Professional Coin Grading Service

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Professional Coin Grading Service
PCGS
Founded California, U.S. (1985)
Founders David Hall, Silvano DiGenova, Bruce Amspacher, Gordon Wrubel, Van Simmons, John Danreuther, Steve Cyrkin[1][2][3]
Headquarters 1921 E. Alton Avenue, Santa Ana, California 92705
Products coin certification services and supplies, memberships and subscriptions
Website www.pcgs.com

Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) is a coin grading, authentication, attribution, and encapsulation service founded in 1985. The intent of its seven founding dealers, including the firm's president David Hall, was to standardize grading.[4][5] The firm has divisions in Europe and Asia, and is owned by parent company Collectors Universe. PCGS cofounder Silvano DiGenova was the lone creator of PCGS's grading standards via his assemblage of its coin grading set, which are still in use and "widely accepted".[6][7] PCGS has graded over 33 million coins valued at over $29 billion.[8]

An early PCGS slab

History[edit]

PCGS was founded in 1985 by seven dealers, including the firm's president, David Hall. The founders' intent was to establish definitive grading standards, backed by a guarantee of grading accuracy.[9][10][11] PCGS began operations on February 3,1986.[12][13] The firm has since started grading foreign coins and established divisions in Europe and Asia, and was purchased by Collectors Universe.[14][15] PCGS cofounder Silvano DiGenova was the lone creator of PCGS's grading standards via his assemblage of its grading set of coins, which are still in use and "widely accepted".[16][17] PCGS has graded over 31 million coins valued at over $29 billion.[18]

Services[edit]

PCGS certifies most U.S. and foreign coins, which consists of grading, authenticating, attributing, and encapsulating them in clear, airtight plastic holders. PCGS services include special label programs, "First Strike" designations, Tru View (high quality photography), conservation, and tiered certification (priced according to values and turnaround times.) Coins that are improperly cleaned, doctored, damaged, or otherwise impaired will not be numerically graded by PCGS, but upon request will still be authenticated and given verbal "details" grades.[19][20]

Coin holders[edit]

The PCGS holder (aka slab) is made of clear, inert plastic and is stackable. Anti-counterfeiting measures include a hologram on the back and markings within the holder. Printed on the front of the blue paper insert is the coin's type, denomination, grade, attribution, pedigree (if any), serial number, Universal Product Code (UPC), and other pertinent information.[21][22] First-generation PCGS coin holders are smaller and lack the raised stackable edges of later issues. Their insert was printed on plain white paper. In some of these early holders, the coin will be loose enough to produce noise when the holder is handled, thus their "rattler" nickname.[23][24]

PCGS was at one point named the official grading service of the Professional Numismatic Guild; during that time, the PNG logo was included on the holder. This design was replaced with a different one when PNG switched their affiliation to NGC.[25]

Population report[edit]

PCGS maintains a census of all coins they have graded since their inception, revealing each issue's grades, variety, designations (such as "prooflike" for Morgan dollars and "full bands" for Mercury dimes), and other significant information. Access to this report is available to dealers and paid members of the PCGS Collectors Club, an annual membership service that allows non-dealers to submit coins directly to PCGS. The report is updated daily on their website, though a discontinued hardcopy version was published at monthly intervals.[26][27]

Analysis of the population report, and a similar report published by NGC, has allowed rarity estimates to be made of specific coins. Over time these two data bases have revealed some coins once thought rare to be remarkably common, whereas others thought more common have shown to be likely few in number. The population reports are followed closely by numismatic professionals, who recognize that population numbers can be inflated through multiple submissions of the same coins broken out of their holders and resubmitted with the hope of receiving a higher grade. Population figures can also be artificially low due to the reluctance to submit inexpensive coins -- for a service that may cost more than the coins are worth.[28][29]

Coin Facts[edit]

PCGS maintains pcgscoinfacts.com, the "single source of information on U.S. coins". The free site publishes information about all federal and most non-federal U.S. coin issues, including their rarity statistics, PCGS Price Guide values, population data, public auction performances, die varieties, and photographs.[30][31]

Price Guide[edit]

PCGS publishes a free, partial online list of U.S. and foreign coin values. The values listed are for PCGS-certified coins and are compiled from dealer advertisements and price lists, auction prices realized, and trade show transactions.[32][33]

Set Registry[edit]

In 2011, PCGS established its free Set Registry program, which includes an online leader board that allowed collectors to compete against each other in thousands of potential sets composed of PCGS-graded coins. Over 72,000 sets are hosted.[34] Each coin in a set is given a value computed by its relative scarcity.[35] A version of the Registry is also maintained by PCGS' main competitor, NGC.[36]

Dealer Survey[edit]

A survey of major coin dealers, conducted by the trade associations the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) and the Industry Council For Tangible Assets (ICTA), revealed the dealers' "Superior" rating for PCGS, the highest given for any service. Of the other 10 grading services evaluated in the survey, only the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) also received the "Superior" rating. Survey respondents were asked for their professional opinions to evaluate 11 grading services based on 12 different weighted criteria, such as grading and authentication accuracy. Each category was ranked by the respondents on a 10-point scale ranging from the lowest, "Unacceptable", to the highest, "Outstanding".[37]

Controversies[edit]

In 1990 the Federal Trade Commission filed a civil action against PCGS alleging exaggerated advertising claims. A settlement was reached in which PCGS did not admit wrongdoing but agreed to submit its advertising for review for five years, and include a disclaimer in its ads. [38]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Coin World - The founders of PCGS are taking questions". freshpickeddeals.com. coinworld.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  2. ^ "PCGS co-founder dies". numismaticnews.net. http://numismaticnews.net. Retrieved 2016-07-20.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ Hall, David. "The Story". pcgs.com. PCGS. Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  4. ^ Laibstain, Harry. Investing, collecting & trading in certified commemoratives: an in-depth analysis of gold & silver issues 1892-1954. DLRC Press, 1995, p. 1-134.
  5. ^ Travers, Scott A. (2010). The Coin Collector's Survival Manual (7th ed.). New York, NY: House of Collectibles. pp. 1–432. ISBN 978-0375723391. 
  6. ^ Travers, Scott A. (2010). The Coin Collector's Survival Manual (7th ed.). New York, NY: House of Collectibles. pp. 1–432. ISBN 978-0375723391. 
  7. ^ "Silvano DiGenova". zoominfo.com. Zoom Info. Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  8. ^ "Our Experts". pcgscoinfacts.com. PCGS Coin Facts. Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  9. ^ Travers, Scott A. (2010). The Coin Collector's Survival Manual (7th ed.). New York, NY: House of Collectibles. pp. 1–432. ISBN 978-0375723391. 
  10. ^ "The PCGS Story". pcgs.com. PCGS. Retrieved 2015-09-10. 
  11. ^ Laibstain, Harry. Investing, collecting & trading in certified commemoratives: an in-depth analysis of gold & silver issues 1892-1954. DLRC Press, 1995, p. 1-134.
  12. ^ Travers, Scott A. (2010). The Coin Collector's Survival Manual (7th ed.). New York, NY: House of Collectibles. pp. 1–432. ISBN 978-0375723391. 
  13. ^ "Home page". http://www.pcgs.com/. PCGS. Retrieved 2015-09-10.  External link in |website= (help)
  14. ^ Travers, Scott A. (2010). The Coin Collector's Survival Manual (7th ed.). New York, NY: House of Collectibles. pp. 1–432. ISBN 978-0375723391. 
  15. ^ "Home page". http://www.pcgs.com/. PCGS. Retrieved 2015-09-10.  External link in |website= (help)
  16. ^ Travers, Scott A. (2010). The Coin Collector's Survival Manual (7th ed.). New York, NY: House of Collectibles. pp. 1–432. ISBN 978-0375723391. 
  17. ^ "Silvano DiGenova". zoominfo.com. Zoom Info. Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  18. ^ "Our Experts". pcgscoinfacts.com. PCGS Coin Facts. Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  19. ^ Travers, Scott A. (2010). The Coin Collector's Survival Manual (7th ed.). New York, NY: House of Collectibles. pp. 1–432. ISBN 978-0375723391. 
  20. ^ "2015 PCGS Services and Fees". pcgs.com. PCGS. Retrieved 2015-09-10. 
  21. ^ "Fake PCGS Slab Diagnostics". http://coins.about.com/. about.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.  External link in |website= (help)
  22. ^ "PCGS Announces". coinweek.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  23. ^ Travers, Scott A. (2010). The Coin Collector's Survival Manual (7th ed.). New York, NY: House of Collectibles. pp. 1–432. ISBN 978-0375723391. 
  24. ^ "Home page". http://www.pcgs.com/. PCGS. Retrieved 2015-09-10.  External link in |website= (help)
  25. ^ "PCGS Announces". coinweek.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  26. ^ "A Close Look". coinweek.com. Coin Week. Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  27. ^ "Population Reports". coins-n-medals.com. coins-n-medals.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  28. ^ "Population Reports". coins-n-medals.com. coins-n-medals.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  29. ^ Travers, Scott A. (2010). The Coin Collector's Survival Manual (7th ed.). New York, NY: House of Collectibles. pp. 1–432. ISBN 978-0375723391. 
  30. ^ "PCGS Retro Label, FREE CoinFacts Part of 30th Anniversary Announcement". coinweek.com. Coin Week. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  31. ^ "CoinFacts Website Tour". pcgscoinfacts.com. PCGS Coin Facts. Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  32. ^ "PCGS Coin Price Guide". coinnews.net. coinnews.net. Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  33. ^ "Price Guide". pcgs.com. PCGS. Retrieved 2015-05-21. 
  34. ^ "New PCGS Set Registry®". coinworld.com. Coin World. Retrieved 2015-05-19. 
  35. ^ "Organize Your Coin Collection Online With the Free PCGS Set Registry". coinworld.com. Coin World. Retrieved 2015-05-19. 
  36. ^ "What is a coin set registry?: Collecting Basics". coinworld.com. Coin World. Retrieved 2015-05-19. 
  37. ^ "PNG, ICTA Announce Results of 2006 Grading Services Survey". pngdealers.org. PNG. Retrieved 2015-08-05. 
  38. ^ "Coin Grading Complaint - New York Times". Aug 17, 1990. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. 

External links[edit]