Author Topic: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals  (Read 11416 times)

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Offline Rangnath

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Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« on: April 03, 2007, 03:33:45 AM »
Somewhere up the Mekong, I purchased two coins from a "street" vendor.  I was sure one was a fake.  And the other, I don't know.  If "real", it should be Km 5a.1, French Indo China, a large silver coin.  Neither are magnetic, but the poorly struck coin is definitely lighter.  Having a scale would help. 
How does one decide if a coin is silver?
richie
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 12:54:49 PM by Figleaf »

Offline bruce61813

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2007, 05:19:30 PM »
You will probably have 20 replies before I can get to my refernces1 but I generally aree with you. The top coin ouls seem odd as the only 'warn' areeas are in the center, on both sides, and there is something about the rim , especially on the reverse that is odd. I aam not an expert, and generally avoid commenting on fakes, but the top is really odd. If someone has the right volumes of Krauss, thay may be able to look up the the published weights for these, and I would expect them to be closer to the bottom coins.

Bruce

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2007, 12:20:04 AM »
Bruce,
I agree with you.  I really should get a scale!  The weight answers lost of questions.
Richie

Offline bruce61813

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2007, 01:28:37 AM »
Get a scale that will do .01 grams, that should do fine. Your 1896 coin should weigh 27.000 grams or .7812 ounces, That would be a tip. The book [Krause] lists it as .900 silver, so that would be .100 copper for the total assay.

Bruce

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2007, 09:07:24 AM »
Two other things to do:

Check the edge. If the colour on the pic is representative for what the coin looks like, it may be silvered over. This is done by electrolysis. This technique requires that the coin is held in a liquid. It will have been fastened to an electrode on at least two points. Those two points should still be visible. They are practically always on the edge and look like small round discoloured pits or spots. If you have seen them once, you'll always recognize them.

Another easy check is what I call the "ping test". Place the coin on the top of a finger and strike it lightly with a metal object, like a fork. Struck coins wil emit a hgh, clear "ping", while cast coins will yield a dull "thud". This is due to the density of the metal in the coin. Cast coins will also be slightly larger than originals.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2007, 08:11:39 PM »
Thanks Peter and Bruce.  I looked for electrolysis pits.  And I found two in the obvious fake, but not the slightly smaller coin which was thicker and heavier. Then I tried the "ping" method.  Frankly, both pinged.  But one sounded nicer, that is the ping lasted longer, seemed "purer".  And then I had them weighed.  One weighed 16.4 gms.  That was my obvious fake.  The other weighed 24.7 gms.  Not a good sign.  Close, but 2.3 gms light.  Finally, I was told by the owner of the scale to look at the milling. "Notice", he said, "how irregular the milling is and the occasional pieces of metal".  I've included two views of the milled surface of the coin.  Alas, I'm convinced that my great deal in Laos (a dollar?) was a FRAUD!  On the other hand, I've rarely gotten so much entertainment from the purchase of a dollar.  And I've learned quite a bit.
ricihie

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2007, 09:41:14 PM »
Actually, whether the fake is a total loss depends on how you see it. I don't think it's one of the modern fakes coming from Indonesia made for unaware tourists, so there's a more than fair chance that this is a contemporary counterfeit. For one thing, those circulated as money. For another, they are just as much part of numismatic history as the genuine article. The trick is never to offer it as anything but a fake. An interesting fake, though. In addition, you have the entertaining story of how and where you bought it.

I have several contemporary counterfeits in my collection, clearly marked fake on the coin carton. Guess what. They are the ones that usually get the attention from my visitors, whether or not they are numismatically inclined!

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2007, 05:42:29 PM »
I agree with you totally Peter.  This has been great fun. 
richie

Offline andyg

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2012, 08:19:50 PM »
Fake coins do not have to be cast - see,
http://www.ngccoin.com/news/viewarticle.aspx?IDArticle=2180&Counterfeit-Detection:-China-2010-500-Yuan-Panda
or
http://www.ngccoin.com/news/viewarticle.aspx?NewsletterNewsArticleID=940

or
http://coins.about.com/od/worldcoins/l/bl_chinese_fakes_bought_by_pcgs.htm



If the OP is happy with them, then keep them - it's not as if I have anything to gain (or lose)
I really do hope that I am wrong in this instance.
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline Md. Shariful Islam

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2012, 08:46:32 PM »

If the OP is happy with them, then keep them - it's not as if I have anything to gain (or lose)
I really do hope that I am wrong in this instance.

Nice valuable links Andy. The discussions on the link are really useful. What we are trying to do is helping our friends and fighting against fakes. But the risk is our guess may be wrong. The person with the coin at hand is the best judge.

Islam

akona20

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2012, 10:31:50 PM »
I wrote a PM to the originator of this thread about fake coins noting that they did not have to be cast.  He might wish to publish that however Andy has linked to important information.

Pictures in differing light and angles (thus causing shadows and elongation) can make very good coins look bad and at times make bad coins look good. The old trick of the light stunt.

akona20

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2012, 12:59:40 AM »
Perhaps we can hive off a new thread on a discussion about fakes. The issue on this coin has become somewhat clouded. Coins that have circulated have issues not the least of which modern machine struck coins ( yes I rate this as modern given the manufacturing technique) have many issues in that die faults and clogging can lead to the production of thousands of coins with an apparent fault on later examination that are allowed to pass into circulation. In early machine made coins (and sometimes now) die differences from the same mint do appear.

As a minor piece of advice on fakes. For many years I have worked with a number of associates in helping people invest in coins. This has been a free service and usually happens through a network of friends. Last year, after a long search of some two years, I found a dealer of high reputation to recommend for this very obscure and rather (comparatively) expensive series. An order of some $12000 as an initial purchase was drawn up when a coin, honestly described by the seller, was queried on a major board as to the honesty of description. There was nothing wrong with the coin and the description was honest. The debate ran for some time and a number of self appointed experts (the real ones were somewhat absent in the discussion) declared the coin suspect. The buyer mentioned above pulled out of the whole deal and I lost a little personal reputation (who really cares at this point in time) and the dealer lost what would have been a sale for his total inventory of these coins and continuing relationship with a buyer that would have spanned many happy years.

So when we condemn or doubt a coin we must be certain in our doubts. In fact it is a black and white answer. The either a fake or forgery or real. There really can be no suggestion such as I am suspicious etc. it is real or it is not.

Just my thoughts noting that we do not and cannot collect BU or proof coins with an absolute untarnished pedigree.

Offline andyg

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2012, 01:16:33 AM »
How do you know if your food is off if all you are allowed is a picture?

always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

akona20

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2012, 01:20:50 AM »
An abolutely true statement. Perhaps a separate thread somewhere?

Offline repindia

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Re: Fake French and French colonial coins and medals
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2012, 05:39:57 AM »
So when we condemn or doubt a coin we must be certain in our doubts. In fact it is a black and white answer. The either a fake or forgery or real. There really can be no suggestion such as I am suspicious etc. it is real or it is not.
I have seen many times on the boards when many posters with no or less knowledge give opinions and just due to the fact that high post counts can be equated to more knowledge! I would request everybody to post only when they are dead sure of the facts, or else we would end up in a situation which you have experienced!