This thread ATS might be interest - counterfeit slabs and coins
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29 posts in this topic

On 6/15/2022 at 10:39 PM, MarkFeld said:

I don’t think the coins are counterfeit.

No, I think he is saying legit coins switched into more valuable PCGS slabs.

I'm reading the posts now.......

EDIT:  Read more posts....appears to not be opening up the holders, but just using a fake copy label.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 6/16/2022 at 12:37 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

No, I think he is saying legit coins switched into more valuable PCGS slabs.

I'm reading the posts now.......

EDIT:  Read more posts....appears to not be opening up the holders, but just using a fake copy label.

Holders don’t need to be opened if you have counterfeit labels and holders.

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On 6/16/2022 at 10:38 AM, RWB said:

I think that was the conclusion reached on page 2 of the thread.

When I read that thread, all I see is rampant ignorance of how ubiquitous fake slabs are. Imagine the worst state of affairs you can. Now multiply it 10x. Then multiply it again. You’re STILL coming up short. ICTA had a display at the Philadelphia 2018 ANA show. That’s four years ago now. The idea was to pick out counterfeit holders of various types from the real ones. It was a trick deal. EACH AND EVERY HOLDER WAS FAKE!!! People really need to wise the heck up. Even the best experts out there are being fooled by Chinese fake coins AND HOLDERS. No one is safe, particularly online. 

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@VKurtB:

Back in my active rooster hunting days, I came across a listing for a 1,000 or 10,000 Haitian gourde gold coin (issued with "Papa Doc" Duvalier's likeness) and wondered, first of all, what this coin was doing in China, and who would even want to negotiate an international acquisition like that? Nigeria? Fuhgettaboutit!

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On 6/16/2022 at 11:46 AM, Quintus Arrius said:

@VKurtB:

Back in my active rooster hunting days, I came across a listing for a 1,000 or 10,000 Haitian gourde gold coin (issued with "Papa Doc" Duvalier's likeness) and wondered, first of all, what this coin was doing in China, and who would even want to negotiate an international acquisition like that? Nigeria? Fuhgettaboutit!

Did you respond to an email from a Nigerian prince? And are Haiti  out of their gourdes?

Edited by VKurtB
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On 6/16/2022 at 1:21 PM, VKurtB said:

Did you respond to an email from a Nigerian prince? And are Haiti  out of their gourdes?

Absolutely not. My understanding is that the coin, a limited edition, was minted and doled out to select dignitaries. Could the coin have been so distributed and wind up in China? I suppose so, but unless @numisport or someone of similar standing with experience in negotiating such bullion deals gives me the go ahead, sorry. No can do.   😉 

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Well....I can certainly say that I have made mistakes and learned quite a lot from them. For example, one of my personal experiences in this thread.

It is a bit too bold to go swim in crocodile infested waters and expect no harm. People must do the bare minimum as far as due diligence is concerned (in this case buying costly collectibles from a seller who has 0 ratings and has been on eBay for less than a year). This fact is stressed repeatedly for good reason.

I have also noticed (may be I am wrong) that it is more often than not the PCGS coin slabs that are prone to such counterfeiting.

One solution TPG's could consider is imaging/photographing coins within the slab (the complete unit, available for public viewing on the website of the TPG) and images of both sides of the coin in detail, that too remain in the TPG's database but only for the owner to view. (The one who gets it graded is the first owner, when a transaction happens, the owner has to furnish the actual item alongside access to the pictures and so on for future transactions). This would be a slightly resource consuming but a very effective safety net.

P.S: I believe the whole Community has to come together (TPG's, collectors etc) to keep collecting safe. Whenever, I have come across counterfeits for coins I was interested in, I have messaged senior members like MarkFeld and some others, to raise voice in a strong, collective manner.

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

NGC has imaged every coin certified since about 2008, in the holder, and these images may be viewed by anyone at it's website. If there are no photos, it must have been slabbed prior to that time.

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On 6/16/2022 at 4:08 PM, DWLange said:

NGC has imaged every coin certified since about 2008, in the holder, and these images may be viewed by anyone at it's website. If there are no photos, it must have been slabbed prior to that time.

Mr. Lange I commend NGC for it. I was talking of a more focused approach about two sets of photos, one for public viewing and one for owners only (private viewing). Maybe I was not clear enough.

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I cannot help but feel that fellow member, @VKurtB may prefer his coins raw, but at least he is spared the disappointment and humiliation of sight-unseen buyer's regret.  (shrug)

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The weirdest thing to me is that the eBay coin - which we know is in a counterfeit slab - looks like a nice MS63. The Great Collections coin, which is more attractive, but looks beat to hell and I'd have called it an MS62 (MS61 if a common date).

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On 6/16/2022 at 2:36 PM, Joydeep said:

Well....I can certainly say that I have made mistakes and learned quite a lot from them. For example, one of my personal experiences in this thread.

It is a bit too bold to go swim in crocodile infested waters and expect no harm. People must do the bare minimum as far as due diligence is concerned (in this case buying costly collectibles from a seller who has 0 ratings and has been on eBay for less than a year). This fact is stressed repeatedly for good reason.

I have also noticed (may be I am wrong) that it is more often than not the PCGS coin slabs that are prone to such counterfeiting.

One solution TPG's could consider is imaging/photographing coins within the slab (the complete unit, available for public viewing on the website of the TPG) and images of both sides of the coin in detail, that too remain in the TPG's database but only for the owner to view. (The one who gets it graded is the first owner, when a transaction happens, the owner has to furnish the actual item alongside access to the pictures and so on for future transactions). This would be a slightly resource consuming but a very effective safety net.

P.S: I believe the whole Community has to come together (TPG's, collectors etc) to keep collecting safe. Whenever, I have come across counterfeits for coins I was interested in, I have messaged senior members like MarkFeld and some others, to raise voice in a strong, collective manner.

How would additional images being made available only to the owner, help the counterfeit label and holder problem? Potential buyers wouldn’t be any better off unless the owner wanted to share the information. And for sellers on eBay, that would be a large nuisance. Even then, scammers, posing as bidders, could end up with the images.

Edited by MarkFeld
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On 6/16/2022 at 4:46 PM, MarkFeld said:

How would additional images being made available only to the owner, help the counterfeit label and holder problem? Potential buyers wouldn’t be any better off unless the owner wanted to share the information. And for sellers on eBay, that would be a large nuisance. Even then, scammers, posing as bidders, could end up with the images.

Hi Mark, I said access to the pictures on the TPG's database, not the pictures as a standalone entity that one can Save/Download. And as far as criminal elements getting access to them, how does it compromise the safety net ??

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On 6/16/2022 at 4:08 PM, Joydeep said:

 

Hi Mark, I said access to the pictures on the TPG's database, not the pictures as a standalone entity that one can Save/Download. And as far as criminal elements getting access to them, how does it compromise the safety net ??

Thank you, I had misunderstood you.

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On 6/16/2022 at 3:33 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

I cannot help but feel that fellow member, @VKurtB may prefer his coins raw, but at least he is spared the disappointment and humiliation of sight-unseen buyer's regret.  (shrug)

I HAVE bought SOME coins already slabbed, but not very many. I have also bought a few slabbed and cracked them out for inclusion in my son’s Dansco 7070 physical album. Some issues just aren’t easily found raw, but most are. I’ve also ENCOUNTERED many coins raw that most members here would likely never buy raw, but I have bid on them and even won a few over the years. Why? I’ve learned how to technical grade, how to market grade, and how to detect altered coins. That was my ORIGINAL reason to become an ANA member in the early 1990’s. I don’t NEED to “outsource” grading on most series, but in some others, I do. I would never try to grade seriously any Quarter Eagle or Half Eagle Indians, for two examples.

When I target a particular issue for my or my son’s type set, I study the heck out of it before I go bidding. 

Edited by VKurtB
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On 6/16/2022 at 3:46 PM, MarkFeld said:

How would additional images being made available only to the owner, help the counterfeit label and holder problem? Potential buyers wouldn’t be any better off unless the owner wanted to share the information. And for sellers on eBay, that would be a large nuisance. Even then, scammers, posing as bidders, could end up with the images.

I can’t get over how much my deeply toned 1964 Kennedy Half has continued to change color in the NGC slab. It’s not any uglier per se, but the colors are changing. It originally had a bunch of yellowish green, and it has morphed into oranges and reds and purples. It had been in a cardboard holder in a snap case. I stuck a stone cold white 1965 Kennedy in there and it’s starting to rim tone too. 

Edited by VKurtB
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With all of this talk of counterfeit coins and NGC holders, I went to the NGC Verify and compared my small 14 coin Hundred Year US Gold Type Set collection to the Verify Photos.  Everything went fine, matching up enough marks to provide the confidence I needed, except for one coin: 1839 $2.5 MS 61 Classic Head, and there were no Verify Photos.  It's the only coin I have for which there are no Verify Photos.

This bothered me because I then checked NGC's thread archives and found out that the "prong" holders were rolled out at the same time the Verify Photos became standard practice.  If you have one feature, you should have the other, too.

I sent an email to NGC Service, they got back to me, and they said that there were no Verify Photos because the coin was graded before the Verify Photos were standard practice.  That would be 2008.

I checked my paperwork records, found the original paperwork, and I paid a pretty price for the coin back in 2013.  I contemplated sending the coin in for Reholder, and I would only want to do this to have NGC verify the coin, take Verify Photos, and put it in a Scratch-Resistant EdgeView holder.  But the Scratch-Resistant holders are still out of stock with no estimated timeline for when NGC will get them in.

Then I applied a lot of soul searching logic to the problem.  The coin has a rim ding on it.  It is pronounced enough that I discussed it with the dealer back when I bought it, and I bought the coin anyway… I really needed it.  No counterfeiter would intentionally counterfeit a blatant ding into a rim.  Also, the coin is rotated in its holder about 3 dentils from vertical, as though NGC deliberately did this so as not to conceal the rim ding in the slightest.  For the rim ding to be hidden by one of the holder prongs, it would have to be rotated back 6 dentils, and this would be sort of dishonest to holder it like that, and the portrait would be 3 dentils under-rotated from vertical, if done.

Finally, I checked the dealer's activity on the boards, here, and he was much more active five years ago, and actually he has been a several-times-over winner of a Best in Category Registry set, here.  And he has been involved with coin collecting since 1978.  No way would he have ever been fooled into buying this coin if it had been suspect back in 2008.  And the reason he hadn't sold it (IMHO) is because of the rim ding.  That kept the coin waiting for me to come along… the ideal customer for it.  And, when I checked other paperwork, I realized that I personally like the dealer… A LOT, and I have purchased five coins from him and still have them.

So, I won't do anything… I'm convinced the coin… and holder… are legitimate, and I'm going to leave well enough alone.  I've now done my own "mental-verify," the coin really helps my collection, and it has its own, unique collecting-story, which I'll eventually flesh out in my NGC Registry Owner Comments for this coin.

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On 6/19/2022 at 3:39 PM, USAuPzlBxBob said:

Re: ".... the coin is rotated in its holder about 3 dentils from vertical,...."

[Possibly one of the most creative approaches used in relying on coin topography, i.e., dentils, to illustrate a problem. Well done!]  😉 

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This subject has come up before.  In my primary interest now, I don't consider it more than a negligible risk.  I mostly buy from known reliable sources, but most of the coins are too scarce to be counterfeited as more than a "one off" without raising suspicion.   (Many I have either never seen or only in "dreck" quality in almost 20 years.)  I have even less concern about counterfeit holders with a genuine coin.

Edited by World Colonial
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On 6/16/2022 at 5:08 PM, Joydeep said:

I said access to the pictures on the TPG's database,

One problem is that if they are only accessible by the owner then the owners would somehow have to be registered with the TPG and since coins get bought and sold all the time it would probably pretty quickly reach the point where the TPG wouldn't know who the owner is.  If you buy a coin and the seller didn't get the ownership transferred to him by the person he bought it from, the only way you could get it transferred to you would be to send it back in to the TPG.  The only TPG that has ever tried an ownership registration was ANACS back in the photocertificate days and the rarity of the transfer certificates indicates how badly that flopped.

On 6/16/2022 at 12:05 PM, VKurtB said:

When I read that thread, all I see is rampant ignorance of how ubiquitous fake slabs are.

Yes every so often someone "discovers" that there are fake slabs out there.  They have been making fake slabs since at least 2007.  (Not including the fake PCGS rattler slabs made back in 1989.)

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On 6/23/2022 at 1:56 AM, Conder101 said:

One problem is that if they are only accessible by the owner then the owners would somehow have to be registered with the TPG and since coins get bought and sold all the time it would probably pretty quickly reach the point where the TPG wouldn't know who the owner is.  If you buy a coin and the seller didn't get the ownership transferred to him by the person he bought it from, the only way you could get it transferred to you would be to send it back in to the TPG.  The only TPG that has ever tried an ownership registration was ANACS back in the photocertificate days and the rarity of the transfer certificates indicates how badly that flopped.

It is a very basic aspect of human nature to form opinions based on self experience or that of others in proximity. I am not blaming you for it, but that is not what I meant at all.

Let me elaborate the concept I had in my mind. When an individual sends a coin in for grading, TPG's could give them a secret access code/token (via email or printed form alongside the return shipment) to access a private set of pictures. Just like the verify certification page, the TPG's could also have a similar sort of page say  the Owners Corner. This is the page whence the secret code is entered, the private set of pictures can be viewed. Now, when a transaction occurs, the owner furnishes the actual item alongside this secret code. So, basically the TPG is just hosting the private set and they do not get to or need to have knowledge of ownership.

As far as the "too many graded coins" argument by some is concerned, lets separate the wheat from the chaff. The TPS's could implement this concept for coins valued at $1000 or over (value declared in the grading form or the TPG's own assessment/price guide). This would make sense as high valued coins are the primary targets of counterfeiters, also it would reduce the sample size by at least 70-80%.

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On 6/23/2022 at 6:14 PM, Joydeep said:

This would make sense as high valued coins are the primary targets of counterfeiters, also it would reduce the sample size by at least 70-80%

Modern counterfeiters copy anything on which they can make a profit. Low value authentic coins get little scrutiny and are much more likely to be copied, sold, resold, and when the music stops, some poor schmoe is stuck with a piece of cheap steel.

Coin collectors are, by nature, suspect of attempts to capture their personal information. After all, coins are money, and thieves don't usually care if the nickel they steal is date 1912 or 1913. A 1927-D double eagle is just gold to melt....

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On 6/23/2022 at 8:09 PM, RWB said:

Modern counterfeiters copy anything on which they can make a profit. Low value authentic coins get little scrutiny and are much more likely to be copied, sold, resold, and when the music stops, some poor schmoe is stuck with a piece of cheap steel.

Agree

It's easier and usually more profitable to pass fake common coins of low-moderate value than a few more expensive coins.  Examples include circulated 09-S VDB cents, 16-D dime, Spanish cobs, and Mexico pillar dollars.  There are millions of the last two each worth several hundred or somewhat more.  Most never see a TPG grading room, so it's easy to sell thousands of fakes.

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On 6/23/2022 at 6:14 PM, Joydeep said:

Now, when a transaction occurs, the owner furnishes the actual item alongside this secret code.

And what happens when he doesn't pass along the secret code?  And it then goes through several hands none of which get this code?

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