Ever wonder why PCGS coins carry such a higher premium than their closest competitor NGC???
I worte a smaller article prior touching on this subject, but now I am going to go indepth, and try to touch on the key points that drive PCGS coins to higher premium.
First of all, PCGS made themselves elite, and they have NEVER sold out like other companies, and what I mean by that is giving into collectors or dealers... Here are 4 personal opinions on why PCGS is elite in the industry....
1. PCGS registry sets are exactly that, ALL PCGS coins. PCGS does not allow NGC coins to be loaded into their registry sets, while NGC does, and I have even heard that NGC is going to allow ANACS coins into their registry as well in the near future. What this does in general is turn the PCGS registry into a elite country club, forcing member to pay the higher premiums for bragging rights within the registry. Of course this is going to attract much larger dealers and collectors into the system, which is going to cause such companies as Heritage coins to report higher premiums for PCGS coins sold, making their demand higher within the industry for realized prices. This inturn sets a trend pattern for higher values for PCGS graded coin, so people naturally charge more because they know they can get it.
2. This pattern of higher premiums usually is noticed in coins graded MS65 and above... WHY??? Well in numbers wise, PCGS has 5 - 7% less graded coins in MS 65 or above than NGC across the boards. This mean rarity to collectors. Although there are many exceptions on a individual coin basis, the bottomline number is what matters to collectors. It means that in buying a PCGS coin, the quality is going to be higher because they are more strict in their higher tere grading specifications.(NOT ALWAYS MIGHT I ADD). So statistically speaking, if you have a NGC graded coin in MS66, and you sent it to PCGS for cross-over, 2 out 10 times you have NO chance of it crossing, 2 out 6 times of it will crossing over, and 1 out of 68 times of it upgrading(this is compared to NGC). Alot of collectors complain, that PCGS grades lower just to keep this elite image, and at the same time keep the value of the coins high for dealer premiums. By not matching higher grades consistantly, they keep the population of the higher grade coin lower, inturn keeping them rare.
3. It has been my experience personally, that PCGS will not upgrade a coin from a competitor. I have reciepts that I have tried on 29 occasions now to have a coin upgraded thru PCGS from NGC, NOT ONE HAS POPPED! To upgraded a coin from a competitor would be admitting that your standards are less for a higher grade, PCGS likes their image to much I suppose. I have had 4 out of about 16 submitted raw though after I broke them out of NGC holders that were upgraded.. Although only 25% success, it still tells a story to me. By doing this though, they are telling the coin industry as a whole, that if you don't buy PCGS coins, dont think we are going allow you to profit any more.... Crude but shrude I suppose.
And last but not least....
4. PCGS allows for specialized designators... For instance: Ohama Bank Hoard, and the Seirra Collection.. This has allowed collectors to add a little extra story and rarity to their collections. Although you might have a coin that had 20 million minted, if one of these specialized collections hits the market with only 20 available, it adds a premium to the coin. SO you have a NGC 66 that is beautiful blast white, but I have a PCGS 66 from the Omaha Bank Hoard, now I have a story behind my coin, and collectors will pay for that rarity and selectibility. PCGS has found ways throughout its history to add value to it's coins while appealing to both dealers and collectors. In this same category to, PCGS does not handle cleaned coins (OR CLEAN THEM) or give in between grades. It is like seeing a NGC 66 star designator, meaning that it is in MS 66, but has superior eye appeal........... Are you kidding me here, is it 66 or 67 man, and who determines what superior eye appeal is anyways. Just because NGC likes it, does that mean everyone does. At PCGS, you get a SOLID graded coin, if it is MS 65, then they state that, and if it is MS 66, then they say that too. PCGS doesnt say it is a MS 65 1/2...... This just gives the collector a assurance that the grade given it how to judge the coin, and there is never a doubt.
Let me close by saying I am truly a non-bias dealer/collector here. I am a member of both, and use the NGC for my registry coins, because I like to build a set on my personal preference, rather NGC or PCGS. So NGC allows me to build a registry set on my own standards, and doesnt restrict me to buying NGC coins. But in the same token, you have to respect the industry leader in PCGS for basically saying out loud, "WE ARE THE INDUSTRY LEADER AND NO ONE COMPARES" So you can see how PCGS can be a friend or a foe during different situations, but in the end, you have to respect the company, and at the same time respect why people decide to pay the higher premiums to attain their coins.