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Experiences with the new * designation

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I am considering sending some of my nicest NGC coins in for "designation review" to see if they can make a "*" ... I just wondered if anyone has done this yet and what their experience was in terms of getting (or not getting the designation)...

 

Thanks much.

 

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I've only had one coin receive the star designation, but it was one that I sent raw, not for review. It was a 1952 Jefferson nickel that was monster toned and immaculate surfaces.

 

Hoot

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They are very, very particular with what gets the star and what doesn't. It has to be an awsome looking coin. There are a list of guidlines that they follow. There was a post about that once, but I don't know if it's still on here.

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i have never seen a star ngc coin but i think you have an excellent idea to submit your ngc coins that you feel

 

HAVE EXCELLENT EYE APPEAL! that way you might get a star designation and also it

would be a terrific learning experience for yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

a great post and a great! idea!

 

sincerely michael

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I have done a cut and paste job here from an article I wrote that is on our websites. These are meant to be guidelines, but should be helpful:

 

How do the professional graders at NGC make the determination as to whether or not a coin qualifies for the star?

 

It is apparent that some coins of a particular grade are far more attractive than others of the same grade. That, in a nutshell, is the idea behind NGC’s star designation. NGC defines its star designated coins as those that have exceptional eye appeal. The coin itself could fall anywhere within the grade it is assigned, IE: if it were an MS64 it could be at the lower end, mid-range or higher end of that grade.

 

Let me add that a star designated coin should not be thought of in the same way one would think of a “PQ” (Premium Quality) coin. When I think of a PQ coin, one that just misses the next grade immediately comes to mind. That coin may or may not have exceptional eye appeal. That is not what NGC star designated coins are all about.

 

Now for the logical question: How do the professional graders at NGC make the determination as to whether or not a coin qualifies for the star? Star designated coins can be either untoned (often referred to as “white” in some issues) or toned. In order for an untoned coin to qualify it must have full vibrant luster and be free of any distracting planchet irregularities, as well as distracting spots or blemishes. You may think this doesn’t narrow it down a great deal. When this definition is strictly adhered to it most certainly does narrow the field, as evidenced by the fact that NGC currently has designated far less than one percent of the eligible coins as being of star quality.

 

Making the determination on a toned coin is bit more complex and subjective. In order for a toned coin to receive a star designation it must first be considered attractively toned without objection from the graders who inspect it. Plain and simple, if there is a single objection to a particular coin receiving a star designation upon quality control inspection, it loses the star. It also must have full luster to the extent that the toning does not impede the luster. Furthermore, it must be free of any obvious planchet irregularities and be free of any distracting spots or blemishes. The toning color can be of a single color or multicolored but cannot have any areas that are dark brown approaching black.

 

In applying star designations to applicable proof coins, all of the above criteria apply for toned coins. Untoned coins, however, must meet one of the additional criteria outlined below to qualify:

 

- They display cameo or ultra cameo contrast on the obverse only.

 

- Coins that do not qualify for cameo but which display cameo contrast on both the obverse and reverse that falls just short of NGC’s minimum standard for cameo may receive a star. (Coins that display only a subtle contrast will not receive a star or a cameo designation.)

 

- They qualify for the cameo designation and, in addition, have an ultra cameo obverse.

 

- They qualify for the ultra cameo designation and, in addition, exhibit exceptionally intense contrast between devices and fields on both the obverse and reverse that exceeds by a generous margin that of the normal ultra cameo standard.

 

All eligible coins submitted to NGC are automatically reviewed for star designation at no additional charge. Coins already certified by NGC can be reviewed for star designation at a fee of $10 per coin and must be submitted under NGC’s Designation Review service.

 

John

 

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I'd still like to know why NGC won't use the Star Designation on circulated coins. There are many early coins such as large cents where a nice VF coin with a nice smooth planchet would have exceptional eye appeal compared to a typical planchet.

 

Also, some coins in the XF/AU grades can have exceptional toning and eye appeal. Shouldn't these deserve a special notation?

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Greg,

 

I love nice circ type. It's so scarce! HOWEVER, when I see a nice VF Large Cent, I am not thinking "exceptional eye appeal". Originality, yes. Pleasing, yes. Problem free, yes. A collectors dream, yes. The STAR designation is meant to be special, perhaps even somewhat exclusive, and is applied only to qualifying coins deemed choice uncirculated, IE MS63 and higher. Is that unfair? If the coins could speak, they may say it is.... but we're comfortable with our policy at this point. Also, all circulated grades of good and better have at least 2 numbers to accompany the nomenclature, and in the case of VF and AU there are 4. In most cases if a coin gets the high end of the circ grade IE is a VF35 and nt a VF20, it is a premium coin for the grade either because it meets the criteria you describe or because it is very close to the next grade.

 

John

 

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John,

 

I like coins in the high AU range, trying to get my set at AU-58, because I think the grade offers a lot of bang for the buck. But looking at that range, I have seen drab coins that technically merit an AU-58, and I have seen stunning coins that technically merit the same grade.

 

I have a No Drapery Seated quarter that I think is a poster child for AU-58*, but I also have several AU-58 half dimes that are just so-so. And like Greg mentioned with early copper, you can see 2 VF-30 Chain cents, the same detail level with each, one with a nice smooth planchet, and the other with a planchet that looks like it was dipped in battery acid.

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Keith,

 

Good points, but I think you are talking more about a "high end" coin for the grade rather than "exceptional eye appeal" here. Unfortunately, I also think there would be as many (or more) collectors and dealers who would think using a STAR on lower end coins was silly. Understand that while we are thilled with the overall STAR feedback, a minority still seem to reject the concept entirely. Our goal is to please as many people as possible realizing that we can NEVER please everyone.......

 

John

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I also don't like the MS63 or higher requirement. I have an MS62 commemorative that has nice color. I recently turned down an upgrade (MS66) becuase I thought my coin had better color. If my coin were MS63 it would highly likely get the * designation. Just becuase it missed a grade point (and was in a PCGS slab blush.gif ) it doesn't get the * designation?

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John, two coins that come to mind are the 1839 No Drapery Seated Quarter and the 1858 Seated Half I have in my set.

 

The 1858 Seated Half is an AU-58, with dark, rich toning, possible print, and no trace of "rub" that I can see at 5x magnification. The company that I bought it from swears that it's a 62 or 63, and maybe one day, it will regrade higher. I consider that piece high end for the grade because the rub is not there and the coin is undergraded, or at least PQ for the assigned grade.

 

The 1839 No Drapery Seated Quarter is an AU-58, with definite "rub" on the eagle on the reverse, and rich colors emcompassing most of the rainbow. It has album toning, and it's caused the jaw of every dealer I've shown it to to drop. I consider that a * type piece because the rub precludes a higher technical grade.

 

I agree that the * designation would probably be fairly scarce at grades below the current standard of MS-63, but I don't believe that a grade level should preclude a truly stunning piece from earning it if it is deserved.

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I have to agree that I have seen a few AU coins that were show-stoppers and, like Greg and Keith, believe that these coins could garner the extra recognition. Eye appeal pervades the grades, it is not limited to uncirculated coins. For example, early U.S. coinage that was lightly circulated but is otherwise now totally original can knock your socks right off. (I know, as I just picked up an 1836 bust half AU55 that blew my mind, and I don't collect the series!) And I'm truly not speaking of simple upper-end coins (for their grade), I'm speaking of eye appeal. I have to join in thinking the star designation could be extended to the circulated grades, and as judiciously as you provide it for the uncirculated grades. By the way, the limitation to MS63 or higher strikes me as odd. I recognize the basis of your reasoning, but every now and then.......

 

Hoot

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Saturday I had a chance to look at 25 toned Morgans that had just returned from NGC. Of the 25 coins 4 received the * designation. In my opinion the 4 deserved the * but there were several others in my eyes anyway, that deserved this designation more than the 4 that received it. So I guess it is in the eyes of the beholder what is considered Exceptional Eye Appeal and what is not. I agree with Kranky and RotatedRainbows on their opinion on the Walker.

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EVP it is not the color itself that detracts to me but the fact that it is broken and gives that splotchy look on the right upper to middle part of the piece that is not appealing to me. As for sending in already holdered coin I sent in a few of my Morgans mostly because they were in older holders and I was thinking of having them reholdered to begin with since some of them were fairly scuffy/scratched and the review designation was only a couple of dollars more. Of the eleven I sent in only TWO came back with the star* even though I thought that at least five if not six were locks, on the other hand I decided to have a number of other coins I have in lesser holders (PCI,ICG & SEGS) slabbed by NGC so I cracked them out and of the nine I submitted FIVE came back with the star even I thought maybe two or three would get it based on my first experience. So from my perspective they are a little more willing to give the star* to coins submitted raw then they are to coins already holdered.

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