Third Party Grading of World Coins.... interested in longer term perspective...

Perhaps like many here, my collecting trajectory has been:
- collecting US coins as a kid before there were slabs
- a return to collecting in adulthood, quickly transitioning to slabs for various reasons (after tuition paid)
- a growing interest in World coins - both raw and certified.

As I am more interested in collecting world coins, I am wondering if World coin collectors can comment on the rate of uptake of third party grading? Note - I am not asking if you think TPG is a good thing, whether you think coins should be slabbed or not, but whether the number of certified world coins is flat, increasing slowly, or increasing quickly.

In the areas that I collect, I have noticed 1) more PCGS graded world coins available on auction venues such as ebay, 2) more dealers who previously offered only raw coins starting to offer some certified coins - sometimes in boluses suggesting that a submission had returned from PCGS, and 3) a number of coins that I believe were graded at PCGS Paris office.

I'd appreciate what other collectors and dealers have noticed. Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    World coins sold in the US are generally slabbed. But out of the US, in my experience, are rarely certified. It is expensive, not to mention a huge risk, to mail coins to NGC or PCGS from many countries. I learned that is illegal in Mexico to mail coins, for example. And any frequent flyer in Calicó or other European auction houses can testify that raw is the way they work.

  • mkman123mkman123 Posts: 6,422 ✭✭✭
    edited February 7, 2018 6:29AM

    I simply don't understand how with the chinese faking so many things why the rest of the world collectors wouldn't want their coins slabbed and authenticated. NGC, PCGS, or ANACs slabbed coins provide a peace of mind.

    Case in point, on another forum, a australian collector was mentioning a australian pattern dollar.......the fakes look pretty much identical to the authentic one. This coin sells for a least 1k easily and a quick search on ebay found many fakes being sold at that price. I'd rather just get a slabbed one by PCGS or NGC vs paying so much for something that turns out to be a fake later in the future.

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  • bidaskbidask Posts: 9,664 ✭✭✭

    World coins being slabbed growing steadily .

    PCGS and NGC opened offices overseas for a reason, yes?

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  • AbueloAbuelo Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    Just take a look to the most recent auction by Aureo & Calico https://www.aureo.com/en/subasta/0306-1 in the 46 world coins listed i only saw, after a quick scan, only one graded. Of the 49 coins listed for Ferdinand VII, none appear to be graded, and so on. Last i participated at an auction at Baldwin's and Künker, none of the coins I saw were graded. If it is catching up, is slowly IMO. Perhaps @Boosibri can elaborate further?

  • Timbuk3Timbuk3 Posts: 4,692 ✭✭✭

    I collect coins from Japan. I've notice that the market for Japanese graded coins, both PCGS and NGC have been relatively flat !!! :(

    Timbuk3
  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 6,838 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Abuelo said:
    Just take a look to the most recent auction by Aureo & Calico https://www.aureo.com/en/subasta/0306-1 in the 46 world coins listed i only saw, after a quick scan, only one graded. Of the 49 coins listed for Ferdinand VII, none appear to be graded, and so on. Last i participated at an auction at Baldwin's and Künker, none of the coins I saw were graded. If it is catching up, is slowly IMO. Perhaps @Boosibri can elaborate further?

    Well, at the recent Worlds Fair of Money in Berlin I'd say that year on year the number of graded coins at the shows went from about 5% to maybe 10%. During that years time there is a new French grading service, a Russian grading service being started. I see a steady increase in CCS graded coins in England with PCGS/NGC as well. On a recent trip most dealers in Paris on Rue Vivienne, being in close proximity to PCGS, now are featuring many graded coins where as before there was none. NGC is opening an office in London, etc, etc

  • lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 40,856 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Slabbing has yet to make inroads into the Ancient coin market, and seems unlikely to gain much of a major market share there, since collectors of ancients are like many collectors of Early American Coppers- not only in their old-school traditionalist ways, but for many practical reasons.

    However, in more "modern" World coins (in other words, pretty much any milled coinage from the 1600s onward, I do think it is gaining acceptance, but it's still for the time being a "drop in the bucket".

  • I now focus on World coins, particularly those of sub-Saharan Africa. In many cases the various attributes, patterns, test strikes, as well as various circulation strikes have not been methodically discussed, identified or attributed in the numismatic literature. I have found it invaluable that PCGS has and is, graciously allowing my input on various coins that have heretofore not been clearly identified and attributed - they are being slabbed and variants identified (particularly Congo pieces). Of the pieces I am particularly interested in - many continue to appear in the marketplace - continually miss-identified, with inaccurate descriptions. Here is were I feel for me and my collection at least, that TPG is so important. That is not to say it is perfect, I have seen and own coins that they (TPG) have miss-identified and the inaccuracies are then carried over into the marketplace when/where they are often sold with descriptions based on the graded slab - that was inaccurate (or just wrong) in the first place.

    I have seen a distinct uptick in graded World coins (Africa) showing up in major European auctions in recent years. While I search for both graded and ungraded pieces, I believe the graded pieces on the World market make it obviously much better for the sight-unseen buyer to acquire them - particularly higher priced pieces. No one wants to deal with the issues/expense of returning ungraded (or graded ones for that matter) coins Internationally - that were not what they were touted to be!

  • Bob13Bob13 Posts: 83 ✭✭✭

    Thanks all for the thoughtful comments. I, too have been curious about how successful the foreign offices have been for PCGS and NGC. At least a quick glance at the PCGS I cannot find how many coins have gone through the Paris office, for example. If any one has any information that would be great.

    I guess overall there seems to be low acceptance of TPG, but maybe a noticeable tick upwards in the last year or 2 (based on @Boosibri 's comments)? Also seems like some heterogeneity, which is expected.

    I will echo your point, @celavie , I relish looking for TPG graded coins I am interested in. I have a very difficult time judging surfaces from many world dealer pictures. Even if a return privilege is offered, the time and hassle to return a coin seems so great that I do not take many chances on raw coins, certainly none of great value. I think I can even "read" the PCGS slab shots well enough to get a sense of what the coin looks like in hand. So while not always perfect, it is an added layer of security about a purchase I like.

    A related question - do TPG world coins currently have any substantial premium attached to them?

  • ElmhurstElmhurst Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    Regarding the premiums, I noticed high grade Scandavia (MS 65 and 66) going for 2-3 times the Krause uncirculated prices in recent HA sales.

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  • mkman123mkman123 Posts: 6,422 ✭✭✭

    I'm collecting thai coins at this time and definitely slabbed graded coins are selling for far more than ungraded raw coins. I'm not too keen on raw older coins from this country due to the chinese counterfeiting anything and everything. I want the peace of mind that what I paid $200 for now won't become a $0 10 years from now when I sell it after discovering its a fake.

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  • mvs7mvs7 Posts: 1,097 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 8, 2018 7:57PM

    I've definitely noticed an uptick in the last few years for certified coins in the area I collect, world coins manufactured at US mints; for example, many Central and South American coins from the early 20th century. In some cases, fairly common coins are becoming available certified in MS64-66 for ridiculous premiums on eBay and elsewhere (where it would be much cheaper to patiently find a similar example raw and submit it yourself), but also some condition rarities and absolute rarities are now showing up slabbed at a less ridiculous markup. I think that's a good thing for coins bought online, as I am still fairly hesitant to buy any expensive raw coin online from Europe, Asia or South/Central America.

  • KkathylKkathyl Posts: 1,220 ✭✭✭✭✭

    slabs are slowly increasing

  • BjornBjorn Posts: 425 ✭✭

    I've lived in Scotland for the last 11 years, and think that Boosibri has a good summary of what i have seen in Europe. I think that the delay in opening offices in Europe may have stunted the demand for third party grading, and later the fees and potential for loss (most European countries have fairly good postal systems, but not all) helped slow down adoption. That said, it seems a combination of local grading services and increased market penetration is slowly making third party grading more desirable. If NGC opens a London office I would be willing to send a lot more coins for certification - right now I have to send to either Paris (more expensive) or California (longer shipping).

    Outside of Europe, I have noticed that Chinese and Indian coins in third party holders tend to bring much higher sale values than raw examples.

  • coinkatcoinkat Posts: 18,591 ✭✭✭✭

    TPG over time may help establish condition rarity which will likely have ramifications on valuations. Some collectors and dealers who have been at this for decades already have an appreciation for this. But several areas of the world market have not been adequately researched. And this hopefully will also change over time as interest spikes upward.

    At the last NYint, I noticed an increase in slabbed coins from the prior year. And the increase has momentum and will likely continue. What remains to be seen is how the valuations will play out and it still seems to be premature to handicap. Just to speculate, it seems probable that high end coins should do well over the long term even with the cyclical nature of coin markets.

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

  • In Australia PCGS dominates the slabbed coin market. Most coins are however sold raw. Postage costs to the US (and back) are horrible and add up to a few hundred dollars for most submissions so getting coins slabbed is an expensive option. I frequently buy decent slabbed coins for less than slabbing costs so it only pays to get the best coins slabbed.

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 6,838 ✭✭✭✭✭

    PCGS just jacked up the prices in Paris. To me their strategy is completely illogical as this market needs to be developed and strategy focused on penetration and adoption is needed, not a price premium to the US market. Drive market penetration and then premiumize unless you only want the top 10% of the market. With the amount of world mints in Europe and collectors for that crap the opportunity is ripe with a better strategy.

  • PatARPatAR Posts: 296 ✭✭

    I agree that market acceptance is the first step. There are many coins that I prefer raw rather than slabbed. Europeans, from my experience, feel that way about almost every coin.

    The pivotal point will come when a TPG (which may or may not be one of the preferred North American TPGs) develops a certification service that caters to both European and North American collecting sensibilities. Something that both European and North American collectors would bid on from auction houses that deliver worldwide. I'm not entirely certain what form that will take, but the importance of cultural factors in appealing to consumers in any region or market should not be overlooked.

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  • "The pivotal point will come when a TPG develops a certification service that caters to both European and North American collecting sensibilities. Something that both European and North American collectors would bid on from auction houses that deliver worldwide."

    Do we not have the basis for that now with PCGS and NGC? Coins from both of these TPG show up regularly in auctions worldwide . . . I recently bought an NGC graded coin in a Greek auction. I have bought both PCGS and NGC coins in International auctions for years - for the very reason that I know their reputation, what they do, what they quarantee and so on. I trust the companies - from experience. As coins from these companies now show up regularly in International auctions, is it not safe to assume that a majority of dealers, buyers, and collectors worldwide now accept them/their standards as a basic "numismatic industry standard" . . ?

    Wondering what "cultural factors" would make a particular TPG more or less appealing to customers . . . ?

    Should only American companies certify U.S. coins, a French grading service only grade French coins, or should the French only buy coins by a French service, or Americans only from U.S. companies . . .

    :) Not picking on the French (I am French/American) ;) and I am looking forward to seeing some of the new French TPG coins at some point . . .

    . . . Just food for discussion.

    RKL
    numiscongo.com

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