NGC Ancients Program

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation is pleased to announce NGC Ancients. Under this program, NGC attributes and grades ancient coins struck in the Western World from the late 7th Century B.C. through circa A.D. 500, and by the successor Byzantine Empire (A.D. 491-1453). For the full press release, see: NGC to Launch Services for Ancient Coins Press Release.

Though NGC has already graded thousands of ancient coins, the creation of NGC Ancients has upgraded its commitment to the field in a way that is unparalleled by any other company. Final preparations are underway, including the customization of labels and holders. Until NGC Ancients becomes fully operational on its target date of January 1, 2009, NGC will continue to holder ancient coins under its current system.

The program will be led by David L. Vagi.  A lifelong numismatist, David has been studying ancient Greek and Roman coins since 1985. He entered the field as a staff writer for Coin World, and later worked as a numismatist for Christie’s, Superior Stamp and Coin, Spink America and Smythe before opening Delphi International Ancient Arts. For more than 15 years he has penned columns for The Celator, Numismatic News, World Coin News and The Numismatist, and his two-volume Coinage and History of the Roman Empire received “book of the year” awards from the IAPN, PNG and NLG. He is a life member and Fellow of the ANS, and a life member of the ANA, for which he has taught courses on ancient coins at its Summer Seminars since 1994.

One of the most innovative elements of the program is its grading scale.  NGC Ancients evaluates ancient coins with an adjectival grade for wear, and with separate evaluations for the Three S’s of Ancient Coin Grading™: Strike, Surface and Style. Strike and Surface are each rated on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the highest valuation. Coins of superior aesthetic appeal, based upon the style of the die engraving, are awarded the qualifier “Fine Style.” And coins with exceptional merit for their grade and issue can be awarded the star designation — a feature unique to the products of NGC.