Those who have been on here for a while may have seen this medal (often sold as a "coin", mistakenly so), it is a solid gold 1959 Venezuela proof medal, which unfortunately is very scarce, so much so that there is no other example of it, in its gram weight of 11.7, can be found anywhere in any catalog or any other source. I have been at this a while.
Ok, so I figure, well I will send it to NGC and maybe they would be able to authenticate the medal. There is no doubt that the medal is real and verified, having been tested by the latest analyzer (and I assume by NGC possibly), there is no doubt that it was minted in Germany and then sent to Venezuela for use there, altho the gram weight is missing, which is a highly unusual omission. It is from the "Chiefs In The Second War" series that ran in Venezuela from 1957-1959. Others in the series are certified by both NGC and PCGS.
So, what I had expected that if NGC did not have an example of it in its database or catalogs, it would merely just be sent back to me in a unlabled flip, uncertified and of course unslabbed (not encapsulated) and ungraded.
To somewhat of my surprise, the medal came back in a double flip, the larger outer which has both a label and a certification number, altho of course not in a hard plastic holder (slabbed).
What NGC wrote on the label was, besides "1959 Venezuela Gold" and "NOT ENCAPULATED", was their typical certification number (which can be looked up on their NGC certification page). Also written on the label was "Ineligible Type".
Looking up the NGC glossary "Not Encapsulated" page, in which they specify the specific definitions of the many reasons they did not encapsulate a coin or medal, the definition for "Ineligible Type" was "A class of coin, medal or token that NGC does not CERTIFY, regardless of its condition".
However, the medal appears to certified (but not slabbed or graded), specifically in their usual certification number format, which can be looked up on their website coin verification page, which lists the coin, unphotographed,gives the same "Ineligible Type" reason. I would think that I just would receive the coin back as submitted, raw. Perhaps this depepends on what NGC's definition of "Certification" is.
So is this medal considered "certified" by NGC or not? in your opinion? It is in their database as such. ?
The number of this item in their database is called a "certification number", in my view just because they have structured their database to use the same term to identify every item, eligible or not.It is probably a poor term to use for an item that is not in fact certified, but that is how they have set it up.
Lacking a grade or even a declaration of authenticity, and NGC's declaration that this is not eligible (for certification), I can only conclude that it is not certified.
I don't see how this label or number will do you any good for collecting purposes.
I think it came back that way to justify taking the money for the attempt. It is not certified by NGC in any means if it isn't in a holder-period, hence why it came back in a flip only. Just because it's now in their database, only means they have seen it, but since they don't certify nor authenticate this type of medal, I wouldn't put any weight on them saying it's real or not, and you cannot list it as a NGC certified coin/medal on a sales site or in an auction. Maybe eventually NGC or someone else will begin to certify these, then by all means send it to them again, along with more money. Would a serious collector of these know better as to the authenticity of the piece? I don't know it seems these are really rare and produced by a private mint and not a state issued one, more like a "Franklin Mint" item.
I can find this coin in the database as the OP stated, yet I don't see this coin on their list of coins they don't grade or certify, in fact no mention of any venezuela coins/medals. https://www.NGCcoin.com/news/article/5543/.
I did find your thread at CT forum, and the thread here at CCF in 2014 with the photos and the coin/medal is certainly interesting looking, I was able to find this sale, which I'm sure you have also seen, showing a full set of the medals. Lot #858 https://www.academia.edu/36906724/A...mi_Fine_Arts No indication on whether or not it actually sold, the offering was $10KŁ for the set. Not much info other than Venezuela, Banco Italo and the total gold weight of all medallions. No mention of purity either.
Whatever it is, it's a very interesting looking set, and probably also quite rare as they are all gold. How many exist? I'd bet only the manufacture (Banco Italo)will have an idea on this question. Are they real? well the other thread states this was tested and came back as real gold, so probably yes. Is it collectible? Yes but not being known or listed in common reference books makes them more akin to a collectible made to sell only, again like a private mint, not a government mint. That is most likely why NGC won't accept them, nor will they in future is my guess.
Interesting all around, I've never seen anything like this, but if I was working in a shop and it came in I'd purchase it only as a bullion piece of scrap gold, not unlike I used to do in 1979-1995 with Franklin Mint, and other similar items. I can find several companies in Venezuela that trade in them all list this as a numismatic medallion and not a coin. I did have to use google translate as my spanish isn't good beyond HS and street slang from living in SoCal for years.
"Buy the Book Before You Buy the Coin" - Aaron R. Feldman - "And read it" - Me 2013! ANA Life Member #3288 in good standing since 1982, EAC Member #6202, NBS Member, 2˘ variety collector.
Thanks all for your replies, especially the well-written response by westcoin. others in the series are in the Venezuela section in several Krause books, from X #MB1 for the 1957, 20 bolivares 6 grams to the X # MB60, 1959 160 bolivares 50 gram medal. The purity is the same as mine.
I have never seen a coin or coin / series (or medal if you prefer) with so many errors, ommissions, contradictions, confusion, misinformation, etc. that I have ever seen before in print. They were actually minted or struck if you prefer by the Karlsruhe Mint in Baden in Germany. I have tried contacting both the mint in Germany and the bank in Venezuela and have reached dead ends on both. 1959 is a long time ago.
It would be a shame to melt it down as it is a very scarce part of modern day coin history, but as I have read before, if a coin/medal cannot be verified by a catalog or some other credible source, then it is basically no more valuable than melt.
For some reason, in 1959 only, the mint only produced the Adolf Hitler medal and in a major re-design (on only one side) and in a proof, unlike the 1957 medals. btw, I have gone through about 6 catalogs of both foreign and domestic, and while I can find the series, I cannot find my specific medal. That is the major sticking point.
In any case, thanks again for your replies... mike
Thanks westcoin, yes, that was among my first attempts. No dice. You gotta figure anybody who was working there in 1959, even if young, say age 20, would be about 80 now, and either is retired or dead. If I recall right, there was a change of ownership or it had closed down or something, I cannot remember as all the research I put into this medal all kinda melts in my mind. I could write a book about my attempts. The thing is, once I got through all of the "it's a fake" phase in the beginning, I just started printing out my attempts. I found it surprising that so many seemed to WANT it to be fake. But displaying the spectrograph or whatever results and by using logic like "who would want to fake a 11.7 gram medal that nobody knows about and made out of 22k solid gold"? shut up most of those folks.
All I know or remember is that I did contact the bank and to my knowledge, once the language barrier had been breached, it was a no go. The mint itself had closed down and I believe re-opened but with the same negative results.
Seems a shame that there is not one "almight" authority in the Coin World that can wave a magic wand over and declare the medal is authenticated. While 1959 was a long time ago, it is not ancient history. I have seen coins made from the Roman times that seemed to have a population of 1 and they were authenticated, so it would seem that a modern world gold medal would be a snap to resolve. nope.
I am somewhat of a history person and I so dislike it when things disappear from history, whatever they are... sold for scrap WW2 era planes and boats as an example. I used to live just outside Corpus Christi Texas and being able to visit the Lexington was such a thrill, no matter how many times I visited it or how long I spent on it... sometimes most of the day.
In any case, thanks. I have bought and went through so many catalogs it is almost mind-bogling. The only "famous" one I have not tried yet is that "Fr" one, but if I am correct they only delt with European coins and medals. Besides, I think someone already checked one issue of that catalog for me and it was no dice, but it is funny, some coins or medals are in a catalog one year and gone the next.
I do appreciate your attempts and suggestions tho, I really do... mike
Maybe I should hire an professional coin gunfighter. Ok, to anyone out there who can get my medal authenticated, I will offer a $500 reward. Failing that, I may submit it to ANACS... those guys would authentic a bug in resin compared to NGC or PCGS. Well, not really, but they DO seem to be open towards being more lenient than the other two, which is maddening to me, because BOTH have certified and graded bolivares of varying values from the very same series... go figure. The bank in Venezuela determined their value by their gram weight. On coins, if I am correct, they did not even put the values on coins until about 1961.
I would bug them about it again but I think Venezuela has bigger fish to fry right now than to track down my medal history. That bank, if it is still open, problably got looted a year or two or so ago. Power to the revolution!
p.s. I am serious about the reward. If someone can get the medal authenticated to the point where it is in some reputable catalog OR acceptable to either NGC or PCGS, you will get it.
My guess is that label is a logistical thing mores than a certification thing. Their operations are setup with strictly defined workflows, printers, and labels designed to accomplish certain things. When the occasional exception happens like this medal, they still have returns operations and accounting to achieve, so it still passes through their operations, which results in the label with a barcode, etc that came back to you.
My hoard of '82s is up to 166! 218 BC x 1, 118 BC x 3, 18 BC x 1, 82 x 1, 182 x 1, 282 x 2, 582 x 2, 682 x 1, 782 x 2, 882 x 1, 982 x 3, 1082 x 1 1182 x 8, 1282 x 2, 1382 x 1, 1482 x 5, 1582 x 12, 1682 x 13, 1782 x 40, 1882 x 42, 1982 x 24
westcoin, I notice you have a lifetime membership in ANA. you might get a kick out of this 1954 "coin gold" given out (or available for purchase). it took me a while to snag it, but the relief on this medal is unbelievable. I have many more pictures and information of it, but I do not think it is available in this way any more.
It is not certified. The number on the label is just the invoice number and the line on the invoice that this piece was listed on. It is used for tracking the piece in their system whether the piece is ever holdered or not.
Reward still stands. Just for *** Edited by Staff | The bad word filter is in place for a reason. Bypassing the filter and making the intended word obvious anyway is completely unacceptable. *** and giggles, here is the NGC "certification" page haha