I posted last week about my latest eBay "pig in a poke", advertised as a lot of problem coins, and featuring a holed and engraved trade dollar. It was listed as an 1878, but I thought from the picture that it was probably an 1873, since the 1878 Philadelphia issue was proof-only. When it arrived, it did, in fact, show a date of 1878 and no mint mark. The obvious conclusion: it's a fake, perhaps contemporary, but a fake nonetheless. But when I tried to prove it, I was stuck -- it weighs exactly what a trade dollar minus a hole's worth of silver should weigh, its obverse and reverse are both clearly Type II, the edge looks reasonable (although the rim is damaged in what looks to me like an odd way). So, I hauled it to the local coin show today, took it to the guy with the big black book of fakes (including a dozen or more fake trade dollars), and asked him how to tell this was a fake. He studied it for a good five or ten minutes, looked at me with a puzzled expression, and said, "I don't see anything to make me think this is a fake." I explained that I didn't think proof-only issues typically got holed, engraved, and tossed into junk lots. He reminded me that proof issues in those days usually sold for not much over face value, and that it wouldn't be unheard of to engrave one and/or hole it as a jewelry gift. He said the rim oddness on the front looked to him like the remnants of a wire rim (!), and that he saw no sign of pimples or pits in the fields. His recommendation: send it in, because it's got a reasonable chance of authenticating. I showed it to another guy I've dealt with before, who collects counterstamped coins. He was quite interested in it because of the inscription, but said he doesn't collect holed coins. He agreed that it seemed genuine, and recommended that I either put it up for auction as-is or send it in for authentication. So, here it is, in all its mistreated glory: What do you think? Have I rescued one more of the 900 proofs minted that year? Is it worth a further $30 (give or take) gamble to attempt authentication? If so, does it much matter whether I send it to ANACS, NGC or PCGS, given that it's (ahem) unlikely to earn an actual grade? What value class would this go into for grading, given that it may be a rarity, but it is definitely badly maimed?