NGC (http://www.ngccoin.com/) is one of the premier coin grading companies in the world. The official grading service of the American Numismatic Association and The Professional Numismatists Guild, NGC is one of the most recognized coin grading organizations among rare coin collectors and dealers.
Founded in 1987, NGC has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary as a trusted authority in the numismatic world. This third-party grading service has built a record of consistency and integrity in coin grading.
In addition to U.S. coins and bullion coins, NGC was the first to grade World (foreign) coins, and is also the only major certification company to grade ancient coins. Unlike many other coin grading companies, NGC is capable of grading most coins struck in the Western world from the earliest origins of coinage.
NGC will grade nearly all U.S. coins, tokens, and medals. All coins from Western Europe dated after 1300 are also eligible, as are World coins from elsewhere struck since 1601. In addition to legal tender coin, NGC also certifies a broad range tokens, metals, and related exonumia.
NGC is recognized for accurate, consistent grading, and most coin dealers around the world will accept NGC graded coins. Coins graded by NGC are guaranteed to be authentic.
There are dozens of different grading tiers for rare coins, bullion coins, and foreign coins. Their flexible services include both economy and rush services. Fees start at $14 per coin. Turnaround time is tiered, with premium service available with as little as 24 hours in turnaround time.
Their services are also available on-site at many of the industry’s top trade shows. The optional Photo Proof service provides a high quality digital photograph of your coin, allowing you to showcase the coin while the coin itself remains safely protected.
In addition to attesting to the authenticity and physical condition of the coin, NGC will also attribute coin varieties. Through its VarietyPlus program, NGC will identify coins that differ from the basic design in a distinctive way that has been differentiated by collectors.
The Grading Process
The coin grading system begins once the coin is received by NGC. It is entered into a database, barcoded, and stored in a secure vault until being assessed by a coin grader. At least two professionals examine every coin to ensure accuracy.
The grading scale used here is universally accepted within the numismatic community. NGC assigns a numeric grade ranging from 1 to 70. A 70, or “mint state” coin, has no imperfections visible with 5x magnification. Each coin is carefully inspected under magnification. Coins with problematic surface conditions or other damage can be given NGC Details Grades, and may or may not be given a numeric grade.
After the grading process, the coin is ready for encapsulation. Each coin graded by their service is encapsulated in a plastic holder for secure protection. The sealed container ensures that the coin remains in the same condition in which it was graded. Finally, the coins are shipped back to their owner with complete proof of NGC’s grade attesting to the coin’s condition.