Is ICG really as bad as many people say?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by TylerH, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. TylerH

    TylerH Well-Known Member

    Hi All

    I know the top 2, and I hear good things about ANACS - But I keep hearing ICG being a "top 4" but also constantly badmouthed.

    I read several coin forums. (although Im only a member here) and a lot of people on those forums say ICG has really come around and - aside from over saturating the market with MS70 modern coins, are actually very good with older US and foreign coins.

    So, past bias aside - whats the deal with them? Are they ANACS level? is it a "top two / bottom two" of the big 4 thing? Thanks!
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  3. Mkman123

    Mkman123 Well-Known Member

    ICG has one of the best graders out there, someone who also posts here.......Insider2.
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  4. TylerH

    TylerH Well-Known Member

    I have read his posts on the other forums, and some of the points he brings up shine a great light on ICG - - Im new to this whole coin world so I only know what I read, but I like ICGs price structure and turnaround times, but again I hear a ton of bad "things" about them, but not a lot of specifics.. ie: People saying " ICG means I CANT GRADE" or some other saying, but not giving a specific REASON why they are badmouthing them.
  5. BigTee44

    BigTee44 Well-Known Member

    Honestly I don’t think they’re a bad company. You’ll see a lot of lower value coins in ICG but I wouldn’t not look at a coin in one of their slabs. I can’t speak to modern coinage but they seem to be fair with type coins.

    I bought a collection a few years back where most were ICG Morgan’s. The coins were sold at a discount but they looked properly graded. You’ll see coins overgraded in all slabs just like you’ll see under graded coins.

    When I first became a member in here it was don’t buy ANACS unless it was in the soap box holder. ICG is the new ANACS and some are even trying to kick NGC down to the new old ANACS and just claim PCGS as the ultimate grading company.

    Honestly I don’t think it would be healthy for the hobby to only have one major grading company.

    With the decline in some of the markets you would think some of the bigger companies would run specials like I see ANACS sending emails with their specials. At $20/30 and $24/35 it’s hard to send coins valued under $100 for their services.

    I think that’s where ICG and ANACS come in. They’re not a basement slabbing company by any means.
  6. Numismat

    Numismat World coin enthusiast Supporter

    One thing I can say is that ICG is solid on authentication.
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  7. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    I have nothing bad to say about ICG. Every TPGS makes mistakes. ICG is the RC Cola trying to go up against Coke and Pepsi in the TPG service market. It all comes down to brand recognition. I'll tell you one thing I do love about them, is you can get a really good coin for a great discount if you buy the coin for the coin and not the holder. I love sellers that discount ICG, PCI, SEGS and ANACS coins because they are not in Coke and Pepsi holders. I will look at the coin and judge it myself, if I agree that the coin meets or exceeds the grade on the holder, I'm a buyer. Simple as that.

    Here's an ICG coin I bought as a MS-66 for $35.00. As a non-variety coin this would have been a great deal, as I feel it is very solid for the grade if not possibly under graded. Throw in the fact that it is an unattributed variety and I could not hit the "Buy it Now" button fast enough. A lot of people passed it over because of the holder and I thank them.

    1938-D-Buffalo-Nickel-ICG-MS-66-Slab-Front.jpg 1938-D-Buffalo-Nickel-ICG-MS-66-Slab-Back.jpg
  8. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    They seem pretty good to my eye
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  9. kanga

    kanga 60 Year Collector

    ICG is okay by me.
    One thing is (and I haven't checked this) do they have a database of their slabbed coins?
  10. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    Good folks at ICG. I have no problem having them in my collection if I like the coin.
  11. ddddd

    ddddd Member

  12. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    The most accurate thing I think I can say about ICG is that its grading consistency has had better times and worse times over the years. So maybe its consistency has been inconsistent. How meta is that? I've always liked the holder with the little indents.

    I think I've now had 5 ICG coins "crossed" (crack out and send raw) to NGC, and all 5 have been exactly the same grade at NGC. But I don't pick just ANY ICG coin to cross. I'm picky. I have two more ready to go now. Probably a Baltimore Whitman drop-off.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  13. SilverDollar2017

    SilverDollar2017 Morgan dollars

    I personally do not think ICG is nearly as bad as people make it sound. I consider it equal to ANACS. Personally, I like the holders more than ANACS.

    I wouldn't send in a $50,000 coin to ICG for grading, myself. But for lower value coins, they're fine. Also, in some series (like Indian Head Quarter and Half Eagles) the more important aspect of them being slabbed in AU grades is for authentication, not necessarily just grading. That's something else they are definitely useful for.
    I think ICG is better than you'll hear from many people...Like I said earlier, I think it's equal to ANACS.

    @baseball21 @Insider
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  14. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    Yes, that would be ridiculous. Not because it would get an improper grade, but because the market says that they are inferior. Their coins get bumped down just because of the slab it is in.

    As long as folks keeps praising Pcgs and NGC. This won't change. They are held up as being infallible. Especially when folks can play the crack and resubmit game until they get the grade they want.
    I say that because a person is more than likely to buy the slab and not the coin. Just because they said it is.

    For example, AU coins are now graded MS. They let the standards fly right out the window. And Folks accept it. How can any smaller less popular grading service go up against these two when the rules are constantly changing?

    So ANACS and ICG tighten their standards. What happens? Folks buy them up and send them to PCGS or NGC, (whichever they prefer) get a higher grade and profit from their service.

    How about this? They play the same game as the top two and Market grade. They are then held to a different standard and looked at as inferior.

    There is no way that they win in that situation. I think that ICG does a great service as does ANACS for their attributing capability's.
    No company can win if they aren't allowed to play by the same rules.
  15. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Derp, derp, derp!

    Whose slab is easiest to crack open?
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  16. chascat

    chascat Well-Known Member

    I recently talked about this with a very well known coin dealer. Seems that if you're buying a very expensive coin where grade really means big bucks, then you need to be a well seasoned grader yourself. Not that one should trust any grade given by NGC or PCGS, but it really means a lot if trust is placed in opinions of #3 and #4 grading companies. Some of these less popular companies tend to over or under grade on a regular basis so I trust my own instincts when it comes to these companies accuracy and accountability. Why would anyone even consider using these less trusted companies when having a very expensive coin graded? AS for lesser priced coins, I have no problem with buying from lower tier companies as I trust my own judgement moreover than the number on the slab. Not to say in any way that graders of the lesser popular companies aren't well qualified, but in the upper end market, I will only consider upper end companies for accurate grades and guarantees, not to mention my own skills in making my decision when it comes to buying.
    Paul M. likes this.
  17. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Derp, derp, derp!

    Who has deemed these companies as "less trusted"? I think that is what the OP has asked...are they less trusted and if so why are they less trusted.

    If @Insider is a slabber, then I want emojis and multi colored fonts on the slab.
  18. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Well-Known Member

    @jtlee321, you could not be more right! :happy::cigar:....& that's because the basic axiom "buy the coin, not the slab" comes into play! For the very upper tier coins, PCGS & NGC are probably better options because of perception. :rolleyes: But for most of us, great deals & unattributed varieties can be found in all TPG just have to know how to "buy the coin". ;):D
    jtlee321 likes this.
  19. halfcent1793

    halfcent1793 Well-Known Member

    I bought one Morgan in a local club auction. It was in an ICG slab as 65. I thought it looked nice and won it at a good discount. Cracked it out and sent it to PCGS. Came back 65 and sold at a nice profit. If others have similar experiences, maybe ICG slabs are a good thing to cherrypick.
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  20. coinquest1961

    coinquest1961 Active Member

    I think they're a good slabber. I actually rate them better than one of the "Big 2"-the one that starts with an "N."
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  21. BigTee44

    BigTee44 Well-Known Member

    Easiest is the Old white anacs.

    Hardest to crack, ICG.
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