NGC "Variety Plus" question

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by mlov43, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 12.58.49 PM.png
    I understand that NGC offers a service called Variety Plus. Their website describes this service: "Upon request, NGC examines coins for recognized varieties and assigns an appropriate attribution."

    These two coins are both the same variety of this coin: The "Bronze" variety of this coin in this case is 88% copper -12% zinc. It's just a different way to denote this variety.

    My question is this: Who decides to label the coin "BRONZE" versus "88% copper -12% zinc" ?

    Does the customer get to decide what the wording will be on the label? Or has there been a change in how NGC notes the variety?
    Tim Lackie Jr likes this.
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  3. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    good questions
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  4. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    How is it identified in Krause?

  5. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    Krause SCWC says "Bronze and Brass." Both varieties are actually brass. I think "bronze" and "brass" are easier ways for numismatists to refer to the 88%copper-12%zinc and the 65%copper-35%zinc varieties.

    I thought I would ask this question here first before consulting NGC. People here often provide answers that are as good or better than customer service.
    fish4uinmd likes this.
  6. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Especially since it isn't bronze.

    Probably, but really other than an XRF gun how can you really tell them apart. I won't accept color variation. Might work after a little wear, but can be very questionable if they have been cleaned. I have that problem with a lot of chinese pieces that come as copper or brass. Many have been cleaned and a cleaned copper coin can look a lot like brass.
    mlov43 likes this.
  7. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    I'd only be speculating if I tried to come up with an answer, but they also didn't specify the color with the grade on the 88/12 slab.
  8. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    Ah, right! So I guess the question is whether the coin is bronze (~ 12% tin) or contains 12% zinc. One of the labels is then incorrect.
  9. Insider

    Insider Talent on loan from...

    Why not call NGC and ask them so you get the correct answer? It may be something simple like they "updated" the way these coins are labeled.
  10. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    There are two varieties of this coin

    This one is 88% copper - 12% zinc:
    20160530_Screen-Shot-2016-05-30-at-10.04.20-AM 2.png

    This one is 65% copper - 35% zinc:
    20160603_Screen-Shot-2016-06-03-at-10.14.49-PM 2.png

    There is no error on the labels in the OP. Just a change to the first variety's "name" on the label.
    I'm wondering why there is this change. Is it a customer choice? Or a change in the "names" they give these varieties?
  11. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    That's what I was thinking, but with all the options TPGs give customers, maybe it's an option they give the customer.

    I will contact them...
  12. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    From the NGC Services page:
    "Metallurgic Analysis: Upon request, NGC performs a composition surface scan. Only coins with non-standard metal composition will have the weight and the three most abundant non-trace metals listed on the certification label. Metallurgic analysis is available for all pattern, essai, trial and mint error coins, tokens and medals."

    It seems to imply that this service wouldn't be available for that coin, and that even if it was, the composition wouldn't be listed on the label, but it sure does look like a label produced from the metallurgic analysis service. My guess, someone thought the composition was slightly different and submitted it for metallurgic analysis, and NGC happily took their $75 and noted the composition on the label.
    mlov43 and Insider like this.
  13. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    Yes, I have heard from someone here that NGC owns an expensive, handheld XRF analyzer. Just shooting the coin would make it clear which variety a 1970 10 Won coin is.
  14. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    It is hard to tell the difference between the two varieties with the eye at times. Before XRF, I think people, even TPGs, just looked at the "color tone" and just labeled the coin what variety they thought it was.

    $75 bucks! Ouch.
  15. SuperDave

    SuperDave Free the Cartwheels!

    "Expensive" to you and I, but the finest handhelds on the market can be had for less than $20k and even stronger tabletop units for not much more than that. Any decent-sized precious metals bulk dealer can be expected to have the technology.
  16. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Generally no, but large enough submitters or submissions do get some leeway like when you see the hoard coins or the promotional slabs for dealers. I would be interested to know if that was a decision on their part or someone paying for the extra service.
  17. Burton Strauss III

    Burton Strauss III Supporter! Supporter

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  18. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    The thing is, I HAVE checked there in the past. The titles for the 1970 coin varieties did NOT appear as metal percentages before! This is the first time I've seen that NGC did not call them "bronze" and "brass."

    I will contact them.
  19. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    That's interesting. I just looked at the census for some of the Hungarian types I collect, and the titles for the years with multiple varieties have changed. As an example: Hungary G20F 1880KB now lists "Design of (1870-80)" and "Design of (1880-90)". For 1890 it now lists a type with no variety (plain Jane 1890K) and another listed as "Shields are Different" as a type. Until very recently they were using the KM number to identify these types.

    I have noticed that NGC likes to mess with the text they use to describe types, and that, in general, the descriptions are not being changed for the better. Another example. They used to label the 1896KB 5K restrikes as "X-11 Silver Restrike", which is perfect. It's exactly what it is. Then they started using "Modern Restrike", or more often "1965 Silver Restrike", which I wish they didn't use, since according to Artex records these were struck in 1967.

    I'm fairly certain they are trying to get away from using KM numbers to identify types, but in doing so, they don't seem to have a good (or consistent) solution yet.
  20. fish4uinmd

    fish4uinmd Well-Known Member

    Without some tin content, I don't see how it SCWC can consider either to be a bronze coin.
  21. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    Agreed. However, coin collectors just started calling them bronze and brass, therefore the labels. I think that maybe NGC are attempting to address the implications of this inaccuracy. But like Jaelus said, if the descriptions they create to alleviate these inaccuracies are inaccurate themselves(!), then what's the point?

    In the case of these 10 Won coins, I think they are making a good choice with the change to the metal percentage label and away from "bronze."
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