To slab or not to slab.

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by National dealer, May 31, 2004.

  1. National dealer

    National dealer New Member

    Coin certification is a subject that has strong advocates for and against.

    Most agree on the four top services:


    To often collectors use the grading services as a crutch. Grading, while an art form, can be learned by anyone willing to put forth the effort.

    So when should you slab your raw coin?

    Key dates in any series, and coins that are often targets of counterfeiters.

    Remember, buy the coin, never the holder.
    Richard gladfelter and jiadanza like this.
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  3. Prethen

    Prethen Senior Member

    I would slab any early proof, especially any high-end proofs including modern stuff. Slabs help protect the coin and either stop or slow down the oxidation/toning process that actually changes the metal surfaces. The top tier services also help establish a pretty good idea of what the coin grade is, as well as authenticate the coin.
    silverbullion likes this.
  4. collect4fun

    collect4fun Senior Member

    I should have read this before posting my question. Though I am still undecided.
  5. Speedy

    Speedy Researching Coins Supporter

    I don't know if y'all will agree with me, but I think it might be useful to use a lower cost grading services (like ANACS) for coins that you get at a good price and then later they go up--you might want to slab them to keep them from getting damaged.

    I got a 1892-P Barber Half in F-12 for $2.00. To me that would be a good one to slab just because it's worth more then what I paid and so it won't be damaged.

    One more thing....what about using grading services to help learn how to grade the MS grades??

    I'm doing a set of proof franklins 1950-1963 all in PF-66. Since I'm not sure of myself when grading proofs I will only buy the coins slabbed.
    (so far I have almost a complete set from have cameo and are higher grade then PF-66)

    Just some thoughts....

    silverbullion likes this.
  6. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    I'm not that great a fan of slabbing, although my very small collection of gold is housed exclusively in PCGS plastic, mainly because I lack GDJMSP's eye and grading skills.
    If you do, just be sure to stick exclusively with the "big four" - and preferably only one of them - to get a better basis for identifying the tiny differences in appearance between adjacent grades.

    Using one of the bottom-feeder TPGs would lead you to believe that so long as it's round and metal, it's MS/PR70. :eek:
    cworley likes this.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Howdy Speedy - haven't seen ya around much lately.

    Yes I think it is a good idea to have more valuable coins slabbed. It offers excellent protection and will help you learn. It also makes it much easier to sell your coins should the need ever arise.

    I'm sure you already know - as Satootoko and many others have said - only use the top 4. And here I'm going to make a comment that most do not make. Use all 4 of the top 4. This will be very helpful, especially to those who are working on their grading skills. By using only 1 company - you become too accustomed to grading by their standards. And since they all have different standards - you do yourself a disservice by doing this.

    Getting used to how the different grading companies grade different coins goes a long way in teaching you to understand not only the grading process used by each company but it also helps you have a more rounded understanding of the grading process itself. And pretty soon you find yourself questioning the grades assigned by the companies because you have developed your own standards - a composite standard if you will. Then you will realize that your composite standard allows you to pick the best of the best ;)

    This is when collecting really becomes fun - at least for me :D
  8. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    As Rosanne Rosanadana used to say "Never mind" my advice to use only one of the Big 4 for self-training. Doug has convinced me that four heads are better than one! :)
    Corey Aldridge likes this.
  9. collect4fun

    collect4fun Senior Member

    Now thats FUNNY, but true :)
    Inspector43 and Amanda Varner like this.
  10. Speedy

    Speedy Researching Coins Supporter

    Don't I know it! :rolleyes: :D I got some off brand slabs the other day just to see how they worked and man are they cheap...I took apart one with my DULL pocket knife. :D

    Well I've been here and there...I'm here at least once a day sometimes more--I just don't comment a lot unless I have a question or just to add my 2 cents worth.

    I used to not like slabs just because I couldn't hold the coin like I can when it's raw but I've changed....when I see coins that are damaged I like slabs even better :D

    In the last year I've gotten quite a few slabs from all 4 companies.

    One question...
    What would you say are "valuable" coins worth over $100 or BU coins that are going up in value?

  11. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Well it kind of depends for you have to weigh the cost of slabbing against the value of the coin. It makes little sense to spend $12 - $30 to slab a coin that is only worth $25 or less. The point at which value makes the cost worthwhile can only be determined by the idividual.

    Persoanlly, as you already know Speedy but others may not, I have never submitted a coin for slabbing in my entire life. That's because I generally buy them already slabbed. Kinda solves the problem for me ;)
  12. Speedy

    Speedy Researching Coins Supporter


    Ah....that is what I needed to know :D

    I never have either but might someday.

    I think I'd only send in coins to have slabbed if they were...

    CC Morgans
    Key Dates or Simi Keys
    Red Cents
    Older Proof Coins

    Thanks again for your help.

    indycollector likes this.
  13. pcrdnadave

    pcrdnadave Senior Member

    The day you pack up all of your best coins and hand them off to the Post Office is a scary day indeed. Only second in scaryness to the day you get them back, open them, and hope there are no body bags!.
    Devyn5150 likes this.
  14. Ed Zak

    Ed Zak New Member

    Slabbing to me offers a number of benefits.

    {I only slab with PCGS, NGC, ICG and ANACS...ONLY!}

    1.) Trust! If I have to sell something quickly, I can pretty much sell a slabbed MS66 coin much faster and with higher prices obtained than me stating it is MS66. A coin slabbed by the top four offers more peace of mind in both buying and selling. Of course I try to buy the coin, not the slab IF I can see and hold it...but when you can't, who would you trust? Slabbed or Raw? At least my benefactors will have the ability to dispose of my collection for the coins that are slabbed versus ones in 2x2's and/or folders.

    2.) Protection! Sonically sealed and Intercept Shields (ICG) offer the best in storing and long-term protection. Afterall, if I want early Lincoln Reds to stay red (all things being equal), what would you use? Sonically sealed, air-tight with the Intercept Shield or something else?

    3.) Display! Neatly labeled and easy for looking, slabs offer that as well.
  15. Speedy

    Speedy Researching Coins Supporter

    I agree with you--

    One reason I will only buy my proof franklins slabbed, is because how do I know that after I buy it the seller won't put his big fingers on it and kill the value...I think that as long as it's slabbed it's protected.

    A buddy and myself are taking about sending some coins to ANACS so I guess I'll try them first.

    I like all of the slabs PCGS NGC ANACS ICG PCI and if I could get it at the right price I might even buy an off name brand slab.

    One thing I don't like about PCGS and ICG and PCI is that you have to send the coins through a dealer---ANACS has it so anybody can send it and NGC has it so that ANA members can.

    And one more thing PCGS NGC PCI and (I think ICG) charge about $20..why?? Just because they are a big name or what??

    ANACS charges about $10 and to me that is more reasonable then $20 and from what I've seen they seem to grade the same.

    It's kind of like the mint....why do they charge more then face?? I guess we'll never know.

    Thanks for your input.


    Has anybody ever gotten a ANACS body bag????
    indycollector and Connie like this.
  16. Ed Zak

    Ed Zak New Member

    I joined PCGS as a "silver member" and was able to send coins in. Here's how:

    ICG doesn't require a "hard" membership either. Just sign up and you will get a collector ID number.

    I haven't sent coins to NGC lately, so maybe some of the rules have changed.

    Also, I sent to Anacs under economy service and I finally got my coins back after 95 days after they received it! VERY SLOW with little if no customer service. An email or note would have been nice stating they were in receipt of my coins.

    PCI in the old holders hold more wait than the recent grades...don;t know why, but I usually will look at then with more caution than the others.
  17. National dealer

    National dealer New Member

    Hey guys, please take the discussions to the main forum. This thread should be for answers to frequent questions only. Thanks.
  18. ozland tiger

    ozland tiger Senior Member

    When to slab or not to slab a coin

    I use this criteria as a basis for whether to slab or not to slab: (1) The coin should be more valuable than the cost of grading the coin. So some common dates would not apply except: (A) the coin has superior eye appeal or (B) It is a coin from a relative or loved one. Here, slabbing will allow the coin not to endure further damage. Slabbing will protect the coin. Here, the sentimental value out weighs the cost of slabbing.
    (2) Having a coin slabbed protects the coin as well as having it attributed. Use reputable third party graders.
    (3) the third party grading service should be one you are confortable with. In the case of Morgan Dollars, my preference is with NGC or PCGS.
    However, you need to research a third party grading company you will be, or are confortable with.
    (4) Attribution. Morgan dollars and Peace dollars can be attributed for their VAM designation without grading the coin. In this case, typically, five dollars covers the cost of slabbing.
    I hope you find this criteria useful.
    Connie likes this.
  19. Kishin

    Kishin Junior Member

    What is the recommended slabbing service when sending your U.S/World coins from Canada?

    Thank You
  20. Charlie32

    Charlie32 Coin Collector

    ANACS, ICG, NGC, and PCGS.

  21. dgoose50

    dgoose50 New Member

    I definately believe in slabbing coins.I had a bust dollar with VF details but had been lighty cleaned in the past. There were also some unsightly marks on the face of the coin which made it a problem coin: I had it slabbed byANACS. I was then able to sell it for $400 dollars more than before slabbing which was 3 times more than I had paid for it 10 years earlier.
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