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Coin Fakes, What To Look Out For

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Canada
39 Posts
 Posted 06/27/2022  08:49 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add recollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Are there specific visual things we can look for or other actions we can take to identify fake canadian coins before buying? (Assuming we dont have physical access to the coin and that it hasnt been checked by an independant company, and assuming that theres no obvious differences between historical photos of the same coin, and assuming there are no photos on alibaba.) I'm speaking specificlly about pre 1920 canadian silver coins (5c, 10c, 25c, 50c)

Would a fake dime not have a reeded edge for instance?
Edited by recollector
06/27/2022 09:00 am
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15833 Posts
 Posted 06/27/2022  09:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JimmyD to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If you have a photo of a questionable coin, the best way is to
compare it with a photo of a genuine coin which is readily
available on google. Look for any minor differences.
Yes a dime should have a reeded edge but sometimes the
reeds have been removed so that is not a 100% way of telling.
Also you won't have to worry about 50 cent coins as there were
non minted for circulation prior to 1920.
If you have any doubt, post a photo of the coin on this sight and
there a people here who can help you.
Valued Member
Canada
127 Posts
 Posted 06/27/2022  09:55 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Levaril to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Also you won't have to worry about 50 cent coins as there were
non minted for circulation prior to 1920.


Canadian 50 cent coins were first minted in 1870, and for quite a few of the years between 1870 and 1920. Not quite sure where that advice is from. :)

Telling fakes from real ones isn't easy from just a couple photos. Some of the really good ones are not easy to tell unless you really know what you are looking for. Most are cast though rather than pressed, so often there are air bubbles that lead to missing metal. Also the surfaces are different. Being pressed is where the luster comes from. Being cast doesn't give you any. The surfaces are just... different. Direct comparisons of real versus fake in hand are the best way to tell. If they are really dull looking that's often not a good sign, although it could be just over dipping as well. Either is bad so avoid dull.
Edited by Levaril
06/27/2022 09:55 am
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15833 Posts
 Posted 06/27/2022  09:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JimmyD to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

My mistake, for some reason my mind was thinking of Silver dollars.
I even have some early 50 cent coins.
Also the OP says he doesn't have physical access to the coins ( which
would be the best way to tell) so the only alternative is to go by supplied photos.
Edited by JimmyD
06/27/2022 10:04 am
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Australia
14514 Posts
 Posted 06/27/2022  11:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's an oft-told story, with more than a grain of truth to it: in America, the US Secret Service is in charge of detecting counterfeit banknotes. But they don't train their agents by having them examine a whole bunch of fake banknotes, to "learn what fake money looks like". Instead, they have their agents sit down and examine genuine banknotes, very closely and meticulously. That way, when a counterfeit comes past them, they know straight away, instinctively, that something is wrong, usually because because of some difference their subconscious mind has observed.

Similarly, ancient Chinese coin collectors used to speak of the aura of authenticity, or "Shen", that surrounded a genuine coin, which a fake coin did not possess. They thought of it as a property of the genuine coins themselves, but in truth, they were really describing their own experience at handling thousands of genuine coins - "Shen" is a property acquired by the collector, through experience, not an intrinsic property of the coins.

So it is with the coins you are asking about. If you wish to attain mastery at fake-spotting from a distance, you will need to examine a while bunch of genuine coins, across the whole spectrum of age and condition, if you wish to have a good chance of spotting fakes. Because fake coins don't have one distinctive clue-to-fakeness you can learn to spot - they can "be wrong" in a thousand different ways.

For example...

Quote:
Would a fake dime not have a reeded edge for instance?

Some low-quality fake dimes would have no reeded edges. There are also perfectly valid reasons why a genuine coin would have its reeded edge missing (heavy wear, for example), so it cannot be held as a hard rule "no reeding = fake". There are also fake dimes that have reeded edges, but the reeding has been imparted using a ring die, rather than a collar die, which leaves a distinctively "wrong" asymmetric pattern on the rim of the coin. Finally, some fake-reeded dimes have "wrong" reeding (too many reeds, or too few, around the circumference). You can try to count them to check... or you can rely on the instinct you've built up by examining the reeding on thousands of genuine coins.

There are, nevertheless, some good rules of thumb when trying to weed out fakes while buying coins online. One good rule I've noticed is "the camera doesn't lie". I mean this specifically in terms of colour. Fake "silver" coins are often not actually made of silver (especially the mass-produced fakes coming out of China). Since these coins are effectively made of a kind of brass, these coins often have a yellowish tint to them when photographed, even though they usually look "silvery enough" when holding them in hand. So if you see a pic of a supposedly silver coin and it looks a bit too yellow, let that become a little red flag waving in your head.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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 Posted 06/27/2022  3:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DBM to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Most are cast
Not true, cast counterfeit Canadian coins are quite rare and collectible as they are usually contemporary counterfeits.
Modern counterfeits are, almost without exception, die struck.
Your best defense is to post pictures here on this forum to receive opinions from those who are experienced.
"Dipping" is not considered cleaning...
-from PCGS website
Valued Member
Canada
127 Posts
 Posted 06/27/2022  3:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Levaril to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting. I've found dozens of counterfeits on ebay over they years and for the most part they were obviously cast due to missing metal at high points. (not wear) Some were not so obvious. I assumed that meant most were cast, but perhaps I got lucky with struck counterfeits then because I never came across any. It was back when I was mostly collecting mid-grade coins, which I don't any more. I haven't come across counterfeits in high grade coins, but I know they are out there. You'd imagine in high grade they would have to be struck to have any chance to escape detection.
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Canada
1967 Posts
 Posted 06/27/2022  4:44 pm  Show Profile   Check nickelsguy's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add nickelsguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wow
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Australia
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 Posted 06/27/2022  6:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
"Missing metal on the high points" isn't necessarily a sign of casting; it's a sign of low-pressure striking, and/or a poorly made die. "Signs of casting" are normally things like a porous or cracked surface, an edge seam (or an edge where the seam has obviously been filed away), a "sprue point" usually somewhere on the edge where the metal would have been poured into the mould, and finally, a slightly smaller diameter as a cast coin shrinks slightly as the molten metal solidifies and cools.

Centrifugal casting eliminates many of these issues, creating coins that are much closer to die-struck quality. Still, casting is generally not done for modern coins, because making die-struck fakes is quicker and less labour-intensive. Cast fakes of ancient coins are much more abundant.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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Canada
127 Posts
 Posted 06/28/2022  12:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Levaril to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
On the contrary, the ones I was talking about were cast. They literally had bubbles of missing metal at various spots on the coin. Once you know what to look for they are fairly obvious. I'm not saying they were good fakes at all, I'm saying they were quite poor fakes done by people who didn't know what they were doing. The pictures tried to hide it but not very successfully. I kind of wish I had bought one or two as a reference but typically they were coins in the $100-300 range and I didn't want to waste the money.

I did buy one fake that got by me and ICCS identified it. It was struck for sure as until they pointed it out I didn't notice. It wasn't a terribly high value coin but it still sucked. The surfaces looked much different under magnification. That one I still have somewhere.
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 Posted 06/28/2022  1:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DBM to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Wow

It's very disappointing.
"Dipping" is not considered cleaning...
-from PCGS website
New Member
Canada
39 Posts
 Posted 06/28/2022  9:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add recollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
if I send in a coin to PCGS for grading, if its a fake, they will let me know right?

or if I send in an error coin without telling them its an error coin, they will tell me what the error is and if that error coin is also a real error or not, correct?
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4984 Posts
 Posted 06/28/2022  9:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add john100 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not really they will body bag it not gradable, if you send an error coin you need some kind of supporting documents or info unless it"s an obvious error type.
New Member
Canada
39 Posts
 Posted 06/28/2022  9:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add recollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
what if it looks to be an obvious error type? Just For example (not an actual coin) a maple leaf by a 1946 date on a nickel, will they state the error , or if its made via fakery, will they tell me?
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Canada
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 Posted 06/28/2022  10:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add john100 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Obvious error are one listed in Charlton or like 180 degree rotation, struck on another denomination, off strikes, caps, in your example you would need supporting documents that the RCM maple leaf die for that year or it will be an uphill battle.
New Member
Canada
39 Posts
 Posted 06/28/2022  10:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add recollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
so if I send in a 1946 maple leaf nickel with no supporting documents, they will just send it back as not gradable?
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