From the Dark Corner: An “Authenticated” Counterfeit 1694 Elephant Token

By Jack D. Young, Early American Coppers (EAC) ……

In my first installment from the Dark Corner, I reviewed a counterfeit that was created to fill a need at the time (possibly the 1970s): the fake struck 1882 Great Britain shilling. Although the “coin” appears to be well made, it does not match up well to a genuine example with obvious side-by-side major differences.

And so does this installment’s subject: a known fake elephant token from the 1960s documented by none other than Eric P. Newman in the February 1965 Numismatist.

Fast forward to 2019 and a Stack’s Bowers auction and this installment’s “Dark Corner” example!

Fast forward to 2019 and a Stack’s Bowers auction and this installment’s “Dark Corner” example!

Slab images (Certified and graded MS63BN)
On-line TPG image

I was the underbidder in the Stack’s Bowers auction of what was described as:

I actually owned another example, one “worn and weathered” and TPG-certified genuine.

TPG images (Certified and graded Genuine)

Varieties of the elephant token series are known by “Hodder” numbers, and this proves to be a representation of the more common Hodder 2B (thick and thin planchets).

Comparison to know genuine examples show multiple differences!

In researching these we found many certified-as-genuine examples from several venues, including major auctions and a friend’s collection (the only counterfeit I am aware of to carry the CAC bean)!

The interesting story of the Stack’s example is that it was sold as a “Struck Copy”; the successful bidder sent the coin in for certification and it came back in the genuine slab and sold as certified. I was told by the owner it all came unraveled when he was contacted by the TPG that the “coin” was not authentic and used my previous CoinWeek research article on these as proof.

Which ultimately ended in this one again being raw/uncertified and gave me an opportunity to add it to my collection as-is!

Again, there are many people to thank for contributions to the research; my original CoinWeek article can be viewed here.

And like the previous “Dark Corner” 1799 Bust Dollar, we have been bitten by another older fake. There are more out there – if you see one, help the Hobby and report it.

Best as always,


MORE Articles on Counterfeit Coins by Jack D. Young


Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.