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PCGS introduces "Secure Plus" slabs


thedeadpoint
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http://www.pcgs.com/secureplus.html

 

Yuck! They'll give grades 40-68 a + but not 60 and 61? Why?

 

NGC is in on it too! http://www.coinnews.net/2010/03/25/pcgs-an...ce-plus-grading

 

Apparently they're also experimenting with a 700 point grading scale. How can a human distinguish between a 401 and a 402? We'll all just stick to the 70 point scale. http://www.coinnews.net/2010/03/30/pcgss-b...-is-a-big-deal/

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I find the news interesting on several fronts.

 

The user of laser imaging to capture a signature of a high value coin is probably a good thing. In the case of a theft and recovery, the signature could help prove ownership. If it limits the resubmitting coins multiple times to shop for grades, that's a good thing as well, although I would note that the activity is evidence that grading is subjective, but that's my bias. If it catches attempts to modify a coin to increase its value, that's a good thing.

 

If the plus alone adds thousands of dollars to coins value, that further distinguishes the difference between coins as collector items and coins as commodities in my mind. I'm not suggesting that collectors do not appreciate quality, rather I'm suggesting that collectors make their own subjective judgments about the value of a coin and whether it meets their criteria for acceptance regardless of what's on the paper inside the slab. If you buy numbers rather than then coin, then I would class you as a commodity trader. True, the coin as a commodity probably provides more emotional reward than gold stocks or pork bellies, but I find it hard to appreciate a paper tag as opposed to the coin itself.

 

I was struck by a recent conversation with a dealer about breaking coins out of slabs. Some save the paper tag. The dealer was very clear that the paper tag had no value and the coin did not have the value that it had with the paper tag inside the slab. Something is wrong with the collecting side (as opposed to the commodity side) if the coin only gets its value from the slab.

 

So, I see the laser documentation as a good thing, the plus as yet another way to inflate the price of a commodity without adding anything to the quality of the object itself.

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So, I see the laser documentation as a good thing, the plus as yet another way to inflate the price of a commodity without adding anything to the quality of the object itself.

 

You are much more succinct and eloquent than I was at midnight last night.

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I'm interesting in the laser scanning part of this offering. With a laser it should be possible to "see through" things like toning and judge the coin (AT,NT) based upon the surface condition of the metal. It should also be possible to very acurately detect and document varieties (a part of collecting that holds no adventure for me personallly). But most valuable will be the detection of alterations and counterfeits. Both are are serious problem in medium to high priced coins and the skills of the "artists" are increasing daily.

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