Editor’s Note: This is the last of a three-part article about direct and dealer submissions to the top two third-party coin grading companies, with the first installment covering the basics; the second, direct PCGS submissions; and the third, NGC dealer submissions. Read Part One and Part Two.
In previous installments, we covered reasons why you should consider direct submissions to the top-tier grading companies as well as instructions for submitting to PCGS, which are similar to those of NGC. Prior posts in the series also provided links with more background information on submissions, policies and procedures.
As explained in my last post, I decided to join the PCGS club rather than the NGC society for direct submission privileges, not only because I was a member of the American Numismatic Association, which has a partnership with NGC, but because my local coin shop owner has expertise on a wider range of coins encapsulated by NGC and can send mine and other customers’ coins in bulk submissions that, on average, are about the same or less expensive than my own direct submissions would be.
Moreover, NGC requires 5-coin minimums on most submissions, as noted here. My dealer is more apt to have five coins in each category sooner than I would, because he handles several customers and charges them a $5 handling fee per coin. On average, because of bulk submissions, that can save me $3 per coin on some submissions or $3 extra on others, a good deal considering the time it takes to complete the submission process, as explained in the second installment in this series.
However, because my coin dealer has sent thousands of coins to NGC, he has a better idea of how the company will grade raw coins and has dissuaded me on numerous occasions from sending in submissions, because he could identify more consistently than I a cleaning, rub, hairline or other problem. Sometimes we disagree, and I go ahead and test him, sending in a coin against his advice, only to have him proved right in the end.
The most recent example was this 1853 gold dollar purchased online that he warned was a counterfeit. I didn’t believe him. I was wrong.
I also use his expertise on a wider array of coins encapsulated by NGC, including ancients, in which I also specialize, and certain types of medals, including some from other countries, that PCGS doesn’t encapsulate.
When debating whether to join PCGS’s Collectors Club or NGC’s Collectors Society, you might want to take into account more than direct submission privileges. For instance, you might prefer NGC’s more liberal set-registry requirements, which allow PCGS-certified coins, as well as its own, for inclusion. (PCGS set-registry rules exclude NGC-holdered coins.) You might join the ANA and secure submission privileges without joining NGC’s society. Or you may not have access to a local coin dealer sending bulk submissions to either company, or just may not trust her or his judgment, as I trust my dealer’s.
In any case, at the conclusion of this three-part series, we hope you benefited from understanding the requirements and rewards of direct submission and can distinguish which grading company better suits your own needs and whether and when to use a dealer for your raw coins.
Western Sage says
I have read the following statement in several of your recent columns – which I have found very interesting and helpful, by the way.
“As explained in my last post, I decided to join the PCGS club rather than the NGC society for direct submission privileges, not only because I was a member of the American Numismatic Association… ”
Maybe it’s just me, but I find this very confusing, because as you read the whole following articles, it is clear that you chose to use NGC to grade and slab your coins, not PCGS. Is this a typo, or am I just not understanding it correctly?
Michael Bugeja says
Thanks for your comment. My dealer mostly submits to NGC, and I mostly submit my coins through my dealer, as this last installment indicates. He just has a sense of what the grade is going to be, and he is almost always correct, again as I write in this series.
I use PCGS primarily for world coins 1700 through 2000; crossover coins [just sent 8 ANACS in holders to see how grades would come back–watch for a column on this in the future]; and 19th century raw coins about whose grade and mint state I am relatively sure. The reason for that is I can save $5 per coin submitting myself.
Hope this helps.
gander fair says
Thank you everything you touched on is what I’ve had to cautiously if not intuitive oh learn or consider as I go. My submission I have stated in the notes for graders to assume I know what I have submitted. Even if I was not sure. Nevertheless, you hit the hammer on the nail talking about ” you will have to become an expert or moderate numismatic ” which Is what I told myself when I left a dealers shop mildly dis enchanted at his lack of affinity the coins I knew were esthetic in value. Thank You for your time spent on writing an appealing topic.