The 1886 Liberty Head 5-cent coin is one of the key dates in the series.
Only the 1885, 1912-S, and of course the ultra-rare 1913 Liberty
Head 5-cent coins have lower mintages than the 1886 coin.
This scarcity is reflected in the
Coin Values prices for an 1886 Liberty
Head 5-cent coin, which range from $325 in Very Good to $2,500 in Mint
These price levels make the 1886 5-cent coin an obvious target for counterfeiters.
The fake shown here is a reasonably well-made counterfeit, with
accurate design details and correct weight, diameter and thickness.
The counterfeiter did not want to go to the expense of acquiring a
genuine 1886 Liberty Head 5-cent coin to use as a model coin, though.
Instead, a common-date coin was used to produce the dies, and the
1886 date was subsequently hand-cut into the faked die.
If you have a genuine example for comparison, the differences in the
style of the date digits are a quick diagnostic for this fake.
Even though the counterfeiter did a fairly good job cutting the date
into the fake die, he did not perfectly replicate the style and
alignment of the date on a genuine coin.
Another diagnostic for this fake is the artificial circulation it
Most struck fakes that are arriving in the United States from China
have the appearance of an About Uncirculated to fully Mint State coin.
In contrast, this coin has been artificially worn down to a much
lower grade. It was not done evenly, though — the obverse has the
details of a Good to Very Good example, while the reverse appears to
be Very Fine.
When an expensive U.S. coin has an unusual wear pattern like this,
it should always encourage you to take a much closer look.
More from CoinWorld.com:
States Mint resumes silver American Eagle sales Nov. 17 to satisfy
voracious investor demand
of Kennedy half dollars in two-coin 50th Anniversary set graded
ISIL issue its own coins?
than 2,000 19th century silver coins in mud-pot hoard discovered
finds 1969-S DDO Lincoln cent after searching through 12,000 cents
Keep up with all of CoinWorld.com's news and insights by signing
up for our free eNewsletters, liking
us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter. We're also on Instagram!