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The Future of Numismatics

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Dateline: April 1, 2030

It’s the end of an era – the last numismatic grading service shut its doors today forever, a victim of its own runaway success.

The PAIN Grading Service was initially formed in 2020 by merging the four leading grading services at the time into a single entity, with the combined corporation’s name reflecting the first initial of each of its original constituent grading services. In the ensuing years, no other grading service could match the economies of scale of the giant PAIN, and they were either absorbed or disbanded.

By 2023, the first corporate crisis emerged. The enormous number of resubmissions (the “crackout game”) had finally resulted in the situation where every encapsulated coin was severely overgraded. The genius behind PAIN, Dr. Artie Fishel Toning, responded by introducing the 10,000 point grading scale. Low resubmission fees coupled with the famous slogan “No PAIN, no Gain!” ensured that PAIN would have the opportunity to reholder nearly every extant coin.

By 2027, the writing was on the wall when Congress outlawed money in favor of an all-electronic payment system. With all older coins already encapsulated and no new coins being minted, Dr. Toning spearheaded the last successful marketing thrust. “MS” coins, a designation formerly reserved for “Mint State”, was redefined to mean “Mostly Shiny”. The resultant flood of polished coins, all grading MS-10000, kept graders busy in PAIN for the last three years.

Company spokesperson N. “Cap” Sulation issued a brief statement: “Today is a very sad day for the hobby of kings, and we regret deeply that there will be no more PAIN in numismatics.” Dr. Toning refused comment for this article, but it is widely rumored that he is involved in the development of a new company that will reportedly offer certification and encapsulation for already encapsulated coins to combat the flood of counterfeit slabs from Mars.


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