Would you like to see more detail in details grading?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by ddddd, May 16, 2022.

  1. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    Anyone think there would be value in expanding what is seen on a details label for PCGS and NGC? I recently ran across an old Heritage lot with some commemoratives that were cleaned but still called PL by NCS (precursor to NGC details grading). Anacs also tends to be more descriptive on their details labels; they add a number (although they stop at 60) and tend to write multiple issues if it’s warranted.

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  3. MIGuy

    MIGuy Well-Known Member

    I agree, I'm much more apt to buy a Cleaned Details coin, given the opportunity, and I discount other types of Details more. Check these out (hah, I have a LOT of Details coins - it's a budget collection) note the ICG and ANACS labels on the upper right and the PCGS and NGC labels below - you don't know what's going on with the NGC / PCGS Details with any real insight, unless you have them in hand often times - or if there are decent pictures and the problems are evident.
    green18, Tamaracian, Revello and 3 others like this.
  4. RonSanderson

    RonSanderson Supporter! Supporter

    I would like to know what the coin would have graded without the Details designation. This is Details, because of a mark attributed to a coin wrapping machine. The mark is at 9:00 on the reverse. I could see maybe dropping the grade a little. I cannot see dropping it to the equivalent of MS60 because of a nearly indistinguishable mark. So I could see, with more information, being able to justify a MS64-like price instead of all Details coins thrown into the same bucket.

    50c 1917 #02 reverse 05.JPG

    50c 1917 #02 full 01.gif
  5. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    I agree; I also want to see a number. If we can adjust a grade for bag marks/hits, we could do the same for something like wrapping machine damage. There would be issues with some types of damage-say polishing a coin. In those case, you might have to just call it MS 60 details.
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  6. Dave Waterstraat

    Dave Waterstraat Well-Known Member

    It does seem a bit harsh...
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  7. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    I would like to see a descriptive narrative of the details designation on the TPG's website for the coin. The label is too small for the amount of information I'm proposing. I think a paragraph with information on the nature of the problem, the extent/severity of it and the effect of the degradation to an undetailed coin. Very similar to what you see when an auction house provides the slabbed grade but also an EAC net grade with explanations.

    Obviously not appropriate for every coin, particularly common, low-priced ones. And there would also be a hit to the TPG's productivity due to the additional time required to write something up.

    There would be people who would be willing to pay more and people who would not. Maybe make it an optional service for an additional fee?
  8. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    That would certainly be nice and would be worth the extra fee in certain cases (it just depends how high that would need to be to make it worth it for the grading companies).

    Here is something I liked from INS back in the 1980s. Imagine seeing this level of detail today!

  9. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    Is that the they that can't even keep up with their productivity right now? I think that when the busy ends all the TPG's will be re' evaluating their positions on grading.
  10. 1865King

    1865King Well-Known Member

    There are times when a coin is given a details grade that I can't find what they claim required a details grade. The Walking Liberty half looks good to me. The only thing I can see at 9:00 on the reverse is a very small mark on the rim. There could be more on the edge, but I can't see it. I've seen plenty of details coins sitting in straight graded slabs too. More info on the label would be helpful or even a number that is assigned to a detail graded coin that could be used as a reference. I know on PCGS label 92 means cleaned but that really doesn't help. If they used 92 to indicate a cleaned coin, then how about a number code after that to indicate the degree of cleaning. A 1 to 10 scale could be used. 1 indicating a light wipe to a 10 indicating someone used steel wool on a coin. Both are cleaned coins but without more information coins being classified as cleaned are all thrown in together. The one thing I find bazar when it come to the grading companies is how they treat dipped coins. Most will straight grade but technically they shouldn't because no matter what anyone says or thinks a dipped coin is a coin that has been cleaned. They are also plenty of cases that a coin should be cleaned to prevent further surface damage. The one thing I find odd is how a large cent or any other copper coin gets a mint state grade even though there is obvious dirt in the lettering or details. That dirt doesn't magically appear on a coin so, how did it get there.
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  11. KSorbo

    KSorbo Well-Known Member

    It is my understanding that currently a details label only lists the most significant problem that warranted the details grade. It would be helpful to know all of the problems that by themselves would make the coin not market acceptable. For example, if a Trade Dollar is listed as “damaged - chop marked” it would be nice to have assurance that this is the only problem.

    Numerical grades may also be beneficial for circulated grades. Especially in the VF range which is very wide. When it comes to MS grades it’s hard to see the value though. Like, “except for the hole this coin would have graded 65” lol…
    MIGuy likes this.
  12. RonSanderson

    RonSanderson Supporter! Supporter

    Chop marks on Trade Dollars are a badge of authenticity, in my mind. They prove the coin went to the Orient and someone there actually weighed the coin and marked it. Possibly it went right back into a bag of coins so it could be used as part of larger transactions, such as a bag of 100 coins.

    Assigning a Details grade for a chop mark does nothing at all to inform you about the overall quality of the coin. Consequently, I got this coin really cheaply, based on its grade and the single chop mark on the reverse. I can hardly even call it graded since the TPG gave no useful information about the grade.

    S$1 1876-S full 01.gif

    Here is full detail of the reverse, with the chop mark right in the center of the coin. I think that when the mark was applied may have been the only time the coin was ever handled.

    S$1 1876-S reverse 05.JPG
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
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  13. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    If it is a detail's coin, I'll slab it myself. Good question thanks.
  14. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Oh, wow.

    Yeah, I'd love to see that level of info coming out of a TPG -- but aren't PCGS and NGC graders supposed to spend only a few seconds examining each coin? If they offered a service like this, I'd expect it to cost multiple times their normal grading rate.

    I wish I could examine some coins that had been graded like this, try to spot the issues myself, then compare to the grader's results. Heck, I'd love to be able to fill in a sheet like this myself, then have my grading (of the coin) "graded" (like a school quiz). I feel like I'd learn a lot more about grading that way than by just looking at pictures, or looking at raw coins, or even looking at slabbed coins.
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
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  15. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    It's true that something like that example would take much more time than the TPGs currently spend and would thus add greatly to the expenses. It might be a worthwhile option to have on more expensive coins or even as an occasional helper for those coins where it's hard to tell why it got the grade it did.
  16. Casman

    Casman Well-Known Member

    I say Details today, straight grade the following week.
  17. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    I would also like to see more than one problem listed if it's important enough. A polished coin with some small hint of edge damage would be ok with just the polished designation but something like a chopped trade dollar definitely could use more than a "damaged" designation (let us know if it's cleaned, tooled, etc or it's just the chop).

    As far as numerical grades on MS details coins, it is somewhat silly on a holed coin. However, on a questionable color coin, it would be much more important. There I would like to know if the TPG thought a Morgan was a 65 but toned in a way that wasn't market acceptable.
    KSorbo likes this.
  18. Tamaracian

    Tamaracian 12+ Yr Member--Supporter Supporter

    @Publius2 I would concur with your desire for a "descriptive narrative" for a coin that Details Grades, and also agree that the TPG's--mostly directed at PGCS and NGC--would not normally do this because it would significantly slow down their processing flow; however, there could be a proviso on their SUBMISSION FORM that you could elect, via a Checkbox, to have ANY coin that Details Grades have a "descriptive narrative" either on the (1) Label (if there is enough room); (2) on a slab-sized document (encapsulated with a special thin slab) Photocert (similar to the old ANACS Photocert) that could be paired with the actual slabbed coin and then used for show-and-tell or auction/sale; (3) and/or listing on the TPG's website with a NOTE that directs you to the "descriptive narrative" when one searches for the Coin Certification Verification. Their fee for this activity could be something similar to the Variety Attribution Fee, maybe less depending upon whether (1) or (2) or (3) was performed.
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  19. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    The idea of a descriptive narrative for "more expensive" coins would be a boon to collectors and dealers attempting to sell a coin to an internet audience or to a lesser-informed or skilled clientele. If we stipulate that some otherwise desirable coins would be attractive to a buyer even with a details grade but those buyers are completely put off because they: A) Cannot discern what the problem(s) are due to poor photos, or; B) Do not trust their own ability to figure out what the problem(s) are. In these cases, a seller (and a buyer) would benefit from a trusted TPG description of the type(s) and degrees(s) of the problem(s). So, as a marketing tool, it might be well worth the extra cost to a seller to pay for this description. Conversely, some sellers might not want their expensive coin to have a detailed description because the complete and unvarnished truth would harm the coin's marketability. In this case, a potential buyer might just shear off from looking at an expensive coin that does not have this, let's call it, a "Details Pedigree."
  20. RonSanderson

    RonSanderson Supporter! Supporter

    It’s like the idea of CAC, but on steroids.

    If people pay for CAC certification as an assurance of the quality of the coin, some would certainly invest in this one-time expense for high-end coins of a more elite nature.

    This pedigree would establish a provenance. It could even be block-chained so the pedigree could be established from owner to owner.
  21. Mac McDonald

    Mac McDonald Well-Known Member

    Yes and no. For truly "details" coins...and there are some...indeed should be more to the what/where it is, as applicable. But IMO there are far too many "details" coins in the first place...nice, legitimate coins with either random marks as to be expected over 100-200 years, etc, or nary anything detectable or so minor it's laughable (cryable) that should be straight net-graded. If the mark(s) is so obvious as to be grafitti or deliberate abuse/altering of the coin's devices and/or script, then "details" may be appropriate. But NOT as it is today...way over-the-top knit-picky and ridiculous like the Walking Liberty half example and so many others.
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