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The other day at a flea market a person was selling a Trade dollar for $80 and it was in pretty good condition. The color looked a bit "odd" but I passed that off as not having experience with Trade dollars (anything past Morgans really). Second thing that made me rethink buying it was the weight. I picked it up, along with a real Morgan, and there was a noticeable difference in weight. I know Trade dollars are heavier by 1 gram or so but this was lighter than the Morgan. My dad even said the Trade dollar felt lighter (without me mentioning it). Sadly I walked away feeling as if I held a counterfeir in my hands and disappointed that if it was real, I missed a great deal.

 

How can I tell the difference between a true and counterfeit coin? Especially Trade and Seated dollars along with Barber and Seated halves (fuzzy in that area too).

 

Any help is fantastic.

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You know, if you can "memorize" the color and the approiximate weight of such coins, it should help to reduce your chance of getting a counterfeit coin. Silver has somewhat a distinct grey color and that is where you would have to remember it. And this does apply to generic world coins. I know this is fairly difficult but you will learn to pick it up after you looked at least least 1000+ coins. But hey, it's part of the learning process.

 

I guess another crucial thing would be the details. Fine details such as hair, are usually very difficult to replicate if not, impossible unless you have the original die or hub. It will not hurt if you look around for more infomation of any coins, such as high resolution pictures and if possible, possible counterfeit of coins.

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In the Katrina auctions section, someone is selling a genuine counterfeit seated liberty dollar

You should go for it. If you own the coin you can study what makes it different from a legal silver dollar.

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How can I tell the difference between a true and counterfeit coin? Especially Trade and Seated dollars along with Barber and Seated halves (fuzzy in that area too).

 

Any help is fantastic.

 

There are a lot of things to look for and a lot of variation in the quality of counterfeits. Weight is one of the most basic examples. If the weight is wrong (that varies much mroe for ancients thna for moderns) the coin is almost certainly fake.

 

Diameter, specific gravity, color, and composition are other physical chacteristics that can condemn a coin's authenticity.

 

Next would be signs of casting. The most obvious tends to be the seam, which is either present or has left some tell tell file marks. Although some are good enough to require a miscroscope to detect.

 

Eventually, there are the really good fakes. Some of these require that you know the characteristics to detect. Even the best fakes tend to copy a die or an existing coin. So certain marks will appear over and over. If the counterfitter released only one fake it may never ge caught. But as multiple coins with the same marks appear the coins are dianosed, reported, and can be detected.

 

The PCGS guide is a good read on this subject. If you want to go all out I am told from many sources that the ANA sumemr seminar is outstanding.

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  In the Katrina auctions section, someone is selling a genuine counterfeit seated liberty dollar You should go for it.  If you own the coin you can study what makes it different from a legal silver dollar.

 

It is against Federal law to buy or sell counterfeit money.

 

Period.

 

"Everyone does it" is not an excuse, even if it were true, which it is not.

 

When you get pulled over for speeding, only your speeding is at issue, not someone else's or "everyone" else's.

 

"The Secret Service does nothing" is a false statement. They are doing all they can. Take the recent case of New Orleans. Was the lack of law enforcement a moral endorsement for looting? No, not even when eight cops were videotaped looting. If there were a five-alarm fire downtown and the police were tied up there, lack of enforcement is not an endorsement to rob a jewelry store in the suburbs.

 

The sale of counterfeits cheapens the hobby, flooding the channels of trade with phonies, frauds, and fakes. It opens the doors to other kinds of swindlers as well. If you would buy a counterfeit coin, how can you complain if you buy a real coin and the item never arrives? Do you expect honor among thieves?

 

In The Maltese Falcon, Brigid O'Shaughnessy tells Sam Spade that they could overlook the murder of Miles Archer and live happily ever after. Spade replies with a classic line: "It would be bad, bad for business, bad for everybody, bad all the way around." That summarizes trade in counterfeits.

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How can I tell the difference between a true and counterfeit coin?

 

That is was sold at a flea market is your first clue.

 

You would be much happier shopping at the store of an ANA member dealer.

 

I recommend saving your money in a special account for a year or two and then enjoying the daylights out of yourself at an ANA convention. It is actually cost effective. Travel, hotel, etc., are more than offset by the tremendous savings and the opportunity to buy truly desirable collectibles from dealers who are competing for your money.

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I have a coupple of counterfeit trade dollars at the shop.....I keep a "counterfeit box" which is a box in the back that is full of fakes....this helps me by having examples on hand....most of the good points have been covered....I also use the drop test....just drop it on the counter if you have the chance it will sound like dull if it is not made of silver.....silver has a high pitched ring to it....Also look at the edge of the coin....cast fakes have a seam where the 2 cast come together...I will take some pictures of the 2 counterfeits i have tommorow....

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On a trip to China 2 weeks ago, I picked up a counterfeit trade dollar at one of the markets. For $2.50 USD I thought it would be good to have it as a reference and maybe fill a hole (temporarilly) until I decide to buy a real one. Other than the weight and the date (it was 1879s-which I don't believe exists) I think it would be difficult to tell if it was real or not. It is worn down just enough to keep you from really seeing if the finer details are accurate or not.

I'll scan in a picture for reference if anyone is interested.

Dave

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I'm interested if it isn't too much trouble.

 

You are correct. According to my Redbook there are no 1879-S Trades. There are 1879's but no S marks.

 

For $2.50 a real counterfeit that you can take out and look at is way more valuable than any book. Coins in hand are just so much easier to work with than a picture.

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....

How can I tell the difference between a true and counterfeit coin? Especially Trade and Seated dollars along with Barber and Seated halves (fuzzy in that area too).

 

Any help is fantastic.

 

Well, this is how I got mine... Like you, I worried about getting the genuine article. I wanted one, but I had a comfort level about the price that was not going to make it easy.

 

I *almost* bid on several auctions - because I was getting that "great price" feeling. It was probably a lot like the feeling you got at the flea market.... tell that feeling to go away, it can't be trusted :ninja:

 

The more I looked on the net, the more I realized just how common fake trade dollars are - and there are all kinds of fakes. Sure, I could detect bad fakes, but I just didn't feel comfortable trying to buy an authentic one from a bad picture and having a price tag too far below a reasonable list. It's that, oh yeah, something-for-nothing feeling that really means you will be paying something and getting nothing.

 

Diameter and weight are pretty easy tests, but I don't know how much tolerance you can expect. You can also do some estimation of specific gravity to confirm that it is silver, but can you do these things before you buy?

 

I figured that I either had to get a "top-tier" slabbed one, or buy one from an established dealer that I trusted. I ended up doing the latter, paying a decent price for the "lowish" grade one you see here, but I have full confidence that it is genuine.

 

900256.jpg

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Here's the scan of the aforementioned counterfeit coin.

 

tradefake.JPG

 

It looks a little better in real life than in the scan since I didn't get the color balance quite right. But you can get the idea in terms of detail. If they hadn't screwed up the date, I think it would be pretty difficult to tell.

 

Oh my God! I just realized that this could actually be a previously unknown mintage! It's worth millions! Retirement here I come! Well, maybe not. But I do wonder how many jerks put this stuff up on eBay as genuine.

 

Dave

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I know this is in regards to American Dollar coins but I presume some people on here collect British Coins as well.

 

If you do decide to collect Decimal Coins from the UK be careful with £1 coins. there are alot of fakes around (Especially in London) & although most are easy to distinct (wrong date on "head" side, sides don't "line up", poor writing on edge of coin) some are very hard to spot. You can usually tell by how lightly they are stamped, especially if they are in a "new condition"

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