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Numismatic Guaranty Corporation
March 2006  
1. NGC and NCS Internship for Aspiring Numismatists
2. Coins of the Month
3. Submitters’ Corner
4. The Many Aspects to the Evaluation



March 30-April 1
Santa Clara Coin Expo

Santa Clara Convention Center
Santa Clara, CA

April 7-9
ANA National Money Show

Cobb Galleria Centre
Atlanta, GA

April 26

Greater Columbus Convention Center
Columbus, OH

April 27-29
Central States Numismatic Society's 67th Anniversary Convention

Greater Columbus Convention Center
Columbus, OH

NGC and NCS Internship for Aspiring Numismatists

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and Numismatic Conservation Services are continuing their comprehensive numismatic internship program at their headquarters in Sarasota, Florida. Applications are now being accepted for positions available this summer.

Interns work alongside some of the most knowledgeable and experienced numismatists in the hobby. Available positions include work in authentication, variety attribution, grading, conservation, digital imaging, research, submission management, and encapsulation of U.S. and World coins, including tokens, medals, and colonial coinage.

Rick Montgomery, NGC President and Senior Grader, comments on this opportunity: "This internship will foster the development of skills that would normally take years, if not decades, to acquire."

NGC and NCS will provide a stipend and lodging as well as transportation to and from Sarasota, if needed. Applicants should be at least 18 years of age by the start of the internship and have a background and interest in numismatics as a career.

To accommodate more applicants and their varied schedules, this position is offered during the summer or fall of this year. Its duration may also vary in accordance with academic scheduling. Successful candidates may also have the opportunity to attend one of the major coin shows that NGC and NCS attend.

To apply, candidates must send a resume and a letter describing their numismatic background, interests, and goals to Certified Collectibles Group, Attn: Scott Schechter, P.O. Box 4776, Sarasota, Florida, 34230, or by fax to (941) 360-2553, or by e-mail to

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The Many Aspects to the Evaluation

Conservation fees at NCS are calculated at a percentage of the fair market value on each coin. A 4% total conservation fee is charged for coins conserved: 1% for evaluation and 3% for the subsequent conservation work. Grading is then an additional charge. When coins are not conserved, only the 1% evaluation fee is charged. What happens in that evaluation stage?

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The evaluation is a first step of the conservation process. At NCS, this evaluation is performed by an experienced numismatist, knowledgeable in conservation and possessing a comprehensive command of rare coin grading. Part of this initial evaluation is to determine what conservation methods should be used. The evaluation also considers other aspects of the conservation of a specific coin that can depend greatly on the particulars of the coin. If already certified, the current grade is also a factor.

When an evaluator examines a raw coin — one that is not already certified by a third party grading company — several things are considered. First, an evaluator will consider how beneficial conservation work will be for a coin. If a coin will be worse off after conservation, in terms of either its appearance or its long-term surface stability, the evaluator will determine that no conservation should be performed. If conservation can be a benefit, the evaluator will next determine what should be done. This determination, whether it is to remove toning or only residues, or to address specific concerns with spots and the like, will be indicated to the conservators. Not all coins will have toning completely removed; sometimes coins will need only to have toning lightened to completely address a submitter's concerns. Sometimes only residues, such as PVC, are to be removed, leaving the color or toning on a coin untouched. Occasionally, only spots are to be eliminated, while leaving the remaining surfaces as they are.

Notes and concerns made by the submitter are also considered in the evaluation process. While notes are considered during the evaluation and conservation process, coins are evaluated to give the coin's best outcome based on the evaluator's professional opinion and experience.

Coins are then evaluated again by a conservator at the start of the conservation process. In cases where opinions differ on the best course of action for a coin, discussions between conservator and evaluator can result in the best outcome for the coin in question. Perhaps the toning is too attractive to remove. Maybe removal of a spot will leave an area of the coin that will appear different from the rest. These are situations that can change the evaluation of a coin once it is time to be conserved.

When a coin is submitted in a third party grading holder, the evaluation proceeds much in the same way as it does for raw coins. Coins will be looked at to determine the benefits of conservation as well as to what extent various techniques are to be performed. In addition, with certified coins, an attempt is made to predict what the coin might be like after conservation and whether it will still maintain its currently stated grade. If it appears that hairlines or contact marks, for example, may become more apparent after conservation, and thus result in a lower grade, a coin will not be conserved.

The evaluation is a crucial part of the goal of NCS to make numismatic treasures beautiful and stable for long-term storage.

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Coins of the Month
Conservation: 5071029-012

Sometimes the professional conservators at NCS can bring out the beauty from the beast. The “beast” in this case is an 1896 Quarter from the San Francisco Mint. The 1896-S 25c is one of the key coins in the Barber Quarter series with a mintage only about 5% of the Philadelphia Mint issue that same year. The ill effects of time and improper storage had built up on the surface of this coin to a point where many numismatists would find this piece to be more or less a filler in their collection until a nicer example became available. After careful removal of heavy residues through professional conservation, this coin becomes a “beauty.” Much to everyone's delight, this coin's residues were hiding proof-like fields. Following professional conservation at NCS, this coin graded MS-61 PL with NGC.

Coin of the month before
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Coin of the month after
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Encapsulation: 5080776-001

Often heralded as one of America's most beautiful coin designs, the $20 gold design created by Augustus St. Gaudens is popular with numismatists. The high-relief version of this design, produced in small numbers in 1907, is prized for its spectacular depth of relief for a production coin. Given this coin's desirability, many have unfortunately been the victim of amateur attempts to enhance its beauty, resulting in coins that are improperly cleaned. The improper cleaning will prevent the coin from being authenticated and encapsulated for optimum long-term storage and presentation in a holder by a major grading service such as NGC. NCS Details Grading holders, however, will allow a great beauty, such as this high relief St. Gaudens $20, to be authenticated and protected for future numismatists to enjoy.

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Submitters’ Corner

The current NCS submission forms include a new feature to add notes. Use this space to make any notes or concerns you wish to about your specific coin. If you would like certain spots addressed, prefer we leave color if possible, would like to holder your coin reverse forward, or any other concern about your coin, please use this space. This information is taken into consideration throughout the conservation process. We will continue to use our best professional judgment in absence of any notes. Contact NCS Customer Service to receive additional new forms.

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