The Professional Numismatists Guild has formed a committee composed of PNG members and non-members to research and draft an industry-acceptable definition of “coin doctoring.”
“They will draft an exhaustive but concise definition. Coin doctoring is a crucial, perplexing issue that needs to be addressed for the benefit of collectors and dealers,” said Jeffrey Bernberg, PNG President. “We’re determined to get this done.”
The committee is headed by John Albanese, president of Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) and the National Consumer Alliance (www.StopCoinFraud.com), a non-profit numismatic organization involved in consumer education and protection.
Albanese was also a co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) in 1986 and the founder of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) in 1987, the two largest, independent third-party rare coin authentication and grading companies.
Also serving on the committee are former PNG Vice President John Feigenbaum of David Lawrence Rare Coins; Frank Greenberg of Delaware Valley Rare Coins; PNG Immediate Past President Paul Montgomery of American Precious Metals Exchange; Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatics; and Scott Travers, author of The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual.
Any other numismatic professionals interested in participating are invited to contact Albanese by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The committee consists of a varied group of respected numismatists who have a wide range of expertise,” Albanese said. “Our job is to specifically define coin doctoring so we can better protect consumers from buying coins that have been tampered with in a manner meant to deceptively alter a coin, and thus, affect the long-term value of their investment.
“The doctoring problem plagues the industry as a whole and has the potential to affect the credibility of all rare coins, certified or otherwise. The PNG is the ideal organization to lead an unbiased charge against the unsavory tactics of coin doctors because the PNG stands at the forefront of numismatic integrity and leadership in the professional coin community.”
In July 2010, the PNG Board of Directors, in partnership with NGC and PCGS, adopted a definition of coin doctoring “to help combat the deliberative and unacceptable alteration of coins in an effort to deceive.” However, that definition subsequently was rejected by PNG members in January of this year.
“The PNG by-laws provide the general membership with the opportunity to override decisions made by the board. In this case, the membership voted overwhelmingly to keep the previous PNG Code of Ethics definition in place and not adopt a more-substantive new wording specifically about coin doctoring until the issue could be more clearly defined,” said PNG Executive Director Robert Brueggeman.
“We’re now working to get that clear definition and the consensus of the membership.”