Irish Coinage


Fake 1941 Farthings


Fake 1941 Farthings



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2010 - Copyright
Version 1.17a
23 June 2010


Recently I have seen several examples of fake 1941 farthings.

They are struck fakes and are of good quality.  The are in exceptional condition and look like either proof strikings or very early circulation strikes.

However there are some major flaws in the design on both the obverse and reverse.

At the request of several dealers I have not placed a photo nor a list of the differences on this page - however I will list one simple diagnostic difference :

The lower wing of the woodcock on the reverse of a real Irish farthing has a blunt wing tip with three feathers - the fakes have a sharper wing tip with only two feathers extending to the tip.

The real wing tip looks like :

These fakes are very important because they are first struck fakes that we have seen of the Irish modern series.  And they are very deceptive, not because the design is good but because heretofore collectors of this series only had to look at this type of coin and assess its grade.  Typically the thought of its being a fake didn't enter into the process at all.  The only fakes that have been seen have been altered coins and not fully struck coins from false dies.

So unfortunately from 2006 onwards when looking at a nice modern Irish coin we have to consider whether it is a fake as well as assessing it condition.

I have no idea where these fakes came from, but Eastern European sources have been suggested to me.  Nor do I have any idea why such an obscure coins as a 1941 farthing was chosen.

Rather oddly a few of these coins turned up being offered at very low prices (I saw two at $15 and another at &euro7.50).  One was offered on Ebay and achieved over $500, but I understand that the sale did not complete.

Several other changed hands within the dealer community before being identified for what they were - hence my point about even experienced dealers not expecting fakes of this type in this series.