Wednesday, February 23, 2011

GOT Morgans? Time to test...and people thought I was bullshitting in Bears Part 4 about Tungsten

"PORT ANGELES, Wash. - Counterfeit coins by the thousands are turning up in Washington state, and authorities are warning coin collectors to be on the lookout for them.

All or most of the counterfeits appear to be from China.

"Stacks of ingots, bars, all kinds of stuff - they make everything from pennies all the way up to silver dollars," says Port Angeles police officer Duane Benedict. "China is making these things by the thousands."

Several of the fake coins were recently sold to a Port Angeles business, EZ Pawn, for $400. They would have been worth more than $1,500 had they been real, Benedict said.

Officer Benedict got a call from EZ Pawn.

"They brought me in there to look at something they thought was fake. So I was pre-warned. But I picked it up and said, 'What's fake about it?'"

The 20 counterfeit U.S. Morgan silver dollars were supposedly from a century ago. Brian Winters of EZ Pawn has bought coins for years - and even he was fooled.

Unlike most counterfeits, the coins did not all have the same dates. One was a super rare 1893S, worth thousands and thousands.

It was at that time Brian pulled out a loupe and looked at a real coin and a suspect one. He found the "T" and the "I" too thick. All the coins were fake.

The real coin weighed in at 26.7 grams. The fake was two grams lighter.

For those of us without a gram scale - there are other tests for detecting the counterfeit coins.

The real ones have a high-pitched ring when they're dropped. The counterfeits land with a thud.

Also - a strong magnet will detect small amounts of iron in counterfeit U.S. coins. If a supposedly "silver" coin has even a little bit of attraction to the magnet, then it is a fake, Benedict says.

The counterfeits aren't just limited to silver dollars. Other coins - including Indian head pennies - also have turned out to be fakes.

And EZ Pawn says they're continuing to see fake coins brought in by other customers.

And Benedict warns businesses to be suspicious if someone uses only coins to pay for merchandise.

"Use caution if someone brings in a lot of coins to buy something, and look them over carefully," Benedict said.


  1. SGS - could you modify settings and put at least 5 articles on the last page ?

    Right now you only have two and you post 3 or 4 articles daily sometimes so we have to keep checking older posts.

    Thank you.

  2. and that is why I do not buy Morgans. Not that Eagles or Maples cannot be faked they are just easier to detect, IMHO.

  3. Off to the races again $33.74.....stand aside Blythe.....thanks SGS.

  4. I wasn't surprised to see copies of collectable coins on Ebay recently by a Chinese seller. They were honest and were marked as copies. He had quite a variety available. If they're making these in China, they're making unmarked ones as well.

  5. Wow... I think fiat currencies are eventually going to fall back to PMs, but is there's a loss of faith in the basic unit... wow !

  6. Wow. There could be thousands of them out there. Paper silver ain't lookin' so bad - We know thats not fake - right? right? :)

  7. If you buy your silver from a reputable bullion dealer, you'll be fine (like Tulving). Although it would not hurt to educate yourself on how to test for fakes. Mr. SGS, can you help with info on the best way to test?

    If you go shopping at a place like EZ-Pawn for precious metal investments, then you are going for a ride on the chocolate speedway. Nice to see a pawn dealer getting fucked over for a change.

  8. Mr. SGS, so how do we know the maples we are buying aren't fake either? It might be ok to drill 1 silver coin, what about gold coins? They are way too expensive to drill a hole thru it.

  9. Second the idea of putting more articles on one page, please!

    My junk silver is looking better all the time--different dates, different wear patterns, different denominations (inc. Liberty dimes, which I hope are too small to fake profitably). It's good that digital scales are cheap these days.

  10. get a neodymium magnet, weight it, drill a coin, and test with nitric hold it, you test it!

  11. Question, This is going to sound like a stupid question. I m new to the silver market and I just bought 1500 worth of junk silver from midas. The last e-mail went like this...

    $1509.50 work?
    that is for 65 face value
    inc $21 for shipping

    I said yes and just sent a check out last night. However I am looking on ebay and see all this junk silver 120 coins and 80 coins there going for waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay under what I just paid. So I may have got confused. Some people say 10 dollar face value or 40. He sold me 65. So when he gave me my first price he through out "$42 face value X $22.90 = $961.80" So was he counting coins or ounces?

  12. If you want to be sure you don't buy fakes you should get a pocket digital scale it's about 15 USD but it can save you of many troubles. You should also measure the diameter and test its sound (this cannot be faked). In case of circulated coins a catalogue is very useful (you can find cheap copies on CD/DVD).
    Two grams difference is however a lot for a morgan, one should detect it by hand.

  13. I don't buy junk silver so I cannot say. But you should compare his price to reputable online merchants. In US, is reputable. Others have mentioned a few more. They all sell junk silver by the oz I believe.

  14. Make sure your half dollars are under 1964. If they are 1965-1970 they are 40% silver instead of 90%. If that happens then they really screwed you. Here is a good spot to check your junk value

  15. I happen to sell 90% silver coins... But I do so honestly and transparently. Here's the key to not being fooled:

    Don't go by face value x (certain number). Always ask how many ounces of pure silver is in your order.

    You can learn to calculate the market value of any precious metal coin here:

    Avoid Counterfeits Info: