US Coins

Inside Coin World: Saudi Arabia gold disks are counterfeited

In the 1940s, the Philadelphia Mint did strike gold disks to help an American oil company pay Saudi Arabia for oil. The one illustrated is counterfeit.

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 that appear nowhere else.

Here is a preview of three of those exclusive articles in the March 9, 2020, issue.

Detecting Counterfeits: Fake gold disks for oil company

From 1934 to 1984, the U.S. Mint struck no gold coins, not for domestic consumption or for foreign governments. But in the 1940s, the Philadelphia Mint did strike gold disks to help an American oil company pay Saudi Arabia for oil. As Michael Fahey writes in his “Detecting Counterfeits” column in the March 9 issue, counterfeits exist of these pieces.

The Arabian American Oil Company was formed in the 1930s, allowing American interests to extract petroleum from Saudi Arabian oil fields. In the 1940s, payment was requested in the form of gold, which led the U.S. government to strike two different gold disks (not coins) to be used in making the payments.

Counterfeits of these pieces have been known for years. To learn more about these unusual gold pieces and the fakes that exist, read Michael’s column, found only in the print and digital editions of Coin World.

Collectors' Clearinghouse: Cloth leaves lasting impressions

“Coins that have been struck through cloth have long been popular among collectors,” Mike Diamond writes in the latest “Collectors’ Clearinghouse” column. Cloth fragments are widely thought to be derived from rags used to clean  equipment. 

“A related but far less popular error category is populated by coins struck through thread, string, twine, or other cordage,” he adds, illustrating the column with multiple examples of coins struck through cloth, thread and fragments of cloth.

Get a look at some of these fascinating errors by reading Mike’s column, found only in the March 9 issue.

Coin Values Spotlight: 1851-O silver 3-cent coin

In Paul Gilkes’ latest “Coin Values Spotlight,” he examines the 1851-O silver 3-cent coin, the only piece in the series not struck by the Philadelphia Mint. The published mintage for the 1851-O silver 3-cent coin is 720,000 coins, although no official mintage was reported.

“Collectors should have no problem securing a Mint State example of the coin for their collections at a reasonable price,” Paul writes. Values for the coin have been fairly steady, with a slight increase seen over the last 10 years for pieces grading Mint State 63 and About Uncirculated 50.

To learn more about the coin, see Paul’s column in the digital and print editions of the March 9 issue.

Connect with Coin World:  

Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Access our Dealer Directory  
Like us on Facebook  
Follow us on Twitter

Community Comments