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All Posts Tagged With: "PCGS"

The Finest $10 Indian Head Eagle Gold Coin Registry Set: The Simpson Collection

The all-time finest set of Indian Head Eagles was among the first coins certified under the new PCGS Secure Plus (http://www.pcgs.com/secureplus.html) system.

Known as “The Simpson Collection” and now added to the popular PCGS Set RegistrySM, the 32-coin set was assembled with the help of Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey.

The set includes 18 of the finest known gem mint condition examples of their date and mint with none graded higher. Eleven of those are unique in their top grade including a 1920-S graded PCGS MS67+, the owner’s personal favorite coin in the set.

The set was displayed at the Professional Coin Grading Service booth during the American Numismatic Association National Money Show™ in Fort Worth, Texas, March 25 – 27, 2010. The revolutionary new PCGS Secure Plus system was formally announced there on the first day of the show by David Hall, PCGS Co-Founder and Collectors Universe, Inc. President, and Don Willis, PCGS President.

“This is the finest $10 Indian set ever assembled,” said David Hall – Co-Founder of PCGS. “The quality and originality of the set are unsurpassed in numismatic history. In my opinion, the 1920-S is the most important $10 Indian in existence.”

The Simpson collection is ranked in the PCGS Set Registry as the All-Time Finest set of gold Indian Head $10 circulation strikes, 1907- 1933 (http://www.pcgs.com/setregistry/alltimeset.aspx?s=71313). It has a weighted grade point average of 66.335 and is 100 percent complete.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better inaugural set to be submitted through PCGS Secure Plus. Thirteen of the coins received the ‘+’ designation. Our entire team was blown away by the quality of these coins,” said Willis. (more…)

Industry Leaders Comment on New PCGS Secure + Coin Grading Announcement

David Lisot, Executive Producer of Coin Television has put together a montage of comments from industry leaders following the PCGS announcement of its New Secure + coin grading service

[iframe http://www.coinlink.com/Video/033110_ana_pcgs.html 544px 395px]


The PCGS Secure Plus process uses laser scanning to help detect coins that have been artificially enhanced since their last certification, combat “gradeflation” and excessive resubmissions of the same coins, and can also be used to help identify recovered stolen coins. Additionally, PCGS graders can now designate deserving, superior-quality coins as “Plus” within their respective grades, an important distinction when there are big differences in value between one grade point and the next.


The following industry professionals are included in this video as follows:

Video used with permission and courtesy of CoinTelevision.com and CoinVideo.com.

The New PCGS Secure+ and what (it might) mean for the coin business…

By John Feigenbaum – David Lawrence Rare Coins

Well, now that PCGS has made it “Big One” announcement, it’s possible to speculate on how this might affect the coin industry (I used to call it a hobby but I think that ship sailed a long time ago). There’s an awful lot to digest here, but I had the benefits of advance notice of this announcement by Mr. Hall himself and I was able to personally attend the Press Conference at the Ft. Worth ANA National Money Show when the Big One was unveiled publicly.

For starters, if you are not familiar with the “Big One” I recommend that you read/view all about it on the PCGS web site first. This was actually a dual announcement:

1) PCGS is going to start laser-scanning/fingerprinting certain submissions (the submission tier is called “Secure-Plus”, which costs a little more) to make certain these items haven’t already been submitted. If so, the system will allow the graders to compare the coins with images of the same coin to be certain it hadn’t been doctored or altered in any negative manner.

2) Coins submitted in the “Secure Plus” tier are eligible to be examined for a “Plus” grade which is awarded to any coins the graders determine to be in the top 30% of quality in the grade range. Or, as David Hall defines it, the “A” category.

Let’s start with the laser scanning technology. Mr. Hall claims that it was “never PCGS’ intention to grade the same coin 40 times” which is a way upgraders use the system to repeatedly send the same coin in until it finally gets the added benefit of doubt and achieves a higher grade that it typically would get. This ultimately is a cause for “gradeflation” which has long term negative effects on the hobby. The logic also follows that a database of stolen coins that have previously been “fingerprinted” can be marked for future submissions. In the event they ever come back in to PCGS, the coins will be flagged and justice can be served. Apparently one major insurance company is offering a discount for SecurePlus coins thanks to this service.

I love this concept for all the reasons PCGS is brandishing. But it’s flawed… Clearly, from the outset, there is a major loophole (or, chasm) in the service because only coins submitted in the more expensive “Secure Plus” tier are being fingerprinted. So a doctored, or stolen coin, can simply be submitted without the added expense and we’ll never know if it was doctored. Or, what happens if a coin is upgraded via the non-Plus service but later submitted for “crossover” into the “Secure Plus” and PCGS realizes what has happened? Will the buy it off the market? That could be very expensive for them. I directed these inquiries directly to PCGS’ President Don Willis, to which he replied that this is merely the initial launch of the product and they need some time to refine the details. I hope, at a minimum, that they ultimately choose to fingerprint every coin submitted (at least every coin over $500). I think that would benefit PCGS as much as the consumer.

(more…)

Leading Coin Grading Services PCGS & NGC Announce “Plus” Designation

The plus designation, a notation of premium quality, has been announced by NGC and PCGS. The service will be available from NGC beginning in approximately 60-days and launched formally by PCGS on March 25, 2010.

Denoted by a + symbol appearing after the grade, the plus designation indicates that a coin is of superior quality for the grade and that it approaches the next technical grade level. In numismatics, in addition to plus, several terms are used interchangeably to indicate this including premium quality, PQ, and high-end.

Aspects of the service offered by NGC and PCGS are similar. The plus designation applies only to US coins from select classic series, and it is not currently planned to be applied to modern coinage issues. Additionally, it will be used on eligible coins grading from the XF-range up to MS 68. For coins to be evaluated for the plus designation, submitters will have to opt-in to a plus designation review service in addition to the standard grading tier.

After the service launch, in approximately 60-days, coins with the plus designation will receive a point premium in the NGC Registry and be reported in a forthcoming enhancement of the NGC Census. Additionally, price guides and coin trading networks including the Certified Coin Exchange will be supporting the plus designation.

“The coin marketplace has evolved in the nearly 25 years since NGC and PCGS began certifying coins, and this is a very logical progression. We have always been conscious of the variation within grades. By providing this information on the label in the plus format, it is communicated in a simple and direct way that allows these distinctions to be readily understood,” comments NGC Chairman, Mark Salzberg.

PCGS founder David Hall stated, “The reality of the market place is that coins considered high end for the grade are recognized by sophisticated dealers and collectors and such coins are worth a premium in the marketplace. The term plus has been part of the everyday trading and grading lingo for years. For the market’s two leading grading services to recognize this reality and designate these premium coins as part of their grading services is a huge benefit to all participants in the rare coin market.” (more…)

PCGS Announces PCGS Secure Plus™, The Most Important Innovation in the Coin Industry Since the Advent of Third Party Grading.

The Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) has launched PCGS Secure Plus™, a revolutionary new process with high-tech security and scrutiny to increase the confidence of collectors and dealers, and a new certification designation that potentially can increase the value of coins.

The PCGS Secure Plus process uses laser scanning to help detect coins that have been artificially enhanced since their last certification, combat “gradeflation” and excessive resubmissions of the same coins, and can also be used to help identify recovered stolen coins. Additionally, PCGS expert graders can now designate deserving, superior-quality coins as “Plus” within their respective grades, an important distinction when there are big differences in value between one grade point and the next.

Announcement of the unprecedented breakthrough was made by PCGS executives on the opening day at the American Numismatic Association National Money Show™ in Fort Worth, Texas. They explained how the new process of digitally scanning each coin to capture its distinctive characteristics is being integrated into the PCGS grading system and how it helps resolve important issues in the rare coin marketplace by offering:

  • Increased precision and consistency in grading
  • Improved detection of altered coins
  • Less chance of “gradeflation”
  • More likely recovery if a PCGS Secure Plus coin is stolen
  • Increased value of high-end coins within each grade

Developed after years of extensive software and hardware development and testing in partnership with Coinsecure, Inc. of Palo Alto, California, the PCGS Secure Plus service digitally captures a unique “fingerprint” of each coin that is then entered into a permanent data base.

PCGS Secure Plus will introduce a new level of confidence and security in the coin collecting market” said PCGS President Don Willis. “We believe that PCGS Secure Plus addresses several of the leading issues affecting the industry today. PCGS Secure Plus is a patent-pending process wherein a coin is laser scanned, imaged and registered in a permanent data base. Every coin has its own identifying characteristics. Coins are like snowflakes at the micron level; they are very different from each other. If a coin has been previously registered in our system it will be identified whenever it’s again scanned by us, so duplication of coin information will be eliminated. As a result, population reports, condition census and other potentially distorted information will be much more accurate for PCGS Secure Plus coins.”

“The process also can help detect if a previously registered coin has been artificially toned, dipped or processed in some other way in an effort to get a higher grade. Not since PCGS introduced encapsulated third-party grading in 1986 has such an important step been taken to protect the consumer. We believe PCGS Secure Plus will totally revolutionize the coin grading business,” said Willis. (more…)

PCGS Unveils “The Big One” March 25 in Fort Worth

Executives of Professional Coin Grading Service will make their eagerly-anticipated announcement about a revolutionary new service on Thursday, March 25, 2010.

Frequently described in recent months as “The Big One” by PCGS Co-Founder and Collectors Universe President, David Hall, the revelation will be made at 10:30 a.m. in Room 108 of the Fort Worth, Texas Convention Center. The public is invited to attend the announcement and demonstrations to be made by Hall and PCGS President Don Willis on opening day of the American Numismatic Association National Money Show™.

“We will unveil the ‘next step, the new way, The Big One,’ and it’s going to change coin grading for the better,” said Hall who has been offering tantalizing hints about the new PCGS service since last fall.

“We believe this will totally revolutionize the coin grading business,” Willis added.

“When PCGS first started grading coins in 1986, it was the most significant development ever for the protection of the coin collecting public. We will unveil the next giant step in further protecting the consumer.”

Detailed information will be posted on the PCGS web site at about noon, Central Time, on March 25.

A special display showcasing coins from the BRS Legacy Collection of Indian Head Eagles will be exhibited at the PCGS booth, #604, during the show. “This collection ranks as one of the finest, if not the finest, sets of Indian $10 gold ever assembled, and this will be the first time it’s ever been exhibited,” said Willis.

PCGS will offer on-site authentication and grading services at the ANA National Money Show. The three-day event is open to the public, March 25 – 27, at the Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston St.

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

The Norweb-Bass MS66 1911-D Quarter Eagle

The Norweb Collection was a legend while still owned by its namesake family, and while two decades have passed since the three auctions that dispersed most of it, time has only added to its importance to collectors.

Quality and rarity are the chief watchwords; no discussion of early copper, colonials, proof silver, or early and Southern-Western gold would be complete without acknowledging the Norweb influence and legacy. Rarities such as a Gem Proof 1829 Small Planchet half eagle and an 1885 Trade dollar stand out in the auction, as does the famed 1861 Paquet double eagle.

Similarly, Harry W. Bass, Jr. built his knowledge and his collection into formidable forces whose effects on current and future numismatists continue to unfold. While his study of early gold coinage is first to come to mind (especially to those who peruse the early gold listings in this catalog, which are attributed by Bass-Dannreuther numbers), though as with the Norwebs, he also had extensive holdings in Charlotte and Dahlonega gold, as well as classic proof gold.

With all of the emphasis on the two collections’ 18th and 19th century rarities, a number of important later pieces in both collections have gone under the radar of many enthusiasts. Doubtless the Norwebs’ 20th century holdings would be better-remembered if their 1913 Liberty nickel had been sold at auction and not turned over to the Smithsonian, for example. Similarly, the detailed note-taking of Bass did not extend to 20th century issues, which were less interesting to a student of die varieties than their forebears.

Yet both collections contained a number of important 20th century coins, both recognized at the time of auction and unheralded but now appreciated. The 1911-D quarter eagle Heritage is offering in their 2010 March Fort Worth, TX Signature ANA US Coin Auction was one of the former, a coin that attained considerable individual fame with its modern-era debut at the Norweb auction; it had been sold to the Norwebs by B. Max Mehl, likely in the late 1930s. It was graded MS64 by the auctioneers, who then went on to say, “We have never seen a finer specimen.” (more…)

Stacks to offer Amazingly Original 1860-D Half Eagle Gold Coin.

Recently CoinLink has been running a number of articles centered around both the concept and desirability of “Origianl Surfaces” on coins.

In the upcoming Stacks Americana Sale this week, there is a perfect example of the type of coin we have been talking about, Lot 3534 : an 1860-D Half Eagle PCGS MS-63. Below is the Lot description and history of the coin from The Stacks Catelog.

A sparkling condition rarity, and a beautiful coin, one of 10 pieces obtained at the Dahlonega Mint in 1860 in exchange for gold bullion and scrap and retained in the family ever since. Deep honey gold glistens with rich lustre, and the somewhat reflective fields glow with lively olive iridescence.

New to the numismatic marketplace after 150 years with fresh “skin” and natural color as yet untouched by today’s coin doctors!

No serious marks are present, though we note a few tiny disturbances; this piece was kept over the decades in a sock, of all places, along with several other coins—frankly, we’re surprised and pleased to report that this coin weathered its mixed company and awkward storage method admirably.

The strike is somewhat typical for the date, with some lightness of design at Liberty’s hair and the eagle’s neck feathers on the reverse. Douglas Winter’s reference on Dahlonega gold notes the following regarding this date: “The 1860-D half eagle is a relatively obtainable coin which is most often seen in Extremely Fine grades. It is more available in the lower About Uncirculated grades than its small mintage figure would suggest. It becomes rare in the higher AU grades and it is extremely rare in full Mint State.”

According to the current (11-’09) PCGS online Population Report, the present piece is the only MS-63 example of the date certified thus far, with but a solitary MS-64 piece the only finer example of the date recognized by that firm.

We note that NGC has not certified an MS-63 1860-D half eagle, though they do note a single MS-64 example of the date in their online Census. If you are one to put stock in individual population reports, this equates to the present piece being the third finest certified example of the date in a third-party grading service holder.

It is worth noting here that the finest of the four Harry W. Bass, Jr. specimens of the date offered in B&M’s sale of October 1999 was graded MS-62 (PCGS) and was the Farouk-Norweb specimen; the present coin outshines that piece in all regards. Not only is the present 1860-D half eagle one of the finest survivors from its mintage of 14,635 pieces, but it is a coin with a uniquely American story to tell: (more…)

PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club™ Launched

Although most collectors and dealers may never personally own a seven-figure numismatic rarity, enjoying and learning about them now is easy and fun with the launch of the PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club™ (www.PCGS.com/Million-Dollar-Coin-Club), a free reference guide available from the Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com).

The “club” presently consists of 210 United States rare coins that have sold at auction for $1 million or more, or would sell for that much if offered, according to the expert opinions of five well-known professional numismatists. The list will be updated four times a year.

“Our estimate for the total current value of these 210 United States coin rarities is $475,515,000,” said David Hall, PCGS Co-Founder and President of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT) who is among the pricing consultants who prepared the list. The other four experts in the group are Ron Guth, President of PCGS CoinFacts; Kevin Lipton, President of Kevin Lipton Rare Coins of Beverly Hills, California; Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas; and Laura Sperber, Co-President of Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey.

Rankings and information in the PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club will be updated every three months online at www.PCGS.com/Million-Dollar-Coin-Club and in a printed, full-color educational booklet when more coins reach that mark and others already in the “club” bring new prices at upcoming auctions. The first edition of the booklet will be available from PCGS at the 2010 Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando, Florida, January 7 – 10.

“The first U.S. coin to reach the million dollar mark was the Eliasberg specimen 1913 Liberty Head nickel 14 years ago. It sold at auction for $1,485,000 on May 21, 1996. Today, there are 210 coins that would bring $1 million or more if offered in the marketplace,” said Hall. (more…)

New, Free PCGS PhotogradeTM Online Available, iPhoneTM App Also Available

Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) has launched PCGS PhotogradeTM Online as part of the recently revamped PCGS web site. An Apple iPhoneTM version also is available.

pcgs_photogradeUsing high-resolution images from the extensive PCGS Grading Reference Set and other selected coins also archived with the acclaimed PCGS TrueViewTM photo service, collectors, dealers and the general public can match up their United States coins with the superb-quality online photos to determine their approximate grades and values of their coins.

PCGS Photograde Online is free, and provides detailed close-up photo images for 25 types of 19th and 20th century U.S. coinage issues in up to 12 different grades.

A special PCGS Photograde Online application for iPhones and the Apple iPod touchTM can be downloaded free from the Apple iTunes App Store. It will be demonstrated by PCGS during the upcoming Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando.

“PCGS Photograde Online is one of the most useful, easy-to-use tools ever developed. While it is not a substitute for certification of authenticity and grade by PCGS experts, it will revolutionize the coin collecting experience. Even a novice will be able to estimate the grade by comparing his or her coin to the photo that most closely matches its condition,” said Don Willis, PCGS President. (more…)

Legend Numismatics Sells The Sunnywood Toned Morgan Dollar Coin Collection

Legend Numismatics, a coin dealer specializing in high-quality, rare U.S. coinage, announced the sale of the entire Sunnywood “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” Toned Morgan Dollar Collection to a private collector who wishes to remain anonymous. Financial details were not released, but Legend spokesperson Laura Sperber acknowledged that it was a “multi-million dollar transaction” and that the collection was sold intact.

DouglasKurz_120909The Sunnywood Collection (Circulation Strikes from 1878-1921 including three important varieties) was painstakingly assembled over a period of several years by Douglas Kurz, a long-time collector who is a successful businessman and former concert pianist. Bucking the market trend of preference for “white” Morgan Dollars, he decided to put together a complete set of Morgans with “attractive, original color, at least on the obverse.”

Prominently featured in the PCGS Set RegistrySM (www.PCGS.com/SetRegistry), the Sunnywood Collection, consisting exclusively of PCGS-graded coins, gained additional notoriety at the January 2009 FUN Show, the February and May 2009 Long Beach Expos, and in advertisements in Coin World and other numismatic publications.

One interesting point is that the most attractive pieces in terms of color and eye appeal are not necessarily the highest-graded pieces. Sunnywood strikes a balance between color and technical grade, so Set Registry ranking has sometimes been sacrificed for the sake of overall eye appeal.

Many collectors consider the Sunnywood Collection to be the finest set of toned Morgans ever assembled.

The collection includes many early common dates (between 1878 and 1888) and some later dates (such as 1896, 1899-O and 1904-O) that can be found with dramatic and vibrant multi-colored mint-bag toning. There are many dates, however, that simply do not exist with colorful toning. Those dates were sought instead with attractive original patination (the 1900-S and 1901-S are good examples).

Laura Sperber Comments:

In my mind, this is one collection that should not even exist. When Doug originally approached me about building the set with him, I did not think an all-colored Morgan set that nice was even possible to build. Point blank, I told him not to do it.

As time went on, I watched Doug work on the project. He was gracious enough to let Legend help him add a coin or two to this magnificent set. (more…)

Top 12 Rare Coin Buybacks – PCGS Puts its Money Where Its Mouth Is!

The following is from the PCGS website about Updates to the PCGS Guarantee. This is the first time we know of where one of the major grading services has been so forthcoming as to buybacks under their guarantee, and In Our Optinion, PCGS should be commended for its transparency and openness.

pcgs_logo_lg_refFor 24 years we’ve stood behind the service we provide to you not with a money back/fee returned policy if we make a mistake…not with a “we’re sorry, we’ll return your grading fee or give you free grading” policy if we make a mistake…but with an actual cash guarantee for the market value of the coins we grade and authenticate.

They say that talk is cheap and money talks. So when it comes to the validity of the PCGS Grading Guarantee we’ll let the money do the talking. Here are the cold facts about what we’ve done in the past 24 years.

In the past 24 years, PCGS has (as of Dec 1, 2009) graded 18,784,536 coins with a declared value of $19,138,747,536. That’s 18 million coins worth over 19 billion dollars!

In the past 24 years, PCGS has paid out $7,320,437 under the terms of the PCGS Grading Guarantee. When we make a mistake that involves your coins, we pay for our mistake. It’s that simple.

Here are some detailed figures of the money we’ve paid out under the terms of our grading guarantee. The following is the total amount paid in each of the last six calendar years;
2003…$365,525
2004…$222,227
2005…$507,692
2006…$382,384
2007…$562,541
2008…$1,945,755
2009 (thru Dec 1)…$498,798

You’ll note that the cash figures are increasing, but this may be explained by the fact that coins are worth more today than they were in 2003. The huge amount bought back in 2008 was probably a “perfect storm” aberration (January, 2008 was not a good month for PCGS…see below). (more…)

PCGS Launches All-New Web Site for Coin Collectors

Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASADQ: CLCT), announces the unveiling of a completely new version of its popular web site, www.pcgs.com. With 3 million page views each month, PCGS.com is one of the most-visited web sites in the entire numismatic field.

new_pcgs_site_120409The new site represents more than just a face lift. Its cleaner feel and more logical arrangement of links and information make navigation much easier than in the past. “It shouldn’t take regular visitors long to adjust to the new site,” said PCGS President Don Willis. “We’ve designed it to be less cluttered and more intuitive, making it easier for both frequent and newer visitors to find the information they’re looking for.”

With ease of use in mind, PCGS has eliminated the left-side menu and made the most frequently used pages accessible via the main menu bar at the top. The buttons link directly to PCGS Home, Services, Price Guide, Set Registry, PCGS CoinFacts, Resources, PCGS Store and About PCGS.

Underneath these choices, PCGS offers a weekly video and a Product Spotlight to highlight new products and services and provide a snapshot of “What’s New” at PCGS and in the coin industry.

Beneath these features, the user is given the opportunity to navigate by topic. For example, on the far left, new collectors are encouraged to Take the First Step. Under this heading, there are links to everything they need to get started in coin collecting: a New to Coins link takes them directly to the newly updated Start Here page, and links to vital information like why you should have your coins graded and how to obtain ballpark pricing from the PCGS Price Guide.

The last link in that group is to a new PCGS service that will make it immeasurably easier for new collectors to ascertain ballpark values for their coins. “We feel this could be one of the most useful tools ever developed for obtaining coin values,” Don Willis explained. “Once new collectors use CoinFacts to determine what they coin have, they can go to our Online Photograde to at least get an approximate grade.” (more…)

PCGS To Dispaly All-Time Finest Registry Set of Early U.S. Half Dollars at FUN

1794 half dollar, PCGS MS61 finest known, from the Dale Friend Collection.More than 100 coins from the all-time finest registry set of early U.S. half dollars in the PCGS Set RegistrySM will be displayed at the Professional Coin Grading Service booth, January 7 – 9, 2010, during the first three days of the Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando. The coins are from the collection of Dale Friend of Nevada, and 20 of them are either the finest or tied for the finest ever graded by PCGS.

“This wonderful collection has been assembled over many years. Dale has always attempted to combine the finest technical grade with the choicest eye appeal. Most of these early half dollars have gorgeous, original toning and luster, and are a pleasure to examine,” said Donald E. Willis, Jr., President of PCGS, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

Friend’s basic set collection of circulation strike early half dollars, 1794 – 1839, has been ranked number one in the PCGS Set Registry the past six years. His set with major varieties has been the best the past four years. Both sets have earned the honor of being the number one all-time finest in their category.

“The basic set is 100 percent complete and has a weighted grade point average of 59.831. The early half dollars set with varieties is nearly 90 percent complete and has a weighted GPA of 59.104,” said BJ Searls, PCGS Set Registry Manager.

A total of 101 coins from Friend’s award-winning early half dollars collections will be exhibited at the PCGS booth, #138, at the FUN convention. (more…)

PCGS Brings TrueView Coin Imaging Service to Baltimore Show

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Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) will give collectors and dealers a special opportunity to have their PCGS-graded coins digitally imaged with the PCGS TrueView photo service on-site during the first two days of the Whitman Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention at the Baltimore Convention Center, November 12 – 15, 2009.

“The PCGS TrueView service offers quality images that quality coins deserve. TrueView images are among the finest in the numismatic hobby,” said Don Willis, President of PCGS, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

“The onsite coin imaging is offered in conjunction with any PCGS show service except for crossovers. Attendees at the Baltimore show also have the option of submitting PCGS-graded coins for imaging only.”

Phil Arnold, PCGS Numismatic Photographer, will be onsite at the Baltimore show on Thursday, November 12, and the morning of Friday, November 13. The TrueView service in Baltimore will be available on a limited first-come, first-served basis. The price is $50 per coin.

For additional information, check with PCGS Customer Service representatives at booths 1308, 1309 and 1310 at the Baltimore Expo.

Images will be available for viewing on www.PCGS.com by Friday, November 20. They can be accessed by entering the coin’s certification number under Cert Verification on the Home page of the PCGS web site.

PCGS will also offer a one-day walkthrough grading turnaround for $100 on any coin with a maximum value of $100,000. Two additional show grading specials for on-site authentication and grading in Baltimore will be available to all PCGS Authorized Dealers and members of the PCGS Collectors Club:

  • $65 for U.S. and world coins valued up to $3,000 each with a minimum submission of five coins; and
  • $45 for any U.S. gold coins valued up to $3,000 each with a minimum submission of ten coins

For additional information about the Whitman Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention, visit online at www.WhitmanExpo.com.

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…)

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 (www.money.org), the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (www.ICTAonline.org), Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (www.NGCcoin.com), Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) and the Professional Numismatists Guild (www.PNGdealers.com).

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 (www.PCGS.com) 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.
(more…)

David Hall Featured on CNBC Rare Coins Report

An informative video news report about the rare coin market has been posted by CNBC on its web site. PCGS Co-Founder David Hall is prominently featured in the story.

null“The market’s very active and very strong, though prices are down a little. The exception, of course, being the gold coins,” Hall told CNBC during the video taping at the September Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo.

“There’s no question that there’s a huge financial component to this marketplace.”

The report mentions the PCGS3000TM Index that collectors, investors and dealers use to track the historical price trends of the rare coin marketplace and 3,000 specific U.S. coins.

The four-minute news segment prominently features well-known early American coppers collector Walter J. Husak of California whose astounding collection of large cents – nearly every one of them certified by PCGS – shattered records in a $10 million auction conducted by Heritage Auctions in Long Beach in February 2008. Husak explains that he re-purchased some of his previous coins, as well as made new acquisitions for his collection, at the recent auction of the Dan Holmes and Ted Naftzger collections conducted by Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles. Those coins also were certified by PCGS and many set record prices.

PCGS and the Long Beach Expo are divisions of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

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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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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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.
(more…)

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.