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Buy the Coin, Not the Holder!

Admiral Mike-migration


I know, it doesn't make sense on this forum, BUT....

I think you'd be better off though. Any coin, or any collectible for that matter, is only "worth" what somebody else is willing to pay for it. I might say my coin is worth 500 bucks, but if the highest bid I can get is only 300, well... I guess it is only worth 300!!

I would respectfully suggest that you don't buy coins strictly on a "points assigned" basis. We all know how subjective grading can be and it is simply insane to think that 1 "point" in grading would make the difference between a 10 dollar coin and a thousand dollar coin. As 1 collector recently mentioned, having coins crossed over to another TPG, a 1 point difference cost many hundreds of dollars on each coin.

I do believe there is a valid reason to have our coins slabbed, those reasons are 1. to get a very close approxamation of the coins condition and 2. To preserve the coin in its current state.

I am too darn cheap to spend thousands on any one coin, not too mention I have 9 kids, all of whom want something or other on a somewhat constant basis. Even when they are grown and gone, they manage to keep the coffers dry, anyway, I digress... Before I would spend what I believed to be a minor fortune on a coin, graded or not, I would want to get several opinions from respected names in the business. I would need to do some research myself and examine this potential treasure, up close and personal. My decisions would be based on examinations, research and information from others close to this gem. I wouldn't want this beauty to go up/down in value just because of someones opinion in point value.

ANA does publish guidelines for the Sheldon scale. I believe the upper MS/PF grades could be a little better defined though it would be a pretty good place to start learning how to grade coins yourself. I think what would lend credence to TPG grades is to have a small narration as to WHY a coin received a particular grade, and even more importantly, why it didn't go higher. I, myself, would be willing to pay for this extra service.

We, as individual collectors need to educate ourselves on the coins we collect. We should not count solely on the opinions of others to determine the value of our collections. Too many factors come into play then. You submit an 1880 Shield nickel you believe to be MS63, comes back MS61, a $2000 difference... what you dont know is that the first grader was in a car accident earlier in the day and is still a bit shaken up, grader two didn't get lucky the night before. The finalizer, assuming the first two know what they are doing, simply rubber stamps the approval and presto!!! Your $6500 coin is now worth $4000. Gives you the warm fuzzies!!

Either your coin is a gem beauty or it is NOT... doesn't matter what kind of slab or holder it is in. It is either "worth" 10,000 or it is not!! You need to be able to look at a coin and be able to determine its overall condition. That takes a bit of effort on your part to develope this talent. Start and perhaps stay with only those series that really interest you and let that specialty grow. If you do have a gem beauty... a $10,000 coin, then by all means get that baby slabbed...primarily for protection... you already know its grade... YOU have judged it, and with training and experience, you do not need a TPG to "tell" you what grade it is.

I am not diss-ing NGC, they provide a fine service. They give a really close approxamation of the grade and they put our treasures in a fine protective holder. The validity of my statement, that any TPG gives a close approxamation is this... if you do not like the grade a coin receives, you can crack it out and re-submit it, there is a very good chance the grade will change. This happens all the time. Dont like grade, darn, crackout, re-submit, grade goes up 1 point, still not happy, crack out, re-submit, grade goes back down, enough of this company, crack out and send to another TPG...start all over again. This goes on until 1 of 2 things happens. Either the grade gets high enough for the customer, or they feel like they have spent more on grading than the coins will get back.

Learn to be your own grader and you will be happy with every purchase you make, raw or slabbed.

This coin is from the German State of Brandenburg. 1693-HS 1 Schilling (1/32 Thaler). I would grade it obv/vf rev/xf. I hope I look this good when I am 315 years old.


Michael Cooper




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