Counterfeit Detection: 1927 Peace Dollar

Posted on 4/1/2021

An incorrect weight is far from the only problem with this fake.

By Numismatic Guaranty Corporation®

At 848,000 coins, the 1927 Peace dollar has the second-lowest mintage for a Philadelphia issue in the entire series. As such, it is one of the more valuable Peace dollars to collect today, especially in higher grades. Unsurprisingly, this issue is more likely to be counterfeited. Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) graders recently spotted the example shown here in a collector’s submission.

Counterfeit 1927 Peace Dollar

While this Peace dollar is not particularly convincing to a seasoned numismatist, it has decent detail and is clearly die struck, as it displays luster. Additionally, the fake is the correct size, although at only 22.78g, it is considerably lighter than the standard 26.73g.

A closer look reveals the other red flags with this piece. When compared to a genuine example, you can see that the counterfeit’s date and devices are not fully struck. Additionally, the fields are uneven and have depressions and raised areas. Lastly, the spikes emerging from Liberty’s neck are strong indicators of an impostor.

Close-up of fake 1927 Peace Dollar (left) and a genuine example (right)
The date and motto on this counterfeit Peace dollar aren’t well-defined.
The spikes emerging from the base of Liberty’s neck are
a tell-tale sign that this issue isn’t the real deal.

The reverse has even more problem areas than the obverse. The entire surface is weakly struck. This is especially noticeable on the motto, denomination and the eagle’s beak. Additionally, note the difference between the fields on the counterfeit and genuine examples. The fake is riddled with odd lumps, whereas the genuine piece is smooth.

Close-up of the reverse of the fake 1927 Peace Dollar (left)
The Reverse features a number of odd lumps, such as the one found on N
in UNITED. In general, the entire back side of the coin displays a weak strike.

In addition, the coin is not struck in the correct composition (90-percent silver and 10-percent copper). Instead, it comprises 59-percent copper, 38-percent zinc, 2-percent nickel and just 1-percent silver. This difference explains the almost 4g weight disparity.

While this counterfeit Peace dollar is not extremely deceptive, others can challenge even the most experienced collectors. Therefore, it is important to remain vigilant and thoroughly inspect any coin you are considering purchasing. If you are unsure of your authentication abilities, it is much safer to buy a coin already graded by NGC, as it is guaranteed to be genuine and accurately graded.

Reproduced with permission from the December 2020 edition of The Numismatist, official publication of the American Numismatic Association.

Did you know? NGC has created a comprehensive Counterfeit Detection resource to help collectors and dealers identify counterfeit and altered coins. Visit NGCcoin.com/counterfeit.


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