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How To Spot A Counterfeit

Updated: Jul 28, 2023


This coin is a counterfeit.

Don't worry if you got the answer wrong. Let us explain how you can check if it's genuine or not.


This is a very good fake. But the denticles are closer together and the date and the stars are mushier for lack of a better word.

Pay attention to the dates and stars. Also look at the denticles.


An astute strategy in discerning counterfeit Morgan dollars involves focusing on the intricate details of the eagle motif. Specifically, directing one's attention to the breast feathers unveils an evident disparity between genuine and forged specimens. Authentic Morgans exhibit meticulously crafted feathers that possess a natural and organic appearance, harmoniously integrated into the design. Conversely, counterfeit examples betray their inauthenticity through the deliberate and discernible downward carving motion employed in replicating the feathers, thereby divulging their artifice. Furthermore, a similar principle holds true when inspecting the inner feathers on the wings. Genuine Morgans boast a meticulous portrayal of these feathers, capturing their delicate structure with precision. Conversely, counterfeit counterparts tend to lack the same level of intricacy, showcasing imperfections and inconsistencies that betray their fraudulent nature. Another telltale sign of a counterfeit Morgan lies within the depiction of the olive leaves on the coin's reverse side. Inauthentic examples often exhibit incorrect proportions, with the leaves appearing disproportionately large compared to their authentic counterparts. This discrepancy becomes readily apparent upon close examination and serves as a clear indication of the coin's spurious origins ​By diligently scrutinizing these specific elements-namely, the breast feathers, inner wing feathers, and olive leaves-numismatists can readily identify counterfeit Morgans, distinguishing them from the genuine articles. Employing such discerning techniques will undoubtedly contribute to a more informed and prudent approach to collecting these esteemed coins.


It is of utmost importance to consistently examine the mint marks on Morgan dollars. A discerning eye will readily observe that genuine Morgans bearing the "CC" mintmark exhibit highly distinct and finely detailed Seraphs on the "C"s. Conversely, counterfeit examples often display Seraphs that are markedly inconspicuous, lacking the intricacy seen in genuine specimens. Notably, this particular forgery is an exemplar of the renowned Chinese counterfeits, which are known for their exceptional craftsmanship capable of deceiving the majority of individuals. As a final piece of advice, exercising caution when assessing the coin's luster is paramount. Genuine Morgans possess a resplendent sheen that becomes evident upon rotating the coin under a source of light. However, counterfeit counterparts lack the vibrant radiance characteristic of authentic specimens. It is my sincere hope that this elucidation has provided you with invaluable insights to aid in your numismatic endeavors.

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