So I was given some fake ASE about 6 weeks ago to see how they compared to the real thing as ASE are the bulk of what I tend to buy, I normally stick to current year from well-known companies but I do occasionally like to buy from their circulated/random year inventory.
There are various ways to test suspect silver. A common way is with an acid testing kit if you are not worried about preserving numismatic value, you can use a strong magnet (however this only rules out magnetic fakes, every fake I’ve personally encountered is non-magnetic) or you can buy a more expensive testing device like the Precious Metal Verifier made by Sigma Metalytics.
PLEASE be vigilant when buying precious metals if you are buying from individuals or sources you haven't fully checked out. Your best bet is to stick to trusted merchants and mints, BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL buying from individuals on eBay/Craigslist or even from local coin dealers/pawnshops/antique stores.
Obvious issues I immediately see... fonts, lines on the shields, the fact the obverse and reverse both have the same 'north', the tilde is wrong, detail in face/dress/hair/eagle wings/eagle neck, he size of the bullet points.
All of the following are counterfeit, from this point on there are no more authentic coins.
I happen to have some liver of sulfur at home from 'antiquing' a sterling silver ring a few years ago to try and match the patina in the knotwork of an identical ring I had been wearing for a decade so lets see what it does to three counterfeit coins.
The following image is after five minutes of exposure to the liver of sulfur:
In the next image it's had acid poured on it, and has been cut in half.
In the last image some of the 'silver' plating has been ground off to give a better look at the true composition
As you can see, a quick test with acid clearly revealed it to be fake and if you look at it closely there are several red flags in the design compared against images of known authentic 2008 rounds.
Normally when I see someone cut into fake silver it's brass, this thing remains a silver colour:
UPDATE January 24th, 2017
Here's a fake stagecoach bar from /u/PlanoSteve21
Here we have a fake and a real gold bar from the Perth Mint. The bar on the left with the packaging crease and serial A050325 is the fake gold, the uncreased with serial A011421 is the authentic gold. This image comes from user /u/agoracomm
Here is a fake 1987 panda from /u/Cho_Zen
Here we have a fake 2016 Kookaburra that /u/ImmortalNaga received. IN Naga's words:
Here we have a fake 1968 25 Pesos from /u/JimmyRnj, as you can see in the 2nd photo it is magnetic
Here /u/Ryans_Rust shared a real and a fake RCM bar, the bar on the right is the fake. In his words:
UPDATE June 3rd, 2017
Here we have a fake Kookaburra that /u/UncleZangief came across. In his words:
UPDATE June 5th, 2017
/u/ambermetals created a thread alleging that /u/Ryans_Rust (who reported fakes above) sold him hand poured bars that turned out to not be .999 silver as indicated. I'm posting the photos here to preserve them as well as the initial post, the entire thread can be found at https://www.reddit.com/r/Silverbugs/comments/6febph/fraudulent_bars_from_ryans_rust_mint/
Here is the X-ray fluorescence test. The bar is Ag = 88% Zn = 4% Cu = 8%, clearly not .999 silver.
We have an update to the Ryan's Rust silver, it can be found in this reddit thread https://www.reddit.com/r/Silverbugs/comments/784tjc/ryans_rust_bar_experiment_purity_test/
As well as this thread
Here’s a really cool specimen that Reddit user /u/55_grain received, the original thread can be found here. It’s a fake standing liberty quarter that appears to be made out of pot metal (probably some zinc alloy), the texture is pretty indicative of casting and it definitely has the pot metal appearance. The specimen weighs in at 4.17 grams, as the user indicates approximately 70% the weight of a natural one which lines up with some sort of zinc alloy. In the first photo we see the weight at 64.4 grains (4.17305 grams).
In the following 2 images the specimen, if not obvious, is in the bottom middle position.
The above specimen might actually be a considerably older counterfeit and not a recent production, possibly a Depression-era counterfeit. A (probable) example of a Depression-era counterfeit can be found documented in a Numismatic Guaranty Corporation article https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/1674/ documenting a counterfeit 1924-S Standing Liberty Quarter that also has a very distinct, although more warn, pot metal appearance.
More fake silver bars have been brought to light by /u/Thatsgemmy, you can find the original thread HERE. What initially makes me suspect about these is the mirror-like finish as it is a bit over the top for a generic bar, especially with the frosted/textured lettering.
Here we find an absolutely hideous fake 1882 2 Pesetas, I mean… I’ve heard of cauliflower ear but wow, that nose, immediately Bloodhound Gang lyrics come to mind “I got a schnoz like the Cos' but there's a lot more wrong with you, so back me up Bill - yea and you're ugly too -”
Pay attention to the lettering, as someone pointed out in the original post it looks glued on, or to me it almost looks like dies or even the heads of type bars on a typewriter. The font is also wrong. A really big giveaway here is how tall they are given how much the face appears to have experienced wear.
Also, pretty much all of the proportions are off for the entire bust.
Now let’s look at a real specimen, it does not look like a freakshow.
The fake is on the right in each photo.
On the obverse, *ahem*, the stars below her hand is of IMMEDIATE concern... where are they? On the reverse is an immediate dead giveaway to me - most of the surfaces look stippled, the shield especially. There are also some detail issues like her hand, the ankle/heel of the sandal, etc.
As you can see on their Sigma Metalytics tester, this definitely falls outside of the range of pure gold however devices like the Sigma aren’t 100% accurate. Here’s a known real example and for starters the ‘9’ seems different between the two as does the length of the sorta horizontal bar on the character to the left, the obverse also has some potential variation - like the 1/2. Something about the panda itself feels a bit off too, I can best describe it as “it looks derpier”.