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Examining an Added Mintmark

Although counterfeiting techniques keep improving, mintmarks are still added to coins using the same two methods. Skip Fazzari describes how to spot these fakes.

Added When many things get old, they are discarded and new things, perhaps better made, take their place. Not so with old counterfeit and altered coins. Although some fakes are taken off the market each year and are either put into reference collections or destroyed, others remain to plague another generation and are passed on to one unsuspecting collector after another.

Most will agree that coin alterations consist of the addition or removal of parts of a coin’s design. Interestingly, although techniques of fakery have improved over the years, a majority of the coins with added mintmarks are still made by two methods. For the most common type of alteration, a numeral or letter is applied directly to the surface of the host coin. The micrograph taken at 20x shows an example of a coin altered in this way. In this case, a “D” mintmark has been placed on the reverse of a genuine 1916 Mercury dime to produce a coveted 1916-D coin. Read Full Article

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