NGC Defines its Policy on Pedigrees

Posted on 12/1/2002

Many collectors gain greater appreciation for a coin when its provenance may be linked to a prominent collector of the past. Names such as Eliasberg, Norweb, Garrett and Pittman provide an additional sense of history to even the most ordinary coin, and true numismatists seek to preserve this important record of previous ownership.

Many collectors gain greater appreciation for a coin when its provenance may be linked to a prominent collector of the past. Names such as Eliasberg, Norweb, Garrett and Pittman provide an additional sense of history to even the most ordinary coin, and true numismatists seek to preserve this important record of previous ownership. For the past several years NGC has included on our coin labels and in our Census Report the names of these individuals and other important source information whenever a link could be positively established.

The only drawback to this policy is that this adds further lines of text to our Census Report. We've received some complaints from collectors and dealers about having to read down several lines to determine just what is a particular coin's certified population. While this is true also of NGC's variety listings, the main argument seems to be against pedigrees. After giving the matter considerable thought, we've established some guidelines for pedigree inclusion.

Since names such as those listed above are of interest to a large number of collectors and dealers, we will continue to include them both on the coin label and in our Census Report. The same will apply to important coin hoard names such as Binion and Redfield, which likewise have a broad appeal. At NGC's discretion, we will continue to apply less significant pedigree and promotional names to the coin's label, but this supplemental information will not be included in the online and hardcopy editions of our Census Report. These coins will appear within the regular listing for their particular dates and mints.

Examples of names that may be included on the label alone are NGC Registry Set names, personalizations (such as the name of a relative or your hometown) and pedigrees of collections that are not of long-term significance to numismatics. To be documented in NGC's Census Report a pedigree must, in the opinion of NGC, be of lasting value to numismatics or record previous ownership by a person of established importance to history (ex: Andrew Jackson, Matthew Perry). Since such perceptions do change over time, it is possible that coins presently receiving a separate listing may be relocated to the general population in the future.

This policy will take several months to fully implement, so you may notice some contradictions during this period. If you have any questions about which pedigrees and supplemental text qualifies for NGC's Census Report, you may direct these to NGC Research Director David W. Lange.

For raw coin submissions and Crossover submissions, pedigrees will be applied (at NGC's discretion) for no additional charge. Simply include this information on the submission form. For coins already certified by NGC, pedigrees may be applied using NGC's Designation Review service. The fee for this service is $10, which includes the cost of reholdering the coin.