I purchased this Peace dollar
from a reputable online retailer in the States as an AU silver dollar. It is a definite fake because it is magnetic but strangely it has some 4% gold content when tested with an XRF machines (in two different machines, photos attached). I understand that XRF only tells the composition on the surface, but a specific density test shows that it is as dense (~10.3g/cm3) as a genuine Peace dollar
- with a very high Nickel content (density ~8.9g/cm3, less than 10.3g/cm3), it will need a high % of something that is as dense as gold. So I think the 4% - 7% of gold shown in the XRF results could mean that this Peace dollar
does have this much of gold content on average.
However, the real question I have is why use real gold in making a counterfeit Peace dollar
? One possible explanation is that this piece is meant to sell as a gold plated Peace dollar
. However, a non key-date gold plated Peace dollar
doesn't sell for much (~$40 on eBay?). I am not sure how much a thin layer of gold plate will cost, but since it is already a counterfeit, instead of using gold plate, why doesn't the counterfeiter use copper plate?
While it is not the lowest quality fakes out there, this coin is overweight (~27.05g) and it is magnetic, which gives it away very easily. Also notice that the coin has about 37% silver (again only sure only on the surface). Why use silver in making this coin? Does it worth the efforts for an non key date? Especially in a coin that is relatively easy to tell it's fake?
Now I have a wild story about this coin - totally imaginary. In 1933, the US made it illegal to own gold. In order to avoid having to give up their gold coins, one wealthy individual started to privately mint Peace dollars
(illegally) with gold (and balance it with other metals) - basically enabling him to hide his gold on the privately minted Peace dollars
. Most of these coins were melted after the gold ownership ban is lifted, and this one somehow got into circulation.
Would love to hear about your thoughts guys. Thanks.
A closer shot of the coin - the coin is "laminated" - not sure if this is the correct word, but it is basically covered by a very thin layer of plastic:
This coin seems to "fool" the PMV machine somehow too:
A second XRF test: