NGC Slabs National Collection's Rarities By Numismatic News
March 20, 2008
Collectors and investors were the first adaptors when it
came to the introduction of slabs in 1986. Now, the scholarly
community has joined.
Some 200 rarities in the National Numismatic Collection at
the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History were
placed in customized plastic holders donated by Numismatic
The Smithsonian took this step because the coins are the
most frequently handled.
"We are pleased to be able to provide superb protection
for these rare objects while at the same time extending access
to the research community," said Brent D. Glass, museum
Glass said the project is a collaboration between the museum,
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and Numismatic Conservation
Services, which donated their services and developed the holders
to meet museum specifications. NGC also provided the materials
necessary to re-house the coins, along with two storage cabinets
which will offer enhanced security for these numismatic treasures.
"NGC is privileged to work with the museum," said
Mark Salzberg, chairman of NGC.
David J. Camire, president of NCS, added "The focus
that the museum has put on the long-term preservation of the
NNC should be strongly commended. It's a great privilege to
commit our resources and energy to this important initiative."
The 200 holders are made of inert mold-injected resin and
the label, identifying the coin in it, is printed on acid-free
paper. The holder's overall size is roughly 60 mm wide by
85 mm tall. It can accommodate coins up to 45 mm in diameter
and nearly 5 mm thick. Coins are placed in pre-molded cores
that are semi-rigid and then encapsulated in a clear outer
Traditionally, coins in museum collections are stored in
Prior to the re-housing effort, the Smithsonian said it conducted
rigorous materials analysis and testing to establish the long-term
safety of all of the components used in the manufacture of
the holders. Results indicate that the holders will remain
inert and stable for decades into the future.
Because of the emphasis on the long-term preservation of
the collection, the pilot project also will include regular
inspections of the re-housed coins by the curatorial staff.
The museum's National Numismatic Collection consists of more
than 1.5 million objects, including coins, medals and paper
currency, and preserves the role of money in economic history.