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Genuine or Not Genuine?

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

I recently acquired this 1875 Seated quarter. The surface is coppery in color (photos are essentially accurate to color). It has an 'X' cancellation-type mark on each side. And it weighs 5.87 grams; genuine Mint State examples of this type weigh 6.25 grams.


2/21/2023 Update. I knew the answer to this question before posting this blog post. :)


Requests from commenters:

(1) Specific Gravity. I completed this on Tuesday, 2/21/2023. I did this test 3 times. This was to ensure overall consistency in the methodology, and to account for any variation therein. For example. the string (which holds the coin) absorbed slightly different quantities of water each time, and I accounted for this in my final calculation. Results will be shared soon b/c this seems to be THE test many of you want to see. SG for 90% silver = 10.31. SG for Copper = 8.96.

(2) Counting the Reeds. I can't locate a large enough parabolic mirror, and a bit of the edge is too distorted, presumably from the chisel marks, to fully count them.

(3) Toothpick test in the chisel grooves. Unfortunately, my attempt to 'clean' these areas with a toothpick and a cotton swap proved no match for the decades from dark build-up in this area to resolve whether the interior of the planchet is silver or something else.


The question for the group is - Based on the photo and the above information (and I'm sure I could add more info if asked), is this piece Genuine or Not Genuine/Counterfeit?


Please answer in the comments below and provide an explanation for your opinion/answer. Possible hint - rummaging through Bad Metal Silver might be an asset here...


I'll create a follow-up blog post in about a weeks time summarizing the answers/comments and I'll provide my opinion.


Good luck,

Winston




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15 Comments


Winston Zack
Winston Zack
Feb 21, 2023

All - Specific Gravity test was completed this morning as updated in the original post. However, I'm not sharing the results right now in order to see if anyone else wants to comment/provide their opinion.

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BillDinNC
BillDinNC
Feb 21, 2023

silver slide. once you try it, you'll wonder where it's been all your life.

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Winston Zack
Winston Zack
Feb 21, 2023
Replying to

Interesting - first I've heard of this and looking into it now.

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Based on a comparison with examples of genuine 1875 25c I would say the coin is counterfeit. I will of course await SG test results, but the coin has letters that are slightly too thick which is often seen on transfer dies of this general age. The 7 in the date is perhaps the worst of the characters indivdually.

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Winston Zack
Winston Zack
Feb 21, 2023

I've updated the original post based on the comments/questions and my corresponding results (or lack thereof).

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Winston , have you tried to take a wooden tooth pick to the crevice of one of the X marked to see if it has a silver look ??

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Winston Zack
Winston Zack
Feb 21, 2023
Replying to

I tried the 'toothpick test' on the reverse and in the deep groove at 3 o'clock. I was moderately aggressive, and then 'cleaned' that area with a cotton ear swab to try to uncover the underlying surface. Unfortunately, in that area the toning (or weathering) remains largely unchanged and is still dark.

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