Featured An examination of the counterfeit slab epidemic. Scope and advice.

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by TypeCoin971793, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. Clawcoins

    Clawcoins Well-Known Member

    You will find fakes all over the place at all price points.
    There have been numerous threads on fake American Silver Eagles, which at retail are just about $20ish (and they're real Silver, just totally fake).

    If you check the places that sell fakes coins you'll start to understand the breadth and depth of the severity. Although recently those chinese based websites have "COPY" stamped on the coins and the selection has diminished by, I'd say, 90%. But you can still find plenty of inexpensive coins that are fake on other websites.
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  3. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    If they set a serial number above which all slabs have chips (such as 40000000), then the market will know that all slabs above that serial number should have a chip. That means the counterfeiters would need the physical slab to copy the code in the chip. That will definitely slow down the certification database creation assuming no hacks occur. It is a step in the right direction, but it isn’t counterfeit-proof unless I am missing something.

    Now if a picture of the respective coin (not necessarily a good one; just a sufficient one for ID purposes) shows up when any chip is scanned, then that would have my full, unfledged support. However, that could be accomplished with a simple QR code (a much cheaper option), which suggests they probably aren’t planning on doing that.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  4. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    For counterfeit slabs and the highest-end counterfeit coins, the $500 level is generally where they appear. For counterfeits in general, you are absolutely correct.

    Here is a counterfeit 1958 wheat cent. The dies were made for the purpose of creating errors that people would not suspect. However, they made a few “normal” examples as well.

    279A15C5-E157-46BD-AB7D-B98DF5A50662.jpeg C6023489-5C05-4B6E-A5EF-ABFD4E9EF52D.jpeg
    Troodon, GoldFinger1969 and Gallienus like this.
  5. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Like say the QR quotes they already have............................

    Is there some point where you’re going to actually be honest here or find out what you don’t know or are we just going to keep trying to promote NGC when technologically speaking they’re behind PCGS and ANACS and ICG are light years behind.

    At least be honest enough to say you don’t want anyone using anything but NGC.

    They all have their place and these hit pieces do no one any good aside from spread false rumors which you have ignored when corrected.
  6. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    I'm seeing one poster presenting a reasoned argument, with a bit of emotional appeal, but also with numerous photos as evidence.

    I'm seeing another poster replying "FAKE NEWS CRAZY OVERBLOWN PANTS ON FIRE".

    I know which one I'm finding more compelling.
    Obone, usc96, Valentinian and 34 others like this.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Damn Jeff - I almost gave that a like :wideyed: Aww hell, I will anyway :smuggrin:
  8. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    (perched on the edge of my seat pounding on the Refresh button...)
  9. Oldhoopster

    Oldhoopster Member of the ANA since 1982

    I think that the OP has presented some good info on a very important topic. Discussing fake slabs is important to the education of collectors. While I agree that all the info isn’t known/available, initiating rational discussions will only serve to help the hobby

    I’ve noticed the same thing. Anytime a post is critical of a certain TPG, this member pops out of his hole like the bird in a cuckoo clock chirping “No it’s not. No it’s not”. There have been a few instances in the past where his comments were valid, but it seems that he has lost his credibility by blindly defending any perceived slight to his beloved TPG. That’s a shame because when I first started posting here a few years ago, his posts always seemed to be well thought out and provide accurate information. It's obvious to me that he is a knowledgably numismatist. Oh well, I hope somebody sends him a few free grading coupons for the work he does.
  10. halfcent1793

    halfcent1793 Well-Known Member

    Would make a nice piece for Penny-Wise.
  11. capthank

    capthank Well-Known Member

    Excellent. Thanks
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  12. juris klavins

    juris klavins Well-Known Member


    maxresdefault (18).jpg
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
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  13. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    Haven't seen any fake slabs sold in major auctions myself but several counterfeits in genuine TPG holders over the past 3-4 years.
    wxcoin, Stevearino, Paul M. and 3 others like this.
  14. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    I am the owner of the fake/fake slab "PCGS" 1856-S shown by the OP; coin scans 5% gold and the rest copper/ nickel. I actually reviewed this example along with a couple Beth brought along to a meeting in DC with Staffers of the Senate Finance Committee discussing counterfeit slabs and intellectual property protection.

    As the OP indicated one of the latest scams is "upgrading" a genuine coin into a higher graded holder; many wouldn't fool anyone even remotely familiar with the Hobby- these are some from my personal collection. There are enough red flags for a bull fight but I wonder if the perpetrators knew anything about evasion issues...


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  15. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    I’m just gonna leave this here for the chuckles:
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  16. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted Supporter

    Free NGC grading coupons? :-D
  17. NSP

    NSP Well-Known Member

    Broke: 70 point grading scale
    Woke: 100 point grading scale
    Even woker: 1000 (?) point grading scale?

    Overall an informative thread. You can never let your guard down nowadays.
  18. Chuck_A

    Chuck_A Well-Known Member

    Thank you for sharing this information. Aside from the difference in opinions I think post's like this one are very educational for people who want to learn how to buy coins without being ripped off. I typically buy from a top auction house on a weekly basis and it is always a concern for me if the coin and the holder are real. I do my due diligence in researching all of my purchases, however I lack the experience of a veteran collector.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  19. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    Exactly. If they simply included pictures, there would be no need for the chips. The QR codes would be sufficient and far more convenient than putting in a serial number and grade like you have to do with NGC slabs.

    You do not need to to have technically complex slabs when pictures are provided to verify the coin in the slab. Making the slabs more technologically complex is just a bandaid fix that only makes things more expensive. But it sure is nice to say you have the most technologically-advanced slab on the market doesn’t it? It is moot if someone gets burned because they trusted the PCGS name so much that they bought a fake slab with the same serial number as the technologically-advanced slab without any way to verify it. Sure go ahead and criticize them for not knowing the difference. That shows where your agenda really lies.

    Also, I have criticized NGC for their shortcomings, and I have admitted that PCGS could make simple changes to their system that would make them superior to NGC. If PCGS chooses not to do those things, whose fault is that?

    I stated objective facts and laid out all the deficiencies of both companies that can cause a brand new inexperienced collector to be burned. PCGS just happens to have more, plain and simple. Case closed.

    Oh, and I just thought of another deficiency with NGC’s system. By having pics of the slab, the counterfeiter can copy the label from the image and print it out to put in the fake holder (which I believe has been done, but I cannot confirm for sure). This can make it difficult to distinguish a fake label from a real label if the print quality is superb. If PCGS posted just close-up shots of just the coin in their cert verification pages, boom, a loose end tied that will make their slab security better than that of NGC. One can only hope.

    Ah putting untrue words in my mouth. The classic defense tactic when one has nothing constructive to stand on.

    In case you haven’t noticed, I edited the title to make it sound less anti-PCGS. The facts and subsequent conclusions remain the same, as they should.

    “Corrected?” All you have done is play down the threat and try to say that slab technology is the best and only way to rectify the problem.

    My position is that, for the new/unknowledgable collector, any deficiency in the security of the slab and ability to verify it is dangerous. The grading services exist to protect those very people from unscrupulous dealers, yet the introduction of counterfeit slabs puts them in danger again. Any attempt to drastically reduce the danger to these collectors gets my praise. Any ineffective “solutions” get my contempt.

    I have also repeatedly and clearly explained how slab technology alone does not adequately fix the problem, nor does it do anything to fix the problems associated with the slabs that have the “old” technology. The chips aren’t magically retrofitted to old slabs unless sent in to be reholdered. Images of the coins in old slabs do not magically appear unless sent in to be TrueViewed. I am truly hopeful that PCGS will rectify its deficiencies and make its future slabs have foolproof security that will be superior to everything on the market. However, those millions of old “unverifiable” PCGS slabs are where the danger truly lies for new collectors.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
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  20. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    I saw Type's presentation down at FUN -- it was outstanding.

    Hopefully, fake coins and slabs aren't making a big move in the modern bullion arena. That's modern-day counterfeiting which I thought was a priority for the U.S. Treasury.

    Although you would think the U.S. Mint would get off their asses and worry more about this than tracking down missing 1933 DE's from the 1940s.:D
    Stevearino and TypeCoin971793 like this.
  21. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    Well considering your responses have consisted of “You’re wrong” and “Counterfeit slabs are not a problem” and “How dare you criticize PCGS”, I agree that this is an unintelligent discussion.

    “Facts don’t care about your feelings.”

    - Ben Shapiro

    We have not seen fake ANACS and ICG slabs yet, which is why they are not discussed, but yes, their security is extremely lacking. When fake ANACS and ICG slabs start showing up, my above recommendations would apply to them as well.
    usc96, wxcoin, Stevearino and 3 others like this.
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