ASSESSING AUTHENTICITY

METHODS AND TECHNIQUES

 

There is rarely one piece of information that can inform and identify whether a coin is genuine or counterfeit.

A coin can be described in various ways.

Here you will learn the various methods and techniques used to build confidence as to whether your coins is genuine or counterfeit.

Process...

Ask your self the following questions:

Does the coin appear struck or cast? If struck, does it appear to be a mint design or hand-made die design?

All genuine U.S. coins were struck from a die, and none were cast.  

If struck, does it appear to be a mint design or hand-made die design?

Of the presumed die struck coin, compare the obverse and reverse die workmanship against an authentic coin of the same date, mint, denomination, and type.  If there are striking differences in the details, your piece may not be genuine.  However, a coin with altered surfaces may appear not genuine, when in fact the alteration is merely distorting genuine details.

Show photos of everything you are talking about.

Describe any surface defects. Do the surfaces appear physically or chemically altered?

Does the surface metal appear accurate for the coin’s denomination and type?

What is the die alignment?

Is the edge type accurate for that denomination and type?

How does the piece resonate when tapped on the edge? Is the ring sharp, dull, or absent?

What is the weight of the piece? How does that weight compare to authentic coins of that denomination and type factoring in circulation wear, and assuming no metal has been intentionally removed from an alteration.

What is the diameter and thickness of the piece? How do these measurements compare to authentic coins of that denomination and type, again factoring in circulation wear, and assuming the planchet has not been physically or chemically altered?

What is the alloy of the coin as conducted through nondestructive SpG, XRF, or similar analysis?

© 2019 by Winston Zack. All rights reserved.

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