US Coins

PCGS Founders Roundtable shows value of grading firms

Guest Commentary from Nov. 14, 2016 issue of Coin World:

Thank you for the recent video interview that Coin World’s Steve Roach conducted with David Hall, Gordon Wrubel, John Dannreuther, and Van Simmons, where they responded to Coin World reader questions that you posed to them regarding the founding of Professional Coin Grading Service and the development of widespread acceptance of its “slabbed” coins; the constant war against counterfeiters waged by the three major third-party authentication/grading services; thoughts about the future of the hobby, computer grading of coins and a 100-point coin grading scale; and more.

PCGS Founders RoundtablePCGS Founders Roundtable: Analyzing the Past, Present and Future of Numismatics: The founders of Professional Coin Grading Service discuss their company and the hobby as a whole with Steve Roach.

It is important, in my opinion, that this interview emphasized that having viewed millions of genuine coins is the major weapon against counterfeits that the experts at PCGS, Numismatic Guaranty Corp., and ANACS employ, since the counterfeiters are constantly evolving in the increasingly sophisticated creation of their products. 

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As well, the point that David Hall made that anyone at a major coin show featuring an auction can view as many coins as he or she would like in the lot viewing area, and that this is a free and important way to sharpen one’s coin grading skills, is also an important point that can help any purchaser of coins.

About all that I could wish had occurred in this interview would have been a discussion of coin “gradeflation” over the years, which I understand led directly to John Albanese’s Certified Acceptance Corp. entering the coin market nine years ago, endorsing less than 50 percent of the PCGS and NGC coins submitted to it, but being willing to buy coins it has endorsed sight-unseen at high wholesale prices through CoinPlex.

PCGS and NGC “Plus” grading, which David Hall mentioned as being offered by PCGS (and NGC, I understand. on the same day) in April 2010, possibly came about as a response to CAC endorsing such a low percentage of PCGS and NGC coins submitted to it. 

By the way, I see that John Feigenbaum of Coin Dealer Newsletter will be offering separate generic gold “bids” for CAC and non-CAC gold type coins in Coin Dealer Newsletter, perhaps not the last effort by CDN to track the two-tiered coin market that has developed for CAC-endorsed and non-CAC-endorsed coins.

All in all, a fine and fascinating interview involving some of PCGS’s major luminaries! Thank you for presenting it to Coin World subscribers!

Bob Bair got hooked on collecting as a young boy in Wisconsin while serving as a newsboy. He was in the education field for five decades and has been published in several numismatic publications.

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