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I remember that the coins in Bellatrix's vault (Deathly Hallows) were cursed with the Gemino and Flagrante charms. Those were probably special coins which were permeable to such magic. What stops the normal Galleons, Knuts and Sickles from being duplicated? Is it mentioned anywhere?

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    The dupes are worthless, so why not use the Geminio charm as protection? :D Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 9:21
  • @LepelLeLama that's what I mentioned. They are duplicates. But what about the real ones? Can they be duplicated? Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 9:50
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    I think what Lepel meant is that the coins and jewels were probably real but the dupes that appear upon touch are worthless. Probably under the assumption that you can easily detect the dupes or maybe they will dissappear after a while or even after leaving the vault or Gringotts itself.
    – Dagon313
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 10:36
  • @Dagon313 - Pretty much yea. They don't need to prevent Gemino from being cast on the coins, because they dupes would be worthless anyway. It would make more sense to actually cast it on the coins as an extra measure of security! :D Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 5:56

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I don't know what, if anything, stops Gringotts coins from being duplicated.

Wonderbook (walkthrough), a video game with spell descriptions written by J.K. Rowling, gives some detail about the Gemino Curse:

The Doubling Charm. Don't get too excited, none of the duplicates are actually worthy anything. [...] The Doubling Charm has caused trouble from its discovery. Many disputes have arisen around the question of whether a copy created b the Gemino Curse is of equal value to its pair. As the two are identical at first it is impossible to know, although the copy usually rots or tarnishes much more quickly.

So even if you could duplicate Gringotts coins, they wouldn't be useful for very long.

I would be unsurprised if there were special enchantments to prevent forgeries, duplicate or tampering, but I don't know of any canon sources which confirm that. (Perhaps it's impossible to prevent duplicate, in which case maybe they just modify the coins to accelerate the decomposition.)

I don't know what, if anything, we can draw from the coins in the Lestrange vault. They could be real wizarding coins – the Ministry and Gringotts don't seem to raid prisoner vaults, as evidenced by Sirius's hoard – or they could be a historical hoard of Muggle coins, as the pure-blood families rubbed shoulders with the Muggle aristocracy before the Statute of Secrecy was imposed.

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  • Sir, take 2 Galleons from my hoard for that wonderful answer. Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 20:43
  • The only reason I was wondering about this was that if such a thing was truly possible, then there should be no particular reason why the Weasleys should be poor. The only other thing I can think of would be some in-depth magical theory, like Gamp's Laws that would inherently prevent currency from being duplicated. Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 20:45
  • @KanishkaGanguly There’s speculation that money is affected by Gamp’s Law, e.g. this question. As for the Weasleys, if it were possible for them to conjure up more money, then everybody (or at least many people) would do it, and the magical economy would collapse.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 20:46
  • I wish J.K. wrote a book like Tolkien about the history and background of the Potter paradigm. Would clear up a lot of controversies. Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 20:48
  • @KanishkaGanguly Have you heard of Pottermore? It’s a site where J.K. Rowling is (slowly) posting a lot of the notes and background material from the books. You’ll often see it quoted in answers around the site.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 21:46

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