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Category: PCGS

PCGS Helps Police Arrest Counterfeit Coin Suspect

morgan_sandwitch_pcgsInformation provided to Northern California law enforcement authorities by Professional Coin Grading Service led to the arrest of a suspect who is now under investigation in connection with the sales of fraudulently altered Morgan dollars in tampered PCGS holders for nearly $300,000.

“Genuine, common date Morgan dollars were split into two pieces (front and back along the rim), then adhered to each other in combinations to create the illusion of rare date and mintmarks. The coins then were placed in tampered PCGS holders to give the coin credibility in the marketplace and to hide the alterations,” said Stephen Mayer, Chief Operating Officer of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT), parent company of Professional Coin Grading Service.

Among the fraudulent alterations were “1883-S,” “1884-S” and “1903-S” that were deceitfully labeled as PCGS MS65, MS63 and MS64, respectively.

After learning about the fakes in late September, Mayer contacted the U.S. Secret Service. Mayer also worked with the Alameda Police Department, providing investigators with detailed information about the altered coins, the altered PCGS holders and six California dealers who purchased or were offered counterfeit or suspicious coins that reportedly were originally offered or sold by the same seller.

Roberto Blas Rodriguez, age 32, of Hayward, California was arrested October 7, 2009 by Alameda Police. He is charged with fraud, suspicion of burglary and violating trademark law, and is free on $45,000 bail.

PCGS was first alerted on September 21 about suspicious coins by Spectrum Numismatics of Irvine, California, a PCGS-authorized dealer.
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International Update: PCGS Makes Strong Impression at COINEXPO Warsaw and Paris Brogniard Show

pcgs_logo_lg_refContinuing its international expansion, Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) participated in COINEXPO in Warsaw, Poland on October 15-17 and in the Brogniard show October 17 in Paris, France.

Both shows raised the continuing growing interest in world coin grading among European and Eastern European collectors. In Poland, third-party independent coin grading is already widely recognized as adding value to collectors’ coins. Collectors can submit their coins to PCGS through two PCGS authorized Polish dealers, Mennica Polska and Inwestycje Alternatywne Profit (www.e-numizmatyka.pl ).
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Following PCGS President Don Willis’ visit to Paris, it was the first time a coin grading company was ever invited to participate in the Paris Brogniard show organized by the French Numismatic Dealers Association, SYNDICAT NATIONAL DES EXPERTS NUMISMATES ET NUMISMATES PROFESSIONNELS. “It was a great opportunity for PCGS to have such a high-visibility presence at this premier European show,” said Muriel Eymery from PCGS, who expressed her thanks for the support of the show organizers and PCGS French dealers.

In addition to the PCGS booth showcasing French brochures and specially made 1 Franc coin samples, PCGS French dealers displayed PCGS-graded coins at their booths. Many French collectors came to gather additional information on the importance of having world coins graded, and enthusiastically welcomed PCGS’ presence at this major European show and looked forward to submitting their collections for grading and authentication.

Fabrice Walther from Numisaisne Sarl Walther (www.numisaisne.com), a PCGS dealer and Organizer of the Paris Brogniard show, pointed out that “Today, PCGS enables France to open up to the world thanks to third-party independent grading. If a few collectors are still not receptive to third-party independent grading, we are convinced that for the future of Numismatics, grading will very soon be a must.” (more…)

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Stunning Smithsonian Coins Exhibit in PCGS Video

The acclaimed, new traveling exhibition of the Smithsonian’s National Numismatic Collection, “Good as Gold – America’s Double Eagles,” now can be seen on a free, new video available online courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service.

pcgs_jim_hughes_101909The 7 minute program is on PCGS’ home page at www.PCGS.com. By clicking the full screen option, viewers get can get an up close ‘n’ personal with some of America’s greatest numismatic gold rarities that were exhibited for the first time together outside of Washington, D.C. at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money convention in Los Angeles, August 5 – 9, 2009.

“This stunning exhibition will be displayed at the next three ANA spring and summer conventions. We created this video in cooperation with the Smithsonian and made it available on our web site so that everyone can enjoy seeing and learning about these amazing coins whenever it is convenient to do so,” said Don Willis, PCGS President.

Jim Hughes, Associate Curator of the National Numismatic Collection, gives viewers a “private tour” describing and showing on camera many of the 20 historic coins in the exhibit.
One part of the Smithsonian exhibit.

Highlights include an 1849 pattern Liberty Double Eagle, the first $20 denomination coin struck by the United States Mint during the early days of the California Gold Rush, and two of the Smithsonian’s three 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles, representing the last year of production.

Hughes describes the 1849 pattern as “probably the highlight of highlights of the Smithsonian collection.”

The videos also shows examples from the exhibit of branch mint gold pieces as well as territorial and private gold coins, such as Clark, Gruber & Co. of Denver, Baldwin & Co. of San Francisco, and Mormon gold pieces struck in Salt Lake City. (more…)

More Features, 2,500+ Photos Added to PCGS CoinFacts®

New features and more than 2,500 additional high-quality coin photos have been added to the all-new PCGS CoinFacts® (www.PCGSCoinFacts.com) since the enhanced web site was launched on July 27. A division of Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), the site is the Internet’s most comprehensive, one-stop source for historical U.S. numismatic information.

pcgs_coinfacts_images “We’re adding about 250 superb-quality PCGS TrueView images of high-grade coins every week. We’re all very pleased about the response by the collecting and dealing community to the huge expansion of the site,” said Ron Guth, PCGS CoinFacts President.

“In addition to all the photos, we’re also adding new findings and narratives about particular coins written by members of the PCGS CoinFacts Board of Experts, including PCGS Co-Founder, David Hall. It‘s a way for disseminating the accumulated knowledge of veteran numismatists as well as quickly getting out information about new discoveries and new varieties.”

A multi-functional combination of numismatic encyclopedia, historical price guide and reference resources, PCGS CoinFacts is the most extensive repository on the Internet for information about nearly 30,000 United States coins.

Guth explained that the high-quality images help collectors and dealers immediately discern differences in coin varieties, such as large and small dates or lettering. (The accompanying close-up comparison illustration of four varieties of 1823-dated Capped Bust half dollars is an example of the educational convenience and photographic clarity available with PCGS CoinFacts.)
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PCGS Set Registry Launches “Everyman” Coin Collections Category

The Professional Coin Grading Service has established a new category in its popular PCGS Set RegistrySM program, the “Everyman” Collections. No coins graded higher than AU58 can be registered in this category.

“The PCGS Set Registry is home to many of the finest collections ever assembled, but some collectors have stayed away from ‘the classics’ because the costs to acquire Mint State or Proof specimens are prohibitive. So, we’ve created a way for all levels of collectors, entry-level through experienced, to enjoy the fun and competitive nature of the Registry without spending a fortune on Gem Mint State coins,” said BJ Searls, Set Registry Manager.

“Major Registry categories will now have a separate Everyman Collections listing where the highest graded entry will be AU58. With Everyman Collections there’s a good chance your set will rank in the top 20 on the first page, rather than near the bottom of the third or fourth page of that group.”

pcgs_everyman The Everyman categories now available are:

o Half Cents
o Large Cents
o Small Cents through 1958
o Two Cents, Three Cents and Half Dimes
o Nickels through 1938
o Dimes through 1945
o Twenty Cents
o Quarter Dollars through 1964
o Half Dollars through 1963
o Silver Dollars through 1935
o Non-modern gold coins

Searls also announced a convenient new feature available as part of the “My Set Registry.”
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A Market analysis of the eBay Price Performance of PCGS Certified Genuine Coins.

By Justin Heller – Quantify Corp

nullIt has been 9 months since PCGS introduced a new service where any coin submitted for grading would be returned in a PCGS Holder, rather than in a “body bag,” unless the coin has active PVC corrosion, a plugged hole, or fails the authenticity check.

How have these coins performed and priced in the coin market? More than a year has passed since this service was introduced and yet we have not seen any price guides that have reported the results.

RegistryCollector.com has been tracking all certified coins posted and selling on eBay. What follows is an analysis of what is happening in the coin hobby.

The bidding activity on PCGS graded coins on eBay is higher for circulated coins compared with Uncirculated or Proof coins. On average, each PCGS graded items on eBay is receiving 8.5 bids before auction close, across all grades. This bid count for Uncirculated coins is slightly lower with 8.1 bids. Circulated coins have a higher average bid count at 10.8. What is interesting is that coins certified as “Genuine” has a similar auction bid count as Circulated coins at 10.7 bids per item.

RegistryCollector.com is seeing that Flying Eagle Cents (specifically 1857), labeled “Genuine (92 – Cleaned)” are pricing and selling as if they were certified as XF45 are selling for $100 more than Genuine coins with environmental damage or altered surfaces.

RegistryCollector.com has also seen that common date Eagle & Double Eagle coins that are “Genuine (94 – Altered Surface)” are pricing and selling as if they were certified as AU55 and are selling at 3 times the price of Gold Bullion as of 8/20/2009.
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Grading Specials Highlight PCGS’ Offerings at September Long Beach Expo

David Hall will personally examine your coins in Long Beach Sept. 10 & 11 from 1 - 3 p.m. (Photo credit: Donn Pearlman.  All rights reserved.)Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) will have special discounts for certification services during the Long Beach, California Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, September 10 – 12, 2009.  You’ll also have the opportunity to have your coins informally, personally examined by PCGS Co-Founder, David Hall, during Meet the Expert sessions, and hear about the exciting expansion of the PCGS CoinFacts (www.PCGSCoinFacts.com) web site, the Internet’s most comprehensive, one-stop source for historical U.S. numismatic information.

Ron Guth will discuss the all-new PCGS CoinFacts in Long Beach, Sept. 10 & 11 at 1 p.m. (Photo credit: Donn Pearlman.  All rights reserved.)The following Show Grading Specials for on-site authentication and grading at Long Beach will be available to all PCGS Authorized Dealers and members of the PCGS Collectors Club.

$100 for one-day “walkthrough” turnaround on any coin with a maximum value of $100,000; $65 for U.S. and world coins valued up to $3,000 each with a minimum submission of five coins; and $45 for any gold coins valued up to $3,000 each with a minimum submission of ten coins.

“Submitters can mix and match.  To reach the minimum number of items you can submit any combination of coins for grading, re-grading and/or crossover services,” explained Don Willis, PCGS President.  “These show specials give collectors and dealers an excellent opportunity to put the power of PCGS behind their coins, and save time and money.”

PCGS Customer Service Representatives will be available at the booth (#807) to answer questions about these and other products and services, and to accept submissions for all levels of service. PCGS will accept submissions for on-site grading in Long Beach until 5 p.m., Friday, September 11.
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Giant Gold Rush Ingots at Long Beach Expo

Two huge California Gold Rush era assayers’ ingots, recovered from the fabled SS Central America and with a combined weight of over 100 pounds of gold, will be exhibited at the next Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, September 10 – 12, 2009, in the Long Beach, California Convention Center, 100 S. Pine Ave.

Adam Crum of Monaco Rare Coins holds the 598-ounce Justh & Hunter ingot, one of two huge California Gold Rush-era assayers' bars recovered from the 1857 shipwreck of the SS Central America

Adam Crum of Monaco Rare Coins holds the 598-ounce Justh & Hunter ingot, one of two huge California Gold Rush-era assayers’ bars recovered from the 1857 shipwreck of the SS Central America

“The display will feature a Kellogg & Humbert gold bar that weighs 662.28 ounces and a Justh & Hunter ingot that is 598.08 Troy ounces. Both were recovered in the late 1980’s from the Central America, the legendary ‘Ship of Gold’ that was carrying tons of California Gold Rush coins and ingots to New York City when it sank during a hurricane in 1857,” said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman.

The Kellogg & Humbert gold bar is stamped as number 804 and with a value in 1857 of $12,225.62. It is the fourth largest gold bar among the 532 ingots recovered from the Central America. The Justh & Hunter ingot is #4255 and marked at the time as $11,089.95

The historic ingots will be displayed by Monaco Rare Coins of Newport Beach, California.

“The exhibit also will include some of the finest known Augustus Humbert $50 denomination octagonal ‘slugs’ produced in San Francisco during the height of the Gold Rush,” said Adam Crum, Monaco Vice President. “These colossal gold bars and big $50 coins, literally, are treasures of Wild West history.”

During the three-day Long Beach Expo more than 1,000 dealers will be buying and selling rare coins, paper money, stamps, postcards, historic documents, antiques, estate jewelry and other collectibles. Some will provide free, informal appraisals for visitors.
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How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Like the PCGS Genuine Holder

By Doug Winter – RareGoldCoins.com

If you’ve followed my blogs in the past few years you know that I’m a Coin Purtist. I tend to be particularly pure when it comes to “no grade” coins.

pcgs_genuine_holderLoosely defined, a “no grade” is a coin with a problem (or problems) that preclude it from getting into a regular PCGS or NGC holder. This can range from harsh cleaning to scratches to rim damage to a hole.

Until two weeks ago I had never (as in not one single time…ever) had a coin on my website that was not in a regular PCGS, NGC or ANACS holder. But I made an exception to this Winter Rule when I bought an 1864-S half eagle in a PCGS Genuine holder at the recent Los Angeles ANA show.

The coin I bought had clearly been around the block (a few times…) It had been mounted in a soldered bezel and when it was removed it lost detail at the borders. The surfaces had some roughness and the coin had probably been recolored at one time to make it look more original. That said, I still liked this coin alot.

Why? Because it had one thing going for it: extreme rarity. Many people don’t know this, but the 1864-S half eagle is the second rarest Liberty Head half eagle after the 1875 and there are as few as 20-30 pieces known in all grades. This is clearly an issue that does not become available very often. To put it in perspective, it is rarer than an 1870-CC double eagle and not much less rare than the celebrated 1854-O and 1856-O double eagles.

But here’s the kicker. I sold this 1864-S half eagle for just a touch over $5,000. To me, this seemed like remarkable value. And I wasn’t the only person who felt this way. Three collectors ordered the coin within two days of it appearing on my website

So am I going to become a regular player in the PCGS Genuine market? I seriously doubt it. But I am going to be more attentive to affordable examples of extremely rare coins like the 1864-S half eagle. Would I buy an 1864 Philadelphia half eagle that was damaged? Absolutely not. But the next time I see a major rarity in the Liberty Head gold series that is fairly priced yet extremely rare, I will give some serious thought to adding it to my inventory.

Hobby Leaders Discuss Anti-Counterfeiting Actions

(Long Beach, California) – Leaders of five of the hobby and profession’s most influential organizations are launching a multi-pronged consumer awareness and protection campaign against counterfeit numismatic items sold and imported from China and elsewhere. The organizations in alphabetical order are the American Numismatic Association (ANA), the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG).

Leaders of five major numismatic hobby and professional organizations met in Long Beach, California on May 27, 2009 to discuss possible consumer education and law enforcement actions to curtail imports and sales of counterfeit coins. From left to right: Scott Schechter, CCG/NGC; Armen Vartian, PNG; Don Willis, PCGS; Jeff Garrett, PNG; Diane Piret, ICTA; Raymond Gregson, Jr., retired I.R.S. criminal investigation special agent; Fred Weinberg, ICTA; Barry Stuppler, ANA; Robert Brueggeman, PNG; and Gary Adkins, PNG. Not pictured: meeting moderator Donn Pearlman. (Photo credit: Donn Pearlman.)

Representatives of the five groups participated in a preliminary teleconference call on May 7, 2009, and then met in Long Beach, California on May 27 to discuss a coordinated plan of action. The groups recognize that counterfeiting can’t be completely stopped, but that efforts can be made to reduce the easy availability of fakes and to educate coin buyers about common sense ways to avoid unwittingly purchasing them.

They agreed to pursue a three-part strategy as a group and/or as individual organizations: initiate consumer education and protection programs including online resources to reach the casual coin-buying public who are not part of the mainstream numismatic community; aggressively attempt to compel online auction sites to be more responsive to complaints about fraudulent listings of fake certification services’ holders and replica coins that are in violation of The Hobby Protection Act; and utilize ICTA’s extensive experience in Washington, DC to explore possible criminal actions by federal law enforcement agencies against importers and sellers of illegal numismatic items. (more…)

Collectors Universe CEO Michael Haynes to Depart April 1, 2009

Michael HaynesCollectors Universe, Inc. (Nasdaq: CLCT) announced that Chief Executive Officer Michael Haynes will depart the Company as of April 1, 2009 to pursue other opportunities.

Clint Allen, Chairman of the Board stated, “During his tenure, Michael Haynes directed the turnaround of the Company and was instrumental in strengthening the balance sheet and positioning the Company for long-term profitability. The Company now has substantially improved continuing operations and is prepared for the next phase of success. We are grateful for his years of dedication toward this goal.”

Michael Haynes stated, “Based on a strategy established by the board at the beginning of my term in 2003, Collectors Universe has been transformed to focus on its core competency of grading and authentication of collectibles, with updated operating systems and restructured management. The proven leadership position of these divisions in their markets along with the efficient operating support and favorable balance sheet provides the foundation for long-term profitability.”

Michael McConnell, a member of the Board of Directors of the Company, has been appointed interim Chief Executive Officer.

The Orange County Business Journal also had an article about Mr Haynes departure in which it said…

The move comes a week after investor Shamrock Capital Advisors Inc. pressed Collectors directors to put the company up for sale.

Burbank-based Shamrock Capital believes the company is an attractive acquisition candidate and could be worth twice as much if it were sold, it said in a letter to directors last week.

Collectors directors should abandon the company’s “flawed strategic direction,” said Shamrock, which owns 9% of Collectors shares.

Shamrock invests money for Disney and relatives through an activist value fund.

Shamrock Activist Value Fund Urges Immediate Sale of Collectors Universe, Inc.

Shamrock Capital Advisors, Inc. has transmitted the following letter to Mr. A. Clinton Allen Chairman of the Board of Collectors Universe, Inc. on March 6, 2009:

The Shamrock Activist Value Fund (“SAVF”) currently owns 806,005 shares or 8.8% of Collectors Universe, Inc.’s outstanding common stock and strongly recommends that the Board of Directors immediately begin the process to sell the company.

We believe the company’s core business of providing value added authentication services is an attractive business and far more valuable than implied by its current stock price of $3.37 per share. Our analysis concludes that the intrinsic value of Collectors Universe is at least $7 per share. The Board has a fiduciary responsibility to maximize the value of the company and should attempt to realize that value through a transaction rather than attempting to provide oversight of the current flawed strategic direction of the business.

We believe the company is an attractive acquisition candidate and has a profile that would facilitate a transaction given the significant amount of cash and cash equivalents on the balance sheet as well as the company’s ability to generate positive cash flow. Further, there are significant costs the company is incurring as a public entity which could be eliminated as a result of a sale.

We certainly applaud and approve the company’s decision announced a few days ago to exit the business of authenticating and grading diamonds and colored gemstones. We believe this decision will help restore a certain amount of shareholder capital that was lost as a result of the Board’s decision to acquire the business in the first place.

As reflected in the current $3.37 share price, we do not believe investors have confidence or expect a return to the company’s initial public offering price of $21.82 ten years ago. During this period, the stock has underperformed its peer group and the Russell 2000 by a daunting amount. In our view, the current stock price is nothing more than a reflection of the Board’s inability to provide adequate oversight of the strategic planning process required to create long-term shareholder value. (more…)

PCGS Establishes Groundbreaking International Program With Polish Mint

PCGS Certified Polish Mint ProductA precedent-setting international partnership is being set up between the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and Mennica Polska, the Polish Mint, to grade the mint’s new commemorative coins as well as to establish a submission center at the mint in Warsaw, Poland for the convenience of local collectors and dealers to submit coins for PCGS certification.

The announcement of the new partnership was jointly made by PCGS and the Polish Mint at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany on February 5, 2009.

“This new program will facilitate the submissions of Polish and Eastern European collectors and dealers for both vintage and modern world coins. It will offer them a central, secured and efficient point of submission with the highly-reputable Mennica Polska where they can send and receive back the coins they entrust to PCGS for grading,” said Don Willis, PCGS President.

Jacek Jakobczak, Polish Trade and Marketing Deputy Director, stated: “Mennica Polska is looking forward to partnering with PCGS in Eastern Europe for the submission of new commemorative modern issues and acting as a submission center for modern and vintage coins for our collectors and dealers.”

“We are pleased to work with the leading, independent third-party grading service, PCGS, to ensure not only a proactive and more transparent secondary market, but also to enhance some of the new offerings of Mennica Polska for the benefit of the collectors market. Having our new commemorative issues graded according to PCGS’ grading scale allows us to assure and showcase the quality of our minting production, and offer the best in modern commemorative coins to our clientele around the world.” (more…)

Collectors Universe Sells PCGS Currency Division

“Exciting and important step” says Jason W. Bradford, PCGS Currency President

Effective February 4, 2009, PCGS Currency is no longer a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. The PCGS Currency division has been sold to a new company led by current management, including Jason W. Bradford, President, and Laura A. Kessler, Vice President.

PCGS Currency will continue to operate out of their current Newport Beach location, and clients are advised that all contact information and shipping info remains the same as before. Submissions that are currently in-house will be graded and shipped as scheduled. PCGS Currency will retain its website, population report data, Currency Set Registry program, as well as manage and maintain the Currency Message Boards.

“This is an exciting and important step for our company,” said Bradford, who will continue in his roles as PCGS Currency President and lead grader and finalizer. “We have passed the start-up stage of our business, and are now entering into an exciting time of growth that we feel can be managed better outside the confines of a publicly traded company. By moving our business to a private enterprise organization, we can take advantage of increased efficiencies and reduced overhead to provide better and faster service to our clients.”

“The company has not changed, despite the transition in ownership,” added Kessler, who will continue in her duties as Vice President of PCGS Currency and will continue to develop new and existing clients and services. “The grading standards have not changed and will not change, and our commitment to providing a consistent impartial opinion with integrity will only continue. PCGS Currency remains a name that collectors and dealers can trust implicitly.” (more…)

PCGS Announces Genuine Crossover Promotion – February 2009 Only!

During February 2009, you can submit crossover coins for PCGS Genuine designation under our Economy Service (coins valued $300 or less) for only $14 per coin!*

If you have a “problem” coin in a non-PCGS holder, now is the time to do something about it. Cross it over to a PCGS Genuine holder so it can command its true value in the marketplace.

Even if a coin is not gradeable, it could still be very valuable, especially in a PCGS holder with our Guarantee of Authenticity behind it. The Genuine Service enables you to complete difficult collections with PCGS-certified coins – plus, Genuine coins are eligible for inclusion in the PCGS Set RegistrySM.

For complete information on the PCGS Genuine Service, call us at 800.447.8848 or, click here. For faster service, submit your coins online.

* Minimum submission for the February Crossover Special is five coins per order. Submissions must be received by PCGS by February 27, 2009. Offer may be altered or cancelled by PCGS at any time.

PCGS at World Money Fair in Berlin

(Berlin, Germany) — As part of the company’s expansion of services to collectors and dealers of world coins, Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) officials will be actively involved in the huge World Money Fair 2009 (http://www.worldmoneyfair.ch/wmf/english/index.html) in Berlin, Germany, February 6 – 8, 2009.

Don Willis, PCGS PresidentDon Willis, PCGS President, and Muriel Eymery - PCGS Dir of International BusinessMuriel Eymery, PCGS Director of International Business Development, will host a trade show booth to exhibit representative examples of PCGS-certified world coins and discuss PCGS’ latest authentication and grading services. They will have multi-language brochures in English, German, French, Spanish, Polish, Russian and Mandarin Chinese, as well as a continuously running video display about the PCGS grading process.

“This is one of the most important numismatic events in the world, and this will be PCGS’ second consecutive year of participation as we continue to increase our services and products for world coins,” said Willis.

“Muriel and I will be meeting with a number of mint directors and other officials from around the world, as well as collectors and dealers, to talk about the success PCGS has experienced in recent years with certification of vintage and modern commemorative world coins.”

Willis will be available to personally meet with collectors and dealers in informal, one-on-one “Meet the Expert” meetings at the PCGS booth (B-17) from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on opening day, Friday, February 6.

The 38th World Money Fair will be one of the world’s largest numismatic events of 2009. There will be over 270 international exhibitors and an anticipated 12,500 visitors. The German Mint plans to launch its fourth two-Euro commemorative coin at the show.

PCGS is a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT). For additional information about PCGS, call (800) 477-8848 or visit online at www.PCGS.com.

PCGS Certifies World’s Most Valuable Large Cent

The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) has certified and encapsulated the 1793 Strawberry Leaf NC-3, Rarity-8 variety that became the most valuable United States large cent when it recently sold in a public auction by Stack’s for a record $862,500 on January 5, 2009. It is graded PCGS VG-10. (Editors Note – It was previously graded F-12 by NGC)

“This is the finest of the four known Strawberry Leaf large cents. Three of them now are certified by PCGS; the fourth is in the collection of the American Numismatic Society (ANS) and not encapsulated,” said PCGS President Don Willis.

“This finest known Strawberry Leaf variety now joins a prestigious list of record-setting, prominent early American copper coins certified by PCGS. These include the Walter J. Husak collection that brought $10 million in a sale by Heritage Auction Galleries last year; the Ted Naftzger collection of large cents being sold at auction by Ira and Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles; and many of the major coins in the Daniel W. Holmes Jr. collection of early date large cents being offered by McCawley & Grellman through the Goldbergs later this year.”

In early January, PCGS certified for protection and preservation the unique 1793 Wreath large cent variety Sheldon NC-5, Crosby 10-F from the ANS collection where it has resided in New York City for 63 years. It will be publicly displayed with the Holmes collection at the Early American Coppers convention in Cincinnati, Ohio in April and at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money® in Los Angeles, California in August.

“The Stack’s catalog precisely described this Strawberry Leaf large cent as ‘a rare prize,’ and it is, indeed. It’s also important to note that its pedigree includes a previously little-known collector, Roscoe E. Staples of Maine, who acquired the coin in 1941. He should now be remembered for his bravery and heroic deeds as well as this coin,” said Willis. (more…)

PCGS Certifies ANS’ Unique 1793 Wreath Large Cent

 unique 1793 Wreath U.S. large cent variety (Sheldon NC-5, Crosby 10-F) - Photos courtesy of James NeiswinterThe unique 1793 Wreath U.S. large cent variety (Sheldon NC-5, Crosby 10-F) in the collection of the American Numismatic Society (ANS) has been authenticated and graded by Professional Coin Grading Service as PCGS AU-58. The coin has a distinguished pedigree dating back to 1881, but this was the first time it has been formally certified by a third-party grading service.

“PCGS experts examined this amazing coin and encapsulated it at the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) convention in Orlando, Florida, on dealer set-up day, January 7, 2009. It was truly awe-inspiring to see it in person,” said Don Willis, President of PCGS, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

After certification by PCGS, the coin was placed on display at the FUN convention booth of early American copper specialists, Chris McCawley and Bob Grellman, alongside selected highlights from the large cent collection of Daniel W. Holmes, Jr., an ANS Trustee. It was the first time the coin has been publicly seen outside New York City since it was donated to ANS 63 years ago.

“The Trustees of the Society have loaned this coin to fellow Trustee Dan Holmes. We are very excited to have for the first time a display of a complete set of all large cent varieties. We hope many people see this exceptional display,” said Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan, ANS Executive Director.

The Holmes Collection will be offered in a series of auctions by McCawley and Grellman through Ira and Larry Goldberg Coins and Collectibles in Beverly Hills, California, beginning September 6, 2009.

“Many of the most important pieces in the Holmes collection have been certified and graded by PCGS, and are labeled with the Holmes pedigree on each holder,” said Larry Goldberg.

The 1793 Wreath cent with the vine and bars edge was delivered by armored car service from ANS in New York City to Orlando on Wednesday, January 7, where Grellman took possession and brought it to Willis for certification and grading by PCGS. (more…)

PCGS Currency Holders “Take the Heat”

With only a dozen exceptions, all the paper items in a Florida collector’s home safe were destroyed or damaged by intense heat during a house fire. The only papers that survived unscathed were 12 bank notes inside PCGS Currency holders, including two 1907 $10 Gold Certificates.

Fire 1907 $10 Fr. 1171  Although the top left portion of the holder shows evidence from a Florida house fire, this 1907 $10 Gold Certificate (Fr. 1171) survived otherwise undamaged in its PCGS Currency holder.  (Photo credit: PCGS Currency)“There were eleven large size and one small size PCGS Currency-certified notes recovered from the fire earlier this year. The holders were sooty and some had blisters and discoloration on their surface, but the notes inside all survived without damage,” said Laura A. Kessler, Vice President of PCGS Currency, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

All other paper items in the five-foot tall gun safe at the anonymous collector’s central Florida home were destroyed or damaged from the extreme heat, including family documents, photographs and bank notes not housed in PCGS Currency holders. Hundreds of encapsulated coins survived the fire, although their holders partially melted and were deformed.

“The house had a metal roof and was built on stilts that collapsed during the fire. The safe had a one-hour rating, but it took about four hours until the fire was put out. The Fire Department said the metal roof made it like an oven (under the collapsed building),” the collector said.

“When he submitted the notes he asked us to re-holder them, but at first glance I thought there’d be a change in grades because of the apparent damage to the outside of the holders. I didn’t know what we’d find when we carefully removed the notes from the holders, but they all survived with no damage. It was fantastic,” said Kessler.

“The top-grade materials that are used for our holders undoubtedly saved the notes. They’re made from DuPont Mylar-D®, the safest and best archival material for long-term storage of bank notes. This material is the same used by the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. for storage of important historical documents. It has a higher melting temperature, and thus is safer than other currency holders in the marketplace.” (more…)

Thoughts on PCGS’s New “Genuine” Holders by Doug Winter

PCGS Genuine HolderPCGS recently announced that they plan to begin encapsulating coins that would have formerly been “body bagged” in the past for reasons such as damage, cleaning, and artificial toning. How does this affect the day-to-day operations of my firm and inventory and what are my personal feelings about such coins?

The new PCGS “genuine” holders will have zero impact on DWN. My orientation has always been towards choice, problem-free coins and it is highly unlikely that I will be selling coins in “genuine” holders or even recommending them to my clients. If any of my submissions to PCGS wind-up in such holders (and hopefully this will not occur very often!) such coins will either be consigned to auctions, wholesaled to other dealers or, in the case where I think PCGS was wrong, resubmitted.

How do I feel about PCGS deciding to offer this service to their customers? I am assuming they made this decision because of considerable feedback from collectors (and dealers) who felt that a genuine-only holder was important, especially given the success of such a product at NGC. My feelings about the holders are mixed. I feel that they slightly dilute the PCGS brand in terms of non-problem coins but I think they offer collectors a degree of safety regarding the authenticity of rare issues.

Will the PCGS genuine holders have an impact on the market? I believe that they will. Some of this impact will be good and some, I think, will be not so good. (more…)

PCGS Expands World Coin Program in China

Michael Haynes - CEOFor its first-ever participation at the annual Beijing International Stamp & Coin Exposition, Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) produced special insert labels written in Chinese for encapsulated coins distributed as souvenirs. As part of the company’s expanding international programs, Mandarin dialect marketing materials describing coin authentication and grading were produced for the first time by PCGS and distributed at the big show held October 24 – 27, 2008.

As part of the company's expanding world coin programs, Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) produced Chinese language brochures and special insert labels for sample, encapsulated 1983 one Fen coins distributed at the Beijing International Stamp & Coin Exposition, October 24 - 27, 2008.  Photo courtesy of PCGS.“There was high interest in the PCGS services from Chinese collectors and retailers attending the show and visiting our booth,” said Muriel Eymery, Director of International Development for PCGS, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

“Grading is embedded in the hobby culture in China, and collectors there value the PCGS services to help them build their collections. I was repeatedly told by collectors and dealers that PCGS-graded coins achieve higher premiums than other companies’ graded coins in the Chinese secondary market because of our conservative approach to grading and authenticating.”

The show included an Educational Day program, and China Gold Coin Inc., co-organizer of the Beijing International Stamp and Coin Expo, arranged for a presentation by PCGS at a local school. More than 100 students attended the event and each received one of the free PCGS-encapsulated 1983 one Fen denomination coins. Eymery told the students about coin collecting, the history of coin grading and its recent application to modern commemoratives.

“We are glad that Professional Coin Grading Service participated in this year’s Beijing International Stamps and Coins Exposition for the first time. Having PCGS, the leading independent third-party grading authority, take part among our foreign exhibitors added to the show and interest from our visitors,” said Jing Jun, Vice President of China Gold Coin, Inc. (more…)

PCGS Certifies Hoard of Rare Half Eagles

-Santa Ana, California) – A hoard of Indian Head $5 gold pieces found in an unclaimed bank safe deposit box in Florida has been certified by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). Nearly half of the 262 coins graded mint state, including dozens of rare date 1911-S and 1916-S Half Eagles.

“This is an incredible discovery. They came completely out of the woodwork,” said Lexington, Kentucky and Sarasota, Florida dealer, Jeff Garrett, who jointly purchased the coins with dealer Marc Earle of Saint Petersburg, Florida from a government sale of unclaimed items. They then sold all of them to Bill Gale of New York Mint in Edina, Minnesota.

“This is one of the more unusual hoards I’ve seen in my career,” stated PCGS Founder, David Hall. “There was a group of 1910-D $5 Indians that appeared in the 1970s, but that was over 30 years ago. This is the only large group of mint state San Francisco Mint $5 Indians I’ve ever heard of. By far, the S-mint issue are the rarest $5 Indians to find in mint state.”

The bank safe deposit box containing the rare collection of San Francisco Mint coins and the other gold pieces reportedly had been unclaimed by someone from Venezuela for years and considered abandoned property. PCGS has placed a special “Golden Gate Collection” description on the encapsulation insert label for the coins it certified from this group.

PCGS Senior Grader and Vice President/Director of Business Development, Miles Standish, recalled his initial reaction when he began to examine the individual coins: “My first thought was, ‘This is a fresh and original coin.’ “And then I thought, ‘Wow! There’s a whole hoard of them for me to look at!’ These are really nice looking San Francisco gold coins.” (more…)

Don Willis Named PCGS President

Don Willis(Santa Ana, California) – Rare coin dealer and veteran California business executive, Don Willis, has been named President of the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT), effective October 7, 2008.

“In addition to owning his own rare coin dealership the past six years, Don has over 20 years of executive experience in growing corporate businesses,” said David Hall, PCGS Founder and President of Collectors Universe.

“Don is a rare combination of world class coin expertise and solid corporate business experience. He began his business career in the field of Information Technology over 30 years ago, and ratcheted up his responsibilities with each business opportunity. Before his move into his own rare coin business in 2002, Don served 20 years as a senior IT officer in several growing companies. He founded his own Internet business, a supply chain software company, in 1996 and raised $58 million in venture capital funding. In 2002 he left the software company he founded and took his entrepreneurial skills into the rare coin business to start his own dealership, Premium Numismatics of Huntington Beach, California.”

“David Hall and I are excited to have Don Willis and his corporate growth experience and coin business savvy join Collectors Universe in this important position as President of PCGS. David’s revolutionary vision and concept 22 years ago of independent, standardized grading has provided an extremely reliable form of consumer protection and greater confidence to the rare coin market. Now, Don will help us maintain and grow PCGS for the decades to come to keep PCGS as the industry standard in third-party certification,” said Michael Haynes, Chief Executive Officer of Collectors Universe.

Willis commented: “PCGS is the most respected brand name in numismatics. For over two decades PCGS has set the standard in third party grading. PCGS has also become the number one online source of information for the numismatic community. I am very excited to join the team at PCGS and to help guide the company forward into the 21st century.”

Since its founding in 1986, PCGS has certified the authenticity and grade of over 16 million coins with a total value of more than $18 billion. The popular PCGS Set RegistrySM program has over 36,500 U.S. and world coins sets registered by collectors and dealers.

For additional information about PCGS, visit online at www.PCGS.com or call toll-free, (800) 447-8848.

Video – Stewart Blay Interview with David Hall

In conjunction with the appearance of his legendary Red Copper Collection in the PCGS booth at the upcoming ANA convention in Baltimore, Stewart Blay was kind enough to spend a few minutes in conversation with PCGS founder David Hall. David is certainly a man who knows just what questions to ask Stewart about his amazing collection and coin collecting in general. (See PCGS Article Here)

Sponsored by the PCGS Set RegistrySM, the entertaining yet informative video will be featured at the PCGS Booth (#1245). For those who are unable to attend the ANA convention, it is now available to view.

Click on the screen below to start Video.

Condition Census still a valid tool for ranking coins

By Paul Gilkes for COIN WORLD

In 1949, Dr. William H. Sheldon introduced the numismatic term “condition census” in his book Early American Cents, later renamed Penny Whimsy.

PCGS Set RegistryNGC Set RegistryCondition census, according to Sheldon, denoted the finest example and average condition of the next five finest known of a given variety of large cents dated from 1793 through 1814.

Catalogers have gradually extended the use of condition census to other U.S. coin series. According to numismatic writer Q. David Bowers, the term has been used indiscriminately, sometimes to describe any coin that was in a particularly high grade category for its variety, regardless of how many others might share that category.

Growing from the condition census concept are the set registries for certified coins initiated by Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp. at the end of the 20th century.

The set registry concept was the brainchild of PCGS co-founder David Hall, currently the president of Collectors Universe, PCGS’s parent company. It began when Hall published in 1998 a printed booklet providing lists of the finest PCGS-certified coin collections and almost complete collections by denomination.

BJ Searls, the PCGS Set Registry manager, launched the registry online in February 2001. NGC followed suit in August 2001 with the NGC Registry.

Read Full CoinWorld Article Here

PCGS Presents Stewart Blay’s Legendary “Red Copper Collection” at ANA

Red Copper CollectionThe “Red Copper Collection” of mint state and proof half cents and cents will be publicly displayed for the first time by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money® convention in Baltimore, July 30 – August 2, 2008. Assembled over a period of more than 20 years by Stewart Blay of New York, the collection contains some of the finest known copper coins and has won awards from the PCGS Set Registry annually for each of the past six years.

Among the highlights are a 1796 half cent graded MS-66 RB, the finest known early American copper coin; an 1877 Indian Head cent MS-66 RD (nicknamed “the Golden Princess”); and a 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln cent MS-67 RD.Nicknamed thNicknamed the Golden Princess, this 1877 Indian Head cent graded PCGS MS-66 RD is among the coins from Stewart Blay's Red Copper Collection that will be displayed by Professional Coin Grading Service during the ANA convention in Baltimore, July 30 - August 3, 2008.  Photo credit: PCGS

“It’s the finest collection of high-grade copper coins ever assembled, and some of these coins have never been publicly exhibited before. There were many excited comments posted on the PCGS Message Board when the word started to spread that this legendary collection would be shown for the first time,” said BJ Searls, Manager of the PCGS Set RegistrySM.

Blay is a sculptor who works in Colorado, Indiana and Italy, and also has acted in television commercials and soap operas. He began collecting at the age of eight.

“I had a neighbor whose uncle worked for the (New York) Transit Authority. He used to bring change home and we’d sort through it. I started with Lincoln pennies and began to fill up an old Whitman folder,” Blay explained.

In addition to the three coins mentioned above, the Red Copper Collection items to be displayed by PCGS at the ANA convention in Baltimore include:

Half cents, 1793 to 1857, all in Mint State including a 1793 half cent MS-65 BN and an 1828 half cent 13 stars MS-65 RD, the finest known. (more…)

PCGS Service Announcement – New “Genuine” Service

PCGSEffective immediately, the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) will begin authenticating and encapsulating “problem” coins (i.e. altered surface, cleaned, environmental damage, etc.). Holders and inserts for the Genuine service will be identical to the normal PCGS holder except that the insert will read “GENUINE” in place of the usual grade. No grade will be assigned to these coins, but they will be eligible for inclusion in the PCGS Set Registry with a grade value of 1.

Genuine service coins will be covered under the PCGS Guarantee of Authenticity but not under the PCGS Guaranty of Grade. PCGS reserves the right to reject any coins submitted under the Guarantee Service, including coins that are excessively damaged, altered to such a degree that making a determination of authenticity is difficult or impossible, or which have surface contaminants that may harm the coin in the future. In such cases, PCGS will refund the fee and related shipping charges for that coin. Customers should submit all coins for the Genuine Service on a regular PCGS submission form, marking “GENUINE SERVICE” in the “Other” box.

The fee for the Genuine service is $100 per coin. Turnaround times for the Genuine Service will be approximately the same for all other PCGS services. The Genuine Service is a stand-alone service and is not available in combination with any other service levels. “No-grades” from other service levels must be resubmitted under the Genuine Service in order to be encapsulated.

TELETRADE To Auction Collection Of PCGS “Green Holder” Coins Today, June 1st 2008

1861 Seated Half Dollar PCGS MS-66UPDATE Monday June 2nd – Auction 2536 – Total prices realized $1,124,253

Teletrade, America’s largest fully automated Internet auction company for certified coins and currency, will auction “The Green Holder Collection” on Sunday, June 1, 2008, in online Auction #2536. The auction will be live at www.teletrade.com from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. eastern time and will include more than 2000 certified coin lots. The complete catalog will be viewable on the Teletrade website beginning Friday, May 23.

“The Green Holder Collection” is the result of the combined efforts of two California collectors and consists of more than 250 coins in classic PCGS “green holders,” including an interesting selection of first generation “rattlers.” These early generation PCGS holders characterized by their green labels were used throughout the 80s and 90s, dating back to the very first days of PCGS, and are coveted by a large segment of numismatic enthusiasts who appreciate the history of not only the coin but also the holder that encases it.

“It is unusual to see such an impressive hoard of early generation PCGS holders, and many have not been on the market since they were initially acquired by these collectors in the 80s and 90s,” said Ian Russell, president of Teletrade. “The coins tell the history of the country, and these holders speak to the history of coin collecting, which makes this collection even more fascinating and desirable to enthusiasts.”

“The Green Holder Collection” will be auctioned in individual lots. Highlights include: (more…)