Collectors Universe, the parent company of Professional Sports Authenticator and PSA/DNA Authentication Services, certified its 50 millionth item on Wednesday.
"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,” said David Hall, CU’s President and Founder. “The next month we received 35,000 coins. A few years later we added sports collectibles, and we have been growing steadily since.”
The PSA and PSA/DNA divisions have certified since 1991 over 22 million trading cards, sports memorabilia items and autographs with a combined estimated market value of over $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 1,000,000th item until 1998, PSA has processed over 1,000,000 items each and every year since that time," said PSA President Joe Orlando.
"Today, third-party authentication and grading is not only accepted, it is insisted upon. This is especially true when it comes to the buying and selling of high-value items, and we have had the privilege of handling many of the most valuable collectibles in the world."
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 over $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.
The landmark achievement of certifying the 50 millionth item occurred at the American Numismatic Association National Money Show in Atlanta, Georgia on February 26 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.