I have been submitting to PCGS for more than 15 years and so have a good feel for their grading standards. I thought it might be useful for me to show PCI coins that I am submitting in early February and then report on the findings when they are slabbed and returned to me, which may be late April or even May, because of continued delays at the company.
So let’s have at it.
I cracked out three PCI coins rather than submit them as crossovers. Here are PCI grades and my predictions.
1880-S MS-64 PCI — My Prediction: MS-64 PL or Details
I think the coin below is under-graded and may even be MS-64 PL or better. But I know how PCGS operates, especially when coins have toning; checking how other coins of the same date and mint mark have slabbed without “questionable color” in the past. Here’s where it gets dicey with PCGS. They have graded PCI Morgans at times and other times slapped a details (former body bag designation) for color or even damage (see my August 2020 post about this). PCGS is woefully inconsistent when it comes to PCI toning.
This 1880-S has light rainbow pastels with orange toning elsewhere. Orange is a dangerous color because several kinds of coin doctoring (heating, chemical, etc.) produce orange, purple, and blue. Those are usually dead giveaways for artificial color. But I think this will slab because there are rainbow colors on the reverse (washed out in the photo because of the Prooflike reflection). So it just might slab.
1881-S MS-65 PL — My Prediction: MS-64 PL or Details
I have the same feeling about this sister coin. It states 90% white, but now that is about 60% because of the toning. It may grade higher than MS-64, but I’m anticipating a possible “Details” grade because the rainbow toning pattern probably doesn’t exist in PCGS databanks (and there is orange, too). But in this case, and the coin above, despite what PCGS may say about the color, the toning is natural.
1959 PR-67 Cameo — My Prediction: PR-65 or Details
Now we go to a beautiful typical Proof PCI target toning example. I’m counting on the pattern being in the PCGS databanks. Despite what coin doctors believe about their prowess, nothing tones as lovely and natural as PCI holders over time. Nevertheless, a grader can state, “no way; too wild,” and slab “Questionable Color.” That just doesn’t make sense. Coin doctoring is so obvious when they try to target-tone. The circles are not perfect or bleed into each other.
Also, I am not too fond of the obverse. It has some rainbow toning at the bottom but also speckled blue dot toning on the neck. That may affect eye appeal.
We’ll see what happens here.
I always like to put my numismatic ability to the test. If you submit coins, try predicting the grades and then see what the top-tier holdering company says. Top-tier is PCGS, NGC, ANACS, and ICG.
Collector 1962 says
As Coin Update readers may know, PCI is no longer on eBay’s “Approved” coin grading services listing. This means that if you want to sell a coin in a PCI slab on eBay, eBay will remove the listing if you:
1) State in the descriptive text that the coin has been authenticated by PCI, a third party service;
2) State the grade given to the coin by PCI (XF-40, MS-65; Pr-68 etc.);
3) Include a photograph of the slab that shows the grade given to it by PCI.
Guess you would have to cover up the PCI-given grade in your photograph!
So, it seems that it would be a good idea to have NGC or PCGS re-grade a PCI slab coins. I have always thought that PCI did a pretty decent job of grading coins for the collector.
Sharon Gerber says
I bought 11 PCI coins from a friend @ 30+ yrs ago, in slabs, & 1 an NGC. None are Morgans. I just had a certified dealer look at them a few days ago & he said they look good & that PCI grades better than some others. I was about to list them on eBay & thought I’d read up, before doing so. I can understand why eBay is conservative about them being on their site… & I’m wondering if PCI graders @ 30+ yrs ago did better than more recent graders. How do we have them regraded & is it costly? Could my local certified dealer regrade them? He’s been dealing in coins for 57 yrs.
I have a 1974 D Ms 67 nice tone on reverse went to post on ebay and said can not where do I got now
I just purchased a 1926 Peace Dollar with a PCI grade of MS 65+ on an auction site. It is absolutely a magnificent coin and well worth the book value it is listed for. You can say what you want negatively about PCI, but they nailed this one…and I stole this for a great price!
@Richard Hey man. I recently purchased a 1922 S Peace Dollar from a site that Hi in the auction world. My coin was graded MS66+ and the beginning numbers of the serial indicate that it is a February 2012 graded coin. I got the coin for a great price as well. I was just wondering if you were able to get your coin verified. My coin is toned fairly heavy around the ring on the obverse but nothing on the reverse. Anyways, I’m really just hoping this is a legit MS 66+ 1922 Peace Dollar. It’s a beautiful coin and it doesn’t look like the fakes I’ve researched so far. Hope yours turns out to be legit.