4 lessons from the most counterfeited U.S. coin

This Draped Bust Dollar looks real, 
but it's a fake.

I found some information on fake coins that applies to all sorts of fakes.

These collectible silver coins, called "Draped Bust Dollars," are rare and expensive, which makes them a target for counterfeiters, On his web page, coin collector Reid Goldsborough shows many types of these counterfeits, and even if you're not interested in coins, you can learn valuable lessons applicable to many type of fakes.

Lesson 1 - Is it a replica, a fake or a counterfeit?
Some of the fake coins are actually labeled "replicas" so they can be sold on eBay, which prohibits selling "counterfeits" on their site. (But if they're "replicas," it's okay.) Because the originals are rare, some legitimate coin collectors collect the replicas. This means that there are many fakes out there, with some that say "copy," and some that don't.
Lesson 2 - Know the features of the real
This one seems obvious. If you've seen more of the real coins you'll know what to look for in the fake coins. An expert also knows to weigh the coin, and about special marks that are only seen on specific types of counterfeits.
Lesson 3 - It may be real, but it's enhanced
Coins are graded higher and worth more if they have less surface wear, so counterfeiters will enhance a real coin by retooling or reengraving it to bring out the worn-down features. They also alter coins by using a real coin and changing its date to a version that's worth more.
Lesson 4 - It's a fake that's been damaged
One coin was originally a replica, but then heavily filed to remove evidence that it was a copy and sold as a damaged coin. The damage was cleverly used to hide the fact that it's fake.
So your deception lessons for today are:
  1. There are fakes that look real that are legally sold as "fakes" but you may not know which is which.
  2. Know something about what you're buying.
  3. Even if it's real, it might be a cheaper version that's been enhanced.
  4. Be careful about damaged products that sellers claim were once really great.
- Counterfeit Draped Bust Dollars>>
- Draped Bust Dollar, Wikicoins>>

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