Is 2021 the year that everyone became a collector? Never in the history of collectibles has there been such interest, and the enthusiasm for collecting continues to grow. Amid this surge, the Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®) companies certified over 9 million collectibles – one every 3.5 seconds. By adding value, liquidity and confidence, CCG’s expert authentication, grading and encapsulation services helped propel the collectibles markets to new heights.
The CCG companies have now certified nearly 70 million coins, banknotes, comic books, trading cards, sports cards, stamps and other collectibles. To meet the increased demand for expert authentication and grading, CCG added more than 200 employees in 2021, bringing its total worldwide to more than 600 people. CCG also added significantly more space, expanding its Florida headquarters from about 60,000 square feet to more than 100,000 square feet. CCG’s branches in the UK, Germany and China also saw tremendous growth.
“Collectibles exploded in popularity at the start of the pandemic, and they’ve continued to thrive,” said Steven R. Eichenbaum, CEO of the Certified Collectibles Group. “In more than 30 years, we have never seen anything like the interest that we are experiencing right now.” Here are some highlights from the incredible year.
Numismatic Guaranty Company
Numismatic Guaranty Company™ (NGC®) is the CCG affiliate that certifies coins, tokens and medals. NGC certified 4.9 million coins, tokens and medals in 2021, bringing its total to over 52 million. Amazingly, 16 NGC-certified coins sold for prices over $1 million during the year. They include a Brasher Doubloon that sold for $9.36 million at a Heritage Auctions sale in January.
Meanwhile, an NGC-certified Edward VIII Pattern sold for a seven-digit amount twice – $2.28 million in March and then $2.45 million October – setting a record both times.
Paper Money Guaranty
The CCG affiliate that certifies banknotes and other collectible paper money, Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®), certified 1.3 million collectibles in 2021, bringing its total to nearly 7 million. A PMG-certified error note (called the “Del Monte” note because of the banana sticker that somehow became affixed to the note between printings) sold for $396,000 at a Heritage Auctions sale in January 2021.
Certified Guaranty Company
Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®), the CCG affiliate that certifies comic books, trading cards, magazines, concert posters and other pop culture collectibles, certified 2.5 million collectibles in 2021. In September, a CGC-certified Amazing Fantasy #15 shattered the record for most expensive comic book ever sold at auction, realizing $3.6 million.
CGC Trading Cards™ is a division of CGC that specializes in trading cards. Launched in July 2020, CGC Trading Cards has already certified more than 1 million trading cards, demonstrating how quickly collectors and dealers embraced its services. In January, a CGC Trading Cards-certified Test Print Blastoise sold for $360,000 at a Heritage Auctions sale. The result set a record for an English Pokémon card.
Certified Sports Guaranty
Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®) is the CCG affiliate that certifies sports cards. Launched in early 2021, CSG has now certified more than 600,000 cards. The first card that CSG certified was this rare LeBron James card from the 2003-04 Topps Chrome Refractor set. It realized $98,100 in March.
Authenticated Stamp Guaranty
Authenticated Stamp Guaranty® (ASG®) is the CCG affiliate that certifies stamps. ASG was launched in 2017 and continues to expand its team. ASG has certified many of the great rarities of Chinese philately, including a rare block of Military Stamps.
Collectibles Authentication Guaranty
Collectibles Authentication Guaranty® (CAG®) has certified the provenance of many historic items, including thousands of space artifacts from the Armstrong Family Collection that were saved by the family of Neil Armstrong. In November, a CAG-certified American flag that went along on the historic Apollo 11 moon mission realized $275,000 at a Heritage Auctions sale.
NCS and CCS
Numismatic Conservation Services™ (NCS®) and Classic Collectible Services® (CCS®) continue to be the world’s first and foremost professional conservation and preservation services for coins and comic books, respectively. With the help of NCS and CCS, many collectibles have benefited from improved eye appeal and better long-term protection.
Soar With CCG
Demand is expected to remain strong for the expert authentication, grading and encapsulation services that the CCG companies provide. Keep up with the latest CCG news in this dynamic collectibles market. Join more than 250,000 followers on social media and sign up to receive updates by email of NGC, PMG, CGC, CSG, ASG and CAG.
Want to soar with CCG? Dozens of career opportunities are available among its various companies and positions. Explore all career opportunities at the CCG website.
Mark Salzberg, the chairman of CCG, published a letter about his thoughts on COVID-19 and collecting.
In 2018 Ursula Kampmann visited NGC and shared her look behind the scenes.