Fakes & Forgeries
Fakes abound in gold coins. There is obviously more profit and more reason to produce counterfeit gold coins than base metal ones.
We discuss and illustrate fake half sovereigns and other gold coins, mainly as a guide to identifying and avoiding them.
1901-S Fake US Gold Double Eagle
We illustrate and discuss forgeries of gold coins, including a 1901 San Francisco Mint USA $20 Double Eagle, to help collectors & investors be alert.
We were recently offered two 1901-S US Double Eagles in the same parcel from the seller person. Both coins were forgeries.
What we found to be quite surprising we that the two coins, although the same date and mintmark, showed considerable variations. One was too yellow, while the other was a more typical reddish yellow.
Our photographs show both sides of the two different coins.
Both show overall "softness" and lack of definition. The field (background) of both has an orange peel effect, and raised dots like pimples.
On both coins the "S" mintmark is quite weak.
The yellow coin is the worse and more obvious fake. Apart from the fact that it looks to have been mounted at some time, the raised parts of its design also show some lack of sharpness and definition.
Although the red coin is the better and less obvious of the two, the motto is weakly struck and the word "TRUST" almost merges into the field as on a worn specimen.
Photographs Never Lie - Or Do They?
When writing this page, we viewed the coins directly, rather than the photographs. We also compared the coins with their photographs. While we can easily conclude they are fakes on the basis of the actual solid objects, it is much more difficult to tell these coins are fake purely from the photographs alone.
It strikes us as a good time to remind collectors and investors not to rely on photographs when buying coins. Buy from a reputable dealer, or from a known and trusted collector. Auction sites such as eBay lend easy anonymity and untraceability to their sellers. The more we see of eBay, the less we would trust eBay sellers.
A number of euphemistic words are used to describe coins which are not genuine. Many of these are misleading, deceptive and dishonest.
A restrike is an officially produced coin, from the original or other official dies, often struck by the original mint, or other officially authorised mint. The word restrike is often used euphemistically when applied to fake or counterfeit coins. We have also seen modern replica fantasy coins described as restrikes. We do not agree with this practise, and believe it to be dishonest.
More to Follow
We intend to add to, and link to, this page, with details of more fakes when we have time.
Obverse of Fake 1901-S US Gold Double Eagle
Reverse of Fake 1901-S US Gold Double Eagle
Obverse of Yellow Fake 1901-S US Double Eagle
Reverse of Yellow Fake 1901-S US Double Eagle