Submission of Doctored Coins

Posted on 1/28/2008

NGC rules, procedures, and terms and conditions to the attention of all NGC Authorized Dealers.

In recent months, NGC has seen a significant increase in the number of deceptively doctored coins submitted for grading. A doctored coin is one which has been purposefully and unnaturally altered to lend the appearance of a higher grade. In order to protect the collecting public, our authorized dealer network and NGC’s own reputation, we are announcing specific rule changes and new terms and conditions to deal with doctored coins.

  1. Anyone submitting a doctored coin will receive a warning letter from NGC detailing the problems with the submitted items as well as NGC’s rules, procedures, and conditions outlined in this letter.

  2. Upon a second submission of doctored coins, anyone who received the initial warning letter described above, shall be subject to a 90-day suspension of their rights to submit coins to NGC.

  3. Should that submitter continue to submit doctored coins following the suspension, NGC may, in its sole discretion permanently suspend all rights of submission and terminate their authorized member dealer status.

Please note that pursuant to our standard Terms & Conditions you, as an authorized dealer, indemnify NGC against all claims, liability and expenses that NGC may incur in covering any claims as a result of doctored coins submitted by you which may initially evade our detection. NGC in its sole discretion may invoke such indemnification and the right to suspend and/or terminate the submitter whether or not the submitter was acting on his own behalf or on behalf of a third party in submitting doctored coins for grading and authentication.

We believe you will agree with us that this new policy can only act towards the betterment of the numismatic community.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I send in a coin that is returned “Altered Surfaces” or “Artificially Toned,” will I be suspended?

No. NGC will continue to serve the role for unsuspecting dealers and collectors of identifying coins that have been doctored. This is a normal function of coin grading, and making these determinations is a major reason that many coins are sent to NGC.

NGC can readily differentiate between coins commonly called “Altered Surfaces” and coins that are doctored in attempt to undermine the NGC certification process. As a result, this policy will have no effect on the vast majority of NGC submitters.

This policy is aimed at individuals who earn their livelihood by doctoring coins. This policy revision provides a clear means to restrict the efforts of individuals who attempt to defraud NGC and the collecting community by submitting deceptively altered coins. NGC will examine submission patterns and gather comprehensive evidence to aid the enforcement of this policy.

Does this policy have any effect on the NGC Coin Grading Guarantee?

No. The NGC Coin Grading Guarantee is not affected by this policy change. NGC will continue to offer remedy in any instance where a coin is determined to be over-graded in accordance with terms of our Guarantee. In the event that said coin has been doctored, NGC will hold the submitter accountable for the full amount of the claim, including any and all associated costs or recovery of funds.

For this reason, we strongly advise Authorized Dealers to exercise just prudence when submitting coins on behalf of individuals that they believe may have altered their coins with the intent to defraud.

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