The Omega Man Counterfeiter
This article is an interesting one. It is about a counterfeiter of coins named after his trademark, an omega sign. In this article, I will tell of the history of this counterfeiter and how the symbol is placed on the coins that he makes. This is something I had never heard of until I was researching my article about counterfeit detection of the Indian Head Quarter Eagles. The most interesting part of the whole thing is that he was never caught.
The Omega Counterfeiter was amazing at making fake coins look real. They look so realistic, in fact, that if the counterfeiter hadn’t put his characteristic omega symbol hidden on the coins that he illegally replicated, not all of the coins that he made might have been distinguished from the US Mint made ones. The Omega Man Counterfeiter is famous for his 1907 Ultra High Relief Double Eagles, though he did counterfeit other coins. Another coin that this relatively famous counterfeiter made often was the 1882 Three Dollar Gold Coin. This coin is mistaken for a genuine so often that NGC put the ‘Omega Man’s’ counterfeits on the top ten most seen counterfeits of theirs. This exhibits the quality of these coins.
However good these Three Dollar Gold coins are, the ones that the ‘Omega Man’ is the most known for are his 1907 Extremely High Reliefs. He made so many of them that all of them together is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. These coins, however good they are, are one thing that will let you know whether or not your coin is genuine or not. It is the counterfeiter’s characteristic Omega symbol. It is unknown why he put this symbol on his otherwise well-made counterfeits, though it makes it much easier for us to see which are fake. The Omega symbol is very faint on these coins, and are in a few specific locations. For the 1907 coins, the symbol is in the claw of the eagle, for the Three Dollar Coin, it is in the loop of the ‘R’ in Liberty. He made some ten dollar coins, as well, and 1910, 1913 and 1926 coins of this series, the symbol is also in the Omega.
The Omega Man was a very successful counterfeiter and has made hundreds of coins, some of which have probably not been found. If you are lucky enough to own any of these coins, it is worth a check. If you do, it is a shame, though these coins still sell for a couple thousand even if they are declared fakes, for the history.
Look at my sources for the Indian Head Quarter Eagle
I apologize if I have not used many books, but my library doesn’t have many coin books, and I usually buy a coin instead of a book. I should start using the ANA library, though.