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The One That Got Away



A popular fishing metaphor describes the coin that got away from me.

As collector?s we all naturally desire to acquire coins with spectacular eye-appeal for our collections. Each of us having an idea of what spectacular eye appeal should look like; we spend countless hours perusing hundreds of auction listings to find the proverbial ?needle in a haystack?. For many of us those countless hours turn into years until finally our meticulous searching pays off. However, there are those times when for either price or bad timing we hesitate and our ?needle in a haystack? gets away.

Earlier this week, a ?buy it now? listing for an 1883 Morgan Dollar grading PCGS MS-65+ posted on E-Bay. This coin with more eye-appeal than one my 66s? listed for 16% above Fair Market Value for MS-65. Since I could not tell if the coin was over-priced, I placed it on my watch list figuring I had plenty of time to make up my mind. Unfortunately, the coin did not last 24 hours on E-Bay before it sold.


With the advent of the ?+? grade I am confused as to what FMV is, since there are no values listed for ?+? grade coins. Furthermore, I think 20 steps of MS grades in contrast to 10 muddies the water. In the past if you thought a coin was solid for its grade, you could send it to CAC, and they would confirm if the coin is solid or not. In a way is this not what PCGS and NGC are doing with the ?+? grade. Interestingly, reading from CAC?s own web page, CAC does not recognize ?+? or ?star? grades, but rather only if the coin is solid for its grade or not. Now I am not disputing that either CAC or ?+? grade coins should not command a premium in the marketplace. What frustrates me is not knowing what that marketplace premium is.

Thinking back, I should have grabbed the coin when I had the chance. Failing to buy the coin rather than the holder, I missed a coin with spectacular eye-appeal. In the end, is not a coin's value in the eye of the beholder? Oh well, perhaps it was for the best this time since the very next day the starter on my car died and with an expensive repair I did not need to have the added expense of a new coin. Therefore, for now, it?s back to the haystack!

Since we in Collector?s Society are family, and taking from the lead of other members, I am posting my Facebook picture of my family at my son?s graduation (I?m the old F@&t on the left). Until next time, happy collecting!




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