Howard Daniel submitted these thoughts on fakes in numismatics. Thanks!
The item The Place of Fakes in Numismatics, by Michael Fazzari, was of great interest to me. When I read about "fakes," I have to read more to find which one of my three categories are the pieces. A counterfeit/fake is considered by me to be something made while the piece was in circulation. A replica is made after the piece was in circulation, and a fantasy is something that never existed as an authentic piece and made to mostly fool tourists and unknowledgeable collectors.
I have paid some good money for contemporary counterfeits/fakes, but I limit myself to $5 or a little over their intrinsic value for the few replicas and fantasies I need to educate other numismatists.
One of my personal tasks in Southeast Asian numismatics is to eliminate the replicas and fantasy pieces from the marketplace. I do believe contemporary counterfeits/fakes are collectible and I am always looking for them. But the replicas made after the original was circulating are not of interest to me except for a few for teaching other collectors about them. I include all of the Chinese fakes of Southeast Asian pieces in the category of replicas. The Chinese also make a few fantasy pieces but most for Southeast Asia, I have found were made by local sources to sell to tourists.
I am one of the "experts" for eBay and regularly review my countries for them and give them an opinion on them. When I discover a piece that is not accurately described on my own, I contact the seller first. About 50% are interested in knowing the truth about their piece, but the other 50% do not care and just want to sell it at a profit. You should see my emails from the latter sellers!
Michael is one of the good guys in numismatics and is doing excellent work for numismatics. If you can assist him in any way, please forward your questionable piece(s) to him.
Joe Boling adds:
On the subject of collecting fakes, the big problem with collecting them while they are fresh is that you end up supporting the market for the fakers. I have paid high prices for fakes on eBay (not being offered as fakes, of course) so that I could have them for my teaching set. When I then publicize them, I am asked why I am helping to create a demand for them. It's a tough question - I have no satisfactory reply, except that I do it to help others learn from them.
Incidentally, when eBay is included in the group I am informing about them, eBay could not care less.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
THE PLACE OF FAKES IN NUMISMATICS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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