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Anyone have problems with PCGS grading

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New Member

United States
14 Posts
 Posted 05/20/2010  11:20 pm Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add ken_mcd to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

I inherited many very nice coins from my father how inherited them from his brother who died in 1960. I have been submitting these coins to PCGS for grading so I can get a value for the estate. These coins were never than out of the holders for over 50 years. Every time I send a set of coins to PCGS, the only coins that come back with a grade are the lower valued coins. I submitted a 1833 quarter in MS+ condition with toning and it came back cleaned. But, the other quarters 1860 and 1889 came back with MS64 and MS 65. Looking with a 10x loop I can not tell the difference between the 3 coins. Next submission was an 1853 half dollar (paid about $500 in total for the grading), this coin was perfect; basically proof like. I knew as soon as saw the 1833 grade that this would also come back with a cleaned. On to next submission, 8 coins of them 7 gold and one an 1871 $1 all in MS+ condition. In fact there was an 1894 $10 proof among the gold coin. Of these, only 3 come back with grades of MS63, 63+ and 65. Of course, none of these had a higher value than $2,500. The issues I get are tooling, altered surface, questionable color, and cleaning. I have read about how all coins in the 1800's were probably cleaned, etc. Than why are they grading them at all. All they have to do is say cleaned and collect your money. I see on their web site where you can see the coins that people submit and it seems to be the same issue. There are never any coins value that are very high in price.

What are your thoughts on this? I basically threw away about $2000. So far on grading and have nothing really to show. I fell I got ripped off and any others out there also. Let me know. If there are many of us out there I was thing about sending them a letter requesting a refund and if I receive no action seek legal action.

Sorry for the long e-mail.

Pillar of the Community
United States
1815 Posts
 Posted 05/21/2010  10:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add steve199 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Welcome to the forum, and sorry about losing your father. Sounds like he left you some great coins.


Quote:
I have been submitting these coins to PCGS for grading so I can get a value for the estate.


Are you submitting them so you can get a higher stepped-up basis? Did they all come back in a "Genuine" holder? On coins that old I would think that is most important, as the value is just an estimate anyway.
Pillar of the Community
United States
5731 Posts
 Posted 05/21/2010  12:05 pm  Show Profile Check BH1964's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add BH1964 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
to CCF and sorry to hear of your loss.

Ken if you only want to establish a value for the collection, you should take the collection to a competent coin dealer who is a member of the PNG (Professional Numismatic Guild) and ANA (American Numismatic Association) for an appraisal. You might want to verify them with the BBB in your area also.

You must have joined PCGS? Or is a "dealer" submitting these coins form you? Sending coins directly to PCGS for grading in an attempt to establish value is misguided. How did you arrive at the decision to do this? It sounds as if you received some good grades but are very unhappy with the lower and no-grades.

You said you paid $500 to have an 1853 half dollar graded? Did you pay a dealer $500? Something doesn't sound right but I can assure you that PCGS will not refund your money on the basis of you not liking the grades.

One other note: You said, "All they have to do is say cleaned and collect your money". Did these coins not come back in holders?

Please fill in a few blanks and we'd be happy to help.
ANA #R3154474
Pillar of the Community
United States
2539 Posts
 Posted 05/21/2010  4:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Tim Stroud to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If all you are doing is trying to verify authenticity and value then send them to ANACS. They will grade almost all coins pretty accurately along with those that have been cleaned. "cleaned" will be stated on the holder along with the assigned grade.
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Pillar of the Community
United States
718 Posts
 Posted 05/21/2010  9:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Saruma to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think TPG's are overrated. One of the coin magazines (Coin World maybe?) did a report a while back where they resubmitted coins to the same TPG multiple times. Every time it came back a different grade. As far as cleaning goes I suspect that they slap a cleaned label on it on mere suspicion it might have been cleaned. To me a TPG is useful if you need a coin authenticated and if you have a MS-60+ coin you want to sell. It would have been a lot cheaper to go to a coin dealer for an appraisal, heck you could have done two different appraisals from different dealers for a lot less money!
Pillar of the Community
United States
739 Posts
 Posted 05/22/2010  11:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add coins92 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I was angered when my coins came back from NGC. 3 out of 6 of them came back as "problems". The one, an 1889 CC Morgan I knew had some kind of cleaning done to it a while ago, but I just wanted it authenticated. I think authentication should cost half the price of getting a numerical grade. Maybe then they would stop being so generous with "Details" coins.
New Member
United States
14 Posts
 Posted 05/22/2010  12:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ken_mcd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Follow upon a few items.

1. Since I have to pay estate tax, I want to get the higher value coins graded to establish a true value. I agree on getting the appraisal but when it comes time to sell; I'll need grades. Two issue with just an appraisal. First, I need to sell a good amount of the coins off since I have to divide the estate up. Second, if I wanted to keep the coins and just go with the appraisal and pay tax on the appraised amount. When it comes time to sell and the coins don't grade out. I paid tax on a value that was not correct and I have no recourse against the appraiser.

2. I miss stated on the grading price I paid. The total was $350 including S&I ($250 fee for the coin)> I'm a collectors club member. The coin came back in the original flip. The same just happened to gold coins I submitted. The ones not graded came back in the flip. The total for 8 coins of which only 3 graded was $550. I could go on about the gold coins that came back with no grades.

3. I agree if they had to refund 50% of your money for no grade which they should since they issue no guarantee; and therefore, no additional liability on their part. A no grade is easy money for them. They should have to justify their no grade ie. pictures, etc.

Basically, I'm going to have to go to a large coin dealer and auction these of. I'm sure when they submit the coins they will come back with good grades. This is the corporate world after all; I need to play the game.

This experience has turned me off of collecting (over 35 years). I'm selling everything I have. I'll buy gold.

Pillar of the Community
United States
1815 Posts
 Posted 05/22/2010  3:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add steve199 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I didn't think PCGS sends them back in their orignal flips any more. They put them in a "Genuine" holder, unless of course they don't believe the coins are genuine.

Sorry you have spent so much money on this, but I certainly wouldn't let a third party grading company make me stop collecting.

New Member
United States
14 Posts
 Posted 05/22/2010  4:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ken_mcd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
They sent them back in the flip with a sticker saying the reason, cleaned, tooling, color.

My point about collecting basically comes from reading up on cleaned coins in the Grading Coins by Photograph by Q David Bowers. He shows as some of his examples cleaned coins for the 1800's that have been cleaned and graded. One of mine looks exactly like his eample and PCGS says its clean. Further, he goes on to say that almost all coins from the 1800 were cleaned. Additionally, coin cleaning was rampid in the 1950. What gets me going is that who ever has that coin has something very valuable and I with basiclly the same coin has something worthless. Doesn't make sense do it.

One more short story. My friend put together a set of AU liberty gold coins and auctioned them off. Two of the coins cracked out and he thought they were two gem looking coins but it wasn't those two. The two that cracked out had nicks. The dealer told him that coin doctors go around an make about $10K per weekend fixing coins. This means to recoupe their investment they need to have the coins regraded and certified again. Needlees to say, he quit collecting after he heard that.

I actually started buying some coins that I alway wanted in my collection recently. I probably spent about $15K about 2 months ago. I won't be doing that any more.

Pillar of the Community
United States
1534 Posts
 Posted 05/22/2010  5:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wheatguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
To be honest, most stories like this come from a person who is not that adequate at grading. Yes, PCGS can and has messed up numerous times, but generally they are correct. Fewer people know better about grading then their experts. However, if you had posted pictures of coins in the Classic Coins area, I'm sure many of the members here would have told you they were cleaned. PCGS does assign a numerical grade to problem coins in some instances, if the coin is "market acceptable," meaning the coin has enough originality from a time where most coins have been cleaned to be graded.

The best thing to have done would have been to learn more about grading from this forum and other sources and then determine which coins were expensive enough to slab, and to know which coins would grade. It is somewhat of a gamble if you don't know how to grade well enough. You paid for PCGS to give you an opinion on the coins so in my opinion seeking legal action would be futile.
New Member
United States
14 Posts
 Posted 05/22/2010  5:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ken_mcd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think your missing my point. Out of every coin I have sent PCGS valued over $3K they have come back with no grade. I do know a good deal about grading and my friend knows even more. We both looked at the coins with a 10x loop. Out of the ones the came back with a grade I was pretty much spot on. They graded 3 quarters an 1833, 1860 and 1889. I was right on with the grades MS64 and MS 65. Why is it that the 1833 was the one that was kicked out had the highest value. In fact, the coin has toning all around it. If you have the book grading coins, go to page 25 the top coin an 1880 seated half graded PF-68. The comment made is that it was cleaned. How did that coin get a grade? My half looks exactly like that except in 1853. Now I guarantee if you had my coin, you would be pretty upset too. At the end of the day, I'll take it through the proper channels and it will get graded.
Pillar of the Community
United States
5731 Posts
 Posted 05/22/2010  6:00 pm  Show Profile Check BH1964's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add BH1964 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
PCGS problem coins (except PVC damage) that are genuine are certified and placed in slabs unless the submitter specifies "DO NOT HOLDER" Genuine coins.

There are dozens of potential problems that most of us will not see. Even the pros miss them once in a while.
ANA #R3154474
New Member
United States
14 Posts
 Posted 05/22/2010  8:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ken_mcd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The service I requested was Secure plus. I did not check the box to just return. On the flip, they put a sticker. I can post a photo if you would like.

My point is. These coins have been in my family for over 50 year. I was the first one to touch them when I put them in the flip to send for grading about a month ago. I have the invoices from the original purchase 1958-1960 from namely Stacks and other big galleries in NYC and throught the country. If any one has very dated coins in there possession of value, you won't be able to get them certified on your own. There not going to do it. They might as well make the statement that we don't grade coins over a value of $4K. Read up on coin cleaning in the early part of the 20th century. They can't make the statement that almost all 1800 coins are cleaned and then in turn give some coins grades and others not. Here's my point. Look up S.S. Republic shipwreck, there are coin from there that have been brought up from the bottom of the ocean cleaned etc and now have MS62 - MS66 grades. Here lies the issue. What do you think would happen if you had that same coin original and not restored. What grade would you receive? This is my point. If you have the money, you can get any grade you want. This then becomes the down fall of this great hobby.
Edited by ken_mcd
05/22/2010 8:14 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
1534 Posts
 Posted 05/24/2010  11:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wheatguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
If you have the money, you can get any grade you want. This then becomes the down fall of this great hobby.


This is just my opinion, but I disagree with that. Many of the submissions PCGS has received are from normal collectors who aren't famous and do not have a boatload of money. Look at other PCGS coins that are very valuable and many of them will be graded. Cleaning will always merit a Genuine holder unless it is to a very light extent or is acceptable for the given coin and date. There are plenty graded expensive coins submitted by normal collectors.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1733 Posts
 Posted 05/24/2010  12:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ugly to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I personally think the whole TPG concept is preposterous but people insist on giving them all the credibility. I'm sorry to hear you spent this kind of money without the desired results but I would like to get to one point you made several times with a 10x loupe.

Do they not magnify the surface 40x during their processing? I was under the impression this is what happens. I may well be incorrect. This is the process we've used ourselves to examine surface detail so I assumed it was universal. Dipping (as an example) leaves the coin surface at 40x magnification with a different look than non dipped coins.

Basically there is a baseline appearance to mint state and circulated surfaces and anything that doesn't match that is regarded as altered/cleaned etc....

I guess what I'm saying is; 10x magnification is only the beginning.

Valued Member
United States
323 Posts
 Posted 05/24/2010  12:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add needgames4lyfe to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
WoW, I am sorry for your loss. That is also a lot of money you spent. I agree with UGLY that they magnify at 40x so that might be why you can't tell. Can we see picture sof the coin?
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