How best to get a coin authenticated?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Paul M., Oct 3, 2019.


How should I get this coin authenticated?

  1. David Sear

    10 vote(s)
  2. NGC Ancients

    13 vote(s)
  3. PCGS

    1 vote(s)
  4. ANACS

    0 vote(s)
  5. ICG

    0 vote(s)
  1. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    I have this coin of questionable authenticity:

    tribute penny.jpg

    How should I go about getting it authenticated?

    EDIT: Looks like PCGS might not do ancients, but I can't remove the poll option. I got fooled by a couple of Tyrian shekels I saw on eBay that they slabbed as "genuine" at one point. I haven't come across any other ancients they've encapsulated.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

    Sear, or maybe @Barry Murphy can reply and let you know. Save the trouble of shipping.
    Paul M. likes this.
  4. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    I’m not sure you can submit your ancient coins directly to NGC without being an ANA member or paying (annually?) to become a member with submission privileges. I wish NGC offered an opinion service that didn’t require the coin to be slabbed.

    I didn’t think PCGS graded ancient coins?

    I have heard good things about David Sear.
  5. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    Nothing glaringly wrong, but I’d want to see it in hand.

    Barry Murphy
  6. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    Thanks, @Barry Murphy, that’s what I said when I bought it. In hand, let’s just say nobody I’ve shown it to has said it was definitely fake, but also nobody has said it’s definitely real.

    Looks like the poll is evenly split between Sear and NGC. Did anybody who voted for Sear do so because the opinion doesn’t come with a bunch of plastic and a label?
    kevin McGonigal likes this.
  7. Nvb

    Nvb Well-Known Member

  8. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

    Precisely. When I purchase a slabbed ancient, the first thing I do when I get home is break it open. I keep the documentation for the coin and store it within the vinyl flip and toss the plastic.
    Paul M. likes this.
  9. kevin McGonigal

    kevin McGonigal Well-Known Member

  10. Ed Snible

    Ed Snible Well-Known Member

    Harlan Berk will be at the New York International in January.

    I have two Greek fractions that are troubling me. I am thinking of bringing them into the show for the advice of Harlan's team.
    kevin McGonigal likes this.
  11. AncientJoe

    AncientJoe Supporter! Supporter

    I vote for NGC over Sear. I've personally had a few too many coins turn out to be fake despite coming with Sear certificates. NGC isn't perfect (no one is) but I value their opinion higher than Sear today.

    If you're bothered by the slab, you can probably just order a photo certificate rather than encapsulation.
    Paul M. likes this.
  12. capthank

    capthank Well-Known Member

    Let the experts at CT authenticate for you. They have the expertise too tell you if it is fake or real at no cost. Can't beat that deal.
  13. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Perhaps you were joking but just in case you weren't...

    It isn't possible to definitely authenticate a coin based in pictures, although sometimes it is possible to definitively say it is a fake if certain signs are seen or if it matches known fakes.

    The coin shown in the first post is one which is widely faked. There are oodles of fake versions. This type in particular requires an in-hand assessment.

    Also, you may now know since you don't hang around the ancients board, but Barry Murphy has already weighed in on this. He and David Vagi are the NGC Ancients division. They are the ones who decide whether or not to slab a given coin and what grade to give it. Barry said he cannot assess the coin by photos.
    Paul M. and capthank like this.
  14. capthank

    capthank Well-Known Member

  15. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    I will be at the both the FUN show in Orlando and the NY International in January. I'd be happy to look at it there at no charge.

    Barry Murphy
  16. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Barry. I appreciate the gesture, but it's highly unlikely I'll be at either one of those shows. I may just have to send it off somewhere. Thanks for your preliminary opinion, too.
  17. Plumbata

    Plumbata Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure about the policies of the different grading services but given the apparent crystallization and chipping above his head you may not get a grade, just a genuine/not genuine evaluation. The pics aren't very detailed so if that rough area is indeed chipped and crystallized I generally consider it a very strong indicator of great age and thus authenticity. You shouldn't listen to me though, I hope you get good news from the experts.
    Paul M. likes this.
  18. 1934 Wreath Crown

    1934 Wreath Crown Well-Known Member

    How much would it cost to have that authenticated?
    Paul M. likes this.
  19. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    Good question. Cost isn't that much of a concern for me here, but for this particular coin:
    • NGC standard tier would be $40.
    • Sear would be $45 or $55 depending if I wanted the "regular" or the "detailed" certificate.
    • PCGS doesn't look like they offer this service.
    • ANACS would be $29, unless I snuck in under a special.
    • ICG doesn't list ancients on their website, but they've been known to slab pretty much anything they feel they can actually guarantee their opinion on. Based on their fee schedule, it looks like it would be $19.
    • HJB does it for free, based on the article @Nvb posted. (Super cool, and what a public service to the numismatic community!)
    All of these are plus shipping and insurance to and from.

    I don't have any experience with ANACS or ICG, so that's actually a primary reason I made this poll, but it looks like NGC and Sear are the front runners, anyway (both currently tied at 7 votes, with 0 for everybody else).

    I kinda wonder if anyone would change their vote if they knew HJB would authenticate it for free.
  20. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    This could be sent in on economy tier which is $28 I think but don’t quote me on that.

    Barry Murphy.
    Paul M. likes this.
  21. 1934 Wreath Crown

    1934 Wreath Crown Well-Known Member

    I purchased a few ancients from Roma and had them graded by NGC through HA. They handled everything and I paid approximately $40 per coin. Two of the coins were not graded so it was definitely worth the expense as Roma took them back for a full refund.

    I was told NGC don't do many Islamic coins so I had to get my Saladin dinars graded by ANACS at $55 each. I thought that was a bit dear but for me to ship them out to the US and the tension of someone misplacing them far outweighed the cost as far as I was concerned.

    I would go with NGC.
    Paul M. likes this.
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