Coin-Recognition Technology?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by JCro57, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    I have about 6 coins worth around $1,000. I intend to buy more as I am learning and reading more about coins every day that I would like to make part of my collection. In many cases, the population listed by TPGs has been a factor in the price. So I began to wonder....

    I read that many of you like to crack out coins in old holders and resubmit them for higher grades. Some of you even keep resubmitting them to the same or different TPGs until you get a higher grade you like.

    Doesn't this then affect and inflate the population of certified coins, which then has an effect of lowering values via supply and demand? So, if I buy a 1916-D Mercury dime slabbed as VF-35 in an old green holder by PCGS, crack it out, and resubmit it to them where it is now graded XF-40, it still has that same coin recorded as both a VF-35 and now also an XF-40. This isn't right and skews population numbers and values.

    It led me to wonder if there was a way the TPGs could create a uniform "Coin-Recognition Technology" just as they have "facial recognition" or "fingerprint recognition" technology.

    I am former law enforcement. The technology is possible. Facial recognition can bypass changes in skin tone from tanning, bruising, and things like differing haircuts, wearing hats, balding, adding or removing of warts, moles, tattoos, and whether people are seen smiling, laughing, yelling, and even yawning. Fingerprint technology can even recognize and match prints (even partial prints) that have developed scars or malformations over time from original photos without them.

    All the big TPGs take photos of coins they grade. Couldn't the same process be done to recognize bag marks, nicks, scratches, levels of strike quality, wear of high points, and other imperfections? Certainly someone wouldn't purposely add a bag mark or scratch to avoid detection that might reduce a coin's value, and like fingerprint technology, if so many other factors are still the same (like level and location of wear) it is unlikely it would be fooled. And like fingerprint and facial recognition, toning over time wouldn't affect it being identified as an exact match.

    The TPGs could share such technology and the database the same way various law enforcement agencies do with prints.

    I feel this could help protect the integrity of our hobby, specifically the population stats - and thus the value - of higher grade coins. It could also detect coins that have been previously submitted and determined as counterfeits.

    What are your thoughts? Again, this technology IS possible if it can be done with prints and even partial prints (as well as faces) already.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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  3. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Superb thought. Used to be there was a level of integrity in our hobby. I fear that like anything else though. People would figure out a method to circumvent it.
    Spark1951, Seattlite86 and JCro57 like this.
  4. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    For faces and prints, it is very, very difficult to be fooled. For facial recognition, even getting nose jobs and botox injections to fill out faces doesn't really work. But you're some point someone at some time may be smart enough to fool it, but not many.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.

    TONYBRONX Well-Known Member

    Excellent thought!
  6. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    The services have been playing with this technology for a long time now. The problem is the cost of using it. It would have to be passed on in grading fees.

    At the last Fun Show in January, NGC and PCGS were talking about using the technology for counterfeit detection. They may have posted information on their web sites.
  7. sakata

    sakata Devil's Advocate

    Of course it is possible. But it is expensive. The motivation to keep track of people is much greater than the motivation to track coins.
  8. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER


    What you say makes complete sense. I've always thought that software could be developed to grade coins as well. As I see it, the biggest drawback to a concerted effort from the TPGS' to develop any sort of recognition program is the fact that they compete against one another on a daily basis for business.

    Seattlite86 likes this.
  9. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    Not exactly. The U.S. Customs Service that I worked for has quite a bit of technology to detect counterfeit products because it is equally important to protect people's property and livelihood.
  10. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    We have the technology but its cost prohibitive.
  11. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    I definitely like your idea and what you say makes sense. I wonder how much it would cost to implement and what would happen when a coin is mistaken for another because they're the same grade and die marriage?
  12. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    Awesome idea; it would have to be quick though, as it appears to me the TPG's don't have the time or are willing to take the time to assure coins are not counterfeit, especially lower grade not rare "details" examples like so many early coppers. In the early coppers there are so many varieties to be aware of to be competent in verifying in my opinion, and it takes some time to compare a submitted example to reference images...
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  13. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    @messydesk You understand this better than anyone I know of. Can you remember what NGC and PCGS were saying at Fun?
  14. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    It always is at first. Just the same way the first microwaves were, HD tvs were, basic cell phones, and other items were at first cost prohibitive. But that's what is great about capitalism: If there is a demand, and technology exists, people will compete to attract business by searching for ways to make it cheaper.
    kaparthy and Randy Abercrombie like this.
  15. sakata

    sakata Devil's Advocate

    But if there are only three major grading services that is not a lot of competition if they do it themselves and not a lot of potential customers if developed by a third party.
  16. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    I guess what I mean for them to do is photograph it, and then compare it to other photographs on file. The process doesn't always take that long, and you don't have to sit there waiting for results; you can be doing other things. And It may not catch ones graded years earlier, but it could at least have sompleace to start.
  17. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    That's really not how that works at all even-though that is how the internet makes it sound. It's no where near that easy or cheap, the coins it works with are borderline/undergraded coins.

    Populations will always be inflated. They way they should be used is as relative to each other. It's easy to see which dates are much lower than other and the lines where they get much harder to find.

    It already exists. PCGS is using it already, NGC probably is using some form as well but hasn't said anything publicly.

    They may share some counterfiet information but I seriously doubt they'll share technology. That could be like Coke calling Pepsi and saying hey we just figured out how to make everything cheaper want to know how
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
    kaparthy and JCro57 like this.
  18. Jack D. Young

    Jack D. Young Well-Known Member

    I have actually shared images with 3 of the TPG's on the documented recent struck fakes (up to 22 varieties so far from a 1787 Mass "half cent" to an 1836 Gobrecht "dollar") but they are still missing and certifying them. I believe it has to be fast and take little to no effort or expertise to use...
  19. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    Oh. Well, I know two dealers in Buffalo who go to shows, buy up old holders for older coins (pre-1960) crack them out, and resubmit them. It must be worth their while if they keep doing it.

    And if they already have the technogy, do they also adjust the numbers if they graded a particular coin originally?

    Lastly, I think your example about Coke/Pepsi is a little different. I can tell you that many companies absolutely do share anti-counterfeiting technology; even competitors. There are individual, private secrets, and there are institutional secrets. I know because that was part of my job. For example, I attended seminars for Coach brand, Prada, Gucci, and other high-price companies that make luxury purses, bags, wallets, and shoes. They taught us how to detect fakes upon inspection. Many have the same tags, logos embossed or sewn into a product, or other markings that with special lighting pens (not sold to the general public) reveal holograms and other hidden measures that many of the same companies use.
    kaparthy likes this.
  20. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Well-Known Member

    If you resubmit in the holder, they adjust the pop report.
    If you crack it and submit (raw), they do not, UNLESS you send them the label, then they adjust the pop report.

    If you submit to an alternate service, they don't adjust.

    Coke and Pepsi don't share data. Not only is there no market incentive to do so, but it might even be seen as an anti-trust violation.
    wxcoin likes this.
  21. chascat

    chascat Well-Known Member

    I would love to see this "forensic" technology in place and I think that someday it will be. No more mistaken identity with rare coins. As the tech world advances, so will the demand for recognition technology, and, it will become an affordable must have.
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