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Numismatic Guaranty Corporation
December 2005  
1. Submitter's Corner
2. Problems Revealed
3. Coins of the Month



January 5-8
FUN Show

Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, FL

January 12-15
New York International Numismatic Convention

Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York, NY

February 10-11
Long Beach Coin & Collectibles Expo

Long Beach Convention Center
Long Beach, CA

Submitter's Corner: NCS Adopts New Terms of Service
The NCS Submission Form

Dear Numismatist:

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 professional level.

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 coin apply.

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
President, NCS  

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Problems Revealed

Coins 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 of graffiti.


A 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.


Chopmarks 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.


Engraving 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.


Re-engraved 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 another.

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Coins of the Month
Conservation: 5058320-001

This 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 MS66 FB.

Coin of the month before
Coin of the month after

Encapsulation: 5056817-006

EncapsulatedThe 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 Web site.

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