Franklin_cameo_rev - Altered Coin

Altered Cameo 1960 Franklin Half

By Max Spiegel, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation(NGC) …….
 

A white “frost” was applied to this Franklin Half Dollar to give its elements a cameo appearance.

There are a number of ways that nefarious individuals altered coins in an attempt to trick unsuspecting buyers into thinking that the coin is better than it really is. These tactics often involve adding a mintmark to or altering the date of a common coin so that it appears to be a rare issue. They also include a variety of methods used to make the coin appear to be a higher grade.

Editors Note: This type of coin fraud, often referred to as ‘Coin Doctoring”, is similar to artificial toning [AT], puttying and other techniques that add substances to the surface of coins to enhance the look of the coin, or to hide defects in the coin. Some consider this technically not counterfeiting, but since the intent is still to deceive a buyer and/or the grading services,  we include it under the banner of Counterfeit Coins.

Among the most common of these methods are polishing, improper cleaning, and whizzing—the process of using a fast-rotating wire brush to manipulate a circulated coin into appearing Mint State. Details are occasionally re-engraved; for example, there are sometimes attempts to use a tool to sharpen the stars on 19th century US coins or the head of a Standing Liberty quarter.

A far less common tactic, but perhaps more deceptive because it is seldom seen, is to apply white “frost” to a coin’s design elements to give it a Cameo or Ultra Cameo appearance. In many series, Cameo or Ultra Cameo coins are highly elusive and sell for a significant premium.

frankln_cameo_obvsmNGC graders identified an artificial Cameo effect on this 1960 Franklin Half Dollar. Looking closely, the white “frost” extends beyond the design elements and into the fields. This is particularly evident around the entire Liberty Bell, to the left of the U in UNITED, and by the R in LIBERTY. When this effect is created artificially it is virtually impossible to mimic the exactness of a Cameo appearance that naturally occurs from the minting process.

A 1960 Half Dollar in NGC PF 67 is worth $55 according to the NGC US Coin Price Guide, while a 1960 Half Dollar in NGC PF 67 Cameo is worth $175. In PF 67 Ultra Cameo, the value increases significantly to $650. With this potential upside, a disreputable person may attempt to artificially enhance the cameo appearance.

Familiarity with the different methods used to deceptively alter a coin is the best defense. By studying altered pieces and comparing them to their genuine counterparts, it becomes much easier to spot a coin that looks unnatural.

Interested in reading more articles on Counterfeit Detection? Click here.

 


Cameo Franklin Half Dollars Currently Available on eBay

eBay
 Pic  Title  Details
1954 PCGS Proof 66 Cameo Franklin Half Dollar, Gem PR66 Cam Silver .50 Cent Coin Current Price: $181.99
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 4 days 19 hrs 27 mins
1962 FRANKLIN HALF GEM PROOF ATTRACTIVE COIN NICE MODERATE CAMEO! Current Price: $18.95
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 10 days 8 hrs 56 mins
1963-P Franklin Half Dollar 50C PR66 Proof PCGS Silver Coin Looks CAMEO!! 6G4 Current Price: $6.5
# of Bids: 2
Ending: 4 days 20 hrs 20 mins
1961 50c Franklin Half Dollar MS BU UNC proof cameo obverse rare old type coin Current Price: $0.99
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 6 days 23 hrs 3 mins
1962 NGC PF66 Franklin Silver Half Dollar, Gem Proof 66 Coin, Light Cameo Current Price: $34.99
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 2 days 10 mins
RAZOR U.S. 1956 SILVER FRANKLIN HALF PROOF 66 CAMEO VERY CRISP COIN FREE SHIP !! Current Price: $49.0
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 3 days 20 hrs 4 mins
 View all items... (Powered by: WP eBay Ads)  

LEAVE A REPLY