Scary, Ebay seller selling decent fake PCGS coins, MS63 1916-D Merc

My co-worker bought a couple of auctions from seller dwb9242, this PCGS MS63 1916-D Merc was one of them. I think it is fake, what do you think?

Ebay auction:
Fake 1916-D

He did not include pictures of the slab on either auction. My co-worker requested better pictures of the coin and slab and received these.


image

image

We both did not like the reverse picture of the certification slip, so additional searches yielded the Original coin and slab for ale on the web:

Link to real coin being sold

image

It looks like even the bar code matches up. My co-worker also bought a 1919-S Lincoln from him and not sure if that is fake. Are most of his coins he has sold fake? The seller was emailed and didn't believe it. Thanks for any responses
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Comments

  • coin22lovercoin22lover Posts: 2,732 ✭✭✭
    Interesting find, but I am thoroughly confused by that website..
  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702
    I think you are correct. And, while I have no idea if it will help, I contacted the seller. I am also highly skeptical of the alleged PCGS FB 1945 Mercury Dime he has listed here
    Mark Feld
  • joebb21joebb21 Posts: 4,014 ✭✭✭
    wow
    may the fonz be with you...always...
  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 6,528 ✭✭✭
    Well, even the front labels are different, that's for sure. Compare how the '31' aligns with '90' below it on both labels.
    Can't see enough of the dime (either of them) to judge that. But that labeling is not something you would catch if you didn't have another to compare it with. The reverse label certainly looks odd. Very worrisome though to say the least.
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  • WoodenJeffersonWoodenJefferson Posts: 5,899 ✭✭✭
    Premium Numismatics, Inc.

    Nothing for sale. Just photos and descriptions of coins we have handled.

    The images provided by Premium maybe old images, the coin was re-submitted for an up-grade (full bands) did not garner the designation, so now you have a different holder. Not to worry, the e-bay sell has a legit coin, but man, spending 10.5 k on the internet is an extremely risky venture.
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  • AngryTurtleAngryTurtle Posts: 1,265 ✭✭✭
    I vote definitely NOT the same coin. note how the die alignment between obverse and reverse is different between the two coins. Premium numismatic shows some offset from normal coin alignment, eBay coin does not. Reverse of eBay coin looks suspicious to me as well.
  • It is not the same coin, look at the bands, the fake coin has no separation, look at the close auction link pic, and the real one has plenty.
  • I just found the real coin on Heritage:

    Heritage Link
  • a newer slab


    the reverse has a different PCGS hologram

    with the (fake?) having NASDAQ CLCT on it



    is there any possibility that the coin got re-holdered or re-graded?


    I can say the slab is different, but not that everything is fake from the photo provided.


    Maybe PCGS should buy it and sue the seller if it is a fake (to protect their brand and market domination)
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  • The listing has been removed.
    Give the laziest man the toughest job and he will find the easiest way to get it done.
  • I don't want to sound like a shill, but all the more reason for SecurePlus!


  • And what about this 1909 s VDB, "PCGS" listing by him?

    1909 s VDB listing

    ......I collect old stuff......
  • blu62vetteblu62vette Posts: 11,048 ✭✭✭
    I wonder how the barcode would read if you put a scanner on it?

    http://www.bluccphotos.com" target="new">BluCC Photos Shows for onsite imaging: Nov Baltimore, FUN, Long Beach http://www.facebook.com/bluccphotos" target="new">BluCC on Facebook
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,102 ✭✭✭
    The close-up of the 1916-D is very suspicious looking. So to the 1909-S VDB.
    He says he's been buying and selling [fakes] for 42 years!

    Someone should buy something cheap from him and get his name and address.

    Edited to add: Sorry it says the OP's co-worker did buy it! Please post clear pictures when you get it in hand.


    imageimage
    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • robkoolrobkool Posts: 5,206 ✭✭✭
    YIKES !!! image
  • From an email it says his name is David Burns and his location says BURLINGAME, CA

    Also he has a few higher end coins auctions that already completed and may be suspicious as well.
  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702
    I have been in touch with the seller, and, at the present time, have very limited information.

    But, he said he did not know he had bought/listed any counterfeits and that he has filed a local police report to try to track down the individual who sold them to him. I have asked for good images of the coins, including the front and back of the holders. If I receive them, I will post them here. I told the seller, that if the coins and holders are counterfeit, perhaps PCGS could get involved too.
    Mark Feld
  • The coins that were won have not been paid for as we discovered the discrepancies right before.
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,102 ✭✭✭
    Good work CoinGuy and Darkwaverave.

    I think a dealer with 42 years experience should have been able to tell it was fake. We, of course should not pass judgment too quick, as nobody is perfect, and things do get by the best of us. Please keep us posted.

    On a side note, any seller of a counterfeit, regardless of their prior knowledge or lack thereof, should be held accountable. Make offering them bad for business.
    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,102 ✭✭✭
    His 1917-D T1 Quarter MS-65FH NGC looks REAL gemmy! NOT!

    In searching him, there nothing on Google for David W. Burns as a coin dealer in Burlingame. I think we won't find him out from that name.
    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • Looking at the bar codes there is a difference. On the sellers coin the 9 in 109 is over a gap in the bar code where as on the second coin the 9 is directly over a line.

  • jdimmickjdimmick Posts: 7,847 ✭✭✭
    There several of these fakes being sold on Ebay by supposedly dealers with years experience, One of are club members bought two CC morgans on here a few weeks ago, and both were fake coins in fake slabs, they looked real good and would have fooled a majority of buyers.

    jim
  • robkoolrobkool Posts: 5,206 ✭✭✭
    These fake coins in fake slabs gotta get off the market asap...
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,102 ✭✭✭
    These sellers are certainly the ones who should be rooted out and listed as fraudulent sellers. Start a list with real name, eBay name, and any other information. I don't think you have to fear any lawsuit from criminals.
    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • Off topic
    I LOVE your GreatCoins thing Rick.....Kudos bud, I pray that it works
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  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702


    << <i>These sellers are certainly the ones who should be rooted out and listed as fraudulent sellers. Start a list with real name, eBay name, and any other information. I don't think you have to fear any lawsuit from criminals. >>

    But there is a big difference between knowingly selling such coins vs. doing so without knowledge. At this point, I choose to believe that the seller being discussed in this thread was unaware.
    Mark Feld
  • BarryBarry Posts: 10,338 ✭✭✭
    All these counterfeits are a serious problem. Has PCGS ever addressed the problem?
  • dcarrdcarr Posts: 4,528 ✭✭✭✭


    << <i>All these counterfeits are a serious problem. Has PCGS ever addressed the problem? >>



    Good job, everyone.

    To really solve the problem, it is absolutely essential that there be a website where anyone can
    go look at high-resolution images of the original certified coin given a certification number.
    Only then will there really be a worry-free internet market for rare coins.
  • How difficult would it be to make a counterfeit Secure+ lable?
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  • Okay so besides a terrible ebay image is there any proof that any coin is infact fake? Anyone even seen one of these in hand? Images can do amazing things to coins and make the same coin look 100% different depending on how the image was taken. A simple reholder could account for barcode changes as far as number placement. Anyone even get a decent image of one of these so called fakes?
  • The image didn't rotate the reverse die of the Real coin. Compare both the obverse and reverse of both sets of slabs. The fake is pretty much right on coin alignment, and the real is rotated on the reverse. Also the center bands are split on the real coin, you can see that real good in Heritage's pictures, but the fake coins bands are flat.
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,102 ✭✭✭
    But there is a big difference between knowingly selling such coins vs. doing so without knowledge. At this point, I choose to believe that the seller being discussed in this thread was unaware.

    OMG! Are you saying you want to give him the benifit of doubt! A person who claims to have been in the business for 42 years offering multiple counterfeits, and you are worried that he doesn't know!

    He should know. He's hiding his identity, he's not a dealer and he's obviously a crook. There should be no tolerance for a pattern of selling counterfeits. None! Don't even give him the benefit of doubt because then he'll come back under another name and sell more. He's probably a con artist too. He's got you conned!
    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • blu62vetteblu62vette Posts: 11,048 ✭✭✭


    << <i>Okay so besides a terrible ebay image is there any proof that any coin is infact fake? Anyone even seen one of these in hand? Images can do amazing things to coins and make the same coin look 100% different depending on how the image was taken. A simple reholder could account for barcode changes as far as number placement. Anyone even get a decent image of one of these so called fakes? >>



    I was able to image a fake recently and there are some signs. The fakes are very good but when I get the clear with a dealer and owner we will get some good image with real good closeups to show what is going on.
    http://www.bluccphotos.com" target="new">BluCC Photos Shows for onsite imaging: Nov Baltimore, FUN, Long Beach http://www.facebook.com/bluccphotos" target="new">BluCC on Facebook


  • << <i>Okay so besides a terrible ebay image is there any proof that any coin is infact fake? Anyone even seen one of these in hand? Images can do amazing things to coins and make the same coin look 100% different depending on how the image was taken. A simple reholder could account for barcode changes as far as number placement. Anyone even get a decent image of one of these so called fakes? >>



    The 1916-D from the auction has a mintmark that is closer to the rim so it clearly isn't the same coin IMO. There's also a hit across the middle bands on the Heritage coin that isn't on the Ebay coin.
  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702


    << <i>But there is a big difference between knowingly selling such coins vs. doing so without knowledge. At this point, I choose to believe that the seller being discussed in this thread was unaware.

    OMG! Are you saying you want to give him the benifit of doubt! A person who claims to have been in the business for 42 years offering multiple counterfeits, and you are worried that he doesn't know!

    He should know. He's hiding his identity, he's not a dealer and he's obviously a crook. There should be no tolerance for a pattern of selling counterfeits. None! Don't even give him the benefit of doubt because then he'll come back under another name and sell more. He's probably a con artist too. He's got you conned! >>



    Yes, Rick, I choose to give him the benefit of the doubt. Under the circumstances, what is the downside to that, and trying to work with him? Or do you think I should try to con him and that will lead to better results?

    Mark Feld
  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702
    Rick, I received images of two of the coins from the seller, but, for some reason, was unable to post them. I have forwarded them to you via email attachments. If you have the time and inclination to post them and offer your expert opinion, that would be great.
    Mark Feld
  • This is the first fake PCGS slab that would have fooled me at first glance. I've seen discrepancies in the font in the past and quickly concluded fake. But here, the font seems dead-on. Yes, I do see the distance between certification number and barcode is too close but only upon very close inspection, even then it was not a deal sealer for me.

    Yeah, the reverse of the coin looks strange and would have been the main red flag to me. But the point is, what if it was an authentic MS62FB coin slipped into a fake 63FB holder? As long as they get the holder font and everything right, the sky's the limit.

    I applaud PCGS for going after the coin doctors in the current lawsuit, but I wish they would pursue these slab fakers, too. Maybe the fake slabs aren't as big a problem as the puttying of Gold, the tooling of heads on SLQs or the tooling of bands on Mercs, but they could one day be. I've watched the slab fakers get their slabs closer and closer to the real thing these past few years.

    PCGS has never addressed this problem so far as I am aware.
    I have existed since the creation of this world and will exist until its end. Only my form will change. For these 80 human life years, I have the benefit of having a functioning body and consciousness. I will not waste this opportunity.
  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702
    Here are two obverse images of the S-VDB cent, a reverse image of it and obverse and reverse of a 1919-S cent from the seller. I have asked for other images and will post them if I receive them.

    Comments are welcomed.

    image

    image

    image

    image

    image
    Mark Feld
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,102 ✭✭✭
    I see a pattern of deceit.


    image
    This 1909-S VDB doesn't look like a fake, but the image is terrible, so there is really no way to tell.

    The 1917-D T1 MS65FH looked like a retoned AU in a fake holder.
    The 1916-D is certainly a fake in a fake holder.
    Searching his other sales.....

    He may even be connected in some way to the syndicate making the fake holders.
    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,102 ✭✭✭
    This one is fake 1884-S

    imageimage
    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702


    << <i>I see a pattern of deceit.


    This 1909-S VDB doesn't look like a fake, but the image is terrible, so there is really no way to tell.

    The 1917-D T1 MS65FH looked like a retoned AU in a fake holder.
    The 1916-D is certainly a fake in a fake holder.
    Searching his other sales.....

    He may even be connected in some way to the syndicate making the fake holders. >>

    I'm not prepared to condemn the 1917-D Quarter based just on those images. What do you think of the 1919-S Cent I posted images of? Thanks!
    Mark Feld
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,102 ✭✭✭
    1919-S looks real, but who can really tell from that image.

    RE: 1917-D T1
    A lower grade coin in a fake holder should be considered a Counterfeit.
    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702


    << <i>1919-S looks real, but who can really tell from that image.

    RE: 1917-D T1
    A lower grade coin in a fake holder should be considered a Counterfeit. >>

    But the coin might not have been switched - no way to tell with any degree of certainty from those images.
    Mark Feld
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,102 ✭✭✭
    Now what we need to see is if he is willing to rectify the situation by sending full pictures, not the out-of-focus dino-lite images (doesn't he have a scanner?)

    If he was scammed in buying these coins, then he should be more than willing to help.

    Is he willing to help PCGS and authorities track down the counterfeiters? Follow the money trail.

    Maybe we can get my FBI friend on the case.
    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • Can you post images of (or a link to) the 17-D quarter?

    "A lower grade coin in a fake holder should be considered a Counterfeit."

    Criminal fraud yes. Counterfeit no.

    1919-S from Heritage (looks different to me - unless they removed that spot on the left wheat ear during a reholder - IMHO). Coincindentally, it is the most recent one in their archive where the insert color matches: LINK

    Note also the vertical allignment of the "S" in 1919-S & the "P" in PCGS. They're different (again, unless a reholder made this point moot). In the seller's pic's they have about a 25% vertical overlap whereas in the Heritage image there is what looks like no overlap at all (i.e. you can draw a straight vertical line to the right of the S & to the left of the P and touch neither). There's probably more inconsistincies but I've spent too much time on this one already. image

    imageimage

    The '09-S VDB is not one of the most recent 50 sold at Heritage (there's about 75 more I didn't look at on pages 2 & 3 of the search).
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,102 ✭✭✭
    Criminal fraud yes. Counterfeit no.

    Both counterfeiting the coin and counterfeiting the holder is criminal fraud. defining a counterfeit and the action of counterfeiting are two different things.
    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • True that.

    I was only thinking (perhaps narrowly &/or mistakenly) in terms of the coin itself (although the government would not consider it "counterfeiting" as such as that term is reserved for making unauthorized copies of legal tender coins and currency as is generally understood).
  • EagleEyeEagleEye Posts: 7,102 ✭✭✭
    MS-65FH?

    imageimage
    Rick Snow, Eagle Eye Rare Coins, Inc.Check out my new web site:
  • coinguy1coinguy1 Posts: 13,702
    Here are two messages I received from the seller (who sounds credible to me) and who has indicated he will be sending additional images to me that I will post here.

    1)
    Mark

    Here is my sad story....

    Last Monday I saw a post on Craig's list for a MS65 1909 S VDB. ?I responded to the listing and soon received a phone call from a guy calling himself Ralph.. I noticed he was calling from a Florida telephone number and questioned him about the number. ?He said he was in SanFrancisco for an Uncle's funeral and that the Uncle had left a coin collection to his two cousins and himself.

    We agreed to meet at Starbucks in Burlingame so I could look at the coin. ?The coin's PCGS verification number was a match and I felt fairly confident about the coin. ?During our conversation I asked him if he had other coins he wished to sell. ?At first he said no but agreed to think about it overnight.

    The next day he called and said he had a few more he wished to sell. ?I agreed to meet him, this time at the Burlingame Public Library. ?He said he had some Morgan Dollars and washington Quarters.

    However when I met him he showed me a 1919 S Lincoln Penny MS65, a 1945 FB Dime MS65 and the now infamous 1916 D dime MS63. ?All appeared genuine and the verification numbers checked out. ?I listed them on ebay and sold two very quickly.

    This morning I was sending additional information to the winner of the 1916 D when he directed me to a website listing known counterfeit PCGS coins. ?My 1916 D coin was identified there as a fake.

    I went to the website and confirmed what he had said. ?At the same time I looked up the other coins I had purchased and did not see any of them listed. ?Later when you identified the 1945 P as counterfeit I assumed the remaining two coins are counterfeit also.

    I tried calling Ralph's number several times and of course all I reached was voice mail. ?Next I went to the Burlingame Police Department to seek their assistance. ?They said they would investigate and called me later this afternoon to tell me they had traced Ralph's cell phone number to an "earn Money Fast" business and that the phone was probably a throwaway phone.

    These coins did not come cheap and I dipped into my modest retirement funds to pay for them. ?I appreciate your kind offer of assistance and have attached photos of the 1919 S and the 1909 S VDB.

    Please confirm to me that you received this email.

    Regards,

    David

    2)
    Mark

    If you would like to post my story go ahead.

    In answer to your questions:

    I do not know if the police are out of options. They asked mr last night if the posting on Craig's list was still active and if it was could I print a copy of the listing. The listing is still active and I am dropping a copy of the listing shortly.

    I paid by cash per the Craig's List post. This is not unusual in my experience.

    Images to follow in a few hours.

    In the late sixties as a high school senior I was part owner of a coin shop in the Bay Area. Dealing in coins pretty much paid for college and grad school. For a few years after grad school I continued to deal in coins, mostly with gold and silver bullion. In the mid 19080's I was robbed and effectively put mr out of business. I then began a successful career at UC Berkeley but continued to deal in coins for a small group of customers In 2002 I left Berkeley for a dram job in the Central Valley. In early 2009 my position was eliminated and I found myself unemployed and unable to find employment.

    I decided to try to revive my coin business, starting out very slow and building a customer base. I began selling on ebay and found it to be quite successful and safe. I also started purchasing coins from Craig's List and although not as safe it worked for me. I guess you can call mr a dealer in a coin market that is so very different than the sixties, seventies, and early eighties.

    Once you notified me that the 1945 P dime was also a counterfeit I went into self preservation mode, trying to reach Ralph to get my money back. I did not even think about the 1909 S VDB I still had listed on ebay.

    Meanwhile I am in the doghouse with my wife for letting this happen again and for dipping into retirement savings to pay for these coins.

    David



    Mark Feld
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