• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

my friend e mailed me this; compiled from UPDATE-- ((summary added)) few months

7 posts in this topic

Mike : This is a group of notes I have found on coin dealer web sites over time. They are not mine, but I like the thoughts. The rare coin business is unregulated. We all learn at the school of hard knocks. We don't have a rule book or an owner's manual. Maybe the notes below will help you when thinking about coins.


1) The usual commercially graded, dipped and over-graded coins are everywhere.


2) It was the best of times for selling and the worst of times for buying.


3) Early copper, silver and gold type, pre-1839 is almost always cleaned, altered, worked on, re-surfaced and then add over graded to the mix. As a few of my friends said to me at a recent show, "pretty soon there will be no more original coins to buy." That quote seems to quickly be coming to fruition.


4) The coin hobby / business exists for the betterment of the established and knowledgeable players (dealers and highly educated collectors) and to the detriment of those that know the least, have the poorest connections, the worst "eye" for quality, and are the most vulnerable..


5) Major coin shows are absolutely necessary and likely always will be, but they last way too long. Coin shows should be a maximum of 2 days long, instead of the foolish and outdated 4 to 8 day shows now being held. All the business being done in a 4 day coin show could easily be done in a 2 day show, and it would give the attendees the (correct) impression of a bustling marketplace. Instead, today's shows are artificially dragged out for several extra days, so much so that the bourse floor is often reminiscent of a bus station at 3 AM. The retail coin business has largely moved onto the internet, so coin shows are predominantly wholesale affairs. Question - What is keeping major coin shows stretched out for so many days? Answer - The lucrative contracts signed by the major auction companies. The auction houses want a captive audience for as long a period as is tolerable, and the show promoters try their best to accommodate them. However, there is considerable pushback from the dealers who set up at these shows. Attitudes are changing, and show promoters can either get in front of the trend or be blindsided by it.


6) Beautiful, fresh, high end and original coins will continue to set records, while the ordinary “stuff” will languish even more than it has been in recent months. Note that the beautiful & fresh coins make up only a small percentage of the coins sold in a particular year. Less than 10% -- that is for sure.


7) Collectors are confused by auction results. For example two large cents of the same date, and the same grade that brought wildly different prices in the same auction, these results can normally be explained by differences in color and surface quality. And rightly so.


8) Due to today’s selective collector/dealer, an ever increasing number of certified coins on the market are considered low end for their grade. CAC holds coins to a higher standard so you can be confident in the value of yours. We verify previously graded coins and award our sticker only to those coins that meet the standard for today’s sophisticated buyer


9) I attempt to give a rarity rating for each variety listed. These in large part reflect the current EAC ratings as compiled in Jack Robinson's Copper Quotes. I also offer opinions relative to condition census ratings, die state, and condition rarity. These change constantly as new coins are discovered and reported. I attempt to use the latest data or information available. Still these ratings cannot be 100% accurate and remain a matter of opinion only. Having said this I can also say with confidence that more information and more research is available on Early Copper than any other area of American Numismatics. Large cents have been actively collected and researched for more than one hundred years. One can therefore have a high degree of confidence in the general accuracy of current information. I urge all my clients to form the numismatic library necessary to allow them to make informed judgments and purchasing decisions. It is foolish to invest money in coins if you have not already invested in the books and other sources necessary to the full enjoyment of them.


10) The Coin Dealer Newsletter which publishes both the “grey sheet” and “blue sheet.” The prices listed in these guides are supposed to be the levels at what dealers should be able to buy and sell coins at. The reality is that these guides are for the most part so far off base that it is not even funny and is bordering on deceitful.


11) As people used to say, nothing is ever foolproof because fools are so inventive.


12) In general, a substantial percentage of high grade, classic U.S. silver coins have been dipped, often more than once.


13) Knowledge trumps large sums of cash. There is no such thing as numismatic luck .


14) After many years of attending coin shows I still can’t figure them out. Whenever I think I will have a great show, I don’t. And when I don’t get my hopes up, it turns out pretty good. So I’ve learned to just go and do my business and let the chips fall where they may.


15) To be current with coin pricing you really have to go by auction prices. Printed price guides aren’t even close to actual trades. In fact, the CDN (gray sheet) is so far off in pricing early material it is of no value.


16) Fresh, no problem coins are rewarded with strong prices, as they should be.


17) Nice coins with nice color will likely capture the imagination of future collectors a bit more than one of an army of thousands of blast white, “perfect” specimens. The biggest threat to this potential future market, obviously, is coin doctoring. When the market starts to see an abundance of colored pieces, look out! Let’s just hope that the technology for busting coin doctors and artificially toned pieces improves.


18) It is not unusual for the PCGS and NGC to grade coins that have apparent, moderate friction on the highpoints as MS-61 or MS-62.


19) All coins of the same type, date and certified grade are not equal. Even all coins with the same certification by the same grading service may not be close to being equal.


20) Just remember, real quality doesn’t cost, it pays.


21) Collectors have become more sophisticated in the last few years and they want nice looking coins, no matter what the holder says.


22) The biggest “trend” I note right now in the market is that newer collectors and investors have so much more information at hand because of the Internet that they are naturally attracted to scarcer and more interesting coins than in the past.


23) I think something that everyone has to remember is that you usually don’t see the coins that are under graded or even properly graded in dealer’s inventories or in auctions. Those coins are easy to sell and they get placed with good clients. What you usually see are the over graded coins that are “hits” for the submitters.






summary below from my friend who is not on the boards.............................


Excellent list but if you read them all they say:


1--- Quality is essential;

2--- TPG are not so critical in judgement;

3---price lists are not valuable;

4--- knowledge (experience) is the difference in separating disaster from survival;

5--- most coins have been “improved” to maximize return;

6--- value coins are traded internally and not publically.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I must admit I see nothing new in these notes that I didn't already know! Maybe it's because I've experienced or read these points many times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with a lot of it and have read and heard much of it before.


I did not quite understand or agree with why coin shows are so long, but I do think that collectors and dealers might benefit from a two-day show, rather than 4-8, so long as they chose the right two days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Michael

Your statement

"12) In general, a substantial percentage of high grade, classic U.S. silver coins have been dipped, often more than once."


Sounds like how just about any comic book that has been slabbed with some value most likely was pressed. So I guess dipping in the coin hobby is like pressing in the comics hobby.

People always trying to find away to gain the system. hm


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with your friend's accessment of pricelist ie. the grey sheet, but if you will notice the prices given by NGC and PCGS are also a wish that you might have to buy your coins by. Yes they are closer to the market but still they are way off. You cannot buy high grade material at the prices quoted, just look at what is happening at the auctions, prices are just about always exceeding the price list regardless of where they origionate.


Link to comment
Share on other sites