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No museum exclusively for counterfeits

Is there a museum of counterfeit coins?

There are many museums in which counterfeit coins reside, some known to be fakes while others deceive the curators. I am aware of collectors who specialize in either contemporary or modern counterfeits, but I am not aware of a museum that displays counterfeit coins exclusively on purpose.

Is there a way to determine if my coin, as well as the third-party certification service slab in which it is housed, are genuine without cracking the coin out for re-examination?

There are some diagnostics through which fake coin slabs might be detected, but the counterfeiters are good at their trade. One way to examine the coin without removing it from the holder is by using an X-ray fluorescence analyzer to determine purity, weight, and the percentage of each metal of which the coin is composed.

Has there ever been a U.S. coin on which no date appears?

The half dollar, dollar, and gold $5 commemorative World War II coins of 1993 are dated 1991-1995. Likewise, our Bicentennial quarter, half dollar, and dollar are dated 1776-1976, but were struck in 1975 through 1976. There are a number of colonial coins on which dates are lacking. Among these are the undated Massachusetts New England silver coinage of 1652, Pine Tree silver coinage with “frozen” date 1652, and the Lord Baltimore coinage of 1659, on which no date appears.

What would you use to determine how well or poorly the coin business is doing?

There are a number of “coincidence” barometers that help measure the strength of the business of coins. These include the American Numismatic Association annual membership numbers, Numismatic Stock Index, performance of the spot price of precious metals, PCGS3000 Index, and new product sales results at the U.S. Mint.

Couldn’t auction prices realized be used to reliably measure the strength of the coin market?

An auction offers individual coins to a select audience, both of which may vary from auction to auction depending on the venue of that auction, reputation of the auctioneer, number of lots, and other variables that may grab headlines, but don’t offer any indication of the health of the overall coin market.

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

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