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

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

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  1. coin0709

    coin0709 CT Supporter

    One would think that, but the reverse at 6 o'clock is pretty different between the two coins. Interesting thread.
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  3. chascat

    chascat Well-Known Member

    The FS picture looks only F or VF to me... not AU.
  4. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random nobody...

    I’m finally home and can look at this on a larger screen.

    They are quite obviously not the same coin. I believe that someone created a counterfeit to mimic the variety in the FS guide, meaning the PCGS coin is not the discovery coin.

    Some observations:

    The FS specimen is actually a TDR. Is this evident on the PCGS coin?

    The arrowheads are clearly defined on the FS coin. They lack the same definition on the PCGS coin.


    And to think that this simple analysis would have prevented all of the bickering earlier. :rolleyes:
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  5. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    Many of us have seen claims of a TPG returning a different coin to a customer after grading their submission, and determined the customer's claim to be invalid, based on differences in perception due to lighting and camera angles in photos. Different camera angles can distend or foreshorten the geometry, changes in lighting can hide some features, while revealing others, and a coin can be made to look completely different in separate photos.

    I totally see the apparently obvious differences in your post, but am wary of concluding that the L&C coin and the coin in the FS guide are not the same coin. I'd also be careful about characterizing the FS coin as being a tripled die, as they clearly define it as doubled in their guide. Photos can play tricks on us, and often do.

    Notice, for example, that the L&C coin is lit from the ENE, while the FS coin is lit from the WSW - completely opposite lighting angles. Also, note that the features of the FS coin appear distended compared with those of the L&C coin, implying a different camera angle.

    Maybe someone very close to L&C, to Bill Fivaz, or to JD Stanton can clear this up for us.

    Short of that, the subject of these being two different coins could become contentious and unproductive.
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
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  6. chascat

    chascat Well-Known Member

    I would have gladly called JT for advice, but the hereafter line is busy today...he passed last fall...RIP.
  7. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    Of course . . . How could I forget? With the utmost respect intended, he lives eternally in the minds of many in our community.
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  8. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    It is also possible the FS coin could be a counterfeit as well from the same counterfeiter. All we have is the one small section of the coin to look at.
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  9. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Questions for people who know more than me. Is there another DDR known for a Phildelphia issue for this series? Most likely scenario to me would be the forgers just randomly grabbed an obverse and reverse die, not meaning to create a new variety.
  10. justafarmer

    justafarmer Senior Member

    Based on the images - I am also leaning towards two different coins.
    Quarter 1899 Compare.JPG
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  11. buckeye73

    buckeye73 Active Member

    The feathers (fletching) end of the arrows are clearly different between the FS and PCGS images with due respect to differences in lighting. I am in the camp that these are two different coins. The PCGS coin appears to be a counterfeit coin IMO.

    Conder101’s observation that the FS coin could be counterfeit is valid. So do we possibly have two different counterfeits? Could the FS coin be a retooled die version of the PCGS coin? Too complicated for my aging brain.
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  12. justafarmer

    justafarmer Senior Member

    At this point I am leaning towards the OP's coin being counterfeit. My overlays indicate the spread of the die doubling of the coin is not geometrically correct.
    Quarter 1899 Reverse Map 1.JPG Quarter 1899 Reverse Map 2 Normal Overlay.JPG Quarter 1899 Reverse Map 3 OP Overlay 1.JPG Quarter 1899 Reverse Map 4 OP Overlay 2.JPG
  13. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Wish I had gotten to this party sooner. :D

    IMO, the image in the FS Book is of a genuine coin. Therefore, chances are EXTREMELY GOOD that more than one of these coins exists!

    You don't need overlays or anything except a sharp image and a good set of trained eyes (an eye-for-detail as most women have) to be 100% sure these are different coins. The basic technique is to find a mark of any kind (scratch, PMD, stains) on one specimen and look for it on the other. Dirt, toning, and stains can be removed but other marks are usually present. Only surface alterations or change in the type/angle of the lighting will hide the other imperfections. Props to the members who saw the difference.

    Now as far as the coin's authenticity, PCGS has slabbed it as genuine and they have a guarantee. I'm sure they have been notified. Unfortunately, the obverse image is not sharp enough to make the call 100% one way or the other yet but there are some rather crude design details in the image. I'll remind all of you that circulation can have all types of effects on a coin besides wear.

    The fakers are doing some good work and have definitely moved on to counterfeiting rare varieties. The Seated Liberty quarter with the "Huge O" has been faked. This is possibly one of them. I choose to reserve my opinion for now. :muted:
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  14. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    I linked to this thread on CU. A member there magnified the obverse with a genuine comparison coin.

    I'll join the others here and say the slabbed coin is a C/F. Now, we need to authenticate the holder as this coin should have never passed PCGS as genuine.
  15. jgenn

    jgenn World Crown Collector

    I will be the contrarian and opine that the issues mentioned about the shapes of letters and stars can be attributed to die wear.
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  16. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    I'm sorry, but I can't accept that explanation, as die wear would produce larger, thicker letters and stars . . . Not smaller, thinner ones.
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  17. jgenn

    jgenn World Crown Collector

    Polishing a worn die to get more use out of it will affect the edges of the elements the most. That would also explain why a coin with clearly worn details could have enough luster for an AU53 grade.
  18. Michael K

    Michael K Well-Known Member

    If that were true (die erosion) then there is a progression and many coins of this date would show the same malformed letters. Until that information can be checked, it's still a theory. I don't agree with the AU 53 grade. This coin didn't circulate lightly. XF at best. And, it should have no grade, not even details if it turns out fake.
    Also agree the letters would be thicker and mushier.
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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  19. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    Polishing the dies may actually deprive subsequent coins of cartwheel luster exhibited by coins made by eroded dies. Also, the letters will most certainly not get thinner after die erosion / polishing . . . they would get thicker.
  20. jgenn

    jgenn World Crown Collector

    Elements like the letters are more deeply struck in the center and less so at the edge. Polishing grinds down the surface and will remove less deeply struck areas, like the points of the serifs and stars and edges of the letters, resulting in thinner letters on subsequently struck coins.
  21. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    Sorry, but I wholeheartedly disagree with you. Rather than argue with you about it, I'll leave it to others to weigh in on this subject.
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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