US Coins

Market Analysis: Common dollar in black NGC slab realizes $3,960

An 1882-S Morgan dollar is a common coin with typical Mint State 64 examples trading for $60 to $70 and even nice MS-65 representatives selling for $125. So why did this one bring nearly $4,000 on Sept. 5? 

Because it is housed in a rare holder that documents the early days of third-party coin grading. 

Heritage explains that Numismatic Guaranty Corp. emerged as a competitor to Professional Coin Grading Service in September 1987 and “probably selected black as the color of the plastic holder because it made the coins look better.” The NGC logo appears on the obverse of these early slabs, with the date, Mint mark, grade and certification number on the reverse. The black holder soon gave way to a slab with a white insert. Many coins in these first NGC holders have since been broken out, leaving perhaps 30 first-generation black holders for collectors today. 

The coin is secondary to the holder here, but Heritage adds, “As for the coin itself, it is a conservatively graded and lustrous Morgan dollar type coin that has a sharp strike and light peripheral golden-brown toning.” 

NGC recently celebrated its 25th anniversary by introducing a limited-edition “Retro Holder,” explaining that its “sleek, black core offers stunning display of silver and gold coins.”  

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