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To the Editors of CoinValues Magazine:

9 posts in this topic

Thank you for listening to my recommendations and adjusting the Franklin prices.


In late October, I sent an email to Steve Roach, editor of the CoinValues magazine. I informed him of the incredibly erroneous and extremely exaggerated values the magazine had listed for Franklins, especially FBL Franklins, and gave him example after example of recent purchases at fractions of the listed values. He quickly responded, saying:


"Hi Jason,


Thanks for the note.

In taking a look at the prices, I agree that they’re off in many places for FBL Franklins.

I will review and adjust them over the next two weeks to make them more reflective of the market.

Then, I hope that you provide me with further feedback on them based on your experiences in the marketplace.





I just purchased the latest edition of CoinValues (cover date February 2010), and I'm extremely pleased to say that not only did he keep his word - he did an excellent job. The values listed for FBL Franklins now closely reflect current market trends, and I would have no hesitation in recommending anyone pay CoinValues prices for most FBLs listed. Comparing my previous copy (cover date September 2009) and the one I just bought, values have been cut well over 50% for many coins. Using my collection as a reference, the values listed have been cut on average 58% - and the values listed are now within 2% of what I actually paid for my collection overall.


As a comparison to other guides - the PCGS price guide is about 40% higher than what I actually paid, Numismedia retail is about 20% higher, and Tomaska's advertised prices in CoinValues (on the same page as the Franklin prices), is about 230% higher than what I paid.


In conclusion, good job to the editors of CoinValues. Thank you for listening to me.


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This is true. The problem is that there are people who use these prices as a guide so if you are selling coins on Ebay and you use it then you are pricing coins 200% above. If you are inexperienced and pay the price then you paid too much.

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Tomaska's advertised prices in CoinValues (on the same page as the Franklin prices), is about 230% higher than what I paid.


This speaks volumes about advertising rates and other overhead required to keep our name in the lights.

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I do not consider what someone gave a coin away for on ebay necessarily a valid measure of retail market value. Auction prices, for the most part, are more of a wholesale price in my view.


Coin Values is a Retail Price Guide. IMO Its prices should mainly be based on Dealer Pricelists as opposed to ebay or for that matter Teletrade. Certainly auction prices are a valid consideration, but for more esoteric issues IMO. While I consider Coin Values one of the most detailed and reliable retail price guides in numismatics, I also like Coin Facts, and the pricelist L&C Coins puts out which I always have a copy handy of to see what others are selling a particular coin for which I may have recently acquired (show).


I do extensive research on what dealers are selling coins for by comparing their asking prices vs CDN Ask (which many define as theoritical whosale replacement cost). My excel model comparing several national dealers yields an average retail tackon above CDN Ask ranging from 10 - 40% with an average of 22%. For key dates this can be much higher. I spend a lot of time doing my own homework and research on pricing. However, I operate a business so my asking price has to cover operating costs plus a modest commission. I am not stuck in concrete on any one price guide in my goal of keeping my pricing competetive within a certain range and executing the goals of my business model.


I agree that the plethoria of price guides can be a confusing maze. I noticed the big drop in Franklin FBL prices in CV recently and wondered what could have all of a sudden triggered this. I realize people have been getting some huge bargains on ebay and teletrade - so what? We are in one of the worst recessions since the great depression. I do not entirely agree with this sudden huge price change.


As FBL Franks are not reported in the Greysheet (which grossly understates Franklin values IMO), I see this as more of a subjective area like Cameos. In this sector, one needs to consider population to really have a good handle on values. I consider dealer pricelists and the opinions of experts like Rick Tomaska (his guide on Franklin Halves is probably the best on the subject) a more valid souce of pricing data than what someone blew out a coin for on ebay or Teletrade.


Franklins are a fun, inexpensive series to collect. My favorite is the 1950 in PF 65 and above (however is is not inexpensive!).

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Arizona - I agree with most of what you say. However, Tomaska is well known for charging exorbitant prices for what you can find elsewhere for less than half the price, with a little work, knowledge, and patience. I assembled a top-quality set - the equal of anything he could have sold me - for a fraction of his price. His coins are generally quite nice, but they are not worth 230% more, on average. However, because he is recognized as one of the world experts on Franklin's, he can command a regal price.

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