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Detecting Counterfeit Coins in Fake Slabs

Is there any way to reliably detect counterfeit coins that have been put into fake slabs?

The saying “buy the coin, not the slab” still holds true. It may be more difficult to determine if a coin is a fake or not once it has been encapsulated, but always examine any coin purchased this way for both authenticity and to ensure you are satisfied that the grade assigned is correct.

I’m reading horror stories about the coronavirus in China and how the disease might be transmitted by their bank notes. Could this happen here?

There have been numerous studies throughout countless years on how many germs are on our coins and bank notes. Every study indicates that there are numerous germs and viruses on our cash, however, their life expectancy is not very long. Furthermore, none of these studies has ever indicated that these germs and viruses have been transmitted via coins or bank notes. Be careful what you read. China is developing a government-operated centrally controlled cashless payment system through which, among other things, they could keep track of every stick of gum someone buys and even their travel habits. It can be in the best interest of a government to discourage the use of cash.

I have found coins being sold online for lower prices than those listed in Numismatic News. Could the prices in Numismatic News be too high?

Coins sold online might be a bargain, they might be over-graded or they might be problem coins. If the coins have not been certified by a well-recognized third-party certification service, their grade may be overstated. A problem on the coin might be ignored. If the coin is in an older holder, the standard by which it was graded might be different from current standards. Online auctions, just as public auctions, can sometimes end with unexpected results.

If I buy inexpensive coins that haven’t been encapsulated by a third-party grading service, how do I know the grade assigned is correct?

It may cost more to have a coin certified than is the value of that coin. If you are at a coin show, why not have a second dealer look at the coin you are buying or selling to see if they agree with the grade you or some other dealer has assigned to that coin?

Who was A. Sterling Calder, who I’ve read was associated somehow with the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition medals?

AlexanderSterling Calder was a sculptor known for his kinetic medals. His work “Star Maiden: was a centerpiece at the art exhibit at the exposition. He was awarded a medal, but I am unaware of any medals he executed for the event.