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Informative article on fake PCGS slabs


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Thanks, grivna1726 ... that's downright frightening!


I found this link on the same page ... click on the "Enter Gallery" link for an even more frightening exposé of Chinese counterfeiting which has become big business:




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Those pictures are scary and stunning. I don't know how I can ever buy a coin again!

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It's all about risk mitigation. The more risk, i.e., the more money you pay for something, the more you need to worry about mitigating any potential risk, i.e., knowledge, reputable dealers who will allow returns, and third party grading.


Even if you are buying inexpensive, low grade coins in slabs, I would wonder why someone would spend the money to encapsulate a coin worth less than $100 when the cost to slab is a significant fraction of the cost of the coin. So I would be suspicious of cheap coins in PCGS/NGC slabs. But in the end, knowledge and a good dealer with whom you have a relationship and who wants to keep you as a customer, are the answers to the risk presented by counterfeits.


This has always been the case. Historically, many of the famous collectors of the past were also worried about fakes when buying very expensive coins; in many cases the authenticity of some of the most expensive coins they purchased was disputed by other "experts," and, in some cases, the dealers took back the coins and refunded the collectors' money.


Buying coins through the internet from nameless "dealers" has been, and will continue to be, fraught with risks. We had pinned our hopes on the third party graders to reduce this risk, but now it seems that hope will be challenged. It was inevitable.


Personally, I would never buy expensive (i.e., > $500) through the internet unless it was from a PNG or other reputable dealer who had a presence in the real dealer community, i.e., member of ANA, etc. The best place to buy expensive coins is through an auction put on by a well-known auction house. Those companies always will take back a coin if it proves to be counterfeit, even if months have elapsed.


The feedback system of Ebay is a guide to the reputation of a "dealer," but one can also be misled by that if the dealer acquires his feedback by selling inexpensive coins, and then suddenly has some expensive coins for sale. "Let the buyer beware" is just as important now as it has ever been when dealing with expensive items.


Marv Finnley

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Well said, Marv ... words of wisdom! :ninja:

I agree completely.


Fake coins are sometimes offered in real auctions (and withdrawn when reasonable doubt arises), but certainly nothing like the number of fakes seen routinely in online sales, and reputable dealers stand behind what they sell and will refund for reasons of authenticity.


In the end it comes down the old adage - If you don't know your coins, then make sure that you know your dealer.

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