Home U.S. Coin Forum
Options

I bought the gold, not the coin (counterfeit 1912-S $10)

dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭

I recently bought a small group of three US "pre-1933" gold coins (uncertified). I usually inspect these quite closely before purchasing. But since (fortunately), the cost was not much above the gold value at the time, I did not. It was a local (live) auction situation and there was not a lot of time to look. At first, I thought this 1912-S Native Head $10 Gold Eagle might grade fairly high - high enough to be worth a significant premium. Technically, it does grade quite high. But, upon closer inspection, it is apparent that it is a high-quality circa 1960s Middle Eastern counterfeit, one of the better ones I've seen and unusual as a scarcer-date $10 Native Head.

The coin used as a model was a late die state, which helps camouflage the spurious origin. The model coin had scattered light bag marks (typical). Those marks were replicated in the die and they have flow lines across them on the struck counterfeit. That is the main "tell". But it takes a careful examination to determine if such marks happened before or after striking (if before striking, that indicates a counterfeit).

The single most obvious indicator is some small areas of tooling beyond the tips of two leaves (as shown in pictures with different lighting, below) :




.

The gold content is normal, so it is worth that anyway. I may sell it for the scrap gold value, or maybe over-strike it as something. The other couple coins in the group were genuine, although totally unremarkable (common).

.

Comments

  • Options
    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Onastone said:
    Wow. You're amazing. No really! To tell if a flow line is over a bag mark...I find that remarkable.Your level of observation is commendable.

    .

    Well, I must admit that I was not the first one to notice the red flags (because I never bothered to look closely enough). But I have since studied it thoroughly, of course.

    .

  • Options
    RelaxnRelaxn Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    Damn.. Cursory glance and I was like.. That is a homerun.. Then as I looked closer.. I realized it is not what it is.
    Hope you did not take it on the chops... IMpressive forgery

  • Options
    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,438 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider3 said:
    Here is some history on that particular C/F reverse die. While working at the ANA's Certification Service in DC one of these $10 came in and I detected it immediately because the edge was a giveaway. At the tip of the feathers there were two repeating depressions on the die. That summer, at the ANA counterfeit seminar, we told the students about this very deceptive (at the time), state-of-the-art counterfeit and showed a slide of the depressions. That was the only diagnostic we gave away. Well surprise, surprise.... a few months after the class, the same counterfeits started coming in EXCEPT there were RAISED "wormy tool marks" at the tip of the feathers similar to those we first saw on the Omega $20 where the die was touched up. The joke around the office was that one of the major counterfeiters was in our class that summer!

    Twice you said "tip of the feathers". Did you mean "tip of the leaves"?

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

  • Options
    Insider3Insider3 Posts: 260 ✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:

    @Insider3 said:
    Here is some history on that particular C/F reverse die. While working at the ANA's Certification Service in DC one of these $10 came in and I detected it immediately because the edge was a giveaway. At the tip of the feathers there were two repeating depressions on the die. That summer, at the ANA counterfeit seminar, we told the students about this very deceptive (at the time), state-of-the-art counterfeit and showed a slide of the depressions. That was the only diagnostic we gave away. Well surprise, surprise.... a few months after the class, the same counterfeits started coming in EXCEPT there were RAISED "wormy tool marks" at the tip of the feathers similar to those we first saw on the Omega $20 where the die was touched up. The joke around the office was that one of the major counterfeiters was in our class that summer!

    Twice you said "tip of the feathers". Did you mean "tip of the leaves"?

    Thanks! I tell folks that when a TPGS puts a coin in a slab, millions of eyes check our work!! That's a good thing.

  • Options
    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,559 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ya beat me to it, Skip!
    Back in the early Naughts I did an appraisal for a bank of the collateral that someone had used for a six-figure loan. There were several of these and a bunch of other classic Beirut counterfeits.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • Options
    braddickbraddick Posts: 23,116 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It seems like these are so well done, is there collector value (outside of the price of gold) or not really?

    peacockcoins

  • Options
    FrazFraz Posts: 1,859 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @braddick said:
    It seems like these are so well done, is there collector value (outside of the price of gold) or not really?

    Yes, there is after Mr. Carr reworks it and signs it.
    I’m a fan.

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

    @dcarr Thanks for the info. I am curious about the diagnostic metal content, if you did that. And, I think a creative over strike would be a hoot. 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
    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,438 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Fraz said:

    @braddick said:
    It seems like these are so well done, is there collector value (outside of the price of gold) or not really?

    Yes, there is after Mr. Carr reworks it and signs it.
    I’m a fan.

    Agree. Dan should use this counterfeit coin as a planchet to strike one of his fantastic fantasy coins. B)

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

  • Options
    FrazFraz Posts: 1,859 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’ll flash him the cash for it when I sell my junk clad on Facebook Marketplace.

  • Options

    @braddick said:
    It seems like these are so well done, is there collector value (outside of the price of gold) or not really?

    I would say yes, counterfeits like this with an interesting history should hold some collector value. The Omega, Morgan Micro O counterfeits, Henning, 1804 restrike cents or Machin's Mills pieces for example do. I can't imagine there would be the same support for over striking any of those examples. The histories are different for each of course, but the story behind the 1960s Middle Eastern counterfeits can be interesting in their own way too.

  • Options
    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,055 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Fraz said:
    I’ll flash him the cash for it when I sell my junk clad on Facebook Marketplace.

    PLEASE dont flash him - that would be most inappropriate!

    😉

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

  • Options
    GoldenEggGoldenEgg Posts: 1,923 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 27, 2024 6:41AM

    That’s a cool piece. It’s still a bit of a cherry pick, in my opinion. Thanks for sharing the odd stuff, when you come across it!

  • Options
    FrazFraz Posts: 1,859 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MFeld said:

    @Fraz said:
    I’ll flash him the cash for it when I sell my junk clad on Facebook Marketplace.

    PLEASE dont flash him - that would be most inappropriate!

    😉

    Thanks, for the reins. Flashing was a big deal in the CL thread.

  • Options
    sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,491 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 28, 2024 5:43AM

    In the O/P photo, the first things that look wrong to me are the color and surface texture. I realize that color varies according to many factors but the color on my screen is something that I've never seen on a US gold coin. The surface doesn't reflect light in the typical cartwheel manner but has a chiseled look, unlike the business strikes but more like some of the other finishes that the mint was using at the time on proofs. The eagle on the reverse is too bold, especially the far wing. On genuine coins, this blends into the background more while devices on this coin are boldly defined.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
  • Options
    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,559 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ya beat me to it, > @PerryHall said:

    @Fraz said:

    @braddick said:
    It seems like these are so well done, is there collector value (outside of the price of gold) or not really?

    Yes, there is after Mr. Carr reworks it and signs it.
    I’m a fan.

    Agree. Dan should use this counterfeit coin as a planchet to strike one of his fantastic fantasy coins. B)

    (Raises hand)
    Wasn't the loophole that made Dan's overstrikes NOT be counterfeit coins the fact that the understrikes began life as legal tender coins? A counterfeit understrike would still be a counterfeit if overstruck.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • Options
    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,438 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:
    Ya beat me to it, > @PerryHall said:

    @Fraz said:

    @braddick said:
    It seems like these are so well done, is there collector value (outside of the price of gold) or not really?

    Yes, there is after Mr. Carr reworks it and signs it.
    I’m a fan.

    Agree. Dan should use this counterfeit coin as a planchet to strike one of his fantastic fantasy coins. B)

    (Raises hand)
    Wasn't the loophole that made Dan's overstrikes NOT be counterfeit coins the fact that the understrikes began life as legal tender coins? A counterfeit understrike would still be a counterfeit if overstruck.

    Not all of Dan's creations are overstruck on coins. He does use gold planchets to strike fantasy coins.

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

  • Options
    Insider3Insider3 Posts: 260 ✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:
    Ya beat me to it, > @PerryHall said:

    @Fraz said:

    @braddick said:
    It seems like these are so well done, is there collector value (outside of the price of gold) or not really?

    Yes, there is after Mr. Carr reworks it and signs it.
    I’m a fan.

    Agree. Dan should use this counterfeit coin as a planchet to strike one of his fantastic fantasy coins. B)

    (Raises hand)
    Wasn't the loophole that made Dan's overstrikes NOT be counterfeit coins the fact that the understrikes began life as legal tender coins? A counterfeit understrike would still be a counterfeit if overstruck.

    I disagree. it would be a gold planchet of dubious fineness. Anyway, I think it has more value as a counterfeit than melt. If Carr overstruck it, it would have even more value to this customers as a "one off." He could do it for the YN auction and take a write off for the donation.

  • Options
    RexfordRexford Posts: 1,140 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @braddick said:
    It seems like these are so well done, is there collector value (outside of the price of gold) or not really?

    I would sincerely hope that there is not a market created around these, except for small premiums for use as study pieces. There are tens of thousands of different die transfer counterfeits across the range of world and US numismatics, with more made every day. They're not rare or unusual, and they are often significantly better in quality than this particular piece. If they started to command real premiums even as fakes then there would be even more incentive for counterfeiters to continue creating them.

  • Options
    braddickbraddick Posts: 23,116 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Rexford said:

    @braddick said:
    It seems like these are so well done, is there collector value (outside of the price of gold) or not really?

    I would sincerely hope that there is not a market created around these, except for small premiums for use as study pieces. There are tens of thousands of different die transfer counterfeits across the range of world and US numismatics, with more made every day. They're not rare or unusual, and they are often significantly better in quality than this particular piece. If they started to command real premiums even as fakes then there would be even more incentive for counterfeiters to continue creating them.

    Excellent points.
    I was thinking more in terms of contemporary counterfeits.

    peacockcoins

  • Options
    RexfordRexford Posts: 1,140 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @braddick said:

    @Rexford said:

    @braddick said:
    It seems like these are so well done, is there collector value (outside of the price of gold) or not really?

    I would sincerely hope that there is not a market created around these, except for small premiums for use as study pieces. There are tens of thousands of different die transfer counterfeits across the range of world and US numismatics, with more made every day. They're not rare or unusual, and they are often significantly better in quality than this particular piece. If they started to command real premiums even as fakes then there would be even more incentive for counterfeiters to continue creating them.

    Excellent points.
    I was thinking more in terms of contemporary counterfeits.

    The draw of contemporary counterfeits to collectors is that they are produced on hand-engraved dies and presumably for use in circulation. This is not a contemporary counterfeit, and is likely from the 1960s and of Middle Eastern origin as mentioned earlier in the thread. Of course, there is often no proof that "contemporary counterfeits" are truly contemporary, so collecting them is potentially problematic as well, but at least they have distinctive artistic qualities and hand-made crudeness that are distinct from your run of the mill die transfer, which are just produced from a mold of a genuine coin.

  • Options
    braddickbraddick Posts: 23,116 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Rexford,
    Thanks for taking the time and explaining your thoughts and logic.
    Much appreciated!

    peacockcoins

  • Options
    Insider3Insider3 Posts: 260 ✭✭✭

    @Rexford said:

    @braddick said:
    It seems like these are so well done, is there collector value (outside of the price of gold) or not really?

    I would sincerely hope that there is not a market created around these, except for small premiums for use as study pieces. There are tens of thousands of different die transfer counterfeits across the range of world and US numismatics, with more made every day. They're not rare or unusual, and they are often significantly better in quality than this particular piece. If they started to command real premiums even as fakes then there would be even more incentive for counterfeiters to continue creating them.

    Counterfeiters will make fakes to sell to the innocent, uninformed, or greedy collectors whether anyone collects them or not. Many counterfeits are worth more than the real thing. For example, the circulated "Micro O" dollars you cited. That Indian is a very old fake. More deceptive fakes are out in the wild before they are caught. If I were a famous world coin authenticator, I should pay more attention to the counterfeit Chinese Coins being certified as genuine!

  • Options
    Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,637 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 28, 2024 5:17AM

    To me the MV of a counterfeit coin is zero. As far as some BS it’s worth more go shop it around the bourse.

    So Cali Area - Coins & Currency
  • Options
    Insider3Insider3 Posts: 260 ✭✭✭

    @Cougar1978 said:
    To me the MV of a counterfeit coin is zero. As far as some BS it’s worth more go shop it around the bourse.

    BS???? LOL, the "new" Insider ;) is under the impression that this poster is decidedly incorrect. o:)

  • Options
    sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,491 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In obsolete currency there are contemporary counterfeits that are collected along with their genuine counterparts. Modern reproductions have no collector value but some, older copies are starting to have some value. The Confederate notes given away as premiums by Cherrios during the 1950s are collectible and have some value (as do fantasy CSA "cents"). Reprints of obsolete notes from original plates, often done privately, like the 1804 cent, have some collector value, too. Interesting similarities.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.

Leave a Comment

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