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New Coin Purchased From Heritage In An NGC Holder.

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Author Previous TopicReplies: 5 / Views: 302Next Topic  
Pillar of the Community
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5122 Posts
 Posted 04/22/2021  11:20 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
By now most members of this forum know that I collect Circulating Counterfeits that were made contemporaneously with the original coins they imitated.

Based on previous posts, you also should be aware that I really enjoy counterfeits that have been encapsulated by the TPG's.

In the February 2021 Heritage Auction I won an encapsulated Counterfeit Taler encapsulated by NGC. Here is a link to the item on Heritage.

It is a beautiful counterfeit mule of two dies that do not belong together. It is net graded as AU details because of a vert small test cut that was made to expose the core.

The technology is odd. The core corrodes green indicating copper but the bond between silver and copper is not well made like you would expect on a Sheffield type. It may be a "fouree" type forgery using an atypically thick silver over copper creating a mechanical bond.

I really does look old, but I still have concerns that it might be a modern fake.

At the price I paid I don't really care too much because I do like it.

I am bothered by the NGC terminology utilized to describe the item. The holder reads:


I am looking for opinions of collectors who are more familiar with both Davenport and NGC as to:

How do you interpret the words "CONTEMPORARY IMITATION" in this case?

My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon or from me directly if you want it signed.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1173 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2021  05:13 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Albert to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Words are words.
They mean different things to different people.
I am reminded of my collection of Cayenne 2 Sous where some are genuine, some are "contemporary counterfeit" and a few are "local imitations".
Having no absolute or strict standards regarding vocabulary or language, I suppose people will just describe things in different ways.
And what is one thing to one person is something else to another.
Valued Member
United States
475 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2021  05:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add PNWType to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
To me, the inclusion of contemporary should unequivocally mean made at the time those were circulating, and not a modern remake.
Otherwise the inclusion of contemporary feels a bit deceiving, why use contemporary if referring to the modern day? That's my thought at least
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United States
8033 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2021  08:56 am  Show Profile   Check westcoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add westcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A contemporary counterfeit is a strange way of saying it, but I also believe it is meant to defer to the time the real example was circulating alongside the counterfeit piece. It should not be inferred as "modern day" like recent post 1950 era. There must be a better way to say that other than "Contemporary Counterfeit" which can be construed to mean made in somebodies basement last week or came off a shipping container from China earlier this month.

To the colonial and EAC crowd we know what you mean, but it seem like most outside that area of collecting don't.

P.S. swamperbob - That is a cool old piece. Thanks for sharing.
"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:
Edited by westcoin
04/23/2021 08:57 am
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 Posted 04/23/2021  1:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tdziemia to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Poking around on the NGC website, I can find some places where they use "imitation" and "counterfeit" more-or-less interchangeably when referring to the same coin:
This poor imitation of a key-date nickel has numerous problems, including its year. ... Instead of having the expected 75% copper and 25% nickel (which is the same as a modern nickel), the counterfeit is 61% copper, 13% nickel and 26% zinc
(I realize that a real grammarian might pick that apart for differences in usage in the two places)

And, @swamperbob, I am afraid you have been a bad influence on me. I just intentionally picked up for the first time a contemporary counterfeit, with at least one attribute of yours (A mule of two dies that do not normally go together). I will post in a separate thread.

Edited by tdziemia
04/23/2021 1:40 pm
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5122 Posts
 Posted 04/23/2021  10:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add swamperbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with everyone basically. And I certainly hope the consensus is correct that it is as old as I now believe. My fears regarding the age of this coin arose from my microscopic exam of the coin in particular of the most obvious spots in the fields. Several of them (3) are not actually breaks in the silver plate but rather are surface deposits of an apparently ferrous material which has rusted and stained the surface. Penetrations that cut into the coin (far smaller than the spots that are most visible in the photos) show copper corrosion. One delamination also bleeds out a "green deposit".

The strike looks like some sort of multiple image very similar to the appearance of many of the Low Countries trade coins (Dog Dollars) which I have seen over the years. That was a great comfort and supports my current belief that it is very old. It seems improbable that modern forgers would re-create the necessary apparatus to replicate that strike. Also the dies appear to be hand engraved complete with die sinking errors and corrections - very typical of the 1500-1600s before the screw press was used.

So as of now I conclude that a "Numismatic Forgery" is ruled out. Being in a plastic coffin many of my preferred tests can not be done. However, it was finding that NGC actually encapsulates coins they know to be old counterfeits is very interesting. I believed only ICG had slabs for counterfeit types.

The use of "contemporary" as an indicator of a "contemporaneously issued counterfeit" is normal for collectors like myself but this interpretation is found only within certain numismatic circles. To many collectors who do not appreciate counterfeits at all terms for all fakes are interchangeable. To the average man on the street, contemporary usually means modern. So confusion reigns.

I really dislike the eBay auctions which describe clearly modern Numismatic Forgeries as "Contemporary Counterfeits". I write to the sellers if they are in the US but I am usually ignored. Most of the eBay locations guilty of this practice are from China and Spain.

The choice by NGC of Imitation is a poor word choice in my opinion. It is poor because it is not precise. If anything the man on the street might think "copy" when they hear the word imitation. This is confusing because within the hobby COPY refers to modern fabrications (which Charles Larson refers to as "Numismatic Forgeries.")

Because there is a serious difference between "Contemporary Counterfeits" and "Numismatic Forgeries" in the eyes of the ANA, Charles Larson and others, I believe it is about time that standards were adopted and adhered to by all people who consider themselves serious hobbyists.

I will need to do more research myself because I am not familiar with the relative age of the two types of dies used. If they are basically contemporaneous, it would be more believable than if the two coins were decades or centuries apart in time.

I will let you know what I discover.

tdziemia Congratulations on entering the fold.
My book on Counterfeit Portrait 8Rs is available from Amazon or from me directly if you want it signed.
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