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Counterfeit Detection: 1924 Huguenot Commemorative Half Dollar

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 Posted 02/04/2021  12:45 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CCFPress to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
NGC - The silver content of this convincing fake exceeds U.S. Mint standards for classic commemoratives.

The authorized mintage of the 1924 silver Huguenot-Walloon Tercentenary half dollar was 300,000, but only 142,000 were struck and issued. Of those, 87,000 were sold for $1 each through the Fifth National Bank of New York.

Surprisingly, instead of being returned to the mint for melting, the remaining 55,000 were released into circulation at face value. Today, the coins are worth much more than their face or bullion value. Uncirculated examples usually bring more than $100 each at auction, and the highest-graded pieces can fetch many thousands.

The Counterfeit Huguenot-Walloon Half Dollar (top) lacks the detail and smooth fields of the genuine specimen

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ( NGC) recently received an example for authentication and grading that didn't look quite right. Although it likely would not raise suspicion among many collectors and even dealers, anyone familiar with this particular issue would note that numerous details are missing. Whereas the genuine half dollar pictured above has nice luster, the counterfeit is lifeless, and its surfaces display a granularity uncommon to authentic specimens.

Note the grainy surface and poorly defined large sail on the fake on the right

The enlarged images above illustrate the differences between the two coins. The fake is visibly pockmarked and coarse, and the lack of detail is obvious. In particular, note how the inner part of the large sail, which has the same rough texture, seems to meld with the field. The masts and the side of the ship likewise are poorly defined.

If these shortcomings aren't enough to condemn this coin, the silver content certainly is. The metal composition actually is too fine: instead of the standard 90-percent silver, 10-percent copper, the counterfeit is 95-percent silver, 5-percent copper. This is far outside U.S. Mint tolerances and further proves the coin's spurious origins.

Read More: Counterfeit Detection Series
Read More: Commems Collection
Huguenot-Walloon Half Dollar Commemorative History, Facts, and Specifications
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 Posted 02/05/2021  02:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Winesteven to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It fools me, even with the explanation and photos.

While I don't doubt one bit that the coin shown at the very top (with 95% silver content) is counterfeit, the exact same points about lack of detail can be made about the Hudson coin in a nearby thread/post. In that post, the Hudson MS67 has so much less detail than my MS66+ also shown and Commems MS65 which can be seen by a hotlink in that post. Our two coins have so much more detail in so many areas of the coin compared to the MS67. Yet I know (believe) that the MS67 is genuine.

A coin having a weak strike is common. However, the granularization of the top coin here is an important learning point, and the 95% silver content is the clincher!

A day without fine wine and working on your coin collection is like a day without sunshine!

My collecting "Pride & Joy" is my PCGS Registry Dansco 7070 Set:
Edited by Winesteven
02/05/2021 02:32 am
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 Posted 02/05/2021  04:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If a coin is copied from an original some detail is almost always lost in whatever copying process is used.

Loss of detail is one of the most effective ways of detecting fake coins.

Often, if an excellent copy coin is just looked at, rather than closely examined, it can escape detection.

It always pays to closely examine any and all high valued coins before making a decision to buy. Normal habit for a coin dealer.
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 Posted 02/05/2021  09:27 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add That Coin Dude to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
ugh, think about how many could have been scammed, had this not been sent in.
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