Author Topic: A man walks into a bar...  (Read 1565 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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A man walks into a bar...
« on: June 07, 2007, 09:54:34 AM »
Coins are not a good investment, but there are plenty of people who believe coin collecting is all about money. That's when con men smell an opportunity for a good investment: suckering an ignoramus into thinking he can get rich quickly. If it weren't sad, it'd be funny.

The coin in the pic is genuine.

source: Newport News Times

Coin con

By Jason Evans Of the News-Times

An authentic Bust Dollar is made of silver and retails for $2,700. Lincoln County coin dealers have recently seen a resurgence in counterfeit Bust Dollars, such as the one pictured, made of nickel and copper. Faux Bust Dollars are among several types of counterfeit coins recently presented by hopeful - and ultimately disappointed - customers, at Monte's Coins & More in Lincoln City. (Photo by Jason Evans)Jeff Spielman, of Monte's Coins & More, Inc. in Lincoln City, about two months ago began seeing forged coins brought into his shop. He cited an April 2007 article in the magazine "Numismatist," noting a resurgent trend in counterfeit coins online, including several similar to those filtering into Lincoln City.

"It's the 'A guy walks into a bar ...' story. And the guy walks into the bar and comes up with this hard-luck story, "I got to go see my grandma,' or 'I ran out of gas.' He's got a set and says, 'I know this one here is worth one hundred dollars,' and the other guy gave him 40 bucks for the set of coins," said Spielman, "Well every single one of those coins is phony. The guy got scammed."

Some counterfeit coins, Spielman said, are "real bad" forgeries, with an incorrect date stamp for example, "But most people wouldn't know that's a phony looking coin, unless you know what to look for."

Often "silver" coins are made with nickel or aluminum and so have a different feel; and even clink on marble surface with a distinctive timbre. The diameters of counterfeit coins may be a little different. Other giveaways may be poor casting, which lacks finer details; or even a coin too perfect, when most authentic examples are chop marked - evidencing the likely history the coin was tested for authenticity, sometimes on many occasions.

Counterfeit coins Spielman comes across are generally brought in by someone looking to sell them. He disproves authenticity, and sometimes offers to buy the coins at an appropriate price, for educational purposes.

"Education is the key to successful collecting," said Spielman, "It's real hard on the phone, but if they bring the material in I don't mind spending time with people. Even if they come in and don't buy anything, and at least try to find out what they've got, if it's real, is it not real." Common sense should prevail when a person is considering purchasing coins from source without repute, said Spielman, "You're not going to buy a $10,000 car for 50 bucks."
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.