Sorry, but thanks for your help with identifying fakes. This manufacturing process is the most tedious and most expensive way of creating a counterfeit coin. Each month in this column, we discuss some of the fundamentals of counterfeit detection, using counterfeit coins as illustrations. One way to turn a genuine common coin into a valuable rarity is by altering the coin in a specific way. Counterfeit coin detection, particularly with ancient coins, is … To avoid getting duped by an unscrupulous coin dealer or collector into unknowingly purchasing a counterfeit coin, there are a few basic techniques and tools that can help. Be careful with this test to not drop the coin being tested when you strike it with the silver coin. Only buy coins that have been certified by a. Therefore, although two coins may be the same denomination and date, coins produced from different handmade coin dies will have differences. A Vernier Caliper is a simple device used to measure the diameter of coins to +/- 0.1 mm. The United States Mint has always had high-quality standards. Base metals, such as copper, nickel, zinc, and iron, are normally used as a substitute for the precious metal, such as gold, silver, or platinum, that would we used in genuine rare coins. The mint mark is removed from a common “S” mint coin and epoxied or soldered onto the 1909 VDB coin—and voila!—an instant rarity is created. Counterfeit coins typically have casting seams, which can be very apparent to the naked eye. The lathe was the first step in automating the production of coin dies to ensure design consistencies for the entire year of production. Altered and Doctored CoinsThe cheapest and quickest way to make money by deceiving a coin collector is to take an ordinary coin and modify it to look like an expensive and rare coin. Finally, becoming an expert in detecting counterfeit coins is a lifelong process that takes many years to hone your skills and constant research on current counterfeiting techniques. A skilled counterfeiter can then add an S mint mark to the obverse and make the coin appear to be worth over $1,000. Yusrat Sadia Nailat from Bangladesh on May 20, 2019: I believe this one gonna help me so much! The more you practice the test with genuine coins, the more easily you will be able to determine the difference between the sound of silver and non-silver coins. For all bills except $1 and $2 dollar bills, … Also, the edge detail of this coin is not well detailed, and looks repaired just below the date. Many Chinese counterfeit coins are magnetic, and it’s a dead giveaway if a silver-looking coin is attracted to a magnet. But coin counterfeiting is an issue that any savvy collector needs to face. The 1914 Gold Quarter Eagle has the second lowest mintage in the Indian Head … If we compare 2 coins by their weights we have 3 possible outcomes of such a comparison which are tip to the left, tip to the right and even balance. With the second-lowest mintage in the series (240,000 coins), the 1914 sells at … Another example of where adding a mint mark greatly increases the value of a coin is the 1916 Mercury dime. West, Doug. 2) Check the selling price at which the trade coins … Not all holders say the word “Genuine”; it is implied by being in a professionally graded coin holder. 2. There are different metal alloys that counterfeiters use that appear to be silver. They probably are fakes made from a ferrous material. When that die wore out or broke, the artist would create another one. The higher the silver content, the longer the ring will last. Without seeing the coin that is all I can say. Therefore, if a 1943 copper colored Lincoln penny sticks to a magnet, it is an altered coin that is now counterfeit. Plastic versions of this measuring device cost less than $10.00. Dishonest people are always developing new methods of counterfeiting coins. Compare the coin to the picture in the Red Book or online photos of the genuine coin to look for obvious mistakes made by counterfeiters. The genuine copper version of the coin will not be attracted to the magnet; however, a copper coated steel cent will be strongly attracted to the magnet. 1985. Using a strong Alnico magnet to see if a coin sticks to the magnet. Counterfeit coins are nothing new to the world of coin collecting; they have been around for centuries (if not millennia). Studying genuine coins alongside known counterfeit coins is the best teacher on your road to becoming an expert counterfeit coin detector. NGC graders identify counterfeit coins with added or altered mint marks each and every day. This alteration can be spotted by noting the improper spacing between the digits in the date. Struck CounterfeitsCounterfeiters make struck counterfeit coins the same way a mint manufactures a genuine coin by a planchet between two coin dies in a coining press. Once the molds are ready, the molten metal is poured into the mold. Studying genuine coins alongside known counterfeit coins is the best teacher on your road to becoming an expert counterfeit coin detector. One point to consider when using weight as a discriminator is that when genuine coins circulate, very small quantities of the metal wear off. Below you will find some tips on detecting fake trade dollars. Inspect the edge of the coin for evidence of a seam that would indicate the coin is a cast counterfeit or an altered coin made by joining two halves of genuine coin together. Is there any way to reliably detect counterfeit coins that have been put into fake slabs? Doug West (author) from Missouri on May 27, 2019: In the U.S. it is illegal to counterfeit money, however, in China it is only illegal to counterfeit Chinese money. Counterfeit 1913 Great Britain Sovereign No. If all these measurements are correct then you may have a real coin. But what has changed is counterfeiters are getting better and their products are harder to detect. I realize now that I see it written out. Use a scale that is accurate to within 0.01 grams to measure the weight of the coin. Thank you for the information. Since silver, gold, and copper coins are not attracted to a magnet, this can be a simple test to tell if the coin has some iron content. One of the more common types of counterfeit coins is cast copies. Lonesome John. Counterfeit coins may not have the correct diameter, which is a good indication that the coin may not be genuine. Tooling marks appear just under the nose of Liberty on the obverse. Fivaz, Bill. They always contain something special. For example, a counterfeiter can purchase a 1909 Lincoln cent with the designer's initials of V. D. B. on the reverse for under twenty dollars. Yeoman, R.S. However, the United States Mint accidentally made a few 1943 Lincoln pennies out of copper. Huge … In modern times, counterfeiters make counterfeit coins to deceive coin collectors. The counterfeiter can create the coin dies by engraving them by hand, using the spark erosion method, using a one-to-one transfer engraving lathe, using the plating method, or the impact technique. I really enjoy reading your articles. shaunc011ett - April 2, 2020. Counterfeit coins have always been a problem and the more you know about coins the better off you are as a collector. Originally, people counterfeited coins with the intention of deceiving merchants and citizens with the fake currently circulating coins. The methods presented below are not foolproof but can help identify the more obvious counterfeit coins. Cast Counterfeits An inexpensive way to produce counterfeit coins is to create a mold of the genuine coin and use it to cast a counterfeit coin. Many times, the word “copy” or “replica” will appear on the reverse (back) of the coin. If the surfaces of the devices are course and lacking in detail, this may be another indication of a counterfeit coin. It starts with m coins as a given and the following reasoning:. 2019. People who counterfeit coins are well trained and have the capacity to manipulate their duplication - especially those rare coins which have high value among collectors. Chinese counterfeit coins and bars have been passed off as legitimate for more than a decade. These advances have made modern coins more difficult to counterfeit. Use … Electronic scales measuring weight of a coin. The higher the silver content, the longer the ring will last. Doug West (author) from Missouri on January 05, 2020: Sorry to hear about your lose. The House of Collectables. I suggest you take it to a coin dealer or collector and have them look at the coin. 2015. An electronic scale capable of measuring up to 50 grams with 0.01-gram accuracy can be purchased online for less than $25.00. Examining Security Features Hold the bill up to the light. One of the most common alterations is the addition of a mint mark to a coin that did not originally have a mint mark. One other type of alteration is changing the date of the coin. Additionally, ordinary coins may be altered to look like more expensive coins. Most of the time, the seller of the coin didn't realize the coin was fake themselves. Answer: Without knowing the details of your situation I have a couple of comments: 1. Split coins are another example of a counterfeit coin that has been radically altered. There are other methods to identify counterfeit coins, such as chemical acid testing, an electronic tester, specific gravity testing, laboratory material properties analysis, and die variety studies. Whitman Publishing. Silver and gold are soft metals and tend to wear more rapidly than a copper or nickel alloy coin. The potential counterfeit coin is balanced on the tip of a finger then struck lightly with a known silver coin on the edge. Continuing on with magnets, another test you can to spot counterfeit silver is … Any of these techniques leads to an incredibly deceptive counterfeit coin. Inspect for evidence of alterations that may include the addition or removal of a mintmark that would make the coin more valuable. Cast copies are normally identified by a seam that runs around the outside edge or circumference of the coin. In response to your email to me, my 1770 8 reales Mexico city mint has genuine looking diagnostics, but has several tiny, near microscopic scratches in the E of VTRAQUE and I am wondering if they were put there to hide deceptive diagnostics. 1) The best and true way to identify fake coins is through their weight, fake coins are silver washed over copper or alloyed metals and weight much lighter whereas a real Trade Dollar will weigh 27.22 grams. Next, look at the coin's color to make sure it matches the metal composition of a genuine coin. You can always sent the coin into ANACS to have it authenticated. “The Fisch checks four key things – the diameter, thickness, weight and shape of a gold coin. Yes it is. A special machine does the stamping of coins to make them genuine. A skilled counterfeiter can split the two coins in half and use the obverse of the 1926 nickel with the reverse of the 1929 nickel from San Francisco and create a 1926-S Buffalo nickel that is worth close to $10,000. The coin shown is a genuine and has a mint specified weight of 12.5 grams. Isnt it illegal to counterfit coins or any money? Finally, becoming an expert in detecting counterfeit coins is a lifelong process that takes many years to hone your skills and constant research on current counterfeiting techniques. If you buy your coins from a local person, for example, at a coin club meeting, a coin show, or at a coin shop, try to find out if the dealer is reputable. Most coin dealers are honest, but there are bad actors that you should avoid—ask around for references. A “Ring Test” is a simple test that can be performed to determine if a coin is silver. How Do I Tell If a Two Headed Coin Is Genuine? When spending your hard-earned money on rare coins, the old saying caveat emptor applies, or “Let the buyer beware.” Just be a little cautious; do your homework on the rare coin you are interested in and the dealer selling the coin. I will try to get photos. Sharon Lopez from Philippines on October 21, 2019: I am not venturing into coin collection any time soon but the information in this article is something worth considering. In other words, a coin produced at the beginning of the year with one coin die would be almost indistinguishable from a coin produced at the end of the year with a different set of dies. If you live in the United States and you think you've received a counterfeit note, immediately notify the local police. They are typically used in the jewelry business. NGC offers numerous educational resources to help collectors and dealers avoid counterfeit or altered coins. I recommend practicing with known genuine coins before you evaluate potential counterfeit coins. James Bucki has over 40 years of coin collecting experience, receiving specialized training in coin grading, minting errors, and collecting techniques. Measuring the diameter of a genuine Barber half dollar coin. Counterfeit Detection: A Reprint from The Numismatist Volume II, American Numismatic Association. Counterfeit Detection: A Reprint from The Numismatist, American Numismatic Association. C&D Publications. “Counterfeit Coin Detection – The Top 10 Most Common Counterfeit US Coins” https://coinweek.com/education/coin-grading/ngc/couinterfeit-coin-detection-counterfeit-detection-the-top-10-most-common-counterfeit-us-coins/, “The Fundamentals Of Counterfeit Detection - Part 1” https://www.pcgs.com/news/the-fundamentals-of-counterfeit-detection--part-1, “Counterfeit Detection” https://www.ngccoin.com/resources/counterfeit-detection/. There are several methods that you can use to find out whether a coin is counterfeit or not. The issue of counterfeit coins shouldn't deter you from coin collecting. Nobody knows where it was altered. The wear on the coin has reduced the weight to 11.9 grams. Doug West (author) from Missouri on May 28, 2020: Scratches probably won't be much of a diagnostic tool unless you can compare it to known genuine coins. The United States mint only made one coin that contains steel: the 1943 Lincoln cent. For example, by adding an “S” mint mark to a genuine 1909 VDB Lincoln cent (a $10 coin), the forger makes the valuable ($500 plus) 1909-S VDB cent. My writing interests are general, with expertise in science, history, biographies, and “how-to” topics. Like nearly every other area of commerce, coin collecting has moved to the internet. It is not illegal in China to manufacture fake coins. If anything seems inconsistent, it’s best to inquire elsewhere. The host coin is used as a model to create the cast. The counterfeiter will take two common coins, split them in half, and glue or solder the two halves together. Additionally, many coins have intricate designs or textures that are associated with that particular coin and its series. This genuine silver Barber half dollar is not attracted to the magnet. If the weight of your coin is more than the specified amount, then you probably have a fake. Observing the Gold Weigh the gold. If not, read on. All United States silver and gold coins are not attracted to a magnet. Another method of altering the coin involves removing a minor detail to make it worth considerably more money. An unscrupulous person with a minimal amount of experience can take a 1928-S peace dollar and remove the S mintmark. The mint specified diameter is 30.6mm. Also, inspect the edge of the coin for file marks indicating a sprue or seam was removed. Do not buy bargain coins offered at flea markets and online. However, more recently counterfeit 1 pound coins from Great Britain have been discovered. Tooling marks extend from the rim into the “T” in “STATES” on the reverse. If you think a coin may be counterfeit, seek a second opinion before you buy it. January 6, 2020 KMFranck 0 Comments articles, Coins, Counterfeit Coins, Fake Coins, How to Spot Fakes, News. Contact your local police department OR call your local U.S. Secret Service Office. The methods presented in the guide will help you identify most of the more obvious counterfeit coins. and Jeff Garret (editor). If the official composition of the coin states that it does not contain any steel, the coin should not stick to the magnet. A basic skill set of how to detect counterfeit coins will hopefully save you money by avoiding the purchase of counterfeit coins. If deemed not genuine, the coin is not encapsulated. Thank you for your answer, Doug. 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