Articles

The Surface of a Counterfeit

The Surface of a Counterfeit by F. Michael Fazzari Early in my career as a professional numismatist specializing in authentication and grading, I made the determination that I didn’t care to know how a counterfeit coin was made or what method or concoction was used to alter a coin’s surface.  I...
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The Fabric of a Coin

The Fabric of a Coin by F. Michael Fazzari The characteristics of a coin’s surface – its color and “fabric” – can provide important clues to its authenticity.  While color is an easy term to grasp, many readers may not have heard the term “fabric” used to describe a coin.  I...
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The Attack of the Counterfeits

The Attack of the Counterfeits by F. Michael Fazzari Our hobby is under attack in a way that calls for some drastic changes in order to protect the marketplace from a new plague of deceptive counterfeits. Let’s trace earlier generations of bogus coins and explore some of the new fakes...
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Lots of Chinese Fakes Out There

Lots of Chinese Fakes Out There by F. Michael Fazzari At the American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs, Colo., I had the opportunity to look in on a class dealing with the Chinese counterfeiting threat taught by Dr. Gregory Dubay and Beth Deisher. I could only stay about...
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Grading by Photos?

Grading by Photos? by F. Michael Fazzari They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Unfortunately, that is not always the case when grading and authenticating coins. Years ago, I remember seeing a very large photo of a 1913 Liberty nickel in another publication and thinking “That coin cannot possibly be...
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