by | Dec 14, 2023 | Numismatics, Resources

For centuries, coins have captivated us with their historical significance, artistic beauty, and intrinsic value. As you embark on your coin collecting journey, you’ll inevitably encounter two industry giants: PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) and NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation). Both companies grade and encapsulate coins in their signature holders, offering collectors peace of mind and enhancing the overall presentation of their prized possessions.

What is Coin Grading?

Coin grading refers to the process of evaluating a coin’s condition based on a standardized scale. Factors like wear, strike, luster, and surface marks are meticulously assessed to determine a numerical grade, with pristine coins receiving the highest scores. This grade significantly impacts the coin’s value and desirability among collectors.

Enter PCGS and NGC: Grading and Encapsulation Experts

Both PCGS and NGC are leaders in coin grading, employing teams of experienced numismatists who meticulously assess each coin. Their rigorous standards and consistent grading practices have earned them the trust of collectors worldwide. Once a coin receives its grade, it’s encapsulated in a protective plastic holder. These holders not only safeguard the coin from damage but also showcase its details and grade prominently.

PCGS Holders: Classic and Secure

PCGS holders are known for their sleek, minimalist design. The coin sits securely within a clear plastic shell, with the grade and authentication label prominently displayed. PCGS offers various holder options, including standard slabs, thicker “First Strike” slabs for newly minted coins, and even tamper-evident holders for added security.

NGC Holders: Modern and Informative

NGC holders feature a more modern aesthetic, with vibrant colors and detailed labels. The label includes not only the grade but also additional information like the coin’s variety, mintmark, and even historical context. This approach caters to collectors who appreciate not just the coin’s value but also its rich history.

The PCGS vs. NGC Debate: A Matter of Choice

Ultimately, the choice between PCGS and NGC holders comes down to personal preference. There’s no inherent “better” option, as both companies offer top-notch grading and encapsulation services. Consider factors like:

Aesthetics: Do you prefer the classic minimalism of PCGS or the informative vibrancy of NGC?

Value: Some collectors believe specific coins may fetch higher prices in certain holders. Research market trends for your particular coins.

Personal connection: Choose the holder that resonates with you and complements your collection’s overall aesthetic.

Beyond the Holder: Building Your Coin Collection

Remember, the holder is just one aspect of coin collecting. The true joy lies in the thrill of the hunt, the research and discovery, and the appreciation of history held in your palm. As you build your collection, focus on coins that speak to you, whether it’s a specific historical period, a captivating design, or simply a personal connection.

Happy collecting!

We hope this blog post has shed some light on the world of coin collecting and the role of PCGS and NGC holders. So, grab your magnifying glass, hit the coin shops, and start building a collection that reflects your passions and ignites your sense of wonder.

Bonus Tip:

Attend coin shows and join online communities to connect with fellow collectors, learn from experienced numismatists, and discover hidden gems for your collection.

Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. Enjoy the process, and let the coins whisper their stories to you!

Jonathan Lerner Revised

Jon Lerner

Jon Lerner, Scarsdale Coin president, is a recognized expert in the numismatist field. Jon has spent over 30 years collecting and evaluating coins. He is often sought out by fellow coin collectors for his advice and knowledge of rare coins.


These guys are tops, experts to the experts. Trust them when buying or selling!

- John Maben


Scarsdale Coin

Jon Lerner, a renowned figure in numismatics, discovered his passion for rare coins in his Scarsdale, New York upbringing. With a keen eye for quality, he founded Scarsdale Coin in 1985, quickly establishing it as a premier destination for collectors. Beyond dealing, Jon is a respected speaker and prolific writer, sharing his expertise with enthusiasts worldwide. His commitment to integrity and professionalism has earned him admiration throughout the numismatic community. Jon remains dedicated to enriching collectors' experiences and preserving the legacy of rare coins for future generations.