HomeSilver BullionSilver CoinsSilver American EaglesNGC Graded Silver American Eagles
NGC Graded Silver Eagles are the official 1 troy oz silver bullion coin of the United States. Because of their certification, Silver Eagles remain relatively liquid. This liquidity combined with their low entry cost makes them a popular choice for collectors and investors alike.
NGC stands for the Numismatic Grading Corporation. Numismatics is simply the collection and study of currency, including bullion, coins, and bills. Founded in 1987, the NGC provides consistent, accurate, and objective coin grading. Through their commitment to excellence, knowledge, and integrity, the rare coin market is now more stable than ever before.
Silver Eagle Coins were first produced by the United States Mint in November 1986. They are guaranteed by the U.S. Mint to be exactly one troy ounce of 99.9% pure silver. Silver Eagles have a nominal face value of one dollar, but their intrinsic value, that is, the value of the silver, is much higher, and their collector value is often higher still. The intrinsic value depends on the current spot price of silver, while the collectors value is determined by a coin’s scarcity and condition.
First, coins are entered into the NGC database, barcoded, and stored in the NGC vault until a coin grader is available. The coin in question is then compared to public references to see if it qualifies as a specific type (a Silver Eagle, for example). If the coin matches the reference, the grader makes a note in the coin’s record.
The NGC takes great pride in the accuracy and integrity of its grades, and has several policies in place to ensure their grades are consistent. For example, all work on a coin is done without knowledge of the submitter, and each coin is graded by at least two professional numismatists, who cannot be involved in buying or selling coins. These two or more coin graders work separately, entering their scores into the NGC system.
The NGC’s numeric and adjectival grading system is universally accepted within the coin trading community. Here are the available grades:
• MS 60-70 — Uncirculated (Mint State)
• AU 50, 53, 55, 58 — About Uncirculated
• XF 40, 45 — Extremely Fine
• VF 20, 25, 30, 35 — Very Fine
• F 12, 15 — Fine
• VG 8, 10 — Very Good
• G 4, 6 — Good
• AG 3 — About Good
• FA 2 — Fair
• PR 1 — Poor
Note: a perfect score, MS 70, means that no post-production defects were detected at 5x magnification. Also know that proof coins use the same system, but are designated with the prefix PF.
The most collectible grades are, of course, the uncirculated and proof coins. From 1986 through 2008, the United States Mint sold Proof American Silver Eagles to the public at a fixed price. Packaged in a plastic capsule, these coins were then mounted in a satin-lined presentation case. Buyers were also provided with a certificate of authenticity.
Uncirculated Silver Eagles were sold to the public from 2006-2008. These coins were also encased in plastic; however, they came in a velvet bag instead of a presentation case. Special issue coins and sets are still sold by the United States Mint.
Investors prefer Graded American Silver Eagles over raw silver because they have two reputable guarantees for the coin’s value. First, the United States Mint guarantees the purity and weight of the coin. Second, NGC guarantees that the coin is, in fact, an American Silver Eagle and indicates the coin’s specific condition.
When a commodity undergoes that much scrutiny, investors feel they can trust what they’re getting. This results in a stable, safe investing environment.
After the numismatics grade a Silver Eagle and enter the information into NGC’s database, the coin gets taken from NGC’s grading department to its Encapsulation Department. The Encapsulation Department prints out a label with the following information: the mintmarks (if any), the coin’s date, variety (American Silver Eagle), denomination, grade, special designation (things like FBL, or Full Band Lines), and the coin’s identification number.
The identification number is particularly important because it makes each coin unique. It also helps deter counterfeiting. All of this information is also printed in barcode form, which is then placed under the certification label.
After matching coin to label, the Graded Silver Eagle is then placed inside a plastic core, which secures them within a transparent slab. Finally, before sealing the slab with compression and ultra sonic vibration, the NGC cleans the coin with a burst of compressed air.