Frequently Asked Questions
Does NGC grade mint errors?
Yes. NGC will grade most circulation issue mint errors as well as most Proof mint errors struck prior to 1985. Mint errors struck after that date are evaluated for NGC grading on a case-by-case basis. NGC does not recognize as mint errors those coins with minor die chips, breaks, rotations, etc., which fall within our interpretation of mint tolerance. The determination of what constitutes a mint error is solely at the discretion of NGC.
What coins will not be graded by NGC?
NGC will not grade coins that are counterfeit, are of questionable authenticity or have been altered. In addition, NGC will not grade coins that have active surface contaminants such as PVC residue. These coins will often be eligible for NGC certification after conservation by Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS), an independent affiliate of NGC.
What is the difference between “Questionable Authenticity” and “Authenticity Unverifiable?”
If NGC graders examine a coin and believe that it will not be possible to determine whether it is authentic or not, it will be called “Questionable Authenticity” and the grading fee will be refunded, less a US $5 processing charge.
If NGC graders examine a coin and believe that additional research is required to determine its authenticity, they will conduct a comprehensive review, which will include extensive research and/or consultations with outside experts. If NGC is still unable to determine whether the coin is authentic or not after this additional research and consultation, the coin will be called “Authenticity Unverifiable.” The regular grading fee will still apply.
What is "Not Suitable for Certification?"
On occasion, NGC will return a coin as NOT SUITABLE FOR CERTIFICATION. This is used for coins that are severely damaged or otherwise impaired. The surface condition of these coins makes it impossible for NGC to render a conclusive opinion about authenticity, NGC Details grade or both. When a coin is determined to be NOT SUITABLE, NGC will refund the grading fee, less a $5 processing charge.
What are "Early Releases" and "First Releases"?
NGC offers the "Early Releases" and "First Releases" designations for selected coins received by NGC or an NGC-approved depository during the first 30 days of release. The term “EARLY RELEASES” or “FIRST RELEASES” will be noted as part of the coin’s description on the NGC certification label. For a list of eligible coins and cutoff dates, click here.
Early Releases and First Releases coins are listed separately in the NGC Census. They are also eligible for inclusion in the popular NGC Registry. In certain markets NGC will offer bilingual Early Releases and First Releases labels. The same definitions, cutoff dates and NGC Registry treatment applies.
Learn more about Early Releases and First Releases
What is the difference between the NGC Plus () Designation and the NGC Star () Designation?
NGC assigns the Plus () Designation to coins at the high end of their assigned numeric grade. For example, a coin is graded NGC MS 64 if it approaches the quality of a coin graded NGC MS 65. NGC assigns its trademarked Star () Designation to coins that have exceptional eye appeal for their assigned numeric grade.
Learn more about NGC Plus () and Star () Designations
What is an NGC Details grade?
NGC assigns an adjectival NGC Details grade to coins that have surface conditions that preclude numeric grading. These surface conditions include improper cleaning, scratches and damage.
If a coin is removed from an NGC holder can I be assured that it will receive the same grade if resubmitted to NGC?
No. Once a coin is removed from an NGC holder the NGC Guarantee no longer applies. This is because NGC cannot account for where that coin has been, what if anything has been done to it, and for the overall subjective nature of coin grading itself.
Can I submit NGC-certified coins encapsulated with color holders, specialty holders and/or special labels for ReHolder?
NGC cannot always perform its ReHolder service for NGC-certified coins encapsulated with color holders, specialty holders and/or special labels. Some holders and labels are retired after a period of time, while others were made exclusively for a particular customer. If your NGC-certified coin is encapsulated with a non-standard holder or label it is suggested that you contact NGC Customer Service prior to submitting it for ReHolder.
Will my NGC-certified coin get the same holder or label if I submit it for ReHolder?
NGC will generally use the newest version of its holder for coins submitted under its ReHolder service. In addition, if a particular label has been updated since the coin was originally encapsulated, NGC will generally use the newest version of that label. It is not generally possible to receive an older version of an NGC holder or label when submitting for ReHolder.
What is a pedigree?
A pedigree describes the current and/or past ownership of a coin. It notates the collector or collectors who have previously owned a particular coin. For example, a coin from the Eric P. Newman Collection may be pedigreed “Eric P. Newman” or “Newman” on the NGC certification label. NGC will pedigree coins to significant collectors or collections if sufficient documentation is provided.
Pedigrees can also be used to describe hoards. A submitter may request that their own name or the name of a collection be listed as the pedigree on the NGC certification label, subject to NGC's approval.
When are coins eligible to be pedigreed to a specific mint-issued set, such as the 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set?
NGC will sometimes pedigree coins to a specific mint-issued set as long as there is no doubt that the coins were issued as part of that set.
An example would be 2011 American Silver Eagles with the 25TH ANNIVERSARY SET pedigree, which were issued as part of the US Mint's five-coin 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set. Some of these coins were also issued separately from the 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set. NGC will therefore assign the 25TH ANNIVERSARY SET pedigree only to coins that arrive in the original 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set packaging sealed inside of the intact, original US Mint shipping box.
In some cases, coins may need to arrive in the original mint packaging only and not sealed inside of the intact, original US Mint shipping box to be pedigreed to a specific set. This is generally allowed for packaging that is tamper-evident. In addition, coins that were issued only as part of the set may not need to be submitted with any original mint packaging.
Important: The recognition of a set pedigree is at NGC's sole discretion, and not all sets may be attributed on the NGC label. It is therefore recommended that submitters contact NGC Customer Service prior to requesting a coin be pedigreed to a set to confirm eligibility and submission requirements unless an article with these instructions has already been posted to the NGC website.
What is the difference between Releases Designations, Pedigrees and Strike Characters?
Releases Designations recognize coins that were received by NGC within a specific timeframe or at a particular event. For example, the Early Releases and First Releases designations are used for select coins that must generally be received by NGC or an NGC-approved depository within 30 days of the coin's release. Learn more about NGC Releases Designations >
Pedigrees generally reflect a coin's provenance. For example, a coin that was once part of the Garrett Collection may be pedigreed to the Garrett Collection on the NGC certification label. NGC may also use a pedigree to mark an event or provide other information about the coin. Learn more about NGC Pedigrees >
Strike Characters modify a coin's numeric grade to describe certain attributes or qualities. For example, copper coins receive a strike character to describe their color: BN for Brown, RB for Red Brown and RD for Red. Another example of a strike character is 6FS, which describes a Mint State Jefferson Nickel that has six full steps in Monticello on the reverse. See a full list of NGC Strike Characters >
What do I do if I think my NGC-certified coin is overgraded?
NGC offers a free Appearance Review service in the event that someone believes that an NGC-certified coin is overgraded. Coins that are reviewed and downgraded by NGC are covered by the comprehensive NGC Guarantee of grade and authenticity. To read the full NGC Guarantee, click here.
What do I do if I think my NGC-certified coin is undergraded?
If you believe your NGC-certified coin is undergraded, you may submit it to NGC under the "ReGrade" service tier. An applicable grading tier must also be selected.
Why do NGC graders not wear gloves?
Gloves make it more difficult to hold a coin and increase the likelihood of it being dropped or mishandled. It is widely accepted within numismatics that a coin should be held on its edge with clean, dry hands and without gloves.
Similarly, librarians who handle rare books are generally discouraged from wearing gloves due to the increased likelihood of tearing a page or otherwise damaging a book. The Library of Congress, for example, states that “contrary to widespread belief, gloves are not necessarily recommended to handle rare or valuable books…it is generally preferable to handle your books with clean hands, washed with soap and thoroughly dried, rather than with gloves.” Extensive research on this subject is available online.
Submitting to NGC
Where is NGC located?
NGC is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, in a 6,000-square-meter purpose-built facility. It also has a 1,500-square-meter purpose-built facility in Shanghai, China, and Official Submission Centers in Munich, Germany; Hong Kong; Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Xi'an, China; Seoul, Korea; Singapore; IJsselstein, the Netherlands; and Tokyo, Japan.
How do I contact NGC?
NGC can be contacted by mail, telephone, fax or email.
NGC Hong Kong Ltd.
Suites 1208-10, 12/F, Tower 1,
The Gateway, Harbour City,
25 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui,
Kowloon, Hong Kong
(+852) 2115 3639
(+852) 2115 3783 fax
P.O. Box 4776
Sarasota, FL 34230
1-800-NGC-COIN toll free
(+1) 941 360 3990
(+1) 941 360 2553 fax
NGC International UK Ltd.
69 Southampton Row, Third Floor
London, United Kingdom
(+44) (0) 20 3968 3848
(+44) (0) 20 3968 3849 fax
NGC Shanghai Business Information Consulting Co., Ltd.
Unit 1101-41, Shanghai Central Plaza,
381 Huaihai Middle Road,
Shanghai, China 200020
(+86) 400 635 8226 toll free
(+86) 21 6091 8050
(+86) 21 6091 2581 fax
NGC International GmbH
80335 Munich, Germany
+49 (0) 89 550 66 780
NGC India Numismatic Services Private Limited
How do I submit to NGC?
NGC Collector Society members may submit their coins directly to NGC. Join today!
As the official grading service of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), NGC allows ANA members to sign up for a free NGC submission account. For more information, click here.
Many NGC Authorized Dealers also accept submissions from the public. For a list of NGC Authorized Dealers, visit the NGC Dealer Locator.
What is the cost of NGC grading?
NGC's grading fees are generally based on a coin's fair market value and the submitter's desired turnaround time. For a comprehensive list of all NGC grading tiers, service tiers, fees and requirements, click here.
Can I send multiple submissions to NGC in the same box?
Yes, you may send multiple submissions to NGC in the same box. You may not, however, send submissions to NGC and another independent affiliate (e.g. NCS or PMG) in the same box.
What measures are in place at NGC to ensure the safety of my coins?
NGC headquarters is a secure 60,000 square foot purpose-built facility with two large vaults, a staff of armed guards and more than 150 security cameras. Submissions to NGC are opened under security cameras and each coin is immediately assigned a unique identification number that is used to track it throughout every stage of NGC's grading process. All coins are fully insured while in NGC's possession and are handled only by trained staff.
What is the NGC grading process?
When a submission is received by NGC it is opened by trained staff under security cameras. Each coin is entered into NGC's proprietary system and assigned a unique identification number with a barcode that is used to track the coin throughout the NGC grading process. At this stage, the coins are separated from the submission paperwork so that the NGC graders never know the submitter's identify, which ensures impartiality.
Coins are then transferred to the NGC grading room, where multiple professional graders carefully examine each coin. After grading, coins are encapsulated in NGC's EdgeView® holder, the same holder that was extensively tested by the Smithsonian Institution and is currently used to protect more than 300 of that museum's greatest rarities.
After encapsulation, coins are returned to the NGC grading room for a final inspection. Images are then taken of the encapsulated coin for NGC's free online Verify NGC Certification tool, available at NGCcoin.com.
Finally, the coins are matched up to the original submission form and brought to NGC's shipping department. Every coin is individually counted and checked against the submission paperwork to make certain that no mistakes occurred. Coins are then securely packaged in a sturdy cardboard box that contains dividers so that the NGC holders do not come into contact with each other. The NGC-certified coins are now ready to be sent back to the submitter.
Can I check the status of my submission online?
Yes. NGC Collector members and NGC Authorized Dealers may login at NGCcoin.com to track the status of their submission. Submitters may also contact NGC Customer Service at Service@NGCcoin.hk or +852 2115 3639.
What is NCS conservation?
An independent affiliate of NGC, Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) was established in 2001 as the world's first professional coin conservation service. NCS conservation removes harmful surface contaminants, stabilizes a coin for long-term preservation and can dramatically improve a coin's eye appeal. After conservation by NCS, coins can be seamlessly transferred to NGC for grading.
Learn more about Numismatic Conservation Services >
NGC Collector Membership
What are the benefits of NGC Collector membership and how do I join?
NGC Collectors Society members receive direct submission privileges to NGC and other Certified Collectibles Group companies. Certain membership levels also offer grading coupons and discounts. Click here to see all of the NGC Collectors Society benefits and join.
Can I submit to other Certified Collectibles Group (CCG) companies?
Yes. Your NGC Collectors membership entitles you to submit to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS), Paper Money Guaranty (PMG), Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) and Classic Collectible Services (CCS).
Does the grading credit I receive with my NGC Collector Society membership expire?
Yes. This grading credit expires on the membership expiration date listed in your confirmation email.
Is my membership refundable?
Because of the benefits received with your membership, a pro-rated refund is not available. However, if you have signed up for auto-renewal of your membership, and decide within 30 days of auto-renewal that you would like to cancel your membership, you may receive a refund of your membership dues by contacting NGC Customer Service at Service@NGCcoin.hk or +1 852-2115-3639.
The NGC Registry is a community where collectors can showcase their coins and compete for the best sets. Registry participants can enter coins into US and World Competitive Sets or Custom Sets.
You’ll find thousands of US and World categories, and it's easy to get started. Simply choose a category that interests you and enter your NGC-certified coins. Add photos and descriptions, define goals and see how your sets stack up against the competition. Prizes for the best Competitive and Custom Sets are awarded each year in January. Best of all, it's free!
To help you decide how you'll like to participate, here are some frequently asked questions:
What are Competitive Sets?
Competitive Sets are defined by NGC, with available slots for each coin in each set. Coins are ranked based on relative rarity and grade, and collectors receive points accordingly. It's a great way to participate in the Registry, as it offers friendly competition and establishes collecting goals. It's also easy to compare collections and see some outstanding sets.
What are Custom Sets?
Many collectors choose to assemble their own sets in unique ways, as personal expressions of what they find fascinating about collecting. Custom Sets are ideal for this kind of collector. You define the set's theme and choose which coins are eligible, and you can either share them or keep them private.
What coins are eligible for the NGC Registry?
All NGC-certified coins are eligible for the NGC Registry, although there may not be competitive set categories for every coin. You may request a new competitive set category by emailing Registry@NGCcoin.com.
How are the NGC Registry scores calculated?
The NGC Registry assigns a score to each coin in a competitive set based on the relative rarity of the coin’s type, date and grade, its market value and NGC’s expert opinion. An algorithm carefully designed by NGC weighs these factors to calculate the NGC Registry score for each coin and grade.
When a competitive set is ranked in the NGC Registry, its rank is calculated based on the total of the individual scores of all the coins in the set.
How are Competitive Sets ranked?
We place a value on each coin, based on the relative rarity of its type, date and grade, and many additional factors such as population, market value and expert opinion. A set's rank is based on the total of the individual scores of all the coins. A scoring algorithm developed by NGC helps make the sets competitive for everyone, even collectors with a limited budget.
What is the NGC Plus Designation and does it receive a point bonus?
NGC assigns a () to coins that fall at the high end of their assigned grade, approaching the quality requirements for the next grade. In addition to their superior technical merit, coins receiving a Plus must have above-average eye appeal. A coin with Plus Designation is automatically assigned a Registry point premium. Learn more about NGC Plus Designation.
What is the NGC Star Designation and does it receive a point bonus?
NGC assigns a () to coins with exceptional eye appeal for their assigned grade. A coin with Star designation is automatically assigned a Registry point premium. Learn more about the NGC Star Designation.
Are NGC Details Grade coins weighted the same in the Registry?
No, NGC Details coins earn 50% of the score given to a numerically graded coin of the same condition. NGC Details Grades include a prefix that indicates wear (UNC, AU, etc.) and a notation of the detrimental surface condition that prevented NGC from assigning a numerical grade. Learn more about NGC Details Grading.
What does an NGC Registry score mean?
When a set is assigned a score in the Registry, the sole purpose of that score is to provide a standard against which other sets in the Registry can be compared. A Registry score is not intended to be used as a basis for determining market value, and Registry scores may be changed from time to time.
What happens when there is a tie?
The NGC Registry ranks sets first according to the set's score. If two or more sets have the same score, the NGC Registry will break the tie by ranking the sets based on the percentage of NGC-certified coins in the set. If two or more sets have the same score and the same percentage of NGC-certified coins, then the tie will be broken based on the percentage of coins with images. If two or more sets have the same score, same percentage of NGC-certified coins and the same percentage of coins with images, then the tie will be broken based on the percentage of coins with descriptions.
To summarize, ranking is achieved by considering the following, in order:
1. Set score
2. Percentage of NGC-certified coins
3. Percentage of coins with images
4. Percentage of coins with descriptions
If all of the above items are equal between sets, then sets will be sorted by the date the rank was achieved (first to achieve it will appear higher), but they will have the same rank number beside their set.