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Coin dies can now be slabbed

What won’t they slab next?

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation is now certifying and encapsulating canceled coin, token, and medal dies.

You can’t say NGC is resting on its past laurels.

New ideas equal new markets. New markets mean additional revenue.

Fred Weinberg, an error coin expert and dealer in dies, has already endorsed this new service. He sees great value in it.

“NGC has invented a solution to market the quantity of official U.S. Mint defaced coin dies that I own,” he said.

“Now, instead of just looking like a nice paperweight, the NGC encapsulation helps display all sides of the dies and includes the NGC Label with a full description of the enclosed die,” Weinberg explained.

Dies submitted to NGC for certification will be encapsulated in NGC’s clear, tube-shaped holders.

NGC said these holders are made of high-quality, inert materials.

They are designed for long-term preservation and superior display.

Each holder is ultrasonically welded with an internal label that features a description of the die, as well as a unique NGC certification number.

NGC’s holder can accommodate dies that are up to 40.6mm wide and 59.6mm tall.

Dies that are too large to be encapsulated can receive an NGC Photo Certificate, which features high-resolution photographs of the die along with a description and unique NGC certification number.

Dies from all countries are eligible for this new program at the same prices listed above.

To submit dies, NGC said to use a standard NGC Submission Form and write the category of cancelation in bold letters at the top of the form.

Submit each category on a separate form and do not mix coins with dies on the same form. Counterfeit or altered dies will not be encapsulated, and the full grading fee will apply.

For dies that are of questionable authenticity or that otherwise cannot be certified, the grading fee will be refunded less a $5 handling fee.

That's the boilerplate of good business instructions from NGC

Why are coin dies in the hands of the public?

NGC explains: “After their useful life is over, dies are usually destroyed by a mint. Sometimes, however, they are canceled and sold as a numismatic product or scrap.

"These canceled dies are defaced to prevent them from being used to illegitimately strike more coins.

“Dies that have not been fully defaced and still show part of the coin’s design are particularly desirable to collectors.

“In rare cases, a die may be inadvertently released by a mint without any defacement or cancelation. These dies, which show the coin’s full design, are highly prized by collectors.”

Gee. I just happen to have a die that I bought from Fred years ago.

Do you think I should get it slabbed?

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017. He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."