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Slabbing is EVIL

As a lot of you folks know, I have been recently rather active in coin collecting, particularly coins from outside of the US.  My general themes include wildlife coins, historical figures, natural wonders, and of late the International Polar Year.  However, as I buy coins, I run into coins that have been slabbed.

Now, a slabbed coin is one that has been sent to one of the coin grading services.  There are several out there, the best known ones being NGC, PCGS and ANACS.  Now, what they do is take your coins and hand it over to a 'professional grader' who evaluates the coin and gives it a grade.  The best grade is MS70, which is a pristine proof coin, no marks or blemishes.  The problem is that the only way you're going to get that from a coin is if it was taking straight from the minting press as it comes out.  Let me repeat that:  the ONLY way you can have an MS70 coin is if you plucked it straight out after it was minted.  MS69 is a subjective rating, it means that whoever looked at the coin found something so microscopic that it made the coin less desirable.  *SNORT*

But there are a lot of MS69 and MS70 graded coins on the market, far more than anyone can account for.  The majority come from PCGS, but the other graders have their lot as well.  And a coin graded MS69 or MS70 brings a hefty premium from the shee^H^H^H^Hbuyers.  Example:  A 200 shilling coin from Somalia, gold.  You can get the coin in the original container for $40, or pay $125 (!!!) for a PF69 graded coin.  Mind you, the coin is 1/50 of an ounce of pure gold... it's smaller than a dime.

The other issue I have with slabbing is the destruction of whatever came with the coin.  The original box, the certificate of authenticity, all those items are destroyed when a coin is slabbed.  So instead of having a nice coin in a wooden case and with a numbered certificate, you've got a coin in a piece of ugly plastic with a tiny slip of paper that is 100% arbitrary in nature, and with no provenance for the coin now.  They coin may be beautiful, but the value of the coin has been partially destroyed with the loss of what came with the coin, and the only value now being assigned is what the coin grading company and dealers think they can get for the coin.

So which would you choose?  A coin (say, the $150 gold hologram coin for the year of the Horse from Canada) that you can get for $300 or less in the original box, or the same coin having been slabbed and graded and now the dealer wants $600+ for the coin?  Especially when you can still get it for $300???


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 30th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
What is the difference between a MS69 and a PF 69?
Mar. 31st, 2009 12:27 am (UTC)
PF69 is identical to the MS69 grade. It's just that they are now identifying proof coins with the PF grade... but it's essentially the same in the long run.
Mar. 31st, 2009 12:33 am (UTC)
Ok, thanks. :)
Mar. 30th, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
Slabbing does sound like a stupid practice. Especially since the coins quickly lose that rating, even if they earned it fairly. {half-smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
Mar. 31st, 2009 12:27 am (UTC)
Can't convince the dealers, they will keep the value of the coin high even if it's not worth what it was rated.
Apr. 1st, 2009 01:57 am (UTC)
Of course not. They get more money this way. That's obviously all they care about. {wry half-smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Tal Greywolf

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