Greetings NCC Members and Guests-
At our most recent coin club meeting the coin of the month was "counter." This could include counterstamped coins, which were typically stamped with letters, company information or designs. This was especially popular in the early to mid 1800's on Large Cents as a way to advertise businesses. In the late 1850's/early 1860's, J. Sidney Miller, a photographer from Nashua NH counterstamped multiple coins with his name and the profession as "artist" on these coins. These coins make up a specialized subtype of coin collecting. In addition, members also brought in counterfeit coins. Some of these were primitive and easily identifiable while some were more difficult to tell. Counterfeits from China have become especially well made and dangerous to the unsuspecting. It is always important to know how to accurately identify rare date coins, buy from reputable dealers or buy the coins"slabbed." Slabbed coins are professionally graded by companies such as the Professional Coin Grading Service. This is important for dates such as the 1909-SVDB and 1914-D Lincoln Cents. One common trick is to take a 1944-D cent and change the first 4 so that the coin magically becomes a 1914-D. What might be a great deal at $100 is really a coin only worth one cent. Most common coins are not faked although there are cases where this happened. In 1954 Francis LeRoy Henning of New Jersey minted his own 1944 nickels. Made well enough not to bring immediate attention, he might have gotten away with this had it not been for an obvious blunder. In 1944 nickels were made of copper, manganese and 35% silver. To note the change there was a large mintmark (either P,D or S) on the reverse above the Monticello. Henning's coins did not have the mintmark and so it was not long before someone realized that fakes were being made and he was arrested. He also made some other dates including 1939 and 1946. As many as 100,000 made it into circulation, with as many as 400,000 possibly dumped into two locations.