PCGS vs NGC
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I am also a "toner type of guy" and CAC will refuse to sticker a coin they believe to be AT.  For best results, send an email directly to them at info@caccoin.com and ask them if they will apply a CAC sticker to a coin they believe to be AT.

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28 minutes ago, TonerGuy said:

Ive been told this is simply not true - that a CAC bean is not indicative that the toning is natural.

I could find nothing on their website to indicate that CAC will/can confirm the toning of a particular coin. I am not doubting you, but I havent seen anything that says differently and I would really like to know if your statement is true. Maybe I missed it. Did Albanese state this in an interview ?

Since I am a toner type of guy, it would be most beneficial if CAC did provide this type of service beyond just reviewing the grade assigned by PCGS or NGC.

Are you saying you think CAC examines coins vs. their assigned grades, but at the same time, ignores the toning with regard to its originality? If so, I think you're mistaken.

While they can't guarantee toning on a given coin is natural,  I think it's understood that they won't sticker one if they believe the color is artificial. And it would be overkill to state such on their website.

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I've had a couple of coins that didn't pass. In talking to JA I was told it was due to him being unsure about the color. 

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Well thank you all for the clarification. Im not familiar with CAC and have never sent a coin to them and dont particularly look to buy toners with a CAC bean but perhaps now I will...

Edited by TonerGuy

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Tom, Great Post. As you know I have been away from the boards and coins for a long time. After reading your post I have a much better understanding of the CAC sticker.

Edited by ArtR
Had something to add.

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I find it hard to believe CAC is going to ignore.

It's even harder to believe TomB is listed as a "newbie".  How'd that happen? hm

jom

Edited by jom

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On ‎2‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 6:21 PM, TomB said:

It has been a while, but due to the new board rollout I thought I would jump back in and post again.

On the question of "NGC vs. PCGS", which has been posed an absurd number of times and masked in every way imaginable, the idea might be best thought of as "NGC and PCGS" instead.  Both grading companies are very reliable, quite consistent and extremely professional; but both grading companies grade to their own proprietary standards.  Neither is better in that respect.  Additionally, neither grades strictly according to the American Numismatic Association (ANA) grading standards.  They are what they are and one thing that they are is quite similar.  The grade "window" (the upper and lower boundary for any grade within a coin series) has significant overlap between the two companies and currently diverges most notably, in my opinion and experience, when one gets into the higher PR/PF (66+) or MS (65+) designations for the niche that I am most familiar with (classic US type and wonderfully toned Roosevelt dimes and Washington quarters).  Of course, what the grading services are doing now is not indicative of how each has performed in the past.  However, there are fans of each company who might push the prestige of the company beyond what is within reason; there are outlier coins that were graded by either company that are true head-scratchers and that do not reflect the bulk of the work of either company; and there are folks who repeat things they have previously read on the internet and we all know nothing on the internet is false.

I like both companies and hope both companies succeed, but at this point exclusively use PCGS for certification because my client base, and the larger market from my experience, tells me that a PCGS certified coin might be more liquid and/or more valuable than the same coin in an NGC holder.  However, I am happy to handle NGC-certified coins that I buy on the bourse or at auction or take on consignment.  Others may have differing experiences here and I am not about to get into a debate to prove one or the other correct.

As for the star designation and the CAC sticker; they are completely and entirely different things and to equate them as the same is to misunderstand what each is about.  In theory, the NGC star is to denote something special about the coin, which typically gets written as superior eye appeal.  Often, this superior eye appeal is thought of as terrific toning, but it might also be a one-sided DCAM proof coin, a blast white PL-business strike from a series not known for such coins or perhaps something else.  However, it does not mean that the coin is upper end for the grade assigned since the eye appeal that the star is denoting has already been factored into the assigned grade.  CAC, on the other hand, strives to identify not only coins that grade in the upper end of the assigned grade (A and B coins), but also endeavors to identify coins with manipulated surfaces (puttied gold, applied cameo proofs, laser engraved details, artificially toning, etc...).  Please note that in many cases CAC has the upper-hand on the TPGs since the coins are already in a holder and may have been there for many years, which gives NGC, PCGS and CAC sufficient time to identify and weed out methods of alteration that at first escaped detection.  Therefore, CAC might be better though of as a tool available to all and, as such, it is quite similar to knowing how to use a loupe; having the knowledge to spot counterfeit pieces; understanding what manipulated and original coinage should look like or how they will likely appear; being able to interpret printed guide prices and auction results; understanding how to grade according to the ANA standards and how this grading differs from the various TPG grading standards; and learning all the options for being and selling coins within the market.

Your experience may differ than mine and I realize many new NGC users won't recognize me, but my experience is pretty darn deep and long-term with a fair amount of success.

When you say that from your experience a PCGS coin 'might be' more liquid or more valuable than same coin in NGC holder it sounds like you are hesitant to say for sure that is the case. If that is really true NGC would have dropped out like all the other failed grading companies. I think what is actually happening is that as a dealer you can say that at point of sale your asking price is justified based on a holder the coin is housed in. As a collector who owns both NGC and PCGS coins my opinion is that NGC uses higher quality plastic and I care more about the coin than the holder. If we asked folks like Eric Newman or others who had major collections graded and marketed I wonder what their motivation was when they chose NGC as their 3rd party opinion. I think some are visionaries who understand that their coins are still the same no matter what plastic they are in and like me probably recognize that PCGS market share is weighted by the very dealers that offer mostly or even solely PCGS material and may take offence to that attitude. I've even heard some dealers say that many of their Morgans just aren't available in NGC holders. Well where are they then ?

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I used the term "might be" intentionally to add a shade of grey to the discussion.  The coins "might be" more liquid or valuable because I might encounter a larger pool of dealers, clients and others who prefer, lean toward or require their coins to be in PCGS holders.  In truth, I know many folks who will pass on common coins in NGC holders, but may buy those same common coins in PCGS holders.  I have no issue with this since not only is it not my money or my business to dictate to others how to buy for their collections, but by definition "common coins" are common enough that they will likely be found in many flavor holders, so the buyer might be best-suited to have the patience to wait for the holder of their choice.  Rare or especially unusual coins, however, might be best acquired when the opportunity arises, regardless of if they are in the buyer's preferred holder.  

I will state, though, that NGC has fallen behind PCGS in terms of brand perception within my niche areas for a large number of folks, but I would not consider this to mean they are "like all the other failed grading companies".  After all, we are not about a binary decision process here of "success" or "failure".  Rather, we have a relatively large pool of folks of various activity who might prefer one service over another across a continuum of services, prices, company responsiveness and grades and who support and respect each.  That is not an on-off switch.  My asking price is dictated by cost of acquisition, liquidity and likeliness of opportunity and cost of replacement as well as the characteristics of the coin.  I, personally, do not factor into any price the certification company.

As for Eric Newman or other sales, I think it extraordinarily unwise to surmise the contents of the negotiations that went into the decision making process unless one were involved in the details.  You might just be shocked.

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12 minutes ago, TomB said:

I used the term "might be" intentionally to add a shade of grey to the discussion.  The coins "might be" more liquid or valuable because I might encounter a larger pool of dealers, clients and others who prefer, lean toward or require their coins to be in PCGS holders.  In truth, I know many folks who will pass on common coins in NGC holders, but may buy those same common coins in PCGS holders.  I have no issue with this since not only is it not my money or my business to dictate to others how to buy for their collections, but by definition "common coins" are common enough that they will likely be found in many flavor holders, so the buyer might be best-suited to have the patience to wait for the holder of their choice.  Rare or especially unusual coins, however, might be best acquired when the opportunity arises, regardless of if they are in the buyer's preferred holder.  

I will state, though, that NGC has fallen behind PCGS in terms of brand perception within my niche areas for a large number of folks, but I would not consider this to mean they are "like all the other failed grading companies".  After all, we are not about a binary decision process here of "success" or "failure".  Rather, we have a relatively large pool of folks of various activity who might prefer one service over another across a continuum of services, prices, company responsiveness and grades and who support and respect each.  That is not an on-off switch.  My asking price is dictated by cost of acquisition, liquidity and likeliness of opportunity and cost of replacement as well as the characteristics of the coin.  I, personally, do not factor into any price the certification company.

As for Eric Newman or other sales, I think it extraordinarily unwise to surmise the contents of the negotiations that went into the decision making process unless one were involved in the details.  You might just be shocked.

Appreciate your honesty and for sure agree that rare or unusual coins if desired should be obtained regardless of grading service.

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Did collectors/dealers begin crossing over NGC coins to PCGS because they knew NGC graded more strictly than PCGS, who were likely to bump the grade up a point? If so, would it not be fair to conclude that grading standards are effectively dictated by the collectors/dealers who manipulate the system for profit without regard for numismatic integrity?

And is this not the reason PCGS is so popular today among collectors/dealers?

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21 minutes ago, Afterword said:

Did collectors/dealers begin crossing over NGC coins to PCGS because they knew NGC graded more strictly than PCGS, who were likely to bump the grade up a point? If so, would it not be fair to conclude that grading standards are effectively dictated by the collectors/dealers who manipulate the system for profit without regard for numismatic integrity?

And is this not the reason PCGS is so popular today among collectors/dealers?

I dont know about numerical grading but I can tell you a few years ago I started sending my modern toners to PCGS when NGC became overly difficult with grading them. I sent 13 modern toners to NGC, all of which I removed from original holders and did not pay a huge premium for. None were wildly toned or had the look of AT.  None graded at NCG. I sent them off to PCGS and all of them graded. I prefer the white NGC holders for toned coins over PCGS clear holders. And I would rather have a * coin from NGC than a color bump from PCGS but if NGC wont grade modern toners than I have no choice really. Without the blessing from NCG or PCGS these coins will never sell.

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9 hours ago, Afterword said:

Did collectors/dealers begin crossing over NGC coins to PCGS because they knew NGC graded more strictly than PCGS, who were likely to bump the grade up a point? If so, would it not be fair to conclude that grading standards are effectively dictated by the collectors/dealers who manipulate the system for profit without regard for numismatic integrity?

And is this not the reason PCGS is so popular today among collectors/dealers?

In the earliest days of NGC and PCGS existence, dealers (very few collectors had submission privileges at the time) would quite often prepare coins for submission back-and-forth between NGC and PCGS in order to chase the highest grade possible.  This was not done with any form of altruism, but was done to maximize the sales price when they sold the coin.  So, to answer your question, dealers sent coins to NGC and PCGS using a strategy to increase their bottom-line and would often ping-pong the coins between services if the possible payoff was attractive enough.

Later, perhaps in the early 1990s (1992 or thereabouts) the two grading services started to diverge in what they looked for with respect to high grade type, which was much more popular to send in at the time than the modern coins or bullion pieces of today.  In my observation and experience, NGC started to award higher grades to coins with original surfaces where the surfaces were devoid of marks, hits, scrapes, etc... whereas PCGS started to award higher grades to coins with great luster or extremely attractive toning.  Over time, this started to weight the pools of coins seen in NGC and PCGS holders so that high grade, valuable coins in NGC holders were more likely to have muted surfaces or neutral-to-unattractive toning while coins from this same niche in PCGS holders were more likely to have good luster, cool toning and better arm's length eye appeal.  Obviously, this was not universal and did not happen overnight, but I would think that by 1995-1997 there was a clear distinction between the pools of coins graded by the services that were available at auction or on the bourse.  In my opinion, the early decisions by PCGS and NGC ended up harming NGC while helping PCGS establish a firm hold on the top spot in the eyes of many folks.

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And profit and superficial aesthetics won the day. It would seem to account for grade inflation as well.

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23 hours ago, TomB said:

In the earliest days of NGC and PCGS existence, dealers (very few collectors had submission privileges at the time) would quite often prepare coins for submission back-and-forth between NGC and PCGS in order to chase the highest grade possible.  This was not done with any form of altruism, but was done to maximize the sales price when they sold the coin.  So, to answer your question, dealers sent coins to NGC and PCGS using a strategy to increase their bottom-line and would often ping-pong the coins between services if the possible payoff was attractive enough.

Later, perhaps in the early 1990s (1992 or thereabouts) the two grading services started to diverge in what they looked for with respect to high grade type, which was much more popular to send in at the time than the modern coins or bullion pieces of today.  In my observation and experience, NGC started to award higher grades to coins with original surfaces where the surfaces were devoid of marks, hits, scrapes, etc... whereas PCGS started to award higher grades to coins with great luster or extremely attractive toning.  Over time, this started to weight the pools of coins seen in NGC and PCGS holders so that high grade, valuable coins in NGC holders were more likely to have muted surfaces or neutral-to-unattractive toning while coins from this same niche in PCGS holders were more likely to have good luster, cool toning and better arm's length eye appeal.  Obviously, this was not universal and did not happen overnight, but I would think that by 1995-1997 there was a clear distinction between the pools of coins graded by the services that were available at auction or on the bourse.  In my opinion, the early decisions by PCGS and NGC ended up harming NGC while helping PCGS establish a firm hold on the top spot in the eyes of many folks.

Your statement is very well thought out and in my opinion entirely accurate. I can remember asking about the difference between PCGS and NGC coins back in the 90's and my favorite dealer stated that NGC in fact was more likely to grade clean natural looking coins higher than PCGS. However slight the differences were [or still are] still brings me to wonder what causes this cult like mentality that breeds contempt for one service or the other. And even more bizarre is the idea that price guides show PCGS values in most cases to be higher than NGC values. CDN prices reflect values of the holders sight seen right ? So why should it matter what holder they are in ? I've heard these arguments before but it always comes down to dealers' philosophy that either PCGS coins sell for more at auction or PCGS coins are more liquid. Can you see why collector base is likely shrinking for coins under a thousand dollars. I personally own a couple NGC graded coins that are finer than any PCGS examples I have ever seen for the grade but their value is less if I want to sell them right ? I would like to hear more level headed comments about this phenomenon if not in this thread maybe another.

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On 2/26/2017 at 10:55 AM, TonerGuy said:

Without the blessing from NCG or PCGS these coins will never sell.

Think about this statement.  What does it say about the current day collector?  It tells me that he doesn't know what he is buying.  But he does know how to read a number.

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4 hours ago, Conder101 said:

Think about this statement.  What does it say about the current day collector?  It tells me that he doesn't know what he is buying.  But he does know how to read a number.

I think that understanding toning takes a great deal of time and study to truly comprehend AT, NT and MA. Those of us who post here, on PCGS and CoinTalk are probably those that are most committed to the industry/hobby. But there are vast amounts of day collectors that dont. And they need the plastic to validate what they are buying. Sad but true. 

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I will throw my two cents into this topic.  I am a collector of Modern Chinese Coins.  NGC is the preferred grading company for Modern China Coins....so much so that their coins achieve prices as high as 20% more for the same coin vs. a  PCGS holder.  Also, the PCGS holders are significantly inferior to NGC.  I refuse to hold onto any coins in PCGS holders since the gold coins tend to end up with a green hue which is unsightly and becomes a problem to sell.  Silver does not seem to have the same problem as gold but I am not sure why.

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pcgs wants  you to set aside all of your slabbed coin budget for coins in their holders only.  once the collector figures this out he’s much better off.  I have seen beautiful coin in both holders.

some correctly graded, and some not.

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On 2/19/2017 at 9:26 AM, Davids5104 said:

As you all may know.  I am a novice collector and the stuff i read here is educational and informative and i would not be nearly as knowledgable as I am without you all.  I think i understand the some of real or perceived differences in the two  TPGs.  what I am looking for is commentary on these 2 points.

1.  PCGS claims "all the best coins end up in our holders" - I have heard people buy NGC coins and cross to PCGS.  Of course it happens in both directions.  But, is the argument against this being a meaningful statement, the perception (true or not) that if you over grade as NGC is claiming, well why would a consumer not want the best coins to be in those slabs if it will make them more money?

2.  recently i realized NGC does stars and PCGS does not.  I was embarrassed to not have realized that sooner.  I just crossed a few PCGS to NGC and my results were as expected.  I got a few stars but no change in grade.  STAR graded coins feel the same to me as CAC.  I cant imagine eye appeal, strike, ABC rating for a given grade are not evaluated for when a star is potentially assigned.  Is there a reason for CAC certification if you have a STAR.  Of course some would probably argue for or against CAC, but i do not understand the need if NGC is are already saying this is a better coin than its equally graded brothers.  Is this NGC attempt at CAC minimization?  Why does PCGS not do it? 

 

thanks

Star and CAC are not related.

The NGC Star is assigned for eye appeal or PL qualities. An attractive coin, or a PL-obverse coin, can be low end for the assigned grade.

The CAC Green sticker denotes a coin that is solid or high-end for the grade. The Gold Sticker indicates the coin is under-graded.

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I can only read all replies here and make my own opinion.  The debate will never end, because the whole thing is subjective.

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Sure the debate is subjective but an educational inference can be made based on current trends and experience one has had. I have recently joined PCGS to try grading couple of gold eagles, and have had very bad experience with them, both in regards to customer service and actual coin grading which I believe was unfair and biased from the get-go.

When you see countless PCGS graded plastic coins that look worst than NGC graded coins or coins one have sent to PCGS and have not graded at appropriate level even though they look comparable or better than already graded PCGS coins, it makes you wonder what is going on at PCGS and what impact this will have on coin collecting as a whole. This is not just my experience, but of many people who tried grading with PCGS. I've also bought coins from large dealers who send to PCGS, and have found the PCGS graded eagles from them in number of instances to be not accurately graded in my opinion, where the coin looks like MS69 but graded MS70 by PCGS. I've returned the coin back to dealer in almost every instance. 

I will not be doing anymore grading with PCGS and this kind of practice by them has turned me off from purchasing coins graded by them, particularly when coming from larger dealers that have likely sent for grading in bulk. I will not support this kind of grading practice or company that uses it, as I believe it will have negative impact on coin collecting as a whole. 

 

Edited by IAMMore

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