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What key traits of this suspected fake would you investigate first?


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Here is the link for an Ebay auction by a seller who has been known to try and sell "spurious" material at best. This is a relatively rare coin in the Paul I copper series, at least rare enough that I never see them up for auction on Ebay and I am a regular bidder there.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Imperial-Russia-2-Kopeiki-1797-Paul-I-Very-RARE-coins-Original-coins-/330842787198?pt=US_World_Coins&hash=item4d07c44d7e

 

Looking at this coin, what key markers would you identify to rule out authenticity? I have a reasonable feel for spotting and avoiding replicas/counterfeits. I am also trying to teach my daughter how to spot things that should set off alarms. So I am seeking the help and advice of the forum on this matter to learn how to best describe what all of us look for when it comes to identifying fakes among us.

 

Maybe this seems naive, but I am trying to sharpen my skills for my protection as well as teach my daughter her own skills to save her collecting grief when she gets older.

 

Thanks everyone!

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GX, I agree, that was my first instinct on this coin (besides being from a shady seller) that set off alarms. In my experience, the whole series of 2K coins under Paul had a problem with weak strikes where the 2 and the center of the word kopecks are typically weakly struck and wear quickly. This coin is meant to show age by possibly artificial toning (couldn't think of a better word) yet the overall strike is very strong.

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Look for stylistic differences, in the lettering for example. Go to m-dv.ru. They have 30 or more images from sale of the real thing. You should be able to see several problems with the eBay coin.

 

That would be my strongest general advice. Add to that your knowledge about the weak strikes and intuition about artificial toning, the sellers reputation, etc and you'll have a good basis for flagging any coin as suspect.

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Guys,

 

I rarely dip into the Russian Coin Forum but this thread caught my eyes. Nick, I love the question you posed and why you posed it. If you or anyone else doesn't mind, I'd like to replicate this thread on one of the main forums.

 

One reason I don't collect non-US coins is that I don't know if I'm getting what I'm buying. How do I verify the authenticity of a coin when I know very little about the series or related coins? How do I search for information on a roman coin where I can't understand what the legends say? How do I learn about a Russian coin when many sites are in Russian?

 

Just a thought. If you guys know of some other good fakes/potential fakes we can learn from, please share on the main forums and maybe we can save others from the fraudulent sellers!

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Thedeadpoint: feel free to use this or repost it however you wish. It's all about knowledge and friendly help here, I believe. I think also that comparing notes and working together we help each other stay interested in the hobby and save each other from being burned by bad buys which only throw good money after bad people and may turn us off to the hobby which would be a shame to ruin something we all obviously enjoy.

 

I spent the better part of my childhood and early thirties mostly just accumulating coins without much direction or directed education. Now I have moved from enthusiastic accumulator into the novice realm of serious collector. I have to ask questions on here because I do not know some things, especially when the coin is marginal or too good to be true. Now that I have matured some, I prefer to ask questions first not be horribly disappointed later.

 

Steve and Gxseries, your comments have been very instructive. I was comparing the coin in question to an example of the 1797 2K no MM on Steve's website and I could see that one of the most telling differences between the two was not only the ridiculously sharp strike, but also the evenness of the letter engraving in the word kopek on the ebay coin. In Steve's genuine example, the lettering is neatly organized along a horizontal axis, but slightly off kilter which makes sense given the fact that we are talking about Russia, not exactly the forerunner of technology at any point in history I believe and secondly that it was the late 18th century. Any thoughts, Steve, Gx?

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Steve and Gxseries, your comments have been very instructive. I was comparing the coin in question to an example of the 1797 2K no MM on Steve's website and I could see that one of the most telling differences between the two was not only the ridiculously sharp strike, but also the evenness of the letter engraving in the word kopek on the ebay coin. In Steve's genuine example, the lettering is neatly organized along a horizontal axis, but slightly off kilter which makes sense given the fact that we are talking about Russia, not exactly the forerunner of technology at any point in history I believe and secondly that it was the late 18th century. Any thoughts, Steve, Gx?

 

You're definitely doing the right thing. Look at images of genuine coins, as many as you can, and develop an intuition for the broad feel as well as the more detailed features. It takes time and there's really no short cut.

 

:art:

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Nice examples of fakes! Hope the book is not useless and they only put the obvious fakes on the cover to make it clear this is a catalog of fake coins. After all, they see all sort of fakes in Russia, including some very tricky once... I'll be spewing if it's not what I expect...

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