Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Dear XXXXX,Thank you for your answer unfortunately it is little incomplete. First do you think it would be necessary for me to get a Lawyer to help me file and then possibly represent me just in case they still don't comply to the membership agreement? If I do need a Lawyer would a Lawyer then be willing to accept a case such as this one, only on a contingency basis? If a think that there would be a Lawyer that would be willing to accept a case such as this one on a contingency basis. Then I would like to ask you sir, are willing to accept this case then as my representative in this matter?
Dear XXXXX,I am not sure if your advice is the right course to take here. Filling a lawsuit against "The Biggest Coin Grading Company" in the world and to do it by myself would be like commiting suicide. Don't you think that a Billion Dollar Company as big as PCGS most likely could afford to hire the best Lawyers in their field? Did you even consider that their member agreement might have some sort of an "Escape Clause"? I am sure that just filing the suit won't be as easy as you made uit sound like. Things could get complicated very fast. What if I lose the case in the Lawsuit and then they turn around and charge me or their legal fees? I could imagine myself in the middle of the court hearing the Judge to decide in their favor and I am there standing just stunned by the decision with no Lawyer to back me up. That's just crazy.
Okay before I decide to rate your answers can you please read the whole membership agreement first and see if their is any escape clause, loop hole, or other requirement that I might have possibly over looked that they can use against me in case they do decide to go to court with this.
PCGS guarantees that all United States and World coins submitted to it shall be graded in accordance with the PCGS grading standards and under the procedures of PCGS. In addition;
In the event the purchaser of a PCGS graded coin believes that the coin has been overgraded with respect to such standards and procedures, or is non-authentic, he may submit such coin to PCGS through the PCGS "Guarantee Resubmission" procedures and PCGS will re-examine coin to determine the coin's grade and authenticity.
If the grade determined under such "Guarantee Resubmission" procedures is lower than the grade originally assigned to the coin, or if the coin is found to be misattributed, non-authentic, PCGS shall pay the current market value for the coin in question at the originally assigned grade, or at the owner of the coin's option, the difference between the current market value for the coin in question at the newly established grade and the current market value of the coin in question at the grade originally assigned. PCGS will also refund the regrading fee and postage and insurance costs incurred by the coin owner in sending the coin to PCGS. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT PCGS WILL BE THE SOLE DETERMINER OF THE CURRENT MARKET VALUE OF THE COIN AND THAT CURRENT MARKET VALUE IS DEFINED AS DEALER REPLACEMENT VALUE, I.E. THE PRICE A DEALER WOULD MOST LIKELY HAVE TO PAY TO REPLACE THE COIN.
VERY IMPORTANT: CUSTOMER HEREBY CONSENTS TO PERSONAL JURISDICTION OF THE COURTS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA WITH RESPECT TO ANY LEGAL ACTION TO ENFORCE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OR OTHERWISE ARISING UNDER OR WITH RESPECT TO THIS GUARANTEE, AND AGREES THAT THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF ORANGE, OR, IF APPLICABLE, FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT SITTING IN THE COUNTY OF ORANGE, STATE OF CALIFORNIA, SHALL BE THE SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE VENUE, AND THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA SHALL BE THE SOLE FORUM, FOR THE BRINGING OF SUCH ACTION. THE PCGS GRADING GUARANTEE DOES NOT APPLY TO ANY CLAIMS BROUGHT OUTSIDE OF THE COURTS OF ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA.
This guarantee shall not apply to any coin as to which an obvious clerical error has been made with respect to the description of the coin. This guarantee shall also not apply to any coin which has been removed from the PCGS holder or any coin for which the PCGS holder shows evidence of tampering. This guarantee shall not apply to any coin which has been environmentally damaged due to improper storage or natural disasters such as fire and flood. Further, this guarantee shall not apply to coins exhibiting environmental deterioration subsequent to certification, including spotting on modern silver coins.
How to Use the PCGS Guarantee
If you have a coin that you feel is overgraded or counterfeit, call PCGS Customer Service and they will help you fill out the proper submission forms. For approximate turnaround times, please ask a PCGS Customer Service Representative. After PCGS examines your coin, if PCGS feels your coin has been overgraded or is counterfeit, you will be contacted by phone or email and given the current market values so you can decide which of the repayment options you wish to use. If PCGS determines that the original grade is correct, your coin will be returned to you with the original grade and you will be responsible for the regrading fee and postage charges.
What the PCGS Guarantee Does Not Cover
The following is further explanation of what the PCGS Guarantee does not cover.
Clerical or "mechanical" errors. PCGS occasionally makes clerical errors in inputting data which is shown on the insert in the PCGS holder; consequently the PCGS Guarantee does not cover obvious clerical errors, what we call "mechanical errors." The key concept is how obvious the error is to the naked eye. If you can easily tell just by looking at the coin that the description on the holder is wrong, then the coin/holder combination is not covered by the PCGS Guarantee. Examples would include the following:
Coins Removed From PCGS Holders. The PCGS Guarantee does not apply to coins removed from PCGS holders. There are no exceptions to this policy. You remove a coin from a PCGS holder at your risk.
Coins that have tampered holders. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous people occasionally try to defraud people by removing coins from PCGS holders, replacing them with less valuable coins and then resealing the holders. Most of these "reholders" are crude and obvious. Some are more sophisticated. The PCGS Guarantee does not apply to coins that are in holders that have been tampered with. Nor does the PCGS guarantee cover coins in counterfeit PCGS holders.
Coins that have been tampered with inside the PCGS holder. Some unscrupulous people try to alter the appearance of coins within the PCGS holder. For example, they may heat a holder and/or blow chemicals into the holder in order to change the color or toning of a coin. The artificial look is obvious and such altered coins are not covered by the PCGS Guarantee.
Coins that are environmentally damaged. The PCGS holder, while excellent for long term storage and protection, does not protect coins from harsh environmental conditions. Consequently, the PCGS Guarantee does not apply to coins which have been environmentally damaged. For example, if your coins are damaged in a flood or fire, the PCGS Guarantee would not apply to those coins. This also applies to copper coins stored in environmentally risky locations (high humidity, see next paragraph.)
Coins exhibiting environmental deterioration. The PCGS Guarantee does not apply to coins exhibiting environmental deterioration subsequent to PCGS grading and encapsulation. This deterioration may include, but is not limited to, spotting, hazing, PVC contamination, changes in color, and corrosion.
IMPORTANT: Because the color and surfaces of copper coins can change due to environmental factors, including weather and improper storage, PCGS does not guarantee against changes in the color of copper coins, or against copper spotting subsequent to grading and encapsulation by PCGS.
Changes in a coin's status in the PCGS Set Registry. The PCGS Set Registry occasionally makes changes in set composition. Coins are sometimes added to certain sets and coins are sometimes dropped from certain sets. PCGS does not guarantee that any coin you buy will remain part of any set in the PCGS Set Registry.
Changes in a coin's numismatic status. The PCGS guarantee does not cover changes in a coin's status in the numismatic community. For example, in the 1980's, there was a variety of the 1942 Denver Walking Liberty half dollar that was considered an over-mint mark. This coin was known as a 1942-D/S. Subsequent research has revealed that the coin is actually a re-punched mint mark and it is now referred to as a 1942-D/D. The PCGS guarantee does not cover any change in value due to a change in a coin's status. The following is a list of some (but not all) of the coins that are currently subject to research and would not be covered by the PCGS guarantee if their status was changed:
1856 Flying Eagle cent. The current view is that some 1856 Flying Eagles cents are proofs and some are regular strikes. It is possible that research may one day show that all 1856 Flying Eagle cents are proofs.
1831 half cent. This issue is currently viewed as having been struck as both proofs and regular strikes. There is a chance this view will change as it is possible that all 1831 half cents are proofs.
1849 J.H. Bowie Territorial coins. The current view is that these issues are genuine California Territorial issues. It is possible that research will show they were made at a later date.
Territorial patterns and bars. This is a very esoteric area and subject to continuous research and some controversy. PCGS does not guarantee the status or authenticity of Territorial patterns and bars. We will grade them however, and do our best to authenticate them, but we do not guarantee their authenticity.
1841 $2.5 Liberty. Recent research has caused many experts to conclude that both proof and circulation strike 1841 Quarter Eagles were minted. On February 7, 2012, PCGS began certifying some 1841 Quarter Eagles as circulation strikes. Should further research determine that all 1841 Quarter Eagles are proofs, their change in status would not be covered by the PCGS grading guarantee.
Gobrecht dollars. Research as to which issues are the so-called "originals" and which are the so-called "restrikes" is continuing. There is a chance that various issues in this series would have their status changed in the future.
1852 proof half cents. Do "originals" exist? This is a question currently being researched. The same could be said for other 1850-1853 issues in various denominations, and actually many pre-1858 proofs.
Private Strikes and Restrikes
Numismatists have collected non-official coins for many years. These non-official issues include coins struck from original dies, altered original dies, copy dies, transfer dies, or even hub impressions. In some instances the coins were struck in good faith to serve collector needs for rarities. In some cases these coins were struck as forgeries to deceive collectors.
PCGS grades these non-official issues as a service to the numismatic community. The holders will indicate “original dies”, “altered original dies”, “copy dies”' or “transfer dies” as is appropriate for the coin involved. The holder will also indicate the actual, or approximate, date of striking. We use the following definitions, and note that future research may necessitate changes in categories, additions, and/or deletions from the lists below.
Private (Fantasy) Strike: A coin struck outside of the United States Mint, Colonial mint, or Territorial mint, from either original dies, copy, altered original dies, copy dies, transfer dies, or even hub impressions. These include the so-called Fugio Restrikes 1804 cents from altered genuine dies, Bashlow Confederate cents, etc.
Private Restrike: A coin struck outside of the United States Mint, Colonial mint, or Territorial mint, from original dies. These include the 1823 large cents, Haseltine Confederate cents, Scott Confederate half dollars, Proof Bechtler half eagles, etc.
Original Dies: Dies used to strike the original coins. Sometimes the reverse die is a mismatched original die, for example, the 1823 original restrike large cent uses the original 1823 obverse die and a leftover original 1813 reverse die.
Altered Original Dies: Dies made from original dies that have been modified to create a different issue (i.e. 1804 so-called Restrikes cents struck from a discarded 1803 obverse).
Copy Dies: Dies made at some point after the original dies that imitate the original dies, but differ slightly in detail.
Transfer Dies: Dies made from either the original dies (i.e. Bashlow Confederate cents) or from an original coin (i.e. 1861 Clark Gruber double eagles).
Private Strikes and Restrikes currently recognized by PCGS
American Plantation 1/24 Real Restrike (original dies, Struck circa 1860s) so-called Restrike from original, sometimes broken and rusted dies
1787 Fugio Coppers (Copy Dies, Struck circa 1860s) so-called New Haven Restrikes from copy dies, struck privately circa 1850s.
1796 “Edwards Copy” Half Cent (copy dies, Struck prior to 1865) privately made copy
1811 1/2C (Original Dies, Struck circa 1860s) so-called Restrike half cent from original dies, rusted, obverse of 1811 with 1800 reverse, struck privately circa 1860s.
1804 1C (Altered Original Dies, Struck circa 1860s) so-called Restrike large cent from original dies, rusted, obverse altered from an 1803, 1820 reverse, struck privately circa 1860s.
1810 Large Cent Restrike in Tin (Original Dies, Struck circa 1860s) so-called Restrike from original, rusted 1810 obverse and a rusted 1820 reverse
1823 1C (Original Dies, Struck circa 1860s) so-called Restrike large cent from original dies, rusted dies, polished, obverse of 1823 with an 1813 reverse, struck privately circa 1860s in copper and silver.
1861 Confederate Restrike 1C (Original Dies, Struck 1874) Restrike of Lovett's Confederate cent from original dies, later cracking, struck by John Haseltine in 1874 (55 copper, 12 silver, 7 gold before cracking).
1861 Confederate Strike 1C (Transfer Dies, Struck 1950s) so-called second Restrike, but actually a private strike of Lovett's Confederate cent from transfer dies, struck by Robert Bashlow circa 1950s in gold, silver, copper, and white metal.
1861 Confederate Restrike 50C (Original Dies, Struck 1879) so-called Restrike of the Confederate half dollar from 1861-dated Federal half dollars, reverses planed down with original Confederate reverse die by Scott Stamp and Coin in 1879.
Mass and Cal $5 (Copy Dies, Struck circa 1900s) so-called Restrike half eagles from copy dies, struck privately circa 1900s.
Bechtler Restrike $5 (Original Dies, Struck circa 1900s) half eagle from original dies, polished, struck privately in the US Mint on planchets supplied by the Henry Chapman circa 1908
1849 Oregon Restrike $5 and $10 (Original Dies, Struck 1961) half eagle and eagle from original dies, sometimes with a small shield with a K (for Klein Jewelers) struck privately in 1961 in gold, copper (half eagle only), and white metal (per Don Kagin, these might not exist).
(1861) J.J. Conway Restrike $2 ½ and $10 (Original Dies, Struck 1956) quarter eagle and eagle from original dies, struck privately in 1956 in goldine.
1862 J. & R. Smith/J.J. Conway Restrike $5 (Original Dies, Struck 1956) half eagle from original dies, obverse of J & R Smith with J.J. Conway reverse, struck privately in 1956 in goldine.
1850 Baldwin & Co. (Horseman) $10 (Copy Dies, Struck circa 1900s) Baldwin eagle with Horseman from copy dies, struck privately circa early 1900s.
1861 Clark Gruber $20 (Transfer Dies, Struck circa 1960s) double eagle overstrike forgeries on various genuine coins from transfer dies, struck privately circa 1960s.
1853 Assay $20 (Transfer Dies, Struck circa 1960s) double eagle forgeries from transfer dies, struck privately circa 1960s.
Richard,No the coin holder was not tampered with in anyway it is still in the same condition as I have received it from them. Although they are saying that the error falls in the the category of "Clerical or Mechanical Error". You see this is what I believe their 'escape clause". Please read this section again.
You see Richard they are saying that the "Error" was an obvious error therefore it falls in the category of "Mechanical Error". (Escape clause).If it is an obvious error. But their definition of the word obvious is kinda vague. they didn't consider it to clearly. The question in my is obvious to whom? To the person who is not experience with coins the "arrows" wouldn't be obvious at all. Now I have been collecting coins for many years and i know that there are many types of arrows that are on many different coins. so which arrows are they talking about when they graded my coin? Is one of the questions? There could be arrows on the reverse usually clutched by an eagle or there could also be arrows on the date.To an inexperienced coin collector this could un clear therefore not to "obvious". Then there is also the possibility that even what is "obvious" to one person wouldn't be not to "obvious" to another different person. Plus there is also the term that "It is the obvious that we always overlook". And another term is "We usually miss what was right under very nose". Do you get the idea now? This is what I am currently worried about that they would say that when they made the mistake of saying on the label that there are "No Arrows" although there are arrows and you can see them very clearly on the coin. Then their escape clause would fall into play. Now do you see what I meant by "Escape Clause"?
Dear XXXXX, Thank you for taking time to read all of my letters and giving me your valuable advice. But before I give you my rating I just have one last question if I do decide to file a Law Suit against PCGS can do it in our location? The reason O am asking you this quest is because of this specific section of the Agreement. So please read it. VERY IMPORTANT: CUSTOMER HEREBY CONSENTS TO PERSONAL JURISDICTION OF THE COURTS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA WITH RESPECT TO ANY LEGAL ACTION TO ENFORCE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OR OTHERWISE ARISING UNDER OR WITH RESPECT TO THIS GUARANTEE, AND AGREES THAT THE SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF ORANGE, OR, IF APPLICABLE, FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT SITTING IN THE COUNTY OF ORANGE, STATE OF CALIFORNIA, SHALL BE THE SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE VENUE, AND THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA SHALL BE THE SOLE FORUM, FOR THE BRINGING OF SUCH ACTION. THE PCGS GRADING GUARANTEE DOES NOT APPLY TO ANY CLAIMS BROUGHT OUTSIDE OF THE COURTS OF ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA.
Would it be advisable to just report this issue to the Attorney General of California and file a "Class Action Lawsuit" instead on behalf of all the other members of PCGS that have had similar experience as I had. You see I have a feeling that this type of "ERROR" or mistake is not just an isolated incident. I think this is not the first that they have done this type of intimidation towards their member who have had similar experience to what I am going through now. I say this because of how the PCGS Membership Agreement is writ designed ten. It sure seems to me that when it was written it was on purposely for incident such as what happened to me. With all of the millions of coins that PCGS has graded surely this was not the first time that they have committed this type of mistake before.
Richard,Please read my question again , because you obviously didn't answer my last question or concern. Would it be advisable to just report this issue to the Attorney General of California and file a "Class Action Lawsuit" against PCGS instead. It seems like it would be a more appropriate action to take not just for myself but also on behalf of all the other members of PCGS that have been victimized or intimidated by them as well. I am sure there are a lot that had similar experience as I had. You see after reading the agreement several times it sure looks like they were anticipating that something like this type of "ERROR" or mistake has happened many times before. This is obviously not just an isolated incident. Since they are doing this to me isn't it possible that they have done this type of intimidation towards their other members too who have had coins that were miss graded as well. I say this because of how the PCGS Membership Agreement was written and designed. It sure seems to me that when it was written like foor for the sole purpose to have an "escape clause" purposely for for incidents such as what happened to me. With all of the millions of coins that PCGS has graded before surely this was not the first time that they have committed this type of mistake and then also used this type of intimidation of their members. They don't want to accept that they can make a mistake and this is why this type of "error" would happen over and over again. The first step in correcting a mistake is to accept that you have made one in the first place. If the mistake could be accepted by the one who committed then that mistake would be avoided in the first place.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).