Altered Dates

Altered Dates:

In some cases, the date logotype (the raised four digit date that is raised above a coin's surface) of a coin is altered through the addition or removal of metal, to change the date to make it appear more valuable.

Perhaps the Number One example of this is a 1944-D Lincoln Cent having part of the first 4 scraped off to make it look like a 1914-D.  This attempt is particularly futile in most cases, as these are easily diagnosed as a fake.  This is because: 1) the large space that shows up between the 9 and the "1", much wider than normal; 2) the shape of the digits in the two dates is different, if you know where to look; and 3) the 1944-D has the "VDB" initials on Lincoln's shoulder, whereas the 1914-D does not (these are sometimes removed to help hid this alteration).  Mostly, I think that this alteration was done on the spur of the moment by a collector wanting to fill that last pesky hole, rather than in order to fool anyone down the line.  However crude, this one can catch an unsuspecting beginner, just the same.  The example below is better than most because the coin has the look and color of an "original" (uncleaned) coin, obviously because the alteration was done long ago.  This MIGHT fool someone if they were in a hurry and di not take the time to look at the coin with care.


The example shown here is a good example of what to look for - the removal was done crudely, and the coin was then cleaned.  A giveaway here is that the coin was more heavily cleaned on the right hand side, the side where the date and mintmark are.


There certainly are likely as many altered dates nearly as there are dates to alter, whether through boredom or trying to fill a hole, as I have a 1948-D Cent altered to 1918-D, a 1940-S Cent altered to 1910-S, a 1941-S Jefferson Nickel altered to 1911-S (!?), a 1942 Walking Liberty Half altered to 1912, and a few others.

The images below show a purported 1877 Indian Cent, with the date crudely modified from an 1871 or 1872 as my guess.  This should not fool anyone other than a beginner today, but might have been more damgerous in the 1950's-60's.