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Thoughts on Omega counterfeit gold? !! UPDATE 01-23-23!!

WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 23, 2023 9:06AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I submitted this $10 Indian ATS back in 2017 and it came back Not Genuine. I've posted it before as a warning to newbies and oldbies that solid gold counterfeits are out there and they can be tricky to spot.

A local dealer got a Sovereign a few days ago with a clear hallmark and a script "21ct" stamped below King George V's bust. A beautiful coin otherwise--great cartwheel, correct color, sharp strike with none of the other obvious tells that some middle-eastern Sovereign counterfeits have. Dealer offered it to me at melt, which I declined. They said if they couldn't find a buyer, they'd throw it in with their batch of scrap next to their $10 Omega.
My ears perked up. They said they'd pull it out next time I was in the shop.

But when I got home, I connected the dots and realized my counterfeit $10 might be an Omega, too. Went to the vault, got the coin, then tried to find some additional info online. Sure enough, Omega made 1910 $10 eagles. And there certainly appears to be an "Ω" inside the upper loop of the "R" in LIBERTY".

ICG still attributes Omegas if they are confident it is an Omega.

Would you bother? Do you think it is cool enough to shell out the $50?
What's the legality of selling Omega counterfeits? I've read a few posts that say they bring a premium, though I kind of doubt I'd sell unless it was for big $$:

We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
--Severian the Lame
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Comments

  • CameonutCameonut Posts: 7,256 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'd buy one as a conversation piece.

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

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

    That sure looks like an omega inside the R. Omegaman also made an 1882 counterfeit gold $3 with the omega in the same location. I'd would get it slabbed.

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

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,903 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I really like the Omega High relief Saint, and would love to own one.

    Very neat that you have identified the counterfeiter of your Gold Eagle,

    I would shell the $50 and get it in the yellow labeled ICG holder because it looks cool and would help sell the coin as what it is - a Phenomenal copy from one of the best and still unknown counterfeiters.

    BTW: Just because I like these does not mean that I support counterfeiting, I just think they are a cool part of history,

    It's all about what the people want...

  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

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  • MizzouMizzou Posts: 463 ✭✭✭✭

    I guess some things just don't make sense. These Omega coins contain the same gold content of real gold coins. So why would you go to the effort of making all these coins counterfeit coins when you could just sell the gold? Maybe these are real coins that have been stamped with the Omega symbol?

    Sometimes I think that animals are smarter than humans, animals would never allow the dumbest one to lead the pack

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

    I used to own the 3$ Omega counterfeit. Sold it years ago to a dealer who knew exactly what he was buying. Some people like myself like collecting counterfeit coins. I have 4 or 5 still hanging around.

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

    @Mizzou said:
    I guess some things just don't make sense. These Omega coins contain the same gold content of real gold coins. So why would you go to the effort of making all these coins counterfeit coins when you could just sell the gold? Maybe these are real coins that have been stamped with the Omega symbol?

    Omegaman was profiting from the numismatic premium of these coins. Most counterfeit US gold coins over the last 60 years contain the full amount of gold specified by the US Mint.

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

  • tyler267tyler267 Posts: 1,233 ✭✭✭✭

    I think the Omega coins are pretty cool. I would get it graded.

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks, everyone. I'm not 100% sure it's an Omega--sure looks like it.
    I'll send it in and post results :)

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • SurfinxHISurfinxHI Posts: 2,348 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would still want to hold it in my hand instead of in a tomb....

    Dead people tell interesting tales.
  • SapyxSapyx Posts: 1,997 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Weiss said:
    What's the legality of selling Omega counterfeits? I've read a few posts that say they bring a premium, though I kind of doubt I'd sell unless it was for big $$:

    18 U.S. Code § 485: Making counterfeit coins is illegal under any circumstances, but it's illegal to possess or sell a counterfeit coin only if you "intend to defraud" - that is, you know it's a fake but intend selling it as a genuine US coin. This doesn't apply to you, since you intend to publicly declare it to be a notorious counterfeit when you sell it. Unless you are actually Omega Man, in which case this law does apply to you.

    15 U.S. Code § 2101: In the United States, it is technically illegal to sell counterfeit or replica numismatic items (coins) unless they have "COPY" stamped on them. It is ambiguous whether this is intended to apply retrospectively to contemporary counterfeits, like Henning nickels or Omega gold, and the wording is sufficiently vague to imply that all counterfeit coins ought to be stamped "COPY" before sale, but the prevailing practice (of openly trading in unstamped Hennings and Omegas) seems to indicate the common belief that there is a loophole that does not require them to be stamped "COPY". But logically, since Omegas were specifically made to fool collectors rather than as money, Omegas ought to be stamped "COPY" under this law.

    Note that, while it may be perfectly legal, it's still against eBay policy. All counterfeit coins, whether marked COPY or not, or slabbed or not, are banned from sale on eBay.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
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  • KliaoKliao Posts: 5,450 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would buy an omega man counterfeit for melt. Just for the coolness factor and the legend of the omega man. Other than that, I have little interest in owning any counterfeits.

    Young Numismatist/collector
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  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Sapyx said:

    @Weiss said:
    What's the legality of selling Omega counterfeits? I've read a few posts that say they bring a premium, though I kind of doubt I'd sell unless it was for big $$:

    18 U.S. Code § 485: Making counterfeit coins is illegal under any circumstances, but it's illegal to possess or sell a counterfeit coin only if you "intend to defraud" - that is, you know it's a fake but intend selling it as a genuine US coin. This doesn't apply to you, since you intend to publicly declare it to be a notorious counterfeit when you sell it. Unless you are actually Omega Man, in which case this law does apply to you.

    15 U.S. Code § 2101: In the United States, it is technically illegal to sell counterfeit or replica numismatic items (coins) unless they have "COPY" stamped on them. It is ambiguous whether this is intended to apply retrospectively to contemporary counterfeits, like Henning nickels or Omega gold, and the wording is sufficiently vague to imply that all counterfeit coins ought to be stamped "COPY" before sale, but the prevailing practice (of openly trading in unstamped Hennings and Omegas) seems to indicate the common belief that there is a loophole that does not require them to be stamped "COPY". But logically, since Omegas were specifically made to fool collectors rather than as money, Omegas ought to be stamped "COPY" under this law.

    Note that, while it may be perfectly legal, it's still against eBay policy. All counterfeit coins, whether marked COPY or not, or slabbed or not, are banned from sale on eBay.

    i'm tired and about to crash but when referencing this material, ensure you are using the most up-to-date version(s) and be sure to look over a lot of the material as when i read it before, the 1972? cutoff date is still applicable, so anything believed/proven to be made before that date is exempt from most if not all current standards, retrospectively or otherwise. it also specifies HOW the word copy is to be put onto the items, font, size, recessed etc. - i mean the stuff is specific.

    also the last time i read into this stuff (the most recent version i believe) the technicalities and specifications were good and thorough, i mean a lot, so much so that while i appreciated the delineations of it all, just like i'd expect from the supreme court, it can be a little comical at JUST how specific the language gets.

    that being said, i am glad to see official code about this stuff posted from time-to-time and is not posted often enough.

    i would bet a person could get arrested for selling counterfeits that are legal to sell because while law enforcement you know, enforces the laws, they are not lawyers and do not know all the stuff off the top of their head, especially niche stuff they don't encounter often or even ever. now i doubt there'd be a conviction but arresting people is actually pretty easy unfortunately and it is as much up to the person(s) to prove their innocence as it is the state or whatever to prove guilt.

    i think i only recall one or maybe two instances where law enforcement was "going after" someone for selling fakes they were legally permitted to sell. i'm thinking it has either been too long or i/we never got closure for the instance(s).

    one last thing that is kind of a disclosure. laws change, stances change etc. so DO NOT take what may be currently ok or not to be this way forever, just like with taxes of numismatic items, it can change and w/o notice, SO, do your due diligence if you have questions about any laws you think you MAY be about to break/bend. ounce of prevention, pound of cure and all that.

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  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,142 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Sapyx said:
    15 U.S. Code § 2101: In the United States, it is technically illegal to sell counterfeit or replica numismatic items (coins) unless they have "COPY" stamped on them. It is ambiguous whether this is intended to apply retrospectively to contemporary counterfeits, like Henning nickels or Omega gold, and the wording is sufficiently vague to imply that all counterfeit coins ought to be stamped "COPY" before sale, but the prevailing practice (of openly trading in unstamped Hennings and Omegas) seems to indicate the common belief that there is a loophole that does not require them to be stamped "COPY". But logically, since Omegas were specifically made to fool collectors rather than as money, Omegas ought to be stamped "COPY" under this law.

    Weren't they manufactured before the Hobby Protection Act was passed?

    https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/statutes/hobby-protection-act

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/16/part-304, specifically https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/16/304.6

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This had been discussed in the past... a few years ago. I believe it was concluded, with some official input, that counterfeits produced before 1972 (I think that was the date) were exempt from having the word copy put on them. Will have to see if I can find that information. Cheers, RickO

  • lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,808 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting thread... and very informative. I'm so wary of counterfeit gold that I'll only buy certified coins for the remaining gold pieces in my collection ($3, $10, $20). The only raw gold piece I ever bought gave me a scare when some respected Forum members thought it might have been a counterfeit... it turned out, it was just my crappy photography... but it did give me pause for the remaining gold pieces I want.

    Serious question... since the Omega pieces are technically "stamped", just not with the word "Copy", would this be a sufficient identifier? I hadn't heard of the 1972 ruling but that would make a bit of sense... I collect Large Cents and adding the word "Copy" to an 1804 restrike just to identify something that everyone in the Numismatic Community knows about would be a travesty...

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  • burfle23burfle23 Posts: 2,188 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gumby1234 said:
    I used to own the 3$ Omega counterfeit. Sold it years ago to a dealer who knew exactly what he was buying. Some people like myself like collecting counterfeit coins. I have 4 or 5 still hanging around.

    I would certainly like one!

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

    @burfle23 said:

    @gumby1234 said:
    I used to own the 3$ Omega counterfeit. Sold it years ago to a dealer who knew exactly what he was buying. Some people like myself like collecting counterfeit coins. I have 4 or 5 still hanging around.

    I would certainly like one!

    I wish I had kept it. Definitely my most beautiful counterfeit that I have owned.

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

    Maybe Chinese counterfeiters should start signing their work.

    Counterfeit is Counterfeit. If you embrace the omega, you should at least turn a blind eye to contemporary fakes instead of getting up in arms them.

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,142 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lkenefic said:
    Serious question... since the Omega pieces are technically "stamped", just not with the word "Copy", would this be a sufficient identifier? I hadn't heard of the 1972 ruling but that would make a bit of sense... I collect Large Cents and adding the word "Copy" to an 1804 restrike just to identify something that everyone in the Numismatic Community knows about would be a travesty...

    No. The FTC rules and the HPA are crystal clear as to what is required, either a date or the word COPY. The revision to the act and the new rules from it make it clear how large this needs to be.

    The act was 1972, but the original CFR are dated 1975.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • OnwardOnward Posts: 23 ✭✭

    @Mizzou said:
    I guess some things just don't make sense. These Omega coins contain the same gold content of real gold coins. So why would you go to the effort of making all these coins counterfeit coins when you could just sell the gold? Maybe these are real coins that have been stamped with the Omega symbol?

    Counterfeiting (and its derivatives) is immensely profitable, and fun for criminals possessing the talent and predilection. Over the years I have examined several of the $20 pieces, and while "omega" has become a popular sobriquet for these (which I imagine the makers would find somewhat amusing), I did not think the mark was an omega, nor did it appear stamped onto the counterfeit.

    Pursuing Charles & Joanna, especially Early Series

  • oih82w8oih82w8 Posts: 11,888 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice looking coin nevertheless.

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  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Onward said:

    I did not think the mark was an omega, nor did it appear stamped onto the counterfeit.
    .
    this seems on the mark.

    i'm pretty sure i've never said it before but i've always thought it kinda looks like the staff of ankh or at least something similar. just an observation though.

    i would need to see more examples but it APPEARS to me anyway, that the "symbol" was not cut into each individual example but with it appearing recessed on the coins, means it was raised on the die, which means the original "cut" was either on a master die or hub.

    i'm sure some reading of threads from the OLD archives would prove fruitful but i'm not that dedicated at this point.

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  • mark_dakmark_dak Posts: 1,091 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Weiss said:
    Thanks, everyone. I'm not 100% sure it's an Omega--sure looks like it.
    I'll send it in and post results :)

    Sending to ICG? Are they the only grading service to attribute Omega?

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

    @mark_dak said:

    @Weiss said:
    Thanks, everyone. I'm not 100% sure it's an Omega--sure looks like it.
    I'll send it in and post results :)

    Sending to ICG? Are they the only grading service to attribute Omega?

    Yes

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

    @mark_dak said:

    @Weiss said:
    Thanks, everyone. I'm not 100% sure it's an Omega--sure looks like it.
    I'll send it in and post results :)

    Sending to ICG? Are they the only grading service to attribute Omega?

    Yes

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LanceNewmanOCC said:

    @Onward said:

    I did not think the mark was an omega, nor did it appear stamped onto the counterfeit.
    .
    this seems on the mark.

    i'm pretty sure i've never said it before but i've always thought it kinda looks like the staff of ankh or at least something similar. just an observation though.

    Hey, I like that idea and I agree.

    I've always thought they were produced domestically. But now I wonder if it's possible they were produced in Egypt, where both the Ankh and Omega symbol would be a little more commonplace, and the counterfeiting of US coins in solid gold was a common practice in the last century.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,819 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Weiss said:

    @LanceNewmanOCC said:

    @Onward said:

    I did not think the mark was an omega, nor did it appear stamped onto the counterfeit.
    .
    this seems on the mark.

    i'm pretty sure i've never said it before but i've always thought it kinda looks like the staff of ankh or at least something similar. just an observation though.

    Hey, I like that idea and I agree.

    I've always thought they were produced domestically. But now I wonder if it's possible they were produced in Egypt, where both the Ankh and Omega symbol would be a little more commonplace, and the counterfeiting of US coins in solid gold was a common practice in the last century.

    They were produced in Arizona from Mexicon 50 pesos...or so I've been told.

  • FrankHFrankH Posts: 773 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 5, 2023 6:09PM

    That could make sense. maybe

  • OnwardOnward Posts: 23 ✭✭

    @jmlanzaf said:
    They were produced in Arizona from Mexicon 50 pesos...or so I've been told.

    That is very interesting. Years ago, in an extended conversation about these pieces, I suggested this location. Could you elaborate on the Arizona connection?

    Pursuing Charles & Joanna, especially Early Series

  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Omega gold???

    Hmmm. I find the whole story interesting, in the sort of way where some truly dishonest people tried to defraud the government and the populace. I suppose for every story like this we know about there are many others.

    Do I have a desire to own any? Probably not, but that shouldn't stop anyone else from collecting or enjoying them if they want to.... provided they understand what they're buying.

  • rec78rec78 Posts: 5,681 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ricko said:
    This had been discussed in the past... a few years ago. I believe it was concluded, with some official input, that counterfeits produced before 1972 (I think that was the date) were exempt from having the word copy put on them. Will have to see if I can find that information. Cheers, RickO

    If a coin is counterfeit, how do you know when it was made?

    image
  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,884 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Do I understand correctly that these are so well done as to mimic a genuine coin so perfectly that the only way to "authenticate" them is by the omega symbol??

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

    @Maywood said:
    Do I understand correctly that these are so well done as to mimic a genuine coin so perfectly that the only way to "authenticate" them is by the omega symbol??

    No. They are not that perfect. They were determined to be counterfeit independent of the Omega.

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

    @Onward said:

    @jmlanzaf said:
    They were produced in Arizona from Mexicon 50 pesos...or so I've been told.

    That is very interesting. Years ago, in an extended conversation about these pieces, I suggested this location. Could you elaborate on the Arizona connection?

    It's a long (psychotic) story on the forum. You can probably find the thread here.

  • 7Jaguars7Jaguars Posts: 7,245 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Agreed, I got weary of it.....I have to say, and I know it is wrong, that I have always liked the $20 Omegas better than the others....

    Love that Milled British (1830-1960)
    Well, just Love coins, period.
  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @rec78 said:

    @ricko said:
    This had been discussed in the past... a few years ago. I believe it was concluded, with some official input, that counterfeits produced before 1972 (I think that was the date) were exempt from having the word copy put on them. Will have to see if I can find that information. Cheers, RickO

    If a coin is counterfeit, how do you know when it was made?

    are you asking if someone knows when certain ones are made or how someone knows if they were made before the 1972? HPA cut-off date?

    <--- 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 -

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

    @rec78 said:

    @ricko said:
    This had been discussed in the past... a few years ago. I believe it was concluded, with some official input, that counterfeits produced before 1972 (I think that was the date) were exempt from having the word copy put on them. Will have to see if I can find that information. Cheers, RickO

    If a coin is counterfeit, how do you know when it was made?

    You don't always. But there are some that were identified as a group from a single die and those, like the Omegas, have known "birthdays".

  • JimWJimW Posts: 540 ✭✭✭✭

    I assume that other besides myself have a copy of the 'I actually do have some information the Omega Man' pdf.
    I think the jury is still out on whether it is true or not, but nonetheless an interesting read on how they may have been made. 35 pages.

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

    @JimW said:
    I assume that other besides myself have a copy of the 'I actually do have some information the Omega Man' pdf.
    I think the jury is still out on whether it is true or not, but nonetheless an interesting read on how they may have been made. 35 pages.

    I put that together. I could send it out again if people wanted it. There is little evidence for any of it. Insider came to disbelieve it. But it was a wild ride on the forum.

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So I shipped the $10 off to ICG and asked them for the Omega designation.
    Got an emailed confirmation 01-10 that it had gone through their grading process and had shipped back to me, and received the coin yesterday.
    The results:

    ...

    ...

    Sad Trombone.
    Even though it is a known year that Omega counterfeited, and NGC had already indicated it was "Not Genuine", and I swear I can see a raised omega-y type symbol in the upper loop of the R in LIBERTY, ICG felt they couldn't be positive it is an Omega.

    So now I'm in the rarified group of people who submitted a stunning coin to NGC only to have it rejected as a counterfeit, and having that same coin submitted to ICG in order to acknowledge its counterfeit status, only to have it rejected for not being counterfeit enough.

    Can't win for losing! ;)

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,369 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've never seen NGC slab a counterfeit US coin. You could try ICG. They slabbed jwitten's Omega counterfeit for him with the proper notation that it's an Omega counterfeit.

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

  • coinsarefuncoinsarefun Posts: 21,664 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jwitten said:
    I’d love to own it to go with my $20 omega. Let me know if it grades as such, and if it’s for sale.

    .

    .
    I still want one of these very badly. I hope you run across another Omega

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,903 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I laughed out loud at the "not counterfeit enough" comment.

    Sorry you couldnt get it in the neat holder, what is the game plan now?

    I am assuming its real 90% gold? does it show such on the Sigma?

    It's all about what the people want...

  • cheezhedcheezhed Posts: 5,679 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I may have missed it but where did you purchase the coin originally?

    Many happy BST transactions
  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:
    I've never seen NGC slab a counterfeit US coin. You could try ICG. They slabbed jwitten's Omega counterfeit for him with the proper notation that it's an Omega counterfeit.

    Reread, Perry. I sent it to ICG. :D

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cheezhed said:
    I may have missed it but where did you purchase the coin originally?

    A local dealer. About 5 years ago.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame

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