NGC’s VarietyPlus Program Now Attributes World Coins

by on March 8, 2018 · 5 comments

NGC VarietyPlus website

A screen grab of NGC’s VarietyPlus online resource

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation’s VarietyPlus® service expanded March 1 to include world coins.

A variety is a coin that is distinguished by characteristics specific to the dies that struck it. The company’s VarietyPlus program launched in 1996, providing attribution services for US coin varieties.

Many varieties are highly collectible and can sell for multiples of other coins with the same date and mintmark combination. For example, the price for a 1942/1 Mercury Dime, a variety where the 2 in the date is punched over a 1, can be several hundred times more than the price for a 1942 Mercury Dime without the overdate.

Varieties include overdates and over-mintmarks, repunched dates and repunched mintmarks, doubled dies and coins with other distinctive die-specific features. Many varieties have been extensively studied and cataloged in specialized reference books. Ambitious collectors might seek to obtain not just one example of each date issued, but one example of each known variety. For example, collectors of Early American Large Cents often try to collect one example of each Sheldon variety — varieties that were originally cataloged by Dr. William Sheldon.

NGC attributes varieties that it considers to be significant and widely collected under its VarietyPlus program. More than 10,000 varieties are now attributed by NGC, all of them listed in its online resource located at This resource has been recently updated to be easier to search and use on smartphone and tablets.

Certain variety attributions are performed by NGC automatically for no additional charge, while others require a request and an additional $15 fee. Visit prior to submitting to confirm whether your coin is an eligible variety and, if so, whether it requires a request and an additional $15 fee.

"NGC’s VarietyPlus program provides collectors and dealers with a more nuanced coin description that can often add interest and value," says Rick Montgomery, NGC President. "The expansion to world coins supports NGC’s position as the market leader in world coin certification services."

If your coin is a variety recognized by NGC on request, select the "VarietyPlus" add-on service on the NGC Submission Form and check the "VarietyPlus" box next to the appropriate coin. If you know the coin’s variety, you can enter it in the space provided, but that is not required. In all cases, NGC will verify the attribution and, if the variety is recognized by NGC, print the attribution on the NGC certification label.

If your coin is a variety that is not currently recognized by NGC, you can send high resolution images of it to NGC Customer Service at to find out whether it might be eligible in the future. Determination of recognized varieties and the appropriate attribution is at NGC’s sole discretion. NGC expects many more world coin varieties will be added to its VarietyPlus program and online resource over time.

For information about NGC and its grading services, visit

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Mouse March 8, 2018 at 11:16 am

Great article and service (free for the consumer). I do like the fact that the coins are not refereed to as error coins. Some variety coins are nice to have labeled for educational purposes.

When it comes to an error coin / I personally do not consider a coin an error until verified as such by the issuing mint / not a grader or grading company.


Old Collector March 8, 2018 at 1:30 pm


I totally agree with the stipulation you provide/assert in your last sentence regarding error coins; the issuing facility should quite reasonably, after all, be expected to be the final arbiter of its own minting errors.

Old Collector & Coin Inspector

Old Collector March 9, 2018 at 11:09 pm

Variety Haiku

Obverse on the back,
reverse on the front, how are
you supposed to tell?

Old Collector

Seth Riesling March 10, 2018 at 6:48 am

Old Collector –

Fun with words! True though. For example: the silver, gold & platinum China panda legal tender coins (not their panda show medals) have a panda design on one side & the Temple of Heaven on the other side. But, the China Mint considers the panda side to be officially the reverse side & the Temple the obverse side (many collectors think the panda design is the obverse). All the grading services put the coin in the holder with the reverse facing on the front of the slab instead of the customary way of facing the obverse of a coin on the front side of a slab. Strange for sure. A communist People’s Republic of China numismatic plot to overthrow the “Western way”?!

Happy collecting!


Old Collector March 10, 2018 at 9:25 pm

Seth Riesling,

I quite honestly didn’t for a second imagine that someone would (or even could) actually come up with a true-to-life anecdotal doppelganger to my twisty little haiku, but surprise surprise, you’ve just now gone and done it, and in what I would definitely consider to be record time!
That is really a great story, and I think it’s all the more fascinating because it involves some unexpected but now seemingly inevitable real-world consequences, the results of which admittedly strike me as being more than just a bit hilarious at that. Here, after all, is a case of switched/swapped obverses and reverses, complicated by the fact that at the moment there doesn’t appear to be the slightest hint of any sort of workable and/or tangible solution and/or correction anywhere on the horizon.
It is indeed a most puzzling situation, one with a truly peculiar outcome and an even more bizarre “resolution”, if we could even dare to call it that!

Old Collector

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