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How BullionStar Guarantees the Authenticity of Our Products

BullionStar proudly and confidently guarantees the authenticity of all the gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion products that we sell.

We source most of our inventory directly from the most reputable mints and refiners that we have primary dealer contracts with, which means that we receive those products directly from the production line. BullionStar only does business with the world’s most trusted bullion suppliers and manufacturers. When we receive product shipments from suppliers, we unpack the items under camera surveillance and test samples of the products to ensure authenticity, as described below.

The precious metals mints and refiners that we source our products from all have extremely high standards and error margins to satisfy the stringent requirements set by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). BullionStar’s product testing is intended to complement the already exhaustive testing conducted by our trusted bullion product suppliers.

Precious metals mints and refiners use assay marks and stamps to certify the authenticity of their products as well as guarantee their products’ purities and weights. In addition, BullionStar guarantees the authenticity of all precious metals products purchased from us.

We determine the authenticity of our products through a battery of cutting-edge tests, including resistivity tests, ultrasonic thickness tests, density tests, and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) tests.

Here are some of the reputable precious metals mints and refiners that we source our products from:

In the event that we don’t source a bullion product direct from a mint or refiner, we always make sure to thoroughly test the item for authenticity using the methods below before we list it for resale.

Resistivity Testing

We use Sigma Metalytics’s Precious Metal Verifier (PMV) to measure the quantity of bulk metal in a coin or bar to verify that the metal exhibits expected electrical characteristics. The Precious Metal Verifier can complete a test in less than a second and doesn’t harm the coin or bar. The PMV can even accurately test bullion products that are plated or have other surface features that may hamper other testing methodologies. The Precious Metal Verifier uses electromagnetic waves to penetrate deep inside the bullion product, bypassing plating or other surface features. The PMV can even conduct testing through protective plastic holders that are numismatic coins are commonly encapsulated in. The PMV uses different sized sensors depending on the size of the bullion product being tested.

The user chooses the type of metal that the sample is purporting to be and then the PMV sets that resistivity value to the center of the bar display. The Precious Metal Verifier’s bar display uses brackets that show the expected range of the reading for the chosen metal. For example, if the user selects pure silver as the metal and pure silver is placed on the sensor, a value within the brackets will be obtained. Any metal that is not pure silver will fall far outside this range. If the actual reading is incongruent with the expected reading, an arrow will appear on the bar display. The Precious Metal Verifier can test a wide variety of metals. For example, the user can select pure gold, 90% gold, or 22-karat gold, or pure silver, sterling silver, or 90% silver. The Precious Metal Verifier also stores values for pure platinum, palladium, rhodium, and copper and each metal will produce a unique reading.

Density Testing

BullionStar keeps detailed records of the dimensions and weights of the bullion products that we offer. Each metal has a unique density, so it is difficult to precisely replicate the density of a precious metal with an alloy of other metals while maintaining the dimensions of the product. When we receive bullion products, we always check their dimensions and weights. To check bullion products’ weight, we use a high-precision PGW4502e scale that is approved by the Singapore government and is accurate to just 0.01 gram. To check bullion products’ dimensions, we use a high-precision caliper that checks the diameter, length, width, and thickness down to 0.01 mm.

Ultrasonic Thickness Testing

One of the precious metals testing methodologies used by BullionStar is density testing, which is known for being very accurate, but not completely foolproof. For example, density testing typically detects all replicas except for gold bullion products that are filled with tungsten. Because of this fact, BullionStar also conducts ultrasonic thickness testing with a gauge produced by Germany’s Kern & Sohn.

Ultrasonic thickness testing involves measuring the thickness of metals based on how long it takes an ultrasonic wave to penetrate through and return to the surface of the item being tested. Each metal has a unique ultrasonic signature such as 3240 meters per second for gold and 5174 meters per second for tungsten, which allows the Kern & Sohn gauge to detect if a gold bar actually has tungsten inside.

When performing ultrasonic thickness tests, the Kern & Sohn gauge must be calibrated for the speed of sound of the particular metal being tested and the actual thickness of the bullion product that is being tested must match the thickness reading on the ultrasonic thickness gauge. If the reading on the Kern & Sohn gauge deviates significantly on a bullion product that has passed the density test, it raises a red flag and warrants further testing.

X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Testing

Another precious metals testing methodology employed by BullionStar is X-ray fluorescence (XRF) testing using the Olympus Portable Countertop GoldXpert XRF Analyzer.  

X-ray fluorescence testing is a tried-and-true, non-destructive way to analyze the purity and integrity of gold and silver bullion products. With just a push of a button, the GoldXpert XRF Analyzer provides readings of the chemistry and karat classification of the metal tested. The GoldXpert XRF Analyzer is very useful for identifying products that are merely gold-plated rather than made from solid gold.

For Additional Information:

Storing Precious Metals in BullionStar’s Vaults

BullionStar’s Bullion Audit Procedures & Policies

BullionStar No-Spread Gold & Silver Bullion Bars

How to Purchase Precious Metals From BullionStar

Why Should You Choose BullionStar?

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