Counterfeit Coins

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Martin Hash
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Counterfeit Coins

Post by Martin Hash » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:11 pm

One of my fondest memories as a child was collecting coins. All I wanted for my birthday was coins. It didn't matter which coins, they just had to have a date, the older the better. I was intrigued by how many people must have touched the coin & what the world was like when it was new, but most of all, it was the laying them in order, end-to-end, that provided such great satisfaction. This under-riding Obsessive Compulsive Behavior has been very good to me; attention to detail & conscientiousness does wonders for your career.

Foreign coins were not as desirable but they were more exotic. One of the reasons I always wanted to travel was because of the foreign coins my Grandpa had collected while he traveled the world in the early 20th Century. I have also gathered foreign coins from every one of the 100+ countries I've traveled to, and I hope a least one of my grandkids inherits the compulsion to dig through a large bucket I've filled and lay them all out in a line, looking up what country they are from.
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Odd as it may seem, even counterfeit coins are alluring. I still have the “1970 United States Coin Price Guide” that contains a listing for a Counterfeit “Draped Bust” Silver Dollar, for what seemed like an odd price of $6. The idea that even fake coins had value stayed with me; I can even remember ruminating about it to my glassy-eyed pre-teen friends. That's why it was so fulfilling that 40 years later while traveling I found a counterfeit Draped Bust Silver Dollar in a Cairo, Egypt alley antique store. It was in an old wood chest with 1000s of other coins, mostly foreign, mostly old. I bought it for $6, along with some other coins, including a supposedly Ancient Roman coin that broke in half when I dropped it. Still a great feeling of discovery though, difficult to surpass I thought. Then 10 years later I found another, faker Draped Bust in China, along with some other fake coins. They cost about $20 total. I'm sure some of the coins were real but what a topsy-turvy world it has become when I can't tell the real coins in my Counterfeit Coin collection, which is getting quite impressive.
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However, the mother-lode of fake coindom is Vietnam. There I was able to buy a coin album full of supposedly ancient coins of S.E. Asia but the slots were filled with whatever would fit in them. Occasionally the dates would be correct but the coins were from Europe and even the United States, plus there were several tokens for amusement games. I couldn't be sure if any of the coins at all were from Vietnam. Best of all, a 19th Century U.S. “Morgan” Silver Dollar was shoved into one of the slots but it had the correct date. I didn't buy the Coin-set until I Googled the dollar's value which was more than the whole set. That was such a slam dunk, I bought a second album. In it was a Mickey Mouse coin, and a bunch of what looked like to be Panda Bear coins, certainly not legal tender but worth even more to me as a curiosity. Excitedly, I tried to show them to my wife, Gwynne, but I got the feeling she wasn't as impressed as me. When I got home, they were the first thing I showed my kids. They acted interested but that was probably 'cuz they're my kids...
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de officiis
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Re: Counterfeit Coins

Post by de officiis » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:16 pm

It was interesting after my mother passed away to examine her modest coin collection. Nothing terribly valuable, but it was fun to see what she had collected over the years. Her souvenir coins were actually more fun because of the insight they offered into her life prior to marriage, something I wasn't very knowledgeable about.
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Speaker to Animals
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Re: Counterfeit Coins

Post by Speaker to Animals » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:33 pm

I read some articles on people who collect counterfeits. It's a really interesting part of numismatics.

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Fife
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Re: Counterfeit Coins

Post by Fife » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:34 pm

Very cool stuff. Does anybody remember the guy who showed up on the DCF, maybe late 2015/early 2016 or thereabouts who was a coin man, and a metal detecting jedi? He was from south Ga / north Fla IIRC. He was a cool-ass nerd, with lots of awesome coin stories. He even ran a few coin-award-constest threads.

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Speaker to Animals
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Re: Counterfeit Coins

Post by Speaker to Animals » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:40 pm

Fife wrote:Very cool stuff. Does anybody remember the guy who showed up on the DCF, maybe late 2015/early 2016 or thereabouts who was a coin man, and a metal detecting jedi? He was from south Ga / north Fla IIRC. He was a cool-ass nerd, with lots of awesome coin stories. He even ran a few coin-award-constest threads.

Yeah, he was super cool.

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Montegriffo
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Re: Counterfeit Coins

Post by Montegriffo » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:12 pm

I spoke to him quite a lot. Lord Cannarvon or something like that. Nuke was rude to him and he stopped posting. Shame, he was very interesting. LVH won a coin in his competition and said he was going to use it as a card protector.
For legal reasons, we are not threatening to destroy U.S. government property with our glorious medieval siege engine. But if we wanted to, we could. But we won’t. But we could.
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