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1906-O Barber Half Contemporary Counterfeit...Well, I thought it was but it's authentic. Thanks all!

PocketArtPocketArt Posts: 1,335 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 7, 2017 4:32PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Last night I purchased this 1906-O Half at my local coin club meeting. I notified the President of the coin club my feelings about the item, and he agreed there seemed to be something off with the piece, and he alerted the members that, "there were questions concerning authenticity, doesn't look correct but is probably silver." I did ask him before auction to throw a magnet to it to see if it would stick. It didn't; so probably why conclusion of silver.

I bought this coin for $6...Honestly; I hope I didn't put across feelings of alerting, and then buying on the cheap. :# I really wanted this for my collection, and I did put across that there is a niche for contemporary counterfeits with some collectors....be that as it may.

What do you see right, or, wrong with this coin? Below are my thoughts.

Weight: 11.48 grams. Normal is 12.50 grams. 1.02 grams underweight.

Magnetic: No. This checks, and shouldn't be magnetic.

Surface: Looks to be plated zinc, maybe silver, and quite noticeable on the obverse. The reverse has hints of zinc/silver coating remaining; yet, has significant verdigris on the reverse. I soaked coin in pure acetone, and residue did not lift from surface. PVC doesn't appear to be cause of the discoloration on reverse. The edge appears heavily worn. I do not see any remnants of casting. There does appear to be faint traces of reed marks.

Ring test: Sounded similar to a silver Barber half with same amount of ware.

Devices: The "0" in date looks a bit too large on the obverse, and center two digits in date don't appear to be set low enough. The "1" looks wrong, and the "9," and "6" just don't look right. On the reverse; the mint mark "O" appears to be too close to the tail feathers.

Conclusion: Contemporary counterfeit: coin may contain silver, but zinc/silver coating, and location of date, and MM appear off from regular strike. Weight of coin is slightly under 1 gram from standard weight. I'm not sure what weight should be with wear; but, this still seems a bit light. Well, pretty sure a counterfeit. :p

http://www.pcgscoinfacts.com/Coin/Detail/6506

Comments

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    JeffMTampaJeffMTampa Posts: 3,262 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree that it's not an authentic 1906 O Half. There are many things wrong; good job spotting them. You have a great buy for $6!

    I love them Barber Halves.....
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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,554 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Gut feeling is genuine, just well worn which could account for the weight (about right for the grade) and the broadening of the numbers and such. Look at a normal coin and you will see that the base just above the surface is wider than the high parts of an unworn coin.

    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.
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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looks 100% genuine. B)

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    PocketArtPocketArt Posts: 1,335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:
    Gut feeling is genuine, just well worn which could account for the weight (about right for the grade) and the broadening of the numbers and such. Look at a normal coin and you will see that the base just above the surface is wider than the high parts of an unworn coin.

    I'm still leaning towards fake Tom. Here is a comparison of a 1906-O out of my collection which is authentic, and compared with the "plated" Barber with same date that I believe is counterfeit. The coin in question is plated- there is no doubt.

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    PocketArtPocketArt Posts: 1,335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:
    Looks 100% genuine. B)

    Yeah, and you're wearing shades so whats up with that...lol. :)

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 19, 2017 8:23PM

    I felt really cool to be able to agree with Tom who is a long-time professional numismatist and former ANACS authenticator. Sure, sure, we don't authenticate coins from photos yet I'm still 100% genuine and count myself in very good company! B)B)

    The reason the coin looks and weighs the way it does has been explained. :wink:

    I should love to own the OP's coin so I can place it in my "Coins that everyone mistakenly thinks are counterfeit collection"

    PM me if it is for sale.

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    BruceSBruceS Posts: 1,350 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 19, 2017 8:37PM

    I can't tell for sure from pictures, but the green oxidation looks strange for a 90% silver quarter , (even with the 10% copper mix.)


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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,554 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One possible explanation for the "plated" look could be that after the coin was well worn it became exposed to some acidic environment (the ground? some high school kid's science experiment? something else?) that leached most of the copper out of the surface. It could then have been returned to circulation for a while which caused the high grade surface to wear away in exposed areas like the right field.

    Spend a few decades in a damp Whitman folder and/or a pvc flip and you can get the green crud.

    After WW2 Australia cut the composition of their silver coinage from .925 to .500 with the alloy copper, nickel and zinc. To brighten the color of new coins they pickled the planchets to leach out the alloy. They were beautiful when new, but looked like hello after a few years in circulation once the high-grade silver wore off the high points.

    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.
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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I can see your points that make you question this coin.... however, in this case, I side with Insider and Tom....I think it is genuine, but has suffered environmental exposure causing the altered appearance. Cheers, RickO

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    silverpopsilverpop Posts: 6,599 ✭✭✭✭✭

    as some have said it's most likely real just badly worn and damaged

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    FredWeinbergFredWeinberg Posts: 5,722 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think it's genuine too -

    Just yesterday, at a local coin store
    here in the Valley, I was shown 25 circ.
    1921 Morgan dollars rejected from
    a bag of them, and probably 20 of
    them had almost the same mottled look -
    a bit 'flattened', and that light green
    verdigris look on them.

    Retired Collector & Dealer in Major Mint Error Coins & Currency since the 1960's.Co-Author of Whitman's "100 Greatest U.S. Mint Error Coins", and the Error Coin Encyclopedia, Vols., III & IV. Retired Authenticator for Major Mint Errors
    for PCGS. A 49+-Year PNG Member...A full numismatist since 1972, retired in 2022
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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Any one who looks at lots of silver coins brought into a coin shop from an old accumulation will see plenty with this green residue. I believe most call it PVC residue.

    And now there are four. B)B)B)B)

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    messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,701 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nothing in the pictures says fake to me. Environmental damage, yes, but I'd have to get a much closer look to say fake.

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    PocketArtPocketArt Posts: 1,335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks Tom for the informative post in addition to the explanation of "plated" look of the 1906-O Barber Half. Also, thanks Fred for your insight; along with JeffM, Insider, Ricko, BruceS, silverpop, and messydesk. I appreciate all your willingness to take the time to share your interest and knowledge. Concerning the comments, weight of coin, and ring test- I agree, highly unlikely a counterfeit. Good information here, and very helpful!

    What really stuck out as odd on this coin when I saw it; was the appearance of the obverse. I immediately thought of the 1918 Walking Liberty Half in my collection that has a zinc/silver coating- this one I have labeled as counterfeit. The edge has what appears to be diagonal file marks to remove some metal- I tried to get an image of that too. Well, pretty sure a counterfeit. :#

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You need to take the specific gravity of that one as it does not look like it is silver.

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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,942 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Genuine but heavily worn and probably buried for quite some time.

    All glory is fleeting.
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    BillDugan1959BillDugan1959 Posts: 3,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I believe genuine. You get this green effect when silver coins are stored with copper/bronze coins in a leather pouch for a very long time. A form of verdigris.

    I had an old collection to liquidate this summer and there was a old leather pouch with about seventy-five copper and silver coins. All had some degree of this green.

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    jonathanbjonathanb Posts: 3,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    FWIW, here's a similar pieces that I posted a while ago -- a "1903-D" Barber quarter...

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I should check that one out with a specific gravity test. When I enlarge the reverse image it looks like a scratch goes down the eagle and damages the left side of the "O" making it look like a "D." Only you can tell for sure.

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    pcgs69pcgs69 Posts: 4,261 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 21, 2017 11:18AM

    I’m with the looks genuine but with damage crowd. If you know someone with a metal detector they may be able to help based on how it sounds. Not a guaranteed answer but can help.

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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,554 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:
    You need to take the specific gravity of that one as it does not look like it is silver.

    Agreed. Gut feeling is contemporary counterfeit.

    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.
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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    TOO MANY COINS IN THE THREAD!!! Please start your own!

    OP's is genuine.

    For now, 1918 50c looks C/F lead-based and plated (granular + bubbles in plating and worn off).

    "D" mint quarter is C/F if it is a "D." Possibly genuine if Sp Gr. OK and mint is "O."

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    PocketArtPocketArt Posts: 1,335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:
    You need to take the specific gravity of that one as it does not look like it is silver.

    Okay, I'll do this. In the past I've outsourced my coins to a family member who has a scale at her workplace, and she'd weigh a coin for me on occasion. Since the specific gravity requires a bit more than throwing a coin on a scale; now is probably good time to break down and buy one. Should have result posted end of next week.

    I see that pure silver has a specific gravity of 10.49- anyone know what 90% silver 10% copper should be?

    Thanks in advance.

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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,554 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PocketArt said:

    @Insider2 said:
    You need to take the specific gravity of that one as it does not look like it is silver.

    Okay, I'll do this. In the past I've outsourced my coins to a family member who has a scale at her workplace, and she'd weigh a coin for me on occasion. Since the specific gravity requires a bit more than throwing a coin on a scale; now is probably good time to break down and buy one. Should have result posted end of next week.

    I see that pure silver has a specific gravity of 10.49- anyone know what 90% silver 10% copper should be?

    Thanks in advance.

    About 10.34.
    TD

    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.
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    PocketArtPocketArt Posts: 1,335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great, thanks Tom!

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    10.3. Ohaus makes a great beam scale for specific gravity with a holder for the water (I use everything from a pyrex beaker to a paper cup). Was a little over $100 when I got mine thirty years ago. I'll tell you how to make a great rig that holds almost any size coin after you get the balance.

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    PocketArtPocketArt Posts: 1,335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:
    10.3. Ohaus makes a great beam scale for specific gravity with a holder for the water (I use everything from a pyrex beaker to a paper cup). Was a little over $100 when I got mine thirty years ago. I'll tell you how to make a great rig that holds almost any size coin after you get the balance.

    I would appreciate that insider2; although I just collect, and don't deal in volume like you do I'm curious to the rig. Thank you!

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    amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 11,269 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Know anyone with an XRF Gun? That would be quick and easy!

    @PocketArt said:

    @Insider2 said:
    You need to take the specific gravity of that one as it does not look like it is silver.

    Okay, I'll do this. In the past I've outsourced my coins to a family member who has a scale at her workplace, and she'd weigh a coin for me on occasion. Since the specific gravity requires a bit more than throwing a coin on a scale; now is probably good time to break down and buy one. Should have result posted end of next week.

    I see that pure silver has a specific gravity of 10.49- anyone know what 90% silver 10% copper should be?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Options
    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's genuine.

    This whole conclusion of plating is nonsensical. You claim it passes the magnet test, rings correctly, but is plated. There is no reason for counterfeiters to plate a silver coin.

    Some HSN type promoters have been known to chrome plate garbage to make shinier.

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    PocketArtPocketArt Posts: 1,335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @amwldcoin said:
    Know anyone with an XRF Gun? That would be quick and easy!

    @PocketArt said:

    @Insider2 said:
    You need to take the specific gravity of that one as it does not look like it is silver.

    Okay, I'll do this. In the past I've outsourced my coins to a family member who has a scale at her workplace, and she'd weigh a coin for me on occasion. Since the specific gravity requires a bit more than throwing a coin on a scale; now is probably good time to break down and buy one. Should have result posted end of next week.

    I see that pure silver has a specific gravity of 10.49- anyone know what 90% silver 10% copper should be?

    Thanks in advance.

    Ha! Nope. In this neck of the woods around these parts of N.W. Ohio, I can find about any other caliber aside from the XRF . ;) I really need the scale, and this does give me the motivation.

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jmlanzaf said: "It's genuine. This whole conclusion of plating is nonsensical. You claim it passes the magnet test, rings correctly, but is plated. There is no reason for counterfeiters to plate a silver coin."

    I believe you are speaking about the OP's half a dollar. I strongly disagree with your post but gave you a LOL instead.

    Let's think this out together. Base metal is often lead colored. Silver is usually some shade of silver. So, if the coin is not genuine and not silver, do you see why it could be plated. Now, look at the rough, granular dark gray surface. Can you see how the plating is laminating in tiny streaks? IMO, there is more evidence of the coin being a fake than it being genuine. :wink:

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:
    @jmlanzaf said: "It's genuine. This whole conclusion of plating is nonsensical. You claim it passes the magnet test, rings correctly, but is plated. There is no reason for counterfeiters to plate a silver coin."

    I believe you are speaking about the OP's half a dollar. I strongly disagree with your post but gave you a LOL instead.

    Let's think this out together. Base metal is often lead colored. Silver is usually some shade of silver. So, if the coin is not genuine and not silver, do you see why it could be plated. Now, look at the rough, granular dark gray surface. Can you see how the plating is laminating in tiny streaks? IMO, there is more evidence of the coin being a fake than it being genuine. :wink:

    I'm not sure what lamination you are referring to. As I mentioned it could have been chromed but I don't see anything definitive that there is any plating. Without different angles/lighting, I can't tell what is corrosion and what might be lamination.

    What makes ZERO sense is the idea the OP seems to be floating that it is SILVER AND IT IS PLATED...unless it were chromed, as I mentioned. There is no way that base metal with silver plating would ring correctly. Counterfeits were usually cast, often in lead to match the grey pallor. Lead may not respond to the magnet, but it wouldn't ring. If it were zinc, it would ring better but still not correctly and the weight would be waaaay off.

    I've seen numerous genuine coins, usually Morgans, with the same look.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:
    @jmlanzaf said: "It's genuine. This whole conclusion of plating is nonsensical. You claim it passes the magnet test, rings correctly, but is plated. There is no reason for counterfeiters to plate a silver coin."

    I believe you are speaking about the OP's half a dollar. I strongly disagree with your post but gave you a LOL instead.

    Let's think this out together. Base metal is often lead colored. Silver is usually some shade of silver. So, if the coin is not genuine and not silver, do you see why it could be plated. Now, look at the rough, granular dark gray surface. Can you see how the plating is laminating in tiny streaks? IMO, there is more evidence of the coin being a fake than it being genuine. :wink:

    By the way, you mentioned a couple posts up that you thought the OP's coin was genuine. Why the eff are you picking a fight with me?

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Look at the surface on the reverse between "United" and the eagle. Is it smooth or rough? Do you see any directional pattern in it? Take a stab and describe what you see in that little space on the coin.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:
    @jmlanzaf said: "It's genuine. This whole conclusion of plating is nonsensical. You claim it passes the magnet test, rings correctly, but is plated. There is no reason for counterfeiters to plate a silver coin."

    I believe you are speaking about the OP's half a dollar. I strongly disagree with your post but gave you a LOL instead.

    Let's think this out together. Base metal is often lead colored. Silver is usually some shade of silver. So, if the coin is not genuine and not silver, do you see why it could be plated. Now, look at the rough, granular dark gray surface. Can you see how the plating is laminating in tiny streaks? IMO, there is more evidence of the coin being a fake than it being genuine. :wink:

    Let's think this through together: coin is close in weight, rings properly and does not respond to a magnet. You have ZERO evidence that it is NOT silver.

    It could be a fake. It could be lead It could be plated, but pretty much everyone with any experience on this thread has suggested the opposite. I'll stand with them.

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 21, 2017 7:11PM

    The OP's Barber coin is genuine. This thread was hijacked and other coins were posted! I've been posting about the 1918 50c. AFAIK, no weight is given for it in this thread, It's authenticity is up in the air as far as I'm concerned. IT IS PLATED. I tried to help you see that. Until a specific gravity test is done you may stand anywhere you like on the coin dated 1918. <3

    The other coin (Barber 50c) was stated to be genuine soon after it was posted. OBVIOUSLY, IT IS GENUINE AND NOT PLATED!

    Please read what I wrote above:

    TOO MANY COINS IN THE THREAD!!! Please start your own!

    OP's is genuine.

    For now, 1918 50c looks C/F lead-based and plated (granular + bubbles in plating and worn off).

    "D" mint quarter is C/F if it is a "D." Possibly genuine if Sp Gr. OK and mint is "O."

    If you don't agree with any of this, I'll be glad to answer your questions.

    PS No one is picking a fight w/you. Perhaps one of us did not comprehend the total thread. o:)

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    PocketArtPocketArt Posts: 1,335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I will do a specific gratify test on said coin.

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    PocketArtPocketArt Posts: 1,335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I finally got my scale today...

    1906-O specific gravity is 10.38- checks out for coin silver.

    1918 weight is 9.17 grams, and specific gravity is 7.05- contemporary counterfeit

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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,554 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PocketArt said:
    I finally got my scale today...

    1906-O specific gravity is 10.38- checks out for coin silver.

    1918 weight is 9.17 grams, and specific gravity is 7.05- contemporary counterfeit

    Thanks for the update!

    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.
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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jmlanzaf You were right!

    @PocketArt said: "I finally got my scale today..."

    1906-O specific gravity is 10.38- checks out for coin silver.

    1918 weight is 9.17 grams, and specific gravity is 7.05- contemporary counterfeit

    How do you like your balance? Which did you get?

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    PocketArtPocketArt Posts: 1,335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:
    @jmlanzaf You were right!

    @PocketArt said: "I finally got my scale today..."

    1906-O specific gravity is 10.38- checks out for coin silver.

    1918 weight is 9.17 grams, and specific gravity is 7.05- contemporary counterfeit

    How do you like your balance? Which did you get?

    I purchased a TBBSC 500G/0.01G model. Chinese manufacture, seems to handle well. I checked a couple hundred '82-D small dates- works good!

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 7, 2017 6:07PM

    Good Luck. I use a tongue depressor.

    When you have some time can you tell us about or photo the "rig" you used to take the Sp.Gr test?

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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,554 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:
    Good Luck. I use a tongue depressor.

    Ahhh!

    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.
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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:

    @Insider2 said:
    Good Luck. I use a tongue depressor.

    Ahhh!

    It was probably one of your "tips" from decades ago! :wink:

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    PocketArtPocketArt Posts: 1,335 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:
    Good Luck. I use a tongue depressor.

    When you have some time can you tell us about or photo the "rig" you used to take the Sp.Gr test?

    This is my new "rig."

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    TreashuntTreashunt Posts: 6,747 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I believe it is real, just coated with PVC

    Frank

    BHNC #203

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    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PocketArt said:

    @Insider2 said:
    Good Luck. I use a tongue depressor.

    When you have some time can you tell us about or photo the "rig" you used to take the Sp.Gr test?

    This is my new "rig."

    Thanks. So you dangle the coin into the water?

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