Numismatist Groups Warn Of Counterfeit Coins From China
These types of copies are illegal to resell. The U.S. Hobby Protection Act, first enacted in 1973 requires manufacturers and importers of imitation numismatic items to mark them plainly and permanently with the word, "COPY" in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations. Many of the replica items do not bear these markings. Thousands of coins described as "copy" or "replica" are listed for sale in online auctions every day often using images of the genuine coins. More than a million of these coins may have already been sold in the U.S.
The groups say that customers should not purchase any "replica" coins because they may be in violation of federal law and that they should be very careful about who they buy from. "Even during the recession, the United States rare coin market remains vibrant and active with an estimated $5 billion in annual sales. We urge collectors and investors to become knowledgeable and use common sense when buying," says Steven R. Eichenbaum, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation Chief Executive Officer.
For a copy of the booklet, What You Should Know Before You Buy Rare Coins, send $1 to the Professional Numismatists Guild, 3950 Concordia Lane, Fallbrook, CA 92028.
Gallery: Counterfeit Coins