Counterfeit Rare Coins


Re-strikes are pieces made from the original dies, but at a later period than the date on the coin. Among the American coins we find re-strikes of the dollar of 1804, and of the half-cents of 1831, 1836 and 1840 to 1849. The re-strikes, of course, do not command near the price of the originals. At present the dies are destroyed after the expiration of each year.


Altered dates are original coins which have been altered or tooled from one date to another, and these may justly be classed as forgeries. The rarer dates of the American coins are at times tampered with; especially the dollars of 1801, which are altered to the 1804. But an altered date can easily be detected by the aid of a good magnifying glass.


The front and back of electrotype coins are made separately and are then stuck together, and they may be easily recognized by the mark on edge showing where the two sides have been joined together. They are also of wrong weight. The electrotypes, as a rule, are not made to de­ceive the uninitiated, but are simply made as copies of very rare coins, where the original of the rare coin cannot be purchased. Electrotypes may generally be split in two with a strong knife.


Casts made from the original dies, are easily detected by their light weight or thickness. The lettering on cast coins is not as sharp as on struck coins, and the surface has a soft appearance, or else is covered with minute sand holes.


Forgeries struck from false dies are mostly found of the rarer Colonial and U. S. pieces, also of rare ancient gold and silver coins. They are easily detected by anyone somewhat familiar with rare coins, as the weight of the forgeries is mostly incorrect, and the lettering and design are sharper than on the genuine.

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