Collectors and dealers often salivate over early and first generation holders from PCGS and NGC, eager at the prospect of upgrading coins or sending out the slabs for recognition from CAC. The terms “Rattler,” “OGH,” and “Fatty” may sound meaningless to the layperson, but for those involved in the hobby, these monikers can be indicative of a more conservative period in third-party grading (TPG). While “old holders” from PCGS and NGC often receive a lot of attention, early slabs produced by ANACS often fly under the radar.
ANACS, a firm pioneered by the American Numismatic Association, was the first company to professionally authenticate and certify coins. As early as 1972, the ANA was offering authentication, but it wasn’t until 1979 that they expanded their practice into the grading of coins. Following 10 iterations of “Photo-Certificates,” it was in ANACS’ 11th generation of certification that the firm issued their first “Slab-Style Holder.” These tiny, plastic first generation slabs, cleverly nicknamed “Soap Boxes,” were the first of their kind in the marketplace and a number of TPGs quickly copied the concept, with mixed success.
ANACS Slab Generation 1 was produced from February 1989 to June 1990, and featured white labels with “Official ANA Grade” printed across in blue lettering. On the back was an iridescent sticker with the dueling phrases, “ANA Certified,” “PNG Member Verified.” Each coin is framed by a white insert, sandwiched between a clear, hard plastic shell. As with early/first generation holders from PCGS and NGC, ANA Original Holders (OH) typically house coins that are conservatively graded by today’s more lenient standards and thus carry a premium on the marketplace.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries is pleased to offer seven First Generation ANA Old Holders in our December 13 Old-Holder Session of the December CCO Auction. The coins housed in these slabs range from commemorative half dollars to Morgan silver dollars, Capped Bust half dollars, and 20th-century Proof coinage. Our quarterly Old-Holder Auctions offer collectors and dealers the opportunity to cherry-pick from coins graded decades ago by PCGS, NGC, and ANACS.