Author Topic: Question about when to Conserve and grade Coins, Now or Later  (Read 1840 times)

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Offline 123panda

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Question about when to Conserve and grade Coins, Now or Later
« on: September 16, 2011, 12:27:02 PM »
I have sent Chinese Coins to NCS & NGC only once and wanted to ask about your experiences and to help me determine when I should be sending my coins to NCS & NGC.  These are all Silver Pandas, which is pretty much what I collect.

My limited experience, I shipped 14 coins, 7-1oz 1985 Silver Pandas, I feel they did a very good job with them. Also 4-12oz 1986 Hong Kong Panda Medals and 3-5oz 1985 Hong Kong Panda Medals.  They were all in the original PVC Plastic Bags, overall they did a nice job.  But,
1) They seem to be pretty hard on the Grading of these Larger Pandas.
2) It took them nearly a month starting in April 4th of 2011 for an expedited order.
3) I notice there is some tooling marks from the dies, which they seem to have took for damage.
4) Unfortunately I did not take any before pictures, so any true scratches could have been done at the mint prior to packaging them.
5) It seems like Conservation is a highly skilled job and should not be given to rookies to do, do you think they have rookies doing Conservation Work?
6) Do you think NCS and or NGC damage coins during processing.(I know, take pictures before I send them, Should I cut them out of the PVC Bag before taking the pictures?

And on to a little different aspect of NCS & NGC, when do you think I should send them in?  Grade them now so I can save the best for years to come(and sell the lesser ones so that I can replace them with better ones) or wait until I am closer to selling them?  The reason I ask is I have seen so many Pandas Graded PF69 Proof Pandas with white spots for sale, I am wondering if the process of Conserving and Grading is causing some of these coins to develope these dread white spots.  Or rather is it coins that have not been Conserved that I am seeing in the Market with these white spots.  I have not had enough coins graded to know the answers to these questions. 
Can anybody offer their opinion.  Thanks again.
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Offline badon

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Re: Question about when to Conserve and grade Coins, Now or Later
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2011, 12:46:24 PM »
I like to get all my coins graded immediately so I can tell which ones to keep and which ones to sell. There are many advantages to being quick about conservation and grading, and only a few disadvantages.

As far as I know, the conservation people at NCS are always the most experienced people. With their increase in business, instead of hiring someone new, the President of the company has been working in the conservation lab. I think that's why NGC is trying so hard to hire new graders - they will promote someone experienced to work in NCS's conservation lab, but that's just a guess.

NCS does not cause white spots. The white spots are caused by a dormant, dried acid spot on the coin. When the coin is exposed to the humidity in fresh air, the dormant acid activates, and starts etching the surface of the coin to make the white spot.

That can happen any time, but for well-sealed old coins, they develop spots when the coin is shipped due to atmospheric pressure changes that force more are in or out of the "sealed" capsule. For coin seals, the sealing is never a pressure seal, and it will always leak enough to match the atmospheric pressure.

NCS is located in Florida, near sea level. That means if you come from almost anywhere other than a coastal area, the air pressure will increase when you ship your coins to NCS. White spots form within minutes of exposure to fresh air, so they sometimes develop spots while in transit, before they arrive to NCS.

In addition, NCS has to remove the coins from their packaging to prepare them for conservation. After they're prepared, they will sit in line and wait their turn to be conserved. That also allows fresh humidity to reactivate the acid spot.

If the quantity of acid on the coin is very small, NCS will probably be able to remove it before it becomes noticeable. Even once the spot forms, it remains active, so it's important to have the coin conserved to slow or eliminate the acid that's causing the spot.

One reason I like to get my coins graded and conserved as fast as possible is because time is money. You can sit on a coin, and find out after 30 years that it is worthless because it has a spot, so that by then you could never afford to replace it with a nicer coin. Or, you could get it conserved and graded now, so that if a spot were to form, it will form now so you can still sell it for close to what you paid for it, and it won't cost you much more to get a better coin.

The longer you wait, the more it's going to hurt if a spot forms. Getting it conserved and graded now lets you deal with the problem before you've invested half of your life into it.

Offline 123panda

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Re: Question about when to Conserve and grade Coins, Now or Later
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2011, 01:13:53 PM »
Boy that sure makes a lot of sense, it is so obvious when I hear it from you.  And here I have been worried that they will cause white spots, when it is just the opposite.  Gee, how many coins should I send at a time?  I guess I can pay $8 and send different order numbers, then it will not tie them all together.  Well I guess I have to dump these boring Modern US Gold and Platinum to pay for the grading.  But in the end I will be happier sooner.  I do not think the China run is any where near done. 
What do you do when you get coins back from NCS/NGC that are under graded.  I kinda think busting them out is dangerous and a little dishonest, but then if you know they are under graded.  They probably will grade higher upon the next submission.  If they are accurate, the honest thing to do is sell them as graded and not to fool anyone about what you are selling.  That small amount will create Bad Karma, so I will not be busting accurately graded coins out of their holder.  It is the Obviously Undergraded ones that bug me.  I do not want to scratch them up trying to open holders.  Hopefully it does not happen to often.  When they are over graded, it is easier, you take good pictures of the problem areas and sell them for less.  I see Collin CE do it all the time.  He has set a good example for us all, in my opinion. 
Thanks Badon
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Offline badon

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Re: Question about when to Conserve and grade Coins, Now or Later
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2011, 08:50:58 PM »
No problem, I'm glad I was able to describe the pros and cons so clearly. That is one of my best posts in sorting out a difficult question, I think.

I've only seen a few coins from NGC that were obviously undergraded. I sent them back in with a note on the form saying "Review for 69 grade". They reviewed them, and agreed with me that they deserved a 69 grade, and I got them back in a shiny new 69 grade holders! You don't need to open the holders yourself, NGC will take care of that for you.

Gresham's law pretty much guarantees that overgraded coins will continue to circulate in the market, while undergraded coins will get "hoarded" and sent in for regrading. That's why I've found so few undergraded coins.