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Laura Sperber’s Hot Topics – BACK TO HELL?

THIS ARTICLE SOLELY REPRESENTS THE OPINION OF LAURA SPERBER

At the Baltimore Show I heard many rumors about the PCGS lawsuit. One was great-but also was especially disturbing.

That rumor was that PCGS and some of the “named” defendants in the suit were discussing a possible settlement. That news is terrific! Or is it? I should point out what I heard is ONLY rumor and I have not spoken to anyone from PCGS about it. Legend FULLY supports PCGS in this lawsuit and its efforts to stop coin doctors.

PCGS is absolutely deserving of being refunded with penalty for all the damages these disgusting people have caused to them. A note to promising to cease probably will be included in any settlement. So I started to think, if there should be a settlement where does that leave the rest of us? The others who have been damaged by coin doctors actions with no restitution?

I believe it leaves us right back where we started. The coin doctors will just continue on their merry way. Sure, one small group is down, but the others all got away-with out so much as even a slap on the wrist (assuming there is a settlement). Of course since I had my meeting with my favorite party club of dealers-The PNG, they have issued only one statement and seem to be intent of claiming to try and define what makes up the standard for a coin being doctored (my bet is they will NEVER end the debate). Of course that will have to wait until their next meeting, then the board has to discuss, yada, yada.

EVERYONE MUST TURN ON THE PRESSURE NOW

Collectors, its going to be up to you to make changes apparently. Talk to your dealers. If they do not become vocal about this, before you walk out the door for good, ask what they could possibly be afraid of? How can any dealer not see coin doctoring as a serious crime? Ignoring it will not make the dirt bags who do it stop. Do they really believe this does not affect them? So far I have only seen 3-4 dealers actually speak up. All others seem to be hiding on corners.

Anyone who cares needs to speak up NOW. Keep writing letters to the PNG. Write letters to Coin World. Discuss the subject on the gossip boards. Write the grading services too.

THE PNG IS A DISGRACE

They just do not get it. They make too many excuses. “Bring us a complaint and we will follow it up” or my favorite: “its the grading services fault”. At the Baltimore show two members (including a board member) said these statements to me. What planet are these guys from? It does not matter if the grading services are having trouble catching doctored coins or even if they are incompetent (which they are not). The issue is the fact that there are several KNOWN unquestionable coin doctors in PNG who send coins in FRADULATELY to be graded. That’s a hell of a difference from buying a doctored coin unintentionally.

SOMETHING MUST BE DONE TO CHANGE THE DEALER MENTALITY ABOUT THIS. The PNG leadership needs to CHANGE its members attitudes. Of course another PNG defense is what about the non members who doctor coins? Just get your own damn house in order! Make it so ANYONE who ever doctors a coin is scared. And quit lying to the public that your organization has the most honest and ethical dealers in it. If you care about the entire hobby, then get off your butts and do something NOW!

WHAT CAN WE REALLY DO?

In the end, coins are too neat and people do love collecting them very much. If we can not police ourselves, then its time for some one to do it for us. I would call for government intervention with harsh penalties for ANYONE who destroys a coin for monetary gain via fraudulent activity. All we can do right now is put as much pressure on as possible and wait. Even if most dealers turn out to be a bunch of greedy shameless putzes, collectors out number them by far and really can make a difference. It will be very interesting to see if the PCGS Lawsuit does indeed get settled. Just remember, if it does, the war against coin doctors is not even close to being over.

I am not afraid to speak my mind about this. I do not care what dealers think of me for doing so and I am NOT seeking extra business from this. I have been a passionate collector of coins all my life. Now, I am fortunate to be able to make a living doing what I love. To me, coin doctoring is a horrible crime to the hobby. In fact I am only getting more angry at my fellow dealers lack of caring. There simply is no excuse. My stance against the PNG is deepening as I fear they are doing the coin business more harm than good. PCGS made the right move by filing suit-enough is enough. And I really do want to see an end to the coin doctors and their associates almost free run of destruction.

Next time your gold coin turns blue, the cheek of your Morgan Dollar turns black, or your copper coin turns totally disgusting, speak out. Coin doctors can be forced to stop.

THIS ARTICLE REPRESENTS THE OPINION SOLEY OF LAURA SPERBER.

You can email me with any comments or questions – lsperber1@hotmail.com

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