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Heath’s Infallible Counterfeit Detector

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i picked up a copy of this book, it looks just like that except a bit 'rattier' and it's missing plenty of pages.. but, "The book enjoyed considerable popularity and was issued in many different editions and sizes over several years."


anyone familiar with this? how can i tell which edition i've got here? there's a handwritten note (name & address) dated 1883 so i assume it's one of the originals but i can't find any mention of the edition.. perhaps i'm missing that page


any helpful info is much appreciated :)

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

In his book American Numismatic Literature, Charles Davis listed more than a dozen variants of this title published in 1864. These varieties have to do with the color of the cover and whether the front cover is blindstamped, embossed or gilt. He also listed prices, but these are 20+ years old and of little value now.


In my own experience, this title is not rare, as it was an extremely useful tool for bankers and others handling a dizzying variety of paper money issued by states, banks and, later, the federal government. Even so, the book is popular for its plates of such currency and its historic value. Yours is likely from this first edition of 1864, as later editions included the words "Greatly Improved and Enlarged" in the title.

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Does this book cover coins, paper money, or both?




It was considered to be bible on detecting counterfeit coinage and currency back in it's time because back then, states, and more specifically, banks printed their own bank notes, and it was to easy to counterfeit currency then.

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