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Numismatic News - new issue - ICG is number one?

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According to a poll take on eBay's "coins" message board, ICG rates at the top of grading services, with PCGS and NGC trailing closely behind, and ANACS behind them. The "others" were not specified except that they ranked too low for the list.


My personal experience with that board is that there are a lot of politics there, and a couple of people (known affectionately by those in disagreement with their opinions as "board bosses") are proponents of the ICG service, and could likely have had a lot to do with why their service was ranked #1.


Now I ask...how, realistically, can ANYONE in their right mind think that ICG's service is so much better than the established companies? I have seen examples of their grading - they are quite a bit off - usually blatently overgrading the coins (in my opinion). Their holders are off-size and bulky. Their resale value is nearly off the scale low compared to NGC and PCGS - right around that of ACG and PCI. Proof's in the pudding, I have been collecting data from closed auctions on eBay for some time now and running comparisons on the results.


So who's behind this? Why does NN accept half page and full page advertising from the major grading services, yet publish a poll on their front cover taken of what had to be less than a dozen opinionated people and make it seem as if it's gospel? What the heck am I missing??? confused.gifconfused.gif

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There was a discussion on grading services on eBay once. ICG has skewed the results to make it look like they are #1. I believe they weighted customer service so high as to make them #1.


Kind of like:


Who has the smaller slab, NGC or ACG? ACG does. Weight 80%.

Who has the better grading, NGC or ACG? NGC does. Weight 20%.


Survey results show that ACG is far superior to NGC...


FYI, I've tested their customer service. The person I spoke with was a insufficiently_thoughtful_person who couldn't answer basic questions.


The results on the NN front page is an ad by ICG. BTW, they've been using this flawed survey for years now. Shows you how much credibility ICG has.


The only people who think that ICG is as good (strict) as NGC & PCGS are either insufficiently_thoughtful_persons or sellers of ICG coins. ICG has the finest known specimens for many series. After 15,000,000+ coins graded by the other services before ICG came along, who thinks that these finest known specimens were just waiting to be graded?


I've owned a couple of ICG coins. Coins I thought were graded OK. When I went to sell them I couldn't get anything for them. Now the only time I touch them is if I plan on cracking them or doing a cross at any grade. Otherwise they hurt the value of the coin inside.

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That clarifies the issue tremendously in my mind. I didn't see it as an advertisement, I guess I should have looked closer. I guess it's like one of those internet pop-ups that looks like a Windows warning box, buttons and all, and when you click on it you go to their website to be drowned in their advertising.


Tricky ploy if you ask me, and a clarifying answer to my questions. Thanks!

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I've dealt with ICG before, and I thought their customer service was fine (in fact stunning when compared with PCGS). The grading is obviously looser than NGC or PCGS or ANACS, but I would certainly rank them above SEGS, PCI, ACG etc. The grading goes with the series though, and I would not feel comfortable paying full retail for an ICG MS-70 anything, but then again I doubt there are any MS-70 double eagles in anyones holder, except maybe ACG. I have a few ICG double eagles, and they are graded on par with NGC/PCGS/ANACS, but then again I was looking at the coin more than the grade, and I felt they measured up well. The added bonus was that I bought them cheaper than I would comparably graded coins in a major slab. As far as this survey, I have no clue how anyone who has been on either this or the PCGS boards could ever take such a poll seriously. It's statistically invalid and meaningless in my opinion.

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I don't dislike ICG the way I do ACG, but like others I've had trouble selling their products, even when the price was cheap for the coin inside the holder. In the early days ICG made an effort to be a top notch service, but when they could make no headway against PCGS and NGC, they slipped back into the ghetto of backwater grading services.


They also hurt themselves by making some major mistakes with their die attributions. Once I saw a Bust half in awlful condition that they listed as a very rare Overton variety. If it had been that variety it would have been worth the $1,000+ asking price that the dealer had on it. Unfortunately it was a very common variety, and the ugly coin in the holder was worth about $15.


Another time I saw saw a 1795 Flowing Hair dollar that they mislabeled as the 2 leaf variety when it was the 3 leaf coin. That's a naked eye variety, and there is no excuse for blowing that one, but I've seen PCGS do the same sort of thing and get away with it!

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