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Grading aids in coin recovery

Two proof Morgan dollars that were stolen from National Football League player Rob Gronkowski (a tight end with the New England Patriots) while he was playing in this year’s Super Bowl have been recovered thanks in part to the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and the Numismatic Crime Information Center (NCIC).

Because Gronkowski (known to fans as “Gronk”) retained the PCGS certificate numbers of the stolen coins, he was able to supply them to investigators, leading to arrests for his high-profile robbery case.


Police in Foxborough, Mass., had no leads in the case until Doug Davis, founder of the NCIC, shared a tip he received through the organization’s extensive network.

Gronkowski’s Morgan dollars, like all PCGS-graded coins, had unique PCGS certificate numbers.

As Gronkowski reported these to NCIC, the organization was able to work with local law enforcement, upstanding coin dealers, and PCGS to prevent the total loss of the rare and valuable coins, as well as Gronkowski’s other valuable collectibles.

A local coin dealer “…identified Mr. Gronkowski and other members of the household as victims and requested our assistance in possibly sending out an alert, since he was able to provide [PCGS] certification numbers on the two coins,” said Davis.

“Later, within 30 minutes of sending out the alert, I received a call from another dealer who advised he had the coins and [provided] the identity of the person who sold them.”

Without the coins’ PCGS certificate numbers, there may have been no further action. But the resulting police investigation led to the arrests of three suspects.

Mark Stephenson, Vice President of PCGS, a division of Collectors Universe (NASDAQ:CLCT), stated, “This is an example of our substantial efforts at work to protect a coin collector. In this situation, it happens to be a high-profile one, and we’re happy to assist Mr. Gronkowski. All PCGS coins like these receive the highest level of protection from the security measures we have in place, and we’re so pleased to play our part in recovering Mr. Gronkowski’s coins.”

PCGS and NCIC work together to promote security in numismatics. David Talk, PCGS Customer Service Manager, assisted NCIC’s Doug Davis in a seminar explaining PCGS security features to law enforcement and how to use them.

Of his experience, Talk said, “I think it was really enlightening and helpful for us to talk to law enforcement professionals. It was also gratifying to see investigators and law enforcement interested in learning and getting involved in protecting coin collectors and dealers.”

The important part played by the unique certificate number assigned to coins by PCGS cannot be overemphasized, reports PCGS officials. Collectors can go online anytime at to view these certifcations, identifying each coin that is graded by PCGS as authentic.

To find out more about what PCGS does to enhance the security of the coins it grades and authenticates, visit

For more information, visit or call 800-447-8848.

This article was originally printed in Coins Magazine. >> Subscribe today.

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