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To Slab or Not to Slab

9 posts in this topic

I asked this question of NGC Ask Post but I would like to also get the Opinions and Advice from others on this Board about this dilema. Here is the Dilema. Should you break a Mint set, Proof set or Silver Eagle Proof issued from the mint to get it Slabbed? Is it more valuable over time to leave it in its Original US Mint Issue State or Proof State or is it better in the Slab State? Thanks in advance for any Help to this dilema.

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Welcome to the boards. I'll give this a try but I may leave out a couple of reasons and they may be out of order of importance and some may just be dumb reasons.

To slab;



Investment or profit


To learn how to grade coins.


Not to slab;

To fill a coin album or folder.



There may be other reasons but it's a start.

And a low coin value and low raw grade may not be a worthwhile idea for slabbing.





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HI Leo

Thanks for the welcome and the answer to this question. You also helped me out about the raw coins. I do have a lot of them as well and some look like a lower grade to me. I wonder this as well. I see by searching the net and Heritage that there are certain coins that have a High POP. Is it safe to say that I SHOULD NOT get these coins slabbbed as there are quit a few of them already slabbed and it would be better to just keep them in a Proof or Mint set as issued? Again thanks for the response it was most helpful and appreciated.

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Here's my version of what Leo said:


To slab:

1) If you intend to sell the coin and the coin is worth enough to slab it.

2) If you intend to do a "registry" set.


Not to slab:

Anything else.





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Often the decision to slab is an economic one. If you have a circulated common date Morgan it is not worth slabbing. This is because the difference in price between one in XF and AU is less than the cost of slabbing, and if the raw coin is really nice you may get an AU price anyway.


If you have a 1909-S VDB Lincoln it is worth slabbing. People want to be assured the coin is authentic and the price difference between grades is very large. Even one in VF 20 should be worth $600.


A few modern proof and mint state coins have brought high prices in super high grades for specific dates. It is very difficult to find coins that qualify so it is most often not economical to slab modern coins.



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Mint Set or Proof Set- only if they contain coins that are obviously high-grade and high value coin(s).

Proof Silver Eagles- personally I do not recommend getting these slabbed because almost all are in high-grade condition to begin with.

Also, original coins in original issued holders are usually valued higher. Consider that once an original holder has been destroyed to slab a coin, the population of that original holder has decreased by one. NGC recently began grading GSA CC Morgans and more recently Gov't Ike's. I have know way of knowing exactly how many of these original issued coins were removed and slabbed, but I'd bet a large percentage were. Hence those in the original packaging cannot go up in population. I hope I have been of some help to you.

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As a collector I much perfer the modern Proof sets in their original mint packages. I am not all into the knit picking world of grading modern coins for the Registries. It's just not something that interests me. Each year I buy ten Proof sets (clad and silver), pick out the two holders that contain the best coins IMO and sell the rest. I don't care for these coins in slabs, and I don't have any of them in my collection although I have sold a few for customers who consigned them to me for resale.


I think that most collectors have the same attitudes that I do. Only a small minoity participate in these modern coin registries, but they get a lot of press because they put up a lot of posts in forums like this and "make the market" for the high prices that these coins sometimes command.


From an investment perspect I would not not be comfortable having a great deal of money invested in modern coins regardless of their grades. Historically many modern coins have not held their value through the years. One need only look at the "bid" and "ask" prices in the Gray Sheet to see what has happened to the prices of most Proof sets from the early '60's to the '80's. In many cases the bids are below the issue prices, and as a dealer I can tell you that most dealers will not pay the "bid" prices for these sets.


Collector interest can run high when these coins are first issued, but it usually falls off as the coins get to be 10 or more years old. The reason for this is that the mintages are farily high, which means that there are plenty of coins out there to satisfy collector demand.

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HI Bill

Thanks for your response and insight. I did notice that yes the 80's sets do go for less than the issue cost. I also noticed that the Prestige and Premier sets were higher though. To be honest though I would not want to break up these sets to be slabbed. I would rather slab a silver set instead. To sanmary I agree about the Silver Eagle Proofs but I probably would want to slab and perserve the 1993 and 1994 eagles as there value is quite high. Again I want to thank everyone for all there help and contributions into this question. I have learned quite a bit and starting to rethink about what to slab.


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