Home U.S. Coin Forum

Trying to Understand PCGS Order Flow

ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,106 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 6, 2023 10:10AM in U.S. Coin Forum

Maybe I am on a fool's errand, but I am trying to understand how this happens with PCGS orders.

Example 1: I have two orders in for in-slab trueview pictures. That's it. Just pictures. The first is a box of 15 Morgans, the 2nd is a box of 19 Morgans and 1 quarter. Box 1 was received 6/6 and has been in Quality Check - Imaging for quite some time and is still there today. Box 2 arrived 2 weeks later (6/20) and is shipping out today (7/6) just over 2 weeks later and all images are complete and posted. No images posted for Box 1.

Example 2: I have an order for "Regular" tier restorations of 3 Peace and 3 Morgans which were received on 3/9 and are still in Grading mode. About 2.5 weeks ago I emailed customer service and they said they would put on Expedite since it has been 80 business days (now we're above 90) still no movement. I had a second order for Regular restoration of 3 Morgans and 1 Nickel received on 3/16 that shipped out to me about 6 weeks later on April 24, after about 30 business days.

What is going on? Why do some orders sail through and some get stuck? I can think of a few explanations:
1. PCGS temporarily "loses" orders
2. Some orders get stuck in some kind of process black hole that derails them for some reason
3. Luck of the draw.

I have done 43 orders so far this year and most of them get turned around reasonably quick. But it's just weird how some just languish and these aren't any kind of odd ball coins requiring special attention that I know of. Maybe the graders are anguishing over what grade to assign like when my mother tries to pick new carpet or furniture for the house and can't decide?

I would think there would be some kind of FIFO buffer (First in First Out), but Maybe graders and photographers just pick from a pile and sometimes boxes get pushed to side or to the back and ignored?

I would die to have a behind the scenes tour to just understand why things work this way. If anyone has any insights I'd really like to see them.


  • Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 1,894 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a regular order that's been stuck in "Quality Check" while 3 later orders (2 economy and 1 reg) sailed past it and were shipped. I have no idea why.

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,294 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I believe it is all three of your listed scenarios-

    1. PCGS temporarily "loses" orders
    2. Some orders get stuck in some kind of process black hole that derails them for some reason
    3. Luck of the draw.

    However, I'd imagine that the list goes from least likely and most infrequent (PCGS temporarily "loses" orders) to most likely and most frequent (Luck of the draw). I also don't believe anyone is cherrypicking what submission to grade and/or having any angst whatsoever about what grade to assign a coin.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

  • 1madman1madman Posts: 1,123 ✭✭✭✭✭

    43 orders already this year is a lot

  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,400 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You stand a better chance of understanding the force. ;)

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,066 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coinbuf said:
    You stand a better chance of understanding the force. ;)

    It's a mythical process, not to be dissected by us mere mortals 😂

  • goldengolden Posts: 8,807 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You stand a better chance of understanding a woman.

  • WaterSportWaterSport Posts: 6,655 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Staffing maybe?? is there's special person who handles some of these special issues when they can break away, only to be pulled back to perform other task??

    But I agree, there ought to be an in/out date scheduled upon arrival. Coins not getting out should be on some internal report so that they can at least ask internally why its not done rather than hit extreme time differences we have all witnessed over the years of submissions.

    Makes you wonder just what the Prez of the company is doing if they are not worried about customer service. But however they carry out submissions it is a well kept secret.


    Proud recipient of the coveted PCGS Forum "You Suck" Award Thursday July 19, 2007 11:33 PM and December 30th, 2011 at 8:50 PM.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file