Collectors Universe hit a major milestone, certifying its 50 millionth collectible. The event happened on February 26, 2014 when Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), a division of Collectors Universe, authenticated and graded an 1888-O Morgan silver dollar.
To celebrate, Collectors Universe awarded the submitter a PCGS-certified one-ounce 1986-W Proof American Gold Eagle, which was encapsulated with a special 50,000,000 insert label that Collectors Universe President and Founder David Hall autographed.
"We opened our doors for business in February 1986 and we received 18,000 coins for grading that very first month, a number far in excess of what we expected. The next month we received 35,000 coins, and we have been growing steadily since. Now just a few weeks after our 28th anniversary of being in business, we’ve reached the 50,000,000th milestone," said Hall.
Collectors Universe authenticates more than just coins. It is also the parent company of the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) and PSA/DNA Authentication Services divisions that certify trading cards, sports memorabilia items, and autographs.
Collectors and dealers worldwide "come to us year-after-year to certify the authenticity of some of the world’s most valuable rare coins, trading cards, game-used baseballs, bats and other sports memorabilia, autographs and historical documents," Hall said.
The lucky winner of the proof Gold Eagle was Mike Newman of Augusta, Georgia. He submitted his 1888-O Morgan silver dollar at the ANA National Money Show in Atlanta, and a team led by PCGS President Don Willis certified the authenticity and graded it PCGS MS66+. Newman is a member of the PCGS Collectors Club and a participant in the PCGS Set Registry® under the name, "Georgia Dawg."
PCGS is well known among coin collectors. It has graded nearly 28 million coins with a combined market value of over $27 billion. Some of these are among the world’s most valuable rare coins sold at auction, including a 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar graded PCGS SP66, believed to be the first silver dollar ever struck by the United States Mint. It sold for $10 million.
It was recently announced that PCGS was the company that certified the authenticity of the 1,427 gold coins discovered last year on private property in California. The estimated value of that buried treasure, named the Saddle Ridge Hoard, totals more than $10 million.