Slab Stickers can be confusing.
Like many parts of our hobby, they were the result of a need: how
does a collector identify a coin that’s solid for the grade?
Rick Snow might be credited for starting the
“stickering” phenomenon with the introduction of his Eagle Eye Photo
Seal in 1996.
As he wrote in his article “Systematic Overgrading and how it
Effects Coin Values” published in the January 2015 issue of
Longacre’s Ledger, the Journal of the Flying Eagle and
Indian Cent Collectors’ Society, Snow introduced the sticker in
response to what he perceived as a loosening of standards by
third-party grading services.
He wrote, “Over the years we have seen an ever increasing amount of
coins being certified with grades that can only be described as being
over-graded. These coins do not disappear from the market once they
Snow points out the multiplying effect that these overgraded coins
have on the marketplace, in that they tend to stay in the marketplace
(after all, few people choose to have a grade lowered on a coin in
their collection) and often trade at public auction, where they sell
below market prices.
As he accurately notes, “The real problem is that each public sale
is a lower data point for the price guide editors.”
It can be a real challenge for a collector to understand the
difference between an accurately graded coin in a slab and one that is
overgraded. In response to this, Snow and other companies, most
notably John Albanese’s Certified Acceptance Corp. with its “green bean”
sticker, identify coins that are solid for the grade.
Snow puts the solution in the collector’s hands, writing, “There are
two choices you can make in adding coins to your collection: buy the
coin in the holder or buy the coin regardless of the holder.” He adds,
“Auction sales must be judged on the quality of the coin. Is it
properly graded or not?”
Looking at auction records can be confusing for a collector in that
a coin in the same grade, by the same grading service, can sell for
two different prices. One might be nice for the grade (which should
bring more) while the other one is average for the grade (or worse).
Stickers help take some of the guesswork out of understanding if a
coin is solid for the grade, but they are just one weapon in a
collector’s arsenal of selecting nice coins and purchasing them at
More from CoinWorld.com:
'King of Morgan dollars' example sells for nearly $40,000
haggard' image of Ronald Reagan chosen by Citizens Coinage
gold coin is lost at ANA National Money Show, found and returned
owner altered surfaces of coins to stem exodus as souvenirs
gold and silver coins found in U.S. college's library
to share your thoughts on this story.
Keep up with
all of CoinWorld.com's news and insights by
up for our free eNewsletters
us on Facebook
. We're also on