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My Worst Numismatic Nightmare



Suffering the consequences of mistakes made years ago.

From my journal post on March 1, I described many of the lessons I learned over the years on building a quality coin collection. In that journal, I documented a desire to get my entire collection certified. Foolishly, I sent the bulk of my raw coins to NTC (Numistrust Corp). In the past year since joining Collectors Society, I discovered the joy of building registry sets. With the registry accepting only PCGS or NGC graded coins (NCS accepted in Signature sets); I decided to crossover grade my NTC coins.


Having to crossover grade my coins gave me an idea for a little experiment. I would submit half my coins cracked out of the slabs and the other half submitted in the slabs. I was interested in comparing NTC with NGC on grading raw coins. Curious and anxious to get my coins into registry sets, I mailed the cracked out coins to NGC.

The results are in and they are not pretty.

1. 1876 20-cent piece NTC graded VF-20; NGC no grade, improperly cleaned.

2. 1831 Bust Half NTC graded AU-55, artificial toning; NGC no grade, improperly cleaned.

3. 1859 3-cent silver NTC graded AU-55; NGC no grade, damaged.

4. 1898 1 cent NTC graded MS-63 RB; NGC no grade, artificial color.

5. 1835 ? dime NTC graded XF-40; NGC no grade, improperly cleaned.

6. 1896 Barber quarter NTC graded AU-55; NGC no grade, improperly cleaned.

7. 1900-s Barber half NTC graded VF-30; NGC no grade, improperly cleaned.

Now for the good news.

1. 1909 vdb cent NTC graded MS-64 RB; NGC graded MS-64 RB (The only match).

2. 1923 Peace dollar NTC graded MS-65; NGC graded MS-64

Years after this monumental mistake, I am living with the painful consequences. I must sell these coins and purchase replacements. How could NTC be so inept at not finding these problems? Even I was suspect of a few of the coins, but I sent them in anyway hoping that they would grade. It is no wonder they are out of business. As for NGC, they are a first rate grading company, and occasionally, in my case, painfully so. Because of NGC?s high standards, we all reap the rewards in our collections.

Now, because of my collecting priorities, I will not replace these coins anytime soon. The proceeds from the sale of these coins will go towards my signature sets and my Britannias. Shortly, I will send NGC the other coins remaining in NTC slabs I want to keep, selling the rest intact in their slabs. I have two other coins in ANACS slabs that are not problem coins. I expect these to crossover well.

Fortunately, I bought most of these coins more than 20 years ago when slabbing was a fledgling business. I may even realize a small profit from the sale. Back then, I bought a good portion of my coins through mail order (another potential problem with a lesson to learn). All told, today I am a more experienced and wiser than I was when I purchased these coins, and I am learning what to look for in problem coins.

For now, I will lick my wounds and get back in the saddle again; man do I love this hobby!



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