Lean what counterfeit US Two Cent pieces look like.

The numismatic hobby is facing perhaps it's most threatening challenge, that of replica coins from China and other overseas locals. Low cost, and in some cases, surprisingly good quality reproductions are flooding America via a number of portals, most notably eBay.

Such auctions provide a low cost outlet for the unscrupulous to market their wares. This brief study will examine the replica two cent pieces that are being sold today. A sample order was placed to allow close examination of the currently available specimens. The following pages depict the best replica, of 10 samples ordered, along with a genuine example. The follow notes will help to guide examination of these coins.

Note that the counterfeit specimen shown here is not marked as a COPY or REPLICA as required by the Hobby Protection Act. When purchased the photographic sample was marked as a replica, thus the sample shown here was purchased as such. Upon delivery it was noted that the coin was not marked as required by law.

Let's examine twelve key differences of a counterfeit two cent piece to an authentic piece. Please refer to the photographs below.

General Observations
1. Diameter correct at 23 mm, weight correct at 6.22 grams.
2. Distinct ringing tone when dropped, unlike a genuine example.
3. Obverse has very weak, mushy details.
4. Dentils simulation not close to original spacing or shape.

Obverse
5. Date font is much fatter and flatter than any original coin.
6. Numerals actually touch each other on many specimens.
7. Surfaces display many fine scratches likely from cleaning after manufacture.
8. Obverse device and field surfaces granular as though coin was cast.

Reverse
9. Reverse image details far more clear and distinct than obverse.
10. The 7th outside leaf should be in various positions under the first T in STATES, but these replicas show that leaf far to the left of the S in STATES.
11. The N and S of CENTS are noticeably shorter that the other letters.
12. All dates show a full upper serif of the letter D of UNITED. Note that the both the proof and circulation strike genuine 1864 and 1865 dated coins show a full upper serif on the letter D, all other dates do not.

At first glance we might be tempted to dismiss these perhaps crude attempts at duplicating the two cent piece but being informed can help all of us avoid the untold thousands of these pieces that are circulating in the collecting community.


See more journals by Penny Guy