WARNING: This is not the publishable version. That is now going through the InCopy process.
Several grading services have confirmed that error coins previously certified as genuine are now considered to be counterfeit, prompting officials at the firms to alert the collecting community about the fake coins now in the marketplace.
According to the firms, an eBay seller of what are being described as extremely deceptive counterfeit error coins apparently was able to slip the bogus pieces past numismatic experts at the three grading services. The firms graded and encapsulated the fake coins as genuine before the alleged ruse was detected.
The error types include off-metal and wrong planchet strikes and uniface errors, among others. Experts have since been able to ascertain the diagnostics for the alleged counterfeit coins to identify them as fakes and trace the earlier submissions that are questionable.
Tallying the damage
Fewer than 75 pieces are believed to have been involved from among the errors submitted to ANACS, Numismatic Guaranty Corp. and Professional Coin Grading Service that were encapsulated as genuine and since determined to be counterfeit.
Officials at Independent Coin Graders said July 18 that they had not received any submissions from persons using the names employed by the eBay seller for their grading service submissions.
Some of the counterfeit coins offered by the eBay seller, most involving U.S. coins, were sold to unsuspecting buyers for in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. All three grading services have notified eBay officials of the counterfeit coins, and at least one grading service has notified federal law enforcement.
The grading services are determining what legal remedies they may pursue.