World Coins

California dealer discovers fake Krugerrand in fake holder

Fullerton, Calif., dealer Dwight Manley recently discovered a fake South African gold Krugerrand coin in a fake NGC holder.

Numismatic Guaranty Corp. has confirmed that the holder and coin are both counterfeit.

Manley issued an advisory about the find on Nov. 10, calling the piece “frighteningly deceptive.”

The counterfeit quarter-ounce Krugerrand in a counterfeit NGC holder was purchased in Fullerton where Manley owns and operates Fullerton Coins & Stamps.

“A frighteningly deceptive counterfeit has been encountered, and the world needs to be told about it,” Manley said in the statement.

The firm purchased a 2005 quarter-ounce gold Krugerrand labeled Proof 70 in what was purported to be a Numismatic Guaranty Corp. holder. Not only is the coin counterfeit, but so is the holder.

The holder “has the same certification number on the label as a genuine 2005 one-quarter ounce Krugerrand listed in the NGC data base,” Manley said.

According to Manley, the fake was purchased on Oct. 23, 2015, by a knowledgeable employee of Fullerton Coins & Stamps over the counter from a semi-regular customer. 

“Before making the purchase, the employee checked the NGC website to see if the certification number and coin description matched, [and] they did.”

Manley later inspected the coin, and, “it just didn’t look quite right. I did a side-by-side, inch-by-inch comparison between the encapsulated coin the store purchased and the obverse and reverse photos on the NGC website. The reproduction of the NGC hologram on the fake is almost dead on, the same.”

There is one distinct difference between the fake and genuine holders, Manley said.

Collectors should look at the left side of the front insert label. 

"On the fake coin, the circle in the NGC logo (an encircled balance scale) goes almost entirely around the P in the grade PF 70. On the genuine coin’s label, the P is outside the logo circle,” Manley said.

“An amazing amount of effort obviously went into creating a fake coin and a fake holder with a [certificate] number and description that match a genuine coin,” said Manley. “I’ve notified NGC, but in the meantime, I caution collectors and dealers to watch out for any similar, deceitful and dangerous counterfeits.”

Max Spiegel, vice president of sales and marketing for NGC’s parent firm, Certified Collectibles Group, told Coin World by email that the firm reviewed the images provided by Manley and concluded that these images show a counterfeit coin in a counterfeit NGC holder. 

“NGC has observed a very small number of similar counterfeit coins encapsulated in counterfeit NGC holders that are generally poorly made and very easy to detect. The coin, holder, label and hologram have serious issues and a comparison with any genuine NGC holder would reveal numerous differences,” he said.  

“Counterfeit NGC holders not only infringe upon NGC’s registered trademarks, but also violate both the Hobby Protection Act of 1973 and the Collectible Coin Protection Act of 2014. NGC is actively working to investigate and pursue those who counterfeit NGC holders and violate NGC’s intellectual property rights.”

The counterfeit holder lacks many of the security features of a genuine NGC holder, said Spiegel, noting that some images published online in reports about the counterfeit coin and holder actually show genuine articles. 

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