eBay's usual listings of Australian coins and notes included a rather alarming auction last week (late September), it was one of the spark erosion counterfeit 1946 pennies that I wrote about a month or so ago, and although that is nothing new in and of iteself (there are dozens upon dozens of counterfeit coins on eBay at the moment), what was alarming was the fact that this coin was being offered in a counterfeit PCGS slab. Fortunately, the listing was ended before the scammer could net an unsuspecting buyer (presumably by eBay's Trust and Safety department), however I grabbed a few screen shots of the listing before it ended:
There are a couple of things to note about the coin and the slab it's contained in:
- The coin itself is quite obviously counterfeit - the surfaces both sides are porous, and the last digit in the date is clearly not genuine. Both of these characteristics are shared by the spark-erosion counterfeits coming out of China at present;
- The font used for the text on the label differs to that used on genuine PCGS holders - the lettering isn't as sharp, and looks to be "bolder" than the font normally used on PCGS labels.
- The PCGS grade on the slab clearly differs from the quality of the coin in the slab - the grade suggests that the coin is MS64BN (indicating a coin in high grade that is "full brown", yet the coin itself has full red lustre right across both sides.
Although this is a fairly amateurish attempt at trying to pass of a counterfeit coin as a genuine coin independently authenticated and graded by PCGS, it does show that buyers need to exercise caution when buying any coin, regardless of whether it is in a PCGS slab or not!