Recent grading results: Have we turned the corner?

ModCrewmanModCrewman Posts: 3,908 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited September 12, 2019 5:18PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Over the past couple of weeks I received grades on a few economy submissions. I have been pretty open about my frustration with what I have perceived to be very tight grading by PCGS over the past 24 months. What I have experienced with my submissions represented, in my opinion, a variance from the standards under which I had been submitting coins since 2011. I paid PCGS thousands of dollars (via grading fees) over 7 years to train my eye for grading and designation of 1950-70 cameo proof/SMS coins which is my nearly exclusive collecting area.

I had considered these submissions to be nearly "last straw" submissions of the "best of the best" I've purchased over the last 6 months. I've held back literally hundreds of coins from being submitted to PCGS over the past year while I believed their standards had become extremely tight.

Particularly related to the last submission of 23 coins for which I received grades most recently, for the first time in nearly 2 years, I felt the grades were in line with what they were during the majority of my previous 7 years of collecting. I surely can't say on the basis of only 2 submissions that they have returned to prior grading standards, but I am hopeful that we may be turning the corner. I pray that is the case; the last few years haven't been much fun with repeated disappointing results on submission after submission.

Without further ado here are the results from my most recent submission (Bolded are those that improved my set.):

  1. 37180102 83377 1956 1C, CAM PR67+CA
  2. 37180103 83383 1958 1C, CAM PR67CA - Tied my best
  3. 37180104 84182 1950 5C, CAM PR67CA
  4. 37180105 84187 1955 5C, CAM PR66CA
  5. 37180106 84191 1959 5C, CAM PR67CA - Tied my best
  6. 37180107 84193 1961 5C, CAM PR68CA
  7. 37180108 95239 1964 10C, DCAM PR68DC - Tied my best
  8. 37180109 507430 1956 25C Rev Die Gouge FS-701, CAM PR66CA
  9. 37180110 85989 1957 25C, CAM PR67CA
  10. 37180111 85990 1958 25C, CAM PR67CA
  11. 37180112 5993 1961 25C PR67
  12. 37180113 85995 1963 25C, CAM PR67CA
  13. 37180114 95996 1964 25C, DCAM PR69DC
  14. 37180115 6696 1955 50C PR66
  15. 37180116 6686 1956 50C Type 1 PR67+
  16. 37180117 6686 1956 50C Type 1 PR67
  17. 37180118 86697 1956 50C Type 2, CAM PR69CA
  18. 37180119 86699 1958 50C, CAM PR67CA
  19. 37180120 6700 1959 50C PR67
  20. 37180121 6700 1959 50C PR68
  21. 37180122 86700 1959 50C, CAM PR67CA
  22. 37180123 86703 1962 50C, CAM PR67CA
  23. 37180124 96800 1964 50C, DCAM PR67DC - Tied my best

These are the TrueViews of the ones that I was most pleased with:
1956 1C PR67+ CAM

1950 5C PR67 CAM

1956 25C Reverse Die Gouge PR66 CAM

1964 25C PR69 DCAM

1956 50C Type 1 PR67+

1956 50C Type 2 PR69 CAM

1959 50C PR67 CAM

1964 50C PR67 DCAM


  • KliaoKliao Posts: 1,777 ✭✭✭✭✭


    A Young Numismatist/collector. Enjoy collecting coins and flipping items for fun, profit, and money for my collection

    Positive BST transactions with LukeMarshall(x2), hrtfxr, PerryHall(x2), Greedoguy(x2), RonB(x2), firstspousecoins, jwitten, jonruns

  • bolivarshagnastybolivarshagnasty Posts: 5,753 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Beautiful proofs. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  • HemisphericalHemispherical Posts: 9,373 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That sampling is awesome!

  • divecchiadivecchia Posts: 5,656 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Some very nice looing pieces there!!!

    Congrats on your grades.


    Hobbyist & Collector (not an investor).
    Nolan Ryan Master Set ---- Nolan Ryan Topps Master Set
  • sparky64sparky64 Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Of all the posts about grading consistency and standards over the last few years, your threads have stuck with me the most by far.

    Why so many of your submissions did not warrant any CAM designations had me so frustratingly confused.


    "If I say something in the woods and my wife isn't there to hear I still wrong?"

    My meager Washington Quarter Registry set

  • SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 9,229 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Congrats on finally making a 1959 half dollar in Cameo. Very attractive coin.

  • amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 6,801 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 12, 2019 6:34PM

    @ModCrewman I experienced the same thing as you describe almost 2-3 years ago. I decided not to waste anymore money after I had to free coins I spent +/- $1000.00 in grading fees. That submission was under graded 10 points straight through across the board. I have not submitted anything since and sold all the coins I cracked out at the grades they were.

    I had a dozen Barber Half's in that submission come back graded VG8 that were all solid F12-15 coins! I had never seen a graded VG8 Barber Half with just the bottom of BER missing in Liberty before that submission!

  • lonn47lonn47 Posts: 236 ✭✭✭

    nice set. thanks

  • NorCalJackNorCalJack Posts: 231 ✭✭✭


    Congrats on the submission. I still have my submission in for grading with no results back. In our PM conversation you sounded discouraged with the process but your results given me hope.

    Trueviews of all the coins would be nice to see so we can see what is not getting CAM or DCAM designations.

  • cupronikcupronik Posts: 773 ✭✭✭

    One would think that PCGS would give submitters incentive to spend $ with them, especially in a tough market like today. Grading has certainly been strict since the new regime took over about 24 months ago. I think gradeflation is a thing of the past.

  • metalmeistermetalmeister Posts: 3,925 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very nice proof coins. Congrats!

    email: [email protected]

    100% Positive BST transactions
  • fcfc Posts: 12,773 ✭✭✭

    Not sure about grading standards on such coins but those coins in the pics are stunning!

  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 13,908 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 13, 2019 7:16AM

    @ricko said: THIS:

    "@ModCrewman....Those are very nice coins... Congratulations on a great submission. As to your comments... the first issue is your use of the word 'standards'.... there are none. That is why there is gradeflation or tightening in the grading process....Standards, by definition, do not change. For example... an inch or foot or meter is a standard of measure. Volts and watts are a standard of measure. Troy or avoirdupois ounces or pounds are units of measure.
    Consistent and recognized. There are no grading 'standards' only generally accepted levels of opinions."

    What Ricko also implied is that "standards" can be loose at times too. If you read the "standards" for MS-70, 69, and 68 and then check out what is on the market, you may be surprised at what you find. In some cases, the grading of your coins may not be as "tight" as you believe.

    @cupronik said: "One would think that PCGS would give submitters incentive to spend $ with them, especially in a tough market like today. Grading has certainly been strict since the new regime took over about 24 months ago. I think gradeflation is a thing of the past."

    Great idea PCGS! Crap all over your "standards" and reputation to make more money and please your Registry customers. I made a joke at the first TPGS grading service in DC. Let's give our customers what they want, loose grading! That should make everyone happy and the money will roll in.


  • ModCrewmanModCrewman Posts: 3,908 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 13, 2019 8:10AM

    Here are the ones that didn't get the CAM designation. I can agree with all of them.

    1961 25C PR67

    1955 50C PR66

    1956 50C Type 1 PR67

    1959 50C PR67

    1959 50C PR68

    1958 1C PR67 CAM - I thought this Lincoln (along with the 1956 above) could have received a DCAM designation.

    1961 5C PR68 CAM - I thought this one could also have received a DCAM designation.

  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 5,418 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Congrats on the grades, sadly this is just one turn of a corner in an endless string of twists and turns. Until grading moves away form market/pricing grading; which is highly subjective; to a repeatable standard of grading, opinions will continue to award and disappoint and gradeflation will continue unchecked.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 13,908 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 13, 2019 12:29PM

    Thanks to the OP, I deleted my confused comment so as not to clutter this thread. :) I agree DCAM.

  • ModCrewmanModCrewman Posts: 3,908 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 13, 2019 9:51AM

    @Insider2 said:

    1958 1C PR67 CAM - I thought this Lincoln (along with the 1956 above) could have received a DCAM designation.

    1961 5C PR68 CAM - I thought this one could also have received a DCAM designation.

    You posted these did not get "Cameo" and you agree they are not? Wow! Looks like your standard for Cameo in the upper grades is very strict too. I don't see any breaks in the "Cameo" on the nickel. There are some on Lincoln's coat but for that coin not to be designated Cameo suggests the standards for CAM need to be "tweaked" just a tad for all of us.

    Interested in what you think about my comments.

    I think you must have missed my individual comments with assigned grades on these 2 coins.

  • cladkingcladking Posts: 26,602 ✭✭✭✭

    Looks great!!!

    I wonder if party of the cause of low prices for moderns is that the supply is so constrained. If pieces were more available at the top it might spur more submissions and more availability of very high grade coins.

    I find it remarkable that very scarce coins like nice attractive Gem '69 quarters can be had for 10 to $50. This makes chBU coins just about free when they are ungraded.

    Tempus fugit.
  • Insider2Insider2 Posts: 13,908 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cladking said: "I find it remarkable that very scarce coins like nice attractive Gem '69 quarters can be had for 10 to $50"

    Perhaps they are not MS-69's = PERFECT except for 1 or 2 minuscule (and not obvious) marks. I only allow ONE minuscule hairline, hit, or spot for a 69 because I'm anal and hate MS-70's. >:)

    It may interest members to know that the last major TPGS to adopt the MS-70 grade was late to the "party" because its owner did not believe a perfect coin existed. They do.

  • keetskeets Posts: 22,236 ✭✭✭✭✭


    --- George Carlin RIP, he'd have a lot of fresh material if he was alive today!!
  • crazyhounddogcrazyhounddog Posts: 10,846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very impressive results and a gorgeous group of coins. Well done.
    Congratulations 👌🏻

    The bitterness of "poor quality" is remembered long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
  • NorCalJackNorCalJack Posts: 231 ✭✭✭

    Well even your non-CAM coins look great. I agree that the 1956 Penny should have received a DCAM. That is an exceptional coin.

  • logger7logger7 Posts: 4,602 ✭✭✭✭✭


  • ElcontadorElcontador Posts: 6,697 ✭✭✭✭

    Looks my comment about this was deleted. Not by me

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    "Seu cabra da peste,
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  • SanctionIISanctionII Posts: 9,229 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think Cladking was referring to Gem 1969 Quarters, not MS69 Quarters. :)

  • georgiacop50georgiacop50 Posts: 2,910 ✭✭✭✭

    I sure hope your "indication of change" is right MCman!

    That 56 cent is awesome!

  • TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 40,992 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with Keets.

  • johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 20,484 ✭✭✭✭✭

    awesome proofs. that would make any ones day complete :)

  • fiftysevenerfiftysevener Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    edited September 14, 2019 9:39AM

    NGC has also tightened up IMO. Question is how do we get all those coins that are in gem holders with milk spots and other strange discoloring problems into their proper grades. Couple of PCGS Pf 67 DCam 1952 nickels come to mind and there is no incentive to fix the problem. Buyer beware ! Incidentally those are really nice proofs and are worthy of premium bids...... This along with '36 to '42 proofs has long been my passion as well !

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