PCGS' major grading error
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I apologize if this was discussed on the NGC forums:  https://www.cointalk.com/threads/ebay-still-a-cherrypickers-paradise-2017.290909/

How would NGC resolve an issue like this?  It looks like PCGS insisted the owner of the likely falsely graded 09 vdb coin return it immediately.  

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I believe that the submission agreement covers such mistakes and that under the agreement, the submitter is responsible for allowing the error ro be corrected.

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So what is the reason here?  Was it a print error or did they screw up?

The first part of the thread mentioned someone told the new owner it was NOT a proof.  This particular individual got piled on after it was disclosed that PCGS graded it a proof.  It then turns out this guy was right all along...too funny.  Board members should learn they are a LOT of experts out there that know a great deal that do NOT work for the TPGs.

Whatever the case, the new owner should just return the damn thing to PCGS and let them correct it.

jom

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4 hours ago, jom said:

So what is the reason here?  Was it a print error or did they screw up?

The first part of the thread mentioned someone told the new owner it was NOT a proof.  This particular individual got piled on after it was disclosed that PCGS graded it a proof.  It then turns out this guy was right all along...too funny.  Board members should learn they are a LOT of experts out there that know a great deal that do NOT work for the TPGs.

Whatever the case, the new owner should just return the damn thing to PCGS and let them correct it.

jom

There are two threads going on where one turned out being authentic while the other one, graded PR65RB by PCGS doesn't show any of the  diagnostic VDB proofs must have to be authentic. The owner wasn't personally piled on, but photos of diagnostics were posted pointing out what his coin was missing. It hasn't turned out the guy was right at all, in fact he has accepted the fact that the coin isn't a proof

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Did PCGS call it a mechanical error, an actual grading error or have they been silent about it ?

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11 minutes ago, TonerGuy said:

Did PCGS call it a mechanical error, an actual grading error or have they been silent about it ?

DeeFree contacted PCGS with information posted on CoinFacts questioning the authenticity of this coin being a proof.

PCGS voided the Cert number and deleted the image from CoinFacts.

 

They then issued this letter to the coin owner.

Mr. Larry Pelf: PCGS wants the coin back for evaluation. Contact Alma Salgado at PCGS:


Good Afternoon,


This coin will need to come back to be reviewed. Please provide the following information:


Full Name

Shipping Address

Phone Number


I will be sending you step-by-step instructions on how to return this coin to PCGS to have the designation reviewed, I will also provide you with a pre-completed FedEx label to ship the coin back to PCGS for review under our account. This will all be free of charge and we will try to have these corrected and returned as quickly as possible.


Thank you,


[IMG]

Alma (Stephanie) SalgadoCustomer Service Representative
p 800.447.8848 | f 949.567.1253 |  PCGS.com
 
 

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I can tell you this, had a dealer or collector presented me with this encapsulated matte proof '09 VDB, I would have admired it and said, "Gee, nice coin!" (because your supposed to TRUST the TPG's decision)

What a roller coaster this one has been.

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Oh so this appears to be a grading error not a simple mechanical error that they caught before it left PCGS premises.

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7 hours ago, TonerGuy said:

Oh so this appears to be a grading error not a simple mechanical error that they caught before it left PCGS premises.

No, it appears to be a mechanical error that they failed to catch before it left the PCGS premises.

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2 hours ago, MarkFeld said:

No, it appears to be a mechanical error that they failed to catch before it left the PCGS premises.

In that case, wouldnt every mistake made by an TPG just simply be a "labelled" a mechanical error (no pun intended)?

Maybe I dont understand the difference between grading error and mechanical error. I thought a mechanical error is where the person who creates the label makes a mistake and the final inspection fails to catch it. Whereas, a grading error is where the all of the graders and the supervisor make the mistake and the coin passes through the process and the label accurate reflects the mistakes made by the graders.

I guess there is really no way to fully know if this was a mechanical error or a grading error. Unless PCGS admitted to a grading error. And we all know that wont happen. What TPG would admit to such a colossal mistake and possibly disparage their own services?

Mark - since you are probably the only person on this board with actual experience inside a grading room, perhaps you can answer this question...

Does a coin's value or uniqueness ever create a situation where the coin is treated differently and is more thoroughly reviewed than perhaps an Unc 1881-S Morgan Dollar? Or are they just passed through no matter how unique the coin is or its value ?

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2 hours ago, Nutmeg Coin said:

I doubt that NGC would ever make an error like that.

I know for a fact NGC makes mechanical errors.

I sent in two 1999-S silver proof sets to be graded.

Virtually every quarter and half dollar is mislabeled. Both halves say Connecticut, one Pennsylvania quarter is correct while the other says fifty cents. Both Georgia's say New Jersey. Both Connecticut's say Georgia. One New Jersey's says Pennsylvania, the other says fifty cents. Both Delaware's are correct.

I sold one set to a forum member. I eventually cracked the quarters and placed them in a Dansko album. I still have the Kennedy with the mislabeled insert.

IMG_0008.jpg

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14 minutes ago, TonerGuy said:

In that case, wouldnt every mistake made by an TPG just simply be a "labelled" a mechanical error (no pun intended)?

Maybe I dont understand the difference between grading error and mechanical error. I thought a mechanical error is where the person who creates the label makes a mistake and the final inspection fails to catch it. Whereas, a grading error is where the all of the graders and the supervisor make the mistake and the coin passes through the process and the label accurate reflects the mistakes made by the graders.

I guess there is really no way to fully know if this was a mechanical error or a grading error. Unless PCGS admitted to a grading error. And we all know that wont happen. What TPG would admit to such a colossal mistake and possibly disparage their own services?

Mark - since you are probably the only person on this board with actual experience inside a grading room, perhaps you can answer this question...

Does a coin's value or uniqueness ever create a situation where the coin is treated differently and is more thoroughly reviewed than perhaps an Unc 1881-S Morgan Dollar? Or are they just passed through no matter how unique the coin is or its value ?

I find it very difficult to believe that 3 graders missed all the signs of this not being a VDB proof. Much easier to believe this was an input error.

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1 hour ago, robec1347 said:

I find it very difficult to believe that 3 graders missed all the signs of this not being a VDB proof. Much easier to believe this was an input error.

Thats why I asked Mark the question that I did. Your mechanical error above is easily understandable since the number of moderns that pass through PCGS and NGC on a daily basis must be remarkable.

A grand total of 130 proof 1909 VDBs have passed through PCGS's hands according to the Pop Report. Not a majority rarity but still a special coin. I dont know if TPGs treat coins like this differently than a 1999 Silver JFK. I would hope so though.

Still though, wouldnt PCGS charge $250 + 1% of the coin's value of the grading fee on a Matte Proof cent ? Based on their pricing guide thats a $650 grading fee. For that amount of money I think it would be reasonable to expect not to be on the wrong end of a mechanical error or a grading error.

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14 minutes ago, TonerGuy said:

Thats why I asked Mark the question that I did. Your mechanical error above is easily understandable since the number of moderns that pass through PCGS and NGC on a daily basis must be remarkable.

A grand total of 130 proof 1909 VDBs have passed through PCGS's hands according to the Pop Report. Not a majority rarity but still a special coin. I dont know if TPGs treat coins like this differently than a 1999 Silver JFK. I would hope so though.

Still though, wouldnt PCGS charge $250 + 1% of the coin's value of the grading fee on a Matte Proof cent ? Based on their pricing guide thats a $650 grading fee. For that amount of money I think it would be reasonable to expect not to be on the wrong end of a mechanical error or a grading error.

You are correct in that the mechanical error of mine was different from the VDB error, but I still believe it to be a mechanical not a grading error. During the whole thread, which consisted of 21 pages and 400 replies, he never once mentioned paying anything more than normal grading fees. He said numerous times how the coin's purchase price was $60+. If he had mentioned that he also ponied up $600 in grading fees for that coin alone, I would be the first to claim this to be a grading error. I'm pretty sure if he had paid those added fees it would have been mentioned.

Edited by robec1347
spelling

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Question? If this was purely a mechanical error (printing wrong information on the insert label) how did this 1909 V.D.B. mislabeled as a matte proof show up on 'Coin Facts" as a proof specimen?  

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3 hours ago, TonerGuy said:

In that case, wouldnt every mistake made by an TPG just simply be a "labelled" a mechanical error (no pun intended)?

Maybe I dont understand the difference between grading error and mechanical error. I thought a mechanical error is where the person who creates the label makes a mistake and the final inspection fails to catch it. Whereas, a grading error is where the all of the graders and the supervisor make the mistake and the coin passes through the process and the label accurate reflects the mistakes made by the graders.

I guess there is really no way to fully know if this was a mechanical error or a grading error. Unless PCGS admitted to a grading error. And we all know that wont happen. What TPG would admit to such a colossal mistake and possibly disparage their own services?

Mark - since you are probably the only person on this board with actual experience inside a grading room, perhaps you can answer this question...

Does a coin's value or uniqueness ever create a situation where the coin is treated differently and is more thoroughly reviewed than perhaps an Unc 1881-S Morgan Dollar? Or are they just passed through no matter how unique the coin is or its value ?

 

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Michael, yes, for various reasons (such as value, rarity, questions about man-made vs. mint-made flaws), more time is spent on some coins than others. However, that said, I remember having spirited debates from time to time over (even) very low value/common coins.

Ragarding the 1909-VDB - my guess is that it was was incorrectly input as a Proof, before it made it to the greading room, graded by the graders, who didn't notice the error, sealed in the holder and then shipped out, without the verifier catching the mistake.

When I graded at NGC, I spent a good portion of most days inspecting the coins (and the grading labels), after they had been graded and sealed. In addition to looking at the coins vs. their assigned grades, I checked the labels for errors such as date, mintmark, variety and designations such as MS, PR, PL, FH, etc.

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It's nice to hear it from the horses mouth...and old saying, but has truth.

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2 hours ago, robec1347 said:

You are correct in that the mechanical error of mine was different from the VDB error, but I still believe it to be a mechanical not a grading error. During the whole thread, which consisted of 21 pages and 400 replies, he never once mentioned paying anything more than normal grading fees. He said numerous times how the coin's purchase price was $60+. If he had mentioned that he also ponied up $600 in grading fees for that coin alone, I would be the first to claim this to be a grading error. I'm pretty sure if he had paid those added fees it would have been mentioned.

Yeah that kind of makes me believe it was a mechanical error as well then.

 

1 hour ago, MarkFeld said:

Michael, yes, for various reasons (such as value, rarity, questions about man-made vs. mint-made flaws), more time is spent on some coins than others. However, that said, I remember having spirited debates from time to time over (even) very low value/common coins.

Ragarding the 1909-VDB - my guess is that it was was incorrectly input as a Proof, before it made it to the greading room, graded by the graders, who didn't notice the error, sealed in the holder and then shipped out, without the verifier catching the mistake.

When I graded at NGC, I spent a good portion of most days inspecting the coins (and the grading labels), after they had been graded and sealed. In addition to looking at the coins vs. their assigned grades, I checked the labels for errors such as date, mintmark, variety and designations such as MS, PR, PL, FH, etc.

That makes sense. It was probably a typo error to begin with and it just stayed that way through-out the process. Its still disconcerting that such a large dollar value mechanical error could happen and none of the graders/supervisors were able to catch it before it left. I assume that most graders are not as attentive as you used to be when you graded.

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The thing is, it was not a high value coin. It did not get any special attention. It was a $50 coin. A data entry error turned it into something very different.

Screw-ups like this are not excusable. We pay hefty fees and expect perfection. But humans are involved and mistakes happen. All services make them. 99.9% accuracy would mean thousands of errors every year.

What matters is how the services deal with mistakes, not whether they happen.

Lance.

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22 hours ago, robec1347 said:

I know for a fact NGC makes mechanical errors.

I sent in two 1999-S silver proof sets to be graded.

Virtually every quarter and half dollar is mislabeled. Both halves say Connecticut, one Pennsylvania quarter is correct while the other says fifty cents. Both Georgia's say New Jersey. Both Connecticut's say Georgia. One New Jersey's says Pennsylvania, the other says fifty cents. Both Delaware's are correct.

I sold one set to a forum member. I eventually cracked the quarters and placed them in a Dansko album. I still have the Kennedy with the mislabeled insert.

IMG_0008.jpg

That's different, and I have had similar things happen, like a $5 Lib. put into a $10 label holder.  When I noticed it getting done and "shipped" I notified Angel about the error and he rectified it and still shipped it out the same day.

The difference here is huge.  A $75 coin graded as a $40K one, the software I'm sure is designed to flag major errors like that.

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38 minutes ago, Nutmeg Coin said:

The difference here is huge.  A $75 coin graded as a $40K one, the software I'm sure is designed to flag major errors like that.

Doubt it.

 

First off you would have to have specified the use case in the original design. In hindsight it's obvious and probably easy to add, but...

Second if they did it, it would be to spin emails to customers - based on a difference between declared value and NGC's pricing guide: "Dear x, you chose to value your coin at $x, our pricing guide indicates that - if genuine - the coin is worth 10x, don't you want to insure the return package properly? Love & Kisses NGC"

 

And nobody shows up asking how do they do this...

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If the owner of the under $100 coin gets a coin valued at $40K, it should be charged at their high value price, so that would be just one trigger.

 

This is what Mr. Salzberg said about their software:   If a grading service has software that flashes that you just graded a 1944 Walker in MS 68, the pressure is there for the final grade to be lowered to protect the first coin’s value, maintaining the perception that that service’s coins are worth more.  https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/2259/

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On 2/18/2017 at 4:05 PM, robec1347 said:

There are two threads going on where one turned out being authentic while the other one, graded PR65RB by PCGS doesn't show any of the  diagnostic VDB proofs must have to be authentic. The owner wasn't personally piled on, but photos of diagnostics were posted pointing out what his coin was missing. It hasn't turned out the guy was right at all, in fact he has accepted the fact that the coin isn't a proof

Sorry..I was not referring to the owner that was "piled" on someone that the owner had talked to who told him (before all of this) the coin was NOT a proof.  Several afterward in the thread kind of piled on...turns out he was right.

Sure...mistakes happen and it seems to me if the coin is sent back and correct it's a "no harm done" as far as I can tell.  And as far as I'm concerned if the 1% fee was never paid then it had to have been a typo/error.

jom

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On 2/19/2017 at 1:20 PM, TonerGuy said:

Thats why I asked Mark the question that I did. Your mechanical error above is easily understandable since the number of moderns that pass through PCGS and NGC on a daily basis must be remarkable.

A grand total of 130 proof 1909 VDBs have passed through PCGS's hands according to the Pop Report. Not a majority rarity but still a special coin. I dont know if TPGs treat coins like this differently than a 1999 Silver JFK. I would hope so though.

Still though, wouldnt PCGS charge $250 + 1% of the coin's value of the grading fee on a Matte Proof cent ? Based on their pricing guide thats a $650 grading fee. For that amount of money I think it would be reasonable to expect not to be on the wrong end of a mechanical error or a grading error.

 
 

I agree that it is absurd that PCGS would have missed something like this, but the language of the guarantee is extremely broad and regardless of the source (whether in the grading room or in inputting the data on the label), for purposes of the guarantee it is a "mechanical error:"

Clerical or "mechanical" errors. PCGS occasionally makes clerical errors in inputting data which is shown on the insert in the PCGS holder; consequently the PCGS Guarantee does not cover obvious clerical errors, what we call "mechanical errors." The key concept is how obvious the error is to the naked eye. If you can easily tell just by looking at the coin that the description on the holder is wrong, then the coin/holder combination is not covered by the PCGS Guarantee. Examples would include the following:

  • A date listed on the holder that does not match the date of the coin. For example, if you had a 1928 $20 St. Gaudens, but the PCGS holder showed the date as 1929 (a much more valuable coin), this coin would not be covered by the PCGS Guarantee as the date on the coin itself is obviously 1928.
  • A designation that is obviously incorrect. For example, if you had a 1945 Philadelphia Mercury dime and the bands on the reverse were as flat as a pancake and obviously not fully struck, but the PCGS holder showed the designation as "FB" for fully struck crossbands, this coin would not be covered the PCGS Guarantee as the crossbands are obviously not fully struck.
  • Proofs shown as regular strikes and regular strikes shown as proofs. For example, if you had an obvious regular strike 1907 $2.5 gold piece, but the PCGS holder showed the coin as a proof, this coin would not be covered by the PCGS Guarantee as the difference between a regular strike and proof 1907 $2.5 is obvious.
  • An obviously misidentified coin. For example, if you have a Hudson silver commemorative, but the PCGS holder showed the coin as a Hawaiian silver commemorative, this coin would not be covered by the PCGS Guarantee as a Hudson is obviously not a Hawaiian.
  • A variety attribution that is obviously incorrect. For example, if you had a normal date 1942 Mercury dime, but the PCGS holder showed the coin as a much rarer 1942/1 overdate, this coin would not be covered by the PCGS Guarantee as the date is obviously normal. Another example would be if you had a 1945 Mercury dime with an obviously normal size mint mark, but the PCGS holder showed the coin as a "Micro S." This coin would not be covered by the PCGS Guarantee since the mint mark is obviously normal size.
  • A blatantly obvious clerical input mistake with respect to the actual grade of the coin. For example, if you had an 1893-O Morgan dollar and the PCGS holder showed the coin as MS65 (a Gem quality coin), but the coin was so beat up and marked up that it would grade MS60 at best, this coin would not be covered by the PCGS Guarantee as this would be an obvious input error. The rule of thumb here would be a difference of more than two points on the grading scale.

Of course PCGS will argue that is was "obviously" not a matte proof (and I say that facetiously since few average collectors could tell you the diagnostics or make the distinction) as it was a business strike and not a proof.

Edited by coinman_23885

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If this case went to trial, a good atty could argue that the diagnostics are so minute, that perhaps even a advance collector would not question the grade/attribution on the label.

Edited by WoodenJefferson
grammer

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And PCGS wanted the coin doctors to be responsible for their pre-submission "work":  http://www.coinlink.com/News/commentary-and-opinion/coin-rarities-related-topics-the-pcgs-lawsuit-against-alleged-coin-doctors/

I don't recall NGC doing that.   You wonder ultimately where responsibility lies, with the collector?

Edited by Nutmeg Coin

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24 minutes ago, Nutmeg Coin said:

And PCGS wanted the coin doctors to be responsible for their pre-submission "work":  http://www.coinlink.com/News/commentary-and-opinion/coin-rarities-related-topics-the-pcgs-lawsuit-against-alleged-coin-doctors/

PCGS lost that lawsuit, it was dismissed a year later with a slap from the bench:

PCGS-2010-Lawsuit.jpg

Edited by bstrauss3

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