Pedigrees

A pedigree is generally used to indicate a coin’s past or present ownership. In numismatics, as in the art world, a coin’s provenance can be an important factor in determining its authenticity, and a coin that was once part of a famous collection may be more desirable to some collectors.

Submitters to NGC may request that a coin formerly owned by a famous collector be pedigreed to that collector on the NGC certification label. NGC must receive sufficient evidence to confirm the requested pedigree. Examples of this evidence may include:

  • The submitted coin can be matched to a picture in a catalog of the collection prepared by a reputable auction house or dealer.
  • The submitted coin is received in a sealed flip or holder prepared by a reputable auction house or dealer that indicates the name of the collection.

A submitter to NGC may request that NGC pedigree a coin to his or her own collection on the NGC certification label. Companies may also request to add their name to an NGC certification label. NGC will generally not pedigree a coin to a company unless that request comes directly from that company.

In addition, NGC will sometimes add a pedigree to mark an event (such as a trade show), a specific mint-issued set or to provide other identifying information.

Coins pedigreed by NGC to different collectors.

In most cases, a pedigree appears on the NGC certification label on one or two lines below the coin’s grade. Except for certain significant shipwrecks, pedigrees generally do not receive separate listings in the NGC Census and are instead counted in the coin’s regular NGC Census listing.

Note: In the case of a few very select collections, the word “COLLECTION” is omitted on the NGC certification label. These include well-known and widely publicized collections such as Garrett, Eliasberg, Pittman, and Norweb.

Recognition and attribution of pedigrees is at NGC’s sole discretion. NGC will not recognize a pedigree that it believes could be confused with another pedigree. Grading and services fees are not refundable if NGC chooses to decline recognition or attribution of a requested pedigree. NGC will use its best efforts to ensure the accuracy of its pedigree attributions; however, pedigree attributions are not guaranteed under the NGC Guarantee.

FAQs

How do I request that a pedigree be added to the NGC certification label?

If you would like a pedigree added to the NGC certification label, you should note the request in bold letters on the NGC submission form. Be sure to indicate whether the request applies to all coins on the form or only specific coins. You should also provide any evidence that may be helpful to NGC in confirming the pedigree.

There is no additional fee to attribute a coin to a collection, including your own. Coins already encapsulated by NGC may be submitted under an applicable NGC Designation Review service for pedigree attribution.

Recognition and attribution of pedigrees is at NGC’s sole discretion. NGC will not recognize a pedigree that it believes could be confused with another pedigree. Grading and services fees are not refundable if NGC chooses to decline recognition or attribution of a requested pedigree.

Does a pedigree add value to a coin?

Coins pedigreed to a famous collection may sell for a premium or be more desirable, but this varies based on the coin, collection and market conditions. Many pedigrees do not add any premium to a coin’s value. It is important to fully understand the meaning of a particular pedigree and research coin values before any purchase.

Are pedigrees listed separately in the NGC Census?

Coins pedigreed to certain significant shipwrecks are listed separately in the NGC Census, but most other pedigrees are not listed separately and are instead counted in the coin’s regular NGC Census listing.

What is the difference between a “collection” and a “hoard”?

There is no universally accepted line that separates a “collection” from a “hoard.” NGC considers a collection to be a group of coins that were assembled by a collector in a selective manner. A hoard, on the other hand, is a very large accumulation or find of coins, often with many examples of the exact same type.

The “Redfield Hoard,” for example, is the name given to the accumulation of approximately 400,000 silver dollars by LaVere Redfield. Similarly, the “GSA Hoard” refers to the millions of silver dollars that had been held in the US Treasury’s vaults until they were sold by the General Services Administration (GSA) between 1973 and 1980.

To learn more about NGC’s certification services for Redfield Hoard and GSA Hoard coins, click here.

What does it mean when a coin is pedigreed to an event such as a trade show?

NGC will sometimes pedigree coins to a trade show to commemorate the event. This pedigree does not necessarily mean that the coins were purchased at the trade show. For example, the notation may be used for samples that will be given away at the show or for coins that will be sold by a dealer at the show. This notation is generally used only for select bulk submissions or for samples prepared by NGC.

These trade show pedigrees should not be confused with NGC’s Show Releases designations, which contain the word “Releases.” To learn more about the NGC Show Releases designation, click here.

Besides collections and trade shows, what other pedigrees are used by NGC?

In most cases, pedigrees are used to identify the past or present owner of a coin or to commemorate an event. On occasion, NGC will use pedigrees to provide other identifying information. For example, a coin that is the first example known of a newly discovered variety may be labeled “Discovery Coin” on the NGC certification label.

When are coins eligible to be pedigreed to a specific mint-issued set, such as the 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set?

NGC will sometimes pedigree coins to a specific mint-issued set as long as there is no doubt that the coins were issued as part of that set.

An example would be 2011 American Silver Eagles with the 25TH ANNIVERSARY SET pedigree, which were issued as part of the US Mint's five-coin 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set. Some of these coins were also issued separately from the 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set. NGC will therefore assign the 25TH ANNIVERSARY SET pedigree only to coins that arrive in the original 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set packaging sealed inside of the intact, original US Mint shipping box.

In some cases, coins may need to arrive in the original mint packaging only and not sealed inside of the intact, original US Mint shipping box to be pedigreed to a specific set. This is generally allowed for packaging that is tamper-evident. In addition, coins that were issued only as part of the set may not need to be submitted with any original mint packaging.

Important: The recognition of a set pedigree is at NGC's sole discretion, and not all sets may be attributed on the NGC label. It is therefore recommended that submitters contact NGC Customer Service prior to requesting a coin be pedigreed to a set to confirm eligibility and submission requirements unless an article with these instructions has already been posted to the NGC website.

Are pedigrees covered by the NGC Guarantee?

NGC will use its best efforts to ensure the accuracy of its pedigree attributions; however, pedigree attributions are not guaranteed under the NGC Guarantee.