I picked up the March 7, 2006 of Numismatic News and read the front-page article about the new ANACS slab. The new slab is thinner than their previous holder and thinner than the holders from other grading services so that 25 will fit in a “standard” box. It was also reported that the new design and the clear plastic allows the encased coin’s edge, sometimes called “the third side,” to be seen.

Recent interest in being able to see the edge lettering has been revived with the passage of the Presidential $1 Coin Act. The Act says that in order to provide more room for artistic impression, the mottos “E Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust” will be incuse on the edge of the coin. There are also collectors who wanted to be able to see the edge of other coins, such as the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles. In response NGC created a new holder and announced it with the encasing of a 1907 Proof Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle.

I have to admit that I have been a fan of the NGC holder. The holder has a solid feel and seems to show off the coin better. When I read about the new NGC holder in December, I thought that changing the insert of the holder to use “prongs” cut into the slab’s insert to hold the coin in place and maintain the current holder was a great idea. But as I look at the pictures of the new ANACS holder, I may be swayed.

First, the all clear holder will show the entire surface of the edge and not just some areas. Since it is a good idea to certify gold coins to ensure authenticity, it would be wonderful to be able to see around the entire edge of the beautiful Saint-Gaudens design. The thinner slabs are also a great idea. With the increase in the number of coins being graded, the ability to store 25 coins in the area where we used to store 20 will make it easier for those with larger collections.

One of the problems I have with many of my graded coins is that in order to look for a specific coin, I have to pull the slab out of the box in order to read the label. Someone at ANACS must have had the same experience because the new design places the grading information and barcode so that it is readable from the top of the slab. These slabs can then be stored in the new clear plastic box ANACS now offers.

On the surface, there is a lot to like about the new ANACS holder, but I would like to see it for myself. Since ANACS will be attending the Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention next week, I hope to stop at their booth and see the holder.

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