US Coins

1943-S half in early PCGS slab realizes multiples

A collector paid at auction five times the published value for a 1943-S Walking Liberty half dollar graded Professional Coin Grading Service Mint State 65, all because of the grading insert and the plastic holder in which it was encapsulated.

Eight bidders executed a combined total of 37 bids for the lot in the Nov. 12 online auction by GreatCollections. The coin, with buyer’s fee included, realized $1,181.25. For a similar coin encapsulated in a current generation PCGS holder with a basic grading insert, the PCGS Price Guide published value is $225. Coin World’s Coin Values assigns the same $225 value to the coin in the same grade.

Souvenir of zinc cent conversion found at antique store”Mysterious zinc cent discovered in antique store. A 1982 Lincoln cent and cent blanks encased in acrylic are possibly employees’ souvenirs from when the Ball Corp. began supplying the Mint with cent planchets.

The coin that sold in the Nov. 12 auction, however, was housed in a first generation PCGS holder, along with a white grading label, printed on white, unribbed cardstock using what PCGS officials refer to as a “crude dot matrix” printer that was used only during the first few days of PCGS’s inaugural operations, early in February 1986. PCGS officials state that the first generation holders and labels are extremely rare.

The current Generation 6.0S, with Secure Plus Label and embedded hologram, has been in use since May 2015.

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By mid-February 1986, PCGS improved the quality of the printer for Generation 1.1, moving by the end of the month to grading labels printed on pale green ribbed cardstock for Generation 1.2. Generation 1.1 labels were used for only  approximately a week or so, according to PCGS officials.

The early generations of PCGS holders were referred to as “rattlers” because the holder did not keep the coin from moving around inside the encapsulation.

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