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Not a pleasant surprise

Are collectors crooks at heart?

That’s not my view, but it is a question that comes to mind regarding a situation arising in Florida.

Donn Pearlman forwarded me a link yesterday to a story on the Ocala.com website.

The story tells of a situation with the Greater Ocala Coin Club where an officer alleges that up to 40 percent of members were engaging in selling cleaned coins to other inexperienced members that were fraudulently misrepresented.

He wants the state to shut the club down.

Wow. Read it and see what you think. Here is the link.
http://www.ocala.com/article/20100525/ARTICLES/100529824/1402/NEWS

Over the years coin clubs have been disbanded because of personality clashes, aging membership and subsequent loss of initiative and simply loss of interest by members.

I don’t recall ever seeing an allegation of problems created by a large part of the membership. That’s a new one and if it is true, it will be a blow to the standard advice I give that some of the best places to learn about coins is at a local coin club.

I feel like the kid who exclaimed disbelief to Shoeless Joe Jackson after the 1919 Black Sox baseball game fixing scandal.

“Say it isn’t so.”

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3 Responses to Not a pleasant surprise

  1. Scott B in DC says:

    Coin doctoring and self-slabbing with coins that have been over-graded are more prevalent that you would think. Many of these people sell using online auction sites with bad pictures and slabs that report every coin is MS-70 regardless of their real grade.

    Please do not think that all online merchants are selling doctored or over-graded coins. But be careful when buying raw coins and only buy coins slabbed by a known third party grader.

  2. Tom Snyder says:

    I read the story and it poses a number of additional questions and sounds like Larry Faw has
    some vendetta or grudge against several other board members. Missing is what other club jobs he was doing and what he did in connection with the coin show. It says he is now a former member, so there must be some argument involved in which he lost his case. If any member is selling enhanced coins the word gets around fairly quickly, but I don’t see any other witnesses presented in the article. I say stay tuned.

  3. Bernard says:

    "Dipping coins in cleaning solutions is commonplace in collecting, Selvar said. But he said dealers are obligated to tell buyers if they cleaned the coins and if they are trying to present them as unaltered and never circulated."

    Are dealers really obligated to tell buyers if a coin has been cleaned? I am a part-time dealer, and I always disclose defects (including cleaning) as part of my details grade, but I’ve never thought I had an obligation to do so. I’ve seen plenty of obviously-cleaned coins in holders with no mention of their cleaning. I would argue that it’s a case of buyer beware.

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