PCGS1 is very similar to PCGS2 but has 000000 as the serial
number instead of .64/7000023. The coin is a Roosevelt dime
and is graded MS-64 with the word “Sample” below.
This is the scarcer type of the first two types.
This is the same scarce type of slab and label as PCGS 1, but
this one has a proof dime inside. You can tell a difference
even by a scan in the quality of th coin, and this type surfaced
on ebay in 2004. I imagine it will be as hard to locate as PCGS
1 and would be a highlight in a PCGS sample slab collection.
Keep your eyes open for this type!
Known as the “rattler” holder, the early PCGS holders
were used from 1986-1989 and are still seen sometimes today.
This sample was given out at most of the shows during this time
period to acquaint collectors with their slab.
Here is a neat sample and just like PCGS 2, except for the
fact that it has a Proof coin inside instead of a Mint State
example. This one was sold on ebay and I haven't seen any more
like it yet. The Mint State examples are easily found, but this
could become the scarcer of the two if more people report not
Within a couple of years, a dealer got the bright idea to counterfeit
the PCGS slab and make his own slabbed coins. It worked for
a little bit, but he was soon caught. It brought too the attention
of PCGS (and the other services) that better security had to
be used on their slabs so that if someone tampered with a slab,
it could easily be detected. The newer slab had an outer ring
and a hologram on the back. The label was printed with thousands
of small dots on a dot matrix printer. The “Doily label”
slab as we call it today was born but did not last for long.
Made from August of 1989 through January of 1990, few of these
Removing the doily and placing a green label was the next step
in PCGS’s slab evolution. The sharp outer rim was still
used on this example. All samples from this time period either
have a MS-64 or MS-65 Roosevelt dime inside although the dates
Here is a label that shouldn't even be in this kind of slab!
The newer slabs like PCGS 5 used a different label than PCGS
4. When the slab changed, so did the label. In PCGS 4, the edge
of the label has small perferations around the label rim, while
PCGS 5's label seems to have been cut out, and has a smooth,
even rim. Somehow samples were made with the newer label in
the older PCGS slab.
This one really suprised me when I found it in an ebay auction.
The label is the same as PCGS 4.1 (without the perferations)
but also has the word "Dime" added after sample. So
far this is the one and only PCGS sample slab of this type that
I have seen with the denomination after the word sample. A neat
slab and I bet more are out there, they just have to be found.
PCGS5 has a slightly different label with a different type
of font being used. PCGS might have upgraded their computers
and bought new printers. The main difference is that the slab
is now one piece and the outer protective sharp rim was removed.
A fairly common slab with the MS-64 grade and a little harder
to find with the MS-65 label.
A sub-variety of PCGS5 with the only difference being “Sample”
moved over to the right hand side of the serial numbers. I recently
discovered this sub-type and it is unknown how many were made
or how many survive today.
This type was not known until November of 2003, when a small
hoard came on the market from a private collector. It is unknown
how many were made. Instead of a Roosevelt dime, this sample
type has a Washinton quarter inside. The label is a yellow tint,
although a few of the pieces I have seen have faded to a light
yellow color. Every sample is graded MS-64
This is a recently discovered (November of 20004) sample slab
with the date of the coin being 1964 instead of 1961-D. It is
also graded MS-64, and the label is the same as PCGS 5.2. .
The label is the same green color on this type but the font
has been changed to a darker bold with the typeset slightly
different. The easiest way to tell them apart from the above
samples is to look at the "0" in the denomination.
The other samples have a line through it and this one does not.
Dates of 1955-D, 1959-D and 1961 have been found, but so far
are harder to find than the normal and very commom PCGS 5.
This label is exactly the same as PCGS 6.3 but this type has
a silver Roosevelt Dime inside. The coin is not graded.
“Sample” appears where the grade normally would
be and the coin was changed from a Roosevelt dime to a War nickel.
Some of these samples still have the paperwork accompanying
them from Tangible Assets Gallery who gave them out to clients
to acquaint them with a “Sample PCGS Certified Coin.”
The nickel I have is really beat up and I think they could have
used a better example. More people would have saved them had
this been the case.
Very similiar to PCGS 6 with the same type of label and word
placement, but with a worn Liberty Head nickel. I don't know
if this was a special dealer sample or given out to the general
public. This sample was discovered in August of 2003 and the
rarity/history is still being researched.
This sample and the following two samples were sold by an Arizona
dealer in July of 2004 on eBay. These never seen before types
brought a lot of interest and strong bidding. This sample has
a no date buffalo nickel inside with “PCGS Sample Coin”
all on one line on the label. There is a space to the right
of the beginning of the serial number and before the “.00”
which is odd.
Around the same time period, another nickel was used but this
time it was a Mint State Jefferson nickel. I would grade the
coin MS-64. “Sample” is in the middle of the label
and the space in the serial number has been removed.
Now this is a neat slab! I am calling this slab a sample for
several reasons but PCGS doesn’t even remember making
it! Instead of the word sample in the middle of the label this
one has “Specimen”. The coin is a normal MS-68 silver
eagle and not a special strike or proof specimen. The serial
numbers have “500000.00” before “/1234567”
(which is very similar to the 12345678 on the normal green label
samples). Could it be the 500,000th coin graded? Maybe. Could
it be a sample? Most likely.
Instead of a grade on this one, PCGS just put “MS”
which stands for “Mint State.” “Sample”
is placed above the right hand side of the serial number like
PCGS5.1. This sample was a dealer only sample to show them the
new label. They were given to PCGS dealers and not the general
public. It contains a 90% silver half dollar and I think they
did this so the slab had a better chance of staying intact or
not being thrown away by the dealers. A neat sample, and most
of the Kennedy Halves I have seen are in the MS-64 grade range.
Very similar to PCGS7 but “MS” is now changed to
“Circulated” and the denomination becomes a Morgan
silver dollar. This one also is a dealer sample. I have only
seen a few of these and it might be a very scarce slab as more
people search for them and report not finding any.
As of May, 2004 this is the highest price sample ever sold
- a record holder! It sold for $265 at the end of April, 2004
on eBay and beat the HALLMARK price of $250 set just a few weeks
before that on eBay. It is the only known sample right now with
a Franjklin half and suprised all collectors when it came up
It has the same label type as PCGS 8 but with a Franklin Half
inside. The coin is a nice Mint State piece despite the "Circulated"
label and seems to follow in line like the PCGS 7 samples. This
is a type to look out for at shows or in dealers cases!
This sample is the exact same as PCGS 8 but with a blue label!
It is not a green label faded slab but a true blue color and
as fresh as the day it was slabbed. This is the first one of
its kind I have seen but more should be out there! Keep your
eyes open for this type!
The first PCGS sample slab with a world coin inside! This is
a really neat slab with a cool coin. It is not graded, but the
coin is a choice Mint State example. The first sample of this
type was found a few months ago on eBay and sold for over $40.
Since then, I have only seen 2-3 more of them. PCGS began certifying
certain world coins in the early 1990’s and this might
have been a sample to show what a world coin would look like
in their slab.
Another world coin in a PCGS sample slab! This sample has the
green colored label compared to the yellow label of PCGS 9.
It was made around the same time period and this is the one
and only one I have ever seen. The coin is in Mint State condition,
and the slab has the standard "12345678" for the serial
number like the other more common dime samples. This is definately
one you want to look for!
This slab was once thought to be scarce. It might still be
semi scarce if no one saved them, but recently I found out from
David Hall who told me “These were an item in a Random
House marketed Scott Travers "Coin collecting starter kit.
"I believed we did either 50,000 or 100,000 of them.”
If this is the true production numbers, this is the largest
number of samples made for any time from any of the services!
Most samples don’t even have 1,000 made of one type.
The Back of the slab is Green and white and does not have the
hologram. The dates I have seen range from 1918 through 1929
and each coin is in Fine through Extremely Fine condition. Group
lots of 4-8 of these samples can easily be found. This type
could still be a challenge for a “short set” of
sample slabs by trying to get one of each date.
The first State Quarters were released in 1999 and many new
sample slabs were made. There are several varieties that exist
with different placement of the word “sample” either
to the left or right of the State and the placement or lack
thereof of “MS00”. Future sub varieties as I find
them will become PCGS11.1, 11.2 etc.
Instead of "MS00", this type was produced for one
or two States and has "NG00" which probably stands
for No Grade. A harder to find type from early 2000.
The word "sample" is moved to before the States name
on the label.
This one is very similar to PCGS 11 with the same coin and
label placement except there is a “/” between the
States name and the word “Sample”.
New Hampshire P quarter with the word sample below “MS00”.
The first and PCGS sample slab to have a pedigree to a website.
These were given out at the 2000 Long beach shows.
Like PCGS 12, this sample has a website on the label. Instead
of collectors.com, it has PCGS.com which is the main website
for the PCGS grading service. This is the only type I have seen
with their website on it and is intersting because of the low
value item inside. It is unknown how many were made at this
point or where they were given out at.
The PCGS.com website is removed and an older Lincoln cent was
used in its place.
One of the few PCGS samples with their website on the label.
The quarter is a Delaware State quarter and it seems like PCGS
was really promoting their new website back in 1999, the year
the State quarter came out.
When the New Hampshire State quarter was released in 2000,
Bowers and Merena (a division of Collectors Universe which owns
PCGS) had samples made to hand out at shows. Three years later
they are still giving this sample out with no changes to the
label. It is unknown how many were made.
This is the second sample slab to have a world coin inside.
It is a Philippines issue 5-cent denomination coin and the label
has the word “sample” below “PCGS MS00”.
About the same time period that PCGS 14 was produced another
U.S. coin sample was also made. I have seen 2-3 of these same
type of sample slabs and each one has a 1964-D silver Washington
quarter which is mislabeled on the slab. PCGS put them as “1964”
and not 1964-D which they should be. As you can see by the picture
someone wrote the mintmark on the slab to note the error. The
coin is really spotted and it seems to me that they didn’t
care about the grade or looks of the coins on these samples.
Another neat world coin sample! The coin inside this sample
looks superb with almost PL (proof like) surfaces. The word
“Sample” is in the lower left-hand corner of the
label and not below the grade because the country’s name
was placed there.
Same date and style of label as PCGS 14.2, but this one has
a 10 cent denomination inside.
Just like the above two samples, this one has no bar code on
the front and the word sample is in small letters towards the
bottom lower left. The denomination is 5 cents and the smallest
of the Canadian coins in a PCGS sample slab.
For the New York quarter, PCGS changed the label twice for
the P Mint sample, and changed the wording by the time it came
to slab the D mint sample slab.
Same as PCGS 15 except the series and coin number is in bold.
Different serial number and a large size hologram on the back
of the slab. These first appeared in September of 2005 at the
Long Beach Expo.
“PCGS MS00” replaces the earlier “PCGS-Sample”
on the first line and “New York Sample” is added
on the second.
This slab has both the words “Sample” and “Compliments
of….” They were given out by Cameo CC, a modern
coin dealer based out of Ohio. The coin is choice, and could
easily make the MS-66 grade. A sample slab with a New York quarter
was also made for them by PCGS.
This is a really neat sample! The label is different than PCGS
17 although they were made during the same time period. To top
it off, the date is wrong! I don't know how many were made but
this was the first one I had seen like it so far (May, 2004).
These slabs were given out at a PCGS sponsored lunch at the
May 2003 Long Beach show. PCGS Message board members were invited
to attend and this slab was a special gift for all that attended.
Only 40 were made and it has become one of the scarcest sample
slabs made by PCGS. They bring over $60 on eBay.
This slab is similiar to PCGS 11 or 12, with "PCGS MS00"
staying on the same top line. The difference is that "Sample"
is below without a description of the coin on the second line,
and a Sacagewea dollar is used instead of a State quarter.
"Sacagawea" is added to the left of the word "sample".
This coin is a D Mint and PCGS 19 is a P mint, although I don't
know if that matters. Both types could have been made at the
same time period or at two different time periods.
This sample is fairly common and has been passed out at major
shows by PCGS for about two years.
Since 2002, PCGS has been giving out New York and Louisiana
sample slabs at every major show. This is the most modern type
of label for their samples. What makes this sample unique to
the rest of the others over the last two years, is that PCGS
spelled Louisiana wrong! Look how they spelled it...... They
must have made a batch all with the wrong spellings. Check your
samples for this interesting and funny type! I ddn't even notice
the mispelling at first.
There are many different things about this sample slab. The
most obvious is the large hologram on the back. Other differences
are the removal of the dash between “PCGS Sample”
and no space between “LA25C”. Interestingly though
they used the same serial number.
This type of slab is a first for me. The only website PCGS
has ever put on their label was their own: www.collectors.com
Now, this brand new sample as of May, 2004 has a phone number,
website and ebay ID all in one! NFC is a major PCGS dealer based
in Florida and this sample has a Florida quarter inside.
Another company sample with their contact info and phone number
on the front label.
This sample appeared at the 2006 FUN show in Orlando, FL. The
label is much different than previous years’ samples.
The whole font is bold and the type is smaller than usual. There
is no barcode on either side, and this type can be found with
the following states: Vermont D, Rhode Island P, and Kentucky
The first Buffalo Nickel PCGS samples appeared at the 2006
ANA show in Atlanta, GA (April). The coins are not graded but
the word “sample” is placed to the right of “PCGS”.
The font is bold but spaced apart. These were given out at several
shows before PCGS started using the following sample.
Using the same coin type and label layout as PCGS 23, this
sample has the font spaced much closer together and lower on
the label. This type first appeared at the Denver ANA Show (August,