Thursday, April 17, 2014

The little liars

What does this eclectic group have in common?

They are all liars.

Fakes, restrikes, fantasies - none are what they say they are.

The first is a Colonial era counterfeit made at Machin's Mills in Newburgh, NY.  It and other coins were made to look like British coins circulating at the time.

Then there's a double fake! It's a 1962 restrike using dies that were made in the 1870's to match the Continental Dollar of 1776.  Neither the earlier nor later versions were made with intent to defraud, but rather to fill collector demand for this otherwise impossibly scarce coin.

The next is similar, having been struck around 1859, but there was an element of fraud as it was said to be a restrike from original dies, but was not.

Finally, what is this?  There were no Indian Cents in 1910, so this must be a counterfeit, right?

Well, no, because this was struck on top of a genuine Indian Head cent of another year and sold as a fantasy piece with no intent to defraud.

Another thing these pretenders have in common is that they all have numismatic value. In spite of being fakery of varying degree, each of these is bought, sold and collected and in some cases even certified by authentication services - certified as what they are, not as the real thing, but still certified, because there are fakes of fakes that are not valuable!

So in the case of the Continental Dollar, that 1962 restrike of a fake might be worth $175.00 or so but a truly fake version might be found in highway gift shop for a dollar or so.

Strange world, isn't it?

Note:  All my coins are in a safe deposit box.  I keep nothing in my home. 

This week's Coinweek Giveaway:

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