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Slabbed Coins & Theft Recovery


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One of the regulars on a different site has had his collection stolen, a tragic thing that we're all familiar with, at least through association. We know that it is a very painful process and that often those involved are close to us in some way. I truly feel sorry for anyone who is violated in this manner.

 

This brings to mind a question that I'm surprised hasn't appeared in some of the current literature. Do slabbed coins, with their registration numbers and trackability, present a greater chance of recovery than raw coins of the same ilk. I'm not talking about great numismatic rarities where the thieves would certainly know enough to "break out" the coins. I'm talking about thieves taking coins to local dealers/pawn shops and the like.

 

Any thoughts?

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This topic gave me an idea. Every new coin I get in a slab (or a raw coin with value) will be photographed, number cataloged, and description of flaws documented. I'd hate to see my collection stolen and not be able to recover it.

 

I'm sure if you have that number the recovery process will be much easier. It's not like you can pull the number out of thin air and expect it to be on a specific coin that was just stolen. The odds are in your favor.

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what's gonna stop the theives from cracking it out of the slab??? that's the first thing they will do

 

Giving the theifs a little bit too much credit aren't we? :ninja:

 

If they have no understanding about coins I doubt they will crack them out . The numbers to them could mean anything. But hey, who knows with people in this world today.

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I really think it would make a marginal difference at best. I have most of my slabbed coins in registry sets which requires input of the cert number, so I have the data stored, but it would only be helpful very shortly after any robbery occurred. If the thief was selling the slabbed coins it could help, or if police found the thief with the slabs or inserts with the matching numbers it could be used at trial. Unfortunately thieves are a lot smarter than we give them credit for sometimes, and many times they crack the slabs before they attempt to fence the coins. In this case the slabs and number make little difference, but a high-res digital image might make more of a difference in recovering stolen property.

 

There was an article in Coin World a month or so ago about a postal employee in the Philadelphia area that was stealing registered packages from a local coin business. He was caught when he tried to sell a 1907 $10 Indian No Periods HR (of which 42 were made), and the coin shop where he tried to sell it became suspicious of 1) the fact that Cliff Clavin wants to sell a major numismatic rarity (worth well into 6 figures) and 2) it was in a slab, well half a slab with the top half removed (you know, the part with those useful numbers!). So in that case, the slab made little difference, but it was the coin itself that aroused suspicion. The coin has still not been recovered but the perpetrator is now in jail (link to the Story. So bottom line, keep accurate records, photograph valuable coins, store them in secure locations, and by all means insure them if you are at higher risk or theft or other loss.

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Actually the majority of burgleries are not committed by professional crooks but by opportunists who are simply looking for cash or something they can sell quickly for cash. Most are not overly bright and ofen they wll either try to sell the coins still n the slabs, or if they recognize the coins ie: moderns, they will crack them and spend them, including proofs.

 

The real problem would be that one there is no central database of stolen slab serial numbers, and two would the dealer take the time to run the numbers before purchasing? That is where the barcodes could really come in handy. Someone come in with a slabbed coin, do a quick scan and it checks the database. The dealer can do it unobtrusively so the seller doesn't know it's being checked. It doesn't slow down the dealer so he is more likely to do it as well. If a hit is made it makes a soft cime and the dealer knows to get as much info on the guy as possible, and then contact the police at his leisure. The only problem will be with false hits from coins which are recovered but not removed from the database.

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Actually the majority of burgleries are not committed by professional crooks but by opportunists who are simply looking for cash or something they can sell quickly for cash.  Most are not overly bright and ofen they wll either try to sell the coins still n the slabs, or if they recognize the coins ie: moderns, they will crack them and spend them, including proofs.

 

The real problem would be that one there is no central database of stolen slab serial numbers, and two would the dealer take the time to run the numbers before purchasing?  That is where the barcodes could really come in handy.  Someone come in with a slabbed coin, do a quick scan and it checks the database.  The dealer can do it unobtrusively so the seller doesn't know it's being checked.  It doesn't slow down the dealer so he is more likely to do it as well.  If a hit is made it makes a soft cime and the dealer knows to get as much info on the guy as possible, and then contact the police at his leisure.  The only problem will be with false hits from coins which are recovered but not removed from the database.

 

It would be nice if the major organizations such as the ANA, ANS, etc. got behind a program like this. It would be a great member benefit. It should not be too difficult to implement.

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