An Interesting Counterfeit 1805 Half Cent and new Coin Week Article

Images of my example of counterfeit 1805 "C-4" half cent courtesy NGC:

Coin Week just published my long-term research article on this one at https://coinweek.com/counterfeits/struck-counterfeit-coin-of-the-week-1805-c-4-half-cent-1-page-attribution-guide/

The research effort started back in the fall of 2015!

Best, Jack.

Comments

  • rickoricko Posts: 62,427 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would say an entire new spectrum of counterfeit copper is now opening to collectors.... Thanks Jack, Cheers, RickO

  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 2,554 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 30, 2018 7:23AM

    I would never know it was a counterfeit. That's scary!

  • sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 952 ✭✭✭✭

    The host coin has deep scratches. Presumably the counterfeiter chose this coin because he was able to get the most detail for the best price with a damaged coin. Fortunately these scratches couldn't be fully removed from the transfer die and left pretty identifiable diagnostics.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip. Ebay listings
  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 26,650 ✭✭✭✭✭

    These damn things are really scary. About the only thing that gives this one away is the color, which does not match anything thing I’ve seen on a genuine piece, even one that has been cleaned and begun to re-tone.

    I used to collect half cents by die variety. I could tell the Cohen variety number by sight, but this thing really has the sharpness of the real thing, and that is very bad.

    The host coin has deep scratches. Presumably the counterfeiter chose this coin because he was able to get the most detail for the best price with a damaged coin. Fortunately these scratches couldn't be fully removed from the transfer die and left pretty identifiable diagnostics.

    All of that is very nice, but can you really remember all of that stuff? I can't. I'm lucky if I can remember all of the die states.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • burfle23burfle23 Posts: 326 ✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:

    All of that is very nice, but can you really remember all of that stuff? I can't. I'm lucky if I can remember all of the die states.

    That's part of the reason I send the articles to Coin Week Bill- they are available to all to review!

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 26,650 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @burfle23 said:

    @BillJones said:

    All of that is very nice, but can you really remember all of that stuff? I can't. I'm lucky if I can remember all of the die states.

    That's part of the reason I send the articles to Coin Week Bill- they are available to all to review!

    Yes, but what can you do when you are out at a show? Sure, you can access an iPad, but how much time do you have?

    This is the same as situation with the fake gold coins. Sure, this counterfeit has repeated marks that show up on all the copies, but what about the NEW counterfeits? They could have a whole new set of marks from a different host coin. The old methods of spotting "fatty letters," missing detail and raised stay marks that shouldn't be there seems to be going by the boards.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 18,227 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jimnight said:
    I would never know it was a counterfeit. That's scary!

    Same here

  • IrishMikeyIrishMikey Posts: 1,549 ✭✭✭

    Great work, Jack! Do you have any idea WHO is making these? Like others have said, that is one scary counterfeit.

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 8,735 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:

    @burfle23 said:

    @BillJones said:

    All of that is very nice, but can you really remember all of that stuff? I can't. I'm lucky if I can remember all of the die states.

    That's part of the reason I send the articles to Coin Week Bill- they are available to all to review!

    Yes, but what can you do when you are out at a show? Sure, you can access an iPad, but how much time do you have?

    This is the same as situation with the fake gold coins. Sure, this counterfeit has repeated marks that show up on all the copies, but what about the NEW counterfeits? They could have a whole new set of marks from a different host coin. The old methods of spotting "fatty letters," missing detail and raised stay marks that shouldn't be there seems to be going by the boards.

    So true. The crude fakes you mention went the way of the dinosaurs decades ago. We reached the point in time where the "Days of the hand lens" are over long ago. The best line of defense for all of us is to insist on having a coin authenticated before purchase. That way if a mistake is made, the buyer is covered by a STRONG GUARANTEE.

    Down through the years, the entire numismatic community has helped the TPGS keep a watchful eye for new fakes.

    A new generation of specialists like the OP, using the tools available on the Internet, has taken this "help" much further becoming something like an additional "sticker of authenticity." The TPGS's are lucky to have them. The fakers are not.

    As far as "new" counterfeits and improved methods of making them, IMO,we haven't seen anything YET! :(

  • MikeInFLMikeInFL Posts: 10,100 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 30, 2018 11:28AM

    Thanks for sharing. That's a really good counterfeit, but now easily diagnosed based on that article. One wonders how many out there haven't been. Thanks again for sharing the article....Mike

    Collector of Large Cents, US Type, and modern pocket change.
  • burfle23burfle23 Posts: 326 ✭✭✭
    edited April 14, 2018 1:20PM

    @IrishMikey said:
    Great work, Jack! Do you have any idea WHO is making these? Like others have said, that is one scary counterfeit.

    IrishMikey, we have tracked several to a Chinese buyer (I have the seller ID and actually "talked" with him though emails- ironically his email address ended in "666"...); we were able to view the transactions and follow-up with known sellers/ dealers.

    Many of the initial fakes from late 2015 (and a few source examples) were sold through a "Company" in College Station, Texas.

    We have found some of the source examples came back on the market after the struck fakes; in the case of the 1854 Huge O quarter the source started as a certified holed example in a major auction. After repairs and making the fake dies it was submitted to a TPG and certified as Genuine "Tooled" and sold on eBay- I actually own it now.

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 7,613 ✭✭✭✭✭

    As Bill said, the color is the only issue I can readily see - and that's assuming it really looks like that in hand. Copper is notoriously hard to photograph.....I'm just afraid the color in hand looks pretty good too!

    Successful BST transactions with 136 members. Recent: relaxn, Eagle eye, soldi, silverman68, ElKevvo, sawyerjosh, Schmitz7, talkingwalnut2, konsole, sharkman987, sniocsu, comma, jesbroken, David1234, biosolar, Sullykerry, Moldnut, erwindoc, MichaelDixon, BAJJERFAN, Valenti151, GotTheBug, okiedude, jhdfla, LRCTom, ajaan, Raybo
  • burfle23burfle23 Posts: 326 ✭✭✭

    The color of this one is a little off as shown, leading a TPG to previously cert it as "AU Details- Environmental Damage".

    Color on similar struck fake 1806 "C-1's" is much more "normal" for copper.

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 8,735 ✭✭✭✭✭

    IMO, a TPGS would "detail" a coin as this. Artificial color or cleaned. Also IMO, until quite recently, no one at any TPGS or any coin dealer would even suspect a coin as this was not perfectly genuine!

    I believe it took EAC members to question these coins, then prove they were counterfeit, and then warn the TPGS.

  • burfle23burfle23 Posts: 326 ✭✭✭
    edited March 31, 2018 5:19AM

    From my perspective it started with a fake 1798 "S-158" and two EAC members trying to verify if it were actually a new variety due to the unseen die state and other different features (longest "Y" of the 1798 series) and exploded as a couple of members started looking at other "varieties" with the help of EAC members in 2 of the TPG's. Initially a copper focus it branched out following the suspect submissions and similar eBay sellers through all of the early US coin denominations. Writing the research articles and posting in forums like this became a priority as well in order to try and get the word out to others in the hobby of this latest threat. The sellers are patient but not knowledgeable numismatists (so far), so knowledge and patience is prudent for collectors as well in my opinion...

  • burfle23burfle23 Posts: 326 ✭✭✭

    Got back from the EAC convention yesterday; during the 4-days another struck fake 1805 "C-4" half cent showed up. We were able to use my exhibited example and attribution sheet to prove it fake; "coin" was donated to the growing collection.

  • burfle23burfle23 Posts: 326 ✭✭✭

    Images courtesy NGC of this latest example:

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 8,735 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @burfle23 said:
    Images courtesy NGC of this latest example:

    I want one of these so bad! Hoping for one on Ebay.

  • HydrantHydrant Posts: 1,444 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That coin is the perfect example for why I never spend significant money on raw coins. I almost got burned once. ....that I know of. Anyway, once I realized my $2,300 beauty was a very, very, excellent electrotype, I went back to the dealer, held the coin up edgewise at eye level to the dealer and didn't say a word. He gave me my money back. He never said a word. The silence said it all.

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 26,650 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The dangerous thing about eletrotypes is that one of their worst sins, the edge, can hide in a slab.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • HydrantHydrant Posts: 1,444 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would like to add that I had my doubts that the dealer was trying to pull one over on me. Most likely he was embarrassed that it got by him. Anyway, that's how I like to think of it but I've never bought anything from him since then. Mistakes happen.

  • burfle23burfle23 Posts: 326 ✭✭✭

    @Insider2 said:

    @burfle23 said:
    Images courtesy NGC of this latest example:

    I want one of these so bad! Hoping for one on Ebay.

    This one will be sent to ICG for the educational holder.

  • burfle23burfle23 Posts: 326 ✭✭✭

    Just had a new example show up; added to the collection:

  • HemisphericalHemispherical Posts: 1,214 ✭✭✭✭

    I enjoyed your article, the timeline, and especially the diagnostics. Three years to get this counterfeit “confiscated.”

    I am glad for the informative posts on this forum.

    Thank you @burfle23.

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