At the recently concluded Houston Money Show, we confirmed the existence of a new and extremely deceptive 1872-S Liberty Seated half dollar. Although we will describe the discovery and the subsequent investigation in the March 2017 issue of the Gobrecht Journal, we did not want to wait until then to publicize this new counterfeit. There are now five of these known and more will surely appear in the meantime.
They are good enough that two of them have already fooled the major grading services. Four of the counterfeits sold on eBay in August 2015, October 2015, March 2016, and August 2016. The fifth appeared at auction this past summer, and may have been the second or third example from eBay (but that isn’t known).
Although there are numerous die markers that we used in the investigation, the key pick-up points to detect this counterfeit are the following (and seen in the photos below):
“¢ High and very small S mintmark (this size/style mintmark does not appear until later, in 1875)
“¢ Die gouge next to the first T in TRUST.
Note: Both pick-up points are perfectly legitimate on some 1875-S coins but not on 1872-S.
The counterfeit will be presented as part of the LSCC meeting at FUN next week (Friday at 9:00 AM.), and it will be available for examination at both the meeting as well as the LSCC-BCCS club table (#740) on the bourse floor.
Be on the lookout for this new counterfeit! If any of you see additional examples, the LSCC would be interested in hearing about them. If you can provide the time frame in which you see them, and the source (e.g., eBay, auction, local dealer, show, etc.), that would be very helpful. Please notify us at the LSCC email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
And look for the full details in the March Gobrecht Journal.
By John Frost, with Dick Osburn and Bill Bugert