I voted both. But it's been a long journey of discovery for me.
I'm finding that I really like raw coins. Especially because you can handle them to a limited extent differently from a slab. Not to mention the extra $$$ needed to slab them if you didn't buy it certified!
I have started another full set of lincolns (well, never finished the first one, got about 85% there) in a dansco-like album. I made the executive decision that all coins > 1935 will be uncirculated and those below will be circulated. Mostly to keep things inexpensive. I like it. I like being able to see rows of coins all together in a small amount of space. And I have a complete raw roosie silver set in an older album (1959 to be exact). It's great and the coins are awesome! I filled up many of the leftover holes with some BU roosies I had.
But I also like slabs. They're great for valuable coins or ones with delicate surfaces. I just don't trust myself there. And if they get stolen somehow, I'll have a serial number to give the police. And I can hold it at all angles without worrying about dropping it or accidentally putting a print on it.
“…upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity…” —Luke 21:25 -------------------------------------- “Gold is the money of kings; silver is the money of gentlemen; barter is the money of peasants; but debt is the money of slaves.”
I collect both. Interestingly, here in Tokyo some of the local dealers will sell a slabbed coin from PCGS/NGC/ANACS at a grade or so lower than the stated grade. For example, a slabbed AU-50 will often be sold as an EF-40 or 45. On the other hand, I've noticed a tendency for the same dealers to overgrade raw coins.
I`d have to vote slabbed. But, only by one of the top three services. I consider todays market to be only a glimpse of what is in store for tomorrows. Certification of a coin by one of these services brings multiples of what comparable raw pieces do. That quite simply is CASH. As you know when money talks people listen. I predict that raw ,uncertifyable coins. Will drop from the primary coin market altogether and form a secondary or sub-level coin market. Valued far less than even lower grade certified coins.
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Quote: I collect both. Interestingly, here in Tokyo some of the local dealers will sell a slabbed coin from PCGS/NGC/ANACS at a grade or so lower than the stated grade. For example, a slabbed AU-50 will often be sold as an EF-40 or 45. On the other hand, I've noticed a tendency for the same dealers to overgrade raw coins.
Wow, must be nice! I was reading the latest Coin World yesterday and an advertisement showed a 1916 D dime graded VF 30 by PCGS that was actually just a nice VG. The difference in price is over $1500. So one would have to pay $2500 for a $1000 coin. There lies the catch 22. Most buy a slabbed coin in order to guarantee authenticity but must submit to vastly overgraded market coins in order to do so. The answer is to learn all of the diagnostics for the 1916 D Merc. and buy it raw.
In the same add, PCGS graded a 1921 Walker as Fine when it was just VG.
I voted both...once I start paying out good money or there is a great difference of money between a 65 and 66 then I will only accept a slab by the top 3 companies, so I know I got what I am paying for. Once a coin gets above a 62 I admit I need the experts help. There are also a few coins in each large set where counterfitting is known and again will only accept a slab. Slabs are well worth their cost if and when it comes time to sell them. Tip
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I prefer raw, but I think that's because I collect for fun and not as an investment. Also perhaps because I don't have hundreds to spend on slabbed coins. But, I really like to be able to hold the coin ... it just makes it feel more like it's a part of my collection as opposed to standing out in the middle of no where on its own.
That being said, I do think that if, down the road, I decide to go for rarer and older pieces - like collecting 2 or 3 cents in AU or better condition - I'll go for slabbed simply because they're guaranteed not to be phony and because, though I consider myself a pretty good grader, miscalculating by a single grade can lead to a drastic difference in price (like 1863-65 silver 3 cents double in price from MS-60 to MS-63).
Actively Collecting RAW: Yearly Mint Stuff, Type Set Actively Collecting Slabbed: Ikes (PCGS, MS-65-7 / PF-69DC), SBAs (PCGS, MS-66 / PF-69DC) Passively Collecting: Circulated Lincolns, Jeffersons, Roosies, Washington quarters, Kennedies, SBAs, Sacs, and Pres dollars Type Set Goal: (20th-21st century to start with) First year of issue (or 1901), Philadelphia Mint, low-grade Uncirculated, ALL varieties, RAW
-- Retired dealer. I am a numismatic author. I specialize in choice early coins and poltitical tokens. I've been collecting coins, tokens and medals for over 50 years. Check my type sets! Type Set My gold type set Gold Type Set
Most of my high$ items are slabbed. If for some reason I need to liquidate in a hurry(I hope that never happens) it would be easier to get top dollar. That being said, I do like to fondle some of the really old stuff; gives me goose bumps knowing that I can actually handle some item that a historic figure, or just someone from a remote age has handled.