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How are fake coins made

I have always wondered this



  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,521 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm pretty sure that the majority are cast from molds, rather than struck. Let others chime in though, I've never really looked into it deeply.

  • gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,421 ✭✭✭✭✭

    They can be cast. Die struck or altered from a genuine coin. For example a 1948 cent with the 8 shaved to resemble a 3 making it appear like a 1943 copper.

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  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,819 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Older ones tended to be cast. Modern ones are often struck. Some are made from scratch, others are copied from existing coins. There's no single method.

  • lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,451 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you go to the first post in the Resources thread at the top of the US forum there is a section with Counterfeit information.


    One of the links is this online pdf and is fairly good with information about counterfeit production.


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

  • The_Dinosaur_ManThe_Dinosaur_Man Posts: 836 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This would be a great thread to post some side-by-side examples of counterfeits versus the real deal. Talk about different reproduction styles and show them!

    Custom album maker and numismatic photographer, see my portfolio here: (http://www.donahuenumismatics.com/).

  • leothelyonleothelyon Posts: 8,350 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @The_Dinosaur_Man said:
    This would be a great thread to post some side-by-side examples of counterfeits versus the real deal. Talk about different reproduction styles and show them!

    No.....why educate the defrauders on what to look for to help improve their art, make it more deceiving/difficult. Even the grade companies have a time with it.


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

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  • JimTylerJimTyler Posts: 3,048 ✭✭✭✭✭

    They fill the center with chocolate….delicious

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AkJackster ... A good question, and studying the resources listed above, will help you to understand the processes and help you to identify fakes when you encounter them. Cheers, RickO

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,369 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DeplorableDan said:
    I'm pretty sure that the majority are cast from molds, rather than struck. Let others chime in though, I've never really looked into it deeply.

    This was true a few decades ago but the vast majority of counterfeits are now struck from dies which are cast using a genuine coin. Also, there are many counterfeits made by taking a genuine coin and altering it by adding a mint mark or by removing a mintmark such as removing the S mintmark from a 1928-S Peace Dollar.

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

  • SapyxSapyx Posts: 1,997 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There are many different ways to make fake coins. The resultant fakes vary in quality, so the method of manufacture being used depends on who they're trying to fool.

    Cast counterfeits are the cheapest and easiest to make, but their porous nature, mushy details and wrong metal, size and weight are dead giveaways; they won't fool an experienced collector or an "expert in the series". Fake ancient coins sold to tourists in places like Turkey, Greece and Egypt will usually be cast.

    Centrifugal casting is a more expensive and more convincing version of casting, which takes away some of the more obvious flaws and defects in the cast coin. The clues of casting are still there, but they're much harder to spot.

    Die-struck counterfeits are the highest quality, but even here, the quality can vary depending on how the dies were made. If they were made by some form of casting, then they will suffer from some of the same flaws that actual cast coins suffer from. Spark erosion dies tend to look better, but are shallower than genuine dies, lacking depth and with detail missing from the deeper cracks and crevices of the coin.

    Die-struck counterfeit dies usually need "touching up", to restore detail lost in the design transfer process, so the quality of the fake depends on the artistic skill of the counterfeiter to match the original coin dies. Many medium-quality Chinese fakes are given away because the Chinese artist can't get the appearance of the eyes correct.

    Finally, of course, a tiny minority of counterfeit coins can be made from dies of genuine coins that were stolen from the mint. These of course are hardest to detect, since they look 100% like the real thing. Most mints have good security and processes these days to ensure old dies don't end up in criminal hands, but it has been more of a problem in the past.

    We sometimes think of coin counterfeiting as a "cottage industry", and once upon a time, this was true (the majority of counterfeiters arrested and convicted in London in the 1800s were husband-and-wife pairs). But these days in China, the "cottages" are industrial-scale factories in their own right. There are pictures of a Chinese fake coin factory that have been circulating on the Internet since 2008; if you haven't seen them yet, check out this old forum thread from 2008: https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/642268/all-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-chinese-counterfeits-but-were-afraid-to-ask/p1

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  • burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,188 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2022 7:42PM

    There is advanced manufacturing technology to copy and produce very authentic looking counterfeits. The really deceptive ones that fooled collectors and TPGs alike can be traced back to approx 2008. This group was made using genuine source examples to make duplicate dies accurate enough to capture all circulation marks and minor damage in the dies and impress them intact into the struck clones/ counterfeits. In many cases they purchased damaged coins and made rather expert repairs to them; I have seen one of the struck counterfeit 1836 Gobrechts made from dies from a repaired holed genuine example and the TPG labeled it as genuine- repaired...

    I had posted this list here a while back; all of the coins listed except the ones labeled "Misc" are from the same group of counterfeiters and all had examples TPG certified as genuine as noted.

    It is interesting to note that some of the early copper coins were struck over cull half and large cents and match the metallurgical tests of genuine era coins. I actually own a 1796 large cent certified genuine while struck over a later date large cent and shows a faint star from the original in front of the '96's face.

  • lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,451 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is a YouTube guy going through one of the write ups on Chinese counterfeits. Maybe a few to many 'wow' used.


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

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