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I started collecting coins a little while ago and have submitted a few (with much trepidation) to NGC to be graded. Everything went fine and all is well.

So now I am a "member" of NGC and am ready to submit more coins.

My question is this: Many people seem to be bigger fans of PCGS vs NGC. I did a very non-scientific study on Ebay, and it seems like there is not a huge difference between the prices on , for instance, 2001 Silver Buffalo's. Sold items were $135 to $145 ish, depending on the situation.

Why does it seem like there is more love for PCGS? Has anyone had specific experiences where one was superior to the other?

Thanks in advance

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Publicity? I'm personally a NGC fan, I'd rather buy NGC slabs but I do have both. I just wish they would find one style and stick with it. I don't like the way they change every few years. ~ Jim
I have had no personal experience with either. A non-statistical review of Morgan silver dollar sales at important auctions seems to indicate that PCGS rated coins sell for more than NGC coins rated at the same level.
I believe Frank just nailed it- the perceived boost in value seems to be more important with older coins. It is not as big a factor in the pricing of modern commemorative issues. Personally, I believe they are both good, but many collectors believe PCGS to be somewhat tighter in their grading, meaning that a given grade means more. I did see a post on another forum recently regarding this issue. A member submitted 8 NGC graded coins to PCGS. One coin received a higher grade, 2 were graded the same, and 5 coins received a lower grade. I could see the same thing happening if the same 8 coins were PCGS coins being submitted for a regrade, or PCGS coins being submitted to NGC. The grade given a coin by the TPGs will not be the same every time because the grade will always be subjective to some extent. In any case, as Frank said, PCGS graded coins do often sell for more.

Frank Charly said:
I have had no personal experience with either. A non-statistical review of Morgan silver dollar sales at important auctions seems to indicate that PCGS rated coins sell for more than NGC coins rated at the same level.
So are you saying that if I send in 10 coins to be graded at PCGS they will just grade them honestly, but if I send 10 coins to NGC they will grade them higher because I'm a frequent flyer?
hmmmm.

Gary said:
PCGS just grades the coin itself..not how many coins you send in for grading!!
No sir....I asked a question based on an insinuation.....I think.
At least that what I meant to do.

If NGC is reading this; I believe in you. Grade my coins well....please.

Gary said:
you said it...not me!!

John W said:
So are you saying that if I send in 10 coins to be graded at PCGS they will just grade them honestly, but if I send 10 coins to NGC they will grade them higher because I'm a frequent flyer?
hmmmm.

Gary said:
PCGS just grades the coin itself..not how many coins you send in for grading!!
I think both do their best to grade coins honestly and accurately but neither will ever be right all of the time. And with the subjective part of grading thrown in, who has the final word on what is the right grade for a given coin? I think they are right most of the time, not all of the time. I have a 2009 Lincoln proof dollar graded PR70DCAM. It has a spot on it big enough to see from 2 feet away. It definitely should not have received a 70 grade. I have 69 graded coins from both NGC and PCGS that I cannot find a flaw with. Possibly the lower grades were due to a weak strike or something else that I am just not seeing, but to me they look like 70 grade coins. These are the exceptions. Most of the graded coins I have were graded accurately in my opinion. For me at least, there are 2 main benefits of grading from NGC and PCGS. The assurance that the coin is genuine (assuming the slab is real and the right coin is in it) and having a professional opinion from someone who is better qualified than me. Either company is fine with me.
I posted this on another thread, but I think it belongs here too:

To settle the grading debate there should be an independent audit made. From this audit, a statistically driven grading calibration could be made. I think Mark Apsalon(Spare Change youtube fame) could pull this off with some help from a statistician. It would have to be a large sample of coins, say 100 or so. or maybe more. The sample would have to be large enough to represent enough data to yield a significant result. Then the data could be statistically analyzed for deviations in grading for each coin(a statistical spread). Those with the highest statistical spreads could then be regraded by the same companies to see how consistent they are with the first sets of grading.

Then, after the second round of grading each grading company could present the reasons for the grade they gave either in interview or written format. Until some real statistical analysis is done among the grading companies, you might as well just talk about the weather instead. It would probably be a lot more interesting and a lot more accurate than speculation on which company slabs coins the most accurately. I know that a lot of you claim to have enough experience with all the grading companies to make informed opinions, but the hard data would be a nice way to settle this debate, don't you think? Has this ever been done in any meaningful way? This is a question for all of the resident 'expert numismatists' that frequent this site.
I have always thought personally that PCGS is tougher on its grades than others... I would rather pay to have a tough grading company look at a coin than a company that gives out grades easier (and thus reduces their value in my mind)... just my opinion. I don't think NGC is too far different but things like the MS70 2009 double eagle fiasco really makes me mad... more 70s than 69s? Yeah right.
There have been a couple of surveys attempting to rate the TPGs. In 2004, a survey of PNG (Professional Numismatists Guild) and ICTA (Industry Council for Tangible Assets) members rated both PCGS and NGC as "superior" for grading accuracy and the ability to detect cleaned, damaged, altered, repaired, and counterfeit coins. Other companies were also rated, but NGC and PCGS were the only two TPGs to receive the "superior " rating in this survey. In a separate survey by PNG in 2006, both PCGS and NGC were again rated "superior". As far as I know, these surveys were not statistical in the sense that a given test sample of coins was used to reach conclusions. It appears they were based on the responses of the members of the professional organizations involved. More information on these surveys is readily available online by searching for grading company evaluations
I agree it would be interesting to see a test done as you said, if it was a large enough sample to be meaningful, and the grading services involved were unaware of the test. Whether or not the test results would really change many opinions is hard to say. There is always a subjective element involved in grading, so again, who has the final word on what is the right grade? If there is no definitive answer to this question, it might be very difficult to do a meaningful statistical analysis.

Dwayne Schiller said:
I posted this on another thread, but I think it belongs here too:

To settle the grading debate there should be an independent audit made. From this audit, a statistically driven grading calibration could be made. I think Mark Apsalon(Spare Change youtube fame) could pull this off with some help from a statistician. It would have to be a large sample of coins, say 100 or so. or maybe more. The sample would have to be large enough to represent enough data to yield a significant result. Then the data could be statistically analyzed for deviations in grading for each coin(a statistical spread). Those with the highest statistical spreads could then be regraded by the same companies to see how consistent they are with the first sets of grading.

Then, after the second round of grading each grading company could present the reasons for the grade they gave either in interview or written format. Until some real statistical analysis is done among the grading companies, you might as well just talk about the weather instead. It would probably be a lot more interesting and a lot more accurate than speculation on which company slabs coins the most accurately. I know that a lot of you claim to have enough experience with all the grading companies to make informed opinions, but the hard data would be a nice way to settle this debate, don't you think? Has this ever been done in any meaningful way? This is a question for all of the resident 'expert numismatists' that frequent this site.
The coins for the samples would be interspersed with the other coins. Then extracted back out by the independent agent that will tabulate the results. In the same way, technical grading could be used to measure imperfections manifested on each coin within the survey. In my opinion appeal and color should really be the only aspects of coin grading that would ever really need human involvement as computers and laser imagery can do a much more accurate and consistent job of scouting out how accurately the die has portrayed the image on to the metal. What are you opinions on technical grading for the less subjective aspects of coin grading? I personally would trust it more than human grading because computers don't have "bad days" like their human counterparts.
Granted, technology has improved tremendously over the years. No doubt precise scans and measurements of the coin would be possible and these elements would be objective. Turning those measurements into a grade is where I think a system like this would have problems. Regardless of the technology available, sooner or later the subjective issues are still a part of grading. I believe factors like luster, original surfaces, and the like would be very difficult to determine by scanning. Also, the human involvement would still not be completely removed even from the technical part of the grading. Some human(s) would still have to write the software that tells the computer how to evaluate the information. Which again raises the question of determining what is the right grade. IMO, the subjective nature of grading makes it impossible to remove the human grader from the process.

Dwayne Schiller said:
The coins for the samples would be interspersed with the other coins. Then extracted back out by the independent agent that will tabulate the results. In the same way, technical grading could be used to measure imperfections manifested on each coin within the survey. In my opinion appeal and color should really be the only aspects of coin grading that would ever really need human involvement as computers and laser imagery can do a much more accurate and consistent job of scouting out how accurately the die has portrayed the image on to the metal. What are you opinions on technical grading for the less subjective aspects of coin grading? I personally would trust it more than human grading because computers don't have "bad days" like their human counterparts.
I think they are equal in terms of quality of the grade.

PCGS coins command a higher price, I think mainly because NGC does a lot of bulk grading perhaps "cheapening" them. This is purely my theory. I also can't say that just because they do volume, they do less of a good job, though others might.

I've submitted to both and now I just submit to PCGS. The reason is purely from a customer service perspective. For the basic membership, I can track my coin online and get my grade the day it's graded. I also get a nice storage box when it's shipped back. With NGC, you fly blind and don't feel much love.

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