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Fakes, Frauds & Forgeries - Dangers In Coin & Artefact Collecting

Famous Forgers and Fakers

Fake Coins in Circulation

Latest on the fake pound coins and some new photographs of a fake pound coin I was given the other day. (March 2011)

Man jailed over 14m fake �1 coins December 14, 2007

Fake pound coin on top, a genuine pound coin beneath for comparison

Above: Fake pound coin on top, a genuine pound coin beneath for comparison.

There seems to be very large numbers of fake pound coins in circulation at the moment, does anybody have any facts or figures on this?

Are other denominations of coins being copied too? I imagine the bi-metal two pound coins would be too expensive for the forgers to reproduce (but I could be wrong about that), have you ever seen a fake 50, 20, 10 or 5 pence piece?

If you have spotted any fake coins in your change and have a scanner, I would love to see some pictures of them. When I get some pictures I'll start an online fake coin photo gallery to help people spot the forgeries.

Fake Pound Coin Update

Fake pound coin I received in my change today other side of a fake pound coin I received in my change today

Above: Fake pound coin I received in my change today. At first I thought it was just really badly worn - until I checked the inscription around the edge - it is almost illegible in places and what is legible is very poorly executed.

The thing that most stands out about the above fake (apart from the dodgy inscription around the edge, photos coming soon) is that it seems to have been produced by casting rather than striking, hence the weak design.

Indications that the coin has been cast rather than struck are strongest on the lettering around the portrait, click on the image to see a larger version.

For more information about fake pound coins and a lot more images click here.

Fake Banknotes In Circulation

Online Auction Sites and Fake Coins and Artefacts

With the rise of online auction sites the market for antiquities has boomed, unfortunately, the potential for large profits has caused some very undesirable elements to enter the fray.

The problem is not just the hundreds of fakes and forgeries being passed off as authentic ancient objects to unsuspecting buyers, but also the deliberate misidentification of genuinely ancient artefacts (for example, an ancient Persian or Chinese object being passed off as British or European) to increase the value.

The companies that run the online auctions sites seem unwilling or unable to tackle the problem, so don't expect them to protect you from unscrupulous sellers.

If you are new to collecting ancient coins and antiquities, my advice to you would be to avoid online auctions like the plague, at least until you have educated yourself sufficiently to know exactly what you are buying and no longer have to rely on the sellers description for information about the object.

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