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A Rarity Study of XF and AU Seated Dollars

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I received my Gobrecht Journal today, and I excitedly went to read every page of it. The first article, also the title of this thread, was co-authored by a friend of mine.


Upon reaching the 2nd page of the article, I felt compelled to call him to yell at him. (He also knows that I'm going to post my thoughts of his article on the message boards.)


For those who don't receive this journal, the articulately-written article uses the PCGS and NGC pops to arrive at 6 rarity groupings for the EF40 to AU58 grade range for all business strike Seated Dollars.


To be fair, the co-authors did express in their article the reasons why I disliked the article: common date specimens in EF and AU don't get submitted due to their value; resubmissions; and, grade inflation. However, the authors placed this disclaimer at the very end. I felt that this should have been said before they introduced their data. To me, it seemed like they tried to bury this caveat.


I have a huge problem with any assertion based on what is essentially a flawed basis. That is simply bad mathematics.


While I did happen to agree with much of their results, I'd like to point out some glaring assertions that with which I am in strong disagreement:


1. They only looked at slabbed specimens in two services, and ignored nice specimens that are raw or in other services' holders.

2. They list the 1861-63, 65 dates (Group 2, 30-60 specimens) to be as rare as the '71-CC and '73-CC. I would love to trade with the authors these Civil War dates for the '71-CC and '73-CC.

3. They have the 1860, in Group 3 (60-90 specimens), as being rarer than the 1848, 50, 50-O, 56, 69, 72-S dates (Group 4, 90-130 specimens). Hah! The 1860 is one of the most common dates around, on par with the 60-O in UNC and the '71 and '72 in circ. I will gladly trade every 1860 for one of the others that I mentioned!

4. The 1860 is of the same rarity as the 1872-CC, and the 1853 as rare as the 1850-O, 56, and 72-S. Wanna trade?


My comments about wanting to trade with the authors is not intended to make out financially. We all know that there are numerous examples where relative pricing is skewed compared to relative rarity.


My point is meant to illustrate my absolute belief that the data is simply incomplete.




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Yea, verily. Relying on published pop numbers from slabbers is terribly inaccurate, as is relying on auction appearances. Auctions also inflate rare date numbers as they sell for more and trade hands more often.


A more reliable method would be to poll LSCC members, even though that would be incomplete. I guess they could go a step further and poll members of the CU and NGC forums, also.

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Right, looking at pop reports only is risky. We could look at the pop reports for XF-AU Lincoln memorial cents, but it wouldn't really tell us anything.


Ya know, I doubt that either of the authors of this article would trade an 1873-CC for an 1863 dollar. I guess all they are saying is that the pop reports for the two coins are about that same.


I agree with EVP that this information by itself is misleading, and that further interpretation of the raw data could have been included here. Some other ideas for clarifying this data:


1) survey of all club members collections

2) survey of auction appearances over the last few years

3) fixed price appearances in Coin World for some period of time

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I got my Gobrecht Journal over the weekend and read the article this morning.


I will gladly trade my 1873 seated dollar in PCGS AU-50 for an 1859-S dollar in PCGS or NGC AU-55. To assure you it's a good deal, I will point out experts have determined there are twice as many 1859-S dollars in AU-55 than my 1873 dollar in AU-50. What a deal!!!!!! grin.gif

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