W.K.F.'s Journal

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NGC vs PCGS? (who’s the best?)

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W.K.F.

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Greetings Collectors,

Sitting here at the desk looking at a couple new arrivals. However  three of the four won’t be included in my set here because they’re in PCGS slabs. Still having trouble adjusting to the rule only NGC holders allowed. Only because one would like to be able to share ones entire graded collection. That’s only fair though. PCGS never allowed NGC coins at any time. Enough on that.

 

I will say for the record, imo, both NGC and PCGS are great accurate graders. In most of my past I’ve been of the mindset that the majority of serious collectors would choose the above two in a different order. I however, do not. I’ve seen overgraded examples in both slabs. Yet just a couple times. I’ve also seen (and cracked out) several that have been under graded in slabs of both these top two graders. My most surprised find was a New Orleans Ten in a VF-35 rattler, that after the “crack out”, came back AU-55. Not to sound greedy, I really thought the coin was low ms possibly? At least 58? Was I happy with 55? Absolutely. Was the new grader too liberal on his or her grade? 35-55? Pretty  steep climb in grade. Bottom line. A lucky find. No one was asleep at the wheel with the original grade. No one gave away the store with the 55. I think it swell that possibly a green bean may be attached at some later date? I think it deserves one. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Right?

anyway...

 

I love both NGC and PCGS.

 

The 1958 Franklin half is not a scarce date with 4,000,000 minted. Not really a huge mintage though. Actually a very low mintage for what was considered a “workhorse” coin. What was really kinda cool. And actually accidental the way the U.S. mint had started to evolve into what was thought of, as running a really tight ship. Not letting many mistakes go uncorrected. (forget the 55dd Lincoln lol) Something really  awesome was happening at the same time for collector coins with some mint packaging changes.  Turns out the paper/cardboard  used to ship Mint Sets at that time, had an unusually high acid content which indirectly caused the gorgeous Peter Max toning seen on many silver and other coins of the better part of the 1950’s mint sets that were stored for years in their OGP (original government packaging). And even more so it seems of the year 1958. Some of these acidic changes were very evident with the old $1,000 bags of Morgan dollars from the 1800’s I’m told.

 

In the Franklin series I’m of the opinion that both graders of the top two get the numerical grade pretty much spot on. (usually) Yet going by experience, as this is only one of two coin series that I know much of anything about, I love the fact that NGC has always been tougher on handing out FBL (full bell lines) designation on this silver series. Just look at the difference of fbl graded coins. Far fewer by NGC. (bottom line. Any NGC fbl coin would most likely cross to PCGS as fbl. Not all fbl coins in PCGS slabs would cross to NGC as fbl coins.)

 

i do think PCGS may be a hair tougher on the numerical grade observation than NGC. However, yet both are in my collection. And I respect both. A lot. To add: if PCGS says its ms-67, it most likely is.

but... it’s all about the coin. Not the plastic. Never forget this about any series that you want to seriously collect.

 

Pictured below is an example of the 1958 Franklin. One here that is absolutely gorgeous with the blues and honey golds. This particular coin is unique in the fact that there are none graded higher anywhere. And while I think it’s a very strong coin for the grade assigned, it’s more important that CAC thinks it’s a strong coin for the grade assigned.

NGC has graded 32 at MS67 seen none higher.

PCGS has graded 74 at MS67 seen none higher.

I apologize for the photo quality. Need to re invent my makeshift studio to take some decent photos. The ones I post to my two collections I’ll eventually have here will hopefully be of better quality. I’m just really happy with this particular coin in a series mainly collected for the full bell lines, this example doesn’t have them. Few do when compared to total minted.  And none graded this high do (?) just a piece that I feel very fortunate to be one of about 100 people blessed enough to own this coin at this grade. I wish you could hold this one in your hand under light. Wow. Way different than this picture. A perfect example, to a not so perfect claim, that 20th century American coinage was the best! Just this one guys opinion. (Still think it a perfect claim. ‘Cause it’s true!)

I still like NGC the most, overall, for all things MS Franklin. (yet this is a grand example from the competition)

i like em both. A lot.

And I love the beautiful toning from an era not to come again. On all the denominations of the time! Mainly silver.

yet copper and nickel too.

Happy collecting to you all!

kerry

 

 

93E73F5F-253A-4ED6-9468-D607FC495AD4.jpeg

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I think thru the years, I've seen more grade inflation at PCGS then I have at NGC.  I remember one coin a few years back that originally was a AU50,  after several crackouts at PCSG it became a MS65.  I don't understand how a circulated coin can become uncirc.

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It is somewhat sad that NGC took out the ability to use PCGS coins in the registry, I think there was a better option that was not explored but certainly not the end of the world as some have expressed.  Both firms do a fine job and the differences between the two are much smaller than many plastic collectors would have you believe.  Imo NGC is more strict on surface marks and less in love with luster, while PCGS is absolutely in love with luster to the point in many cases that strong luster overrides some surface marks and/or soft strike.   I personally think that the move by both firms to market grading was a poor decision and one that has been an overall negative for the hobby going forward.  I would like it if both firms would just give me a grade that is biased on the coins strike, condition, and surfaces instead of what the graders think of a coins color or look, leave that to be decided by the buyer/seller.  One thing for sure I'm not one of those collectors that has blinders on and can only look at coins in a particular brand of plastic, I tend to think of that mentality as an investor not a collector.

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12 hours ago, Coinbuf said:

I tend to think of that mentality as an investor not a collector

I think one of these days the "investors" are going to face some hard realities because nothing defies gravity and common sense forever. I recently saw a note that sold for $12,345 because it was the only one PMG had graded as a 70. There are 83 of the same note graded 69 and hundreds graded 68 and 67. I don't really see that person ever seeing that money coming back but I'm sure the dealer was thrilled.

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It's too bad they don't have a 3D CAT scan of coinage to determine the grade. Maybe artificial intelligence will be the next step in grading coins.  Take the human error out of coin grading. 

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Kerry

Your post reminds me of the evolution in grading referred to as "gradeflation". There is sufficient evidence to prove that gradeflation has occurred with coins graded by both PCGS and NGC. For instance, I own a NGC AU-53 1853-D half-eagle with a very distinct look. As is a frequent practice of mine I like to research auction archives of the coins I own to see if my coin has appeared in an auction. Because of the distinct look, I found my coin in a XF-45 PCGS holder with a green bean. To tell the truth I think my coin appears more AU-50 than 53. However, because of the strike and toning, I bought the coin not the holder. Regardless my coin leap-frogged two grades. This has been a disturbing trend over the years because the standards of grading have loosened up. Gary 

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I have no problem with the grading standards of either company.  I do prefer the NGC holder for purely aesthetic reasons, I just feel they highlight the coin better.  I am actually also quite fond of the current ANACS holder because the curved top allows for a brief description of the coin when looking at a holder full of coins.  Plus ANACS is the VAM collectors friend.  

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I did not know about and have not seen this exclusion of PCGS coins from sets?  Is it coming soon?  Or just in registry sets but not custom sets?  

That'd stink.  But, I secretly did plan to reholder my PCGS coins to NGC eventually anyways, since when they are all next to each other on a table the different holders are a little distracting.

9 hours ago, Mokiechan said:

I do prefer the NGC holder for purely aesthetic reasons, I just feel they highlight the coin better

I prefer the NGC holder too, as long as it is the modern kind with prongs where you can see some rim.  Maybe the contrast of white against gold is what does it for me, who knows.

But more importantly for me, I can't make my set of coins from ancient to modern time in the same holders unless it's NGC, because PCGS does not grade ancients.  I guess I could use ANACS.  But,  if my next of kin had to sell the coins, I am ashamed to admit, I believe they won't do as well in ANACS holders.

I have had NGC grade up, and down, coins I broke out of ANACS and PCGS holders and sent into them.  So I think they are awake there.  My wife doesn't even believe my coins are real, so, there's still convincing to be done

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Kerry,

 

Good to see you back and writing again.  Journals had sort of dried up the last few years with the changes in the website and some frequent writers dropping out of sight.

I like Franklins and have two (almost) full sets of FBLs, one in PCGS slabs and one in NGC slabs, except for the 53-S in both sets.  I think all 34 of my NGC FBLs would get the FBL from the other guys, but probably no more than ten of the PCGS coins would get a FBL from NGC.  The difference is that obvious.

I prefer the look of the NGC holders also, and even before the rules changed my collection was predominately NGC.  It would be nice to still be able to add PCGS coins, particularly the hard-to-find issues, but PCGS has never allowed other graders in their registry so I guess it's understandable. I have never played the crackout game but have attempted to cross over a few, and actually had better success crossng ANACS coins (approximately 70%) than PCGS coins (approximately 50%).  

Welcome back!

 

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7 hours ago, CBC said:

 

I prefer the look of the NGC holders also, and even before the rules changed my collection was predominately NGC.  It would be nice to still be able to add PCGS coins, particularly the hard-to-find issues, but PCGS has never allowed other graders in their registry so I guess it's understandable. I have never played the crackout game but have attempted to cross over a few, and actually had better success crossng ANACS coins (approximately 70%) than PCGS coins (approximately 50%).  

Welcome back!

 

I've had similar experiences......ANACS coins do actually do better at NGC than PCGS coins do.  You have to crack them out first now, yes, but they do better.  I've actually had several ANACS coins go up a couple of points when submitted to NGC.  I've never had that happen with PCGS.  Actually, in my experience, about 50% of PCGS graded US material will cross, but you have an equal chance of downgrading.  I've never seen a PCGS graded coin get upgraded at NGC.  ANd non-US coins?  Forget it.  PCGS graded non-US material almost always downgrades here at NGC.  I used to be very active in collecting Canadian and Ottoman coins and, let me tell you, you never want to buy those coins in PCGS plastic and cross them here.  I've thankfully never done that, but I know some people that really got killed trying to cross PCGS coins from those two countries to NGC. 

Edited by Mohawk

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This question comes up time and time again. I always enjoy reading the responses here, ATS, and elsewhere. The majority of the people who try to stick to PCGS seem to do so for the seemingly increasing advantage when it is time to sell.

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As an ANA member, I prefer NGC. That being said, as Bowers said, " buy the coin, not the holder."   The recent article about collecting slabs was very interesting.  I have an old ANA graded coin with picture that I sent in so many years ago.  I sought to have it graded in some type of slab that could contain the first grading certificate.  No luck at present. 

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I have to go with NGC. We can argue grades all day long. Yes a few have been changed if you want to spend the money evertime. But the Smithsonian Institute tested the slabs. NGC came out the best in every category. Then they placed three hundred of our most famous coins and expensive coins in NGC holders. That's very important.Put them in a holder not up to par your grade will fall. I have coins in my safe. In twenty five years raw or holders none toned.  Until  I noticed last week. The only coin that toned in part of it was in a PCGS holder. Nothing else. That should tell you something since I don't like toning. Somehow air got in that holder and it's an ugly tone. It's on a five ounce coin from 2010 America The Beautiful Set. That bothers me the others are beautiful and have that wonderful finish thanks PCGS. Thanks for your journal.

Edited by MIKE BYRNE

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