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There are a number of reasons why someone may choose to alter a coin. Among the more obvious reasons are:-
One simple way to produce a passable counterfeit coin is to alter a common genuine coin so that it appears to be a rare genuine coin. Examples of this would be to change the date of an 1862 British penny to 1869, a forgery we saw many years ago.
In the wake of 9/11, at least one company started altering genuine US coins, and adding a coloured enamelled reminder of the World Trade Centre and 9/11.
Coins have been overstamped in the past with advertising slogans or logos.
We have seen many coins over the years where some artist has, probably for his own amusement, drawn a hat on the monarch's head, or a pipe in his or her mouth.
As with the last category, these coins may have been altered primarily for the owner's own amusement, but with a humourous theme to amuse others, including coin collectors.
In this category, we would include a coin we acquired about 40 years ago, and which came to light again recently, an altered US 1847 cent, but please only view this page if you are broadminded!
It is often illegal to alter coins, but the laws are different in different countries, and any offence may depend on the nature of the alteration and the intention of the person making the alteration.
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