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Denial Not Smart with Fakes Around
By Daniel Zepeda Sr., Numismatic News
November 12, 2013

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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Reading the article by John H. Tucker concerning fake coins made me want to share my experience.

I recently wrote a letter about my being sold a bunch of coins that turned out fake. I just wanted to add to the story that while I had already filed a complaint with the local police against the individual who sold me the fake coins, the same individual called a friend of mine wanting to sell him some coins.

I had previously warned my friend and had shared the name of the crook with him. So we set up a sting operation and had the crook come by to my friend’s place to sell him some coins. This time the crook was selling fake $20 gold coins and fake Morgan and Peace dollars.

We had notified county police since my friend’s place was outside the city limits and told the police what was happening. Well, to make a long story short, the crook showed up with fake gold coins and fake silver dollars, which we determined by acid test, and the county police also showed up.

To our surprise the county police officer did not arrest the man but let him go with over 200 pieces of fake coins. The reason he gave us was that we were not trained licensed buyers, and he didn’t know how to tell the difference between real and fake coins.

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The county officer checked to see if the man had a warrant for his arrest since I told him I had filed, but the search showed no outstanding warrants. The kicker to this story is that the warrant for the man’s arrest had not been processed. A local silver buyer had convinced the officer I had made a mistake and the coins were not fake. Unbelievable, but true story.

I had to meet with the local police officer again and he had me go to the silver buyer and show him the fake coins and I did. The local silver buyer then proceeded to lecture me as to why the coins were real. I stopped him, (although tempted to sell him the fake coins to make a point but I didn’t) and told him I had acid tested them and had cut one proving them to be fake. Needless to say the shop owner was embarrassed as coin after coin he acid tested turned turquoise. And when he cut one he couldn’t believe the amount of copper or bronze he exposed.

The moral of this story is that fakes are out there now more prevalent than ever before. Please if you are buying silver or gold coins make sure that you know how to recognize fakes.

I was fooled once and shame on the crook, but shame on me if I get fooled again. Buy from a reputable source and save yourself a lot of heartache. I’m on limited income and the scam really set me back. It hurt!

This “Viewpoint” was written by Daniel Zepeda Sr. of Clute, Texas.

Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects. To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send email to

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