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

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

  1. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    Maybe in early copper attributions, but on a whole it is a very VERY small percentage. 0.01% or less is very arguable
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  3. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    But I may be a magnet for these as I continue to see more and more...

    Latest from today; bad example on the left, cert images on the right and current on-line cert:

  4. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    Exactly....you're a young kid or an adult with a few bucks....you spend $500 or $1,000 or even $5,000 and you find out that half the coins you bought are fakes and you're out 3/4 of your investment ? :wideyed: :yack:

    When you had the "Flash Crash" in the stock market after the Internet Bubble burst a decade earlier, you lost lots of investors. That wasn't fraud, that was just valuations and volatility.

    There's a reason why the phrase "used car salesman" has become a pejorative. :D
  5. Chuck_A

    Chuck_A Well-Known Member

    The lure of a fast dollar outweighs the necessity of acedmic research. Who in today's world is willing to take the time to make the effort? The CPG, You Tube and many other false resources are far to easy to justify a new collectors decision making process and an exodus to ebay follows. New members on CT do not always get the "welcome wagon" and quickly give up some of them are defiant in listening to experienced experts and only are interested in the money. A quick buck, counterfeited coins and tpg holders are like a cancer in the hobby and will not end anytime soon. I have many hobbies and interests, numismatics is by far the worst to avoid being taken advantage of by fraudulent people, by far!
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  6. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    Now THAT is scary....so you punch up a cert number or use the smarpthone apps....it comes up with a gold coin that looks like what you have, but you don't inspect close enough and it is actually a fake.

    Just so my head is straight....it's a fake coin, a bad copy of a Reverse Proof that is a legit coin in a legit slab ?

    What I'm confused on is if there is a 2nd slab with the same certification number.....there's a good slab (with good coin) and a bad slab (with who knows what inside)....so what does NGC do when you punch it up ? Say it could be the real one or the counterfeit ?

    It appears from your post that it just says POSSIBLE counterfeit which is confusing. It should say something like WARNING: LEGITIMATE AND FRAUDULENT SLAB POSSIBLE.
    Chuck_A and Jack D. Young like this.
  7. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    Just covering the bases in my opinion; if there is an image to compare you can see if there are any differences- just a quick look shows the corner radii of the reverse label are different between the good and bad examples and certainly more things are wrong as well but it takes time to research it! Many of the mistakes are made in a rush, even to some of my Dealer friends...
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  8. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    That phrase simply means that the serial number is known to be compromised and that the holder you have could be counterfeit. But it could also be the genuine original. That’s why they use POSSIBLE COUNTERFEIT HOLDER.

    And this here is PRECISELY the reason why these pictures are so valuable. I might have been fooled by this because I have never seen an example of this coin before and would not know what a genuine one looks like. However, by using the picture, I can see that there are major differences on the coin (mainly the dragon) that immediately tell me these are not the same coin.
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  9. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    I am curious as one who sees countless fake coins/ fake slabs what data you have to support the dangers are FARRR (or FARRRRRRR) overblown on forums?
  10. Chuck_A

    Chuck_A Well-Known Member

    Is it the mint mark? What else is wrong with the counterfeit?
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  11. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    Scroll a little further Jack wrote a column on the coin.
  12. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    In a perfect world the rate would be 0, but we don't live in a perfect world and nothing humans do will ever be perfect. There is always going to some rate of error for anything, even space shuttles crashed and they had entire government agencies and many of the smartest people on the planet working on them with a basically unlimited budget.

    The best we can hope for is for the error rate to be as small as possible and right now it is at a very minuscule percentage.

    Overblown in the sense of the threat they currently pose. Of course they're there, but their prevalence and how good they are is often overblown. You can find countless posts of people swearing you have to stay away from eBay entirely as it's all scammers which is far from the truth as just one example. The better versions of the fake slabs are all older versions and basically just one or two types of the older PCGS and NGC slabs.

    Realistically it just isn't that hard for people to avoid fake slabs at this point with a little common sense about.

    That said nothing is going to stop people that abandon logic and get greedy thinking they're getting a great deal or that don't do any checking and just blindly believe someone that's taking them for a ride.
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  13. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    I suppose we can agree to disagree...

    I believe it is a large and growing threat- the group of Staffers of the Senate Finance Committee I spoke with on the subject in DC in the summer of 2018 also saw it as a large threat at that time which is why the meeting was put together.

    There are countless scams and scammers on the Bay and more listings removed daily as a result than most realize; not a good space to play for the inexperienced collector.

    I think we agree the use of logic and a clear head along with education and research is the best defense regardless of the magnitude of the "concern".
  14. CircCam

    CircCam Victory

    @TypeCoin971793 - I printed out a coin this morning but forgot to check the printer til just now. I printed it full page/giant and black and white... QR code scanned correctly immediately. Obverse barcode didn’t at all.

    Jack D. Young and TypeCoin971793 like this.
  15. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    (1) I think this entire debate shows that paying a premium for HA, GC, or big regional shows (FUN, etc.) buyer-protections has its benefits. If you use Ebay or Craigslist or other low-brow sites, caveat emptor.

    (2) I just noticed: no barcode or certification number on PCGS foreign coins, like foreign gold bullion ? :wideyed:
  16. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    ebay is perfectly fine for people new or experienced with common sense. If you think you’re going to cherry pick a raw coin for a fraction of the value with no real knowledge won’t happen, neither will some other things but this is a good example of the risk being over blown.

    The true risk on eBay is for the sellers.

    Plenty of scams and smooth talking happen at shows especially regional and smaller shows and stores etc.
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  17. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    An unintended consequence of this problem and being progressive...

    The TPG decided to include the Bay in the auction history shown for genuine certified coins- we ran across a seller dealing in bad Chinese "coins" and slabs (how ironic...). Took a while to get this to stop (after multiple sales of these he was thrown off the site) BUT in researching him and his offerings I found his past sales showed up through the on-line certs of the numbers chosen for the fake labels. Counterfeiters did their homework to find appropriate certs and coins to knock off.

    The 1st example is this "1923". On-line cert shows an image and the lowball Bay auction prices and history that allowed the previous sales be found and tied to the seller. In this case there was no "Price Guide Value" for reference.

    cert.jpg auction prices.jpg

    The 2nd example ("1908") had a price guide for reference and you can see how these can pollute the data!

  18. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    You do realize you have to actually click the button to show eBay prices on the auction prices realized for them to come up? Takes two seconds to click the link to get more information about prices realized from the cert page, if someone can't be bothered to do that that is on them.

    eBay gets a much worse rap than it deserves from a buyers standpoint, but the fact still remains they're filtered out unless you want to see what the program captured which also missed things if the seller mislists stuff.

    Like it or not eBay is the biggest volume seller of coins by far for public sites
  19. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    I do realize that this is exactly how the cert just came up without clicking any buttons (you clicked mine); it must really be tough to be an expert of everything numismatic and PCGS like you with your opinions and constant badgering responses.

    usc96 and ldhair like this.
  20. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    Again, this shows the vital importance of having the image to show they are not the same coin. This is very helpful for collectors/dealers not familiar with the coins and maybe not all that experienced with slabs themselves
  21. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Pointing out facts is badgering?

    There's literally a link on the page to get more information. There's also a high quality image on that cert.

    How much handholding are we expected to do here? The information is all readily available for anyone interested in it
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