Dragons, Fat Men, and Fakes

Discussion in 'World & Ancient Coins' started by clorox, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. clorox

    clorox Member

    Picked these up at the flea market. Had no idea what they were, but the size and feel and overall look of them had me sold. I'm still not sure if they're all genuine, so hopefully someone can help out a bit :)

    First up is a counterfeit 1890-1908 Kwang Tung province dollar (Y 203). I had strong doubts about it at the booth, but I went for it anyway. It's ever-so-slightly thinner than the others, and noticeably smaller in diameter. Unlike the others it does not look like it was ever buried or circulated, and it's the only one without paint on the edge. Turns out it's quite magnetic and quite fake.
    Kwang Tung Dollar counterfeit Y-203 obv.jpg Kwang Tung Dollar counterfeit Y-203 rev.jpg

    This one is much more convincing. Also from Kwang Tung province, this dollar dates from 1909-1911 (Y 206). Looks, feels, and sounds silver. It has a very slight rotation error, seen in the pictures. Don't know if it's a fake or not.
    Kwang Tung Dollar Y-206 obv.jpg Kwang Tung Dollar Y-206 rev.jpg

    But wait, there's more...
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  3. clorox

    clorox Member

    Now for Fat Man number one: A 1914 (Year 3) dollar featuring Yuan Shi-kai (Y 329). No mint marks, reeded edge. Nothing stands out to me that would indicate a fake, but that's why I'm here!
    1914 Year 3 Yuan Shi-kai Dollar Y-329 obv.jpg 1914 Year 3 Yuan Shi-kai Dollar Y-329 rev.jpg

    The second Fat Man is almost exactly like the first. Except it has a 90-degree rotation error! A bit more wear and darker toning.
    1914 Year 3 Yuan Shi-kai Dollar with rotation error Y-329 obv.jpg 1914 Year 3 Yuan Shi-kai Dollar with rotation error Y-329 rev shown rotated.jpg 1914 Year 3 Yuan Shi-kai Dollar with rotation error Y-329 rev.jpg

    And next up is...
  4. clorox

    clorox Member

    This mystery man! I found approximately zero information on this coin online. It kind of fits in with the other Chinese Republic dollar coins (see here), and I believe that the portrait is of Sun Yat-sen. It's very slightly smaller in diameter than the others.
    China Republic unknown obv.jpg China Republic unknown rev.jpg

    And here is a picture of the edges of all five coins. They're in the same order as I posted them (Top to bottom: counterfeit Y 203, Y 206, Y 329, Y 329 with rotation error, mystery coin):
    rims.jpg
  5. hontonai

    hontonai Registered Contrarian

    The outstanding evidence that your coins are all fake is that you found them at a flea market in the company of at least one blatent fake!

    Both the Fat Man and the other rotation error are highly suspect because of the error.

    The last one, dated 1929, not only doesn't appear in Krause, but has a portrait markedly different from all known coins. The "one yuan" legend at the bottom of the reverse doesn't give me any confidence that its an actual issue missed by Krause for 83 years!

    Have you given them the magnet test?

    Have you weighed them and/or accurately measured their diameters?

    I strongly suspect that most or all will be magnetic, and that few if any will have the correct weight/diameter.

    In all probability you have five nice additions to your black cabinet, hopefully at a reasonable price for counterfeits.
  6. tonedcoins

    tonedcoins New Member

    These coins are known to get counterfeited a lot. I wouldn't doubt those are counterfeits too. Like hontonai said, you found them at a flea market. Hope you didn't pay too much for them.
  7. jjack

    jjack Captain Obvious

    Am i the only one who read the title and came in expecting something else :smile . Anyway OP grab yourself a guide to World Coins and check whether your coins meet the weight specs.
  8. medoraman

    medoraman Well-Known Member Supporter

    I have found there really isn't much point trying to find authenticate examples of these coins, trade dollars, bust dollars, or even morgans nowadays at a flea market. I have seen so many mulitiple hundreds of fakes its not worth the effort anymore. The coins you posted I literally have hundreds of, both magnetic and non-magnetic, that are all fakes. I get them in group lots of junk where I see a few good coins that I actually want.

    Those coins, unless slabbed or from a well respected dealer, are always suspected to be fake nowadays unless proven otherwise. By "proven", I mean exactly correct weight, diameter, thickness, read count, and die match to a proven example. They are getting to to point they are making non-magnetic, silver plated copies that are pretty good, so all of the old tests will not work. Its back to diagnostics of die and reeding against proven examples to be sure.
  9. clorox

    clorox Member

    Aside from the obvious one, the other four are non-magnetic. The slight rotation error in the Kwang Tung dollar is present in authentic coins (1, 2, 3). The 1929 coin is a fake, but it turns out it is based off a real coin. A discussion about it is here, and an authentic one is here. Take a look at the price of the authentic one: That's about $55,000.

    Anyway, I'm off to the shop to get the remaining three weighed (I don't have a scale myself). I'm still hoping, but I won't be too disappointed.
  10. clorox

    clorox Member

    Here are the stats:
    Kwang Tung: 39mm diameter, 26.4g
    Yuan Shi-kai: 39mm diameter, 26.7g
    Yuan Shi-kai with rotation error: 39mm diameter, 26.5g
  11. silentnviolent

    silentnviolent accumulator

    For as much good luck as I've had lately at local auctions, I admit to buying into the chance of absurdly cheap silver and getting burned once with the exact same coins. I got 30 for under $40 though so I figured what the heck... Hope you didn't pay as if they were silver. Woulda been a nice payout if they didn't all literally FLY to the magnet. One of the fakes was even a DDR..... I'll probably dremmel the word COPY into 'em and give 'em to the little kiddies for Christmas or something. If it seems too good to be true, it is.
  12. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    Modern counterfeits are not good for numismatics. The only way to stop counterfeiters make any more counterfeits is to STOP BUYING. You are just helping them fund their business and you are supporting them. It's as simple as that. As long as there is demand and they make money, it's not any better than funding some drug dealers. The only time I would buy them is when they are either at metal price value or comptempory counterfeit.

    To top up with the conversation, who knows what's in these counterfeits. Coins struck with lots of lead with them? What's next, arsensic? How do we even know if they are safe to handle with to start off with. Don't support them - it's as simple as that.
  13. BooksB4Coins

    BooksB4Coins Newbieus Sempiterna

    It's not all numismatics though.. fake junk silver/silver is just as much a problem today. Reminds me of when a local guy thought he'd hit the fleamarket jackpot and bought thousands of these from (in his words) "a dumb Chinese guy". At the time silver was in the high 40's and I can just imagine how much of this "windfall" he had already spent in his mind. Of course all were counterfeit and while its easy to feel bad for his throwing nearly ten grand away, he knew better... greed won out over sound judgment. A sad story but one well worth remembering.
  14. medoraman

    medoraman Well-Known Member Supporter

    Greed is one of the penultimate human frailties we all fall prey too. For me it started when I was 8 believing newspaper ads for coins. Unfortunately, the best cure for it is cynicism. :(
  15. icerain

    icerain Mastir spellyr

    I have learned to stay away from flea markets when looking for coins. I vaguely remember someone selling tons of fakes at one and all of them just felt wrong once I picked one up. And like others have said the Chinese coins you have are heavily counterfeited. The only way to safely buy one is if a dealer gives you a lifetime guarantee or if its slabbed.
  16. hontonai

    hontonai Registered Contrarian

    Make that a highly trusted, long established, dealer who backs his guarantee up with insurance from a highly rated insurance company; or if it is slabbed by one of the major TPGs..
  17. moneyer12

    moneyer12 i just love UK coins.......

    don't knock them, if you know your stuff it is still quite a productive source, recently i have picked up 4 kings norton pennies for as little as 10 pence, three have been sold on ebay for £45 each................
  18. icerain

    icerain Mastir spellyr

    Not saying they're all bad. I'm pretty sure you can pick out some nice coins just be careful when buying silver coins.
  19. moneyer12

    moneyer12 i just love UK coins.......

    i always have a magnet on my car key ring for such a purpose.
  20. medoraman

    medoraman Well-Known Member Supporter

    My only point sir is there are, (at least in the states), certain series I believe you would be lucky to find one in a million coins to be real. I would say chinese silver coins, trade dollars, bust dollars, british trade dollars, pillar dollars, would all fall in this category. Those, even though I know how to authenticate them maybe better than the average collector, I won't even bother with any more since there are just millions upon millions of fakes. Also, some are now not magnetic, but still fake. They just aren't worth the effort any more to even bother with trying to find a real one IMO.

    I hope things are not that bad on your side of the pond, and never get to be that bad over there. But it is here today. :(
  21. TheNoost

    TheNoost huldufolk

    Contact the Attorney General, tell them what happened, and follow their advise.

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