Luster On Genuine $2.5 Indians
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Out of all of the material I've read on counterfeit Indian quarter eagles, I haven't heard anyone mention luster as a way to distinguish between genuine and spurious examples of these coins. On genuine uncirculated examples, there is a cartwheel effect that centers on the top right corner of the Indian's headdress. There is also a secondary cartwheel effect that centers in the Indian's neck. I've never seen a counterfeit example successfully imitate these two cartwheel effects at once. Has anyone else noticed this, or seen any experts on this series mention this? I consider it a very helpful way to determine genuine uncirculated Indian quarter eagles from fake ones. It's nearly impossible to notice unless it's in hand or in a video explicitly showing that effect (I did my best to capture it here):3e58d835-5117-4234-befb-d7f788127e9e.gif

Edited by JZ321

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Having assembled 2 complete sets of PCGS/NGC MS-62/63 Indian $2.50 my observation is that the luster doesn't always show with a cartwheel effect on the MS-62 coins, but can be prominent on MS-63 and higher grades.  So I would not use this as a discriminator as to whether these coins are genuine.  I have never taken a chance with raw coins of this series, since there are plenty of TPG coins to choose from.

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Sorry, I should have clarified. I really just meant that that luster never appears on fake ones, so if it does appear, you know the coin is genuine. That said, if the luster doesn't appear, it might still be genuine and just not have the luster. But still, has anyone heard mention of this from experts? I'd be curious to hear what they have to say about this effect.

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In my gold type set, my lone $2.5 1925-D Indian is barely shiny at all, and I can barely imagine it producing a "cartwheel," except in the most lame sense of the expression.

Years ago (January 2015) I sent it to NGC for crossing-over (as well as upgrading to a Scratch-Resistant Holder), so I'm confident it is genuine.

(came back as 65+, btw, which was a "+" higher than PCGS had graded; "icing on the 'cross-over' cake" experience)

It has a lot of toning, especially for a gold Indian, and in-hand it looks sort of dingy, with copper-like reddish areas, other gun-metal blueish and greenish areas, and still other gold shiny areas, … and all this on such a small coin that it is.  Together, these colorings lend it an initial-appearance impression of being almost "bent" or "warped" — 3-D-like or an optical illusion — and collectively they make it extremely interesting, especially so since it also has the very small mintmark to look for, too.  However, when photographed it comes to life, maybe because the light intensity can be adjusted up to boost any luster reflectivity.

I love the coin because of this toning, but especially so in my collection because it is preceded and followed, decade-wise, by spectacularly crisp and shiny $5 and $10 Indians, and so it makes up for its size "inadequacy" by standing out as uniquely colorful and unusual.

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On 7/19/2018 at 12:10 AM, JZ321 said:

Sorry, I should have clarified. I really just meant that that luster never appears on fake ones, so if it does appear, you know the coin is genuine. That said, if the luster doesn't appear, it might still be genuine and just not have the luster. But still, has anyone heard mention of this from experts? I'd be curious to hear what they have to say about this effect.

What if the fake coin is made of gold? Wouldn't that show luster?

Edited by BipolarBaby

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On 7/19/2018 at 12:10 AM, JZ321 said:

Sorry, I should have clarified. I really just meant that that luster never appears on fake ones, so if it does appear, you know the coin is genuine.

That would probably be true for cast fakes, but die struck fakes WOULD show luster because the luster would be created by the same mechanism that creates it on genuine coins. The outward radial movement of planchet metal across the die face.  And the majority of fakes made in the past 20 years or more are die struck, not cast.

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