Hot Topics by Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics


The definition of coin doctoring FINALLY has been accepted by a major organization-The PNG. Next up, we need the ANA to accept it too.

I personally did not think the PNG membership would vote to accept the definition. I know the PNG board worked very hard to get this passed. But this happened because of a firestorm of publicity. Had there been no one pushing the PNG, there never would have been a vote. Still, lets face facts, THERE ARE COIN DOCTORS IN THE PNG. They (and their friends) did not want a yes vote. I am shocked but happy even those guys voted for their own demise. The lone NO vote was over terminology and really was more of a call to be noticed (in my opinion). Acceptance is one small step. Enforcement is whole other issue.


Soon, I will be assisting collectors in making complaints about several coins that have been doctored. Chances are the dealers that sold them may not have done the work, but the complaints will certainly lead us to the villains who did. I can’t wait until not only they get expelled from the PNG-and publicly exposed, but they have to make restitution for what they did. I also am looking forward to the few retail “mules” who are willing sellers for these docs to be spanked as well. I am assuming the process of filing a complaint and then whatever will work.

I fully encourage ANY collector who has an unquestionably doctored coin to file a complaint (so long as it came from a PNG member) with the PNG. This is a HUGE way we can finally attack the bad guys. They can’t win when you have a no question doctored coin.

My biggest concern-will the PNG really enforce the new by law?

I think its great they voted it in, but I can not see them enforcing it. Why? Because they are still the PNG, protectors of its membership and the few who are scummy docs. I fully expect any trials/hearings to be turned upside down to where they make the victim into a defendant. I know they will find a away to make a lock case invalid.

Should the PNG do the right thing and really work with the complaints they are going to get about coin doctoring, they will be making a real step in the right direction. Only after we see a few complaints filed and the PNG’S reaction will we know which side of the war they are on. I really do hope they are on the right side.


I am told there were over twenty people (mostly dealers and a few collectors) involved. Their only agenda was to create this definition. I think with all the fighting there could have been and nit picking they came up with a very sound and realistic definition that did not need much discussion. Its HUGE that something like this finally came to a vote.

Many kudos to John Albanese for his founding of the group and his tireless efforts to keep everything together while forming the definition. Without John, there would NOT be a definition in place today. Say what you want about CAC, but CAC has been a HUGE instrument in the fight against not only gradeflation, but coin doctoring. John has made substantial sacrifices personally and in his career to ensure CAC works to eradicate coin doctoring and gradeflation. As time goes on, Johns efforts will save people millions of dollars and even save the hobby from a very dangerous path it was headed down. If there is such a thing as a Numismatic Nobel Peace Prizes, John Albanese should get the life time achievement Nobel Prize!

Here is a link to the people who worked so hard to form the defintion. If you see them at show, or know their email addresses, say thanks! What they did helps every single collector. One name not listed: Joe Presti.

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