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Ever wondered about the apparent randomness of PCGS serial numbers?? Answer revealed.

LakesammmanLakesammman Posts: 17,294 ✭✭✭✭✭

Finally asked a friend who knows the people who have been at PCGS since the beginning.

The answer was simple, relayed to me as follows.

After the coins left the grading room, the "receiver" was responsible for assigning the serial number.

Each receiver was given a different number every day.

Receiver one may have numbers starting with 400k.

Receiver two may have numbers starting with 200k.

That way PCGS could keep track of each receiver and work flow w/o duplicating serial numbers.

"My friends who see my collection sometimes ask what something costs. I tell them and they are in awe at my stupidity." (Baccaruda, 12/03).I find it hard to believe that he (Trump) rushed to some hotel to meet girls of loose morals, although ours are undoubtedly the best in the world. (Putin 1/17) Gone but not forgotten. IGWT, Speedy, Bear, BigE, HokieFore, John Burns, Russ, TahoeDale, Dahlonega, Astrorat, Stewart Blay, Oldhoopster, Broadstruck, Ricko.

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    yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,596 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 28, 2017 6:04PM

    The parallel serial number streams sound good, but how do 6 digit numbers like 400000 and 200000 fit with an 8 digit serial number like 84080168?

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    GoldbullyGoldbully Posts: 16,862 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Solves out according to my math.

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    LakesammmanLakesammman Posts: 17,294 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You're being to literal. How's this?

    400XXXXX

    200XXXXX

    "My friends who see my collection sometimes ask what something costs. I tell them and they are in awe at my stupidity." (Baccaruda, 12/03).I find it hard to believe that he (Trump) rushed to some hotel to meet girls of loose morals, although ours are undoubtedly the best in the world. (Putin 1/17) Gone but not forgotten. IGWT, Speedy, Bear, BigE, HokieFore, John Burns, Russ, TahoeDale, Dahlonega, Astrorat, Stewart Blay, Oldhoopster, Broadstruck, Ricko.
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    yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,596 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 28, 2017 9:54PM

    That's better. I think the 3 digit prefix is too small, though.

    How about this version of the system:
    2 receivers.
    Each receiving day:
    Receiver 1 gets a previously unused 4 digit number starting with 0-4.
    Receiver 2 gets a previously unused 4 digit number starting with 5-9.
    There are 5000 such 4 digit numbers each, which allows for 5000 receiving days before the system has to go to a 9 digit serial number.
    5000 receiving days is 13.7 years if every day in a year is a receiving day.
    The last 4 digits allow for up to 10,000 coins received per day by a receiver.
    (I suppose in an unusually heavy day where they ran over 10,000 they could get a second 4 digit number).

    If the prefix number was only 3 digits, that is only 500 different values for each receiver, so they could run out in 1.37 years.

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    Sandman70gtSandman70gt Posts: 979 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @yosclimber
    Whew. That is a lot for a layman like me to follow. What do you do for a living?

    @Lakesammman
    Thanks for the info. I have wondered. Makes sense now.
    Was a lot easier back in the white label days ;)

    Bst transactions with: dimeman, oih82w8, mercurydimeguy, dunerlaw, Lakesammman, 2ltdjorn, MattTheRiley, dpvilla, drddm, CommemKing, Relaxn, Yorkshireman, Cucamongacoin, jtlee321, greencopper, coin22lover, coinfolio, lindedad, spummybum, Leeroybrown, flackthat, BryceM, Surfinxhi, VanHalen, astrorat, robkool, Wingsrule, PennyGuy, al410, Ilikecolor, Southcounty, Namvet69, Commemdude, oreville, Leebone

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    LakesammmanLakesammman Posts: 17,294 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Back in the white rattler era, there was probably 1 receiver. :D

    "My friends who see my collection sometimes ask what something costs. I tell them and they are in awe at my stupidity." (Baccaruda, 12/03).I find it hard to believe that he (Trump) rushed to some hotel to meet girls of loose morals, although ours are undoubtedly the best in the world. (Putin 1/17) Gone but not forgotten. IGWT, Speedy, Bear, BigE, HokieFore, John Burns, Russ, TahoeDale, Dahlonega, Astrorat, Stewart Blay, Oldhoopster, Broadstruck, Ricko.
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    yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,596 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 28, 2017 10:05PM

    @Sandman70gt said:
    @yosclimber
    Whew. That is a lot for a layman like me to follow. What do you do for a living?

    I work for a company that works with Medicare and Medicaid data.
    So we routinely construct long serial numbers that can hold billions of different values.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow... interesting. I can honestly say I have never wondered - not even a little - about the serial numbers on slabs....to me, they are a system the business uses for control/tracking purposes. Makes no difference to me... Cheers, RickO

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    yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,596 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 29, 2017 3:07PM

    One aspect of the serial numbers not mentioned here but probably widely understood is that
    the correspondence of the serial number with the grading date is not made public.
    So the serial numbers appear semi-random to the general public.

    If the grading date was known to the public, people would be trying analysis of grading changes over time
    or the volume of graded coins output.
    Such analyses could be based on small samples and be a nuisance, so it's probably best to keep the dates private.

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    1630Boston1630Boston Posts: 13,772 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Goldbully
    I am actually looking at a few of my K&E slide rules now and wondering what will become of them. :smile:

    Successful transactions with : MICHAELDIXON, Manorcourtman, Bochiman, bolivarshagnasty, AUandAG, onlyroosies, chumley, Weiss, jdimmick, BAJJERFAN, gene1978, TJM965, Smittys, GRANDAM, JTHawaii, mainejoe, softparade, derryb

    Bad transactions with : nobody to date

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    CameonutCameonut Posts: 7,258 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I seem to recall a thread where some of the prefixes were explained to be things like show walk-thrus and the like. Would be nice if everything could be consolidated into one thread.

    I too, have always wondered about the numbering system.

    “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson

    My digital cameo album 1950-64 Cameos - take a look!

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