DUX Bullion Testing and How To Authenticate Bars and Coins

How can I physically verify that coins or bars are indeed investment grade silver?

See www.silverbullion.com.sg/bulliontesting.aspx for details on DUX testing and details and tips on density, ultrasound and X-ray tests.

 

What testing equipment do you utilize for DUX Bullion Testing?

We have acquired and customized the equipment and necessary regulatory permits to operate two X-ray spectrometers, three ultrasound readers with different aperture probes (for coins and bars), as well as trade approved scales, including highly accurate electromagnetic force compensation scales. The DUX hardware expenditure of this equipment represents an investment of over SGD 90,000 SGD (USD 73,000).

 

Have you tested gold plated bars with DUX?

Before launching DUX we have tested the system on a gold plated tungsten bar to validate our testing processes. We are very pleased with the results as gold plated tungsten bars have failed all three DUX tests with the ultrasound test being the most obvious.

During the months preceding the launch of DUX Bullion Testing, we were able to demonstrate the process on genuine and gold plated tungsten test bars to several mints and major bullion dealers as well as an LBMA Referee and have consistently received praise and approval of these processes.

 

I have a bullion bar with no serial code. How is this bar matched with the test results?

Tested bullion is marked with a Tamper Proof Label (TPL) which references the test result ID. The TPL ID is in turn specified on the Test Report for cross referencing and redundancy purposes. The TPL is a custom label that is attached to the bullion during testing which voids itself upon removal by leaving “void” marks across the label.


Test report data will also be retrievable online in the near future so that the TPL on the bullion can be keyed in to review test results. This means that there is no need to rely on printed test results as the online check is quick and easy. This is also a strong form of security against the possibility of somebody forging printed test results.

 

What if somebody prints a fake DUX Bullion Testing report which looks like yours?

You can verify test results online directly from our online database which should be the preferred method for checking bullion test. If you find that online data is not matching to a printed test result please contact us at testing@silverbullion.com.sg and we will pursue the matter from there.

 

How can I ensure the purity of bullion?

If you buy physical silver or gold for investment purposes then you should buy well known “branded” bullion as it is much more liquid once you want to sell them and the company behind the bullion guarantees its purity.

“Branded” in this context means bullion that was cast either by a well known government mint or a major foundry. Such “branded” bullion is safe because these foundries have been in the business for a long time, sometimes hundreds of years, and have independent assay processes in place. In addition, these mints sell so much bullion that many third parties conduct random assays on their bullion.

So branded bullion pretty much eliminates purity concerns due to the high manufacturing standards but leaves open the possibility that the branded bullion is not genuine. If you are worried about such a scenario consider a DUX Bullion Test which will give you an accurate surface composition report while the ultrasound scan will test for pure gold or silver.

 

Can I have a certificate of authenticity or purity for my coins and bars?

Government mints such as the Royal Canadian Mint, United States Mint, The Perth Mint and Austrian Mint do not issue certificates for investment silver bullion coins or bars. Exceptions are gift items or special limited edition coins whose value includes a 'collectible' or numismatic factor beyond bullion value and sell individually for a much higher premium. This is a different market segment altogether.

Investment bullion coins are certificates in themselves as they either state “9999 Fine Silver” (Maple Leafs), “Fine Silver” (American Ealges or the German equivalent of “FeinSilber” in case of the Austrian Mint), or “999 Plata Pura” (Pure Silver in Spanish, on the Mexican Libertad coins). “Fine Silver” is defined as .999 Purity.

The coins are also legal tender representing Canadian Dollars, US Dollars or Euros respectively. Asking for an additional certificate of authenticity for these coins is akin to asking for a certificate of authenticity for the US dollar, Euro or our Singapore dollar bills. In the case of bars, the private mints are all brand name mints which have third party assayers and maintain product quality for their reputation.

Furthermore, a certificate of authenticity only makes sense if the item being certified is uniquely identifiable using a serial number that matches the certificate. Silver coins and small bars do not have serial numbers therefore a certificate could not be linked to the specific coins, making the certificate effectively meaningless. However you can have a DUX Test perfomed on your bullion and have it marked with a TPL.

 

If Silver Bullion Pte Ltd buys bullion back, how do you know it is genuine?

We are very particular about this, as a proper bullion dealer would need to be well aware of what it sells and buys back. The following are the key factors that apply to Silver Bullion Pte Ltd:

  • We are located within the Certis Cisco headquarters, which is the Singapore Auxiliary police. Entrance to the building requires a passport or an IC scan. Our location alone makes it unlikely for somebody to knowingly try to sell counterfeit bullion to us.
  • Buybacks are DUX tested.

Having said this, the vast majority of our bullion is new and are shipped directly from the mints or foundries.

 

How do you know your supplier bullion is genuine?

Quoting an officer from the Royal Canadian Mint, the best way to ensure authenticity is to buy from a reputable dealer. We are a primary distributor for The Perth Mint which in turn is owned by the Australian Government. We are also a direct distributor for the Central Bank of Mexico. For all other bullion we go through one of the largest American physical bullion distributors which handles over half of the Royal Canadian Mint sales and more than 40% of US Mint sales. If there are any doubts we willl conduct a DUX Test.

 

I read about acid tests on the Internet, are they reliable?

Acid tests are really not recommended as the test kits cannot be shipped by plane, they damage the silver or gold and they are quite ineffective as they just test the surface of a bar.

 

How can I get sealed coins from mints?

Consider purchasing an unopened monster box that was sealed by the mint (500 coins per box). Besides receiving a sealed box, we give you a quantity discount when you purchase such monster boxes. You can open the box upon delivery or keep it in its sealed state. 

Keep in mind however that Canadian Maple Leafs, American Silver Eagles and Vienna Philharmonics monster boxes do not utilize a tamper proof seal. Only Mexican Libertad coins - in multiples of 500 - come with a proper tamper proof metal seal.