For those who are just starting to engage in numismatics, it is rather difficult at first to determine whether a particular collector's copy of the coin is genuine. As a rule, determining the authenticity of coins requires many years of experience, professional knowledge and some tools. A few guidelines will help you learn how to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit coins.
- - specialized catalogs;
- - magnifying glass;
- - electronic balance;
- - spectrometer.
Review the coin being evaluated, paying attention to the legibility of the details. Minting coins is a complex and expensive technological process that counterfeiters usually do not know. Typically, counterfeit coins are made by casting using a mold made from a genuine coin. Since metal is not able to fill in the smallest details of the image, it turns out to be blurry, not so clear. This is the main difference between counterfeit coins.
If you have coins of the 18th century, pay attention to their inherent metal lamination under the action of the corrosion process, which is almost impossible to imitate by artificial means. The absence of characteristic foliation on coins of this age may indicate a fake.
To determine the authenticity of coins, use also such an indicator as weight. This is the most important criterion for the authenticity of a coin, which is very difficult to comply with when copying. Compare the value of the weight of the coin obtained by weighing with the table value taken from the catalog.
If possible, compare the coin with a photograph of the original, which can also be found in special catalogs. One of the recommended catalogs is “The Corpus of Russian Coins of the Grand Duke Georgy Mikhailovich”. He, in addition to a detailed description of each coin, has good quality photographs. The discrepancy between small details on the studied coin and the photograph may indicate a fake.
For a more accurate determination of the authenticity of coins, use a spectrometer. This device allows you to accurately determine the percentage of metal and impurities. The most accurate results are obtained by spectroscopy of 18th century silver coins, the most popular among counterfeiters. In the manufacture of such coins, silver was used not of the highest standard, containing a significant amount of impurities. The spectrometer will immediately detect the presence of modern additives that improve the fluidity of the metal.
If you are not confident in your abilities, do not have reference materials and equipment, contact large firms with a reliable reputation in the numismatic market to purchase and evaluate coins. Such firms, at your request, can issue an expert opinion on the authenticity of the coin, which contains photographs and even spectral analysis data.