Counterfeit Carson City 1870 Quarter
By Max Spiegel, Numismatic Researcher – Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) ……
The 1870-CC is the key to the Seated Liberty quarter series. Read about this counterfeit that was submitted to NGC and how their experts recognized it.
One of the most interesting fakes that NGC has received in the past several years was a counterfeit Carson City 1870 quarter. The 1870-CC is the key to the Seated Liberty quarter series. With a mintage of just 8,340 pieces the issue has a very low survival rate. Fewer than 100 examples are believed to exist. The coin submitted to NGC had the overall impression of a Mint State coin. And it would easily have sold for a six-figure sum had it been genuine.
This counterfeit was expertly produced and could have easily fooled even the most experienced coin dealers. NGC employs some of the world’s foremost authorities on counterfeit detection, and our graders noticed that the mintmark style of this piece did not match other 1870-CC quarters.
All 1870-CC quarters were struck from the same pair of dies. On the reverse the CC mintmark is small and the letters are widely spaced. The top serif of the first C points to the lower-left end of the last arrow fletching.
On this counterfeit Carson City 1870 quarter, the mintmark is tall, the letters are close together, and it is well centered below the eagle. Not only is the mintmark wrong, but there are also prominent clash marks on the reverse unlike anything seen on other 1870-CC quarters. Clearly, this is not the right reverse.
Few people have seen enough 1870-CC quarters to recognize that the mintmark was wrong on this specimen. NGC has graded a genuine 1870-CC quarter on 41 occasions. NGC graders have probably seen more examples than virtually anyone in numismatics. This experience led NGC to determine that this rare and valuable coin was actually an expertly manufactured fake.