So what is a Pedigree coin or currency? In my book I wrote:
“A Pedigree is a special designation given to a small percentage of coins and is marked on the label found above the coin.”
However, there are two points I did not cover and would like to expand upon them now. First, all Pedigrees will carry a story with them. Something happened in the past that earned them the right to be labeled as a Pedigree. There are phony labeled Pedigrees in the market and I will talk about them in a future blog. But the ones that are true Pedigrees always have a story associated with them.
Do coins have to be slabbed by a numismatic grading company like PCGS, NGC, ICG, etc. to be a Pedigree? No, but it sure adds a lot of protection for you. Especially as the Pedigreed coin changes hands. It is a form of “authentication insurance” for you. Here is an example of a Pedigree that was purchased raw in an auction, but later had the authentication applied. Gary Burghoff (the loveable company clerk in M*A*S*H) sold his collection that included non-graded coins through auction. The purchaser of several lots (John Burnett of Americash Jewelry & Coin in Westmont IL) kept the acquisition documentation and following the auction requested PCGS to authenticate and grade the coins. PCGS was accommodating thus protecting the authenticity and through John’s efforts, I now own a Burgoff 1889-CC Morgan silver dollar that is above dispute. If John would not have had this authentication protection applied, I would have a very difficult time selling the coin as a Pedigree and the value would be diminished.