PCGS Secure Plus…The Big One

Posted on March 29, 2010 by

We announced a bunch of new things at the ANA show in Fort Worth, Texas last week…on March 25 to be exact. If you didn’t get the news yet there’s a video on the PCGS home page.

Basically, there are three new things we’re doing. First, we’ve formalized guidelines for how eye appeal effects grade (Chck out the cool images on the PCGS home page.) Second, we’re gone to “plus” grading to help the market recognize what we’ve all known for years, i.e. that high end coins are worth more and are recognizablly different. Finally, we now have a process, computer software and laser imaging, that can regognize coins we’ve seen before.

The feedback from people at the coin show who either saw the new coins, had some coins graded, or bought some coins was extremely positive. People like the idea that some of their coins are worth more money and those who truly understand the “Secure” part of the deal are excited about what it will do in terms of dealing with coin doctoring and gradeflation.


The feedback from those not at the show…message boards, etc…has been mixed. Some of you just aren’t getting this. First…as Don Willis said, “This is the first day…it will evolve.” Second, as I said, “This is the a first step, a first huge step.” The plus part is great and everyone will benefit. But the real meat of the new deal is the Secure part. We will use technology to improve the coin market…how coins are graded and how they are bought and sold. Watch what happens in the next year or two. The coin market is in a pretty good place and it’s going to get even better.

Filed Under: News

Comments (3)


  1. Congrats on the “Big One ” !!
    I will continue to buy and sell 99% PCGS coins.
    I will be sending in many coins for the secure service this week !
    Keep up the good work !

  2. Steve Huggins says:

    Looking forward to getting some in my Registry Sets…!!!
    Technology has caught up with coin collecting, thanks…

  3. Art Scott says:

    To whom it may concerned, I’ve been collecting coins for rougly 39 years now and seriously collecting them, as well as learning about grading for the last 15 years. I started reading about grading through Coin World and Coin Values magazines as well as buying each years Red book and Blue book. Perhaps 5 years ago I bought “the Official American Numismatic Association Grading Standards for US Coins”, and I found it truily amazing how far off your definition of certain grades are as compared to the ANA. Needless to say, this leads to extreme confusion amongst those of us who are trying to figure out how to grade a coin which is obviously mint state–the only question then is exactly how am I, as an individual, supposed to send in a coin, say an MS66 or MS67?? To the naked eye, even someone like me who has a combat pilot’s vision (20/12, 20/10, R/L respectively) can’t tell the difference. I took the same two coins and used a 20x loupe and still couldn’t see for the life of me what made one coin a 66 and the other a 67. I can only take a wild guess and think I need to buy a 200x or better coin binocular microscope and then when looking at them I’ll see a difference. Given I do that, I would still be wondering what makes up the difference between all coins from, say, AU55 on up, especially. The ANA guide does the best it can considering their aim is only to give you a basic idea of the grade, but that leaves people like myself really in the dark when, for instance, I would like to submit a group of 50 quarters, all of which I believe are in the area of MS69 as I looked at them with my 30x loupe. When I get them back, sure, my bill for grading is reduced by say, $4/coin, but in this example, let’s suppose the grader finds the first quarter to be an MS60, the 2nd to be an MS62, the next an MS69, and yet another MS65 and so on, will they continue to grade each coin by itself, and will they be fair? Or are they going to just grade the whole roll based on the first coin found? Or worse yet, will they then be prejudiced against me as a club member because I wasn’t able to properly gauge the difference between MS65,66,67,68,69,and 70? In the prior example would they then grade everything as an MS-60 just to save time?

    I really want to do my best to learn to grade coins per your standards so when I send you a coin I can be certain i’m at worst, say, +/- 2, and at best, perhaps +/- 1/2 (or a + in your new lingo).

    Is there any way my coin collecting club here in New Tampa might be able to obtain a guide with highly blown up digital photos of, say, each of the modern US coins graded in each and every individual grade from MS50-70 and then AG3,G4,VG8,F12,F+16,VF20, VF+25 VF++30 EF- 35, EF40, EF+45 EF++49 or some such? If I did the work (the photographing, organizing, tracking down the coins, etc…), and presented the work to the powers that be at PCGS, would you consider reviewing and see if you agree? I promise, I would only produce such a guide strictly with your grading standards in mind and to help people like me who want to be as upfront and honest with you. You see, I have 20-30 uncirculated sets ordered from the US mint, 2 or 3, maybe 4 of which have never been opened. The coins which have never been touched by human hands ought be perfect one would think, but how am I to know at what grade I should submit it? It’s maddening! Can anyone help?

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