Last month, PCGS announced they will open an office in Hong Kong to help Asian dealers authenticate and grade coins for their market. With the flood of counterfeits from that area of the world, providing access to a third-party grading service could help in reducing the proliferation of fake coins.
Recently, PCGS announced that their new Hong Kong company will be grading coins prior to and during the Hong Kong International Coin Convention and Antique Watch Fair beginning on March 24 and continuing through April 6, 2012. If you are interested in submitting coins to PCGS Hong Kong, read the story at coinnews.net.
More interesting are the sample of the holders PCGS published with the press release. PCGS will continue to use slabs similar to those used in the United States without the edge-revealing prongs. The medium sized slab in the image (right) appears similar to those used to encase the 5 ounce America The Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins. What appears to be new is the large-size slab for those large silver coins issued for the new lunar year, for example.
To identify coins graded by the PCGS Hong Kong subsidiary, the label used on the slab apparently will have a circular logo colored in red.
This is reported with mixed feelings. While I prefer raw (ungraded) coins, I understand the the necessity to authenticate coins especially from that area of the world. If you do not know about the extent of the problem with Chinese counterfeit coins, this article by Susan Headly includes detailed images of a Chinese counterfeiting operation and should be a scary reminder.