Not all gold and silver bullion/coins are created equal. Literally. We have long known that there was a robust fake coin manufacturing industry in China and even high value gold bars have found to be filled with tungsten. So gold and silver investors and collectors need to aware that there are many fake coins and bars floating around. Many of these fake coins are being sold as "souvenirs" but the price increase over the last 10-15 years has made this a very profitable criminal enterprise. Silver.com has put together an informative video and infographic to teach us how to detect and avoid these counterfeit gold and silver bullion products.
Did you find a private seller on Ebay or Craigslist with tons of inventory wanting to unload it for a great price? At the end of the day, if the deal sounds too good it probably is. Buy from reputable dealers (yeah, whatever reputable means these days) and do the three tests that are easiest and least intrusive:
If buying a coin, use a magnifying glass or a jewelers loupe to closely examine the coin for poor workmanship. (This means that you really need to do some research as to what the real coin looks like and know all its intricacies)