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Grading Gripes: By MWIT



Altered Surfaces - maybe/maybe not. But if you are really, really confident the coin is correctly graded and it has no altered surfaces, then you should have no problems cracking it out and submitting raw to PCGS or NGC.


My personal philosophy is: "Buy the coin, not the holder, provided the coin is in an acceptable holder."The picture submitted by MWIT only shows the obverse, and perhaps the alteration is on the reverse? Even so, it is hard to tell without having coin in hand, but is it possible that the "nick or gouge" in the obverse field near the star has been "tooled?" As in, could it be that somebody has used a tool to "burnish" it so it would appear to be less objectionable?"When it comes to attempting to crossover a coin, my experience has been:1. PCGS will reject 10-25% of NGC coins because it might grade lower or because of some other objection such as "questionable toning," .... "enivronmental damage" ...2. NGC will reject 10-25% of PCGS coins for exactly the same kinds of reason.3. Both PCGS and NGC will reject 25% to 75% of other third party encapsulated coins. The most frequent reason for the body bag: "Will likely grade lower."In the case of PCGS and NGC, cracking a questionable coin and resubmitting it raw to either or both results in the following (ordered according to my personal experience):1. Coin comes back graded lower.2. Coin comes back graded the same as before.3. Coin comes back ungraded.4. Coin comes back graded higher.Through experience, I've managed to reduce the frequency of #3 by the "simple tactic" of not even bothering with coins that have evidence of scratches, hairlining, ugly toning. And I pay particular attention to the following:1. Condition: Does the condition of the coin (marks, dings, ...) correspond to the grade.2. Eye appeal: Is it possible the XXX service has graded an MS63 coin an MS64 because they really like that dark, deep toning? An NGC or PCGS grader might deem that toning to be undesirable to the extent they will arrive at a final grade of MS62.3. Strike: A very poor strike might, at first glance, make an MS60-MS62 coin appear to be AU because of flatness on the devices. Do not expect a grader to spend minutes, at $16 or less, on determining whether the coin is AU or MS because of strike versus wear. If his/her first impression is AU, then it is highly likely that becomes the final grade determination.For example, it took me three tries before I finally convinced NGC that a certain coin was not AU - it looked like it had wear because of the effect of striking with clashed dies - it ended up MS62.To reduce #1, I really try to be objective with the result that the last time I tried, I fully expected 6 of the 8 submitted raw coins to be graded lower. The other two? Oh well. I do crackouts based on one or more of the following:A. I want to sell.B. Coin X in MS64 (or whatever) is likely to be sold only if I ask MS60 price. Therefore, I am better off with the coin in an MS62 or MS63 holder.C. I want to keep the coin, but in a PCGS or NGC holder. I am ecstatic whenever #2 (same as other non-PCGS, non-NCG grader)or #4 (higher) occurs. And those occurrences more than make up for the others. Of course, #4 typically occurs only after careful "conservation." Perhaps most importantly, I am getting better at "buying the coin, not the holder." Besides, what complaint do I really have when I pay MS62 money for a coin in an MS64 IXX or PXX holder and the coin fails to crossover as MS64 by PCGS or NGC? When that happens, I basically got what a paid for - a low grade coin for a low grade price in a high grade party XXX holder. Why do I do that? Could it possibly be because I believe the coin is really MS63 or MS64 so if I buy at MS62 and pay the crossover/conservation fees, I am going to make out? Surely nobody does that, do they? And if they do, surely they don't complain when it turns out badly?Let me see, why would anybody have coins in XXX holders and want them reholdered in PCGS or NGC?1. They inherited the coins in the XXX holders. Okay, but there should be no gripes if the coins are body-bagged by PCGS/NGC,2. They were given the coins in the XXX holders. Again, there should be no gripes.3. They obtained the coins in the XXX holders without having a clue as to future consequences: re-sale/upgrade, desirability, registry, ... Hmm, valid gripe about the person, but not about PCGS/NGC.4. They obtained the coins in the XXX holders and they believed (correctly or not) the coins to be either correctly graded or undergraded (for the acquisition price). One might then ask, so why are they attempting to get the coins reholdered? Because they don't like party XXX holders? Okay, but that is not a valid reason to gripe about PCGS/NGC. Or is there some other reason for attempting the crossover - read on. 5. They had absolutely (or very little) clue or knowledge or whatever with regards to grading, eye appeal (versus condition)and so on. Okay, but that is a gripe by the person on his self or her self - not PCGS/NGC.6. They have a raw coin they believe is MS64, so they submit it to XXX to get it into an MS64 or higher grade and then they are going to spend more money to get it crossover into a PCGS/NCG holder. Hmmm??? That is really fuzzy logic, unless they believe the following to be true: A. Party XXX is likely to assign a higher grade than PCGS/NGC. B. Once in a higher grade, PCGS/NGC might accept that higher grade. This is the philosophy equivalent of betting on the incompetance of XXX to assign a higher than fair grade and then the incompetance or laziness of PCGS/NGC to accept the higher than fair grade. From my perspective, no valid gripe if it fails to pan out. In the case of 4, where they they honestly believe the coin is correctly graded, they did one of three things:1. They overpaid for the coin and they believe they can make it up by getting it re-holdered in PCGS or NGC. Huh??? Something wrong with this picture. Why overpay in the first place?2. They paid a fair price for the coin and now they want to pay EXTRA money to get it reholdered in PCGS or NCG -- instead of paying a fair price for the coin already in a PCGS or NGC holder. Huh??? If so, some fuzzy logic going on.3. They paid less than a fair price for the coin compared to what they would have paid for the coin already in a PCGS or NGC holder. But they realize or suspect that to "make good" on their "shrewed" acquisition, they need to get that coin reholdered in that grade in a PCGS or NGC holder. Nothing wrong with doing that, I'd be less than truthful were I to claim that I have not done that. But, if it turns out, that (for example) the MS 64 coin in XXX holder that I paid MS 60 money is really an AU58 or perhaps not gradable because of some defect I neglected, ignored or failed to notice, then "tough, too bad, so sad," I not only lost, I have no legitimate gripe.My personal philosophy is: "Buy the coin, not the holder, provided the coin is in an acceptable holder." If you buy the coin in an un-acceptable holder, then do so if and only if you are going to be happy paying extra for the coin to come back in either a body bag or in a lower grade. In other words, speculate, but don't gripe when that speculation does not pan out.Just my personal opinion and observation. Hoffy



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