Fifteen years ago, E.G.V. Newman of the British based International Bureau for the Suppression of Counterfeit Coins (IBSCC) released new information on fake U.S.
Commemorative coins. One of those coins, a 1937 Antietam 50¢, didn't
seem a likely coin to be counterfeited. After the initial release of
information in 1980, very few were ever seen. Yet here it is, 1995, and
what should make its way into PCGS but a counterfeit 1937 Antietam Half
Typically, these fakes have a dull grey finish with a lack
of luster. In addition, there are many characteristics which easily prove
this coin a forgery.
First, look to the cheek area for what appear
to be bag marks. These are actually depressions that repeat from fake to
fake. There are also odd, raised lines that can be found through the
letters of Anniversary. Another depression can be found on the
D of United.
Sometimes the best fakes are coins
which you would least suspect. This Antietam, the Stone Mountain
Commemorative, and the 1937-D Boone are three coins that can easily get
through the defenses merely because they are not thought to be worthy of
the counterfeiter. While extremely rare, keep in the back of your mind that
just about anything can be copied.
These "bag marks" are not
random; They appear in the same place on fake after fake.
What appears to be a die
crack through "Anniversary" is actually a diagnostic of a counterfeit
Look for the chip out of the "D" in "United"