An important and historic milestone has been reached in the multi-billion dollar collectibles marketplace. Collectors Universe, the parent company of PSA and PSA/DNA, certified its 50 millionth item on Feb. 26, 2014.
"We opened our doors for business in February 1986, starting with coins, 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. A few years later we added sports collectibles, 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 million milestone because collectors and dealers worldwide have put their trust in the assurance and market liquidity that Collectors Universe's expert, third-party grading and authentication provide," said David Hall, president and founder of Collectors Universe.
"They've 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world's most valuable rare coins, trading cards, game-used baseballs, bats and other sports memorabilia, autographs and historical documents."
The PSA and PSA/DNA divisions have certified since 1991 more than 22 million trading cards, sports memorabilia items and autographs with a combined estimated market value of more than $1 billion. Among the PSA and PSA/DNA certified items are the baseball bat that sold for $1.2 million in 2004 that was used by Babe Ruth in 1923 to hit the first home run in the original Yankee Stadium. And at the request of the NFL, PSA/DNA has authenticated all of the footballs used in more than a dozen Super Bowl games.
"At one time, nearly three decades ago, the concept of third-party authentication and grading was a radical one. As time went on, both buyers and sellers realized the positive impact that a credible third-party system could have on the hobby. In fact, while PSA didn't certify its 1 millionth item until 1998, PSA has processed over 1 million items each and every year since that time," said PSA President Joe Orlando.
Since its founding in 1986, the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) division of Collectors Universe has examined, authenticated and graded nearly 28 million coins with a combined market value of more than $27 billion. These include the world's most valuable rare coin sold at auction, a 1794-dated silver dollar believed to be the first silver dollar ever struck by the United States Mint and that brought $10 million in 2013.
PCGS experts also certified the authenticity and grade of the buried treasure trove of more than 1,400 gold coins found in California that generated international headlines this past week.
The landmark achievement of certifying the 50 millionth item occurred at the American Numismatic Association National Money Show in Atlanta on Feb. 26, 2014, when the company certified the authenticity and grade, PCGS Mint State 66+, of a Morgan silver dollar struck in 1888 at the New Orleans Mint. It was submitted by Mike Newman of Augusta, Ga., a member of the PCGS Collectors Club and a participant in the PCGS Set Registry.
In recognition of the milestone and as a symbolic representation of the year PCGS was founded, the company is awarding the submitter a 1986-dated American Eagle gold one-ounce bullion coin.