The second “Bad Metal” book will be ready for fall release


The second in a planned four-book series on the circulation of contemporary U.S. counterfeit currency covers silver denominations ranging from 3-cent coins to quarter dollars. Bad metal, silver 3cS to 25c will be available for purchase in the fall.

By contemporary counterfeit researcher and expert Winston Zack of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the first volume in the series, Bad metal, copper and nickel, was published in 2019 and won a 2020 Numismatic Literary Guild award.

The new book is over 250 pages with many professional color illustrations. The book documents “more than 240 struck counterfeits” and “dozens” of cast counterfeits of silver 3-cent, half-dime, dime, 20-cent, and quarter-dollar coins “of the Bust, Seated, Barber, Renaissance , and Presidential series,” from 1794 to the turn of the 20th century, according to a press release announcing the book’s upcoming publication.

The range of topics covered includes the surprisingly widespread counterfeiting of silver 3-cent coins to 21st century efforts to counterfeit Washington quarter dollars. The book covers minted and cast counterfeits and provides a quick attribution guide. Information on families of related counterfeit varieties is also included, “with close-up pictures of collection points”.

The series is the culmination of more than eight years of research.

Zack explained his interest in a telephone interview: “I was drawn to the idea of ​​doing mostly original research in a competitive arena of US coin exchanges. The challenge of solving and trying to solve this vast, complex and often mysterious subject added to its overall romance.

He described the research process: “It included collecting as much relevant historical written material on the subject, and much of it included newspaper articles, as well as professional photography of all documented varieties of these denominations and series. … The research also involved making a reasonable and fairly exhaustive effort to contact as many people, organizations, and institutions as possible to investigate and document counterfeit coins for this book, and I have the feeling of having succeeded beyond initial expectations.

He acknowledges that new varieties will almost certainly be discovered after publication, as was the case with the first volume of Bad Metal.

Zack was interviewed about his first book on episode 42 of the World of Coins Podcast.

The bad metal The first volume in the series was named the 2020 Best Specialized Book on the United States or Early American Coins by NLG.

An article published in the E-Sylum, the online publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society, August 4, 2019, described the importance of this book (and the series more broadly): “Until recently, intensive research on this important subject has been largely neglected by the academics. This book eclipses and unifies that earlier research, while adding in-depth original analysis, information, and documentation of these forgotten but intriguing pieces of history.

Zack shared that due to “restrictions on the publication of photographs from certain collections and institutions”, only 500 copies of Bad Metal Silver will be printed, half as much as bad metal copper and nickel.

Interested readers can learn more and order Bad silver metal, 3cS to 25c at the author’s website,

Bad silver metal, 3cS to 25c can be pre-ordered for $70; those who place pre-orders will receive an individually signed and numbered copy. Regular orders are priced at $100.

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