often used to fake gold bars and coins and how it can be easily detected.

We plan to release the pocket-sized TSH Bullion Tester soon. It tests for genuine gold and silver in bars and coins using the magnetic susceptibility principle mentioned in this video. Email us at [email protected] if you are interested and want to be informed when the TSH Bullion Tester is released by July 2020.

Key chapters in this video:
00:22 Understanding material properties of gold & silver
01:00 Density test (such as the Fisch coin tester)
02:22 Ultrasound test (detecting gold-plated tungsten bars)
04:44 Electrical conductivity measurement test (ECM)
06:51 Magnetic test with rare earth magnets (diamagnetic vs paramagnetic vs ferromagnetic metals)
08:10 X-Ray flourescence test (surface composition analysis)
09:19 Never rely on a single testing method! Always use 2 or 3 different types of tests for best results
10:04 Limitations of non-destructive testing for gold and silver
13:19 Authenticating bullion is not a common industry practice
15:33 Do not overly rely on certificates and packaging of bullion