What are Grading and Conservation? AKA, What are NCS, NGC, and PCGS?

Discussion in 'Modern Chinese Coins & Medallions' started by tamo42, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. mrslick32

    mrslick32 New Member

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    I like to have my coins graded for several reasons:

    1) NGC guarantees the authenticity of your coin. If you determine in the future that the coin inside an authentic NGC holder is fake, NGC has a guarantee to compensate you.
    2) You get more protection if you decide to sell your coin online because the serial number makes it easier to identify compared to a raw coin (in case the buyer wants to return the coin or says that it is not as described).
    3) Coins in OMP usually move around a lot. That makes me uneasy because the coin can be damaged over the long run.
    4) Although slabs are not a perfect seal, I think it's a lot better compared to the seal of the OMP.
    5) NGC's holder is similar to the holders used by the Smithsonian to house its most valuable coins. This gives me more confidence with NGC's long term preservation prospects.

    There, you have five good reasons to send your coins to NGC for grading! :)
     
  2. Austacker

    Austacker Active Member

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    Very helpful post. Comeaux the saying a "Picture tells a thousand words" is spot on, your photos just answered so many small little questions I had so thanks a lot. The other posters information as well is good especially which service and cost as an option to use, makes sense to me. So you send to NCS regardless anyway.

    I actually got a PCGS membership a few months back, as here in Australia PCGS for Aus Pre-Decimal seem to be the preferred slab from what I have seen. I also like them as well. So it looks like joining NGC then sending everything to NCS first.

    Awesome cheers :)
     
  3. heyimderrick

    heyimderrick Active Member

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    I too have decided to join NGC. I now have access to PCGS through a friend and NGC directly. So far, comparing the slabbed coins I have acquired, I think PCGS is stricter, but I prefer the new NGC holders.

    And thanks to our resident panda experts, I put my trust in them that NGC is the best option for pandas. I recently picked up a few in mint-capsules only with spotting/toning that I thought would benefit from NCS services. We'll see how they come back.

    Anyway, just curious as to why you would submit a 2012 dragon to NCS instead of just to NGC -- same question for any modern, sealed coin that doesn't display signs of spotting/toning. (apologies if I am missing some flaws in the photos)

    The reason I ask is because NCS says:

    "NCS will first evaluate every coin to see if any conservation work is appropriate. Although there can be a request as to work needed to be performed, NCS reserves the right to make the final decision as to what work needs to be performed, if any.

    ...Not every request can be honored, however, as many times these requests may be harmful to a coin in terms of either its long-term stability or appearance. NCS reserves the right to the final decision on the conservation of a coin."

    To me, this indicates that coins in flawless condition will not be treated. So NCS service isn't appropriate. While it may only be a few bucks difference between sending to NCS over NGC, over multiple submissions those few bucks would start adding up....

    Apologies if I am missing something.

    Thanks for the insight!
     
  4. comeaux

    comeaux New Member Silver Stacker

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    I just got this NCS submission #5403363 back today and was not very happy with the grades at all. I only got three 69's and one 70 (the dragon proof) and all the rest were 68's and 67's. This is disappointing as all were in OMP and looked great except two of the coins. I also received two NCS submissions of gold pandas about a week ago and was EXTREMELY happy with those as out of nine coins I had seven 69's and two 68's.

    I would never make a grader as I absolutely cannot see why some of the 67's & 68's were not 69's but that's life. I guess we can't all get 69's all the time :D

    As expected the new NGC certification numbers all began with the number "3" which as has been stated before that it is not conclusive of your coin being definitely NCS conserved but highly likely I'm batting 1,000 so far on the "3"s.

    One thing that I was very pleased with is the 1989 that was moderately toned as I mentioned in my original post came back very beautiful and looked like the day it was minted and was one of the 69's. There is not one hint of the original toning. Although the 1989 BU is not highly valuable, I have found that it does not grade well (or at least for me). This was my eighth 1989 submitted and only my second 69 so I was pleased with it.

    On a side note: I just made my Christmas list out for Wifey and made it really easy I emailed her links to various NGC graded gold pandas that I need to complete some sets I also included a few of the 1/20th oz's as I told her they make great "stocking stuffers" ! :)
     
  5. yennus

    yennus Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Thanks heaps for sharing your experiences Comeaux! I think I'll definitely be sending some stuff off to NCS shortly.
     
  6. heyimderrick

    heyimderrick Active Member

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    I sent off my first pandas to NCS and NGC last week. I'm anxious to see what grades I get, as I too had a few in OMP and some loose. This is the first time I sent anything for grading to either company (besides comic books to CGC), so it will be a learning experience. I'm most curious about what I sent to NCS; It will be interesting to see how big of a difference the appearance will be. In either case, I'll soon find out if I have an eye for picking high-grade coins. Included in my submission were two pandas graded by ANACS and ICG that I picked up cheap...will be interesting to see what they come back as.
     
  7. 940palmtx

    940palmtx New Member

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    It goes back to one of my original posts when we started discussing graded coins. grading is terribly subjective. Not even experienced coin dealers can see a difference between a 67 and a 69 or a 69 and a 70, even with magnification. Basically, IMO, graders are looking for a reason to not grade a coin a 70. I bet if you were able to gain access to all graders with PCGS & NGC, we'd find some graders very rarely grade 70, while others grade 70 on a regular basis. Either it would prove the objectivity of grading or that some graders just rarely receive perfect coins to grade. My money is on the former. In my mind a grade of 70 is like a first strike or early release...just plain hoo-ha. Except people will pay triple-quadruple for a 70. As a collector I'd never buy a 70 since I nor anyone else could ever tell a difference between that and a 69, even with magnification. If I were trying to make money on a coin, I'd definitely consider a 70. In fact I own only one 70 and it's just because it was only a few more dollars than a proof in a box. (9/11 Comm.)
     
  8. Austacker

    Austacker Active Member

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    I think the next question from an investment point -

    "Is it better to buy slabbed and know what the grade is, or take your chances with OMP's ?"

    Looking at some of the results, if they were only average costed coins to start with say $100, it cost you approx $30 for slabbing inc freight etc. It comes back as a MS67 using the above example. Where as say a MS69 is only $150 - $200 would it have better to have just kept it in the OMP or just bought the know MS69 ?
     
  9. tamo42

    tamo42 New Member

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    Buying omp or resealed and submitting for grading is very risky, exactly as you've noticed. Sometimes you can hit a big win, other times you strike out

    It's more for professional dealers who are buying for way less than retail, and this have the margin to lose.
     
  10. 940palmtx

    940palmtx New Member

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    Or people who find great deals on eBay because the seller can't take decent pictures :)
     
  11. tamo42

    tamo42 New Member

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    Also works :)
     
  12. AndyRoo68

    AndyRoo68 Member Silver Stacker

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    Haha, yeah agree with that! Got a 2000 1oz silver panda for $120 off ebay, pic is a bit crap but looks legit - will see when it arrives -either the buy of the century or another fake, at least with paypal am not concerned, can always get my money back so a win/win for me :D
     
  13. comeaux

    comeaux New Member Silver Stacker

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    Rich my American brother man I love and respect you bigtime bro but I amiably disagree with some of your post honestly it is not that simple when it comes to grading differences. You are correct in the statement that grading is subjective and up to the grader(s) but these guys see thousands of coins and have years of experience. I have to give credit to NGC & PCGS as I feel they do a very good job considering the millions of coins they grade.

    I know I have probably said many times "man I think this 68 should/could be a 69" but most of the times it is said mock seriously as I now know better (and want high grades :D). I have busted out enough coins from their NGC holders and resubmitted them only to get the same grade back, there has even been two occasions whereas I busted out some 68's and they came back as 67's so I gave up on doing this as about 99% of the time I was getting the same grade back.

    I do agree with you that the difference in a 69 and 70 is extremely minute but there is a difference however small it may be. The difference in a 67 and a 69 is fairly large as I compared identical coins of a 67 and a 69. The 67 had just a very small hairline and a slight imperfection in the strike that I could only see under 5 times magnification.

    Coincidentally, just a few minutes ago I watched a TV program called "Secrets of The US Mint". The show was very informative and covered many interesting topics from minting, counterfeiting and at the end it talked about grading. They even featured "Numismatic Guarantee Corporation" (NGC) and spoke to NGC Chairman Mark Salzberg who went into some detail about the grading process and their counterfeit detection methods. Wow I was very impressed, these guys are good. They were grading some VERY high end coins and what they did is get the opinion of several graders to get the final grade. I'm sure they do not do this on every coin but I would think that 70 grade coins are viewed/graded by more than one person.

    As stated before, the decision to grade or not to grade is a decision that has to be made by the coin owner and the reasons for grading has been stated on several occasions. Of course many people own coins such as those that are in sets that they probably would not grade and I'm aligned with that thinking as well.
     
  14. 25Grizzlies

    25Grizzlies Member

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    Interesting points Cx, there's nothing like experience when speaking on a subject such as grading and you obviously have a lot in this field, thanks again for your input.

    I will be getting some of my coins graded, but not all, will keep the sets and boxes together... personally I think it takes too much aesthetic away (as cool as the white slabs are)
     
  15. comeaux

    comeaux New Member Silver Stacker

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    I agree 100% with you. There are many sets and commemorative coins with boxes that I will leave as is. :)
     
  16. Austacker

    Austacker Active Member

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    Hope it is not from a seller in the UK ? Have been watching them and something seems off.
     
  17. comeaux

    comeaux New Member Silver Stacker

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    It's only my opinion but keeping coins in "double sealed" OMP is almost or equally as good as getting them graded. As Chinese coins rise in value, so will those in OMP. All you have to do is look at the pricing of some OMP coins and that is clearly illustrated.

    Some people are of the opinion that coins will deteriorate in OMP over a long time. I understand their position and understand the reasoning behind those thoughts but I affably disagree. I base my opinion on what I have factually experienced. There has been very many of my submissions that were coins resting happily for nearly 30 years in OMP and when submitted for grading they came back at MS69. Many of these were gold pandas that were not afforded the luxury of being "double sealed" as only the 1999 & 2000 gold pandas were double sealed with the hard plastic capsule & soft outer seal. All others had only the soft plastic pouch and they seem to do fine.

    One of my managers walked up to me a few weeks ago and pulled five 1 oz gold pandas out of his pocket (YES, YOU HEARD ME RIGHT, OUT OF HIS POCKET !!!) and ask that I submit them for him to NCS/NGC. They were two 1985's, one 1989, one 1993 SD & one 2007.

    I just got them back a week ago and he got four 69's & one 68 (one of the 85's). I could not believe that they were all jumbled up together in his front jeans pocket and they graded so well.

    Anyway I kind of rambled on here but you get the point rest easy with your coins in OMP. They will be fine. I have seen it enough times to validate this opinion.
     
  18. Mohur

    Mohur New Member

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    There is one UK seller that has been selling a lot of 2000 pandas that are most definately fakes in my opinion. I reported this seller once already and now they have started selling from a different account. I can tell because the text is identical!!
     
  19. 940palmtx

    940palmtx New Member

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    Of course I can't find the link anymore, should have saved it, but it was a while back, before I joined SS. Basically they took some 69s & 70s out of their slabs and had 4-5 big time dealers look at them and none of the guys could see any difference between the 69s and 70s, under magnification. Plus I've read several other articles from dealers discussing 69s vs 70s, so my mind is pretty much made up that on a tuesday, grader A could grade a coin 69 and give the same coin a 70 on a thursday or grader B not give a 70 any day to that same coin. It's just my opinion and I wouldn't expect everyone to agree with me or the people I read about and that's cool with me.
     
  20. 940palmtx

    940palmtx New Member

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    My main point from my original post was that as a collector, I or anyone I show my 69 to, it will look perfect and that's good enough for me. But if I was all about making money I would believe that having some 70s would be smart. That's mostly what I meant, I didn't mean to really get into the graders, even though I did LOL
     

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