The U.S. Trade dollar series remains one of the most heavily
counterfeited among U.S. coins.
When large numbers of fake Trade dollars first showed up many years
ago, examples with the Carson City Mint mark were the most prevalent,
and this trend remains unchanged. Judging by what I have encountered
in the ANACS grading room during the past year, two or three
counterfeit Carson City Mint Trade dollars exist for every genuine example.
The fake 1876-CC Trade dollar shown here is well-made and could
easily fool many dealers and collectors. The finer details of the
design are reasonably sharp, the weight and composition are accurate,
and the overall appearance is quite deceiving.
Like many Chinese fakes, this one has the sharpness of a piece in
About Uncirculated condition, with dull surfaces that at first glance
appear to be lightly cleaned.
A close inspection of this fake produced a few helpful diagnostics.
An oddly shaped raised lump is in the fields above the TA in STATES,
and another raised lump is above the second T in STATES, touching a
dentil. The letters in E PLURIBUS UNUM are a bit weak and rounded, and
some light tool marks (raised lines on a fake coin caused by
corrective tooling of the fake die) appear on the digits in the date.
Many fake Trade dollars can be detected by an incorrect combination
of design types. During 1875 and 1876, the design of the Trade dollar
was changed slightly, resulting in a Type 1 and Type 2 for both the
obverse and reverse. When mixing and matching fake dies to produce as
many different date/Mint mark combinations as possible, counterfeiters
from China sometimes pair die types that were not paired on any
genuine piece. For a complete description of the differences, as well
as a list of all the combinations produced by the U.S. Mints, refer to
Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States.
Unfortunately, this fake copies a Type 1 obverse and a Type 2
reverse, the most common die pairing for genuine 1876-CC Trade
dollars, so this information doesn’t help detect this particular fake,
but ANACS has seen hundreds of other fake Trade dollars that can be
confirmed using this method.
More from CoinWorld.com:
Mint moves deadline for ordering 2014 commemorative coins
can someone successfully invest in rare coins?: 7 lessons in collecting
out: 2014 American $1 Coin and Currency set, with 50,000 sets
States Mint to offer 1-ounce silver Proof 2015-W American Eagle
dollar beginning Jan. 2
City Mint coins unwanted when first struck but now they are wildly popular
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!