Ohio dealer buys collection of counterfeit US coins for educational purposes

A western Ohio numismatist recently purchased, for educational purposes only, a collection of counterfeit U.S. coins, most of them allegedly made over 60 years ago.

Roy Emery of Old Fort Coins in Fort Recovery, Ohio, said he learned about the counterfeit assemblage when he recently encountered their owner at a coin show in Mendon, Ohio. The collector said he would stop by Emery’s coin shop when his schedule permitted.


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When the collector finally brought the 73-piece collection to Emery for appraisal, each piece was individually mounted, secured to the rims by miniature railroad spike-shaped studs, in a wooden display case.

Emery said of the 73 coins, only two were genuine. The bulk of the counterfeits were about 60 US half cents and large cents, with a few small cents, and a handful of 18th century US coins from the first year of issue.

Emery said the owner, from nearby St. Marys, Ohio, claimed he had owned the fakes for 13 years and purchased them from another collector who amassed them over a period of 53 years. . The collector who sold the fakes to Emery knew when he bought them from their previous owner that they were fakes. It is unknown if the original collector knew they were inauthentic.

Other than the word of the collector who sold the coins to Emery, no evidence has been presented to determine when the forgeries might actually have been made.

Counterfeits include a 1793 Flowing Hair, Chain, AMERICA penny; an 1856 Flying Eagle cent; 1877 Indian Head cent; 1909-S Lincoln, one hundred VDB; a 1794 flowing hair dollar; 1796 Dime draped bust; 1796 Quarter dollar draped bust; 1796 Half Dollar Draped Bust; 1873 Dollar trade; and an 1885-CC trade dollar, a year for which there was no trade dollar production at the Carson City Mint in Nevada.

The 1794 dollar is composed of 82.7% silver, 9.7% copper and 7% zinc.

Emery said if the counterfeits were genuine, their total value could reach millions of dollars.

Emery said he paid the collector $300 plus a regular 2018-S Proof set in the trade.

Emery plans to add the counterfeits to his counterfeit counter he has accumulated over the years, which include fake silver bars and silver rounds.

There is also an 1873 magnetic trading dollar he has owned for years that is 81.3% iron, 12.6% nickel and 0.36% silver. Another magnetic coin for which he did not have compositional details is a 1796 dollar that bears the obverse design of the Flowing Hair dollar, which was produced in 1794 and 1795 before the Draped Bust design entered. in production in 1796.

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