NGC-PCGS Graded Coins

What are graded coins?

You have probably asked yourself how coins get their market value and what determines their authenticity. It is interesting to know that grading became a usual practice in the U.S. since the mid 19th century when coins first started being collected. Grading is the process through which a coin has determined its physical condition or the so-called “state of preservation”. Check out our Guide on graded coins for more detailed information.  

Top Grading Companies

You may already know that for determining the value of the coin its grade matters the most. The grade is a sum of factors, subjective ones sometimes, that would place the coin in a specific category. But who has the authority and knowledge to know best what is the coin’s grade? - The grading companies!

In the United States, reputation and reliability place grading companies into three main tiers. All the grading companies, except PCGS, NGC, and ANACS, fall into the lowest-tier of grading services due to reputation build on some inconsistencies in rating coins, and of course, they charge lower premiums than the three previously mentioned. ANACS - America's Oldest Coin Authentication and Grading Service - the middle-tiered grading company, is, as mentioned in its title, the longest on the market, and their grades are considered acceptable on the market. The best, and of course with highest rates, in the grading business, are considered Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS) and the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), however, what’s the difference between them?!


Both companies benefit from an impeccable reputation and coins graded by them have recognized high values in the market place. PCGS and NGC use the Sheldon scale to grade coins from “1” to “70” since they have been in operations: 1986 and 1987 respectively. They provide free access to the online database of already certified coins. The premiums are dependent on the coin’s value, condition, and the urgency of processing the request. Also, the companies have online guides for self-assessment of coins’ grades. PCGS and NGC have already become world leaders in grading coins, including Chinese gold and Chinese silver ones. However, one of the spotted differences between PCGS and NGC, is that the latter seems keener in sharing more detailed information about the grading process. For example, at NGC each coin is graded by two experts separately, and if they cannot agree on the coin’s grade, then a third expert steps in. Also, NGC is the American Numismatic Association’s grading service, and also of Professional Numismatics Guild. In any case, feel confident that you will not be mistaken if choosing any of the two top grading companies. We invite you to visit our Bullion Exchanges collection of certified gold coins and certified silver coins.



Grading coins - is it worth it?


Why? Certifications of authenticity from PCGS or NGC assure higher numismatic value to your coin. It becomes a guaranteed product and the coins acquire the grading company’s reputation. Get quotes on your certified coins here.

What about first strike coins?

NGC and PCGS offer the Early Releases and First Strike designations for the coins received within 30 days of the first release of a new coin issue.

PCGS is applying the “First strike” label and NGC used to have the “First strike” label, now it is replaced with “Early Releases”, to make a reference to the coins that are being submitted for grading within the first month. The label is considered to make an appeal to more enthusiastic collectors, however, it is not proved that the “First strike” labeled coins will keep their value in time, as the label obviously adds to coin’s initial market price.