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Certification Number – How to Verify Graded Coins

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek Notes …..

(n.)

A certification number is a unique identifier printed on a coin’s label on coins encapsulated by a third-party grading company, which identifies the coin in the respective company’s database and allows one to look up the coin to determine whether the coin is authentic and that the grade imprinted on the insert is correct.

CACG Format

Two CAC holders. The coin on the left features an "L", which denotes that the coin was crossed from a NGC or PCGS + CAC holder. Image: Stack's Bowers.
Two CAC holders. The coin on the left features an “L,” which denotes that the coin was crossed from an NGC or PCGS + CAC holder. Image: Stack’s Bowers.

CACG (Certified Acceptance Corporation Grading) uses a nine-digit sequence for its certification number. While difficult to read at a distance, this number is followed by a digit that indicates the coin number from the submission, and if the coin is being crossed from another service’s holder that was previously CAC-approved, an L denotes “Legacy”. The digits before the certification number indicate the coin’s sequence number in the CAC database, a period, and the coin’s assigned grade. The CACG format is quite similar to the one used by PCGS.

Click here: CACG Coin Lookup.

NGC Format

NGC Holders. Image: Heritage Auctions.
NGC Holders. Image: Heritage Auctions.

NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Company) uses a seven-digit certification number that identifies the invoice number of the submission and the sequence of each coin in that order. For the Barber half dollar pictured above on the left, the digits “3193674” represent the submission or order number, and the -002 indicates that this was the second coin graded from that order.

Click here: NGC Coin Lookup.

PCGS Format

PCGS Holders. Image: Heritage Auctions.
PCGS Holders. Image: Heritage Auctions.

PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) launched in February 1986 with a seven-digit certification number and switched to the current eight-digit certification number format in the mid-’90s. The font PCGS uses for its certification number is typically found on the front of the insert but occasionally appears on the back of some novelty inserts. The digits before the certification number indicate the coin’s sequence number in the PCGS database, a period, and the coin’s assigned grade.

Click here: PCGS Coin Lookup.

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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1 COMMENT

  1. What happened to the format that ANACS has. Why has The ANA forgotten their services and contributions to the coin collecting community?

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