US Coins

Chinese starter kit for fake PCGS holders

A Chinese online distributor of counterfeit United States coins is now offering what amount to “starter kits” of counterfeit Professional Coin Grading Service holders with fake grading labels.

PCGS President Don Willis said little can be done legally to combat the counterfeiting until the material hits American soil.


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“Unfortunately counterfeiting is legal in China,” Willis said. “Our issue is detecting counterfeits when [we are] grading in China and stopping counterfeits from entering the States.”

The starter kits, consisting of fake PCGS holders and grading labels, are being offered on the AliExpress.com website by a seller under the name jack’coinsky. The seller’s shop link is at http://www.aliexpress.com/store/901126. The seller indicates his online shop has been open for eight years.

In response to Coin World’s inquiry, the seller identified himself as Jack Liao and said he is located in Hunan Province in China. The name of his firm is Fang Gu Gong Yi Ping Limited Company.

The starter kits, offered for $242.89 including shipping, comprise six snap-together holders along with label inserts that replicate the PCGS logo and hologram.

Also offers fake coins

The seller indicates that he also distributes “antique imitation” coins that have been produced by “our factory” for at least 15 years. The replicated coins are reproduced usually in base metals, or in some cases, .900 fine silver or silver plated with .9995 fine gold.

An example is a fake 1908-D Saint-Gaudens, No Motto gold $20 double eagle encapsulated in a fake PCGS holder with fake labels, offered individually for $96.82 postpaid. The coin is composed of the 24-karat gold plated over .900 fine silver, according to the product description.

The offering is part of a pattern, warns one of the hobby’s leading anti-counterfeiting organizations.

“This website on AliExpress selling ‘starter kits’ containing six fake PCGS holders and grade inserts is yet another example of Chinese counterfeiters luring Americans into their networks of criminal enterprise,” says Beth Deisher, director of the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force for the Industry Council for Tangible Assets. “U.S. law enforcement at the federal and local levels can’t reach into China, but they can go after those in the United States who engage in buying and selling counterfeits and fraudulent activity.”

Real ones sonically sealed

PCGS sonically seals the coins that it legitimately grades and encapsulates in its genuine holders with genuine labels. The PCGS grading and encapsulation fee is based on the value of a genuine coin and level of service selected.

The fee increases with the value of the coin under review, and shortened turnaround times are also priced higher at the level of service purchased. 

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