House Unanimously Passes Butterfield's Bill to Stop Counterfeiting of Collectible Coins

Jul 31, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Late yesterday evening, the House unanimously passed Congressman G. K. Butterfield’s (NC-01) bill, H.R. 2754, the Collectible Coin Protection Act.  Under existing law, the Hobby Protection Act, it is unlawful to manufacture in the U.S. or to import into the U.S. for distribution in commerce any imitation coin or currency unless it is “plainly and permanently” marked with the word “copy.”  The Collectible Coin Protection Act would extend the law to cover the commercial sale of an imitation coin not marked with “copy.”  In addition, the bill makes it unlawful to provide substantial support or assistance to a manufacturer, importer or seller if the person providing support knows or should know that the other is manufacturing, importing or selling imitation coins illegally.

Butterfield said, “With the rise in counterfeit coins due to new technologies, such as 3-D printers, it’s becoming more and more difficult for even the trained eye to discern between authentic and fake coins, particularly rare collectible coins.  One way to reduce counterfeiting is to strengthen the law pertaining to counterfeiting and hold all parties involved accountable.”

Many of these imitation coins originate in China and are funneled into the United States by teams of nefarious importers with the sole purpose of passing the coins off as legitimate and authentic currency. 

“Unloading these imitation coins on unsuspecting collectors has become big business and cuts to the very core of our ability to control and regulate currency,” said Butterfield.  “By the time the collector realizes that he has been scammed, it’s too late.”

H.R. 2754 also addresses the problem of counterfeit certificates by making the remedies for trademark infringement available for violations of the Hobby Protection Act where the violation also involves unauthorized use of a registered trademark. 

Butterfield was joined by Congressmen Bill Cassidy (R-LA-06), Steve Scalise (R-LA-01), Lamar Smith (R-TX-21), Lee Terry (R-NE-02), and Henry Waxman (D-CA-33) making its passage a rare bipartisan victory.

The bill will now go to the Senate for a vote.