Author Topic: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)  (Read 21140 times)

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Offline Contrapunctus

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NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« on: March 18, 2014, 12:08:29 PM »
I would like to share the following incident from another forum regarding poor grading experience with NGC. It is not my incident and I'm not related to the author.

Source: http://pandaxe.com/archive/index.php/t-134.html

Below the dotted line are not my words anymore...

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Hello all,

I want to share some experience with my recent panda grading submission to NGC, because I think everyone deserve to know that there are risks involving with NGC grading

About 2 months ago, I have silver commemorative pandas ('04 Beijing, '05 ICBC etc) and 1/20 oz gold in OMP. These pandas are in good condition, no toning or scratches, still sealed in their OMP.
At that time, there are 2 options, which was sending to NCS-NGC, or directly to NGC

NCS claimed that they won't conserve a coin unless it is required

NCS will first evaluate every coin to see if any conservation work is appropriate. Although there can be a request as to work needed to be performed, NCS reserves the right to make the final decision as to what work needs to be performed, if any.

Thinking that my coins are in good condition (no toning) I will just waste around $10 a coin, if I were to submit to NCS-NGC.
So in the end, I decided to send these coins directly to NGC, 25 coins in total. My first submission to direct NGC

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, I received a shocking result, 2 of my coins are graded as "NGC Details Grading"
1 x 2004 Beijing Expo - surface hairlines
1 x 2012 Panda - Residue
It is shocking because all coins were checked thouroughly using magnifier before submission
Also, coins will never ever ever get any hairline scratches if they are inside a capsule and sealed in an OMP
Unless the coin is resealed. I may not have a keen eye for a 70 as Yennus, but it's easy to tell the difference between heavily scratched coin and a mint one

While other coins were graded as 68 and 69 (almost 50:50 ratio!!). these coins are practically the same coins that I sent to NCS earlier this year that received ms 68-70 (5-10% 68, mostly 69)
They are in similar condition, same panda year (2004 beijing and 2005 ICBC), purchased at the same time, from same dealer

Prior to this, NGC haven exceptional at their job (grading, encapsulating, etc) So in the end, I came to a conclusion that I was the one at fault for not observing these coins closer before submitting...

Today, I received USPS parcel from NGC
When I open this NGC parcel, it's really disappointing
Most of the slabs are dirty with some dusts/black particles on the outside. it requires wiping, not a big issue
BUT...
some of these black particles are actually Inside the NGC slab, it seems that these coins are slabbed in an unclean environment
4 of 25 coins are affected by this

One of the example
http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad114/musemellow/IMG_1174.png

Fingerprints on some silver pandas (quite common, but acceptable to some degree)

The nightmare doesn't end there...
"NGC details grading" coins are return in a flip coin plastic, photos below

2012 Panda - Residue
http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad114/musemellow/IMG_1166.png

There are black marks across coin

We can't see more details from the pic, but using magnifier it seems that someone used a sharp object on the coin surface
Coin was purchased from one of Silverstacker site sponsor in a good condition
It's really frustating knowing that you sent a coin in a perfect condition, and it is returned in such condition:mad:

2004 Beijing Expo panda - Surface hairlines

http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad114/musemellow/IMG_1165.png

Panda side..sorry for the bad image, heavily scratched on highlighted area...

http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad114/musemellow/IMG_1175.jpg

Temple side is just completely abused, up to a point that it is losing its gold plating
Again this won't ever happen to an OMP coin, even if it does happen any coins collectors without magnifier would've noticed it beforehand


Anyone else have similar issues with NGC?

I'm keen to get any feedbacks on how to respond this to NGC
Knowing that it will be my words against theirs, the only thing I can think of is to send NGC a complaint email hoping that they will do better job next time (if there is next time)

I know they do minor human errors sometimes..
Of course this case is just accidental, scratching the coin, unknown residue, dirty encapsulation, etc
Some may think it's just bad luck.
But, it is very difficult to send more coins to NGC knowing that they may *sabotage* these coins.making it in much worse condition than before it was sent to them

Would you send a sheet of 2000 mirror panda or any of your favorite coins in mint condition to NGC knowing that this could happen to your coins?:confused:

Thanks for reading,

MM

Offline Contrapunctus

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2014, 12:21:12 PM »
Personally, I had my own share of unpleasant experiences with NGC, not once, not twice, so it's definitely not coincident. Details in this thread's page 14:
http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?topic=9557.195

Till today, I've since STOPPED sending coins and medals to NGC for grading. Though I would still buy NGC graded slabs, I will examine the condition of the coin/medal inside very carefully before purchase. I do not trust NGC anymore!

Offline Pandaguy

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2014, 01:24:02 PM »
Sorry to hear about your bad experiences. However, they are non uncommon. Human grading will always be a subjective entity, no matter what they say. However, carelessness by those we entrust is inexcusable. Many submitters take detailed photos prior to submission in order to counter any possible mishandling by the grading company. This is not a guaranty, but at least with the photos, you have a small leg to stand on. It might be worth it for you to purchase only graded slabs (as you mentioned) and let another submitter take the risks. You will pay more, but the peace of mind may be worth it.

Offline PandaCollector

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2014, 04:52:46 PM »
I think there is one additional consideration: coins can be damaged or mishandled at the mints prior to being sealed. OMP does not always equal perfect condition. I have personally had OMP coins lose grading points due to hairlines and other damage. I've inspected sheets of OMP coins in which 8 out of 10 coins were compromised before they were sealed. Coins can also deteriorate inside their OMP as well. There is nothing a grading company can do about this except factor it into the grade. I don't blame the grading company for these problems. But that's just me.

One story from the late Nick Brown. He once bought a very valuable OMP coin that he said looked terrible in its OMP. He had very low expectations for its grade. After NCS completed their work it came back a PF-69. He marveled at the outcome because its appearance in the OMP was so deceptive. He always swore that nobody could accurately and consistently predict the grades of OMP coins. And he loved NCS. I still agree with him.

Best wishes,
Peter Anthony
China Pricepedia
www.pandacollector.com

Offline Dr650rob

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2014, 05:35:19 PM »
I'm done sending coins to ncs/Ngc they totally screwed us by jacking up the price to $50 for coins under the $300 mark, which i wouldn't have know about if it wasn't for this forum
They didn't send any emails post anything about this before the 15th, which is bs
I got my coins there by the 15th it took 2 months to grade and luckily I must've wrote my cc exp date wrong because I gotta email saying the almost $400 payment for 6 1/20ths didn't go thru, I told them my submission papers said it was only $25(or $27) per coin, I was ready to flip out but the lady at the billing dept was too nice and changed from $50 to $25
I got decent grades but from now on I'll buy them already graded
It's just not worth it to pay $50 to put a 1/20 coin thru ncs/Ngc, I'd be screwed if it'd come back as a 68 or lower
It's just a major bummer they would do this to the people who can't afford $300+ gold coins
It was fun to buy a coin and send it in and wait to see if you get a good grade, but I guess that funs over
I know they were very backed up with submissions, so maybe that's why the errors/problems happend with MM's coins

Offline Pandaguy

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2014, 05:48:28 PM »
I'm done sending coins to ncs/Ngc they totally screwed us by jacking up the price to $50 for coins under the $300 mark, which i wouldn't have know about if it wasn't for this forum
They didn't send any emails post anything about this before the 15th, which is bs
I got my coins there by the 15th it took 2 months to grade and luckily I must've wrote my cc exp date wrong because I gotta email saying the almost $400 payment for 6 1/20ths didn't go thru, I told them my submission papers said it was only $25(or $27) per coin, I was ready to flip out but the lady at the billing dept was too nice and changed from $50 to $25
I got decent grades but from now on I'll buy them already graded
It's just not worth it to pay $50 to put a 1/20 coin thru ncs/Ngc, I'd be screwed if it'd come back as a 68 or lower
It's just a major bummer they would do this to the people who can't afford $300+ gold coins
It was fun to buy a coin and send it in and wait to see if you get a good grade, but I guess that funs over
I know they were very backed up with submissions, so maybe that's why the errors/problems happend with MM's coins


Alot of other collectors share your sentiments. Hopefully, there will be power in numbers. If many collectors refuse to be ripped-off by NGC's new pricing structure and do not submit, hopefully, it will be felt on their bottom line and they may reconsider accommodating the little guy. In the meantime, calling and writing to complain to the executives is always beneficial.

Offline KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2014, 09:36:22 PM »
Getting OMP coins graded is always a value add proposition whether you are collector or dealer.  However, you have to keep three very important things in mind when you get coins graded, in order of importance:

1) The coins you are submitting must be fresh and unsearched - meaning someone bought the coins when they were issued, they kept them safe in one location, then sold all of them at one time and you bought them directly or through a brokered transaction.  Almost every coin that is sold as OMP via ebay, major auctions houses (those that offer both raw and graded coins) and major dealers (those that offer both raw and graded coins) are cherry picked or pre-screened, don't expect to buy these coins and get good results.  When I buy sight unseen from these sources I assume MS68 and make my offers accordingly, you should too. 

2) Success at grading requires law of large numbers, if you submit 25 coins a year it is a crap shoot whether you will be happy or disappointed.  Submit a 1000 coins a year, I guarantee you will be happy if item 1) above is satisfied. Even 100+ a year should yield on balance satisfactory results.

3) Submit your coins in brand new 2.5x2.5 non-pvc flips without any OMP plastic.  WHY?  Because you are more careful and skilled at removing a coin from a 20 year PVC pouch than any shipping clerk at NGC or PCGS.  Even worse is submitting coins in capsules in which the coins bounces back and forth (1992 proof is a great example).  I must admit when I started I used to submit coins in OMP and occasionally coins had signs of handling, now I rarely have a surprise handling issue.

I have had bad streaks here and there, but overall in any given year I am very happy ($$$) to pay ($) NGC tens of thousands to authenticate, grade and guaranty my coins. 

Offline Dr650rob

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2014, 10:09:03 PM »
Keep it up key date, I'd love to buy some of those 20ths

Offline KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2014, 11:40:37 PM »
Dr650rob - I been selling 100+/month 1/20oz graded NGC MS69 in the last three months including 15+ 1985 1/20oz, unfortunately your request came after others bought me out almost all my extra coins. 

While, I stand 100% behind my comments above about the merits of grading, one thing that I  should acknowledge is 1/20oz has the worst reward/cost ratio for grading - meaning that on a percentage basis the improvement in value from grading a 1/20oz relative to percent of cost to cover grading fee is least profitable.  It intuitively makes sense:

1 oz, $2000 value, if it grades MS69 value increases by $280, cost to grade $14 --> reward/cost = 20x return on grading
1/20 oz $140 value, if it grades MS69 value increases by $42, cost to grade $14 --> reward/cost = 3x return on grading

The simplifying assumption that I made above is that the MS69 and MS70 yields for the two sizes is the same, even after you account for those differences, 1oz size still has a significant advantage to 1/20 oz.  Despite this disadvantage for 1/20oz I still get almost every 1/20 I receive graded because I need them for 5 piece sets, but if I didn't make sets I would probably pass on buying 1/20oz size simply because of the storage challenges and low return on grading.  This is one of the reason you almost never see me carry any BU silver pandas, same issue with storage and low return on grading. 


Offline Contrapunctus

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 12:33:40 AM »
Sorry to hear about your bad experiences. However, they are non uncommon. Human grading will always be a subjective entity, no matter what they say. However, carelessness by those we entrust is inexcusable. Many submitters take detailed photos prior to submission in order to counter any possible mishandling by the grading company. This is not a guaranty, but at least with the photos, you have a small leg to stand on. It might be worth it for you to purchase only graded slabs (as you mentioned) and let another submitter take the risks. You will pay more, but the peace of mind may be worth it.

Now I only send to PCGS.

No wonder collectors mostly prefer PCGS...

Offline KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2014, 12:35:42 AM »
Let me tell you about my NCS experience.  Prior to March of 2008, NCS would charge roughly 5% for conservation services with a $25 minimum plus a grading fee, almost identical to what they charge now.  At the time almost no one submitted modern coins to NCS including myself, because it simply didn't make sense relative to price improvement one could get for MS69 vs as is coin.  Then in March of 2008 they introduced a new tier for modern coins $22.50 for NCS conservation with NGC grading for coins below $3000 value, suddenly I went from 0% submission to NCS to 100% immediately.  Knowing that NCS could fix almost any coin for only $22.50 opened up a world of opportunities for me, because I could buy coins that others passed on and I could pick it up cheap, but after conservation they would come back MS69-70. 

Below are before and after pictures of 1979 1oz silver piefort which I bought not even knowing it was piefort, I thought it was matte coin because it was so dull and it had some green mold on the back at the three o clock position.  I paid $30 to have it conserved and graded, since I valued it as matte coin at the time and look at the result after NCS, the profit on just this one coin has paid for all my NCS fees for the last 6 years and counting.  If it wasn't for my awareness of NCS I would have never bought such an ugly coin, I bid on it as though it was MS65-MS66 matte at best, but with NCS I thought it could get to MS67-MS68.

The second example is 1996 1oz Russian tiger, it was graded NGC PF69, it had toning spot (back right leg) so I sent it to NCS to remove it and paid $30, take look at what came back a pop 1 PF70 with toning spot still there.  I have had roughly 1 slabbed coin upgraded every other year, always 1oz in size.

Despite these great outcomes I have had some bad luck also, typically with smaller 1/20 sizes where coins came back MS68 and the entire fee was a loss.  Now with NCS fees higher than in previous years, the service makes the most sense for 1/2oz-1oz gold and 1oz silver coins. 

Offline KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2014, 12:38:54 AM »
Front after NCS

Offline KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2014, 12:44:37 AM »
Back after NCS. Notice small spot at 3 o clock position, it used to be green mold.

Offline KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2014, 12:46:42 AM »
Toning spot on right back leg pre-NCS.

Offline KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: NGC grading Nightmare!!! (Warning: Panda abuse)
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2014, 12:54:09 AM »
Toning spot still present post-NCS, but grade improved.