Recognizing the danger and urgency of the threat posed by the growing numbers of counterfeit coins entering the marketplace, leaders of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets, the Professional Numismatists Guild, and the American Numismatic Association sponsored an industrywide summit Aug. 1, 2016, in Anaheim, Calif. The summit brought together more than 60 attendees who decided that ICTA was best suited to supervise the creation of a task force to deal with the problem.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF) was formally launched Jan. 6, 2017, under the authority of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets, with a primary mission to educate law enforcement authorities and policy makers and to make them aware of the rising threat of counterfeiting, to mobilize law enforcement to attack counterfeiters where they are most vulnerable, and to provide expertise and other resources in the investigation and prosecution of counterfeiters and those involved at all levels of their distribution networks.
ICTA hired Beth Deisher as Director of Anti-Counterfeiting. Her responsibilities included devising an organizational structure for the task force, recruiting volunteer experts to serve on the task force, and coordinating the work of the task force. Initially the task force was led by a 12-member volunteer Steering Committee appointed by ICTA’s Executive Committee. Steering Committee members served as leaders of eight volunteer Work Groups comprised of 34 volunteers. As needs were identified in 2018 four Work Groups were added, with the total number of experts rising to 44.
ACTF reached out to key sectors of the broader community involved in the precious metals industry – refiners, manufacturers, armored carries, depositories, and private mints – to create awareness and coordinate educational efforts. They, as well as the dealer and collector/investor communities, are all affected by counterfeiters and the harm they are inflicting in the coin/precious metals marketplace.
On November 15, 2018, the ACTF and the position of Director of Anti-Counterfeiting transitioned to the non-profit Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation. Doug Davis was selected to succeed Deisher as Director of Anti-Counterfeiting effective September 1, 2019.
With significant portions of its work completed by August 2019, the task force consolidated into seven Work Groups comprised of 26 volunteers under the leadership of the Steering Committee and continues to address ongoing objectives. Two previous work groups — the Expert Network and Private Mints — are currently supervised directly by the Director of Anti-Counterfeiting.
ACTF Work Groups
Assist law enforcement in the identification of counterfeit ancient coins. Identify historical areas of origin of genuine ancient coin types.
Develop curriculum, workshops, and seminars to assist in educating law enforcement professionals about counterfeit coins in the marketplace. Develop educational materials and conduct workshops or seminars to educate dealers, collectors, and the public about counterfeit coins. Maintain and update website and portals:
- Portals for Law Enforcement and Dealers
Develop and implement fund-raising campaign to generate enough funding to support work of the foundation and task force.
Review and identify changes needed in current local, state, and federal laws and regulations regarding the manufacture, possession, and buying and selling of counterfeit coins. Also, review and identify changes needed to prohibit the use of fake certificates and packaging and the marketing of such items, including advertising practices in print and online offerings.
Identify, test, and evaluate anti-counterfeiting technology. Publish findings as public service to dealers and the public. Develop best practices standards for those engaged in buying and selling precious metals products. Assist law enforcement by identifying best technologies and methods for identifying counterfeit coins.
Identify and develop best practices standards to prevent infiltration of counterfeit coin and bullion products in commercial transport and storage facilities.
Royal Canadian Mint, Austrian Mint, Royal Australian Mint, Perth Mint, Prestige Bullion (South Africa) advise and provide leadership in identifying counterfeits of bullion coins and precious metals bars in the world marketplace; consult regarding effective methods and technology to thwart counterfeiters. Assist in providing images and genuine product information for use in public education and law enforcement education and training.
Identify and develop teams of experts in various areas of the nation who can identify counterfeits for law enforcement agencies and act as expert witnesses to testify in court proceedings.
Provide product information on coins and bullion products manufactured by private mints in the United States to enable law enforcement to identify counterfeits of such products. Establish private mint liaison with Transport and Security WG to develop best practices standards to prevent infiltration of counterfeits of private mint produced coin and bullion products into commercial transport and storage facilities.