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Spot the Counterfeits


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Half are real, the others fake--taken from a popular auction site:

















3a (Ok, one is rather obvious)






Without having definitive proof, I'm sure some of these are fake. It's a gut feeling that I can't quantify--what's your take?

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Thanks all for playing!


Here's my guesses and rationale on the fakes...


1a: I find the proportions are off in places, and that shiny divot raises flags. I think the forgers first applied the finish and then decided to further distress the surface. I added 1c as an example of a genuine coin with a similar (although far superior) look. Also, the seller mentioned a "lettered edge", which I don't believe exists for a 1794.


2b: I was first struck by how the strands of the hair do not vary in width during their length. Even a genuine example worn to this degree would show subtle variances in the line work. As it is, the detail were roughed out and then artificially worn to hide the lack in craftsmanship. The denticles are also poor, and that finish is obviously applied--my second tip-off.


3a: Obvious, despite the disingenuous wording by looking at the clumsy features of the coin. Comparing to a genuine piece (3c), I find the profile of the nose and brow line most telling. And, for a coin of that "condition", the hair is missing well-defined detail.


The numerous varieties to these large cents make forgeries easier to pull off. I want to learn much more about the varieties of these cents for more certain verification. Right now, it's more by my gut than anything quantifiable. Btw--1a, 2b, and 3a were taken off Ebay--buyer beware! All the other coins are genuine.

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