from Silver Vigilante:
Counterfeits are a cause of growing concern over time as the secular precious metals market has unfolded. While South African Krugerrands (proofs) have shown up under-spec, most recently a counterfeit 2011 Silver American Eagle bullion coin from the US Mint was passed as genuine at a coin shop in Toronto. The counterfeit coin did not contain silver, although it did contain a trace amount of gold.
The coin was obtained in London, Ontario, Canada by Forest City Coins who had acquired 10 examples of the coin from yet a third, unidentified, Toronto dealer, who was tricked into purchasing the pieces from an unidentified seller, as real ASEs. Unknown is the quantity of counterfeit 2011 American Silver Eagles on the market.
The design of the counterfeits were crude and an experienced investors and workers could tell their in authenticity. One St Louis area dealer has said they have seen similar counterfeits, saying: “We’ve gotten nailed by similar fakes,” the dealer posted. “The sellers will often take a roll of genuine coins and swap out a few in the middle. Thus, cursory inspection, or even quickly rifling through the ‘roll’ fails to reveal the fakes. We keep some fakes on-hand for employees to look at and learn what to watch out for.”