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Unusual PCGS Prototype Holder Offered by GreatCollections

In a highly interesting auction, GreatCollections is offering collectors a potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win a milestone piece of PCGS history. This fascinating prototype handwritten label, authenticated by PCGS, was written by Steve Rocky and has been dated to 1989/90. As a unique piece of numismatic history, collectors should be aware that bidding on this lot ends Sunday, June 19, 2022, 05:23:56 PM Pacific Time (8:23 Eastern).

Unusual PCGS Prototype Holder Offered by GreatCollections

At the time of publication, the highest of 68 bids stands at $4,838 USD.

While there are other prototype coin holders available to collectors (the Black NGC label, for example), as a handwritten label attributed to a specific employee and not intended for circulation, this piece is extremely special. In creating this piece, Steve Rocky was demonstrating how extremely low-grade no-date coins could be displayed and certified in holders. For example, the no-date Peace Dollar in this holder was assigned the number 7355.00. This is because 7355 is the PCGS number for Peace Dollars and .00 refers to the fact that there is no identifiable date. While this label is specifically designed for a Peace dollar, the numbering system was intended to be applicable for all coin types.

Interestingly, the certification number (1146113) on the bottom right of the label is not valid in the PCGS database, since this was not an official submission. PCGS only makes the certification numbers public when the coin is returned to the submitter.

This piece will be of interest not only to collectors of coin holders and numismatic history but also to collectors of extremely low-grade coins. The peace dollar in this holder shows extensive wear and is almost unidentifiable. While the obverse shows the barest trace of Lady Liberty’s bust, the reverse is completely smooth with none of the original design elements showing. The coin would not even receive a PO 01 if it was sent in for grading and it is evident that this coin lived an extraordinarily long life in circulation by the time it was pulled from circulation in 1989 or 1990. Since then, PCGS has certified that not only are the holder, label, and coin genuine but that they have also not been tampered with in any way.

While there is little intrinsic value in this piece other than the silver in the coin, the value resides instead in the historical interest and importance to the numismatic collecting community. In fact, the collector market for early and rare slab types is quite strong. As this piece was created only three to four years after PCGS was founded, it is probably most comparable value-wise to the original NGC Black holders that, when they come rarely to auction, sell for between $3,500 and $5,000 premium over the value of the coin. However, the fact that this label was never intended for circulation and can be attributed to a specific PCGS employee certainly adds to the appeal.


This no-date Peace dollar was placed in a standard, rectangular holder, with the coin displayed below the label – as is still the convention today. The front of the label is colored light green, with information handwritten in darker green ink. On the obverse is the word PEACE in the top left corner and a PC$ in the top right corner, both representing the type of coin in the holder. In the center is “-0-”, which refers (most likely) to the grade of the coin. Lastly, the bottom corners show the new registry number “7355.00” and the non-valid certification number “1146113”.

On the dark blue reverse of the label, the company’s name “PROFESSIONAL COIN GRADING SERCIVE” is typed in large white letters with one word per line.

Bidding ends on Sunday, June 19, 2022, 05:23:56 PM Pacific Time (PT)

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To search through GreatCollection’s archive of over 600,000 certified coins the company has sold over the past eight years, please visit the GreatCollections Auction Archives.

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