NGC Supplements Authenticity Study of 1934 Peace Dollars

Posted on 9/18/2012

Additional examples with peculiar die features are found.

An article in the October 1, 2012, Coin World described the diagnostics of a 1934 Peace Dollar appearing to be counterfeit. The entire numismatic community is justifiably concerned about new and deceptive counterfeit coins emerging from China. In many ways, this has created a sense of heightened vigilance when examining coins that exhibit unusual characteristics. After the article was written, NGC was invited to perform additional study. NGC has confirmed that a number of features seen on the subject coin can be found on genuine examples. Genuine coins possessing the illustrated die markers are, of course, graded and encapsulated by NGC.

The subject coin has unusually heavy polish lines on both sides, including in front of Liberty’s face on obverse and in a long band behind the eagle’s head on reverse. Its most distinctive feature is on the obverse, where the O in GOD shows heavy file marks within it. But the presence of these features alone is not strong enough to condemn coins showing these diagnostics. By contrast, a very strong argument for their authenticity is made by the presence of other examples that have been found in a variety of die states, including examples certified decades ago. It is certainly curious that these die markers have not already been catalogued in the VAM reference, where this variety would likely have achieved some notoriety.

The curious "Blundered O."

Since it appears to have been overlooked, this die pairing may be somewhat scarce. Likely, these die markers are most prevalent on very early die state examples, and then became muted over time. This example from a May 2011 Heritage Auction shows an example of this coin that certified in the early 1990’s exhibiting the same “Blundered O” on obverse and die polish on the reverse. It is of course clearly of later die state than the subject coin.

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