Grading and encapsulation of coins has grown since the ANA started with the certification process 35 years ago. Over that time, the process and materials have evolved in an attempt to make the process better. Although the process has its flaws, the major third party grading services try to adhere to rigorous procedures to ensure integrity of their evaluation.
Although both NGC and PCGS have written nice details on how they grade coins, nothing really beats a good video. With the help of another intrepid numismatic surfer, the following video made by PCGS was found on YouTube. Yes, it has a number of self-serving propaganda statements (count the number of times the narrator mentions their “world-class graders”), but it does provide a very good overview of the grading process.
I found it interesting how they put together the slab. I knew of the process, but seeing it being done on the video was very interesting. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.