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Submitting Coins for TPG Grading: personal vs. dealer submission?

I have a couple dozen raw coins in the $500-$2000 each range that I’d like to get slabbed. I am not a current member of a TPG service. There is a nearby shop that submits to multiple services. What are the pluses and minuses of submitting the coins personally versus using the coin shop to submit them? Are the results likely to be any different?

Wisconsin nationals: gotta love 'em....


  • DoctorPaperDoctorPaper Posts: 616 ✭✭✭

    A lot of the coins are are colonials, large cents, and half cents that need confirmation of attribution. Does that suggest need for a particular service? I know it will increase cost.

    Wisconsin nationals: gotta love 'em....
  • lermishlermish Posts: 1,399 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just mark the variety attribution box on the submission. It's an extra 20 bucks per coin and will probably add another month to processing time but they'll do it under any service level.

  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,388 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 15, 2023 9:29AM

    There are a lot of factors to consider when submitting and which service to choose. Are you selling the coins, do you need them for registry purposes, just want them attributed for varieties or errors. There are many ways to go depending on what your needs or motivations are.

    Both NGC and PCGS offer some deals when you open an account the will basically pay for the first few coins. ANACS, last I knew, does not require a paid account to submit coins, and usually their fees are lower than the big two.

    I have always submitted coins myself vs using a coin shop, although on occasion I have asked a specialty dealer to submit a few coins for me as the results I had gotten were not satisfactory. For the most part, and this is stressed by the TPG's, there should be no difference in grading if you or someone else submits the coins for grading. Also, if you have someone else submit for you, you have no control over the process, if you do the submitting you can monitor and have some control over the submission.

    Another thing to consider is how confident are you in your grading and counterfeit detection skills. A couple dozen coins will not be inexpensive to have graded, if you get back several coins in details holders or even worse bodybags, you could be out a significant sum of money. IF you think the shop close to you has or is better at those skills than yourself it may be wise to let them review the coins first and weed out any they are not sure will grade. That of course assumes that you did not buy all the coins from that shop.

    If you are uncertain you can always post up some nice clear in focus cropped photos here and see what the feedback from the membership is on condition and decide from there if (and perhaps where to) submitting is the way to go.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
  • DoctorPaperDoctorPaper Posts: 616 ✭✭✭

    @coinbuf and others. Thanks for your observations and suggestions.
    My situation is that of a very long term collector with substantial experience. I was a member of EAC for many years and a founding first year member of C4 colonial collectors club. My problem is that much of my collection dates from before the universality of slabbing and many of my coins are in collecting areas where, even now, advanced collectors (colonials and early federal copper) don’t necessarily like to slab their coins. My successors are not collectors. I’d like to make it as simply as possible for them to dispose of the coins that will pass to them and not get cheated, which means slabbing a lot of older stuff that hasn’t seen the light of day for decades. Incidentally, I do possess quite a few alabbed coins as well.,
    Here are just a few examples of the types of coins I’m talking about

    Wisconsin nationals: gotta love 'em....
  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 44,829 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Your 1845 Seated Liberty Dollar looks cleaned. Probably not worth the cost of getting it slabbed.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • DoctorPaperDoctorPaper Posts: 616 ✭✭✭

    @PerryHall : yes that ‘45 might come back cleaned. Not necessarily a coin I would submit, I was just grabbing pix of a few typical examples that were quickly available. We could also have a discussion about whether a ‘Details’ certification makes sense in certain cases like the ‘45, but extending to coins like this one:

    Wisconsin nationals: gotta love 'em....
  • stealerstealer Posts: 3,943 ✭✭✭✭

    Wow, that is some incredible stuff you're posting so far, between the half cent and the quarter. I would love to see more of these type coins!

    If you are intent on divesting, you could always consider sending them to Heritage or SB and having them send it to the TPGs for you.

    That way you don't have to worry about the headache of shipping insurance etc. when shipping material like this (assuming you can drop it off at a show, or at one of their offices).

  • Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,188 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I prefer submit directly to our hosts.

    Coins & Currency both US and World
  • ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,094 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 15, 2023 2:47PM

    Buying a Gold or Plat membership gets you 4 or 8 submissions, respectively. These free submissions when used for $300-2500 coins is well over the cost of a membership. There is no monetary reason not to do it yourself because you get the membership fee back (and then some) when you use the vouchers.

  • jeffas1974jeffas1974 Posts: 260 ✭✭✭

    As a collector that is probably less knowledgeable than most people on this forum I appreciate being able to go through my LCS for submissions so that the owner can offer his opinion on whether or not I should send in something.

  • davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,459 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DoctorPaper said:
    @PerryHall : yes that ‘45 might come back cleaned. Not necessarily a coin I would submit, I was just grabbing pix of a few typical examples that were quickly available. We could also have a discussion about whether a ‘Details’ certification makes sense in certain cases like the ‘45, but extending to coins like this one:

    this one seems worth more than $500-$2000

  • logger7logger7 Posts: 7,765 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't have the patience for the long waits so might try express on the higher value coins. On the lesser value or potentially problem results, the value added is less, could always try one of the second tier companies. I agree with most of the others, most of the dealers I know who submit will charge upwards of $50 a coin even for economies and can sit on them for weeks before sending them in.

  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,388 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DoctorPaper thanks for the additional information on your level of collecting. It seems clear that you have the skill set to decide what to send or not, and thus it would seem that unless you simple wish to not perform the admin tasks of filling out submission forms that you can easily submit yourself.

    The only thing I would add is, given that you say your goal is to make it easier for your heirs to liquidate the coins, would it not make sense to simply liquidate them yourself. You likely have contacts and friends that would love to purchase your coins and who may not need the plastic. In which case you can save yourself the substantial outlay of monies it will take to certify your coins.

    I'm no expert but if I'm not mistaken at least a couple of the coins you posted so far exceed 2K, it will cost a bit more to have coins like that certified.

    But whatever path you choose I wish you the best and, wow thanks for sharing even just those few coins. It is not everyday that I get to see such a lovely 1916 SLQ, and being a long time copper collector that half cent is amazing.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
  • DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,385 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A good friend had a similar situation to yours. He had accumulated a nice group of early type coins prior to third party grading which he bought from local coin dealers.

    He was shocked to find many of his coins came back in details holders. He asked if he should crack them out and sell them raw. My advice was with coins of these values he was wiser to leave them "as is." Buyers are very suspicious of raw high value coins and often consider them possible counterfeits which would be even worse.

  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 3,963 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It’s fun to submit coins yourself. I like to take them to coin shows where PCGS accepts submissions so I don’t have to ship them.


  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DoctorPaper... I recommend joining our hosts as a platinum level member and submitting your best/high value coins under the free subs... Then decide from there for the others. Selling raw to knowledgeable collectors also avoids fees and likely get a fair price. Cheers, RickO

  • goldengolden Posts: 8,798 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have submitted all of my coins myself. I have sometimes submitted them at shows to save postage.

  • DoctorPaperDoctorPaper Posts: 616 ✭✭✭

    Thanks to all for your well thought out comments. I’m beyond the point of attending national shows, though I often did in the past. Think I’ll just do what most of you suggest and simply submit the coins myself and using the free slots for the best coins.

    Just as a thanks for your advice, I’ll leave you with one last coin that I picked up exactly 30 years ago. It will never be gradeable because some idiot collector before me tried to buff out some old obverse grafitto. I hope I can get a details grade out of it, but what I really want is for an expert to tell me if it is an 18th century error coin and document it if it is. Except for the buffing, it’s a real beauty. The photo’s are from a first generation digital camera. I should take it out of the bank and take some better pix sometime.

    Wisconsin nationals: gotta love 'em....

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