Recently Professional Coin Grading Service resolved one of the issues that collectors, including me, had complained about in the past, namely, if you sent PCGS-graded coins for regrade services in an Old Green Holder with sticker (or Doily label, for that matter), the company would crack out the coin and put it in a new blue-version holder.
Collectors and investors knew that a first-generation holder with a sticker from Certified Acceptance Corporation was worth more than a current PCGS holder. A few years ago when I complained about the practice, I was told, “We know you love those old green holders,” but that was the policy and we had to live with it if we believed a coin was under-graded.
I must say that Coin Update News has run a series of articles about older PCGS practices, and in each case, eventually, the company has changed its policy. This is the latest. So we applaud the company for proclaiming about reconsideration: “You asked for it and PCGS delivered.”
Here’s how reconsideration works:
You can submit your previously PCGS holdered coin for a potentially higher grade without losing your original label. The coin won’t be cracked out unless a higher grade is in the offing.
But here’s the catch: You have to know what you are doing when it comes to grading your coins as PCGS might. You need skill, or a dealer or friend who has that skill, before sending in your coins. Otherwise you will be just paying PCGS fees with no return on your dollar.
More to the point, you have to be skilled enough to understand which of four possible options you will be choosing. Here’s how PCGS describes it, using examples from this page:
- Upgrade by one full numeric point (default) Example: (MS64 to MS65)
- Upgrade by Plus grade. Example: (MS64 to MS64+)
- Upgrade by Suffix. Example: (PL, DMPL, Cameo etc.)
- Any – Any of the above mentioned scenarios
If you think your coin should upgrade a full point, then you have to be able to gauge luster, strike, condition, and more. Have you quizzed your eye using PCGS Photograde Online?
If you choose plus because the coin in your opinion has a strong strike with fetching eye appeal, you’re selecting a pretty sophisticated option that might entail expert evaluation of devices. Are you up for that examination?
If you think your proof-like coin has mirrors that qualify for DMPL, you had better evaluate both sides of that coin for a clear reflection. Can you measure that reflection accurately from at least six inches away?
If you choose the last catch-all option (any of the above), have you considered the merit of losing your CAC sticker and label for a half-point upgrade? What is the value now, according to the PCGS Price Guide or recent auction sales on PCGS Coinfacts?
Coin Update News decided to test our ability to make the correct choice in a reconsideration exercise. We sent two Old Green Holdered Morgan dollars, an 1884-CC graded MS64 and an 1887/6 overdate with a CAC sticker graded MS60.
Here’s how the coins looked before we sent them in:
1887/6 Overdate Obverse
1887/6 Overdate Reverse
We believed the 1884-CC would grade a full point at least; but we were not sure about the 1887/6 Overdate. This is where the PCGS Price Guide comes in handy.
An 1887/6 Overdate at MS60 is worth $300; MS60+, no increase; MS61, $350; MS62, $450.
Okay. Here’s where reconsideration gets a little complicated. If you have one coin, such as the 1887/6 Overdate at MS60 with a CAC sticker, like mine, that coin probably would fetch the additional $50 without the full point upgrade. But the 1884-CC rises in value from $265 at MS64 to $495 at MS65. That’s a nifty spike. The problem is, unlike PCGS crossover consideration, in which the submitter can put “Any” for one coin and “Crossover” for another, on the same form, you have to pick one of the above four options for reconsideration, and that choice will apply to all coins on the form.
In other words, I could not state MS62 for the overdate and MS65 for the 1884-CC.
Thus, I checked Option 4, or any upgrade, for both coins sent in one submission. Here are the grades (click to expand):
I was able to get a full point upgrade on both coins.
If you tried PCGS reconsideration, tell us how you fared.
Oh, and one more point about reconsideration fees, direct from the PCGS website: “If your coin upgrades, you will be charged an additional 1% of the final value of the coin in its final grade, this is referred to as the Guarantee Premium (the GP 1% would be in addition to the basic service level you select). If your coin does not upgrade, you will be charged the simple basic service level fee and any other fees applicable to your submission.”
If you know how to grade by PCGS standards, reconsideration is a good deal.