Caution! Hundreds of Websites Selling Counterfei­t Gold and Silver Coins


Looking to buy gold and silver, “Oliver,” an investor in Texas, responded to advertisem­ents on Facebook from two companies that touted exceptiona­lly low “introducto­ry oer” prices for silver and gold bullion coins. He paid $1,000 and now is trying to get his money back because the “gold coin” and all 50 “silver coins” he received are counterfei­ts made in China, according to the non-pro‚t AntiCounte­rfeiting Educationa­l Foundation.

“I started suspecting they were not genuine when tracking informatio­n for my orders was in Chinese,” said Oliver. “That was a red flag. I also saw the same advertisem­ent online with the same format and same pricing but with different company names. When I received the orders, I thought I had gotten taken.”

At the time he placed his order, a oneounce United States Mint-produced American Gold Eagle would have been priced at about $1,950. He paid $499 but got a counterfei­t. Each of the 50 oneounce American Silver Eagle coins he ordered should have sold for about $40 each, a total of about $2,000 for 50 genuine examples. Oliver paid $499.98 for 50 but received only fakes.

He now is working with his credit card companies to reverse the charges on his two purchases and is assisting the Anti-Counterfei­ting Educationa­l Foundation (ACEF) to alert investigat­ors and the public. “Chinese counterfei­ters are blowing up the web selling fake silver and gold coins that may look like the real thing at ‚rst glance but certainly are not. We’ve seen suspicious ads posted on many platforms, including Amazon and Facebook, with links to the fraudsters’ websites,” cautioned Doug Davis, ACEF anti-counterfei­ting director.

“—e counterfei­ters and their accomplice­s are heavily marketing fakes through social media and online ‘coin dealer’ websites. We now are tracking

more than 300 websites selling fakes, many of them operated by the same individual­s or companies, but o’en under di‡erent company names. Some even copy the exact wording and actual photos from legitimate dealers’ web pages,” explained Davis, a former Texas Police Chief.

“Remember, if you don’t know precious metals or rare coins, you’d better know a reputable seller, such as experts a liated with the Accredited Precious Metals Dealer program (www. APMDdealer­ or the Profession­al Numismatis­ts Guild (www.PNGdealers. org),” advised Davis.


Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) is pleased to announce improvemen­ts to its return shipping and insurance services. Many return shipments will now arrive faster and at a lower cost to submitters, and internatio­nal return shipments sent via FedEx will now be insured for up to $50,000 per package.

e changes apply to return shipments from NGC’s Sarasota, Florida, headquarte­rs. With the updates, NGC will generally ship completed submission­s to U.S. addresses via FedEx with insurance coverage of up to $100,000 per package procured by NGC. e FedEx shipping method used will be based on the submitter’s declared values, with signicant savings in many cases when compared to today’s rates.

PCGS Launches Pack-Grading and New SmallSize Holders for Banknotes

Profession­al Coin Grading Service has o cially launched pack grading for those who wish to submit their banknote packs for encapsulat­ion. e PCGS pack holders, which allow for half (50) or full (100) consecutiv­e serial-numbered banknotes to be encapsulat­ed in a single holder, are ideal for grading banknote packs whose historic or collectibl­e significan­ce is better maintained by keeping the notes physically together.

“e benet of grading an entire pack of banknotes rather than individual notes has a lot to do with certain collectibl­e characteri­stics that are unique to packs of banknotes, such as keeping together a run of notes with consecutiv­e numbers, consecutiv­e star notes, and the like,” explained PCGS President Stephanie Sabin. “ere are even cases where a pack of notes may be historical or collectibl­e for other reasons, such as having an origin associated with a bank hoard, a notable collector, or other numismatic­ally signicant factors.”

“So many of the submission­s we received are U.S. small-size notes, fractional and postage currency, and other notes from around the world that are smaller than the large-size notes our holders were designed to accommodat­e. With these new holders, PCGS o‡ers a right-sized solution for a wide variety of banknotes,” said Sabin.

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