In an attempt to try to boost their business, the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) has announced the launch of the “Everyman” category as part of their PCGS Set Registry competition. The main rule of the “Everyman” Collection are classic coins (mostly pre-1964) not grated higher than AU-58 by PCGS.

PCGS has been running their Set Registry since 2001. The PCGS Set Registry will only accept coins graded by PCGS. This is different from Numismatic Guarantee Corporation (NGC) whose registry competition will accept coins graded by NGC and PCGS. No other grading service offers registry sets.

While I do not begrudge PCGS for doing this, it seems like they have created a category for the “best of the rest.” Rather than compete for the best, you can compete for less than the best. It is like awarding someone for mediocrity. It reminds of the movie Meet the Fockers when Bernie (Dustin Hoffman) and Rozalin Focker (Barbara Streisand) were showing off fourth and fifth place ribbons and participation trophies to the over-acheiving Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro). As I am looking at PCGS’s announcement as if I was looking at it through the eyes of Jack Byrnes.

I am not against registry sets. After all, I have written about my sets and even wrote when a set was called a top ranking set because it became third in its category. By the way, that set is now second in its category!

But why have a second tier competition? The only reason I can think of is that PCGS is trying to encourage more people to submit their coins for grading. There may not be many more higher grade coins to encapsulate, so this could be a reason to encourage those with coins that were not considered cost effective to grade to be submitted.

Who am I to question capitalism? Let’s see how many circulated 1935 Mercury Dimes (valued at $11 in AU58 according to the PCGS price guide) will be submitted for grading at $15 per coin in order for them to be entered in an “Everyman” set.

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