'Not Genuine' Claudius Cistophorua from MA-Shops
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I purchase a 'pricey' cistophorus from a shop in the EU thru MA-Shops.  Lovely coin.  Price seemed fair, assuming the coin was genuine.  Pic attached.  Had been looking for a decent example for years.  Was crushed when I learned NGC was returning the coin ungraded as not genuine [i.e. counterfeit].  Coin looked great to me in hand.  Given the NGC image would you be fooled as I was and as the shop that sold me the coin was?  Was most surprised by the response from the shop that sold me the coin: prove the coin is not genuine as the NGC determination is not sufficient 'proof'.  Text of the eMail response is below.  I am now waiting for MA-Shops to respond and, hopefully, intervene on my behalf.  Their US based rep seemed surprised by the store owner's eMail when I called.  The Claudius is one of five raw purchases I've made thru MA-Shops and the only problematic one.  My drop-dead gorgeous shekel came from a MA-Shops store [the NGC pic of that is out-of-this-world]. Has anyone had a similar experience with an MA-Shops store?  I am just a tad bit uneasy with MA-Shops now.  Regards!  Bob

"I examine all the coins I sell always very carefully. Also in this case I have no reasons to doubt the authenticy of the cistophoros of Claudius. So I am not convinced about this qualification of NCG. However everyone can of course make a mistake. Also me.  In this case it is important that NGC explains why they think it is not genuine. If they say this coin is a fake, they must proof this with good arguments. Only saying it, is of course not good enouph. Without arguments their opinion is worth nothing of course…... So please sent me a full report of NGC, where they give there arguments. If these arguments are convincing, than you may sent me the coin back for further investigation."

11/12/2019 update.

MA-Shops was unable, as was I, to solicit the explanation from NGC and "full report" demanded by the seller in the Netherlands.  Apparently, in response to queries from MA-Shops customer service the seller sent me the message below.  Still hoping MA-Shops can fix this.  Both MA-Shops and the Dutch seller guarantee authenticity with a money back guarantee.

In this case there is no reason to return the coin, as there is no evidence at all  that the coin is not an original. Please read my selling terms.  I proposed the credit out of coulance, to do you a favour.  Of course you are free to believe NGC on their blue eyes, but without good arguments their opinion is totally worthless. (Also be aware that even when ancient coins are slabbed by NGC, they do not guarantee authenticy. Apparently they are not so certain about their own qualifications concerning authenticy. In fact you waist your money on a fantasy certainty, but, which you are free to do of course). I will not refund you the money, as there is no reason for. A credit is the best I can do. This offer stands 1 week.

 

5767916-006v.jpg

Edited by BOB.W
Update added.

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512 posts

I personally have found things they didn't mention...but you have to pay for that, many collectors don't care about a DDO/DDR...or varieties....

As far as mistakes....I guess...

As far as Counterfeit and they slabbed it as authentic..no never personally, they are pretty damn good at coin grading and Authenticity....sorry...

You can also contact them if you have any concerns....not sure why people don't contact the source....they are more than willing to help....no pun intended...

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Alas, NGC does not share why they deem a coin to be 'not genuine'.  Apparently doing so would help the counterfeiter improve his 'product'.  MA-Shops, which apparently has a relationship with the VP of NGC, was told the same by NGC.  NGC did not slab the coin, simply sent it back to me as non-genuine in a flip.  MA-Shops asked me today to either accept a 75% refund for the coin from the dutch dealer or to send it to an individual of their selection (not an established TPG like NGC) for further assessment.  If he assesses the coin as genuine I must keep the coin and forego my 'claim'.  If I send it to their 'expert' I fear I will be left holding a coin that I will not be able to sell in the future.  Who would purchase a coin from me that the leading TPG says is counterfeit?  The MA-Shops proposals were surprising.  Perhaps they are stuck between trying to do the right thing and keeping one of their dealers happy?  Simply cannot image MA-Shops doubting NGC.  Wish they would ask the VP of NGC to reassess the coin.  I have gone back to that dealer's website and it is particularly 'rich' in high grade ancients.  More so than any dealer I've 'browsed'.  Would put recent Stack's and Bower auctions of ancients to shame.   The dutch dealer's selection seems almost too good to be true.

Edited by BOB.W

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If he really thought it was genuine for dead certain, and that NGC was wrong, he wouldn't offer you a refund of the majority of your money. He'd let you return it with a full refund so he could sell this wonderful, cool, genuine coin to someone else. Now he wants to send it to his pet examiner, who is of course totally objective and has absolutely no ties to your dealer that would influence his judgment, but nonetheless you should bank the future of the transaction on this person.

Yeah, I'll get right on that.

NGC isn't perfect--no one is--but a coin that comes back body bagged as phony is supposed to be a full refund with no further debate. At least from a reputable dealer. This negotiating business is not right, and it signals to me that they know there's a possibility they bought a fake and they hope to keep it palmed off on you.

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Sorry for your experience, it might be different for dealers, I've never had any problems getting an explanation....

I stopped offering a refund to clients as the amount of collectors trying to flip and changing their minds got ridiculous...like they thought I was Walmart and can just bring it back like their used too there... stopped that game long ago....

 

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Interesting: 'never had a problem getting an explanation".  MA-Shops, which is huge,with an office in Sarasota and a relationship with NGC, could not.  Perhaps NGC has changed its policy.

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On 11/20/2019 at 5:31 PM, BOB.W said:

  Simply cannot image MA-Shops doubting NGC

Why not?  Remember NGC does not guarantee authenticity on ancients.  They give their best opinion, and they are very good, but even they are not willing to guarantee them.

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Yes, they must miss a few well-crafted counterfeits.  Alas, not every NGC slabbed ancient is the 'real McCoy.'  The Chinese are getting better every day.  I suspect there are more than a few raw examples in the market place today that would confuse the experts at the British Museum.  Scary.  Knowing that I certainly do no want a coin rejected by NGC.  If NGC errs, suspect it will be in calling a counterfeit genuine, not in labeling a counterfeit 'not genuine.'

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I would suspect it would be the other way round. They don't want fakes in their slabs and with so many types and variations within the same types that if they have any question and aren't sure it is real they would pass on it and not slab it.  That would make the chances of a genuine coin being bodybagged much higher.

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Just received a refund orchestrated by MA Shops [thanks!].  A well respected expert collaborated NGC's assessment.  It was a very good looking counterfeit.  Fooled me.  I am hoping the dealer now stuck with the 'coin' can reach back and recover his loss and, perhaps, help put the counterfeiter out of business.  Alas, now I'm back to looking for a good example of the Claudian cistophorus.  Has been on my wish list for a long time.  A tough coin to find with decent eye appeal.

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