There's no end to news in the hobby press about Chinese counterfeits of coins, but the story makes the mainstream press far less frequently. Here's an article about a recent seizure in Chicago.
U.S. Customs agents this week seized a shipment of counterfeit money shipped in from China -- not fake 20s, 50s or 100s, but fake 19th century coins made to look like U.S. silver money that was circulated widely in China.
The fake coins likely were meant to take advantage of renewed interest in coins made from precious metals. The shipment is among the first from China that federal agents in Chicago have come across, authorities said.
The shipment of coins arrived in Chicago via the mail and was stopped by U.S. Customs agents after they found an "anomaly" when a heavy package being sent to an Illinois resident was X-rayed, according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
When officers opened the package, they found 361 coins made to look like Trade Dollar coins dated between 1873 and 1878, the years the Trade Dollar was minted to take advantage of high demand in China for silver coins.
Some authentic Trade Dollars can fetch as much as $2,000 each on the collecting market, according to the news release.
Customs officers sent a sample coin to the agency's Chicago laboratory for analysis, and the lab found the coins were not silver, but brass with a thin silver-plate, according to the news release.
The man the coins were supposed to be going to contacted Customs asking about his shipment when he noticed that it had not been delivered on time, saying he was going to sell the coins on an auction website. But when the lab results came back on Tuesday, Customs seized the shipment.
The find of the fake coins is unusual, Chicago-based Customs spokesman Brian Bell said today.
"This is actually one of the first ones that we've seen in Chicago, and we've put word out to our other stations to be on the lookout for them," Bell said.
To read the complete article, see:
Fake 19th century coins seized at O'Hare
Wayne Homren, Editor
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