Category Archives: Fake Coins

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 – 1854-O Arrows Seated Liberty Half Dollar

Counterfeit 1854-O Arrows Seated Liberty Half Dollar Counterfeit Coins Profiled by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ………. Numerous issues, such as depressions, raised lines, porosity and die damage, presented plenty of evidence to prove this coin not genuine. The Coinage Act of 1853 reduced the weight of the silver half dime, dime, quarter and half dollar as […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – Australian Gold Sovereign of 1917 from the Perth Mint

by Max Spiegel, NGC …. NGC graders recently identified a fake 1917 gold sovereign with the “P” mintmark of the Perth Mint in Australia. The British sovereign is one of the world’s most famous gold coins. Named after an English gold coin struck until 1604, the modern gold sovereign has been issued by the United Kingdom […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1893-O Morgan Silver Dollar

Posted by Ben Wengel, NGC Grader ……. A recent 1893-O Morgan Dollar submission was confirmed a counterfeit when NGC graders identified one telltale sign. Recently, a well made die struck counterfeit Morgan dollar dated 1893-O was found in a bulk deal while at NGC. While the piece was well made, it had one telltale diagnostic that made […]

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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 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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Counterfeit Coin Detection: 1924-S Buffalo Nickel

Counterfeit Buffalo Nickel By Max Spiegel – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……… The 1924-S Buffalo Nickel is a prime target for counterfeiters. In particular, sharp-eyed graders will pay close attention to additions or other alterations made to the mintmark. Prominent sculptor James Earle Fraser created an iconic design deeply rooted in Western Americana for the Buffalo […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1896-S Barber Quarter

Counterfeit 1896-S Barber Quarter By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …..   The distinctive reed marks on Liberty’s neck help make this fake more recognizable. The Barber Quarter series has several low mintage key dates: the 1896-S, 1901-S and 1913-S are scarce in all grades and rare in higher grades. Of the three the […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1861-D Gold Dollar – Added Mintmark

Genuine 1861-D gold dollar   By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… NGC graders were surprised to see an 1861-D gold dollar with an added mintmark. There are a few key dates where you frequently encounter added mintmarks. The 1916-D Mercury dime is easily the most common, but other coins such as the 1909-S […]

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Fuljenz Provides Useful Tips for Avoiding Fakes

Dr. Michael Fuljenz
(Rosemont, Illinois) July 3, 2019 – Former American Numismatic Association authenticator, grader, and instructor, Dr. Michael Fuljenz, will give expert advice about counterfeits in the marketplace during his Money Talks seminar at the ANA 2019 Chicago World’s Fair of Money® (www

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – Altered Date 1856 Flying Eagle Cent

Genuine 1856 Flying Eagle Cent The Flying Eagle Cent By Max Spiegel – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ….. NGC graders find an altered-date 1856 Flying Eagle cent and explain what to avoid. The 1856 Flying Eagle cent is an important and highly collectible issue because of its status as the first Small Cent. Large Cents, which […]

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Counterfeit Coins Detection – Fake $5 Indian Lacks Details

Counterfeit Coins – Reverse of a Denver Mint Indian Half Eagle By  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… The missing details on this $5 Indian reveal it to be in the category of counterfeit coins. One common technique used by authenticators  on the lookout for counterfeit coins is to assess a coin’s level of detail. This can […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – Fake $5 Indian Half Eagle with “Stock Reverse”

Counterfeit 1915-S $5 Indian Gold Half Eagle / stock reverse By Max Spiegel – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… NGC receives countless fakes struck from stock dies. Many counterfeit coins, especially gold coins, were struck from stock dies, which were reused on multiple issues. A counterfeiter saved time and money by using one die, such as […]

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PNG Steps up Fight Against Fakes With Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation

New nonprofit entity created to accept donations for important 2019 work by Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force The Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF) accomplished major victories combatting fakes and educating the public about counterfeits in the marketplace in 2018, according to ACTF Coordinator Beth Deisher. She envisions continued success in 2019 following the recent major reorganization of the […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – The Top 10 Most Common Counterfeit US Coins

The World’s Most Commonly Counterfeit US Coins: The 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent. Counterfeit Coin Detection By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …. A list of the counterfeit US coins most often seen by NGC. NGC has graded more than 33 million coins since it was founded in 1987. Although most of the coins it […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1942/41 Mercury Dime Overdate

Counterfeit Coin Detection By Paul Sandler, NGC Grader/Researcher…… Altered dates and outright counterfeits are the two most common types of fake 1942/41 Mercury Dimes you will encounter in Counterfeit Coin Detection. The 1942/41 Mercury Dime from the Philadelphia Mint is one of the most well-known overdates on any US coin. Although the variety was first discovered […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1891 Double Eagle US Gold Coin

Counterfeit 1891 Double Eagle By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation…. NGC graders identified an 1891-S Double Eagle with a removed mintmark. Because most alterations involve added, not removed, mintmarks, this coin might easily fool unsuspecting collectors. The California Gold Rush created an immediate need for a mint to turn the recovered gold dust and […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1850 JB Costa Rica Gold Escudo

 A missing skirt is among the clues that this coin isn’t real. Only 6,167 Costa Rican gold escudos were struck in 1850, making it a scarce coin today and one where we see counterfeit examples. Because demand far outstrips supply, examples of this coin are worth much more than melt value. Unfortunately, that makes these […]

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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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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 an uncirculated […]

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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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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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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1904 Gold $20 Double Eagle

Counterfeit Coins –  1904 Double Eagle By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……… This counterfeit coin 1904 Double Eagle specimen exhibits relatively sharp design details, and its composition is virtually identical to that of a legitimate specimen. United States gold coins have been extensively counterfeited for decades and counterfeit coins are known for virtually […]

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Counterfeit Gold Coin Detection: US Gold 1892 Half Eagle

Counterfeit 1892 Half Eagle by Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……………… Many counterfeit gold coin originated in the 1960s and 1970s in the Middle East. The 1892 Half Eagle is a relatively common issue with a mintage of 753,480 pieces. This date can easily be located in circulated grades through MS 62, the grade […]

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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 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 year was an counterfeit […]

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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 ……………… 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 low circulated […]

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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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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1882 $3 US Gold Coin

Counterfeit 1882 $3 US Gold By Max Spiegel, Numismatic Researcher, NGC…. On the “Omega” $3 US Gold coins, the counterfeiter’s signature can be seen within the loop of the R in LIBERTY. Three dollar gold pieces are often overlooked by collectors despite having an unusual denomination and a plethora of low mintage issues. Minted from […]

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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 – 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: US Gold 1911-D Quarter Eagle

Counterfeit 1911-D Quarter Eagle by Max Spiegel, NGC Numismatic Researcher The 1911-D is the key Indian Head quarter eagle. Read about two unusual alterations and how NGC experts discovered  these two type of counterfeits. Chased Mintmark There are a number of methods used by counterfeiters to add a mintmark to a coin, but probably the […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – The 1924-S Standing Liberty Quarter

Counterfeit 1924-S Standing Liberty Quarter By NGC ….. As we’ve said in previous Counterfeit Coin Detection columns, no US coinage issue is immune from counterfeiting. Classic rarities and key dates, like the 1804 dollar and the 1916-D dime, are frequent targets of counterfeiting, but so too are more common coins. In fact, virtually every classic […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection: Spark-Erosion 1858 Flying Eagle Cent

Spark-Erosion Counterfeit 1858 Flying Eagle Cent by NGC  ……. Spark erosion counterfeit coins aren’t made very frequently anymore because they are easy to spot once you learn how. This 1858 Flying Eagle Cent submitted to NGC for grading and authentication is a perfect example for study. This 1858 Small Letters Flying Eagle Cent was recently […]

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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 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 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, NGC  ……. The 1937-D 3 Legged Buffalo Nickel is undoubtedly the most famous key date in the Buffalo Nickels series. Most collectors consider it to be a distinct issue although it is more accurately described as a late die […]

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

Counterfeit 1914-S Lincoln Cent by Max Spiegel, 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 right, as are […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1854-O Arrows Seated Liberty Half Dollar

Counterfeit 1854-O Arrows Seated Liberty Half Dollar Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……….   Numerous issues, such as depressions, raised lines, porosity and die damage, presented plenty of evidence to prove this coin not genuine. The Coinage Act of 1853 reduced the weight of the silver half dime, dime, quarter and half dollar as part of an […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1854-O Arrows Seated Liberty Half Dollar

Counterfeit 1854-O Arrows Seated Liberty Half Dollar Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ………. Numerous issues, such as depressions, raised lines, porosity and die damage, presented plenty of evidence to prove this coin not genuine. The Coinage Act of 1853 reduced the weight of the silver half dime, dime, quarter and half dollar as part of an effort […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1893-O Morgan Silver Dollar

Posted by Ben Wengel, NGC Grader ……. A recent 1893-O Morgan Dollar submission was confirmed a counterfeit when NGC graders identified one telltale sign. Recently, a well made die struck counterfeit Morgan dollar dated 1893-O was found in a bulk deal while at NGC. While the piece was well made, it had one telltale diagnostic that made […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1793 Flowing Hair Large Cent

Counterfeit large cents – 1793 Flowing Hair Cent – Tooling Marks; Raised Lines By Max Spiegel, NGC ……..   The first coins struck by the United States Mint were the half cents and large cents made in 1793. All half cents from this year bear the left-facing Liberty Cap design, while large cents feature three major […]

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

By Max Spiegel, 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 Canal a year […]

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Buyers Beware! Fake British Virgin Islands Collector Coins from Unauthorized Distributor

(Thursday, October 27)–The government of the British Virgin Islands is advising the public, especially coin collectors, that “coins” purported to be issued in the name of the British Virgin Islands have been offered for sale to coin dealers and the general public. (Two examples are shown above

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Counterfeit Coin Detection: 1924-S Buffalo Nickel

By Max Spiegel – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……… The 1924-S is a prime target for counterfeiters. In particular, sharp-eyed graders will pay close attention to additions or other alterations made to the mintmark. Prominent sculptor James Earle Fraser created an iconic design deeply rooted in Western Americana for the Buffalo Nickel, which was struck from 1913 […]

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How Big Is the Rare Coin Counterfeiting Problem?

By Jeff Garrett for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……   The issue of counterfeit coins has been around for a very long time For years, the numismatic industry has dealt effectively with the problem of counterfeit rare coins. You can read numismatic journals from the 19th century and realize that collectors were dealing with the problem even […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1861-D Gold Dollar – Added Mintmark

Genuine 1861-D gold dollar By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… NGC graders were surprised to see an 1861-D gold dollar with an added mintmark. There are a few key dates where you frequently encounter added mintmarks. The 1916-D Mercury dime is easily the most common, but other coins such as the 1909-S VDB […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1922 No D Lincoln Cent

Counterfeit 1922 No D Lincoln cent By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……………… The 1922 No D Lincoln cent has long been popular with counterfeiters but rarely do they go to the trouble of making dies. As a well known rarity, the 1922 No D Lincoln cent has been the target of counterfeiters for […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1795 Flowing Hair Half Dime

Counterfeit 1795 Half Dime Reverse by Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……………… Counterfeit half dimes are not particularly common, but NGC graders recently identified a fake 1795 half dime submission. The minuscule half dime was struck from 1794 to 1873, although many also include the pattern 1792 half disme—the first coin struck under the […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection: 1861 Type 2 US Gold Quarter Eagle

Counterfeit 1861 Type 2 Quarter Eagle By Max Spiegel, NGC ……… Raised lumps of metal and lack of detail are red flags on this 1861 Type 2 Quarter Eagle. NGC graders recently evaluated a submission of US gold pieces that included a counterfeit 1861 Type 2 Quarter Eagle with several diagnostics frequently seen on a variety […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1904 Gold $20 Double Eagle

Counterfeit 1904 Double Eagle By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……… This counterfeit 1904 Double Eagle specimen exhibits relatively sharp design details, and its composition is virtually identical to that of a legitimate specimen. United States gold coins have been extensively counterfeited for decades and fakes are known for virtually all dates, even the […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – Key Date 1870-CC Quarter

Counterfeit 1870-CC Quarter by Max Spiegel, Numismatic Researcher  – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation 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 year was an 1870-CC quarter. The […]

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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 […]

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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, NGC  ……. The 1937-D 3-Legged Nickel is undoubtedly the most famous key date in the Buffalo Nickels series. Most collectors consider it to be a distinct issue although it is more accurately described as a late die state and […]

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Counterfeit Coins Detection: 1914-S Lincoln Cent

Counterfeit 1914-S Lincoln Cent by Max Spiegel, NGC  ……. NGC graders identified a recently submitted fake 1914-S cent as a slightly above-average copy. 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 right, as are all S-Mint Lincoln […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection: 1793 Flowing Hair Cent

by Max Spiegel, NGC …….. Tool marks and raised lines identify a counterfeit 1793 Flowing Hair Cent. The first coins struck by the United States Mint were the half cents and large cents made in 1793. All half cents from this year bear the left-facing Liberty Cap design, while large cents feature three major design types: […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection: 1924-S Buffalo Nickel

by Max Spiegel – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……… The 1924-S is a prime target for counterfeiters. In particular, sharp-eyed graders will pay close attention to additions or other alterations made to the mintmark. Prominent sculptor James Earle Fraser created an iconic design deeply rooted in Western Americana for the Buffalo Nickel, which was struck from 1913 […]

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Why eBay Discontinued Coin Authentication. VIDEO: 3:40

Robert Gurney, Swamperbob Associates Interviewer: David Lisot, CoinWeek.com…….. In March of 2014, eBay discontinued its coin authentication program. Robert Gurney was one of seven eBay authenticators. He shares with CoinWeek ways coin collectors can protect themselves when buying coins on the auction site. Copyright © CoinWeek LLC.  October, 2014 US Mexican Numismatic Association  Second Annual […]

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