Taler 63's Blog

29 Jul 2019

Counterfeit Thalers

| Taler 63

Counterfeit Talers, and some easy ways to detect them.

Money has been counterfeited since it's inception, and Talers are no different.

Long gone are the days when a sheep would be traded for 5 bushels of grain, the good ol 2 party system.

So when a 3rd party currency is the law of the land, there will always be counterfeiting, because most people do not want to work for a 3rd party manipulator.

So one of the first things to understand is the old adage, " if it seems too good to be true, it is! "

The current 40 dollar variety that is offered on E-bay are all counterfeit

They can be bought directly from China at less than 3 dollar each, and I have 20 or so that I knowingly purchased for use as an educational tool.

These type of offerings will often evade the scrutiny of E-bay, by simply describing them as, collector coins, silvered ( not silver ) " Pictured " or some other reason that they do not know what it is.

The web is where they are being offered, the web is knowledge, and they do know what it is!

When you get a collector coin from China is in hand, you will always be able to rub off the blackish color, and the coin weight will always be off. And once you know what to look for as far as the color goes, you will be able to see them from across the room. Some times you can even see the hue of the brass that they are actually made of.

You have to remember that the mentality commerce is to not pay too much for this muffler! Remember the old Midas commercial ?

Talers were minted at the 28 gram scale. ( Generally 90 % silver + 10 % copper ) The mixture makes for a more durable coin. Having a heavier coin meant that you were giving away free silver, and having a lighter coin meant that it would be rejected as an exchange medium by the world market place.

So the metal mixture was melted and poured into sheet molds of a precise thickness. Next the plates would be cut by either stamping out the blanks, or under siege conditions, generally cut square. Once the dies struck the coin, it would be weighed, and edge filed to make weight.

And that is where you will find another way to detect counterfeit coins today. All of the ones that I have seen coming out of China have a very nice, smooth 3rd edge. A further impossibility for any 4-500 year old coin.

The weight challenge is obvious, if it is not a certain diameter, X a certain thickness, made of coin silver, and it does not meet the weight calculations of any easily found online chart, then it's counterfeit. Thalers are generally 40 - 42 mm Dia, and 2.5 mm thick, and flirt around the 28 grams in weight. There are larger Diameter coins, and thinner ones as well.

Another great test is the magnetic slide test.


A slight variation is that I use is a strong magnet ( the ones I take off an old motorcycle tank bag are about the size of a quarter ) and place it directly on the coin in question, as it lays flat on the table.

Picking up one side of the coin, and keeping the other side on the table, I get to the angle where the magnet will slide off the coin.

On silver Talers, the magnet will travel slowly across the face of the coin as if it were traveling through some syrup. On fake ( silver plated Brass ) examples, the magnet will quickly slide off.

My version of this test allows me the ease of taking my magnetic test to any coin show, and because I do not need to set up the slide, or the pendulum, I can more quickly make a decision about the validity of the coins in question.

Knowledge is Power

KeithTaler 63


The ease which you can buy this stuff on eBay is scary. As long as you know what you're getting. I feel sorry for the ignorant or novice collector. I occasionally pick up stuff like this for education/comparison. Sometimes it helps to see how good the fakes are getting.


Level 6

Great info. Personally, I stay away from eBay. I frequent the VAMWorld web site. They have a forum section entitled "Ebuyer beware". It is, as of today, 40 pages long. That is mostly fake Morgans and some Peace dollars. They find them, tell us and eBay. eBay normally takes them down. Maybe a Thaler site can work out a similar deal. You MUST check the feedback and return policy. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

It's Mokie

Level 6

It's amazing the number of different coin copies the Chinese produce. Luckily, as you point out, most are easily identified. TH for a n interesting blog, I might have to buy one of those $3 Talers.

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