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The “Unofficial” Reporting Post for Fake PCGS slabs…

burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 17, 2022 9:19AM in U.S. Coin Forum

My envisioned “rules” are pretty simple:

1) Post a counterfeit PCGS slab and coin and offer any description you would like.
2) Post an image of the genuine on-line cert.
3) Post an image of the genuine example if you have found it.

Discussion is encouraged for each example posted but I would appreciate keeping focus on that and not off topic!
Best, Jack

Update 11/17/22: added summary of all items reported in this post!

I’ll start with the aforementioned “PCGS” 1881-CC Morgan cert number 27886283.

I have documented 6 different internet sellers with examples of this one for sale.

One of the sellers actually imaged the on-line cert in his listing; cert of course has no on-line image for comparison.

I dd find the genuine slab in a different listing.

Updated 11-30-22 with this latest listing:

«134

Comments

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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Excellent idea and great work. Amazing.
    Jim


    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.....Mark Twain
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    RampageRampage Posts: 9,418 ✭✭✭✭

    Suggestion: Rather than having a title for "bad" slabs, how about changing it to "counterfeit" slabs? Bad slabs could be genuine coins where the slab is chipped or cracked or whatever.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is certainly a good beginning, however, I believe it should be a pinned thread at the top of the forum for easy reference/access. Cheers, RickO

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    DelawareDoonsDelawareDoons Posts: 3,247 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'd suggest putting the actual serial numbers in text form so they're searchable.

    Professional Numismatist. "It's like God, Family, Country, except Sticker, Plastic, Coin."

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1929 MS65 $20 Gold cert number 50068573.

    Top images of latest listing. Bottom left an example reported in this forum back in 2017. Lower right is a generic APMEX listing with the genuine slab with a twist- this cert number is for a 1927 dated coin!

    Online cert again has no image for comparison.

    Image of this latest example compared to a known genuine one on the right:

    Closest I could come to an image of the genuine (1927) coin:

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @burfle23 said:
    The next is an 1893 Morgan Dollar with an added bonus!

    so do you think that coin has the cc reverse or just mixed up images? just for curiosity.

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 27, 2022 4:17PM

    Total counterfeit with fake CC reverse.

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1879-CC MS64 Morgan Dollar cert number 06681777.

    1st example recently sold in an internet venue by a seller from Thailand:

    2nd example is currently for sale through Aliexpress:

    Another on-line cert with no image BUT has precious auction appearances:

    Previously sold in a 2010 Stacks auction as lot # 650:

    Images are not very good from the pdf auction but certainly doesn’t appear to match the previous example!

    It is unfortunate to see the counterfeit listed in the auction prices link in the cert…

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 29, 2022 4:54PM

    Just checking if there is any interest to continue with this effort!

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great thread! Thanks for your efforts! :)

    Don't quit :/

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    WilliamFWilliamF Posts: 832 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @burfle23 said:
    There appears to be no interest in this post so the previous posted example will be my last...

    Don't stop now! It is very helpful, it would be more helpful to me personally if I collected high grade silver and gold... but I don't, I know there are plenty of people on here who do though and it is a good resource!
    Theres so many that you can't possibly catch all of them, but these already posted are that many less that are a problem anymore...

    ."It's a dangerous business... going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to" -JRR Tolkien_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Outstanding BST transactions as a seller, buyer and trader with: ----- mustanggt, Kliao, claudewill87, MWallace, paesan, mpbuck82, moursund, basetsb, lordmarcovan, JWP, Coin hunter 4, COINS MAKE CENTS, PerryHall, Aspie_Rocco, Braddick, DBSTrader2, SanctionII, Histman, The_Dinosaur_Man, jesbroken, CentSearcher ------ANA Member #3214817

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the responses; just felt like I was talking to myself and I can do that without needing a forum! I'll work on the next one.

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    dollarfandollarfan Posts: 315 ✭✭✭

    @burfle23 said:
    My envisioned “rules” are pretty simple:

    1) Post a counterfeit PCGS slab and coin and offer any description you would like.
    2) Post an image of the genuine on-line cert.
    3) Post an image of the genuine example if you have found it.

    Discussion is encouraged for each example posted but I would appreciate keeping focus on that and not off topic!
    Best, Jack

    I’ll start with the aforementioned “PCGS” 1881-CC Morgan:

    I have documented 6 different internet sellers with examples of this one for sale.

    One of the sellers actually imaged the on-line cert in his listing; cert of course has no on-line image for comparison.

    I dd find the genuine slab in a different listing.

    This is absolutely fantastic! These scammers are out of control

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    FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,852 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @burfle23 said:
    Thanks for the responses; just felt like I was talking to myself and I can do that without needing a forum! I'll work on the next one.

    I enjoy this and think it’s a great idea. I can’t believe that PCGS hasn’t pinned this or something. Request - can we open this up for altered coins in holders as well? I found this weekend what I believe is an altered coin in an older straight grade holder (PCGS and NGC made the same mistake multiple times and I believe they attempted to hunt down all examples to buy them back). I may consider posting it, but it’s a current auction and I’m not 100% positive. Probably somewhere around 95% :lol:

    @HeatherBoyd @PCGS_Moderator Can you guys help with pinning this?

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FlyingAl said:

    pcgs does TONNNNNSSSS behind the scenes. they've never really been public but i've caught some glimpses over the years.

    MANY a lawsuit and intellectual property protection, at least.

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1896-S MS64 Morgan Dollar cert number 35376817.

    Another available through Aliexpress and seen in selling venues:

    On-line cert had both an image and an auction appearance:

    Genuine example:

    Reverses certainly do not appear to match mm:

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 30, 2022 10:00AM

    1875-CC PCGS AU50 half dollar cert number 37121278:

    Recent internet listed example:

    One sold in August:

    My example:

    Cert prior to me reporting this one:

    Genuine example; image originally used for the internet selling site for these:

    The website listing selling these:

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    KliaoKliao Posts: 5,466 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's another seller for that same 1881-CC fake posted above.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/165750496485

    Young Numismatist/collector
    75 Positive BST transactions buying and selling with 45 members and counting!
    instagram.com/klnumismatics

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 30, 2022 9:44AM

    @Kliao said:
    Here's another seller for that same 1881-CC fake posted above.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/165750496485

    Thank you; I actually added the listing images as an update to my post above!

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LanceNewmanOCC said:

    @FlyingAl said:

    pcgs does TONNNNNSSSS behind the scenes. they've never really been public but i've caught some glimpses over the years.

    MANY a lawsuit and intellectual property protection, at least.

    Hopefully this will get some traction...

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    looks like progress to me!

    will be interesting to watch it come together and how it pans out.

    tough to be the power of the masses. :)

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,462 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @burfle23 said:
    We got someone's attention, the 1st posted group of fakes, the 1881-CC Morgan's cert was removed B) ...

    .
    If this included notifying the owner of the real slab/coin (if they could be found) and them agreeing to change, then okay.

    If this did not include notifying the owner of the real slab/coin (if they could be found) and them agreeing to the change, then I think this is bad. As I posted in the other thread if the real owner was not notified and agreed to change then - Why should the owner of the real slab/coin have to go through a change or not even know about it and find out later and be forced into a change. Bad for pcgs customers/owners of slabs. If this is the goal, then forget it.

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

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 30, 2022 5:39PM

    2011-W $50 Gold Buff cert number 27866179.

    Bad one from the internet:

    Comparison images to genuine one:


    Updated cert after reporting:

    Genuine example from Heritage auction:

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lilolme said:

    @burfle23 said:
    We got someone's attention, the 1st posted group of fakes, the 1881-CC Morgan's cert was removed B) ...

    .
    If this included notifying the owner of the real slab/coin (if they could be found) and them agreeing to change, then okay.

    If this did not include notifying the owner of the real slab/coin (if they could be found) and them agreeing to the change, then I think this is bad. As I posted in the other thread if the real owner was not notified and agreed to change then - Why should the owner of the real slab/coin have to go through a change or not even know about it and find out later and be forced into a change. Bad for pcgs customers/owners of slabs. If this is the goal, then forget it.

    agreed. i'm NOT on board to deactivating certs just because they have been faked. plain and simply, there have been too many faked and they will continue to be faked, again and again.

    to have a notification on the cert page and/or a pinned thread with known counterfeited cert numbers is one thing, to start nuking legit coins is another matter entirely.

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,462 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @burfle23 said:
    My goal has always been to get the message out...

    Much of the issue results with older certs with no on-line images for comparison, which can be a huge problem for less experienced Hobbyists. With at least a note about the existence of known counterfeits with the genuine cert number a potential buyer may be more cautious and eliminate a potential huge mistake.

    That is fine. However, that deactivation notice is fairly clear that the owner has not been contacted as it asks the owner to contact pcgs. Don't know if pcgs will re-activate the cert if the owner contacts them and wants to keep it. If not, then I think this is not good.

    (as noted previously could be slightly older holder and want to keep, risk of shipping 2X and other, then if cac have to ship again 2X and other)

    As I noted in the other thread. PCGS should keep the cert number active (unless the owner has agreed) but could keep the notification of the fakes with the cert number lookup. Why push a deactivation problem to the real owner.

    Also pcgs knows when the coin was graded and the slab it is in. PCGS could then add a link to the correct holder in the museum of holders for comparison to any fake holder with that cert number. Example:

    https://www.pcgs.com/holdermuseum/Gen4.2

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

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    WilliamFWilliamF Posts: 832 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 30, 2022 6:50PM

    Here's one I ran across, the first obvious difference between these 2 after the fact that the coin itself looks way off is the font on the label, the fake slab shows a much thicker font than the genuine example, the suspected fake vs Stacks Bowers photos of it in a 2020 auction where it realized just a hair under $2K...

    Genuine:

    Edited to add the Trueview.

    ."It's a dangerous business... going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to" -JRR Tolkien_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Outstanding BST transactions as a seller, buyer and trader with: ----- mustanggt, Kliao, claudewill87, MWallace, paesan, mpbuck82, moursund, basetsb, lordmarcovan, JWP, Coin hunter 4, COINS MAKE CENTS, PerryHall, Aspie_Rocco, Braddick, DBSTrader2, SanctionII, Histman, The_Dinosaur_Man, jesbroken, CentSearcher ------ANA Member #3214817

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    pmh1nicpmh1nic Posts: 3,146 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Appreciate the effort to search, find and post examples of fraud. Disappointed in the lengths individuals will go to rip off collectors. This should be VERY disconcerting to PCGS and NGC since one of the primary reasons for their existence is being undermined by these frauds. This stuff is very destructive and the damage could be sitting in someone's collection for decades before being discovered.

    The longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice is it possible for an empire to rise without His aid? Benjamin Franklin
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    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,636 ✭✭✭✭✭

    They are so convincing. Think I will stay away from US Classic coins.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PCGS_Moderator said:
    There is no easy answer to control counterfeit holders and we appreciate this community coming together to help identify and flag these certs. We currently have a process to add a warning to certs with known counterfeits in our system and prompt the owner of the genuine coin to reach out to customer service. If we can track down the owner through Set Registry, we will work with them to get their coin reholdered. There is little we can do with auction companies because due to privacy concerns. If you have any information, please call 800-477-8848 and reach out to our customer service department. In a previous thread, an idea for an email account to submit counterfeits arose and we are happy to report that account will be active soon. Thanks you all again for your dedication to our hobby.

    Thank you for the response.

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1894 MS63 Morgan dollar cert number 26626113.

    Example sold on the internet as genuine:

    Current DHGate example:


    Current cert has on-line image of the genuine example:

    Genuine example:

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 1, 2022 5:36AM

    '16-D cert and genuine images (courtesy HA):

    Image isn't good:

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    morgandollar1878morgandollar1878 Posts: 4,006 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As great as the auction archives are from Heritage, this is where most of the fake holders are being copied from.

    Instagram: nomad_numismatics
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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 1, 2022 8:02PM

    1889-CC MS63 Morgan dollar cert number 36738168.

    Internet for sale example:

    This one sold for $1525.00:

    2 different "varieties" on Aliexpress:


    Current on-line cert with genuine example image:

    Comparison of mintmark of counterfeit on left, genuine example on right:

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1895-O MS61 Morgan dollar cert number 25312502.

    Example sold on the internet; "O" seems to be invisible...

    2 additional examples:

    4th example:

    Current on-line cert:

    Genuine example:

    Reverse comparison:

    And an Ali and internet selling venue example!

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @burfle23 said:
    Current on-line cert:

    .
    .
    them some smart criminals there.

    lets clean the coins and give em natural looking PLS; ya, that'll trick em!

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,462 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LanceNewmanOCC said:

    @burfle23 said:
    Current on-line cert:

    .
    .
    them some smart criminals there.

    lets clean the coins and give em natural looking PLS; ya, that'll trick em!

    The photos are not good and a little small. I only enlarged it on the screen but that 'coin' appears to have a C4 reverse (gap between eagles neck and eagles left wing / viewers right side) and no protruding neck feathers. The C4 reverse first showed up for some Morgans in 1900. Also looking at some letters they appear weak and/or off (more so for D in united and some A's). Probably a counterfeit.

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

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    IKUIKU Posts: 65 ✭✭✭
    edited November 4, 2022 2:34AM

    This is best thread ever.
    Love seeing holdered China copies revealed and compared.
    A lot of sellers do not have razor sharp images online ( only old mobile phone images with bad pixels.) and sometimes misfortune slab counterfeits can happen.
    I try to buy only sharp clear images but sometimes you just have no choice but to buy a hazy imaged slabbed coin and pray for best outcome.

    Should sellers and owners start to hide ID serial numbers ?

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To me, hiding the cert and preventing any possible lookup only adds suspicion! But to your point folks need to be able to evaluate the coin independent of the holder...

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    johnny010johnny010 Posts: 1,089 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had no idea fake certs even existed. Of course they do. Assuming if they have the pcgs counterfeit nfc technology I’m good?

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I haven't seen a fake chip yet...

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    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,462 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @johnny010 said:
    I had no idea fake certs even existed. Of course they do.

    Thanks for this input and I mean that sincerely.
    This goes to my point in the other thread. Visibility. Or how do we get more visibility to this.
    At least this thread is cranking a little now. :)

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

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1886-O MS63 Morgan dollar cert number 80876281.

    @lilolme reminded me of this one seen in this forum.

    Bad example from an internet selling venue:

    Updated on-line cert:

    Genuine example:

    Comparison of the two (genuine example on the left):

    Reverse type is wrong for the date...

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1901 MS62 Morgan dollar cert number 39174308.

    This one caused a stir in several forums; sold on the internet:


    On-line cert (no image as usual):

    Found the genuine slab example:


    Genuine slab on top:


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    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,462 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So did the 1901 above come from the same seller as the 1886 O in the below link and also note that they had another 1901 noted in the thread. Link for thread and then comment for 1901.

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1077075/i-felt-obligated-to-warn-the-coin-collectors/p1
    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/comment/13264487/#Comment_13264487

    The reason I asked about same seller is this one seems to be similar in quality and the little things that are off.

    Here the owner of the 1886 O noted the difference (minor) in the holder inner ring. This one is similar and I have also noticed this inner ring thing on many others. It can seemingly cause the coin to almost touch the inner ring between the tabs in a spot.
    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/comment/13265653/#Comment_13265653

    Then there is the font for the cert number line but this one is closer but still what I will call thin. Previous one below.
    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/comment/13264145/#Comment_13264145

    And the similarity in the reverse label. Notice the gold bar and G (in pcgs) with the darker color at the top of the bottom of the G and the QR square location. The gold bar and G is the closest I have seen on these. Many are off more noticeably. Here is the previous one for comparison and two from pcgs museum of holders.

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/comment/13265611/#Comment_13265611


    Also interesting to note that this one uses the C3 reverse which is much less common. In coin facts the first C3 reverse I saw was at MS60. I found 3 VAMs with the C3 reverse though in VAMworld. Not sure if the previous 1901 (link above) was a C3 reverse or not.

    On this one the weakness of detail between the eagles legs is interesting. This type of weakness can be a sign of counterfeit often seen on the obverse in the hair detail but could also be in a strike. I am wondering if this one is similar to the 86 O and two different date-mint mark combinations. Didn't even want to attempt to track that down. :)

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

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    burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,192 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 5, 2022 7:13PM

    1880-CC MS66 Morgan dollar cert number 25385790.

    Bad:

    Original on-line cert:

    And another dead cert:

    Genuine example (Heritage Auctions):

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