Finding a copy of a copy

Continental Currency fake in roll
Published : 11/06/11
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When I walk into a bank where I am known as a roll searcher and I see one of the tellers smiling hugely while trying to get my attention, I immediately know that something good is about to happen!

Recently, as I approached the toothy teller’s window, three rolls of large-sized dollar coins were placed in front of me to exchange for cash.

I must tell you that the very first thing that ran through my head is that, “I really love this bank!” Next, my thoughts turned to getting home and searching through the rolls. Finally, I fantasized about finding some long ago hidden Morgan or Peace dollars as that has happened several times before. In any case, I was at the very least, going to have a great deal of fun looking through a nice pile of big coins!

As I looked through the first roll of Eisenhower dollars, I discovered a nice mix of date and Mint mark combinations but found nothing to write about in this column. It was in the second roll searched that I saw an unusual and very surprising piece.

At first glance, the design resembles one of the known varieties of a 1776 Continental dollar, with the obverse featuring the words continental curency (the second word incorrectly spelled, a famous variation found on genuine examples) encircling a sundial with the fugio legend and mind your business appearing in the center.

The reverse shows 13 linked rings representing the Colonies and the legends we are one and american congress.

The designs used are based upon designs found on an early emission (Feb. 17, 1776) of Continental Congress fractional currency which were designed by Benjamin Franklin.

So, is this thing real or is it not?

Well, the fact is that I immediately recognized this piece as a copy of a copy.

Barely visible and to the right of the g in fugio are the remnants of the word copy that seem to have been partially removed from the host piece that was likely used to make a mold that was later used to cast this fake.

The other dead giveaway that this piece is a poorly made copy of a copy is that, visible between the t and a of continental, is evidence of a hole that has been plugged prior to the making of the mold that ultimately resulted in this piece being created.

Although this copy of a fake is less than authentic, it was still fun to find one of these in a roll of coins obtained at a local bank!

Please share your finds with me by going to and clicking on the Submit Question button.

Bill O’Rourke is a collector who has spent the past several years searching coin rolls in
pursuit of his hobby.

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