E Larz

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PCGS Observations / Franklin Halves

Entry posted by Larz13 · - 578 views

Perhaps it is just me, but as I have collected Franklin Halves for some time, I have noticed that PCGS seems to be flooding the market with new (e.g. their newest holders, retro green and dark blue) certified coins which for the most part, in my opinion do not live up to standard to the grades that have been assigned.  I am aware that PCGS basically ignores the top set of bell lines, which is a strike against them but I had purchased a few PCGS coins and thought, let me try a crossover of those coins that I felt would merit an NGC holder.  Wouldn't you know it, I sent in 4 coins recently to cross and not one was crossed over at the same grade.  In fact, one was CAC-stickered (and pictured here) and did not meet NGC's standards.  I had thought that all 4 of these coins were worthy of crossing over and I had see plenty of newer PCGS certified coins that I would not buy because they were overgraded, in my opinion.

1954-D Franklin Half PCGS MS-66FBL 32761842 CAC--obv.jpg

1954-D Franklin Half PCGS MS-66FBL 32761842 CAC--rev.jpg


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I have about a 50% success rate at crossing over PCGS coins, but I have never tried to cross a PCGS FBL Franklin.  I have a two full sets of FBL's ( minus the 53-S in both cases), one NGC set and one PCGS set,  and I would be surprised to see more than 3 or 4 of the PCGS coins cross as FBL.

Yet PCGS coins consistently sell for higher prices than NGC coins.  Too many people "buy the holder not the coin".  

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I recently sold a 1941 PF67 RD Lincoln cent on the Great Collections Auction site.  A previous PCGS Coin sold for 28K with the same grade.....both my coin and the PCGS coin was CAC certified.  Mine sold for less than 5K.....is that holder worth 23K????  It was a real disappointment....wish I had kept the coin!!!

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This is a serious problem. Many collectors buy the plastic and really believe that one service holds the truth. If you know the series you should never buy the plastic. Of course i am preaching to the choir. 

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I rarely get coins graded anymore.....lots of money spent, many disappointments from both grading services.  I know.....the coin is only what value someone puts on it at the time but there seems to be so many variables that I have changed direction on my collection to raw, uncertified, for my eyes only!  Still a great hobby and I will still collect as I see fit.  Just wish the standards were just that.....STANDARD!!!  I guess that's asking too much???

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I am just getting back into the field (last coin I purchased was app 30 years ago and none of them were graded). Although I have not purchased in a long time, I do understand grading and where a coin should typically fall no matter who grades it; with that said, I still do not understand what makes PCGS and NGC the entire world as far as grading. People are definitely looking at the plastic. I recently had over 40 coins graded. Just playing around to start with I had 14 sent to NGC, 16 sent to PCGS, and the rest to ICG (I know, probably considered the low lifes of the grading world - I guess they don't market enough). But in getting them back, I found that each of the three services had their own issues, but no one service was any better graded than the other in my opinion. As a reference I crossed over 6 ICG coins to PCGS and the grades did not change a bit (I did find this weird). I even sent over a few coins I knew were cleaned (not buffed or whizzed).  ICG graded the coins but labeled them cleaned, PCGS and NGC would not grade them at all (kind of a prima donna attitude but I get it). Anyway I have a few more that I am going to get graded, as before I will split them up. Bottom line is that with every collectable not matter what it is, it is only worth what someone is willing to pay you for it. Collecting is a hobby and a fun one. Enjoy and educate yourself, and buy what pleases you, don't plan on retiring from it. 

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I think for the most part, the major grading companies (NGC, PCGS and even ICG and ANACS) do a decent job on most coins and you would think that they could cross over to either of its competitors in most cases.  My beef is PCGS seems to be grading a large amount of Franklin Halves which have hit the market in the last few years and that their grades on these coins would not even hit the 50% cross over to NGC.  These coins have hit the auction sites in large quantities (they have dark blue and retro green labels mostly) and I worry that the value for the coins in general, may be taking a hit due to the fact that PCGS does not consider the upper lines on the liberty bell on the reverse when they designate full bell lines (FBL).  That fact, along with what I perceive is PCGS' over-grading in general, is a threat to the hobby.  I posted (my opinion, so take it as you see fit) here to see if others had seen similar with PCGS graded coins in other denominations.

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