Counterfeit Coins Alert

Counterfeit Coins in Many Denominations Seen in Reno / Northern Nevada

As an active member of the Reno Coin Club and also a long-time coin dealer, I feel an obligation and responsibility to alert everyone to the counterfeit gold that is circulating through our area. Recently a fellow showed me a large lot of $20 Gold Liberties. Most were copies, not a product of the U.S. Mint. Junk! I would like to believe he was a sincere individual and not aware of the problems these pieces had. He indicated that he had purchased them from supposedly knowledgeable coin dealers. Also, included in his material were a smaller lot of counterfeit $2 ½ , $5, and $10 gold pieces.

Counterfeit Coin Signs to Watch For

  • Weak, mushy, out of focus strike and poor dentils. (Be paranoid and very suspicious.)
  • The color just doesn’t look right; discolored (Very important).
  • Depressions that appear to have the same color as the field of the piece.
  • Tooling marks that appear as striations or parallel polish lines. (This particular diagnostic may be difficult to discern.)
  • Always look for natural die polish lines. The “artist or craftsman” can not duplicate this feature correctly.
  • Spikes running from the rim of the piece inward. (Very important)

Reno Coin Club Membership Benefits

Remember, the cost of your Reno Coin Club membership affords you the opportunity to get opinions on coins that are potentially hazardous to your financial health whether the coins are counterfeit, whizzed, altered, or just plain over-graded. The best advice for the novice is “get a second opinion”. Before you purchase always check out the return privileges and warranties that come with the purchase.

It’s obviously evident that no one has all the answers. If we can collectively put our heads together we can usually come to a solution. Combining this selling point, and membership education, could save you money over the long haul. One way of doing this is to hone your grading skills and viewing a lot of coins. I realize that there are members, in advanced states of numismatics, who are extremely comfortable in their ability to grade coins that have been acquired over a long period of time. My hat is off to you.

Buy 3rd Party Graded Coins

There is much original gold out there in the marketplace and your safest bet is to purchase only 3rd party graded material. In doing so you are pretty much assured that you are buying correctly graded, genuine, and warranteed coins, as they stand behind their holdered coins. There are many grading companies in the marketplace today (PCGS, NGC,ANACS, etc) that are quite competent. I’m not selling grading services to the membership but it is the very best protection available today. Also, remember to buy the coin and not the holder.