New Hobby Protection Act bans any actions with unmarked coin copies
The Federal Trade Commission updated its rules for collectible coin and political badges trading in October, 2016. According to the new amendments, signed by the President Obama, all replica coins and political buttons must have clear and constant marks indicating them as copies, in the opposite case they can be considered as counterfeit and punished the corresponding way. It’s illegal to issue or sell replicas which are not marked as copies, as well as to be involved in any processes regarded to the commerce of such items.
The latter statement is new in the Act and it provides the responsibility for anyone participating in the manufacturing, importing, distributing or selling of numismatic replicas without the required marks in the case those people knew or should have known about violation the FTC rules.
The rules aim to improve legal protection of the coin collectors and resist the spreading of counterfeit items. The most recent amended Hobby Protection Act requires the clear and permanent inscription on the replica item stating it’s a copy of rare collectible one. Thanks to these new rules average customer can easily know what he’s dealing with – a genuine valuable collectible piece or just a copy – only by flipping the thing over and finding (or not) the mark. This should also resist the using of fake coins as legal tender, which certainly occurs when copies are produced by non-government establishments and do not bear the special mark.
Normally coin collectors do not buy copies, except for the rare cases they want to fill the gaps in their albums asap and can’t find the genuine pieces for sale. In their turn, the coin dealers usually do not sell replicas along with the real collectibles to avoid messing with counterfeit. Nowadays, things seem to get clearer for all related.