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Fake or original? Methods for determining the authenticity of a coin

Определения подлинности монет

Coin (lat.moneta) - a banknote made of metal or other material of a certain shape, weight and dignity. In addition to high-grade coins, exchange, collection, commemorative and investment coins are issued. Most often, coins are made of metal by minting and have the shape of a regular circle.

The condition of coins is an indicator reflecting mainly the presence and degree of wear (scuff), as well as other damage and deficiencies in coins, used by specialists in the field of numismatics for collection and commercial purposes.

Determining whether you have an original or a fake is very difficult. Especially for someone who is not a specialist in this matter. We suggest you familiarize yourself with the most understandable ways of determining the authenticity of coins.

The importance of assessing the status of coins

Attentive collectors-numismatists and professional dealers in the coin market attach considerable importance to the state or degree of preservation of coins. The condition of the coin is the most important criterion that determines its collection value. The collection or numismatic value of a coin is the difference between its face value (or the price of the coin's metal) and the amount that collectors are willing to pay for this coin.

Assessing the condition of a coin has as its main goal the determination of its numismatic (or collection) price. Due to the fact that most of the old coins wore out significantly during their long circulation, there are much fewer coins left in a high degree of preservation than heavily worn out coins. That is why coins in good condition sometimes have a very high collection value compared to the same, but at the same time poorly preserved copies. In today's numismatic market, a very small difference in the condition of some coins can sometimes mean a multiple difference in their price.

The market for collectible coins is constantly changing, and with it the scientific and commercial standards and ideas regarding the preservation of coins are gradually changing. Over the years, the condition of coins increasingly affects their collection price, and along with this, the assessment of the condition of coins gradually becomes more and more detailed and accurate.

Catalog method

Catalog way. Sometimes, to determine the original coin, it is enough to make a comparison with an example from the reference book. Often counterfeiters create coins specifically for non-experts, so their efforts to achieve identity are not enough.

Coin Weight and Diameter

Weight and diameter of the coin. Always check the weight of the coin, which is listed in the directory. This procedure is worth doing with the diameter. The conclusion suggests itself if the data does not match.


Checking for struck. All copies of ancient coins today are made by casting. But before, only coinage was used for this. Coins of different manufacturing methods are quite easy to distinguish.


Peeling. To create such an effect is almost impossible. Exfoliation appears over time due to internal corrosion of the ligature impurities.

Stamp Gloss

Stamp gloss. The areas of depressions in the inscriptions on ancient coins often retain their initial luster. For example, the field of a coin inside the letter O. Stamp gloss remains, even in the case of short-term use of coins.

Using a microscope

Using a microscope. 400-800-fold increase will help to make out a special type of corrosion, which is inherent only to ancient coins.

Comparison with a genuine coin

Comparison with a genuine coin. The best way is to match this instance. Comparison of the relief and the field will help to establish that the coins were minted with one stamp.

Spectral analysis

Spectral analysis. It makes it possible to determine the sample and composition of the ligature. If the analyzes of the two coins are similar, then we can assume that they were minted at the same time.

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