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LUNAR GOLD coins:
Year of MOUSE -1996
Year of the TIGER -1998
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Year of Rooster - 2005
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(The Cinema Gold coins)
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Year of RABBIT -1999
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Brown or Red Rust Spotting
on Genuine Gold Coins and Bars
Coin Collector's Questions and Lynn Coins Answers
The one troy ounce PAMP ' Fortuna ' bar (sealed in plastic) that I have looks like it's developing spots of rust (brown or red in color). I've had it for four or five years and bought it from another company. (The ' Credit Suisse ' gram blister I have from Lynn coins is fine.) Does this mean it is gold plated or fake?
Related Coin Question:
I recently auctioned some Swiss Helvetia gold coins on Ebay that I have had for over a year. I noticed that all of the coins have small red spots that look like (red or brownish) tarnish. I was wondering if this was a natural thing that happens to gold. Or, would this be from something else, say if they were fakes made out of iron? I ask because the person that I sold them to is now asking for a refund because of the spots which I clearly pointed out in the auction. I was hoping you could provide me some insight as to what may have caused the spots.
Often the a faint amount of trace metal or other material will get on the dies prior to the striking of the coin or bar. When the coin is struck the molecules of the other metal (or impurities) are then fixed into the coin. They may be so thin or dispersed that they are not obvious to the naked eye.
Other times such impurities may come in contact with the coin blank before striking it into a coin.. This surface discoloration can occur on gold coins and gold bars.
Most gold coins are between 90 to 92% pure gold depending on the country of issuance. Copper or silver are added to the gold during the melting process to give the finished solid gold coin a hardness. Although during melting the metal molecules are usually mixed well, sometimes traces of copper or silver will be collect near the surface, thereby allowing the change in color in that particular spot.
Is gold spotting a Common or Uncommon Occurrence?
I'd estimate that red or brown rust spotting happens on less than 2% of the older gold coins and gold bars we see.
When purchasing a newly minted item, there is really
no way to know that a gold bar or coin will develop a spot in the
future. Sometimes the gold will appear perfect when it comes from the mint,
and then years later the change in color occurs.
What to do about it if your gold coin or gold bar has red or rust colored spotting?
In most cases coin experts recommend you do nothing to a coin that shows spotting imperfections. Any type of cleaning is abrasive and may reduce the grade of a coin and hurt the coin's value.
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