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Palladium Ballerina - Opinions Please


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Hi, everyone.


While briefly discussed in the general subject of eBay's reliability for delivering what your money was trusted to buy (on which I was well coursed by Bobh and GXseries), I've now reached the end of my investigative abilities for determining authenticity of my recently eBay-purchased 1989 Palladium Ballerina coins, where I now hope to get the opinion of the members that frequent the Russian coin forum who might have extensive experience/knowledge on these particular bullion pieces.




My initial concern was the different surface finish from the same year and presumably same mint: one being a reflective sheen with a cartwheel effect under the light and the other a heavy, consistent dull/satin finish, with the only exceptions being the near-microscopic spots of abrasion on the outer rim where it's shiney white. There's no sign of a seam along the circumference indicative of casting. Instead, there's that typical tiny second step on the very edge of the rim which tells me that the coin was indeed struck with a die. Preliminary comparisons showed correct diameters and mean thickness at the rim, along with the details/proportions of the relief, numbers and letters between these coins. However, on a digital scale, both the reflective and dull coins weigh over 31.1g: the reflective one weighs 31.4g whereas the dull one is 31.3g. These results were respectively consistent (I weighed them more than once at a time to ensure consistency/accuracy). I really want to believe that at least the reflective coins are genuine for obvious reasons, although I can't fathom the slightest reason for the overweight when the metal purity and weight (.999, 31.1g) are explicitly displayed on both the coins and COA (only reflective coins came with a COA), not to mention the 0.1g discrepancy. Is .1g an alarming difference for two supposedly identical coins (actual difference might be smaller than 0.05g, as the reading occasionally jumps between 31.4 - 31.3 before settling at 31.3)?


So the weight test concluded my investigation, as there's nothing left I can do short of cutting the coins in half and/or performing chemical tests. The seller of the dull Ballerina has 100% positive feedbacks (1000+) and offers a 7-day money back. What do you guys think I should do? Keep or refund?


Any thoughts and information is greatly appreciated.

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I think that for this kind of investigation you need scales which show 1/100th of a gram, not just 1/10 g.


Otherwise, I don't own any modern palladium coins, only silver proofs. But your question has prompted me to go back and weigh all of my silver ounce rounds to see what variation there might be. Now I just have to find the time to do it... :(

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I can't explain the excessive weight of 0.3 grams which is quite significant especially coming from a mint that had extremely strict control back during the Tsar era. I'm sure you would have calibrated the machine and weighed a few other coins such as your common circulating coins to see if it weighs accurately.


Only explaination that I can offer assuming if your machine is calibrated is you have palladium hydride which absorbs hydrogen at room temperature. Supposedly said that it can absorb hydrogen up to 900 times of it's own weight. That might account for it's additional weight. Also, I vaguely remember palladium unlike platinum can tarnish in room temperature if it is in a humid and sulfric environment. Don't take my word for it as I'm not a palladium expert. I should ask my dad as he used to do precious metal plating.


I only have one palladium coin with me at the moment but don't have the weighting scale. I don't intend to rip the plastic packaging either just to weigh it but assume that it weights right. Personally I wouldn't worry too much but given that palladium prices are quite high, closing to around 700USD/oz - I do understand your concerns.

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Hmm, that's a good point! I do recall the detail about palladium absorbing something from the air back when I read up on this metal. And perhaps the nature of the surface of the dull coin inhibits this absorption to some margin, thus the 0.05-0.1g difference. As for the accuracy of the scale, it's practically dead on. I weighed two other objects of which the exact weight are known, and scale was on the mark. I was also weighing all these objects at the same without resetting the numbers back to zero to confirm the apparent discrepancy. (This is unless palladium somehow causes some magnetic/electrical disturbance for digital scales.)


At this point, I'm second guessing my second guess. These 3 coins are from 3 different sellers located many hundreds (if not thousands) of miles apart, each with consistent positive ratings--one with 1254, another with 12930, and the other with 300, yet all 3 coins are nearly identical in weight, being 0.2-3g over the advertised amount.




Ha, I wish. I remember reading about some counterfeit gold coins from the Medieval that were platinum which are now worth more than the real gold coins they were meant to imitate. The counterfeiters must be rolling in their graves.


But a platinum coin of this size would weigh much more, or if it had the same weight, it'd be much considerably smaller.


The Chinese haven't counterfeited Pamp Suisse bullion bars, have they?? For that matter, is there confirmation (documented samples, not suspicion of existence alone) that there even are counterfeit Palladium Ballerinas out there? I've searched several times on the internet before committing to these coins, and found absolutely nothing...

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maybe it is platinum :blink:

XA-XA-XA :yahoo:

I am glad that humor always can be found in such discussion.

BTW, the answer for these is simple: some coins are proof and others are UNC :art:

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One-kuna, thank you for your input.


Do you mean to say that, a, all reflective Ballerinas are a proof variant with all dull counterparts being UNC, or b, both reflective and dull versions fall within the UNC spectrum with only mirror polished specimens being proof?


Also, would you concur with the suggestion that the oxygen absorption factor in palladium possibly accounts for the 0.2-3g overweight?


By the way, is the economy OK over there in Russia? Currency inflating much?

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