Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) will launch a year-long 30th anniversary celebration at the upcoming 2016 Florida United Numismatists (FUN) convention by turning back the clock to display an assortment of more than 120 different, promotional sample “slabs” issued by the company since its founding in 1986.
While supplies last, PCGS will also be giving away mint-condition Lincoln cents encapsulated in samples of the company’s latest enhanced security holders. Each one will be presented in a specially-created commemorative Sample Slabs brochure that explains the history and features of PCGS holders.
The display of encapsulated promotional coins in PCGS holders with historic sample insert labels will be at the PCGS booth (#104) during the FUN convention in Tampa, Florida, January 7 – 10, 2016. A collection of 113 sample slabs, assembled by and exhibited courtesy of Dr. Timothy Larson of Mercer Island, Washington, and an additional dozen sample slabs from the collection of Robert Klein of Monroe, New York, will be displayed.
“Since 1986, PCGS has been giving out samples of its holders featuring hundreds of different coin types, both U.S. and world. They have become highly collectible over the last 30 years, although they originally were only intended as free promotional items,” said PCGS President Don Willis.
“There are a number of ways to collect PCGS samples, most commonly grouped into three categories,” explained PCGS Set Registry and Special Projects Director BJ Searls.
“First, there are those samples that match one of the five generations of holders, which can be subdivided into a number of sub-generations based on the insert. Many of these samples are common because PCGS gave away hundreds of the same coin in the same holder, but some are extremely rare. A number of inserts produced by PCGS were only released for a few months and samples of those inserts were supplied in limited quantities.”
The two other major categories for collecting sample slabs are those issued for PCGS luncheons and as advertising samples.
Since the early 2000s, PCGS has held luncheons for its customers at major coin shows. As a token of appreciation, sample holders are created to celebrate the event and are given to all invited guests. Quantities of these holders are limited from 100 to 300 coins.
PCGS samples have been created for various coin shows and special events. From celebrating PCGS anniversaries, to giveaways at coin shows, to special inserts created for PCGS Authorized dealers, there is a wide variety of samples in this category, some common and some very difficult to locate, according to PCGS.
“There are a number of websites that provide information about the various collecting options, including the PCGS U.S. Coin Forum. A new reference book, Sample Slabs by David Schwager, was published in September,” said Searls.
“PCGS thanks Dr. Tim Larson for providing the samples for the upcoming display at FUN and for providing invaluable information about how to collect them,” Searls added.
Visitors to the PCGS booth at the FUN convention can obtain the special brochure with an enclosed PCGS sample slab while supplies last.
“1,250 lucky collectors will receive the commemorative Sample Slab brochure with the enclosed sample holder. This sample represents our fifth generation PCGS holder, and it is the most technologically-advanced security holder in the world,” explained Willis.