This thread was the reason for signing up for your forum. I'll eventually make better use of all of your collective knowledge. I promise.
You can't say enough bad things about PCG. Those who don't know need to be warned not to put any weight behind anything this company does.
PCG has its origins in Kalisz, Poland. I got introduced to them around 2011 or so. At that time their slabs have already flooded the market.
They rode the wave of incoming TPG
popularity from US and milked it fully. There was a craze for MS labels, American grading was expensive and these guys used the situation to their advantage. Their boxes were cheaper, didn't have to send coins overseas, and on top of that, return on investment was almost guaranteed with hot market at the time.
You pretty much got the grade you wanted - just say what you're aiming for.
PCG were covered because 'grading can be subjective, it's only an opinion, etc', sellers were covered because 'the grade is assigned by a third party, not them', buyers ate it up because of relative novelty of grading and slabbing in general and high opinion of NGC
at the time.
I don't believe it's a coincidence that their company name is similar to PCGS
. It was most definitely intentional.
Rumours were that they were slabbing and selling product themselves (they probably did).
Luckily their grading bonanza was short lived and now PCG holders are considered worthless and detriment to coins. No one takes them seriously at all.
Business in Poland slumped and that's when they announced an expansion. They were 'going international baby!' and expanding to India only 'for now'. I say that because, at the time, they made it seem like Delhi was just the next step in their quest to expand.
Don't even know if they still operate in Poland, hope not. Good riddance to them, it was an almost criminal enterprise together with the dealers.
Dealers were also part of the problem and have no excuse for peddling this garbage. Reputations got tarnished forever wanting to make a quick buck/z#322;oty.
Gullible collectors were also part of the problem by propping up the market. They simply trusted the sellers and 'graders' and lost the most being at the end of the buying cycle.
The PR campaign for merits of slabbing coins was strong at the time. Similar to what you've always had in US and Canada but the two main TPGs from US are more trustworthy than this joke of a company.
In short, stay away from PCG. Their services have nothing to do with coin grading and more so with pumping up a price bubble for dealers in the early 2010s.
If any coin in their slab is in mint state, it's only by pure accident. Put zero weight in PCG slab label. If you must buy something slabbed by this company, buy after seeing coin live or with great pictures from a trusted source only.
Sounds like sour grapes and it is. At the time PCG was new. I was new to serious coin collecting and grading in general. Wasted money on MS-labelled coins that turned out to be ungradeable. Here's one of many examples. This is more of a norm rather than standard. The coin at the moment is free from the slab.
The image is reduced from its original resolution, might not be as clear as it could be. The coin was cleaned, it's heavily circulated, there are surface hairlines, zero original surface or mint luster.