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Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing, Baby (Part 3, Ignorance Breeds Imitation)

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Fenntucky Mike

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"Pop quiz hotshot". How many of these notes are authentic?

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Before you answer I'll give you a couple of hints, areas that I look at when first viewing a 50 Shahiv note.

Front:

It goes without saying that we are looking for detail, as would be the norm for officially produced notes, and consistency but there are two areas, or design elements, that are typically dead giveaways with these. One is the diamond matrix surrounding the denomination inside of the wreath. The matrix on authentic notes is sharp, with clear separation between diamonds, the space between the wreath and denomination is fully utilized, save for uniform spacing between the diamond matrix and the denomination and wreath. The diamonds will be uniform, although not necessarily "perfect", the lines of the matrix will be straight, unbroken and all of the same thickness, the design will be "square" to the perforated edges of the paper with the inking being consistent over the entire design. The matrix can be difficult to identify as diamonds on authentic notes, especially if heavily inked, but even if over-inking has rounded the diamonds into ovals or circles on an authentic 50 Shahiv note, the other identifiers will hold true. On counterfeits the matrix is often random with inconsistent diamond sizes within the matrix and often the diamonds appear as varying sized circles. The spacing and line thicknesses will be lost to an amateurish attempt at reproduction. 

The next design element that I look at is the "Tic-Tac-Toe" grid in the four corners outside of the wreath. We are looking for many of the same things as with the diamond matrix, sharpness, separation, utilization, and spacing. This area of the note is often met with a feeble attempt at reproduction, more often than not (on counterfeits) this design element appears as random blobs, of what appears to be an attempt at a continuation of the floral design from the wreath. On authentic notes the grid will be sharp with even spacing and line thickness, separation between the outer boarder and wreath, the noughts and crosses will be clearly defined and easily identifiable under 5x magnification. Those of you with better eyesight will be able to see the design in hand, not me. xD On authentic notes the grid, noughts, and crosses may not be uniform throughout the design but will be identifiable and have a level of detail and craftsmanship not found on counterfeits. Remember, these are anticounterfeiting features designed into the note, so as to be difficult to reproduce. Even for the engraver. lol The "blank" squares in the grid will (should) have a single dot in them, this can oftentimes be missing, sporadic, extremely faint or worn off from circulation due to the miniscule size of the dot and as such is not a deal breaker as long as all other aspects of the design are present. Notes with the dot clearly visible are of the highest printing quality, typically, and something I look for in prime examples. If one were to compare a counterfeit to an authentic note you will, most likely, notice other things that seem off with the design, one could identify a counterfeit in that manner but looking at the diamond matrix and "Tic-Tac-Toe" grids are the easiest and quickest identifiers in my opinion. 

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Back:

The boarder is the fist thing to look at on the back as counterfeits are often lacking in this department and it is a quick identifier. The boarder should be clean, the line/s making up the boarder should be a consistent thickness, the vertical and horizontal lines parallel to one another, the corners should form right angles, it should be well aligned and parallel with the perforations/edge of the note, and any general sloppiness or varying of the boarder is a red flag. Centering on authentic notes is typically not great and as such should not be used as a identifier. 

The Tryzub should have a level of detail to it, if split in half the left and right should mirror each other perfectly, or very close to it.  Again, any general sloppiness or lack of detail here is a warning sign. Interestingly enough, all the counterfeits I have viewed are of the large Tryzub - small text variety.... hm 

The text should be level as if written on lined writing paper, the font should be consistent with no variation in sizing, the spacing between letters should not vary along with the vertical spacing between words. Counterfeits often have poorly spaced and sized text, on occasion the text will be illegible. 

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These notes were very heavily counterfeited, and I have at least a dozen or so in my collection. Being able to identify a counterfeit is important when assembling a set of Shahiv notes, especially when dealing with the 50 Shahiv denomination. 

So, any guesses as to how many of the six notes from my collection are counterfeits?

More reading on the 50 Shahiv note below, along with the all Shahiv notes in general. Hmm, quite a bit of material there. I might have to go back and compile everything into a comprehensive document one day. hm Maybe. (shrug)

 

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4 Comments


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Very detailed study - you should definitely put together the future 'reference' (thumbsu The challenge may be getting auction houses to adopt the findings!

So I guess that none of them are authentic, possibly one - if this is wrong I claim that it is late here and I have enough trouble reading a small screen anyway :nyah:

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On 5/7/2022 at 6:33 PM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

So I guess that none of them are authentic, possibly one - if this is wrong I claim that it is late here and I have enough trouble reading a small screen anyway :nyah:

You are absolutely correct my friend, all 6 of the notes posted are contemporary counterfeits. :banana: ^^ :banana: 

Which one did you feel was the most authentic looking? 

On 5/7/2022 at 6:33 PM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

Very detailed study - you should definitely put together the future 'reference' (thumbsu The challenge may be getting auction houses to adopt the findings!

Thanks! The biggest challenge will be me actually doing anything and/or finishing it. I'm a terrible procrastinator and LOVE starting new projects before finishing what's at hand.  lol

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On 5/8/2022 at 2:08 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

Which one did you feel was the most authentic looking?

No. 5, but the top corners didn't look correct.

 

On 5/8/2022 at 2:08 PM, Fenntucky Mike said:

Thanks! The biggest challenge will be me actually doing anything and/or finishing it. I'm a terrible procrastinator and LOVE starting new projects before finishing what's at hand.  lol

SNAP! but my meds are starting to work now xD

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On 5/9/2022 at 2:18 AM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

No. 5, but the top corners didn't look correct.

Yeah, 5 & 6 are the most convincing IMO. I think 6 is the better of the two but. (shrug)

On 5/9/2022 at 2:18 AM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

SNAP! but my meds are starting to work now xD

:roflmao:

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