NGC is going to Charge $5 Extra to put SH#’s on their Slabs

Jeff Shevlin · October 28, 2021

Things change. The unfortunate thing with many successful businesses is that as they grow profits become more important than good customer service. NGC is now going to charge an extra $5 for each So-Called Dollar to put an SH # on their slabs. HK #’s are free, as well as Baker #’s, Julian #’s, Musante #’s, in fact, they will put all three on one slab, for free, as long as it is not an SH #.

When asked why an extra $5 for an SH # the reply was: “It really makes things complicated”, “It is a lot of extra and UNNECESSARY work for each coin” and “We really don’t have the time for extra work unless it’s worth it”. Which means you need to pay us more for it to be worth it?

Of course, as knowledgeable collectors, we know that an SH # is no more difficult than any other number.

Neal Musante’s new book on Washington Medals, and his new numbering system, has become the new standard not only for collectors but also the auction firms and certification companies. Things do change.

So-Called Dollars used to be cataloged by Kenny numbers, based on Kenny’s landmark article published in the 1950’s. H&K numbers were popularized by the 1963 book by Hibler & Kappen and the 2008 re-print. Now we are in a transition to SH #’s for So-Called Dollars, for Shevlin & Hyder. All of the major grading firms, NGC, PCGS, ANACS and ICG have started to use SH #’s.

See the NGC slab to the left. NGC however is only putting part of the SH # on their slabs, they are leaving off the final letter which is the composition component, this is unfortunate for NGC as their “population report” will soon become meaningless to So-Called Dollar collectors.

Using the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition Official Medal as an example, the NGC holder says SH 18-1. NGC is omitting the final composition letter “BZ” for Bronze or “S” for Silver or “GP” for Gold-Plated. The label should say SH 18-1 BZ. This means that in the future collectors will no longer know what compositions are rarer than others. It would be the same as labeling them all with HK 399, regardless of whether they are silver, gold-plated or bronze. Collectors will not know how many were certified in silver, gold-plated or bronze. The NGC population report will become worthless to collectors. Fortunately the PCGS population report will identify each metal composition separately and it will become the only reliable population report for collectors of So-Called Dollars.

See the PCGS slab to the right. The SH 25-2 is followed by the composition, in this case Gilt Bronze.

NGC said I would need to pay them $5 extra to put the SH # on the slab, which I am unlikely to do, because they put HK #’s and dozens of other attribution #’s on for free. Why an extra $5 for an SH #? As the transition to SH#’s becomes the industry standard, fewer and fewer on my submittals for grading So-Called Dollars will be sent to NGC. That is unfortunate because NGC actually does a very good job of grading So-Called Dollars.

Things change. NGC started grading So-Called Dollars years before PCGS, but PCGS understands the importance of a meaningful population report for future So-Called Dollar collectors, and they don’t charge extra to put an SH# on their holders, and they put the complete SH# on their holders. You may have noticed an ever increasing percentage of my inventory is in PCGS and ANACS holders.

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