Paul Gilkes

Mint State

Paul Gilkes

Paul is a senior editor and has been a member of the Coin World staff since 1988. Paul covers the U.S. Mint beat and has memorably reported for more than two decades on many of the hobby's most important stories including the record sale of the Farouk/Fenton 1933 double eagle and the ongoing legal proceedings of the Langbord 1933 double eagles. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Grove City College in Pennsylvania and collects autographs and memorabilia from The Andy Griffith Show.

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Sleeping bear needs to come out of hibernation

Counterfeit United States coins, including bullion issues, have been infiltrating the American market on an ever-increasing basis for nearly a decade with little or no intervention from the federal government.

That is, until now.

Two congressmen, Reps. Alex Mooney from West Virginia and Frank Lucas, an avid coin collector from Oklahoma, are seeking answers from the U.S. Mint and Secret Service as to what measures are being taken to stem the tide of the fake coins entering the American economy from China and elsewhere.

The congressmen are also seeking answers as to what the Mint is doing with technology to ensure the integrity of coinage products produced by the U.S. Mint.

Lucas and Mooney were prompted to action based on the tireless efforts of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets’ Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force, and its director of anti-counterfeiting, former Coin World editor Beth Deisher.

David J. Ryder, the 34th director of the U.S. Mint and President Trump’s pick to become the 39th, said during his nomination hearing that anti-counterfeit initiatives would be among his top priorities if confirmed.

And Ryder has the credentials to back it up, with 25 years since his first tenure as Mint director spent working in coin and paper money security.

illustrated above, a plated base metal counterfeit of a 2009-dated American Eagle gold bullion, is just one example of the type of fakes that have entered the marketplace.

Tackling the proliferation of United States counterfeit coins has been largely ignored for way too long. It’s time the sleeping bear wakes up and takes action before the problem gets any worse.

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