World Coins: Counterfeit Pandas in Counterfeit Mint Packaging

Posted by Jay Turner, NGC Grader on 9/10/2013

Counterfeit mint packaging is becoming a common problem in the modern Chinese coin market.

Although coins have always been counterfeited, it is a relatively new phenomenon to see counterfeit mint packaging. In the last few years, however, there has been a proliferation of fake mint packaging in the modern Chinese coin market, and this can often deceive collectors and dealers who are not familiar with this problem. This was unfortunately the case for one recent submitter to NGC who sent more than 50 Chinese Panda coins in mint packaging. Both the coins and the packaging turned out to be counterfeit. Many different dates were represented, which shows that this problem is not limited to a handful of rare dates.

Counterfeit Chinese Mint Packaging
with Counterfeit Chinese 2001 10 Yuan Silver Panda
Click images to enlarge.

Counterfeit Chinese Mint Packaging
with Counterfeit Chinese 2008 10 Yuan Silver Panda
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This group of Chinese Pandas included every date from 2000 until 2009. At first glance everything looked normal. All of the coins were still in what would appear to be mint packaging; however, a closer look revealed that the PVC plastic packaging surrounding the capsules had a different edge crimping design than that used by the Chinese Mint. While fake packaging is not always an indication that the coins are also fake (for instance, we have seen authentic Panda coins that have been resealed), the coins themselves are clearly not authentic. By testing the coins with NGC’s in-house x-ray fluorescence spectrometer, NGC determined that most pieces are made up of a composition of copper and other base metals, with a thin plating of silver. The coins are also thicker than authentic examples to make the weight closer to their genuine counterparts.

Counterfeit Chinese 2009 10 Yuan Silver Panda
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Counterfeit Chinese 2003 10 Yuan Silver Panda
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Chinese modern coins are an exciting and popular area with many interesting series to collect. There are, however, a number of counterfeits so collectors and dealers should use caution when purchasing uncertified Chinese modern coins, especially sight-unseen. NGC-certified Chinese coins are the safest choice, and to date NGC has graded more than 600,000 Chinese coins.





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