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Counterfeit Detection: 1814 Classic Head Large Cent Altered Date

 
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 Posted 06/17/2021  11:13 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CCFPress to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
US Mint - This coin's identity crisis can be traced to some missing metal.

The Classic Head Cent was a short-lived seven-year series from 1808 to 1814, with a few commonly recognized varieties in the "Guide Book of United States coins" (the Red Book). The 1814 Cents had a mintage of 357,380 and a diameter of 29 mm, bigger than today's quarters.

The copper used for this series wasn't the best quality, which is reflected in NGC's Census data. Survivors tend to bunch up at the bottom of the grading scale due to extensive use and the poor alloys. Collectors who target the more-modest grades can complete a set for a few thousand dollars.


Genuine 1814 Plain 4 Cent, graded NGC G 4 BN. Realized $117.50 in November 2014.

NGC recently received a coin that had been altered to appear to be an 1814 Large Cent. But as you can see by the images below, while time has erased much of the details of the design, it is clear that the silhouette of Liberty on the front is from a later series. The shape of Liberty's hair at the forehead and the base of the neck indicate that it is a Braided Hair (1839-1857) rather than a Coronet Head (1816-1839), which has a similar profile. It is clearly not a Classic Head.


Altered 1814 Cent

Given that the apparent date on the coin doesn't correspond with its design, it is prudent to closely inspect the digits of the year at the bottom of the obverse. There is some obvious tooling around the second '1' in the date, where the color of the metal is noticeably different. This was caused by the counterfeiter scraping away excess metal from the original digit.


Closeup of altered date on 1814 cent

After 1857, the size of cents shrunk considerably, and their obverse design changed to a flying eagle, then an Indian princess and finally the familiar bust of Abraham Lincoln. Therefore, we can extrapolate that the original date on the altered coin was 1844, since the shape of other numbers would have required re-working the entire digit.

The 1844 Cent had a diameter of 27.5 mm and a mintage of nearly 2.4 million, more than six times that of the 1814 Cent. Before the alteration, this 1844 Cent was likely purchased for just a few dollars.

Check out certified 1814 Large Cents on ebay.

Read More: Counterfeit Detection Series
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 Posted 06/17/2021  11:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Zurie to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting that a century later, people did the exact same thing to 1944-D cents.
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 Posted 06/17/2021  11:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
At least the '44-Ds were from the same design!
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 Posted 06/17/2021  12:03 pm  Show Profile   Check BigSilver's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add BigSilver to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This is just stupid. Why would someone send such a coin in to NGC. Were they expecting that it was some sort of trial or pattern coin? It amazes me how people seem so eager to part with their money! Even if genuine it is hard to justify the grading cost in that condition.
Maybe they were sending it in to prove a point to a stubborn friend/enemy who was insisting it was genuine.
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 Posted 06/18/2021  10:13 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Earle42 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@BigSilver
The companies get a lot of business b/c people fail to do their homework about the actual role the grading companies fill. B/c people see so many slabbed coins being sold on eBay etc., there is an assumption made that these companies are just "what everyone does," b/c the companies are "THE experts" for everything having to do with coins instead of them existing primarily for grading.
The companies' great online guides, pics, etc., for people to use just add to the mindset that a coin sent to a company gets filtered through all this knowledge automatically. They don;t stop to think that they are paying for GRADING and not an in depth analysis. From a lot of posts online, you also get the feel most people do not understand that the companies don't recognize all varieties and automatically label them as a variety.
The slabbed Half dollar No FG farce: Download No-FG half vs. Grading Company Claims report here:
https://tinyurl.com/yalrstjz or higher resolution version: https://tinyurl.com/y7rksxu8

- How much squash could a Sasquatch squash if a Sasquatch would squash squash?
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 Posted 06/18/2021  5:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Over the years, I've seen many an altered date large cent. Among the more intriguing ones to me are those that were altered to become 1815. These alterations were done in order for collectors to fulfill a complete date run; this, as 1815 is the only year, between 1793-1857, that no cents were struck. Typically, 1845 cents were altered, but I have seen a few 1813 cents that were pot under the graver's knife!
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 Posted 06/18/2021  7:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fortcollins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Somebody submitted that to NGC? Seriously?
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 Posted 06/19/2021  04:17 am  Show Profile   Check westcoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add westcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wow, no reason to submit, even by a novice, but whatever I suppose, at least it's not my money being wasted. Would be interesting in a darkside collection with other like coins to show off altered coins.
"Buy the Book Before You Buy the Coin" - Aaron R. Feldman - "And read it" - Me 2013!
ANA Life Member #3288 in good standing since 1982, EAC Member #6202, NBS Member, 2¢ variety collector.

See my want page: http://goccf.com/t/140440
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