Author Topic: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS  (Read 13815 times)

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Offline poconopenn

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Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« on: August 18, 2014, 09:02:28 PM »
Attached are summary tables of population reports of NGC vs. PCGS as 8/15/2014 for the following series. The data cover all varieties,

   BU gold panda ½ oz., 1982-1993
 
   BU gold panda 1/10 oz., 1982-1993

   BU silver panda 1 oz., 1989-2000

   Proof silver lunar 15 gm series, 1981-1992

   Proof silver lunar 1 oz. piedfort series, 1988-1999

   BU and Proof silver Unicorn 1 oz., 1994-1997

Based on these population reports, the following conclusions can be reached:

NGC and PCGS have about the same grading standard for gold and silver pandas.
 
PCGS has a very tough standard vs. NGC in grading lunar coins.

NGC and PCGS have very different standards in grading Unicorns.

The current premium of NGC graded MCC received over PCGS is not warranted, based on those data.
 
Please comment.

Those members who may have similar data of 2013, please contribute. This will provide evidence if NGC or PCGS has relaxed its grading standard recently, since I do not recall to see so many 70 in the past.
    

Offline Birdman

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2014, 09:45:05 PM »
Thanks, poconopenn.  One quick thought comes to mind.  My experience is that coins that have had their surfaces conserved can earn higher grades.  More MCC sent to NGC have been conserved prior to grading than for PCGS, right?  So if the same OMP coins are sent to both NGC and PCGS, but more sent to NGC have gotten conserved through NCS, then could that be an important variable?  The same coins to both companies, but some might be a lot prettier when they come to the desk of the NGC grader, directly after NCS?  Also, is a premium warranted (in terms of long term protection of the coin's condition) for an NCS/NGC coin vs a PCGS coin of the same grade with no conservation and with possible PVC residues on its surface?  I wonder what percentage of NGC MCC have been conserved?  I'd guess that > 80% of my collection has been through NCS.  Some were some very hazy or spotted PCGS coins that I sent through NCS to cross to NGC.  But maybe I've been the only sucker keeping NCS in business :)  ?

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2014, 11:15:49 PM »
There is no reason to believe that all coins go though NCS are conserved. In fact, the majority coins in OMP submitted were not treated by NCS. In addition, the coin with heavy PVC stain, most likely, is damaged already and has no chance to receive 69 or better. The possible of trace of PVC residues caused by contacting to the pouch, if not visible, will not damage to the gold coin. There is no chance to have PVC stain in capsuled silver coin, unless the coin is in contact with the pouch directly.

Online KeyDate1/2ozPandas

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2014, 12:56:41 AM »

The current premium of NGC graded MCC received over PCGS is not warranted, based on those data.
 

Thanks for sharing this excellent data.

The price difference between NGC and PCGS has less to do with grading rarity, but rather a decision made early in ones collecting journey or personal preference. 

1) If a collector is brand new and has no opinion about either grading company they will tend to go towards the dominant company (NGC) because those coins are much more available on ebay, Zhou, coin shows or coin market.  Once they start collecting, they will often try to make sets from the same grading company, which will reinforce their earlier decision to stick with one grading company.  This logic explains why it is so important to be the first mover in the Chinese market, the early dominant company based on population reports will attract the most new collectors simply because of availability.

2) As a collector matures or their hobby becomes an investment vehicle, then a collector may branch out to other grading companies using the above analysis to determine what is most undervalued and may switch to another company.  Or they may follow the logic in item 1), that most new collectors will go with the dominant company (NGC) and therefore for liquidity and price appreciation potential it is best to stay with NGC.

3) Next collector, investor and dealer preference come into play. 
      a) The holder from the two companies are distinctly different, some people like clear some people like white.  The labels are different also, NGC doesn't state the mint, while PCGS does and shows it in Chinese characters, this is in my opinion the only positive of PCGS vs NGC. 
      b) The guaranty from the two companies are different, NGC is unlimited, PCGS is capped at $1000 for non-secure plus holders. Cost of to get unlimited PCGS guaranty (secure plus) is $45/coin vs $14-$30/coin for NGC, this is huge difference as a dealer submitting hundreds to thousands of coins a year.  Also turnaround time is important, NGC takes 4-10 days vs PCGS 10-40 days. 
      c) Preservation, some holders protect the coin better from toning and hazing.  For my holdings, about 2-3% of NGC coins develop toning after a few years in storage, while 10-15% of PCGS coins develop toning or hazing after similar period. This difference can't be explained by conservation at NGC vs no conservation at PCGS, since I only submit NGC coins to be crossed over to PCGS.

If you haven't guessed I am more partial to NGC (95% of my inventory is NGC) and may even change my user name to "KeyDateNGCPanda" because I believe NGC dominance will continue for another 5-10 years.  Beyond that it is hard to say, because managements may change, alliances will be made, grading innovation, adversity, etc. will all influence which company will be the top in 2020. 

For old Chinese coins pre-1949, I am 100% PCGS because PCGS is the dominant player and as a newbie in that market I bought what is most available for rare coins.   

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2014, 03:08:30 PM »
Yes, I agree that liquidity is the major factor for dealers and investors to prefer NGC over PCGS. However, for collectors, the quality of the coin inside the holder is the most important factor. I do not see the quality difference in NGC and PCGS graded pandas based on the data, but the difference in lunar coins is just too great to be ignored.  Potentially, based on the data, about 40% of NGC graded PF69 lunar coins will be graded by PCGS as 68. Grading standard is very important to collectors. For example, Morgan dollar in old green label PCGS holder can received a significant premium over recent graded Morgan dollar because of the tough grading standard in the earlier year.
 
It is my understanding that PCGS has formed some type of partnership with jibi.net and coin001.com inside China. This may improve the market share of PCGS graded MCC inside China in the future, in addition to the currently dominated position in Imperial and Republic coins.
 
Disclosure: I have never submitted any MCC to any grading company and do buy graded MCC in the market. The last time I submitted coin for grading was 1991 to ANACS for proof Indian Cents. In earlier 1990, ANACS was the second best grading company after PCGS.

Offline r3globe

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2014, 02:34:42 AM »
Great insight from 2 great minds in the hobby/business. Thank you.

Offline jc888888888

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2014, 06:46:21 AM »
Thanks for the fantastic research and insight ,it is highly appreciated ,if I could make one comment this data is for older MCC  and in the case of lunars I think if you run the same data on lets say the last 3 years of lunar varieties you would see the exact opposite,there seems to be an ebb and flow of perceived grading standards for both companies ,12 month's ago I heard comments from a fair amount of people stating NGC is notoriously tough ,now all of a sudden those same folks in the last 60 days are saying NGC is relaxing a bit..one more comment when you talk to Shanghai coin dealers who are relatively new to grading but have adopted it in a big way many grading hundreds of coins at the 2 companies you get a unanimous consensus that they believe NGC is tougher on MCC than PCGS. also I believe there is a fair amount of validity to Birdmans observations about NCS  and here is why I think so ,the data set above all in all are fairly high value MCC when taken as a group. I think collectors are more apt to spend on conservation  when submitting when they have a more significant amount of dollars invested in a coin. thanks again for the great post and research. 

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2014, 12:32:51 AM »
The differences of NGC and PCGS grading standard for post-2011 silver and gold panda, as well as lunar are very limited. Both companies graded those coins about 95% better than 69 with more than 50% in 70.  Both companies have a very liberal standard.
 
As collector, I do not like the concept to conserve the coin in Mint State condition unless the coin is damaged and needs to be treated to stop the further deterioration. When the coin surface treated with chemicals, a thin layer of material is removed from surface. It can be detected if the grader is properly trained. For example, the moisture caused white cloud in silver coin can be removed easily, but the coin surface is no longer the same as original smooth and lustrous  and will become dull in a relatively short period of time. In fact, I will be very hesitate to buy the coin from seller who claims that coin is treated by NCS, unless the seller can tell me the type of treatment performed by NCS.


Offline Birdman

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2014, 12:35:14 PM »
The possible of trace of PVC residues caused by contacting to the pouch, if not visible, will not damage to the gold coin.

As collector, I do not like the concept to conserve the coin in Mint State condition unless the coin is damaged and needs to be treated to stop the further deterioration.


Poconopenn,

I would be happy for you to convince me that NCS conservation is not necessary unless there is already visible damage to the coin.  That would save me a lot of money in conservation fees! 

My anecdotal observations, however, lead me to believe that there can be a film of PVC (or some other detrimental residue?) on older gold pandas that is not visible, but can degrade the coin over time.  Owing to this suspicion, if I have an older gold panda that I want to grade, I will usually send it to through NCS first as a precaution. 
A few relevant anecdotes:

(1)   I recently bought a batch of PCGS graded gold pandas from a dealer.  The vast majority of the coins were in PCGS MS69 holders, but nearly all of them had some degree of surface hazing.  The dealer mentioned that he had graded all of them from the same OMP sheet a couple years ago. There is no way that they could have earned a 69 grade with the poor eye appeal that they had, so my conclusion is that there was some sort of residue on the surface of the coins from their 20 years in the OMP.  The residue was not apparent to the coin graders, who would have rejected PVC damaged coins, but it was sufficient to degrade the surface of the coins over time.  I sent these coins through NCS and they are in good condition now crossed over to NGC MS69 holders. 

(2)   Although not a gold panda, but still relevant to the issue of non-apparent PVC residue causing long term damage, I bought a PCGS XF40 US Trade dollar with nice chopmarks, but it had developed patches of green PVC damage.  PCGS did an appearance review and ended up removing the green spots, but they had already eaten away parts of the surface of the coin.

(3)   Other examples are NGC MS69 graded gold pandas with arcs of haze that have developed on the coin like the one I posted at the following link. http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?topic=8206.msg47946#msg47946  I’ve sent coins like these into NGC.  They have agreed that they no longer meet the MS69 grade, and they have conserved the coin to address the problems.  The working assumption I have on such coins is that the arc of haze is from a PVC residue that was on the coin and that developed problems over time.

My question is how many other coins are there out there that look fine now and will earn a MS69 or MS70, but they have a detrimental residue on their surface that will cause problems over 10, 20, or 30 years?  I don’t know the answer to that question, but I am fairly confident that it is not zero.
 
Recently, I walked through the TSA security at an airport.  As is their procedure, they swabbed my carry-on bag with a wand, and then analyzed the cloth for the presence of certain chemicals.  I had a thought.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to use the same technology to test the surface of attractive gold pandas that had been in OMP for decades?  Would the machines (are they Mass Spectrometers or NMR?)  indicate that there is a PVC residue.  I guess until someone does such an analysis, we can only speculate whether the coins have a residue, and whether such non-apparent PVC residue poses a long term risk to the surface of the gold pandas.  Until such an analysis is done, I guess we can only wait and see what develops in the holders of conserved vs non-conserved coins over the next 10 to 20 years.  It is certainly an interesting topic ripe for some hard data.

On a side-note on this topic, the following link is worth a read for those who might not have seen it.  As a caveat, it is written by NGC/NCS who naturally has a financial interest in people wanting to do conservation.

"PVC Contamination on Modern Chinese Coins and the NCS Solution” http://www.ngccoin.com/news/viewarticle.aspx?IDArticle=3003



Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2014, 12:02:44 AM »
PVC itself is not the cause of PVC stain. PVC will not degraded until the temperature reaches 70 degree (C). The stain is from plasticizer incorporated in the film. It is an oily chemical, phthalate. For soft film, more than 40% of plasticizer is required in the production of film. Plasticizer has a low vapor pressure and can be readily released from film at a temperature above 50 degree C in a relatively short period of time. At room temperature (15-25 degree C), the releasing of plasticizer vapor is very limited. The surface embrittlement or harden of the film is the indication that some plasticizer has been released. The released plasticizer will slowly deposit on the hard surface such as gold coin or outside surface of the plastic capsule to form a film. This film will slowly thicken and becoming visible and sticky, and eventually oxidized to turn into a greenish hard film, which is tough to remove and definitely needs professional help. The NGC examples are typical, the plasticizer film is thick and visible, but not in the stage of color change yet.
 
The removal of thin plasticizer film on the coin surface is relatively easy, by simply keeping coin in the acetone for few minutes. There is no reason to let NCS to make the money.
 
The removal of red copper spot also can be done easily with a cigar lighter, but the coin be treated with acetone to remove the plasticizer film on the coin surface before the heating. In rare instance, the spot is dark brown, the chance is good the spot is formed from other metals, such as silver and iron dust during the minting process, and can not be removed by heating and any chemical treatment may damage the surface.

Usually, the Shenzhen pouch has a lower content of plasticizer and relatively stiff, therefore, a much less chance to release the plasticizer. When the coin inside the pouch can not be moved freely, the chance is good that the coin surface has a plasticizer film already.

Offline Birdman

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2014, 07:48:00 AM »
PVC itself is not the cause of PVC stain. PVC will not degraded until the temperature reaches 70 degree (C). The stain is from plasticizer incorporated in the film. It is an oily chemical, phthalate. For soft film, more than 40% of plasticizer is required in the production of film. Plasticizer has a low vapor pressure and can be readily released from film at a temperature above 50 degree C in a relatively short period of time. At room temperature (15-25 degree C), the releasing of plasticizer vapor is very limited. The surface embrittlement or harden of the film is the indication that some plasticizer has been released. The released plasticizer will slowly deposit on the hard surface such as gold coin or outside surface of the plastic capsule to form a film. This film will slowly thicken and becoming visible and sticky, and eventually oxidized to turn into a greenish hard film, which is tough to remove and definitely needs professional help. The NGC examples are typical, the plasticizer film is thick and visible, but not in the stage of color change yet.
 
The removal of thin plasticizer film on the coin surface is relatively easy, by simply keeping coin in the acetone for few minutes. There is no reason to let NCS to make the money.
 
The removal of red copper spot also can be done easily with a cigar lighter, but the coin be treated with acetone to remove the plasticizer film on the coin surface before the heating. In rare instance, the spot is dark brown, the chance is good the spot is formed from other metals, such as silver and iron dust during the minting process, and can not be removed by heating and any chemical treatment may damage the surface.

Usually, the Shenzhen pouch has a lower content of plasticizer and relatively stiff, therefore, a much less chance to release the plasticizer. When the coin inside the pouch can not be moved freely, the chance is good that the coin surface has a plasticizer film already.


Very interesting insights, Poconopenn.  Thanks for sharing.  Do I gather correctly that you are in the chemistry profession?

Do you know whether the China Mint has changed its formula for the plastic pouch over time in response to concerns regarding the levels of certain chemical components?  For instance, perhaps the pouches of the past few years are more archival, with more inert components that are not likely to affect the coin's surface (similar to how they changed the formula for the plastic in coin albums in the US?).  Or perhaps they are just cranking out the same plastic with the thinking that the pouches are not meant for long term storage?

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2014, 06:34:38 PM »
Very interesting insights, Poconopenn.  Thanks for sharing.  Do I gather correctly that you are in the chemistry profession?

Do you know whether the China Mint has changed its formula for the plastic pouch over time in response to concerns regarding the levels of certain chemical components?  For instance, perhaps the pouches of the past few years are more archival, with more inert components that are not likely to affect the coin's surface (similar to how they changed the formula for the plastic in coin albums in the US?).  Or perhaps they are just cranking out the same plastic with the thinking that the pouches are not meant for long term storage?

Yes, I was polymer chemist by training and involved precision molding for medical devices using all types of material, including PVC, in my earlier professional life.

Based on the thickness and stiffness of pouch produced by Shanghai and Shenyang Mint over time, I do not believe the formula for those pouches being changed significantly. The Shenzhen Mint pouch is definitely has a lower percentage of plasticizer in the formula.

I should state the plasticizer film more precisely. There is a processing aid, which is also a low vapor pressure oily chemical, in the formulation of PVC film. During the processing, the majority of processing aid will be evaporated, but a very small amount will be released together with plasticizer during storage. The released plasticizer vapor will be deposited uniformly on the surface of the coin and film formed will be very thin. The film may not be continuous or uniform and in the sub-micro thickness, therefore, it is transparent and not visible. However, the direct contact area will be more concentrated and attracted more vapor with time and the thickness will be slowly increased to micro range, therefore, it becomes translucent and visible. Since the majority surface is not in contact with the plastic pouch, the original film will not be visible as long as the thickness of the film remain in the sub-micro range, even it reacts with environment pollutants during the storage.

IMO, if the plasticizer film is not visible at the time coin graded, it will not show up later during the storage for gold coin, but the silver coin may be different, since silver is much more reactive.

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2014, 06:46:05 PM »
Here are more data for post-2000 BU silver and gold pandas as well as colorized lunar silver coins graded by NGC and PCGS. Based on those data, there is no reason to believe that NGC has a tough grading standard than PCGS. Both companies grade more than 97% better than 69 for pandas issued after 2011. It is interested to note that PCGS has graded more gold and silver pandas than NGC since 2011.

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2014, 02:42:39 PM »
Here are the updated NGC & PCGS population data for the following three series. There were two errors in my previous posted table and they were corrected in these new tables.

1.   Silver BU panda 1 oz. from 1989 to 2000.

2.   Gold BU panda 1/10 oz. from 1982 to 1993.

3.   Silver lunar 15 gm from 1981 to 1992.

The sample size of NGC graded coins for these three series increased during last two months is large enough to conclude that NGC has significantly lower its grading standard recently. While the sample size for PCGS is too small to reach any definite conclusion, but the data does not suggest any significant change in its grading standard. In the case of silver BU panda, the sample size of PCGS is reasonable large to suggest that PCGS may actually have tightening its grading standard.     

Offline silverstar1

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2014, 09:56:57 PM »
I would hardly say this is "conclusive that NGC has significantly lowered its grading standards" .There are too many other factors to say that, unless you can personally look closely at a large percent of all of these coins throughout the years it is really nothing more than an opinion. You are wasting alot of time in my opinion. I have personally seen overgraded coins by both companies but have seen way more overgraded by PCGS and do not buy them any more  and of course someone else could have had the opposite experience so there is really no point in arguing it . Thanks for posting the data though.

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2014, 09:07:34 PM »
Frankly, I was surprised to see the increase of % NGC69 &70 graded in the last two months vs. total coins graded in the past (about 10 years). In addition, the number of the coins graded by NGC during last two months was about 250% more than the monthly average during last 10 years. In earlier October, NGC had conducted an on-site grading inside China. This might be the reason of such large number coins graded by NGC during last two months. The following thread also suggested that NGC might had lowered its grading standard in the last two years and might be related to the on-site grading in China.

http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?topic=10647.0

The conclusion reached was not based on my personal subjective opinion, but based on the data from NGC population report.
 
The following summarizes the changes, based on the data posted previously.

Offline silverstar1

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2014, 11:14:28 PM »
This is a very good point about the on site grading in China , and I suspect could very well help explain the recent population growth in higher grade coins if some Chinese dealers or individuals are getting some very high grade coins and or sheets graded , plus the increased popularity in graded coins in China, especially if they are choosing NGC over PCGS. I hate to open a can of worms but I have noticed recently coins from China from both PCGS and NGC that i would consider overgraded . I would think that the grading standards would be consistent whether graded at the main sites in the US or overseas but that may not be the case , it could also be that Chinese dealers are selling the inferior coins (yet graded accordingly) to overseas customers . Again good data Poconopenn and thanks for sharing it. 

Offline Butch

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2015, 05:38:25 PM »
poconopenn,

I love the work you put into Chinese numismatic statistics.  If you want, please create a list for 1 oz silver proof pandas (and other lines of coins!) 

It is interesting to see NGC is tougher in grading than PCGS with some lines of coins.  Never would imagine that!

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2016, 11:41:18 PM »
It has been two years since the last update. Here is the updated data for 1989-2000 silver BU panda.

The first table is based on the population reports of NGC and PCGS, dated 8/11/2016.

The second  and third table are copied from previous posts, based on the population reports on 8/10/2014 and 10/20/2014 respectively.

The new data, clearly, suggest that PCGS has a tougher grading standard than NGC, at least in the last two years, for earlier silver BU pandas.   

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2016, 01:17:46 AM »
One thing that greatly affects grading distributions is bulk grading.  Under bulk grading you specify minimum grade of ms69 and any coin that doesn't meet the minimum is not added to the grading distribution.  In any given year the distribution of bulk grading vs collector submission makes a big difference on the distributions.  Also, someone like me rarely does bulk grading but any ms67-68 I get I crack open and turn in the labels back to NGC to remove from pop reports, so there appearance that ms69 is much easier to get than reality.

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2016, 10:54:12 PM »
The effects of bulk grading on the MS69 for pre-2000 silver pandas would be very limited, since they were simply not available in multiple sheets by any dealer during last few years. It definitely will affect post 2010 and the data of 2016 suggest that many dealers in US made submission of 1000-5000 coins during later December of 2015 and earlier January of 2016.  

Offline Tao-Panda

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2016, 05:19:53 AM »
The new data, clearly, suggest that PCGS has a tougher grading standard than NGC, at least in the last two years, for earlier silver BU pandas.  

It is really difficult to know the true behind grading standard but the rumour told previously that PCGS grading standard was more accurate than NGC standard.
I'm always surprised to hear people telling that NGC graded coins are sold higher than PCGS graded ones... that's not what I note in auction. From what I see, prices are into the same range.
But that's true that some people clearly claim that they only want to buy NGC graded coins. So, it means less PCGS buyers.

I sent some coins to PCGS restoration service but they only restored a single coins; others came back without being restored and in my opinion, increasing the eye appeal of these coins was not difficult at all
So, I plan to try NCS in the next few weeks.
Is NCS really good ?
For exemple, can NCS do something for this coin ?
For the record, it has been submitted to PCGS restoration service but it came back without restoration... bad point for me.



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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2016, 05:21:19 PM »
Bulk grading is supposed to be for submissions of a 100 coins of one date and type, however over the years dealers have worked out submissions where you can have 10 different coins that add up to 100 coins and still count as a bulk submission. I know dealers that still do a lot of bulk submission for 1989-2006 years.

Offline Agpanda

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2016, 06:04:07 PM »
I did a quick search on ebay, put in "silver Panda"
There was 830graded by NGC, and 271 from PCGS
When i did same search but this time for MS69 and MS70
There was NGC 406 and PCGS 214
So it seems like there are higher % of PCGS that are graded high

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2016, 10:02:57 PM »
I did a quick search on ebay, put in "silver Panda"
There was 830graded by NGC, and 271 from PCGS
When i did same search but this time for MS69 and MS70
There was NGC 406 and PCGS 214
So it seems like there are higher % of PCGS that are graded high

The majority of eBay listings are for post-2010 pandas. All post-2010 were graded 98% better than MS69 by both companies. They are very different from pre-2000 silver panda.

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2016, 10:13:46 PM »
Bulk grading is supposed to be for submissions of a 100 coins of one date and type, however over the years dealers have worked out submissions where you can have 10 different coins that add up to 100 coins and still count as a bulk submission. I know dealers that still do a lot of bulk submission for 1989-2006 years.

I just examined eBay listings for 1989 silver panda. 14 of NGC graded coin out of 33 listings, based on the holder and label, are determined to be graded during last few years. Only two of those recent graded coin, based on the invoice #, suggest more than one coin was graded (one has two and another has 4).

It is my understanding, the bulk submission can be more than 100. Here is an example, 4386895-274 is for 2016 silver panda.

Offline Tao-Panda

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2016, 04:05:59 PM »
No answer to my question.
Isn't there, on this forum, any experienced NCS customer who could share his expertise about conservation for such a coin ?

Offline silverpv

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2016, 01:17:16 AM »
No answer to my question.
Isn't there, on this forum, any experienced NCS customer who could share his expertise about conservation for such a coin ?

ncs can do wonders for a coin and I've seen them clear red spots no problem. However in my last interaction with NCS and gold pandas they did not conserve the coin with red spots, all other times they have and increased the eye appeal. I still received a ms69 even with the red spot.

So in my opinion, yes they can fix it, but sometimes they choose not to. I'm not sure why.

Offline Tao-Panda

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2016, 09:28:20 AM »
ncs can do wonders for a coin and I've seen them clear red spots no problem. However in my last interaction with NCS and gold pandas they did not conserve the coin with red spots, all other times they have and increased the eye appeal. I still received a ms69 even with the red spot.

So in my opinion, yes they can fix it, but sometimes they choose not to. I'm not sure why.

Thank you for your reply.
Could you post a phot of your coin which has not been conserved ?

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2016, 06:23:21 PM »
The updated grading population data, covered period of 8/2014-8/2016, for 15gm silver lunar series and 1/10 oz. gold panda for period of 1982-1993 are given in the attached tables.

NGC clearly has lowered its grading standard for both series during last two years and PCGS has maintained a tougher grading standard than NGC in grading these two series during last two years. The difference is quite significant in 15 gm lunar series.   The new data confirm the similar trend shown in the updated data of 1 oz. silver panda posted in reply #18. It is interested to note that NGC has further gained the market share in grading MCC, based on the data from these three series, during last two years.

NGC had its office in China much earlier (at least two years) than PCGS and its connection to few large bullion dealers, with some of them having their office located in South Florida, has made NGC to be the preferable grading service for MCC. For collectors, the grading of recently issued bullions (panda, eagle, maple and etc.) is just not cost-effective vs. buying graded coin from those large dealers, who are enjoy large discount of grading fee for bulk submission and no shipping cost, since they are located nearby the NGC office. This has created a win-win marketing strategy for NGC and those bullion dealers, as well as collectors of bullion coins. Similarly, PCGS was in the grading of Imperial and Republic coins for much longer time than NGC, therefore, a higher premium for those coins.

IMO, the current preference of NGC over PCGS and a higher premium for MCC has nothing to do with the grading standard. Clearly NGC has a better marketing strategy and has reacted quickly to the market demand inside China. IMO, the better chance to receive a higher grade from NGC than PCGS for those three series may be part of NGC marketing strategy in gaining the market share.

It is also interesting to note that the combined NGC and PCGS graded 0.1 oz. earlier gold panda is only 0.6% of the total mintage. 

Offline silverpv

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2016, 02:02:17 AM »
is it possible that people who are in the know who cherry pick coins send better looking coins to NGC and people don't send better coins to PCGS? I know for a fact that I personally pick every coin that goes to NGC. The folks that 'typically' send to pcgs aren't as careful and just send it there because that is where they prefer. As a collector of pandas, I scrutinize each panda i send in, especially 1/10 oz. I'm not in to 1982-1993 but i do have ms70's which were recently graded from 1994-2016. Not to say there aren't bulk dealers. but your data shows higher percentage to ms69 and less per volume to ngc for 1/10 pandas. I can't speak to lunars. Is it better marketing or is it this forum? lol. i can tell you for a fact i sent in 150+ coins in the last 8 months 80% 1/10 pandas that doesn't include other members like moosician and jc8888 who also send in coins in bulk. I'm hesitant to say its marketing. I think people that know just send better coins to NGC.

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #31 on: August 18, 2016, 06:44:11 PM »
is it possible that people who are in the know who cherry pick coins send better looking coins to NGC and people don't send better coins to PCGS? I know for a fact that I personally pick every coin that goes to NGC. The folks that 'typically' send to pcgs aren't as careful and just send it there because that is where they prefer. As a collector of pandas, I scrutinize each panda i send in, especially 1/10 oz. I'm not in to 1982-1993 but i do have ms70's which were recently graded from 1994-2016. Not to say there aren't bulk dealers. but your data shows higher percentage to ms69 and less per volume to ngc for 1/10 pandas. I can't speak to lunars. Is it better marketing or is it this forum? lol. i can tell you for a fact i sent in 150+ coins in the last 8 months 80% 1/10 pandas that doesn't include other members like moosician and jc8888 who also send in coins in bulk. I'm hesitant to say its marketing. I think people that know just send better coins to NGC.

The practice of cherry picking of better condition coin to submit to grading companies has been done for many years by collectors. The following table for the comparison of the coins graded in last two years by NGC and PCGS vs. the coins graded prior to 8/2014 shows clearly that NGC has lowered its grading standard, while PCGS may tighten its grading standard for pandas during last two years.

The domination of NGC over PCGS in the market share of grading MCC has many factors. The better chance to receive a higher grade is just one of the factor. Other factors, such as lower grading fee and shorter turnaround time, mentioned by Arif in reply #3 are also very important factors.

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #32 on: August 18, 2016, 08:13:51 PM »
The practice of cherry picking of better condition coin to submit to grading companies has been done for many years by collectors. The following table for the comparison of the coins graded in last two years by NGC and PCGS vs. the coins graded prior to 8/2014 shows clearly that NGC has lowered its grading standard, while PCGS may tighten its grading standard for pandas during last two years.

The domination of NGC over PCGS in the market share of grading MCC has many factors. The better chance to receive a higher grade is just one of the factor. Other factors, such as lower grading fee and shorter turnaround time, mentioned by Arif in reply #3 are also very important factors.


I don't find that this data supports the conclusion. For instance, it doesn't account for changes in the sources for the raw coins. The more coins that are shipped, or transshipped, directly from the Mint to a grading company the higher I would expect the grades to be. If you grade more First Releases than previously, the grades will rise in tandem with quality advances at the Mints. I would even venture that which Mint provides the coins may affect the grade curve to some degree.

Both companies are constantly expanding in China and establishing new relationships. As the mix of material submitted changes, so will the grade curve. There are too many other potential factors  to attribute the above numbers to changes in grading standards.

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



Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #33 on: August 18, 2016, 11:46:43 PM »
I don't find that this data supports the conclusion. For instance, it doesn't account for changes in the sources for the raw coins. The more coins that are shipped, or transshipped, directly from the Mint to a grading company the higher I would expect the grades to be. If you grade more First Releases than previously, the grades will rise in tandem with quality advances at the Mints. I would even venture that which Mint provides the coins may affect the grade curve to some degree.

Both companies are constantly expanding in China and establishing new relationships. As the mix of material submitted changes, so will the grade curve. There are too many other potential factors  to attribute the above numbers to changes in grading standards.

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




The three series mentioned herein are coins issued before 2000, at least 15 years old. None of them has ever shipped directly from Mint to grading companies. None of them ever graded as first or early release either. IMO, unlike recent issued MCC, the chance of bulk submission by few large dealers, asking for coins being graded only if it is higher than 69, is very limited, since they are dealing with newly issued coins only, not pre-2000 MCC. For example, NGC graded 1/10 oz. gold panda is 1894, for duration of 2 years and covering 12 different dates. This is about average of 6.6 coins/date/month, therefore, most likely, the majority of the coins were submitted in small batch from collectors or small dealers. The chance of involving a large submission to distort the data is very limited. The data, which cover three different series and showing the identical trend, is good enough for me to conclude that NGC has lowered its grading standard during last two years.
   
SANDC also presented data to show the significant increase of 70 for some pre-2000 culture coins in the following thread.

http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?topic=10647.0 (Reply #7 and #9)

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2016, 01:11:39 AM »
Do you have data on 1oz gold panda pre-2000.  I agree it has been easier to get NGC ms69 1/10 and 1/20, but 1oz and 1/2oz NGC has really tighten up.  1/4 are about the same over the years. 

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2016, 01:17:19 PM »
The three series mentioned herein are coins issued before 2000, at least 15 years old. None of them has ever shipped directly from Mint to grading companies. None of them ever graded as first or early release either. IMO, unlike recent issued MCC, the chance of bulk submission by few large dealers, asking for coins being graded only if it is higher than 69, is very limited, since they are dealing with newly issued coins only, not pre-2000 MCC. For example, NGC graded 1/10 oz. gold panda is 1894, for duration of 2 years and covering 12 different dates. This is about average of 6.6 coins/date/month, therefore, most likely, the majority of the coins were submitted in small batch from collectors or small dealers. The chance of involving a large submission to distort the data is very limited. The data, which cover three different series and showing the identical trend, is good enough for me to conclude that NGC has lowered its grading standard during last two years.
    
SANDC also presented data to show the significant increase of 70 for some pre-2000 culture coins in the following thread.

http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?topic=10647.0 (Reply #7 and #9)


There is at least one source (maybe more) that submits, or has submitted, high volumes of original sheets of pre-2000 gold coins to NGC for grading during the last several years. For some dates this one source, whose coins often are in superb condition, represents a significant part of the total coins for the date and will skew the data.

Bulk submissions to NGC of older coins have occurred in the recent past.

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

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2016, 10:37:54 PM »
There is at least one source (maybe more) that submits, or has submitted, high volumes of original sheets of pre-2000 gold coins to NGC for grading during the last several years. For some dates this one source, whose coins often are in superb condition, represents a significant part of the total coins for the date and will skew the data.

Bulk submissions to NGC of older coins have occurred in the recent past.

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

1984 has the highest and 1988 has the second highest in increasing the % of 69 during last two years. Assuming someone did submit sheets of high quality coins during last two years, I excluded data for 1984 and 1988 in the calculation. The new result still suggest the same conclusion that NGC has lowered the grading standard during last two years.

There is correction made in the Table, the mintage of 1984 is 143062, not 43062 as given in the previous posted Table.

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2016, 11:01:31 PM »
Do you have data on 1oz gold panda pre-2000.  I agree it has been easier to get NGC ms69 1/10 and 1/20, but 1oz and 1/2oz NGC has really tighten up.  1/4 are about the same over the years.  

I do not have data for pre-2000 1 oz. gold panda.

Attached is a Table for updated 1/2 oz. gold panda for the period of 1982-1993. The results suggest that NGC has changed the grading standard very slightly during last two years, but not statistical significant as observed in the other series. However, the number of 70 has increased more than previous years.
 
Again, similar to 1/10 oz. gold panda, the combined NGC and PCGS graded coins is only 0.75% of total mintage. In general, the % of graded coin for other commemorative and culture series will be in the range of 4-10% of the mintage.

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2016, 11:31:11 AM »
I do not have data for pre-2000 1 oz. gold panda.

Attached is a Table for updated 1/2 oz. gold panda for the period of 1982-1993. The results suggest that NGC has changed the grading standard very slightly during last two years, but not statistical significant as observed in the other series. However, the number of 70 has increased more than previous years.
 
Again, similar to 1/10 oz. gold panda, the combined NGC and PCGS graded coins is only 0.75% of total mintage. In general, the % of graded coin for other commemorative and culture series will be in the range of 4-10% of the mintage.

What is the statistical margin for error here?

I ask because based on my experience and conversations, I'm dubious that either NGC or PCGS has made a policy decision to tighten or loosen grading standards, regardless of some fluctuations in the numbers. I know the chief graders (and others) at both companies and I think they would be amused by this conversation. It doesn't add up. Everyone else is equally free to draw his or her own conclusions. I also thank Poconopenn for caring enough about the field to sort through and analyze the data even if I am at odds with the conclusion he draws.

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


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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #39 on: August 20, 2016, 12:34:46 PM »
Another explanation for different grading results between two companies is the average experience of the submitter.  As the number show roughly 90% of the market share is with NGC.  In my opinion submitters that submit to NGC are more in tuned with what the Chinese market wants and are more knowledgable about Chinese coins so they are more likely to pre screen coins for submissions.  Those that are submitting to PCGS are clueless about the toning/hazing issues, price difference in coins values between the two companies and probably don't prescreen coins prior to submission. 

From my experience of cross over I can tell you which company graded tougher in their mind.  From 2008-2010, NGC would crossover 90% of my PCGS coins to NGC, while PCGS would crossover 60% of NGC coins to PCGS.  From 2012-2015 NGC would crossover 50% of my PCGS coins to NGC, while PCGS would crossover 100% of NGC coins to PCGS.

Over the last 10 years PCGS grading standards have declined in general for all world and US coins, I know dealers that seek out old PCGS slabs and submit for regrading because the old slab coins were graded too tough and under the new guidelines they often get a point higher for ms62-ms66 range old coins.

I do believe grading distribution change, whether it is from the top down or bottom up, I have witnessed it with my own eyes many times during the years.  At the same time I know many other factors affect grading pops that making conclusions from just distribution will lead to fales conclusions.  For example, I have roughly 200 slab labels ms67-69 that I need to submit back to the grading company for removal from pop reports, when I sell coins to China I break the slab and keep the grading label so that coin can be removed from the pop reports.  When I crossover coins the grading company sends me the old label back, I submit those back to the grading company. Companies pay between 25-50 cents per label to motivate members to keep pop reports accurate. 

Offline Wafdawg

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2016, 03:07:57 PM »
Anecdotally speaking, we live in an era of dilution where we have lower standards all across the board, not just in coin grading.  My assumption without looking at statistics is that both NGC and PCGS standards are lower today than they were yesterday and will be lower tomorrow than they are today.

Offline pandamonium

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #41 on: August 20, 2016, 03:50:06 PM »
For example, about 2 yrs ago there was NGC pop of 3 for the 1985 PF 69 Hong Kong Expo 5 oz silver panda.    Today there are 7.    I see more large silver getting 69 grades where in the past this did not happen........

Offline silverpv

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #42 on: August 20, 2016, 04:14:34 PM »
For example, about 2 yrs ago there was NGC pop of 3 for the 1985 PF 69 Hong Kong Expo 5 oz silver panda.    Today there are 7.    I see more large silver getting 69 grades where in the past this did not happen........

That doesn't mean the grades are relaxed. It could just be the volume has increased quite a bit and there's more awareness of NCS.

Offline poconopenn

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Re: Grading standard of NGC and PCGS
« Reply #43 on: August 20, 2016, 05:03:44 PM »
Thanks, arif and pandacollector, for a very healthy discussion.

The conclusion reached is based on the comparison of NGC graded 69 coins during last two years vs. previous years (more than 10). The cherry picking, NCS conservation and sheet submission are just as common for the period of pre-2014 as last two years.
 
If I remember correctly, NCS started its business in 1994. The ex-administrator as well as many members of this forum has recommended the advantage of NCS conservation, therefore, the improvement of grading for many years, as early as 2009. Therefore, the effects of NCS conservation on the grading results for this two periods will be very limited, unless NGC has an improved method in coin conservation and resulting in a better looking coin during last few years.

It is a reasonable assumption that the available of "genuine" sheet in the market place in the last two years will be less than pre-2014 for pre-2000 MCC. There is no reason to believe the recent submitted sheets have a better quality than those submitted pre-2014.

The effects of resubmission of grade coin on the accuracy of the population report is very limited. Assuming 2% of the graded coin resubmitted and all of them has not been registered in the population report, the data of population report will not change too much to alter the conclusion.
 
It is the consensus of this forum that the quality of the coin will be lower if the coin kept in the PVC pouch is longer, without a proper storage environment. This may have some truth, the average grade for earlier MCC is significantly lower than recent issued coins which have graded about 95% better than 69 for coins issued during the period of 2001-2010 and 99% better than 69 after 2010. If this consensus is correct, the grade of those earlier MCC during last two years shall be lower than those coins graded in the earlier years. The results suggest otherwise. The only feasible explanation is NGC has lowered its grading standard.

SANDC had observed the increase of 70 for six different pre-2000 silver culture coins and ½ oz. silver pandas as early as 2012. 

http://china-mint.info/forum/index.php?topic=10647.0 (Reply #7 and #9)