Submissions & Donations

If you have discovered or suspect you might have found a fake “in the wild” and would like to have it added to The Black Cabinet, you can do so in one of three ways:

1) Donate It

Specimens donated to The Black Cabinet are attributed and cataloged online with their own information page, and are then removed permanently from circulation. If it’s a new variety of counterfeit, you will be given identifier credit on its profile.

Specimens where inauthenticity cannot be established are returned in the same condition they are received whether they are designated for donation or not.

Counterfeit Donation Form (2015-01-30)

Please email for more information.

2) Submit it Digitally

Email with the following:

  • 1024×1024 pictures of the obverse and reverse in JPEG format. (The coin must be centered and span the full width of the image.)
  • Weight in grams.
  • Diameter in millimeters.
  • Thickness in millimeters.
  • Is it magnetic? (yes/no)
  • Is it diamagnetic? (yes/no; plus how strong the reaction is compared to a genuine coin)
  • Does it have a proper ring when flipped? (correct/too high/too low; compared to a genuine coin)

Please keep your requests to one coin at a time and please do not submit another request while you have one pending.

These are processed as time permits, and will be designated as “Unexamined” (“UX”) in their profiles.

3) Have it Attributed and Certified

Like having VAMs or other varieties attributed, Certified Attribution requires that the coin in question is mailed in and physically inspected. It is then subsequently returned with a photo certificate outlining its variety. The Certified Attribution fee schedule is as follows (based on the counterfeit in question’s declared worth):

or less
or less
or less
or less
or > 20 coins
$5/coin $7/coin $10/coin $25/coin Email in.

(These prices are based upon your declared value of each coin. The only additional cost is return shipping.)

The battery of tests used to establish inauthenticity are inert, unintrusive and do not damage coin surfaces in any way.

If you would like to have your counterfeit attributions certified, you can download the Attribution form here:

Counterfeit Attribution Form (2015-01-30)

Please be sure to email for more information.

New Varieties

If it is a new variety, you will be given Identifier credit on its entry page.

ID Numbers

The ID numbering system employed on The Black Cabinet works as follows:

For counterfeit coins:

CF-[denomination]-[year+mintmark]-[id number]

For altered coins:

AC-[denomination]-[over-struck or altered to year and mint mark]=[original year and mint mark]-[id number]

Or, in cases where the date or mint mark is not the portion that is altered:

AC-[denomination]-[year and mint mark]-[id number]

For counterfeit slabs:

CS-[denomination]-[year and mint mark]-[grader acronym]-[holder id number]-[id number]


Sometimes different varieties of the same counterfeit exist. These will be represented by two letters on the end of a designation, each of which indicates a die pairing. The first variety listed is assumed to be “aa”, which is usually not written, and if both letters are the same they may be written only once.

Example: 0001 = 0001a = 0001aa

Example: CF-S$1-1903CC-0001ab = Obverse of CF-S$1-1903CC-0001 with second reverse variety.

ID Designation: “Unexamined” or “UX”

The designation “Unexamined” (or “UX”) at the end of an ID number merely indicates that the piece in question is — through some obvious or unmistakable means — confirmed to be a counterfeit, but was not physically examined by The Black Cabinet’s team. This designation will be removed once a specimen of this type is examined first-hand.

Example: CF-S$1-1903CC-0001:UX

We’re using the :UX designation less and less nowadays as we’re tracking population reports in The Black Cabinet’s stacks.

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