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Viewpoint: Laser scanning reduces crack-outs

 (Image courtesy

(Image courtesy

By Denis Watson

I am writing in reference to a recent “Viewpoint” relating to coins that have been cracked out of their current slabs in hopes of resubmitting them for grading and hoping for a better grade, as well as skewing current population reports.

I would agree with Mr. Francis that this happens but not to the amount of coins that would skew the price of a coin. The only coins that would force one to do this is based on a rare coin, not on a run-of-the-mill quality coin.

Given the fact that grading companies like Professional Coin Grading Service now use some very sophisticated sniffing equipment to detect chemical cleaning. and laser scanning, which leaves a digital image that is out of this world, this is better than fingerprint technology.

I have worked in this laser technology for 30+ years, and there is nothing that can be hidden from their scans and software. That being said, if I had a slabbed coin that I thought should have a better grade and it was worth having it re-evaluated, I would do that, and I would not even waste time cracking it out of the slab.

If one could see just how much these scanners will show you, even to see the flow lines and measure the depth of the elevated points of the coin. I took a new silver Eagle to work, and we laser scanned the coin and then placed the image on a high-resolution monitor, and it just blew me away.

Now that coins are being scanned like PCGS Secure Plus, that coin is now in a database, and any new scanning would flag the coin as being scanned before and population reports for these special coins will be moot. Over time and other issues, many coins – especially silver, gold and copper – have been melted down, so population reports are good for a small period of time and that’s all.

I am a coin collector, not an investor, so I don’t have many coins slabbed except those that have some value other than face value or bullion value.

I do have many air-tight holders. They are a lot cheaper, and I can handle my coins whenever I want to, and that makes me feel good.

This “Viewpoint” was written by Denis Watson, a hobbyist from St. Charles, Mo.

To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 5225 Joerns Drive, Suite 2, Stevens Point WI, 54481. Send email to

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