Announces Coin Photography Initiative as Major Step Against
Counterfeit and Altered Holders
NGC - Posted on 12/8/2008
is announcing a significant security initiative targeted at
eliminating counterfeit and altered NGC holders. NGC now captures
digital photographs of every coin that it certifies. These
images are then stored in an internet-accessible database.
By maintaining a secure and proprietary database of coin images,
prospective buyers will be able to verify the authenticity
of an NGC-certified coin prior to purchase. In the event that
a counterfeit or otherwise illegitimate holder is discovered,
NGC can immediately be alerted. Combined with other security
features of NGC certification, this photography initiative
offers the most robust protection against counterfeit and
tampered holders available.
Full-scale adoption of this program began on October 1, 2008,
corresponding with the release of the newest generation NGC
holder. Since then, NGC has captured a digital image of the
obverse and reverse of every coin in a new NGC holder before
it left NGC’s facilities. Security images are also captured
at off-site events where NGC offers certification such as
trade shows. To date, including the trial and development
phases of this program, over 750,000 coins have been photographed
and digitally archived. Security imaging is provided at no
additional fee to the submitter and does not increase the
processing time required for NGC services. It is now fully
integrated into the NGC certification process.
For this endeavor, NGC partnered with the Massachusetts firm
Image Fortress who developed the custom archiving solution
and created a unique integrated file authentication process
which seals every digital file to prevent file tampering.
This process makes it impossible for anyone to alter the image
of a coin in the NGC photo archive without immediate detection.
Imaging, coupled with the recently introduced NGC holder,
is a powerful step against counterfeit and altered holders.
NGC CEO Steve Eichenbaum comments, “This is an aggressive
anti-counterfeiting measure. With a secure image repository,
it is possible for us to provide real-time assurance that
a coin is an authentic NGC-certified product, immediately
and at any time of day or night. In addition to providing
the best possible holder for the long-term storage of coins,
we are taking a serious step towards protecting the hobby.”
Security images from NGC will be incorporated in the certification
verification tool provided to NGC Authorized Dealers and Collectors
Society members. This feature allows members to submit the
unique NGC serial number online and returns the grade and
coin’s description. A subsequent Web site release scheduled
for early 2009 will include obverse and reverse images of
the actual coin as certified in its NGC holder. Certification
verification is a free resource from NGC which Authorized
Dealers can access from their Dealer Portal, and collectors
can access through Collectors Society membership.