US gold coins have been faked, even the common ones, the best fakes in .900 gold.
leftcoastcoins has shined a true light on the possibility of Mormon gold fakes, which have also been made in good quality gold. The book 'Numismatic Forgery', by Charles M Larson, shows how really convincing such a fake can be. This book was endorsed by none other than a past President of the ANA
Due to the potential value, this coin definitely should be closely examined by a professional expert in this series.
I am nowhere near skilled or experienced enough to consider the character of the damage this coin may have sustained in it's exposure in a creek bed. That is most probably how Heritage
or some other professional business will establish the veracity of your provenance.
If it was taken to Heritage
, they would question you to consider the veracity of the provenance.
If you wish to sell it, it's authenticity needs to be established, thus Heritage
would be a good place to start, to do that.
I would trust Heritage
in preference to a TPG
, whose main
job is to grade coins, not verify them.
In order for a TPG
to protect their own professional butt, if they were unsure about the coin, it would simply not get graded, and so you would have to resort to Heritage
anyway, along with some already implied expressed doubt about it.