PCGS Restoration – Do's and Don'ts

Submitting a coin for PCGS Restoration in no way guarantees the upgrade of your coin. If the coin is already in a PCGS holder, it is guaranteed not to downgrade, nothing more. Through our restoration service, PCGS is committed to preserving and restoring coins to their original and natural condition.

So what will PCGS Restoration do and what will it not do? Here are some examples:


  • PCGS Restoration will not remove original toning simply to make a coin white.
  • PCGS Restoration will never add toning to a coin.
  • In cases where PCGS determines that removing toning is necessary and desirable and will not detract from the coin, it may be done. This type of toning may be the result of improper storage, interaction with corrosive materials, or a stain due to an accidental spill.

Surface Contaminants

  • PCGS Restoration will remove any contaminants that are determined to have been deliberately and artificially applied. Examples of this are putty, dumdum, grease and other substances known to be used by “coin doctors.”
  • Restoration will remove contaminants introduced to the coin’s surface through improper care or storage. Examples of this are PVC or Verdigris.
  • Dirt or debris can often be removed through a gentle rinse.
  • PCGS Restoration will never add any substance to the surface of a coin.
  • The primary objective of the PCGS Restoration services is to maintain the originality of every coin’s surface.


  • Spots on coins can be the result of a variety of causes. Many spots can be removed, yet some cannot without damaging the coin.
  • PCGS will not attempt to remove a spot unless it is determined that the spot significantly detracts from the coin’s overall appearance or if the spot may be active and continue to grow on the coin.
  • PCGS will not attempt to restore a spotted coin if we believe that the spots are so deep into the coin that removing them would lower the coin’s overall condition.
  • Older spots such as old spittle or old thumbprints often cannot be removed without stripping the coin’s original surface and will not be attempted by the PCGS Restoration service.
  • Newer contaminants such as recent fingerprints can be removed. Also, certain spots due to corrosive interactions can often be removed without impairing the surface.


  • PCGS Restoration will never add, remove or alter metal. This includes engaging in well-known “coin doctoring” practices such as smoothing, whizzing, polishing, engraving, etc.
  • Issues such as scratches, dings, planchet flaws or bending will not be addressed by the PCGS Restoration service. If it is determined that a coin suffering from one or more of these problems does not have other issues which could be addressed through Restoration, the coin will be returned as is.