At a Jan. 4 meeting, the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA) board of directors approved the formation of an anti-counterfeiting task force committee to mobilize law enforcement resources to “protect the integrity of U.S. coinage.”
The goal is to educate U.S. officials on the economic impact and growing threat counterfeit circulating, collectible, and bullion coins pose to the collecting community as well as the public at large. The ICTA describes itself as the “watchdog for the rare coins, paper money, and precious-metals communities.”
“ICTA stepped forward to launch the task force and provide management oversight because it allows the quickest path forward to get the task force up and running,” said ICTA Chairman Philip N. Diehl.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF) was officially established on Jan. 6, during a meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where numismatic community leaders and associations came together to show their support for the initiative. Some attendees attended a summit last August to assess the harmful effects of counterfeit coins entering U.S. markets from China, Russia, Eastern European countries, and the need for action to address the problem.
DIRECTOR OF ANTI-COUNTERFEITING
The board also approved the hiring of Beth Deisher as director of anti-counterfeiting. The committee and Deisher’s salary will be financed by donations to a separate, dedicated fund.
“Beth has assisted me every step of the way in the formation of the task force. ICTA and the dealer/collector communities are very fortunate to have her on our staff. She will be a tremendous asset,” said Kathy McFadden, ICTA executive director.
Deisher was editor of Coin World for nearly 30 years until her retirement in 2012. Since then, she has remained active in the hobby through writing and educating. In 2013, she was inducted into the Numismatic Hall of Fame.
Noted counterfeit coin expert Mike Marshall has endured a decade-long battle with fake non-circulating legal tender (NCLT), also known as collector coins. In March 2015, we spoke to Marshall as well as Sean Isaacs, owner of Alliance Coin & Banknote, about the scourge of modern counterfeiting, which has grown exponentially owing to a combination of anonymous online markets and advanced replicating techniques.
“I believe that I reported over 2,000 counterfeit coins in a one-month span in February of 2013 on eBay alone,” said Marshall, in a follow-up story published the following month. “I cannot put an accurate total number since 2007, but if you include all it must be over 100,000 coins.”
And while some groups in the U.S., like the ICTA, are attempting to stem the tide of counterfeit coins, Marshall said little is being done here in Canada.
“What’s really scary is that no one among the powers that be is getting involved,” said Marshall, in the third and final part to our 2015 story.
More recently, in a column Marshall wrote for CCN, he explained how counterfeits continue to damage Canadian numismatics.
“What I am really hoping is that the more experienced collectors and dealers realize their reactions to counterfeit material may well harm the hobby as much as the fake coins themselves,” he wrote.