Featured FS-901 DDR 1899 Barber Quarter . . . Fake?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by ToughCOINS, May 20, 2019.

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  1. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    Okay, I've been hunting high and low for well over 6 months to find a second example of the rare FS-901 DDR 1899 Barber Quarter . . . and I mean high and low . . . everywhere.

    Only one is presently accounted for, and its asking price is $15,000 (L&C Coins). I've searched many venues, all grades, raw and certified, everything I can think of, and invested much time in this search, especially because it seemed necessary for me to look at the reverse of the coin to identify an example, which meant taking the time to actually look at both the displayed front side and then the more important backside for the error.

    Finally, wanting a front-side diagnostic which could save me 50% of the time I'd been investing in my search, I carefully studied the obverse for the first time, and discovered something completely unexpected . . . the coin is not real . . . not in my opinion anyway.

    Because links may eventually be rendered useless by the removal of the on-line photos, and because I can find no published clams of of copyright on them, I've pasted them into this post to preserve them for posterity. This is in anticipation of the eventual deletion of these photos from other locations, as I expect this coin will soon become the source of some embarrassment for certain parties.

    0.25-1899-ddr-1.jpg 0.25-1899-ddr-2.jpg 0.25-1899-ddr-3.jpg

    The first tip-off for me was the crude lettering in the motto. The mint has never turned out a Barber Quarter with such crude characters, and I will never believe this coin to be a genuine product of the US Mint. Like myself, I think all who believed this coin was a DDR before examining it looked only at the reverse, and spent too little time on the obverse, graders included.

    Other obvious signs that the coin is a fake are the mushy details (depth of strike is insufficient) while apparently retaining luster enough to be AU, and the size and shape of the stars and their proximity to the denticles. I should have picked up on this much sooner than I did. This coin was declared genuine and put into a PCGS holder, so I guess I'll give myself a pass.

    Someone known both to me and to L&C is contacting them to advise that their coin may not be real. I feel for them if they paid a lot for it.

    Be careful out there . . . not everything is what it seems.
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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  3. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    Wow, fascinating. I'm commenting to see what others think about your diagnostics. Glad to have you on "our side" ;)
  4. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    Any ideas on where and when it originated? Is there a known provenance on the L&C example?
  5. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    I've got no information at all regarding provenance.
    SorenCoins likes this.
  6. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    :watching: I think you may be on to something here. The obv does not look right to me either.
  7. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    "It's fake" was the first thing I thought when seeing the picture, because of the sloppy motto. Transfer dies that were retouched by hand. Probably a contemporary counterfeit. I don't know anything else about when it was discovered or added to the CPG. Chances are, like the Mocro O counterfeit Morgans, it was a low-grade coin that was found first.
  8. Garlicus

    Garlicus Debt is dumb, cash is king.

    It’s always good to remember the old saying - don’t believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see.

    As we know, this is very true when it comes to coins. Soooo many fakes out there. I’m surprised that this one made it to the level it did.
    Mernskeeter and Jaelus like this.
  9. Evan8

    Evan8 A Little Off Center

    Interesting. The reverse stars didnt look right to me from the get go. Definitely looks the part of a contemporary counterfeit to me.
  10. Wal888

    Wal888 Well-Known Member

    I found this one in a brazilian site to sell. The coin isn't in good conditions, but I hope it could help you anyway. If you'll want i can purchase her and send to you for more accurate analysis.
  11. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    This coin was minted in New Orleans, not inPhiladelphia, and looks real to me.
    Insider and Evan Saltis like this.
  12. Wal888

    Wal888 Well-Known Member

    Oh, sorry. I'd understood you needed of 1899 reverse of another coin to compare with that one. Just wanted help you.:(
  13. derkerlegand

    derkerlegand Well-Known Member

    I enlarged this area, and does it look odd to you? "LIBERTY" seems that the "R" isn't the correct height. The "E" of "...WE TRUST", is that bottom horizontal bar minted that way, or is it PMD? Sure doesn't look AU53 to me. I dunno, maybe I'm just imagining it.

  14. Clawcoins

    Clawcoins Well-Known Member

    When I saw your top photos I thought *fake* too and I'm not an expert.
    Checking my few Barber quarters the letters seem to have inconsistent placement if an arc was drawn on my few pre1900 ones.

    Looking at all my pictures now I wonder if my 1990 P is a DDO.
    SorenCoins and medoraman like this.
  15. C-B-D

    C-B-D U.S. Type Coins or death!

    Oh wow... if it has a Fivaz Stanton number then they've seen it as well, right? And there is a Wexler number with this coin.
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  16. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    @Fred Weinberg might have seen an example of such a coin in his time. Maybe you could help?
  17. C-B-D

    C-B-D U.S. Type Coins or death!

    By the way, well done, @ToughCOINS . I agree that it is counterfeit. Finding out such information shouldn't be embarrassing to any party, IMO. PCGS, Wexler, Fivaz, Stanton, or the owner of the coin. It's a lesson learned and to be appreciated! Good work, sir!
  18. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted

    Mike, you’re a true numismatist. Even if it turns out not to be a counterfeit, you sure did your homework and raised a couple of questions... I’d bet $20 you’re right and it is not legit :)

    @baseball21 will love this thread ;-)
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    Stevearino and Seattlite86 like this.
  19. Garlicus

    Garlicus Debt is dumb, cash is king.

    Ok everyone. Ca$h yours in before the word gets out, lol.
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  20. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't be the first time something was being certified from a reference guide that later gets delisted
    buckeye73 and Paul M. like this.
  21. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    I just got off the phone with an error and variety dealer, asking if he had heard about the coin's authenticity. He said he hasn't seen one for a long time, and didn't hear for sure that it was counterfeit, but that there were rumblings to that effect. After he saw the picture above, he said that it looks pretty fake.
    buckeye73, Stevearino and Paul M. like this.
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