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G. Heck - Coin Press 1851
Coin Press 1851
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Authentic 1785 coins from the city of Hudson, New York
Authentic 1785 coins from the city of
Hudson, New York
 Coins that are relatively worthless may appear intriguing and possibly valuable to the untrained eye. But they're of little interest to experienced coin collectors. And novice collectors often overpay for them.

 Fakes are even more dangerous. They're not always completely valueless, but they're undoubtedly worth less than their asking price. It's no wonder that novice hobbyists are often deceived.

 Even the most experienced coin collector may have trouble detecting some fakes.

 For instance, in 1922 the Denver mint accidentally produced a few pennies without a D (for Denver), which can be worth thousands of dollars. Counterfeiters have altered pennies minted with the D by filing the D off, hoping to make them more valuable. It's hard to discern a real penny that's missing the D from a fake one.

 Halperin works for Heritage Numismatic Auctions in Dallas. He suggests protecting yourself by buying from a member of the Professional Numismatics Guild or having expensive coins authenticated by the Professional Coin Grading Service or the Numismatic Guarantee Corporation.

 The American Numismatics Association Certification Service usually has a booth at coin shows where numismatic experts will give you a free opinion on the authenticity of a coin.

Here are a few of the more common fakes:
  • 1804 dollars
    Fake pennies dated 1793
    Fake pennies dated 1793
    Authentic 1804 dollars are very rare. Sometimes the dates of more common dollars from 1800 through 1803 are altered to look like 1804s. Other fakes are cast copies, made in a mold. Genuine examples of this coin, made by stamping a piece of metal, are worth from $500,000 to $4,000,000 each.

  • Electrotypes of rare colonial coins
    Electrotype copies of Massachusetts silver coins, Nova Contellatio Pattern coins, Bar cents, and Confederatio coppers are all fairly common. They're worth no more than $100, but the original coins are worth thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.

    Electrotype fakes are lead-filled copies of earlier coins. They're identified by faint seams around their edges or minute traces of lead seeping through the surface. Also, electrotypes make a different sound than real coins when dropped on a flat, hard surface.

  • Pioneer gold coin replicas
    These fakes rarely fool seasoned collectors or dealers. They were sold extensively during the 1950s and 1960s and even came in cereal boxes.

  • Copper-plated 1943 cents
    1943 copper cents are worth $10,000 to $100,000. Many 1943 steel cents, worth $.05, have been copper-plated to look like the valuable ones. 1948 copper cents are also occasionally altered to mimic 1943 cents.

    Before taking a suspect 1943 cent to an expert, pass a magnet over it. The magnet will pick up a copper-plated steel coin, but not a genuine 1943 copper cent. Also check the date. On a real cent, the bottom loop of the three will extend below the rest of the date.

  • Double sided coins
    Magicians often use coins that have two heads or two tails made by putting two halves of two coins together. Sometimes they accidentally make their way into circulation, because they're the same size and weight as real coins. However, they're nearly impossible to make by accident. Real coins are stamped on both sides at the same time.



Diderot - Coining XI
Coining XI
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