PCGS Slab Generations
Updated: Mar 6
This post is simply going to show the generations of PCGS holders of the standard type from the beginning to today. Purposely left out are the multi-coin holders, labels applied to government packaging, and custom or special labels.
(*Note: To save and download this list, just click the album at the bottom of this post. It is a google slide and can be downloaded as a pdf.)
Generation 1.0 - Extremely rare. Produced Early Feb 1986. This is the 1st generation 2 piece “Rattler” holder features a flat white label. It was only used for a few days. Key difference from gen 1.1 is the crude dot matrix printing. Approx 1000 were originally slabbed starting with # 1080001. Current census figures put the number of survivors known at 35.
Generation 1.1 - Very Rare.
Produced for about a week in Feb 1986. This white label features an improved quality dot matrix print. Approx 1400 were originally slabbed with the highest know cert # being 1082378. Current census figures put the number of survivors known at 51.
Generation 1.2 - Fairly Common.
Produced Feb 1986 - Sept 1989. Holder features a pale green ribbed front label replaces the white label of gen 1.0 & 1.1. Nicknamed the "Rattler" coins often rattle inside the holder when shaken. While fairly common it's becoming harder to find them with premium quality coins as so many have been broken out and resubmitted in hopes of a higher grade.
Generation 2.0 - Scarce.
Produced Sept-Oct 1989. Holder features the "Doily" label & new rear label with hologram. It has a plastic collar surrounding the slab forming a raised lip that allows them to stack & interlock. Changes were made for security purposes due to fakes of rattlers showing up on the market. The label design was unpopular & was quickly replaced. Now highly sought after and cost a premium price.
Generation 2.1A - Uncommon.
Produced Oct 1989 - Dec 1989. Same holder as gen 2.0 but has green perforated label replacing the doily label.
This is one of the two known varieties of Gen 2.1. The front label lacks PCGS printed at top and printing is not usually centered but offset to the left.
Generation 2.1B - Uncommon.
Gen 2.1’s were produced Oct 1989 - Dec 1989. Same holder as gen 2.0 but have green perforated labels that replaced the doily label.
This is the other one of the two known varieties of Gen 2.1. The front label has PCGS printed at top and printing can be centered or offset to the left. This is the least common of the two.
Generation 2.2 - Uncommon.
Produced Dec 1989 - Jan 1990. Non perforated label and printing quality is a bit better and sharper. Otherwise very similar to Gen 2.1
Generation 3.0 - Fairly Common.
Produced Jan 1990 - Feb 1993. Solid 2 piece interlocking slab replacing the collar type of Gen 2. Labels front and back essentially the same as Gen 2.2. While fairly common it becomes scarcer as time goes on.
Generation 3.1 - Fairly Common.
Produced Mar 1993 - Sept 1998. This holder feature a revised text font on front label and Copying Prohibited added to rear label. Still fairly common but will become scarcer as time goes on as more are broken out for possible upgrade.
Generation 4.0A - Common.
Gen 4.0’s were produced Oct 1998 - Feb 2002. This holder features a new blue label replacing the old green label & a new rear hologram & silver logo. Barcode moved to rear label. This variety lacks the coin number system seen on 4.0B. I don’t consider it a unique generation as it was not used for all coins and was used at the same time as 4.0B.
Generation 4.0B - Common.
Gen 4.0’s were produced Oct 1998 - Feb 2002. This holder features the new redesigned front & rear labels that replaced the old green label. This this is the regular issue holder, this “ variety” is the standard label featuring the addition of Series and Coin numbers.
Generation 4.1 - Common.
Produced Feb 2002 - Nov 2004. This holder is slightly revised from Gen 4 with the barcode moved from rear to front label.
Generation 4.2- Uncommon.
Produced Nov 2004 - Mar 2005. The "Silverback", this holder features a new large silver rear hologram with NASDAQ:CLCT under St. Gaudens. Front label is essentially unchanged from Gen 4.1. This is a transitional slab made only for a few months.
Generation 4.3 - Uncommon.
Produced Mar 2005 - Nov 2005. This holder features a new narrower rear hologram. Front label is unchanged from Gen 4.2. Another transitional slab.
Generation 4.4 - Common.
Produced Nov 2005 - Dec 2011. This holder features a revised front label with the series and coin numbers removed. Rear label remains same as previous generation.
Generation 4.4S - Uncommon.
Produced Mar 2010 - Dec 2011. This is the 1st of the gold shield secure holders. I’ve noted 3 different reverse labels.
Generation 4.5 - Common.
Produced Dec 2011 - Jan 2013. This slab features the new Tri-View holder, it uses prongs to hold coin to allow viewing of the coins edge. Front label remains unchanged from the Gen 4.4 holder. Rear hologram is revised, the font and text size has changed and the St Gaudens has a white tint instead of colored (Same as the 3rd variety of gen 4.4S).
Generation 4.5S - Uncommon.
Produced Dec 2011 - Oct 2012. This holder feature the “new” Tri-View insert. Front and rear labels remain unchanged from Gen 4.4S T3.
Generation 4.6 - Common.
Produced Jan 2013 - Jan 2014. This holder features a new gradient blue background to front label. Rear label under hologram is now white.
Generation 4.6S - Uncommon.
Produced Oct 2012 - Jan 2014. This holder features the new gradient blue background to front label. This holder was actually introduced a few months before the standard Gen 4.6 holder. Rear hologram remains same as previous generation.
Generation 5.0 - Common.
Produced Jan 2014 - May 2015. This holder features a slightly revised front label and a new rear logo and Dupont hologram, as well as the “pins” at bottom corners of label.
Generation 5.0S - Uncommon.
Produced Jan 2014 - May 2015. This holder is the gold shield upgraded version of Gen 5.0.
Generation 6.0 - Common.
Produced May 2015 - Oct 2020. This holder features a redesigned rear label & hologram with added security features. It is seen with and without the QR Code.
Generation 6.0S - Common.
Produced May 2015 - Oct 2020. Secure shield holder. There four variations that I’ve seen. I’ve noted front label with and without shield (T2 only), three different reverse labels. The Gen 6.0S T3 is can be distinguished from Gen 6.1S as it lacks the NFC logo embossed on the front lower left corner seen on only gen 6.1 & 6.1S.
Generation 6.1 - Common.
Produced Oct 2020 - Present. This holder features the NFC chip upgrade. Front lacks shield on label but has embossed NFC logo on bottom left corner. In late 2022 the rear hologram was changed.
Generation 6.1S - Common.
Produced Oct 2020 - Date. Front label features a revised shield and holder has embossed NFC logo in bottom left corner like the standard holder. Reverse label is unchanged from the 3rd version of Gen 6.0S. In late 2022 the rear hologram was changed.
Click photo below for a downloadable version of these generations and more details.