It is not common to get "high money grades" on coins from uncirculated bank rolls because grades that make money are not that common.
As to PCGS
and the other companies being a scam, it depends on how much "gray areas" that exists, in an awful lot of companies and marketing today (not just coins), it takes for an individual to call a company a scam. PCGS
is not, as GrapeCollects says, a provable scamming company like telemarketers can be that is out to take everyone for a ride.
Unfortunately a lot of people feel they have gotten taken by grading companies b/c they do not do the homework to understand the actual part these companies play. Since so many slabs are for sale online, people just assume PCGS
, and other grading companies, is/are THE undeniable PROFESSIONALS concerning all aspects of coin collecting. And their marketing departments love this b/c it brings in tons of business. PCGS
is a company, looking to make a profit (as any other company) who GRADES coins. They do not automatically assign varieties, they do not automatically tell you what type of error a coin is. They grade.
Another thing which is said on the website (but who reads directions/instructions anyway - as all good marketing departments love in any business?) is that grading coins is not a science, it is an art.
In other words, there is absolutely no scientific standard applied to grading coins by coin grading companies. You can break a coin one out of a PCGS
slab, send it back into PCGS
, and never have a guarantee it will get the same grade again.
A former MS64 coin might come back as MS62 (on an uncommonly bad day
the graders are having), MS63, MD64, MS65, MS66 (on a good day for you!). No science...no accountability...no verifying the grade by any factual means.
Now the major gray area...
The technology has been there (and was marketed by PCGS
in the early 90s) to have a scientific standard, and PCGS
even claimed it was more accurate than human grading as an advertising method to get people to their computer grading system. But the scientific approach was dropped with the companies saying since people (back then) did not trust computers, they went back to the less accurate human grading. And here we are...30 years later!
Nowadays everyone carries with them a more powerful computer (and scanner in some cases with facial recognition) than the antique 1990 computers. However, the "art" is kept.
Why? No solid facts are mentioned known. But we do know companies are out to make money. If a verifiable method of grading coins was implemented, then the resubmitting game in hopes of getting a better grade would go out the window. And resubmitting coins is a very profitable area of for these companies. It is likely in their best interest NOT to be based on fact.
There are other instances such as some pretty convincing data pointing to grading companies grading monster boxes of ASEs and probably just skimming 20% off the top to make into MS70s and the rest be put in lesser graded slabs.
There is no actual verifiable difference between an MS69 and MS70 anyway. But people pay more for the MS70, so it makes sense for a business to keep MS70 percentages below a certain rate to encourage better business for the company. How? SO many people are willing to gamble (and pay the company to slab) their ASE to get the "money grade."
Start examining MS70 ASE's for yourself. You will find it not difficult to find an obviously damaged one that should never have been an MS70 if the company-alleged three graders looked at it.
Scam? It depends on how much a person accepts gray areas as being a "legitimate part" of the business world. Its all around us.
Also please look at the PDF linked to in my signature. Here is legit proof the companies are very lacking in variety attribution...and some other claims. These problems have cost thousand$ of dollar$ (all linked int he article to the PCGS
website for proof) to the unfortunate who put blind faith in these companies as being THE experts of anything and everything having to do with coins.
When a person understands all of the above, understand to buy the coin and not the slab, and understand the value of slab+label+coin can easily disappear if the plastic does, then slabbed coins coins can, and do, make an enjoyable quest for people to collect.
But just like everything else in life, a person who jumps in feet first and does not understand these companies for what they are can be very disappointed.
Hobbies are about FUN. If a person likes slabbed coins, then all the more power to them. This is the way they enjoy the hobby.