PCGS' major grading error
1 1

99 posts in this topic

2,452 posts
On 3/5/2017 at 9:56 AM, bstrauss3 said:

As with any endeavor, it's more and more difficult and more and more expensive to improve quality.

 

You can go from 1 9 (.9 or 90% accurate) to 2 9s (.99 or 99% accurate) simply by having a person with limited knowledge review the final result. S/he may not be a coin expert, but the person running the slabbing machine knows the difference between an dime and a quarter.

 

You go to, say 3 9s (99.9% accurate) by having somebody who does know coins review the slabbed results. S/he may not be an expert in everything, but if s/he know the key things (or where to look them up)... so now you are paying for 3 graders, a slabber and a reviewer. 3 top salaries, 1 middle and 1 low.

 

4 9s (99.99%) - add another reviewer or two... 7 salaries...

etc.

 

You also hit diminishing returns. That 7th person knows that 6 others looked at it (several of them probably more skilled than s/he) and so starts with the mindset of "of course, the label is correct" - and now you are into human perceptions, where you tend to see what you expect to see.

 

So instead of adding more eyes, you let the result go out into the world, where the submitter (who is often quite knowledgeable) gets to review it. If it's wrong, they jump up and down and send it back for correction (at least if the mistake isn't in their favor).

 

Does this system sound familiar?

 

 

They can reach 100% accuracy without adding a single salary. The slabber gets a $1000 bonus for every mistake they find. The $1000 comes from the 3 grader's salaries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24,958 posts

Since the end product will not ingested, used as a toy, rode on or in, the liability factor does not come into play with the end product so engineering for safety is not a factor which = less cost to produce and you'll never have to worry about a safety recall. With this in mind, a company can absorb a certain percentage of mistakes, take care of them with no hurt or no foul and still have a healthy profit margin. You don't need a bunch of trained professionals checking the end product because to error is human and needs to be built into your business model.

Sure, it's a dis-service to the collector who sends in 6 coins and has one labeled wrong, but to another company who sends in a Green Monster box and has one labeled wrong is acceptable, because they are also dealing in volume.

In finalization, a simple computer program identifying rare coins with high value, or an up-grade of say 2 points can be written to alert a grader to authenticate the coin matches the label. This would equate to probably 2% of the coins graded, the rest you just let go as we do not live in a perfect world. We strive to be perfect, but once you have human intervention, the percentages begin to drop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
203 posts

I had a similar experience with a major coin dealer about 15 years ago.  On their website they  had a pcgs proof-65 1936 proof walking liberty half dollar for $495 when the price should have been $4950!  I bought the coin thinking that the error would be caught but low and behold there comes the coin along with a bill of sale for $495!  About a month later I get a call from one of their irate representatives demanding that I return the coin.  I said a deal is a deal and I have the invoice from them to me for $495!!    I could have stood my ground and told them I no longer have it (which was not true) or that I was going to keep it.   There was a lot of huffing and puffing from the sales rep about them sic-ing their lawyers on me but I knew I was right.  And since they had really been nice to me in the past I decided to return the coin for a refund but first, before I did that,  they send a check for $750 to my sister-lawyer.  Then I returned the coin and got my $495 back.  Hey, I could have just called them and told them of their database error but I chose not to.  The whole thing turned out like it would if I bought the coin for $4950 and then sold it to someone else for $4950 plus $750.  And I continue to do business with them to this day.   The point I am making here is........

 

...... the owner of the misattributed 1909 vdb “matte proof” lincoln penny owns the coin.  If pcgs gets aggressive and goes after him, he can tell them to “go pound sand”  he is keeping the coin like it is,  or he can tell them he lost it,  or he can tell them that upon consultation with his lawyer they can buy it back for, say $10,000!   He owns the coin with the pcgs plastic wrapped around it and I think pcgs is helpless to get it back if the owner wants to keep it.  I am sure he would be blacked-balled from doing business with them anymore, but the point

is he owns the coin and the plastic wrapped around it!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
149 posts

And yet another example of the sloppy attribution work ATS.  I have messaged GC and informed them of this clear misattribution.  Not even close to the FS-402.  I would have posted over there but OH ya, they bammed me for letting them know their customer service phone link connected their customers to the wrong number which rang busy 24/7. 

Here's a link: http://www.greatcollections.com/Coin/458719/1953-Lincoln-Cent-Re0Engraved-Design-FS-402-PCGS-Proof-65-RD-CAMEO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 post
On 2/19/2017 at 7:41 AM, Nutmeg Coin said:

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

I have a coin that was graded by ngc that is cuppronickel but they printed a label denoting it as silver. Would that be worth more? 

EE97874B-DE6A-4F56-909A-65807C09D950.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
839 posts

Immediately following the original thread people started bringing out their '09 VDB's and well struck Buffalos thinking they might be proofs. And remember the cherry picked Great Southern matte proof raw coins that turned up. For some this is great stuff.... but most of it is 'fake news' and in time is outed as such. Let common sense rule.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
149 posts
On 3/4/2017 at 6:37 PM, casman said:

PCGS has been very sloppy as of late from improperly labeled coins to improperly attributed varieties.  The one referenced in this thread was a fairly large mistake but at least it wasn't sold.  

I'm aware of several coins improperly attributed varieties that "were" subsequently sold for several thousand and they are nothing more than  $10 dollar coins.  PCGS was informed of these obvious errors and fortunately there are trueviews of the misattributed coins but to date they have

done...wait for it...nothing~!

Seems a screw up has to be in the tens of thousands otherwise it's just not important.

And yet another misattribution.  Per the thread ats this coin was on Ebay, and the seller was notified of the mistake as was PCGS.  Now this coin has been sent off to GC.  

https://www.greatcollections.com/Coin/564952/1952-D-Washington-Quarter-Large-D-FS-501-PCGS-MS-65

Clearly not the large D, and clearly bad for the hobby.  What's the purpose of Cert verification?

And here's a link to thread ats 

https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/996619/what-would-you-do-what-should-pcgs-do

What will they do?  If they follow past practice, they will do nothing, except maybe Ban the poster of that thread, they strongly dislike open criticism.

Procedurally, GC notifies PCGS to review their images, if PCGS doesn't confirm Ian will pull it.  

That's what happened with the last misattribited coin I reported.  It was pulled by GC.  But the coin itself is still out there, cert number and coin facts pop report shows it as the only 1953 Proof Lincoln FS-402 PR65 Cam.  

Edited by casman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
472 posts

I always find these 'Professional Coin Grading Screwups' threads entertaining. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
1 1