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GUARD ANY COIN TYPE COLLECTION FROM COUNTERFEITS posted by Dynasty

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

Today's Matron Head Ladies watch their weight!

 

I collect Matron Head large cents but my advice is for all. I suggest every numismatist purchase a pocket size (so small you could fit several in your pocket) LIHGHTHOUSE .01-100G digital scale or similar .1-500G from Amos Advantage.com($24.95 + $7.99 shipping). This little scale from Germany can do more to protect you from counterfeit purchases than you might imagine.

First research your coin's birth weight. The Matron Head 1816-1835 varieties were pressed in Philadelphia from a planchet from the Liverpool England manufacturer Boulton & Watt that weighed 10.89 grams. So one could expect a MS68 to be about in the range of 10.60G to 10.80G raw. An AU50 to be a lesser weight say 10.30G to 10.40G and a G4 even lesser weight. I do not possess the spectrum of graded coins to provide all their weights, but checking a few you already have and preparing a simple small Grade/Weight Spreadsheet is the insurance policy you need. Slabbed coins and varying slab designs make for only a few more weight choices or columns on your spreadsheet, eg. Old PCGS Green holder, new NGC side view holder, ANACS holder etc. All your holdered coins can simply be weighed instantly to provide you with comparison weights.

The Matron Head large cent designed by then Chief Engraver Robert Scot was a success compared to its predecessors in the fact that its design lasted two decades and was only given a more youthful look in 1835. A $20.00 L.E.D. hand held slide caliper can be used to check the outer diameter of your raw coin or lay it on the slab to get a close approximation displayed by moving its arms closed, up to the coin's edges below. I bought one at Harbor Freight store for $10.00(PITTSBURGH item #47257) that works just fine and gives me the 1&1/8 inch, 1.125 or 28.5mm outer diameter I expect to see. Another good protection layer from counterfeits.

There have been many reported counterfeit large cent dates and many other denominations of coins that are counterfeit as well. I myself ran across an 1823 AU to MS with only a 40x lighted loop available at a local coin show. The 1823 sure looked real, even at 40x but the price was ¼ of what it should have sold for. Upon questioning the seller in front of a small crowd, he admitted that it was "a copy "and that was why he was selling it for less (caveat emptor -- beware buyer). One day in the hopeful future PCGS, NGC, ANACS and related web sites may post the estimated weight of a given raw or slabbed coin for easy reference. That would really give the counterfeiters fits!

 

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If the 1823 cent you refer to was in fact a "copy" and did not have COPY stamped on it, then the seller was in the act of committing a federal crime by trying to sell it.

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Report anyone who offers a counterfeit coin to the show organizer, local Prosecutor/States Attorney and the FBI....Do it in writing with as much detail as you can supply.

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