These are the current top 4 (1st Tier) coin grading companies that I refer to as coin grading services since they offer coin grading to collectors and dealers alike. Anyone can be a coin grading company using their own label, holder, fake coins or over-graded coins to sell for profit but not offer the service to anyone else.
Collectors and dealers call these services TPG or TPGS which stands for Third Party Coin Grading Service. NGC and PCGS have comic book currency, baseball card and collectible grading services as well.
PCGS – Professional Coin Grading Service
PCGS was started by a group of rare coin dealers, lead by David Hall, in 1986 and currently just edges NGC as the leader in market value for coins in their holder. They were the first company to guarantee their grades and brought coin grading in plastic holders to the mainstream.
Located in Long Beach, CA
1 (800) 447-8848
Alan Hager of Accugrade (ACG) used plastic holder with a grade beginning in 1984 and some sources claimed that was the inspiration for PCGS’s plastic slab.
NGC – Numismatic Guarantee Corporation
NGC was founded in 1987 and in 1995 became the official coin grading service of the ANA (American Numismatic Association). PCGS might edge them in some value “categories” but the gap is extremely close between the two in all respects to coin grading and market value.
Located in Sarasota, FL
1-800-NGC-COIN toll free
ANACS – American Numismatic Association Certification Service
ANACS was founded by the ANA in 1972 do to the growing number of counterfeit coins being found on the market. They used a soft plastic photo-certification and only authenticated coins in the beginning.
In 1976 they begin using the ANA grading standard based on the Sheldon Scale of 1-70 with alpha acronyms like MS60 (Mint State) or VF25 (Very Fine). The photo-certs had a grade for the front and back of the coin. In 1989 they began using a hard plastic holder similar to NGC and PCGS.
ANACS doesn’t require a membership to submit coins.
Located in Englewood, CO
ICG – Independent Coin Grading
ICG was founded in 1998 under the idea that grading companies nor their graders should be dealers or buy and sell coins or should be affiliated with dealers. ICG doesn’t require a membership or a minimum on submissions.
ICG started with the idea that the graders should be as objective as possible when looking at a coin. The ownership of the coin should in no way influence the grade the coin receives, nor should the grader’s own motives impact it. At ICG you can trust that the graders and staff do not buy or sell coins, and will treat your coin as they would one from the most well known dealer in the industry. ICG website Quote
Located in Tampa, FL