Alabama investigates sales of counterfeits

Man passes 40 fake silver dollars at pawn shop
Published : 07/12/11
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Police in Gadsden, Ala., are searching for a man who passed off 40 counterfeit silver dollars June 24 at a local pawn shop, the pieces including a Morgan dollar bearing a date and Mint mark of an issue that does not exist.

Detective John Hallman said the suspect was described as a heavy-set black man, approximately 6 feet tall, and wearing glasses. According to Hallman, the man brought the fake coins into Mal’s Jewelry & Loan Co., 549 Broad St.

After the pawn shop’s owner purchased the coins for $1,120 and the suspect left, closer inspection of the coins determined they were made of some kind of base metal, possibly steel, Hallman said. Hallman said the fakes looked well made upon cursory glance.

The same man is believed to have attempted to sell gold coins to another area pawn shop earlier in the day, but was unsuccessful, Hallman said. The same man also reportedly attempted to sell counterfeit coins at a pawn shop close to the Alabama/Georgia border, Hallman said.

The 40 counterfeits included Peace dollars; Draped Bust dollars dated 1797 and 1804, the latter of which only 15 genuine examples are known, each worth millions of dollars; and Morgan dollars dated 1885-CC, 1887-CC and 1903-CC (a nonexistent coin).

Contact Hallman at (256) 549-4645. ■

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