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Your thoughts on this PCGS Set Registry article?

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We just posted an article about the PCGS Set Registry program on our website. It is being discussed on the PCGS Set Registry forum (I just got back from the post office and haven't even looked over there yet, to see the latest).


I'd be interested in feedback from this forum, as well as the PCGS U.S. Coin. forum, and expect that it might be somewhat different from that of the Set Registry forum. Any comments are welcomed.



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Not Everyone Participates: Perhaps one of the most important things a Registry Program participant needs to understand is that just because a collection is ranked #1 doesn’t automatically make it the finest known. Be assured, there are a large number of prominent collectors who choose not to register their sets. Many decline for privacy reasons while others feel that posting their “finest known” collections may actually discourage people from collecting that particular series. In addition, nearly all of the largest and most prestigious collections that we’re aware of contain a number of NGC certified pieces as well as PCGS. The PCGS rules prohibit these incredible collections from being listed, even if the collector wanted to.


Yea, verily.

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Your article sounded good, except you didn't blast D. Hall enough IMO.


The original PCGS registry idea was a good one IMO, however it has degraded over time to nothing more than a marketing tool rather than a showcase for the worlds truly finest sets. Also, the weighting system for some series of coins (Morgan dollars especially) is awful and not even a remotely accurate depiction of the various coins rarity or values.


Also, I really have to laugh when I look at the proof state quarter catagory and see about 100 identical sets all graded PR69DCAM.



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Great article Mark. Well thought and written. One significant comment:


The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has recently launched a very similar program but with one huge difference: Their program accepts both NGC and PCGS certified material.


There are really two significant differences: the one you mention and (2) the relative weighting system.


I would suggest that you write a similar article with primary focus on the NGC registry. It would behoove your effort to gather information also from David Lange and others regarding the wighting system and its effects across the registry, expecially in the area of typ collecting.


Thanks for your efforts. Your company continues to impress me.



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To expand on what Hoot said, here's the main difference between PCGS and NGC in weighting:


PCGS -- assigns a weight to each slot. Take the Washington quarter series. The 1932-D (key to set) is weighted 10, and a 1958-P is weighted a 1. This factor is multiplied times grade, so a 1958-P in MS-67 would get 67 points, while a VG-08 32-D would get 80 points. This especially causes disparity for coins that are common in most grades, but become very rare in only the highest grades. Most MS-67 and MS-68 Washington quarters will never get their due in this system.


NGC -- assigns a weight to each coin in each grade. This allows for a much wider variety of scoring. The 1932-D quarter runs from 3 points to 15,687 points depending on condition, and the 1958-P runs from 3 points to 517 points depending on condition. (Note: Many of the circulated condition coins have not been fully weighted because the system is relatively new, resulting in a default weight of 3 points for many of the lowest grade, varies by set.)

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Great article Mark !! I really enjoyed it.


The idea of a registry set is nothing new - it has been around as long as coin collecting has been around. There has been and likely always will be competition among collectors to have the finest set available. But today - with the internet - it's just not like it used to be.


Many of the old time collectors think the registry set thing is just some fad - and that it like may other fads - will pass. Whether it will or not remains to be seen. But many of the older collectors that I know and know of would laugh their heads off at anyone who tried to compare modern registry sets with the Eliasberg & Trompeter collections - or any of the other great names.


I'm not knocking anybody's set - just repeating opinions that I have heard. I have little doubt that there are truly some great collections among the registry sets. But in some circles - they just don't get the respect they may deserve. There are an awful lot of collectors out there who just don't trust the grades assigned to the coins by the grading companies - regardless of which one.


But I think that what will turn out to be the most prophetic part of your article will be in regard to the pricing. In my opinion anyone who truly believes that the registry set phenomena has not had a profound effect on the coin market pricing is fooling themselves. To me it is just a question of how long it will last. Right now - nobody knows - but time will tell as it always does.


Don't get me wrong - I'm a big fan of the grading companies. And I think they play a very important part - and serve a definite need. I sincerely hope they are here to stay. That is not to say that I don't think they or their methods could be improved - in my opinion both could.

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mark i think the the pinnacle article was extremely well written and well said and i happen to agree with all of it!!


i think it was written in a really helpful non offensive way but i have noticed on the pcgs boards it did ruffle

the feathers

of a certain poster

as the truth makes him nervous

and it threatens this person............ which is not your fault but none the less still ruffled this persons




just my take on it with what i saw and it didnt take a genius to see it also..................lol


great article!! well written!!!!!! and in my opinion 100% correct truthful and to the point


and for some whom make a good amount of money with smoke

mirrors and clever talk trying to hawk ultra high grade modern coins where mostly the plastic and the

promotion/preception/deception.........lol by certain parties creates most all of the value


is there anything wrong with that? well i will just put it this way i could not in good conscience do it!!


sincerely michael

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I agree that the Registry Set phenomenon has helped spur some serious price appreciation in many of the 20th century coin series, but what do you think its effect has been on the prices of older classic ( Barbers, Seated Lib and Bust) coinage?

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zep -


In my opinion it has affected the coin market as a whole. Sure it has affected the modern series more - but I think that is because the modern series are much more affordable than are many of the classics. With the modern series - a collector has a much more affordable shot of getting a high ranking because the higher grade coins are not so expensive. And a ranking is what it is all about to many folks.


But let one sector of the coin market start moving up - and pretty much all of the sectors do. Maybe not so much as the currently hot series - but they increase all the same. To me it is sort of like a snowball effect. It just seems to get larger and starts to encompass more and more things. For example - a couple of months ago gold coins were fairly inactive price wise. But many have increased recently because some of the interest has shifted to them. And it is my belief that this interest will continue to shift around from one series to another.


It's sort of like it is with collectors themselves. For a certain period they collect only one or a couple of series. But then they complete the sets and move into another. Until eventually pretty much all coin series are affected.

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Great Article, Mark. I agreed with almost everthing said. I also feel that you did not "blow away more of DH's recent smoke and mirrors" remarks about PCGS vs. NGC coins.


As far as the Registry's effects on classic coins, i.e. Barber and Seated Liberty, I think that the Registry's have driven up prices on the extreme high-grade or great rarities in these groups. However, there are many lesser grades and dates within these series that have extremely low certified populations. For instance, I recently purchased at Auction, a 1913-S Barber, MS63 Dime. This coin is very scarce in any BU grade and I paid a very reasonable price for it, because it was not in a holder and it is not a MS66-69 coin.


This is not the only purchase that I have made recently that allowed me the opportunity to acquire very scarce date MS62 to MS64 classical copper, silver and gold coins with extremely low populations. Scarce Liberty gold coins in MS62-MS65 are a steal now, compared to prices even a year ago.


National Dealers and Coin Forums keep reporting record prices for great rarities and a "Hot Market". For those of us in the trenches, though, the average collector's market for most series, excepting modern coins, has either stood still or declined during this "Boom Coin Cycle".


I can not believe that the collector's market will continue to be over looked by the Industry forever. Someone will eventually recognize the great low price opportunities in the $300-$1500 price range and realize that they can make money there as well. tongue.gif

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