Even though two coins may appear to have the same problem,
the procedure undertaken to produce the best results
may be different for each coin depending on the underlying
surfaces. Knowing this, the NCS Evaluation and Conservation
Team not only identifies the problem, but also carefully
analyzes the condition and originality of the surface
underneath. The condition of the coin's surface will
not only affect the outcome of the conservation procedure,
but also the appearance and grade of the coin after
Our evaluators have authenticated and graded millions
of coins as collectors, dealers, numismatic conservators
and professional graders, and apply this knowledge and
experience to consistently judge what coins need and
may benefit from conservation. This puts us in an exclusive
category and is one of the reasons we are the recognized
authority in numismatic conservation.
Few people have the experience to do this consistently,
which is why NCS relies on an Evaluation Team that consists
of the most knowledgeable and experienced numismatists
in the hobby today. Our Evaluation Team includes two
NGC Grading Finalizers who act as consultants and bring
decades of experience to the table. The NCS Team are
the foremost experts in the minting process, grading,
numismatic conservation and most importantly, assessing
Having the experience to know what coins need and will
benefit from conservation makes all the difference and
is why NCS has grown rapidly and gained immediate recognition.
There is a correct way to handle your coins for a reason.
Our hands contain body oils, which can be acidic. There
are also a variety of other elements that we have come
in contact with that, when transferred to the coin by
improper handling, can cause permanent damage to a coin's
surface. It is amazing how many coins we see at NCS
with fingerprints. They not only make the coin unsightly,
but also may permanently etch its surface if left untreated.
The best way to deal with fingerprints is to avoid putting
them on your coins... but accidents do occur.
If caught when they are fresh, fingerprints can be
removed from a coin's surface. When removing fingerprints
from a coin, use the mildest treatment possible. This
will keep the coin in its most natural state of preservation
and reduce the chances of damaging the coin's original
surfaces or natural color. There is a big difference
between submerging a coin in a solution and rubbing
its surface with an abrasive chemical. There is a possibility
of leaving hairlines on its surface if some dislodged
grit is pushed around with the chemicals.
As a fingerprint's residues mature, they will "set"
on the coin. In these cases, a mild acidic dip may be
needed to remove it. If caught in time, and done professionally,
there will be no trace of the print remaining and the
coin can be returned to its original appearance. It
is also extremely important to properly neutralize the
coin to lessen the chances of problems developing in
the future. In spite of what you may have read before,
a few submersions in a very mild acidic solution may
have no visible effect on a coin's originality, if they
are performed properly and neutralized immediately.
However, do not attempt this on copper coins.
If fingerprint residues are allowed to remain on a
coin, they may actually etch the surface. Once this
has occurred, it is virtually impossible to remove it
without abrasive cleaning or stronger acids, which will
almost certainly damage the coin. The etched surface
cannot be restored and will be dull and lifeless. In
these cases, the cleaning can be easily detected.
When in doubt about the removal of any contaminant
or foreign material from a coin, consult a professional.
The damage that can result from improper
cleaning is almost always irreversible.
Before and After
To view more Before and After photographs, visit our
Gallery at www.NCSCoin.com
NCS To Prescreen NGC Token Submissions
Since November of 2001, NGC has been accepting Hard
Times and Civil War tokens for authentication and grading.
This new addition to the NGC line-up of material they
will certify has proven to be a very popular service.
as submissions of tokens have increased, NGC has noted
that an alarming number of tokens display surface contaminants
such as oily residues, waxes and PVC from years of improper
handling and storage that, in some cases, results in
the token being ineligible for certification. To minimize
the number of tokens that would otherwise be rejected
for certification due to residues, NCS has been enlisted
to prescreen all token submissions that are received.
As part of this agreement, NCS will prescreen all tokens
submitted to NGC to determine if conservation treatment
may be beneficial to the token's state of preservation
and eligibility for grading. Should specimens be found
in need of residue removal, NCS will contact the submitter
and give them the option of having the token conserved
at a discounted rate.
feel this token prescreen service will be very beneficial
to persons who collect or deal in tokens. Anyone who
collects this type of material knows how often they
display various surface contaminants," says Brian
Silliman of NCS. "By doing this, we are able to
better serve collectors and dealers, but more importantly
we are helping preserve this very important segment
of our cultural and numismatic history."
Presently, NGC accepts Hard Times tokens as listed
in the Rulau Reference and Civil War Store Cards and
Patriotic tokens as listed in the Fuld References, but
has plans to develop this tier to include more material
in the future.
Collectors and dealers should submit their tokens to
NGC under the token tier, and NGC will make sure the
tokens are prescreened. No NCS paperwork is required.
Only those specimens that will benefit from conservation
will be selected, and no procedure will be undertaken
without the consent of the submitter.
For information on the NGC token tier, contact NGC
customer service at 1-800-NGC-COIN.