The Facts About Numismatic Conservation Services

Posted by Brian A. Silliman on 4/15/2002

Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) has been in business for more than one year, but is not the first conservation service available to the numismatic community.

The American Numismatic Association offered conservation as one of its member services. This service was discontinued in March of 2002 when the ANA named NCS as their official conservation service.

Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS) has been in business for more than one year, but is not the first conservation service available to the numismatic community.

The American Numismatic Association offered conservation as one of its member services. This service was discontinued in March of 2002 when the ANA named NCS as their official conservation service.

NCS is based in Sarasota, Florida where it operates a state of the art laboratory and employs experts in the fields of conservation and numismatics. Unlike other conservation services, NCS specializes in numismatic material. Collectors and dealers can submit all raw or certified coins, tokens and medals for evaluation and conservation.

NCS procedures remove foreign materials, toning (tarnish), residues and contaminants from the surfaces of coins, using a variety of non-abrasive chemical rinses, depending on the particular situation, while protecting the originality of the coin's surfaces.

NCS is NOT a coin "cleaning", "doctoring", "curating", or "restoration" service. NCS only conserves coins that it believes could benefit from conservation procedures. NCS DOES NOT re-engrave detail, re-color, artificially tone, fill contact marks, conceal hairlines, abrasively clean or participate in any other deceptive practices.

NCS is not an "UP-GRADE" service. Frequently, a coin's eye appeal will improve and in some cases the coin may grade higher, but this is not the basis of the service. Any submission that is received with requests "to conserve the coin so it will grader higher" is immediately rejected by NCS.

The fee schedule for NCS is calculated based on the value of the
item(s) and amount of work completed.

When coins are received they are evaluated. The evaluation team carefully examines the coins to determine what if any procedure is necessary. Evaluations are charged at 1% of declared value with a $5 minimum.

If a procedure is prescribed, the coin then goes on to conservation. Conservation is charged at a rate of 1.5% of declared value with a $5 minimum.

If selected, the submitter has the option of having his/her coins submitted directly to an NCS approved grading service for encapsulation after conservation. Presently, NGC is the only approved grading service.

Certified coins will not be removed from their holder unless evaluators feel the coins will at least maintain their current grade at NGC after conservation has been completed. While most coins remain the same grade, some may grade higher. However, when residues or toning are removed and the coin's surfaces become more visible, there is a chance that a coin may grade lower. NCS has developed techniques and expertise to avoid this, but it can and does happen.

To protect the submitter against loss, NCS offers Grade Protection. Grade Protection is available for an additional fee of 1% of declared value with a $5 minimum. If Grade Protection is selected and a coin grades lower at an NCS approved grading service, NCS will make up the difference as a result of the lower grade.

For more information about conservation and coins, refer to The
Conservation of Coins: a Buyer's Guide
. This booklet was produced by PNG, ICTA, NGC, PCGS and ICG.

For more information about cleaning and other surface problems, go to NGC's website to view a booklet on no-grade coins that has comprehensive information on a variety of surface problems. This e-booklet can be viewed here.

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