Leading Grading Services Announce Plus Designation

Posted on 3/25/2010

New grade discriminator will be used to indicate premium quality; NGC welcomes dealer and collector feedback on the new service line.

The plus designation, a notation of premium quality, has been announced by NGC and PCGS. The service will be available from NGC beginning in approximately 60 days and is already available from PCGS. Denoted by a + symbol appearing after the grade, the plus designation indicates that a coin is of superior quality for the grade and that it approaches the next technical grade level. In numismatics, in addition to plus, several terms are used interchangeably to indicate this, including premium quality, PQ and high-end.

Aspects of the service offered by NGC and PCGS are similar. The plus designation applies only to US coins from select classic series, and it is not currently planned to be applied to modern coinage issues. Additionally, it will be used on eligible coins grading from the XF-range up to MS 68. For coins to be evaluated for the plus designation, submitters will have to opt in to a plus designation review service in addition to the standard grading tier.

After the service launch, in approximately 60 days, coins with the plus designation will receive a point premium in the NGC Registry and will be reported in a forthcoming enhancement of the NGC Census. Additionally, price guides and coin trading networks, including the Certified Coin Exchange, will be supporting the plus designation.

"The coin marketplace has evolved in the nearly 25 years since NGC and PCGS began certifying coins, and this is a very logical progression. We have always been conscious of the variation within grades. By providing this information on the label in the plus format, it is communicated in a simple and direct way that allows these distinctions to be readily understood," comments NGC Chairman Mark Salzberg.

PCGS founder David Hall stated, “The reality of the marketplace is that coins considered high-end for the grade are recognized by sophisticated dealers and collectors and such coins are worth a premium in the marketplace. The term plus has been part of the everyday trading and grading lingo for years. For the market’s two leading grading services to recognize this reality and designate these premium coins as part of their grading services is a huge benefit to all participants in the rare coin market.”

During the next two months, NGC will be finalizing and announcing service details. Comments from dealers and collectors are welcome on any aspect of this new service. Correspondence should be directed to plus@NGCcoin.com, and all messages received will be thoughtfully considered. Additional information about the service will be reported on NGC’s Web site, www.NGCcoin.com, and can be requested by e-mail.