HomeCrime and FraudLaura Sperber Hot Topics: COIN DOCTORING IS NOW ALLOWED!


Commentary by Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics ……
First, I want to clearly state: I fully support the Board of Directors of the PNG in its fight. Since the meeting I had attended last year, they have tried to diligently work on the subject of coin doctoring. Granted, nothing has happened from their efforts, but I did not know it was the MEMBERSHIP that was blocking action.

EVERYTHING the board had worked on, was thrown out at the FUN meeting.

I was in attendance at the the PNG FUN meeting. I knew it would be ugly. But the actions I saw were horrifying. I am surprised the board has not quit.

Basically, the PNG MEMBERSHIP in attendance has now said, coin doctoring is ok because we will not define it. Some leadership for the hobby. Let’s just run a truck into a brick wall. In my opinion, by voting this all down, the PNG effectively has no reason to be operational anymore.


The denial and sick egos were so thick in the room I do not know how any air got in. Two of the defendants from the PCGS lawsuit were trying to apply their sick twisted rhetortic on the membership and lead the charge. These numismatic terrorists really believe in their cause. The meeting had started out discussing what would be considered coin doctoring and ended blaming the grading services. Unbelievable.

Even more disgusting to me was that a major retail dealer (I will not throw him under the bus like he did by naming me as an influence for all this) made the motion to dismiss the board’s efforts. I am just stunned by this lack of character from him and the entire organization who just want to turn their backs on their sick crooked associates and let them get away with their crimes.

It is totally irrelevant about what the the grading services have done or do now. Coin doctoring has NOTHING to do with them in that regard. Duh yes, they are supposed to catch doctored coins. However: Hey idiots and scum boys: COIN DOCTORING IS FRAUD PERIOD. YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO VIOLATE YOUR CONTRACT WITH THE GRADING SERVICES AND SUBMIT ALTERED COINS. HELLO?? ARE YOU ALL TOO STUPID TO READ?

When a head falls off a quarter, a coin is lasered, or marks are smoothed, a coin is recolored, was it the grading service that did it? I don’t think so! The dealers who ruin coins like this believe they have the right to do so. At the meeting they were busy doing everything they could to deflect and deny what is really happening. They made “gray areas” into argument points. Do not buy into the PNG membership does not know what coin doctoring is-they do and we all know who the members who do it. But when you have a buddy system in place, nothing ever gets changed.


The majority of PNG members are decent hard working dealers. Unfortunately, the group does harbor many numismatic terrorists. There is just a decent-sized faction embedded that has total bullying power over the rest. That leads to a complex similar to the NYPD’s famous “blue wall of silence” (where everyone sticks up for each other).

This organization has clearly now disgraced itself to the point of being a boys social club that has an anti grading services attitude. I would expect that any decent member who cares about the subject of coin doctring will quit especially since there is loud and vocal group who clearly feel it is ok.

Here is a little fact as to how much the PNG does NOT mean: myself, John Albanese, and Joe O’Connor are NOT members. Each of us HATES coin doctoring and coin doctors. I do not think any of us have ever had any allegations or lawsuits filed against us for fraud. In fact, we are the dealers who have to help the consumers who have been hurt by it. I doubt we are at the low end of the ethical dealer spectrum. We all realized long ago PNG membership was a joke and did NOTHING for us. Even David Hall is not a member.


I would hope the ANA heard about what happens and breaks away from letting the PNG do a pre ANA Show. How the hell is any collector going to be able to trust ANY PNG dealer now that they are saying coin doctoring is ok? Time for the ANA to get involved about protecting the collector. Do not tie yourself in with losers and cheats.

Collectors have to be more vocal about the subject. Litter chatrooms and coin-related trade papers with letters.

Most of all TALK TO YOUR DEALER. Ask them their opinion and or what they are doing about all this-especially if they are a PNG member. Its wrong for me to suggest anyone stop doing business with any PNG member, however now you really do have to look at EVERY single dealer and wonder if they support coin doctors? Are they coin docs themselves? You CAN make a statement-YOU MUST.

In all my years of coin dealing (35 years-yes I am that old) this meeting was by far the MOST disgusting, short-sighted, and damaging to the hobby event that I have EVER witnessed. I hope PCGS nails the bastards who mess with coins.

Even though the coin doctoring subject is turbulent, to say the least, it is a HUGE postive for self-policing the hobby.


A lot of people seem to think I am making all this noise for advertising. WRONG! First, Legend does not need new business and I get enough press from my day job. If I want to advertise, unlike others who want free exposure, I pay for it. I do NONE of this for any business reason. I want my message of disgust with the PNG and coin doctors to be well known. Along with CAC, the grading services, I am proud that I HAVE done my share to help force some change and sent a few docs off to dealing differently. Had someone not stepped up about coin docs and gradeflation, this hobby was in serious danger of being destroyed, totally destroyed. Most dealers used to just say, “if a coin has been worked on, don’t buy and move on”. That was NOT stopping the situation. Good WILL triumph over these evil people. We will win.

I am mad as hell and like it or not, I WILL continue to speak my mind. If you do not like what I say, do NOT come here and read it. I am NOT going to sit around and have my career ruined by a few greedy idiots. Coins are a treasure to me and it should be a crime to hurt them. If other dealers want to be chicken, thats their right, I have never backed down from losers. Coin doctoring MUST be stopped. Dealers need to really change their lousy attitudes and refocus themselves to be better and stop the B.S. This PNG meeting was beyond repair. I’ll end this rant with what one dealer said to me: “I was looking at a catalog of early gold from years ago (I forgot the date and catalog), ALL the coins have now been ruined and messed with. Its disgusting”. That is so wrong.

You may always email me with any comments:[email protected], please allow time for a response-I do read every email.

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.

Related Articles


  1. Jezzz don’t get your panties in such a bunch, dear. So long as no one is tooling a coin, its no big deal. People take themselves way to seriously, relax and enjoy the hobby.

  2. Ripley: Guess it depends on if you are pitching or catching and how high the stakes are. You might feel differently if you paid $10-20K for a coin and it “turns” in the holder.

  3. Go Laura! Expose these crooks and put them in their place! These frauds irreparably, feloniously alter rare coins for short-term profit. In the end, we will all lose unless something is done to stop them.

  4. Sounds like we need a CAC for dealers now! PNG sure dropped the ball on this one. I can’t support them at all anymore. Seems their focus was partnering up with eBay, more than protecting the hobby’s heartbeat – us collectors.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Bullion Sharks Silver

AU Capital Management US gold Coins

Doug Winter Numismatics Branch Mint Gold