By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for Coinweek …….
Quality Assurance (QA) Check, one of the nation’s newest coin grade verification services, is seeing record growth in 2016. QA Check president James Sego has been criss-crossing the United States in recent months, attending coin shows and spreading the word about his growing service, which primarily handles modern coins. According to Sego, his service fills a void left by other services, such as Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC).
“We do not compete with CAC. We are an adjunct to them,” Sego explains. “Our series begin where CAC stops. For example, CAC grades Mercury dimes and stops [there] – we begin with Roosevelt dimes.”
QA Check was established in March 2015. Barely a year into its operation, the company has already evaluated 17,000 coins, with more than 6,000 submitted in January 2016. “February was a little off that record total,” Sego says. “However, we did receive over 3,000 coins in February.”
He’s excited about the interest he saw from coin dealers at the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) National Money Show in Dallas, Texas, in mid-March. “We had eight new dealer applications accepted during the show, bringing our total dealer count to 150 dealers,” Sego remarks. “We expected to have 150 dealers signed up during our first year, and we did exactly that. Thanks to all our dealers that have signed up and submitted coins.”
He says many dealers have signed up to submit large volumes of coins in the past few months, explaining the tremendous growth as of late.
“We had record submissions in the month of January, and are well ahead of last year’s submission rate. These event are just starting, so it’s too early to provide results.”
The increased exposure is translating to a growing market for Sego’s fledgling grading service, with QA Check coins showing up not just on eBay and other auction websites, but also in bricks-and-mortar coins shops.
“Dealers tell us that many of their customers are asking for QA-stickered coins because of the quality.”
With the increase in submissions, Sego and his team are seeing some interesting coins come into their grading room.
“We stickered a 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent in PCGS MS-67 Red – an exquisite example,” says Sego, whose service evaluates coins already encapsulated in slabs from leading third-party coin-grading services such as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). “We also stickered a 1938-D Jefferson Nickel in PCGS MS-68 Full Steps. Certainly one of the finest known Jeffersons to exist,” he says.
In fact, according to Sego, only four Jefferson nickels in the entire series have ever received a grade of MS-68 FS.
“We also stickered one of two known 1983 No-S Roosevelt dimes in PCGS Proof-70 Deep Cameo. It subsequently sold at GreatCollections for a record price – over $20,000 and 94 percent more than the previous known sale.”
While many stellar pieces have been submitted to his grading service in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, many of the eye-popping beauties Sego has examined have crossed his hands at coin shows.
“We had the coolest submissions during the FUN show,” he says, recalling the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) coin show held in Tampa, Florida, in early January 2016.
“Three of the four coins received a gold sticker, meaning ‘WOW’!” he says.
QA Check awards an array of stickers based on the quality of the coin, with the gold sticker representing coins of superior quality.
“To show how tough it is to get even one gold sticker, QA Check has only given the gold sticker to 18 coins out of 17,000 coins we have reviewed.”
QA Check Certified Coins Currently Available on eBay