US Coins

PNG forms panel to define 'coin doctoring'

The Professional Numismatists Guild has formed a committee composed of PNG members and nonmembers to research and draft an acceptable definition of “coin doctoring.”

“They will draft an exhaustive, but concise definition,” PNG President Jeffrey Bernberg said. “Coin doctoring is a crucial, perplexing issue that needs to be addressed for the benefit of collectors and dealers. We’re determined to get this done.”

The PNG committee is headed by John Albanese, president both of Certified Acceptance Corp. ( and of the National Consumer Alliance (, a nonprofit numismatic organization involved in consumer education and protection.

Albanese was also a co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service in 1986 and the founder of Numismatic Guaranty Corp. in 1987, the two largest, independent third-party rare coin authentication and grading companies.

Also serving on the committee are former PNG Vice President John Feigenbaum from David Lawrence Rare Coins; Frank Greenberg from Delaware Valley Rare Coins; Paul Montgomery, PNG immediate past president, from American Precious Metals Exchange; Laura Sperber from Legend Numismatics; and Scott Travers, author of The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual.

Any other numismatic professionals interested in participating are invited to contact Albanese by email at

“The committee consists of a varied group of respected numismatists who have a wide range of expertise,” Albanese said. “Our job is to specifically define coin doctoring so we can better protect consumers from buying coins that have been tampered with in a manner meant to deceptively alter a coin, and thus, affect the long-term value of their investment.

“The doctoring problem plagues the industry as a whole and has the potential to affect the credibility of all rare coins, certified or otherwise. The PNG is the ideal organization to lead an unbiased charge against the unsavory tactics of coin doctors because the PNG stands at the forefront of numismatic integrity and leadership in the professional coin community.”

In July 2010, the PNG Board of Directors, in partnership with NGC and PCGS, adopted a definition of coin doctoring “to help combat the deliberative and unacceptable alteration of coins in an effort to deceive.” However, that definition subsequently was rejected by PNG ( members in January of this year.

“The PNG By-Laws provide the general membership with the opportunity to override decisions made by the board,” said PNG Executive Director Robert Brueggeman. “In this case, the membership voted overwhelmingly to keep the previous PNG Code of Ethics definition in place and not adopt a more-substantive new wording specifically about coin doctoring until the issue could be more clearly defined.

“We’re now working to get that clear definition and the consensus of the membership,” Brueggeman said. ¦

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