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Sometimes I do a quick search on old coins I find on ebay for quickie reference on what people are selling them for and think I found a counterfeit ring going on. See back of this quarter for example:

You will notice where there is detail it is raised more which leads me to believe that it was created from a 3d scan. I say that because typically 3d scanner will not have enough resolution no matter how good and will average the heights when details are too close and small causing a puffiness in that area. A coin back then was done from a large master and milled on a pantograph milling machine. 

Now coins dies are made from edm (electrical discharge machining) where a graphite master is burned into the die then it's polished.

Anyways the prices on them are ridiculously low and there seems to be a lot of subtle oddities that make me suspicious. The example I showed a real 1943 silver in half descent condition would be around $20-$30 and not $0.99.

Who do I contact on that? Does ebay care?

Anyways buyer beware on that.

Edited by kac
Link directs to a particular buyer and not meant to accuse anyone without solid evidence. I am removing it so people don't think I am on a crusade of some sorts.
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This is an auction.  The $0.99 is the starting price.  It's typical for sellers to start at a low selling price.  (For example, look at Serious_Detetecting starting prices for used detectors.)

The dealer on that quarter has 2700+ listings currently.  Take a look at some of his others.  (Click "see other items" in the Seller Information box.)  I don't know how easy it is to create a false feedback rating on Ebay but I would hope the site would detect that.  This seller has almost a half million feedbacks and a 100% positive rating.


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Seller feedback really doesn't mean much these days. Aside from that what I spotted on that quarter in particular is there a few with the same artifacts and oddities especially for being uncirculated.

Background should be much cleaner, backs show a brushed surface.

The 1943 is worn down.

The base surface around the wreath is raised. When coins are made they use a flat piece of clay then add the details on top which means the base surface should be the same.

The head is lacking detail in the hair and looks filled in. This is common with 3d scans where point clouds are converted to polygons. 3d scans will also average a surface causing it loose some depth where there is a lot of detail as it appears around the wreath.

Lastly for uncirculated it appears to have some scratches.

I wouldn't trust that piece personally If you look through there are probably tons more counterfeits, I just happen to notice these as I was comparing it to one I have. 

I am not accusing that seller as knowingly selling counterfeits as I doubt they are striking them in their basement. Their source probably is importing the junk in and selling all over.

Just looks way to suspicious sorry.


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Looks legit. You can look at the sellers "sold" items and see they have sold a boatload of coins in a variety of conditions, and the selling prices reflect reality. Here is just the 1943 quarters they've sold:

1943 quarters

If they all looked exactly the same then I would suspect funny business, but they all have slight variations.

Counterfeiters mostly target high-grade or rarer coins, not mundane quarters. I own a counterfeit bust dollar and trade dollar, bought at a flea market. The seller said up-front, "These are fake."

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Seller feedback does matter in bulk. No one or dozen mean anything, but hundreds or thousands do.

I really don’t like people litigating accusations against third parties on these forums.

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I wasn't accusing a particular seller, I was using the images posted on that one as an example because of the anomalies I saw. The 1943 I have that has been sitting in the dirt for maybe 50 years is in better shape than the one indicated on that listing. There are other sellers with the same year uncirculated quarter with same sunken date and bulging wreath. Further down in the listing there are some that you can tell are legit because the base is even and does not vary in thickness.

It wouldn't surprise me if these guys don't know. I can't imagine how many coins the sell and go through.

quarter comparison.jpg

Edited by kac
needed to add an example
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Doing a bit more research there are several years using the same backs as the one I had in question and sold by different dealers. To be fair and trying not to make direct accusations of any of the sellers and to make clear my intentions is more of a heads up to anyone considering buying to do some careful looking first.

I took better pictures of the 43 quarter I found and have the original images found on ebay so others can compare. Take a look at the feet on the back. Original the feet go above the log, ebay one the feet are deeply carved into the log. Another really suspicious artifact is there is a raised line on the bottom left background behind the text on the back that can only be created if it is in the die itself.


ebay 43 back.jpg

ebay 43 front.jpg

real 43 back.jpg

real 43 front.jpg

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This seller has nearly a half million positive feedbacks.


I don't believe he got that by selling fakes.

As many coins as this seller has seen, I imagine he could spot a fake in the dark.

Lastly, it would be hard for me to believe he would risk his reputation on a fake $13.00 quarter.

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5 hours ago, kac said:

Take a look at the feet on the back. Original the feet go above the log, ebay one the feet are deeply carved into the log.

I am not seeing that.  I am seeing feet clearly over/above the log on the ebay coin.

5 hours ago, kac said:

Another really suspicious artifact is there is a raised line on the bottom left background behind the text on the back that can only be created if it is in the die itself.

Why is that suspiscious?  Dies are known to often suffer from various minor defects and damage resulting in coins that slip through the inspection process and make it into circulation.

I support your word of caution regarding purchasing collectable coins online, but really not seeing a strong case here, especially when a highly worn and damaged coin is being used as the reference for comparison. 

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