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An “Old” 1921-D Half Dollar Counterfeit – Jack Young’s Fun With Fakes

1921-D_Counterfeit_Half_Dollar.

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC), and the Dark Side Group ……
 

Along the same lines as my Fun with Fakes article here on the 1799 Draped Bust counterfeits is this previously documented 1921-D Walking Liberty half dollar.

This counterfeit Walker debuted on NGC’s website back in 2012 and was then republished by CoinWeek in 2021.

Counterfeit 1921-D Walking Liberty half dollar. Image: NGC.
Counterfeit 1921-D Walking Liberty half dollar. Image: NGC.

NGC 1921-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar Article Screenshot.

Fake 1921-D Half Dollar (left) and Genuine 1921-D Half Dollar (right). Image: NGC.
Fake 1921-D Half Dollar (left) and Genuine 1921-D Half Dollar (right). Image: NGC.

In that article, NGC noted some of the issues they saw in their review; I note a couple of standout attribution points not mentioned in the article, the date and mint mark/placement (counterfeit found by NGC on the left, genuine coin on the right):

So, with that history note, we fast-forward to a March 2024 eBay listing of a similarly interesting example.

eBay listing of a counterfeit 1921-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar.
eBay listing of a counterfeit 1921-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar.
Obverse and Reverse of a suspected counterfeit 1921-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar offered for sale on eBay.
Obverse and Reverse of a suspected counterfeit 1921-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar offered for sale on eBay.

The coin has the same “feel” as the NGC example, and I created comparison images of the two to showcase common attributes.

eBay March 2024 example, NGC 2012 example comparison.
eBay March 2024 example, NGC 2012 example comparison.

Many common features, including the date and mint mark, are circled in black. It’s always important, in my humble opinion, to show both common and different features alongside a known genuine example.

eBay March 2024 example, PCGS Genuine example comparison.
eBay March 2024 example, PCGS Genuine example comparison.

Several major differences are noted in red, including the date and the mint mark. One friend reviewing these stated that the suspect example looked like Liberty had a mummy arm and hand…

From these images it seems pretty certain that both the NGC and the latest ‘Bay example are from the same maker/dies. It is also apparent that they are both counterfeits, with many major differences seen compared to known genuine examples.

The eBay listing hit just over $2K USD when it was removed. In a short conversation with the seller, he stated that he had paid $2,500 for it and was returning it to the seller he had purchased it from. I would have loved to get it off the market, but not at that $$$ level.

But anyway, folks who know me know that I don’t know how to stop when I’m ahead.

I did some trolling on the internet and found some more examples of these counterfeit 1921-D half dollars; the first was from a Coin Talk forum post back in 2011. The OP posted his example that he had listed on the ‘Bay as genuine and was told by a potential bidder that it was a fake. Images of that example match the two I have documented here.

Image of post about 1921 Walking Liberty Half Dollar on CoinTalk.
Screenshot: Coin Talk.

Also included was an image of what was considered a current (at the time) CN example; another match, just not artificially aged to look as “genuine” as the others.

Chinese counterfeit 1921-D Walking Liberty half dollar.
Chinese counterfeit 1921-D Walking Liberty half dollar. Screenshot: Coin Talk.

And continued trolling led to these Ali and eCRATER examples. It makes you wonder how they slip through as genuine for big bucks! Interestingly, there’s this from the German Ali site:

Counterfeit 1921-D Walking Liberty half dollar. Screenshot: Ali Express
Counterfeit 1921-D Walking Liberty half dollar. Screenshot: Ali Express

And eCRATER:

Counterfeit 1921-D Walking Liberty half dollar. Screenshot: eCrater
Counterfeit 1921-D Walking Liberty half dollar. Screenshot: eCrater

So, as always, stay vigilant out there. Like the 1799 Draped Bust fakes linked above, these seem to resurface when you least expect them. As Yogi Berra reportedly said, it’s like deja-vu, all over again.

Best,

Jack


MORE Articles on Counterfeit Coins by Jack D. Young

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Jack D. Young
Jack D. Young
An engineer by training, Jack D. Young is a researcher and author on the subject of the recent wave of deceptive struck counterfeits. He is the founder of the "Dark Side" Counterfeits and Fakes Facebook watch group, a participating member of Early American Coppers (EAC) since 2002, the Liberty Seated Collectors Club (LSCC), C4, the NLG, the ANA, and the ANS. Jack has consulted on the subject of counterfeits and their effect on the Hobby with staffers of the United States Senate Finance Committee, a senior member of the U.S. Secret Service (both with the ACTF as an Expert Network volunteer), and agents of both CBP and the Department of the Treasury. His work has appeared in various club journals, including The Numismatist, and he was acknowledged for his research by Q. David Bowers in the latter's The Copper Coins of Vermont (2018). The ACTF awarded Jack Young the Alan Kreuzer Award in 2019 and the PNG presented him with the Sol Kaplan Award in 2022. He started collecting as a youth, filling a Lincoln penny board with his grandmother, and continues to collect low-grade early large cents by date and some varieties.

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1 COMMENT

  1. It is simply a pleasure to see a photo of the 1878 three dollar gold coin. I have handled one, and that was over 50 years ago. Mine was a nice AU coin, and I was a starving university student, and $200 was all the money in the world to me in 1966. We cannot turn back the hands of time.

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