Commonly called "slabbed coins", certified and graded coins are housed in a protective plastic holder. There are many companies who will put your coin in a slab after certifying that it is authentic, and assigning a grade to the coin. However, the top four companies are: PCGS, NGC, ANACS, and ICG.
Should a coin collector and investor buy and collect professionally graded and certified coins? Some collectors don't like slabbed coins whilst others do, here a guide to help:
Visible Damage, which included anything from finger prints/oils to being stepped on. More importantly, environmental damage, including such things as exposure to the air, chemicals in the air, and touching other objects (e.g.: certain plastics, liquids, food) and other coins, which will change the appearance and even structure of the coin. Damage causes loss of value. A slab is an air tight container, and its purpose is protection.
You want and need to know that your coin is not only the genuine, but that it has not been altered (changing a mint mark - fraud) or changed, for example by polishing, changing the appearance or surface of the coin, in any way that would render your coin un-collectable. Many coins end up getting rejected, for these reasons.
A coin's grade is the main factor determining its value. You want to get what you pay for (or more)
and not get cheated. When you get ready to sell or upgrade, you want
to get the most for your coin. The grade is always an Issue when buying and
selling coins. Having the coin
professionally certified and graded virtually eliminates this
The professional Grading Company, is Your Neutral Third Party.
The top four companies are consistent, reliable and trustworthy. They have established reputations. It is possible to buy and sell a coin that is Certified and Graded by one of the Top Four, sight unseen, and know exactly what you are getting. From a description of the coin you know what you are buying, and what to expect.
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