Certified coins are a growing part of the coin collecting hobby. Certified coins have been submitted to a professional grading service such as the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) or the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) for a professional opinion of the coins authenticity and grade.
The service places the coin inside a plastic holder (nicknamed 'slab' in the industry), which displays the coin through clear plastic that is sealed in such a fashion so as to make it impenetrable without damaging the holder making such tampering very evident. The holder includes a label containing a unique serial number and details about the coin, and various holograms and other counterfeit deterrent features.
Certified coins have been accepted market-wide as a standard, and are often traded sight-unseen based on the market's trust in the information provided on the label sealed within the holder. While certified coins definitely have a number of positive features, some collectors prefer to collect part or all of their collections without certification (known as 'raw' or 'uncertified' coins). Below are some reasons why collectors may prefer one over the other:
Uncertified (raw) coins:
Either way a collector chooses to collect their coins is acceptable; neither is right or wrong depending on the circumstances of what they collect. In fact, many collectors choose to collect both certified and uncertified coins. Any way you do it, however, remember to protect your collection by keeping an up-to-date inventory of your holdings, properly insure the collection against loss, and ensure that you to store the collection in an environmentally controlled area.
||Charles D. Daughtrey has collected coins since the mid-1970s. In 1997 he took his interest in coins to the internet and began what would eventually be the largest web database of Lincoln cent information ever published, and is the author of, "Looking Through Lincoln Cents," currently in its second edition. Charles is a member of the ANA and the Professional Numismatists Guild.|