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The term "NGC Authenticated" on an ancient


maridvnvm
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I recently saw a coin listed on ebay with the term "NGC Authenticated" in the heading but the body of the advert goes into some more detail "Roman Antioch Nero, AD 54-68 NGC Authenticated AR Tetradrachm Yrs.7 & (AD 60/1) Tooled" and shows that the coin was not slabbed but returned to the seller in a flip with an NGC label highlighting the word "TOOLED". The seller is asking an eye watering amount for the coin in question. 

The coin as been assessed by NGC as being tooled and not slabbed. Do people think this is a deliberate attempt to mislead?

I have no interest in the coin itself just saw it whilst browsing. Thoughts?

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Possibly, but also possible the seller just isn't knowledgeable. It would seem deceptive and incorrect. Honestly, though, I might interpret a "tooled" return as meaning "we think it's genuine but tooled." I could be wrong, haven't checked what NGC says about those returned tooled. But I think the phrase "NGC Authenticated" probably has a very strict meaning, and to use it in a commercial advertisement I'm sure one is expected to abide by NGC's definitions (they have some rather onerous conditions that I don't think are reasonable, at least not unless you're the one who directly submitted the coin and entered into a contract with them, such as returning the label or telling them every time you remove a coin from encapsulation).

"Bad faith" or ignorance, this seller is certainly not being reasonable.

Edited by Curtis JJ
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Yes, this is very misleading.  NGC does NOT authenticate but does not slab fakes.  What does that mean?  It's a legal distinction:  they do not guarantee any ancient coin for liability purposes.  That is another topic of course but in this case one has to understand their slabbing policies.  I think that in the past they would slab some questionable coins but no longer.  You would have to contact them but I think anything with altered surfaces are not slabbed, and this can include patina.  I sold a customer a nice Agrippina sestertius that was returned as it was re-patinated.  I took it back of course and added it to my collection as its a fantastic coin.  

Generally speaking though, tooled coins are despised by most Americans but are most frequently accepted by Europeans and those new to the hobby.  And of course I apologize to my brethren across the pond, but its true, most tooled coins are sold there.

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10 hours ago, SimonW said:

Yes, they do slab fakes, just not on purpose. In the german Numismatikforum a member has just recentyl posted two

I think that's clearly what Ken meant (not on purpose), but thanks for sharing those. I've seen Barry Murphy acknowledge that NGC had slabbed some fakes in the past, but that the ones pointed out to him were from the pre-Vagi-Murphy era. I'd be shocked if there weren't any NGC slabbed fakes at all (that would be inconceivable under any circumstances besides rejecting all but those with the most secure histories).

But I'm curious to know if there's any information about when those ones were slabbed? Unfortunately NGC ancients doesn't seem to have changed appearance much, unlike some other companies which can be dated by appearance. Do they use sequential numbers like some of the others (e.g. one can determine how early a PCGS coin is by how low the number)? (Some collectors may be surprised to learn there are people who collect different types of slabs and interesting varieties of encapsulation, almost completely irrespective of the coins within.)

Incidentally, I had one of the coins from one of the first- ever batches of slabbed ancient coins.  The Joseph Seventko collection sold at Heritage 296 in 2002 (the very beginning of Heritag's adventure in slabbing), a sale used to heavily market ICG's new ancient encapsulation service with full-page ads in The Celator.

I still have the coin but opened it since it was poorly done and prevented me from finding additional provenance (which I then did, to Athena Fund, part II). I halfway regret cracking that one. 

I have another for which NGC photographed it for the website then somehow accidentally switched tags with another one, so it's slabbed with the wrong label! 

(I was thinking about a new post on those & a couple similar stories, at some point.)

Edited by Curtis JJ
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7 hours ago, Curtis JJ said:

I think that's clearly what Ken meant (not on purpose), but thanks for sharing those.

I am sure that's what Ken meant. But I find it highly important to stress that there is no certainty or guarantee with slabs (although the name Numismatic Guaranty Company says so). Slabing an ancient coin is basically just getting a paid opinion (usually a good one, though), nothing more.

7 hours ago, Curtis JJ said:

But I'm curious to know if there's any information about when those ones were slabbed?

I don't know about the first link, but the one in my second link above was slabbed in 2021:

https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=7922678
https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?id=8979394

Edited by SimonW
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Getting back to the original question, the problem in my opinion is largely semantic and of NGC's own making. NGC Ancients holds out its acceptance of a coin for certification as an implicit opinion of authenticity but not a legal guarantee. From the NGC website:

"Authenticity — NGC Ancients will only grade coins that it believes to be genuine. Authenticity and attribution represent the opinion of NGC Ancients and are not guaranteed, nor is any guarantee implied."

Interestingly, the coin in question is not graded (because of tooling?) or encapsulated but has a label and certification number. Is it therefore "NGC authenticated"? Does lack of a grade nullify the implicit opinion of authenticity?  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

https://www.ngccoin.com/certlookup/6555225-003/NGCAncients/

Image courtesy ebay / livermorecoinandbullion.

s-l1600.jpg

Edited by DLTcoins
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That is interesting. You're right, seeing that image with that tag makes it much more ambiguous. (EDITED: It DOES appear on NGC Lookup, no photos.) I agree that there may be a sense in which it's a semantic question, since I would interpret the whole scenario as indicating NGC thought it was genuine, but tooled. (Or, since the determined it was tooled, maybe they didn't even check whether it was genuine at that point, thus never reaching an opinion on authenticity?)

I don't recall right now whether a number and bar code are assigned to the coins rejected as "not genuine" or undetermined.

1 hour ago, DLTcoins said:

the coin in question is not graded (because of tooling?) or encapsulated but has a label and certification number. Is it therefore "NGC authenticated"? Does lack of a grade nullify the implicit opinion of authenticity?

Lack of grade doesn't nullify it. There are NGC Ancients in slabs with no grade whatsoever, just a brief identification/description. I think that may be the cheapest service, just slabbing it if they think it's authentic. Not sure if there are any special conditions required. (In some ways, I prefer those ones, since the letter grade isn't the service I'm interested in, just getting an additional professional opinion on authenticity.)

Edit: You can see some of them here, scroll down the list a bit to see full slab photos: https://www.acsearch.info/search.html?term=NGC+ungraded&category=1

Edited by Curtis JJ
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28 minutes ago, DLTcoins said:

It worked for me. Did you try the link in my previous post?

Oh, you're right! When I tried entering it manually I was typing 255 instead of 225. (Guess I immediately forgot you'd put a link in there, or maybe I thought it was the link where the photo came from.) Yeah, that is really complicated, knowing that can look it up in the NGC certification database!!!

Edited by Curtis JJ
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