Author Topic: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy  (Read 3662 times)

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Offline davidrj

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Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« on: March 03, 2014, 05:18:41 PM »
Counterfeiting has existed as long as coins have circulated, and today collectors main concern is for Chinese "copies" of scarce numismatic coins. but the distinction between these two extremes is not easy to define

My attempt at classification, opinions welcome and maybe we can come up with some better terms

Contemporary Counterfeits

As old as antiquity, forgers have made copies in base metal of silver and gold. Common examples are the dud shillings of George III which turn frequently on fcoin forums

The workmanship varies from excellent down to diabolical, but the these were only ever intended to deceive once, maybe in a poorly lit bar, the subsequent fate of the coin had no interest to the perpetrator

Even billon coins were forged, I have a 1550 coin from France which is brass with the remains of a silver wash. the French 10 centimes 1808-10 were extensively forged an had to be withdrawn leaving only older copper values in circulation to the 1850s

Oddly one finds forgeries of copper & bronze coins in the 19th century

Jewellery pieces

These are often good copies to the correct fineness, for making into jewellery and were not made to deceive collectors, though unmounted specimens often do

Examples are copy sovereigns, British trade dollars (marked as such)

Fantasies

Coins designed to con the non-numismatic public - widely advertised in newspapers and on-line

So called "patterns" of George III and Edward VIII - never worth much above melt, but sold at inflated prices. A real pattern is an essay for a for a prospective official minting

"Souvenir copies"

Souvenir pieces sold by museums etc, usually of poor design, incorrect flan, may include the word copy, and never designed to fool a collector

Struck to order & Restrikes

Coins produced specifically for collectors, without the intention to deceive, in fact many are highly sought after

examples include, Boulton restrikes using genuine often rusted SOHO dies, Condors with impossible die pairings

also here we can include "space fillers" - facsimiles of unobtainable rareties - eg Australian 1930 penny often well made, 1933 UK penny usually risable

Coins altered to fool collectors

Self explanatory - altered dates, deleted mintmarks etc

Fake coins to deceive collectors

Not just the modern Chinese fakes, earlier crowns from E Europe, and the Ashmore fakes of early British material

My musings for now, comments welcome

 :D

David





Offline Figleaf

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Re: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 08:47:57 PM »
Difficult to get a measure of agreement on. Here's my value system, from totally despicable to understandable, but bad. The missing category is genuine coins and tokens. I realise that the order of categories raises another point of discontent. Discussing this is probably more important than agreeing.

Peter

Non-genuine coins
     Meant to deceive the public at large
          Contemporary counterfeits
     Meant to deceive collectors
          Fakes
          Altered coins (includes home-made "errors")
     Meant to deceive newbie collectors and investors
          Fantasies
          Bullion coins
     Not meant to deceive
          Jewellery imitations
          Souvenir medals
          Advertising medals
          Fillers
Genuine coins with a doubtful status
     Tooled coins
     Un-authorised and illegal restrikes
     Coins struck to order (novodels)
     Coins that were never available at face value
Genuine coins meant to deceive
     Legal restrikes
     Imitations (coins and tokens) from another issuer
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 11:20:58 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline davidrj

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Re: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 09:44:42 PM »
Discussing this is probably more important than agreeing.

My intent

 :D

David

Online malj1

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Re: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 10:30:37 PM »

"Souvenir copies"

Souvenir pieces sold by museums etc, usually of poor design, incorrect flan, may include the word copy, and never designed to fool a collector

Many of these do fool collectors and even museums have at times displayed these in error. Some of this type of thing can be seen at Collection NORMATENSYL Others are scattered through the various token pages - one day we may bring these together.

While a whole new class that is confusing collectors, new and old, are the reproductions put out by Readers Digest over the last few years. Some are fetching outlandish prices on eBay and the like.
See Readers Digest advertising tokens

The Austrian replicas in particular are a major concern - see at Reply #113


Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 10:59:50 PM »
Yes, advertising medals can be troublesome, while souvenirs are mostly OK, but neither was issued with the intent to deceive. You cannot classify the funny stuff according to how many people fall for them.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 11:19:00 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline davidrj

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Re: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 11:10:41 PM »
You cannot classify the funny stuff according to how many people fall for them.

Agreed! A classification of fakes must be by the intent of the perpetrator, rather than the gullibility of the final recipient

David

Offline zookeeperz

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Re: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2015, 10:17:09 PM »
An example of such depravity . With the Internet came the explosion of online auctions in it's many varied forms. Something that in it's past was probably more associated with the money people of the world. Probably down to how it has always been portrayed on TV or in fims. Having said that When a Auction House decides to venture in to the online business to capture would be venders from all corners of the globe. I believe it is their duty to be the eyes of the patrons who cannot attend the land based auction house itself. Descriptions should be full and informative and of paramount importance especially to coin auctions a Picture of both sides of the coin. Not a 1 pic fom 20 feet away Blown up. They certainly would be bankrupt within a week if they said to the land based audience you can only look fron behind a rope 20 feet away from the item. So why should online bidders be treated any different. I bid for what I thought was a PL 1833 Silver Rouble. The description said. "White Metal Coin/Medal est 20-30. It wasn't in a box full of other coins so it could of been overlooked. It was a lot on its own. Now I have been told that alarm bells should of sounded by the description alone . Leaving out any reference to the coin being a Silver Russian PL 1 rouble 1833. But call it naivity I thought perhaps the auctioneer ddn't know if it was silver as its not hall-marked and white metal does in many auctions cover unmarked silver. Plus perhaps he didn't know anything about russian coins. How stupid could I have been. Of course he never described it as what it appeared. He knew full well it was a fake. That is unacceptable . I  am in the process of taking them to court so watch this space. Here is the Counterfit item . Because it is neither a coin or a medal . Just an object made with one aim. Deception.

Richard
Cheers Rich

Online malj1

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Re: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2015, 11:12:31 PM »
That description "The description said. "White Metal Coin/Medal est 20-30. " would have told me it is a replica! ...that is the usual 'online auction speak' for such items when they know they are or even just unsure.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline andyg

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Re: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2015, 11:01:07 AM »
That description "The description said. "White Metal Coin/Medal est 20-30. " would have told me it is a replica! ...that is the usual 'online auction speak' for such items when they know they are or even just unsure.

Not only that but it tends to only be used by sellers up to no good.
However I can quite understand being caught out - especially if it was an on-line auctioneer rather than ebay.  I would suggest a letter to trading standards (before going to court), they can and do take action in these cases - and if it's a regular problem they will take the seller to court on your behalf.
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline zookeeperz

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Re: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2015, 11:29:41 AM »
Not only that but it tends to only be used by sellers up to no good.
However I can quite understand being caught out - especially if it was an on-line auctioneer rather than ebay.  I would suggest a letter to trading standards (before going to court), they can and do take action in these cases - and if it's a regular problem they will take the seller to court on your behalf.

I guess for the seasoned auction goers,this kind of thing would set alarm bells. But to a novice its a carrot on a stick. The Auctioneer knew exactly what he was selling. To even describe it the way he has is complete fabrication of the truth. 20-30 est for something that is worthless is an intentional spratt to catch a mackeral. Any auctioneer worth their salt would not put a price tag of that amount on. Also wen I spoke to them  and they said they stand by their description. Saying " we never said it was real or a fake we just described it as White Metal coin/medal" Well I am sorry if they claim they didn't know what it was. Then surely they should of described it as  Coin/medal russian dated 1833 crown size unknown composition. but even with that description wouldn't install much confidence in the auctioneers knowledge. A magnet in 5 secs would of settled the issue which I m 100% sure they did anyway. It should never of been allowed to feature in the auction to be honest. It is a purpose made dupe and they intentionally furthered the careers of illegal fake coin manufacturers. Shame on them. Northwich Auctions . One of the many land based/online houses you see on thesaleroom.com. Mastercard have asked for verification of it being a fake. Which is kind of ironic. First time I have ever need to authenticate a fake :o . They will persue it once documentation is recieved. Which I am posting off to NGC europe tuesday. So fingers crossed and if there is any justice in this world. I will get my 250 back. I know I will never by from online auctions ever again. Other than the reputable coin auction houses. Like heritage,spinks

Offline andyg

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Re: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2015, 11:54:27 AM »
It's well worth your while sending the below in an email to Northwich Trading Standards....

I guess for the seasoned auction goers,this kind of thing would set alarm bells. But to a novice its a carrot on a stick. The Auctioneer knew exactly what he was selling. To even describe it the way he has is complete fabrication of the truth. 20-30 est for something that is worthless is an intentional spratt to catch a mackeral. Any auctioneer worth their salt would not put a price tag of that amount on. Also wen I spoke to them  and they said they stand by their description. Saying " we never said it was real or a fake we just described it as White Metal coin/medal" Well I am sorry if they claim they didn't know what it was. Then surely they should of described it as  Coin/medal russian dated 1833 crown size unknown composition. but even with that description wouldn't install much confidence in the auctioneers knowledge. A magnet in 5 secs would of settled the issue which I m 100% sure they did anyway. It should never of been allowed to feature in the auction to be honest. It is a purpose made dupe and they intentionally furthered the careers of illegal fake coin manufacturers. Shame on them. Northwich Auctions . One of the many land based/online houses you see on thesaleroom.com. Mastercard have asked for verification of it being a fake. Which is kind of ironic. First time I have ever need to authenticate a fake :o . They will persue it once documentation is recieved. Which I am posting off to NGC europe tuesday. So fingers crossed and if there is any justice in this world. I will get my 250 back. I know I will never by from online auctions ever again. Other than the reputable coin auction houses. Like heritage,spinks
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Offline andyg

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

Online malj1

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Re: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2015, 12:26:35 AM »
My point exactly! I have a dozen of the so-called rare coins, while Redwine shows 100 at Re: Readers Digest advertising tokens
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline leandro87

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Re: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2016, 09:34:12 PM »
I like this discussion. I think it is maybe wrong to use the term "non-genuine" or "fake" refering to contemporary counterfeits. That were actual coins designed to circulate (not-legaly), and have important historic/archeological interest. I think as 'non-genuine' only copies to deceive collectors; and fantasies can be another category. The problem is that many people sell coins with the tag "maybe contemporary counterfeit" when they sell actual fakes.

Online malj1

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Re: Fakes & counterfeits: a tentative taxonomy
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2016, 09:45:45 PM »
Quote
The Austrian replicas in particular are a major concern - see at Reply #113

I consider this type of coin as a replica See An index of Replica (reproduction) coins

They were not intended to deceive but to educate.

 
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.