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All Posts Tagged With: "NGC"

NGC Coin Grading: Highest-Graded 1872-CC $20 Double Eagle

This wholly original and beautifully struck specimen is one of the finest our graders have ever seen, and is now the highest-graded coin of the issue and the sole example at this level.

NGC graders are fortunate to have seen more coins than anyone, but they always take time to appreciate truly special coins. The unexpected encounter with this 1872-CC $20 is one such example. Wholly original and beautifully struck, it was instantly recognizable as the finest our graders had ever seen. It graded MS 62 , making it both the highest-graded coin of the issue and the sole example at this level.

Carson City Double Eagles are compelling coins. They combine their historical intrigue as coins of the pioneer West with their significant scarcity. The 1872-CC is the third $20 gold piece issue from the Carson City Mint. Since the 1870-CC is a major rarity and the 1871-CC is very elusive in all grades, the 1872-CC is, in contrast, considered to be “available” to collectors. Virtually all of the 26,900 struck likely entered circulation, and certainly fewer than 20 uncirculated examples survive.

Most 1872-CC double eagles show heavy bag marks; those that are spared heavy wear can exhibit a pleasing strike; however this example is particularly sharp and crisp. How this coin survived the rough handling that is typical of the issue is not known. After certification, NGC was informed that this example resided in a private family collection and was purchased in Europe during the 1920s only with a small group of similar era US gold coins.

More information on NGC and the services they offer can be found at the NGC Website

New Registry at NGC for Early U.S. Gold Coins Announced

The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has announced the addition of a new section to its registry for Early U.S. Gold Coins.

Noted as a pedigree collection and officially named American Independence, it will include Gold Quarter Eagles, Gold Eagles and Gold Half Eagles. It is the first time a new section has been added to the registry in years.

With this new designation, collectors will now be able to register and display photos of their early U.S. gold coins, interact with other collectors, and compete for awards and recognition.

The NGC is the largest coin registry of its kind, widely recognized as the definitive showcase of the world’s most valuable and important coins.

According to Scott Schechter, NGC Vice President, Sales & Marketing, “The newly-created early gold sets in the NGC Registry are definitely among the most difficult to complete. To attempt them is to undertake a long and serious pursuit. This underscores the achievement of the American Independence collection, which consists of high-grade and attractive examples of these challenging coins. As it continues to grow, it should be a milestone Registry collection.”

Tom Pilitowski is currently the exclusive representative of the American Independence collection and owner of U.S. Rare Coin Investments in Port Charlotte, Florida. “This new pedigree of Early U.S. Gold now makes these coins eligible for NGC grading and authentication,” Pilitowski said. “More importantly, it will bring attention to the historical significance of U.S. gold coins that date back to this country’s founding.”

Pilitowski is an expert on early U.S. gold coins and has formed many collections, ranging from an extremely rare 1795 9 Leave Eagle in MS-61 in what has been known as the Denver Collection to several sets of Early Half Eagles. (more…)

Upcoming Champion Hong Kong Auction Offers Chinese Numismatic Rarities

The 10th Hong Kong Champion Auction will be held on February 24 at the renowned Hyatt Regency Hotel located in 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, and features a rich selection of Chinese coins and banknotes certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Paper Money Guaranty (PMG).

Among the auction listings are Chinese Empire minor Silver and Copper coins from a long-standing American collection. Also presented is a group of Copper Pattern coins from another American collection, including an extremely rare Yunnan Dollar pattern with raised edge, whose heritage may include the Schuler Company.

The auction will be held on February 24, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong. More information can be found on Champion’s multi-lingual Web site,, and the auction can be seen at

586 rare coins and banknotes will be offered and Among the highlights of coins are:

CHINA-Yuan Dynasty 5 Taels Gold Sycee, Weight 185.5g, VF?lot 48?
CHINA-SHANTUNG 1926 Dragon and Phoenix 10 Dollars Gold Pattern, KM Pn7, K1536, NGC MS65?lot 68?
CHINA-YUNNAN ND 10 Cash Copper Pattern, AU. Extremely rare possibly unique (lot 235)
CHINA-SINKIANG 1878 One Mace Silver, Lanchoufu Arsenal Mint, L&M808, K1000, NGC AU55(lot 214)
CHINA-Qing Dynasty Empress Dowager Presentation Birthday Charm, 63mm in diameter, 10mm thick, 241.8g, XF(lot 41)

Highlights of banknotes are:
CHINA 1911 Shensi Provincial Bank 3 Taels (Guo-829), VF-XF(lot 449)
CHINA 1854 Board of Revenue 10 Tales PA12b(lot 367)
CHINA 1907 Kiangse Government Bank $1 PMG VF20(lot 447)
CHINA 1914 Bank of China Chihli $5 PMG AU58EPQ(lot 389) (more…)

A Letter from Mark Salzberg

Every year I write a letter to all NGC submitters to describe what’s happening at NGC. Communication is a very important part of what we do — we see NGC as being directly responsive to the wants and needs of the numismatic community. In no small part, it’s because of this responsiveness that NGC has grown to become the largest rare coin certification company in the world. In fact, we are literally only days away from certifying our 20 millionth coin!

Before I get ahead of myself, I’d like to look back at 2009. We did so many things last year that I’m just going to get to it…

On January 1, 2009, we formally launched NGC Ancients, a grading division focused on coinage of the ancient world. David Vagi, an extraordinary numismatist, joined us to head this effort. Our goal is to provide independent expert evaluations for ancient coins, just as we do for coinage of the modern era. The precise grading system and encapsulation are both game-changing innovations in ancient numismatics, but I’m particularly proud of what it says about NGC. Now, we can provide our industry-leading services for the broadest range of coins, tokens and medals. We do this by having more and better experts than anyone, all under one roof and collaborating to continually improve the quality and value of our services.

At the 2009 FUN Show we introduced the Scratch-Resistant EdgeView® Holder. Coated in the same UV-cured materials as eyeglass lenses, it provides an optically clear surface that is resistant to nicks and scuffs. We absorb the cost on this very expensive material because we believe it’s vitally important that your coins are always presented in the best possible way, whether you are offering them for sale or enjoying them in your home. If anyone is interested in having coins re-holdered in our scratch-resistant holder, just call customer service and they will be happy to take care of you.

We’ve also continued to upgrade and improve our Web site. Dealers will find an enhanced portal upon login, and all submitters have new, easy-to-use PDF submission forms. In April, we added a comprehensive library of grading articles to the Web site, one for every US coin type. Our coin grading guide, penned by NGC Research Director David W. Lange, is called From One to Seventy, and is certainly among the most readable and informative resources of its kind. But most significantly, we’ve upgraded our Online Verification tool. Now you can see images of every coin that was tier-graded after October 2008 by entering its certification number. We even have a mobile version so you can access these images on your cell phone! If you ever had a concern about buying a fake or bad NGC holder, you shouldn’t anymore. (more…)

NGC Certifies New 2010 Cents

NGC has received a number of the new 2010 cents for certification.

The numismatic press recently announced that the new 2010 cents having a shield reverse were inexplicably released in Puerto Rico in advance of their scheduled February release date. NGC has received a number of these for certification, and the novelty of these coins makes them worthy of comment. The obverse remains unchanged from recent years, with the exception of some sharpening of the initials “VDB” at the truncation of Lincoln’s bust. The reverse has been replaced entirely, representing a retirement of the 50-year-old Lincoln Memorial design and last year’s four commemorative types. In their place is a Union shield of thirteen vertical stripes topped by a chief bearing the incuse legend E PLURIBUS UNUM. The value ONE CENT is inscribed in relief on a banner superimposed across the vertical stripes. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA appears around the upper periphery in raised letters, while the initials “LB” of the designer (Lyndall Bass) and “JLM” of the sculptor (Joseph Menna) are beneath the banner at either side of the shield.

This design is not entirely original, as it closely resembles pattern cents designed and sculpted by Charles E. Barber in 1896 (numbers J-1767 through 1769 in the Judd pattern book). Unlike the originals, however, the new 2010 cents omit the traditional visual language of heraldry in which white stripes are represented by a plain texture, red stripes are represented by fine, vertical lines within them and the blue chief is represented by horizontal lines. The new cent has the “red” stripes in faintly higher relief that is observable only with close examination, while the chief is not colored heraldically at all. The impression is thus given that the entire shield is of a single color, the lack of distinction being particularly egregious with respect to the stripes. (more…)

NGC Certifies Spanish Gold Coin Rarity from Majorca

ngc_mallorca_012010NGC recently graded the finest known example of a legendary Spanish rarity, the 8 Escudos of Charles II from the Spanish Mediterranean Island of Majorca.

NGC recently certified an extremely rare gold 1689/72 Spanish 8 Escudos struck on the island of Majorca. It is the only known crown-size gold coin of the Cob era struck in Majorca, and graded NGC XF45, with a strong, full strike and abundant underlying luster.

The Calico “Onza” book describes the coin as unique. The 1879 edition of Numismatica Balear by Alvaro Campaner included this coin, illustrating it with a line drawing. A counterfeiter, relying only on the illustration as his model, produced a meticulous replica from which these coins are perhaps better known.

The unique genuine example resided in the Marquis of Palmer collection, as noted by Campaner, and recently sold as part of the Caballero de las Yndias collection, one of the largest private collections of gold coins from Spain and Latin America.

This sale is believed to be the only time the piece has ever been publicly offered for sale.

NGC was privileged to certify this rare specimen.

NGC Launches Online Verification for Mobile Devices

New tool allows collectors to verify NGC certifications anytime and anyplace using a cell phone or PDA

ngc_mobileNumismatic Guaranty Corporation introduces NGC Mobile, a new mobile site that allows collectors to verify an NGC certification on cell phones, PDAs and other mobile devices. This site can be accessed from any mobile browser at

This new site is part of NGC’s ongoing initiative to provide the highest level of protection to coin collectors. In late 2008, NGC introduced a high-security holder and began photographing all tier-level submissions. These images were made available using a web-accessible verification tool early in 2009. Now this new mobile site makes it possible to verify the authenticity of any NGC-certified coin using a mobile device, anywhere at anytime.

NGC Mobile is free to use, open to all, and very easy to use. Step-by-step instructions are also available on NGC’s website.

Steve Eichenbaum, CEO of NGC, comments, “The series of enhanced security services that NGC has introduced offer a level of protection never before available in the rare coin marketplace. Not only do they expand the preference for NGC-certified coins, but they also add to the enjoyment of collectors pursuing their hobby.”

NGC Mobile is fully compatible with cell phones and other devices that use Wireless Application Protocol, a platform chosen to ensure the site functions on the broadest possible range of devices. Additionally, each page load consists of only 1kb of data, and images are less than 25kb, optimizing the site in areas where high-speed coverage is not available and responsibly managing bandwidth usage.

Collectors desiring addition information about NGC Mobile and other services from NGC are invited to contact NGC Customer Service by emailing or by calling toll-free at 1-800-NGC-COIN (642.2646).

Special Offering of NGC-Certified Coins in Maison Palombo Auction 8

ngc_french_auction_112909The November 28 auction includes a rich offering of NGC-certified European and South American coins

French dealers and auctioneers Maison Palombo offer a rich assortment of high-quality World coins in their upcoming Auction 8. The auction will be held at the Palais de la Bourse, Marseille, France, on Saturday, November 28, 2009. All 982 lots can be seen online at Palombo Auction 8.

Nearly 400 lots included in the sale have been certified by NGC, making this one of the largest offerings of certified coins in a European auction this year. Included is the continuation of the collection of Monsieur le Chanoine Léon Matagne.

Numismatic author and one of the founding members of the European Numismatic Alliance, Matagne assembled an important collection of Belgian coins and a number of elusive patterns from his collection are featured in the sale.

Several important South American coins from the Caballero de las Yndias collection are offered, and, as with previous Palombo sales, there is an extensive group of exceptional quality French coins.

Click here to view selected Highlights at NGC

NGC Certifies Classic South American Gold Coin Rarity

The unique Ecuador 1862 50 Francos will be auctioned in January as part of Heritage’s Signature World Coin Auction in New York.

ngc_equador_unique_101509NGC recently certified the unique Ecuador 1862 50 Francos struck in gold. This classic rarity of 19th-century South American coinage is an experimental denomination that conforms to the European coinage standards of the era. It is graded NGC AU 55.

The coin first appeared in published texts in 1956, offered by Robert Friedberg in the November issue of The Numismatist from that year. Scholars believe that he acquired the coin from the Virgil Brand estate. After four more auction appearances between 1957 and 1976, it was sold into a private collection where it has remained since.

Although originally listed in Standard Catalog of World Coins as “unique” alongside the regular issue coinage of Ecuador, it was re-catalogued as a pattern coin in 1986, and this reference number is provided on the NGC certification holder. Although its exact origin and occasion for issue are uncertain, a related 5 Francos silver coin was struck for circulation in Ecuador in 1858. That coin contained 25 grams of 900 fine silver — identical weight and fineness to the 5 Francs and other crown-sized European silver coinage.

Some speculate that the coin was produced at the Paris Mint because an “A” mintmark appears beneath the bust of Bolivar. The quality of die engraving, however, seems incompatible with the superior work of Albert Desire Barre, who engraved for the Paris mint at the time, and best evidence suggests that dies were executed in Ecuador. The coin’s obverse shows a profile bust of South American liberator Simón Bolívar, and the reverse displays the coat of arms of Ecuador, above QUITO, the capital city and location of Ecuador’s mint.

After being off the market for three and a half decades, this coin will be auctioned on January 3–4, 2010, as part of Heritage’s Signature World Coin Auction in New York.

Millions Lost From Coin Fakes, Hobby Leaders Warn

Chinese-made counterfeit coins pose a significant financial threat to unsuspecting consumers, according to leaders of five of the country’s most influential rare coin organizations. They warn the public is spending millions of dollars on fake U.S. coins offered in online auctions and elsewhere, such as flea markets and swap meets.

fake_1915-D_5In a jointly-issued consumer advisory (below) the groups caution the public not to purchase any so-called “replica” coins because they may be in violation of federal law. They also urge consumers to only purchase genuine rare coins from reputable, professional dealers or face the risk of losing money on copies that are illegal to re-sell.

Below is the consumer protection warning issued by (in alphabetical order) the American Numismatic Association (, the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (, Professional Coin Grading Service ( and the Professional Numismatists Guild (

Hobby periodicals report that more than a million counterfeit coins manufactured in China have been fraudulently sold in the United States posing a significant financial risk for unsuspecting consumers. Buyer beware! Consumers who buy an item based only on its perceived rarity and who have no knowledge as to how to determine whether the coin is genuine subject themselves to great risk of losing their money

The American Numismatic Association (ANA), the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA), Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), Professional Coin Grading Service ( and the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) urge consumers to educate themselves before making purchases: know what you are buying and purchase only from reputable, experienced rare coin dealers (professional numismatists).

“We believe many of these counterfeits subsequently are being resold as genuine rare coins in online auctions and at flea markets and swap meets,” said Clifford Mishler, ANA President.

“Millions of dollars already have been spent on these fakes and potentially millions more may be unwittingly lost by consumers who mistakenly think they’re getting a genuine rare coin,” warned Paul Montgomery, PNG President.

Finest Known 1829 Half Dime Variety Discovered by NGC

Posted by David W. Lange, Research Director on NGC

ngc_1829_hcA recent grading submission to NGC included a mix of miscellaneous gold and silver coins, one of which was an 1829 half dime for which the submitter requested VarietyPlus attribution. It took just a moment or two to identify its obverse by the distinctly repunched top to numeral 1 in its date. Obverse 4 in Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837, by Russell J. Logan and John W. McCloskey, this die is known in various states and paired with no less than six reverse dies. Only a couple minutes more were spent in determining which die pairing was involved, as the reverse die bears distinctive pitting on the underside of the banner carrying the Latin motto—LM-18 it is. That’s where things got really fun.

The vast majority of half dime attributions made at NGC turn out to be common varieties. This is true because submitters tend to seek attribution for high grade coins alone, the ones most likely to be of common varieties (when rare varieties are knowingly submitted they often fail to qualify for numeric grading, and coins given Details Grading alone don’t appear in our census). As this coin had already been graded MS-64 by the first NGC grader who had seen it, I was expecting yet another type coin issue. Instead, I was pleased at just how scarce this variety is in high grades. The Logan/McCloskey reference implies that the finest known is an About Uncirculated coin seen in a 1991 auction. Since their book was published more than ten years ago, could it be possible that this information was obsolete?

I then started reading backwards in past issues of The John Reich Journal until I found what I was seeking—the most recent survey of notable half dime collections (May 2008). Here was confirmation of this R-5 variety’s rarity in high grades—the best coins known among the top collections were three entries grading AU-58. As soon as this newly discovered specimen was finalized and encapsulated by NGC as MS-64, I notified the delighted owner, who was unaware of its significance until then and wishes to remain anonymous.

This coin is well struck from a slightly earlier die state than that of the plate coin in Logan/McCloskey. The die crack that connects stars 3-4 to the rim at two places is less developed, though all other features are similar to the plate coin. It has light, milky toning overall, with flecks of gold within the reverse legend and steel gray toning on both rims.

The Coin Market Phenomenon of 2009 is the Widening Gap between the Prices of High End and Low End Certified Coins

By Greg Reynolds

price_gapThe key to understanding current U.S. coin markets, and bourse activity at the ANA Convention, stems from the widening gap in prices between mid range to high end coins and low end or problematic coins. This growing gap reflects underlying currents in the marketplace, the recent trend of collectors becoming better educated and more sophisticated, and reasons to be optimistic about the future of U.S. coin collecting. Markets are logically adjusting to imperfections in grading practices, and collectors, on average, are showing a greater understanding of and greater appreciation for the aesthetic and technical characteristics of coins.

Partly because of this gap, price guides have less meaning than they did in previous eras, and it is now harder for buyers and sellers to hone in on the current price levels. U.S. coin dealers must use their experience, current observations, and intelligence to set prices, as world coin dealers have been doing for decades. Coin prices are becoming a little more mysterious and trading has become more interesting.

Two coins graded X by the same grading service may be very different, whether X is Good-04, VF-30, AU-55, Proof-64 or MS-66, or any other number on the accepted grading scale.

  • 1) An accurately graded coin’s grade may fall into the high end, mid range or low end of the X range.
  • 2) One coin might be much more attractive than the other.
  • 3) There is more than one route to the same destination, as there are different sets of reasons for a coin to grade X. This is especially true of coins that grade from 55 to 62.
  • 4) Some coins will score higher in terms of originality while others will have artificially induced characteristics.
  • 5) No grading service will ever be perfect, and the grades of many certified coins are legitimately subject to question by talented dealers and very advanced collectors. Grading services, including CAC, like all other entities, make mistakes.

Herein, I am also employing the notion, though, that the tastes and preferences of sophisticated buyers is more in line with traditions of coin collecting in the U.S., rather than the criteria of the PCGS, the NGC, or the CAC.

Matt Kleinsteuber, a grading expert with NFC coins, remarks that “quality for the grade means everything.” Of course, he knows that collectors have other considerations as well. Kleinsteuber emphasizes the differences in desirability and price among coins of the same type, date (or equivalent date) and certified grade.