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Counterfeit Detection: 1880-CC Morgan Dollar

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 Posted 02/15/2022  4:17 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CCFPress to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
NGC - This fake is mostly copper, but even if you didn't know that, there are other red flags.

The 1880-CC Morgan dollar had a mintage of slightly under half a million. The NGC Price Guide indicates even heavily circulated examples are worth at least $100, with expected prices easily surpassing $500 in Mint State.


Genuine 1880-CC Morgan Dollar

Recently, NGC received a submission of a purported 1880-CC Morgan dollar. Its weight is 26.63 grams, less than the expected 26.73 grams and just outside the mint tolerance. However, a slight amount of metal loss due to circulation could explain the difference, so further analysis is needed.


Counterfeit 1880-CC Morgan Dollar

A metallurgical analysis finds this coin to be 60% copper, 30% zinc, 7% nickel, 2% manganese and 1% silver. This is obviously enough to determine that the coin is not a genuine vintage Morgan dollar, which would be 90% silver.

But if you didn't have the high-tech equipment to analyze the metal, there are still plenty of red flags. The coin has an odd, unnatural luster, with soft details in the high points. The "8"s in the date are misshapen.


Close-ups of the counterfeit 1880-CC Morgan Dollar

Tooling, which indicates a counterfeiter was trying to conceal a more noticeable problem, can be seen on the obverse below the first "U" in PLURIBUS as well as on the reverse in the "OL" in DOLLAR.

Read More: Counterfeit Detection Series

Check out 1880 CC Morgan Dollars on ebay.
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 Posted 02/15/2022  5:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ploopy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This is a scary counterfeit, looked real at first glance.
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 Posted 02/15/2022  5:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ijn1944 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Excellent read.
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 Posted 02/15/2022  6:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Boy, that's scary for sure!
Edited by Coinfrog
02/15/2022 6:01 pm
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 Posted 02/15/2022  6:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MisterT to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Counterfeiters seem to be getting better at mixing alloys that more closely mimic the weight of genuine coins. Truly troublesome indeed!
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 Posted 02/15/2022  7:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add macmercury to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Deceptively good. I would have to used the ping test first, but who's going to let me?

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 Posted 02/15/2022  8:28 pm  Show Profile   Check jacrispies's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not too shabby...
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 Posted 02/16/2022  4:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fenton to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
darn that counterfeit is so good I almost want it in my collection. Whomever did it should forget about the fakes and do legal overstrike fantasy pieces like Daniel Carr.
Edited by fenton
02/16/2022 4:55 pm
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 Posted 02/16/2022  9:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add fortcollins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
VAM is still the best visual gatekeeper for all but one of the modern counterfeits.* All of the counterfeit compositions will fail at least one of the big three tests (weight, specific gravity, or Eddy Current slide). When they're in counterfeit slabs, those tests are out the window, and it's much more difficult. When they use universal hubs, the dates and mint marks are sloppy on many of them (including this one). When they use transfer dies, the obverse and reverse are commonly mismatched. That's my best argument for VAMming every online Morgan. The handful of "super counterfeits" seem to be laser-cut dies, but those transfer every surface scratch from the original coins. The next generation, though, will replicate the original diemaking process and will be brutal.


*There is a VAM-correct transfer die 1899-O that looks at first glance like every other ugly EF 1899-O in pawn shop junk silver bins. The weight is within tolerance and it passes an Eddy Current slide test, but specific gravity is way off. I'll have to hunt down my notes for the VAM, but it's one of the common slanted date VAMs. Even a blind squirrel . . .
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 Posted 02/16/2022  11:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ty2020b to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Scary for sure, better than the majority at first glance.

And thanks as always to fortcollins for the always helpful additional insight.
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 Posted 02/17/2022  12:36 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Earle42 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Side by side with large pics, it can be seen tiny details are off. Such as the lips, nostril shape, and eye are all wrong. I am sure there are others, I just stopped looking. This level of comparison often shows the fakes.
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 Posted 11/02/2022  11:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BobTeel55 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I fell victim to this counterfeit, because of greed. I closed in on "20 Morgan dollars for $200." Counterfeit never entered my mind. I didn't bother to check the valu of the date. I actually thought $30 of silver for $10. Regrets began right after payment. The coins are slabbed as if certified by PCGS except for one minor detail. All 20 have the Exact Same ID number, with no hyphen.

I'm going to eventually turn them in to the secret service, although, selling them as raw copper has its appeal
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 Posted 11/03/2022  09:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
to the Community, BobTeel55. I hate that it is not under better circumstances.

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 Posted 11/03/2022  10:28 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kbbpll to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@BobTeel55 I would contact PCGS about it. Somebody who has access to 20 fake slabs all with the same cert# isn't a one-off scammer. PCGS would have the resources and motivation to go after them.
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 Posted 11/03/2022  11:52 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add bobby131313 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
They are most likely in China though.
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 Posted 11/03/2022  2:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kbbpll to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
They are most likely in China though.
Even so, they have an address they're shipping these from, they have an account where the money goes, and PCGS has offices in China. It can't hurt to alert them.
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