Frequently Asked Questions
What coins will not be graded by NGC?
NGC will not grade coins that are counterfeit, are of questionable authenticity or have been altered. In addition, NGC will not grade coins that have active surface contaminants such as PVC residue. These coins will often be eligible for NGC certification after conservation by Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS), an independent affiliate of NGC.
What does it mean if my coin was returned with a label that says “Questionable Authenticity”?
If NGC graders believe that a coin is likely not genuine but its research is inconclusive, the coin will be labeled "Questionable Authenticity" and not encapsulated. The grading fee will be refunded less a £5 processing fee.
What does it mean if my ancient coin was returned with a label that says "Authenticity Unverifiable"?
NGC Ancients will only grade coins that it believes to be genuine. If, after evaluation and research by our staff experts and/or outside consultants, the coin's authenticity cannot be ascertained, the coin will be labeled "Authenticity Unverifiable" and not encapsulated. The full grading fee will apply.
What is "Not Suitable for Certification?"
On occasion, NGC will return a coin as NOT SUITABLE FOR CERTIFICATION. This is used for coins that are severely damaged or otherwise impaired. The surface condition of these coins makes it impossible for NGC to render a conclusive opinion about authenticity, NGC Details grade or both. When a coin is determined to be NOT SUITABLE, NGC UK will refund the grading fee, less a £5 processing charge.
Does NGC grade mint errors? Is there a fee?
NGC will grade most circulation issue mint errors as well as most Proof mint errors struck prior to 1985. Mint errors struck after that date are evaluated for NGC grading on a case‐by‐case basis. NGC does not recognize as mint errors those coins with minor die chips, breaks, rotations, etc., which fall within our interpretation of mint tolerance. The determination of what constitutes a mint error is solely at the discretion of NGC. There is a £14 fee for Mint Error attributions.
What are "Early Releases" and "First Releases"?
NGC offers the "Early Releases" and "First Releases" designations for selected coins received by NGC or an NGC-approved depository during the first 30 days of release. The term “EARLY RELEASES” or “FIRST RELEASES” will be noted as part of the coin’s description on the NGC certification label. For a list of eligible coins and cutoff dates, click here.
Early Releases and First Releases coins are listed separately in the NGC Census. They are also eligible for inclusion in the popular NGC Registry. In certain markets, NGC will offer bilingual Early Releases and First Releases labels. The same definitions, cutoff dates and NGC Registry treatment applies.
What is the difference between the NGC Plus () Designation and the NGC Star () Designation?
NGC assigns the Plus () Designation to coins at the high end of their assigned numeric grade. For example, a coin is graded NGC MS 64 if it approaches the quality of a coin graded NGC MS 65. NGC assigns its trademarked Star () Designation to coins that have exceptional eye appeal for their assigned numeric grade.
Learn more about NGC Plus () and Star () Designations >
What is an NGC Details grade?
NGC assigns an adjectival NGC Details grade to coins that have surface conditions that preclude numeric grading. These surface conditions include improper cleaning, scratches and damage.
Learn more about NGC Details grading >
Why don’t NGC Details-graded coins receive a numeric grade?
Numeric grades give a strong indication of a coin's value relative to its value in other grades. Most collectors and dealers would pay more for an MS 64 than an MS 63. This is not necessarily the case for coins that have received NGC Details grades.
The value of NGC Details-graded coins is much more subjective due to the variety and severity of the surface problems that result in NGC Details grades. It depends a lot on one's personal preference. Some collectors may prefer an XF Details Improperly Cleaned coin to an AU Details Scratched coin, while for others it may be the opposite.
If NGC were to assign numeric grades to coins with surface problems, it might imply that higher graded examples would be worth more than lower graded examples. That would not always be the case, however, depending on the type and severity of the problem. An MS 64 Scratched coin would not necessarily be worth more than an MS 63 Improperly Cleaned coin; it could be the opposite.
To avoid this potentially confusing scenario, we describe an NGC Details-graded coin's condition with an adjectival grade range along with a statement of the primary surface problem.
What is a pedigree?
A pedigree describes the current and/or past ownership of a coin. It notates the collector or collectors who have previously owned a particular coin. For example, a coin from the Eric P. Newman Collection may be pedigreed “Eric P. Newman” or “Newman” on the NGC certification label. NGC will pedigree coins to significant collectors or collections if sufficient documentation is provided.
Pedigrees can also be used to describe hoards. A submitter may request that their own name or the name of a collection be listed as the pedigree on the NGC certification label, subject to NGC's approval.
What is the difference between Releases Designations, Pedigrees and Strike Characters?
Releases Designations recognize coins that were received by NGC within a specific timeframe or at a particular event. For example, the Early Releases and First Releases designations are used for select coins that must generally be received by NGC or an NGC-approved depository within 30 days of the coin's release. Learn more about NGC Releases Designations
When are coins eligible to be pedigreed to a specific mint‐issued set, such as the 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set?
NGC will sometimes pedigree coins to a specific mint‐issued set as long as there is no doubt that the coins were issued as part of that set.
An example would be 2011 American Silver Eagles with the 25TH ANNIVERSARY SET pedigree, which stet issued as part of the US Mint's five‐coin 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set. Some of these coins were also issued separately from the 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set. NGC will therefore assign the 25TH ANNIVERSARY SET pedigree only to coins that arrive in the original 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set packaging sealed inside of the intact, original US Mint shipping box.
In some cases, coins may need to arrive in the original mint packaging only and not sealed inside of the intact, original US Mint shipping box to be pedigreed to a specific set. This is generally allowed for packaging that is tamper‐evident. In addition, coins that were issued only as part of the set may not need to be submitted with any original mint packaging.
Important: The recognition of a set pedigree is at NGC's sole discretion, and not all sets may be attributed on the NGC label. It is therefore recommended that submitters contact NGC Customer Service prior to requesting a coin be pedigreed to a set to confirm eligibility and submission requirements unless an article with these instructions has already been posted to the NGC website.
What can I do if I think my NGC-certified coin is overgraded?
NGC offers a free Appearance Review service in the event that someone believes that an NGC-certified coin is overgraded. Coins that are reviewed and downgraded by NGC are covered by the comprehensive NGC Guarantee of grade and authenticity. To read the full NGC Guarantee, click here.
What do I do if I think my NGC-certified coin is undergraded?
If you believe your NGC-certified coin is undergraded, you may submit it to NGC under the "ReGrade" service tier. An applicable grading tier must also be selected.
NGC Grading Process
What is the NGC grading process?
When a submission is received by NGC UK, it is opened by trained staff under security cameras and each coin is immediately assigned a unique identification number and barcode that will track it throughout every stage of the grading process. Relevant submission information, including a description of each coin, is entered into a proprietary computer tracking system.
NGC UK sends submissions with insurance coverage (based on the submitter’s declared value) to NGC headquarters in the US for authentication, grading and encapsulation. Upon arrival at NGC headquarters, the submission’s status is updated and the coins are separated from the submission paperwork so that NGC’s graders never know the submitter's identity, which ensures impartiality.
Coins that are determined to be authentic are graded according to NGC’s grading standards and encapsulated in NGC’s secure, tamper-evident holders designed for long-term preservation. They are then rechecked for accuracy and quality, imaged and returned to NGC UK, again with insurance coverage based on the submitter’s declared value.
What measures are in place at NGC and NGC UK to ensure the safety of my coins?
NGC headquarters is a secure 6,000-square-meter purpose‐built facility with two large vaults, a staff of armed guards and more than 150 security cameras. NGC UK also has extensive security measures in place to protect coins in its care.
All submissions are opened under security cameras and each coin is immediately assigned a unique identification number that is used to track it throughout every stage of the grading process. All coins are fully insured while in NGC and NGC UK's possession and are handled only by trained staff.
Why do NGC graders not wear gloves?
Gloves make it more difficult to hold a coin and increase the likelihood of it being dropped or mishandled. It is widely accepted within numismatics that a coin should be held on its edge with clean, dry hands and without gloves.
Similarly, librarians who handle rare books are generally discouraged from wearing gloves due to the increased likelihood of tearing a page or otherwise damaging a book. The Library of Congress, for example, states that “contrary to widespread belief, gloves are not necessarily recommended to handle rare or valuable books…it is generally preferable to handle your books with clean hands, washed with soap and thoroughly dried, rather than with gloves.” Extensive research on this subject is available online.
Do you buy, sell or appraise coins?
No. NGC UK and NGC do not buy, sell or appraise coins in order to maintain their independence. NGC UK and NGC are focused on providing expert and impartial assessments of authenticity and grade.
Can I check the status of my submission online?
Yes. NGC UK Collector members and NGC UK Authorized Dealers may log in at NGCcoin.uk to track the status of their submission. Submitters may also contact NGC UK Customer Service at Service@NGCcoin.uk or call + 44 (0) 20 3968 3848.
Can I submit NGC-certified coins encapsulated with color holders, specialty holders and/or special labels for ReHolder?
NGC cannot always perform its ReHolder service for NGC-certified coins encapsulated with color holders, specialty holders and/or special labels. Some holders and labels are retired after a period of time, while others were made exclusively for a particular customer. If your NGC-certified coin is encapsulated with a non-standard holder or label, it is suggested that you contact NGC UK Customer Service prior to submitting it for ReHolder.
If a coin is removed from an NGC holder, can I be assured that it will receive the same grade if resubmitted to NGC?
No. Once a coin is removed from an NGC holder, the NGC Guarantee no longer applies. This is because NGC cannot account for where that coin has been, what if anything has been done to it, and for the overall subjective nature of coin grading itself.
Will my NGC-certified coin get the same holder or label if I submit it for ReHolder?
NGC will generally use the newest version of its holder for coins submitted under its ReHolder service. In addition, if a particular label has been updated since the coin was originally encapsulated, NGC will generally use the newest version of that label. It is not generally possible to receive an older version of an NGC holder or label when submitting for ReHolder.
What is the CrossOver service and which coins are eligible?
NGC provides a CrossOver service option for coins certified by PCGS. Using this service allows a submitter to send these coins to NGC for certification without removing them from their holders prior to submission. If the coins meet NGC‘s standards for the submitter's requested minimum grade, they will be removed from their holders and certified by NGC. If they fail to meet NGC’s standards, they will be returned to the submitter in their original PCGS holders.
Coins graded by services other than PCGS are not eligible for the CrossOver service. They must be removed from their holder prior to being graded. NGC can remove coins from these holders when submissions are accompanied by the Consent to Remove Form. This form must accompany each applicable submission form. For more information, click here.
Why was my coin encapsulated in an older NGC label?
In rare instances, certain coin types cannot be encapsulated with the requested NGC label or will be encapsulated with an older NGC label type. While NGC maintains holders that can fit virtually every coin size, unusual coin sizes or more fragile coins may need to be encapsulated with a particular holder and label type. NGC will use its best efforts to accommodate eligible submissions with the requested holder and label type, but it may not be able to fulfill all requests.
What are all the reasons a coin cannot be encapsulated by NGC?
For a complete list of the reasons that coins cannot be encapsulated by NGC, click here.
What is NCS conservation?
An independent affiliate of NGC, Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) was established in 2001 as the world's first professional coin conservation service. NCS conservation removes harmful surface contaminants, stabilizes a coin for long-term preservation and can dramatically improve a coin's eye appeal. After conservation by NCS, coins can be seamlessly transferred to NGC for grading.
Learn more about Numismatic Conservation Services >
How much does NCS conservation cost?
Professional conservation from NCS is 4% of the coin's Fair Market Value (FMV) (£20 minimum) but some modern and gold coins are eligible for discounted services that provide both NCS conservation and NGC grading for a flat fee.
For a list of NCS services and fees, click here.
Does NCS offer any type of guarantee?
NCS does not provide grade protection or any type of grade guarantee for coins submitted to NCS. NCS evaluates every coin in order to determine whether that coin will benefit from conservation. If NCS believes that the coin will not benefit from conservation, the coin will not be conserved and will be transferred directly to NGC for grading. PCGS-graded coins submitted for CrossOver will not be transferred to NGC in the event that they cannot be conserved.
In rare instances, NCS conservation may reveal additional issues that were previously hidden by residue or other surface contaminants. None of the techniques used by NCS will cause such issues. However, the submitter acknowledges that the conservation services provided by NCS may not prevent the coin from grading lower or receiving no grade by a coin grading company.
How can I submit to NCS?
When submitting a coin to NGC UK for NGC grading, you can also select an NCS conservation service. For more information about submitting to NGC UK, see “How do I submit to NGC UK?” below.
What is the conservation and grading process?
To ensure impartiality, NCS and NGC specialists never know the identity of a submitter. All submissions are opened within view of each secure facility’s surveillance cameras, and every coin is assigned a unique tracking number and handled with the utmost care. A separate certification number is printed on the NGC label once the coin is encapsulated.
NGC employs the internationally recognized Sheldon grading scale of 1 to 70. Coins with surface conditions that preclude a numeric grade are assigned an NGC Details grade with the problem noted. Every coin is assessed by multiple members of NGC’s professional grading team to determine authenticity, grade and attribution.
After the coin is graded, it is encapsulated in NGC’s EdgeView® holder — the same holder that has been tested by the Smithsonian Institution and is currently used to house many of that museum’s most important rarities. Encapsulated coins are then inspected by a quality control specialist and imaged for NGC’s online certification verification tool.
Every NGC-certified coin is backed by the comprehensive NGC Guarantee of authenticity and grade. NGC is the official grading service of the American Numismatic Association and Professional Numismatists Guild.
Does submitting to NCS mean that I will get a higher grade at NGC?
Submitting a coin to NCS for conservation does not mean that it will get a higher grade at NGC (i.e., be “upgraded”). NCS conservation will improve a coin’s eye appeal and stabilize its surfaces. In some cases, coins may receive a higher grade at NGC after NCS conservation, but this is not guaranteed.
How do I contact NCS?
Contact NGC UK by mail, telephone or email with any NCS conservation questions:
NGC International UK Ltd.
69 Southampton Row, Bloomsbury
WC1B 4ET, London
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3968 3848
Fax: +44 (0) 20 3968 3849
NGC UK Collector Membership
What are the benefits of the NGC UK Collector membership and how do I join?
Paid NGC UK Collector members receive direct submission privileges as well as various discounts. Click here for details.
Can I submit to other Certified Collectibles Group (CCG) companies?
Yes. Your NGC UK Collector membership entitles you to submit to NGC International UK Limited (NGC UK) as well as Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) and Paper Money Guaranty (PMG).
Does the grading credit I receive with my NGC UK Premium Collector membership expire?
Yes. This credit expires one year from the day it was issued.
How do I use my NGC UK membership credit?
If you joined as an NGC UK Premium or Elite Collector member, your £120 grading credit will be posted to your account instantly. It will then be automatically applied to your submissions until the credit is exhausted.
If you have a member credit, you must still provide a valid payment method to cover shipping and handling fees.
Can I transfer my membership credit to a friend to use?
No. The credit is only valid for the member to whom it was issued.
Is my membership refundable?
Because of the benefits you received with your membership, a prorated refund is generally not available. However, if you have signed up for auto‐renewal and have not used any grading credits that you may have received, you may cancel your membership within 30 days of auto‐renewal to receive a refund of your membership fees. Contact NGC UK Customer Service at service@NGCcoin.uk or + 44 (0) 20 3968 3848 for more information.
How to Submit to NGC UK
Where is NGC located?
NGC’s headquarters is a secure 6,000-square-meter purpose‐built facility in Sarasota, Florida, USA. In the UK, NGC International UK Ltd. (NGC UK), an affiliate of NGC, operates a submission office in Bloomsbury, London. NGC also has submission offices in Munich, Hong Kong and Shanghai as well as Official Submission Centers in the UK, the Netherlands, China, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia
How do I contact NGC UK?
NGC UK may be contacted by mail, telephone or email.
NGC International UK Ltd.
69 Southampton Row
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3968 3848
Fax: +44 (0) 20 3968 3849
How do I submit to NGC UK?
NGC UK Collector members may submit their coins directly. Join today!
Once you are a member, contact NGC UK on +44 (0) 20 3968 3848 or at Service@NGCcoin.uk to schedule an appointment to drop off your submissions. You must schedule an appointment to submit. NGC UK does not accept submissions by post at this time.
Many NGC UK Authorized Dealers also accept submissions from the public.
How do I access the submission forms?
To access submission forms, simply login, click on the profile symbol (head icon) in the upper right corner of the website and click on "My Submissions." Select the appropriate form for your location and collectible type.
What is the cost of grading?
NGC UK's grading fees are generally based on a coin's fair market value and the submitter's desired turnaround time. For a comprehensive list of all NGC UK grading tiers, service tiers, fees and requirements, click here.
How do I know which grading tier to choose?
NGC UK grading tiers are primarily organized based on the coin's value and, in some cases, the coin’s type. The higher-priced tiers offer higher maximum value limits while the lower-priced tiers have lower maximum value limits. There are also some tiers that are discounted for select coin types, such as a tier for gold coins and a tier for modern coins. You can choose the appropriate tier based on the coin's value, the desired turnaround time and any special tier requirements. For a comprehensive list of all NGC UK grading tiers, service tiers, fees and requirements, click here.
Why do I need to list my coin's value on the submission form? How do I know its value?
NGC UK uses the submitter's declared value to insure the coin while it is at its office and, when applicable, in transit between NGC UK and NGC Headquarters in the US. The coin's value also determines the NGC grading tier. Since NGC guarantees the authenticity and grade of coins that it certifies, it charges a higher fee for more valuable coins. For more information, read the Declared Value Policy.
NGC does not value or appraise coins but it does provide several price guides on its website to help collectors approximate their coin's value.
NGC US Coin Price Guide
World Coin Price Guide
NGC Chinese Modern Coin Price Guide
You can also research auction records in the NGC US Auction Central and NGC World Auction Central resources.
What if I undervalue my coin?
If NGC UK determines that a coin's value likely exceeds the maximum value allowed under the selected tier, NGC UK may move the coin to a higher tier and adjust the conservation or grading fees accordingly. It is important that you assign an accurate value to the coins that you submit to NGC UK.
NGC Certification Verification
Why do I need to select the grade along with the NGC certification number?
This is done to prevent people from browsing or "crawling" submissions in the NGC Certification Verification database. We understand that this added step can be a little inconvenient, but it provides significantly greater data security.
Why does it say "No match was found"?
There are several possible reasons no match was found:
- You entered an invalid certification number. Please double-check the certification number and try again.
- You selected the wrong grade. Please double-check the grade and try again.
- Your coin has not yet been shipped by NGC. Only coins that have been shipped can be searched in NGC Certification Verification.
What does it mean if it says, "Contact NGC Customer Service," "Possible Counterfeit Holder," "Mechanical Error" or "Deleted"?
Contact NGC Customer Service: If you see this alert, contact NGC UK Customer Service to inquire about this coin. There are a variety of reasons why "Contact NGC Customer Service" may be displayed.
Possible Counterfeit Holder: If you see this alert, it means that NGC has seen a counterfeit or tampered holder that uses this certification number. Contact NGC UK Customer Service if you see this alert. Also, see the NGC Security Center.
Mechanical Error: If you see this alert, it means that the label has a mechanical (typographical) error. This coin should be returned to NGC so that the label can be corrected. For more information and submission instructions, contact NGC UK Customer Service.
Deleted: If you see this alert, it generally means that the coin was removed from the NGC Census population report. Coins are occasionally deleted in error, however, so if you see this note but own the coin, please email pictures of the front and back of the holder to service@NGCcoin.uk.
The NGC Registry is a community where collectors can showcase their coins and compete for the best sets. Registry participants can enter coins into US and World Competitive Sets or Custom Sets.
You’ll find thousands of US and World set types, and it’s easy to get started. Simply choose a set that interests you and enter your NGC-certified coins. Add photos and descriptions, define goals and see how your sets stack up against the competition. Prizes for the best Competitive and Custom Sets are awarded each year in January. Best of all, it’s free!
To help you decide how you’d like to participate, here are some frequently asked questions:
What are Competitive Sets?
Competitive Sets are defined by NGC, with available slots for each coin in each set. Coins are ranked based on relative rarity and grade, and collectors receive points accordingly. It’s a great way to participate in the Registry, as it offers friendly competition and establishes collecting goals. It’s also easy to compare collections and see some outstanding sets.
What are Custom Sets?
Many collectors choose to assemble their own sets in unique ways, as personal expressions of what they find fascinating about collecting. Custom Sets are ideal for this kind of collector. You define the set’s theme and choose which coins are eligible, and you can either share them or keep them private.
What coins are eligible for the NGC Registry?
All NGC-certified coins are eligible for the NGC Registry, although there may not be competitive set types for every coin. You may request a new competitive set type by emailing Registry@NGCcoin.com.
How are Competitive Sets ranked?
We place a value on each coin, based on the relative rarity of its type, date and grade, and many additional factors such as population, market value and expert opinion. A set’s rank is based on the total of the individual scores of all the coins. A scoring algorithm developed by NGC helps make the sets competitive for everyone, even collectors with a limited budget.
What is the NGC Plus Designation and does it receive a point bonus?
NGC assigns a () to coins that fall at the high end of their assigned grade, approaching the quality requirements for the next grade. In addition to their superior technical merit, coins receiving a Plus must have above-average eye appeal. A coin with Plus Designation is automatically assigned a Registry point premium. Learn more about NGC Plus Designation.
What is the NGC Star Designation and does it receive a point bonus?
NGC assigns a () to coins with exceptional eye appeal for their assigned grade. A coin with Star designation is automatically assigned a Registry point premium. Learn more about the NGC Star Designation.
Are NGC Details Grade coins weighted the same in the Registry?
No, NGC Details coins earn 50% of the score given to a numerically graded coin of the same condition. NGC Details Grades include a prefix that indicates wear (UNC, AU, etc.) and a notation of the detrimental surface condition that prevented NGC from assigning a numerical grade. Learn more about NGC Details Grading.
What does an NGC Registry score mean?
When a set is assigned a score in the Registry, the sole purpose of that score is to provide a standard against which other sets in the Registry can be compared. A Registry score is not intended to be used as a basis for determining market value, and Registry scores may be changed from time to time.
What happens when there is a tie?
The NGC Registry ranks sets first according to the set's score. If two or more sets have the same score, the NGC Registry will break the tie by ranking the sets based on the percentage of NGC-certified coins in the set. If two or more sets have the same score and the same percentage of NGC-certified coins, then the tie will be broken based on the percentage of coins with with images. If two or more sets have the same score, same percentage of NGC-certified coins and the same percentage of coins with images, then the tie will be broken based on the percentage of coins with descriptions.
To summarize, ranking is achieved by considering the following, in order:
1. Set score
2. Percentage of NGC-certified coins
3. Percentage of coins with images
4. Percentage of coins with descriptions
If all of the above items are equal between sets, then sets will be sorted by the date the rank was achieved (first to achieve it will appear higher), but they will have the same rank number beside their set.