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   FAO ALBUMS & Boards  

=>Beware of forgeries!!!<=
(See articles below)

On close examination, the forgery (left) can be distinguished from the original. (Click image to enlarge).
     Recently, while searching for FAO material on eBAY, I happened on these forgeries of medium priced FAO coins. 

   At first glance, this appears to be well preserved Order of Malta 3 Scudi with  deep mirror proof surfaces. This by itself is suspicious, as it isn’t consistent with all of the other known specimens I’ve examined of this coin which is now 40 years old.

      On comparison with a genuine coin, this piece shows inferior striking that would be expected from a transfer die ( see above ).
It is definitely does not show the superior strike that would be expected with  a gem proof.

    This should be considered the tip of the iceberg. All coins from the same source should be considered suspect. In particular, medium priced modern coins ($20-$100) from the source should be considered to be counterfeit until proven otherwise.

    This could show up as one or more coins substituted in an album or board.

    Likely targets of these forgers would be the 1972 (or 1973!) 50 Won coin from Korea, offered either individually, or substituted into Tan Board 3, or Blue Book 2, and all of the $4 ECCA Coins.

     I would consider the above example to be a relatively "good" fake. The "Sealand"  example below is a TERRIBLE fake.

However, ANY coins from this source, FAO or otherwise,  of any era, at any price, should be considered counterfeit.

 If I am mistaken:
          Please email me the details of the origin and source of these pieces  to this address.


    In light of the above, I strongly advise anyone buying FAO Albums or Boards to examine each coin carefully.

Genuine 3 Scudi


Two more forgeries

The Sealand Counterfeits

   The Malta pieces illustrated above were almost certainly struck from a die fashioned from a genuine coin.

    Illustrated here are an original Sealand 1972 10 dollar piece, Bruce X1, alongside a fake which has been offered on eBay focr greater than $125.

he perpetrators of this fake apparently fashioned die from a bad picture. In all probability they had never seen an example.

Here is a second example of an original 1972 Sealand Ten Dollar Coin .
   Below the 1972 examples on the right is a counterfeit 1975  $20 piece, apparently from the same source. At the time of this writing, December  2008, this "coin" is offered on eBay for $159.

     These obvious forgeries, made by people capable of more convincing fakes (see the Malta fakes above), are being offered at double their retail value!
     Why make an obvious fake when you can make a convincing one?

     The Coin World articles suggest a concerning explanation: The eBay sales are primarily undertaken in order to find western distributors for the fake pieces.

    I propose that these obvious fakes were made to distract attention from
"higher quality" fakes, which are being sold by western dealers . Under my  theory, these fakes were made to fool the buying public into believing that fakes are readily identified.

   Perhaps my theory is wrong. Regardless, anyone buying ANY coin today must scrutinize their purchase carefully.


Counterfeit 1875 Sealand $20 (Click image to enlarge)

  On 12/08/2008, the ANA sent out this email to its membership warning of the problem  of counterfeits.  A Coin World Article on 12/1 and 12/8/2008 revealed that it is legal  counterfeit coins in China!! That same article mentioned that the forgers fashioned  counterfeit albums and PCGS holders.

    According to this World Coin News Article from September 2008 the forgers offered  numerous "sets" for sale. It did not mention the FAO sets in particular, but given the popularity of this material with Chinese dealers, this would be a likely target.
  Counterfeit coins from China      
  Links to websites and articles discussing Counterfeits.       
   ANA Consumer Awareness Page

   U.S. Mint Consumer Awareness Page Department of the Treasury

     Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence

    Compilation of Articles on Counterfeiting (Robert Matthews)