Home U.S. Coin Forum

An observation on how dealers handle slabs

GotTheBugGotTheBug Posts: 1,520 ✭✭✭✭✭

Today at the Ft. Myers coin show I purchased a coin in a PCGS holder that was pretty scuffed up and it got me to thinking about how dealers are careful or careless about how they handle the coins in their inventory.

A couple of examples of how there are varying levels of professionalism in this regard:

On one hand you have dealers like Gerry Fortin of GFRC who stores his certified coins in protective plastic sleeves. He cares about every aspect of his business right down to the smallest detail and takes the time to remove the sleeves for display and re-sleeve them before putting them back in their boxes. If you buy a coin from him in a marked up holder you can be certain that none of the marks resulted from how they were handled while in his possession.

On the flip side of the coin, I witnessed a cringe-worthy episode of careless handling at this year's Winter FUN show. A customer was interested in a particular Morgan dollar in a dealer's case and asked to see it - a $3,500 item if I remember the sticker correctly. Anyhow, the dealer retrieved the coin and practically Frisbeed it across his cases to the prospective buyer. A nice weighty coin like a silver dollar makes for a lot of clattering as it bounces and skids across a flat surface. There are now a couple of more unnecessary marks on that holder, for sure.

I have seen this type of handling on many occasions but it never fails to make me wince. Once I saw a flung coin go rocketing onto a venue's concrete floor. Ouch! Like fingernails on a blackboard. Toss-inclined dealers - the danged slabs aren't made of Kevlar! A nice clean holder adds to the eye appeal and desirability of a piece, IMHO. Please, handle with care....

Comments

  • 1madman1madman Posts: 1,262 ✭✭✭✭✭

    On a couple of occasions, I’ve seen dealers (accidentally?) drop full tubs of raw morgans on the concrete boarse floor. Hundreds of coins went everywhere. Cringe worthy moments.

  • keyman64keyman64 Posts: 15,451 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have seen a lot of the same, including dealers throwing gold $20 slabs across 3 tables at each other. One of the coins went bouncing off the table and onto the concrete floor. They both laughed. They were lucky the coin didn't crack open. The dealer just picked it up and wiped off on his shirt then went about his business.

    "If it's not fun, it's not worth it." - KeyMan64
    Looking for Top Pop Mercury Dime Varieties & High Grade Mercury Dime Toners. :smile:
  • PillarDollarCollectorPillarDollarCollector Posts: 4,607 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 20, 2024 4:13PM

    As collectors if slabs are damaged ALWAYS offer less for the coin ALWAYS maybe they will get the message. And tell them why you are offering the lower offer. Could not be their fault but they will also pass the message from who they buy. At shows collectors should pass the word around and tell people to stay away from those sellers because they show no respect for us buyers. Maybe just maybe if business starts slowing down maybe they will get the message.

    Collecting interests: Mexico & Peru early milled 1 reales + 1796-1891 US dimes

    Sports: NHL & NFL

    Thank you Lord for another beautiful day!!!

  • morgandollar1878morgandollar1878 Posts: 4,004 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The cardboard slab boxes also create a problem by having the slabs right against each other. The slabs repeatedly being removed and put back in the box causes a massive amount of damage.

    Instagram: nomad_numismatics
  • I’ve seen both of these extreme handling styles and everything in between over the decades. TBH I could care less these days. Slabs are getting end nipped and pliered when I get em home. Such sweet satisfaction and relief after finally dumping the plastic fantastic.

  • RobertScotLoverRobertScotLover Posts: 518 ✭✭✭✭

    Here is the real bottomline, there are more dealers that appear to dislike their coin inventory than there are that like/respect them

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,209 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jacques_Loungecoque said:
    I’ve seen both of these extreme handling styles and everything in between over the decades. TBH I could care less these days. Slabs are getting end nipped and pliered when I get em home. Such sweet satisfaction and relief after finally dumping the plastic fantastic.

    When you eventually sell your coins, have fun getting them reslabbed. :D

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • WiscKauWiscKau Posts: 88 ✭✭✭

    It is a nuisance when you find a nice coin but the slab is scratched up. That's just extra time I have to take to make the slab pristine. I'm not happy with that for the most part.

  • erscoloerscolo Posts: 427 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There is precious little care as evidenced by two recent purchases of mine (this past week), the slabs were scratched and abused. I do remember the sellers that package the slabs in those little zip lock bags, not a one of those have had any significant or even noticeable damage on the slab. I find this more noticeable on NGC slabs than PCGS slabs, but that may be because I have nearly 350 NGC and just over 100 PCGS slabs.

  • bigjpstbigjpst Posts: 3,030 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 21, 2024 3:07PM

    I have to agree with @jayPem. Seems a bit of a big shot “this super expensive coin is no big deal to me”. mindset.

    I do think it is harder for dealers who do shows to maintain the level of care many collectors prefer because as posted above, most transport in cardboard double row boxes. Show after show of removing and replacing slabs rubbing together will scratch and chip holders.

  • oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 1,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @erscolo said:
    There is precious little care as evidenced by two recent purchases of mine (this past week), the slabs were scratched and abused. I do remember the sellers that package the slabs in those little zip lock bags, not a one of those have had any significant or even noticeable damage on the slab. I find this more noticeable on NGC slabs than PCGS slabs, but that may be because I have nearly 350 NGC and just over 100 PCGS slabs.

    Agree that NGC slabs seem to fare worse, at least those without the "scratch resistant" option. May be the design.

  • @PerryHall said:

    @Jacques_Loungecoque said:
    I’ve seen both of these extreme handling styles and everything in between over the decades. TBH I could care less these days. Slabs are getting end nipped and pliered when I get em home. Such sweet satisfaction and relief after finally dumping the plastic fantastic.

    When you eventually sell your coins, have fun getting them reslabbed. :D

    I’ll be dead then. I’m pretty sure I won’t care.

  • BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 7,835 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Seems a plastic slab grading service is in order. :)

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit. "Everyone is equal, some are more equal than others".
  • horseyridehorseyride Posts: 116 ✭✭✭

    We'd need another service to check the grading of the slab grading service, then apply their certified slab review review sticker

  • fiftysevenerfiftysevener Posts: 894 ✭✭✭✭

    When i buy a slabbed coin, condition of the slab is one determining factor of my purchase. Also keep in mind that TPG's don't have to reholder any patricular coin you wish. NGC will evaluate the coin to make sure it meets the grade on the label.

  • GotTheBugGotTheBug Posts: 1,520 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @bigjpst said:
    I have to agree with @jayPem. Seems a bit of a big shot “this super expensive coin is no big deal to me”. mindset.

    I do think it is harder for dealers who do shows to maintain the level of care many collectors prefer because as posted above, most transport in cardboard double row boxes. Show after show of removing and replacing slabs rubbing together will scratch and chip holders.

    Seems like plastic slab sleeves would substantially reduce this problem. Yes, it would take time.

  • bigjpstbigjpst Posts: 3,030 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GotTheBug said:

    @bigjpst said:
    I have to agree with @jayPem. Seems a bit of a big shot “this super expensive coin is no big deal to me”. mindset.

    I do think it is harder for dealers who do shows to maintain the level of care many collectors prefer because as posted above, most transport in cardboard double row boxes. Show after show of removing and replacing slabs rubbing together will scratch and chip holders.

    Seems like plastic slab sleeves would substantially reduce this problem. Yes, it would take time.

    I agree, but it can be time consuming. I do my best to put old holders, samples etc in plastic sleeves. I also try to clean off old stickers, auction tape residue etc as soon as possible. The stickers I use for my cost code are easily removable. But the goal is to move inventory, so spending a bunch of time prepping slabs for the long haul in your inventory is not usually top priority.

  • originalisbestoriginalisbest Posts: 5,901 ✭✭✭✭

    @Crypto said:

    @Rollerman said:
    Buy the coin not the holder, Yes, but psychologically a battered holder will kill a sale for me at times.

    While I might factor into my price if truly damaged on a collectible holder, I have always viewed a the holder doing what it was designed to do. So many classics with a staple mark or fiddled with by hands that only held them once shortly. Think of all the coins saved from that fate over the last 40 years. Overall slabs are quite durable but trading hands dozens of time puts wear and tear on the best of us

    Valid point! I enjoy a well-cared for slab, am willing to accept some flaws up to a point, but do have a small handful that are destined to be reholdered. There's no one-size-fits-all solution for me, just depends on the individual slab and coin.

  • GaCoinGuyGaCoinGuy Posts: 2,688 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 23, 2024 9:34AM

    How about protection from the burger drippings?

    I went to the Bessemer, AL show once and some guy there had dripped mayo/ketchup on a couple of slabs and just wiped them with a finger and tossed them back in the case.

    I've also seen potential buyers manhandle a dealer's slabs as well. I feel that the buyer owes the dealer a bit of common courtesy as well by not mishandling items.

    imageimage

  • ctf_error_coinsctf_error_coins Posts: 15,410 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am a dealer with over 800 certified coins.

    I buy coins already slabbed as well as send in raw coins to be slabbed.

    All of coins are stored in protective PCGS / NGC boxes so the slabs do not touch each other.

    I am extremely careful with my slabbed coins to not scratch them.

    Unfortunately, because I buy already slabbed coins, some of the slabs that come in are scratched and there is not much I can do about that.

  • oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 1,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Most of the coins that have been shipped to me recently have been in sleeves. It doesn't seem practical to put one's inventory in sleeves, and the sleeve can obscure the coin. However, when shipping or when a slab changes hands, putting it in a protective sleeve is a nice move.

  • Farmer1961Farmer1961 Posts: 166 ✭✭✭

    Thank God most dealers have some common sense along with a personality. I've run into a few dealers who eat their food like a pig and drip grease or sauce onto slabs whilst burping like a sow but most of them behave in a normal manner.

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,603 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A badly scuffed up older slab is an indication that the coin has been "whored around the bourse" and is likely dreck.

  • Morgan13Morgan13 Posts: 731 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a few that are a bit scuffed up. I did try to polish them up a bit but that's not to easy. It takes many attempts back and fourth. I think it's worth it when it's a decent coin.

    Student of numismatics and collector of Morgan dollars

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file