Stars or Plusses?



taking away the collector's role

I've been thinking about the new + designation by NGC for a few days. I had an initial knee-jerk response when I saw several of my sets dropping registry points..however I wanted to consider a list of positives and negatives before I jumped the gun and/or made any journal posts about my sentiments.....

Let's do some negatives first--and I'm sure others will have different ones I've missed--

1. Coin costs..all new coins with the + will probably now sell for a premium.

2. Our old holders and reholdering fees: I have taken years putting together simple 20 coin sets. Often I've turned down higher "registry point" coins because the lower coin I owned was PQ and nicer than the higher grade coins that were selling. Now, unless I pay the thousands to get my carefully chosen PQ coins reholdered, they will probably sell for less than lesser coins that get a +.

3. It takes away our collector "eye" for quality: one of the advantages of being an experienced collector is recognizing the difference between 2 coins of same grade ( and why one is worth a premium and the other not worth the grade cost). Now with micro-grading, a lot of the experience and knowledge factor is eliminated. The + sign will let you know if that MS67 is closer to a 68 or a much for getting bargains on better coins...


1. I have been very selective when buying over the years. Rarely have I just bought a coin for its slab grade. This means that if I do re-submit my coins a few at a time for a + designation, the inherent value and resale ask price should jump up nicely--for essentially the same coins.

Anyhow, I'm still torn and still thinking it over...I don't like the fact that I lost points on my * star coins ( many are very rare with a star). Stars signify an exceptional eye-appeal hence a desirable coin..however the + just signifies that the coin was a bit short of a higher grade--should the point values be equal for this vast difference?

PS: I just mailed in 6 coins to NGC, my first submission in 6 months. One that was submitted was that gorgeous toned ASE that was sitting in the little yellow envelope for 20+ years. I've seen several of these rainbow monsters in PCGS slabs however I have a gut feeling that NGC will probably give it a coffin ( details grade slab). I've had at least a half-dozen nicely toned coins taken straight from proof and mint set original government packaging get "artificially toned" tags...go figure, it really is a shoot..and after 8 years here at NGC I've never "hit" a good grade...EVER. Always the MS64 when a 65 jumps the value x10..never had a crossover actually go up in grade...every re-grade I've ever submitted has just been mailed back in the same slab..minus my money of course. So this may very well be my last submission. I'm not quitting collecting, it's just that I feel like a fool when I spend hundreds of hours carefully studying auction histories, coins in hand and selecting a choice few to submit...only to find they get lower grades than some of the junk I see higher graded in some slabs..

A little negative?..maybe I can have a dealer assign a grade, study it myself for quality, submit it for grading to verify and certify the grade, get CAC to add a green sticker for another fee to verify what I knew..then send it back for a + sign to quadruple proof verify that it is a nice coin..sheesh..

Here's a picture of my 1939 MS67* Walker--it just dropped almost 400 points because we now have a + designation and this cruddy coin doesn't have one on its slab...




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