When we catalog counterfeit coins at ANACS, we always try to locate
two or more examples of the same fake.
By comparing pieces from the same dies, we can verify matching
depressions, tool marks and other defects on the surfaces, making the
identification of other fakes an easier task. One of the problems with
the large number of fakes coming out of China lately is that we rarely
The counterfeit of a 1914 silver dollar of the Republic of China
shown here is an exception, as the ANACS staff encountered two
examples on the same day. In a side-by-side comparison we were able to
record more than a dozen diagnostic depressions for this fake, some of
which appeared to be normal contact marks at first glance.
The counterfeit itself is a fairly high quality fake, struck from
false dies that were executed with skill, so it is good that we could
On the portrait side of the coin, all of these are repeating marks
that can be used as counterfeit diagnostics:
1) The small nearly vertical cut on the earlobe.
2) The diagonal mark on the central front of the ear.
3) The diagonal mark in the temple area, in the same direction as No. 2.
4) The small horizontal mark on the forehead, just above the eyebrow.
The counterfeit exhibits a number of additional diagnostics, but
these four details are the easiest to locate. If you have a Chinese
Republic 1914 silver dollar that exhibits all of these marks, you can
be certain that the coin is counterfeit.
However, many other counterfeits exist for this specific date, so the
absence of these diagnostics does not prove that a particular coin is genuine.
As with any coin that has been targeted by counterfeiters, you may
wish to have a suspect 1914 silver dollar of the Republic of China
certified as genuine by one of the major grading services before you
Michael Fahey is a senior numismatist at ANACS in Denver, Colo.