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 "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.
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. Learn more about NGC Details grading >
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.
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 >
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 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.
Why does only the grade portion of the NGC Guarantee apply to NGC Ancients-graded coins?
NGC Ancients, a division of NGC dedicated to certifying ancient coins of the Western world, is committed to grading only genuine coins and will only grade coins that it considers genuine at the time of submission. NGC Ancients cannot, however, guarantee the authenticity, genuineness, type, attribution or date of any coin that it grades.
Unlike modern coins, which often benefit from well-documented, scientific parameters for the verification of authenticity, there rarely is conclusive data for ancient coins, and generally there is no surviving documentation to verify production characteristics. Almost without exception, ancient coins have been recovered from burial, either under land or water. Some recoveries date back centuries, while others are more recent. Even in ancient times, coins were counterfeited, copied and imitated.
If a particular submitted coin can positively be connected to a specific find or recovery that is documented, or is on track for documentation, it will be so designated if requested to do so by the submitter. However, even with these coins there can be no guarantee of their genuineness.
The dating and attribution of an ancient coin (the basic identification of a coin’s place of origin, issuing authority, date of issue, design elements, specific variety, etc.) is oftentimes uncertain or is a matter of scholarly conjecture. Multiple and different attributions can coexist, each simultaneously finding acceptance within the numismatic community; in these cases NGC Ancients will use the attribution it considers most valid.
New research or archeological evidence may challenge or change the consensus about an ancient coin’s attribution, date, identification and even its authenticity. Consequently, the opinion of NGC Ancients on these matters is subject to change with the introduction of new information, or of existing information of which its grading staff was unaware at the time of holdering. Every effort will be made in good faith by NGC Ancients to properly attribute ancient coins, but no guarantee is made as to these qualities.
Therefore, with ancient coins NGC Ancients will only guarantee the grade. It is recommended that buyers purchase ancient coins from sellers who offer unconditional lifetime guaranties of authenticity, and who otherwise stand behind their sales.
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 International GmbH
80335 Munich, Germany
+49 (0) 89 550 66 780
P.O. Box 4776
Sarasota, FL 34230
1-800-NGC-COIN toll free
(+1) 941 360 3990
(+1) 941 360 2553 fax
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
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 UK Ltd.
69 Southampton Row, Third Floor
London, United Kingdom
(+44) (0) 20 3968 3848
(+44) (0) 20 3968 3849 fax
NGC India Numismatic Services Private Limited
How do I submit to NGC?
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 6.000-square-meter 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.
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.de to track the status of their submission.
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 Collectors Society Membership
What are the benefits of the NGC Collectors Society and how do I join?
Paid 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 Society 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.
Can I give my membership credit to a friend to use?
No. The membership credit is only valid for the member to which it was issued.
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.de or +49 (0) 89 550 66 780.