Readers Ask from Feb. 8, 2016, issue of Coin World:
Has anyone reported a counterfeit Uncirculated Little Rock dollar?
I have one that weighs 27.4 grams. It came in government packaging.
When I looked at it, it looked like a circulated coin. As I looked
at it more, I started to feel it just isn’t right.
Jerry Scherer / via email
The authorizing legislation for the silver dollar, the Little Rock
Commemorative Coin Act, Public Law 109-146, calls for a weight of 26.73
grams for the Uncirculated 2007-P Little Rock Central High School
Desegregation silver dollar struck at the Philadelphia Mint.
While the coin you have is heavier by 2.5 percent than legislated,
that is not necessarily an indicator the coin might be counterfeit.
The coin surfaces, however, do not look as silvery, brilliant and full
of luster as they should. The piece exhibits more of a gray hue.
Connect with Coin World:
I took your coin to the Jan. 6 to 10 Florida United
Numismatists Convention in Tampa and had it examined by two
professional numismatists that are both authenticator-graders — John
Roberts for ANACS
and Skip Fazzari for Independent Coin Graders.
Both prefaced their evaluations with the proviso that they did not
have a benchmark from which to make a determination, since neither had
on hand another example for comparison to your coin. Both Roberts and
Fazzari did not like the overall appearance of your coin, and
indicated the reeded edge more resembled U.S. coin issues of a century
ago. They also both noted the coin’s surfaces had areas that indicated
handling, as well as likely polyvinyl chloride damage, from being
removed from the plastic capsule and stored in a soft PVC coin flip
from which chemical plasticizers leached out onto the coin.
I located an example from dealer Marc T. Earle from St. Petersburg, Fla., of a
known genuine Little Rock dollar still sealed in its government
holder. When Roberts and Fazzari independently compared the genuine to
the suspect coin, they both concluded your coin is genuine, but mishandled.
Earle also used an electronic precious metals verifier, which
verified your coin is made from the 90 percent silver it’s supposed to be.