How to Detect a Counterfeit 1796 Draped Bust Silver Dollar Coin

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The 1796 Draped Bust is a highly valuable coin made of a little more than 1 ounce of solid silver. As of 2011, the coin can be sold for over $1000 in good condition. When something becomes a collector's item, you can almost guarantee that counterfeits of that item will start to rear their ugly heads on the marketplace. This goes for comic books, out-of-print books and especially rare coins. Before you shell out your hard-earned money on a 1796 Draped Bust coin, you'll want to make sure you're looking at an actual coin and not a replica.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape Measure
  • Use a tape measure to find the diameter of the 1796 Draped Bust coin. From one side of the coin to the other (with the tape measure passing across the center of the coin), the diameter should be between 39 and 40 millimeters. If the coin you are holding is any larger or smaller in diameter than these dimensions, it is a counterfeit 1796 Draped Bust coin.

  • Examine the edges of the coin. Written around the edges should be the words "Hundred Cents One Dollar or Unit." Because counterfeit coins are manufactured very cheaply, they often have designs on the front and back of the coin but not the edges. If no markings whatsoever are present on the edges of your coin, it is not a genuine 1796 Draped Bust coin.

  • Compare the coin you are thinking of buying to images of a genuine 1796 Draped Bust coin. Counterfeit coins feature the same general design but are noticeably different when it comes to the details. For example, the year marker is larger and the image of the woman on the face of the coin is thinner on counterfeit coins.

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