US Coins

Market Analysis: 'Rattler' overdate undergraded?

A 1918/7-S Standing Liberty quarter dollar housed in a VF-25 PCGS “rattler” holder sold for $7,500, a price consistent with what a more recently graded choice Extremely Fine example might bring.

Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

The smaller-sized Professional Coin Grading Service holders used between February 1986 and September 1989 are called “Rattlers” since coins often rattle inside the two-piece plastic holder. The label is pale green ribbed cardboard stock and the information is printed with a dot matrix printer, though the hues of the green vary today due to fading. Coins in these early holders are often coveted both because they have not been touched for a generation and because grading standards for many coins have changed in the past four decades.

This is seen in a 1918/7-S Standing Liberty quarter dollar in an old PCGS holder with a very conservative grade of Very Fine 25 that sold for $7,500.

Heritage observes, “The overdate quarter dollar has, in the past, been one of the most difficult issues in the series to properly grade in circulated condition because of how weakly struck it tends to be.” The coin sold for a price consistent with what an example more recently graded choice Extremely Fine might bring. Bidders recognized the hints of luster in the fields and lack of significant wear as an indicator that the coin might be undergraded, and raised their bids accordingly.

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