Identifying counterfeit coins: an introduction for rare coin collectors

The Coin Shop | Rare Coin Collectors

Learn how to distinguish authentic coins from counterfeit fakes.

By Michael McConnell

According to CBS News, inexperienced rare coin collectors who mistake counterfeit coins for the real deal stand to loose a pretty penny. A recent report notes that over one million counterfeit coins have been made overseas and sold to unsuspecting collectors throughout the U.S. – some as “replicas,” others as authentic originals. The price difference between authentic coins and cheap copies can be astronomical: for example, an original 1916-D dime can fetch a price of about $700, while a replica is worth only a few dollars if that. If you are a novice coin collector, consider the following tips for identifying counterfeit coins.

As noted in past columns, research and education are key components for success as a rare coin collector. While experienced coin dealers are reliable sources of information about rare coins, those with integrity and a truly honest approach will encourage their customers to learn for themselves as well. Enrich your collecting experience by reading up on the series you wish to collect, and getting a good sense of coin values before buying or selling coins.

When it comes time to make a purchase, Numismatist Guide urges collectors to remember the following tips:

  • Compare the sale coin with an authentic coin. Fake coins will usually exhibit slight differences in color, texture, thickness or weight when compared side-by-side to originals.
  • Zero in on design details. Get to know the piece you are looking to purchase as intimately as possible. Remember unique die characteristics of an authentic coin when considering the piece in question.
  • If you have any question at all on the piece you wish to purchase, consider buying a certified coin that has already been authenticated by a third party.

Most coin collectors will never encounter counterfeit pieces. However, it is important to be prepared. That said, the more you learn about the coins in a series, the less likely you will be to fall victim to unscrupulous sellers. Learn more from an expert San Diego coin dealer by visiting us at the Coin Shop in La Jolla or getting in touch online today:

Related posts:

  1. Commodities versus collectibles: a precious metals buying guide
  2. Coins for cash: where and how to sell rare coins from your collection
  3. Scrap gold jewelry vs. gold coins: how to get the best gold prices
  4. Investment or insurance? Defining the difference for today’s precious metals buyers
  5. Identifying rare coin values: Which of these coins is worth over $1000?

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Posted by Social Media Staff on Jul 22, 2012. Filed under Columns, Michael McConnell, Sponsored Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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