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Modern fakes

NumisdocNumismatic encyclopedia

Written on September 17, 2013 • Last edit: October 31, 2013
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We present here some fake coins which are owned by some Numista members.
For comparison, we give you the link to the Numista page of the real coin.

About forgeries

A common case with fake coins is copying designs that never existed, where the size and weight of the coin are substantially larger or smaller than the right size. These are automatically fakes and are worth only the metal they are minted on.
Let's start with copper coins. Usually fake copper coins (from China) have a soapy oxidation to them that is green and tough, but does not eat up the coin. Oftentimes they have scratches surrounding the coin to imitate short but thorough circulation; coins that circulate for long periods are smoother and evenly worn, while fakes have sharp, but worn features. Many fakes, however, are simply restrikes that imitate circulating coins and are intended to deceive buyers. These are usually coins that rarely circulated, or have very high values.
Silver Chinese coins, along with silver trade dollars from the US and Hong Kong are among the most faked coins in the world; luckily they are easy to spot, while some others are harder. The best place to start is to use a magnet. Any coin intended to be silver that is magnetic is automatically a fake, since silver is not magnetic. The second measure to determine a fake silver coin is looking at the rim. The reeding should be consistent, straight, and sharp; they usually reach the top and bottom of the rim. A third factor is weak impressions on the coin; a character may be blurred or unclear, and the design might be unclear around the edges of the coin. Lastly, fake silver coins occasionally have a porous surface, and this can be found by using a magnifying glass.
Another type of fake is a contemporary counterfeit. They have some value, in some cases, more than the real coin itself. Contemporaries usually have crude designs and use brass or tin and nickel instead of copper and silver, respectively. In most cases, contemporaries have much circulation wear throughout the coin.

How to recognize a fake coin?

First of all you should check your coin with a magnet. If your coin is supposed to be in gold, silver, brass, copper or bronze and it is attracted by the magnet you can be sure it's a fake.
If your coin passed the magnet test, check the size: diameter and thickness. The weight is more difficult to reproduce exactly if the original coin should be in gold or in silver. A different alloy will produce a big weight difference.
If your coin passed all these tests, take a magnifier and observe the edge, the details and the year, compare the design with the original coin on the Numista page.
If you still hesitate ask for confirmation on the Coin identifications and valuations forum.

The fakes

The characteristics showing that it is a forgery are in red.





Bermuda
China
Ecuador
Euros
France
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong
Hungary
Indochina
Italy
Japan
Mexico
Russia
South Africa
Spain
United Kingdom
USA


The Gallery

Napoléon III
France
Photo : © Pfouque
Photo : © Pfouque
Year:1867 BB
Mint/Mint Mark:Bee
Ø mm :37.5
Weight in g:22.61
Edge:reeded
Metal:
Magnetic:No
The real coin on Numista
10 Fr TURIN
France
Photo : © Pfouque
Photo : © Pfouque
Year:1933
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :27,8
Weight in g:7.62
Edge:reeded
Metal:? gray look
Magnetic:No
Has more value than the real coin itself!
The real coin on Numista
10 Fr TURIN
France
Photo : © tetricus79
Photo : © tetricus79
Year:1934
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :28
Weight in g:7,63
Edge:reeded
Metal:gray alloy
Magnetic:no
The real coin on Numista
10 Fr TURIN
France
Photo : © belare
Photo : © belare
Year:1938
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :27
Weight in g:10.00
Edge:
Metal:bronze-aluminium
Magnetic:
The reverse looks soft as it was casting. The bronze color leaves no doubt that it's a fake.
The real coin on Numista
20 francs
France
Photo : © al6246
Photo : © al6246
Year:1939
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :35
Weight in g:20,53
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:no
form, place and size of date not correct
The real coin on Numista
10 Francs Leon Gambetta
France
Photo : © tetricus79
Photo : © tetricus79
Year:1982
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :26
Weight in g:9,86
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:no
more yellow than the original coin - smooth forgery
The real coin on Numista
5 Fr Hercule
France
Photo : © Pfouque
Photo : © Pfouque
Year:
Mint/Mint Mark:A
Ø mm :37
Weight in g:19.45
Edge:sharp (looks like poor imitation of inscription in relief)
Metal:Lead or tin
Magnetic:No
Very smooth, very bad forgery - maybe vintage?
The real coin on Numista
5 Francs
France
Photo : © tetricus79
Photo : © tetricus79
Year:1960
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :29
Weight in g:9,38
Edge:LIBERTE*EGALITE
*FRATERNITE*
Metal:gray alloy
Magnetic:no
The real coin on Numista
5 Francs
France
Photo : © Pimousse124
Year:1962
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :29
Weight in g:10
Edge:reeded
Metal:
Magnetic:No
The real coin on Numista
10 francs
France
Photo : © 007mat
Photo : © 007mat
Year:1988
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :23
Weight in g:6
Edge:5 groups of reeds
Metal:bi-metallic
Magnetic:Yes (center)
Crude forgery, the central part clearly stands out from the ring
The real coin on Numista
10 francs
France
Photo : © tetricus79
Photo : © tetricus79
Year:1989
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :23
Weight in g:6,51
Edge:5 groups of reeds
Metal:
Magnetic:yes
reeds very soft
The real coin on Numista
10 francs
France
Photo : © 007mat
Photo : © 007mat
Year:1990
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :23
Weight in g:6
Edge:5 groups of reeds
Metal: bi-metallic
Magnetic:Yes (center)
Crude forgery, the central part clearly stands out from the ring
The real coin on Numista
10 francs
France
Photo : © tetricus79
Photo : © tetricus79
Year:1991
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :22.7
Weight in g:6.47
Edge:5 groups of reeds
Metal:
Magnetic:yes
rust on the center part
The real coin on Numista
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5 mark - Wilhelm II
German states (Prussia)
Photo : © Pooxloff
Photo : © Pooxloff
Year:1907
Mint/Mint Mark:A
Ø in mm :38
Weight in g:17,46
Edge:reeded
Metal:
Magnetic:Yes
The real coin on Numista
5 mark - Wilhelm II
German States (Prussia)
Photo : © jimpop
Photo : © jimpop
Year:1904
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :38
Weight in g:25
Edge:reeded - has no legend
Metal:
Magnetic:no
Die crack through hair
The real coin on Numista
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5 Pesetas - Joseph Napoleon
Spanish states
Photo : © apuking
Photo : © apuking
Year:1814
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :40.3
Weight in g:25.4
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:

20 flowers around "pesetas" instead of 25 no dot after Barcelona
blue-gray look
The real coin on Numista
20 reales - Isabel II
Photo : © Pimousse124
Year:1859
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :37,5
Weight in g:20
Edge:lettering on edge
Metal:
Magnetic:Yes
The real coin on Numista
10 Centimos - II Republica
Spain
Photo : © zegeri
Photo : © zegeri
Year:1938
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :20
Weight in g:3,75
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:Yes
obverse: poor design of the shield, larger letters
reverse: poor design of the wreath, 1 in "10" is different
The real coin on Numista
1 Real - Reyes Catolicos
Spain
Photo : © sujit_kumar
Photo : © sujit_kumar
Year:
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :24
Weight in g:4,6
Edge:
Metal:Tin
Magnetic:no
"Normatensyl" advertising token
The real coin on Numista
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1 Pond
South Africa
Photo : © ZacUK
Photo : © ZacUK
Year:1896
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :
Weight in g:
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:
Supposed to be gold, and in daylight this fake does have a little gold-plating still showing.
The real coin on Numista
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£1 - Menai Bridge
United Kingdom
Photos : © ZacUK
Year:2008 (the bridge on the reverse was only used on 2005 coins)
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :
Weight in g:
Edge: rubbish edge design
Metal:
Magnetic:
The obverse has a portrait that someone has taken time over to create a new one.
The real coin on Numista
5 Shillings - George VI
United Kingdom - Festival of Britain
Photo : © Pfouque
Photo : © Pfouque
Year:1951
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :38.1
Weight in g:19.00
Edge:reeded
Metal:
Magnetic:Yes
Thickness: 2.1 mm
The real coin on Numista
1 Crown - George V
United Kingdom
Photo : © Pfouque
Photo : © Pfouque
Year:1935
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :38
Weight in g:18.77
Edge:reeded
Metal:
Magnetic:yes
Thickness: 2.1 mm
The real coin on Numista
1 Crown - George VI
United Kingdom
Photo : © Al Louarn
Photo : © Al Louarn
Year:1937
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :39
Weight in g:20,06
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:yes
The real coin on Numista
British Trade dollar
United Kingdom
Photo : © courtesy of Walder Coins
Year:1930
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :
Weight in g:23,33
Edge:incorrect reeding
Metal:
Magnetic:
excessively worn rim
The real coin on Numista
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Piastre de Commerce
Indochina
Photo : © Pfouque
Photo : © Pfouque
Year:1908
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :39
Weight in g:16.78
Edge:Reeded
Metal:
Magnetic:Yes
one of the most copied coins.
The real coin on Numista
Piastre de Commerce
Indochina
Photo : © courtesy of Walder Coins
Year:1896
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :39
Weight in g:14.04
Edge:incorrect reeding
Metal:
Magnetic:
Grainy Field - improper mint damage
The real coin on Numista
Piastre de Commerce
Indochina
Photo : © courtesy of Walder Coins
Year:1827
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :39
Weight in g:19.21
Edge:poor quality reeded edge
Metal:
Magnetic:
poor detail - heavily worn lettering - missing border teeth
The real coin on Numista
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1 Trade Dollar 10th year Meiji
Japan
Photo : © Pfouque
Photo : © Pfouque
Year:1877
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :36
Weight in g:17.80
Edge:reeded
Metal:
Magnetic:No
casting with a big break on the reverse
The real coin on Numista
1 Yen - Meiji
Japan
Photo : © lolorose34
Photo : © lolorose34
Year:1882
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :38
Weight in g:19,7
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:No
The real coin on Numista
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7 Mace 2 Candareens
China - Empire (Jiangnan province (Kiangnan))
Photo : © Pfouque
Photo : © Pfouque
Year:
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :39
Weight in g:20.99
Edge:reeded
Metal:
Magnetic:Yes
casting look - rust on some places
The real coin on Numista
1 Mace 4.4 Candareens
China - Empire (Guangdong province (Kwangtung))
Photo : © Pfouque
Photo : © Pfouque
Year:ND (1890-1908)
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :24
Weight in g:4.49
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:Yes
The real coin on Numista
1 Yuan - Sun Yat-sen
China - Republic
Photo : © lolorose34
Photo : © lolorose34
Year:1934
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :39
Weight in g:26,48
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:No
casting
The real coin on Numista
1 Yuan Automobile
China - Republic (Guizhou province (Kweichow))
Photo : © glorkar
Photo : © glorkar
Year:17 (1928)
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :
Weight in g:
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:Yes
The real coin on Numista
1 Dollar - Yuan Shi-kai
China - Republic
Photo : © ALLRED1950
Photo : © ALLRED1950
Year:3 (1914)
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :38,7
Weight in g:2,57
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:no
The real coin on Numista
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Trade Dollar
United States
Photo : © courtesy of Walder Coins
Year:1877
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :38
Weight in g:23.60
Edge:poor quality reeded edge
Metal:
Magnetic:
poor detail - heavily worn lettering - missing border teeth
The real coin on Numista
1 dollar "Seated Liberty"
United States
Photo : © courtesy of Walder Coins
Year:1840
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø mm :38
Weight in g:21.50
Edge:irregular reeding
Metal:
Magnetic:
worn border teeth - heavily worn lettering
The real coin on Numista
1 dollar "Morgan Dollar"
United States
Photo : © Pfouque
Photo : © Pfouque
Year:1921
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm:38
Weight in g:19.20
Edge:reeded
Metal :
Magnetic:Yes
The real coin on Numista
1 Dollar "Peace Dollar"
United States
Photo : © tom tom
Photo : © tom tom
Year:1929
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :37,13
Weight in g:22,1
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:Yes
"Reproduction" under the eagle
The real coin on Numista
1 dollar "Draped Bust - Small Eagle"
United States
Photo : © Pooxloff
Photo : © Pooxloff
Year:1795
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :39
Weight in g:18,13
Edge:reeded
Metal:
Magnetic:Yes
The real coin on Numista
1 dollar "Draped Bust - Heraldic Eagle"
United States
Photo : © Pooxloff
Photo : © Pooxloff
Year:1799
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :38
Weight in g:17,45
Edge:reeded
Metal:
Magnetic:Yes
The real coin on Numista
1 Dollar "American Silver Eagle"
USA
Photo : © Al Louarn
Photo : © Al Louarn
Year:1896
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :38.9
Weight in g:18.30
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:yes
The real coin on Numista
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1 Dollar - Victoria
Hong Kong
Photo : © monéphil
Photo : © monéphil
Year:1867
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :39,2
Weight in g:26,54
Edge:reeded
Metal:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Magnetic:No
The real coin on Numista
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1 Euro 1st map
Italy
Photo : © Equator
Photo : © Equator
Year:2002
Mint/Mint Mark:R
Ø in mm :23,25
Weight in g:6
Edge:segmented reeding
Metal:
Magnetic:Yes
notably thinner than the real coin
The real coin on Numista
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8 Reales - Felipe V Colonial Milled Coinage
Mexico
Photo : © 007mat
Photo : © 007mat
Year:1732
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :24
Weight in g:5
Edge:plain
Metal:
Magnetic:Yes
mini coin!
The real coin on Numista
8 Reales Federal Coinage
Mexico
Photo : © sujit_kumar
Photo : © sujit_kumar
Year:1882
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :39
Weight in g:18,45
Edge:reeded
Metal:
Magnetic:yes
Inferior Mint quality
The real coin on Numista
8 Reales - Carlos III Colonial Milled Coinage
Mexico
Photo : © sujit_kumar
Photo : © sujit_kumar
Year:1760
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :37
Weight in g:15,8
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:no
The real coin on Numista
20 centavos
Mexico
Photo : © sujit_kumar
Photo : © sujit_kumar
Year:1980
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :28
Weight in g:9,2
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:no
Obverse: fantasy design - MEXICO instead of Rep. Mexicana
Reverse: MEXICO instead of CENTAVOS
The real coin on Numista
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50 Centesimi - Vittorio Emanuele II
Italy
Photo : © marcpleche
Year:1867
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :18,06
Weight in g:2,29
Edge:
Metal:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Magnetic:no
"BN" upside down
silver test is negativ
The real coin on Numista
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5 Sucres
Ecuador
Photo : © jimpop
Photo : © jimpop
Year:1944
Mint/Mint Mark:Mexico
Ø in mm :39
Weight in g:19
Edge:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Metal:
Magnetic:yes
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
The real coin on Numista
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Tetradrachma - Athens
Greece (ancient)
Photo : © sujit_kumar
Photo : © sujit_kumar
Year:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :32
Weight in g:26,1
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:no
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
The real coin on Numista
Tetradrachm - Lysimachus Kingdom of Thrace
Greece (ancient)
Photo : © sujit_kumar
Photo : © sujit_kumar
Year:
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :35
Weight in g:26,3
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:no
The real coin on Numista
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YOUR fake here soon!
Photo : © your pseudo
Photo : © votre pseudo
Year:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Mint/Mint Mark:
Ø in mm :
Weight in g:
Edge:
Metal:
Magnetic:
The real coin on Numista

Thank you to every member who colaborated to this gallery.