WYNTK----Third Party Grading Services----NGC
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supertooth   
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A couple of years ago, I told a board member friend of mine that I wanted to do a WYNTK thread on the TPGS. I felt that it was time to try and bring some facts into the light of day. My very wise friend advised me to not write about any speculation but to write about only things that I know personally to be true. So, it has taken another two years for me to gather enough information that I think may be helpful to many of you. Please remember that this is only 'my' opinion. Also note that I had informed an employee of NGC that these WYNTK threads were going to be written. Also note that I will try to look at certain facts as if I was an NGC grader looking at us collectors. What do and must they think about us? This adventure will take me a few threads. So don't expect everything that I know to be included in today's post.

 

Also understand that up until just recently I have been virtually unable to both take and post pictures on the boards. This is because I am a dumb computer person and unwilling to deal with the darn thing. Finally, with the new digital camera, my wife is now able to both take reasonable pictures and put them onto threads. To Barb I give a big "Thank You" for making my life easier in this regard. To all of you who have encouraged me, I also want to give my thanks.

 

It's been over four years ago now since I sent my first six half dollar coins to NGC to be graded. Over that period of time I have sent in over a hundred Walkers---plus many other coins. Currently I have more down in Flordia as I write this thread. Of the Walker number sent, they come down to this---about 55% have been MS coins and 45% have been mostly "early" date and mint XF-AU coins. So far I have received six Walker BB's that I can remember. My percentage slab rate for Walkers is about 95% successful.

 

What I'd like to do over the next several months is try to show why coins are rejected at NGC. WiIl show all of you what I know to be true, using my own coins as examples. I hope to show why, in the vast majority of cases, that the NGC graders are correct. I also want to try to give you a perspective of what I feel it must be like from their (NGC's) side of the fence. What they must think about us collectors. People learn by example, so let's start out with a fan favorite the 1921D Walker.

 

1921D.jpg

 

As most of you know the 21D is very hard to obtain in grades above a Fine 12. In fact, finding a really nice Fine coin can be a problem if you want an "original patina" coin. My first example of a "rejected" NGC coin is this 21D pictured above. When I bought it, it resided in an ANACS holder graded Fine 12. It was a Buy It Now purchase on eBay for $350. Well, it took me all of 10 seconds to buy it. Couldn't push the computer buttons fast enough. Anyone who knows Walkers could and can see that the coin has a technical grade of F15. The color looked good to me. I had a bargain from what I could tell. Got the coin, was pleased with it, left positive feedback and proceeded to take it to a Baltimore coin show in the ANACS Fine 12 holder. Saw David Lange at the NGC table. He thought the coin would cross into an NGC holder (so did I), so I paid my $55 and left it with another coin---a raw 1889 CC Morgan.

 

Well, the 89 CC Morgan went into an NGC XF45 holder while the 21D came back in its ANACS slab. Now, here's the kicker. Like many of you, I felt cheated by NGC. They had to have the dumbest graders on the planet says Bob. I walked around with my loupe for days and weeks looking at the coin. And seriously, I could not find out "Why" the coin didn't cross. So, like many others, I cracked the slab and a year later sent the coin in "raw". Coin came back in another BB. So again in my mind I cussed and blah, blah, blah at NGC. They just were not right about this coin. Couldn't be. Finally, one night in bed, with the 75 watt light bulb night stand light, I had occasion to look at a coin. It struck me then to go get the 21D out of the safe. For the first time, I saw the very fine scratch line that ran across the obverse of the coin. In truth, I could not believe it. For almost two years I had looked at this 21D Walker---trying to find out what was wrong with it---and in 10 seconds under that night stand light I finally knew why it had been BB.

I had finally tilted the coin just right and, under that kind of light, had seen what I had been striving to find out for about two years. So, for just this one collector, I had to admit that Bob was wrong and the NGC graders were right. The coin now sits in my raw VF set of Walkers---looks great there---fits in well color-wise---as the first pictures show the true color of the coin[ not the scanner pictures]. You be the judge as to whether it is worth the approximately $450 that I now have in the coin. Now look at these 'scanner' pictures of the same 1921D Walker. Can you see the faint horizontal hairlines above the motto of "In God We Trust"?

 

1921DScan.jpg

 

Whether these faint hairlines came as 'slide marks' from plastic from an old album----or a jeweler's cloth---or from an old pair of woolen pockets in some ancient wool pants---what does it matter? They ARE there. There are actually still one or two more higher up on the coin---that still doesn't show on the scanner picture. So, what did I learn from this experience??

 

1---- Pictures cannot be trusted.

2---- If you get a BB at NGC, look for WHY you got it. Do not think that they are wrong. Try to figure out WHY YOU ARE WRONG

3---- Realize that we all are still learning----we ALL miss things---we ALL are not right 100% of the time.

4---- This coin was fine color wise---looked good under natural light. The hairlines could NOT be seen with the naked eye. To me, they could not be seen with a loupe. Tilting the coin at a hundred different angles MAY be required to find certain hairlines---or other problems.

5---- I still very much like this coin. It sits in this set because I want the coin there. To me those lines are part of the things that happen to a coin of that grade over these 86 years since it was struck. I'm not upset that I have 450 into this coin.

6---- ANACS had probably also seen those lines---which was why the grade on their holder was only a fine12 and not a fine15.

7---- Look how much better I am now---than 4 years ago. It is like a night vs. day change in what I know now compared to just a few years ago.

8---- NGC "NEVER" defends itself on its own 'chat' boards. EVER NOTICE THAT?? Maybe it was time for someone like me---to tell the truth of how DUMB I used to be----before I got better. Maybe I should tell the boards how this collector realizes that I needed to catch up with the NGC graders in knowledge. Maybe I needed to be a little "HUMBLE". Until next time. Bob [supertooth]

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MunkyMan95   
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VERY Nice and informative post Bob thumbsup2.gif

 

I look forward to reading more

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WoodenJefferson   
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I smell a Pulitzer here!

 

Read & Heed material.

 

I look forward to the next installment.

 

Way to Go Bob!

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braddick   
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I know it would take a moment or two, but it's too bad NGC couldn't have quickly scribbled why they rejected the coin. Something along the lines of a quick note tucked in with the bodybag that states, "light scratch above the motto" or whatnot.

It would have taken the guess work out of what the problem was and probably would have saved you attempting to send it in again as you did, the second time.

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bsshog40   
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I agree with Pat. As it is always nice to be able to finally recognize issues with coins that were not seen before, it would be nice if The TPG's would make a note on these BB'd coins so we aren't scratching our heads for 2 years and buying coins with the same issues without knowing it. I think it's great gaining knowledge of what is not TPG acceptable, but I think it shows a lack of respect for numismatists that spend money with TPG's, and not let them know the issues behind BB'd coins.JMO

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jesbroken   
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I agree with both Pat and Bobby regarding NGC taking the time to notate the exact reason for BBing our coins. As a matter of fact, I think it is the least they could do after taking our full fee for the grading without the cost to them of slabbing the coin. I believe this is what makes us as collectors feel belligerent towards this TPG when our coin is BB'd. When you show the coin in question to several knowledgeable people who still don't see why the coin was BB'd, it becomes a thorn in the owner's side and who else to take it out on than the TPG in question. I cannot imagine any reason they could not do this. IMHO.

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World Colonial   
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I agree with both Pat and Bobby regarding NGC taking the time to notate the exact reason for BBing our coins. As a matter of fact, I think it is the least they could do after taking our full fee for the grading without the cost to them of slabbing the coin. I believe this is what makes us as collectors feel belligerent towards this TPG when our coin is BB'd. When you show the coin in question to several knowledgeable people who still don't see why the coin was BB'd, it becomes a thorn in the owner's side and who else to take it out on than the TPG in question. I cannot imagine any reason they could not do this. IMHO.

 

Well stated, I had three coins on my recent submission of 40 come back BB. One dealer is a PNG member and I specifically asked them if there was any reason they could see that the coin would be rejected. (I did this because I could not buy the coin in person.) It came back "improperly cleaned".

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DirtyGoldMan   
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Excellent post, Bob. My only argument would be with all of the schlock that the TPGs do holder (AT'ed stuff, dip-n-strip specials, etc.), it seems to be rather capricious and unjustifiable not to slab a true collector coin, with a barely perceptible scratch. They could just as easily net grade the coin, as ANACS did. Without a lot of work, we could no doubt come up with pictures of coins with scratches that are much more readily apparent (ie. it does not take two years to find them) that are holdered.

 

Therefore, I am not arguing against your points, which are well-taken, but against the inconsistency here and ATS.

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rbrown4   
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Excellent idea for your post Bob. Looking forward to learning from your experiences and knowledge as well as others as a result of the topic. For me, learning about BB'd coins and the reasons for them has definitely been a learning experience. Folks in these Forums have been so helpful in many instances helping be better determine why NGC assigned what they did.

 

I am also hoping that we can hear some opinions or reasons as to why the TPGs do not provide more detail regarding their grading decision on BB'd coins, it would be helpful for sure.

 

Rey

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TomB   
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Good post and I think it would be wise for a TPG to give someone a heads-up as to why a coin might bag. thumbsup2.gif

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Oldtrader3   
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I would like that NGC might consider on Economy or higher cost submissions, giving a couple words on the BB attribute.

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MorganMan   
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Has anyone tried in the special notes section of the submission form saying that if a coin is BB'd, please note why......

 

May work....after all, you ARE PAYING them full price to grade the coin.....

 

MM foreheadslap.gif

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bsshog40   
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That may be a thought MM but I would presume that if there was a thought that a coin would be BB'd that it wouldn't be sent up at all. Of course there are those that like to gamble. confused-smiley-013.gif

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IGWT   
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Excellent thread. 893applaud-thumb.gif I'm really looking forward to what's to come. Thanks, Bob, for helping us to learn through your experience.

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WinstonWare   
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Great thread. Thanks for taking the time thumbsup2.gif

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Big Daddy   
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The thread is great info for us novices. Can somebody tell me why NGC doesn't grade below a certain grade? It would definitely eliminate a lot of headaches for customers.

confused-smiley-013.gif

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MarkFeld   
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Here is a post from a thread (titled "Reasons why NGC and PCGS grades are often deemed 'wrong', when they're 'right' ") I had started last December and which I think/hope is on topic:

 

"This subject comes up from time to time, and I knew I had written about it previously. So, I looked up and found my old post from 3 plus years ago, made a few minor edits and am posting it here in the hopes that it is of some interest:

 

What does it mean if a coin doesn't receive the grade its owner thinks it "should"?

 

It can mean a number of things, including, but not limited to:

 

1) The owner/submitter knows how to grade, but is looking/hoping to get his coin over-graded because of the potential profit and dollar signs in his/her eyes.

 

2) The owner/submitter knows how to grade, but the grading service under-grades the coin.

 

3) The owner/submitter knows how to grade, but the coin is a legitimate liner (where most experts would agree on one of two different possible grades, but there is simply no clear cut "right" answer) and the grading service doesn't give it the benefit of the doubt.

 

4) The owner/submitter doesn't know how to grade and has unrealistically high expectations. By the way, if the owner/submitter doesn't know how to grade, he/she might also receive grades that are higher than expected too, mistakenly thinking he/she has received a gift-grade.

 

Please keep in mind, that PCGS and NGC combined, typically grade more than 100,000 coins per month. Even if they are extremely accurate and consistent and grade only 5% too high and only 5% too low (I think that would be giving them more credit than they are due), that is 5000 under-graded coins and 5000 over-graded coins per month. That is 60,000 over-graded and 60,000 under-graded coins per year, entering the marketplace.

 

Clearly, there are plenty of coins that knowledgeable collectors and dealers can legitimately claim are either under-graded or over-graded, even IF they aren't biased. Add in the bias factor (it is extremely difficult for the owner of a coin to be unbiased) and the opinions of people who don't know how to grade (there are many such collectors and dealers out there), and it's easy to see why there is so much complaining.

 

I welcome your comments on this subject."

 

Edited to add:

Can somebody tell me why NGC doesn't grade below a certain grade?
Big Daddy, what do you mean by that question and comment? What grade are you saying NGC does not grade below that causes you to ask your question? Edited by MarkFeld

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bsshog40   
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Great remarks Mark. I look at things this way. I don't get paid to grade coins so I don't consider myself being able to grade coins accuately. When I do grade my own coins, I try to be conservative so as not to make my coin out something that it's now. If I have one grade, which I will one day, I will try to grade my coin before it goes off and see how close I was to meeting the TPG's grade. This I think would help me grade my coins better. One other thing has to be realized also that all type coins I'm sure have different standards for being graded. If I had the money, I would grade a year set on uncir/cir coins and send that whole set in to see how close I was. confused-smiley-013.gif

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D.D.   
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Very nice post Bob! 893applaud-thumb.gif

 

I do agree with the other members about a very short description as to why the coin BB, would be great...

 

Altered Surfaces is one BB description that I hate.. grin.gif

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BillJones   
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Great remarks Mark. I look at things this way. I don't get paid to grade coins so I don't consider myself being able to grade coins accuately. When I do grade my own coins, I try to be conservative so as not to make my coin out something that it's now. If I have one grade, which I will one day, I will try to grade my coin before it goes off and see how close I was to meeting the TPG's grade. This I think would help me grade my coins better. One other thing has to be realized also that all type coins I'm sure have different standards for being graded. If I had the money, I would grade a year set on uncir/cir coins and send that whole set in to see how close I was. confused-smiley-013.gif

 

I have a couple of problems with your position.

 

First, you should give yourself more credit. Once you have studied coins and the grading books over a period years, you should be able to grade many coins as well as any one else, including the professionals. And I would need, you need to hone those skills because that leads to my next point.

 

Your post implies that the grading services get it right at least almost all the time, which not the case. If it were not for grading mistakes, the crack-out artists would not have made out as well as they have done. And it’s the ability to grades coins that allows dealers to survive in this business.

 

No, just because you are employed by a grading service doesn’t make you infallible. It only means that you probably have better than average grading skills, and you are willing to apply them in what has got to be a pretty grinding job.

 

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rrantique   
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[font:System] Great post Bob Supertooth and i think all those that are new to collecting coins would be well ahead of the game if they heeded your great advice[/font] yay.gif

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MikeKing   
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this is an excellent post, Bob.

 

It takes a certain amount of verve and numismatic acumen to come forth like this.

 

I wish the TPG's would be more descriptive in the reasoning if they BB something, but they are an industry doing huge numbers of coins and financially probably don't feel they could take the time, or endure the risks that they would encumber upon themselves by doing so.

 

 

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bsshog40   
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Great remarks Mark. I look at things this way. I don't get paid to grade coins so I don't consider myself being able to grade coins accuately. When I do grade my own coins, I try to be conservative so as not to make my coin out something that it's now. If I have one grade, which I will one day, I will try to grade my coin before it goes off and see how close I was to meeting the TPG's grade. This I think would help me grade my coins better. One other thing has to be realized also that all type coins I'm sure have different standards for being graded. If I had the money, I would grade a year set on uncir/cir coins and send that whole set in to see how close I was. confused-smiley-013.gif

 

I have a couple of problems with your position.

 

First, you should give yourself more credit. Once you have studied coins and the grading books over a period years, you should be able to grade many coins as well as any one else, including the professionals. And I would need, you need to hone those skills because that leads to my next point.

 

Your post implies that the grading services get it right at least almost all the time, which not the case. If it were not for grading mistakes, the crack-out artists would not have made out as well as they have done. And it’s the ability to grades coins that allows dealers to survive in this business.

 

No, just because you are employed by a grading service doesn’t make you infallible. It only means that you probably have better than average grading skills, and you are willing to apply them in what has got to be a pretty grinding job.

 

I get your point too Bill. I'm not saying I can't grade, I'm saying that there is always that chance of missing something that doesn't agree with self grading. People aren't quite that neutral grading thier own coins as they are grading someone else's. It's easy to pick out the bad spots in another's coins than it is to disect your own coin that you spent your hard earned money on beleiving that it is a better coin. I have seen too many times here how easy it is to pick out de-grading issues on others coins, and then those that keep defending issues with thier own coins. I feel I can comfortably grade my coins unless they are types that I'm not familiar with. But I still grade conservatively. I sometimes catch myself looking at a coin and saying, "that ain't that bad, go up a grade", but if I was to seek others opinions, I could see them going back down to the grade I was hoping to escape from. I would love to be able to guess accurately the grade that a TPG would put on a coin that I graded myself. But this is the real world and as you mentioned, they make mistakes too. I would suppose that I am to have complete confidence in NGC or PCGS, and that I would have to accept thier grade as to being what the coin actually is.

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dooly   
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Top post..

 

gess i am sending my coins in to "Test" my grading skills/lackof and every BB i get is a lesson i learn from.. and every graded coin is a lesson learnt.. like my last lot of 15 were 14 graded and only one BB.. from which i learnt you can get a BB coin straght out of a sealed Mint set.. !!!

 

we want the next instalment PLEASE..

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Bruceswar   
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Body Bags can be a lesson or they could be wrong at times. TPG's are human and make mistakes as well. Overall the TPG's do good job with BB's. Now they could tell you a bit more about why it bagged.

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MikeKing   
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Body Bags can be a lesson or they could be wrong at times. TPG's are human and make mistakes as well. Overall the TPG's do good job with BB's. Now they could tell you a bit more about why it bagged.

 

I'm going to chime in again here because I'm reviewing my whole collection and re-studying the coins, so I'll say this (and you're right, I think they do a good job overall with BB's also)

 

After reviewing 30+ coins in my collection, both NGC and PCGS, both parties both undergrade and overgrade.

I have one coin BB'd by NGC and holdered by PCGS, I'd agree with the BB.

Neither company knows how to grade bust halves, but then again, neither do I lol:banana:

 

 

edited to add:

example: a pcgs xf45 that should be a 50 but the grader probably either nodded off during the grading, or felt he should lean on the stringent side of the absurd

example; an ngc 58 that is obviously a 55

example: an ngc 61 that is a 58 at best (but worth the 61 price tag)

example: a pcgs 63 that doesn't deserve a 63 holder (what else is new?)

I would say there's 75-80% consistency and that's being generous.

 

 

Edited by MikeKing

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RJP   
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I agree with the artical and all the comments,

But you also need to look at how the graders at NGC, PCGS or ANACS examine the coins, Their work place is set up for the reason of grading coins. How many collectors have a special area for grading only, proper lighting, and all the necessary tools, I don't, my desk or table has many different uses, with standared light fixtures. So next time you get a BBed coin, look at the conditions that you are making the grading assessment in. Maybe if you could set up a area like that you might be able to see the problem before you send them in. Lighting at the coin shows is terrible, even with the table lights if they have one.

I Enjoy reading the posts here.

This is my first post.

Thanks, Bob

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owood4-migration   
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Have to agree, had one 1986 s Silver Eagle graded PF70 by NGC... I busted the slab and submitted the coin to PCGS and it was returned PF69... I cannot tell the difference so I do not know how the graders could be off by one VERY important point... I am talking a couple of thousand dollars in difference

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