‘Buy the coin, not the holder’ – or do both at this sale

Among the most often-repeated numismatic phrases is, “Buy the coin, not the holder.”

A month-long auction closing on June 8, however, seemingly flies in the face of this advice.

Heritage Auctions is offering the 324-lot sale of U.S. coins in early holders, with a focus on slabs from Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and Numismatic Guaranty Corp. (NGC).

“These coins have a reputation for being frequently under-graded, and the slabs themselves are popular, hence this offering,” auctioneers said.

The majority of lots feature PCGS Green Label holders, PCGS first-generation rattler or “clacker” holders, NGC “fatty” holders, NGC Green Label holders and a first-generation American Numismatic Association Certification Service holder. Sixty-six holders feature Certified Acceptance Corporation’s (CAC) green label while another seven have its rare gold label, both of which are used by the New Jersey-based firm that evaluates U.S. coins already certified by PCGS or NGC.

CAC uses its green label to designate a coin is at the high end of its grade (a slightly under-graded coin) and its gold label for coins under-graded by at least one point.

Both the most popular lot by views and the most active lot by bids and bidder tracking, a 1916 U.S. cent housed in an old PCGS Green Label holder with a grade of Mint State-67 Red will cross the block as Lot 91008. Auctioneers describe it as a “beautifully preserved and luminous example, virtually flawless in its preservation with gold, orange, and rose hues throughout.” Among the finest known examples, it garnered 24 bids as of May 27, with the top bid at $1,400 US.

Bidding opened in early May, and two weeks before the June 8 live session kicked off at 6 p.m. (CT), bidders entered more than 3,500 Internet and mail bids.

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