ICG discovers fake Proof 2020-W American Eagle silver dollar
- Published: Jun 25, 2021, 9 AM
It was only a matter of time.
A numismatist at Independent Coin Graders in Tampa, Florida, has identified two examples of a deceptive die-struck counterfeit Proof 2020-W American Eagle, End of World War II 75th Anniversary silver dollar.
ICG numismatist F. Michael “Skip” Fazzari told Coin World June 16 that the collector who submitted the two counterfeits bought them through a posting on Facebook.
“The fakes have fully Proof surfaces with deep cameo devices,” according to Fazzari. “Collectors who are unfamiliar with the series will be easily fooled by the fakes. This fact is confirmed by the individuals who were shown the coins as soon as they were detected.
“However, a side-by-side comparison with a genuine specimen reveals the edge reeding and design detail is not correct on the fakes.
“One defect found on the counterfeit is the presence of tiny holes at the eagle’s feather tips. Also note the enlarged wide designer’s initials.”
Another major clue is found at the motto on the obverse, which appears as “IN GOD E TRUST.”
He added, “Collectors who may have suspicious V75 silver Eagles can have them checked at a major grading service.”
Fazzari said the counterfeits are likely silver plated over base metal. The fake illustrated here has a specific gravity in the range for zinc. The fake is slightly more than a gram underweight from the statutory 31.103 grams or 1 troy ounce for a genuine issue.
The genuine Proof 2020-W American Eagle, End of World War II 75th Anniversary silver dollars with V75 privy mark on the obverse were offered by the U.S. Mint on Nov. 8, 2020, at $83 each.
With a release of 75,000 pieces and a household order limit of just one coin, the complete issue sold out quickly.
Genuine examples have sold on the secondary market for hundreds of dollars, with examples graded and encapsulated by third-party grading services selling for many multiple of the original issue price, giving counterfeiters a strong financial incentive to produce forgeries.
On eBay, an example still in its original U.S. Mint packaging was recorded sold June 13, 2021, for $330.
Prices achieved in completed sales of certified examples of genuine examples of the V75 privy marked Proof American Eagle silver coin include $695.95, in a June 14 eBay sale for an Early Releases coin graded Proof 70 Ultra Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.; $899 in a June 12 sale for a First Day of Issue labeled NGC Proof 70 Ultra Cameo coin; and $699.99 in a June 11 eBay sale for a First Strike labeled coin grading Proof 70 Deep Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service.
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