Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could download a phone app to test the authenticity of gold and silver bullion coins?
I went in search of just such an app and I found one. Let’s give it a try!
The app I found is called “Cointrust” and it cost $9.99 with the ability to test two coins, a Canadian 1 ounce silver maple (2005 to 2013) and a South African 1 ounce gold Krugerrand. They offer in-app purchases to test various other coins for 99¢ each.
The premise of the app is that each coin has a specific wave frequency which the app can read when the coin is spun on a table. By spinning the coin on a table or hard surface you are effectively doing a “ping” or “ring” test. The process is to gently spin a coin and hold your phone 4 inches away from the spinning coin to get a reading through the microphone. The wave frequency of the coin being tested is compared to the known frequency of an authentic coin. The App then displays either a “positive” or “negative” result on the screen. A positive reading indicating an authentic coin, and a negative reading indicating a fake.
And so the testing begins!
I purchased the app as well as an add-on for testing US silver eagles. I proceeded to test two coins: a 2010 1 oz Canadian silver maple and a US silver eagle.
My first coin test was for the silver maple. I first the test on my wooden desk, and the app provided a negative result telling me my silver maple was not authentic. I knew this was not true, so out of curiosity, I dug into my collection and went on to perform the same test two more times with two different Canadian maples. I received the same results each time. In all fairness, the directions for the app were to test the coin on multiple surfaces, so I repeated the tests on other hard surfaces including Formica and a hard wood floor. Each test rendered the same results.
My second coin test was for the silver eagle. I repeated the same testing process on various surfaces as I had described above. The US silver eagle rendered different results from the same coin. The first time I tested the silver eagle I got a negative result, the second time I got a positive result, the third time a negative result, and the fourth time a positive result.
Clearly this test is unreliable.
In summary, the app is a great idea however it cannot be used reliably. I never did get a positive result from any of my Canadian maple’s (which are all authentic) and I received an authentic confirmation on the US silver eagle 50% of the time.
I still think it would be wonderful to be able to use a phone app to test the authenticity of coins on the spot, without the need for any other equipment. Only if one only existed!
I’ll be on the lookout for more apps which will inevitably be released.