Although the recession continues, the most popular hobby within the USA – coin collecting – especially US coins – has a revenue of a staggering $5 billion, per year.,On the downside, not all that glitters is not what it seems. Buyer beware – counterfeits abound!,A warning to American coin buyers was issued recently by respected numismatic advisory groups, advising Chinese-made counterfeit US ‘rare’ coins are being widely circulated throughout N America to unsuspecting consumers.,Millions of dollars are passing hands for fake U.S. old coins, mostly through online auctions like eBay, and even local via flea markets and swap meets.,Published Consumer Advisory Report-(Extract) released late 2009,”…more than a million counterfeit coins manufactured in China have been fraudulently sold in the United States posing a significant financial risk for unsuspecting consumers. Consumers who buy an item based only on its perceived rarity and who have no knowledge as to how to determine whether the coin is genuine subject themselves to great risk of losing their money.,The American Numismatic Association (ANA), Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), Professional Coin Grading Service ( PCGS) and the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) urge consumers to educate themselves before making purchases: know what you are buying and purchase only from reputable, experienced rare coin dealers (professional numismatists).,”Millions of dollars already have been spent on these fakes and potentially millions more may be unwittingly lost by consumers who mistakenly think they’re getting a genuine rare coin,” warned Paul Montgomery, PNG President.”,End of quote…,In an effort to halt these activities and protect the public, these numismatic companies have been actively doing all they can to restrict the import of counterfeit coins, monitor and halt fraudulent sales via online auctions, and working with the government to set up legal actions against those who import and/or resell illegal coins.,US law requires replica coins made outside the country to have the word “copy” incised on the coin surface – none of the Chinese coins have this.,Unfortunately, on places like eBay, it is all too easy to trick potential buyers, by substituting pictures of different, legal coins.,It was reported that an individual counterfeiter in China boasted that he had already produced and sold more than one million coins in the US, though it is not known over how long a period of time…,Collectors have been advised to only buy genuine coins from reputable, professional dealers. As it is illegal to re-sell counterfeit copies, anyone doing so and getting caught risks losing their money, and possibly facing charges.,In an effort to educate the public, a one-day seminar, “Introduction to Counterfeit Detection of United States Coins,” will be held on April 22, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency, in Dearborn, Mich.,The best course of action is to only buy coins that have been certified by reputable coin authentication (or grading) companies who provide a guarantee of authenticity with all their coins. Commonly used are American Numismatic Association Certification Service (ANACS), Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), and Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).