Thursday, January 4, 2024

Types Of Counterfeit: Altered Mintmarks

There are many ways that counterfeiters attempt to alter a coin’s mintmark. For example, they could add an “S” mintmark to a 1909 VDB Lincoln cent to make it appear to be the rare and desirable 1909-S VDB, or they could remove the mintmark from an 1895-O Morgan dollar to make it look like the extremely rare 1895 issue. There are two primary types of altered mintmarks:

Added mintmark. A mintmark can be added in a number of different ways. Sometimes the counterfeiters will literally glue the mintmark on. Other times they may use a tool to sculpt a mintmark. Occasionally fakers will even drill into the edge of the coin and push up a mintmark from the inside! These embossed mintmarks are especially common on coins with mintmarks near the edge like Buffalo nickels and can be extremely difficult to detect.

Removed mintmark. As the name implies, this is when the counterfeiter simply removes the mintmark from the coin. Tool marks will generally be obvious to the trained eye. 

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