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Angelking
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Hi everyone, I am new to coin collecting. I have always been fascinated by Russian coins. It seems the more I read, there seems to be a huge problem with fakes. Is there a website or book you would recommend on Russian coins that could help me learn to differentiate between fake and real Russian coins? Seems there are a lot of fakes on ebay, but to me they look totally real.

 

Thanks

 

AK

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Hi everyone, I am new to coin collecting. I have always been fascinated by Russian coins. It seems the more I read, there seems to be a huge problem with fakes. Is there a website or book you would recommend on Russian coins that could help me learn to differentiate between fake and real Russian coins. Seems there are a lot of fakes on ebay, but to me they look totally real.

Welcome to coinpeople, Angelking! :ninja:

 

Fake coins can be a problem in some areas. It has nothing specifically to do with Russian coins; all rare coins are subject to being faked. But what makes it difficult is that there is an enormous number of varieties of most Russian coin types. New ones are being discovered almost every day, it seems. Some fakes are easily spotted. For others, such as platinum coins, you need to be an expert and perhaps also have access to special tools in order to catch them. It is often impossible to determine from the pictures on eBay if a coin is fake or genuine. For example, there is a discussion thread here about a gold 10 rouble coin which looks completely genuine, but the edge shows the wrong mintmaster for the year (1899). The weight is also a little off, but just barely (8.4 grams instead of 8.6). Most sellers don't bother to provide pictures of the edge of a coin.

 

If you want some protection against fakes, you can buy only coins slabbed by a reputable grading agency (PCGS, NGC or ANACS seem to do a good job). However, even then you can never be 100% sure that a coin is genuine just because it is in a plastic slab. But since you are just starting to collect, you can save yourself a lot of grief in the beginning by sticking to this path. You will also need to learn about the proper grading of a coin's condition and also how to spot problem coins (cleaned, artificially toned, mechnical damage such as traces of old jewelry mounting, etc.)

 

The more literature you can find about the coins which interest you, the better. I would highly recommend Bitkin, Uzdenikov, R.W. Julian (for silver coins), Severin (the book covering gold and platinum is readily available; the book about silver coins is somewhat harder to find these days) and Brekke (for copper coins). Of course, there are many others.

 

Also, study the online auction catalogs of the more important dealers in Russian coins. Here is a good place to look around: http://www.sixbid.com. Also, Dmitry Markov's site and Alexander Basov's site will get you started. If you can read Russian, there are lots of auctions in Russia such as the Conros auction site.

 

Finally, you will find a great deal of information (including something about fakes) in the "Journal of the Russian Numismatic Society". I'm not sure if it is published twice a year or quarterly. You can sign up at their web site: http://www.russiannumismaticsociety.org/

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