Counterfeit Morgan
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I believe this to be a counterfeit 1889 CC Morgan. I am not aware of any VAM that would make the date look like this. I immediately noticed at first the misshapen 9, quickly followed by the "pile of metal" between the two 8's. What do you think???? If I am wrong, let me know. I think this was maybe an 1880 CC or a cheaper 1883 CC made to look like an 1889 CC. I had to crop the photos to protect the sellers identity so I don't have any "problems". I messaged the seller as to my concerns of the validity of this coin, but received no response. I believe if you got burned because of an unwatchful eye, that trying to resell a counterfeit so you are not out the money you spent is bad business.

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47 minutes ago, powermad5000 said:

I believe this to be a counterfeit 1889 CC Morgan. I am not aware of any VAM that would make the date look like this. I immediately noticed at first the misshapen 9, quickly followed by the "pile of metal" between the two 8's. What do you think???? If I am wrong, let me know. I think this was maybe an 1880 CC or a cheaper 1883 CC made to look like an 1889 CC. I had to crop the photos to protect the sellers identity so I don't have any "problems". I messaged the seller as to my concerns of the validity of this coin, but received no response. I believe if you got burned because of an unwatchful eye, that trying to resell a counterfeit so you are not out the money you spent is bad business.

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IMG_20180630_171250_edit.jpgIm no expert but from what I do know about counterfeit coins, This definitely looks like it is a counterfeit 1889 Morgan, or an error like the world has ever and never seen(highly unlikely)(more than likely a major fraud!) everything you already mentioned are red flags, but the 8's are completely wrong(way too bold, rounded, uneven, not flat enough, etc., The line between the 8's looks very much like a well known tale tale sign of raised tool marks indicative of a counterfeit, as well as many other tool marks I can see throughout, The overall lettering, stars, and collar  are very sloppy as well, this also is another major red flag indicative of a counterfeit. The alignment of Date and #'s are way off, and The 9 is definitely tampered with wrong and/or very incorrect with markings also indicative of a counterfeit! I'm no expert like I said, but I have a lot of concerns as to this being genuine like you suspect, as there are too many red flags to be ignored! Here is the good news on a bad note! Counterfeits a lot of time weigh more and have more in silver content, have you weighed the coin? Does the reeds or edge appear to have a seam? Anyway sorry to be the bearer of bad news but if it's not silver and you paid more than $16-$20 Id definitely be asking for a refund! This is my educated opinion and that is all, as I am not an expert, however if it were mine I'd be questioning it just as you are with real good reason and I'd say it's counterfeit, being an error is seriously unlikely! Hope you get back what you have into it, although there is a small market for counterfeits they are a fraud, illegal, and need to be investigated to insure the integrity of the hobby, pics of reverse and edge would be helpful, However I believe it to be counterfeit, How does the mint mark look? Prob incorrect as well I'm guessing, Sorry but I hope this helps, Good luck! Capone1929

Edited by Capone1929
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To clarify, I did NOT purchase this coin! I noticed the abnormalities right away while browsing coins today. Thanks to NGC and their eye opening and informative counterfeit updates, I got a feeling I was looking at a altered coin. I am not the kind of guy to try to hide defects on the coins I resell either. When my hopeful coins come back as Whizzed, Improperly cleaned, or Altered color, I leave them in the holder and bite the bullet on the loss. I have too much pride and cause for integrity of this lifelong hobby of mine to ever attempt to counterfeit a coin or worse try to pass the buck and sell a counterfeit. I am the guy out there reporting what I believe to be counterfeits to try to help out the poor guy who just doesn't know.

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21 minutes ago, powermad5000 said:

To clarify, I did NOT purchase this coin! I noticed the abnormalities right away while browsing coins today. Thanks to NGC and their eye opening and informative counterfeit updates, I got a feeling I was looking at a altered coin. I am not the kind of guy to try to hide defects on the coins I resell either. When my hopeful coins come back as Whizzed, Improperly cleaned, or Altered color, I leave them in the holder and bite the bullet on the loss. I have too much pride and cause for integrity of this lifelong hobby of mine to ever attempt to counterfeit a coin or worse try to pass the buck and sell a counterfeit. I am the guy out there reporting what I believe to be counterfeits to try to help out the poor guy who just doesn't know.

Well Thank You, For the good looking out! I didn't think you were resaleing or anything of the sort, was hoping you didn't buy it, but I believe you found a fine example of a counterfeit! I hope some poor unknowing person doesn't buy it! I have heard of variations, but the 1889 cc is so rare I don't believe it has many, (if any) known variations. Yes, I'm like you I'll bite the bullet on some things, and have purchased disappointing coins as well, I learned from trial and error, as well as people bringing awareness like you, so that I was much more aware as well. I think it's wrong for someone to sell it and try to pass it like you! To anyone who reads this, There are counterfeits out there, the 1889 cc so rare and valuable, and a likely coin to be counterfeit! But many others are out there as well! Be aware, before you buy is my best advise! Spend a little more and buy graded & authenticated if it's possible (especially) higher end and or rarer coins! Thanks for sharing the find, time, and help, powermad5000, it is appreciated! Also going one step further and bringing or trying to bring it to the sellers attention, I would hope any coin seller or dealer would not sell items like this knowingly, but unfortunately it does happen, I know I look real close, examine closer, and look at the coins I buy the best I can to avoid some of my past experiences, do to what I've learned from NGC, and people like you, Thanks again! Capone1929 

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It's definitely a fake.....whether it is an altered specimen of a genuine Morgan dollar of a different date or if it's just a total fabrication, I cannot tell you without seeing the coin in person.  But in looking at the date, my inclination is an altered date.  It looks like someone put some work into making an 1880 into an 1889. 

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17 minutes ago, Mohawk said:

It's definitely a fake.....whether it is an altered specimen of a genuine Morgan dollar of a different date or if it's just a total fabrication, I cannot tell you without seeing the coin in person.  But in looking at the date, my inclination is an altered date.  It looks like someone put some work into making an 1880 into an 1889. 

ITotally agree! I think it's more than likely an altered genuine Morgan, faked all the way around, definitely meant to deceive someone, who? By Who? Who knows? but the why is answered! I agree on the in hand as well! Have a good one, Capone1929

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Thanks for sharing Coinboy78. I am also glad you contacted NGC about this. The more everyone shares about these fakes, the less likely it is for anyone to have to suffer a loss. Knowledge is power. There is a book about your interest in the dies for Morgans. The Comprehensive Catalog and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars by Leroy C. Van Allen and A. George Mallis. It contains a detailed listing of all known (at the time) die varieties. I myself am not a VAM collector, just a nice Morgan collector but I have acquired some VAM's. Hotlist 50's and Top 100's just through the buying process. Thanks again for sharing your experience!

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Thanks, powermad5000!  I'll grab that book!  Anyone have any resources for spotting the 1912 indian head $2.5 gold coin authenticity?

I was thinking about creating a new post if a search for this subject didn't come up, but I can also post pictures and questions here.

Thanks.

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I discovered more mistakes on this Morgan. There is no curve next to the lips at the edge of the mouth, the lips themselves are completely different, and the nose is larger and pointy compared to a true Morgan, leading to the disparaging overall detail of the coin. There are too many problems with this fake. As for an update, the seller got back to me, but as of this moment, the coin is still listed for sale. I am waiting and pressuring the seller to take the listing down and not sell the coin to anyone, and claim it as an insurance loss. I will keep everyone posted.

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On 7/4/2018 at 3:58 PM, powermad5000 said:

I discovered more mistakes on this Morgan. There is no curve next to the lips at the edge of the mouth, the lips themselves are completely different, and the nose is larger and pointy compared to a true Morgan, leading to the disparaging overall detail of the coin. There are too many problems with this fake. As for an update, the seller got back to me, but as of this moment, the coin is still listed for sale. I am waiting and pressuring the seller to take the listing down and not sell the coin to anyone, and claim it as an insurance loss. I will keep everyone posted.

Thank You for the update, wish you could tell me the seller, but I've also seen in reputable sellers as well as coins! Just as I suspected there were many other issues with that 1889 cc Morgan, just too many inconsistencies to list! Once again, Thank you for the update and heads up, Capone 1929

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As a final update on this issue, not only did I not get the coin removed from sale, I got my own account suspended for trying. Apparently the policies prevent me from calling out a particular item or seller without making an official "report" of said such item or seller. I am ok with getting into trouble for trying to protect the integrity of this great hobby. Sadly, the coin is still for sale, so the main takeaway lesson here is BUYER BEWARE!

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Hello All! I recently purchased an 1891 CC morgan dollar the specs are all good except I'm unsure about the weight of it being in tolerance. The coin is circulated with quite a bit of circulation wear and weighs 25.9 grams and is non magnetic! Would this be normal or indicative of a counterfeit? I am unable to upload photos at this time so just looking for some feedback nd help, Thanks, Capone1929

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Hello Capone. Without any pics it is hard to tell anything about your coin being a counterfeit, but I will relay what information I know and anyone is free to correct me if I am wrong about anything as I don't claim to be a full on expert nor do I claim to know everything. That being said, the 1891 CC year is not a "critical" collector year as the mintage number was 1,618,000. That does not mean that someone would not try to fake it and produce an illegitimate example as this is happening on coins across the hobby. The correct weight of all Morgan dollars is 26.73 grams, and if I am correct in saying, the mint was very strict with their tolerances and the acceptable deviation was only + or - 0.20 grams. That said, at 25.9 grams, I would be highly suspect that you have a legitimate example. Then again, is your scale accurate? Is it calibrated correctly for your location on the earth's surface and the pull of gravity at your position?

The magnet test would only tell if it was made of a non silver metal or ferrous metal, but is no indication of the actual composition of the coin. A true Morgan 's composition was .900 silver, and .100 copper. A magnet would still not stick if it was made of .500 silver, .100 copper, and .400 nickel. A true Morgan's diameter is 38.1mm. 

With what information you have given, this is the most I am able to relay about your situation. My advice would be to send it into NGC and have them "put it through the paces" and see if you have a legitimate coin or not. 

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