The numismatic market was alarmed when eBay, an online auction website, sent its sellers an email notification on April 17 that stated that as of May 30, 2012, only coins that meet new grading requirements will be allowed to be listed or relisted with a numerical grade in the auction’s title and in the description.
According to eBay’s new rules, only coins authenticated and graded by Professional Coin Grading service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp will meet their new requirements. PCGS is located in California, while NGC is based in Florida. eBay’s notification further stated that U.S. coins that have a “Buy It Now” reserve, or start price of $2,500 or more will be required to be graded by third-party grading services that will meet eBay’s new standards. Currently only PCGS and NGC meet these new requirements.
ANACS has stated that it expects to meet the new standards by May 30, 2012. ANACS vice president of client relations and marketing announced that he was confident that ANACS would be able to address the new eBay requirements by May 30, 2012, with one exception which he considered to be a technicality.
The new requirements for the third-party grading that ANACs and other firms will need to meet are:
• Graded 50,000 or more pre-1956 coins.
• Have an online population report.
• Employ at least three numismatic expert graders, one of whom is a member of the Professional Numismatic Guild, and all are members of the American Numismatic Association.
• Buyback guarantee for coins that turn out to be counterfeit, damaged, misgraded, or misattributed.
• Coins must be slabbed in “unique, state-of-the-art, tamper-resistant holders with anti-counterfeiting measures.”
• The grading services must have an online verification of any unique serial numbers on its holders.
ANACS believes that they exceed any standards set with regard to the expertise of their coin graders. Currently ANACS does offer verification of unique serial numbers, but not on their website at the present moment. ANACS is in the final stages of offering serial number verification on their website.
The eBay email notification also stated that “Good Till Cancelled” listings will have until June 30 2012 to comply with the new policy and standards. Many eBay sellers have started to express their unhappiness with eBay’s new policy. Many question why these new standards are being established in the first place.