… when you deal with things that are priced close to melt anyway.
When I was shopping for an 1877 10G late last year the common dates in the series in MS65 and lower were going for about $275. That's not that much given that the coins had a melt value of about $242 with gold around $1200/oz.
I have an eBay saved search for these things that I keep active even at times like now when I'm not really actively hunting.
The other day a couple of auctions popped up for an MS61 1875 and MS62 1876. These are easily the two most common dates with the highest mintage and if it isn't MS65 it might as well not even be graded. Last year you would have been lucky to get $275 for these. So I laughed when I saw bidding starting at $350 for them.
Then I had to think about it...
With gold at about $1500/oz the melt on these things has gone up to about $300. So I still think $350 is a bit ambitious for these things - they're not going to recover those grading fees - but $325-330 is probably reasonable / achieve able and $350 isn't as crazy as I was thinking at first.
This window of cheap gold that we've been enjoying since about 2013/2014 might be closing for a while. (It fell from the highs in 2011 but it was coming down more gradually for a while after that.)