The American Numismatic Association (ANA) has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting efforts to fight coin and bullion counterfeiting with a $55,000 contribution to the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation (ACEF), the non-profit organization that receives contributions to fund the work of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets’ Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF). The donation was made during the August 18 ANA board of governors meeting at the Philadelphia World’s Fair of Money®.ACTF’s mission is to mobilize law enforcement to protect the integrity of U.S. coinage by educating officials about the growing threat that counterfeit circulating, collectible and bullion coins pose to the collecting community and the public and moving them to act.
“Counterfeiting is a serious problem that poses a threat to the entire numismatic marketplace,” says ANA President Gary Adkins. “The issue is urgent, and the ANA is pleased to continue its support of ACTF’s efforts to assist law enforcement in quickly identifying counterfeit coins.”
The combined efforts of the American Numismatic Association, Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) and Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) led to the formation of the ACTF. Since its inception in January 2017, ACTF has provided education, expertise and other resources to law enforcement to assist in curtailing the manufacture, importation, marketing and sale of counterfeit coins, related fakes of precious metals products, and counterfeit packaging. Key accomplishments have included:
- Inducing the U.S. Customs & Border Protection Service and Homeland Security to value counterfeits at market value rather than face value in assessment of potential victim harm, leading to more investigations and awareness of the extent of coin counterfeiting.
- Successfully connecting law enforcement agencies within the federal government to facilitate their working together on cases involving counterfeit coins, bars and packaging.
- Assisting law enforcement in more than a dozen cases, one in particular which would have flooded the U.S. market with counterfeits valued at more than $48 million.
- Persuading the U.S. Customs & Border Protection Service to increase the number of coin packages inspected, resulting in thousands of counterfeit coins and bullion bars being seized before they enter the country.
- Creating a volunteer nationwide network of more than 90 numismatic experts to support federal, state and local law enforcement agents, allowing them to move quickly in the investigation of cases.
- Working with the U.S. Customs & Border Protection and Secret Service to determine the most effective and efficient means of providing training to agents in the field, nationwide.
According to ICTA Executive Director Kathy McFadden, counterfeiting isn’t new to numismatics. “What is new are the quality and quantity of counterfeits entering the United States and other countries around the world,” she says. “The fact that Great Britain demonetized its one-pound coin less than two years ago and replaced it with a coin containing highly sophisticated anti-counterfeiting technology serves as a prime example of the reality we face.”
“During the last 18 months, we have discovered that products minted by the United States Mint as well as those produced by many sovereign mints and private mints have been counterfeited,” says ICTA Director of Anti-Counterfeiting Beth Deisher. “We have further discovered that packaging, grading services slabs, and certificates of authenticity are also being counterfeited.”
“Education, training and research are key components in mobilizing law enforcement to act against counterfeiting,” says Deisher, who coordinates the work of the 44-member ACTF. “ANA’s funding support comes at a pivotal time in the task force’s development of educational materials for law enforcement as well as for dealers and collectors. It allows us to move forward with producing high-quality media to educate and assist those on the front lines of the battle against counterfeit coins and other numismatic collectibles.”
ANA President Adkins agrees that education is key. “Thanks to the leadership of Kathy McFadden and Beth Deisher, ACTF continues to make significant inroads in thwarting the import of counterfeits. The numismatic community has benefitted greatly from the work of the task force.”
The $55,000 contribution from the American Numismatic Association is from the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation board designated fund ($50,000) and the David L. and Kathy Ganz endowment restricted fund ($5,000). Both funds are earmarked for educational programs.