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PCGS Digital Coin Album is Clever Innovation, Not Gimmick


By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
On Thursday, January 29, 2015, PCGS (NASDAQ: CLCT) announced the launch of its new PCGS Digital Coin Album, a virtual coin album that ties in with the service’s popular PCGS Set Registry.

In a company press release, PCGS Set Registry and Special Projects Director BJ Searls is quoted as saying:

“The PCGS Set Registry would not be possible without internet technology, and now we’ve used technology to take what we feel is the next giant step for PCGS Set Registry efficiency, fun, and enjoyment.”

The new Adobe flash-based application resembles a traditional coin album and is customizable.

Users can choose from six different color palettes for each album and set descriptions can be customized on the inside cover.

Album pages are formatted in chronological order. Users are prompted to upload coin obverse and reverse images into holes that PCGS Set Registry identifies as being part of the user’s collection.

To populate the coin album with images, the user has two options.

The first is PCGS’ automated “auto-fill” option. This takes Tru-View images from the user’s set and sizes them in the appropriate holes in the album.

Generally speaking, Tru-View images look great, despite the expected downgrade in quality from being reduced in size and rendered via a flash-based app.

User images are another story. While a lot depends on one’s own skill in taking clear photographs of coins, we’ve never found the PCGS Set Registry to be all that friendly to users wishing to store high-resolution self-produced images of coins. The downgraded user images look even worse in the coin album.

We suspect, however, if one likes the concept as much as we do, that PCGS will be able to convert a number of sales for its excellent Tru-View service.

Overall, the albums are attractive and harken back to the day when collectors filled holes in albums and saw their collection in a broader context–something that’s lacking in an era of collecting coins in slabs.

The new app is intuitive and user-friendly. Users can share their albums with friends, or print and save them as .pdf files for their personal use.

Gotta fill those holes, man…

* * *

The PCGS Digital Coin Album is a clever refinement of what PCGS has been doing all along, since it launched its Set Registry in 2001. It’s taking beautiful coins out of isolation in collectors’ cabinets and sharing them with the world.

Try it out for yourself. We think you’ll like it.

Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker
Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker
Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker have been contributing authors on CoinWeek since 2012. They also wrote the monthly "Market Whimsy" column and various feature articles for The Numismatist and the book 100 Greatest Modern World Coins (2020) for Whitman Publishing.

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