NGC Registry Competition Changes

NGC Registry Competition Changes

Last week, Numismatic Guarantee Corporation Chairman Mark Salzberg posted a letter saying that starting in January 2017, the NGC Registry will only accept NGC-certified coins.

In the past, NGC would accept coins graded by Professional Coin Grading Service in the registry. They did this while PCGS only accepted their own coins. This created a lot of options for collectors. Many of the registry collectors have tried to use only NGC-graded coins as a source of pride. Others have been looking for the best coin for their sets.

I had started a few registry sets based on the 1975-76 Bicentennial coins. After a few years, I had stopped working on the set while other things took priority. Since I had not looked in a while, it appears that overall, I rank 4,653 with a total 12,050 points. While I know that the point values change based on population, I am not sure how this has changed. What has not changed is my America’s Bicentennial Celebration set, a 1776-1976 Clad Mint Set. According to NGC, the set is still ranked THIRD in this category with a score of 3,883 points.

During the last few years, I have divested many of the coins I purchased for registry sets except for the Bicentennial coinage.

As part of the change, Salzberg’s letter said that coins from “other services” that have been added prior to the change will be allowed to remain. In this case, the other services would be PCGS since it was the only service allowed in registry sets. Salzberg said that there will be no point deductions for those coins.

1976-D T1 Eisenhower $1 NGC MS66

At 949 registry points, this coin scores the most points in the America’s Bicentennial Mint Registry Set

Unfortunately, I must have missed something because while looking at my sets, my 1776-1976 Silver Mint Set should be a top set but is made up of all PCGS coins. If PCGS coins are still allowed, then why are these coins not counted? Time to sent NGC a note and ask!

Frankly, I am surprised NGC has waited this long to make this change. As the quality of the coins and the number of people participating in registry sets have increased, NGC should have considered this move a few years ago. After all, PCGS does not accept NGC-certified coins in their registry.

In thinking about the competition between the two services, it is interesting that Salzberg noted that there will be some who will be upset “but I cannot continue to allow coins graded by companies whose standards do not match those of NGC.” Since the only non-NGC graded coins allowed in the sets are from PCGS, is this a commentary on PCGS?

Aside from questions that caused the formation of the Certified Acceptance Corporation as the “third-party grading service verifier,” or a fourth-party grading service, there have been some that claim PCGS has lowered their standards to grade more coins at higher grades to make their service more attractive. One dealer pointed out that it was once very rare to submit American Eagle bullion coins to PCGS and receive more than 5-percent graded as a 70 (perfect). Now, if at least 25-percent do not come back with a 70 grading he wonders if there was something wrong.

Another dealer pointed to high-profile online dealers who pre-sell 70 graded coins from both services. How do they know that the services are going to be able to supply these companies with the appropriate inventory? One said that they expect a certain number to come back with the perfect grade based on a percentage of what is submitted, noting that it is easier to predict.

I have no problems with registry set collecting, competition, or NGC only allow coins they graded in their competition. It is their Registry Service and they can set whatever rules they want. I now have to consider whether I want to try to cross-over the PCGS coins or buy new coins.

Image of Mark Salzberg courtesy of NGC.

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