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PCGS Coin Sniffer™ Uses Advanced Technology to Detect 'Doctored' Coins

Commonly used organic materials applied to coins include plastic resins such as Bondo, putty, caulk, wax, lacquer, varnish, acrylics, paint, ink, acetone, glue, and citric acid.

"Some coin doctors have even used soap, eggs, fertilizer, forehead and nose grease and urine," Wills explained.
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    STONESTONE Posts: 15,275
    Does this device differentiate between purposefully applied material to coins and those which may have been added over the life of the coin?
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    Can a coin accidentally be puttied or treated with Bondo? I could see body grease just from hands, but it's kind of strange for someone accidentally to have pee'd on a rare coin.
    Improperly Cleaned, Our passion for numismatics is Genuine! Now featuring correct spelling.
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    RegistryCoinRegistryCoin Posts: 5,111 ✭✭✭✭
    Now the "money" question: Will this product detect tainted Gulf seafood.
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    robecrobec Posts: 6,605 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>Commonly used organic materials applied to coins include plastic resins such as Bondo, putty, caulk, wax, lacquer, varnish, acrylics, paint, ink, acetone, glue, and citric acid.

    "Some coin doctors have even used soap, eggs, fertilizer, forehead and nose grease and urine," Wills explained.
    Text >>



    I was under the impression that acetone was used to eliminate organic material not that it was an organic material itself.
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    DonWillisDonWillis Posts: 961 ✭✭✭
    Acetone was not mentioned in my presentation and was erroneously included in the press release.

    Acetone can be used to remove foreign material from a coin's surface with no residual damage.

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    Is PCGS still using the Sniffer? I called today and no one seemed to know about it.

    Thanks!

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    WingedLiberty1957WingedLiberty1957 Posts: 2,961 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 24, 2017 6:37AM

    The coin sniffer was introduced back in 2012 or 2013 ... sometime around there. It was a main part of new PCGS Secure Plus grading service. It was one of the benefits of Secure Plus that if a coin got a numerical grade in a Secure Plus slab, you would know no chemicals were detected on the coin. This was especially helpful when differentiating AT vs. NT (artificial cooked toning vs. natural toning). So when submitting toned coins it was a nice layer of protection or increased certainty that a toned coin was NT.

    There was a PCGS YouTube video about it. I remember it well because the Sniffer machine made the sound of a dog barking when it detected one of a number of foreign chemical agents.

    I think 1 to 3 years ago (I think it was 2014 or 2015) ... that CoinSniffer video was deleted from PCGS's YouTube page and all references to the coin sniffer disappeared. I am not sure if it was because the CoinSniffer made grading too slow? or if perhaps the sniffer was found to be unreliable? or perhaps it broke down alot? Not sure! Maybe that YouTube video and references to the CoinSniffer were deleted for other reasons I am not aware of.

    Now if you search on Secure Plus grading ... all references to the CoinSniffer instrument are gone. And in its place is a detail on how Secure Plus grading takes detailed fingerprint images of coins so that coins can be identified ... and if a white coin later comes back to PCGS toned, The fingerprint system will flag the coin as "changed" or "altered". I think this really would only be helpful on coins that were cracked out or if they were toned in the slab via gassing then resubmitted for some reason.

    So as far as I can tell ... that whole CoinSniffer thing is completely gone!

    I wanted to add that I dont know this to 100% certainty, but is what I have been able to glean and infer from pcgs online documentation on their website.

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    ColonelJessupColonelJessup Posts: 6,442 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 25, 2017 10:21AM

    I saw the CoinSniffer drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's, and his hair was perfect...... B)

    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - Geo. Orwell
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    RegistryCoinRegistryCoin Posts: 5,111 ✭✭✭✭

    So, are any of the doctored coins rejected these days?
    Is there an attempt to retain any integrity?

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    topstuftopstuf Posts: 14,803 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ColonelJessup said:
    I saw the CoinSniffer drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's, and his hair was perfect...... B)

    I saw him at Trader JOE'S shopping for soap and eggs.

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    BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 8,036 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No, you are all mistaken. He was seen with Elvis at a Minnesota K-Mart. ;)

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit. "Everyone is equal, some are more equal than others".
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    TommyTypeTommyType Posts: 4,586 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Rehab. All of that glue sniffing will eventually get to anybody.....

    Easily distracted Type Collector
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    cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,061 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 28, 2017 12:15AM

    @ColonelJessup said:
    I saw the CoinSniffer drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's, and his hair was perfect...... B)

    Are you sure he was sniffing the coin and not something else? >:)B)

    P.S. Who is Trader Vic?

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    ColonelJessupColonelJessup Posts: 6,442 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 28, 2017 6:05AM

    A national chain of high-class cheesy tiki bars that was big 30-40 years ago.
    Check out Warren Zevon's "Werewolf of London" for the full lyric. I'm his part-time alt, :D

    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - Geo. Orwell
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    KkathylKkathyl Posts: 3,762 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not only do I sniff first I tend to take a bite out it as well

    Best place to buy !
    Bronze Associate member

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