Member Journal Entry:

PCGS vs.NGC

Posted: 3/27/2011 2:00:33 AM | Views:4346

to sell a coin for more or....

I enjoy reading when other coin collectors comment on grading. I wonder if we as a group of collectors should discuss who is better NGC vs. PCGS or should we break it down into something more important. Better struck/graded coin or bigger sales price if we sell?
Lets think about it for a second. From, my past experiences, not being a dealer and only a casual collector, I feel its not that one is better than the other. Only that one company allows more slight marks or rubs on coins than the other. Now if you want the best coin for the money, I still feel PCGS is better. Only
because they are over all tougher on marks ticks or rubs than any other grading company. Also that PCGS only allows PCGS coins in there registry and NGC allows both companies slabbed coins in there's. This argument can go both ways.
I have collected for over 40 years and the last 15 years a lot with just slabs. I have bought samples of many coins from both NGC and PCGS of the exact same coin, year and mint mark, and compared them side by side. I also have bought from coin dealers and auction houses. I think most of us know of eBay, Teletrade, Heritage and David Lawrence coin companies. I own over 600 hundred slabs just from PCGS and at least 300 from NGC.
So this is what I think....
The best is PCGS graded coins, but not the Bulk Submission type of holder coins. Such as the "Satin Finish" type of holder.
The 2nd best is NGC and tied with them is the Bulk Submission mentioned above. Now a very close 3rd on some of the samples I own is ANACS. But I have found some real losers in all 3 company holders.

This all means nothing if you don't like the idea of finding and owning the best within a type or grade of coin. If you think a cheaper coin in a NGC slab is a better buy in the same grade, wait a minute. Try and sell your better value coin in its NGC slab and see what you get. Then look up and see how much a PCGS coin would of sold for!?
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Owning over 8 PCGS MS-69 RED Lincoln's and maybe 30 in MS-68 RED, I decided to compare all the coins to each other. Most are dated from 2001 to 2005. I covered up the grades and just looked at the coins. I also had 3 MS-68's in NGC holders.
Well after spending an evening looking at these Gem Plus coins I found that only 2 69's maybe could of or should of been graded as 68's. But I did find 4 68's that I think should of been in the 69 class. All PCGS graded coins. None of the NGC coins looked better than the PCGS 68's.
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Now I will throw a curve at you. If you had 2 MS-69 coins to sell, both the same mint mark and date, which coin would you sell? Not the better one, no sir, you would look at both coins and sell the lesser of the 2. So if you and I buy online, from eBay, aren't we getting the lesser and maybe just marginal graded coin from a eBay seller?
So are my comparisons off because of this little fact? I think so. If you buy a coin from let's say Teletrade and when you get it home, it shows some very slight marks on it, you did not see from the online pictures, are you getting a slightly marginal coin from them?
Would a seller who sends in coins to be graded at either service in bulk submissions, is he or she really trying to get the best grades for his coin, or the highest grades for his coins. I think the highest grades for his coins.
Higher grades mean more money in sales. So do you think you and I receive the best grade on our coins we send in? No I do not think so. I think we get a decent grade, but not the benefit of a higher grade that might be given to a dealer, who spends thousands of dollars in coin grading fees!
Another curve ball to throw at you. Did you know that the location of the mark or rub you see on a coin can effect its grade? Yes it can! If the mark is in a non primary area! Like the collectors society member who showed 2 coins, one from PCGS and one from NGC that I read the other day. Both coins showed some small ticks on the obverse of the coins. One coin had a scratch on the cheek bone and the other a scratch in the hair area. See where I am going? The cheek bone mark will reduce the grade more than the mark in the hair area.
Owning a 68 and 69 satin finish graded dollar coin from PCGS, I wanted to see exactly where the difference would be in the grading of these coins. While both coins had marks, over 6 on each, the SP-69 graded coin had most of its marks in non primary areas. Like the hair area, or in the field but close to the rim, and not right in the middle of the obverse field. See what I am saying.
Now I know I am just touching the surface on grading and what will pass and not for a certain grade. These companies have been in business for a long time and are better than I am, or trying to be....
If someone was to ask me, how do I get the best coins, first ask yourself are you looking for the best coin or a coin that may sell for more money down the line?
If you want the best coin you can buy, I think PCGS is slightly tougher in most cases. If you are buying a bulk submission coin from either grading service, than I think you are getting a lesser coin. If you want to get the most bang for your buck and want to sell in a few years, maybe NGC is better. You might get one or 2 coins in a higher grade than if you sent them into PCGS.
Now if you get the higher grade with NGC you might get the higher grade money for it also. But you may get only the NGC level of money, vs. the PCGS level of money. So much to think about? Which one do you like now?




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