What percentage of the gold bars are counterfeit?

Counterfeit gold bars

Danger: The following types of bars, which were optically very perfect, were presented to us for purchase by various customers. The customers had bought these on the Internet, believing that they were real bars. Please therefore note our information on counterfeit detection.

Luxury watches have been counterfeited to be deceptively real for years and have been offered on the Internet and in holiday destinations. In the end, it was only a matter of time before the counterfeiting industry began to imitate common gold bar models, their packaging, security features and certificates.

The safest way to buy real gold bars is from professional precious metal dealers, banks and savings banks.

ATTENTION: counterfeit Perth Mint Kangaroo gold bars

ATTENTION: Counterfeit 10g gold bars PAMP

Since autumn 2014, counterfeits of 10g gold bars from the Swiss manufacturer PAMP SA have increasingly appeared in Germany.

For those who have never held a real gold bar blister from PAMP in their hand, the fakes make a very serious impression. The colors and print quality of the certificate placed in the blister are relatively the same as the original. The gold color of the bar is consistent, and the lasered serial number on the bar matches that on the certificate.

The easiest way to identify the forgery is that the bar is not flush with the blister, but that the foil is designed so that the bar is slightly below the certificate in terms of height.

ATTENTION: Fake 2g Kinebar gold bars Heraeus

The popular 2g Kinebar gold bars from Heraeus have become the latest victim of bar counterfeiters.

At first glance, the fakes look very similar to the originals. However, if you compare the two, you can see numerous differences:


A direct comparison of the serial number shows that the forgers used a different font. This can be seen particularly well with the two, four, six and eight.

At the latest when the packaging is opened, the counterfeits can be recognized by the wrong bar weight. The original weighs 2g, the fake only about half. An XRF analysis device can be used to determine through the blister that the bars are not gold, but brass. The embossed lettering is matt on the original, rather shiny on the forgeries.

The blister card of a real 2g Kinebar from Heraeus has external dimensions of 8.5cm x 5.5cm. The dimensions of the counterfeit blister cards are 9.2cm x 6.1cm.

The dimensions of the inserted certificates, on the other hand, are the same for both. The difference lies in the protrusion of the Plexiblisters on the edge.

The "authenticity feature" of a Kinebar, the hologram, is a shade more yellow in the case of forgeries than in the case of a real bar. Otherwise, when panning under light, the hologram behaves optically similar to a real kinebar.

Counterfeit Kinebars

The fake 2g Kinebar gold bars with Argor Heraeus optics shown below have appeared in Germany since 2012.

On the right you will find a comparison of the original and the forgery:

Almost indistinguishable from the original in the blister pack. Removed from the blister, however, clearly to be exposed as a fake.

The dimensions are almost identical. Since the base material consists only of brass (Cu / Zn), the bar is accordingly too light. The bar hallmarked with 2g weighs only 0.94g and is very thinly gold-plated with approx. 0.05My.

The hologram is applied to the brass bar with a precisely fitting foil. You can only see this under the magnifying glass (at the edges) when you have removed the bar from the packaging.


The fake gold bars are made of brass.

Each counterfeit has a different serial number. We assume that these bars are mass-produced for commercial fraud.

The embossed image of the original bar is a little sharper. The serial numbers of the forgeries on the certificates are printed a bit more pixelated.

Counterfeit 1g gold bars

The counterfeit 1g gold bars with Argor-Heraeus optics shown below have recently been in circulation in Germany.

At the bottom left you will find a comparison of the original and the forgery.

In the sealed packaging, the 1g counterfeit is optically perfect. The fraud can be easily exposed from the foil: The bar is made of brass (Cu / Zn), is gold-plated with approx. 0.05My and weighs only 0.64g.

Ultimately, a certificate is nothing but printed paper. Only the actual authenticity of the precious metal counts! Fortunately, gold as a chemical element cannot be counterfeited (profitably). Alchemists have already found themselves hard on this task for centuries. So when buying / buying back it is better to take a closer look at the bar or the metal instead of the certificate.

The best protection against counterfeit fake bars is to buy precious metal only from precious metal dealers, banks or savings banks!

Test bars

In the case of small fine gold bars and silver bars, forgery / authenticity can be determined by analyzing the surface by XRF or measuring the electrical conductivity. Both test methods can easily be carried out through the film. We recommend ultrasonic measurement for larger bars.