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MickD

Fractionals and fakes

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Yesterday I saw a video about fakes. They stated that fake coins are becoming more prevalent since this year (especially stuff bought through ebay). Both silver and gold coins are being faked, apparently the silvers are faked even better than the gold. If silver coins are enough for them to make profit, I can image that fractional gold will be faked as well.

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1 hour ago, engire said:

Yesterday I saw a video about fakes. They stated that fake coins are becoming more prevalent since this year (especially stuff bought through ebay). Both silver and gold coins are being faked, apparently the silvers are faked even better than the gold. If silver coins are enough for them to make profit, I can image that fractional gold will be faked as well.

I would guess that faking gold is more of a challenge than silver due to the density of gold.
Getting the dimensions correct is a problem and gold fakes tend to have to be made thicker.

Faking silver would be much easier but bullion silver is relatively cheap so might be less lucrative yet if you look on Alibaba you can buy good genuine fakes for pennies.

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There are a lot of fake sovereigns about according to dealers, the forum gets the odd picture of a fake one every now and again. There are sovereign fakes made from 22 ct gold though usually the rarer, older types to cash in on the premium.

Other coins and bars its the larger denominations that I have seen, tungsten core bars, tungsten 1 oz US eagles (terrible finish, easily spotted). Someone somewhere is trying. They should use a nice cheap platinum core instead perhaps, maybe just buy some platinum beasts and gold plate them, no one would know any different. ? 

 

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After getting slightly paranoid, I took all my fractionals and non-slabbed gold to a local jeweller.  He gave it all the okay and said he would buy any of it without further inspection.  So a bit of a relief but will certainly be wary going forward.  I may also invest in a more accurate vernier caliper.  I didn't sell any of it incidentally, just wanted an opinion from someone with more experience.

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10 minutes ago, Seasider said:

So here's a test.  Mellors & Kirk have two 1911 sovereigns for auction one of which they describe a "a deceptive jeweller's copy".  Who can tell which is which?

https://www.mellorsandkirk.com/sales/sale-catalogues/fs130618/lot/136

Nothing jumps out on immediate inspection. I suspect one obverse and the other reverse! Very good fake, need to have coin in hand to tell for sure.

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4 minutes ago, MickD said:

After getting slightly paranoid, I took all my fractionals and non-slabbed gold to a local jeweller.  He gave it all the okay and said he would buy any of it without further inspection.  So a bit of a relief but will certainly be wary going forward.  I may also invest in a more accurate vernier caliper.  I didn't sell any of it incidentally, just wanted an opinion from someone with more experience.

but is he an experienced numismatist? they can be 22ct gold and still fake so most jewellers would be happy to buy them.

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Aye, he knows his coins and has some nice high grade silver in his window but the few sovereigns I have are relatively new anyway.  It was more the fractionals I was slightly concerned about.  I think my cheap vernier calipers may have sent me down a rabbit hole. 

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I hauled in a few  fake 1/2 Sovs from the bay:

There are quite a lot of fakes around and I'm going to post high quality pictures later, together with the dimensions and weight of each fake.

One fake is so well done, I was considering to grade it as it would achieve surely MS... (as long as they don't measure its diameter)

edit: just for in between 

https://ebay.co.uk/itm/1898-Half-GOLD-SOVEREIGN/273247447442?hash=item3f9ed12992:g:F3oAAOSwznNbEBbD

Edited by augur

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Fake 1/2 Sov No.:1

 

IMG_7846.thumb.JPG.ad343e2a4edfef544e714039b524f35f.JPG

Quite obvious to the naked eye due to its yellow colour and complete lack of lustre in the protected areas (lettering and date)

 

IMG_7847.thumb.JPG.384e573bcd6d28fb5fce16b37922e814.JPG

any lustre-like appearance is due to the magnification – to the eye it's all like a plated surface. 

 

weight: 3.923g

diameter: 19.21mm

Edited by augur

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Fake 1/2 Sov No.:2

 

IMG_7848.thumb.JPG.11ad45a66e9a0c2a24f5291c4cb17bf0.JPG

This coin has the absence of lustre around the letters cleverly hidden by some artificial toning, which generates a lustre by its own

 

IMG_7849.thumb.JPG.888df5c61357cf6cfacfa8b4cd14191f.JPG

the toning actually brings out nicely the details of the relief, the "S" for the Sydney Mint is rather mushy; the reverse is slightly offset to the bottom/left.

 

weight: 3.983g

diameter: 19.62mm

Edited by augur

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Fake 1/2 Sov No.:3

 

IMG_7853.thumb.JPG.67de884cb13fcdc6bebf0d78eab3617a.JPG

The colour is correct, good strike, slightly offset to the right, extended lustre far beyond the inscription 

 

IMG_7851.thumb.JPG.b8d455b0126affaeb859d1d2b33d70a2.JPG

again nice strike, slightly offset to the top left with with mild wear on the sword and breast but pronounced on the leg and hereby inconsistent with the reign or rim of the helmet; clear "S" for Sydney Mint, beautiful lustre across the fields similar to a MS62 and probably worth grading but unfortunately a fake (more than 0.5mm too wide)

 

weight: 3.993g

diameter: 19.77mm

 

Edited by augur

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Fake 1/2 Sov No.:4

was supposed a cash and collect eBay 1911 George V. 

weight: 3.998g

diameter: 19.41mm

The coin was nicely struck with lustre in the protected area of the inscriptions; wear slightly more than the 1915 sovereign and therefore not compatible with the full weight of a 1/2 Sov.

This fake was closest to the original and if it wasn't for the extra 0.1mm in diameter and the full weight despite some slight wear, no one would find out. Not sure if it was for jewellery purposes or slightly lower gold content but without a full check you just cannot exclude a fake!

@sovereignsteve, what do you make of 3 and 4? Both were minted with high quality dies. I doubt that half sovereigns would vary in width (measurements from multiple points and constant value) by more than 0.05mm. Or would the mould of the reeded edge become wider over time and was mated with a fresh obverse/reverse die?

Edited by augur

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2 hours ago, JunkBond said:

Blimey @augur are you just unlucky or do you collect fakes.

Makes you wonder how many fakes are about. Fake No.:3 is more beautiful than the real ones I have... Quite shocking: 1/3 turned out fake and I thought the small size wouldn't make it worthwhile to fake them. Some are extremely hard to spot but enlarged on the screen you can see that the fakes are off centre struck.

maybe you want to start to dissect your stash?

 

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1 hour ago, kimchi said:

Has anyone experienced or seen mentioned fake modern Sovs or Brits?

Also Proof Libertads - surely some of those would be very much worth faking well?

Maybe I should go shopping on eBay again, I'm sure I'll catch some. ? 

i did have some fake 1/10 Krugerrand in the past (similar to fake 1/2 Sov No.: 1 or low detailed strike (letters mushy, details on horn and flank missing, landscape different) but i didn't take pictures at that time. 

edit: there are a lot 80's 1/2 Sovs, usually scratched up with this strange "oxidation pattern" around the lettering. 

IMG_7860.PNG.371a7c343e3fcea76344bff7060bb5fa.PNG

Edited by augur

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I usually put a lot of trust in the ping test. The Bullion Test app covers sovereigns, but not half sovs. Coins that are the wrong size or a different metal should fail the ping test badly, though I suppose a fake numismatic made from real gold might pass. Have you tried ping testing your coins?

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On ‎31‎/‎05‎/‎2018 at 16:37, sovereignsteve said:

Nothing jumps out on immediate inspection. I suspect one obverse and the other reverse! Very good fake, need to have coin in hand to tell for sure.

They say it is the one on the left.

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Like Roy and Augur, I have had a few Sydney half sovs that look good but measure wider in diameter than they should. All other mesurements are spot on.

I have recently picked up this 1883 Sydney Full that measures 22.20mm wide (0.15mm) larger than it should be. I will post a photo of this one. All other measurements and weight are spot on. The coin is confirmed to be 22ct on xrf. Does this coin look like a fake? 

Could it be that somehow some Sydney mint sovereigns and half’s were a fraction larger than they should be? Or are all of these oversized Sydney coins fakes. There does seem to be a lot of oversized diameter Sydney mints.

 

BDD16F40-A925-48F1-8481-7A17423D1A77.jpeg

839D05AF-2078-437D-8EA2-0866FE06A839.jpeg

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25 minutes ago, Coincollector said:

Like Roy and Augur, I have had a few Sydney half sovs that look good but measure wider in diameter than they should. All other mesurements are spot on.

I have recently picked up this 1883 Sydney Full that measures 22.20mm wide (0.15mm) larger than it should be. I will post a photo of this one. All other measurements and weight are spot on. The coin is confirmed to be 22ct on xrf. Does this coin look like a fake? 

Could it be that somehow some Sydney mint sovereigns and half’s were a fraction larger than they should be? Or are all of these oversized Sydney coins fakes. There does seem to be a lot of oversized diameter Sydney mints.

 

BDD16F40-A925-48F1-8481-7A17423D1A77.jpeg

839D05AF-2078-437D-8EA2-0866FE06A839.jpeg

I don't know if it is tge distortion of the lens but the bottom left rim, especially on the obverse looks rather thin and suspect. 

TBH i was just going through my full Sovereigns and have now a headache as at least 50% (!) look suspect and 1/3 seems fake... i don't even know what a real one should look like anymore 

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