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A good newbie question

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I received an email from a person new to collecting that I thought I'd share (witholding the name). It's an old question, but one worth bringing up from time to time for the sake of those new to the hobby. A reminder that there are no dumb questions. Here goes... (I feel like Dear Abbey blush.gif)


Hi , I'm new to collecting , I hope you dont mind but i'm also new to the boards and I dont want to ask dumb questions. You seem to have alot of post which tells me you have been doing this a long time. maybe you can help me if you have time. Is there something wrong with accugrade ? the prices are great but I hear things about them. can you please tell me whats going on if you have the time ? I would appreciate It very much . Thank you either way . If you can, email me at , I'm thinking about sending them some coins , there prices are very cheap . Either way Thanks again .


The question you ask is somewhat loaded. First let me say that I only use holders as a general guide as to what may or may not be in them. I have bought a few pieces blind and have always had some level of disappointlment, no matter what the grading service was who slabbed them. I ALWAYS prefer to make my purchasing decisions with my eyes upon the coin, preferably in my hand. As for ACG, there is simply greater variability in their grading than other services, in my experience and in that of others. That variability can be quite alarming and makes the trade of ACG holdered coins much more contentious than that for certain other services. ACG has also slabbed many coins that seasoned collectors have deemed "problem coins." These coins are not only graded improperly, they have problems that would usually change their description and "net grade," or cause them to not be slabbed by other services.


Give yourself plenty of time to become educated on the various services and what they may offer in terms of coin grading. Look around the boards a great deal and familiarize yourself with rational explanations of how well the various services grade coins. Over time, and as you educate yourself about coin collecting and grading, you may want to buy many services' coins, including ACG, but only sight-seen, i.e. with them in hand (not just a picture). You may also wish to buy raw coins in the series you like and are familiar with. 3rd party grading service opinions will eventually become secondary to your concerns. Buy only problem-free coins, and learn enough about them to identify the problems within and across series. For now, with high-grade coins, stick to NGC and PCGS graded coins for the sake of securing the most from your investments.


By the way, also send your raw coins only to NGC or PCGS for now. NGC offers great collectors Society benefits, so it's a great place to start.


Take care, Mark Hooten.

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I got the same email message. So, Mark, you're not so special after all! tongue.gif


Seriously, I responded with something similar. I touched on the typically noted difference of opinion between an ACG-slabbed grade versus one that is more mainstream.


Additionally, I discussed the issue of the warranty offered by a major service. If there is a mistake involving the grade (relative to market standards) or counterfeiting or other types of problems, then the warranty becomes very important.


I also noted that there are many services without a tier-1 warranty, and all of them should be considered after great care.




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I'm glad you got the same question EVP! laugh.gif I kind of thought that more people than just me got asked, as it's worth getting all the feddback possible.


Great points about the grading guarantees.


Now I feel a little less like Abagail! blush.gifblush.giflaugh.gif





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Most of us know about the standards at ACG but it's good to see a newbie doing research before buying. In case the point wasn't made about grading services, do more research and learn which companies guarantee their coins as to authenticity and grade.

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