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Certified Silver Coins
Certified silver coins are any coins that have been graded and authenticated by a major grading service like NGC or PCGS. Investors may prefer certified coins as they are guaranteed to be authentic, are typically in outstanding visual and aesthetic shape, and often are worth much more than just the silver contained in the coin.
The two main, trusted grading services are NGC and PCGS, and though their grading scales differ slightly, they both do excellent jobs of accurately describing the current condition of the coin being certified.
Whether your coin is certified by the NGC or PCGS it will be graded on a scale of 1 through 70; 1 being the worst condition and 70 being the most pristine. Accompanying each number grade will be a 1 to two letter adjectival prefix which gives the numerical grade a description. For example, a P grade on the NGC scale stands for a coin that is in “poor” condition, while MS stands for a coin that is in Mint State, or nearly flawless. The amount of scrutiny that certified coins go under is likely more than you could ever imagine as the condition of these coins is something that neither certification service takes lightly. Even the most minor signs of wear and tear can drastically alter the overall grade of your certified silver coin.
Both the NGC and PCGS, upon grading the coin, encase it in plastic as to preserve the grade and thus the condition of the coin. Along with this plastic case, often referred to as a slab, is a small paper insert which lists the name of the coin and the grade which it received. Additionally, you will find a barcode and serial number on the paper insert which allows you to verify the coin and its grade via either the PCGS or NGC’s website.
Once you receive your graded silver coin, it is highly recommended that you do not tamper with or attempt to remove it from its plastic slab as doing so will undoubtedly alter the actual condition, grade, and value of the coin.