Search articles

You Have Questions. PCGS Has Answers.

-

Questions, questions, questions! What are yours? Here are a few questions that the PCGS Customer Service Department receives on a regular basis:

Q: What does my grade mean?

A: PCGS grades range from 1 to 70. Suffixes are assigned to certain coins as well. The lowest PCGS grade would be a PO-1, the grade of PO-1 is defined by PCGS as "Identifiable date and type." The highest PCGS grade would be a 70, the grade of 70 is defined by PCGS as, "as struck, with full strike." Depending on collectors and dealers preferences you will see that people around the world collect or specialize in all grades and suffixes. While there is certainly a demand for 70s, certain numismatists collect "low ball" coins thus creating a demand for PO-1s as well.

Certain coins may also be identified with a suffix. For example, on labels for copper coinage you may see "RD," "RB" or "BN." These designations are referring to the color of the coin. "RD" (Red) means that the coin has more than 95% of the original red color. "RB" (Red-Brown) means that the coin has between 5% and 95% of the original red color. "BN" (Brown) means that the coin has less than 5% of the original red color.

PCGS lists definitions for all of our grades, designations and "No grades" online. To access this information click here!

Q: Where can I find more information about my coins?

A: PCGS CoinFacts! PCGS CoinFacts is the ultimate, single source of information on U.S. coins. PCGS continues to add information to this online resource every day! CoinFacts includes populations, price guide values, recent and historical auction information along with high quality images of the majority of U.S. coinage and most varieties. You can also find articles from some of the world's most well-known numismatists.

As a part of PCGS's 30th Anniversary, CoinFacts is free to all users! Mobile versions are also available for iOS and Android, visit www.PCGS.com/Apps for additional information.

Q: What does "Genuine, not gradable" mean?

A: Occasionally, the experts at PCGS encounter coins which, for one reason or another, cannot be authenticated or graded. These "No Grade" coins fall into three categories: problem coins, inconclusive, or ineligible. "No Grades" in the first category will be placed in a PCGS Genuine capsule (except where noted). Those in the final two categories will be returned to the submitter un-encapsulated. All coins, encapsulated or not, will receive one of the "No Grade" codes listed in the tables online.

The two "No grade" designations that confuse customers the most would be the numerical codes 92 and 98. The numerical code of 92 stands for cleaned. PCGS defines cleaning as:

"Surface damage due to any form of abrasive cleaning. 'Cleaned' covers a wide range of appearances, from a grossly polished coin to one where faint hairlines can be seen only at a particular angle or in only one area on an otherwise perfectly normal coin. This is perhaps the most frustrating of all the No Grades, because subtle cleaning is often difficult to detect in less-than-optimal grading conditions. 'Dipping' (the removal of toning with a chemical bath) is not considered cleaning under this definition."

The numerical code of 98 stands for damage. PCGS defines damages as:

"Any form of metal movement, either intentional or accidental. Damage may include excessive or heavy rim dings and bruises, deliberate surface damage such as graffiti, attempts to remove spots, etc. The severity and extent of the damage affects whether it will get a "No Grade" decision. Whizzing is the use of a high-speed, rotating wheel to buff the surfaces of a coin, which actually moves the metal on the surface and leaves ridges on many of the devices."

To find a complete listing of all "no grade codes" and their definitions please click here! You will need to scroll to the bottom of the page to the "PCGS No Grades" section.

Q: I purchased a Collectors Club Membership that comes with a voucher for complimentary gradings, how do I submit using the voucher?

A: As a Gold or Platinum PCGS Collectors Club Member, you will be provided a voucher for complimentary coin grading submissions as part of your membership.

As long as you have a valid email address on-file with PCGS, you will receive your voucher digitally via a welcome email from PCGS upon the purchase or renewal of your Gold or Platinum membership. If an email address is not on-file with PCGS, your welcome letter and voucher information will be sent to you through the mail.

If you do not include a physical copy of your voucher with your complimentary submission, please reference the voucher number on the "other" line in the service level section of the PCGS submission form.

You may submit your coins for either Grading (raw), Regrade, Crossover, or Reconsideration. You cannot submit U.S. and World coins together and you cannot submit Grading, Regrades, Crossovers or Reconsiderations on the same submission form.

To redeem your vouchers you must adhere to the following rules:

  • Reference the voucher number on the "other" line in the Service Level section of the submission form. For example; "Voucher XXXXXXX."
  • Valid for submission of U.S. or World (non-U.S.) coins equivalent to either the Regular Standard or Regular Secure service level.
  • Voucher is not valid for Restoration Services, Mint Errors, Special Issues, Additional Services, Guarantee Premium fees or coins valued over $3,000.
  • Voucher cannot be used with any other discounts.
  • The voucher is valid for the term of the original membership only. Please refer to expiration date printed on voucher or referenced in your welcome email.
  • If you received a physical voucher, please include it with your complimentary submission.
  • You are responsible for Guarantee Premium fees and return shipping and handling on complimentary submissions.

If you have any questions we are here to help! Our Customer Service Representatives are available by phone Monday through Friday 7:00AM to 5:00PM PST at 1-800-447-8848.

Collectors Universe Press Releases Buying and Selling Tips Coin Collecting: Basics