Some unusual contemporary counterfeits
I bought a fun group of contemporary counterfeits -- about 40 "real" contemporary counterfeits after removing all of the souvenir pieces and stuff. Mostly normal types from the 1860s-1940s. I thought I'd share some of the unusual pieces.
1861 3 cent silver high quality contemporary counterfeit. There are a bunch of known varieties of contemporary counterfeits for 3 cent silvers. Most of them have very crude, almost comical lettering. This is the best quality that I've seen. It's not deceptive to a collector, but as someone who doesn't collect the series I had to look twice to be sure. 0.72 grams (expected 0.75 grams)
ND 3 cent silver low (!) quality contemporary counterfeit. Unlike the previous, this is pretty much the worst quality I've ever seen for a counterfeit in this series. Crudely produced on a brass planchet, 0.94 grams (expected 0.75 grams).
1866 3 cent nickel contemporary counterfeit. There's a chance that this is a normal strike with heavy environmental damage -- the details are excellent, even if the surfaces aren't. On the other hand it's heavy enough that I'm leaning counterfeit. 2.07 grams (expected 1.94 grams)
1883 With Cents Racketeer Nickel. It's not a counterfeit per se. It has plan edges, so it might not even be a period piece. On the other hand, it was pretty high grade before it was plated, and would have been worth a decent amount in that condition. The whole point of a Racketeer Nickel was to gold-plate the ones without "cents" on the reverse, to pass them off as five dollar gold pieces. You've got to wonder about this one.
1875-S 20c contemporary counterfeit. It's unusual to see a contemporary counterfeit on a coin that was so unpopular and produced for a short a time as the 20c piece. There are two examples pictures at http://www.lsccweb.org/Counterfeits.shtml, both CC-mint examples. 3.45 grams (expected 5.0 grams)
1944 Mercury dime contemporary counterfeit. This one is unusual in that it is very "low grade" but also has significant luster. I think this is close to "as struck", ignoring the reverse damage. A lot of counterfeits look strange to modern eyes. I could totally see this one passing without notice. It even has the right weight, although no reeding and certainly no ring test. 2.5 grams (expected 2.5 grams)
Clad Washington quarters contemporary counterfeits. Contemporary counterfeit clad coinage is unusual before the "made in China" era. The weights on these vary widely, from top left:
1962, 4.87 grams
1965, 5.64 grams
1965, 6.30 grams
1967, 3.81 grams
1967, 5.19 grams
1967, 5.12 grams
1968-D, 4.28 grams
1973, 4.22 grams
1979, 4.54 grams
(expected 6.25 grams for silver, 5.57 grams for clad)