2010 - Copyright
23 June 2010
Recently I have seen several examples of fake 1941
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
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.