Since my previous column pertained to a Mardi Gras doubloon that was
found in a roll of what should have been all large-sized dollar coins,
I would not, as a rule, write in a consecutive column about another
item that was discovered in the same type of coin roll.
Generally, I like to mix things up a little by jumping from one
denomination to another each month. As it happens though, this month’s
most interesting find emerged from another roll of Eisenhower dollars
that I was able to obtain from my local bank. I will therefore break
my own self-imposed rule, as I really want to share the discovery of
While opening up the roll and subsequently sliding the coins out
onto my table, I was immediately intrigued by the edge of one
particular piece that stood out like the proverbial “sore thumb.” This
piece’s edge had that look of silver that all roll searchers have come
to know and enjoy. Since I’ve been lucky enough to find some older
Morgan or Peace type silver dollars in rolls, I was hoping that
lightning was about to strike once more.
Even if the piece turned to be something other than an earlier issue
dollar coin, it might still have been a more recent but still neat to
find silver alloy Eisenhower dollar that got mixed in with the usual
copper-nickel clad coins that I would expect to find. Well, this
unusual piece fell into a category that I would label as “none of the above.”
Seeing some obvious design features, including dragons and Chinese
characters, I knew right away that I was looking at a piece that
theoretically originated in China.
Unfortunately, it took less than 10 seconds to determine that this
thing was, in alphabetical order; bogus, counterfeit, deceptive,
electroplated, fake — you get the idea! Even the ring of this item was
more like a “THUD” when I dropped it on the surface of my table.
Having a slippery feel to it, this is an older style counterfeit
type, where there is a base metal that has been plated with something
resembling silver. A close look at portions of the piece’s surface
shows the plating bubbling and peeling away from the base metal underneath.
Still, even a fake is usually modeled after a real coin, so I wanted
to find out just what this counterfeit piece was made to resemble.
Referencing page 225 in my copy of the seventh edition of the
Standard Catalog of World Coins 1801-1900, Krause
Publications, I was able to confirm that this piece is a counterfeit
based upon a rare, undated (circa 1888), Kwangtung Province 1-tael
pattern piece. If only it were the real McCoy!