Are ICG graded coins worth the $$ paid for them???
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I guess this would be the appropriate place to ask a question and start a lively discussion regarding ICG graded coins. To preface this discussion, I have noted an uptick (not exactly a flood) of ICG graded coins entering the selling arenas online and at coin shows. Many of these ICG graded coins are quite nice, but are they worth what sellers are asking for them? I have noticed many silver dollars and halves as well as copper, and other denominations. For the purpose of this discussion, I will focus more on the widely traded and collected silver dollars and half dollars. I have seen numerous recent sales of Morgan dollars graded MS67, MS66+, MS66, and even a handful of MS68 according to the ICG grades assigned to them. I have also noted recently Peace dollars ranging in grades from MS64+, MS65, MS65+, MS66, and even one MS67 which is a really hard grade to achieve on a Peace dollar. Silver dollars with such high grades would obviously command very high prices paid for them.

The question I would like for people to comment on would be, are these high grades actually correct? Are the coins in these ICG holders truly high end MS? Before you answer that, let me expand this discussion to a small experiment I executed on four ICG graded coins; two Morgans, one Peace dollar, and one Walker half. For the purposes of the experiment, I acquired the ICG graded pieces at lesser values (i.e. not extremely high grades or very low mintage numbers - for example an 1882 S Morgan graded MS65 by ICG). I also made sure I did not pay any amount higher than what would be the low end of the MS spectrum so as not to suffer loss from this experiment.

I cut the cases open very carefully and with extreme care, retrieved the coins from the ICG holders and immediately placed them into flips and sent them to NGC. After the wait, all four coins in this experiment came back graded two points lower than what the ICG label proclaimed (i.e. the MS65 came back from NGC graded as MS63). I was wondering if anyone else cuts open ICG, ANACS, or PCGS cases and submits them to NGC and what were the results of that? I then compared these to NGC graded coins of the same grades assigned by ICG to see if I could denote any difference in details that would make the two point difference, and when holding the two examples side by side, the differences in details were quite evident. 

So for everyone out there, are the coins from other third party graders really that grade and are they really worth the dollars you are paying for them? This should cause some thought for anyone who may have shelled out a good deal of hard earned money for say an ICG graded MS68 Morgan dollar to consider what they really have in their hand, where the differences in worth could be in the thousands. Once again, sure the coins look very nice, but what is the true grade? 

I am not looking to cause an argument with this discussion, but merely to hear from others who may have experimented in this way, and to cause some thought amongst collectors as to what we really are getting when we make these purchases. Thanks for reading and keeping comments thoughtful and polite.

 

Edited by powermad5000
bad spelling, spelling errors

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Normallly with US coins PCGS sells higher then NGC , then ANACS ... ICG used to sell close to what raw coins do ...

now I’ll give you some advice back in the days before any grading and slabbing went on all coins were raw ... pricing and grading was very subjective a buyer only payed what they believe the coin to be worth to them ... A (MS65 coin in a 2x2) VS (MS65 in NGC HOLDER) what’s the difference ? None ! One just been submitted for grading came back MS65 do you agree with it or not ? Take look at 2x2 coin dealer believes it to be a GEM will it get MS65 ? Possibly or not ...

that’s what I’m seeing in market now raw coins are priced high , ICG and ANACS coins are almost same price as NGC holstered coins ... PCGS holders thinks they are GOD ! thier coins are 5%-10% more than NGC and all the other coins ... Today our hobby and the market is all over place price range , problem is “we the collectors” have shell out money to buy coins that’s what keeps the market going if price is right and you like the coin buy it and forget about all the holder hype ! Cause a coin can be submitted dozen times can come back a different grade every time ... MS65 is MS65 doesn’t matter if it’s written on a 2X2 , or graded holder coins that been submitted 2-3 times for grading , only your opinion matters 

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I’m very new to coins, but I see coins on eBay selling for much higher then the rebook values...I’m sure I’m missing something or just don’t understand. Sorry if this is off topic.

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4 hours ago, B.L.21 said:

I’m very new to coins, but I see coins on eBay selling for much higher then the rebook values...I’m sure I’m missing something or just don’t understand. Sorry if this is off topic.

eBay sells higher due to buyer fees , however some coins can be found on eBay for under book value , I once bought 1938 D/S buffalo nickel graded MS66+ for $60! That seller had no clue what they were selling it was only small handful of coins they were selling along with other old antique collectibles . That coin is easily worth $180-$200 to the right buyer ... I did sell that coin to another collector for $170 ... I didn’t complain at all ! I bought other coins at decent low prices on eBay if you look at a lot coins like I do you’ll find deals ... I also shop on other “private coin dealers’” websites for some good deals as well ... just remember a coin retail value means nothing ! Only if the buyer is willing to pay that price , it’s actually hard to keep up with values they change up and down every month depends if market is hot for that series as well 

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Another factor is not all MS 65 or MS 66 coins are same some are on lower par for grade due to bag marks or other distractions on a coin it valued close to (retail value) while a better looking MS66 in higher range looks better minimal contact marks high luster almost on on tip-top for next grade sometime thoes coins dealers and collectors feel should sell for a little more higher premiums over retail value 

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Regarding ICG graded coins, you will find that the majority of coins offered will sell for a value that is a point or two lower than the encapsulated grade.  Upon crossing to NGC or PCGS, most will be in this range.  There are abundant stories of ICG and ANACS crackouts that obtain a similar grade from PCGS and NGC that they had on the coin.  But the ultra high grades of coins where the NGC/PCGS populations are zero or quite low need to give you pause.

Regarding book values/PCGS/NGC price guides stop using them as a tool to decide appropriate pricing.  Use completed auction prices.  Here is NGCs page.. https://www.ngccoin.com/auction-central/us/

Price guides try there best, but are still terrible.  within each grade there are good coins and bad coins.  So the good ones may go for higher prices and the worse coins for lower. 

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On 5/1/2019 at 9:47 PM, Jason Abshier said:

eBay sells higher due to buyer fees , however some coins can be found on eBay for under book value , I once bought 1938 D/S buffalo nickel graded MS66+ for $60! That seller had no clue what they were selling it was only small handful of coins they were selling along with other old antique collectibles . That coin is easily worth $180-$200 to the right buyer ... I did sell that coin to another collector for $170 ... I didn’t complain at all ! I bought other coins at decent low prices on eBay if you look at a lot coins like I do you’ll find deals ... I also shop on other “private coin dealers’” websites for some good deals as well ... just remember a coin retail value means nothing ! Only if the buyer is willing to pay that price , it’s actually hard to keep up with values they change up and down every month depends if market is hot for that series as well 

 

Thanks, only buying if it’s 20-30$ under the red book value. Trying to play it safe while still having fun.

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2 hours ago, B.L.21 said:

 

Thanks, only buying if it’s 20-30$ under the red book value. Trying to play it safe while still having fun.

Usually I look at all kinds of sources , normally for graded coins PCGS/NGC it easy to look up certification #s along with it they list a price I’ve notice many sellers on eBay will price the coin right around what PCGS/NGC recommends ... 

however I’ve won Bids a well got coins cheaper than retail ... just got to get lucky on bidding sometimes , ive also lost a good few biddings as well ... heritage auction is another place that tough on bidding ... they do sell coins on there as well you can find a lot cheaper than on eBay 

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Over years I’ve bought more coins at coin shows / private dealer’s websites. Than I have on eBay ... eBay is nice sometimes just have look at a lot coins and know price range to get good deals ... lately I haven’t bought anything on eBay ...

last year I started collecting world coins graded by NGC/PCGS ... mostly NGC has the upper hand in world coins compared to PCGS ... but EBay is the place to find largest network of world coins for sale along with heritage auctions , and collectors corner website as well ... 

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I only buy NGC and PCGS coins graded.  buying an ungraded coin there could be a problem with it, cleaned damaged or maybe even not genuine. I don't trust other grading services and some of them are confusing like NCG.  That's N.C.G.  

If you need the coin, go ahead and buy it but I wouldn't trust the grading and have it graded by NGC. That's N.G.C.

 

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If you don't think there is a difference in NGC/PCGS vs ANACS/ICG then buy a graded ANACS/ICG coin, crack it out and submit to NGC/PCGS.  I do not believe you'll like the result most of the time.  ANACS/ICG prices lower for a reason.     

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40 minutes ago, BS Ranch said:

If you don't think there is a difference in NGC/PCGS vs ANACS/ICG then buy a graded ANACS/ICG coin, crack it out and submit to NGC/PCGS.  I do not believe you'll like the result most of the time.  ANACS/ICG prices lower for a reason.     

Not always do they price lower than NGC/PCGS ... it all depends if it’s a key date or semi keydate I’ve seen some ICG/ANACS coins price right up with PCGS/NGC coins doesn’t mean anyone is buying them though ... problem I see with some dealers that they only deal with PCGS they mark up all their coins anywhere 5%-15% more than NGC coins simply because their coin has PCGS logo on it ... to me a MS65 is an MS65 I don’t care if it’s PCGS/NGC/ANACS if I feel the coin meets the grade I’ll buy it. Most folks don’t know how grade a coin if you stick with a specific series of coins sooner or later you’ll learn how grade coins in that series yourself to be able to make a better judgment if coin is worth the price or not  

Our coin collecting “hobby” took a major turn over last few decades... turned into a Coin “value” market more than collecting I hear it all time at shows collectors talking about how valuable their coins are seems like they treat every coin as a Money making transaction or profit when truth is as a collector we lose more money selling coins that we paid to obtain coins for our collection... Just like the PCGS crew/dealers/collectors believe their coins are worth more and more superior over same coin graded in a different holder with same grade on it ... I don’t drink that kind of kool-aid. Normally I skirt away from dealer who only specialize only in PCGS coins only with high prices I’m not going to feed their “market money making hype” 

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And last time I looked into the redbook or retail book the values were based on grades . Not slabs brand names . They need come out with a retail boom for plastic slabs . Cause it sure seems our market today is based on plastic and not the coin itself 

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I have been in the process of collecting a Peace Dollar set to leave my Son at some point. This whole scenario is nauseating to say the least. I am completely sold on the idea of buy the coin and not the holder. I have several ICG coins that when closely compared to NGC or PCGS are as good if not better. Due to statements of others I will not forfeit/risk my grades on the off chance that they will cross. That being said I have no intention of ever selling but if and when my son gets them he can have this headache. It is like politics , buy the kool-aid type thing.

Edited by Pops Hunter

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I put my heart and my wallet into three IGC graded CC Trade Dollars.  One an IGC XF 45, an IGC AU 55 and an IGC MS 62.  Sent them in to NGC and all three came back Details - Cleaned,  Cracked them out and sent to PCGS and again Details - Cleaned.  That was an expensive lesson for me but I have heard good about them.  My dealer also had a gold $5.00 piece IGC straight graded that he said definitely 'cleaned'.  All TPGs make mistakes.

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