I respectfully disagree.
The winning coins could not have possibly been found "on or after the official Mint release date" (their own published terms for a winning quarter) because FedEx cannot Same Day from Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, and/or Mississippi. I know this because FedEx told me (here in Utah) that Same-Day was not available to California.
Here's the facts:
- Banks open at 9am Monday Nov 4th.
- According to the PCGS
Twitter feed, they had a 2019 W Frank Church in-hand in their system by 11:30 am PST.
- IF one of the winning quarters was found by someone on the official release date and submitted it "on or after the official Mint release date," it had to have been submitted immediately upon being found.
Customer Service contacted Shipping Dept for me and told me their daily pickups are at 10am PST and 5:30 pm PST.
- There was a known case of HUNDREDS of Accidental Early Release Quarters in Arkansas, as documented in the official press release article.
Had the winner been from Los Angeles, it could've feasibly been hand-delivered and met all the conditions for a Day of Release find.
However, based on my research, the earliest flight out of Arkansas to LAX is 9:59 am and arrives 4:05 pm in LAX, which would've missed the cutoff for the AM pickup to be in-hand and announced by PCGS
at 11:30 PST.
Not even I could make the cutoff if I had pulled one immediately at 9am and flown myself to their shipping address myself, and it's only a 2 hr flight.
There is no possible way for the winners to have found the quarters on Monday the 4th and had them submitted and delivered by the time PCGS
publicly announced their first ones were in-hand.
has the right to set the terms for their contest.
But if they're going to offer special slabs and bounties, in order to maintain the integrity of their labeling system for a prestigious "First Discovery," they have an obligation to be CONSISTENT in the enforcement of their terms for competition.
This is not the case this time.
They allowed themselves to be gamed and shrugged off my criticism to that effect. You'll notice, conveniently, none of the press release bios mentioned WHEN the coins were found by the winners. PCGS
needs to come clean about this SNAFU, for the sake of transparency for other participants, Authorized Dealers, and future buyers of the special issues, many of whom spent significant money to First Overnight their fair-gotten submissions.