I've thought about this a bit, but haven't acted on it yet. So, I can't say how good of an idea it is, but maybe you'll like it. Since I'm kind of worried about getting ripped off too, I've been thinking about how I could assure myself about the value of gold I intend to buy. I figure that the kind of people capable of making fake, or diluted gold coins, would also be able to subvert simple tests that I'd be capable of doing. So, instead of buying gold or jewelry from a typical source, why not buy gold directly from someone working a placer deposit. Native gold is usually quite pure and it would be hard to replicate the look of nuggets, flakes and flour gold. Nuggets are also often worth more than their weight if they look pretty. You could always smash them into a coin if you couldn't find a better way to use it or make a coin, and all you would need is a balance to prove its worth.
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