Ohio dealer buys collection of fake American coins for educational purposes


A West Ohio numismatist recently purchased, for educational purposes only, a collection of counterfeit US coins, most allegedly made over 60 years ago.

Roy Emery of Old Fort Coins in Fort Recovery, Ohio, said he learned about assembling counterfeits when he met their owner recently at a coin show in Mendon, Ohio, at proximity. The collector has indicated that he will stop by Emery’s coin store when his schedule allows.

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When the collector finally brought the 73-piece collection for Emery to assess, each piece was individually mounted, secured at the edges by miniature nails in the shape of railroad spikes, in a wooden display cabinet.

Emery said of the 73 pieces, only two were genuine. The bulk of the counterfeits were around 60 US pennies and big cents, with a few small cents, and a handful of 18th-century American coins from the first year of issue.

Emery said the owner, who is from St. Marys, Ohio, claimed he had owned the fakes for 13 years and purchased them from another collector who had amassed them over a 53-year period. The collector who sold the fakes to Emery knew when he bought them from their previous owner that they were fakes. It is not known if the original collector knew they were inauthentic.

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

Counterfeits include a Flowing Hair, Chain, one hundred AMERICA from 1793; one hundred Flying Eagle from 1856; 1877 Indian Head cent; 1909-S Lincoln, one hundred VDB; a dollar of floating hair from 1794; 1796 Drape Bust centime; 1796 Draped bust quarter of a dollar; 1796 Half-dollar draped bust; 1873 Commercial dollar; and a commercial dollar from 1885 CC, a year for which there was no production of commercial dollars at the Carson City Mint in Nevada.

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

Emery said if the fakes were genuine their total value could run into the millions of dollars.

Emery said he paid the collector $ 300 plus a normal commercial 2018-S proof set.

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

There is also an 1873 magnetic trade dollar that he has owned for years that is made up of 81.3 percent iron, 12.6 percent nickel, and 0.36 percent silver. Another magnetic coin for which he did not have the composition details is a 1796 dollar which bears the obverse design of the Flowing Hair dollar, which was produced in 1794 and 1795 before the draped bust design was produced in ‘entered production in 1796.

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