Counterfeit Proof 2015-W American Eagle silver dollar surfaces at show

Fake housed in U.S. Mint packaging for genuine coin
By , Coin World
Published : 03/10/16
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Among other features, the American flag behind Liberty on the fake’s obverse is crude, with mushy stars. 

The figure of Liberty is also useful for identification. Liberty appears to have a black eye, with a raised area under the eye. Liberty’s Phrygian cap on the fake is not as well-defined as on the genuine coin. The details on Liberty’s sandal on the genuine coin are sharp. On the fake, they are mushy and not well-defined. The drapery lines on Liberty’s clothing on the fake are too bold, Fazzari said. 

Buyers should also examine lettering on the obverse of the coin. The Y in LIBERTY appears with serifs on the fake, but is sans serif on the genuine coin.

The overall surface appearance on the fake’s obverse is granular, compared with the genuine coin’s more satiny-looking finish.

On the reverse of the fake, all of the devices are raggedy-edged, without definition, most prominently on the eagle’s feathers and the stripes on the shield. Five stripes are visible on the fake, while six appear on the genuine coin.

In addition, lettering differences for the inscriptions are also visible. The U in UNITED on the fake does not have the tail that appears on the U on the genuine coin. The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM on the ribbon held in the eagle’s beak is incuse on the genuine coin and raised on the counterfeit.

One other useful diagnostic: the W Mint mark of the West Point Mint on the genuine coin is tall and thin, while on the fake, it is squatty and thicker.

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