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HK-545A (Aluminum) vs HK-545 (Nickel-Silver): How Does NGC Identify Them?

2 posts in this topic

Hello NGC/Fellow Collectors,

I have already done extensive research on this and am coming up stumped. Long story short, I recently purchased (what I believe is) an HK-545A (aluminum variety) from a reputable seller (pictured). Since appearances between the HK-545 (nickel-silver) and HK-545A are nearly indistinguishable, weight and length must be used. The seller advised the aluminum variety he was offering should weigh 13.2g and the nickel-silver weighs 26.73g. I could not confirm this anywhere online. 
When I received the medal, it weighed 13.2g, as he stated. I found a few old eBay listings of raw nickel-silver HK-545’s that indicated the weight as 13.2g. So, that made me feel a bit concerned. However, I have a slabbed HK-545 and it measures 33.5mm. The So-Called Dollar guide lists the nickel-silver issue at 33mm but does not indicate length for the other varieties. The medal I received was 35mm, 1.5mm larger than my slabbed HK-545 (which I cannot weigh because, well, it’s slabbed).
I have yet to receive a response from the seller on where he sourced the 26.73g weight from; however, does “anyone” know how NGC identifies the two varieties? Could the HK-545 and 545A be the same weight but different lengths? Do they indeed have different weights and if so, what “are” those weights?

Before spending money to have it slabbed, I definitely wanted to check to see if this is a genuine 545A or if it is a 545. Any help on the identification process would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!


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Greetings Siah,

The difference between Nickel-Silver (German Silver) and Aluminum should be immediately obvious in hand. Aluminum is an extremely light medal with a density of around 2.6, and will seem like holding a piece of cardboard. German Silver on the other hand has a density of 8.58, so it will be more than 3 times as heavy as an aluminum specimen. I would suggest getting your hands on a different medal made from aluminum so you can see for yourself.

Take care,


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