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HK 10 and 10A on eBay

I recently saw a pair of HK 10 and 10A on eBay. I believe they were graded MS 64PL by NGC. They looked great and went for around $1700 total, but I was hesitant to bid because they looked too good for 150 year old medals. Is there any possibility that someone has the original plates and pressed new ones? Would NGC know or care? Does anyone have any concerns that these medals might need to come with provenance as well as grade. I think signs of age on these medals actually enhances their appeal as actual Americana not just commemoratives. I am a fan of NGC grading however. I like the encapsulation for protection and uniformity. Has anyone else had concerns about originality? edited by StevenG on 6/26/2011

I have bought over the years ungraded SCD's that graded out very high at NGC. High quality gems do exist, but they are rare for the older material. Actually in my opinion they are rarer than coins inhigh grade. This is true for many reasons. many fewer were made to begin with, some types of metal did not hold up well over time and many were not saved by collectors and were therefor subject to improper storage. For instance silver holds up much better than white metal.

I personally haven't had any issues with counterfeit SCDs, but you certainly raise an interesting question. I'm sure that re-strikes or counterfeits will be coming one day, so I too like my SCDs in NGC holders for that exact reason. Hopefully an NGC "expert" can authenticate the medal, and if it's in a holder, I feel better. Of course, old environmentally damaged medals might not be worth the encapsulation costs, so I do keep quite a few cheaper SCDs in quality soft-plastic flips.

Fortunately there has been little counterfeiting of So-Called Dollars to date. Having the major grading firms certifying So-Called Dollars is a deterrent to potential counterfeiters. I have seen a few counterfeit Wells Fargo pieces. Modern restrikes are a possibility because in quite a few cases the dies were privately minted and are not accounted for, but even restrikes could be identified by knowledgeable experts.