An Interesting Counterfeit 1805 Half Cent and new Coin Week Article

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Jack D. Young, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

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  3. gronnh20

    gronnh20 Well-Known Member

    Very informative article. When you say source coin, is this the coin that was used to make the counterfeit dies? I just want to make sure I am on the same page.
  4. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    Yes; any flaws, circulation marks etc in the original source example is impressed in all of the struck "clones".

    When we have found the source examples in most cases there is tooling on that coin transferred into the die, but there are cases where the dies have been tooled/ touched up after striking several fakes, creating a different "die state" even of the counterfeits (I am working on research of an 1803 half cent like that).
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  5. gronnh20

    gronnh20 Well-Known Member

    Are there attempts to track the source coin after being sold at auction? I'm sure it leads to a dead end.

    So, these retooled counterfeit dies, is this where you see obverses not matching reverses? Or are they retooling both dies? It seems the retooling of dies indicates another level in sophistication. The counterfeiters may be getting a little coin savvy instead of just merely duplicating. Do you have a source coin for the possible retooled die(s)?

    Thanks for helping keep the hobby real.
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  6. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted

    Jack, is this specific to early copper coins or are other series copied in exactly the same way? I am a Bust Half collector and wonder how many equally deceptive counterfeits are out there which were made the same way...
  7. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  8. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    We have documented fakes from my 1787 Mass "half cent" through Liberty Seated dollars including fake 1836 "Gobrechts".

    I have not seen a struck fake like these in the bust half series yet!
  9. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted

    Thank you for your answer, that’s quite interesting! Do you think it is because of all the research which was done already and the available documentation on Bust Half die varieties? In other words, because chances are high they’ll be detected more easily?
  10. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    Not sure, but I am sure it takes experts in each series to smoke these out! Each series has it's specialties, and collecting specialists like you. I continue to quote a saying I first heard from a friend- "know what you collect, collect what you know"!

    Knowledge is the best deterrent to getting duped by these in my opinion...
  11. halfcent1793

    halfcent1793 Well-Known Member

    There is, if anything MORE research on large and half cents than on bust halves, so available documentation on varieties cannot explain the difference. It might be that people aren't looking as closely at "new" bust halves on eBay.
  12. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    gronnh20, it is difficult to gain info on who originally purchased the source examples due to confidentiality concerns of the large auction houses, but we have been able to track the purchase of source coins off eBay when sold through a known seller/ dealer.

    We have tracked several to a Chinese eBayer (I have the seller ID and actually "talked" with him though emails- ironically his email address ended in "666"...).

    Many of the fakes and sources were sold through eBay through a "Company" in College Station, Texas and most of the sellers eventually removed as sellers by eBay after constant complaints.

    Many of the source examples came back on the market after the struck fakes; in the case of the 1854 Huge O quarter the source started as a certified holed example in a major auction. After repairs and making the fake dies it was submitted to a TPG and certified as "Tooled" and sold on eBay- I actually own it now.


    One of the struck fakes, an 1872-s "half dollar" has the wrong reverse for the obverse (as well as the edge reeding), and the source(s) still a mystery.
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  13. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Many of the wrong reverse Chinese counterfeits that were seen several years ago were simply the result of laziness of the counterfeiter. They would simply use an undated reverse die and pair it with many different dated obverse dies. At one time it was possible to buy a complete set of half cents that all had the same reverse die. Including years for which that reverse was the wrong style.

    This type of economy practiced by counterfeiter is quite common. All of the micro oh counterfeit Morgan dollars were some the same reverse die. Among Lincoln's cents we have seen the same counterfeit reverse wheat cent die used to make all the early S mints, 1924 D, 1931 S, and 1943 copper cent counterfeits among others.
  14. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

  15. JPeace$

    JPeace$ Coinaholic

    Very informative. Thanks.
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  16. man2004

    man2004 Active Member

    That is a great read and a true eye opener. Thank you!
    Jack D. Young likes this.
  17. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Honestly I think it’s just easier with copper. There’s a very well established damaged market where you have a lot more options to corrode something ect to hide it.
  18. justafarmer

    justafarmer Senior Member

    I created a CAD Tracing of C-4 with a source coin from CoinFacts. The design is traced in coral, details that appeared to be die cracks in black - clashes in gray.

    Overlaid this tracing onto the counterfeit source coin and traced elements on that coin appearing to be gouges and scratches in cyan.

    Overlaid this counterfeit source coin tracing onto the OP's counterfeit coin. Just to get an idea of what damage from the source coin was retained by the counterfeit dies and transferred to the struck counterfeits.

    1805 C4 1.JPG 1805 C4 2.JPG 1805 C4 3.JPG 1805 C4 4.JPG
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  19. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    Awesome image work as usual justafarmer!
  20. ilmcoins

    ilmcoins Well-Known Member

    Very impressive!
  21. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    The details on a genuine coin are said to be distorted on a transfer die made from that coin. It would be interesting to image a high-grade genuine coin and overlay a high-grade counterfeit. Unfortunately, IMO this can only be done by a person with both coins actually in hand to control all the images.

    For example, a person with the Farmer's skill and equipment or a TPGS could do the job. I think the difference would be too small to prove by using images of the coins posted anywhere.

    I'm happy to see "our side" fighting the improved technology of the counterfeiters with some new technology of our own! In the old days, all we could do was hold two small photo-negatives up to a strong light! :facepalm:
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