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Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1875 Indian Head Cent

Counterfeit 1875 Indian Head Cent
Counterfeit 1875 Indian Head Cent

Indian Head Cent By Max Spiegel –  Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) ……
Many Chinese counterfeits are made from dies that are not directly copied from genuine examples, therefore many of the details are incorrect.

Cents have long been the target of counterfeiters because of the numerous key dates and the popularity of this denomination with collectors. The 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent is undoubtedly the coin most often seen faked or altered, but other commonly encountered counterfeit cents are the 1877, 1914-D, 1922 No D, and 1955 Doubled Die Obverse issues.

rev-smSeveral months ago NGC received a submission with five counterfeit cents. There was one 1909-S VDB in the group, and the other four coins were semi-key Indian Head and Lincoln issues. Although none of these counterfeits were particularly deceptive, they share many of the same characteristics as other fakes that have originated in China in the last decade.

This fake 1875 cent, for example, has a badly misshapen date: the digits are fat and lopsided. Many Chinese counterfeits are made from dies that are not directly copied from genuine examples, so much of the details are incorrect. Another recurring problem is the poor design definition in the periphery, particularly the letters on the obverse. Oftentimes counterfeiters strike their fakes with less pressure than used by the United States Mint. The final major problem that is seen on countless other fakes is the presence of odd raised areas in and around the design elements, including a raised line behind the Indian’s jaw.

An experienced numismatist would probably never be fooled by this counterfeit, but there are many people who are unaware of the diagnostics that help identify these fakes. We continue to see counterfeits similar to this one in significant numbers, so it is useful to become familiar with their appearance and any obvious faults.

Indian Head Cents on CoinWeek


Numismatic Guaranty Company
Numismatic Guaranty Company
NGC was founded in 1987, and for coin grading, its opening heralded the introduction of a new standard of integrity. From the beginning NGC focused on only one objective, a standard of consistent and accurate grading. As NGC has grown to become the leader in third-party grading services, we have maintained a steadfast and uncompromising commitment to this standard. The knowledge, integrity and dedication of NGC's team of grading experts ensures you a level of grading consistency unparalleled among grading services. This record of consistency, built over the years, has helped to foster greater stability throughout the rare coin marketplace.

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