ICCS founder Brian Cornwell remembered for grading legacy

Brian Cornwell, the co-founder and long-time lead grader of the International Coin Certification Service (ICCS), died on Nov. 21 at age 82. Photo provided by the Cornwell family.

Tributes have poured in for numismatic icon Brian Cornwell, who nearly 40 years ago revolutionized the Canadian hobby by co-founding the country’s first third-party grading service, following his death this fall. A long-time collector, Cornwell teamed up with two well-known dealers, Bill Cross and Ingrid Smith, to launch the International Coin Certification Service (ICCS) in Toronto in November 1986. The firm quickly followed in the footsteps of the U.S.-based Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), founded in the same year, to improve market confidence and bolster the hobby in Canada. Smith eventually left ICCS before Cross sold his shares to Cornwell, who ran the business for about two decades before his death on Nov. 21 at age 82. “Brian was the driving force behind ICCS, and he was a giant in the industry,” said dealer Sandy Campbell, the owner of Proof Positive Coins in Baddeck, N.S., who met Cornwell in 1982. Continue reading →

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