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Laura Sperber: 2010 IN REVIEW-MY VISION

EVERYTHING WRITTEN HERE IS THE SOLE OPINION OF THE AUTHOR.

2010

What a year it was. We saw gold hit a new record and the stock market made a semi come back. The coin market had what I would call a turbulent but productive year. Prices did not go up as much as good coins weren’t being drowned by dreck anymore. There actually has been a small influx of new collectors.

It was also great year in the sense of we dragged certain taboo subjects (like gradeflation, coin doctoring, etc) through the mud and brought them out in the publics eye in the nick of time. While the bad guys all have been pissed off, it unquestionably has given the collecting public a better feeling and renewed sense we can self police ourselves and that some of the “leadership” of the hobby does indeed care. Consumer confidence is critical to having coins rise in value and maintaining a healthy marketplace.

I do NOT regret saying or doing what I did to help make coins and the coin market a better place.

COIN DOCTORING

Exposing how bad the coin doctoring issue had become, was by far the MOST important POSITIVE thing to have happened. Had everyone just kept their heads turned and let these criminals rape coins and the coin market, it would have killed the hobbies future.

PCGS took a heroic lead in firing off a lawsuit with absolute hard evidence against a small crew. Other coin small to mid size docs took notice and are running scared. Now, PCGS is coming out with even more sophisticated technology to catch these guys and hopefully make them stop forever. I knew this was a critical problem when the Kutasi Collection of $10’s and $20’s was sold a few years ago and the putty was so thick on many coins sometimes you could not see all the details! I do not regret standing up and speaking out about this subject when it was really taboo to do so. Just passing on a coin certainly was not stopping the doctors fromtheir reign of destruction. In my opinion, destroying a coin should be considered a full criminal act. These low lifes are taking away the few pieces of original history we have and are slowly ruining our enjoyment of collecting. They deserve to be harshly punished and shamed.

The grading services are definately doing their share to work on the problem, however I am disgusted with so many retail dealers who will not speak out. No, its not just the lame PNG (next topic), but the dealers who want to be your friends, the ones who can’t grade for crap, or have huge web sites. They are greedy cowards in my book, worth no more than the bad slabs they sell. There needs to be a shake out of these people.

I know there is still a long, long way to go in this fight. A few major firms who still employee doctors are still quietly practicing thinking they are just too big to tackle. I believe in 2011 they will be exposed and will fall. Its a matter of compiling more evidence. They certainly have been frustrasted at the very least in 2010. At least this issue is moving forward and not backwards. I hope this year to get more people speaking out. EVERY voice is important-no matter what size collector you are! (more…)

PNG 2011 YN Scholarship Competition Begins

(Fallbrook, California) — The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) will provide a scholarship to a deserving young numismatist (YN) to attend the 2011 American Numismatic Association (ANA) Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This is the seventh consecutive year of PNG YN scholarships for the popular, annual ANA program.

“The scholarship will cover airfare, tuition for one of the two week-long Summer Seminar sessions in June or July, meals and six nights of dormitory accommodations on the campus of Colorado College, site of the ANA headquarters,” said PNG Executive Director Robert Brueggeman.

“All young numismatists between the ages of 13 and 22 are eligible to enter and are cordially invited to apply for the scholarship. Entrants must submit a short essay outlining why they should be chosen as the 2011 scholarship recipient. The deadline for receipt of the entries is March 31, 2011,” said PNG President Paul Montgomery.

Entries must include the applicant’s name and contact information. The essays can be sent by email to info@PNGdealers.com or by mail to the PNG Executive Director, 28441 Rancho California Road, Suite 106, Temecula, CA 92590.

The two separate 2011 ANA Summer Seminar week-long sessions will be held Saturday, June 25, to Friday July 1, and from Saturday, July 2, to Friday, July 8. Participants ranging from teenagers to senior citizens spend 25 hours taking one course of their choice about specific coins or paper money or the hobby’s technical or business aspects. Additional information about the Summer Seminar sessions can be found on the ANA website, www.money.org.

“We are thankful that the PNG recognizes the value of providing young collectors a chance to realize their full numismatic potential, and offering a scholarship to the ANA’s Summer Seminar is a great start. We want to thank the PNG for generosity in providing this YN scholarship and for promoting the ANA’s education programs,” said Susan M. McMillan, ANA Education Project Manager.

Photo caption: picture taken at the Chase Manhattan Money Museum circa 1945 when Vernon Brown was curator. Image from The E-Sylum

The money to pay for the annual PNG YN Scholarship is administered from PNG’s Gerald Bauman Memorial Fund. Bauman, who died in 2001, served for many years as a prominent coin dealer with Manfra, Tordella & Brookes in New York City.

The PNG is a nonprofit organization composed of many of the top rare coin and paper money dealers in the United States and seven other countries. PNG member-dealers must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic merchandise. For additional information, visit online at www.PNGdealers.com or call (951) 587-8300.

Resignation of PNG Member, Suspension of Another Announced

The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) has announced the resignation of one member, the suspension of another and the hiring of legal council specifically in connection with allegations of “coin doctoring” against some PNG member-dealers.

“The PNG Board has regretfully accepted the resignation of long-time member-dealer Jonathan Kern of Lexington, Kentucky. Mr. Kern was currently serving a two-year term on the PNG Board of Directors, and that position now is being filled by PNG member-dealer James A. Simek of Westchester, Illinois who had the next highest number of votes in last year’s PNG election,” said Robert Brueggeman, PNG Executive Director.

Meeting in Boston on August 8, 2010, the PNG Board ratified the suspension, effective immediately, of member-dealer Jonathan Lerner of Scarsdale, New York for non-payment of arbitration fees.

In another matter, the Board retained a lawyer to provide the Guild with legal advice specifically in connection with allegations of “coin doctoring” against several PNG member-dealers. The Guild’s legal counsel, Armen Vartian, is co-counsel for the plaintiffs in a lawsuit naming several PNG member-dealers among others as defendants.

“We have retained an independent legal counsel to avoid any potential conflict of interest concerning specific ‘coin doctoring’ cases involving possible breaches of the PNG Code of Ethics and possible conduct prejudicial to the organization. PNG affiliate member and attorney, Robert A. Levinson of the law firm of Levinson, Arshonsky & Kurtz, LLP in Sherman Oaks, California, will assist the Guild as we investigate these important matters,” said Brueggeman.

For additional information about the Professional Numismatists Guild, contact the PNG at 3950 Concordia Lane, Fallbrook, California 92028; by phone at (760) 728-1300, or online at www.PNGdealers.com.

The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) Announces 2010 Outstanding Achievement Award Winners

The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) presented its outstanding achievement awards for 2010 during the PNG Day banquet held in Boston, Massachusetts on August 9, 2010.

Patrick Heller of Liberty Coin Service in Michigan was given the Abe Kosoff Founders Award presented in recognition of a PNG member-dealer who has made a significant contribution to the Guild or to the numismatic fraternity in general. “Pat has shown enthusiastic leadership, dedication and selfless sharing of knowledge,” said Gary Adkins, who chaired the Kosoff committee. The award is named after PNG’s Founding President

Prolific author and prominent dealer, Q. David Bowers of New Hampshire, received one of the two Robert Friedberg Awards presented at the PNG Day banquet in Boston, August 9, 2010, and was also honored for 50 years of membership in the Professional Numismatists Guild. (Photo courtesy of Donn Pearlman. All rights reserved.)

David Hall, President of Collectors Universe, Inc. and a co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service, received the PNG Significant Contribution Award “for years of dedication and significant contributions to numismatics,” according to committee co-chairs Dana Samuelson and Barry Stuppler.

New Jersey coin dealer Ken Starrett was presented with the Sol Kaplan Award. He assisted in the recovery of coins stolen from long-time PNG member-dealer Julian Leidman of Maryland, according to Kaplan committee chair, Jeffrey Bernberg. Jointly presented by the PNG and the Lewis M. Reagan Foundation to people who have helped fight fraud and thievery in the numismatic profession, the award is named after a former PNG President who was responsible for the apprehension of several people suspected of numismatic-related crimes.

Paul Whitnah, a Texas collector and travel agent, received the Art Kagin Ambassador Award “for his many decades of volunteering and tireless support of the entire numismatic community,” according to Kagin committee chair Fred Weinberg. The award is named after a former PNG President who provided distinguished service as an advocate of numismatic goodwill.

(Paul Whitnah of Texas received the PNG’s 2010 Art Kagin Award in recognition of his decades of professional assistance to PNG member-dealers and volunteer work in the numismatic community. (Photo courtesy of Donn Pearlman. All rights reserved.)

Book authors Q. David Bowers and Cory Frampton each received a Robert Friedberg Award. Committee chair Tom Denly said Bowers received the award “in honor of his exemplary work on the Whitman Encyclopedia of U.S. Paper Money,” and Frampton received the award “in honor of his exemplary work on Mexican Paper Money.” The Friedberg award is named in honor of a well-known publisher and author of numismatic reference books.

Bowers also was recognized for 50 years of PNG membership. PNG Executive Director Robert Brueggeman announced that Bowers is being given lifetime membership in the organization, only the fifth person in PNG history to be so honored. Bowers joined the PNG in 1960 and holds membership number 58.

Three 25-year members were honored: John Wilkison (#351), PNG Immediate Past President Gary Adkins (#352) and Larry Stack (#355). All three joined the organization in 1985. (more…)

PNG Adopts Coin “Doctoring” Definition

The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) has created a definition of coin “doctoring” and now officially included it as one of the prohibitions in the organization’s By-Laws.

“The deliberate and unacceptable alteration of a coin in an effort to deceive is a complex matter. Everyone seems to know what coin ‘doctoring’ means, but it’s a difficult thing to concisely and substantively define,” said Paul Montgomery, PNG President.

“After extensive discussions and consultation with both Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), the official grading service of PNG, and with executives of the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), the PNG has created its first formal definition of coin doctoring,” Montgomery added.

PNG already required disclosure of information about altered coins.

“Section seven of the PNG Code of Ethics specifically states that PNG member-dealers must refrain from knowingly dealing in counterfeit, altered or repaired numismatic items without fully disclosing their status to their customers. Section four of the Code prohibits misrepresenting the quality of a coin,” said PNG Executive Director Robert Brueggeman.

“Adding a more specific definition of coin doctoring is a major step toward helping the PNG review any complaints against members accused of compromising ethical standards established by the organization. We now have an enforceable criterion for our membership.”

The PNG Board of Directors has adopted this initial definition:

Coin doctoring is the action of a person or the enabling of another to alter a coin’s surface or appearance, usually to diminish or conceal defects, and thereby represent the condition or value of a coin as being superior to its actual condition or value.

Among the practices defined as doctoring are effacing hairlines by polishing or manipulating the surfaces of proof coins, applying substances to the surface of coins to hide marks and defects, hiding marks or otherwise changing the appearance of a coin by adding toning, adding chemicals or otherwise manipulating the surfaces to create “cameo” frost on the devices of proof coins, and making a coin appear more fully struck by re-engraving portions of the devices, such as re-engraving bands on the reverse of a Mercury Dime or adding head detail to a Standing Liberty Quarter.

Altering dates or mintmarks or other struck portions of a coin to make it appear to be from a mint date or type other than that of origin, and altering business strike coins to make them resemble proof issues are also examples of coin doctoring. This definition is not intended to be all-inclusive, but only illustrative of forms of coin doctoring.

“As of today, no one has filed any formal complaints with PNG or presented evidence directly to the PNG of alleged coin doctoring by any of its members. However, we have been closely monitoring developments, and are taking action regarding a civil court lawsuit over alleged coin doctoring that was filed by PCGS in May of this year,” said Brueggeman.

Founded in 1955, the Professional Numismatists Guild is a nonprofit organization composed of many of the top rare coin and paper money dealers in the United States and other countries. PNG member-dealers must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic items. For additional information and the locations of PNG member-dealers, call (760) 728-1300 or visit online at www.PNGdealers.com.

Consumer Alert: PNG Members Assist Investigations of Traveling “Hotel” Gold Buyers

Only $60 Offered for $10,000 Gold Coin

Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) member-dealers have been assisting the news media in their continuing investigations of several gold-buying companies that move from community to community across the United States. One of the buyers offered only $60 — significantly less than even its bullion melt value — for a 1925-D Indian Head $2.50 gold coin certified NGC MS66 and valued at $10,000 by PNG experts.

” Despite prominent advertising that may proclaim, ‘NO ONE PAYS MORE,’ some traveling gold buyers are offering only pennies on the dollar for rare coins,” said Robert Brueggeman, PNG Executive Director.

“Recent newspaper and television investigations in five states conducted with the assistance of Professional Numismatist Guild member-dealers revealed that some buyers who set up for a few days in a hotel, then move on to another town, sometimes offered as little as three percent of the actual value of certified rare coins they were offered. You may see bigger promises than payouts.”

The initial investigations were conducted by The Examiner newspaper in Beaumont, Texas of several traveling gold buying companies at hotels in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The subsequent stories revealed that “promises of big money weren’t really true, and in many encounters the money offered was nearly a fourth or less of the actual value of the items being presented for sale,” according to Jerry Jordan, the award-winning News Editor of The Examiner.

Based on the results of the investigative reporting, PNG officials issued a brief consumer advisory to the general public.

“Results reported in those stories are not necessarily indicative of all hotel coin buyers across the country, but we encourage people who want to sell gold or silver to prepare in advance: know beforehand what you are selling and get more than one offer, preferably in writing. Consult with local merchants in your community who may not have flashy advertising but who may offer you considerably more money for your coins and jewelry. Members of the Professional Numismatists Guild must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic merchandise, and must refrain from buying at unreasonable prices,” advised Brueggeman.

“If you don’t know coins, you’d better know your coin buyer.”

Jordan discovered some hotel buyers operate under multiple assumed names, have lawsuits filed against them and are targeting areas of the country undergoing economic distress. The investigations also revealed another potential problem for people who want to sell gold jewelry.

“The scales used by some itinerant buyers to weigh gold jewelry may not even be lawfully registered with government agencies. That could result in inaccurate weight measurements to your detriment when you’re selling gold jewelry for its melt value,” said Brueggeman.

During the investigations, PNG member-dealers provided Jordan with gold and silver coins valued at more than $43,000 to offer to traveling gold buying companies, and assisted the newspaper with expert opinions on what their own companies would actually pay for those items. (more…)

PNG Praises Efforts to Combat Coin “Doctoring,” Monitors Suit Against Three Members

[ CoinLink News ] The Board of Directors of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) met in Long Beach, California on June 2, 2010 and issued the following statement.

The Professional Numismatists Guild Board of Directors applauds the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) in its efforts to battle the deceptive practice known as coin “doctoring.” The deliberate, deceitful alteration of a coin can pose an egregious financial consequence to individual collectors, investors, dealers as well as the general public. PNG believes the unconscionable practice of “doctoring” is an enormous detriment to the numismatic marketplace.

We congratulate and support both Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and Professional Coin Grading Service for their diligent work to detect ‘doctored” coins, and encourage both organizations to continue to aggressively combat this assault on the hobby.

“Doctoring” of coins is a definite violation of the PNG Code of Ethics, Section 7, that prohibits members from “knowingly dealing in counterfeit, altered or repaired numismatic items without fully disclosing their status to my customers.” “Doctoring” is also a violation of Section 4 of the PNG Code of Ethics that prohibits “misrepresenting the quality of a coin.”

The PNG Board regrets that three of its member-dealers have been named among the defendants in a Federal Court Complaint filed May 28, 2010 by Collectors Universe, Inc., the parent company of PCGS. The PNG takes allegations such as the ones made by PCGS very seriously. The board will monitor the progress of the complaint and react promptly, appropriately and in accordance with the organization’s bylaws.

Furthermore, in response to the recent influx of fraud related hobby concerns, the PNG board has pledged to revisit, review and update each and every ethical standard adopted by the PNG over the past 55 years. In particular, the board acknowledges the need to clearly define the term “doctoring,” in order to establish an enforceable criterion for its membership. The PNG board is unified in its resolve to nurture and maintain the PNG member-dealers’ standards of excellence through a more proactive posture regarding egregious acts of fraud in the numismatic marketplace.

Founded in 1955, the Professional Numismatists Guild is a nonprofit organization composed of many of the top rare coin and paper money dealers. For additional information, visit online at www.PNGdealers.com or call (760) 728-1300.

Adkins, Garrett and Leidman will lead PNG “Ask The Experts” Seminar at Central States

The Professional Numismatists Guild will conduct another in its continuing series of PNG Share the Knowledge seminars at the Central States Numismatic Society 71st anniversary convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 30, 2010. The educational session is free and open to collectors and dealers, and a complimentary light lunch will be available for audience members.

“Gary Adkins, Jeff Garrett and Julian Leidman, three outstanding professional numismatists including two former PNG Presidents, will conduct an Ask the Experts session to answer the audience’s questions about the hobby and the rare coin marketplace,” said PNG Executive Director Robert Brueggeman.

“Any and all numismatic topics are open for questions, from what to collect, the best ways to buy and sell, third-party grading and so on,” explained Paul Montgomery, PNG President. “These three distinguished panelists have over 100 years of cumulative experience and knowledge in numismatics.”

Former PNG President (2007 – 2009) Adkins is President of Gary Adkins Associates, Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota and helped create the PNG Share the Knowledge series that was launched in 2008 to underscore the organization’s motto, “Knowledge. Integrity. Responsibility.”

Former PNG President (2005 – 2007) Garrett is President of Mid-America Rare Coin Galleries in Lexington, Kentucky and Sarasota Rare Coin Galleries in Sarasota, Florida. A current member of the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors, he is the author of Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coinage and co-author of 100 Greatest U.S. Coins, among other books, and was a featured speaker in the first PNG Share the Knowledge seminar in February 2008.

“Sometimes the world of coin collecting can be quite confusing. Having access to a seasoned professional can be informative and useful, and collectors of all levels will be able to get answers from us on a wide range of subjects. Remember, knowledge is one of the most valuable assets when purchasing rare coins,” said Garrett.

(more…)

ANA and PNG to Sponsor Official Pre-Show At 2011 World’s Fair of Money in Chicago

ana_logoThe American Numismatic Association and the Professional Numismatists Guild have agreed to jointly sponsor the Official Pre-Show prior to the ANA World’s Fair of Money for three years beginning with the ANA Chicago convention in August 2011, ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd and PNG Executive Director Bob Brueggeman have announced.

png_logoThe Official Pre-Show will be held, when possible, in the same hall as the World’s Fair of Money on Friday through Monday prior to the convention. The ANA convention will be Tuesday through Saturday, closing each day at 5:30 p.m. The Pre-Show will be limited to wholesale business.

“This agreement is a big step forward for anyone who wants to attend a pre-show at an ANA convention,” said Shepherd. “Once established at the Official Pre-Show, dealers will not have to move or set up again for the World’s Fair of Money. They’ll be able to check into their hotels, walk over to the convention hall and set up one time for both shows. Everything – including the grading services and the ANA sanctioned auctions – will be in the same location. The ANA also will provide security between the end of the Pre-Show and the start of the main convention, so dealers can secure their inventory at their tables.”

“This will be a huge improvement for dealers because of the convenience and, importantly, the improved safety and security,” said Brueggeman. “There are benefits for collectors, too. This arrangement for a consistent and successful ANA/PNG Pre-Show should encourage more dealers to remain through the entire convention because it could shorten by several days the amount of the time they’re on the road.”

All ANA members in good standing will be offered tables at the Official Pre-Show; any dealer applying for a table must be registered for an equal or greater number of tables at the World’s Fair of Money. Costs will be held to a minimum to make it economical for all dealers, both PNG and non-PNG, to participate.

Shepherd said he sees the agreement as significantly enhancing the overall experience at the World’s Fair of Money while solving an ongoing problem created by unauthorized pre-shows diverting business away from the World’s Fair of Money and its official auction. He explained unauthorized pre-shows currently capitalize on the extraordinary investment the ANA makes in time, money and resources to organize a show, but without sharing in the expense. (more…)

Professional Numismatists Guild Announces Sixth Annual YN Scholarship Competition

For the sixth consecutive year, the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) will provide a scholarship to send a deserving young numismatist to the 2010 annual American Numismatic Association (ANA) Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

png_logo The scholarship will cover airfare, tuition for one of the two, week-long Summer Seminar sessions in June or July, meals and six nights of dormitory accommodations on the campus of Colorado College, site of the ANA headquarters.

“All young numismatists between the ages of 13 and 22 are cordially invited to apply for the PNG scholarship. To be eligible for consideration, entrants must submit a short essay outlining why they should be chosen as the scholarship recipient. The deadline for receipt of the entries is March 31, 2010,” said Robert Brueggeman, PNG Executive Director.

Nominations must include the applicant’s name and contact information. The nominating essays can be sent by e-mail to info@PNGdelaers.com, or by mail to the PNG Executive Director, 3950 Concordia Lane, Fallbrook, California 92028.

The two separate 2010 ANA Summer Seminar week-long sessions will be held Saturday, June 26, to Friday, July 2, and from Saturday, July 3, to Friday, July 9. Participants, ranging from teens to senior citizens, spend 25 hours taking one course of their choice about specific coins or paper money, the hobby’s technical or business aspects. (more…)

Future PNG Days Announced, Seminar in Houston

The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) has announced the next three dates in 2009 and 2010 for PNG Days, invitation-only events held in conjunction with major coin shows around the country. Collectors can obtain complimentary invitations to attend from participating PNG member-dealers.

PNG_PAUL_MONTGOMERY_2The future dates include the first-ever PNG Day and PNG Share the Knowledge educational seminar held in conjunction with the annual Greater Houston Coin Club’s Money Show of the Southwest. The upcoming dates and locations of PNG Days for the remainder of this year and next are:

o Wednesday, December 2, 2009, at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Hall E, 1001 Avenida de la Americas, in Houston, Texas. In conjunction with the Money Show of the Southwest, December 3 – 5.

An educational seminar, “Navigating the Bourse,” will be presented by PNG President Paul Montgomery during the Money Show of the Southwest at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, December 4, in room 215 of the convention center. A complimentary light lunch will be available for attendees, courtesy of the PNG.

“Navigating the ‘shark infested waters’ of a numismatic bourse floor really is not that tough, and should not be intimidating for collectors or investors. Many coin dealers are there to help; however, there are some unwritten and oftentimes unspoken protocols that can determine your success or failure,” explained Montgomery. “The seminar will guide you through a few easy, logical steps to make your coin show experiences worthwhile and rewarding with smooth sailing.” (more…)

Millions Lost From Coin Fakes, Hobby Leaders Warn

Chinese-made counterfeit coins pose a significant financial threat to unsuspecting consumers, according to leaders of five of the country’s most influential rare coin organizations. They warn the public is spending millions of dollars on fake U.S. coins offered in online auctions and elsewhere, such as flea markets and swap meets.

fake_1915-D_5In a jointly-issued consumer advisory (below) the groups caution the public not to purchase any so-called “replica” coins because they may be in violation of federal law. They also urge consumers to only purchase genuine rare coins from reputable, professional dealers or face the risk of losing money on copies that are illegal to re-sell.

Below is the consumer protection warning issued by (in alphabetical order) the American Numismatic Association (www.money.org), the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (www.ICTAonline.org), Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (www.NGCcoin.com), Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) and the Professional Numismatists Guild (www.PNGdealers.com).

Hobby periodicals report that more than a million counterfeit coins manufactured in China have been fraudulently sold in the United States posing a significant financial risk for unsuspecting consumers. Buyer beware! Consumers who buy an item based only on its perceived rarity and who have no knowledge as to how to determine whether the coin is genuine subject themselves to great risk of losing their money

The American Numismatic Association (ANA), the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) and the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) urge consumers to educate themselves before making purchases: know what you are buying and purchase only from reputable, experienced rare coin dealers (professional numismatists).

“We believe many of these counterfeits subsequently are being resold as genuine rare coins in online auctions and at flea markets and swap meets,” said Clifford Mishler, ANA President.

“Millions of dollars already have been spent on these fakes and potentially millions more may be unwittingly lost by consumers who mistakenly think they’re getting a genuine rare coin,” warned Paul Montgomery, PNG President.
(more…)

PNG Members Recover Coins from 2001 Theft

The only known Walking Liberty half dollar mistakenly struck on a five-cent denomination planchet was among the 12 stolen error coins recovered by PNG member-dealers. (Photos courtesy of Fred Weinberg, Inc.)

off_metal_walker_recoveredA dozen of the 44 U.S. error coins stolen from an Indiana motel room in 2001 have been recovered and returned to their delighted owner through the joint efforts of three Professional Numismatists Guild members. At the time of the theft eight years ago these coins were to be the foundation of a planned book about off-metal errors.

The recovered coins belong to collector and researcher Mark Lighterman of Sanford, Florida. They include what is believed to be the only known Walking Liberty half dollar struck on a planchet intended for five-cent pieces; one of three known Standing Liberty quarter dollars struck on a one-cent planchet; a unique 1858 Flying Eagle cent on a silver half-dime planchet; and a double denomination Indian cent on a previously-struck Barber dime. There is also a transitional error 1944-dated Washington quarter on a zinc planchet intended for 1943 cents.

The coins were stolen along with a camera, laptop computer and a collection of over 1,000 casino gaming chips from Lighterman’s motel room in Southport, Indiana when he was traveling to the Central States Numismatic Society convention in Indianapolis in April 2001.

The recovery was made by PNG member Paul Nugget of Spectrum East in East Meadow, New York; PNG associate member Andrew Glassman, President of Spectrum Numismatics International in Irvine, California; and PNG Board Member and former PNG President Fred Weinberg of Fred Weinberg, Inc. in Encino, California.
(more…)