By CoinWeek Staff Reports …..
PCGS announced on Tuesday that it has ended its business relationship with K3B, Inc., a Peoria, Illinois company that operated under the trademark and brand PCGS Currency.
The announcement came as unexpected news to the numismatic community as K3B has been grading notes under the PCGS Currency brand since February 2009 and no mention of a potential split was apparent at the recently concluded Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Show, where PCGS Currency was still conducting business.
K3B is operated by paper money authentication expert Jason Bradford.
According to a statement prepared by PCGS, the agreement between Collectors Universe (NASDAQ: CLCT) and K3B terminated on January 30, 2019. After this date, K3B was no longer authorized to holder notes using the “PCGS Currency” brand name. Collectors Universe is currently in the process of reacquiring the PCGS Currency website, which at the time of publication was not accessible.
In a conversation with PCGS President Brett Charville on Tuesday, CoinWeek Editor Charles Morgan was told that the company is exploring its options for grading paper money at its California offices, but that the company was not yet ready to make an official announcement.
PCGS last graded paper money at its California offices in 2009, but currently grades paper money at its European and Asian offices under the brand PCGS Gold Shield. Charville says that this program will be unaffected by the news.
Paper money graded as part of the PCGS Gold Shield program is easily discernable from those graded up to January 30, 2009, under the PCGS Currency name. The shell and labels of the PCGS Gold Shield notes are distinctive; the label appears inside the plastic shell and features a number of anti-counterfeiting features. PCGS Currency labels used an adhesive backing that was affixed to the outside of the holder.
Status of PCGS Currency Submissions and Authenticity Guaranty
Many orders submitted to PCGS Currency that were not graded before January 30, 2019 remain with Bradford, who, according to a Press Release published today, will reach out to customers to inform them about the status of their submissions. Collectors will have the opportunity to have their notes returned or graded by Bradford’s new service, Legacy Currency Grading.
On the issue of the PCGS Currency authentication guaranty, it is important for collectors to note that Collectors Universe guaranteed notes graded up until February 4, 2009, and K3B guaranteed notes graded through the end of January. Collectors Universe continues to guarantee notes that PCGS graded in-house, while Bradford states that his new company will honor the PCGS Currency guaranty through his new company.
Legacy Currency Grading will also continue to use the population report data it maintained while doing business as PCGS Currency and add to these totals notes graded by its new service. It is also offering PCGS Currency collectors a discounted “crossover” service if they’d prefer to have their notes graded by Legacy Currency Grading.
Offering a similar service is Sarasota, Florida-based Paper Money Guaranty (PMG), which announced on Tuesday that it, too, would offer a crossover service for notes graded by PCGS Currency.