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Counterfeit Coinage

In recent years there has been the ever increasing marketing of fake coins. Every denomination and series has been replicated.
The first generation fakes were very poorly made and easy to spot. With more care and improvements in milling technology, museum quality reproductions are possible. Often however, the counterfeiters produce coins that are just good enough to pass a casual exam.
List of known counterfeited varieties assigned a VAM#
Other Helpful links
1881 CC POST
1889 O
Altered Mint Marks
1889-CC Sandwich
Generation 1
Many of the first modern counterfeit Morgans spotted were 1878-CC and 1889-CC coins produced from a reverse transfer die hub of the 1921 design. No attempt was made to engrave the correct mint marks. Obverse hubs also made from transfer dies soon appeared where the 18 was hubbed, and the remaining two digits added to the working die. With these hubs, every date and mint mark combination soon appeared in on-line sales, as did fantasy date/mint combinations as no attention to matching the design of authentic coins was made. Many of these coins were struck in pot metal and are under weight. Also because the dies were made though a transfer process, die shrinkage left the working die slightly smaller and more difficult to align.
Fake 1889-CC Spitting Liberty--Crudely added date digits
Fantasy 1888 micro O - 1921 Reverse Hub
Fantasy 1947 - 1921 Reverse Hub
Generation 2
In the next iteration, additional hubs for the C reverse appeared and with them more design correct date/mint pairings. To hinder the detection of these fakes, many of these coins began to appear in counterfeited third party graded slabs. When coins in documented sales were shown not to be the coin in the duplicated holders, the wide spread nature of counterfeiting operations became apparent.
As with Generation 1 coinage, many of these coins were struck on under weight or silver plated planchets.
LOT 012.jpgWrong date font.
LOT 016.jpg
1889-CC spitting ldl counterfietdata obv1.jpg
C3 reverse of 1879
1889-CC spitting ldl counterfietdata rev1.jpg
Silver plated examples still appear regularly on eBay openly as not labeled copies and hopefully are reported and removed before they are sold.
Copy-presumed to be underweight
Generation 3
When struck in silver, good enough to fool most collectors.
Only a die gouge links the following to the same reverse die source.
Tv 81cc obv2.jpg Tv cc 1.jpg
Tv 89cc rev.jpg
Tv-89cc obv.jpg
Tv 93cc obv.jpg Tv cc 93.jpg
Under weight & magnetic.
Note the two rays coming from Liberty's hair in front which I think came from reuse of the sand casting from a Peace Dollar.
Where the area below the lower lip meets the chin isn't a smooth transition.
The mint mark is the wrong O and should be oval and not round.
The coin has a flat appearance, but for a fake a nice little bit of toning.
Note notched R & B. Under weight.



Vincar73 1878 p fk 4.jpgVincar73 1878 p fk 5.jpg
Vincar 1878 8TF 3.jpg
Colwillys 1964 D 2210.jpg
Colwillys 1964 D 2211.jpg
Colwillys 1964 D 2212.jpg

Altered Dates

23 to 28

Authentic-28-vs-Altered-8-1928 PEACE-O2.jpg

28 peace alt date 8 jpr.jpg
Authentic & Counterfit-8-1928-PEACE.jpg

Counterfeit NGC Holders


Fake PCGS Slab Diagnostics

Notice that the spacing between numerals two and three in the date are too wide.
Fake 1889-CC
The real coin was in the Heritage Auction # 1102 Lot 1045.
Fake PCGS slab
Fake1895-S.jpg Fake95-Sr.jpg
The real item sold on Heritage on April 30th for $1,610.

Sand Casting

This 1891~S example appears to be a sand cast counterfeit. This is an ECS (Early Casting State) as the file/polish lines and cast pitting is very well pronounced. It may very well be coin silver, judging by the drop test, but the weight is merely 23.4 grams.
QA 1891~S Date.jpg QA 1891~S RIB.jpg
QA 1891~S MM.jpg QA 1891~S TAT.jpg
This example's weight is just 17.71 grams and has a iron core that has been electroplated.
RCW-cave-fictus-pecuniam-obv2.jpg RCW-cave-fictus-pecuniam-obv3.jpg
RCW-cave-fictus-pecuniam-rev2.jpg RCW-cave-fictus-pecuniam-rev3.jpg
This is how NGC sends back coins that are counterfeit.
1896-O count 22.jpg
1896-O count 1.jpg
1896-O count 2.jpg
1896-O count 3.jpg
1896-O count 4.jpg
1896-O count 5.jpg
1896-O count 6.jpg
1896-O count 7.jpg
1896-O count 8.jpg
1896-O count 9.jpg
1896-O count 10.jpg
1896-O count 11.jpg
1896-O count 12.jpg
1896-O count 13.jpg
1896-O count 14.jpg
1896-O count 15.jpg
1896-O count 16.jpg
1896-O count 17.jpg
1896-O count 18.jpg
1896-O count 19.jpg
1896-O count 20.jpg
1896-O count 21.jpg
This is a test to see if I can
do this and if I can anyone can
Below is the first thing I noticed
about this coin. Where there are lines
where there should be the banner embossed
with LIBERTY. parts of a banner show
under the shield lines. Of course none of this
is as it should be.
Grainy surface this is caused by sand casting.
Of course they are now using dies & presses
Nice doubling around the face.
By the way, both of these coins have ferrous
metal in their makeup. A magnet sticks real
nice to them.