Friday, February 7, 2014

19. 1955 Hi Ho Silver

We have gone over the relative scarcity of the various colors that have shown up in 1955. Most agree that the silver and gold colors are the rarest of all. While several gold coins have showed up in the past decade, the only silver coin that has showed up for sale has been the Berra silver that was recently auctioned as part of the Drier collection last year and is now being auctioned again by McAvoy for several thousand dollars.

A few weeks ago a silver Gilliam showed up for auction. Not only was it a Gilliam, but it was a Gilliam tight, L-R, the rarest of the 3 Gilliam variations.

Close inspection of the picture provided showed several notches on the front rim of the coin and something seemed un-natural about the bright color of the coin.

I made contact with the owner of the coin and she sent it to me for verification. Below are some close up photos I took of he coin. While the coin itself seems to be authentic, close inspection shows that in fact it is a navy blue Gilliam tight L-R that has been recently spray painted silver. I can actually see some of he navy blue color showing in the 3rd notch (near the AM in GilliAM..
The back of the coin also shows a partial finger print that could have been formed by picking up the coin by the edge while it was still tacky (right side of Dodgers). So unfortunately, for the owner, I think this is a fake. I informed the owner, who I don't think was responsible for this fake, since she would not have sent it to me for authentication if she was trying to pull a fast one on potential buyers.
Since this coin would have probably sold for over $1000 if real, it is an example for all of us that we better be careful when we are contemplating bidding such rare colored coins !