Growing Concern over Counterfeit Collectible Coins

By US Daily Review.

Award-winning numismatic author, dealer and consumer protection advocate Mike Fuljenz is urging coin collectors and investors nationwide to contact their Congressional representatives in support of the recently introduced Collectible Coin Protection Act (HR5977).

Fuljenz was among a half dozen of the country’s numismatic leaders who met in Washington, DC, on June 28, 2012 with Congressional leaders and staff members to discuss the importance of the proposed legislation to protect the public.

The bill was introduced on June 20, 2012 by co-sponsors Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Fred Upton (D-Michigan), Chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“HR5977 will strengthen the 39-year old Hobby Protection Act, a law that helps combat counterfeits. We need to bring that law into the 21st century because of new issues that were not even contemplated decades ago, such as fake coins now being sold inside counterfeit holders fraudulently made to resemble the genuine, sonically sealed holders that reputable rare coin authentication companies use,” said Fuljenz, known as America’s Gold Expert.

“Counterfeit coins are costing unsuspecting buyers millions of dollars,” he said.

The Hobby Protection Act, first enacted in 1973 and amended in 1988, requires manufacturers and importers of imitation numismatic items to mark them plainly and permanently with the word, “COPY.” However, in recent years there have been numerous reports of replica coins entering the marketplace without that designation on them.

Fuljenz applauded the efforts of several organizations working on behalf of HR5977, including the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG). Fuljenz is a member of the ICTA Board of Directors, a member of PNG and an Authorized Dealer for NGC and PCGS.

Former Louisiana Congressman Jimmy Hayes, who is assisting the numismatic groups in backing HR5977, outlined these significant ways the bill would improve the existing Hobby Protection Act:

  • Expands the reach of the Hobby Protection Act beyond “distribution” and into “sales” and marketing;
  • Expands the targets of litigation to include not previously covered areas such as any person “who provides substantial assistance or support to any manufacturer, importer, or seller” knowingly engaging in any act or practice that violates the Act;
  • Assists in litigation efforts by expanding beyond the old venue language requiring an “agent present” to include any party “who transacts business, or where ever venue is proper under Section 1391 of Title 28 of the United States Code;
  • Adds Trademark violation provisions to the Hobby Protection Act targeted at the counterfeiting of certification service packaging and capsules and adds remedies previously not included in the Hobby Protection Act incorporating sections of the Trademark Act of 1946 (USC Title 15, Sections 1116-1118) as violations of the Hobby Protection Act. This provision adds the legal authority to obtain injunctions, recover damages for violations that include profits, costs, attorney fees and treble damages for punishment and to provide for the destruction of any infringing articles.

“I urge every rare coin and bullion coin collector or investor to contact their Congressional representatives and ask them to co-sign and vote for the Collectible Coin Protection Act, HR5977. It will go a long way in combating counterfeits in the marketplace, and could save you money and heartbreak,” said Fuljenz.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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