However, the United States Mint accidentally made a few 1943 Lincoln pennies out of copper. Counterfeiters have taken genuine 1943 steel pennies and plated them with copper. Most coin dealers are honest, but there are bad actors that you should avoid—ask around for references. The counterfeiter can create the coin dies by engraving them by hand, using the spark erosion method, using a one-to-one transfer engraving lathe, using the plating method, or the impact technique. If we compare 2 coins by their weights we have 3 possible outcomes of such a comparison which are tip to the left, tip to the right and even balance. Question: My sister sent a presumed valuable Chinese coin to a China appraisal company. Tips of how to detect counterfeit US trade dollars. Cast counterfeit coins are the most easily detective counterfeit coins of all. The first is to have access to detailed specifications of a genuine coin. Counterfeit coins typically have casting seams, which can be very apparent to the naked eye. If all these measurements are correct then you may have a real coin. How To detect counterfeit coins? For example, on eBay, check to see if the dealer has a lot of positive feedback or if they are a novice. People who counterfeit coins are well trained and have the capacity to manipulate their duplication - especially those rare coins which have high value among collectors. Below you will find some tips on detecting fake trade dollars. It is not common for honest appraisal companies to keep or switch our coins. Then why is there so much of it going on ? Lonesome John. Blurry Borders, Printing, or Text. Listed in the blogs are the most popular counterfeited coins. Therefore, if a 1943 copper colored Lincoln penny sticks to a magnet, it is an altered coin that is now counterfeit. Areas you should study include the shape of the letters, the position of numbers, details on portraits, and the overall look and feel of a genuine coin. Tooling marks extend from the rim into the “T” in “STATES” on the reverse. United States Gold Counterfeit Detection Guide. The methods presented in the guide will help you identify most of the more obvious counterfeit coins. I suggest you take it to a coin dealer or collector and have them look at the coin. By using The Spruce Crafts, you accept our, Improving Your Counterfeit Detection Skills, Inside a Chinese Coin Counterfeiting Ring, What Are Doubled Die Coins and How to Identify Them, Lincoln Wheat Penny Key Dates, Rarities and Varieties. Counterfeit Detection: A Reprint from The Numismatist, American Numismatic Association. Counterfeit coin detection, particularly with ancient coins, is … The Spruce Crafts uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. It is not illegal in China to manufacture fake coins. It has been there since 600 B.C when the first coin was struck in Lydia. 1914 Indian $2.50. Isnt it illegal to counterfit coins or any money? Base metals, such as copper, nickel, zinc, and iron, are normally used as a substitute for the precious metal, such as gold, silver, or platinum, that would we used in genuine rare coins. By adding a “D” mint mark to the reverse of a 1916 dime minted at Philadelphia, which has no mint mark, the value of the coin goes from a few dollars to a few hundred or more. NGC offers numerous educational resources to help collectors and dealers avoid counterfeit or altered coins. Counterfeiting and Deception of coins, well some will call this the “second oldest profession” in the world. Although this is technically not counterfeiting, it is considered deceptive. 2) Check the selling price at which the trade coins … In modern times, counterfeiters make counterfeit coins to deceive coin collectors with classic coins that are no longer minted. The counterfeiter then loads the coin dies into a coining press that uses several tons of pressure to strike the counterfeit coins. The blogs are for the novice to the professional collector. NGC graders identify counterfeit coins with added or altered mint marks each and every day. However, some inconsistencies still existed with this manual process. To avoid getting duped by an unscrupulous coin dealer or collector into unknowingly purchasing a counterfeit coin, there are a few basic techniques and tools that can help. Plastic versions of this measuring device cost less than $10.00. You can always sent the coin into ANACS to have it authenticated. Another method of altering the coin involves removing a minor detail to make it worth considerably more money. Since most collectors don’t have a safe full of genuine rare coins for comparison, the next best thing is to look at pictures of genuine coins and their specific die characteristics. If any of these characteristics are evident in the coin, don't buy it! Many Chinese counterfeit coins are magnetic, and it’s a dead giveaway if a silver-looking coin is attracted to a magnet. Many times, the word “copy” or “replica” will appear on the reverse (back) of the coin. Magnetic Slide Test. A “Ring Test” is a simple test that can be performed to determine if a coin is silver. A Vernier Caliper is a simple device used to measure the diameter of coins to +/- 0.1 mm. Though this change has offered the collector a much larger array of coins to collect, it has also widened the gap between the coin collector and the coin dealer. Counterfeit coins are nothing new to the world of coin collecting; they have been around for centuries (if not millennia). I learned something new today. This can easily increase the value of the coin by ten fold. These are more advanced topics to be covered elsewhere. How Do I Tell If a Two Headed Coin Is Genuine? The art and deception of counterfeiting coins have been around since ancient artisans first minted coins in 600BC. Chinese coins should always be considered as suspect as many counterfeit Chinese coins exist. Doug West (author) from Missouri on May 28, 2020: Scratches probably won't be much of a diagnostic tool unless you can compare it to known genuine coins. The first task is to define what we mean by optimally. In this article, I present some basic ways to evaluate your coins to determine if they are genuine or counterfeit. shaunc011ett - April 2, 2020. Most cast counterfeit coins are underweight when compared to the genuine coin. Months after the ‘appraisers’ told her it was offered $100,000 by a potential buyer. Cast Counterfeits An inexpensive way to produce counterfeit coins is to create a mold of the genuine coin and use it to cast a counterfeit coin. Doug West (author) from Missouri on May 27, 2019: In the U.S. it is illegal to counterfeit money, however, in China it is only illegal to counterfeit Chinese money. Study examples of genuine coins or find high-resolution photographs on the Internet to learn the unique features of an authentic coin. Either way, a counterfeiter makes his money by taking less valuable material and turning it into something that appears more valuable. Therefore, only the more valuable coins are counterfeited using the struck counterfeit method. DO … They probably are fakes made from a ferrous material. Observing the Gold Weigh the gold. Regardless of the casting method used, a low-quality counterfeit always results. 1914 Quarter Eagle. If you buy your coins from a local person, for example, at a coin club meeting, a coin show, or at a coin shop, try to find out if the dealer is reputable. Originally, people counterfeited coins with the intention of deceiving merchants and citizens. Is there any way to reliably detect counterfeit coins that have been put into fake slabs? With the second-lowest mintage in the series (240,000 coins), the 1914 sells at … A special machine does the stamping of coins to make them genuine. If the coin is silver it will “ring” for several seconds with a sweet, high-pitched sound. Another example of where adding a mint mark greatly increases the value of a coin is the 1916 Mercury dime. Inspect for evidence of alterations that may include the addition or removal of a mintmark that would make the coin more valuable. An electronic scale capable of measuring up to 50 grams with 0.01-gram accuracy can be purchased online for less than $25.00. Use a scale that is accurate to within 0.01 grams to measure the weight of the coin. Only buy coins that have been certified by a. Yeoman, R.S. I started collecting coins when I was in grade 8. Coins that have soft, mushy letters and devices are an indication the coin might be counterfeit. I have 12 blog writing on "how to detect counterfeit coins". “One of the best ways [to check coins] is to own ‘the Fisch’ and ‘the Ringer,’ which detect fake gold coins including tungsten fakes. A good example is a 1943 steel cent that has been copper coated to be passed off as a rare 1943 copper cent. Any of these techniques leads to an incredibly deceptive counterfeit coin. If you live in the United States and you think you've received a counterfeit note, immediately notify the local police. I wish I h ad read this article before being taken, not one, but two times for over $700.00. Studying genuine coins alongside known counterfeit coins is the best teacher on your road to becoming an expert counterfeit coin detector. The methods presented below are not foolproof but can help identify the more obvious counterfeit coins. Reeded Edge Defined - What is a Reeded Edge? Also, professionally graded coins are in inert and sealed holders that are excellent for long term storage and are much easier to sell. All United States silver and gold coins are not attracted to a magnet. Using a strong Alnico magnet to see if a coin sticks to the magnet. Lesson learned. The issue of counterfeit coins shouldn't deter you from coin collecting. Yes it is. I will try to get photos. Counterfeit coins may not have the correct diameter, which is a good indication that the coin may not be genuine. If you are spending several hundreds or thousands of dollars for a coin, it is recommended that you purchase the coin from a very reputable coin dealer with a return policy or purchase a coin that has been professionally graded and encapsulated by services such as PCGS, ANACS, NGC, ICG, or NCS. A base metal coin will sound like a “thud” or a “clunk” when struck with the other coin. Luckily, this doesn't happen often. Sharon Lopez from Philippines on October 21, 2019: I am not venturing into coin collection any time soon but the information in this article is something worth considering. The United States mint only made one coin that contains steel: the 1943 Lincoln cent. Also, the edge detail of this coin is not well detailed, and looks repaired just below the date. Be careful with this test to not drop the coin being tested when you strike it with the silver coin. The number of fakes on the market is dwarfed by the number of genuine coins. If you think a coin may be counterfeit, seek a second opinion before you buy it. The wear on the coin has reduced the weight to 11.9 grams. But what has changed is counterfeiters are getting better and their products are harder to detect. How Do You Detect a Counterfeit Coin Made With One of the Above Methods? For all bills except $1 and $2 dollar bills, … The mint specified diameter is 30.6mm. Finally, becoming an expert in detecting counterfeit coins is a lifelong process that takes many years to hone your skills and constant research on current counterfeiting techniques. For example, a 1943 Lincoln cent should be made out of zinc plated steel. Use a high precision caliper to measure the diameter and thickness of the coin. The coin cost her $4k some years ago as a set. The books and the websites listed in the Reference section of this article contain many details you will need to use to evaluate a potentially altered coin. Ferrous materials, such as iron and steel, will attach to a magnet and are not part of nearly any United States coins. Therefore, although two coins may be the same denomination and date, coins produced from different handmade coin dies will have differences. 2019. Without seeing the coin I cannot say if it is valuable, however, my guess would be that it is not valuable. A counterfeit note cannot be exchanged for a genuine one, and it is illegal to knowingly pass counterfeit currency. The coin shown is a genuine and has a mint specified weight of 12.5 grams. Also, inspect the edge of the coin for file marks indicating a sprue or seam was removed. Counterfeit Detection: A Reprint from The Numismatist Volume II, American Numismatic Association. The potential counterfeit coin is balanced on the tip of a finger then struck lightly with a known silver coin on the edge. If the surfaces of the devices are course and lacking in detail, this may be another indication of a counterfeit coin. This process will yield a coin that will give the illusion of a rare and more expensive coin. If the weight of your coin is more than the specified amount, then you probably have a fake. As with weight, the correct diameter is not a guarantee the coin is genuine, but it is a good data point to help you determine if the coin is real. Not all holders say the word “Genuine”; it is implied by being in a professionally graded coin holder. Coinage of the United States: A Short History. Inspect the edge of the coin for evidence of a seam that would indicate the coin is a cast counterfeit or an altered coin made by joining two halves of genuine coin together. I have written over sixty books. Many counterfeit coins do not weigh the correct amount, and weighing a coin is a simple method to determine if it was struck on a planchet (or blank) made from the wrong alloy. Fake coins often times will contain hole markings. Some high-quality counterfeit coins have even fooled expert numismatists. (editor). If a dealer is a member of a professional organization like the American Numismatic Association (ANA) or the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG), that helps build their credibility. To provide you with a minimal amount of experience can take a peace... 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