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Coin Grading Companies: PCGS vs. NGC

Coin Grading Companies: PCGS vs. NGC
Category: Coin Collecting Guide
Author Name: ModernCoinMart (MCM)
Posted: 12-03-2019
Last Updated:

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) dominate the field of third-party grading services. Both are widely regarded among collectors and are considered two of the most trusted services. This article will give an overview of each and compare their various benefits.


Third-Party Grading Services

There are several third-party grading services available for collectors to choose from today. If you want the certification of your coin to be universally accepted you may want to stick to the two most trusted services, Numismatic Gaurunty Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). NGC and PCGS are trusted around the world because of their consistent and reliable grading.

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC)

NGC Graded Silver Eagle NGC stands for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. This grading service has been operating since 1987. Originally, they began in New Jersey but they are now located in Florida.

In addition to their reputation among collectors and dealers around the world, NGC is the official grading service of both the American Numismatic Association and the Professional Numismatists Guild.

Compared to some other major services, NGC coin grading offers a much wider range of special options, such as unique labels. While NGC should always be on your list of coin grading companies to consider, you may want to focus on NGC certified coins if you want something with a unique slab or label.

Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS)

PCGS Graded Silver Eagle PCGS stands for the Professional Coin Grading Service. PCGS is slightly older than NGC, PCGS has been in business since 1985. Their headquarters is in California. Like NGC, they serve collectors and dealers around the world.

Just as there are some collectors who simply prefer coins certified by NGC, there are some who are more partial towards PCGS.

Today, PCGS is trusted as one of the world’s most reliable coin grading services. This reflects their original mission to bring a level of consistency to grading that could be guaranteed. The professional efforts of both PCGS and NGC forged the way that certified coins are thought of, bought, and sold today.

Similarities and Differences Between NGC and PCGS

NGC LogoThere are several strong similarities between NGC and PCGS. For most collectors, they are effectively equivalent. They both provide the same service. You can submit your coins to them to be certified. Whether you use NGC or PCGS, your coins will be examined by a whole team of experts. When you receive it after the process is complete, it will be housed in a permanently sealed slab.

PCGS Coin Grading LogoHowever, there are some differences between these services. For example, since they are certifying coins in the same way, they have slightly different terminology for some equivalent certifications. NGC has the First Releases and Early Releases designations. The First Strike designation offered by PCGS requires very similar qualifications. Another example is the prefix that these companies use for their proof coins. NGC coins receive a PF prefix and coins submitted to PCGS receive a PR prefix.

The overall design of their holders and labels also diverges in both aesthetics and production.

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