US Coins

Third counterfeit American Eagle discovered

A genuine privy-marked Proof 2020-W American Eagle, End of World War II 75th Anniversary silver dollar features a crisp privy mark (right). The V75 privy mark on the fake piece differs significantly.

Images of genuine coin courtesy of United States Mint/ images of counterfeit courtesy of Dean Louisiana.

A third example of a counterfeit privy-marked Proof 2020-W American Eagle, End of World War II 75th Anniversary silver dollar surfaced recently in an online sale on eBay.

California collector Dean Louisiana purchased for $361 what he believed to be a genuine issue with the V75 privy mark recessed on the obverse in a cartouche.

Louisiana said he was able to return the purchase to the seller and receive a full refund after notifying him of its counterfeit nature. Louisiana lives in Southern California while the seller is located north of Los Angeles.

The counterfeit appears to be similar to the two fakes that surfaced in 2021 after being submitted to Independent Coin Graders in Tampa, Florida.

While the edge reeding on the newest fake is incorrect compared to a genuine coin, and lettering on the fake is somewhat mushy compared to the inscriptions on a genuine American Eagle, the most obvious tell-tale sign of its counterfeit nature is with the V75 privy mark.

The border of the recessed privy mark on the genuine 2020-W coin follows the shape of the pool from the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., the model for the privy mark’s shape. On the counterfeit, the border of the cartouche is not sharp, but rounded, and the depth of the recess is also not sharply defined.

The U.S. Mint offered 75,000 genuine privy-marked coins for $83 each on Nov. 8, 2020, with the limited mintage release selling out the same day of issue.

First fakes

ICG received in June 2021 for authentication and grading what its graders eventually determined to be bogus examples, counterfeits of the privy-marked Proof 2020-W American Eagle, End of World War II 75th Anniversary silver dollar.

The collector who submitted the two pieces to ICG had purchased them through a posting on Facebook.

ICG noted that for these first two struck American Eagle fakes from 2021, the edge reeding and design details do not match those of a genuine issue. The motto appears as IN GOD E TRUST.

ICG graders believes the fakes they handled are silver plated over base metals. The pieces are more than a gram overweight from the statutory 31.103 grams or 1 ounce for a genuine issue.

The weight of the fake that Louisiana purchased and subsequently returned to the seller weighs slightly over the statutory weight of a genuine coin.

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