Steve Roach

The Art of Collecting

Steve Roach

Steve Roach, Coin World’s editor-at-large, has been deeply involved with numismatics for more than 20 years, starting as a young coin collector in Michigan. Two years spent as a coin grader, nearly three years at a major coin wholesaler and a stint as a paintings specialist at an international auction house have given Steve a rich understanding of the hobby, its market and the unique personalities and exceptional objects that make collecting meaningful. He joined Coin World in 2006 as a columnist, and has served as associate editor and editor-in-chief. He received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Michigan, a juris doctorate from the Ohio State University and is a Certified Member of the International Society of Appraisers.

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Coin counterfeiters (and those who help them), beware!

The Collectible Coin Protection Act, which President Obama signed into law on Dec. 19, is an important tool to protect our hobby. 

The bill amends the Hobby Protection Act to increase consequences for distributing and selling prohibited items. It also provides protections to keep third-party certification service trademarks secure.

This law is not designed to target an individual who mistakenly passes along or sells a counterfeit coin.

Instead, it prohibits “knowingly engaging” in any act or practice that violates the law. It allows counterfeit coin protections to be enforced across a broader spectrum of the life-cycle of a counterfeit item, going beyond the mere manufacture of the item to include the importation, shipping and sale of it. 

The passage of the Hobby Protection Act in 1973 was a game-changer for coin collecting in the United States. It requires that replicas and imitation numismatic items be clearly marked “COPY.”  What the new law does is provide some teeth to the Hobby Protection Act. 

The influx of counterfeits from Asia, along with advancements in technology such as 3-D printing have made counterfeiting a continued problem. The flooding of counterfeit U.S. coins from China seems to have eased, due in part to eBay cracking down on the sale of these and also through the advocacy of many in the hobby, including Coin World’s former editor Beth Deisher.

The Industry Council for Tangible Assets should be applauded for its steady effort to keep this in front of legislators. 

As long as there is demand, there will be counterfeits, so it’s essential that all of the various parts of our hobby keep vigilant to make people aware of the presence of counterfeit coins and the danger that they pose to numismatics.  

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