Numismatic Guarantee Corporation (NGC) posted a message on its website (and in PDF) warning about counterfeit NGC slabs being on popular on line auctions sites from overseas. NGC’s message points out checking the serial number of the slab is not enough since the counterfeiter is matching the number with the coin information from NGC. There are subtle differences in the label that requires careful inspection rather than a passing glance.

Images of the fake NGC and ANACS slabs was posted by UtahCoin on the Collectors Universe forms then posted on the Collectors Society forums. It has been a hot discussion item since. It is important to note that only the old ANACS slabs were counterfeited, not the new Clearview holders.

No comment was made by ANACS. In fact, no news has come from ANACS since the official announcement of their sale to James Taylor.

UPDATED: As part of the announcement, NGC disclosed that they will be introducing a new holder sometime during 2008. The new holder will have new anti-counterfeiting mechanisms that addresses many of the issues found in this incident.

User braddick on the Collectors Society forums found images of a slab from a Chinese company resembling those used by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). It is speculated that it will be a matter of time before fake PCGS slabs are offered for sale.

Although it is not proper to stereotype, recent record of China-based sellers has demonstrated a great majority of rare, key, and semi-key date coins are either fake or significantly altered to look better to the detriment of their numismatic value. It highlights the axiom, “if it looks too good to be true, it probably is not true!”

Caveat emptor.

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