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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).

The 12 most expensive mistakes we’ve paid for are as follows, and we’re not doing this to show off (in fact, it’s actually admitting our biggest mistakes very publically). We’re doing this to let everyone know that we stand behind the work we do for you with cold hard cash. We take our job seriously. We want to do the best job we can for you. And if we make a mistake, we’ll pay for it.

Here are the twelve most expensive PCGS Guarantee “buy-backs”;

1794 Silver dollar AU55 $575,000, January, 2008. This was a beautiful looking coin, but on close examination, the hair had been reworked and the toning was actually not original. It was obviously a very skillful doctoring job and it fooled a lot of people.

1849 Mass & Cal $5 AU55 $150,000, June, 2006. This is a very rare territorial gold coin that turned out to be counterfeit.

1792 Half Disme XF45 $150,000, January, 2008. This coin had actually been flattened, probably around 1800, and did not look right at all. We shouldn’t have missed this one.

1969-S double die Lincoln cent MS65RD $80,000, November, 2003. This coin “turned” color in the holder and now only graded MS64RB.

1861/57-S Clark Gruber $20 MS63 $75,000, November, 2007. This coin had been known to the coin community for decades. In fact David Hall had it at coin shows for sale in the mid-1970s. But research eventually showed that this coin, and several other Clark Gruber rarities, were actually counterfeits that were probably made in the 1950s or 1960s.

1861 Clark Gruber $20 (three) MS62s $55,000 each, January, 2008. Same type of circa 1950s counterfeits as coin above.

1899 Indian cent PR69 $50,000, February, 1988. This gorgeous proof Indian cent later developed a huge copper spot covering the face of the Indian. We bought the coin back and hung it on the grading room wall with a sign that said “The $50,000 Spot” and we told the graders to be really careful when handling copper coins.

1908 $20 St. Gaudens PR63 $45,000, July, 2008. This matte proof Saint had been improperly cleaned or conserved or doctored or whatever you want to call it. We missed the subtle surfaces problems which later became not so subtle as the chemicals used by the “doctor” reacted on the coin.

1963 Lincoln cent PR70DCAM $40,768, April, 2004. This perfect Lincoln proof later developed a few minor spots. Not really our fault, but it was covered by our grading guarantee.

1849-D gold dollar MS64 $40,000, July, 2008. This was a beautiful, very high grade Dahlonega Mint that unfortunately had a planchet lamination on the rim the broke loose and negatively effected the coin. This was not really a grading mistake, but an unforeseen problem covered by our grading guarantee nonetheless.

Bottom line…we’re the experts, but even experts make mistakes. That’s why we have the PCGS Grading Guarantee, so you don’t have to pay for our mistakes.

Here’s is a link to PCGS Grading Guarantee… which gives the details of the guarantee and how it works, plus some very specific details and examples of what the guarantee does and doesn’t do.

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