US Coins

Counterfeiters find new ways: Inside Coin World

Struck counterfeit 1909-S Lincoln cent made from transfer die process is of the correct weight, an indication the counterfeiters used a genuine bronze planchet in its production.

Image by Brian Kent courtesy of ANACS.

Coin World's latest monthly edition is out the doors and will be in the hands of subscribers shortly. Here, we present previews of a few of its columns, all found exclusively in the print and digital editions of the February 12 issue of Coin World.

Counterfeiters taking a different approach

The counterfeit 1909-S Lincoln cent profiled in Michael Fahey’s “Detecting Counterfeits” column differs a bit from those he saw at the start of his career as an authenticator. He writes: “When I joined the ANACS authentication team in 1981, virtually all nongenuine 1909-S Lincoln and 1909-S Lincoln, V.D.B. cents were alterations, created by adding a fake S to a genuine Philadelphia Mint cent.”

He adds: “This is no longer the case. Today we are seeing a wave of die-struck counterfeit 1909-S Lincoln and 1909-S Lincoln, V.D.B. cents, ranging from crude, hand-cut die Chinese fakes to highly deceptive transfer die counterfeits.” The piece under review is somewhere in the middle in terms of quality. Learn what to watch for in his column, found exclusively in the print and digital versions of the Feb. 12 issue of Coin World.

Guess what season it is in the U.S. coin community?

Scott Schechter writes in his “Making Moderns” column, “For those who aren’t familiar with ‘Silver Eagle Season,’ it describes the period starting each year in mid-January when the new year’s American Eagle silver bullion coins are released.” Dealers and grading services work hard all week to meet the demand from collectors for the coins, he adds.

While the coin was originally issued for investors, the American Eagle silver bullion coin has become very popular with collectors, and many buyers want coins graded Mint State 70 by one of the major third-party grading services. To learn more about this popular series, see Schechter’s column.

A solution for examining those small dimes

Bill O’Rourke looks through a lot of rolls of coins every year and he chronicles his experiences in his monthly “Found in Rolls” column. One coin, the Roosevelt dime, has been more challenging to examine because of its diminutive size (they are easy to drop, he writes), but O’Rourke has found a solution.

He jury-rigged a system that incorporates a computer, digital microscope, two wooden rulers and a piece of foam board to assist him in his searches. Learn what he built (and found in the first rolls searched) by reading his column.

The motto is not “Im God We Trust”

A reader wanted to know what could have turned the motto “In God We Trust” on his 1976-D Lincoln cent to “Im God We Trust.” William T. Gibbs responds to a reader in “Readers Ask” who wrote, “It looks like the die split halfway down the N and cracked back up toward the top to make an M.”

Although it is difficult to be 100 percent sure from the photo of the coin submitted, it appears that the cent took a hit in the motto that displaced metal in the letter N to mimic an M. The coin shows a lot of damage elsewhere, so random circulation damage is a good guess.

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