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Coin Doctors

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There is a thread across the street concerning coin doctors that I've found extremely disturbing:




What methods of detection does NGC employ to prevent or minimize the problems associated with doctored coins?


What is NGC's policy regarding known coin doctors?


What steps is NGC prepared to take to rid numismatics of this blight?


Please be as specific as possible.





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NGC utilizes non-destructive methods in order to determine whether, in its opinion, a coin has been "doctored" or not. Doctoring will generally be in reference to those coins that have substances added or added toning in order to enhance their appearance. In other words, to make the coin appear better than it is. Doctoring can range from the subtle application of milky substances on Morgan Dollars to hide contact marks to the gross manipulation of proof surfaces in an effort to remove degrading hairlines. In certain cases, doctoring can be quite difficult to detect, and as such, NGC must lean on its own experiences and expertise to make its most informed decision.


The term doctored can be subjective. NGC believes that it possesses the best expertise to detect, and therefore, deter these problems from getting into the marketplace.


The NGC policy regarding coins, that we suspect, in our opinion of being doctored, is obviously to not certify these coins. However, to stop doctoring entirely is near impossible. There will always be those individuals who will try to benefit themselves by harming others with their tactics. As such, NGC has held original submitters accountable in certain instances where a doctored coin escapes our detection. NGC also makes it clear that known doctors, or where it has been determined that a submitter has a high frequency rate of submitting doctored coins will be, and in fact has been, removed from the rolls of our Authorized Dealership or Society membership.


By staying in the forefront of certification as well as being deeply involved in the numismatic community, NGC strives to thwart those who would deceive while maintaining the highest quality product in its holder. NGC invites and encourages anyone that has specific information about individuals who are deceptively altering coins to submit that information to us anonymously.


Rick Montgomery



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