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Coin Doctoring – What Has Changed?

Hot Topics by Laura Sperber

I have not written a HOT TOPICS in a while because I an burnt out from fighting about coin doctoring. At least there has been small postive steps happen. The good thing is we do have a lot of collectors more aware and many are talking and learning more. The issue definately is not hidden anymore. The bad thing-what really gets me going-is how the dealers will say “yeah we agree” then just turn their backs and keep supporting the doctors in ways they feel are justified. Its a disgrace. I believe the problem lies with the dealers who for the most part are enablers.

At the Sacramento ANA Show I saw lots of people openly dealing with KNOWN coin doctors. The “crackout” guys especially flock to them (crackout guys in my opinion are a world class problem too). Several doctors were set up and had unsuspecting collectors buying. Even worse, I saw several well known retail dealers doing business with these guys. I do not think this is desperation-just greed.

For as much as I live for this cause, I can not spend all my monies involved in lawsuits if I named names of these guys. PCGS can and has via their lawsuit. Unfotunately, the rats have done nothing directly to me where I can attack and out them. I am openly now suggesting that ALL collectors MUST ask your dealer who these scum are-and you MUST avoid them. Its time to cut them off. If your dealer says they do not know-time for a new dealer. Its also time for the auction companies to have a little more “honesty” in their descriptions. Maybe for once, one of them simply will not accept a coin or two. You need to have a ZERO tolerance for ANY dealer who agress with coin doctoring or won’t fight to end it.

PCGS certainly has done a tremendous amount to slow the success rate of these guys. Sadly, that has not stopped the doctors. We all know the doctors feel they have a right to destroy coins and have made it a cat and mouse game. I know things are getting slightly better as CAC has informed me they are seeing fewer doctored coins. The key word is “fewer”-which is still not the same as “stopped”. So the fight MUST go on even harder.

Of course the PNG now pretty much has laid down to its coin doctor laiden membership. I am furious at the ANA for teaming up with them for the summer show. That could potentially HURT the collector. BOTH of these organizations MUST do something. The fact that Bob Bruggeman (the director of PNG) can’t corral his membership about this shows how deeply rooted this disease is (and to make it worse, the motion to dismiss the dialogue was made by major retail dealer). I seriously wonder how any decent dealer could still be a PNG member if the PNG does not denounce coin doctoring.

In the end, what I have said here is the same battle cry I have been saying. My blood pressure is at a high boiling point now. I know tomorrow when I go down to the show I’ll see the doctored dreck in every other case and the coin docs doing all the business they can. I’ll see all the major retail dealers just looking away and acting like there is no problem. If I could, I’d love to start outting those greedy whores-but then of course I’ll have to endure my Hot Topics being called “self serving, grandstanding” or something else stupid. I strongly believe if you want to act like a great friend to collectors and claim your coins are great-then do not lie about it and handle doctored coins. Sorry folks, this where dealers who sell mostly (but NOT all) CAC are making a huge statement.

My message remains clear and simple: I have to say it again: Come on people-PUSH HARDER to say NO to coin doctors!!! Make your dealer talk and make them stop supporting these guys. There simply is NO excuse for ruining a single coin. There is no excuse for NOT careing (if you are a dealer). There is NO excuse for dealing with them either. We MUST make coin doctoring stop.

Also, I’d like to thank Richard Schwary for his wonderful article in Coin World a few weeks ago about coin doctoring. He is disheartened too. His background included being a past president of the PNG. Its pathetic he is one of the few retail dealers who have stood up and spoke out (where are all the West Coast and Pacific Northwest retailers on this subject?). Why is everyone else hiding? The reason why-they continue to be enablers. Richard, in my book YOU deserve an award for standing up and clearly speaking out!

My HOT TOPICS are soly my opinion and not those of Legend Numismatics. I can be reached via email at [email protected]. When I am traveling allow extra time for me to respond-I DO read ALL emails.

Coinweek is the top independent online media source for rare coin and currency news, with analysis and information contributed by leading experts across the numismatic spectrum.

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