Coin Curiosity

Exploring Old and New Coins of the British Commonwealth

As time goes on counterfeiters get better at making fake coins. Lower-quality fakes are often easy to detect when compared with a known good coin or a good image of a known good coin (Museum Victoria is a great source of images) as minor details won't match or the coin just doesn't "look right".

High-quality fakes are now a real concern and can often only be detected by the presence or absence of small marks on the coins. All moderately expensive coins should be viewed with suspicion as high-quality fakes of high-grade common-date coins are known. This page will attempt to list the diagnostics for high-quality fakes but cannot and will not be comprehensive.

Australia

1911 Shilling

Scrape below first downstroke of N in IND and behind the King's shoulder on the obverse, rim cud above N on IND on obverse.

1914 Shilling

Scrape below first downstroke of N in IND and behind the King's shoulder on the obverse, rim cud above N on IND on obverse.

1915 Shilling

Scrape below first downstroke of N in IND and behind the King's shoulder on the obverse, rim cud above N on IND on obverse.

1925 Shilling

Scrape below first downstroke of N in IND and behind the King's shoulder on the obverse, rim cud above N on IND on obverse.

Great Britain

1864 Florin

Blob on top left serif of N of TENTH on reverse.

1905 Half crown

Slightly bent I in QUI on the reverse.


Coins in third-party grader holders should also be viewed with suspicion as fake holders are also known. Slabs with the below numbers have been known to contain fakes.

Company Number Coin
PCGS 13300247 Australia 1934-1934 Centenary Florin
PCGS 13617550 Australia 1925 Penny
PCGS 14303288 Australia 1934-1934 Centenary Florin
PCGS 14721585 Australia 1946 Penny