Beware modern Virgin Islands fakes

Discussion in 'Silver Coins' started by mmissinglink, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. mmissinglink

    mmissinglink Active Member

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  2. Sully

    Sully Member

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    Interesting... and after looking at the range on ebay, none claiming to be silver as far as i can see.
    What struck me most was the quote from the article;
    "The poor quality and lack of detail of these pieces should both alert and deter any collector who considers adding these items to their collection or parting with money to purchase counterfeit or worthless items."

    First off - as for quality and lack of detail, i've seen a lot worse genuine being issued by some mints

    And as for the parting with money on worthless items, i would say the same goes for the mints issuing genuine coins with HUGE premiums only for the majority of value to evaporate when they develop milk spots.

    Where are the trade articles condemning the mints on a regular basis for this?!
     
  3. mmissinglink

    mmissinglink Active Member

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    Yes, Sully, I thought the same things when i read that article. "Value" is and always has been completely subjective.

    But still, if some mint is producing unauthorized coins....that's a problem.



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  4. Sully

    Sully Member

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    Absolutely agree, it is a problem, and counterfeiting needs highlighting.

    I just feel the industry hacks are quick to highlight what is a waste of our money, when revenues are not going to the legitimate mints.
    I would like to see more articles focus on poor quality control, and in some cases utter disregard for it, from the legitimate mints.
    Otherwise, the author's concern for collectors parting with money is not a heartfelt concern, after all.
     
  5. PeterS

    PeterS Member

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    Interesting points. Of all things it made me wonder at the situation under consumer legislation where items have to be of a certain quality. Would the mints' attitude that they are only selling bullion stand up to an examination of the level of premium on a coin that developed spots?
     
  6. Sully

    Sully Member

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    That is the big question, and a good one.
    The simple answer, i fear, is the mints are saying whatever b.s. they want that exonerates them.

    Let's discard the bullion ranges like eagles, philharmonics, maples, noahs arks etc.
    Frankly, we know what we're getting when we buy these.
    These are bullion, low premium stackables. They can be milked, scratched, dented, whatever.
    Nobody will complain about these, and most important - when you go to sell them on, you're not going to get any complaints either!

    The problems occur when you are a collector/investor of 'collector bullion', the semi-numismatics. (like i am. I'm not a stacker).
    Mints are very aware of this particular slot and of how lucrative it is.
    And they apply much the same production techniques as the churned out stacking bullion.
    Change designs, play around with mintages, all great. We love it and lap it up.
    Let me be honest, i buy with one eye looking ahead at future collectible value, and has the current premium already gobbled that up.
    If i think it has legs, i'll buy a quantity. If not, but i like it just the same, then just one for my own collection.
    More importantly, i now have to weigh up the likelihood of problems with condition before buying anything.

    But what happens when quality issues come up? We all know them. Milk spots/stains, scratches, nicks and dents.
    You would hope because we pay a higher premium than regular bullion, that we have a comeback, maybe even the mint will address the issues that buyers are reporting and it will be solved by the following years.
    Er...no.
    The mint will say bullion is bullion is bullion.
    You'll say to them "but these are collectible bullion i bought with a higher premium".
    They'll smile and shake heads sadly at your simple naivete.
    You'll hear all about higher production costs for one-off designs and mintage size, and demand being the driving force behind the higher premium.
    Which, by the way, at launch this is only an assumption, not actual.
    They will make it seem as though the higher premium is an unfortunate side affect of high demand, which is outside their control and they have no choice but to apply it.
    Even though, as far as they're concerned it's still just bullion.
    And while you try to get your head around that, and the notion that apparently they are the real victims of your silly expectations of quality, they can then turn to how the quality issues are your own fault by storing them wrong, anyway.
    There was so much doubt fed to us over the last several years, as to the cause of milk spotting.
    Rather than the mints admit it was a result of changes in their production process, and the introduction of liquids to extend the life of the dies.
    Instead, we've been fed a load of b.s. about milk spots being one of the great myyyyysteries of science. Bo****ks.
    With images in our heads of laboratories of white coated technicians feverishly analyzing samples (thanks Bron).
    Imagine how amused the mints must be at collectors running around with mountains of desiccants and vacuum sealing everything. The damage is already done, sadly.
    They know the solution but have neither the care or incentive to fix it.

    Any quality issues with the semi numi's, you are at the mercy of the dealer you bought from, how you argue your point, and what mood he's in on the day.

    I was all set to buy some 2017 silver krugerrands .... but no.
    At least 20 euro premium over spot. Half a million of them!! And delivered loose.
    I don't give two hoots about it being the first, that premium is not justified.
    Capsule it and bring the mintage down to 100k, even stretch to 200k, then yes.
    Personally i'm baffled at what "premium uncirculated" bullion means.
    Apart from possibly referring to the price, and a certificate with each one (why??).
    But don't kid yourselves - it will not be an indicator of any guarantee as to the condition it arrives in.
    You'll still be told 'it's bullion, folks'

    hmm did i go on a bit? I think i did :D sorry!
    Sometimes as a collector you have to let it out.
     
  7. PeterS

    PeterS Member

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    I'm no lawyer, but I think most Australian consumer law requires goods to be of merchantable quality at the time of sale. The consumer would be on thinner ice if the spotting occurred later and then be subject to the storage red herrings. Its almost as if the mints have defending possible consumer affairs/fair trading tribunal claims in mind when framing the BS they have to date. It would be interesting to see it tested.
     
  8. mmissinglink

    mmissinglink Active Member

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    Actually you did go on quite a bit....but well worth the effort!

    Excellent points and commentary.


    Do you know if there are any major mints that produce collectable silver bullion (semi-numi silver) which don't use these chemical additives which if baked into the round/coin are alleged to be the cause of the milk-spots?


    I've been discussing the issue of milk spots with a couple of forum members off forum and I have posited to at least one of them that coins that do undergo this chemical treatment but are finished in a way that removes some of the surface material (even if only by a depth of microns) may not suffer from milk-spotting (or the spotting would be reduced significantly). Two finishing techniques that come to mind are 1) antiquing and 2) acid vapor blast (as is done with the US Mint 5 oz America The Beautiful Uncirculated collector ("P" mint mark) silver coins. If true, the icing on the cake buying these type of coins (for me at least) is that I like the look of these finishes and I think a number of other buyers and collectors do as well.

    I don't think I've ever seen a modern silver antiqued coin nor a 5 oz ATB "P" coin with milk spots.....though of course they may exist.


    What are your thoughts?




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  9. mtforpar

    mtforpar Member

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    I have seen 5 oz ATB P coins with milk spotting....It is surely not as prevalent though as it is with other issues.
     
  10. Sully

    Sully Member

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    I don't know if there are any mints not using the liquids to aid the strike. Surely they all are due to the benefits it gives the mint, wouldn't you think?
    Very much doubt they would answer any questions along those lines anyway.
    I must say i'm not against it, as such. Going on what i have heard, it helps with a crisper strike more often, by reducing wear of the die.
    This is all good, anything that helps produce a better coin is welcome.
    And of course good for the mint's coffers as they don't have to produce as many dies. Everyone's a winner up to this step.
    But what i am against is them not bothering to totally remove all residues after this step.
    Well... "not bothering" is probably unfair.
    I'm sure they all have a wash/rinse which 'attempts' to remove it.
    Probably, this is where we see varying degrees of milk problems from one mint to another.
    Some are obviously more diligent about it.
    And it goes to show that it can be done correctly if they have a mind to.
    Certainly it's done to a better degree for proofs. But why apply different levels of care to the semi numis. They don't matter so much?
    C'mon mints! Do away with this problem once and for all - no matter what the coin, proof, semi numi or bullion, and restore our faith in you.
    wash. rinse. REPEAT.
    It's ultimately good for your business.
    Because as it stands, you will drive away the hobbyists eventually.
    Or certainly limit the scope of what products they're willing to buy from you.

    Yes, i have thought the same as you, i'm sure the antiquing method ensures spotting isn't a problem.
    But as much as i also like the antiquing (depending on if it suits the coin design), there's nothing i like more than a well minted, problem free, clean, crisp classic silver BU coin.
    Especially the reverse proof type.

    I, too, have never seen spotting on the ATB P's. And we've had, what, 34 to date.
    I did think the vapor blast was responsible for that, but obviously not, as mtforpar reports.
    Has anyone seen pictures of one they could post?
     

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