BJ Searls, director of the PCGS Set Registry and Special Projects, says in a press release that collectors have a number of ways to assemble collections of the sample slabs, grouped into three categories.
“First, there are those samples that match one of the five generations of holders, which can be subdivided into a number of sub-generations based on the insert,” Searls said. “Many of these samples are common because PCGS gave away hundreds of the same coin in the same holder, but some are extremely rare.
“A number of inserts produced by PCGS were only released for a few months and samples of those inserts were supplied in limited quantities.”
The two other major categories for collecting sample slabs are those issued for PCGS luncheons and as advertising samples.
Since the early 2000s, PCGS has held luncheons for its customers at major coin shows, Searls notes. As a token of appreciation, sample holders are created to celebrate the event and are given to all invited guests.
Quantities of these special luncheon holders are limited from 100 to 300 coins, according to a PCGS press release.
PCGS samples have also been created for various coin shows and special events. From celebrating PCGS anniversaries, to giveaways at coin shows, to special inserts created for PCGS Authorized dealers, this category has a wide variety of samples, some common and some very difficult to locate, according to Searls.
“There are a number of websites that provide information about the various collecting options, including the PCGS U.S. Coin Forum,” Searls said.
“A new reference book, Sample Slabs, by David Schwager, was published in September,” said Searls.