In my opinion NGC
is the worst of the lot. It's always a bit of a crap shoot to buy a TPG
coin without holding it in hand, but that is doubly so for NGC
Some Canadian buyers will swear by ICCS
, but they are much more inconsistent in how they apply their grading rules in the last few years. (since Brian left?) It drives me nuts to have some negative characteristics completely ignored in the remarks, but have the coin net graded instead. Sometimes. Not always. You could have an AU58 coin with some cleaning net graded down to EF45 with no explanation. I'd rather see the holder say AU58 and have a remark of cleaned myself.
Then there is PCGS
. Nobody can doubt that their mid-grade grading of Canadian coins is rather brutal. It's not impossible to have a well graded coin in the F-AU range, but it's not likely. I feel like most of their higher grade grading is pretty consistent though and generally if you see an MS65/PL65/SP65 or higher coin in a PCGS
slab you can be reasonably confident in the grade. There is no doubt there has been some grade creep there too, but that is across all TPG
I feel like NGC
overgrades much more consistently than the others though. It's not that every one is overgraded, but certainly a much larger percentage are than any other TPG
. Thats why you see coins sent into NGC
, because sellers know there is a decent change they can get at least one extra point on the holder, which can easily be worth thousands with the right coin. It's really unfortunate because it means some really nice coins are ignored because of the holder.
I'm one of those unfortunates who lives in the middle of nowhere and rarely is able to get to a show, so I am often having to decide if I want to consider picking up a coin based on the limited visual information I have along with which TPG
it is. I've picked up some NGC
graded coins, but not many. I've picked up a lot of PCGS
graded coins and rarely been disappointed. ICCS
occasionally as well but it has to be compelling. And of course a bunch of raw ones, with mixed results. Sooooo much better to go to a show or LCS and browse for what you are interested in, but not always possible for some of us.