Surprising Sample Slabs!
After all the sample slabs I have seen, once in a while one comes along and surprises me all over again. I have picked some that have done just that for this article. There are only a few and I picked them for different reasons, these samples may surprise even the most seasoned collector for one reason or another.
This first one I picked not only has a very interesting history to it, but I would dare to say that most collectors have never seen one before. The slab was designed by NGC to protect the coins of the National Numismatic Collection housed at the Smithsonian Museum. The idea behind the holder is to allow a safer way to handle and conduct studies on some 200 very rare coins that are most often researched.
What makes this type of holder so very different to the ones we are accustomed to is that these holders are NOT permanently sealed, and are hinged. This allows the coins inside to be inspected by the museum staff. NGC did make a sample slab for this amazing holder and as you can see by the pictures below it is extremely unusual.
I would like to thank the owner of this sample for sharing it with me, and for the pictures he sent me as they give a very good idea of how this sample could be used.
This next sample slab also from NGC is a 1942 Mercury Dime, it showed up on eBay a few weeks ago. It really surprised me, but was also a surprise to some real veterans of the hobby. The reason is none of us knew of this sample slab, and none of us had ever seen one before.
At lease not any of the collectors I talked to, and they know sample slabs better than most, with several hundred samples in each of their collections. The coin looks to be in uncalculated condition, from what I can see from the pictures. It is a very nice example of the 1942 Mercury Dime.
I turned to NGC for some much-needed assistance, and asked them if they could help with any information they may have on this mystery sample. They were able to tell me that it was produced in January of 1996. In a case like this that is probably the most important question of all.
I would like to thank Max Spiegel from NGC, for his help in finding this information for me. Remember TPG’s don’t keep records of sample slabs. So I assume it took him a lot of digging to get just that one piece of valuable information.
The sample must have been made in such a small quantity that it just disappeared into the system. Most likely it was a dealer only sample? Although this is something I just don’t know for sure, but it would only make sense, because if it had been given out to the public I think it would have shown up long before now. Who knows how many others are out there. I’ll bet not very many.
From what I have read this next sample slab was first discovered in August of 2003. The reason I chose this sample is because of how very rare they seem to have become. Also the price one recently sold for. This picture is of one of my own personal samples and I feel very lucky to own it
I have just seen a sample like this (except with the date 1907) sell for a little over $300.00. Other than the date “which would not change the selling price,” the samples are all the same with a well-worn circulated Liberty Head nickel inside each sample. The only dates I know of so far are 1898, 1899, 1901 ,1902, 1906, 1907, 1910 and 1911. This is what I mean when I say: “Buy the holder not the coin.”
It is not the only sample slab that has been produced with a circulated coin inside. The one thing they all seem to have in common though is they can be very hard to find. This makes me believe that the circulated sample slabs were made in very small quantities and were also dealer only sample slabs.The only exception when it comes to quantities would be the PCGS Authentic Lincoln Cent Wheat Reverse It was the only sample slab ever produced in the tens of thousands and, for some reason, even those can be hard to find.
These are some great samples, the kind that are only seen on rare occasion. One day they may just appear for sale and you have to say to yourself: “Do I want to pay that much for a sample?”Knowing that you may never get the chance again So, now you have some thinking to do and I hope for your sake you are happy with that decision…
Since this is the first article on my new website, I wanted to give a well deserved thank’s to some dear friends who have been helping me with everything from putting this site together to mentoring me in the world of sample slabs. So here goes!
Daniel: http://coinauctionshelp.com My best friend thank you for putting this all together for me.
My mentors: Herb, the man with all the pictures, an answers. Also to Oreville a coin collector from the east coast. who collect US as well as Canadian coins He also has helped me with many questions They have both been so much help in my education into the world of sample slabs. They have always been there to answer any question I may have. Their knowledge of this hobby spans many years and I am also proud to call them my friends.
Conder101 ; for his guidance and patience the man with all the answers on the subject of slabbed coins of any kind.
Of course thanks to you the readers, for all the wonderful comments and the encouragement you have given me since I started writing my articles. Without you there would just be no point to any of this.
Until next time, and remember:
When it comes to coins, remember ”Buy the coin, not the holder.”
When it comes to sample slabs, remember: “Buy the holder, not the coin.”
All the very best,