Jack Young Struck Counterfeit Feature 1797 S-136

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

This latest installment in the continuing summary of the deceptive struck counterfeits documented to date concerns the 1797 “S-136” Large Cent. As with previous articles in this series I have included a one-page attribution guide to aid in the identification of any that are still out there. Unlike other varieties documented to date all of these discovered examples are raw – none were encapsulated by a TPG.

* * *

March 2017 1797 “S-136” Large Cent internet example owned by author, Jack D. Young

March 2017 1797 “S-136” Large Cent internet example owned by author

This “variety” was first known from two examples discovered on the internet by a fellow Early American Coppers (EAC) member back in 2015 (Penny-Wise January 2016 article); from in-hand observations and comparison of these two they were easily called fakes, reinforced by the discovery of a third example submitted to a top TPG also deemed a fake two months later!

First and second examples, 1797 “S-136” Large Cent

Kevin’s initial “Discovery” example # 1; Kevin’s Second Discovered example # 2

1797 “S-136” Large Cent discovery examples

Kevin’s initial “Discovery” example # 1; Kevin’s Second Discovered example # 2

An interesting point to note in this comparison is that the “discovery” coin carries the same main sister marks of the second example on the right, BUT there are unique scratches on one, and added corrosion on the other in an apparent attempt to make them look different and hide the truth. And when a third example was received in a submission to a TPG, the images and detective work reported in EAC’s Penny-Wise assisted in the determination of it as a matching fake.

TPG Submission example # 3 (Dec 2015, not certified)

TPG Submission example # 3 (Dec 2015, not certified)

After the third example was discovered this variety went cold for over a year, which may speak to the patience and diligence of the counterfeiters; the next example was discovered on the internet and immediately attributed as another fake, and the listing was terminated by the policy group in that venue. Having notified the seller of the suspicions about his “coin” while still listed, I received a follow-up email a week later asking if I would be interested in purchasing it. Not positive if it were another of the struck fakes or possibly the source example, it afforded the opportunity to review one in-hand and the purchase was negotiated.

As in previous investigations, a time-line proved helpful in organizing these examples:

Timeline for 1797 “S-136” Large Cent:

  1. Sept 8, 2015 raw example – sold on the internet
  2. Oct 27, 2015 raw example – sold on the internet
  3. Dec 18, 2015 TPG submission example (determined to be a counterfeit)
  4. Feb 28, 2017 raw internet listed example – listing terminated as a counterfeit
  5. Mar 6, 2017 internet sale – raw example owned by author; probably same as # 4)

 

Internet Listed example # 4; Author’s example # 5

Internet Listed example # 4; Author’s example # 5

Reverse, Internet Listed example # 4; Reverse, Author’s example # 5

Reverse, Internet Listed example # 4; Reverse, Author’s example # 5

Comparing the matching sister marks to a known genuine example yielded the following results:

Genuine example (courtesy PCGS) Author’s example # 5

Genuine example (courtesy PCGS) Author’s example # 5

The two circled berries are misshaped on all of the possible fakes (the one at “O” drastically elongated). The cross-bar of the “E” of CENT is lengthened and exaggerated compared to a known genuine one, and all of the suspect examples have a “notch” at the leaf tip right of the “E” of CENT.

The hair detail is off as well, as seen in the comparison images as follows.

Repaired/re-engraved hair detail of the fakes

Repaired/re-engraved hair detail of the fakes

Example # 5 was sent by agreement to one of the TPGs for review and photographs; it was agreed that this one would not be certified as genuine and is considered counterfeit as well, and not the source example used to make the dies for striking the others. It is again significant to note that no examples of this variety are known in a TPG holder; the hope is we are turning the tide on these through documentation and communication throughout the hobby as a whole, but still have a lot of work to do to that end.

Attribution page for 1797 "S-136" counterfeit Large Cent. Images courtesy Jack D. Young

Attribution page for 1797 "S-136" counterfeit Large Cent. Images courtesy Jack D. Young

Attribution page for 1797 "S-136" counterfeit Large Cent. Images courtesy Jack D. Young

As always, the research continues to be a collaborative effort with many EAC members, “Dark Side” members (our focused Facebook group of counterfeit researchers) and friends participating.

Best Regards,

–Jack D. Young, EAC 5050
 


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