Paying top dollar

for your diamonds since 1980

Tips On Spotting A Counterfeit Coin

Posted on July 24th, 2019 by Joe G

Numismatists can usually detect counterfeit coins as they sometimes find themselves in the position of being offered deceitful coins and currency from sellers trying to scam the buyer. As a coin buyer in Chicago, we know how important it is for coin collectors to spot a counterfeit amongst their collection. If you are not in the presence of a numismatist, here are a few simple ways to try to discover on your own if you are the owner of a “fake” coin.


Look For The Seam Around the Side of The Coins Edge

There may be markings, intricate designs, or interesting textures that are associated with a particular coin series. However, counterfeit coins may have casting seams around the side of the coin edge and the periphery, that even the naked eye can usually spot. If you notice this, the coin usually may be a fake.

Porosity and Dimples In The Field Due To Poor Casting

Many counterfeiters do not have the sophisticated powerful planchets that the real government mints have so many of the fakes usually exhibit pockmarks, dimples poor detail and casting errors within the field of the coins.


Look At Markings

Coins that have “Added” or “Removed” mint marks. Fake rare date and mintmark coins may have removed or added mintmarks, like a 1922 penny. A 1922 penny ( with no mintmark) is rare but the 1922 D penny is not. Counterfeiters will try to remove the D on the 1922 D Penny to fool the buyer/dealer/investor into thinking it is a “1922 plain” with no mintmark. The same goes for adding a mint mark, a 1932 D or S Washington Quarter is a rarer better date, and counterfeiters will try to add a D or S to the more common 1932 with no mintmark. This happens to many rare date coins. A 1916 Mercury Dime will have a D added because the 1916 D Mercury Dime is the rarest date in the series. An 1895 S Morgan Dollar is a better date, but an 1895 Morgan Dollar with no mintmark is exceedingly rare so counterfeiters will attempt to remove the S to scam the buyer to believe it is the very rare 1895 plain ( no mint mark version). This takes experience; special hi-power loupes and magnification, but many times a coin still will need a third-party authentication. And as coin buyers in Chicago, we will evaluate and many times send them to NGC & or PCGS for authentication and further grading.


Look for density consistency , coins processed by the actual government mints will have consistency in weight , thickness and diameter, and still old circulated coins that are heavily worn will not have the same weight as ones that are in better condition, coins can be off by as little as few grams , so even if it looks like a real coin, the measurement will not add up. The diameter and thickness may be the same, but if the density is off, the coin may not real. That’s when the assistance of a trained numismatist at Chicago Gold Gallery can help you determine.


With over 39 years of experience, our professionals can help discern if you have a counterfeit coin or not. Stop by Chicago Gold Gallery today because as your coin buyer in Chicago, we are here to help you figure out the true value of your collections.

← Back

Customer Testimonial

Had a Great Experience

I have dealt in coins and metals since the 80s. Had dealings with many dealers. Got scammed by a few. Chicago Gold is the only one I would recommend to my family or friends. Have your valuables appraised by them before you sell.

Date: 05/12/2022 • 5 / 5 stars ★★★★★

Awesome place!

What a super knowledgeable gemologist. After all that experience also they are soooo willing to help and answer all the questions I had. Excellent experience. They went above and beyond for me. Highly recommended. Super trustworthy.

Date: 01/20/2022 • 5 / 5 stars ★★★★★

I'll be back

Cashed in some silver coins and received a very fair exchange. Joe and Chris, were very friendly, and comfortable to deal with. Came back with some jewelry, and received a rough appraisal...again no pressure.

Date: 11/15/2021 • 5 / 5 stars ★★★★★

I would do business with them again

I found the Chicago Gold Gallery to be a very honest and reputable shop. I would highly recommend this store to anyone buying and selling their possessions.

Date: 05/01/2021 • 5 / 5 stars ★★★★★

How to Reach Us?

Get Directions

Contact Us

Get the most for your valuables.

1236 W. Devon Avenue
Chicago, IL 60660

Phone: 773-338-7787 Email:

Hours: Mon- Fri: 10:15am-6pm, & Sat: 10:15am-5:00pm

Especially Wanted

  • Gold & Silver Coins
  • Bullion Gold, Silver, & Platinum
  • Scrap & Old Gold
  • Sterling Silverware
  • Dental Gold
  • Coins & Coin Collections
  • Franklin Mint
  • Collectibles
  • Rare Coins
  • Antique & Modern Jewelry
  • Diamonds
  • Watches - Rolex, Patek Philippe
  • Broken Jewelry
  • Tiffany & Company - Cartier
  • Vintage & Modern Guitars