The ASG Guarantee
Authenticated Stamp Guaranty, LLC (“ASG”), a US limited liability company with an address of 5501 Communications Pkwy, Sarasota, Florida, 34240, USA, provides the following guarantee for ASG-graded stamps, subject to the limitations and other terms and conditions stated below. Stamps must be encapsulated in ASG holders to be eligible for the ASG Guarantee.
In certain geographic locations, ASG accepts stamp grading submissions through affiliated legal entities (specifically, Certified Collectibles Group - International GmbH in Germany and CCG Hong Kong, Ltd., in Hong Kong, China) (each, an “ASG Local Affiliate”), with each such affiliate acting as submission handling agent for ASG. Each ASG Local Affiliate is a wholly owned subsidiary of Numismatic Guaranty Company (“NGC”), a US corporation affiliated with ASG. All work and services performed on stamps submitted to ASG or an ASG Local Affiliate, including grading and encapsulation, are contracted from and provided by ASG. NGC has no control over the services offered by ASG.
In the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”), ASG accepts stamp grading submissions through NGC Shanghai Business Information Consulting Co., Ltd. (“NGC Shanghai”). All work and services performed on stamps submitted to NGC Shanghai, including grading and encapsulation, are provided by NGC Shanghai.
Except for ASG Guarantee claims by a resident of PRC, which must be made to NGC Shanghai, all claims under the ASG Guarantee must be made to ASG in the United States. NGC is not responsible for any claims under the ASG Guarantee. The applicable ASG Local Affiliate will provide reasonable communication and handling assistance with this process.
Subject to the terms and conditions of this Guarantee and the limitations specified below, ASG guarantees that:
- All stamps graded by ASG and encapsulated in an ASG holder are guaranteed to be genuine.
All stamps are guaranteed not to be overgraded, meaning that they are not graded higher than ASG’s grading standards.
- Note: The grade guarantee does not apply to ASG Details-graded stamps, which are guaranteed to be genuine only.
Guarantee Conditions and Limitations
In order to raise a claim under this Guarantee, the owner of any ASG-certified stamp believed to be not genuine or overgraded must submit it to ASG under its Appearance Review service. If ASG determines, in its sole opinion, that the stamp is not genuine or that the correct grade for the stamp is lower than the one originally assigned, ASG will provide one of the three remedies described below. The choice of remedy will be made by ASG in its sole discretion, and the remedies are subject to the further limitations set forth below. Current Fair Market Value is determined solely by ASG as described in each of the listed remedies and the “Fair Market Value” paragraph that follows.
- ASG shall (a) return the stamp to the submitter encapsulated with a label indicating the newly established correct (lower) grade and (b) pay to the submitter the difference between the current Fair Market Value of an accurately graded stamp at the original incorrect (higher) grade and the current Fair Market Value of the stamp at the newly established correct (lower) grade.
- Alternatively, ASG may purchase the stamp from the submitter. If the stamp was determined to be overgraded, the price ASG pays will be the current Fair Market Value of an accurately graded stamp at the original incorrect grade. If the stamp was determined to be not genuine, ASG will pay the lesser of the Fair Market Value of an accurately graded, genuine stamp or the amount actually paid for the stamp by the submitter in an actual arm's length transaction, plus any postage, shipping or other incidental expenses incurred by the submitter in submitting the stamp for Appearance Review service by ASG.
- Alternatively, ASG may retain the not genuine or overgraded stamp and provide to the submitter in its place an equivalent stamp that is genuine and has the same grade as ASG originally assigned to the stamp.
ASG is committed to proposing a fair and reasonable remedy to a submitter of a stamp that is determined to be not genuine or overgraded. If the submitter does not accept such remedy from ASG, the stamp will be removed from the ASG holder and returned to the submitter along with a payment of the grading fees originally paid to ASG to grade the stamp and any reasonable shipping expenses incurred in returning the stamp to ASG for correction. In no event will ASG return a stamp that has been determined to be not genuine in an ASG holder or a stamp that has been determined to be overgraded or incorrectly described encapsulated with an incorrect ASG label.
The remedies provided above are exclusive. By submitting a stamp for Appearance Review, the submitter agrees to the exclusive remedies provided above and waives its right to all other remedies including, without limitation, through litigation.
Fair Market Value. ASG will determine, if and as necessary, and in its sole discretion, the current “Fair Market Value” of the stamp if it were to be sold. This determination will be made for an accurately graded stamp at the original incorrect (higher) grade and, if applicable, for the stamp at the newly established correct (lower) grade. ASG will determine the current Fair Market Value of a stamp based upon what ASG believes, in its sole reasonably exercised opinion, to be reliable current market information. ASG may use actual pricing and sales information available to it, including prices in the actual transaction history of the stamp in question. However, due to the volatile nature of the stamp market and Internet auctions/sales as well as the differences in buying habits of different individuals, such information may not necessarily represent the accurate current Fair Market Value of any particular stamp, which again, will be determined by ASG in its sole discretion.
WARNING: THIS GUARANTEE IS LIMITED. The following terms, limitations and restrictions apply with regard to the above guarantee and available remedies, and the submitter of a stamp using ASG’s Appearance Review service agrees to be bound by all of the terms, conditions and limitations set forth herein:
- Required Information. In fulfillment of the ASG Guarantee, ASG may require that the submitter provide information and available documentation regarding the transaction history of a particular stamp, including the date purchased, the purchase price, the seller and the transaction amount. ASG may also require that a submitter minimizes its damage and attempt to reverse a prior transaction. It may further require that a submitter provide proof to the effect that negotiations to reverse a prior transaction have failed. The submitter acknowledges that his or her inability to provide requested information and/or non-cooperation in providing requested information constitutes a failure of an essential condition to this Guarantee and will result in the stamp’s exclusion from this Guarantee.
- ASG Holders. The ASG Guarantee does not apply to stamps that have been removed from their ASG holder, or if the ASG holder containing a stamp has been damaged, unsealed, tampered with or altered. The determination as to whether this has occurred shall be at the sole discretion of ASG. Further, the ASG Guarantee does not apply to counterfeit or tampered ASG holders.
- Improper Storage. The ASG Guarantee does not apply if ASG determines that a stamp submitted for Appearance Review has a lower grade than that originally assigned as a direct result of the ASG holder having been subject to abuse, alteration or improper storage conditions such as (but not limited to) extreme temperature, moisture, damaging environmental conditions, excessive light, excessive motion or vibration or any other extreme conditions and that such exposure of the holder is capable of affecting the condition of the graded stamp.
Deterioration of Certain Stamps. The ASG Guarantee does not apply to certain stamps where the appearance of the stamp changes or deteriorates over time and such change or deterioration is responsible for any discrepancy between the assigned grade and the stamp’s actual grade. ASG shall make the sole reasonable determination as to whether this deterioration has occurred. The following specific parameters apply:
- Most paper stamps have adhesive (i.e. “gum”) on their back side. For unused stamps, this adhesive may still be activated by moisture, including humidity. In extreme environments and improper storage conditions, this adhesive may potentially be activated even after a stamp is encapsulated in an ASG holder, which may affect the grade originally assigned by ASG. ASG cannot guarantee that the adhesive on paper stamps will not become active subsequent to encapsulation by ASG and the grade guarantee portion of the ASG Guarantee does not apply in such cases.
- Some commemorative stamps are issued in gold and other metals. In these metallic stamps, natural environmental deterioration may cause undesired features to appear, such as (but not limited to) spotting, hazing, PVC and corrosion. Therefore, the ASG Guarantee does not apply to stamps exhibiting any of these issues.
- Some metallic stamps are enameled, colorized, painted, hologram applied or jeweled at their production facilities as part of their normal production process. The methods used to apply these additive applications vary. Some are lacquered while others are enameled to hold the color in place. Colorized, painted, hologram, and jeweled stamps can, even with proper handling, before or after grading and encapsulation, lose some or all of these additive features. These additive features can chip, flake, or become dislodged. Such conditions may be due to the production process or other natural conditions over which ASG has no control. Therefore, ASG cannot guarantee that stamps with additive features will retain their full applied aspects or their assigned grade.
- Third Party Information and Attributions. Information listed on a label that originates from a third party and any attributions (including variety attributions, reference attributions and pedigree attributions) are NOT guaranteed. ASG will attribute those varieties that it deems, in its sole reasonably exercised opinion, to be major varieties that are widely collected and accepted as legitimate varieties by the stamp collecting community at the time the stamp is graded. New information may cause ASG to no longer recognize an attribution that it previously assigned, which, again, is not covered by the ASG Guarantee. ASG does not guarantee that a particular variety or designation will always be recognized, and attribution policies are subject to change without notice. Further, if a stamp submitted to ASG for Appearance Review is determined by ASG to be not genuine or overgraded, ASG's calculation of that stamp's Fair Market Value will be based on a generic example of the stamp at the original grade without any variety, reference or pedigree attribution.
- Autographed Stamps. Courtesy Autographs or other signature annotations applied to a stamp or postal cover after it was issued are NOT guaranteed. Such stamps are encapsulated by ASG with a label that states “Courtesy Autograph,” “Signature Annotation,” “Ink Annotation” or “Annotation.” Further, if a stamp submitted to ASG for Appearance Review is determined by ASG to be not genuine or overgraded, ASG’s calculation of that stamp’s Fair Market Value will be based on a generic example of the stamp at the original grade without a Courtesy Autograph or other annotation.
Clerical or Mechanical Errors. A clerical or mechanical error occurs when a stamp is encapsulated with a label that bears a grade and/or description that clearly does not correspond with the stamp. It is the duty of the buyer and seller of a stamp to examine such stamp for a clerical or mechanical error to return such stamps for correction when warranted. The ASG Guarantee does not apply when ASG determines, in its sole discretion, that a clerical or mechanical error has resulted in the stamp having an incorrect grade or description. If requested, ASG will remedy any clerical or mechanical error free of charge by updating the encapsulation to show an appropriate label.
ASG certification labels with incorrect dates, denominations and stamp types (all of which should be obvious to someone who performs an inspection of the stamp and label) are considered clerical or mechanical errors. Examples of such errors include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A stamp is labeled a 1912 Issue when it is actually a 1922 Issue.
- A stamp label description references a denomination of one cent when it is actually a denomination of five cents.
- A stamp is graded XF 90 when it should have been graded VF 80, an error with respect to grade that would be obvious to a collector.
- Inspection. The original submitter of a stamp to ASG must inspect such stamp immediately upon receipt from ASG. In the extremely rare event that a stamp is damaged while at ASG’s facility, ASG shall have no liability for any damage unless reported to ASG within fourteen (14) days of the submitter's receipt of the stamp from ASG. Notwithstanding anything else contained in this ASG Guarantee, in the event of loss or damage of your stamp by ASG, ASG will only be responsible for the LESSER of the actual current Fair Market Value as reasonably determined solely by ASG or the submitter declared value.
- Knowledge of Error. If the owner of a stamp is informed by ASG that the stamp is not genuine or overgraded or that the ASG label has a clerical error, it is the duty of that owner to immediately return the stamp to ASG. If the owner does not immediately return the stamp to ASG after such notice, then (a) the ASG Guarantee will no longer apply to that stamp, (b) if the owner sells, trades or otherwise transfers ownership of the stamp instead of returning it, then the owner may be liable to the buyer for fraud or otherwise be subject to legal recourse, and (c) ASG will reserve all rights to pursue any available remedies against the original purchaser and the submitter of the stamp.
EXCEPT FOR ANY EXPRESS WARRANTIES SET FORTH IN THIS GUARANTEE, ASG DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, REGARDING ASG AND / OR THE SERVICES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL ASG OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES, OR ANY OF ITS OR THEIR RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS OR AGENTS, BE LIABLE TO CUSTOMER OR ANY OTHER PARTY FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, AND EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE EXPRESSLY SET FORTH IN THIS GUARANTEE IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AGGREGATE LIABILITY OF ASG, ITS AFFILIATES, AND ANY OF ITS OR THEIR RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS OR AGENTS TO THE CUSTOMER OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR WHOM THE CUSTOMER MAY BE ACTING, ARISING FROM ANY CAUSE, ACT, OMISSION OR OTHER CIRCUMSTANCE, EXCEED THE FEES PAID OR PAYABLE FOR THE SERVICES ORDERED BY THE SUBMITTER OF SUCH ITEM(S).
CLAIMANTS UNDER THIS GUARANTEE HEREBY WAIVE TRIAL BY JURY.
ALL CLAIMS UNDER THIS GUARANTEE BY A RESIDENT OF PRC MUST BE MADE TO NGC SHANGHAI. IN SUCH CASE, (A) THIS GUARANTEE SHALL BE GOVERNED BY AND CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PRC LAW AS APPLIED TO TRANSACTIONS TAKING PLACE WHOLLY WITHIN PRC BETWEEN PRC RESIDENTS AND (B) SUBJECT TO CONTRARY COMPULSORY LOCAL LAW APPLICABLE TO A NON-US CLAIMANT, CLAIMANTS EXPRESSLY CONSENT TO THE PERSONAL AND SUBJECT-MATTER JURISDICTION OF THE APPROPRIATE PRC COURT WHERE NGC SHANGHAI IS LOCATED HAVING JURISDICTION IN PRC.
ALL OTHER CLAIMS UNDER THIS GUARANTEE MUST BE MADE TO ASG. IN SUCH CASE, (A) THIS GUARANTEE SHALL BE GOVERNED BY AND CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA AS APPLIED TO TRANSACTIONS TAKING PLACE WHOLLY WITHIN FLORIDA BETWEEN FLORIDA RESIDENTS AND (B) SUBJECT TO CONTRARY COMPULSORY LOCAL LAW APPLICABLE TO A NON-US CLAIMANT, CLAIMANTS EXPRESSLY CONSENT TO THE PERSONAL AND SUBJECT-MATTER JURISDICTION OF THE STATE COURTS LOCATED IN AND FOR THE CITY OF SARASOTA, STATE OF FLORIDA AND THE FEDERAL COURTS LOCATED IN AND FOR THE CITY OF TAMPA, STATE OF FLORIDA.
If any part of this Guarantee shall be declared invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, it shall not affect the validity of the balance of this Guarantee. In such circumstance, the provision declared invalid/unenforceable shall be re-drafted as closely to the original provision as allowed by law, so as to give effect to ASG’s intent.
Should there be any discrepancy between the English language version of this Guarantee and the version of the Guarantee as translated into another language, the English language version shall prevail, govern and control in all respects.