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Fake 1724 ruble on eBay


RW Julian
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In case anyone is thinking of bidding ...

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/Russia-Russian-Peter-1...1QQcmdZViewItem

 

The seller was notified a couple of days ago that it was fake but ignored the message. The high bid is now at $125 for a piece worth all of $10. Or less.

 

The seller appears to be one of those people who accept items on consignment for eBay.

 

RWJ

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I see a big issue with all the fakes floating on EBay.

EBay's reputation and, as a result, clients' trust are in decline.

 

I'm not sure how to fight this, though...

 

Agreed. Those dishonest sellers of non authentic coins prosper by selling fakes, while long time dealers of authentic coinage suffer due to ruined reputation of the marketplace. Are there any thoughts how we all, as a small community can stop (if not all) but at least some sellers of fake coins?

 

Reporting to e-bay does not work, they seem to care more how to get bigger profit no matter what is being sold, authentic coin or fake. They charge regardless and want more business.

 

RWJ, thanks to you, people who read this board are aware of fakes being sold at exuberant prices...

 

I am just tired to see all those crude fakes flooding e-bay...

 

WCO

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I see a big issue with all the fakes floating on EBay.

EBay's reputation and, as a result, clients' trust are in decline.

 

I'm not sure how to fight this, though...

 

 

Listen, guys, counterfeiting of collectable coins has been, what, 4-5 centuries around? I read somewhere it was 1600s-1700s when they started to counterfeit Roman and Greek coins. This is part of the trade, you cannot stop it, nor eBay nor anybody. It has been always there and it will always be.

 

As long as the fake is so easy to detect, I do not see much trouble. Educated buyer will never bid on such item, unexperienced one must not bid at all untill he knows exactly what it is. The only thing which we can do - is just to make this public knowledge through internet boards like Coinpeople and other and through professional magazines and press.

 

However there is second part of the problem expecially about high quality fakes. It is common opinion in Russian language WWW boards that if we disclose all particular small things about 'good' fakes than the couterfeiters reading the boards know what to improve. I think that sometimes it is just enough to say that a particular coin is not original and in case somebody sees it personally he will pay double attention on the authenticity of a particular coin or series.

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Listen, guys, counterfeiting of collectable coins has been, what, 4-5 centuries around? I read somewhere it was 1600s-1700s when they started to counterfeit Roman and Greek coins. This is part of the trade, you cannot stop it, nor eBay nor anybody. It has been always there and it will always be.

 

As long as the fake is so easy to detect, I do not see much trouble. Educated buyer will never bid on such item, unexperienced one must not bid at all untill he knows exactly what it is. The only thing which we can do - is just to make this public knowledge through internet boards like Coinpeople and other and through professional magazines and press.

 

However there is second part of the problem expecially about high quality fakes. It is common opinion in Russian language WWW boards that if we disclose all particular small things about 'good' fakes than the couterfeiters reading the boards know what to improve. I think that sometimes it is just enough to say that a particular coin is not original and in case somebody sees it personally he will pay double attention on the authenticity of a particular coin or series.

 

Timofei,

I completely agree with you. However, an unexperienced buyer could lose interest forever after buying a couple of costly fakes on EBay. That fact will add up to the numismatic reputation and integrity issues that (lets be honest) are floating around for some time now. This hobby is considered as a "trading-selling" rather than "learning". So, new wave of numismatists is shrinking. How many "new coin collecting faces" have you seen recently ? Most of the younger collectors are interested in making $$$ not knowing much about the subject. And what is even scarier - THEY DO NOT WANT TO KNOW MORE !

Anyway, Best regards from sunny shore :-)

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Hmm.. That is another face of the problem you mentioned, Loyal Citizen, - "trade and buy". Indeed many 'new faces' are more interested in investment, saving and making profit rather than learning. Coin collecting seems very simple from that point of view - buy and wait (1 month, 2 years or sometimes 30 minutes - and you are richer!). It is even the most convenient - you can put your investment literally in your pocket, you can hold it in your hand, flip around, put into safety deposit box - it feels better when compared to a piece of investment paper :ninja: But any investment is risky, you still have to learn whatever investment area you operate.

 

For these kind of collectors the best way is to collect slabbed coins or (like in Russia) coins with certificates of authenticity. In that case you may not know a lot but your investment will be safe, not always but in many cases.

 

I believe that nevertheless - there are still plenty of numismatists who consider coin collecting as a hobby, science, fun and a money consuming activity not just as a simple investment. These numismatists (but not plain investors) do not care too much about the overall reputation of the marketplace. What we do care is how to learn - among other things - the counterfeits detection and exchange that knowledge.

 

And finally - this is my strong belief - you have to be born numismatist, you cannot become one by vogue or investment opportunities :lol: Regards from stone jungle Moscow :cry:

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Hmm.. That is another face of the problem you mentioned, Loyal Citizen, - "trade and buy". Indeed many 'new faces' are more interested in investment, saving and making profit rather than learning. Coin collecting seems very simple from that point of view - buy and wait (1 month, 2 years or sometimes 30 minutes - and you are richer!). It is even the most convenient - you can put your investment literally in your pocket, you can hold it in your hand, flip around, put into safety deposit box - it feels better when compared to a piece of investment paper :ninja: But any investment is risky, you still have to learn whatever investment area you operate.

 

For these kind of collectors the best way is to collect slabbed coins or (like in Russia) coins with certificates of authenticity. In that case you may not know a lot but your investment will be safe, not always but in many cases.

 

I believe that nevertheless - there are still plenty of numismatists who consider coin collecting as a hobby, science, fun and a money consuming activity not just as a simple investment. These numismatists (but not plain investors) do not care too much about the overall reputation of the marketplace. What we do care is how to learn - among other things - the counterfeits detection and exchange that knowledge.

 

And finally - this is my strong belief - you have to be born numismatist, you cannot become one by vogue or investment opportunities :lol: Regards from stone jungle Moscow :cry:

 

The last phrase of your reply is very interesting. I read somewhere that there was a human gene found that MAY be responsible for collecting habits. In other words, it is in your blood ! You can learn as much as you want, you can even put together a nice collection but the "gene" will take over anyway and you'll finally give up.

 

Interesting enough how the topic of this branch transformed into something completely different. I have to apologize for that.

Best regards, LC

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I read somewhere that there was a human gene found that MAY be responsible for collecting habits. In other words, it is in your blood ! You can learn as much as you want, you can even put together a nice collection but the "gene" will take over anyway and you'll finally give up.

 

 

 

That's an interesting suggestion, but no-one else in my family has ever shown an interest in coins (although they are of great interest to me). Neither my parents, nor my grandparents, nor my brothers and sisters, nor my teenage offspring ever had the slightest interest.

 

I did have an uncle by marriage (thus no blood relation) who was a collector when he was alive. And I have a brother-in-law who has (only half-jokingly) told me that he hopes I'll leave my collection to him in my will so that he can sell it. :ninja:

 

So, if it is genetic, then I guess I must have been adopted. :lol:

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It is common opinion in Russian language WWW boards that if we disclose all particular small things about 'good' fakes than the couterfeiters reading the boards know what to improve. I think that sometimes it is just enough to say that a particular coin is not original and in case somebody sees it personally he will pay double attention on the authenticity of a particular coin or series.

 

I do not agree with the common opinion in Russian language WWW boards. Counterfeiters ( I am talking high quality stuff) are amongst us, and they do not need to scan numismatic forums to find out what is wrong with their product. I am of the opinion that these counterfeiters are actually on the top of the "coin/numismatic chain", and whatever is passed in secret to the trusty friends, will reach their ears as well. In the mean time, the information would help many collectors to avoid purchasing high quality fakes. But that's me :ninja: .

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I do not agree with the common opinion in Russian language WWW boards. Counterfeiters ( I am talking high quality stuff) are amongst us, and they do not need to scan numismatic forums to find out what is wrong with their product. I am of the opinion that these counterfeiters are actually on the top of the "coin/numismatic chain", and whatever is passed in secret to the trusty friends, will reach their ears as well. In the mean time, the information would help many collectors to avoid purchasing high quality fakes. But that's me :ninja: .

 

Igors, I also share your position about fakes of high quality. These MUST be exposed to the collector's community and learned about. Everyone should be aware where to look and how to distinguish. It is quite foolish to think that if someone, who learned how to recognize a fake will not tell to community, counterfeiters will not know what mistakes they did. They do know everything about their "coins" and do not need "second opinion".

 

 

 

WCO

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If counterfeiters know all about their makes why we still can distinguish? :ninja:

 

Igor, you are absolutely right. Counterfeiters do stay on top of the chain. You know that the best fakes are actually duplicates of rare coins. Let's say not many of us have actually had in the hand Gouen rouble of Peter 1, even less have it in the collection. But excellent fake which I saw personally was a duplicate of one known Gouen rouble (published in auction catalogs) but the fake just did not have lamination in the place where authentic coin does. That means that a person who had this coin facilitated somehow for a counterfeit to be made. You would never be able to make good copy by looking at the pictures - you must have access to the original which could be extremely rare or expensive.

 

I also agree that counterfeiters do not need to scan internet boards. Common opinion is wrong. But (there is always a 'but'):

- if a a coin of questionable authenticity is sold through a reputable source, and somebody says - ha, that's a fake, generally a matter of authority matters more. There are many examples. Usually an anonymous WWW board user has small chances to speak up and be heard without being ostracized.

- sometimes if you speak up in the internet - the source of info may ask you to withdraw the information (it is common opinion - difficult to go against). Otherwise you may not hear important information in future. In Moscow club when 2 numismatists discuss the issue of fakes - usually they whisper and talk low-profile, reminding each other to be quiet about the issue (especially when both are not fully certain) :cry:;):lol:

- the benefit of the doubt - sometimes you cannot be 100% sure just by looking in printed auction catalog or a picture in the WWW board. However many doubts can be resolved by answering the question "would you pay for it and be happy with this coin?"

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Perhaps you can start with this thread. Can you or someone please explain to this untrained eye of mine why this particular coin is a fake? Can someone post a picture of a real one for comparison?

 

The coin that started this thread is a low quality fake. In this case it would be easier to display a picture than to list what is wrong with it, since EVERYTHING is wrong with it :ninja: .

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If counterfeiters know all about their makes why we still can distinguish? :lol:

 

I am not sure if you will agree with me on this one, bu I also feel that sometimes we distinguish TOO GOOD.

A good coin can be marked as a fake, because we are so careful and because the 'special marks' are so wage. The news quickly spreads through the community and the coin is doomed for years to come.

 

Lately more so counterfeiting spread into another area that is of interest to me - table medals. The prices of the silver medals (I am not even talking gold) are so high now, that I would be afraid to buy one, unless it has a pedigree and I can trace it back to an old auction with a picture.

 

So my advice is - demand pedigree :ninja:

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The faily obvious solution to the problem of fakes being sold on eBay is to only buy coins that

are slabbed, authenticated and certified by one of the reputable third party graders (I prefer PCGS and NGC). I realize though that not all collectors have the financial resources to afford the extra cost that goes

with a slabbed, certified coin. And to make matters worse, it is not always easy to find the

foreign coin or coins you want in a slabbed, certified state. I collect the coins of Hamburg, Germany myself, and it is sometimes a long wait on eBay before an NGC or PCGS certified coin from the Hamburg mint shows up on eBay. Ebay probably doesn't have the time or manpower to check every coin listed to see if

it is genuine. And they would probably don't want to incur the expense to hire someone who will. So, as was said earlier, the only alternative is to educate yourself.

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The issue at hand here goes way beyond coins on EBay. It is filled with lots of fake trash. Caveat emptor.

 

The business of fake Russian coins though is very serious and has been unleashed through the re-emergence of that country, new demand for coins there, and the new technology for sales internationally.

 

I have mentioned before on this board buying fake platinum rubles from a top dealer in the country, one I have dealt with for years. He was shocked to learn NGC had rejected his coins and took the coins back. No EBay involvement there.

 

I began collecting coins again fairly recently, with a focus on 19th century Russian. I dealt with a dealer in Vancouver through EBay who would make things right with me by offering another fake. He would then say that the coins came from Europe and he did not see them. But looking at his website is quite an education in fake merchandise.

 

It does not take long to begin to discern fakes on EBay. By the look of the coin, the response from those bidding, and the location of the seller. From my experience, I would guess that about all three ruble platinum coins are fakes. (There is more to that story.)

 

I do not have the time or level of interest to study images, etc., on a computer screen to risk buying another fake. So if it is not NGC, then forget it. Plus, I slab everything, and dealing with NGC is another hassle.

 

Best -

 

It is still fun, well worth the time. I am a collector, see coins as small pieces of art and history.

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If counterfeiters know all about their makes why we still can distinguish? :ninja:

 

 

Most collectors with enough experience can distinguish crude fakes. I think, that ability of most very advanced collectors or dealers to distinguish really high quality fakes is something questionable. I myself used to see many Russian coins that impossible to distinguish real or not without usage of appropriate equipment (Russian platinum coinage is a good example). And what do we have? A loupe, a microscope at best. This is not enough anymore, no matter what you say. Some of us have more or less authentic coins so can compare, but most have no coins suitable for comparisons, especially when something really rare comes out to light. But even simple comparison (if possible) does not work well since there are many varieties of dies still unpublished in literature and missing at museums. There are other methods of counterfeit detection used by grading services, they can even analyze alloy structure. None of this is possible at home.

 

Another thing is that many of us have to rely on internet pictures to detect a fake, and I want to stress that NO PICTURE MAY BE GOOD ENOUGH TO GRADE A COIN OR TO SAY FOR SURE COUNTERFEIT OR NOT. And once we purchased a coin and it arrived home, it usually too late... Of course, we can use pictures to say something with more or less accuracy depending on the quality of picture, but for high quality fakes it does not work all the time.

 

I therefore completely agree with sdollarfan (and disagree with Timofei) not only average collectors but advanced collectors too have to trust grading services or museum experts (Russian State Historical museum in this case). Collector or investor may not be necessarily an expert on counterfeit detection, but still should have enough protection when buying a coin. It does not make him a "bad person" or plain "investor" who does not want to learn counterfeit detection techniques. It makes him just a person who cares of what he is buying and person who cares about financial outcome of his doings.

 

And I can not imagine a "collectors" who "...consider coin collecting as a hobby, science, fun and a money consuming activity not just as a simple investment" would not care about financial outcome of his acting, this would be at least foolish if not to say more... No matter what kind of collector or investor or dealer someone is, he needs protection too, he wants authentic coins!

 

WCO

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I would like not to discuss eternal question 'slabbed or not slabbed' when speaking about counterfeit detection as there are a big number of considerations and issues involved.. I would prefer to consider a NGC slab as an expert opinion, not a proof of authenticity.

 

2 Igor: yes, please, be sure that I do agree with you about distinguishing 'too good'. Unfortunately the experience and common sense say that it is never too good, and if you have doubt you will study and learn and find out similarity in other coins or collect more different opinions. The truth is in the eye of beholder, right? You have to weigh all 'special marks' and take a decision yourself. In the end it is one collector who keeps a coin in his collection, not the collector community, PCGS or anybody.

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I would agree more towards Timofei's side.

 

Although slabbing companies do significantly reduce the number of counterfeits when they slab and verify, that DOES NOT mean that all of their coins slabbed are guaranteed to be genuine.

 

Seriously, even when they would have supposely excellent experts of US coins, ultra high quality counterfeited Morgan coins have just been found just last year. Can this possibly apply to Russian coins? Most definately a yes! They aren't specialized in Russian coins afterall. Article here: http://www.pcgs.com/articles/article_view....;universeid=313

 

The only way we can protect ourselves is just to gather more infomation and make a proper database out of it. Unfortunately, this is an extremely expensive process and the only reason why PCGS was able to detect the countefeited dollar was only because of it's extensive research.

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... I would prefer to consider a NGC slab as an expert opinion, not a proof of authenticity.

 

Neither NGC/PCGS nor authenticity paper from Russian State Historical Museum does NOT prove authenticity and is an opinion only. There are known cases when counterfeit coins (Russian or not) were found in PCGS/NGC slabs, there are known cases when papers of Russian State Historical Museum stated that a coin is authentic when it was not. It is even known that NGC/PCGS re-graded counterfeit coins that were already in a slab and sent for review. And there are known cases when Russian State Historical Museum given two papers for the same coin, one that it is authentic and another that it is not. It proves nothing. What I am trying to say, in any case community should trust to NGC/PCGS and Historical museum expertise, since they have more knowledge, equipped better than any may be even advanced collectors or dealers. Yes, they sometimes do mistakes, but still much less than average collector, and unlike Russian State Historical Museum NGC and PCGS pay for their mistakes and really guarantee piece of mind for average collector.

 

WCO

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known cases when Russian State Historical Museum given two papers for the same coin, one that it is authentic and another that it is not.

WCO, you quoted these words from a Russian WWW board from a user who I know personally and who does not have an imperial coin in his collection (he is specialized in other field); I do not think that is true. An example would be nice anyway.

I know one case when a 18th century gold coin was not issued a second paper: a couple of years ago GIM made positive expertise for this coin. A year or two after when the dealer sold it to a customer, the latter wanted new paper with a fresh date - Russian Historical Museum (GIM) did not issue any paper at all reasoning that now they got new information and the coin may not be original. Never heard anybody saying about 2 different papers for the same coin. There are not so many coins being submitted to the GIM, every paper is filed and archived and the experts (whose name by the way are always included in the paper) are the same.

 

unlike Russian State Historical Museum NGC and PCGS pay for their mistakes

That also is not always true. During the last IAPN meeting with Russian prominent numismatists (people from museums, researches and collectors) in Moscow it was spoken up a case when the collector initiated legal proceedings against the dealer and the grading company because of the refusal to compensate about 80000 USD for the coin being returned. If all was so straightforward like you say - that would be heaven. Unfortunately the real life is not always so nice.

 

Of course, you are right that everybody can be mistaken - US graders, GIM or anybody else. Generally, the more experts one uses the more he is close to the truth. You may know that for some paintings there are up to 20 (!) different expert studies are made - physical, chemical, artistic, style and a lot that I even cannot remember - and still even 20 is not always enough.

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... During the last IAPN meeting with Russian prominent numismatists (people from museums, researches and collectors) in Moscow it was spoken up a case when the collector initiated legal proceedings against the dealer and the grading company because of the refusal to compensate about 80000 USD for the coin being returned. If all was so straightforward like you say - that would be heaven. Unfortunately the real life is not always so nice.

 

Of course, you are right that everybody can be mistaken - US graders, GIM or anybody else. Generally, the more experts one uses the more he is close to the truth. You may know that for some paintings there are up to 20 (!) different expert studies are made - physical, chemical, artistic, style and a lot that I even cannot remember - and still even 20 is not always enough.

 

Have you ever heard of any cases that someone in Russia sued any organization GIM or any other for giving him wrong opinion on authenticity of a coin? Were there any cases when GIM said that their expertise was wrong, and they would voluntarily compensate to the person who used their services? Well, you got my point. While in Russia it is not possible to be compensated, NGC and PCGS paid on many occasions for their mistakes. If they for some reasons refused to pay then one can always sue them based on their "authenticity and grade guarantee" policy.

 

However, your case (unknown to me) looks for my prospective as there are different opinions of different experts on that particular $80K coin. Some are saying it's authentic, while others are saying it is not. Therefore no reasons to pay for it. I may be wrong here, then enlighten me please.

 

WCO

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http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...US%3A1&rd=1

 

Another fake sold on eBay. I wrote to the seller that it was a fake, but the seller did not remove the coin from auction. Unfortunately, eBay does not allow to comunicate with bidders alerting them of a fake.

 

Speaking of what could be done to help collectors in identifying fakes of Russian coins, probably an online database of known fakes with photos both of fakes and corresponding original coins could be useful. Such a database would need to be moderated by a group of knowledgeable collectors. This is not an easy "community service" and I am not sure if anybody would like to go to all the trouble of starting such a project.

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