Friday, December 29, 2023

Types Of Counterfeit: Altered Dates


When one date in a series is worth much more than another, a counterfeiter may try to use a tool to try to change the date of a common issue into a rarer date. Altered dates can be deceptive since the original coin was genuine with the correct details, weight and composition—only the date is illegitimate.

Even the most skilled coin doctor will always leave behind “tool marks,” which are lines left by the tool used to sculpt the new date. Not surprisingly, these tool marks are usually concentrated around the digit that has been altered. Like counterfeits, coins with altered dates or mintmarks will not be certified by NGC. Coins with other types of tooling are eligible for NGC Details grading, which assigns an adjectival grade along with a description of the problem. Source

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Types Of Counterfeit: Transfer Die Counterfeits

These fakes have become increasingly commonplace in the last few decades. Unfortunately, this type of fake can also be the most deceptive. A genuine coin is used to create a die that is an exact mirror image of the coin. This includes any and all marks, scratches or other issues on the surface of the genuine coin. As a result, every fake struck from these counterfeit dies will have the same depressions (marks are called “depressions” on counterfeits). NGC graders look for these repeating depressions as well as overall weak details to identify fakes made from transfer dies. These spurious pieces may also have incorrect weights and compositions as well as unusual luster. Source

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Happy Holidays From Us To You



Martinez Coin & Jewelry Exchange
3755 Alhambra Ave Ste 1
Martinez CA 94553

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Types Of Counterfeit: Electrotypes

These are often created by museums to display an extremely accurate replica of a genuine coin for security purposes or to show both sides of a coin at the same time. They are created by pressing the genuine piece into a soft material, thereby creating a negative impression. The inside of that impression is then electroplated to create a shell with the design of one side of the coin. The process is repeated for the other side of the coin and the two sides are then joined together. Electrotypes can often be extremely deceptive. There will often be a seam on the edge, however, and electrotypes are usually not the correct weight. They will also not “ring” like a genuine coin when lightly tapped or dropped because they are not struck. 

Learn more here...

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Fun Facts Related To The Penny

Once it was hard to tell a penny from a dime... Although they are different colors, pennies and dimes are very close in size. In 1943, copper was needed for war materials, so pennies were made out of zinc-coated steel. Because the color was silvery, it was easy to mistake a penny for a dime. Fortunately, pennies were only made that way for one year.

You might have little round sandwiches in your pocket... Most of our coins are metal sandwiches. The outside layers are three-quarters copper and one-quarter nickel, and the "filling" is solid copper. Pennies are made of zinc coated with copper. Only nickels are one solid material—that same 75% copper/25% nickel alloy. Would you like fries with that?

This penny is almost as big as a half dollar... America's first one-cent piece, called the "large cent," was first struck in 1793, one year after the Mint opened. It was so big that it was hard to use, but it wasn't replaced by a smaller penny until 1857, more than 50 years later.

George Washington was our first President – but not the first President on a circulating coin.... In 1909, President Lincoln appeared on a one-cent coin and became the first real person—as well as the first American president—to have his face appear on a regular-issue American coin.

We used to trade gold, silver, and copper.... A 1792 law directed American money to be made of gold, silver and copper. Gold was used in the $10, $5, and $2.50 pieces. The dollar, half dollar, quarter, dime, and half dime were composed of silver. The cent and half cent were made of copper.

How much was in that first batch?... The Mint produced its first circulating coins—all $111.78 worth of them—in March 1793. That first batch consisted of 11,178 copper cents. Soon after, the Mint began issuing gold and silver coins as well.

Heads, it’s Lincoln; tails, it’s Lincoln.... The Lincoln cent (1959 to 2007) featured this beloved president on both sides of the coin. On the obverse, we see his face in profile; on the reverse, he is seated in the Lincoln Memorial. However, the coin does carry the initials of two different engravers.

There were copper pennies and white cents?... Yes, there were "white cents" that didn't look at all like pennies. These were the Flying Eagle one cent coins of 1856–58 and the Indian Head one cent coins of 1859-64. They were made from metal that contained 88 parts copper to 12 parts nickel, which gave them a light or white color.

Learn more about the penny here...

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Fun Facts Related To The Quarter

The buffalo was once a newcomer.... When the bison appeared on the Buffalo nickel (1913 to 1938), it was the first animal on a circulating American coin that was not an eagle. This newcomer kept its status as the only non-eagle animal until the 50 State Quarters Program introduced more animals (and more buffalo) in 1999.

The quarters are all lined up.... For 10 years starting in 1999, the United States Mint 50 State Quarters Program released a quarter design for each of the 50 states. Which state first? The states were honored in age order—oldest first—according to when they ratified the Constitution or joined the Union.
Heads, it’s Washington; tails, it’s Washington... The New Jersey quarter is not the first coin to have the same president (Washington) on both sides. Do you know the other coin and president? The answer is in another Fun Fact.

If you’re worth 25 cents, why not say so?... The quarter dollar made in 1804 was the first silver coin in the United States Mint's history to have a value on it! Yes, up until then, all silver and gold American coins were non-denominated. People had to know by their size how much they were worth. Only copper coins were required to show their denominations.

It was much too royal for George Washington’s taste.... President Washington, if here today, might be a bit surprised to find himself on the quarter. In considering designs for the first U.S. coins, he and Congress rejected designs picturing him. Why? Too much like monarchy, they said, the very thing from which the United States had rebelled. But in 1899, Washington's image was placed on a U.S. coin—the Lafayette dollar. In 1932, Washington appeared once again on a U.S. coin—the quarter—and still does today.

For more fun facts about quarters read here...

Monday, December 11, 2023

Types of Counterfeit: Spark Erosion Counterfeits

Types of Counterfeit Coins

Counterfeiters have employed a variety of methods to create forgeries or alterations. These methods, as well as the varied skill levels of the counterfeiters, have resulted in spurious pieces that range widely from very crude to extremely deceptive. A comprehensive understanding of the different methods used to make forgeries or alterations can help a numismatist identify these counterfeits. 

Spark Erosion Counterfeits

These are interesting fakes that usually attempt to replicate smaller denominations, most often ones that are made of copper. Spark erosion counterfeits are created by submerging a genuine coin in an electrolytic bath with the coin placed close to the die. Electricity is then passed through the coin and a spark jumps from the coin to what will become the die, etching the coin’s design into the surface. Once complete, the dies are heavily polished to remove the pitting this counterfeiting method typically leaves. The polishing process cannot remove the pitting from the recesses of the die, however, and, as a result, the raised elements of the counterfeits have a granular appearance. 

Article Source

Friday, December 8, 2023

Types Of Counterfeit: Cast Counterfeit

 Types of Counterfeit Coins

Counterfeiters have employed a variety of methods to create forgeries or alterations. These methods, as well as the varied skill levels of the counterfeiters, have resulted in spurious pieces that range widely from very crude to extremely deceptive. A comprehensive understanding of the different methods used to make forgeries or alterations can help a numismatist identify these counterfeits.

Cast counterfeits are typically the most inferior type of fake. They are usually of such low quality that they were made as a novelty rather than to try to deceive collectors. They are often made out of base metal and frequently have a seam around the edge where the two halves of the mold come together. They will also generally exhibit a grainy texture. Because these fakes are cast rather than struck, they will usually not “ring” like a normal coin when lightly tapped or dropped. 

Article Source

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

About the U.S. Mint

The United States Mint is the government agency that makes coins! Coins are small, metal discs that people use as money. The Mint makes sure people in the U.S. have coins to spend, save, or collect.

In colonial America, people used coins from other countries, livestock, or crops to pay for goods and services. The U.S. Mint was created in 1792 so that America could have one standard form of money.

Coins and paper bills aren’t made by the same agency. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) makes paper money. The Mint has six locations across the United States. 

What Coins Does the Mint Make?

The Mint makes circulating coins for spending. When people and businesses use these coins as money, they are “in circulation.” The denominations you’ll see the most are the penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. The Mint makes half dollars and dollars for collecting, but you can still spend them. 

The Mint makes more than 10 billion circulating coins a year. Cha-ching! It would take you 317 years to count all 10 billion coins.

Congress can create a coin program around a design theme to inspire coin collecting. For example, the 50 State Quarters Program included one quarter for each state and territory. Browse our current and past circulating coin programs. 

What Else Does the Mint Make?

The Mint makes more than just circulating coins. Collectible coins are for people to save and collect. These coins sometimes look like circulating coins or have special designs honoring people or events.

Investment coins are called bullion coins. They are made from precious metals, such as gold and silver.

The Mint also makes medals. Medals aren’t money, they’re awards. The Mint makes a type of medal called Congressional Gold Medals for Congress to honor people who have made our country or the world a better place.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

How Coins Are Made



A circulating coin begins its life as an idea. Once the U.S. Mint designs and makes the coin, it gets passed around to people and businesses before it retires. Before the Mint designs a coin, Congress tells us to make new coins by passing a law. Sometimes the law includes certain designs that must be put onto the coins, like people or places.

The Mint makes most circulating coins from large sheets of metal rolled into coils. Imagine a big roll of wrapping paper! The metal of the coil matches the types of metal in the finished coin.

Round discs called blanks are punched out from the metal sheet. The blanks are heated to make them softer and then washed. They pass through a machine that squeezes them, forcing the sides up to form a rim. The coin press uses the die to stamp the blanks with the coin design. Mint employees inspect the coins to make sure there are no flaws. The coins are counted and weighed, then put into large bags to send all over the country.