Review of NGC versus PCGS

By Michael Bugeja

Last year at this time NGC chairman Mark Salzberg made this announcement, on which he expanded at the beginning of 2017:

[A]ll coins currently in NGC Registry sets—including those graded by other services—will be allowed to stay in those sets. There will be no NGC Registry point deductions or rank changes for these coins or sets. Starting in January 2017, however, if you would like to add a new coin to an NGC Registry set, it will need to be an NGC-certified coin.

He knew the decision would be controversial but defended it by stating, “I cannot continue to allow coins graded by companies whose standards do not match those of NGC. It is not fair to the collectors who have built their sets with NGC-certified coins.”

On January 17, 2017, he expanded on the decision in another post, stating:

Over the last five years or so, I have noticed a perplexing trend at PCGS. There has been a dramatic increase in the grades assigned by PCGS for a wide range of coin types and, consequently, I believe that this has caused an extraordinary reduction in the value of many PCGS-certified coins.

PCGS president Don Willis responded as one might anticipate to the criticism:

We set the standard for third-party grading 30 years ago. Every other grading service has attempted to copy that standard and has been playing a game of catch up for all those years.

Personally, I subscribe to both grading services, which recently made subtle changes in their online sites. Nothing astoundingly good or bad in my view, but nevertheless mildly annoying. We’ll get to those later.

First, some background.

Coin Update has a long history of covering the two major grading services, mainly via my columns. This year, for example, I posted:

You can find my criticisms on Coin Update as early as 2010. Here’s an example, concerning a policy change by PCGS, which used to charge extra for “plus” grades, then a new numismatic phenomenon.

Over the years, I had been especially hard on PCGS. To its credit, however, and occasional irksomeness, it typically has changed policy in the interest of the hobby. It is my preferred holdering company, although I patronize both services.

We need the competition. NGC and PCGS provide that, and oh so much more.

I have found less to criticize over the years with NGC, apart from its ridiculous—yes, Mr. Salzberg, ridiculous—policy of not grading crossover slabs because (purportedly) NGC submitters were disappointed when they received lower grades.

This was NGC’s response in 2011: “In the end, we discovered that the cause of customer complaints was not the way NGC had structured its services. Instead, negative customer experiences were the result of the way that coins had been graded or described by other companies.”

So for the past six years, hobbyists have to crack out lesser slabs (except for PCGS holders, which still qualify for crossover), a surefire way to damage coins before submitting to NGC. That move was predictably not so nice for the hobby.

In the end, though, these are mere annoyances. So Mr. Salzberg and Mr. Willis, kindly note the following: “I am incredibly grateful for PCGS and NGC.”

The operative words here are “incredibly grateful.”

Our hobby is in tatters on the Internet. Without reliable services, which NGC and PCGS provide, I believe coin collecting would wane because of unethical practices in online auctions, ranging from eBay to Proxibid.

You can ready about that in this post, titled, “What Kind of Hobby Is This?

I patronize NGC and PCGS, more so the latter, because I understand its grading practices more fully. Some readers may prefer NGC for the same reason.

I do have petty concerns that might improve the submission and verification processes.

For starters, I think it’s time to retire or revamp the GSA PCGS slab.

In 2013, when the new holder was announced, I had reservations, which I expressed in this post.

I have mixed feelings about the oversized holder. On one hand, we’re looking at a coin encapsulated within two layers of plastic. On the other, the holder is handsome and preserves the GSA insignia of the original slab. Then again, not counting the weight of the GSA holder, the PCGS slab weighs more than five times what the coin itself weighs (26.7 grams for a Morgan equals 0.9418148 ounces). Also, the size of the PCGS holder does not fit inside the GSA box with the Nixon insignia. The box, as much as the GSA holder, is part of the allure of the GSA coins.

I continue to be asked via email from PCGS customer service if I would like this oversized slab. When submitting, I have started using exclamation marks, such as “No Large Holder, Please!”


PCGS also can take a cue from NGC and start using bands on Redfield holders. I never submit Redfield and Paramount holdered coins to PCGS because it doesn’t provide this service. PCGS will put “Redfield” on its label. But the whole purpose here is the Redfield holder, not the provenance. That holder is destroyed without a band, such as NGC uses.

PCGS also has redesigned its website for clients to check on submissions. It looks like this now:

I dislike the “processing” tab. Again, PCGS could take a cue from NGC and cut down on customer-service calls if it included “Quality Control” so we’d know at what stage the coins are during “processing.”

I have ceased using NGC’s verification site because of the manual labor now of not only including its awkward cert system, which includes an invoice number followed by the order of the coin in the submission, such as 2736345-001 (or -002) in the example below.

Now, if you want to verify the holder, you also have to input the grade in addition to the invoice number and the sequential coin number.

So for my Redfield dollars above, I would have to input 2736345 followed by oo1 or 002 and MS-64.

Too cumbersome. I’m sure it’s for added security, but I no longer have the patience to fact-check every NGC slab that I want to bid on in Internet auctions. And as far as values are concerned, I simply go to PCGS CoinFacts, which I find superb, the best out there, that used to cost a subscription but now is free.

Thank you, Don Willis, for that!

Quibbles, to be sure. It would require a handbook to explain all the benefits I could list, using these top services.

Take note of this, especially: I applaud their customer-service representatives. At NGC, they are so responsive, I know them by their names.

Coin Update will continue to monitor NGC and PCGS as we have done since 2010. Sometimes we get it wrong, often we get it right, but always we will have you, the hobbyist, in mind when we post.

Do you disagree with my analysis? Think I am too hard on NGC, PCGS, or both? Let fly in the comment section.

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Comments

  1. KCSO says

    Oh Boy.., if there was one topic to get the crew on this blog fired up and ready to go to combat, this is it.

    Let the games begin!

    I just want to where I can send my all my PCGS PR/MS $5 gold Commemoratives that developed blood red freckles.., and all my PCGS PR/MS $1 silver Commemoratives that developed grey/orange tarnish?????

    Oh.. the smelter, ,,,that’s right, duh.

    PCGS can…, & I’ll leave it at that (there should have been a class action over all the destroyed value in PCGS holders, oh well, another reason to buy Bullion and screw the TPGs. But I’m not bitter. 🙂

  2. NCM Collector says

    I look at my PCGS silver often enough and do not see a spotting or tarnish problem. No sneezers either.
    Red flecks on gold cannot be the result of their holder. Can’t happen. Can’t convince me.
    Practice cracking out and drop them in a red kettle. Tis the season.

  3. Barry says

    I’ve stayed away from PCGS coins since reading past posts on this blog. The company response to the complaints seemed minimal or non existent as I remember.

  4. Erik H says

    I prefer NGC coins over PCGS for the simple fact that every coin has a photo to compare to the slab in hand. With counterfeit coin’s in slabs on the web, this is just an additional feature I like. Yes someone will say I should know how to determine a fake (I do & have) but the fakes are getting better & better. Or there’s the possibility of an under graded swapped coin in a fake slab, the photos will reveal that switch out. I do have a few PCGS Secure slabs with photos.

  5. Ron says

    I preferred NGC when I use to sell on the Bay because I usually got more 70’s but PCGS would bring more when I would get a rare 70.
    I also sent some proof ASE back to PCGS with milky white spots after a year, they cleaned them and sent them back in the same grade.
    I no longer have any coins graded if it doesn’t look good I don’t buy it.

  6. So Krates says

    @ Erik H. – That’s a great point. As a buyer, I find the access NGC provides to the coin images very helpful.

  7. Tom says

    Both NGC and PCGS created a dis service to the hobby by following the money with their hyped up labels for modern coins.

  8. cagcrisp says

    OT…

    The Senate’s version of the tax reform/cut bill was passed last night.

    Next is reconciliation with the House version and then on to Trump’s desk to be signed.

    The Senate version has a provision that will hurt long term stock investors (in a Non sheltered taxable account) and since the Senate is driving the Bus I expect the Senate version to weigh out.

    Current law allows you to Specifically choose which shares of stock you sell if you own multiple shares at multiple dates of the same corporation.

    I will use AAPL (Apple) for an example because it is the Largest market cap stock in the world

    Let’s say I own 1,500 shares of AAPL that I have owned for years and Sold yesterday at the close. Let’s say all sales are subject to 15% federal capital gains tax.

    Here are the dates and cost basis of the 1,500 shares of AAPL stock

    12/01/2006 500 sh @ $11.69 = $5,845.00
    12/01/2011 500 sh @ $49.68 = $24,840.00
    11/30/2016 500 sh @ $108.77 = $54,385.00

    Yesterday’s close for AAPL was $171.05…

    …SO… As of yesterday I have 1,500 shares of AAPL worth $256,575.00 with a Cost basis of $85,070.00

    Let’s say I want to Sell 500 shares of AAPL and I want to Minimize my federal tax bill under Current tax law. I sell 500 shares of AAPL purchased on 11/30/2016 and at 15% capital gains I owe $4,671.00 federal taxes.

    Under the tax reform/cut bill passed last night by the Senate the same above scenario will result in a federal tax bill of $11,952.00 or an Increase in my tax of 156%.

    Under the Senate bill I will No longer have a choice as to which shares I sell. All shares sold will be on a First in First Out (FIFO) basis for Individuals (mutual funds, etfs, dividend re-investments will all have a carve out)…

    …SO…In my above example the 500 shares of AAPL that I sold will have to be the shares that I purchased 12/01/2006 with the Lowest cost basis.

    That is One of the reasons that you have seen as much Sell Off in the 2017 high flyer stocks in the past couple of days. Many are taking advantage of the Current tax law and Lightening up on those stocks that they have the most capital gains.

    Those retires on the board that have worked for years and accumulated many shares of a company stock really need to look into what will happen financially to your stocks when you Sell…

  9. Ron says

    cagcrisp says:
    Those retires on the board that have worked for years and accumulated many shares of a company stock really need to look into what will happen financially to your stocks when you Sell…

    cagcrisp, what would be the consequence of this scenario, my mother retired 30 years ago and the company she worked for gave her 200 shares of company stock in profit sharing. Over the years it has diversified some of the other companies and split part of the original company, so she now owns stock in four companies worth in excess of $400,000.

  10. cagcrisp says

    @Ron, Lucent Technologies is a perfect example of a stock that has down what you have mentioned.

    When your mother received her 200 shares of A she had a Cost Basis for A. Each time there was a spinoff or stock split or whatever you will need to adjust to a new cost basis.

    IF company A had a 2-1 stock split then your new Cost Basis per share of A would be cut in half.

    IF Company A had a spinoff you will have a X number of shares of A and Y number of shares of Company B and so on and so forth…

    Example: Lucent…Shareholders of record on 05/03/2002 received .01077964 shares of Agere Systems Inc. Class A and .264563010 shares of Agere Systems Inc Class B for each share of Lucent Common owned. Basis allocation .7136% for Agere Class A, 17.54196% for Agere Class B, and 81.7445% for Lucent

    IF I’m understanding you correctly she owned 200 shares of X and in the past 30 years she has had splits and spinoffs and now those 200 shares of X have turned into shares of 4 companies that are currently worth in excess of $400,000.

    She will have a Cost Basis in each of the 4 stocks and when/if she sells her capital gains will be based on the difference in selling price less her Cost basis in each of the 4 stocks. Each of the companies will be treated as a stand alone and each of the 4 stocks will be treated as a stand alone…

  11. ike says

    cagcrisp- I’m with Ameritrade. When I sell stocks, does my year end tax statement show my cost basis @ the highest or lowest amount. For instance- I bought BAC multiple times and sold some to get my original investment back. As far as I know they never gave me a choice. I sold some others for the same reason that I bought @ different cost basis. I guess I should call Ameritrade. Any help would be appreciated-Thanks

  12. cagcrisp says

    @ike, When you receive your year end tax statement from a brokerage firm, it may/may not show your Cost Basis. It WILL show the revenue proceeds to the IRS and that is what the IRS bumps up against on your personal return.

    It’s up to you to provide the Cost Basis on your tax return.

    IF you sold your Entire stock position then it Will show your Cost Basis on the brokerage statement and it doesn’t matter if it is highest or lowest, you’ve liquidate the entire position and it will All be taxable, depending on the purchase dates as to whether it will be Short term or Long term capital gains.

    The problems that arise are IF you do not sell your entire position. Under Current law it is up to you to report your Cost Basis on your individual return, whereas the Revenue side is provided to the IRS by the brokerage firm…

  13. ike says

    Thanks cagcrisp-I just sold off enough of 5 stocks to cover the money I had invested, so I got my invested money back & the shares I have left is all future profit. Ameritrade does include the cost basis and they do send it to the IRS. I guess I’ll have to wait for the year end tax statement to see what’s the cost basis they use. Like I said, I bought all the stock @ different prices-MS-2, FB-3, BAC 3, SPY 2 & SNV-3. BTW I’ still loosing on 1 stock-SLE but almost getting even—LOL

  14. Tinto says

    cagcrisp,

    I encountered what you wrote about LIFO/FIFO and Apple stocks

    . I had tremendous losses when I screwed up in the 2011-2014 period when I stubbornly (and stupidly) held on and even bought more stocks of those handful of companies and I finally realized how much of a hole I was in .. I stopped and the losses at that time could have be used to offset my ordinary income for almost 15 years. Anyhow, a few months ago, a very good friend gifted me 5 stock certificates of one company she had purchased many years ago. It was from 1980 through 2007. I transferred them to my broker in book entry form and some time later i had an emergency and needed some funds. I sold off a few of the gifted stocks and there was a gain and what I did was sell of some of my underwater stocks to offset that gain .. and I used LIFO to sell the gifted stocks and FIFO for mine. The gifted stock price in 2007 was much closer to the current stock price than from 1980 … If I had used FIFO I would have to show a 5 fold gain … and sell off much more of my underwater stock (which has been slowly appreciating since 2016 and there was a very good chance they would appreciate in the future, albeit slowly) So this new tax law would screw me up …

  15. ips_stuff says

    @CAGCRISP
    I do all my trading in my Roth IRA, Tradition IRA, do I need to be concerned at all about the tax changes with trades made in these accounts,

    I leave my non speculative monies outside of the IRA’s

    Thoughts?

    Oh and since we are still on a coin blog, anything at all worth purchasing in the MINTS LAST CHANCE?

    Thanks

  16. cagcrisp says

    @ips_stuff , You have Nothing to be concerned about as long as you trade in a Roth or Traditional IRA….

  17. calvin says

    Thank You for the updated post on this situation, which is always morphing one direction or another. I too subscribe to BOTH companies, and, have positive and negative thoughts for both, won’t bore you my opinions here, BUT, I am surprised the author left out the PCGS “Secure” Gold Foil Label. One may read about this important perk on the PCGS website, in a nutshell, for gold, or high-end silver coins, and such, the secure label is a huge advantage for both buying and selling. NGC does not have such a service, which surprises me, these guys usually duke it out, item for item.
    NGC gets my vote for speed, decent grading, and an easy to follow system, and, choice of custom labels.
    PCGS gets my vote for their secure label, and that’s about it. After a slew of labeling mistakes the last 2 years, and, a VERY muted response from support(nO apologies), and lost time sending too many coins back for really simple label goof-ups, I leave PCGS to grade my high end gold and platinum coins.
    BOTH companies need a better system for communication. If I send coins in for a Variety, and, I don’t get what I think it is, there is NO mention why, which irks me beyond belief.
    “No time for that”, they cry. BS, it takes 15 seconds to type “No DDR, die damage”, on a return letter to the submitter. I also believe neither company offers Variety research, like Anacs does, so, if you are not 100% confident on what you have, your sunk, things get very complicated sorting out cherrypickers guide varieties.
    Better communication would be my #1 hope for change. We pay a LOT of money to utilize these services, the least these folks can do is have a final grader sign an info sheet sent with each order, and, have an available email address for support and questions, if needed later. Hire specific people who’s job duty would include finalizing the wrap up sheets, this way, the submitter feels like they are participating in the process. Right now, one feels like just a number on a form, and, that is a bit unpleasant in this day and age. I would be willing to pay a small fee for this as an extra service. Free would be better.
    The company that boosts communication will eventually win more business, and, improve it’s reputation in the marketplace. Collector’s and resellers deserve this.

  18. Jerry Diekmann says

    Cagcrisp – that is terrible news for people who have held stock for a long time and now have large unrealized capital gains. I am in this position, having inherited ARCO (now BP stock) many years ago from my father, plus fairly large positions in blue chip stocks I purchased in the 1980s and 1990s. According to what you are saying, if the House accepts this provision, and the tax law takes affect on 1-1-18, I, and thousands of other investors, should sell off as much as we can of our long-term gainers in December.

    Talk about ruining our country – Trump and Congress have sold out to the wealthy and the corporations who have paid for Congress to do what they have told them to do. This is definitely not “making America great again”. Grrrr!!!

  19. Ron says

    Thanks cagcrisp, lot of figuring to do. Just to let you know it was MO. She worked for them until she was 55 and she takes her dividend every quarter or it would be way up there.
    Thanks again for the information.

  20. So Krates says

    FIFO or LIFO, there’s no free lunch.

    Tax must be paid on gains one way or another. The insistence on FIFO will inhibit deferment of taxes not necessarily increase them.

  21. Alex in MA says

    Absolutely agree with So Krates. Have enormous gains in large biotechs since they were very small. Will never sell, my kids cost will be price on the day I die.

  22. cagcrisp says

    @Jerry Diekmann, ” According to what you are saying, if the House accepts this provision, and the tax law takes affect on 1-1-18, I, and thousands of other investors, should sell off as much as we can of our long-term gainers in December.”

    I’m Not telling anyone to sell anything. Just stating what the Senate version of the tax reform/cut will do. It is designed to generate Revenue so as to offset some of the corporate tax cuts.

    The estimated Revenue of the Senate provision is $2.5 Billion…

    …SO…stockholders will lose $2.5 Billion and Uncle Sam will receive $2.5 Billion…

  23. Jerry Diekmann says

    Thanks, Cagcrisp. Like So Krates has said, eventually the tax would be paid, but Uncle Sam gets his money a lot faster this way. And if people sell now, then the “step-up” in value is lost forever, or until Congress does away with that provision too. We not only have a madman as POTUS, but we have a bunch of devils in Congress too. God help this country, because our leaders are destroying it.

    I know this is not a stock blog, but coin investors should be scared of what Congress can do to this hobby in the future. Capital gains could very well become ordinary income (like it already is here in California) with a stroke of the pen by Trump, or Pence, if Trump gets impeached. The GOP has no further use of Trump after he signs this onerous tax law. Don’t underestimate the power of the government to confiscate your gold and silver and distribute it to the wealthy. It’s been happening that way in Russia, a country that Trump seems to be very fond of.

  24. Tinto says

    FIFO or LIFO for stocks already sold the govt gets paid if there is a gain, in my case if I used FIFO I would end up in a higher tax bracket for this year. Using LIFO I don’t pay since I am offsetting against losses and thus remain in the same tax bracket and end up keeping much more of my underwater stocks which have been going up since 2016 and have very good potential for further increases in the next year or two … if all my my stocks were in the green then that would be a different story ..

  25. Jerry Diekmann says

    I have always used average cost for determining gains – I guess you could say it’s a combo of LIFO and FIFO and everything else in-between. But don’t think stocks are going to continue going up – they’re already overpriced in anticipation of this tax law going into effect. I think under the circumstances it would be wise for people to consider selling stocks that have appreciated a lot over the years. This bull has just about run its course in my opinion, although some analysts think there is a little ways for it to continue up, but I wouldn’t buy that argument. I don’t see anything good happening to this administration or this country in 2018. I see consumer confidence waning big time, especially when voters see that their taxes are up and their health and medical costs are up too, a really big double whammy to a large segment of the American population.

  26. So Krates says

    calvin says, “I am surprised the author left out the PCGS “Secure” Gold Foil Label. One may read about this important perk on the PCGS website, in a nutshell, for gold, or high-end silver coins, and such, the secure label is a huge advantage for both buying and selling”

    I looked on the site for info on this and mostly found touting of the holder’s improvements in general. They have a special this quarter where you can receive the “secure” service upgrade at no additional charge on up to thirty coins. There is normally a $5 fee for this but I see there is a different $17 fee for the “Gold Shield”.

    Which is what? What’s the difference? and Why is it a “huge advantage” ?

  27. Buzz Killington says

    @cag —

    Thank you for this information. I hope it is still true that if I die with my long term stocks, the transferred basis rule will give my heirs the basis at the time of my death. This assumption has been a large part of my financial planning.

  28. Jerry Diekmann says

    Buzz – what you are saying is true. The law is there probably because 99% + of all heirs would have no idea what the deceased’s basis would be unless they have left meticulous records. Since there would be no way to ascertain the basis, Congress just let this perk go by, as it also encourages being in the stock market, and we know how closely Wall Street and the government work together.

    Tax policies often are made to encourage what the government considers socially desirpous incomes, like buying homes and giving to charity. But you can never trust the government when it comes to tax policies or the fairness of the system. Property taxes are being limited, the same with home interest, and if you live in a state like California or New York with high income taxes, you are SOL in claiming any deductions beginning in 2018.

  29. VA Bob says

    What the hell happened to this blog?

    Here’s all you need to know about TPG’s… buy the coin, not the holder.

    As for the politics, no one whined about the Gov. spending $600 million on a health tax website, or giving $150 billion to Iran, to name a very few. Where did that money come from? Seems it’s always the other guy taking your money that is the boogieman. There are other places to cry about it.

  30. Joe M. says

    @ VA Bob
    I wish someone would total up all of the money we(USA) give away every year to other countries. I heard a while ago we give Syria 1 billion dollars a year. I don’t know if it’s true, but I didn’t know we gave $150 billion to Iran.
    If we’ve given away even 1 Trillion dollars over 10 years, what is that per tax payer??? If we have 700 million in the USA, about half(?) pay income taxes and what comes from corporate tax?
    @cagcrisp
    Why does the dollar keep it’s strength when we’re over 20 Trillion in debt? I love reading your comments as I don’t know much about markets, IRAs, etc.
    @ So Krates
    I left a message at the Nov.27th conversation stating I will post a vid about classes of doubled dies, microscopes, and magnifying glasses if you’re interested.

  31. Joe M. says

    I had my commemorative $5 gold slabbed by PCGS around 2010-2012 and they developed brown spots too!
    In fact, I didn’t sell them until I noticed the spotting after a few years of storage. Then what made it worse, the market dropped without me paying attention. I lost a lot of money on those..
    ;-(

  32. bigguy says

    I THINK THIS BLOG IS ABOUT COINS, IF YOU WANT TO TALK STOCKS GET EACH OTHERS PHONE NUMBER AND TALK, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Daveinswfl says

    Down here in SW Fla there are tons of 2017 coinage everywhere you go. I even got 2017 D coin in change the other day!
    Regarding the TPGs, my LCS who has a really big presence in the area sends all grading solely to NGC. He has all of the certifications for coin dealers yet will not send to PCGS. Yet somehow most of the PCGS holderd coins sold in their auctions go for a premium over NGC of same date, mint Mark, and grade.
    With all the problems with PCGS holdered coins, I am surprised the premium has remained.

    I got the 2017 palladium coin in 70 by PCGS and returned it to the seller even though it had appreciated significantly because the coin had a very noticeable scuff mark on the obverse. When I got it, I was amazed that it had received a 70! It’s not grade inflation anymore that I worry about, it’s the TPGs working on a quota system with their big boyz buddies. JMHO.

  34. cagcrisp says

    @Joe M. “Why does the dollar keep it’s strength when we’re over 20 Trillion in debt?”

    Just off the top of my head (in no particular order).

    1. The USD is THE reserve currency of the world. When the whole world settles in USD, everyone has to own the USD and the USD gets a free pass on some things that other currencies would not. Several countries in the world do Not like that the USD is THE reserve currency of the world but until something comes along to change this, it is what it is.

    2. The USD has stability and liquidity that has been proven over and over again. I don’t know of Any currency that have both of these. Look at what happened on Friday with the Dow dropping 400+ points in a 15 minute period because of an erroneous news headline and then recovering almost 100% in a matter of 4 hours. That’s impressive that we have the liquidity to do that. Look at what happened to spreads on Bitcoin last week Without liquidity.

    3. What other currency in the world would you rather own than the USD?

    The Euro? Look at what happened to the Euro last summer with the Brexit vote (and the United Kingdom had never given up the British pound)…SO…If you were to tell me that Greece, Italy, Ireland, Spain, etc. would get their house in order, that there would Not be anymore countries pull out of the EURO, tell me that Brexit will actually be beneficial to the UK, then Yes the EURO could be a viable option to the USD.

    The Yen? Japan has Twice the debt to GDP that the United States does.The economy of Japan has been contracting since 2012…SO…I don’t want to own the Yen.

    The Swiss Franc? The United States economy is growing whereas the Swiss economy has been contracting year/year for 5 years…SO…I don’t want to own the Swiss Franc.

    The Chinese Yuan? You want to own a currency of a communist country?

    …SO…For Me, there really is no alternative to the USD because of stability and liquidity.

    4. The United States is Raising interest rates AND getting ready to Decrease the Federal Reserves balance sheet. The European Central Band, and the Bank Of Japan are Both Still Buying Paper…SO…The United States is doing things to Strengthen the dollar vs. a basket of currencies and others are doing things to Weaken their currency.

    I’m sure there are other things that I can think of, however, these are just some things off the top of my head about why the USD has strength…

  35. Tinto says

    I bought a 1797 $1 VF35 by PCGS in the 1980’s (it’s a 9×7) .. and I noticed that the inner plastic of the holder is crumbling and that has enabled the coin to rotate … I don’t know what it will do to the value when I try to sell … that coin is the only big one left from days of yore .. and I really hope that crumbled plastic hasn’t messed with the coin’s surface

  36. So Krates says

    >>————–> MINT NEWS BLOG MODERATOR <—————–<<

    Please rescue Joe M.'s post on 11/30 in the 11/27 thread. He included two links which we know causes it to go into moderation.

  37. So Krates says

    @ Joe M. – Yes, definitely very interested in the video you described. Please post a link to it, but remember that more than two links in a comment will get it stalled for review…not sure if anyone’s at the helm.

  38. So Krates says

    VA Bob – We don’t give Iran any direct financial aid. Your comment is completely false.

    Joe M. – I assume the number to which VA Bob meant to refer is actually $400 million, not $150 billion. This was the amount (of CASH) transferred to Tehran last year as the first installment payment in part of a $1.7 billion settlement deal concerning frozen Iranian assets from 1979. The issue had been arbitrated by an international court, the Iran–United States Claims Tribunal, in Den Haag for years, and the funds were essentially THEIR OWN MONEY our government held for nearly four decades.

  39. So Krates says

    @ Tinto – If it’s really bothering you, you can have it re-holdered for just a few bucks…or have it regraded. Grading standards are supposedly looser now than in the 80s and it might very well grade higher now. I think there’s a way to resubmit in the holder and request them to leave it alone if it doesn’t up-grade . Don’t forget there are some serious PCGS fanboys out there who just love those older holders and will pay a premium for anything in them. I don’t know how much the rotation and crumbling would effect that, although they are called “rattlers” for a reason.

  40. Buzz Killington says

    Tinto brings up an interesting point. Over the extremely long term, various fads of collectible-protection arise, each of which has its own potential to cause unexpected damage. The shellacking of signed baseballs is an example that comes readily to mind.

    If the plastic on those first generation PCGS holders turns out to be harmful to coins, that would be a bombshell fact.

    Like some other posters, I am concerned about the red spots you see (and even moreso hear about) from recent PCGS holders on Modern gold coins. There is some cause for this, but no one seems to have a definitive answer.

    Unlike the esteemed author, I don’t have the kind of grading experience (or the need to use it) as he does, but I do enjoy Bugeja’s articles, and I think they do shine a much-needed journalistic light into the world of coin grading.

  41. Tinto says

    @So Krates

    It is bothering me a bit since i am preparing to sell off most, if not all of the few remaining coins and currency and that 1797 would be the most expensive and I don’t want to have a holder issue knock down the price. I hope you are right about the old holder. The 1980’s label would be a draw like you said and I remember seening PCGS and NGC trot out “retro” labels a while back (or is it still ongoing?) I will probably use 2 or maybe 3 ways to sell, one being through Great Collections, another could be through the auction company I’ve used .. or most likely both .. I held onto the 1797 through thick and thin but no one to leave it to and I don’t wanna get to a position where I no longer have the capacity to personally dispose of my stuff.

  42. VA Bob says

    So Krates who said anything about economic aid to Iran? They got $150 billion of the money we froze in 79, as a payola for them to continue to kill our troops, develope ballistic missles, cause trouble in the region, and basically spit in our faces. What’s that worth?

  43. The RCB says

    VA Bob.

    You whine about people whining when the government spends money, and you use Iran as an example, but then concede that the money was actually their own frozen assets. Doesn’t really support your argument. I guess the government could follow your suggestion and just decide to freeze assets from other countries and consider it as income to provide basic services. But that doesn’t seem to me to be a great diplomatic policy…

  44. John Q. Coinage says

    PCGS has more resale value, unless the COIN is better. I have lots of 1st gen pcgs, no more spots or tarnish than they came with, cracked out quite a few lately to fill albums (mostly xf Barber 50c..) but of late PCGS has apparently loweredit standards, both now are slabbing obviously cleaned coins, IF old enought, Bust 1/2, Barber 1/2, etc. copper more dicey as the pink nosed Indian is quite a look!! On $ issue SOKrates is right on Iran $ & as to the alleged $6oo b for health care, inded I would prefer giving giant corps sitting on what $5T ca$h a subsidized trillion for dividuends & buybax & CEO $40m salaries, what many seem to not understand is the HEALTH of a population does relate to economics & business success. But in realtiy WE THE PEOPLE cannot trust the corporations or TRUMP & his ilk to do the right thing, stealing from individuals tio pay corps $, slowly making the tax burden on individuals & not corps & why are REIT’s now @ a way reduced Fed tax rate, they dont create sheet, just $$ for investors, ongoing since Bush they tax earnings more then investments. Coin investments csn some what stay immune IF you can get cash for them as allowed by law w/o 1099s……Looks ;like Father FLannugan & the $1 bu may be very low, will anyone care in the FUTURE??? Metal appear ina bearish cusp & IF %rate$ are raised more pressure. Last, I have been spending 1/2 lately, you should see the looks on the facs of cashiers, some call a manager, I said it was a $5 coin, 1 believed me!! I corrected them…….

  45. So Krates says

    @ Tinto – Since you’re contemplating using them anyway, I’d call GC and ask their advice as to leave intact, regrade, etc. They probably have a good feel for which route will bring more at auction. I’ve never used them but I’ve met the owner and he seemed quite knowledgeable and helpful. Sounds like a great coin you don’t really want to let go 🙁

  46. Jerry Diekmann says

    John Q. Coinage “… the HEALTH of a population does relate to economics & business success. But in realtiy WE THE PEOPLE cannot trust the corporations or TRUMP & his ilk to do the right thing, stealing from individuals tio pay corps $, slowly making the tax burden on individuals & not corps …” so true. – one of the Republicans in Congress – I don’t know who, said “we all have to die someday anyway.” So much for “compassionate conservatism”. Nothing I have seen from this administration is “making America great again”.

    As for coins, I think we are in the beginning of a downward spiral when you see the mintages of commemorative coins drift down each year; some of them are now lower than the ones issued during the 1920s and 1930s, and some of them are just as inconsequential and with ugly designs as we now see coming out from the Mint. The WW I design for 2018 is just terrible and the policy of having to buy this coin to get a medal is atrocious. Making matters worse, the big dealers and their TPG friends are destroying the hobby. Wait until you see them offering 70+ grades!

  47. Barry in Honolulu says

    The RED SPOTS you see on gold coins can be professionally removed. Ian Russell, who started Great Collections, removed red spots from 15 of my First Spouse gold coins. I asked Ian to send them on to PCGS for grading. PCGS graded one-third of the coins at 70 and two-thirds at 69. Most of the coins were uncirculated; the proofs came back especially nice.
    NGC will also remove red spots from any gold coins you ship to them, too.
    Like most of you, I find that my graded coins (even those that were slabbed promptly after I received them) seem to develop surface flaws that frustrate me how it could happen. Aren’t the holders supposed to be air-tight?
    I do not know of any procedure to remove “milk” spots from silver coins. Aloha!

  48. V. Kurt Bellman says

    “Aren’t the holders supposed to be air-tight?”

    In a word, no!

    Nobody ever said they were. You assumed that.

  49. earthling says

    About that WW 1 Coin coming out soon. That design IMHO, will result in a very low mintage. I wouldn’t accept that Coin for free much less pay issue price or any markup by speculators.

    How low can mintage go? I could really care less. 😝

  50. says

    Th division between NGC and PCGS is becoming defined further. As of June 14, 2017 NGC registry set competition was modified as follows:

    “The NGC Registry ranks sets first according to the set’s score. If two or more sets have the same score, the NGC Registry will break the tie by ranking the sets based on the percentage of NGC-certified coins in the set. If two or more sets have the same score and the same percentage of NGC-certified coins, then the tie will be broken based on the percentage of coins with with images. If two or more sets have the same score, same percentage of NGC-certified coins and the same percentage of coins with images, then the tie will be broken based on the percentage of coins with descriptions.

    To summarize, ranking is achieved by considering the following, in order:
    1. Set Score
    2. Percentage of NGC-certified coins
    3. Percentage of coins with images
    4. Percentage of coins with descriptions

    If all of the above items are equal between sets, then sets will be sorted by the date the rank was achieved (first to achieve it will appear higher), but they will have the same rank number beside their set.”

    Thus NGC has been degraded in the NGC registry competition. The TGPs are trying to create competition over labeling differences as opposed to coin differences. NGC has defied logic and their own definitions in the registry competitions. As examples, they have refused to to add the Frosted Freedom varieties (as they define and recognize in their database for Proof Platinum American Eagles) as varieties but include a labeling for the Anniversary issue that came with the reverse proof. In the 5 oz ATB set competition with varieties they have included only one of the several issues that have “Light Finishes” that they recognize in their coin database. In the case of Proof Presidential Dollars they ascribed additional points for First Issue Labels for no apparent reason except to create set ranking differences. But, the real issue is the grading difference between NGC and PCGS. The data comparisons for Top Pops indicate “statistically significant” difference for Modern Coins. Apparently APE’s may be graded under stricter criteria by PCGS than NGC. The reverse appears for Reverse Proof President Dollars for Johnson and Reagan. The same holds for the early Kennedy Proofs (1964) and SMS coins in UC (1965-7).

    Anybody else care to report significant differences?

    I predict the only fair resolution to the grading difference will be the removal of PCGS from NGC registry competitions.

  51. Ron says

    Barry in Honolulu, I sent several ASE back to PCGS to remove the milk spots, they kind of looked like someone sneezed on the coins before they were put in the slab. They did check to see if I was the original owner and some of the coins were a few years old.

  52. Numismatrix says

    Hope I don’t burst this TPG bubble/habit but I do purchase coins
    and take them (carefully) out of their slabs and into capsules. I
    have done this to ASE bullion after cherry picking choice units at
    the 69 grade. Just cannot identify with slabbed coins but there is
    definitely something to handling a coin freely in hand and a capsule
    works best for me.

    I also do have Gold coins which have tarnished in PCGS holders.
    It is a shame for them to have NOT looked into this matter ASAP and
    fixed the problem – it is irresponsible to blame the Mint and just
    continue to ruin some nice coins.

  53. CW says

    Can we get the mods to get some of this incessant stock talk pulled here? I don’t come here to read partisan speculation. I come here to read about coins. The blog just isn’t the same.

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