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Grading: Three Strikes, You’re Out

By Kurt R. Hartzog

I would like to add my comment about coin grading services. I have used one service due to the convenience of having them at a coin show and submitting the coins directly to them. I am a collector, and from time to time I do run across that gem that I think is worthy of getting graded. I have used this service and have had three problems and will no longer consider sending anything out for grading.

Problem one was a 1795 Wurzburg 3 kreuzer KM# 446 error. When it was returned, it was listed as the non-error coin. I had to resubmit the coin with a copy of the Krause page where the coin was listed to prove to them it was an error. Should they not have had this resource on hand?

Problem number two was a 1948 5-peso coin of Mexico, in what I have been told is an error due to having been struck in copper-nickel rather than silver. They simply graded the coin and returned it to me. No comment on the possibility of being struck with the wrong metal. I again sent it back by way of their representative at a coin show, and he made extra notations on the form for me. Coin was returned to me, graded only and two points off from the first grade. Again, no mention of possible off metal.

The third and truly final strike was when I submitted six coins including an 8 real from Oaxaca that was counter stamped. Beautiful coin in near uncirculated condition and admired by all that saw it. When I filled out the submission form, I did not realize at the time that I had grossly under-valued the coin. About seven months after I submitted the coins, I called the company to ask about the delay and was told they were packing them and would ship in a day or two. I did receive five coins and an invoice for five coins. No mention of coin number six from Oaxaca. I called the office and was told they would have to return my call after they checked into the discrepancy. After a couple of days, I again called them and was transferred to a supposed higher-up in the company. This person explained that the coin was sent to another person for grading, and it was lost in the mail and since it was such an inconvenience to me they would double the value I submitted and promptly send me a check for the coin. I did receive a check for what I valued the coin on the form, not doubled. I attempted several times to again speak to this person, but I would be told he was busy or out of the office and he never returned any messages.

That will end my attempt to have any coin graded by any service. If you want to send, one please be careful and make sure you cross all your T’s.

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