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Fake 2015-W proof silver Eagles reported

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Fake proof 2015-W silver American Eagles have been reported by Numismatic News columnist F. Michael Fazzari, who works for ICG grading service.

He said he purchased a counterfeit 2015-W silver Eagle at the Sarasota, Fla., show that was held Feb. 26-28. He learned of the existence of others.

They apparently showed up two weeks earlier at the show in Lakeland, Fla., he said.

Fazzari warned that the fakes might be on the Internet too. At least one dealer reportedly bought a bunch and tried to sell them to Heritage where they were rejected.

Rumors are that there are other dates, but he could not confirm this by press time.

The fake coins are good enough so that a dealer opening the case to check for the coin would see a blazing proof.

However, a close naked-eye inspection by a bullion dealer would probably be enough to detect a scam. The box, Mint certificate, and case look OK under a microscope, Fazzari said. They might even be genuine packaging from which the genuine coins were replaced by counterfeits.

Fake proof silver Eagle's Liberty and flag.

Fake proof silver Eagle's Liberty and flag.

Genuine proof silver Eagle's Liberty and flag.

Genuine proof silver Eagle's Liberty and flag.

Fake proof silver Eagle's date.

Fake proof silver Eagle's date.

Genuine proof silver Eagle's date.

Genuine proof silver Eagle's date.

Fake proof silver Eagle's "IN GOD WE TRUST" and "Y" of "LIBERTY."

Fake proof silver Eagle's "IN GOD WE TRUST" and "Y" of "LIBERTY." Dealers are looking at the open “Y” as an easily spotted marker of the fake proof silver Eagle.

Genuine proof silver Eagle's "IN GOD WE TRUST" and "Y" of "LIBERTY."

Genuine proof silver Eagle's "IN GOD WE TRUST" and "Y" of "LIBERTY."

Fake proof silver Eagle's Liberty and flag draping. Heavy skirt lines are also characteristic of the fakes.

Fake proof silver Eagle's Liberty and flag draping. Heavy skirt lines are also characteristic of the fakes. Note the absence of Adolph Weinman's initials on the draping to the left of the rightmost sandal.

Genuine proof silver Eagle's Liberty and flag draping.

Genuine proof silver Eagle's Liberty and flag draping.

Fake proof silver Eagle's eagle and shield. Lack of detail of the fake on the eagle’s feathers shows up

Fake proof silver Eagle's eagle and shield. Lack of detail of the fake on the eagle’s feathers shows up.

Genuine proof silver Eagle's eagle and shield.

Genuine proof silver Eagle's eagle and shield.

Fake proof silver Eagle's eagle and shield.

Fake proof silver Eagle's eagle and shield.

Genuine proof silver Eagle's eagle and shield.

Genuine proof silver Eagle's eagle and shield.

Fake proof silver Eagle's eagle and shield.

Fake proof silver Eagle's eagle and shield.

Genuine proof silver Eagle's eagle and shield.

Genuine proof silver Eagle's eagle and shield.

What the fake proof Eagle is made of is not yet known, but it is somewhat lighter than a genuine coin.

It weighs 30.54 grams vs. 31.23 grams for a genuine one.

Identifying counterfeit coins works best when viewing them up close. Check out this USB digital microscope today!

Identifying counterfeit coins works best when viewing them up close. Check out this USB digital microscope today at ShopNumismaster!

The diameter is also slightly smaller, 39.77-40.05 mm vs. 40.55-40.59 for the genuine pieces.

A fake did not test positive for containing either silver or copper using a dealer’s metal analyzer at the show, Fazzari said.

The counterfeit’s design is similar enough to fool the average collector or first time buyer.

Dealers have picked out the “open” shape of the “Y” in “Liberty” and the lack of feather detail on the Eagle. The flag is crude and the skirt lines are too bold.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.


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