Coin Grading Giants: A Snapshot of America's Top 10

PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service)

Established in 1986, PCGS offers various grading services including Economy, Regular, Express, and more, with fees ranging from $23 to $300 depending on the coin's value and desired service level. PCGS is known for its tamper-evident, sonically sealed capsules to protect and authenticate coins​​​​.

NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation)

: Founded in 1987, NGC grades coins using a 70-point Sheldon Scale, offering designations like Cameo and Deep Cameo for proof coins. They emphasize protective holders fused with unique holograms for security and offer a guarantee for authenticity and grade accuracy​​​​.

ANACS (American Numismatic Association Certification Service)

The first major grading service to grade problem coins, ANACS offers grading for a wide range of coins including U.S. Mint, modern, and non-U.S. Mint coins with services priced accordingly​​.

Coin Grading Criteria

The grading of coins by these services involves assessing factors like eye appeal, rim dents, surface scratches, luster, toning, and the level of detail retained. A coin's grade is significantly influenced by these criteria​​.

Protective Measures

PCGS and NGC use advanced protective measures for the coins they grade, including sonically sealed capsules and hologram-fused holders, respectively, to ensure the coins' security and authenticity​​.

Pricing and Services

Both PCGS and NGC offer a variety of services at competitive prices, with options for economy, regular, express, and walkthrough submissions. Additional services like high-resolution imaging are also available​​.

Membership Levels

PCGS and NGC offer membership levels with benefits such as submission privileges, grading specials, and discounts on supplies. These memberships range from basic to premium levels​​.

Reputation and Reliability

Both PCGS and NGC are highly respected in the numismatic community for their reliable grading services and have contributed significantly to standardizing coin grading practices​​.

Market Influence

Coins graded by PCGS and NGC often have a significant influence on the coin market, with their grades helping to establish a coin's value and collectibility​​.

Community Preferences

Preferences among collectors vary, with some favoring PCGS for its perceived strict grading standards, while others prefer NGC for its detailed holder security features and authenticity guarantees. ANACS is also noted for its realistic and consistent grading, especially for problem coins​​.