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Comments

  • ColonialcoinColonialcoin Posts: 390 ✭✭✭

    Thank you for posting this!

  • skier07skier07 Posts: 914 ✭✭✭✭

    Another good reason to buy coins that are CAC approved. JA isn’t perfect but it decreases the likelihood of buying a doctored coin.

  • cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 4,308 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well written, and I find the statistics terrifying.

  • BlindedByEgoBlindedByEgo Posts: 10,544 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I admire her knowledge and passion a great deal. The issue elaborated upon is common to everything from antique collecting to rare watches to multi-million dollar paintings. Sadly, we are not unique.

  • specialistspecialist Posts: 661 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here s the scary part about the letter writer. He is only 2 years into coins. He is trying to build a substantial collection. Every day I am grateful someone like him who sees through the games does not get disgusted and quit.

    There is so much to love about the hobby. Collectors MUST have a louder voice and get the grading services, PNG, and ANA's attention. The dealers do not control things-collectors do-yet the dealers run amok on collectors.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 16,697 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wonder how many of the destroyed coins are in problem free holders. It would be good to see some.

  • amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 4,826 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This really begs a question! Has CAC approved a Blue Indian Cent?

  • RealoneRealone Posts: 17,398 ✭✭✭

    i wish every single person involved in our hobby felt the same way about coins. Unfortunately he might be in only the minority.

    'Never give in, never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy'.
    FYI: I only collect naturally toned coins with original surfaces and nothing else, trust me nothing else!
    OK with one exception!
  • BuffaloIronTailBuffaloIronTail Posts: 3,251 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cameonut2011 said:
    Well written, and I find the statistics terrifying.

    Part of the article said:

    "We could all just hang our heads and simply state Caveat Emptor or accept that this as just commonplace within our hobby. I for one choose not to look the other way. We need to root out this activity and those who choose to practice it."

    I have to sadly say "Good luck with that".

    Pete

    "I tell them there's no problems.....only solutions" - John Lennon
  • BGBG Posts: 1,592 ✭✭✭✭

    I can only ensure the coins I purchase are as original as possible. I do not purchase any coins that raise any question in my mind, on first look, that may not be so. Dealers and collectors who want to damage our coins will not see any money from me. I'm just one man though.

  • coinhackcoinhack Posts: 769 ✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    I wonder how many of the destroyed coins are in problem free holders. It would be good to see some.

    To me, it sounded like the coins and numbers he was talking about were all from the upcoming FUN auction and that nearly half had been messed with and "destroyed" and that they were all in problem free holders.

  • coinhackcoinhack Posts: 769 ✭✭✭

    @BuffaloIronTail said:

    Part of the article said:

    "We could all just hang our heads and simply state Caveat Emptor or accept that this as just commonplace within our hobby. I for one choose not to look the other way. We need to root out this activity and those who choose to practice it."

    I have to sadly say "Good luck with that".

    Pete

    Agreed.

    There may be dozens or perhaps hundreds of people who mess with and try to doctor coins, but I was told by a very reliable source that there are only a half dozen expert coin doctors and the major dealers know who they are. These are the doctors who work on 19th century gold proofs, major rarities and coins valued up to and over a million dollars.

    So, finding these names shouldn't be that hard. Once you have their names, what are you going to do about it?

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 16,697 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coinhack said:

    @BuffaloIronTail said:

    Part of the article said:

    "We could all just hang our heads and simply state Caveat Emptor or accept that this as just commonplace within our hobby. I for one choose not to look the other way. We need to root out this activity and those who choose to practice it."

    I have to sadly say "Good luck with that".

    Pete

    Agreed.

    There may be dozens or perhaps hundreds of people who mess with and try to doctor coins, but I was told by a very reliable source that there are only a half dozen expert coin doctors and the major dealers know who they are. These are the doctors who work on 19th century gold proofs, major rarities and coins valued up to and over a million dollars.

    So, finding these names shouldn't be that hard. Once you have their names, what are you going to do about it?

    What about attributing their work with a provenance?

  • RonyahskiRonyahski Posts: 2,741 ✭✭✭✭✭

    "Previewed" the auction ? Reviewed them online?

    Some refer to overgraded slabs as Coffins. I like to think of them as Happy Coins.
  • topstuftopstuf Posts: 11,423 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Coinstartled said:
    Glad to see the practice of dipping being challenged. Seemed to be market acceptable by many in the hobby and industry for quite a while

    It was the first thing we did back in the 70s.
    Many thought it good to "restart" the surface.
    :(

  • HemisphericalHemispherical Posts: 1,214 ✭✭✭✭

    “It must stop and only those who love this hobby can stop it if we so choose to collectively lean hard against it.”

    “United” is on the coins we collect. Why do “We” not stop this?

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 26,650 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Hemispherical said:
    “It must stop and only those who love this hobby can stop it if we so choose to collectively lean hard against it.”

    “United” is on the coins we collect. Why do “We” not stop this?

    One of the reasons is that too many of us are hung up on “monster color.” That gets the coin doctors going to work for “the big score.” The incentives for destroying coins with AT are huge. Perhaps there should be a CAC like service for real an artificial toning.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • ProofmorganProofmorgan Posts: 378 ✭✭✭

    As long as the TPGs reward these practices with high grades/values.....what can we do?

    I can’t count how many times I’ve had someone say they could dip a 58 to a 62. I lost a super nice early $5 at FUN one year in 58 CAC. Found it 6 months later cleaned and in a 62 holder (No CAC this time, thankfully). But the dealer wants twice what it sold for at auction and feels it’s justified.....

    “We used a neutral solvent to remove the “film” on it”. The most cringe worthy statement I ever heard....

    Perfect transactions with: TWQG, Metalsman, LukeMarshall, Oilstates2003, USMarine6, savoyspecial, piecesofme, natetrook
  • rickoricko Posts: 62,427 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well written letter and I agree with his premise. This battle has been going on for the last three decades....Currently, colorful tarnish and the incredible premiums realized, has completely overwhelmed the market. Not to diminish the other forms of 'doctoring'... they are there as well. In medical terms, I would say the problem is at stage three, fast approaching stage four. As long as a market exists, the problem will continue. That statement holds both the foundation and cure for the problem. Cheers, RickO

  • breakdownbreakdown Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭

    I will always appreciate Laura's and Legend's willingness to shed light on the ugly topic of messed-with coins. And I agree with Andy's point that the more we talk about it and make people aware of it, the better for all of us. but just a few additional things to consider from this letter:

    1 It sounds like the collector has not lot viewed yet (it does officially start until December 17). In series I have collected, I certainly can make initial assessments about surface conditions of coins from photos but Heritage photos to my eyes often overexpose the coin, making surface condition hard to judge. I would prefer he write this letter after he (or Legend) saw the coins in person, although it may well be that after he has seen them in person, the number of messed-with coins is actually higher (sadly). Maybe he can update his numbers after he looks at them in person.

    1. I will always respect the Tom Bush approach to coins -- that dipped coins are not original and should not be pursued. The reality is that CAC does not take that view, and neither do any of the grading services or auction houses or most dealers besides Tom. If you only pursue truly original undipped coins, there are certain series you might as well cross off your list.

    In any event, I do appreciate the passionate letter and that new collectors are entering the field and understanding these issues as land mines to avoid.

    "It's a beautiful world.
    So hold me tight. I had to fight
    Every day of my life. It's a beautiful world."
    Mudcrutch.
  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 2,332 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2018 7:23AM

    Breakdown went ahead and gave it to us! ;)

    and it's alright

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • cardinalcardinal Posts: 1,281 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @coinhack said:

    @BuffaloIronTail said:

    Part of the article said:

    "We could all just hang our heads and simply state Caveat Emptor or accept that this as just commonplace within our hobby. I for one choose not to look the other way. We need to root out this activity and those who choose to practice it."

    I have to sadly say "Good luck with that".

    Pete

    Agreed.

    There may be dozens or perhaps hundreds of people who mess with and try to doctor coins, but I was told by a very reliable source that there are only a half dozen expert coin doctors and the major dealers know who they are. These are the doctors who work on 19th century gold proofs, major rarities and coins valued up to and over a million dollars.

    So, finding these names shouldn't be that hard. Once you have their names, what are you going to do about it?

    What about attributing their work with a provenance?

    That's exactly what I was thinking!

    It has been said that collectors "Buy the book, before the coin." That adage is good advice, but in regard to "the book," collectors should have the proper reference books for the series of coins they collect...along with a library of prior auction catalogs that feature their series. Identifying the provenance of a coin will immediately provide evidence it has been altered or not.

    Those who choose to alter coins can be experts such that their work goes unnoticed. Some number of years ago, I was offered an 1811 Classic Cent, graded PCGS-MS63 and approved by CAC. At the time, I had a PCGS MS64 piece for that date, but the dealer offering me the coin thought theirs was better than mine, and it actually looked very appealing. Using a photo of the coin, I was able to identify the provenance of that coin, and discovered it had been massively dipped and retoned. Clearly, the party who altered it succeeded in making it look better, enough so as to pass through PCGS and CAC, but who knows how that coin will degrade over the future?

  • specialistspecialist Posts: 661 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sorry, Andy is a bit grand standing here. Why has he not approached the services or started a movement? Typical dealer join in.

    I never have been afraid too, but most dealers don't want to rock the boat. Look at the PNG-there is a den of coin docs in there. They always come back and say to me, well there have been no complaints. And they say have you seen them doctor any coins? Nice huh...I warned them how these guys are hurting the public.

    I am sick of the numismatic blue wall. I sure would like to see some real big dealers stand up. There will be a new Prez at PCGS very shortly. Lets see what he does.

  • ProofmorganProofmorgan Posts: 378 ✭✭✭

    I would think the TPGs have the capability to completely map a Coins surface like a fingerprint. Identifying all contact and unique features. Gold Shield??? That way dipped or retoned coins will be identified by their surface characteristics and be rejected.

    Perfect transactions with: TWQG, Metalsman, LukeMarshall, Oilstates2003, USMarine6, savoyspecial, piecesofme, natetrook
  • cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 4,308 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @specialist said:
    Sorry, Andy is a bit grand standing here. Why has he not approached the services or started a movement? Typical dealer join in.

    I never have been afraid too, but most dealers don't want to rock the boat. Look at the PNG-there is a den of coin docs in there. They always come back and say to me, well there have been no complaints. And they say have you seen them doctor any coins? Nice huh...I warned them how these guys are hurting the public.

    I am sick of the numismatic blue wall. I sure would like to see some real big dealers stand up. There will be a new Prez at PCGS very shortly. Lets see what he does.

    How does one even file a PNG complaint? Usually regulators post the complaint process online. The PNG doesn't. It is more like a numismatic fraternity. Some of the most flagrant violators of the PNG Code of Ethics are PNG members, and it goes well beyond doctoring IMHO.

  • cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 4,308 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2018 9:31AM

    @Proofmorgan said:
    I would think the TPGs have the capability to completely map a Coins surface like a fingerprint. Identifying all contact and unique features. Gold Shield??? That way dipped or retoned coins will be identified by their surface characteristics and be rejected.

    Wasn't that part of the now defunct secure plus tier along with the sniffer?

  • TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 39,902 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 10, 2018 6:14AM

    My hands are tied. Not my tongue, unfortunately. I won't name names but thankfully one of the self-professed "dipping kings" in my area, has retired. ( I might add: a lot richer than me ).

  • NicNic Posts: 2,824 ✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2018 9:54AM

    @breakdown said:
    I will always appreciate Laura's and Legend's willingness to shed light on the ugly topic of messed-with coins. And I agree with Andy's point that the more we talk about it and make people aware of it, the better for all of us. but just a few additional things to consider from this letter:

    1 It sounds like the collector has not lot viewed yet (it does officially start until December 17). In series I have collected, I certainly can make initial assessments about surface conditions of coins from photos but Heritage photos to my eyes often overexpose the coin, making surface condition hard to judge. I would prefer he write this letter after he (or Legend) saw the coins in person, although it may well be that after he has seen them in person, the number of messed-with coins is actually higher (sadly). Maybe he can update his numbers after he looks at them in person.

    1. I will always respect the Tom Bush approach to coins -- that dipped coins are not original and should not be pursued. The reality is that CAC does not take that view, and neither do any of the grading services or auction houses or most dealers besides Tom. If you only pursue truly original undipped coins, there are certain series you might as well cross off your list.

    In any event, I do appreciate the passionate letter and that new collectors are entering the field and understanding these issues as land mines to avoid.


    Not same coin.

    Good to see you post again BD.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 16,697 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2018 11:50AM

    @specialist said:
    I am sick of the numismatic blue wall. I sure would like to see some real big dealers stand up. There will be a new Prez at PCGS very shortly. Lets see what he does.

    After watching this for years, I think the blue wall may be too strong for any direct intervention. Even though there may be just a handful of expert doctors, it seems nothing substantial has changed.

    Perhaps the only way is to identify the doctored coins in the hope prices go down. Of course, if people actually like the coins, they may be willing to pay strong even when the doctoring is know. Either way, having the coins identified in a database may be a good step in the right direction.

  • topstuftopstuf Posts: 11,423 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cameonut2011 said:

    How does one even file a PNG complaint? Usually regulators post the complaint process online. The PNG doesn't. It is more like a numismatic fraternity. Some of the most flagrant violators of the PNG Code of Ethics are PNG members, and it goes well beyond doctoring IMHO.

    Same way as Better Business Bureau. Let them know and go wash your car.
    You will promptly get a clean car. :D

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 26,650 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If “the blue wall” were to be erected, a lot of potential inventory and auction lots would be eliminated. Perhaps there could be an “original coin only” (If you can spot “original” with great consistency.) auction house, but I doubt that it would last very long. Many consignors would lose patience, and the available items would too restricted.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible.
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 16,697 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 10, 2018 1:22PM

    @BillJones said:
    If “the blue wall” were to be erected, a lot of potential inventory and auction lots would be eliminated. Perhaps there could be an “original coin only” (If you can spot “original” with great consistency.) auction house, but I doubt that it would last very long. Many consignors would lose patience, and the available items would too restricted.

    I think it would be good for the coin community to be more “honest” with itself. Classic cars with restoration are cherished and the restoration is documented in detail. Why should coins be about pretending a coin hasn’t been modified?

  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 4,602 ✭✭✭

    Same old conversation, same old no results. Until an actionable plan can be established and executed this debate will go on indefinitely.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 16,697 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2018 12:38PM

    @BillJones said:

    @Zoins said:

    @BillJones said:
    If “the blue wall” were to be erected, a lot of potential inventory and auction lots would be eliminated. Perhaps there could be an “original coin only” (If you can spot “original” with great consistency.) auction house, but I doubt that it would last very long. Many consignors would lose patience, and the available items would too restricted.

    I think it would be good for the coin community to be more “honest” with itself. Classic cars with restoration are cherished and the restoration is documented in detail. Why should coins about pretending a coin hasn’t been modified?

    Do you know how to tell “original” from “original now” (dipped and retuned naturally over a period of years)? Can you do it consistently? Does it matter? Even we initiated the restoration policy, what do you do about what has happened a century or more earlier?

    What it comes down to it, if you have experience and a good eye, do you like the look or not? If you like it, you buy it. If you don’t, you don’t.

    For very old coins “originality” is both rare and controversial.

    We can at least start with documenting current work by the top 5 or so doctors, some of which we’ve been able to track by research. Why shouldn’t this be all out in the open like it is with cars.

  • oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 312 ✭✭✭

    A single letter from an anonymous writer with 2 years experience who believes that almost half the coins he/she examined were seriously messed with ("destroyed")? I would prefer some guesstimates from some experienced dealers, guesstimates that ignore dipping.

  • specialistspecialist Posts: 661 ✭✭✭✭✭

    old whatever. I am the letter writers teacher.....and he is a really smart guy who reads every thing he can and looks at examples when he can. He is not anywhere near as good as me or most, but has learned enough and seen enough to know by sight what is bad (or he can always ask me-and I look for him in auctions too).

    You comment is off base on this guy!

    I'm starting to fully agree w/Mr Jones....

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