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.
Is it dangerous to read too much into these facts, or is this a sign of trouble, do you think? This hobby is custom-designed, apparently, for clashes of egos. Partnerships seem to form and dissolve based on little more than wounded feelings sometimes.
This company (formerly PCGS Currency, now Legacy Currency Grading), has had my six figures worth of notes since July (seven months!). Despite repeated requests, they refuse to return them. If I want to see my notes again, it looks as though I will have to go to federal law enforcement authorities such as the FBI or postal inspectors. I was able to dispute the $2,200 in credit card charges for the certification fees, but I want my notes back! I doubt that this firm will ever restore its reputation after treating its customers so miserably. Other customers have told me that they have waited over a year for their notes’ return. What other company would makes its customers wait that long for such a simple service?
UPDATE: I finally received my notes back (uncertified, of course) after seven frustrating months of waiting. But what a terrible experience! Seven months of worrying just to get my raw notes back and I’m out $200 in postage incurred to ship the notes to them. I will never deal with this Jason Bradford or his firms ever again. And I shall no longer buy any notes certified by his firms.
So there’s at least one other major firm, right? What happens if (when) they mess something up? These are human beings handling lots of shipments. Things happen. They offered to do your certifications under the Legacy brand, but you had probably already been sent to the “return them” pile.
The “other major firm” has never messed up anything in my dealings with them. My longest wait was slightly more than a month. But PCGS Currency has made several of my friends wait up to a YEAR or more. I doubt that Jason Bradford’s Legacy Currency Grading will ever successfully compete with the “other major firm” due to Bradford’s prior firm’s long delays. However, I have heard that Collectors Universe is seriously considering a resurrection of PCGS Currency, which should prove a worthy adversary.
Seems to me that Legacy/PCGS Currency has been making a living off of the PCGS brand rather than their service. That squares with my own experience on the coin side of the business. I honestly don’t get what people see in PCGS. I know what I see – surly customer service and an “insider vs. outside”r zeitgeist you can drive an 18-wheeler through. If you’re not part of their little incestuous “insider club”, you don’t count for anything.
i can not believe this is going on with this company,and their reply if any is we are reaching out to customers,that is crap,they have my currency,and i want it back ,what a line of bs.never again
Please do not expect any help from the PNG. They had the audacity to reinstate Jason Bradford as a member despite valid complaints.
Do we know if anyone has received their notes graded by Legacy. I contacted Legacy regarding notes submitted that still haven’t received back.They confirmed that my submission was received by them and told me turn around time is 10 to 12 weeks. Im still waiting.
Why would you even want Legacy to certify your notes? Their notes are not even being accepted by Ebay or the largest auction companies. I doubt that Jason Bradford will ever be able to come back from the PCGS Currency disaster that HE caused.
And “10 to 12 weeks” equals more than a year in Jason Bradford’s universe, from what friends have told me. They made me wait a staggering eight months just to receive back my uncertified notes, which would have taken far longer had I not threatened to pursue criminal charges.
And Jason Bradford and company still refuse to refund my four figures in certification fees, despite legal threats. At this point, you will be lucky to get your notes back at all, certified or not. Bradford’s arrogance and dishonesty are off the charts. Only the most naive among us would even want to deal with him now.
It is hard to believe that at one point Bradford was a high-ranking employee of the world’s largest and most prestigious collectibles auction house. Apparently, he ignored everything that they taught him.
UPDATE FROM MY PRIOR POSTS:
PCGS Currency apparently had the nerve to dispute my credit card disputes for $2,000-plus in unearned fees and won because the dispute window had elapsed. Now Jason Bradford and his partners in slime get to steal my $2,000 with zero repercussions. Incredibly, Bradford was reinstated to the PNG. Then again, the PNG allows convicted felons to remain members, so it should not be a surprise at all given that Bradford has not been convicted of anything as far as I know. So much for the PNG policing coin and currency dealers. Watch this comment get deleted for daring to expose a crooked dealer who pays to advertise on this website.
UPDATE #2 FROM MY PRIOR POSTS:
Jason Bradford finally sent me a $2,000-plus refund in the form of a check, which bounced. Incredibly, Bradford is still listed as a member of the PNG, which is supposed to expel unethical dealers. Do NOT deal with Jason Bradford, Legacy Currency Grading, or any of his other companies because you might become his next victim.