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Coin Doctoring – WILL WE EVER WIN?

HOT TOPICS By Laura SperberLegend Numismatics


 This is perfect example of what is seriously hurting EVERYONE in the hobby. A 1908D $10 badly doctored puttied coin. Apparently this coin was being sold by a vendor on Ebay.
This is perfect example of what is seriously hurting EVERYONE in the hobby. A 1908D $10 badly doctored puttied coin. Apparently this coin was being sold by a vendor on Ebay.

Most likely when the coin was sent to the grading service the putty was freshly applied and blended in. At the time it would have been impossible for PCGS or any grading service to know the coin had been messed with. It is NOT true that using a black light would have discovered the putty. The substance took a few weeks for it to turn. Apparently this coin was in an older holder and has been turning for some time.

What is even sad-er (and one of my biggest problems) is how people react to seeing it. Many dealers just shrug their shoulders and say “pass” on the coin and walk away. And that’s “if” the dealer can tell (most can’t because they are not really coins dealers, they just buy and sell plastic). The grading service won’t buy it back, they just dip it and unless its horrific, just put it back in the holder. Collectors don’t really react or know much about puttied coins-until they happen to own one.

The attitudes about this subject are horrific. No one made ANY effort to report or STOP the auction this coin was in. There is so much coin doctoring going on this was ‘just another coin”. For the record, Legend DID inform PCGS about the problem. We also have sent an email to the seller.

Collectors have to react when they see these situations! I applaud the collector who did post it on a chat room. VERY educational indeed. But the fact not much was done is pathetic. This is why I am running for the ANA-I am going to get this organization whipped up to guard and protect its collector base from the evils of things like this-coin doctoring. Sad to say, the grading services need to do more-much more to really eradicate this problem. They have made SOME in roads, but lately they seemed to have become quiet. The problem has not stopped. While sitting in major auction recently two coin docs sat next to me discussing what they were going to do with the coins they were trying to buy.


The coin posted above affects us all. Any one who owns an 08D $10 now has suffer with lower prices because dealers won’t make bids knowing dreck is out there. You have no idea how ANGRY I was about the recent Stacks auction because I saw so many coins I had orders for but could not buy because they were doctored. That’s lost revenue for me, lost coins for the collectors-and BAD coins someone somewhere will own.

Yes, the bad coins DO hurt the good ones. Only on the rarer coins do they stand alone and are not necessarily harshly affected.

EVERYONE has to keep the pressure on. This almost like a death match. Both sides are in an epic fight. I just can’t believe how lethargic the dealer community is to all this. I was going to write a HOT TOPICS twice before this, but got stopped and harassed about my subjects. I did least warn some dealers that what I want to say will NOT be held in forever. They have to suck it up and stop their games.


I’m not done with the PNG. They cried all the way through adopting the definition of coin doctoring. They think they are home free. Recently, I tried twice to bring cases against their membership for doctored coins. BOTH times I was stonewalled for different reasons (not just by the PNG) and I failed. I promise to bring a case to PNG monkey court soon. There are so many doctored coins to choose from that some of their posse did. Its such a nasty ‘old boy” network to fight against. I do admit, on one coin I didn’t for got there could be technical grounds they could win on-and they did. I had to drop my pursuit as fast as I started it.

As you know, if I win election to the ANA board, I am going to shake up that organization. The ANA has to be come more protective of its membership. The ANA hierarchy is so out of touch, they probably do not know that there were at least TWO well known coin doctors (or dealers who work for a major firm that is a known doctor) teaching at the summer seminar this year. No, these guys weren’t teaching how to spot their work. In their lowly brains they are trying to go to heaven when they die by being good now. A little too false. Let me know when they want to start making restitution for all the damage they have caused. Playing teacher is a chickens way out for them. That certainly won’t happen under my watch. I also promise the PNG will NOT be doing anymore PNG days at ANA Shows until they really meet what their false advertising claims. Yeah, call me Miss Angry Bird! I am a collector too. The difference is, I see the inner workings of the hobby. I know who is and isn’t real. Even if I am alone on trying to clean this mess up, I will not quit. I do not blame collectors, I blame the dealers and the people who run the organizations-and even the grading services for the mess we have today. So much to do.

If you attend the upcoming Phili ANA Show lets send a message to the ANA board. Come by my table and pick up a VOTE FOR LAURA button. in the future I hope to hold a question and answer session at a major a show.

This HOT TOPICS has upset at least one coin doc. NO APPOLOGIES FROM ME! I do not see them buying back or apologizing for what they did to coins. I do agree having them teach would be good-BUT ONLY if they have made up for what they have done. The ANA is NOT rehab. The ANA won’t change what they have done to coins. The ANA won’t pay for all the losses caused to innocent people so they could make a corrupt living. And last, the ANA has no reason to reward these guys with a teaching role giving them an easy way out. Time to take a real stand here. Shame on the ANA!

You can always email me direct with any comments or questions. This week I will be traveling so response could be slow. My email is: [email protected]

Laura Sperber
Laura Sperberhttps://www.legendnumismatics.com/
Laura Sperber is one of the owners of Legend Numismatics. She is a passionate and outspoken dealer who says what she believes and is a strong proponent of numismatic standards. Since 1987, Legend Numismatics has built an unequaled reputation among casual collectors and avid investors alike by locating and procuring top-quality rare coins.

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