Category Archives: Max Spiegel

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 – 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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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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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 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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Counterfeit Gold Coin Detection – 1907-S $10 Gold Eagle with Arabic Punch

Counterfeit 1907-S Gold $10 Eagle By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ….. NGC recently received a counterfeit gold coin submission of a 1907-S Eagle that had an Arabic punch. Most collectors associate chopmarks with the short-lived Trade Dollar series, which circulated extensively throughout Southeast Asia. Many merchants chopmarked the coins to show that the […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1880 Shield Nickel

Counterfeit 1880 Shield Nickel Counterfeit Coins By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation …… Even with only a quick glance, a number of problems with this counterfeit Shield Nickel are obvious. The first nickel five cent pieces were struck in 1866 and there have been relatively few key dates issued in the nearly 150 years […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel

Counterfeit 1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel By Max Spiegel, NGC Numismatic Researcher ……….. Altered Date and Added Mintmark – The 1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel is often altered, but diagnostics can aid in finding the counterfeits. There are some coins that are often faked outright–i.e., with cast or struck counterfeits–and there are other coins that are frequently altered to […]

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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 – 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: 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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Counterfeit Coins Detection: Australia 2012 Year of the Dragon Silver Dollar

Counterfeit Coins of the Australia 2012 Year of the Dragon Silver Dollar By Max Spiegel – a series on Counterfeit Coins –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……… The popularity of lunar coins has grown of late, making the coins an excellent target for counterfeiters and resulting in counterfeit coins. Lunar coins have become very popular in […]

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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 (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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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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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 is not something that we see often. There are a handful of varieties that are regularly seen faked, including the Philadelphia and Denver 1942/41 Mercury Dimes, the […]

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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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Heritage Auctions – Seldom Seen Selections: The Rare Standish Barry Threepence

Standish Barry of Baltimore was one of two Maryland silversmiths to take it upon himself to strike silver coinage in the years between the ending of the Revolutionary War and the establishment of the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia (John Chalmers having struck several types of silver coins in Annapolis in 1783). Both coinages saw extensive […]

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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 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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Coin Grading Service Special Labels in the Postmodern Era

By David Schwager for CoinWeek ….. Buy the coin, not the slab. This is wise guidance, and a prudent collector needs to do more than read the numbers on a holder before deciding whether to buy. At the same time, it is accurate to say that a collector buys both the coin and the slab. […]

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Coin Grading Service Special Labels in the Postmodern Era

By David Schwager for CoinWeek …..   Buy the coin, not the slab. This is wise guidance, and a prudent collector needs to do more than read the numbers on a holder before deciding whether to buy. At the same time, it is accurate to say that a collector buys both the coin and 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 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: 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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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1924 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle

Counterfeit 1924 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle   by Max Spiegel, NGC Numismatic Researcher …….. Semiprooflike appearance, thick lettering and raised lumps helped NGC graders identify a counterfeit 1924 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. The 1924 Double Eagle is by far the most common date in the Saint-Gaudens series. NGC has graded more than 300,000 examples—an astonishing number, particularly […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1875 Indian Head Cent

Counterfeit 1875 Indian Head Cent By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……………… Many Chinese counterfeits are made from dies that are not directly copied from genuine examples, therefore many of the details are incorrect. Cents have long been the target of counterfeiters because of the numerous key dates and the popularity of this denomination […]

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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 – 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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Altered Coin Detection: Cameo 1960 Franklin Half Dollar

Altered Cameo 1960 Franklin Half by Max Spiegel, NGC  ……. A white “frost” was applied to this Franklin Half Dollar to give its elements a cameo appearance. There are a number of ways that nefarious individuals altered coins in an attempt to trick unsuspecting buyers into thinking that the coin is better than it really is. […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1842-O Seated Liberty Dime

Counterfeit 1842-O Seated Liberty Dime by Max Spiegel, NGC  ……. The design details on this  Seated Liberty Dime counterfeit coin are soft, especially at Liberty’s head, the Phrygian cap and the shield on the obverse. The Seated Liberty Dime has grown in popularity with collectors over the last couple of decades with considerable new research done […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1842-O Seated Liberty Dime

Counterfeit 1842-O Seated Liberty Dime by Max Spiegel, NGC  ……. The design details on this  Seated Liberty Dime counterfeit coin are soft, especially at Liberty’s head, the Phrygian cap and the shield on the obverse. The Seated Liberty Dime has grown in popularity with collectors over the last couple of decades with considerable new research done […]

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

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 in the marketplace in the […]

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

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 in the marketplace in the […]

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

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 in the marketplace in the […]

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

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 in the marketplace in the […]

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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: 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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Counterfeit Coin Detection: Spark-Erosion 1874 Three Cent Nickel Die Trial

Posted by Max Spiegel for NGC …….. Three Cent nickels were struck in 75% copper and 25% nickel with a silver-gray color, but the coin submitted to NGC appeared to be made entirely out of copper. Numismatic Conservation Services® (NCS®), a professional coin conservation company affiliated with NGC, recently received a coin that the submitter […]

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Revamped PNG Website Adds NGC Price Guide

The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) has revamped its website so that collectors now can conveniently find on one site the current retail values of U.S. coins as well as easily locate knowledgeable, reputable rare coin and banknote dealers. The PNG website also has now been optimized for easy use on mobile devices. The PNG is […]

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Consumer Alert – Use Caution to Avoid Gold, Silver Counterfeits Advises Professional Numismatists Guild

Beware of counterfeit vintage rare coins and fake modern gold and silver bullion items now being offered in the marketplace. Purchase only from reputable dealers, cautions the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG). The PNG is a nonprofit organization composed of many of the country’s top numismatic experts. Counterfeit 2012-dated American Eagle $50 denomination one-ounce gold bullion […]

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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1880 Shield Nickel

Counterfeit 1880 Shield Nickel By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ……   Even with only a quick glance, a number of problems with this counterfeit Shield Nickel are obvious. The first nickel five cent pieces were struck in 1866 and there have been relatively few key dates issued in the nearly 150 years since. […]

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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 – 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 – The 1972 Doubled Die Lincoln Cent

GENUINE 1972 Double Die Cent – courtesy of Heritage Auctions. By Max Spiegel, Numismatic Researcher, NGC…. NGC recently received a fake 1972 Doubled Die Cent, which is not something that we see often. There are a handful of varieties that are regularly seen faked, including the Philadelphia and Denver 1942/41 Mercury Dimes, the 1955 Doubled […]

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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 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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