Helping to determine fake/counterfeit coins

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PetesPockets55
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Helping to determine fake/counterfeit coins

#1 Unread post by PetesPockets55 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:09 am

Please use my recent experiences to help determine fake/counterfeit coins and save yourself some moola$. (Some images are at the end.)

I'm an average novice collector with a strong interest in collecting. As mentioned on this forum previously, counterfeits are a problem in our hobby (for valuable as well as "normal" average coins). There is some great info here on this site.
I've come across the following coins in the last couple of years and thought I would share this info so it might help others on some things to be aware of:

1)A friend with a flea market booth got a group of 10 "Morgan" (Carson City) and "Peace" dollars for "only" $15 each 3-5 years ago. "Oh boy" he said with dollar signs in his eyes. :h Non-magnetic and aged "silver" in appearance.
I don't collect either, but this summer (2018) he asked me what I thought about them because he knew of my interest in the Lincoln cent series. Up to this point I only had a very vague idea about the tricks people use to pass of fakes as genuine.
The Morgans (all Carson City) from different years were in 2x2 flips and NOT magnetic but were taped in a page from a 3 ring binder. Taped in this manner, they could not be weighed individually without much effort. (Most people who might tell a single fake that was only half the weight without a scale, would find it difficult to tell on a group of 10. Turned out they were 18-19 g each instead of 26-27g!)
They all had repeating die defects that absolutely would not show up on dies from different years. (ie: A pair of short diagonal die scratches through the LL of DOLLAR, weakness and position of CC, weakness in the same area of the obverse on all.)
The 2 Peace looked to have a strong clash visible, centered on the obv and rev. I realized it shouldn't be visible on the highest part of the design, which would be the deepest part of the die. Clashed dies could not reach this area of either die so it must have been intentionally included in the design to fool novice collectors.

The forgers simply took the same dies with similar defects and changed the date to produce the fakes, probably using magnesium.


2)A ST. Patrick's Farthing- (See images at the end of this thread)

(LINK to CA forum thread) So well made (similar to images online at Heritage Auctions) and actually dug from a garden in NJ. Images, along with weight and diameter, convinced an expert in the series to recommend sending it to someone writing a book on them. The author determined it was lead, not silver as an initial chemical test indicated. From that info the author realized it was a modern copy made and marketed in the 1960's by someone before they were required to stamp "COPY" on them. The author even pointed out the location of the sprue to me that was well hidden.

3)Civil War tokens where the two halves of the mold did not line up and the demarcation line was offset and easily visible. (Simulate this by placing two coins on top of each other to represent the dies and then push one to the side slightly.) In the day this would not have been illegal because the Civil War tokens and store cards technically were NOT legal tender. But it would be a way for someone to turn 22 cents worth of copper bullion, cost per pound in 1863, into +-$1.50, the number of cents in a pound.

4)Being from the central East Coast of Florida where Spanish ships went down in 1715, there are lots of silver Spanish shipwreck coins. Some of which are even real!. Unscrupulous individuals, companies and even treasure divers themselves have created fake coins, let them "age" in the waters off shore for a couple of years and then retrieve them to sell to visitors and tourists as authentic. Letters of authenticity have even been forged/created to sell with the fakes.

I will revisit this thread and add images of examples mentioned above as I am able to relocate them in my "hope to be organized some day" collection.
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StPatricksFarthing_Cast_TrueObv_ResizedTo800Oct2018.jpg
St. Patrick's Farthing Real Obv.
StPatricksFarthing_Cast_Obv_ResizedTo800Oct2018.jpg
St Patrick's Farthing Reverse



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mhonzell
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Re: Helping to determine fake/counterfeit coins

#2 Unread post by mhonzell » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:09 am

Here's what I've learned about casting fakes.
While shown on an ancient coin, it applies to all coins.

As to holes in the surface, the coin can be tooled to help hide the holes by rubbing the surface with a flat instrument.

In the top photos, the real coin is the bottom coin.
In the bottom photos, the real coin is the right coin.
Attachments
edges.jpg
sidebysidegb.jpg

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Re: Helping to determine fake/counterfeit coins

#3 Unread post by PALH1 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:59 am

:thumbsup: :trophy: INFO !!

PetesPockets55
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Re: Helping to determine fake/counterfeit coins

#4 Unread post by PetesPockets55 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:02 pm

Superb images and info as always Mark.
Thanks.

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