Discussion in 'Modern Chinese Coins & Medallions' started by SilverNole, May 21, 2016.
How they are determine
First Strike Coins
It seems that maybe you don't understand what First Strike, First Release, and Early Release actually means and doesn't mean.....do you?
Also, that a Monster Box indicates on it exactly which specific die or dies were used in the pressing of the coins in that box seems to me unlikely. What is your evidence for this claim....if that's what you are claiming? What if 4 dies broke during the manufacture of the coins in one Monster Box....are all 4 specific dies going to be listed on the Monster Box? Finally, many people who send in coins for grading don't buy Monster Boxes. And even if they did, most don't send mint sealed Monster Boxes to NGC or PCGS for grading. I know that sealed tubes are authenticated by one or both TPG's but since they are sealed, of course the coins inside those tubes can not and do not get graded.
Bottom line: First Strike, First Release, and Early Release have nothing at all to do with determining which coins were actually struck first.....TPG's don't do that at all with those services.
The only service between PCGS and NGC that I know of that has official documentation showing the coins received were actually the coins struck first is NGC's "Numbered First Struck" designation.
ANACS may offer a similar service to NGC's "Numbered First Struck". I might just look into that to get a definitive answer.
From my understanding.. FDI - "First Day of Issue" is for dealers submitting bulk coins that overnight the coins the day they are received from the mint. This ensures that no one else has touched them, except for the mint handlers. THe ER and FR designations can be cherry picked since there is a 30 day window to receive the coin. This is ultimately the difference and what people pay for is the amount of handling a coin is given. The longer a coin has been out in circulation on the secondary market, the more likely it will not grade as well or have been screened.
So to some, there is relevance to have these labels since the label,while not determining the order of the strike. It does cover the number of people handling the coin from mint to slab. While I understand, some people don't see the value. I'm sure others who are a little more OCD prefer to make sure they get the first ones out of the lot. A brown label usually tells me that a coin was user submitted typically long after it was released. For me as a Panda collector, I'll probably send in my MS70's to all get the panda label so its all consistent. I kinda don't like it all mismatching, and this is why some can sell for a premium. If you start now, you can build your collection with ER and FR designations. These populations will never grow, which is nice as I watch my panda population grow little by little for non-ER/FS. If you like ER/FR, you will have a matching set. Some people don't care for matching, others do. A lot of people with a lot of money are usually very particular about things so let them spend it to be a little exclusive. Some people don't like to mix and match PCGS/NGC, while others want one label at one company. Brand loyalty, and then a segment loyalty.
So I don't think the argument of the order struck is specific to ER/FR/FS. As mentioned earlier, that is for designated labels that says First of 750 struck, where there is documentation.
I do understand about wanting to match labels for a set...different label design is not my gripe with TPG's. What is my gripe is the intentional misleading with designations that suggest the coins are the first struck as just one example. And if someone doesn't think the TPGs' intention is to mislead, then why would they use such terms in the first place? Of course, unequivocally, they intend to mislead with the ER, FS, FR labels. After all, if they didn't intend to mislead, then they would have easily chosen and used honest terms which describe the service being offered in the first place instead of concocting terms which suggest something very different.
While it's a mildly interesting notion what you describe about the FS, ER, FR designation somehow addressing more and less handling of a coin, it doesn't make sense at all. That's because it wouldn't matter one bit that a coin is received within 30 days since that designation assures zero, ziltch, nothing in terms of the handling. The only thing that matters in terms of how many people handled a coin is the grade....period. Besides, that still doesn't account for the deceptive terms they chose to use. The TPGs can simply and very easily use a "Received 30 Days From I.D.A." designation if they want to show that the coins were received within 30 days of the initial date of availability.
So, I don't buy for a second that the FR, FS, and ER labels are intended to suggest anything but coins that were actually first struck by the mint....which makes these labels a deceptive sales gimmick and the reason I avoid paying any sort of premium for them.
Now, of course if a coin just happens to have one of those deceptive labels and I really want to own the coin, then any premiums I am willing to pay will be for the grade of the coin and for the authentication, grading, and slabbing service that goes into a slabbed coin....not for a label that has terms that don't correlate one bit to the service that's rendered. I own FS, ER, and FR labeled slabs but in no way, shape, or form did I even consider those gimmick terms in my consideration to own that slabbed coin. In fact, most definitely I would buy a coin in a slab that doesn't have those deceptive marketing gimmick terms if the grade and price of the slabbed coin with no gimmick label is the same because I want to avoid whenever possible rewarding the bad behavior of TPGs and only reward the good behavior (honest labeling)..
I think NGC is less offensive as ER and FR are correct terms. (First Releases) (Early Release) which determines they received the coins within 30 days. They also designate first of xxxx struck. PCGS uses the term First Strike incorrectly. While you might not agree, this validates that the coin was in the hands of the grading company within 30 days. Also, while it doesn't matter to you if a coin is received 30 days to some people it matters. While you don't pay for a premium, there are others who think slabbing is ridiculous. Pay what you want to pay for the coin! ie: cull silver who thinks slabs with labels are gimmicky themselves. Everyone has an opinion. All I can say is, I can see the rationale. I for one like ER/FR and would pay $15 for the label if I'm submitting coins because it adds value. But I would not buy a coin with a ridiculous premium because of the label. Other people would question the whole mint mark thing as silly, as they were all minted in the same year. To me its kinda silly for a S coin to be worth 30x more than a P or D coin in the same year. It's the same f***ing coin, same material, same age, only difference is that little mint mark... I get it its 'rare' everyone's definition is different. You are no more right than the person that pays the premium for the label. The market decides. Gimmick or not, you own coins with the designation. I only have a handful of ER and a set that I just submitted. There's something about exclusivity that people just like. TPG's cater to the market. If the market wants it, they produce it. If they don't, they get rid of it. It's quite simple.
Technically, the coins that NGC receives within 30 days are not the coins that are released first since there are probably many more that NGC doesn't receive that are sold in the same time frame. These are coins that are not released by the mint first, they are pulled off the shelf first which means they are not minted first. Logistics ensures this except in very tiny runs of no more than a couple hundred or so. Besides, there is no significance in a coin being sold and released first anyway since in all likelihood these are not struck first and since there's no way that NGC would be able to determine if the coins are handled less than coins that are sold not first.
Think about that....it's completely meaningless as to the authenticity and grade whether or not a coin is pulled off the shelf first (which almost ensures it is not struck first). This is the only service (other than encapsulation) that NGC is providing with ER/FR.
I am not splitting hairs at all....I'm just being critical of deceptive marketing gimmicks that NGC and PCGS still intentionally use to defraud consumers.
And just in case you think I'm wrong, I invite you to read about the lawsuit(s) brought against NGC for their deceptive marketing:
I never once contested that the ER/FR designation doesn't mean that NGC didn't receive the coin within 30 days, I simply state that it is a false, meaningless, and deceptive claim as noted in this and my previous posts here.
That someone may have an emotional attachment to such deceptive and fraudulent ER/FR labels doesn't mean that it's prudent to defend fraud and deception by these profit making businesses.
As for the bizarre opinion that some have that authentication, grading, and slabbing is a gimmick, I think these people have zero rational argument and are simply being emotional about this. After all, what is a gimmick about authenticating, professional independent grading, and professional slabbing??????? I have never seen a valid argument against this service that NGC and PCGS provide. Just because hey are guilty of deceptive marketing practices with ER/FR gimmick labels, doesn't mean it makes any sense at all to throw the baby out with the bath water.
Therefore, keep the valid and important authenticating, grading, and professional slabbing service but get rid of the deceptive marketing gimmick ER/FR labels. That's the way a fix should work.
Sorry to be the one to have to break the bad news to you but your analogy with the mint mark is a red herring argument and completely wrong because it has nothing to do with the deceptive terms "Early Release" and "First Release". Delineating what the mint mark is has nothing to do with deceptive terms used on a label. Sorry, but this is not opinion, this is fact. Now if you stated that you think mint marks are a gimmick, then that's a completely different argument because that has nothing at all to do with TPG's delineating mint marks....that's an issue you'd have against the mints that indicate the mint marks on their coins.
As for you arguing that the market decides, that's a strawman fallacious argument since I never once claimed that the market doesn't decide. You really should read my comments instead of make presumptions about what I am stating.
You also need to start to separate emotion-based opinion from facts.
Good luck....there's no further reason for me to add to the facts and statements I've already shared here so good bye.
It seems to me that NGC is not misleading anyone with these designations but that also they have extremely low value and are effectively meaningless. They are a marketing gimmick and most of the buyers of these labels are the big dealers. I am assuming that since a private collector is now charged $15 per special label with a minimum of 5 labels this designation is used as a gimmick to add value for bulk orders and is probably provided free of charge to those bulk accounts. Many brown label slabs contain coins that are minted/graded before first releases. For example my 2oz Queens Beast was graded first in the world and last time I looked 16 others had been special labelled with FR/ER - meaningless.
In the mints these coins go through many individual processes and QA stages before they get out the door. The ones minted first may languish in final QA for 2 weeks and the ones minted last may be first out the door. So what? It makes no practical difference and really it is a case of Emperors New Clothes and anyone who thinks these labels have value is deluded. I entered into email exchange with NGC Directors and asked for an even playing field, I asked for $0 charges for Elite Members and I asked alternatively for even a 10% discount for these labels as I wanted the option of labelling the odd coin just for fun with a special label but it was clear that this is not going to happen.
There are some quite attractive special labels that have been produced for certain Chinese coins and medals and some of these do at least make the slab look less boring but ultimately they are a means of advertising differentiation not a mark of value. As the articles above point out - Special Labels seem to have no value over time - only as a means for one dealer to say that his/her coins are special compared to AN Other dealers coins. Since the coins all look the same the label is all that is left as an expression of added value.
Numistacker, I agree with virtually everything you state. The exception is that if these ER/FR designations are a marketing gimmick as you assert (and to which I agree) numistacker, then how is it not possible that NGC is not intending to mislead the consumer.....it's NGC's own wording after all, not the dealers' wording.
Besides (and this is no longer directed at you Numistacker but rather for general consumption), as I've noted at least twice, NGC could use words (terms) that actually describe truthfully and accurately that the coin in the slabs with the ER/FR label is simply the coin received within 30 days after I.D.A. Instead, NGC and PCGS use intentionally misleading and deceptive terms because they can get away with it....at least get away with it because of people who think it's perfectly fine to use deceptive words....just so long as a lot of people buy that gimmick....then somehow it's all good and fine no matter what. Exccept to me it's not fine at all because I insist on integrity within this hobby from both individuals and large businesses.
And just because certain TPG's are guilty of using that deceptive marketing gimmick, doesn't mean that the valid services they do offer aren't very important and legitimate. I am against throwing the baby out with the bath water and I am all for criticizing dishonesty and deception. That a label is fancy, doesn't mean it's deceptive marketing. But when they use words that don't describe the coin and when they add very legit looking facsimile signatures with no disclaimer, then I will of course criticize that very problematic behavior by the TPGs. Why wouldn't anyone who had an ounce of integrity not???
As for the ludicrous argument that some here use, 'it's what the market demand is' that's a non sequitur fallacious argument in the context of my criticisms here because what the market demand is has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not the words the TPG uses is deceptive and untruthful or not....zero bearing whatsoever.
If the market started to demand that fake coins be slabbed and passed off as genuine, then so what? That too would be an equally ludicrous argument against my criticism which would be in opposition of TPG's slabbing fake coins and slapping labels on them which insinuated that they were genuine. The market could hypothetically demand anything that isn't legitimate....that is not a reasoned response to the criticisms I've put forth.
Please, whose who throw out the 'market demand' non sequitur nonsense, let's stick to the issue at hand and in this case it is whether the ER/FR words actually describe the coin and why some TPG's would even use such deceptive words which are not truthful and are irrelevant. My arguments and points have not been refuted at all with anything but logically fallacious retorts. That means my positions stand as valid, and not as emotional attachment to something which is what appears to be the case from those who are defending deceptive practices.
So those who try to play that ridiculous "market demand" ploy against my criticism of deceptive wording on labels, you can stop fooling yourself (because you are certainly not fooling me) into believing that you are making a valid challenge to the facts I point out (facts which include TPGs' own statements and articles which corroborate my points).
Hey numistacker/missing, I have an early release silver 2 oz lunar monkey for sale...it's only $500.00 each. Cheap, right? I mean, the label is really purty. But I think the saying is, 'buy the coin, not the slab?' :lol:
To me, all these different types of labels are marketing gimmicks. I see them as that only. Debating whether this label with this wording or that wording, in fact communicates something that is factually correct does not weigh on me or factor in my purchase decision. I don't see them as any different than describing produce as "fresh" or some company calling their product "premium" or a jeep company calling their vehicle "trail rated". One can get caught up in the minutia of whether these terms are actually accurately describing the product in question or one can just accept that they are marketing terms that are used to push products and will inevitably push truth to the limit.
For someone who talks about stating facts. I don't think i mentioned anywhere that the FR/ER labels had anything to do with the time of being struck or order. I've said that they have a separate designation for that. Fact is that I said some people like to know they are the only persons to touch the coin for FDI label after the mint and NGC. Others like to know the coin was encapsulated within 30 days. What's so difficult about that to accept? It a label about process, and not the minting coin. For some reason you are stuck on the order of the strike. NGC has a separate designation for the first whatever struck.
Perhaps you aren't reading what i'm saying and just implicating what you would like to read. Either way, you own ER/FR labels so it shows you what your actions say about your convictions. There are people that buy FR/ER for whatever reasons. Market demand is a simple concept which you are purposely distorting. It's quite simply a label. There are different labels.
They just labeled and stamped their process and procedure. Perhaps we come from different worlds. I have to go through all kinds of process accreditations for work which are labels but tell the consumer the product has passed a certain well documented criteria. There's always the option not to buy. Your responses sounds like cop outs when you say no further discussion is necessary. That just proves density in the opinion and no real facts to support it. The fact is if they were sued for false marketing and lost they would've had to change the marketing in 2012, its 2016 4 years later and still using the same label. Fact, NGC doesn't have first strike designation, PCGS does which is not part of this subject. Twisting facts doesn't help your case. And like I said, which you caught on, mint marks are the same thing for mints. Some people, like i said just collect date sets because the mark doesn't matter to them. I'm not even arguing to support it, i just understand it. People like exclusivity.
Also the wording is quite clear to me on the website to exactly what the label means and the difference between release label vs first struck label. Fact & Comprehension check please..
Early Release / First Release
"NGC offers the Early Releases and First Releases designations for select coins received by NGC or an NGC-approved depository within 30 days of the first release of a new coin issue. The terms Early Releases or First Releases will be noted as part of the coin description on the NGC label. Early Releases and First Releases are interchangeable and the same definition and relevant cutoff dates applies to each term."
Numbered "First Struck"
"NGC will designate coins that are verified to be among the first struck by a mint. These coins must be accompanied by official mint documentation that identifies that this group of coins was the first struck. The NGC certification label will indicate that the encapsulated coin is one of the first struck by the mint and state the total size of the "first struck" edition (e.g. One of First 1000 Struck or One of First 50,000 Struck). This designation is available only for select bulk submissions."
That's your opinion and you are entitled to your opinion as we all are.
But we are talking about professional companies ostensibly providing professional services to people who are relying on accurate information and potentially are spending thousands of dollars or much more to get truthful and accurate information. Clearly there is a qualitative difference between a label which conveys something that is truthful and a label which contains untruthful and deceptive claims.
As people who are seriously and perhaps significantly involved in the numismatic hobby, why shouldn't we expect honesty and integrity from businesses that have become an integral part of this same numismatic hobby???? I see not challenging deception and (unmistakable) marketing gimmicks as directly contributing to the problem we have in this hobby. After all, if we knew that a professional company was selling fake silver coins and advertising them as genuine, wouldn't it be in the best interest of the hobby and the people who make up that hobby to in some way challenge the one(s) who are making deceptive claims? And if we knew and chose to do nothing, wouldn't we be directly contributing to the problem?
And let's go with your analogy of the produce. "Fresh" produce is not false and misleading because all the produce is fresh when it arrives at the store. So the claim of "fresh" clearly seems to be true and not intentionally misleading. Besides, virtually all consumers of produce knows that produce ripens and ages, markedly changing the product in more than just appearance. Besides, the good produce shop removes produce that has clearly become over ripe or too damaged from handling. So the analogy, though interesting, falls apart (is not valid) in that comparative way. NGC and PCGS are not merely making a broad claim that can not easily be determined by the consumer to be true or false as is the case with produce that is or isn't fresh, but they are making an intentionally deceptive false claim that most consumers of coins would not readily know....and NGC and PCGS do nothing at all to maintain the alleged accuracy of the claim as does the good produce shop which constantly does quality control of the product they sell.
As someone with integrity, I find it appalling that some TPGs choose to put profits over truth in using the FS, ER, ES labels and I will continue to challenge this sort of intentional deception because I care about not being part of the problem of a hobby that I care about the hobby and the people themselves (particularly newbies, the inexperienced (novices), and the young) who make up and in some real way, keep this hobby alive and thriving.
Right, the next step for NGC and PCGS is to claim that aliens from a distant galaxy brought the silver to earth that was used in the coins they certify.
EDIT: I can't emphasize this enough: I am not suggesting that TPG's are entirely bad and I'm not suggesting they all be scrapped. That would be throwing the baby out with the bath water. But we should expect better than intentionally deceptive marketing gimmicks from professional companies that provide the inherently important service of authentication, grading, and professional encapsulation.
So lets use the Queens Beasts as an example. Let's use a coin, where the full production run wasn't done all at the same time and is gradually being released. Similar to the Panda Privy Maple.
The Queens beast was released sometime in March April. Those that sent it in and paid for the ER/FR label people will know it was sent out in the first release, right? Is this the correct term used? That batch sold out and is currently unavailable anywhere and a new batch is currently being minted for release around ~ 6/20, when it does get released at the Royal Mint.
Does it make sense to designate between two separately minted batches? This batch which was freshly pressed but not part of the original release is not eligible for ER/FR designation. A year later, when the run has completed. How many separate minting batches will there be. Is it deceiving customers if coins that were actually the first release or should they all be considered the same thing with separate shipments throughout the year. It would be deceiving if there was no cutoff.
The assumption is that all coins are minted prior to release, in which case the Queens Beast there is a legitmate case to use First Release/Early Release designation since they were not produced all at once. The issue is not NGC, it's the dealers who submit the coins and abuse the label when all coins are sold out on the same day.
I apparently have one of the first graded 1/4 queens beasts(no current census) but because I missed the cutoff, I couldn't get the FR designation. Unless numistacker beat me to it. In a few weeks, when the new batch is available, it may or may not be with a refurbished/repolished die. The problem is there is no way to designate that I purchased during the original release. I prefer the term First Release to Early Release since its more accurate. There were several issues (reported) with the initial batch of the Queens Beasts and IF the problems are resolved (raised obverse cause the queens face to scratch at different high points), wouldn't that make the initial batch a variant? Where an MS70 in the first run is more difficult to get than post release minting? Are coins that are slowly released have proper usage of the FR/ER label would help to accurately designate the coins release priority? Pretty much any coin that is minted to order.
I believe (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) many bullion coin issues (possibly most) are not minted to full max mintage before the I.D.A. (Initial Date of Availability). The Q.Beasts bullion coin, then, is not special in this sense.
Why an arbitrary 30 day cut off in the first place? What is the significance of the TPG receiving a coin 30 days after the mint made the coins available for sale and receiving one 31 days later???? No one as yet has been able to concoct some sort of meaningful explanation of why this may be crucial or significant. A whole host of reasons could explain why one coin arrived on day 30 but an identical coin on day 31. So what? Why would a TPG make such a distinction other than because that arbitrary distinctionless distinction it a complete and utter gimmick.
How many of a particular type of bullion coin were minted and sold before additional batches were minted? How many of these initial bullion coins will be returned to the mint if the mint sells some direct to the public? How many of those returned will be resold when the next batch is minted? If some will be resold and they are sent in for slabbing after the 30 days post I.D.A., then what does the ridiculous FR, ER, FS label mean since those that were struck in the first batch will not be eligible for those deceptive gimmicky designations simply because of an arbitrary date the TPG receives them. The resold coin itself hasn't changed. Those that were minted in the first batch and received after 30 days IDA will not be accurately labelled. How many dies were worn down and replaced for a first batch of minted bullion coins? That info may only ever be known to the mint. What if first batch coins were received 31 days after the initial date of availability due to shipping delays or whatever? Do these coins somehow magically transform themselves into coins that are not FS, ER, or FR???? What if second batch coins were received 31 days after the initial date of availability? What significance does any of this have at all? No one has yet to give a reasonable explanation of why it actually matters at all.
It certainly is possible that a mint produced 2 batches with half a dozen identical but different dies a year apart and due to some internal QC or other conflict, released both batches together after completion of the second batch. Why should the second batch get the same designation as the first batch produced a year earlier just because the TPG happens to receive coins from both batches prior to some arbitrary 30 day cut-off.
And what are these deceptive FS, ER, and FR intending to denote? Clearly, the wording suggests that these coins the coins first struck by the mint.....which is a fraud since there's no way to know if that's actually true or not.
Silverpv, you still haven't explained in what meaningful way does it matter that a coin is received within the first 30 days IDA. And since there's no way of assuring that coins first sold were actually coins that were actually first struck, what possibly could be the significance of those deceptive terms used?
The dealers are not the one's who created the labels and the deceptive words on the labels. The dealers are simply taking advantage of this TPG marketing gimmick. I put almost all of the blame on the TPG's because of that.
The term "fresh" has no definitive meaning...from the analogy you brought up it would lead me to believe all produce that is not rotten is fresh. Produced picked yesterday can be called fresh...produced picked a month ago and put on a ship in a container is also called fresh. I would say the word fresh truly has no meaning as what is fresh to me could be different than fresh to you.
As long as the label has words backed by a definition of what that wording on the labels means by the companies there is not problem as far as I see it. Whether it is deceptive is subjective at best.
As a side point I don't see how a first strike (first release or early release) MS70 coin can be any different that a non first strike MS70 regardless of whether it was struck as the first coin and the 5 millionth. Isn't a MS70 supposed to be flawless? As I said, for me I don't see it as anything more than a marketing gimmick to create value through differentiation. To their credit it has worked. Even though there should technically be no difference in quality between two coins with the same grade.
I know the Queens Beasts are not unique in that sense, but that's kinda the point. 30 days is a month after release, I'd imagine they chose a cutoff and decided to stick with it. First day of issue also has requirements, unopened and overnighted. Why exactly they chose 30 days, I'm not sure but it does seem like a reasonable amount of time to get in a 'first' release after a coin sells out and time to receive it. 30 days is used by a lot of different companies, 30 day money back gurantee, 30 day return policy, its just a round number used by several companies for different purposes.
Speaking of it, I received my coins on the 31st day. It doesn't change the coin, but the cutoff is standard. It was a little annoying that I couldn't get First Release, but now 2 months later, I will have the same designation as one produced later. The initial issue is not with the amount of time "30 days" to submit, it's with fraudulent terminology Early Release/First Release. In this case, early release or first release is an accurate description and not fraud. It's been almost 60+ days out of stock which the mint has said they will be receiving more coins after they are produced. So, does it make sense IF a consumer wanted an original coin from they first batch they get an ER/FR? It has no bearing on the first struck, just the initial release. The first run of QB's was very small, what if for the remainder of the year they make another 100k+ because of the popularity. Without a designation, there would be no way to know. The question was, why not label it 'received with 30 days', easy because that is an ugly term to print on a coin label. Word choice in marketing is important.
Btw. do you know why they changed the labels? There wasn't enough room on the label! With the new labels they have more room to print.
I would consider it similar to a mint that does numbered COA's. Usually none of them are actually done in the order with the COA unless its engraved with the COA at the same time. Also, do people prefer lower COA's to higher COA's? Does a COA even require a number to tell which one it is? Once again, whether true or not, people like the idea of priority. Then, what would you do if you had a coin that was Number 1 COA but MS69 and number Number 44 with a MS70? which is worth more?
"Fresh" produce is minimally subjective but not as arbitrary a term as you make it out to be. I would bet a ton of money that virtually all reasonable people would not consider this fresh:
but would consider this fresh:
Also, there is constant QC at good produce shops that sell "fresh" produce. Produce that is starting to get spoiled and is no longer seen as fresh by most people (I believe) is removed....otherwise the store loses customers and suffers the consequences of that. So, it's in the produce stores' best interest to do QC regularly....but not with the deceptive TPG coin labels....there's no incentive at all for truth, integrity, and QC if we just allow them to get away with making any sort of dishonest claims. Further, fresh actually honestly describes the produce when it comes in and until it is pulled off the shelf by the produce guy.
That never, ever happens with slabs slapped with the FS, ER, and FR labels. From the very beginning, the deception is in play and no QC after that.
With "Numbered First Struck", this is a legit claim as there is official documentation attesting to the fact that the coins were actually first struck. These coins do not get into the public's hands before they go to NGC. And while a 70 graded coin that is not one of the "Numbered First Struck" may be qualitatively an awesome coin indeed, the idea behind a coin first struck is that it is likely to be the best of the best with the sharpest possible strike because the die has less wear than coins struck later. Such sharpness may not be obvious to most people but to those who find value in it, the label represents fair and truthful terms and description in my view because of the chain of custody and documentation.
That's why the "Numbered First Struck" designation is very different than the others.
If NGC eliminated all the other deceptive designations and kept only the "Numbered First Struck" designation, I would have no qualms of that type of label.
What is the difference between fresh produce and regular (not rotten) produce? There is none. There is no definition put out by the industry defining what constitutes fresh and what enables someone to make a claim of fresh about their produce. Is produce one day from being rotten fresh? What about 2 days? What about 3 days? Where is the line drawn? It is totally subject to the retailer calling it fresh at their discretion. Therefore the term fresh has no meaning and is put there as a marketing gimmick.
Whereas, the labels at least have a definition behind them in an effort to make it clear what the label is putting forth. I guess we will have to agree to disagree as I don't see anything deceptive about defining terminology and putting said terminology on a label.
We don't need to determine that since that is not the issue with the deceptive TPG labels. What we do know is that rotten produce is not fresh produce and what we do know is that the coins with FS, ER, and FR labels are not in any way, shape, or form verified to be the coins first minted.
With the deceptive FS, ER, and FR labels, we are being sold a con (yes, a con ) from the very beginning since the TPG receiving coins within 30 days can't and doesn't assure that those coins are first minted or first pulled off the shelf by the mint.
It's intentional deception and a person with high integrity doesn't just wholly accept deceptive, false claims because s/he can monetarily benefit from it. I'm glad to see that you, myforpar, have also said this about the FR, ER, and FR coins, "I don't see it as anything more than a marketing gimmick to create value through differentiation."
In that way at least, we agree.
The only designation that stands apart from the rest is the "Numbered First Struck" (NFS) for the reasons I've already laid out several times.
For me, the most important aspects of a TPG slabbed coin or medal is the authenticity, the grade, and the professional encapsulation. Even that a coin is designated NFS, that doesn't play much or at all in most cases into my decision making purchases of slabbed coins even though it is neat to know I might be holding one of the first 250, 500, or 1,000 coins minted and to which there is documentation to certify this fact. It definitely does start to get a bit gimmicky though when I see 'first of 20,000 struck' (NFS) or something like that
Round and round and round we go. lol.
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