Corner: NCS Adopts New Terms of Service
The NCS Submission Form
On the eve of our five year anniversary, NCS is introducing
several important modifications to our terms of service.
When we opened our doors in early 2001, there was no
model for professional numismatic conservation, and
for decades coins had been ruined by the ill-advised
use of improper materials and techniques. In the years
since, we have invested heavily in research and development,
refined our own techniques, and made essential conservation
services widely available to the numismatic community.
NCS’s consistency in delivering a high quality
output has elevated numismatic conservation to a truly
Everyday we use our acquired skills to assure the long-term
preservation and high visual appeal of numismatic properties.
Treatments pioneered by NCS have assured that tens
of thousands of coins will be preserved for future
generations of collectors. This extends to extreme
conservation cases of coins being exposed to fire,
flood, and sea water. We have cultivated relationships
with the American Numismatic Association and the Professional
Numismatists Guild, which emphasize the benefit and
demand for these services. Recently, we began a consultancy
project with the Smithsonian Institution to safeguard
our country’s numismatic treasures.
Beginning January 1, 2006, we are introducing several
changes to our terms of service, which correspond to
the maturity of our business and improvement in our
capabilities. NCS will no longer offer a grade guarantee
on certified coins, tokens, and medals submitted for
conservation. Significant advances in our evaluation
process have mitigated the need for such a guarantee.
In conjunction, we will be capping our conservation
fees at $2,500 per coin, and our evaluation fees at
$1,000 per coin. Additionally, our fees for services
have been standardized for all coins regardless of
value. An evaluation fee of 1% of the owner’s
declared value will be charged for all conservation
submissions. When conservation services are performed,
an additional fee of 3% of the owner’s declared
value will be charged. A minimum evaluation fee of
$5 per coin and a minimum conservation fee of $15 per
All coins received for conservation after January
1, 2006 must be accompanied by our new submission form
to acknowledge the changes to our terms of service.
For your convenience, forms have been enclosed for
your use. You can contact NCS customer service at any
time should you need more forms or if you have any
questions about these changes.
We look forward to being of continued service and appreciate
your considerable support of our products and services.
Best wishes for the holiday season and the New Year!
David J. Camire
encapsulated in NCS Details Grade holders will have
a simple description of the surface problem that is
preventing the coin from grading with a major grading
service such as NGC. These descriptions are reduced
to the fewest words to describe the problem. It is
helpful for the collector to understand more about
the problem and identify it more readily when considering
coins in the marketplace.
Marks etched into an individual coin are known as graffiti.
These marks are most often an individual’s initials,
a date of individual significance, or a word. These
marks are made by hand and not with any fine jeweler’s
tools or with a commercially made punch. The “MK” carved
into the field of this 1793 cent is a prime example
countermark is a commercially produced stamp to imprint initials, a name, or
a word into the surface of a coin. This punch significantly alters a coin's surface
and often damages the side opposite the punch. Some more elaborate countermarks
have been identified to refer to specific merchants or other individuals. These
countermarks will often bring a premium to collectors. Other countermarks make
a simple statement such as the “rejected” coin pictured here.
are a specific type of counterstamp placed into coins in East Asia during primarily
the latter half of the 19th century. The stamps consist of a single Chinese character
or similar picture specific to a certain merchant who has verified that the coin
is genuine and consists of the stated silver content. Trade dollars such as the
coin pictured here are frequent exhibitors of chopmarks.
involves the addition of dates, initials, or names with the use of a fine jeweler’s
tool often in a specific style. Love tokens of the 19th century are extreme examples
of engraved coins. The elephant token here has had the date 1666 engraved on
the obverse for unknown significance.
is used to describe a coin that has had details lost due to circulation or damage
re-engraved using a fine jeweler’s tool. This type of alteration is very
deceptive and often difficult to detect in the marketplace. A frequent giveaway
is the appearance of strong details in one area or one side of a coin versus
of the Month
broadstruck Mercury dime was plagued with some
unusual and unattractive toning. The conservators
at NCS were able to safely remove this offending
toning to reveal more original and beautiful
surfaces underneath. The coin was submitted for
conservation raw and then graded with NGC at
standard encapsulation label will list a coin’s
vital statistics such as the date mintmark and denomination.
Sometimes, however, in order to truly appreciate a
coin’s collectable value additional attributions
are necessary. Much like NGC’s Variety Plus service,
a coin can, for an extra fee, be checked and attributed
to a standard reference if a specific variety exists.
This 1878 S$1 has been further attributed according
to the popular VAM reference for Morgan Dollars. For
a list of the references used in attributing varieties
under the NCS Variety Plus service, please see the