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Viewpoint: Slab and raw coins state their cases

Hi, I

Hi, I?m Slab and I?ll be talking first.

Wow, what a ride I have had. The first time I was sent to a grading company I came back below expectations so, off I went again back to the same company to be looked at. When I came back unchanged I was sent to another company with the hopes of being graded higher.

As I was passed along by purchase or trade it seems that I kept going in and out of companies that graded coins with the notion that I would become more valuable with each passing review. Of course there were some times that some of the collectors would remove me from my protective and graded holder because they thought that they could sell me as a more valuable coin than the grade I had been assigned on the plastic holder. I must admit that I too have become confused over the grades that were given to me by the different grading companies and angered by experts who thought they could get me better grades by constantly resubmitting me or sending me to a different company.

If I have been fairly graded and my value is changeable only by market circumstances why can?t they just leave me alone to be traded, bought or sold at my current grade value? Personally, I am tired of being bounced around and removed only to be returned to a plastic holder regardless of whose it is. What really gets to me is why I am discriminated against by some because of whose plastic holder I am in. Now it seems I am to be looked at by another company to have yet another sticker placed on me that is supposed to alleviate any doubt as to my grade. I know that I have a lot of friends who won?t buy my brother because he isn?t in a plastic holder and that I am popular and trusted because somebody said so. At least I have a pedigree and I am certified genuine. I?m finished with my rant for now so I?ll let my brother speak.

Hi. I?m Raw and unlike my brother, those who like me have fewer hang-ups about hiding me in plastic or letting others determine my originality, being genuine and grade.

Of course I would never admit it but I have been in my brother?s shoes before but for the most part there are those who prefer me just as I am. Of course it is up to each person who decides to own me to know exactly what grade I am and if I am truly genuine or if I have been cleaned, altered or counterfeited. Sometimes I am the object of much discussion, debate and argument as to exactly my grade and value. As I have heard many times before by those who hang around me: Read the book and then buy the coin!
The only problem that I seem to have is that the elements get to me over time because I am more exposed than my brother. I know that my brother likes to brag about his pedigree and that the companies that have put him in plastic have records of how many are like him but I have my reservations. Since he has been in and out of many companies or one company many times, are they really sure just how many of him there are?

Hey, we really don?t care which one of us you choose but we do have some advice for you. First, read all you can. Second, ask questions of those dealers and collectors who seem to be honest. Third, buy what you can afford. Fourth, decide if it?s a hobby or something else. Fifth, realize that this is a business for many and we are only the medium. Most importantly, buy the coin because you like it and want it.

Lastly, since nobody really wants to take responsibility for what we are or are not we will leave that up to you to decide for yourself, OK?

Kenneth Braker is an American Numismatics Association member and hobbyist from Las Vegas, Nev.

To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send e-mail to