Had to send this one back

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Hoky77, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. Hoky77

    Hoky77 Well-Known Member

    IMG_6527.JPG IMG_6529.JPG InkedIMG_6527_LI.jpg The sellers pics of this 1886 Liberty V Nickel were a bit fuzzy but good enough to say this would probably grade VF . The seller (Around 1300 100% positive feedback) posted a Buy It Now for $175 and I jumped. It shipped from our northern neighbor and took a couple weeks to arrive and of course it seemed like forever. I had the package open less than a minute and got that unpleasant feeling in my gut that says oh no. This the fourth counterfeit I purchased on eBay in the 20 yrs. that I have had an account. Three of the four were refunded and the fourth I had to long before I discovered it. This seller was adamant that the specimen was real and provided return postage. I suggested to him that he consult with a TPG before listing the coin again. I watched his store for a couple weeks after the return and as far as I know he didn't relist. I still have the other three as the sellers didn't want them back. I believe all of these sellers are honest. They were moving large amounts of inventory and just don't have the time to study out all the coins that pass through there hands. They take quick pics and list. Some of these fakes are past convincing as the old timers here can attest to. The best advice to a newbie buying raw coins is to find a good mentor. Fakes have been around along time but modern technology has created a whole new ballgame. This coin has the attributes of a cast replica.
    Penna_Boy, AdamsCollection and -jeffB like this.
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  3. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    Interesting. It does not have the fabric of a modern Chinese counterfeit
    Jack D. Young likes this.
  4. AdamsCollection

    AdamsCollection Well-Known Member

    The hairline and liberty looks a bit off, but yeah the counterfeits are getting more and more convincing. It is unfortunate, but at least the seller offered refunding, there is a lot of sellers who would not.
  5. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    You guys have to enlighten me.......the pictures and the arrows tell nothing to the uninitiated. What about this coin is fake? And that ain't the scotch talkin'. I truly want to know.
  6. paddyman98

    paddyman98 Let me burst your bubble! Supporter

    Could those areas you pointed out just be Die Breaks? o_O
  7. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    To be honest, I would not have questioned the coin. Looks real to me.
  8. Shrews1994

    Shrews1994 Collecting is my passion.

    To my eyes the whole nickel looks good. The face the date the stars looks sharp and not mushy and the reverse looks the same no mushyness. If this is a fake it's a dang good one. I would be fooled. What about the Nick's you see? What makes that a fake? Im just asked for future reference. I would not want to buy fakes.
  9. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    From CoinFacts.
  10. Hoky77

    Hoky77 Well-Known Member

  11. Hoky77

    Hoky77 Well-Known Member

    All the knicks were raised, you could feel them with a toothpick, one wouldn't have bothered me but there are actually four or five more I didn't circle. There is some lint in the photo but there are chips near the stars at 1,3 and 5 o'clock and off the top of the first 8. I don't think one or two die chips would be uncommon but seven or eight seems suspicious. I don't have access to many resources for these nickels so I had to depend on what I could find online and I looked at as many photos as I could find. The pic that Larry posted shows a chip at the base of the 8 that is very similar though. I would like to see a whole pic of that coin.
  12. Hoky77

    Hoky77 Well-Known Member

    I mentioned the chips in a reply to paddyman98 but there is more. The whole surface of the coin was grainy, even the worn surfaces. I have seen this graininess in Buffalo Nickels that have have been acid soaked to bring back the date but I can think of no reason that this coin should have been so treated. Under glass the marked area along the denticles (especially to the right of the date ) seemed to have some sort of material embedded in the coin. I took this to be remnants of the mold. I also showed a fellow enthusiast the coin and after a long look he told me to decide for myself. I checked the sellers auctions weekly for over a month after the coin was returned and as far as I know he never put it back up for auction. This all happened a couple of years ago, before I was a member here. I found these pics looking for something else and figured they would make a good post. Who knows, maybe you guys could have talked me out of the return.
  13. C-B-D

    C-B-D Well-Known Member

    I think it's a genuine problem coin. Harshly cleaned. Looks like a brillo pad was taken to it. The raised spots could be metal movement from being cleaned to death.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
    Hoky77 and Jack D. Young like this.
  14. Hoky77

    Hoky77 Well-Known Member

    I considered the to many die chips the over all graininess of all the surfaces (worn surface should be smooth IMHO) but the deciding factor was that the area at the thirteenth star was actually gritty to the touch.
    green18 likes this.
  15. Hoky77

    Hoky77 Well-Known Member

    After the discussion here I tend to agree with you. After much thought I think the nickel had some areas of advanced corrosion and was dipped in acid to clean it up,
    leaving corrosion residue in the deeper pitting and then brillo applied to scrub away what was left.
  16. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Looks good to me. I think you were seeing small die chips on can older coin. I must say the coin appears to have been cleaned to me.
  17. Long Beard

    Long Beard Active Member

    My thoughts are in line with some of the others as to this one being real. Starting with the obvious, or in my opinion, the hair detail seems consistent with circulation wear. smooth at the high points transitioning to sharper in the lower. I would think these very hard to replicate from being cast. On that subject, to keep all of those dentiles intact void of any chipped or missing is extremely difficult. This I can attest to since I've cast aluminum larger wall art in two part sand moulds in the past. Next, the scratches on the face. Those on the neck are slightly deeper than the vertical scuff type right of and below the eye. As for the highlighted bumps, I would attribute these to nicks in the working dies. Perhaps something fell in between them as they were striking a coin? Finally, as to the surfaces themselves, this one was most likely harshly cleaned. More so on the sand-blasted look of the reverse.

    Again, only my opinions. I would like to know, if possible, how this ends up. Genuine or counterfeit. Either way, the call was yours and yours alone to make. Enjoyed the post!
    Hoky77 and green18 like this.
  18. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    Possibly, but they don't have the appearance of die breaks. A die is going to break usually in a continuous line - not a whole bunch of chipped areas like that.

    That is not how cleaned coins behave - the metal doesn't usually lump up in the fields like that.
  19. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    I think this is a fake. It is a well done fake, and thus it is fooling a lot of members here, but it is fake.

    Besides the die chips that Hoky77 has been pointing out, I'll direct your attention to a few other important areas. These are key to identifying fakes:

    1. The dentils. Compare the dentils on this coin to the dentils on the genuine coin below (PCGS VF-30, from Heritage). The dentils on the OP's are soft and fuzzy. Dentils on a genuine coin should usually be sharp and crisp (certain series and dates might not be, but as a general rule). Further, notice how the dentils seem to fade towards the rim - that is a quick clue its fake.

    2. Notice the overall flatness of the design on the OP's coin, compared to the genuine coin below. The coin should have started out with relief, and then the wear flattens the details. The OP's fake coin looks like it started with a low relief - it was copied from a circulated coin and never actually had the relief.

    3. Notice the shallowness of the strike. What I mean by that - notice how the neck and nose seem to fade into the fields. Now, this absolutely does occur on genuine coins in later die states, but it just looks wrong here.

    4. Notice the texture of the coin around the left corn stalk. That fuzzy texture is just not something you'd expect to find on a genuine coin, especially at this grade.

    5. The "die chips" that have been mentioned, given the overall quality of the rest of the coin, are far more likely contact marks that were present on the die used to strike this counterfeit. In the process of transferring details from the host coin to the counterfeit die, the die received marks - which now appear as raised lumps in the fields of the counterfeit.

    This isn't an exact science, but this coin just looks and feels wrong. It would probably fool a lot of people, including collectors - but that's what it was intended to do!

    genuine obv.jpg genuine rev.jpg
  20. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    Thanks Jason. Great reply.
    Hoky77 likes this.
  21. Hoky77

    Hoky77 Well-Known Member

    Your post has made me feel a lot better about returning this to the seller. My pictures are not terrible but they aren't great either. The specimen in hand bothered me more than these pictures. All the Liberty Nickels in my half completed Dansco album are Au with only one that may have been cleaned in the past. (probably was but I am in denial). I am not wealthy so I jumped at the chance to fill an expensive hole in a VF to XF grade. Neither a fake or harshly cleaned coin would leave me satisfied but it is easier on the ego to return a counterfeit.
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