MORGAN SILVER DOLLARS (1878-1921)
Ebay ought to be the dictionary definition for corporate subsidized fraud. The trouble I've had with Ebay is beyond belief.
Over 2 weeks ago I had ordered a notebook SATA drive kit. I made sure the seller had good feedback. Over a week later I had received nothing. The seller FORGOT to ship! And then has the nerve to ship 1st class, KNOWING that I really need the kit.
I've bid and PAID for items just to get feedback and then Ebay then cancelled the listings. I'm out my money and got no feedback.
The Ebay customer service seems to be entirely computerized.
I will start a new topic at the forum here just about my Ebay experiences and to give feedback MY way.
With all the hype about investing in gold and silver, I found this article about Chinese fake coins very interesting:
February 27, 2009
by Brian Harring
With the collapsing American economy, many Americans are rushing to invest in gold; either coins or bar, and also silver. One of the most popular forms of this investment are American coins. Where there is a need, there is always someone to fill it and in this case, the filling consists of the massive counterfeiting of gold coins, silver coins, and even Swiss gold bars in China.
Initially, it appeared they were only faking Morgan dollars, but then it turned out they were also making $20 Liberty, and Indian Head gold $2.50, $5, and $10 coins, of all dates. Evidently, this is extremely easy with today's computer-and-laser-die-cutting technology, and the fakes are being die-struck in vast quantities, not cast, and visually at least, are superb copies.
General appearance aside, it is very easy it is to spot fakes - just with a scale reading to 1/00th of a gram, and a table of the correct weights and sizes of the coins or bars they are buying. (In the case of large-size bargold, unless buying from the manufacturer or a reputable bank, the serial numbers need to be verified, so that one does not buy a Chinese bar with a lead or mercury core)
Herewith a listing of what I have uncovered so far:
1; The U.S .Morgan silver dollar. All dates and all mint marks;
2: The U.S. gold coins viz the $2.50, $5.00 and $10.00 Indian head issues
3. The U.S. copper penny viz 1909 S vdb
4. Three gold Imperial Russian roubles from the reign of Nicholas II
5. A gold 20 franc coin with the head of Napoleon I on the obverse
6. The South African Krugerrand
7. British sovereigns and half sovereigns of different monarchs and dates
And in addition, they are also making fake gold bars from the Credit Suisse people.
It was always considered that numismatics as a relatively fraud-free area of collecting, but it appears that a coin collector today has to carry a digital scale around. This doesn't affect me very much, but I too have wondered at the sudden appearance of all the Morgan dollars. Fortunately, the ones I have came down to me from my grandfather, and I'll be very careful picking up individual pieces that fill blanks.
As for Krugerands and similar gold pieces that are traded for bullion prices, it is obvious that the Chinese have lowered the purity and thus debase the value; otherwise, a fake Krug would have as much gold as a real one.
If you're into coins, you obviously want to read this entire article. Not only am I in no financial position to invest, but I don't believe in the value of gold or silver other than that it can be pretty.
Here's the excerpt about the coin Ebay fraud:
While many of these fake coins are widely advertised in the American print and television media, many are also sold on eBay. These single-coin auctions are usually listed with a starting price of 5 or 10 cents, and they usually close around those prices when the swindler gets a buyer.
These fake coins cost the Chinese about 50 cents to make but the swindlers make most of their profit from the shipping expense they collect from their victims. This is a common practice with China-based sellers on eBay. They sell the counterfeit item very cheaply, but then charge as much as $70 or more for shipping.
Doing this serves two useful functions. First, their Final Value Fee expense is minimal, since eBay bases this fee on the auction's closing price. Secondly, if an item is returned to the seller for some reason, the buyer can only recover that minimal bid amount since shipping and handling is typically nonrefundable.