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CheerioCoins's Blog

16 Aug 2022

Symbols and Stickers on Graded Coins

| CheerioCoins

Have you ever seen an NGC graded coin with a little star on it and wondered what that meant? Well, this blog is to explain what those little symbols or stickers mean to clear up any confusion. There are many misconceptions on these coins and I would like to let you know what they are. Some of you probably know most of these.


Star:

I'm pretty sure that stars are only given on NGC coins and most times not even given. This little star next to the grade means that it has exceptional eye-appeal for its grade. So it could be a Morgan dollar with outstanding toning for its grade or a silver world coin with a mirror like surface.Any coin like that would be given a Star by graders.


Plus:

Just like Stars, I'm pretty sure the plus can only be given to NGC slabs and plus's are given a little bit more than stars. Plus's are kind of like CAC stickers, (which I will talk about later) although CAC is a completely different company. Plus's are given when a coin is on the higher end of the grade it is given. MS64 for example is a pretty wide grade if you asked an NGC grader so plus's are given when the coin is basically better than most coins in that grade. Kind of like giving a ½ grade like MS64 ½ but instead just adding a Plus to it.


PL and SP:

There are not just PF/PR and MS if you haven't noticed, there are also PL and SP. PL stands for proof like, which means that the coin is not a proof but it has the appearance of a proof coin. There is also DMPL which means Deep Mirror Proof-Like and is usually given to Morgan Dollars, kind of like DCAM on actual proof coins. SP is a little bit more complex than PL. In past generations, some coins were described as Proofs by dealers and catalogers. These coins weren't actually proof coins, so these would-be Proof coins have become accepted under the term "Specimen".


CAC Stickers:

You may see a little green, shiny sticker on graded coins that says "CAC". These little CAC stickers are referred to as "green beans" signify that the coin is on the higher end of its grade. So maybe a coin is graded MS62 and I send it in to CAC and they give it a CAC sticker, this means that the coin is MS62 ½ just like Plus's. There are also gold CAC stickers that are given very rarely that mean that the coin would be a solid next grade up. So if I had an AU55 coin that had a gold CAC sticker it would be a solid AU58. All of this is the opinion of people at CAC, and grades given are all opinions of graders from PCGS, NGC, ANACS, ICG, ect. So always keep that in mind too!


Thanks for reading my blog and have a great day!


CheerioCoins


Comments

It's Mokie

Level 6

I am wondering if anyone has seen a Plus or Starred slab with a CAC Gold Sticker.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Further thought. Ain't all the little doohickeys they put on tpg just jazzing up the price artificially so a pore dumb collector such as I will give up the cash? Just sayin'

Kepi

Level 6

That's too funny! haha ; )

Long Beard

Level 5

While I understand the whole star/plus/cac designations, you summed up my long held belief. It is solely another's opinion. Even as I have many, none with CAC, my eye appeal will always differ from the grader's. You are correct, Star-NGC and Plus- PCGS exclusives. This also applies to First Day and Early Release designations. A legal thing. Either way, I have not and will not pay the exuberant premium for these.

AC coin$

Level 6

Great certified coins .

Kepi

Level 6

Great job on describing all the special symbols and abbreviations on labels! It can get kinda of confusing. ; )

CheerioCoins

Level 5

Yeah.

Longstrider

Level 6

Good job on clarifying these additions. I wonder if this is another reason to go with a new grading scale. Sorry folks but that is the first thing I think of. Lets not forget smaller companies stickers like the Eagle Eye and other ones. Thanks.

Rebelfire76

Level 4

This is great clarification on slabs, and what some key differences are that collectors looks for. Further, the explanations on why these “extras” exist help to educate those who might not know otherwise. For example, I’ve seen the DMPL abbreviation on some Morgans, I wasn’t sure what that indicated, but now I do. Thanks Cheerio.

CheerioCoins

Level 5

Yeah.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

You have clarified the muddy roiling waters! Thanks

CheerioCoins

Level 5

No problem.

CoinHunter

Level 5

Nice blog! Actually, the plus can be on NGC and PCGS slabs (like that Lincoln Cent in your first photo)

CheerioCoins

Level 5

Thanks, oh.

Mike

Level 7

Good I formation . Yes I do I read the NGC site along time ago. But there are many who get confused with this. If you were to lift up the shield label you would see another on the left ,its an anti counterfeiting label . I never knew that.Were still learning after all these years. Thanks for clearing up some of these. Again good information for us all.

user_39492

Level 3

Nice blog,thanks for the info about the CAC stickers because I'm thinking of sending a couple of mine off. Those are some beautiful coins as well (I'm a big Ben fan).

CheerioCoins

Level 5

Thanks.

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