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Counterfeit NGC Holders

NGC has identified and confirmed that a counterfeit replica of its holder has been produced. At first appearance, the holder resembles the NGC holder and its respective brand marks. Upon inspection, variations in the holder, label and hologram make them easily discernible from authentic NGC-certified coins. This announcement includes diagnostic information to identify counterfeit holders.

The holder has been seen housing counterfeit dollar or foreign crown size coins. While the enclosed coins are also counterfeit, the label information matches the coin type enclosed. The label information is copied from actual NGC certification labels, and the certification information therefore will match the NGC database. Most frequently Trade Dollars and Bust Dollars are found, although Flowing Hair Dollars and foreign coins have also been seen. A range of grades is also represented.


Counterfeit Holder:


  1. The counterfeit label text font is narrower than NGC’s font.
  2. Dashes or hyphens on the counterfeit label are straight and square. Dashes on the authentic NGC holder have angled ends. A dash always appears as part of the NGC certification number.

Fake label:

Authentic NGC label:


  1. The counterfeit hologram has less rounded corners than the NGC hologram. It is also slightly reflective, while the authentic NGC hologram has a flat brushed finish.
  2. The hologram sits higher on the holder on the counterfeit than on the authentic holder. Note the gap from the central stabilizing line.

Hologram on Counterfeit Holder:

Hologram on Authentic Holder:


  1. There are several misspellings on the PNG portion of the counterfeit hologram. This is the easiest way to identify a fake holder in hand.
    1. KNOWLEDGE is incorrectly spelled with an R as RNOWLEDGE
    2. INTEGRITY is incorrectly spelled with a G as INTEGRIGY
    3. NUMISMATISTS in incorrectly spelled as NUNISMATISTS

Detail of Counterfeit Hologram:

Detail of Authentic Hologram:


  1. There is a weld joint that appears as an off-center gap on the top of the counterfeit holder.
  2. The authentic NGC holder has a continuous seam, and weld flash (whitish discoloration) will often be visible. The weld flash allows NGC encapsulation technicians to assess the welding pressure and thoroughness of the holder seal.

Top of Counterfeit Holder:

Top of Authentic Holder:


The above identification guide should enable you to recognize and avoid coins in counterfeit holders. NGC is actively working with law enforcement in an ongoing investigation. A future announcement will include more detailed information. NGC is also in contact with eBay to have listings of counterfeit coins removed.

Better consumer awareness, such as this announcement, is only one step. The next generation NGC holder to be released in 2008 has incorporated many new anti-counterfeiting features. Counterfeiting is a regrettable component of the collectibles hobby that affects not only certification companies but plagues world mints and currency printing bureaus. NGC will aggressively pursue all available legal remedy. Furthermore, NGC is wholly committed to investing in technologies and fraud prevention methods to continue to offer the safest and most reliable product in the rare coin marketplace.

As always, NGC strongly recommends that you deal with knowledgeable and established dealers, such as PNG member dealers, when purchasing numismatic properties. In addition to NGC certification, this is your best protection against fraud and misrepresentation in the rare coin marketplace.

What To Do If You Have Purchased A Coin In A Counterfeit Holder

While the NGC guarantee does not cover coins residing in tampered or counterfeit holders, NGC will aggressively assist victims of holder fraud. Counterfeiting the NGC registered trademarks is illegal, and both the original counterfeiter and any subsequent sellers of these holders are liable. In addition, it is a federal offense to counterfeit and/or knowingly sell counterfeit US and foreign coinage.

If you have a counterfeit holder, we recommend that you first contact the seller, provide the information shown above and request a refund.

Gather your purchase receipt and proof of payment, and send it to NGC along with a high resolution image of the coin in holder.

NGC will use its best efforts to assist sellers in following the chain of custody to the original counterfeit in seeking refunds for affected sellers.

Written correspondence concerning counterfeit holders should be directed to NGC, Attn: Consumer Awareness Department, P.O. Box 4776, Sarasota, FL 34230, or by email to consumerawareness@ngccoin.com. NGC Customer Service may also be contacted at 1-800-NGC-COIN.

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