Counterfeits continue to assault the hobby
- Published: Mar 14, 2016, 3 AM
The latest fake reported is an unknown composition imitation of a Proof 2015-W American Eagle silver coin. What makes this fake disturbing is not just its resemblance to a genuine Proof silver Eagle, but that the fake is being promoted for sale in genuine U.S. Mint packaging boxes containing official government-issued certificates of authenticity.
Full video transcript:
Good morning. This is the Monday Morning Brief. I’m Coin World Senior Editor Paul Gilkes.
Counterfeit numismatic products continue to flood the hobby marketplace. For the March 14 weekly print issue of Coin World and online at www.CoinWorld.com, I wrote about the infiltration of counterfeit 1-ounce silver bars. These bars, silver-plated over brass, were fabricated by operations in China to deceive consumers into believing they are genuine, since they bear the designs and hallmarks of such noted firms as Northwest Territorial Mint, SilverTowne, and Scottsdale Silver, among others.
For the March 21 issue and online, my attention turned to counterfeit 1-ounce gold PAMP bars that were housed in counterfeit packaging.
And now, for the March 28 issue and online, the latest fake is of a Proof silver 2015-W American Eagle of unknown composition. What makes this fake disturbing is not just its resemblance to a genuine Proof silver Eagle, but that the fake is being promoted for sale in genuine U.S. Mint packaging boxes containing official government-issued certificates of authenticity.
While the U.S. Mint does not sell empty boxes for Proof coins to customers, the Mint packaging is available in quantity online and at coin shows, many from those who may have submitted genuine coins to a third-party grading service for grading and encapsulation.
Among the diagnostics to look out for on the counterfeit silver Eagle:
The weight and diameter: On the fake the weight is 30.54 grams; diameter, 39.77 millimeters. On the genuine coin, the weight is 31.101 grams; diameter, 40.6 millimeters.
The date: The 5 is spaced far from 1, which has serif at the top on the fake. On the genuine coin, all digits are evenly spaced, and there is no serif on the 1.
Liberty’s head and flag: On the fake, Liberty has a raised mark under her eye; Liberty's cap and American flag are kind of mushy in details. Not so on the genuine coin.
The lettering: On the fake the lettering is ragged, the branches of the Y in LIBERTY far apart with serifs. The Y branches on the genuine coin are normally spaced, without serifs.
The eagle's feathers and shield: On the fake, no feather definition; sharp on genuine coin. On the shield on the fake, the fake only has five vertical stripes instead of six, as on a genuine coin.
The best advice to follow when making purchases: Know from whom you are buying.
For Coin World, I’m Senior Editor Paul Gilkes.
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