PCGS Grade Results - A YN Perspective and Some Frustrations with Variety Attribution
I sent a series of 8 coins in to hosts mid July, where they were received on 7/18. After the long wait, the results popped yesterday!
I figured this could be a good opportunity to share how my I tend to decide to send coins for grading as a YN, and what I look to get, as well as a few concerns. This will be a long one, but grading results are always a learning experience for me, so I like to share that when I get a chance.
First, the coins and grades! The shared orders page is here to see the TrueViews if you desire. https://www.pcgs.com/shared-orders/order-details/22741656
Line Items Cert # PCGS # Description Grade Region TrueView®
1 1 45335794 5977 1938 25C PR65 USA
2 1 45335795 569466 1938 5C Re-Engraved Obv Design FS-402 PR66 USA
3 1 45335796 6801 1964 50C Accented Hair PR67 USA
4 1 45335797 5981 1942 25C PR65 USA
5 1 45335798 3338 1937 1C, RD PR66RD USA
6 1 45335799 6700 1959 50C PR67 USA
7 1 45335800 4180 1942-P 5C Type 2 PR65 USA
8 1 45335801 3915 1913 5C Type 1 Genuine AU Details (92 - Cleaned) USA
I'll do a coin by coin breakdown, with reasoning and my grades.
1) 1938 25c, I graded it PR66 (point high). This is an amazing gem, and the TrueView does it no justice in my opinion (would have liked to see the reverse contrast, this will become a theme below). It is head over heels nicer than the 1942 quarter that will come later, so the 65 shocked me slightly. It was a former ANACS 65 as well. This coin is going into my registry set ATS, so the grade doesn't particularly matter here. Current value appears to be around $200-300, Ebay and auction sales have a wide spread. There are two light hairlines above IGWT. Here's my photo:
2) 1938 5c, I graded it PR66 (correct). It appears that the 402 and 403 varieties hop around on PCGS's attributions (both dies appear in both categories) which is generally ok as the values are similar enough to one another. Should this change, it could be a problem. However, this was an Ebay purchase for $108, so this is a great coin for me with a current market value of $430 or so. The TrueView on this coin turned out great, I really like it!
3) 1964 Accent Hair, I graded it PR67 (correct). Just a simple cherrypick here, I'm in it about $50 with grading, market value is $150 or so. TrueViews look great!
4) 1942 25c, I graded it PR64 (point low). This was a surprise! The coin has a pretty nasty patch of hairlines in the left obverse field, so the grade was not expected. I didn't even see it as a solid 64. The coin does have some nice contrast, so there could have been a bump for that. The TrueView shows the detail on the coin quite nicely, though I would have liked it to show the contrast. I paid $130 for it, but I wanted it in a holder for my personal collection, so I don't anticipate seeing it for quite some time. The detail and any contrast is exceptionally rare on these proofs.
5) 1937 1c, I graded it PR65CAM (point low, no CAM). This was a former NGC PR65 coin, so the contrast bump to 66 is a nice surprise, though somewhat expected if it hadn't gone CAM. Values for a nicely contrasted 66 and a 65CAM are pretty similar, so this coin is worth around $850 based on recent GC sales. I'm in it about $320. The TrueView for this coin was the most disappointing, I had requested that they show the contrast, and the TrueView was one of the reasons I sent this coin to PCGS anyways. To get a good price for this coin, the contrast needs to be shown. The few spots on the coin hardly show up in hand, and PCGS agrees as they likely would have never handed out a 66 if they were obvious. I'll get a bit deeper into this later.
6) 1959 50c, I graded it 65CAM (two points low, no CAM). This was the coin where I was surprised, but not surprised. There was a major two point contrast bump here, and I know there are three or four pretty bad hairlines in the upper right obverse field. You can't miss them. I don't think I've ever seen a 67 with hairlines like that, so the only reason for the bump must have been the contrast. The TrueViews are disappointing on this one as well, I had hoped they'd show the contrast market value is around $130 with good pictures, I have about $90 in this coin. Values are similar for a 67 and a 65CAM with good pictures.
7) 1942 T2 5c, I graded it 65 (correct). This was a former ANACS 66, I had cracked it and dipped it for hopes of a CAM. It was a good lesson for me. All said and done, this is a nice coin, though it has some haze in the fields. I'm not sure what I'll do with this one. I'll come out about $60 or so in the hole, but not everything turns out.
8) This was the most disappointing coin in the batch. I'm quite sure all of you are now wondering why on earth I sent in a AU Details 1913 T1 nickel. I graded it UNC Details Polished, DDR FS-1802 (Grade off, no attribution). The lack of an attribution shocks me. I'm going to include a series of images that show the doubling and compare them to attributed examples. The TrueView on this coin is fantastic, which I find just a little bit ironic .
You will notice that the die clash on the reverse under the motto is exactly the same. I will also include cropped photos of the doubling on each photo.
I just don't quite see how this one was missed. This is a huge problem too because a coin like this gets one shot at the graders. It's essentially worthless in the current holder, but it's a $200 coin in the DDR holder. I can't afford another miss on this coin, so it's stuck. I've got about $100 in it currently, so it's a huge hit and loss on this submission. I'm just frustrated that I had to have this happen and I really hoped that I could have avoided this. Is there any hope PCGS will correct this?
On a happier note, I remember reading that the TrueView department takes a contrasted and uncontrasted photo of each coin, and they could change the TrueView if it was requested. Does anyone know if this is still true? I am really hoping this is the case, particularly as I had requested it in my submission comments. Some of these coins I submitted with a main reason of getting a TrueView, otherwise they probably would have went ATS to save some money. To get disappointing TrueViews is not only frustrating and costs me small amounts of money (that add up quickly for me), but it will likely make selling the coins more difficult when that time comes.
Overall, I wasn't more than a point off on any coin, with the exception of the contrast calls and the two point bump for the 1959 half (never saw that coming, still really don't get it ). Market grading wise, I wasn't off much on these coins as well. I won't really count the 1913 nickel as I believe something needs to change there, and the details grade doesn't affect value too much (UNC and AU Details are similarly priced).
All of the coins were submitted with the intention of keeping for my collection or making a profit on when selling. I'll come out ahead on the submission (profits about 50% of entire acquisition and grading cost), even with the loss on the 1913 nickel. I try to build in safeguards like that when choosing coins to avoid a disaster, and the safeguards worked here. As a YN, grading costs are a huge expense. This is essentially two years' budget, so I need to come out ahead. Small amounts lost add up quick, but one or two good grades can make the submission.
Any questions about this, feel free to ask!
Young Numismatist, Coin Photography: https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1090140/flyingal-coin-photography-10-photos#latest