Yet another positive NGC experience!

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coinsandmedals

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With submission turnaround times increasing by the day, it is often easy to focus on the bad while taking the good for granted. That said, I would like to share a recent positive experience with NGC customer service. I submitted a proof 1775 Irish Halfpenny in February of last year, but I did not find the time to inspect the coins until early last month. I know it is ridiculous that it took me that long to enjoy my coins, but I have very little time to kill. Now that things are starting to slow down with the end of the semester approaching, I have a few minutes to spare! On any note, the coin came back XF DETAILS as expected (edge damage); however, the original label omitted an important word (i.e., PROOF). Although it can often be complicated to distinguish between circulated proofs and business strike examples, this is an easy attribution to make in this case. As I explained in my email to NGC, the coin in question was struck on a thick flan with medal orientation (i.e., the essential characteristics only found on a specific proof variety). I also pointed out that the coin is perfectly round and that the denticles are contained within the rims. For those unfamiliar with this series, these are hallmarks that the coin was struck in a collar. According to Dyer and Gaspar (1980), striking coins in a collar was a practice used almost exclusively for proof strikes. It is likely safe to assume that this information is common knowledge for the world coin graders, so it seemed reasonable to conclude that the partially inaccurate label was nothing more than a clerical error. I wrote all this out in an email sent well after business hours.

I received NGC’s initial response early the next morning requesting images of the obverse, reverse, and label. I obliged, and within a couple of hours, I received an email from NGC with a prepaid UPS next day shipping label. I dropped the coin in the mail later that day, and it arrived at NGC the following morning. From here, things moved quickly. NGC logged it into the system on October 13th, and I had it back in hand by the 29th. Not only did NGC place the coin in a fresh holder and correct the label to include the proof designation, but they also added the extra information to denote it as the variety struck on a thick flan and in medal alignment. They corrected the error free of charge, which I assume cost more than the initial grading charges.

This is not the first time that NGC went out their way to help a small-time collector such as myself, and I think that speaks volumes about NGC's character.

So what positive NGC customer service experiences do you have to share?  

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I had a positive experience with a customer service representative proving and preserving a provenance attached to two of Laura Gardin Frasers medals in my collection. Reading an article in the June 2018 issue of "The Numismatist" I read the story of a family who had charge of numerous items from James Earle and Laura Gardin Fraser's studio. Among the items were medals, plasters, and sculptures. I also found from a phone conversation with the curator, whose parents were aides to the Fraser's, that the plasters of Laura's Washington Quarter design were borrowed by the US Mint for the 1999 Washington commemorative half-eagle. For his trouble the mint presented him with a proof example of the Washington Commemorative. But I digress. Soon after the the article was published, I was contacted by my "all things Fraser" mentor-friend that the curators only lived 60 miles from where he lived and that he made an appointment to inspect the studio collection. From his inspection he recommended that I purchase two medals from the Fraser studio collection. Acting as my agent, my mentor-friend negotiated a good price for me and it was a sale. When I sent the medals to NGC for grading, I asked that the provenance be preserved. I presented them with a hand written bill of sale, a canceled check, and the Numismatist article as evidence that the medals I now owned once belonged to the Frasers. Over the phone I talked with NGC's head of medal grading over the wording of the provenance and finally settled on "Fraser Studio Archives."

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@coinsbygaryWow, it seems like they went above and beyond to make you happy, Gary! NGC seems to understand the importance of preserving that history offered by the provenance, and it is refreshing to see them place greater emphasis on that as opposed to profit. 

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