Author Topic: Fake coins of the USA  (Read 13096 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27 091
Fake coins of the USA
« on: April 26, 2009, 10:47:04 AM »
Coin collectors advised: Beware counterfeits
By GREG JORDAN Published: April 19, 2009 09:24 pm

PRINCETON — Today’s merchants have to watch out for counterfeit money created with computerized scanners and printers, but they are not the only ones who have to be wary of fake currency. Coin collectors also have to watch out for bogus money being offered as the real thing.

With yard sale and flea market season approaching, collectors hoping to find a prized silver dollar or penny will be watching for rarities. Some vigilance and precautions can reduce their chances of buying a fake, one Mercer County dealer said.

“You wouldn’t believe the amount of bogus coins people come in with and try to sell me,” said Randolph Evans, owner of The Bronze Look in Princeton and a member of the American Numismatic Association. “There seems to be an abundance of fake coins floating out there taking advantage of unsuspecting collectors.”

Evans recalled one instance when a client brought in 22 silver dollars for examination only to learn that 21 of them were fake. That client was able to recoup the money spent on them.

Fortunately, there are methods collectors can use to detect fake coins.

“There are two tools that a collector should carry to detect counterfeit or fake coins: a 16X jewelers loupe and a set of digital scales,” Evans said. A jewelers loupe is a magnifying glass used by jewelers, coin dealers and other professionals. A loupe, and a digital scale, help collectors detect a fake coin’s shortcomings.

“These fake coins are usually cast coins and not struck from a die. In cast coin, a person can determine casting marks or find holes that exist from escaping gases,” Evans said. “Usually a cast coin will be roughed up a bit on the surface to indicate wear, have surface pits and may also have artificial toning, particularly on the edges.”

A digital scale is useful for weighing a coin. Fake coins usually don’t weigh as much as real ones.

“Some fake coins are so obvious that when one holds them in the hand, there is an obvious difference between the real coin,” Evans said. “Fake coins can weigh as much as 95 percent of the real coin, but usually the fake coin will show minimal wear, but significant difference. A Redbook Book of Coins will tell one the correct weight for an U.S. coin.”

Counterfeiting is not limited to gold and silver coins. The classic American penny and nickel have been faked, too. Fakers also use several methods to alter real specimens, turning less valued coins into collector’s items.

“Tooling pennies to remove part of the 4 from a 1944 D to make a 1914 D penny is a popular trick,” Evans said. “The space between the 9 and 4 is a giveaway of this ruse. Filing off the front leg of a 1937 D Buffalo nickel has also been presented as the valuable three legged Buffalo. Removing mint marks is also a favorite trick. Remove an S from a 1928 Silver Dollar and it is worth 10 times more.”

Collectors should be wary of coins somebody “just inherited” and “family heirlooms” that must be sold. Evans knew of one professional who bought what seemed to be a highly collectible penny. He had been approached by a man who was said he was selling it for a brother who needed the money. The penny turned out to be a fake.

“It can happen to anybody. It can even happen to a dealer who is not careful,” Evans said.

Collectors can protect themselves by always insisting on getting a receipt that accurately describes the coin or coins they are buying, Evans said. The receipt should list the name of the seller and contact information.

“If they purchase a coin that turns out to be counterfeit, then they can pursue various options to obtain a refund. Young and old have been affected by the fake coins being tendered as genuine. Know your seller or dealer,” Evans said.

Source: Bluefield Daily Telegraph
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 06:50:51 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline redwine

  • liaison officer
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3 372
  • Too old to care.
Fake: Stella
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2011, 07:51:24 PM »
I posted this piccy elsewhere and got no feedback.  Oh well.
Your thoughts please....
Always willing to trade.  See my profile for areas of interest.

Offline jc

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
Re: Fake: Stella
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2011, 09:09:08 PM »
There are many fakes of this coin, indeed. I leave a text that is available in the net.


"Description & History

Four Dollar Gold Stella (Flowing and Coiled Hair 1879-1880)

In the first half of the 19th-century, Americans were absorbed with western expansion-fulfilling their "Manifest Destiny" to conquer the continent. By the 1870s, the interior of the country was secure, and the nation's focus began to move beyond its borders, with increased emphasis on international trade. But global commerce was hampered by scores of competing coins and currencies, and many people on both sides of the Atlantic called for a worldwide coinage system to facilitate trade. In 1867, growing discussion blossomed into an international conference in Paris, where twenty nations agreed to adopt a gold standard with the French franc as its base.

Many in Congress envisioned the United States as the hub of a world monetary system and responded with their own ideas for an international gold coin, but few proposals went beyond debate. By 1871, it was silver, not gold, that was on the minds of many legislators, and silver was not faring well at all. Germany adopted the gold standard and dumped huge amounts of silver on the market, thereby depressing its price. At the same time, vast quantities of silver from the Comstock Lode added to the oversupply. With little industrial use for the metal, western mine owners desperately needed the U.S. Mint as a customer and in a big way. Fortunately, they got help from three very cooperative members of Congress, Representatives Richard Bland, John Kasson and William Kelley. For over two decades, these three never missed an opportunity to promote the interests of either silver or nickel mine owners, and they were often quite successful in their efforts.

Kasson and Kelley were partly responsible for conversion of the dime, quarter, and half dollar to the metric system in 1873. Although they argued that metric coinage would circulate worldwide and increase the demand for American silver, the change had little impact, either on the weight of the coins or their use overseas. The legislation did have a bonus for the mine owners, however: The silver interests got free coinage of a Trade dollar for use in the Orient. The Mint made almost 36 million of these large silver pieces between 1873 and 1885, barely enhancing commerce with the Far East but certainly adding to the mine owners' bottom lines. The nickel interests also got a gift: With the elimination of the three and five-cent pieces made of silver, the Mint was limited to using nickel for those denominations. Five years later, the silver interests scored again:In 1878, Bland pushed through the Bland-Allison Act, requiring the government to purchase between two and four million ounces of silver each month and coin the metal into standard silver dollars.

It was Kasson, though, who was behind another try at an international coinage in 1879. Attempting to appease advocates of both silver and gold, he proposed a "goloid" dollar containing 96% silver, 4% gold, and a four-dollar gold piece of 90% gold, 10% silver. The four-dollar coin was intended to compete globally with a myriad of similarly valued pieces, including the French 20 franc coin, the Spanish 20 pesetas, the Dutch and Austrian 8 florins and the Italian 20 lire.

The four-dollar coin received an entirely new designation: "stella" (Latin for star). This was analogous to the eagle, "both the star and the eagle being national emblems on our coins." Like the ten-dollar eagle and its smaller and larger counterparts, the stella was to be another denominational unit, and other coins would be expressed in fractions or multiples of it. Along with the stella, patterns for the "goloid" dollar and a "quintuple stella" (metric double-eagle) were struck in 1879.

There were two obverse designs for the stella-one with Flowing Hair engraved by Charles Barber and another with Coiled Hair by George Morgan. Barber's design depicts Liberty with long, flowing hair; Morgan's version differs only in that Liberty's hair is tied in a bun. On both designs, Liberty is encircled by the lettering *6*G*.3*S*.7*C*7*G*R*A*M*S*, stating the proportions of gold, silver and copper in the coin. The reverse features a large five-pointed star as the central motif, with the incuse inscription ONE /STELLA/400/CENT. Both the U.S. motto E PLURIBUS UNUM and the Latin motto DEO EST GLORIA (God is Glorious) circle the star, in turn surrounded by the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and FOUR DOL.

The stella never saw regular production; Congress killed the legislation and only patterns were made, all proofs. Unfortunately, mintage records for these pieces have proven to be unreliable. Today, specialists believe that only 15 originals and 425 "restrikes" of the 1879 Flowing Hair design were made, with the originals lacking the die striations of the later pieces. These 1879 Flowing Hair "restrikes" are the most frequently encountered of this denomination, as all the other issues are exceedingly rare. Surviving 1880 dated Flowing Hair coins number fewer than 25, and the highest estimates of existing Coiled Hair pieces are 15 for the 1879 and 10 for the 1880 coins. Whatever the exact number, 1880 Flowing Hair pieces are at least a dozen times scarcer than their 1879 counterparts, and Coiled Hair stellas are rarer still, seldom appearing on the market except in sales of major collections.

Although all four-dollar gold pieces are patterns, they have nevertheless been incorporated into the regular series of U.S. coins, similar to 1856 Flying Eagle cents, Gobrecht dollars and Wire Edge Indian Head eagles. Because of their rarity, however, they are usually collected as type coins. Only a few wealthy and determined collectors have ever been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to put together a complete four-piece set of these historic coins. At the time they were made, stellas were very popular with collectors, but with the extremely low mintages, there were not enough pieces to go around. In the early 1880s, newspapers reported that while an average collector could not acquire a four-dollar gold piece from the Mint at any price, looped specimens could be seen hanging around the necks of madams operating some of Washington's most famous bordellos.

Gem specimens of all four issues exist, but many stellas saw use as jewelry or pocket pieces and show impairments of some kind. Friction on the design will first show on the face of Liberty on the obverse and on the star on the reverse. Unlike the commonly traded bullion coins struck in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th-centuries, stellas are infrequently seen and always scrutinized, making counterfeits virtually unknown.

After two years, the four-dollar gold piece was abandoned by the Mint and forgotten by the public and Congress. Today, only numismatists remember the dream of a universal coinage system that created these fascinating coins.

Specifications

Diameter: 22 millimeters
Weight: 7 Grams (restrikes vary)
Composition: .85714 gold, .0428 silver, .100 copper
Edge: Reeded
Net Weight: .1929 ounce pure gold, .0096 ounce pure silver"

Offline redwine

  • liaison officer
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3 372
  • Too old to care.
Re: Fake: Stella
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2011, 09:27:14 PM »
And where are the details of these fakes?
Always willing to trade.  See my profile for areas of interest.

Offline jc

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
Re: Fake: Stella
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2011, 10:39:30 PM »
This text only aims to frame this coin. It is important to know the weight and size. It is hard to judge the coin just from a picture and without knowing the source.

Offline redwine

  • liaison officer
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3 372
  • Too old to care.
Re: Fake: Stella
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2011, 06:51:25 AM »
To be honest when I first saw it. I thought it was an advertising piece for Stella Artois ;D

Everything looks right, to me, but the weight.  I haven't studied it in the detail you lot would.  And it doesn't feel right in the hand.   It says 7 grams on the coin so why would someone create a facsimile that doesn't fulfil a criteria written on the coin!! Of course in the US they don't use grams so much, so perhaps they thought they wouldn't be able to weigh it ::)

I wanted to know from the pictures alone whether this could be matched with other fakes on the net, like I've seen done with many Greek and Roman coins.
That was my main point for posting this.

Anyone collect fakes?
Always willing to trade.  See my profile for areas of interest.

Offline FosseWay

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2 862
  • Göteborg, Sverige
Re: Fake: Stella
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2011, 02:48:52 PM »
I don't collect fakes as an end in itself, but the kind of job lots I often acquire include fakes, so I've got a fair number. Apart from the never-ending supply of fake UK pound coins that come straight out of circulation, my most recent fake acquisition is two Second Empire 20 franc coins (1865A). They're pretty good, even on the edge inscription (much better than the aforementioned UK £1s); I had to weigh them to be absolutely certain I hadn't just got the bargain of the century, but I figured they must be fakes as you don't generally get real gold coins in kiloware.

Most of the fakes I've got are 'genuine' fakes -- i.e. ones made roughly at the same time as the coins they're imitating in order to be passed as circulation currency. While at the time of their use these are a plague (I refer you to the UK pounds again), historically they're quite interesting as they form part of the economic and social record of the country and period. I'm not generally interested in fakes made now of old coins designed to dupe unwary collectors (though the 20 Fr fakes may fall into either category).

Some fakes also have a further story to tell. There are zinc and tin versions of the Malaya copper-nickel currency (5, 10, 20 cents) issued in the late 1940s. Many of these were not issued by forgers in Malaya to pass for profit, but were actually issued and used in Burma as unofficial tokens, presumably because of a lack of coinage there. Others must have a story behind them but I don't know what it is. If you've got a pile of lead, a half-decent die engraver and a stamping machine and you feel like forging circulation UK currency in the early 20th century, do you (a) forge shillings (small enough and common enough in circulation for flaws to be less visible than with say half-crowns) or (b) use more than twice the metal for a twelfth of the gain and forge pennies? To me the answer should be clear, but for whatever reason I have a lead penny dated 1908. In a similar vein, I have a lead Belgian 10 centimes from the same period. Perhaps there were just several intellectually challenged forgers at work in Europe concurrently, by coincidence.

Offline redwine

  • liaison officer
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3 372
  • Too old to care.
Re: Fake: Stella
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 01:00:31 PM »
Actual weight: 3.38g  ::)
Always willing to trade.  See my profile for areas of interest.

Offline Figleaf

  • Administrator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 27 091
Re: Fake: Stella
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2011, 04:17:08 PM »
The 20 Fr fake is quite likely to be a jeweller's piece. The coin is common and used, even today, for small-time speculation in gold. They go by weight and a lightweight copy would be very hard to pass. You may want to check the edge for three, possibly four, light marks where it was attached, presumably to a ring. If the gold top layer is intact, it would be an idea to turn it into jewelry again.

The lead fakes may well be filler items. Around 1900-1939, coin collectors liked to make copies of their coins for their friends. Casting lead is not very difficult and the results from a well-made mould are quite satisfactory. The major problem of lead casts is that you can do only one side at a time, so you must join two casts. Usually, there is an ugly seam on the edge and there may well be "die rotation".

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

Offline FosseWay

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2 862
  • Göteborg, Sverige
Re: Fake: Stella
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2011, 04:38:13 PM »
Interesting. When I unearth my coins again I'll have a look for the telltale signs on both the 20 Fr and the UK penny. From memory, the 20 Fr coins are fully gilded and I don't remember any evidence of a mount, but then I wasn't looking for it. Again, I don't remember either an edge seam or die rotation on the penny, though it does look as if it's 'lived' since it was made, and not simply cast and put into someone's collection.

Offline neweden

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
U. S. A. 1849 Gold Dollar Fake..
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 08:52:57 PM »
               





Vital statistics                         Liberty head obverse

Date = 1849
Mint mark = none
Weight = 1.672 grams
Size= 13mm


Here are some pointers on how to tell the genuine coin from a fake.
When looking at a genuine coin the legend and edges appear sharp and well defined.

When looking at a fake coin it appears dull with the rim and legend indistinct, a good giveaway are the berries on the Laurel as they do not have sharp and pronounced stems. The letters of " United States of America " are different heights and rough looking.

A great source of reference for this and other fake gold coins can be found in the book " Counterfeit Gold Coins " by Alfred Dieffenbacher 1963..


Online malj1

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6 492
  • "illegitimi non carborundum"
    • Mals Machine Tokens
Fugio Cent
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2012, 01:15:36 PM »
Wikipedia tells us...
Referred to as the Fugio cent because of its image of the sun shining down on a sundial with the caption, "Fugio" (Latin: I flee/fly). This coin was reportedly designed by Benjamin Franklin; as a reminder to its holders, he put at its bottom the message, "Mind Your Business". The image and the words form a rebus meaning that time flies, do your work. The reverse bore the third motto "We Are One" (in English) surrounded by thirteen chain links, representing the original thirteen colonial states.

However I have not found any information on the one I have with the edge marked Becker. Sir George Hill does not mention this in his book 'Becker the Counterfeiter'.

More here   http://www.coins.nd.edu/ColCoin/ColCoinIntros/Fugio.intro.html
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline Einstein

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
Morgan dollar fake
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2012, 08:25:02 PM »
Help me friends on this coin. This was my 1st foreign coin.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2012, 09:15:43 PM by Chandrashekhar »
Regards-
Shekhar.

Online malj1

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6 492
  • "illegitimi non carborundum"
    • Mals Machine Tokens
Re: Morgan dollar fake
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2012, 12:35:06 AM »
Have you an image of the reverse? seems we have the obverse twice. We can say United States but little else at present. the size too would help.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline Prosit

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3 818
    • Austrian Coins, Tokens and Medals
Re: Morgan dollar fake
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2012, 03:07:31 AM »
Looks like a US Morgan Silver Dollar but the color is odd....
Dale