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PCGS's policy on E and V Coin Numbers - Presidential Dollars Missing Edge Lettering

ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,377 ✭✭✭✭✭

I recently learned several details about PCGS V and E coin numbers that I thought I would post here to help people in the future. My problems all started when I realized that PCGS did not allow "E" coins into the registry. Due to a mixup I ended up purchasing a duplicate coin because I had not noticed that my "E" coin was not accepted into the registry. Here is a picture of the slabs in question. You'll see they are the exact same coin:

I first inquired with PCGS CS thinking that the ineligibility for the registry set was an error or oversight. I was told that it wasn't and that I could send it in for a reholder and they would remove the E. I did so but due to what was apparently a misunderstanding, I received the coin back with the same coin number. I then contacted customer service and they apologized and said to return them but I would receive a coin with a V coin number (V410853). This astonished me as I was astounded that they simply could not just remove the E and insisted that it must have a V. Presumably the V coins are eligible for the registry but I have not tried. Low level CS didn't know any more than that so I escalated the matter to a supervisor and worked with Cesar who didn't have an answer but looked into it and provided the following response:

Based upon the information I've received from our team is that if the coin is being submitted through as what we refer to as "regular line" (i.e. not bulk) the coin will get attributed with a V. Previously we would attribute it with an E upon discovery as we originally classified it as an error but over time have come to the conclusion that the coin is instead a variety and mark the coin with a V.

For the coins that you see without an E / V these coins are being submitted through our bulk program, as with our bulk program, we do not offer any variety attribution, the coins would be graded without the E /V designation.

I tried explaining to the team your situation and all the information you've given me but unfortunately, they would continue to proceed with designating the coins with an V if submitted.

If the coin is allowed into the registry that is the most important thing, but there are a few things that are frustrating here:
1. Why would an "E" coin not be allowed into the registry to begin with? This makes no sense. E coins should be eligible for the same slots as non-E coins. Why would they have this limitation?
2. Why would a coin number vary based on bulk vs non-bulk submission? I get that bulk submitters can get special labels, but I have never seen that affect registry eligibility and usually they get different coin numbers, not a prefix (or lack of prefix).
3. If you enter E410853 or V410853 into coinfacts, it comes up as an invalid coin number (however you can verify the cert number and the hyperlink on the coin number in the cert verification redirects to the coin facts page for the non-E/V coin number.
4. IMO, Missing edge lettering is NOT a variety and assuming the V is for variety, it should not have a V. Missing lettering is an error IMO. Am I wrong here? Is PCGS wrong to classify it as a Variety? I guess PCGS has changed their assessment on this, I do not know the technical differences although I would think that leaving off the edge lettering is an error (mistake) not a variation.

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Comments

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,144 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Re #1 - their sandbox, their rules. Playground games rarely make sense externally.

    Re #2 - part of the bulk "game" is you can only submit a limited number of coin numbers. And you have to have a minimum number of coins of each number. With PCGS automatically assigning the "E" (or "V") even if not requested, if you mix E and non-E you might not meet the requirements.

    Re #3 - that is because the software wasn't coded to do it. It could be, but as a developer, you only write code for exactly what was specified.

    Re #4 - a variety is a minor difference, an error is a mistake. Given the frequency that coins missed the edge lettering process, it's not a mistake (the mint doesn't make no mistakes).

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • Mr Lindy Mr Lindy Posts: 982 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting.

    I pursue error coins & tend to avoid varieties.

    Off the top of my head, I consider missing edge letter Dollars as errors since they are not a variety of a single die or a die state of a particular die or die pairing.

    Years ago I put this 4 piece set in my error archive:

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,828 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BStrauss3 said:
    Re #1 - their sandbox, their rules. Playground games rarely make sense externally.

    Re #2 - part of the bulk "game" is you can only submit a limited number of coin numbers. And you have to have a minimum number of coins of each number. With PCGS automatically assigning the "E" (or "V") even if not requested, if you mix E and non-E you might not meet the requirements.

    Re #3 - that is because the software wasn't coded to do it. It could be, but as a developer, you only write code for exactly what was specified.

    Re #4 - a variety is a minor difference, an error is a mistake. Given the frequency that coins missed the edge lettering process, it's not a mistake (the mint doesn't make no mistakes).

    I don't think frequency is a factor. Errors are one off issues occurring during the strike. Varieties are typically variations on the die that appear on all strikes from the die.

    Edge lettering should be an error as it is a process mistake not a die variation.

  • ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,377 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BStrauss3 said:
    Re #1 - their sandbox, their rules. Playground games rarely make sense externally.

    OK Sure. But PCGS invests a lot of money into maintaining set registries and promoting to customers the challenge of completing a registry set, but in this case they say are differentiating registry set eligibility based on whether the coin was submitted in bulk or not, not anything intrinsic to the coin. Maybe if the set was the Presidential Bulk Submission Set. But it's not.

    Re #2 - part of the bulk "game" is you can only submit a limited number of coin numbers. And you have to have a minimum number of coins of each number. With PCGS automatically assigning the "E" (or "V") even if not requested, if you mix E and non-E you might not meet the requirements.

    I'm not sure I follow your logic. Bulk submitters submit entire rolls or bags of coins. The submitter would have no reason to specify that some get an E number and some don't.

    Re #3 - that is because the software wasn't coded to do it. It could be, but as a developer, you only write code for exactly what was specified.

    So why wouldn't they specify and want coinfacts to work for all coin numbers? Seems antithetical to the business.

    Re #4 - a variety is a minor difference, an error is a mistake. Given the frequency that coins missed the edge lettering process, it's not a mistake (the mint doesn't make no mistakes).

    So you're suggesting the mint omitted the edge lettering on purpose? I'm pretty sure the mint director would deny that.

  • ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,377 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jmlanzaf said:
    Edge lettering should be an error as it is a process mistake not a die variation.

    I agree but I did find this reference:
    https://www.pcgs.com/news/coin-error-or-variety

    Following a long hiatus of implementing this process on coinage, the United States reintroduced edge inscriptions in 2007 to dollar coins, and this edge lettering was added in a separate step from striking the obverse and reverse. Entire bins of struck coins never had their edge lettering added in error and were released to circulation without edge lettering. These are errors but were produced in such abundance that they are considered a variety to the series.

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