Last March, the Professional Coin Grading Service announced the PCGS Secure Plus service. Coins graded through Secure Plus will be scanned by an optical device that will map the surface of the coin creating a digital signature of its characteristics that can be used for later reference. The digital signature is a unique identification of the coin that can withstand potential coin doctoring and to prevent the users from removing the coin from the slab to try to have it graded higher. It can also be used to determine if the coin was doctored from its previous submission such as being artificially toned.
Recently, PCGS created a video demonstrating the scanner used to fingerprint and detect re-submitted coins. In the demonstration, PCGS shows how it detected a coin that had previously been submitted then artificially toned before being re-submitted. Here is the video:
I thought the device would be a little bigger. But that is the beauty of modern technology. In the past, I wrote, “Computers are great tools. Imaging technologies enhanced by computers can do wonderful things. To apply this technology to coin grading and analysis would be a fantastic addition to the industry. Can you imagine being able to take the technology to major shows and for a small fee, provide on sight diagnostics for coins before submitting them to the grading services?” PCGS is one step closer to that possibility!