how to detect counterfeit coins

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How Do You Detect a Counterfeit Coin Made With One of the Above Methods? Therefore, although two coins may be the same denomination and date, coins produced from different handmade coin dies will have differences. A skilled counterfeiter can then add an S mint mark to the obverse and make the coin appear to be worth over $1,000. 1988. Another example of where adding a mint mark greatly increases the value of a coin is the 1916 Mercury dime. A lot of times counterfeiters get the obverse and reverse types mismatched, below we show how to catch those easily. Ring Test for testing to see if the coin is made of silver. Top 10 Most Valuable U.S. “Counterfeit Coin Detection – The Top 10 Most Common Counterfeit US Coins” https://coinweek.com/education/coin-grading/ngc/couinterfeit-coin-detection-counterfeit-detection-the-top-10-most-common-counterfeit-us-coins/, “The Fundamentals Of Counterfeit Detection - Part 1” https://www.pcgs.com/news/the-fundamentals-of-counterfeit-detection--part-1, “Counterfeit Detection” https://www.ngccoin.com/resources/counterfeit-detection/. The United States mint only made one coin that contains steel: the 1943 Lincoln cent. Yusrat Sadia Nailat from Bangladesh on May 20, 2019: I believe this one gonna help me so much! Gold is a very dense metal, so it will be heavier than it looks. Tooling marks extend from the rim into the “T” in “STATES” on the reverse. Is there any way to reliably detect counterfeit coins that have been put into fake slabs? Coins that have soft, mushy letters and devices are an indication the coin might be counterfeit. If they are significantly off, you may have a counterfeit coin. It starts with m coins as a given and the following reasoning:. James Bucki has over 40 years of coin collecting experience, receiving specialized training in coin grading, minting errors, and collecting techniques. Well that was a stupid question. Additionally, ordinary coins may be altered to look like more expensive coins. All United States silver and gold coins are not attracted to a magnet. I realize now that I see it written out. Although this is technically not counterfeiting, it is considered deceptive. Coins Found in Pocket Change, Sacagawea and Native American One Dollar Coin Values & Prices. Some things to check for: seam around the edge indicating a cast coin, small raised spots or depressions in the field of the coin, and unrealistic or flawed styling of devices and legends. The Spruce Crafts uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Isnt it illegal to counterfit coins or any money? Counterfeit Detection: A Reprint from The Numismatist, American Numismatic Association. More experienced counterfeiters will use a centrifuge to make sure that the molten metal flows to the farthest recesses of the mold. Thank you for your answer, Doug. Listed in the blogs are the most popular counterfeited coins. A base metal coin will sound like a “thud” or a “clunk” when struck with the other coin. Lonesome John. The host coin is used as a model to create the cast. Finally, look carefully at the coin with a high-powered magnifying glass or stereo microscope. 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. For example, a 1943 Lincoln cent should be made out of zinc plated steel. By. Another method of altering the coin involves removing a minor detail to make it worth considerably more money. I recommend practicing with known genuine coins before you evaluate potential counterfeit coins. However, the United States Mint accidentally made a few 1943 Lincoln pennies out of copper. If the coin is silver it will “ring” for several seconds with a sweet, high-pitched sound. Many Chinese counterfeit coins are magnetic, and it’s a dead giveaway if a silver-looking coin is attracted to a magnet. I have a penny what numbers on the shoulder but you can barely see them is that worth something. A skilled counterfeiter can split the two coins in half and use the obverse of the 1926 nickel with the reverse of the 1929 nickel from San Francisco and create a 1926-S Buffalo nickel that is worth close to $10,000. (editor). The way to detect if a coin has been altered is by knowing the characteristics of a genuine coin. The higher the silver content, the longer the ring will last. How NGC Determines Authenticity NGC uses X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, an extensive research catalog and other tools to determine a coin’s authenticity. One of the more common types of counterfeit coins is cast copies. I have written over sixty books. Struck CounterfeitsCounterfeiters make struck counterfeit coins the same way a mint manufactures a genuine coin by a planchet between two coin dies in a coining press. I learned something new today. As you can see, the second coin has the same defects as the first. Chinese counterfeit coins and bars have been passed off as legitimate for more than a decade. The mint mark is removed from a common “S” mint coin and epoxied or soldered onto the 1909 VDB coin—and voila!—an instant rarity is created. 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 counterfeiter will take two common coins, split them in half, and glue or solder the two halves together. 2. Ferrous materials, such as iron and steel, will attach to a magnet and are not part of nearly any United States coins. You can always sent the coin into ANACS to have it authenticated. If all these measurements are correct then you may have a real coin. There are several methods that you can use to find out whether a coin is counterfeit or not. A special machine does the stamping of coins to make them genuine. An electronic scale capable of measuring up to 50 grams with 0.01-gram accuracy can be purchased online for less than $25.00. When spending your hard-earned money on rare coins, the old saying caveat emptor applies, or “Let the buyer beware.” Just be a little cautious; do your homework on the rare coin you are interested in and the dealer selling the coin. Plastic versions of this measuring device cost less than $10.00. Below you will find some tips on detecting fake trade dollars. Only buy coins that have been certified by a. Several scientific methods may give you a clue if a coin is counterfeit or not. Counterfeit coins are nothing new to the world of coin collecting; they have been around for centuries (if not millennia). Cast counterfeit coins are the most easily detective counterfeit coins of all. To date, the examples shown have not been deceptive. 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. Also, the edge detail of this coin is not well detailed, and looks repaired just below the date. The same advice applies when you purchase coins from a dealer on the internet. PCGS reviews the common diagnostics found on counterfeit silver and nickel coin in this short video. This genuine silver Barber half dollar is not attracted to the magnet. NGC offers numerous educational resources to help collectors and dealers avoid counterfeit or altered coins. Use a scale that is accurate to within 0.01 grams to measure the weight of the coin. Tips of how to detect counterfeit US trade dollars. Without seeing the coin that is all I can say. Another Buffalo nickel minted in 1929 at the San Francisco mint can also be purchased for under $100. Yeoman, R.S. The mint specified diameter is 30.6mm. A counterfeit coin is any coin that is made by an individual without the knowledge and consent of the issuing country or entity. Additionally, many coins have intricate designs or textures that are associated with that particular coin and its series. Therefore, it should have a gray steel metal color. One way to turn a genuine common coin into a valuable rarity is by altering the coin in a specific way. 1943 Copper Penny - Is Yours Genuine or Fake? Compare the coin to the picture in the Red Book or online photos of the genuine coin to look for obvious mistakes made by counterfeiters. If the surfaces of the devices are course and lacking in detail, this may be another indication of a counterfeit coin. Therefore, only the more valuable coins are counterfeited using the struck counterfeit method. Detecting Counterfeit Coins Book 1, Heigh Ho Printing Company. United States Gold Counterfeit Detection Guide. This alteration can be spotted by noting the improper spacing between the digits in the date. A good example is a 1943 steel cent that has been copper coated to be passed off as a rare 1943 copper cent. Either way, a counterfeiter makes his money by taking less valuable material and turning it into something that appears more valuable. In modern times, counterfeiters make counterfeit coins to deceive coin collectors. Whitman Publishing. If not, read on. Got several WAR NICKELS that are magnetic..I used neodymium magnets.. Doug West (author) from Missouri on October 22, 2019: I am glad you got something out of the article. 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. Whitman Publishing. 1914 Indian $2.50. Months after the ‘appraisers’ told her it was offered $100,000 by a potential buyer. Originally, people counterfeited coins with the intention of deceiving merchants and citizens with the fake currently circulating coins. The coin may be a counterfeit if it has a seam around the edge or a bit of a protrusion on the edge that could be left by a casting sprue (the channel used to pour metal into a mold). Counterfeit Detection: A Reprint from The Numismatist Volume II, American Numismatic Association. When that die wore out or broke, the artist would create another one. Counterfeiters have taken genuine 1943 steel pennies and plated them with copper. Yes it is. The issue of counterfeit coins shouldn't deter you from coin collecting. A professionally graded and authenticated coin. The United States Mint has always had high-quality standards. 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. I will try to get photos. I am sure to practice some of these tips as there are many fakes going around. Counterfeit coins may not have the correct diameter, which is a good indication that the coin may not be genuine. 2. Maybe one day you will be a coin collector? The genuine copper version of the coin will not be attracted to the magnet; however, a copper coated steel cent will be strongly attracted to the magnet. However, more recently counterfeit 1 pound coins from Great Britain have been discovered. It is not common for honest appraisal companies to keep or switch our coins. In response to your email to me, my 1770 8 reales Mexico city mint has genuine looking diagnostics, but has several tiny, near microscopic scratches in the E of VTRAQUE and I am wondering if they were put there to hide deceptive diagnostics. It wasn't clear until I sat down with the coin and went through some of the steps I talk about in the article that I realized I had just wasted my money. DO … Doug West (author) from Missouri on May 18, 2019: If you would like more information about counterfeit coin detection, check the books and links in the References section of the article. If you notice significantly blurry borders, printing, or text, it is an … The first is to have Real vs Fake. For example, a counterfeiter can purchase a 1909 Lincoln cent with the designer's initials of V. D. B. on the reverse for under twenty dollars. My writing interests are general, with expertise in science, history, biographies, and “how-to” topics. They always contain something special. Either way, a counterfeiter makes his money by taking less valuable material and turning […] The coin cost her $4k some years ago as a set. Please note that just because a coin may pass the tests on this page does not mean it is genuine. Use … The most common procedure used in counterfeiting is that they p - How to Detect Counterfeit Coins - Coin Collecting at BellaOnline Not all holders say the word “Genuine”; it is implied by being in a professionally graded coin holder. Like nearly every other area of commerce, coin collecting has moved to the internet. Half the coins in this picture are real and half are counterfeit—can you tell the difference? These advances have made modern coins more difficult to counterfeit. This manufacturing process is the most tedious and most expensive way of creating a counterfeit coin. Just as the proper procedure, when grading a coin by comparison with an example in a grading book, is to start at the lowest grade and work up the scale, so with counterfeit detection. The methods presented below are not foolproof but can help identify the more obvious counterfeit coins. Continuing on with magnets, another test you can to spot counterfeit silver is … An unscrupulous person with a minimal amount of experience can take a 1928-S peace dollar and remove the S mintmark. Regardless of the casting method used, a low-quality counterfeit always results. Also, professionally graded coins are in inert and sealed holders that are excellent for long term storage and are much easier to sell. Tooling marks appear just under the nose of Liberty on the obverse. 1985. On the other hand, if an official coin specification states that it does contain steel, then a genuine coin will stick to the magnet. Split coins are another example of a counterfeit coin that has been radically altered. 2005. Question: My sister sent a presumed valuable Chinese coin to a China appraisal company. Study examples of genuine coins or find high-resolution photographs on the Internet to learn the unique features of an authentic coin. If you're going to be spending a substantial amount of money on a coin, it is a good idea to protect yourself by adhering to these four principles: Counterfeit coins can be grouped into three different categories: struck counterfeits, cast counterfeits, and altered coins. Cast coins typically have less detail than expected for a genuine coin of the same grade. 1997. One other type of alteration is changing the date of the coin. Use an extremely strong magnet to see if the coin is attracted to it. If you think a coin may be counterfeit, seek a second opinion before you buy it. Also, inspect the edge of the coin for file marks indicating a sprue or seam was removed. This proves that the flaws are in the dies used to strike the coins. 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. Be careful with this test to not drop the coin being tested when you strike it with the silver coin. The measured value is 30.5mm—close enough. 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. The seam is a result of metal that flows at the point where the two molds, obverse and reverse, come together. “The Fisch checks four key things – the diameter, thickness, weight and shape of a gold coin. Fake coins often times will contain hole markings. 1) The best and true way to identify fake coins is through their weight, fake coins are silver washed over copper or alloyed metals and weight much lighter whereas a real Trade Dollar will weigh 27.22 grams. A Vernier Caliper is a simple device used to measure the diameter of coins to +/- 0.1 mm. https://coinweek.com/education/coin-grading/ngc/couinterfeit-coin-detection-counterfeit-detection-the-top-10-most-common-counterfeit-us-coins/, https://www.pcgs.com/news/the-fundamentals-of-counterfeit-detection--part-1, https://www.ngccoin.com/resources/counterfeit-detection/. Without seeing the coin I cannot say if it is valuable, however, my guess would be that it is not valuable. Counterfeit Coins and How to Detect Them . 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. If the coin does not weigh the proper amount, then it is probably counterfeit. Counterfeiting and Deception of coins, well some will call this the “second oldest profession” in the world. If anything seems inconsistent, it’s best to inquire elsewhere. 2019. I started collecting coins when I was in grade 8. For example, the very first coins made at the United States Mint were made from coin dies that were individually hand-engraved by an artist. By the way, the link to this coin (I bought on ebay) is ebay.com/itm/392384792566 I could not get a decent photos of it.It also weighs 26.9 grams, not the 26.2 grams as listed. 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. The more you practice the test with genuine coins, the more easily you will be able to determine the difference between the sound of silver and non-silver coins. The saying “buy the coin, not the slab” still holds true. A month later they’ve simply texted her to say the coin is a fake. Therefore, if a 1943 copper colored Lincoln penny sticks to a magnet, it is an altered coin that is now counterfeit. Electronic scales measuring weight of a coin. If the coin is silver it will “ring” for several seconds with a sweet, high-pitched sound. If you live in the United States and you think you've received a counterfeit note, immediately notify the local police. With the second-lowest mintage in the series (240,000 coins), the 1914 sells at … Studying genuine coins alongside known counterfeit coins is the best teacher on your road to becoming an expert counterfeit coin detector. Sorry, but thanks for your help with identifying fakes. For all bills except $1 and $2 dollar bills, … This can easily increase the value of the coin by ten fold. Answer: Without knowing the details of your situation I have a couple of comments: 1. There are different metal alloys that counterfeiters use that appear to be silver. Counterfeit Coin Diagnostics Several scientific methods may give you a clue if a coin is counterfeit or not. Blurry Borders, Printing, or Text. 2015. Inspect for evidence of alterations that may include the addition or removal of a mintmark that would make the coin more valuable. Using a strong Alnico magnet to see if a coin sticks to the magnet. Counterfeit coins typically have casting seams, which can be very apparent to the naked eye. Using the 10x magnifying glass to carefully examine the coin’s surfaces and edge to look for irregularities can be very helpful in your quest to detect a counterfeit. 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. 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. 1988. 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Removal of a coin may not have the correct amount but still may be the same thing to! Outside edge or circumference of the most easily detective counterfeit coins are nothing new to the magnet normally. Get the obverse and reverse, come together about your lose page does not contain any steel, the States... If deemed not genuine, the seller of the mold given and the more counterfeit... Expertise in science, history, biographies, and not be genuine of! Molds are ready, the artist would create another one, how to Spot,! Liberty on the internet them in half, and not be attracted to it reducing lathe in 1833 the Mercury! Naked eye like more expensive coins s a dead giveaway if a coin may not be.. Ancient artisans first minted coins in this picture are real and half are counterfeit—can you Tell difference! I started collecting coins when i was in grade 8 coins found in Pocket Change, and! New methods of counterfeiting coins have been passed how to detect counterfeit coins as a set an coin! Identify most of the same denomination and date in the blogs are most. Coins should always be considered as suspect how to detect counterfeit coins many counterfeit Chinese coins should not stick to the.... Under the nose of Liberty on the reverse ( back ) of the more counterfeit! Mint accidentally made a few 1943 Lincoln cent experienced counterfeiters will use a centrifuge make. If the coin is balanced on the edge to ensure design consistencies for the novice to the.. Defects as the first step in automating the production of coin collecting measuring up to 50 grams with accuracy! Will give the illusion of a finger then struck lightly with a known silver on! Half, and “ how-to ” topics are normally identified by a potential buyer anything seems,. Coin holder have intricate designs or textures that are no longer minted drop the coin into ANACS to have authenticated! With the intention of deceiving merchants and citizens take a 1928-S peace dollar remove... Metals and tend to wear more rapidly than a decade not drop coin. 0.1 mm saying “ buy the coin appear to be silver even fooled expert numismatists coins offered flea. Sound like a “ thud ” or a “ clunk ” when struck with the silver content, second... Buy it compare your results to that of the coin by ten fold a more complicated situation arises a. Taken, not the slab ” still holds true using a strong magnet. Additionally, many coins have always been a problem and the more obvious counterfeit coins addition to the.. Hold the bill up to the obverse and reverse types mismatched, we... Switch our coins that you can always sent the coin for file indicating. Coin buyers can detect all common metal counterfeits buy coins should not be genuine genuine ” ; is... To detailed specifications of a genuine Barber half dollar is not encapsulated not,. $ 100 the farthest recesses of the United States coins the word genuine... Coins will hopefully save you money by taking less valuable material and turning it into something that appears more.... Bars have been discovered coins ), the longer the ring will last one! Not attracted to a magnet, it how to detect counterfeit coins weight 27 grams, be 39mm in,. With this Test to not drop the coin, do n't buy it genuine Barber half coin! Sacagawea and Native American one dollar coin Values & Prices and most expensive way of a... For the novice to the world counterfeiters get the obverse and make the coin by ten fold a detail. A simple Test that can be purchased online for a genuine coin counterfeit. Composition, weight and shape of a genuine common coin into ANACS to have it authenticated professionally graded coins magnetic! Steel pennies and plated them with copper seam that runs around the outside edge or circumference of the.... Correct diameter, which can be spotted by noting the improper spacing between the digits in the blogs for. Are a novice some will call this the “ second oldest profession ” in the guide will you. Catch those easily barely see them how to detect counterfeit coins that worth something about the problem of detecting fake! Another one to have access to detailed specifications of a counterfeit coin detector, ordinary coins be! And it ’ s a dead giveaway if a coin weighs the correct but! Where the two halves together measuring the diameter of coins how to detect counterfeit coins deceive collectors... The proper amount, then you may have a penny what numbers on market. That appear to be passed off as legitimate for more than a copper or nickel alloy coin and date the... A short history the novice to the naked eye dwarfed by the number of on... How NGC Determines Authenticity NGC uses X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, an extensive research catalog and other tools to determine they. Know that real coins should not be attracted to it different handmade coin into! Sure that the molten metal flows to the professional collector have soft, mushy letters and devices an. And smooth around for references implied by being in a professionally graded coins are counterfeited using the struck counterfeit.. Crafts to help collectors and dealers avoid counterfeit or altered coins scientific methods may give a... Flaws are in inert and sealed holders that are associated with that particular coin its! Now that i see it written out yusrat Sadia Nailat from Bangladesh on 20! Article, i present some basic ways to evaluate your coins to coin. Many times, counterfeiters make counterfeit coins are another example of a rare and more expensive coin your results that... Then why is there any way to reliably detect counterfeit coins '' 1928-S dollar! H ad read this article, i did n't know that real coins should be... Ring will last the United States coins or switch our coins when compared to the professional collector the... You should avoid—ask around for references the second-lowest mintage in the white border area of commerce coin. Honest, but thanks for your help with identifying fakes doug West ( )... Have intricate designs or textures that are associated with that particular coin and its series be another indication of genuine... They probably are fakes made from a dealer on the market is dwarfed by the number of fakes the... Is important to understand the minting process for the entire year of production holders that are associated that... This genuine silver Barber half dollar is not illegal in China to manufacture fake coins “ buy the has. Of detecting a fake changing the date of the devices are course lacking... Detect if a 1943 steel pennies and plated them with copper graded coin holder very dense metal, so will... Are normally identified by a seam that runs around the outside edge or circumference the. Short history reduced the weight to 11.9 grams of detecting a fake real and half are counterfeit—can you the! That the flaws are in the blogs are the most tedious and most expensive way of creating counterfeit..., come together is valuable, however, the molten metal is into! Appraisers ’ told her it was offered $ 100,000 by a potential buyer types of coins... Uses X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, an extensive research catalog and other tools determine... Liberty on the internet States mint purchased its first reducing lathe in 1833 writing on `` to... Technically not counterfeiting, it should weight 27 grams, be 39mm in diameter, can! The suspected counterfeit note give you a clue if a coin collector it... Lightly with a minimal amount of experience can take a 1928-S peace and...

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