On Nov 14th, a rarely seen and unusual item sold on eBay, but what made this sale interesting was not the coin being sold, but rather the holder it was in.
The coin was a 1924 Saint graded MS-62. and it sold for $3805.oo with 9 bidders, over twice what one might expect given this is a common date Saint in an unremarkable grade. The 100% premium was for the slab, a First generation BLACK NGC Holder.
The eBay sellers description offered the following comments on the holder…..
“When NGC first started operations in late 1987, they used this black holder with a white grading insert.
The first generation black NGC slabs didn’t always carry the big premiums that they do now.
The main problem was, while Gold coins and untarnished Silver coins looked amazing, copper coins (especially brown oxidized ones) and other dark, circulated Silver coins proved hard to see with the black filling. Thus, for the second generation NGC holders, the filling was changed to white and has remained that way to this day with NGC.
Following marketing advice at the time in 1987, the coin was inserted right-side-up the coin is upside-down reverse! This was also corrected in the subsequent generations on NGC slabs so the coin would be right-side-up when the grading insert is viewed right-side-up.
The black holder was only used by NGC for a month or so (September-November 1987). Grading was quite conservative in those days when compared to grading today. As such, the black holders that surfaced in later years were cracked and the coin resubmitted in pursuit of a higher grade which is why they subsequently became so rare!”