| 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.
| 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.
| || 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)