Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Pinterest Connect on Google Plus Connect on YouTube

What Is A PCGS Rattler Holder?

December 8, 2014 0 Comments

If you’ve been interested in graded coins for any length of time then more than likely you’ve heard the term “rattler” thrown around. In the following article we’re going to cover what a Rattler holder is, and more importantly, why you should be on the lookout for them.

If you don’t know what coin grading is, then we suggest you check out our article on the topic so you can more thoroughly understand this post. You can find that article here: What is Coin Grading

PCGS Rattler Holder

What Is A PCGS Rattler Holder?

At the inception of coin grading, PCGS quickly rose to become the top coin grading service in the industry. Consumers liked the look of their holders and their stringent standards for grading coins was prized among numismatists. The earliest iteration of coin holder released by PCGS was nicknamed the “rattler.” This is because the coin sat loosely in the plastic holder and if you shook it back and forth the coin would rattle in the holder. This also caused some of the coins to rotate within the plastic so collectors were constantly tapping the holder to get the coin to rotate into an upright position.

Why Are PCGS Rattler Holders More Desirable?

As we mentioned earlier, PCGS was known for being strict with their grading standards. As more coin grading services came into the fray over the years, the coin grading standards became a little more relaxed within the industry. A coin that used to be graded MS63, now became an MS64.

Collectors realized this and even performed tests. They would purchase a PCGS Rattler coin with a specific grade. They would then crack the coin out of the case and mail it BACK into PCGS without letting PCGS know that the coin was previously graded by them. On multiple accounts (although, not all the time) the coin would come back a full grade higher. After word of these accounts got out, there was a run on PCGS Rattler Cases because collectors thought they could get higher graded coins for the lower graded coins’ price. Some coin dealers, being fully aware of this, started to price old PCGS Rattler Cases higher. (For what it’s worth, Golden Eagle Coins does not price PCGS Rattler Coins any higher)


(Left: A Newer PCGS Holder / Right: A Newer NGC Holder)

Why Are PCGS Rattler Coins Grading Higher?

This is actually a much larger issue within the industry these days. The pricing structure for coin grading services has changed over the years and to many, the current pricing model is not indicative of an objective grading service.

What do we mean by that? When you send a coin into be graded most people who aren’t associated with numismatics would assume that there is a FLAT RATE charge to grade a coin. After all, you’re paying for a standard service – grade the coin. However, this is not the case anymore. Let’s take Silver Eagles for example. When we send thousands of them into be graded every year it costs us $8 dollars per coin if it is graded MS69. But if it is graded MS70, it costs us $20. To the layperson this doesn’t make any sense. Wouldn’t this incentivize the grading company to grade more MS70 coins so they can make more money? Most common collectors don’t realize this because it’s easier to purchase graded coins than to send them in for grading themselves.

Filed in: Informative

About the Author:

Leave a Reply