Counterfeit Coin Detection – 1903-S Added S Morgan Dollar

A prominent area of discoloration around the mintmark is a sign that this Morgan Dollar is a counterfeit.

By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ......

The vast majority of the more than 1.2 million Morgan dollars struck at the San Francisco Mint in 1903 entered circulation, either immediately or as they were trickled out from the Mint until the 1950s. By the late 1960s, when the Treasury Department looked to disperse its hoard of unreleased silver dollars, no bags of 1903-S Morgan Dollars remained. As a result, the 1903-S Morgan Dollar is rare in all but low circulated grades. This is evidenced by the NGC Census, which shows that the average grade for a 1903-S Morgan Dollar is approximately VF 30.

Due to its rarity in high grades, virtually any About Uncirculated or Mint State 1903-S Morgan Dollar is worth well over $1,000 USD. On the other hand, Philadelphia 1903 Morgan Dollars are much more obtainable with a mintage four times that of their S-Mint counterparts. The large value difference between these two issues has led counterfeiters to alter some Philadelphia pieces to show the “S” mintmark of the San Francisco Mint. One example is the coin below.

United States 1903-S added S Morgan dollar counterfeit. Images courtesy NGC

Counterfeit 1903-S Morgan Dollar with Added Mintmark

As you can see in the images above, the coin clearly has high AU details at the very least. There is, however, a prominent area of discoloration around the mintmark that is visible even without magnification. Upon closer examination, this mintmark looks even more unusual.

Detail Added “S” Mintmark on the “1903-S” Morgan Dollar. Image courtesy NGC

Detail Added “S” Mintmark on the “1903-S” Morgan Dollar

The discoloration around the mintmark area is due a reaction between the adhesive that was used to affix the mintmark and the coin’s surface. It is likely that the surface looked normal, or nearly normal, at first and then became discolored over time. If one were to apply acetone to this area, the adhesive would almost certainly dissolve and the mintmark would literally fall off the coin.

It is essential to always examine the mintmark (as well as the date) on any key date coin. If a slight alteration to a common issue can make it appear to be a rare coin, it is ripe for targeting by a counterfeiter. If you want to be safe, buy a coin that is certified by NGC--these coins are guaranteed to be authentic.

Interested in reading more articles on Counterfeit Detection? Click here.

NGC Morgan Dollars Currently Available on eBay

 Pic Title Details
1902 S Morgan Silver Dollar NGC XF 45 Tough Date - Very Nice Coin & Holder Current Price: $200.0
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 6 days 15 hrs 55 mins
1904-S Morgan Silver Dollar - NGC VF 30 - Choice VF+ from the San Francisco mint Current Price: $118.95
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 4 days 16 hrs 21 mins
1893 S NGC XF Details (Whizzed) Morgan Dollar Current Price: $3800.0
# of Bids: 1
Ending: 2 hrs 45 mins
1884 O Morgan Dollar NGC MS63 Rainbow Toned United States Mint Coin Current Price: $199.0
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 8 days 13 hrs 28 mins
1898-O Morgan Dollar MS64 NGC (CAC) Blue & Red Periphery Toning Current Price: $125.0
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 20 days 18 hrs 24 mins
1879-S NGC Morgan Silver Dollar NGC MS 65 ** Blast White Blazer, Free Shipping! Current Price: $139.0
# of Bids: 0
Ending: 29 days 23 mins
 View all items...(Powered by: WP eBay Ads)  


Post a Comment

LLC. Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved. No portion of this site may be reproduced or copied without Written Permission
PO Box 4203 Ormond Beach, Florida 32175 | Office Hrs M-S 7:00AM-7:00PM | Toll Free: 800-579-5228 |

Real Time Analytics