Coinex Show in London: Successful Launch of NGC’s New UK Office

This year’s Coinex show occurred at an opportune moment for NGC.

By Sebastian Wieschowski
Numismatic Writer

Buying coins with a view of the Thames, the giant "London Eye" ferris wheel in the immediate vicinity and a historical backdrop, you’re unlikely to find a more attractive environment for a coin exchange.

For the 40th edition of the Coinex fair, however, the British Numismatic Trade Association chose a special location within the British capital. Because the Millennium Hotel, the traditional venue for the coin show, is currently being renovated, the dealers moved their booths and stands to the “County Hall," a monumental administrative building built between 1911 and 1922 and located right on the banks of London’s iconic river.

On 28 and 29 September, coin collectors found everything a British numismatist's heart desired on three floors with about 90 dealers.
Click images to enlarge.

On 28 and 29 September, coin collectors found everything a British numismatist's heart desired on three floors with about 90 dealers. Maundy money from past centuries, coinage from the pre-decimalization era, all sorts of denominations from all conceivable years and in all levels of preservation – there was hardly a collector's item from recent British numismatic history that was not on display. One special highlight was United Kingdom proof sets, at least a century old, in excellent condition.

This year’s Coinex show occurred at an opportune moment for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC): Shortly after the grand opening of NGC's new UK office, NGC staff presented the services of its Certified Collectibles Group (CCG) affiliates to collectors and dealers. These include Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) for coin conservation, Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) for paper money certification and Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) for certification of comic books and similar collectibles.

Even as the Coinex show approached, the final touches were being made at the newly established NGC office. The UK office is located in the district of Bloomsbury in the same building as headquarters of Spink, one of the oldest and most renowned auction houses in the UK. Collectors and dealers of coins, banknotes and comics can now submit their treasures for professional certification and conservation right in the heart of London.

At the Coinex fair in London, visitors could also get a sense of the advance of third-party grading in the UK. Though many coins are still sold “raw,” about 10 to 20 percent of all the coins offered were in NGC holders. Clearly, collectors are increasingly willing to trade the ability to directly touch a historic coin for the benefits of having a coin authenticated, graded and placed in a state-of-the-art holder.

It was striking that especially the high-priced coins were offered in NGC's holders. This could be observed not only at several dealers’ booths but also at the show location of the British Royal Mint. The official mint of the United Kingdom was present with their numismatic department not to offer recent commemorative coins, but choice rarities from past centuries at prices in the upper four-digit range and all encapsulated in NGC holders. In addition to the Royal Mint, all the renowned auction houses from the UK also offered many rarities that were graded by NGC.

The UK office is located in the district of Bloomsbury in the same building as headquarters of Spink, one of the oldest and most renowned auction houses in the UK. "We have been very pleased with the level of interest in our services in the UK,” reports Matthew Gens, who relocated from NGC headquarters in Sarasota, Florida (USA) to coordinate the development of NGC services in the UK.
Click images to enlarge.

After the show, NGC employees in the UK had their hands full processing the many submissions: "We have been very pleased with the level of interest in our services in the UK,” reports Matthew Gens, who relocated from NGC headquarters in Sarasota, Florida (USA) to coordinate the development of NGC services in the UK. "NGC UK hopes to establish itself quickly by providing the most accurate determination of authenticity, grade and description. We aim to provide services that will benefit both collectors and dealers.”

NGC UK already has big plans. They plan to hold 3-4 PMG on-site grading events in 2019 and closely collaborate with their Munich affiliate on NGC on-site grading events. The NGC UK office will also attend many UK-based coin, paper money and comic shows. All coins, paper money and comics can be submitted in person at any time by appointment through NGC’s London office.

With the opening of the UK office, CCG has successfully completed an important strategic step before the advent of a historic event next year. “Brexit,” the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, was a recurring subject for talks among the British coin dealers at the Coinex trade fair. There is a great deal of uncertainty as to how trade with European partners will be conducted in the future.

The NGC London office helps to provide greater certainty for the future of British collectors and dealers.

This is a guest article. The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

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