US Coins

Inside Coin World: Counterfeit 1885-S Morgan dollar

This counterfeit 1885-S Morgan dollar was struck from fake dies and is made of an alloy of base metals rather than silver. Read a preview of the “Detecting Counterfeits” column here.

Original images courtesy of ANACS.

Every weekly and monthly issue of Coin World has content exclusive to the print and digital editions, including columns and features.

Here is a preview of three of those exclusive articles in the Nov. 11 issue.

Detecting Counterfeits: Wrong alloy for dollar

Counterfeit Morgan dollars remain a problem in the hobby, but as Michael Fahey reports in his “Detecting Counterfeits” column in the Nov. 11 issue of Coin World, some pieces can be detected if you know what to look for before buying an uncertified coin.

Michael profiles a counterfeit 1885-S Morgan dollar that is not made of silver but, instead, an alloy of base metals. The coin was struck from fake dies, most likely in China, he reports. Both obverse and reverse bear diagnostics that collectors can use in reviewing suspect coins.

Importantly, the coin is not made of the standard 90 percent silver, 10 percent copper alloy used for Morgan dollars. To learn more about the fake’s unusual composition and what to look for, read the column found only in the digital and print editions of Coin World.

Collectors’ Clearinghouse: Shifting clash marks

Clash marks result when dies that are positioned too closely together collide without a planchet between them. This collision can result in the transference of design details from one die face to the other die face. As Mike Diamond writes in the latest “Collectors’ Clearinghouse” column, one type of die clashing requires additional problems in order to occur.

“Rotational chatter clashing” occurs when a pair of dies clash repeatedly with one die shifting in position. That results in multiple clash marks progressing across the face of any coins struck by the clashed dies, once planchets are fed between them again.

Mike examines two coins, one from the United States and the other from India, which show these chatter clashes. To learn more about how they occur and to see images of the coins, read his column in the Nov. 11 issue of Coin World.

The Research Desk: World’s fair train token

The 1964–1965 New York World’s Fair was unsanctioned by the world body governing such events and no major European nations participated in the event. David T. Alexander, writing in “The Research Desk” column, notes that fewer medals and tokens were issued in conjunction with the event than for similar world expos.

One piece that was issued was produced for the Long Island Railroad, which was part of the region’s transportation infrastructure and helped residents get to the fair site. One side of the token depicts the fair’s Unisphere while the other displays a cartoonish rendition of a harried commuter.

Read David’s column in the digital and print issues of the Nov. 11 issue of Coin World to learn more about why the world’s fair was unsanctioned and about this interesting token that remains available today.

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