1809 Capped Bust Dime - what was your best coin find that turned out to be counterfeit?

Ocean7

Bronze Member
Apr 15, 2004
1,635
1,085
SE, PA
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
Minelab Equinox 800
Minelab Explorer II
Garrett MASTER HUNTER 7
Garrett ADS DEEPSEEKER
Compass X100
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
Almost a decade ago, I found a 1809 Capped Bust Dime where I had found Spanish reales and colonial coppers. I was so excited by finding a key date dime that was actually this old. It looked like it was dropped not long after minted to me but had some funny marks or bubbles that on it. I thought well perhaps it was in a fire.

Anyway, I sent in to a company to be graded and they returned to me with simply a response 'cannot grade'. I wondered why but had to conclude it was counterfeit.
Then I wondered how does a counterfeit dime such as this find it way to where I found it? The more I looked at it, the more puzzled I became. How did someone back in those days counterfeit a dime to look so real? Upon final analysis, I decided it looked more like aluminum than silver and scrap the idea it was just in a fire. Then the question came to me - did they even have aluminum back in 1809? I don't think so. But another strange thing happened when I did research the metal.

"The story of aluminum’s history of use in the U.S. now stretches over 100 years. The start was a modest one, however. Because of the complexities of refining aluminum from ore, aluminum was considered more rare and precious than gold or silver through most of the 19th century. A pure form of the metal was first successfully extracted from ore in 1825 by Danish chemist Hans-Christian. Techniques to produce aluminum in ways modestly cost-effective emerged in 1889."
source: History of Aluminum

So it's obvious counterfeit. Has anyone else ever dug such a coin that you were thrilled about only to find it is a modern day counterfeit? I like to believe that someone in the 1800's used material that was more precious than gold or silver to make this coin, but somehow that really doesn't make much sense to me. Then I have to say thanks to whoever did bury this coin where I was repeatedly metal detecting - you gave me a real thrill. :)
 

Attachments

  • 1809 Capped Bust Dime  - 091.jpg
    1809 Capped Bust Dime - 091.jpg
    17.5 KB · Views: 31
  • 1809 Capped Bust Dime  - 095.jpg
    1809 Capped Bust Dime - 095.jpg
    16.2 KB · Views: 31
Last edited:

TORRERO

Bronze Member
Nov 17, 2004
1,045
59
NC
Detector(s) used
XP DEUS, MINELAB, WHITES, TESORO
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
Almost a decade ago, I found a 1809 Capped Bust Dime where I had found Spanish reales and colonial coppers. I was so excited by finding a key date dime that was actually this old. It looked like it was dropped not long after minted to me but had some funny marks or bubbles that on it. I thought well perhaps it was in a fire.

Anyway, I sent in to a company to be graded and they returned to me with simply a response 'cannot grade'. I wondered why but had to conclude it was counterfeit.
Then I wondered how does a counterfeit dime such as this find it way to where I found it? The more I looked at it, the more puzzled I became. How did someone back in those days counterfeit a dime to look so real? Upon final analysis, I decided it looked more like aluminum than silver and scrap the idea it was just in a fire. Then the question came to me - did they even have aluminum back in 1809? I don't think so. But another strange thing happened when I did research the metal.

"The story of aluminum’s history of use in the U.S. now stretches over 100 years. The start was a modest one, however. Because of the complexities of refining aluminum from ore, aluminum was considered more rare and precious than gold or silver through most of the 19th century. A pure form of the metal was first successfully extracted from ore in 1825 by Danish chemist Hans-Christian. Techniques to produce aluminum in ways modestly cost-effective emerged in 1889."
source: History of Aluminum

So it's obvious counterfeit. Has anyone else ever dug such a coin that you were thrilled about only to find it is a modern day counterfeit? I like to believe that someone in the 1800's used material that was more precious than gold or silver to make this coin, but somehow that really doesn't make much sense to me. Then I have to say thanks to whoever did bury this coin where I was repeatedly metal detecting - you gave me a real thrill. :)
Years ago I found a standing liberty quarter in Charleston South Carolina made out of lead, looked really funny, white like, but lead is silvery when new.. today you wouldn’t want to counterfeit anything but 20s or 50s or 100s but maybe a dime was worth it back in 1810ish
 
OP
Ocean7

Ocean7

Bronze Member
Apr 15, 2004
1,635
1,085
SE, PA
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
Minelab Equinox 800
Minelab Explorer II
Garrett MASTER HUNTER 7
Garrett ADS DEEPSEEKER
Compass X100
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Years ago I found a standing liberty quarter in Charleston South Carolina made out of lead, looked really funny, white like, but lead is silvery when new.. today you wouldn’t want to counterfeit anything but 20s or 50s or 100s but maybe a dime was worth it back in 1810ish
yeah I guess that is true. I found the exact weight and diameter - I'll check the obvious.
Weight: 2.7g
ASW: 0.0774oz
Diameter: 18.8mm
Edge: Reeded

My one hunting buddy had a 1809 - so here they are side by side.
Thanks.
 

Attachments

  • 213.jpg
    213.jpg
    12.4 KB · Views: 30
  • 214.jpg
    214.jpg
    13.4 KB · Views: 33
OP
Ocean7

Ocean7

Bronze Member
Apr 15, 2004
1,635
1,085
SE, PA
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
Minelab Equinox 800
Minelab Explorer II
Garrett MASTER HUNTER 7
Garrett ADS DEEPSEEKER
Compass X100
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
well mine is reeded, and Diameter is 17.5mm. Weight on postal scale I have is 0.00 grams.
Not magnetic. Must be aluminum. Bogus.
 

ColonelDan

Hero Member
Jan 19, 2014
948
1,999
Central Florida
🥇 Banner finds
1
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
Deus II, EQX 800
Primary Interest:
Beach & Shallow Water Hunting
I have a standing liberty quarter that's made of lead. It's been in my family for many years as an oddity. I always wondered why someone would go to such lengths for a mere 25 cents?!?
 

FreeBirdTim

Silver Member
Sep 24, 2013
3,543
6,149
Scituate, RI
🥇 Banner finds
1
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I've found a few 1700's King George coppers that are probably counterfeit, but they're contemporary counterfeits and still have some value.

Your capped bust dime looks to be a pretty good forgery. I wonder how they minted it?
 
OP
Ocean7

Ocean7

Bronze Member
Apr 15, 2004
1,635
1,085
SE, PA
🏆 Honorable Mentions:
1
Detector(s) used
Minelab Equinox 800
Minelab Explorer II
Garrett MASTER HUNTER 7
Garrett ADS DEEPSEEKER
Compass X100
Primary Interest:
Metal Detecting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
I've found a few 1700's King George coppers that are probably counterfeit, but they're contemporary counterfeits and still have some value.

Your capped bust dime looks to be a pretty good forgery. I wonder how they minted it?
well I've been investigating that topic and I found this:
Inside a Chinese Coin Counterfeiting Ring

I agree - it fooled me it looked so good. I suppose aluminum is easier to use but still then to dig up where you're finding colonial coppers and a few Spanish reales is really weird!
 

Top Member Reactions

Users who are viewing this thread

Steve's Detector Rods
Top