Home U.S. Coin Forum
Options

Fake Cameo contrast

gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

I remember seeing a few back about 30 years ago. I was wondering if anybody has come across this problem recently. Heres an example.

Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

«1

Comments

  • Options
    bsshog40bsshog40 Posts: 3,777 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I remember when they use to come up once in a while but I haven't heard of any in quite a while.

  • Options
    relicsncoinsrelicsncoins Posts: 7,859 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm guessing they were weeded out with TPG.

    Need a Barber Half with ANACS photo certificate. If you have one for sale please PM me. Current Ebay auctions
  • Options
    coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,768 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I too can recall a time that it was discussed here from time to time, I do not know if the issue has been mostly corrected or if it just is not getting the press these days.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
  • Options
    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There are a couple of ways to tell the fake cameo contrast. One is you will see marks and or scratches underneath the cameo. Another is the cameo contrast will bleed into the fields.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • Options
    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @relicsncoins said:
    I'm guessing they were weeded out with TPG.

    Possibly, but there are probably quite a few cameos that haven't been sent for certification.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • Options
    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,436 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How were they produced? I assume the raised portions of the design were "painted" with some chemical or substance to give it a frosty appearance.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • Options
    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,943 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:
    How were they produced? I assume the raised portions of the design were "painted" with some chemical or substance to give it a frosty appearance.

    I think he's just referring to the photo showing apparently cameo contrast.

  • Options
    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have not heard or seen any information on these in several years. Probably still some out there... Cheers, RickO

  • Options
    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,436 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 7, 2022 6:29AM

    If I remember correctly, the raised surfaces were painted using an automotive body putty compound such as Bondo which was dissolved in some type of solvent using a fine tipped artist brush. It was also used in the fields to hide any hairline scratches. It looked convincing soon after it was done (long enough to get it slabbed) but turned after a few months into a chalky bluish film which looked unnatural. I understand that it can be seen if the coin is examined under a UV light and it can be dipped off if it's been detected. This is all based on my less than totally reliable memory so feel free to correct me if I'm off base here.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • Options
    P0CKETCHANGEP0CKETCHANGE Posts: 2,259 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Whoa. Fascinating. This is something I never would have considered. Isn’t it amazing the length to which scammers will go to commit fraud and make a quick buck? Thank you @Cameonut for the informative comment and photos.

    Nothing is as expensive as free money.

  • Options
    davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,853 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cameonut said:
    I am pretty familiar with this topic as I bought 4 PCGS coins with artificial frost.

    Here is a link to one that had 8 years to percolate in the holder. Pretty ugly.
    coins.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=1137&lotNo=7408&type=surl-1137--7408&short=1137*7408

    Lastly, I also suspect that more of these might surface. Coins that have been in bank vaults for years may see the light of day again.

    I am a little surprised the coin sold for so much looking like it did.

  • Options
    CameonutCameonut Posts: 7,258 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:
    If I remember correctly, the raised surfaces were painted using an automotive body putty compound such as Bondo which was dissolved in some type of solvent using a fine tipped artist brush. It was also used in the fields to hide any hairline scratches. It looked convincing soon after it was done (long enough to get it slabbed) but turned after a few months into a chalky bluish film which looked unnatural. I understand that it can be seen if the coin is examined under a UV light and it can be dipped off if it's been detected. This is all based on my less than totally reliable memory so feel free to correct me if I'm off base here.

    There certainly could have been attempts by others using other materials and processes.
    The 2001-2 caper was done with an off-the-shelf liquid, painted on the devices, and allowed to dry. It simulated cameo frost very well. I know this because the doctor admitted it to me when I tried to return a coin to him.
    Fortunately, it is removable - at lease PCGS was able to remove it to reveal the (more or less) original surfaces.

    Never tried a UV light - mostly because I don't have one!

    “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson

    My digital cameo album 1950-64 Cameos - take a look!

  • Options
    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jmlanzaf Nothing to do with the photography. Coin doctors altering the coin is what I am referring to.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • Options
    WAYNEASWAYNEAS Posts: 6,352 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is an educational moment for me once again.
    I never heard of this being done.
    Thanks for the tell tail signs in helping to id this process.
    Wayne

    Kennedys are my quest...

  • Options
    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,943 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gumby1234 said:
    @jmlanzaf Nothing to do with the photography. Coin doctors altering the coin is what I am referring to.

    My mistake. That's a whole different kettle of frost.

  • Options
    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 7, 2022 2:59PM

    @Cameonut said:
    I am pretty familiar with this topic as I bought 4 PCGS coins with artificial frost.

    Here are some comments:
    The coins were tampered with in late 2001 and early 2002.
    The frost was very natural and fooled me and the PCGS graders.
    After 3-5 years, the frost changed in the holders. Blue haze that also spread to the fields.
    PCGS was well aware of the problem. They knew who the perps were and presumably deal with them.
    The perps submitted the coins for grading, so PCGS should know the extent of the problem.
    I bought one coin at the 2002 Superior Auction - others elsewhere. Started returning them in 2004.
    Cert numbers were typically 210xxxxx, 211xxxxx, and 400xxxxx. There are likely others.
    The material used is a liquid applied carefully to the devices. The liquid is now hard to get.
    There are at least 5 threads on this topic from back in 2005. Russ (RIP) was one of the main authors. I have those threads written down somewhere.
    Russ and I had long conversations on this back at the beginning. We shared our info and put the story together.
    I returned all my coins to PCGS and they made me whole. PCGS backs their product.

    Here are a few photos, many with my carpy old digicam.




    Here is a link to one that had 8 years to percolate in the holder. Pretty ugly.
    coins.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=1137&lotNo=7408&type=surl-1137--7408&short=1137*7408

    Lastly, I also suspect that more of these might surface. Coins that have been in bank vaults for years may see the light of day again.

    That looks like a form of what we collectively describe as "putty".
    The putty may include some PVC, or at least it degrades over time to look like PVC on a coin.

    The 1953 Franklin might be unintentional - it may be PVC contamination from an old vinyl "flip".

    It is a lot of extra work to fake frost all the letters. So when I see a coin with hazy frost on the head, and not much frost on the letters, I am suspect of it. The 1953 Franklin looks like it has decent genuine frost on the letters and date. So that is why I think maybe it turned that way because of how it was stored and not because someone intentionally manipulated it.

  • Options
    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dcarr some of the frost on the 53 Franklin may have been there, but definitely been altered Look at the lower bottom left of the bell. There is a huge mark/scratch under the frost. Also look at the E of America you can see the cameo bled into the field. Same with some of the other letters, but some of those area look like it is hazy.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • Options
    CameonutCameonut Posts: 7,258 ✭✭✭✭✭

    FWIW,
    In my opinion, the coins I have experience in from this "incident" were all light to moderate cameos to start with.
    None were brilliant and "magically" made to be cameo. I suspect the doctor took cam and dcam "rejects" and enhanced them enough to make the designation desired.

    I don't doubt that there were "putty" based materials out there. All I can say is that the material used was a liquid as described by the coin doctor himself. Could some "putty like" materials be dissolved in the solution? Sure. It's too bad that I turned in all my examples to PCGS under their guarantee. It would have been interesting to determine what was on the surface. PCGS probably knows, I sure don't know with any certainty.

    As far as the 53 Franklin goes, that was Russ' coin if I remember right. The brownish areas by the UN and A in the motto look more like typical staining from the cello bags they were originally sold in.

    “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson

    My digital cameo album 1950-64 Cameos - take a look!

  • Options
    manlye1manlye1 Posts: 200 ✭✭✭

    I popped this out of a DCAM holder and submitted, which came back altered surface. I’m still on the fence with this one thoughts?

  • Options
    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @manlye1 looks like there could be some light scratches under the cameo frost which would indicate that its altered. Its possible it was a DCAM already and somebody covered the marks with whatever process the coin doctors use.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • Options
    FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,853 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gumby1234 I recall reading in a book on 1950-70s cameos that some early dies were resurfaced with wire brushes that would lead to a scratched surface on the devices that would essentially re-create the frost before the dies were republished and put back in service. I am not in any way saying you are incorrect, more so I just would like your thoughts on this to be able to differentiate the two.

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

  • Options
    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FlyingAl I haven't heard of the wire brushed dies. They would probably have an odd look to them though. Do you have any pics of one of the coins produced with those dies?

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • Options
    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @manlye1 I looked up the cert number and its a code 94.
    which is
    94 Altered Surfaces Any applied substance (wax, putty, lacquer).

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • Options
    CameonutCameonut Posts: 7,258 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @manlye1 said:
    I popped this out of a DCAM holder and submitted, which came back altered surface. I’m still on the fence with this one thoughts?

    Was that in a PCGS DCAM holder? If so, did you retain the cert number of the original holder?

    From the Trueviews, it is hard to determine whether this was doctored 20 years ago. THey were quite deceptive.
    I suspect that if it was doctored, it is a much more recent example.

    “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson

    My digital cameo album 1950-64 Cameos - take a look!

  • Options
    FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,853 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gumby1234 Yes, here is a 66CAM from CoinFacts. The wire brushing runs both N/S and E/W on Franklin’s portrait but is not so obvious on the bell.

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

  • Options
    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    bumping this thread so people reading the thread about the nickel can see this also.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • Options
    joebb21joebb21 Posts: 4,733 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So many big franklins are being done today... Going from pr68 to 68 dcam and then 69 dcam...

    may the fonz be with you...always...
  • Options
    GaCoinGuyGaCoinGuy Posts: 2,721 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 16, 2022 1:02PM

    I wish I had saved the link from EBay, but I saw a couple of 69 Kennedys that were obviously fake contrast to the point that the curve at the top was choppy.

    Here are a couple of the pics from EBay, check out the top edge of the coins....between the B and E

    imageimage

  • Options
    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,462 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I recall hearing about these fake cameos years ago but never had any direct contact with them.

    @GaCoinGuy I don't deal with eBay so never would have seen these. But that one on the left I would have though was a photo/photoshop type of alteration. Particularly the uniform or consistent and near black fields.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=2YNufnS_kf4 - Mama I'm coming home ...................................................................................................................................................................... RLJ 1958 - 2023

  • Options
    LuxorLuxor Posts: 410 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Doctored cameo prooflike Morgan dollars were seen back in the 60's and 70's where the coin doc would take a BU coin and buff out the coin and then apply the 'cameo contrast' to the devices. Some actually looked good enough to fool collectors, but most of the ones I remember seeing were laughable and easily spotted at first glance. Here's an example of a laughable artificial cameo, however this one doesn't appear to also have the fields buffed out to a 'prooflike' finish.

    Your hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need it.

  • Options
    LuxorLuxor Posts: 410 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Also......forgot to mention, the name given to those fake cameo coins back in the day was 'California Proof'

    Your hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need it.

  • Options
    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,893 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Luxor said:
    Also......forgot to mention, the name given to those fake cameo coins back in the day was 'California Proof'

    Interesting. Was the seller in California then?

  • Options
    Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,447 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I just did a google search on “California proof” Morgan Dollar and found this image at https://www.coincommunity.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=418340&#3595816

    Mr_Spud

  • Options
    dunkleosteus430dunkleosteus430 Posts: 471 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 17, 2022 2:38PM

    @GaCoinGuy said:
    I wish I had saved the link from EBay, but I saw a couple of 69 Kennedys that were obviously fake contrast to the point that the curve at the top was choppy.

    Here are a couple of the pics from EBay, check out the top edge of the coins....between the B and E

    I have "1969 69 DCAM" with a filter for kennedy halves in my saved searches. Every day, there are a few of these under "newly listed." By the way, I think the seller uses the same stock photo for all of their auctions of this particular date, at least most of the time.

    Young Numismatist

  • Options
    davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,853 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I can not see anything obvious I do not like. There are a few small 'white' dots > @manlye1 said:

    I popped this out of a DCAM holder and submitted, which came back altered surface. I’m still on the fence with this one thoughts?

    I looked at truviews and blew up pics and did not see anything odd. There were a few small white spots in the fiels under the bust by TR and above eye and forehead near RT. I wonder if something was done in the field in front of the eye? There are some strange lines going up and down. The PCGS video on altered surfaces mostly mentions fields.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=nzpruoHc3g4&t=440s

  • Options
    LuxorLuxor Posts: 410 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @Luxor said:
    Also......forgot to mention, the name given to those fake cameo coins back in the day was 'California Proof'

    Interesting. Was the seller in California then?

    Not really sure. Maybe they were first seen in California or several coins docs in that area were making them??

    Your hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need it.

  • Options
    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have heard the Morgans called that before. Some are shiny as a mirror too.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • Options
    Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,673 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So a California bankroll is a bunch of ones wrapped with a 100 note. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52, LukeMarshall

  • Options
    leothelyonleothelyon Posts: 8,362 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 18, 2022 12:26AM

    Quite a few unusual brush-like lines on this one. But I have no idea. I'm not accustomed to seeing such activity on a proof coin.
    https://www.collectorscorner.com/Products/Item.aspx?id=59318486
    Leo

    The more qualities observed in a coin, the more desirable that coin becomes!

    My Jefferson Nickel Collection

  • Options
    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @leothelyon That looks like the nickel in @FlyingAl thread.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • Options
    FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,853 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @leothelyon said:
    Quite a few unusual brush-like lines on this one. But I have no idea. I'm not accustomed to seeing such activity on a proof coin.
    https://www.collectorscorner.com/Products/Item.aspx?id=59318486
    Leo

    There is a thread on this one, it is fake contrast.

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

  • Options
    CameonutCameonut Posts: 7,258 ✭✭✭✭✭

    FWIW, there is a 1950 PR66 Dcam on Great Collections right now that I would be highly suspicious of.
    Cert number starts with 210..... and it has that altered look. Keep in mind that one was graded 20 years ago.

    “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson

    My digital cameo album 1950-64 Cameos - take a look!

  • Options
    leothelyonleothelyon Posts: 8,362 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FlyingAl said:

    @leothelyon said:
    Quite a few unusual brush-like lines on this one. But I have no idea. I'm not accustomed to seeing such activity on a proof coin.
    https://www.collectorscorner.com/Products/Item.aspx?id=59318486
    Leo

    There is a thread on this one, it is fake contrast.

    No luck looking through your threads posted. Did a search and found this thread dating 2004 on the 1938 Jef Cam but the pics are missing. Would like to read the thread you mentioned, thanks
    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/326934/proof-jeff-gang-did-you-see-what-was-made

    Leo

    The more qualities observed in a coin, the more desirable that coin becomes!

    My Jefferson Nickel Collection

  • Options
    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

  • Options
    leothelyonleothelyon Posts: 8,362 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you!
    Also found this thread with interesting first hand comments on the coin.
    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/359203/proof-jeff-gang-1938-pr67-cam

    Leo

    The more qualities observed in a coin, the more desirable that coin becomes!

    My Jefferson Nickel Collection

  • Options
    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,462 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FlyingAl said:

    @leothelyon said:
    Quite a few unusual brush-like lines on this one. But I have no idea. I'm not accustomed to seeing such activity on a proof coin.
    https://www.collectorscorner.com/Products/Item.aspx?id=59318486
    Leo

    There is a thread on this one, it is fake contrast.

    @FlyingAl
    If it is the David L coin, then could ask JohnBCoins here on the forum if he has access to and could look at it. Do not know if that is possible or in his employment realm.

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/comment/13394401/#Comment_13394401

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=2YNufnS_kf4 - Mama I'm coming home ...................................................................................................................................................................... RLJ 1958 - 2023

  • Options
    FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,853 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lilolme

    I contacted David Lawrence already and they are definitely aware of the coin. Not sure what they've done with it, though they did say they would contact PCGS. I'm not sure if they actually did.

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

  • Options
    leothelyonleothelyon Posts: 8,362 ✭✭✭✭✭

    They could at least take the coin down until they can get it resolved. Doing so might save a few headaches.....

    Leo

    The more qualities observed in a coin, the more desirable that coin becomes!

    My Jefferson Nickel Collection

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file