NGC Certified Gold Genuine
This service varies from NGC’s conventional numismatic services by using very accessible language to describe coins and their metal content specifically. As with other NGC services, once certified, coins are encapsulated in NGC’s archival-quality holder.
A major goal of the Genuine Gold Certification Service is to increase the availability of protection against the proliferation of counterfeit precious metal coinage. All coins certified under these programs are backed by a guarantee of authenticity from NGC. Additionally, all coins certified by NGC receive a unique serial number. This is important because it allows owners of certified coins to keep precise records of their holdings, even when coins are stored offsite or by a third-party depository.
NGC Certified Gold provides you with independent assurance of the metal content and genuineness of historic gold coins.
Coin Types and Attributions
Gold coins certified under this program are encapsulated in a sonically sealed holder, designed for safe long-term storage. Also enclosed within the holder is the certification label. The first line of the NGC Certified Gold label identifies the encapsulated coin. We use a standard format and language:
- COUNTRY OF ORIGIN — In most cases this is the sovereign authority that issued the coin.
- COIN DENOMINATION (FACE VALUE) — This is normally noted on the coin. For historic coins, when precious metals traded frequently in normal channels of commerce, this value represented its worth at the time it was struck.
- YEAR STRUCK — This is the date that appears on the coin and is almost always the date that the coin was struck. In some cases gold coins are struck later than the date shown on the coin; these coins are called restrikes, and the word RESTRIKE will appear in the coin description where applicable.
- MINT MARK (if applicable) — The mint where the coin was struck is noted if it appears on the coin.
- ASSAYER (if applicable) — The initials or monogram of the mint master(s) or individual(s) who oversaw production of coinage is noted if shown on the coin.
Metal Weight and Gold Fineness
NGC Certified Gold provides a description of the weight of the gold coin enclosed. Weight is shown in Troy Ounces, abbreviated Oz. on the certification label, which is the standard unit of measure for precious metals.
NGC Gold provides the actual weight of the gold present in the encapsulated coin as issued. Most historic gold coins were made in an alloy or mix of metals, and the actual gold weight must be calculated. For example, Saint-Gaudens $20 coins or Double Eagles struck from 1907 to 1933 are 90 percent gold and 10 percent copper by weight, or .900 fine gold. The coin’s total weight is 1.075 Troy Oz. Multiplying this number times the metal fineness tells us the weight of pure gold:
1.075 Troy Oz. × .900 fine = .968 pure gold
The value that appears on the NGC Certified Gold label is the most widely used and reported pure metal weight by industry experts for a coin of that type. The value provided is constant, and reflects metal weight for a generic example of the enclosed coin as issued. Actual metal content of the certified gold coins enclosed may vary because of natural variations in production and as a result of metal loss from circulation.
Grades Assigned by NGC Certified Gold
- AU (About Uncirculated) — Traces of light wear are evident on the high points of the coin’s design. Considerable original mint luster remains.
- XF (Extremely Fine) — Design features are well defined, although light wear is evident throughout, and original luster may be present only in the protected recesses of the coin.
- VF (Very Fine) — Major details of the coin are clear, although light wear is evident; the high points of the design show moderate wear.
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