Category Archives: Counterfeit diagnostics

Counterfeit Detection – Die Struck Counterfeit 1916-D Mercury Dime

1916-D Counterfeit Mercury Dime By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… Skillful identification of counterfeit coins is essential to the hobby. Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) recently received a die struck copy of an important coin that bore tooling marks, a telltale sign of counterfeit efforts. Read on for more details. It is very easy for authenticators to […]

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Counterfeit Coins Detection: Check the Mintmark on the 1914-S Lincoln Cent

Counterfeit 1914-S Lincoln Cent By Max Spiegel, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) …… NGC graders identified a recently submitted fake 1914-S cent as a slightly above-average copy for counterfeit coins. The 1914-D Lincoln Cent is well-known as one of the keys to the series, but its San Francisco counterpart is a scarce issue in its own […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coins: A Second “Family” of Struck Fake Draped Bust Dollars

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… As I noted in my past CoinWeek article on the 1795 “off-center” Bust dollar fakes, my discussion at the 2019 Dayton EAC Convention on counterfeits included three “families” of fakes: the 1804 “C-6” half cent set; the 1833 “N-5” large cent set; and the 1795 “off-center” […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1937-D 3-Legged Buffalo Nickel

Evidence of heavy polishing where the fourth leg should be – 1937-D Buffalo Nickel By Max Spiegel, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) …… The 1937-D 3 Legged Buffalo Nickel is undoubtedly the most famous key date in the Buffalo Nickel series. Most collectors consider it to be a distinct issue although it is more accurately described […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1903-S Added S Morgan Dollar

A prominent area of discoloration around the mintmark is a sign that this Morgan Dollar is a counterfeit. Morgan Dollar Counterfeit By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… The vast majority of the more than 1.2 million Morgan dollars struck at the San Francisco Mint in 1903 entered circulation, either immediately or as they were trickled out […]

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World Coin Counterfeit Detection – 1928 South African Gold Sovereign

Counterfeit 1928 South Africa Gold Sovereign By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) …….. A group of four 1928 South African Sovereigns was recently submitted to NGC all struck from the same world coin counterfeit dies. The gold sovereign is a coinage issue of Great Britain historically equal to one pound sterling. It was first struck from […]

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Counterfeit Mintmarks? Watch Out for Embossed Mintmarks

By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for PCGS …… The presence or lack of a particular mintmark can make or break the difference in the price of a coin. Consider, for example, the values of coins from so many popular series minted during the late 19th and 20th centuries. A 1916 Mercury Dime without a mintmark? It’s worth […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1912 Indian Head $10 Gold Eagle Coin

Counterfeit Coin Detection by Max Spiegel, NGC …..   The raised spikes at the rim of this 1912 $10 Indian Head Eagle are one detail collectors can use for counterfeit coin detection.   It is no surprise that United States gold coins have long been the target of counterfeiters. A wave of deceptive forgeries appeared […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1915-S Panama-Pacific Half Dollar

By Max Spiegel, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) ……… Tool marks, soft design details and dull surfaces help NGC graders identify a counterfeit coins, in this case a  1915-S Panama-Pacific Half Dollar. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific Exposition, which was held in San Francisco in 1915 to celebrate the opening of the Panama […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coins: Another “All in the Family” Half Cent – 1835/1826

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… Continuing the theme from my previous CoinWeek article on the “family” of 1804 “C-6” struck counterfeits with another improbable die combination in the half cent series, the obverse of 1835/reverse of 1826! I decided to start this installment off with one of the most recent examples […]

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Counterfeit Gold Coin Detection – Liberty Half Eagles

Counterfeit gold Coins -1907 Liberty Half Eagle Counterfeits Gold Coins  By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… These counterfeit gold coins were found unexpectedly among a group of US coins freshly returned from Europe. It’s well known to collectors that most 19th and 20th Century US gold coins available to collectors today have “come back” from Europe. […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – Altered 1893-S Morgan Dollar

Counterfeit Coin Detection – A Genuine 1893-S Morgan Dollar Counterfeit Coin Detection By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ….. What’s the first place to look for Counterfeit Coin Detection when authenticating key date US coins? This month’s counterfeit detection feature answers that question by examining an altered 1893-S Morgan Dollar. When verifying the authenticity of a rare date […]

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NGC Counterfeit Detection: 1921 Peace Dollar

Among other problems, this fake is too thick to be a genuine example of this key date   By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… In 1921, the United States was still reeling from the effects of World War I. Over 116,000 American serviceman lost their lives in what was then called The Great War. Due to […]

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The 1920 Wilson Dollar: A Counterfeited Rarity

An elusive medal represents a challenge for collectors of higher grades   By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… The Wilson dollar was struck to commemorate the opening of the Manila Mint on July 6, 1920, which was the first and only US mint established outside the continental United States. The obverse is a well-executed bust of […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coins: A Family of Struck Fake Draped Bust Dollars

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… In a discussion at the 2019 Dayton EAC Convention on counterfeits, we talked of three “families” of fakes: the 1804 “C-6” half cent set, the 1833 “N-5” large cent set, and the 1795 “off-center bust” dollar set. The 1795 off-center bust, known as variety B-14 or […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coins: A Family of Struck Fake Large Cents

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… After writing the previous “family” article about rather deceptive struck counterfeit half cents based on the genuine 1804 “C-6” variety, I felt it timely to document another member of the family: counterfeit large cents based on the 1833 “N-5”. Just a note, I consider this type […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coins: A Family of Struck Fake Half Cents

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… A recent internet listing for an 1804 “C-6” half cent was the motivation to pull this information together for presentation. I actually sent a note to the seller about the listed example (which he replied is genuine and came from a respected US auction house) as […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coins: 1849 Liberty Seated Dollar + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… Continuing with the theme of silver denominations of recently made deceptive struck counterfeits, this research article features the 1849 Liberty Seated dollar and is the 20th written in the series! Documented examples initially only included TPG certified ones until late 2017 when a raw example surfaced […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coins: 1854 Huge O Liberty Seated Quarter + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… A follow up to the 1927-S Liberty Standing Quarter article in this continuing series on deceptive struck counterfeits, this research article on another “quarter” features the 1854 Huge O Liberty Seated variety. Documented examples to date include two TPG-reviewed specimens, with the presumed genuine repaired source […]

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Early American Coins: The Bar Cent and Counterfeits

By Lianna Spurrier for CoinWeek ….. The bar cent has a remarkably simple design: A USA monogram on the obverse and 13 bars on the reverse. In fact, they could easily be dismissed as tokens, but this simple design holds quite a bit of history – and value. Creation The early United States was at […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – The 1928 Peace Dollar, Part 2

An extra ray of light is one of the indicators this piece isn’t genuine By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) …… Part 1 The 1928 Peace Dollar had the lowest mintage of the series, with only 360,649 pieces struck. That extremely limited mintage has made this issue the most sought-after of the entire Peace Dollar series. […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: 1927-S Standing Liberty Quarter + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… A continuation of the series on the latest deceptive struck counterfeits, this is the second research article on silver “coins” and the most recent type yet. The timeline for this one shows the presumed genuine source example sold on the internet back in August of 2012, […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1913 Great Britain Gold Sovereign

By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ….. These two counterfeits share some of the same imperfections. The British gold Sovereign is one of the most popular and enduring coins around. It has been struck from 1817 to present, and well over 1.1 billion were struck over those two centuries. During those years, the coins were struck at […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1877 Indian Head Cent

By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ….. A difference in facial expression is among the many clues this coin is fake. Although it had only the second-lowest mintage of the Indian Head Cent series after the 1909-S, the 1877 issue is by far the rarest coin in the series today. The rarity of this issue is even […]

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Counterfeit Detection – 1937 Texas Half Dollar Commemorative Coin

Counterfeit Detection – Besides the metal content, there are a lot of other problems with this classic commemorative By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… A classic silver commemorative, the Texas Independence Centennial Half Dollar was produced from 1934 to 1938 in 13 date and mintmark combinations. The obverse features the Lone Star motif that the state […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – A Fake 1861 Type 2 US Gold Quarter Eagle

Counterfeit coin – 1861 Type 2 Quarter Eagle By Max Spiegel – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) ……   Raised lumps of metal and lack of detail are red flags on this counterfeit coin – 1861 Type 2 Quarter Eagle. NGC graders recently evaluated a submission of US gold pieces that included a counterfeit coin – […]

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US Coin Counterfeit Detection – 1876-CC 20 Cent Piece

This counterfeit of an unusual denomination shows plenty of clues that it isn’t worth a fortune By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… The 20 cent piece was an American coin produced only from 1875 to 1878. Like the Seated Liberty quarter, it was struck in .900 fine silver, featured the Seated Liberty obverse and was nearly […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: 1805 “C-4” Half Cent + 1-Page Attribution Guide

This is the second article in the counterfeit coin series reviewing an early half cent (15th in the series on struck counterfeits), and is one of the three little sisters “varieties” documented so far. The source example was discussed briefly in my first CoinWeek exclusive article (“From the Brink to the ‘Dark-Side’“, published May 8, […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1903-S Counterfeit Morgan Dollar

1903-S Counterfeit  Morgan Silver Dollar By Max Spiegel – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……   The raised lumps and lines on this 1903-S are signs of counterfeit Morgan Dollar production.   The Morgan Dollar is one of the most popular coins with collectors, and it’s not hard to see why. Silver dollars have a certain nostalgic appeal and […]

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NGC Helps Collectors and Dealers Identify Top World Counterfeit Coins

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) has expanded its online Counterfeit Coins Detection resource to include detailed descriptions of the world coins most commonly targeted by counterfeiters. Number one on the list is a Russian gold coin: the Russia 1897AT 15 Roubles. Despite a mintage of 12 million pieces, counterfeits are frequently seen by NGC graders. Transfer-die […]

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Counterfeit Detection – Oregon Trail Commemorative Silver Half Dollar

Counterfeit Oregon Trail commemorative silver half dollar  – A closer look reveals plenty of problems on this coin’s surfaces By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… The Oregon Trail commemorative silver half dollar has an iconic design that has made it one of the most popular of all silver commemorative types. The type had an overall mintage […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1802 Draped Bust Silver Dollar

Counterfeit 1802 Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle Reverse Silver Dollar By Max Spiegel – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……   This spurious 1802 dollar is a good example of a typical counterfeit coin – Bust Dollar seen by NGC graders. The Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle Reverse silver dollar was introduced in 1798 as an update to the […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: 1806 “C-1” Half Cent + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) ……   This is the 14th article in the continuing summary of deceptive struck counterfeits documented to date; it is the first in the series reviewing an early half cent, and is one of the three little sisters “variety” documented so far. This is also the earliest […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection: 1879 Double Eagle US Gold

Counterfeit 1879 Double Eagle By Max Spiegel – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……… A repeat depression helps NGC graders identify a counterfeit 1879 Double Eagle. Every United States coin features the date it was issued on the obverse side. The mintmark, on the other hand, is virtually always on the reverse, although there are some notable […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection: 1879 Double Eagle US Gold

Counterfeit 1879 Double Eagle By Max Spiegel – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……   A repeat depression helps NGC graders identify a counterfeit 1879 Double Eagle. Every United States coin features the date it was issued on the obverse side. The mintmark, on the other hand, is virtually always on the reverse, although there are some […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: 1799 “S-189” Large Cent + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… This article is intended as a continuing summary of the deceptive struck counterfeits documented to date; it is unique in that only one struck example has been reported, and it is one of the “Kings” of early large cent collecting. The probable source coin is well […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: 1723 “Silver D:G REX Hibernia”

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… This is my third article regarding counterfeit Colonial “coins” and is a rather significant find; it follows the same process for the recent deceptive struck early coppers believed to be Chinese in manufacture. This latest one appears to be from an earlier time, prior to the […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – Key Date Counterfeit Carson City 1870 Quarter

Counterfeit Carson City 1870 Quarter   By Max Spiegel, Numismatic Researcher  – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) ……   The 1870-CC is the key to the Seated Liberty quarter series. Read about the counterfeit that was submitted and how our experts recognized it. One of the most interesting fakes that NGC has received in the past […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection: 1921-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar

Counterfeit 1921-D Half Dollar By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) ……   The numerous abrasions were copied from a genuine specimen and will appear on all other counterfeits made from this pair of dies. The 1921-D boasts the lowest mintage in the Walking Liberty half dollar series with just 208,000 pieces struck. In […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: “1785” Bar Copper + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… This is only my second article regarding counterfeit Colonial “coins”, following one published here on CoinWeek concerning struck fake Massachusetts half cents, and the same process of other recent (within the last several years) deceptive struck early coppers believed to be Chinese in manufacture. This new […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: 1796 “S-93” Large Cent + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… This latest installment in the continuing summary of deceptive struck counterfeits documented to date centers around this 1796 “S-93” Large Cent; as in previous articles in this series, I have included a one-page attribution guide to aid in the identification of any that are still out […]

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Counterfeit Gold Coin Detection – 1862-S Liberty Head Quarter Eagle

The lack of details in Liberty’s hair is one key that this is a Counterfeit Gold Coin By Max Spiegel – Numismatic Researcher, NGC …… Nineteenth-century United States gold is a very heavily counterfeited area of numismatics. In fact, high-quality fakes have been around since the 1960s. Due to this extensive counterfeiting, NGC graders often […]

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Enhance Your Counterfeit Detection Skills with Cutting Edge Classes

  Authorities recently charged a man with selling counterfeit coins in fake Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) slabs to pawn shops in the Minneapolis area. It’s important to remember this type of illegal activity is happening throughout the country and collectors should take the necessary steps to protect their investments. […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – The 1972 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent

GENUINE 1972 Double Die Lincoln Cent – courtesy of Heritage Auctions. By Max Spiegel – Numismatic Researcher, NGC ……   NGC recently received a fake 1972 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent, which isn’t something that we see often. There are a handful of varieties that are regularly seen faked, including the Philadelphia and Denver 1942/41 Mercury […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: 1797 “S-136” Large Cent + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… This latest installment in the continuing summary of the deceptive struck counterfeits documented to date concerns the 1797 “S-136” Large Cent. As with previous articles in this series I have included a one-page attribution guide to aid in the identification of any that are still out […]

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Counterfeit Coins Detection: California Fractional Gold

A few helpful tips can make sure you never get fooled by these sometimes deceptive fantasy pieces Period Three back-dated BG-1301A listed in California Pioneer Fractional Gold By Max Spiegel, NGC Numismatic Researcher ……   California Fractional Gold is an interesting and historically significant series that includes more than 500 varieties. During the California Gold […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: 1795 “S-76b” Large Cent

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… This installment starts with a 2012 internet-listed example deemed a counterfeit and removed from that venue; it was further discussed in the Coin Community Forum and labeled a “Chinese” 1795 large cent. Since I was already full in chasing these latest struck fakes, I decided to […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: 1796 “S-85” Large Cent + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… This article is intended as a continuing summary of the deceptive struck counterfeits documented to date, including the damaged “source” coin, the example most likely repaired and used to create the dies to strike the other copies; this source was unknown when we became aware of […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: 1796 “S-85” Large Cent + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) ……   This article is intended as a continuing summary of the deceptive struck counterfeits documented to date, including the damaged “source” coin, the example most likely repaired and used to create the dies to strike the other copies; this source was unknown when we became aware […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: An Interesting 1798 “S-158 Large Cent” + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… This is intended as a summary of the documented counterfeit 1798 “S-158” large cents to date, including several listed sellers. The “source” coin, the example most likely used to create the dies to strike the other copies was unknown when we became aware of the first […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1875-S Trade Dollar

Counterfeit 1875-S Trade Dollar By Max Spiegel, NGC…. One of the most extensively counterfeited United States issues is the Trade Dollar. Recently, one was submitted to NGC that exhibited a number of the telltale signs of a fake. Trade Dollars are one of the most extensively counterfeited United States issues, and fakes are received frequently […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection: 1889-CC Morgan Dollar with Joined Halves

This forgery required the joining of two coins to mimic a rare year and mintmark combination By Max Spiegel – Researcher, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) ……..   NGC graders identify counterfeit coins with added or altered mint marks each and every day. These alterations are seen so often that we devoted an entire article to […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: Repaired 1836 Gobrecht Dollar + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… Probably one of the most significant “finds” we as a group have made is this Gobrecht dollar, and it is certainly the earliest we have seen, as the holed source coin sold in a 2008 auction. This article is intended as another installment disclosing discovered current […]

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Struck Counterfeit Coin of the Week: 1787 Massachusetts “4C” Half Cent + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) for CoinWeek …… A comment I have heard in regards to these latest struck fakes is that the counterfeiters do not copy low-grade or common coins; the subject of this latest article begs to differ and I titled my previous Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4) News Letter […]

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From the Brink II: An Update on Struck Counterfeits & Damaged Source Coins – 1807 Early Dime & Friends

By Jack D. Young for Early American Coppers (EAC) …… This article is intended as a continuation of the information reported in my previous CoinWeek article in regards to discoveries of damaged and repaired legitimate coins used to create the dies to strike this latest wave of struck “clones”/counterfeits. As previously stated, the research continues […]

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Counterfeit Coin of the Week: 1793 S-5 Wreath Cent + 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… Continuing on the theme of disclosing discovered current deceptive struck counterfeits and establishing one-page attribution guides for each, the variety for this installment has been the subject of a previous CoinWeek article from the folks at NGC entitled “Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1793 Flowing Hair Large […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection: Spark-Erosion 1858 Flying Eagle Cent

Spark erosion counterfeit coins aren’t made very frequently anymore because they are easy to spot once you learn how Spark-Erosion Counterfeit 1858 Flying Eagle Cent By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) ……   This 1858 Small Letters Flying Eagle Cent was recently submitted to NGC for certification. It was immediately recognized as an older style of […]

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Counterfeit Coins – A Mystery 1872-S “Half Dollar” and 1-Page Attribution Guide

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) …… One of the “coins” left out of my previous CoinWeek article on damaged source coins (for use in creating counterfeit dies) is this “mystery” 1872-S half dollar. Many of our documented source and counterfeit examples were discovered in one of the large internet sales venues, and […]

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Counterfeit Detection: 1963-D Roosevelt Dime with Altered Bands

Careful examination of this 1963-D Roosevelt Dime reveals an alteration to the torch By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… Coins are altered in a variety of ways for a number of different reasons. Some alterations may be unintentional, such as corrosion or altered color due to improper storage. Other alterations—altered dates or added mintmarks—are attempts to […]

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From the Brink to the Dark Side: Early American Copper Struck Counterfeits & Damaged Source Coins

By Jack D. Young for Early American Coppers (EAC) …… As introduction, a member of Early American Coppers (EAC) posted on the club’s Facebook page “Dark Side”, a fake 1796 “S-85” that he astutely identified from a recent internet listing, and as follow-up to that discussion I was able to post images of the discovered […]

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Counterfeit Detection: 2017 One Kilo Chinese Silver Panda 300 Yuan

This counterfeit 2017 Chinese Silver Panda 300 Yuan has sharper details than the genuine coin Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) recently received a peculiar-looking 2017 One Kilo Silver 300 Yuan Panda. Although the coin weighed precisely one kilogram (just as it should), the coin was much thicker than other one-kilo Silver Pandas. Unfortunately for the submitter, […]

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