Posted on February 20, 2023
For the first time since its founding in 1987, the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation is moving its certification process toward a new scale. Since the 1940s, coin grading has taken place using a 70-point scale developed by Dr. William Sheldon. Modern collectors have become accustomed to the use of this scale in which 70 represents a perfect coin and the most common grade aside from this is the near-perfect 69. With the release of its NGCX scale, the NGC is embarking on a new era of coin certification.
The NGCX scale from the NGC will exist alongside the current 70-point scale but will offer a grading system that is more familiar to hobby collectors for items such as comic books, video games, and trading cards. The system offers a scale that, on the surface, runs from 10 down to 1. However, within this, there is a more minute grading system.
The following offers a point-based breakdown of the new NGCX scale:
From a grade of 8, the scale will feature half-grades from 7.5 on down to 1. Within that top field, you will find a lot of the same qualifications. A coin graded 10 is a pristine specimen with no imperfections post-production that are visible at 5 times magnification. A 9.9 coin is fully struck and has nearly imperceptible imperfections. As you move down, a 9.5 coin is very well-struck and has minimal marks or hairlines.
All modern bullion coins minted from 1982 to present qualify for certification within the NGCX program. This includes the most popular coin programs in the world like the American Gold Eagle and the American Silver Eagle.
The NGC will not abandon the use of the Sheldon numerical scale. Instead, the NGC will offer both certification scales for collectors. NGCX and the traditional 70-point scale will coexist in its library, and the use of labels such as First Day of Issue, Early Release, and Ultra-Cameo will continue to feature on BU and proof coins alike that are graded with the new NGCX program.
When it comes to the 10-point NGCX scale and the existing 70-point scale, there is no difference in the quality of the grades. A 10 on the NGCX scale equates to a 70 on the Sheldon scale, with both grades representing perfect coins with no imperfections post-production. Similarly, 9.9 on the NGCX scale equates to a 69 on the Sheldon scale.
In the future, NGCX coins will begin arriving at online precious metals retailers. Once they do, collectors can familiarize themselves more with the new grading system and its scale. JM Bullion customer service is available to assist you with any questions at 800-276-6508, online using our live chat, and via our email address.