ICG grading service

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by malak1, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. malak1

    malak1 Junior Member

    There was a representative of ICG grading service at my club's monthly coin show today taking submissions for grading. Has anyone had experience with ICG? How are they with cost, turnaround time, accuracy, etc. Where do they stand when compare to ANACS, NGC & PCGS? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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  3. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    PCGS and NGC are shoo-ins for the top 2 TPG. I have used ICG and ANACS, and feel that IMO, ICG is above ANACs for 3rd position. Their turn around is similar to better than the top 2. The cost of joining the ICG "club" is reimbursed by submissions and allows you to submit yourself, or claim to be a dealer and get a discount. It is all subjective as different grading sets are used.

    If I am going to buy, I look at the coin and not the holder, so I would buy one in a ICG or ANACS holder if it was less expensive and well graded. If it is a coin I want to sell easier, I go to either PCGS or NGC.

    However, for lower price coins, ICG does have 2 nice specials on. A 2-day , $12 , any US dollar special ( nice for common morgans) and 10 economy US coins for $10 each.

  4. malak1

    malak1 Junior Member

    Thanks for the info Jim. I'm new here so I'm glad to be treated so kindly immediately.
  5. Breakdown

    Breakdown Member


    Welcome! No reason you won't be treated well here. And don't be afraid to ask questions -- I have found some of the most knowledgeable people on here actually like to answer questions (I think it's a sickness but I'm glad they have it).
  6. kanga

    kanga 60 Year Collector Supporter

    I'm locked into NGC and PCGS since I do NGC Registry Sets.
    If I submit coins they go to NGC, but that's because it's more convenient for me to do so.
    I'm aware of the extra "prestige" attached to PCGS.

    But other than that I would have no qualms about buying an ICG coin as long as it's "sight seen".
    And that same rule applies to NGC and PCGS too.
    But recent events have caused me to shy away from ANACS.
  7. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    I have purchased several coins in ICG holders. I buy the coin regardless of the holder it is in.

    I agree with desertgem that if selling, it might be better today if the coin was in a first teir holder like NGC or PCGS.
  8. PersianGuy

    PersianGuy my.will.is.good

    I have registries on both PCGS and NGC as well, but always submit to PCGS because (as NGC allows you to register PCGS coins in it's registry, and PCGS does not allow NGC coins) you can then have the coin on both sites.
  9. borgovan

    borgovan Supporter**

    I have no problem with ICG, as long as I have the coin in hand for inspection before purchase. I do have a few ICG coins in my collection, and I'm happy with them.

    That being said, they do not enjoy widespread market acceptance at this time.

    I have not submitted coins to them, and cannot speak to their customer service.
  10. SirCharlie

    SirCharlie Chuck

    Welcome Malak.

    I have used ICG since about 2005. They really rised in the ranks of coin grading in about 2005 when they recruted several of the best people from PCGS and NGC. Every coin that I have ever sent them for grading came back just as I would have graded, except for a couple they body-bagged because of a possible cleaning. They are picky and tough on grading just as are PCGS, but you will never get the $$$ back from an ICG coin like you would a PCGS. I used ICG for a lot of coins that I planned to keep for a long time, such as the 1921 and 1928 Peace Dollars from my collection. Same way with my keys for the quarters, dimes, nickels and cents from my albums.
    Good Luck!
  11. rprice12741

    rprice12741 Junior Member

    Since the topic is on grading companies...Which are the ones to AVOID - and why? Thanks. (Not new here but only my 2nd post - thanks for patience!). r
  12. borgovan

    borgovan Supporter**

    Personally, I am comfortable purchasing coins from any grading service, if I have the coin in hand to examine. I have coins in my collection from PCGS, NGC, ANACS, ICG, and SEGS (not to be confused with SGS, which I do not recommend). Anyone outside of these, I'd stay away from.
  13. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Small problem - none of those people work for ICG anymore. ICG is not owned by the same person anymore. And ICG does not have the same grading standards today that it had then.
  14. Duke Kavanaugh

    Duke Kavanaugh The Big Coin Hunter

    I agree with borgovan.

    I'd rather have PCGS or NGC but find ANACS, ICG and SEGS to not be bad most of the time and if you are looking at the coin in hand you can decide yourself and pay accordingly.
  15. 900fine

    900fine doggone it people like me

    True fact.

    A coin in an ICG holder sells for less, sells slow, or doesn't sell at all. I'm not saying that's good or right or just - I'm only saying that's the way it is.

    Which can work in your favor !

    Prior comments about "buying the coin regardless of holder" are right on. If you find a strong coin in an ICG holder, buy it. Then cross it over. You might be pleasantly surprised.

    Or not.

    Always ask yourself... "Why is a valuable coin in an ICG holder, given the negative market perception ? Why didn't the owner submit to PCGS or NGC ?"

    Be careful out there.
  16. NPCoin

    NPCoin Resident Imbecile

    I am going to interject a few things here on that statement.

    First, the TPG industry is supposed to be the engine that drives the sight-unseen market vehicle. Because that comfort is not there to make such purchases widely within the "industry", it has failed as a whole.

    Second, that statement is tantamount to saying, "I am comfortable purchasing coins from any grading service, just as I would any raw coin." Because sight-seen would be required to achieve a comfort level, then there is no real difference between the TPG coins and raw coins, in that respect.

    This all boils down to what has been repeated again and again: Buy the coin not the plastic (slab, etc).

    Grading is subjective, and we all would disagree upon many mint state coins. One man's 63 is another man's 64.

    Malak1 asked two objective questions: cost and turnaround (which even in itself holds subjectivity based upon one's own personal expectations). Accuracy, comparison to PCGS and NGC, etc, are all subjective purely to expectation.

    Malak1 is the only person who knows his own expectations. My opinion of TPGs in general is well documented and would be dripping with bias.

    But, I would suggest that anybody interested in knowing how well TPGs compare to one another to first know and understand the series you are interested in. Second, have a firm conviction of what you personally like and enjoy in your coins. And, third, since you are already on the internet, utilize the tools available to you to make the comparisons first hand. Pull up images of each TPG's coins and compare them. Sure, it's not completely the same as hand-in sight-seen evaluation, but it is enough to be able to form an accurate opinion.

    You are the only one who can make the decision regarding a service or product. Sure, reviews and recommendations are good things in helping to direct you, but your own likes, dislikes, and expectations will differ from others, and you are the only one who can make a decision.
  17. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    You know what the most common and truthful answer to that question is ? It's because the person who submitted the coins to begin with does not realize that all of the TPG's are not equal. They've never even heard of the negative market perception.

    You would be amazed at the number of people out there who believe that all of the TPG's use the same set of grading standards and/or follow the grading standards set forth by the ANA.

    Probaly the second most common answer would be money - fees.

    At the bottom of the list for why a coin was submitted to ICG - will be because they hoped to get over on somebody by getting the coin in an over-graded slab.
  18. borgovan

    borgovan Supporter**

    NPCoin: I agree completely.

    Let me clarify my statement further. I would buy coins in the holders of any of the five TPGs I mentioned, even sight-unseen, with varying degrees of discount depending on the coin and the information I had at hand (quality of pictures, etc.)

    I would not be seriously concerned about receiving a counterfeit in any of those holders, although it is possible.

    I would not be seriously concerned about receiving a coin outside the +/- 1 grade (or 1 point for MS coins) range in any of those holders.

    You are fully correct in that I did not address the OP's original questions regarding cost, turnaround time, etc. I only ever sent in coins once, to PCGS. I believe they took 25 days, and I was relatively pleased with the results. If I were submitting coins to be graded, it would be to PCGS or NGC. I would not submit coins to the other services at this time.

    I kind of wish there were a world without slabs, but it looks like they're here to stay, so if I'm going to play the game, I might as well learn to get along with them.
  19. 900fine

    900fine doggone it people like me

    There's a lot of value in this thinking.

    I would add that one should have a large "sample size" before / while drawing a conclusion. Afterwards, remain open to new data and new perceptions.

    Notice what he put first ? "know and understand the series you are interested in". The coins themselves are #1, not the TPGs.
  20. LostDutchman

    LostDutchman Under Staffed & Overly Motivated Moderator

    I have seen the SEGS name thrown around a couple of times....

    I would also avoid this firm personally. I have seen some really bad stuff in their no problem holders.

    It's said all the time (and a few times in this thread) "buy the coin, not the slab" but if your not good enough to buy the coin without the slab (IE lack of experience or you just can't grade yourself)... then stick with PCGS and NGC... your much less likely to end up with an inferior coin this way.
  21. fusiafinch

    fusiafinch Member

    I was able to get some ICG coins at much lower prices than comparable PCGS coins on Teletrade, and I'm doing a test of my own. I'm going to send the ICG coins to PCGS and have them cross it at any grade......... that'll be a real test. And yes, I did buy the coin and not the holder, so I'm hoping for some arbitrage profit.

    When I get the coins back, I'll let everyone know the results.

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