Detecting Counterfeits column from Sept. 12, 2016, Weekly issue of
Over the past year I have received a number of emails and phone
calls from confused numismatists concerning the various fantasy issues
produced by Daniel Carr.
Many of these communications have focused on one of Mr. Carr’s more
famous creations, the overstrike 1964-D Peace dollar, although a more
recent call was about the piece shown here, an overstrike 1922-D
Walking Liberty half dollar.
For those of you unfamiliar with Dan Carr’s work, he typically
starts with genuine U.S. coins. These coins are subjected to one or
more processes that allow them to be overstruck properly.
Connect with Coin World:
Using dies that he has produced himself, Mr. Carr then overstrikes
the genuine coins, resulting in a fantasy piece that he sells to
collectors. These fantasy pieces are almost always coins that do not
exist, such as dimes, quarter dollars and half dollars with a 1922
date (none were struck at any U.S. Mint).
I have a lot of respect for Dan Carr’s skills as an artist and a
die-sinker — many of his creations are true works of art. For example,
he produced a 1909-O Morgan silver dollar fantasy overstrike in Cameo
Deep Mirror Prooflike that is absolutely gorgeous — after you inspect
one of these, you will wish that all your Morgan silver dollars were
this visually appealing.
He is also very careful to let collectors know that these are
privately made overstrikes, and that no one should attempt to sell
them as genuine coins.
Unfortunately, every now and then one of these overstrikes ends up
in the possession of someone who is not familiar with them. The phone
call I received concerning the 1922-D Walking Liberty half dollar
began with the following message: “I may have a really rare coin — it
is not listed in any of the price guides.” It did not take too long
for me to identify the piece as a Dan Carr overstrike, although the
disappointed caller probably contacted a few more people before
accepting what I told him.
If you need to identify an unusual item as a Dan Carr fantasy
overstrike issue, you can visit his website, www.moonlightmint.com for
images and descriptions.
Most of the pieces he has produced over the years can be viewed
here, along with other interesting information about his work.
For example, he submitted the winning designs for the 2001 New York
and Rhode Island State quarter dollars, and the 2003 Maine State
quarter dollar was based upon his design.