NGC Launches World Coin Price Guide

June 2, 2011

In what can only be good news to collectors of world (non US) coins NGC has launched a comprehensive (and free) world coin price guide. NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation) is one of the big two third party grading companies (the other being PCGS) and has long had a better reputation for the grading of world coins. While this may have slipped in the last year or so as PCGS stepped up their world coin grading services they still clearly have a lot of knowledge outside of the US coin market.

The NGC World Coin price guide is an extremely valuable resource and as far as we can tell provides a pretty reasonable alternative to lugging around phone book sized copies of the various editions of Krause Publications "Standard Catalog of World Coins". It allows users to select coins by country, region within the country, and then denomination and year. Easier than this is a Search by Coin feature that allows you to type in a country, year and denomination. Some web-wizardry tries to match your search terms with coins in their database and then lists up alternatives you can select. We found this extremely easy to use and by far the easiest way of locating a particular coin.

The coins themselves are then split by Krause numbers (for example KM#1) which can then be selected and you will be presented with a mintage for each year of the Krause Number and a price guide based on coin grade. Grades use the Sheldon grading system so you'll have to have a working knowledge of that to make any real sense of the values. We should comment quickly on the values themselves, just like Krause they are a little hit and miss. The Australian coin prices seemed fairly reasonable with the odd coin being just 1/3-1/2 of the prices suggested in McDonalds Australian Coin and Banknotes Catalogue, but the values presented in that tome are often inaccurate too so we won't hold anything against NGC. A quick scan of prices for other world coins such as British West Africa and South Africa showed a similar under-valuation.

Regardless of the accuracy of the suggested prices this new guide is amazingly useful, with mintage information being very useful to get an idea of relative scarcity. The values themselves can also easily be compared to each other within the same country to also get an idea of scarcity. Certainly the collector at a coin show or in a coin shop with a web-enabled phone or tablet computer would do well to save the price guide link to their bookmarks for quick reference if they spot a potential bargain! A highly recommended tool.

Posted by mnemtsas at June 2, 2011 2:06 PM
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