NGC Announces Coin Photography Initiative as Major Step Against Counterfeit and Altered Holders

Posted on 12/8/2008

NGC is announcing a significant security initiative targeted at eliminating counterfeit and altered NGC holders. NGC now captures digital photographs of every coin that it certifies. These images are then stored in an internet-accessible database. By maintaining a secure and proprietary database of coin images, prospective buyers will be able to verify the authenticity of an NGC-certified coin prior to purchase. In the event that a counterfeit or otherwise illegitimate holder is discovered, NGC can immediately be alerted. Combined with other security features of NGC certification, this photography initiative offers the most robust protection against counterfeit and tampered holders available.

Full-scale adoption of this program began on October 1, 2008, corresponding with the release of the newest generation NGC holder. Since then, NGC has captured a digital image of the obverse and reverse of every coin in a new NGC holder before it left NGC’s facilities. Security images are also captured at off-site events where NGC offers certification such as trade shows. To date, including the trial and development phases of this program, over 750,000 coins have been photographed and digitally archived. Security imaging is provided at no additional fee to the submitter and does not increase the processing time required for NGC services. It is now fully integrated into the NGC certification process.

For this endeavor, NGC partnered with the Massachusetts firm Image Fortress who developed the custom archiving solution and created a unique integrated file authentication process which seals every digital file to prevent file tampering. This process makes it impossible for anyone to alter the image of a coin in the NGC photo archive without immediate detection.

Imaging, coupled with the recently introduced NGC holder, is a powerful step against counterfeit and altered holders. NGC CEO Steve Eichenbaum comments, “This is an aggressive anti-counterfeiting measure. With a secure image repository, it is possible for us to provide real-time assurance that a coin is an authentic NGC-certified product, immediately and at any time of day or night. In addition to providing the best possible holder for the long-term storage of coins, we are taking a serious step towards protecting the hobby.”

Security images from NGC will be incorporated in the certification verification tool provided to NGC Authorized Dealers and Collectors Society members. This feature allows members to submit the unique NGC serial number online and returns the grade and coin’s description. A subsequent Web site release scheduled for early 2009 will include obverse and reverse images of the actual coin as certified in its NGC holder. Certification verification is a free resource from NGC which Authorized Dealers can access from their Dealer Portal, and collectors can access through Collectors Society membership.

More information about the security features of NGC’s newest generation holder can be found online at

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