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certificate of authenticity

What Are Assays & Certificates Of Authenticity?

Table of Contents

Chances are, if you’re a precious metal investor or collector, you might have had casual encounters with assay cards and certificates of authenticity in your purchase history. As a responsible bullion dealer, I want to emphasize that these terms hold a great deal of importance which is why one must know what those terms mean and why one should check the assay and certificate of authenticity so that one make an informed decision when investing in precious metals.

Let’s start by elaborating on the common questions as to what does in assay mean for gold and a certificate of authenticity of precious metals. 

What are Assay and Certificate of Authenticity?

You must know that assay has two meanings in the bullion industry. First, it stands for a test where the composition of the metal is tested in alloys, precious metals, and ores to analyze and measure the fineness of the metal. The motive here is to identify the quantity of precious metal in the mineral deposit. The assayer delivers the result; the grade of the components and purity of the precious metal. 

An assayer is a scientific professional with expertise in assessing precious metals or ores to determine their purity and components. 

Assay in regards to gold, silver, or other precious metals refers to the process to ensure the mint has produced the bullion in accordance with the standard of precious metal purity and content. For instance, when a mint produces .9999 pure silver bars sealed in an assay card, it validates that the silver bars minted in that lot correspond to the purity standard stated on the card. 

A Certificate of Authenticity(COA) is the seal, sticker, or paper on a precious metal to certify its authenticity. It provides detailed information about the precious metal’s authenticity, weight, purity, and approval stamp. COA differs from the assay in that it doesn’t have a thorough process to determine the authenticity. The precious metal is not sealed with a certificate of authenticity, unlike the sealed metal in an assay card. 

Generally, precious items that are larger, more valuable, and high in purity, such as billion bars, come with assay proof, and special edition items or limited edition coins are issued with a certificate of authenticity to validate their genuineness. 

Types of Assay & Certificate of Authenticity

People who have purchased precious metals before must know that certain precious metals are wrapped in some assay. Precious metals are delivered with assay as additional proof to verify the purity and legitimacy of the item, which includes the serial number of the metal to solidify the claims. 

Certain precious metals that are smaller in size are issued with an assay card that inscribes the product’s production date and purity. Whereas an assay certificate that has a different look than an assay card also proves the purity and authenticity of the precious metals. 

Importance of Assays & Certificates of Authenticity in The Precious Metal Industry

Assay and certificate of authenticity are of significant importance in the precious metal industry as without these ways to validate the authenticity of the precious metals, it’s impossible for buyers to know the purity and authenticity of the metal they’re purchasing. They provide a vote of confidence and validate the claims regarding the metal purity made by the bullion dealer. 

Also, they help eliminate fraudulent activities and scams in the precious metal industry, such as selling counterfeit or adulterated metals. 

The plus point of assay cards and certificate of authenticity is it helps to keep the integrity of the precious metal intact by providing transparency and legitimacy of the precious metals, so the buyers and sellers are able to conduct transactions with confidence and trust.

How to verify the Authenticity of the Assay and Certificate of Authenticity?

The bullion industry is such that trust and reputation play a huge role because of the circulation of money in high volume. Thus, verifying the assay and certificate of authenticity card is more so important to ensure the confidence of the buyer. Some ways to corroborate the authenticity of assays and COAs are:s

Validate The Source

Buyer should verify the assay or a reputable bullion dealer or refinery issues COA. Scout for information such as the email address, phone number, and website of the bullion dealer or refinery to confirm the authenticity of the source. 

Double Check The Listed Information

Make a point to check the assay, and COA enlists all the crucial information of the product, such as the product name, finesse, weight, and serial number, and make sure that the listed information matches the product. 

Keep an Eagle Eye for Discrepancy

Scan the information listed in the assay and COA keenly to see if there are any spelling errors, or inconsistencies with the format or layout of the document, as they can be a sign of a fake assay or COA. 

Look For Security Features

COAs include additional security features, such as a hologram or a serial number of the item, to ward off counterfeit production. Look for these features to make sure they match the product. 

Rely On Trusted Third-party Service

For added peace of mind, you can always take the help of a third-party service to verify the authenticity of the bullion products. Companies such as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) are reputable and specialize in testing the authenticity of precious metals. 

How Assays & Certificates of Authenticity Can Help Avoid Scam

Investing in precious metals has countless benefits, but on the flip side, it also involves some risk, as with any investment. The risk could be the dip in market value, market liquidity, and the gravest scam and fraudulent selling of bullion products. You can overcome the economic changes in the bullion market, but how can you recover from purchasing counterfeit bullion products Let’s go through some serious scams in the bullion industry and how to steer clear of such scams:

Sale of Counterfeit Coins or Bars

Fraudsters and scammers are notorious for creating fake gold or silver coin and bar and selling them to naive and unsuspecting. It can be difficult for first-time buyers or people unfamiliar with the quality of authentic precious metals to distinguish counterfeit products. 

Overcharging or Inflating Premiums

Dealers tend to impose high value on precious metals to take advantage of buyers who are not familiar with the market value of the precious metal, which results in the buyer paying more than the product’s actual value. 

Bait-and-Switch Tactics

Some dealers may advertise their products at a low premium just to entice the buyers, only to lure them into purchasing high-premium products over the phone or when they visit the store. These dealers also try and pressure the buyer to purchase precious metals, exaggerating their market value, purity, etc., beyond their financial compatibility. 

The best way to avoid being susceptible to such scams is to demand an assay card and certificate of authenticity when you purchase any precious metal to confirm their authenticity. Ensure that the provided assay and COA are from a reputable and independent assayer and contain the meal weight, purity, and hallmark. 

And not to say that all bullion dealers are a part of such scams; reputable bullion dealers like Bullion Trading LLC don’t subscribe to such unethical practices. So you need to be agile and do your research when choosing a bullion dealer to save yourself from falling for any scams. 

The Future of Assays & Certificates of Authenticity: Advancements in Technology and Industry Standards

With technology and industry standards around the bullion industry improving for the better, it will create a positive impact in the future of assays and COA, that is for sure. Some improvements that might witness in the future are:

Blockchain Technology

Bullion dealers and assayers can incorporate blockchain technology to ensure transparency and tamper-proof recording of metals, including the purity weight and ownership of the metals that can be accessed by authorized personnel. It could contribute to the need for physical certificates and make tracking the provenance of metals easier. 

Sophisticated Testing Methods

Technology advancement can lead to the invention of sophisticated testing methods to assess the purity of metals. Thanks to technology, the production of X-ray fluorescence machines which is quite popular in demand nowadays, is produced and widely accessible. 

Increase in Demand for Assay & COA

As bullion dealers compete for the attention of the same target audience, the importance of verifying the authenticity and purity of the precious metals will become even more important, which can lead to an increased demand for independent assays and certificates of authenticity as buyers seek to ensure that they are investing in a high-quality and authentic item. 


To wrap things up, assays and Certificates of Authenticity are crucial components of the precious metal industry as they assure buyers that the precious metal they are purchasing is genuine and of the stated purity and helps to maintain the integrity of the precious metal market. Now as a buyer, your role is to validate the assay card and COA to safeguard your investment and always purchase from a renowned and reputable bullion dealer. 


Isaac Kahan

Isaac Kahan


Terms & Conditions

Trading in gold and other precious metals is risky because the market is volatile. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. This is why we encourage you to read Our Terms and Conditions carefully before making purchases, selling, or placing orders with BULLIONTRADING LLC. Refer to Safety Tips from the CFTC (Commodity Future Trading Commission). These terms and conditions apply to all orders, all purchases, and all sales made through our website, telephone, or other channels.

In the event you do not fully understand the terms of this agreement, BULLIONTRADING LLC strongly encourages you to consult with your own experts. BULLION TRADING enters into transactions with customers on the reliance and belief that clients are aware of, understand, and agree to these terms.

These terms and conditions are effective as of March 11, 2022, and are binding to all new and existing customers and users.


The prices for gold, silver, platinum and palladium coins and bars keep on fluctuating because of the risk factors that cause price volatility. The risk factors include political development, war, pandemics, demand, and supply. It is important to keep this in mind when transacting with BULLIONTRADING LLC.

The Ordering Process

BULLIONTRADING LLC. Does Not speculate on the prices of precious metals. This means that we don’t make profits by buying gold when the prices are low and selling when prices go up. BULLIONTRADING LLC generates revenue through premium spreads. This is the difference between what Bullion Trading LLC pays & sells these items for.

Orders and inquiries can be made through our website, phone, or other suitable channels. Contact Us for information.


Inquiries are made by customers who are not ready to transact immediately. Customers can contact us or go online at to get current market prices. The price quote and quantity available are subject to change. They can also contact us for guidance on buying and selling bullion coins and bars. You should note that the Price Quotations you receive when inquiring are Estimates because the prices of bullion coins and bars fluctuate daily, and the number of our stock changes all the time.

For example, The U.S Mint sets premium and minimum prices for American Eagles. Prices for American Eagles are determined by the current price of gold, silver, platinum, or palladium. The mint also charges a modest premium to cater to the cost of distribution and marketing. Consequently, the price of bullion coins and bars changes daily as the markets for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium fluctuates. Refer to the United States Mint’s Charges for Authorized Dealers.


Orders are made when customers are ready to transact immediately. The prices you get when ordering bullion coins and bars from us are an accurate reflection of the current market prices. Note that once you place an order, the prices are locked and are no longer subject to market conditions.

An order is placed when you finalized negotiations with our agents and an invoice is generated, not when the payment is made. Ordering and then bailing out or canceling after an invoice is generated makes BULLIONTRADING LLC incur losses. We incur losses because when you place an order, we consider the bullion coin or bar sold and will have hedged ourselves accordingly.

Disclaimer: To protect our company from losses, BULLIONTRADING LLC has implemented a Market Loss Policy.

Market Loss Policy Explained

An order starts when you finalize the deal with our agents, not when the payment is made. We generate an invoice immediately the deal is sealed either through our website or phone. We also count the bullion coin or bar as sold and will have hedged ourselves accordingly.

Customers who place orders, have invoices generated, and then cancel thereafter make us incur losses. To protect ourselves we have implemented a market loss policy. This means that you will incur penalties for ordering, having an invoice generated, and then bailing out. Once an order is placed, prices are locked and not subject to market conditions.

The moment you place an order an invoice is generated. If you cancel, and then gold prices decline you make us incur a loss. It is your responsibility to offset this loss if your order is canceled and your funds are returned. If this happens you will pay for the loss caused by a decline in the price of gold after a sale is made plus a cancellation fee of $35.00. This is our market loss policy.

To remain transparent and protect ourselves from risk we might require credit card information from every customer even if payment will be received through a different channel. We also will ask for immediate confirmation of the amount locked in. This gives us an avenue to compensate ourselves for losses in the event a customer places an order and then fails to pay.

However, if the price of bullion coins and bars stays the same, we usually don’t enforce our market loss policy because we don’t incur losses. If the price goes down we charge a market loss fee which is equal to the amount BULLIONTRADING LLC would have lost because of the unpaid order.


Bullion Trading LLC only accepts payments in the form of bank transfers, certified checks or personal checks. The method you use to pay us is determined by the number of bullion coins and bars you are willing to buy from us as follows:

  • Orders ranging from $1,000 to $5,500 should be paid via any option listed above and must be received within 2 business days from the time the order was made.
  • Orders ranging from $5,500.01 to $10,000 should be paid by bank wire, certified check, cashier’s check, money orders, or personal check, and must be received within 2 business days from the time the order was made.
  • Orders ranging from $10,000.01 to $25,000 should be paid by bank wire, certified check, and must be received within 2 business days from the time the order was placed.
  • Over $25,000.01 should be paid by bank wire and must be received within 1 business day from the time the order was placed.

If Using A Credit Card You Are Agreeing To The Following Terms:

  • I understand and agree that should I dispute the credit card charge through my credit card provider, I will have breached the contract as well as committed a credit card fraud.
  • I waive any charge-back rights. In the event of a dispute, and I request for a refund it must be made through the Bullion Trading LLC Arbitration Procedure described herein under Bullion Trading LLC.
  • Dispute resolution: I understand that all sales are final. There are NO EXCHANGES or REFUNDS.
  • I cannot receive a refund from Bullion Trading LLC, nor can I request the funds from my credit card company.
  • I also agree to waive any charge-back rights in the event of a dispute.


You agree that you have sufficient experience and knowledge to make informed decisions to purchase from and/or sell to BULLION TRADING LLC. You openly acknowledge that you are making all of your decisions in connection with purchases and/or sales. BULLION TRADING LLC is not making any decision on your behalf concerning purchases and sales.

You also openly acknowledge that you are subject to a variety of risks that are beyond the control of BULLION TRADING LLC. You openly acknowledge that BULLION TRADING LLC is not liable or responsible for the risks you incur while trading with us. Those risks include, without limitation, risks associated with the price volatility of bullion coins and bars. Market conditions or other disruptions such as technical problems may make it impossible for you to liquidate bullion coins and bars bought from us. You have the freedom to liquid the coins and bars at market prices acceptable to you.


All investments involve risk – bullion coins and bars are no exception. The value of bullion coins (e.g., American Eagles or Maple Leafs) is affected by many economic factors. The current market price of bullion coins and bars is determined by perceived scarcity and other factors. Some of these factors include quality, current demand, and general market sentiment.

The price of bullion coins and bars keeps on fluctuating and this means that they are not a suitable investment for everyone. Since all investments, including bullion coins and bars, can decline in value, you should make an informed decision. It is a good idea to have adequate cash reserves and disposable income before investing in bullion coins and bars.


You shall indemnify and absolve BULLION TRADING LLC and its affiliates, directors, officers, and shareholders collectively. You agree to compensate the indemnified parties for and against any costs, damages, expenses, liabilities, and obligations. They include without limitation to reasonable attorney fees that the Indemnified Parties may incur as a result of, or in connection with:

(a) Any breach of any representation or warranty made by you to BULLION TRADING LLC or,

(b) Failure to comply with these terms and conditions or the policies adopted by BULLION TRADING LLC.


You acknowledge that you are subject to the limitations of liability contained in these terms and conditions, the disclaimer, and other policies adopted by BULLION TRADING LLC.

If you suffer indirect, punitive, or speculative damages BULLION TRADING LLC is not liable to you. Any transaction between us and you pursuant to these terms and conditions, and any liability of BULLION TRADING LLC to you shall be limited to:

(a) The amount, if any, that you paid in such transaction or,

(b) $100 compensation. We are not, in any event, liable for any indirect, punitive, or speculative damages.


BULLION TRADING LLC has adopted a Privacy Policy that is included in these terms and conditions. Our privacy policy protects your identity and credit card information.

BULLION TRADING LLC privacy policies are found in the Disclaimer, Ordering Policy, and the protection of credit card information. These terms and conditions may be updated from time to time depending on the market forces and the legal landscape.


Upon any failure by you to comply with your obligations to BULLION TRADING LLC, the company shall pursue the rights and the remedies available to us. Either by law, through equity, or otherwise. It includes without limitation rights and remedies under these terms and conditions.

Breaching our rights may make BULLION TRADING LLC turn your account over to a collection agency, or a lawyer for collection. BULLION TRADING LLC will not fail in exercising any rights or pursuing any remedies in the case we suffer losses or damages.

Note: Failure by you to comply with these terms and conditions, may make BULLION TRADING LLC charge the credit card on which you have provided. This includes without limitation any and all market losses incurred by BULLION TRADING LLC, including cancellation fees, for ordering and then canceling at the last minute. You openly authorize BULLION TRADING LLC to charge your credit card for all losses caused by you violating our ordering policy.


BULLION TRADING LLC is an authorized dealer and a professional organization. We maintain a professional relationship with all our clients. We don’t enter into relationships such as agent-principal relationships, employee-employer relationships, franchisee-franchisor relationships, joint venture relationships, and partnership relationships with our clients.


You cannot forfeit these terms and conditions, your rights, or your obligations as they apply without the prior written consent from BULLION TRADING LLC. You may be granted permission to forfeit your rights or it may be withheld by BULLION TRADING LLC at its sole discretion. These terms and conditions shall be binding to all parties that trade with BULLION TRADING LLC.


If you violate these terms and conditions BULLION TRADING LLC will take action against you. It may include without limitation, turning your account over to a collection agency, or a lawyer for collection. You shall pay all of the costs and the expenses incurred by BULLION TRADING LLC, including without limitation to reasonable attorney’s fees.


BULLION TRADING LLC maintains professional relationships with clients. This is why we make sure that any grievances are resolved expeditiously. We agree that all disagreements and disputes with our clients should be resolved in accordance with the provisions below.

Because we value the relationship with our clients, we opt for arbitration or mediation as a channel for dispute resolution instead of going straight to state/federal courts. However, if arbitration or mediation fails, we may be forced to take legal action in state/federal courts in the State of New York.


These terms and conditions are governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of New York. These terms and conditions do not take into consideration the possible violation of laws in other jurisdictions.




If BULLION TRADING LLC cannot perform any obligation hereunder as a result of any event that is beyond its control, the company shall be excused and shall not be liable for any damages as a result of, or in connection with, such delays, or such failures.


You shall sign and avail other documents, or take actions that assist BULLION TRADING LLC in enforcing the provisions of these terms and conditions.


Except as provided in these terms and conditions, all notices, and other communications to BULLION TRADING LLC shall be directed to it at 20 West 47th Street Lower Level #24, New York, NY 10036. All notices and other communications to you shall be sent by BULLION TRADING LLC, to the address that you provided to us at the time of your registration, or to the email address that you provided to us at the time of your registration.


BULLION TRADING LLC may record phone conversations between you and company agents or representatives. You consent to the recording of such phone conversations.


A decision or a failure by BULLION TRADING LLC to take action with respect to any non-compliance with these terms and conditions does not affect the ability of the company to enforce the terms and conditions with respect to other violations. Whether the violations are similar or dissimilar in nature.