ICG and ANACS vs PCGS and NGC
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In my experience ICG is lets just say more liberal and often 2 points high.  The others are often closer depending on the coins.  For bullion, ie Silver Eagles, NGC more liberal with the 70's, PCGS more conservative.  Keep in mind, grading is subjective as they say.

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I think that you will find as many opinions as there are collectors.  So here is my opinion...I am a member of all services and have been trading for many years.  Generally, I have been disappointed with the grades received on coins sent to PCGS.  I purchase coins after close scrutiny and comparison with both their photograde page and grading standards.  I find inconsistencies on the photograde site that are not easily understood.  And I think their grading standards are just suggestions; not closely followed.  In general, I have learned to buy coins using their price guide minus two grade points.

NCG seems to command a market price close to PCGS.  Many video clips from people that have cracked the case and sent the same coins to all graders find little difference in NCG and PCGS grades.   But sellers perfer the prices paid for PCGS coins.  I guess there is perceived market value in paying higher prices for grading.   NCG is less expensive than PCGS so it may command a lower price for the same grade based on this the perceived value principle.  I like the fact that NCG provides a restoration service.

I think ICG is probably the best quality and awarded grade of the coin.  It cost less, and you will generally get a lower dollar value for the coin, but I think the grade given reflects more the standards claimed by PCGS then PCGS.  I like the fact the ICG states that their employees are not permitted to collect coins.  That will, of course, eliminate any occasion for impropriety.  Not that it exists, of course.

ANACS is the go to for coin errors.  And that is I what I use their service for.  I don't trust the market to reflect a good price for ANACS graded coins.  Maybe it is the holder? Who knows. 

In general, if I am going to flip a coin, I use the PCGS price guide, compared to the grading standards minus two points.  You don't make much money on this but who does outside of searching.  If I am grading errors, I use ANACS.  If looking for high quality keepers, NCG or ICG.

This is only an opinion and does not reflect the actual quality of service provided.

At this point I don't use any other services. 

 

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17 hours ago, Ron Hardin said:

I like the fact the ICG states that their employees are not permitted to collect coins

I don't believe any of the services allow they graders to collect and certainly not buy and sell.  The owners on the other had are dealers but as a rule they don't do the grading.

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Unsure about employees collecting coins, but employees at NGC aren't allow to buy and sell.

The reason I favor NGC and PCGS is that they dominate the market in slabbed coins, go on ebay and you can find thousands slabbed so if I'm looking for a certain coin, chances are I can find one slabbed by those two above. ANACs and ICG haven't graded as much and so for my collecting purposes, find thai coins in ANACs or ICG is very rare honestly.

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As has already been stated, there are many opinions on this subject and I'd like to share mine.  I hope that my experiences are helpful.  I do not have any experience with ICG to speak of, so I cannot comment on them but I do have experience with the other three.  Since different grading services seem to have different levels of accuracy and acceptance with different types of coins, I feel I should state that I mainly collect World coins with a few US moderns when they work within my Custom Set projects.  Mainly, I collect coins from Canada, Turkey and Germany and coins from these three countries make up the largest portion of my collection.  I also sell US Moderns, so I have a good amount of experience there.  Now, onto my ratings based on my experiences:

NGC-without a doubt, NGC is the best for the coins I collect.  I find their grading to be the most accurate for the coins I collect and they are absolutely the most accurate in assigning the Cameo and Ultra Cameo designations for Canadian Proof Like coins, which are a specialty of mine. They are also the most strict in this area  Regarding US, some people say that there is a preference for PCGS regarding US coins, but I never have trouble selling the US coins I submit to NGC for this purpose.  I've never had an issue with an NGC graded coin in over 10 years of collecting certified coins.  NGC is absolutely the best for non-US coins, no question.  There's a reason that they are partners with MA Shops, a huge online European collectibles marketplace based in Germany, and that PCGS is not.

ANACS-While people tend to say that ANACS is very liberal with their grading, I've actually experienced the opposite.  In my experience, the current, yellow label ANACS is too strict sometimes, downgrading coins by as much as two points and making up problems which aren't there.  This habit, following the Blue Label years where they were too loose with their standards, has damaged them in the marketplace.  Also, ANACS hasn't kept up with the times.....they have no registry, and their website is fairly archaic at this point.  However, they are very good at attributing errors, but be prepared to possibly take grade hits if you submit to them.

PCGS-Now, I know that there are many people who love PCGS and that have had great experiences with them.  That's fine and I'm not trying to "bash" any service, I'm just sharing my experiences with the different companies.  That said, my experiences with PCGS graded coins have been nothing but a nightmare.  I've tried to cross several coins from PCGS to NGC and they've always had problems or were over graded.  I have never had one Canadian, German or Turkish coin graded by them cross to NGC.  Never.  Also, a while back, a collector on here outlined a nightmarish situation where he tried to cross PCGS graded cameo Canadian Proof Like coins to NGC....not one crossed.  They all were downgraded significantly and not one of the large number of coins he submitted qualified for a cameo designation under NGC's guidelines.  This collector lost a lot of value in these coins.  I've lost money with PCGS graded coins too, and I won't buy them anymore, at all.  Now, admittedly, these experiences are all with World coins.  US Coins could be a different story.  But I don't know for sure, and based on my experiences, I wouldn't recommend PCGS World coins to anyone.  I do not understand why PCGS has the reputation it does.....my experiences have been awful, and I know of other World collectors that have similar horror stories.

So, those are my thoughts on the TPG issue based on my own experiences and the experiences of those I have been able to observe.  These are just my thoughts, I'm not trying to bash any service or start the old NGC vs. PCGS argument all over again. For me, it's simply NGC only. 

 

 

Edited by Mohawk

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It depends upon your intent.  If looking to submit a raw coin, then NGC and PCGS pretty much are the most accepted services, especially if you plan to sell the coin.  NGC will attribute a PL designation to some series that PCGS will not, so if that is a consideration you will probably want to go with NGC. That is not to say that ICG and ANACS are not good grading services, but they are not readily accepted in the sight unseen marketplace (I don't think CAC will sticker them).

If you are looking to purchase previously graded coins, then things get a bit more complicated.  At one time ICG graded coins were considered more valuable than both PCGS and NGC (at least according to the gray sheet).  My experience with ANACS graded coins is that the early small white holdered coins seem to be on par with PCGS and NGC, and I have always had them crossover at the same grade.  On the  other hand, I don't have any experience with the newer gold and blue ANACS holders, but the coins tend to sell at a discount to NGC and PCGS.  A lot of collectors like the old PCGS and old (fatty) NGC holders, since the perception (and in many cases reality) is that coins in the early era were graded more conservatively.  I have noticed that gold CAC stickers tend to appear on the older holders.  I hope this added more clarification than confusion.

 

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I recently purchased three CC Trade Dollars all graded by IGC.  The only ICG graded coins I have ever purchased.  They came back from NGC as follows:

ICG XF 40 back as NGC XF Details Cleaned 

ICG AU 53 back as NGC AU Details Cleaned

ICG MS 61 back as NGC XF 45

A very costly mistake on my part.  Now if this is a representation of how ICG grades coins it comes in as slightly better than pathetic.  A grader can't tell if a coin is 'cleaned'?

I have made it my policy never to buy an ICG graded coin as I feel their grading can not be trusted.  Sorry for being a spoil sport.

Alex

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52 minutes ago, AlexStoddart said:

I recently purchased three CC Trade Dollars all graded by IGC.  The only ICG graded coins I have ever purchased.  They came back from NGC as follows:

ICG XF 40 back as NGC XF Details Cleaned 

ICG AU 53 back as NGC AU Details Cleaned

ICG MS 61 back as NGC XF 45

A very costly mistake on my part.  Now if this is a representation of how ICG grades coins it comes in as slightly better than pathetic.  A grader can't tell if a coin is 'cleaned'?

I have made it my policy never to buy an ICG graded coin as I feel their grading can not be trusted.  Sorry for being a spoil sport.

Alex

Wow Alex......I'm sorry to read that!!  It sounds like your ICG experience was similar to my PCGS experience. 

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19 hours ago, AlexStoddart said:

A very costly mistake on my part.  Now if this is a representation of how ICG grades coins it comes in as slightly better than pathetic.  A grader can't tell if a coin is 'cleaned'?

One graders opinion.  We have all seen tales of coins coming back as "cleaned" that when cracked out and sent in again straight grade.  Or of coins that were straight graded that were cracked and sent back to the SAME TPG come back as cleaned.  Now sure if a coin is obviously harshly cleaned it will always be called cleaned, but a lot of them are also judgement calls and opinions and judgements can change from day to day.

What got me was the MS-61 to XF-45.  Why did you buy that one?  If it is actually a 45 even a relative novice can tell it isn't Mint State, so why buy it as one?  Or if actually appears to be a MS-61 maybe NGC blew it and not ICG.  PCGS and NGC are NOT perfect, and just because they say it is so and so doesn't always mean that it really is.

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On 5/20/2018 at 12:55 PM, AlexStoddart said:

I recently purchased three CC Trade Dollars all graded by IGC.  The only ICG graded coins I have ever purchased.  They came back from NGC as follows:

ICG XF 40 back as NGC XF Details Cleaned 

ICG AU 53 back as NGC AU Details Cleaned

ICG MS 61 back as NGC XF 45

A very costly mistake on my part.  Now if this is a representation of how ICG grades coins it comes in as slightly better than pathetic.  A grader can't tell if a coin is 'cleaned'?

I have made it my policy never to buy an ICG graded coin as I feel their grading can not be trusted.  Sorry for being a spoil sport.

Alex

What I would have done would have been to send them in to PCGS as crossovers, would have cost you around $20 a coin through a dealer and you could have specified minimum grades.  You still have the options to ask ICG to put them back into the old holders if you have the proof or the tabs still.  They are usually good about that.  ICG also has the guarantee submission option like other services if you believe what you have is over-graded.  Get a letter from a well known numismatist backing you up on the actual grades on the coins and approximate value and have ICG respond.

Trade dollars are tricky, if they have eye appeal and are a little "brushy" or "cleaned" ICG may have weighed the positives and negatives and felt they deserved straight grades.  I know a long term dealer who will not send much to NGC these days just because they are ridiculous on the "cleaned" issue when a coin may be market acceptable.  PCGS is more lenient on the "cleaned" issue.

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I started collecting coins in 1978 and I began using ANACS. I feel that they should never have ventured into grading coins as they didn't have a competent grading staff. They were fine at authenticating coins and should have stayed with that. When they started grading coins, they made many errors which hurt their credibility and in fact they never fully recovered. The photo certs are now worthless. When PCGS and NGC came along, they knocked them out of the picture. I still use them, but only for circulated coins. I'm sorry that things worked out the way it did for them, but their costly mistakes were mistakes that they could never overcome. And of course, if you attend a show, all you see are PCGS and NGC coins.

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It depends on the coin series; I know a long time dealer, 40-50 years who doesn't want to spend all the money that P/N charge, instead uses Anacs, at under $10 a coin, they are an option on lower cost coins, ICG is never under $10 even with their specials.  I find ICG very responsive with one of their graders even giving specific responses to questions, neither P/N will do that, but they remain the market standard, especially with the cac sticker.  

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