ANACS’ rich and noble history began in 1972. It was created by the American Numismatic Association (ANA) with a mission to correct an urgent problem facing the coin hobby. The ANA is a century-old, not-for-profit educational association for collectors of coins, tokens, medals and paper money. The ANA, like the U.S. Olympic Association and the American Red Cross, is chartered by the U.S. Congress.
In the early 1970s, the ANA board of governors recognized that something significant needed to be done about the counterfeit and altered coins that were plaguing the coin community. Their solution was ANACS, the American Numismatic Association Certification Service. ANACS began with a staff of two experts with Washington D.C. as its home. Washington was chosen in order to utilize the Smithsonian’s Numismatic Collection and to be near the Treasury Department, specifically the Secret Service.
This was a time when many people could never be quite certain if the coins they were purchasing, or even selling, were genuine or counterfeit. Something had to be done to protect and uphold the integrity of the coin industry, especially if it was to grow into the mainstream as a hobby and a business. Little had been written on the subject and the science of counterfeit detection was still in its infancy. ANACS certified its first coin as genuine on June 15, 1972. As the need for the service grew and as the benefits were proven over and over, additional experts were added to ANACS’ staff.