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FELLOW NUMISMATISTS SAVE OUR HOBBY posted by Dynasty

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BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE

 

Upon opening www.Amazon.com and typing in the search bar large cent, I saw no fewer than twelve counterfeits offered for sale on the first three pages. The Secretary of the Treasury permission under Title 18 Part 1 Chapter 25 code 504 can only authorize these fake copies after their producer successfully makes a case that they are unduly restricted reproductions. The problem as I see it is a weakening of the laws that boarders on counterfeiting acceptance. Just about all of the local coin shows I have visited this past year have had counterfeit examples for sale! The situation was not that bad two or three years ago.

Title 18 Part 1 Chapter 25 body 487 states: "Whoever, without lawful authority, makes any die, hub, or mold, or any part thereof, either of steel or plaster, or any die, hub, or mold designated for the coining or making of any of the genuine gold, silver, nickel, bronze, copper, or other coins coined at the mints of the United States; or Whoever, without lawful authority, possesses any such die, hub, or mold, or any part thereof, or permits the same to be used for or in aid of the counterfeiting of any such coins of the United States-Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than fifteen years, or both." (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 709; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, @ 330016(1)(K), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147)

The next part has a discriminatory title of "Minor coins", not the kind of language that our first Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton who helped form our first Mint would have used. Indeed Large cents and Half cents were the first coinage made to be circulated. The intent was to replace bartering and help those of lesser needs while eliminating a mixed nationality of then used coin. Title 18 Part 1 Chapter 25 code 490 titled Minor coins reads: "Whoever falsely makes, forges, or counterfeits any coin in the resemblance or similitude of any of the one-cent and 5-cent coins minted at the mints of the United States; or Whoever passes, utters, publishes, or sells, or brings into the United States, or possesses any such false, forged, or counterfeited coin, with intent to defraud any person, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both." (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 709; Pub. L. 98-216, @3(b)(1), Feb. 14,1984, 98 Stat. 6; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII, @330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2147.)

I liked the 15 years punishment under the first code 487. I think the 3 years under code 490 is too lenient. In any case, AMAZON and these people at the local coin shows selling counterfeits are hurting Numismatists and their collections. Counterfeited Large cents and other coins can create instability in numismatic values, incorrect believed existing quantities and consumer/hobby fraud when it comes to representation and price. Most of the AMAZON and dealer coins that are counterfeits are artificially toned with no visual label, so when they are resold it increases the likely hood of fraud.

All you have to do is go to: www.letter2congress.rallycongress.com

Type a line that says AMAZON is selling counterfeit U.S. large cent coins by Shenzhen Yuan Yu Fang Technology Co. Ltd. and it needs to stop! The first anti-counterfeiting laws were passed in 1790. Congress now as then has the power to act. Thank You

 

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Importation, manufacture, sale, distribution, etc. of counterfeit coins from any source, foreign or domestic, is in violation of the US Code, and should be punished appropriately. But in China it is legal for anything dated prior to 1949 (?).

 

Of course, when one crook sees another making big profits off "coin collectors," and finding no penalty for their actions, they will naturally increase production and distribution of counterfeit and altered US coins.

 

As for "minor coins," that terminology is common in mint documents. The silver dollars was the only "standard" silver coin; other silver was "subsidiary" and base metal coins were called "minor" or "base."

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I agree with you Dynasty- there is too much of this trash out there already, but the biggest problem is, as the quality of the finished product gets better and better, the possibilty of more of it getting into professionally graded holders. I have seen official reports of fake coins in fake holders copied from actual slabbed coins from the TPG's own online look-up. In a day and age with desktop technology this powerful, our hobby is in grave danger of scaring away all but those who can afford a special kind of insurance, one I'm sure is too expensive for most of us. Sad to think I might be forced out of my favorite hobby one day. Thanks for pushing this, you're not the first and we both know you won't be the last.

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I can think of few culprits with more blood on their hands than ebay- I report these things every time I see them but they rarely get pulled, even though they obviously break ebay's published rules. Here is one that I have reported twice so far but it is still picking up bids and if sold, will likely be used to rip off an ignorant new collector for several thousand dollars. Ebay should be sued by the federal government but I'm not counting on any of these thugs to do anything about the situation. With the Chinese using the finest laser technology to copy coins perfectly, we'll have no safety in our hobby soon, especially since they can copy both the coin and the slab to near perfection. It is time for all of us to start getting vocal. Take a look at this one:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/252661636396?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

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A very poor quality fake,

 

Touching on what Dynasty posted, I understand that the fake bar cents touched off the rant, but did he realize that NEITHER of the two laws he quoted applied to the producer of the fake bar cent? And that they also would not apply to ebay?

 

The law in this case that would apply to the fake bar cent and to ebay would be the Hobby Protection Act, and even then it would only apply if the fakes in question were made after 1973. If they were made before that then they are perfectly legal. That raises the problem of how can you tell if they were made before or after 1973? Good question, and in most cases you can't.

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It is possible that a new administration could stop this lawlessness before it gets much worse. Gross incompetence and no desire to uphold the law started in 2006 and I will not go political but if I were called for jury duty I couldn't possibly serve knowing that no justice would be delivered. Still I can see counterfeiting causing more damage before it is countered by a Secret Service offensive.

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A very poor quality fake,

 

Touching on what Dynasty posted, I understand that the fake bar cents touched off the rant, but did he realize that NEITHER of the two laws he quoted applied to the producer of the fake bar cent? And that they also would not apply to ebay?

 

The law in this case that would apply to the fake bar cent and to ebay would be the Hobby Protection Act, and even then it would only apply if the fakes in question were made after 1973. If they were made before that then they are perfectly legal. That raises the problem of how can you tell if they were made before or after 1973? Good question, and in most cases you can't.

 

not being a lawyer, I have no idea where any of this fits into the law, but what I do know is common sense, and no decent society wants lawlessness of this caliber. The coin I posted the link above for on ebay was reported a second time by me a day before the auction ended. Law wasn't my reason to request it be pulled- ebay's own published policy was, and it clearly states that copies MUST be marked or can not be listed, yet this coin was allowed to be sold against their own policy even after being reported twice in a week! That is why ebay should be sued- they post rules for use, then apply them at will depending on who is reported. That is fraud in my book and I think the law should force supercorporations who think they are above the law to follow through on their publicly stated policies so that ALL are treated equally on ebay and the honest ones aren't forced to suffer when things like this are allowed to be sold, making the venue toxic for those of us who try hard to provide a safe experience on ebay. As for the fake half eagle that sold for forty some bucks- there is absolutely no doubt that some poor ignorant sucker will pay several thousand dollars for it and not discover he has been burnt out of his hard earned money before the seller disappears with his money forever...

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It is possible that a new administration could stop this lawlessness before it gets much worse. Gross incompetence and no desire to uphold the law started in 2006 and I will not go political but if I were called for jury duty I couldn't possibly serve knowing that no justice would be delivered. Still I can see counterfeiting causing more damage before it is countered by a Secret Service offensive.

 

maybe if we collectors bombard Pres-elect Trump with letters begging for his help in resolving this problem, he might just be persuaded to set up an inquiry to look into it. What I do know is that most fakes come from either China or the arab middle east and that Trump trusts neither, so maybe we have a shot at finally getting someone high enough in power to address the issue before it destroys numismatics for us all. One thing for sure- we can't possibly get help from a higher power, and my prayers haven't been answered by any higher power to date...

 

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