Donn Pearlman's Blog

23 Dec 2020

Combatting Counterfeits

| Donn Pearlman

The fight against fakes continues. Here's the latest from the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation (with a Thank You to ANA Past President and former PNG President Gary Adkins).

Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation
Warns Feds About Online "Coin" Seller

(Temecula, California) December 23, 2020 -- Promptly acting on a tip from a concerned collector, the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation's (www.ACEFonline.org) Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF) has notified law enforcement agencies and online shopping platform Amazon.com about a seller who is in apparent violation of federal laws involving reproductions of rare coins.

The seller using the name SeTing offered nine reproductions of coins and fantasy dates, but none of the accompanying coin images indicated any of the items were properly marked "COPY" as mandated by the Hobby Protection Act.

The offered items included replicas of a 1794 Flowing Hair dollar, an 1804 Draped Bust dollar and a 1915 Indian Head Quarter Eagle ($5). There was also a fantasy piece resembling a Trade Dollar but with the date 1791 and a Carson City mint mark that was identified by the seller as "Old Original Morgan Dollar." Genuine U.S. Trade Dollars were struck from 1873 to 1885 and Morgan silver dollars were produced between 1878 and 1921.

Prices for the "coins" ranged from $2.99 to $3.29 plus an additional $3.98 shipping.

A hobbyist who saw the online listings sent a complaint about the seller to members of the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors, some former ANA officers, the United States Mint and to several numismatic publications and numismatic information websites. ANA Past President Gary Adkins forwarded the email complaint to former Texas Police Chief Doug Davis, ACEF Director of Anti-Counterfeiting.

"The timely 'heads up' tip from the concerned collector is greatly appreciated. These six items are in apparent violation of both the Hobby Protection Act and Title 18 of the U.S. Code involving counterfeiting and forgery of United States coins. The task force has reported the information to the appropriate federal agencies and Amazon," said Davis.

"ACTF currently monitors over 200 websites and social media platforms selling counterfeit coins and precious metals across the country and around the world.

Intelligence information is forwarded to the Secret Service and Treasury Department Office of the Inspector General. ACTF also assists all levels of law enforcement in counterfeit case development for prosecution," he explained.

"The Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation is aggressively seeking legislation on the state level to provide local law enforcement officers with statutes seeking criminal penalties for the possession, manufacture and distribution of counterfeit coins and precious metals," said ACEF Executive Director Robert Brueggeman. "However, to address these problems requires the support of the numismatic community. The Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation that operates solely upon donations."

Monetary contributions can be made online at www.acefonline.org/donate or by check mailed to ACEF, 28441 Rancho California Rd., Ste. 106, Temecula, CA 92590. For additional information about donating, contact ACEF Executive Director Brueggeman at info@ACEFonline.org.


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Level 6

Wonderful read. Counterfeit education is not mentioned as often as it should nowadays. Thanks.


Level 5

Sad fact in any society since the beginning of time. Thanks for the information.


Level 4

Counterfeits are the greatest risk to our hobby as a whole. when you buy one, you are funding the continuation of this process. i would hope that the CCP would act upon this, but the CCP is China, and china is weird and communist. id bet the only way they'd try to shut down it is if silver and gold pandas were the target of counterfeits.


Level 6

The crime of counterfeiting will be impossible to stop. It seems like the bad guys are always finding new ways to fool people. Sad to say. Thanks for a great blog!


Level 6

Great organization but they can't do it all alone. We need to be very vigilant. VamWorld has a thread called eBuyer beware. It is just fake coins, Morgan and Peace Dollars on sale on eBay. It's currently 62 pages long. Thanks.


Level 5

Counterfeiting will always be an issue. There is no good way to completely smother it. One can only learn how to identify it, and read the warning signs. Thanks for the info! Cheers, NM


Level 5

Well, at least they weren't trying to sell them as the real coins, or else they would be charging way more than $3. But still, a buyer cold then resell them as the real coin for the full price, which makes them dangerous. I don't think that I will ever order coins off of Amazon, I would rather do so on Ebay. Thanks for sharing!


Level 7

Thanks so muxh. It's great to know that someone is tracking these morons down. Good work . Continue it please for The collectors sake.

Long Beard

Level 5

So glad that you posted this. I routinely check out what's going on at the ACEF's website, which was a few months back. Thanks for the reminder. My only concern is the prosecution end and what the exact sentencing was upon conviction. If strong enough, perhaps those in the trade will think twice.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Of course, experienced collectors would immediately know something was up from the price alone but non-collectors and true novices might be fooled, thankfully the price is not something to break anyone. But unscrupulous actors might buy some and try to resell at bid prices to the truly naive.


Level 5

Counterfeiters are the biggest threat to the hobby, while cleaners are the greatest threat to the real coins out there.

Long Beard

Level 5

And artificial toners.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

BTW, I saw them for sale on lots of websites tonight, but not Amazon

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Don't count on it. This is a Chinese company and our government has been totally corrupted by China. The only protection we can expect is Numismatists taking care of Numismatists. Thank you so much for the warning.


Level 5

I was looking at a book on counterfeits recently on EBAY. But even the books on counterfeits become out of date rather quickly, if new counterfeits are being made. Luckily for me I probably won't be buying any rare coins that are counterfeit. If I buy any coin worth some money, it would be graded. But then again even graded coins are being counterfeited. A counterfeit slab and a coin inside. Just know your dealer and check out your coins ! Nice post!


Level 5

Thank you for this update and the information for funding for this worthy organization. We can't stop it if we don't know. Thanks again.

Hopefully the government/ law enforcement actually does something about this. I'm glad that no one had purchased these before everyone was notified. This hurts the hobby, especially people who haven't started collecting yet.

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