4 Coin Collecting Scandals That Shocked the Numismatic World

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Coin collecting is known for its history, art, and excitement, but scandals do occur. These four coin collecting scandals shook the numismatic world:  

The Eliasberg Collection was one of the most famous and complete US coin collections. The 1996 auction of the collection was expected to set records.   

The Eliasberg Collection Hoax (1996) 

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However, uproar broke out when it was uncovered that certain coins in the collection had been manipulated to seem better. The affair shook the numismatic world and raised concerns about famous coin collections.  

A huge silver coin hoard was found in Paducah, Kentucky, in 2014. Silver coins including Morgan dollars, Peace dollars, and others were among the 100,000 in the trove.   

The Paducah Silver Hoard (2014) 

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Many of the coins had extremely high grades and appeared to have been fraudulently toned or altered, raising suspicions. Law enforcement and numismatic specialists investigated the hoard's legitimacy.  

In 2007, a former Smithsonian employee was found to have stolen thousands of coins from the National Numismatic Collection over several years.   

The Smithsonian Theft (2007) 

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Rare and valuable coins from around the world, some ancient, were stolen. The theft alarmed numismatists and prompted questions about museum security and governance.  

A vast gold coin hoard was found in Wayne County, North Carolina, in 2003. At least 3,000 gold coins, including $20 Double Eagles, were found.  

The Wayne County Hoard (2003) 

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However, many of the coins had odd tone and appeared to have been artificially enhanced, raising concerns. Law enforcement and numismatic specialists investigated the hoard's legitimacy.  

These scandals warn collectors about due diligence, authenticity verification, and ethics in the numismatic world. Rare and valuable coins are exciting to own and study, but collecting with integrity and respect for numismatics' history is crucial.  


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