Yesterday, @poppadave mentioned that he had almost been taken in by some counterfeit U.S. coins that were advertised on-line. This has been a major problem for well over a decade. These fakes are sold over the Internet, in stores and in flea markets. They are not necessarily expensive coins. In fact the Chinese have made a specially out of counterfeiting coins that would be worth less than $30 to $40 if they were real. It’s one of the ways they use to get your guard down.
@poppadave caught his counterfeits because they came to a magnet. Silver and gold are not magnetic. Today the Chinese have “fixed” that problem. Their more recent products are not magnetic.
Let’s start with the Morgan Silver Dollar. Here is a genuine 1883-CC Morgan Dollar that was made at the Carson City, Nevada Mint.
Note that the real thing has sharp, clear devices.
Here is a Chinese fake “1886 -CC silver dollar.”
Note that the “6” in the date does not match the other three digits. That could not happen on a genuine U.S. coin from this era.
And if you compare the “CC” mint market with the 1883-CC I posted earlier, you will see that the letters are not shaped the same. This is a subtle difference, and it’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s one of things that experienced collectors and dealers note.
Finally, the Carson City Mint did not make any silver dollars dated 1886. You could note that by buying a copy of a reference book like A Guide Book of United States Coins which collectors also call “The Red Book.”
I’ll post one more fake and see if you would like me to go further.