The rise of the super fake?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by John Bull, Jun 22, 2021.

  1. John Bull

    John Bull New Member

    Fakes / counterfeits fascinate me. Not just coins but all collectables, be it antiques, magic the gathering cards (a black lotus card recently sold for $500k) or anything really.

    I was just reading an article on an EDM'd coin die. (
    And it makes you wonder just how many super fakes are out there.

    If the counterfeiter had made a scan of the coin cleaned it up in a 3d modelling software like ZBrush and then CNC'd a replica in ultrafine graphite you may not have been able to tell.
    ( ) explains in better than I could.

    Then you get on to ancients, which it's a whole another level of possibilities for perfect fakes. Using modern technologies.

    People say you can spot fakes in ancients because counterfeiters fail to master the style of the die cutters... I give you... Generative Adversarial Networks.

    Mr counterfeiter takes as many black and white photos of a certain coin from a certain timeframe at certain mint from auction catalogues to reference books to wherever. He puts them into a GAN until he has multiple photos for which imitates the look and feel of the period.

    He builds up a copy in a 3d modelling software flips it around to create a model of the die. Then 3d prints the model in lossless resin and casts the die in bronze.

    The guy in the video below makes jewelry in a similar way. As you can see this is from a hobby 3d printer, spend thousands instead of hundreds like some of the jewelry designers do on resin 3d printers and the detail is incredible.

    Problem with a super fake is by its very nature it's unlikely to be spotted.

    Where do you see counterfeit detection going?
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  3. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    IMHO, counterfeit coins will become virtually undetectable. The counterfeiters only need to change one thing which I shall never tell. :muted:

    The main reason this will happen (with that simple change) is that a majority of the older and experienced professional authenticators/dealers around the world do not study genuine coins under high magnification. These folks were around in the 1960's-1970's when counterfeits were of much lower quality making the study of genuine specimens easy.

    IMHO, the ONLY way to assure that the "super fakes" of the future will remain detectible is for young adult numismatists with access to an electron microscope and spectrograph to start examining the surfaces of 100% genuine coins. I don't expect this to be done. I made the same recommendation to three such students in the 1980's.

    Thankfully, it will not be my problem :D because I'll be dead. :dead:

    PS Much of the stuff written about such as the 3c above is considered to be a crude, naked-eye, easily detected fake by any competent numismatic authenticator. Therefore, it is not a "super fake." The deceptive fakes get into TPGS slabs UNTIL they are detected. Some of them, such as the older fakes in the Morgan dollar series have fooled everyone for decades.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2021
  4. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    All the more reason to buy 'moderns' from the US Mint......... devil.gif
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  5. John Bull

    John Bull New Member

    The 3ç is incredibly crude I was amazed that coin counterfeiters were using EDM.

    You're right about spectrographs I'm surprised that XRF isn't regularly used. As for electron microscopes strange parts released a video on a desktop electron microscope the other day (albeit he couldn't get it to work properly at his altitude).

    The thing which seems to be hardest to replicate in ancients is patina, I do wonder though if coins were put in a pressure chamber and certain gases added you may be able to achieve thicker patina which didn't rub off.
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  6. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    The first EDM counterfeits showed up almost 50 years ago.

    The really good fakes now are probably from computer cut dies that are produced from high resolution scans of genuine coins.
  7. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Conder101, posted: The first EDM counterfeits showed up almost 50 years ago."

    :jawdrop: Yikes, it seems like yesterday.
  8. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    You're not getting older, you're getting better.......... devil.gif
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  9. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    green18, posted: "You're not getting older, you're getting better.........."

    Actually, this is only true for a few things and there are fewer things as each year passes. :(
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  10. desertgem

    desertgem Senior Errer Collecktor Supporter

    Will ICG encapsulate you with the proper grade :dead:

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  11. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    1944 2C
    ICG - PO-1
    No Cents Var.
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  12. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect since I was a baby Supporter

    Do they make slabs that big?
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  13. Captain Sully

    Captain Sully Active Member

    This is a wow for me. I do think they will get to the point where they will be very very difficult to detect. I have quite a few Morgans that are fake and the only way I could tell using all quality equipment was the weight was off just a tad too much. Otherwise they are great. So. Mr. Bull would you like to have them??
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  14. halfcent1793

    halfcent1793 Well-Known Member

    The time will come when the only coins that have any market value will be those that have provenance from before the perfect counterfeits were first made.
  15. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Fortunately for all of us, the ONLY deceptive Morgan dollar fakes at this time are listed on VAM World as "Privately Made." Aside from those, SO FAR, I have not seen any Morgan dollar that would fool any competent numismatist who collects these coins. The majority of fake Morgan's are granular with crude details.

    Perhaps the Captain can post one of his fakes that we can discuss.

    Jack Young :bookworm::cigar: and his group have discovered counterfeits that went undetected since 2014! Who knew!
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  16. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    Not to worry Captain Sully. By the time counterfeits become undetectable we will have credit card chips implanted under our skin, and a finger print as positive identifiers, I hope!
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  17. 1865King

    1865King Well-Known Member

    The counterfeiters of today are very good. They are counterfeiting common coins too. The counterfeit common coins are mostly coins that people wouldn't spend a lot of time looking at. That's where the problems are. If someone walked into a coin shop with a few lower grade mint state 1921 Morgan dollars to sell how many dealers would spend a lot of time looking at them. They're cheap coins that a dealer may just toss in a junk silver box. These coins could be in the market for years before they are caught if they're ever caught. Not to many people will send a 1921 Morgan in for grading if it looks like a MS 62 coin. The same can't be said about a 1893-S Morgan dollar counterfeit. A smart dealer or collector will spend a lot of time looking at a 1893-S dollar, that's even if would only grade VG. BTW I haven't heard of a counterfeit 1921 Morgan dollar I'm only using the date as an example of what may slide by.
  18. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    The Chinese have counterfeited every date of Morgan dollars. I've seen two complete sets in albums. They even counterfeit dates and mints that were never made! Most of these coins should not fool any informed collector who knows what a genuine Morgan dollar looks like. At this time most fakes are too thick, the edge reeds look awful, the dates are misshaped, the coins are dark, and the surface is granular.
  19. Captain Sully

    Captain Sully Active Member

    Thanks, my Morgans (fake) are dark but not granular. Just the weight. All else looks exactly correct under my small scope and high-powered scope. I am currently weighing first rather than scope examinations because if the weight is wrong I will scope. What do you think? Know any weights that are within tolerance?? If you have a span you watch please let. me know.
  20. Kashmir Pulaski

    Kashmir Pulaski Well-Known Member

    I'm not positive, but it was explained to me by a guy who I regard as knowing about what he is saying.
    I believe one of the reasons for changing to polymer currencies was the increased difficulty in counterfeiting.

    I know this is a coin thread, but I just posted some new bills I just got and I love poly currencies.
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  21. Captain Sully

    Captain Sully Active Member

    The raw silver bars I have been buying all have a chip in them. Not all, but seems we're heading that way. I still love the Morgans and Liberties and the one I discussed I wish they were not fake but to be burned in this business is going to happen when you are a neophyte. That is why I read these posts every day. Thanks so much for your expertise.
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