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1865 Washington Silver Dollar?  

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United States
2 Posts
 Posted 11/02/2007  3:34 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add ajax to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello from Arizona- I am new to this forum and in no way any kind of coin collector - yet.

My neighbors stopped by yesterday with two silver dollars and wanted to know if they had any special value. When looking at them, I knew immediately that something was "different" about them.

I noted the following:

1. They were dated 1865
2. They were not the standard seated liberty design.
3. They do not appear in standard catalogues.
4. The design of the coins is an obvious take-off of the Washington-head quarter with which we are all familiar, and which was not released until 1932. That is, Washington's portrait in profile on the obverse, with the spread-winged eagle on the reverse.
5. I noted that the first US coin to bear the likeness of an actual person was the Lincoln cent first released in 1909.
6. Close examination revealed the word "facsimile" below the open wings of the eagle. The word is broken into two parts, FAC appearing on the viewer's left, under the eagle's right wing, SIMILE under the other. The "L" is very faint, the "E" invisible.
7. There are no mint marks.
8. There are a number of physical defects.
9. They measure 1.495 inches in diameter, which is just a tick under 38 millimeters.
10. The edges are well-worn, but no substrate metal is visible, and they appear to be monolithic, not plated. I was thinking of running a specific gravity test on them to confirm that they are, in fact, silver, but was informed that a number on alloys have been developed which duplicate the appearance of silver while duplicating the specific gravity number. Apparently, these alloys have been known to counterfitters for centuries, so I decided to pass on the test.

Added together, it appears that these coins are not the product of any U.S. Government mint. It would also seem very likely
that they were not struck in 1865.

Does anyone have any hard data on these mysterious dollars?

A theory floating around here is that they were produced by a private establishment in 1965 to commemorate the ending of
our civil war in 1865. Just grasping at straws...

Any help would be very much appreciated.

Kindest Regards,

Pillar of the Community
United States
2443 Posts
 Posted 11/02/2007  4:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Amazon99 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Opps, nevermind.
Edited by Amazon99
11/02/2007 4:14 pm
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United States
12426 Posts
 Posted 11/02/2007  5:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add biokemist6 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome to the forum ajax!

it looks like you have done your homework and put in some research. You have pretty much figured out what it is not. It is possible that they could be Chinese(or other origin) fantasy counterfeits i.e. impossible coins based on real designs. I can't add much more than that without seeing it. Can you take a picture or a scan and post it? That might help.
ANA R-3151318
New Member
United States
2 Posts
 Posted 11/02/2007  6:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ajax to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the response, biokemist6-

Yes, I have heard that Asiatic countries have been fabricating copies
and fantasy coins for some time. I can say that the workmanship is simply
not up to U.S. standards, and that may be why.

I have scanned the 'net and found mention of these coins in four places
so far, one with a nice photograph. One fellow said he was attempting
to research it, but I couldn't find a way to link up to him.
Anyway, these coins are out there.

I tried my new digital camera for the first time in macro mode last night
shooting these two coins, and I must say the pics turned out pretty durn
nice for a first shot. But when it came time to post them, we struck out.
Too bad this site isn't set up to receive feed directly from the camera.
We have been successfull in sending pics by e-mail, however, and I have
been thinking of asking if I could e-mail these pics to a member here,
that he could then post them from his end.

Do you think a S.G. test would be worthwhile?

Particularly curious is the word "facsimile" embossed under the wings..

Thanks again, BK

New Member
United States
14 Posts
 Posted 02/06/2008  11:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add boomer to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I took pics of that coin today from a co-worker who brought in some nice trade dollars and it sure looked authentic but knew right off it could not be true. I also have another one with an indian face on it dated 1851 that I know has to be fake...cannot find it anywhere. They both stated United States of America and on the reverse one dollar. The third strange one was a standing liberty silver dollar. I am now going to take some better pictures and do more research. He is not going to be happy when I suggest they are fake. Along with his collection was a 1798 and 1799 bust dollars in rather good shape, I would say VF.
New Member
United States
3 Posts
 Posted 05/29/2008  3:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Andimsum to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I found this fake 1865 dollar in a parking lot of a friends business.
When I brought it in to show him, he said a guy was in with 20 of them was trying to sell them to him. the guy must have dropped it when he was leaving. I was wondering if there was a market for fake coins and if people collected them.

New Member
United States
3 Posts
 Posted 05/29/2008  4:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Andimsum to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
and a closer look at the back w/ the fac___imille

New Member
United States
38 Posts
 Posted 05/29/2008  10:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Master Gardener to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
that's awesome! some of the fake coins are better than what the mint churns out today, I've seen better nyc sunway slugs compared to some of the new quarters!

great find!
Valued Member
United States
405 Posts
 Posted 05/29/2008  11:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Mr Finger to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Shouldnt this have been posted in the identification forum?
Pillar of the Community
United States
1397 Posts
 Posted 06/10/2008  10:22 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wwhitman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've seen this coin before - can't remember where but it is around.
I would guess the 'facsimile' is on the coin to prevent one from being arrested!
I'm not an attoney, but I think that word prevents you from prosecution - a good thing
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