Great Britain’s silver 1847 Gothic crown is widely considered to be
one of the most attractive coins produced by the British Royal Mint. A
Proof-only issue of 8,000 pieces, it routinely sells for thousands of
U.S. dollars in virtually any condition. Gem examples sell for $30,000
It is no surprise that the 1847 Gothic crown has been heavily
counterfeited over the years. ANACS recently inspected two
counterfeits, both struck from the same fake dies, and both exhibiting
the same diagnostic depressions, tool marks and other defects.
The dies were produced using the transfer process, where a genuine
model coin has its design details transferred over to a set of fake
dies. This results in a counterfeit that is faithful to a genuine coin
in nearly every way, usually including the weight, diameter,
thickness, and metal composition. A close examination with a quality
magnifier is needed to detect these counterfeits.
On the obverse are a number of horizontal raised tooling marks in
the field behind Victoria’s neck, as well as a number of tiny raised
dots on and behind her neck. Near the top of the queen’s ear is a
rather noticeable raised lump of metal.
On the reverse are several raised dots around ANNO and a few light
depressions on the letters.
As is often the case, the lettered edge did not occupy as much of
the counterfeiter’s attention as it should have. The edge lettering on
a genuine coin is highly stylized, with triangular arrow points at the
tops and bottoms of some of the letters. When the counterfeiter
reproduced the edge for these fakes, some of the letters became almost
comically disjointed, especially the N and U letters.
A collector interested in obtaining an example of the 1847 Gothic
crown should pay particular attention to the edge, either comparing it
to a genuine example, or to online images.