Professional Coin Grading Service founder ignores advice, starts firm

Co-founder was counseled to not start firm in 1986
By , Coin World
Published : 01/24/16
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If Professional Coin Grading Service co-founder David Hall had listened to the advice of a business consultant three decades ago, there would be no PCGS. 

On the eve of PCGS’s 30th anniversary, Hall revealed little-known facts about the company’s early days, including a startling revelation about a consultant’s advice to forget about starting a coin grading service, according to an announcement from the firm. 

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Since the company’s founding on Feb. 3, 1986, PCGS has certified more than 31 million vintage and modern coins with a combined market value of $29 billion, according to the firm. PCGS now has offices in Southern California, Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai. 

Yet, looking back at 30 years of success, PCGS co-founder David Hall recalls that, in the early days of planning the company, he was advised not to do it.

“I had a very high-power, private, personal business consultant sit with me at all the initial PCGS launch meetings in 1985. Afterward, he told me I shouldn’t do it because ‘you spent your entire career specializing in the best coins and positioning yourself that your coins were better than everyone else’s. This will make everyone’s coins the same.’ Obviously, I didn’t follow his advice against starting PCGS,” Hall said.

Almost a nonprofit 

Another surprising revelation is that there was early consideration about making PCGS a nonprofit organization. 

“We were incorporated by an attorney specializing in non-profits because at first our idea was to make it a non-profit. We decided that non-profits weren’t efficient, and we wanted to do it right and be able to afford to pay for the best graders available,” Hall explained.

Today, PCGS is a division of publicly held Collectors Universe Inc., and Hall serves as president of the parent company.

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