NumisMedia Market Report: NGC and PCGS Announce Plus Designation

Posted by Collectors Society on 4/8/2010

NumisMedia has a full report on what the new plus designation could mean for the market.

The Ft. Worth ANA Money Show was the scene of a major announcement from the top two grading services, NGC and PCGS: the addition of a plus designation to coins that qualify as premium quality. The added + will be used for coins that grade XF 40 to MS 68, although MS 60 & 61 coins will not qualify. The initial reaction from dealers was somewhat mixed. From our standpoint, we do not see this as anything different from what has been going on for years. Dealers have marketed their high-end coins for the grade, at premiums. They have called them Premium Quality or PQ, along with other adjectives to denote a superior-quality coin, well above the average and very close to the next-higher grade. Now, this will lend legitimacy to the pricing structure dealers have used over the past 20 years or so. We think collectors and investors will appreciate this new designation, especially those that feel their coins are high-end. NumisMedia Price Guides will adjust with the market, most likely by adding additional grade / plus columns, once there are substantiated sales of coins that qualify for the plus designation.

Dealers had varied opinions about the success of the ANA Show. Lower gold prices should have attracted buyers to the show. Wholesale was active but retail was not as busy as many dealers expected. As for the Heritage Signature Sale, quality coins brought significant prices while average, common coins saw some discounting. A 1927-S $20 Saint Gaudens in NGC MS 66 sold for $109,250, while a 1911-D $2½ Indian in PCGS MS 66 realized $172,500. There was a noteworthy collection of Deep Mirror Prooflike Morgan Dollars that saw lots of competitive bidding; some were dates not often encountered. Highlights of this major sale follow. Please contact Heritage Auction Galleries for all prices realized.

Denomination Grade Price Realized
1793 Chain Cent America PCGS VF 30 $34,500
1858 Flying Eagle Cent SL NGC PR 66 $21,850
1922 No D Lincoln Cent NGC MS 64RB $40,250
1918/7-D Buffalo Nickel NGC AU 53 $13,800
1916 D Mercury Dime NGC MS 65FB $34,500
1945 Mercury Dime PCGS MS 65FB $13,800
1839 Seated Half No Drapery PCGS MS 63 $25,300
1878 Seated Half NGC PR 68 $34,500
1919-D Walking Lib Half NGC MS 62 $10,925
1921-S Walking Lib Half PCGS AU 58 $10,925
1921-S Walking Lib Half NGC MS 62 $23,000
1795 Flowing Dollar 3 Leaves PCGS AU 55 $32,200
1799/8 Bust Dollar NGC MS 62 $20,700
1873-CC Seated Dollar PCGS XF 40 $25,300
1846 Seated Dollar NGC PR 64 $27,600
1859 Seated Dollar PCGS PR 67 $69,000
1878-CC Trade Dollar PCGS MS 64 $80,500
1889-CC Morgan Dollar NGC MS 62 $24,150
1892-O Morgan Dollar PCGS MS 63DM $17,250
1893-S Morgan Dollar NGC AU 50 $27,600
1885 $2 ½ Gold PCGS MS 64 $18,400
1897 $2 ½ Gold NGC MS 68 $16,100
1914 $2 ½ Indian PCGS MS 67 $103,500
1814/3 $5 Gold PCGS MS 63 $43,125
1843 $5 Gold NGC MS 65 $25,300
1885 $5 Gold NGC PR 64UCam $18,400
1929 $5 Gold Indian PCGS MS 63 $35,938
1906 $10 Gold NGC PR 67 Cam $63,250
1860-O $20  PCGS AU 53 $51,750
1909-D $20 Saint NGC MS 64 $20,700
1920-S $20 Saint PCGS AU 58 $48,875
1927-S $20 Saint NGC MS 63 $37,950
1915-S $50 Pan-Pac Round NGC MS 65 $115,000

In early December of last year, gold hit its high of $1,217; premiums on US gold were at a high point with strong demand for all generic grades. Many buyers were anticipating that the price of gold would continue toward much higher levels. Since that time, the price of gold has fallen to the current $1,109; that is down $108. The premiums, on the other hand, have dropped considerably more. The following chart shows the FMV for various grades of Twenties comparing the December 2009 FMV to the current FMV.

Denomination / Grade December 2009 FMV April 2010 FMV Change
$20 Liberty MS 60 $1,810 $1,550 -$260
$20 Liberty MS 63 $3,220 $2,280 -$940
$20 Liberty MS 64 $4,280 $3,250 -$1,030
$20 Liberty MS 65 $7,090 $5,740 -$1,350
$20 Saint MS 60 $1,860 $1,580 -$280
$20 Saint MS 63 $2,190 $1,730 -$460
$20 Saint MS 64 $2,400 $1,830 -$570
$20 Saint MS 65 $3,120 $2,380 -$740

Not only are the premiums lower now in the $20 Saints, the spreads have tightened between grades from MS 60 to MS 64. In fact, the MS 65 Saint is now less than the MS 64 was in December. This is the time to buy, when premiums are low in comparison to when the market is hot. Other US gold series are following the same pattern.

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The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.