In its ongoing battle against counterfeiters worldwide,
Professional Coin Grading Service is introducing a new 3-D security
hologram for PCGS holders.
The new anti-counterfeiting feature, to be used starting Jan. 27,
was developed by DuPont Authentication Inc. in conjunction with the
The DuPont Izon 3D security holographic technology is one of the
major features of the next generation of PCGS holders unveiled Jan. 10
by PCGS President Don Willis at the PCGS Set Registry luncheon in
Those in attendance at the luncheon each received an example of
the new holder containing the 3-D security hologram encapsulated with
a circulated 1914 Lincoln cent.
“This is a big step forward to stay more than a step ahead of
counterfeiters around the world and to aggressively provide additional
safety and security for collectors and dealers,” Willis said. “This
will give additional confidence for buyers and sellers of
PCGS-certified coins. ... It will be very, very difficult for
counterfeiters to copy our holders with the hologram.”
Willis said, “Any attempt to remove the hologram will cause it to
“The Izon 3D security hologram developed by DuPont is extremely
difficult to replicate and contains numerous elements — both overt and
covert — to foil counterfeiters,” Willis said. Among the overt devices
is 1-2-3-4 progression of dots that appear along the perimeter of the
Steve Sloan, marketing executive for PCGS’s parent company,
Collectors Universe, explains, “Each side of the 3D model contains a
different number of Parallax Side Dots. The dots can only be viewed by
tipping the IZON label to the left and right and back and forth.
“As the viewer tips the IZON label 90 degrees to the right, a
repeated pattern of ‘PCGS’ will appear and as the viewer tips the IZON
label 90 degrees to the left, a repeated pattern of ‘GOLD SHIELD’ will appear.”
A video that shows what to look for in the new hologram will soon
be posted at www.PCGS.com.
Collectors will be able to see physical examples the new holder
and security hologram Jan. 30 through Feb. 1 at the Long Beach Coin,
Currency, Stamp & Sports Collectible Expo at the Long Beach
Convention Center in California, and at other major coin shows.
Willis said PCGS’s engineering staff worked with DuPont to develop
the new hologram and other security features.
“It’s like an arms race with the counterfeiters,” Willis said.
“We’re trying to stay one step ahead.”
Willis said the firm’s new plastic holders will be fabricated from
clearer, more scratch-resistant acrylic, for sharper viewing of the
coins the encapsulations protect.
Working with officials
Also, PCGS officials are working with the U.S. Secret Service in
San Francisco concerning coin alterations and counterfeiting of PCGS holders.
As an example of counterfeiting that PCGS has seen, Willis said,
genuine PCGS holders have been split at the seam, with the back of the
genuine PCGS holder retained. A genuine common 1901-O Morgan dollar is
cut in half along the edge into separate obverse and reverse faces.
The same is done with a common-date Philadelphia Mint Morgan dollar.
The 1901-dated obverse face is then mated with the reverse face from
the common Philadelphia Mint dollar.
The obverse and reverse faces, when joined, mimic a rare and more
valuable Philadelphia Mint 1901 Morgan dollar.
A counterfeit holder face is then matched to the genuine PCGS
holder back. A counterfeit grading insert is placed within,
identifying the coin inside as a genuine 1901 Morgan dollar struck at
the Philadelphia Mint. ■