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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 43, October 22, 2006, Article 13

NUMISMATIC REPLICA RUCKUS

Responding to Dick's Johnson's comments in his earlier item on coin
replicas, Tom DeLorey writes: "My opinion on numismatic reproductions
is not just derived from working in a coin shop for 20+ years, but also
from four years in Coin World's Collectors Clearinghouse and 5-1/2 years
at the American Numismatic Association sending out hundreds, if not
thousands, of form letters beginning with a variation on "We regret
to inform you....." I doubt if any of the recipients considered the
letter to be an uplifting educational experience.

One time while working at Coin World I read a story in a Detroit
Newspaper about a family in Michigan that had been torn apart by a
Blake & Co. $20 replica that a girl had found on her uncle's property,
that the uncle had been incorrectly informed was "very valuable" and
was now refusing to share with the girl. The girl's father was suing
his brother, and everybody in the family had chosen one side or the
other.

I called the reporter to tell him that the Blake was very common in
replica form, and he told me somebody else had seen the article and
told the family the same thing, but their response was that they had
already spent so much in legal fees they were going to see the case
through.

The U.S. Treasury used to have a rule that photographic reproductions
of U.S. currency had to be either 75% or less of actual size or 150%
or greater, in order to prevent the reproduction from being confused
with and/or used as actual currency. The same rule would certainly
make numismatic reproductions more easily identifiable, but would
probably never be followed because it would make the reproductions
harder to sell for a profit."

[Tom also noticed a typo in Dick's submission that I he and I both
missed.  Dick wrote: "He, perhaps like others, may be a little
short-sided on the subject of numismatic copies however."  Tom adds:
"My sides, though perhaps a bit wider than I would like, remain of
average height."  -Editor]

Last week I wrote: "It seems to me that Tom's point was that even
copies that Dick would categorize as "good" can and are used by
unscrupulous people to cheat collectors.  If I could paraphrase Dick's
arguments, it would be, "Copies don't cheat people, people cheat people."

David Ganz writes: "Both domestic (U.S.) counterfeiting laws and
the Hobby Protection Act respectfully disagree with the conclusion.
The act applies to study copies placed or acquired in commerce and
those bought or sold. Doubt it? Send one to the Secret Service
for a look-see and see if you get it back."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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