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Help with authenticity books

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I posted this in the correct thread WYKTK-Numismatic Library but the traffic there is light. So I'm so sorry for posting it here I just need some education.

I'm not a grader nor do I feel it's a skill I can acquire; I'm more like a newbie weak collector. I just buy what I like regardless of grade, slab etc. kinda like my wife who allegedly collects shiny jewelry. Recently I almost got stuck with a very good fake slabbed Morgan but narrowly adverted it with help of customer service ATS, it was one of theirs. I know as fast as someone figures one type out another better example appears. So, it seems I have no choice but to learn more about spotting counterfeits. About 70% of the coins I buy come from Stacks & Bowers with another 15% from Heritage so I don't worry that much. Still I'd like to able to spot a fake without attempting to acquire the admiral skills of even the most basic graders. I saw some books previously mentioned but wonder if any newer books are available documenting these newer and supposed better fakes. So far all I know or have been told is if it's to good to be true then it is so pass and make sure the grade on the label matches the coin and only buy from PNG dealers which isn't always realistic. Thanks for any suggestions. I collect Morgans, seated liberty halves and liberty quarters.


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In the case of both counterfeit coins and counterfeit slabs, the counterfeiters are as capable of reading any book about counterfeits as you are, which means their products will continue to get harder and harder to identify.


If you're most concerned about counterfeit coins, then the books that are available currently will continue to be good guides for the general things you should look for, if not the specific details.


As far as counterfeit slabs, there have been some articles in Coin World (and probably other numismatic publications) as well as threads here and ATS (I believe).


You didn't say where you buy the remaining 15% of your coins, but I'd recommend you stick to purchasing from established, reputable dealers (not necessarily just PNG members).

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No book can tell you about all the different counterfeits because One they haven't seen every different counterfeit, and every new fake a counterfeiter makes (Whenever he creates a new die or mold) could be different (and there are always new counterfeiters starting up.). So while you could make up a list of known fakes, it wouldn't help you spot a new one that isn't on the list. Also sometimes the publishing of such a list lets the counterfeiter know what is wrong with his dies and he can try to fix them. There are examples of this pictured in the ANA Counterfeit detection books.


Usually the best way to learn to spot a fake is to study as many REAL coins as possible. They all come from the same manufacturer using known techniques. And in the case of some key coins (Such as the SVDB cent, the 16-D dime, the 1893-S dollar etc) all of the dies that made these coins have been identified. Then if you find a coin that doesn't match one of the known dies it is most likely a fake. The real advantage to studying real coins is you become how can I say, the appearance of a genuine coin. When a fake shows up you just see it and get a gut feeling that something is wrong. Even the experts will tell you this. It just doesn't look "right" and so it gets a much closer scrutiny

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Usually the best way to learn to spot a fake is to study as many REAL coins as possible.




The trouble with a lot of counterfeit detection books is that they tell you to look for this lump or die abnormality and expect you to memorize all of this stuff. The trouble is that's almost impossible to do, and new fakes are coming out all the time.


Your best defense is to know what the real coins look like. That knowledge encompasses both learning how coins are or were made, and also learning something about die varieties for the earlier pieces, which involved a lot of hand work in the production of the dies. It is also essential to get know how to recognize cast and molded copies. That can be harder than you might think.


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