From the Jan. 6 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:
Do you feel threatened by counterfeit coins?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
I cannot know how it would feel to find out that I purchased a counterfeit coin. Other than the expense, I imagine that the disappointment would be a great concern. The hobby is aware of the counterfeit problem. Since my major interest is collecting modern U.S. coins, that is the reason that I only collect coins that have been authenticated by a major third-party company. I know that there could still be problems, but I feel much safer using these recognized professional graders. It is too bad that our government has not provided us with more protection from this problem.
The threat posed by counterfeit coins has not been high on my radar screen. My nicest coins are usually bought in one of the top two grading service holders. I limit online purchases to trusted dealers, most of whom are affiliated with PNG. The discovery of the 1872-S demonstrates how good the counterfeits have become. Even the major grading services can be fooled initially. As more counterfeits enter the marketplace, the buyer will need to either trust their own knowledge or that of the dealer and grading service. Raw coins on sites where anyone can sell look less appealing. It is a reminder for each collector to “buy the book before the coin.”
I believe that I am not at a level of collecting that I really need to worry about counterfeit coins. I mainly collect 20th century business-strike coins like Ike dollars and Lincoln cents, and if I buy a fairly rare coin I buy third-party certified/encapsulated coins from a reputable dealer or I go to a coin show. I do not think I dabble in the level of coins that would warrant a counterfeit, but I pay attention to the articles in NN just to be aware of what to look for.
Federal Way, Wash.
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