NGC is now offering the pedigree Early Releases for U.S. Bullion Coins released by the US Mint during their first month of issue. Coins receiving this designation will be encapsulated in an NGC holder with special label, with the words EARLY RELEASES appearing beneath the year of issue and denomination on the NGC label.
A sample 2006-W Eagle S$1 graded NGC MS-69 with special Early Releases label and pedigree.
To qualify for Early Releases designation all coins must be received by NGC within 30 days of their first release by the US Mint, or documented as being received by an NGC approved depository within this same 30-day period. Coins being sent directly to NGC do not need to be accompanied by original packaging or shipped in sealed mint boxes, but must arrive within the time period described above. The pedigree request must be noted on the submission invoice, and additional service fees apply for the special label and document recording.
The US Mint announces monthly sales figures for Mint State American Eagles and American Buffalo coinage. The number of coins eligible for the Early Releases pedigree could approximate the sales figures for the first month of release for these issues. The Early Releases pedigree will also be available for proof issues and mint marked uncirculated issues sold directly to the public (e.g. 2006-W Mint State Platinum American Eagles). All American Eagle and American Buffalo coins of all denominations and metal compositions are eligible for Early Releases designation.
Concurrent with this announcement, NGC will discontinue use of its "First Strikes" designation. An evaluation of this designation in the marketplace conducted by NGC suggests that having two overlapping pedigrees to identify coins of early release may create confusion in the marketplace.
Steven Eichenbaum, CEO of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation comments: “We believe that Early Releases best fits the needs of our customers and fulfills our mission of service and support to the numismatic community. NGC is the world’s largest grading service, but we remain very responsive to the needs of the hobby." To date, NGC has graded over 2 million American Eagle and American Buffalo coins combined.
Early Releases will be identified in the NGC Census. They will also be eligible for inclusion in the very popular NGC Registry, an online tool allowing collectors to rank and display their collections alongside others. First Strikes coins will also remain eligible for the NGC Registry and be reported in the NGC Census, as they always have been. Because of the varying definitions, First Strikes coins cannot automatically be recertified as Early Releases. As with any of its certification and grading, NGC offers no opinion on value, but leaves that to the marketplace.
Inquiries or submitters with additional questions are invited to contact NGC Customer Service at 1-800-NGC-COIN (642-2646) or by email at Service@NGCcoin.com.