By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) ……
This article is intended as a continuing summary of the deceptive struck counterfeits documented to date; it is unique in that only one struck example has been reported, and it is one of the “Kings” of early large cent collecting. The probable source coin is well documented and was recorded twice in the TPG’s online variety summary, as it was removed from its initial slab and re-slabbed at a later date with the same grade.
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Probable Source for the only known struck example
This “variety” was first known from a single example discovered in a submission package to one of the major TPGs back in the winter of 2015; that particular group eventually proved to include several struck fakes (11 different early copper varieties in total), and the images were graciously shared with the members of Early American Coppers (EAC) and ultimately posted as a group on the EAC Blog tab of the website.
After reviewing the group of suspected counterfeits the search was on for other possible matches; for the 1799 “S-189” this turned out to be an interesting ride, and one could wonder from the research results if no one loves the source, as it traveled from one selling venue after another, as well as multiple appearances at the TPG.
The other significant result of the research is (as it continues going forward) this is the only variety we have seen to date with only one documented fake example; many of the other “varieties” include up to eight struck clones, so to have only found one of these is certainly troubling!
And, referencing the repaired source for the documented fake 1793 “S-5” Wreath cents, it is possible this source was also superficially repaired prior to the dies being completed, leading to more questions about what else is out there!
Determined Struck Fake (images courtesy PCGS)
Probable Source Example/ 2013 Auction (images courtesy Stack’s Bowers)
As noted in all the previous research articles on this subject, a time-line proved helpful in trying to piece together the history of these, especially with all the apparent twists and turns this well-travelled source coin took.
Time line for the 1799 “S-189” Large Cent:
- February 2013 – Example TPG Cert #27267037 was “finalized” through the certification process by the TPG (also July, 2013; deactivated as duplicate, March 2016)
- March 2013 – Example sold for $8,813 as lot #1067 in Stack’s Bowers’ March 2013 Baltimore Auction (as PCGS VG-10); same as #1
- September 7, 2013 – Example sold by US Rare Coin Investments (cert #27267037); same as #1
- June 18, 2014 – Example TPG Cert #29844917 was finalized; same as #1
- August 2014 – Example offered for sale in the Chicago ANA auction, lot #3132, “passed”; same as #1
- April 14, 2015 – Online auction example sold (cert #29844917) to a known Chinese buyer; same as #1
- December 2015 – Example found in a submission group to the TPG
Image courtesy Stack’s Bowers
U.S. Rare Coin Investments online ad
Image courtesy Stack’s Bowers
L: Image courtesy Stack’s Bowers; R: Image courtesy PCGS. White circles indicate common marks, red non-common marks
L: Reverse image courtesy Stack’s Bowers; R: Reverse image courtesy PCGS. White circles indicate common marks, red non-common marks
Noting in this comparison the “struck counterfeit” coin carries the same main sister marks of the probable source on the left, BUT the planchet voids/issues on both sides have been doctored out and the double leaf above “NE” has apparently been re-engraved per the following comparison to a genuine example:
Struck Counterfeit Genuine Example (Courtesy PCGS). “Obvious” after seeing the damaged example; leaf re-engraved over repaired area
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More attribution pages are curently in process; the focused team of watchers/researchers on our Facebook page “Dark Side” continues to be vigilant in the documentation and communication of these latest deceptive threats to our hobby!
As always, the research continues to be a collaborative effort with many EAC members and friends participating.
–Jack D. Young, EAC 5050
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