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14 posts in this topic

  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

Do we need CAC, MAC and now PQ? Scrape off those stickers!


I know evolution is a reality for many things. I'm sure coin grading is well involved (or should I say, ensnared) in a manufactured market regarding our wonderful coins.


I started collecting before all this static came into the picture. I first saw the pretty glitter of physical silver and gold and as you know, if you have been following me, was enticed into numismatics as physicals became boring and not a lot different from trading equities and other investments.


As a former stock broker, including commodities and insurance, I certainly have seen, heard and felt extreme fear and greed.


I fully understand how this has happened, this sticker war now evolving.


First it was my chore to understand grading, of proof and mint strike coins. then, cam grading as I began to have a table at various shows around Florida. As folks would come to me with raw coins I attempted to figure what grade, hence value was the coin offered me for cash.


The best I could do was to keep a jewelers loop and grading book handy. I use the Official Whitman Guidebook of Numismatic Grading Standards. It has held me in good stead but still have to be wary of many pitfalls and mines lurking with the coins that show up over the counter.


In my travels I have bought four counterfeit coins and have been offered many Chinese fakes. I'm getting better.


Due to the charlatans and thieves out there, I can understand how the new sticker crowd is showing up on the scene.


I feel these companies are jumping on a lucrative bandwagon of an industry fat with money and wealthy people. This sticker war, I feel, must be stopped.


The two main coin graders NGC and PCGS were first on the scene. Now there are many. Along came ICG, and trying to sell one of those green labels is a fools errand unless you are asking bullion price. Most dealers will not pay over bullion.


Going to the two main graders, they have the full grades through and up to 70. Should the graders find a coin is a little better than a full grade, there are plus and stars they use to enhance a grade, but not go to the next higher.


I feel the label makers are totally useless and are making a market along with one with a near perfect system. If it works, do not fix it.


I mean, have you ever seen a PF70 with a star or plus? NO you have not! WHY? Because a 70 is the best, the pinnacle, the apex the holy grail and so on and so fourth.


So now, if you have a PF or MS 70, the labelers want to say, Oh, we think this coin is not a good 70 so we will not grade it. It has a spot or flaw. Fine. If a coin is graded at a trusted grader such as NGC and is used by the ANA, then why do we need a 2nd opinion? I mean, do we need all graders and labelers to agree that one specific coin is better than any other?


What if it is a 70, and CAC doesn't like it. So you send it to PQ. And if they don't like it,you send it to MAC and so on. How many stickers must we have to prove our coin is tops? Twenty, and what if the 23rd company does not like it? Do we need three or more stickers along with the graders grade?


No,I think this is total nonsense. If NGC or PCGS is not trusted, then why have them grade the coin or why buy it in their holder.


This subjective, manufactured market is getting out of control and I do not like it.


I am not going to jump on the bandwagon, and have three or more stickers on my wonderful coins. I will not stay away from a coin graded by a trusted grader because it does not have the sticker.


At the present time there are myriad coin graders, and then along came the labelers.


You do what you like, but I am sticking with the pros and not going to be dragged into this whirlwind. I say PFMS70 is good enough for me.


If you are not sure what we mean, follow this link.


You can see all the labels stuck on our coins.


At the F.U.N. show in Orlando last January, I was approached by MAC labelers. For $20 they would double the value of your coin. I thought it sounded pretty good until he sat down with a stack of envelopes, and began writing out a bill before he even looked at my coins. He was simply interested in the money, and I could see what he was about to do. I sent him away.

Then I went to his booth and tried to buy a certain silver eagle and he wanted many times its value. Like, $10,000. I made a call and a friend I knew had 2 of them and would sell them for $4500. This fellow bellowed that he would pay $9500 thinking I could not get the rare item. When I took him up on his big mouth, he screamed and yelled. I went to the authorities at the show, and told them what he was doing and in no time, his booth was empty. If you see a coin with the MAC label, it was a purchased label, not a graded coin.


What do you think?


Capt. Brian

The Lost Navigator



See more journals by CaptBrian1

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Well said about the new crop of stickers.


For your information. You can clean up the extra posts by clicking on edit journal then at the bottom of the screen click delete post.

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I totally agree with your post. I have several coins with CAC stickers, only because they were there when I bought the coin. I didn't pay a dime more than I would have paid for the same coin without the sticker.

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Coinman, I just grabbed a picture. Notice there is no sticker. And let me tell you, they were very ready to put a sticker on any coin I wanted to give them 20 bucks for.

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Thanks for the great post. This is from a fairly new collector that was at one time not confused. Then I saw more and more people jumping on the sticker band wagon. I do not have one sticker.....I am trying to sell a very "Rare in Grade" Coin but without a "Green Bean" it doesn't seem to have any worth!! I could understand the need for TPGs....it makes sense to have the "experts" grade the coins under some form of standardization. I deal mostly with NGC because I am an East Coaster and they are just closer to me than PCGS...even though I am a member in good standing with PCGS I have maybe had 10 coins graded by them. When I first became aware of the difference in TPG's was when I went to research my 1941 PF67RD Lincoln Cent. The difference in a PCGS graded coin and a NGC graded coin of the same grade was staggering!!! NGC finally came up on their "Fair market Value" but was still thousands below the PCGS "Fair market Value". This made no sense to me....none...nada, zilch!!! So my question is "who is checking the Third party graders for standardization"?? Oh, well, I'm still going to collect coins but I refuse to pay extra for a Bean or Mac and Cheese or any other.....what would it be? "Fourth Party Grader"? and who checks them and so on and so on..... You make perfect sense with your post CaptBrian!!! Thanks for the insight for this confused newby!!


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Call me blind but where is the "Edit Journal" button? Also, how do I delete a coin that I have for sale on the Money Market place?

Bud hm

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When I first became aware of the difference in TPG's was when I went to research my 1941 PF67RD Lincoln Cent. The difference in a PCGS graded coin and a NGC graded coin of the same grade was staggering!!! NGC finally came up on their "Fair market Value" but was still thousands below the PCGS "Fair market Value". This made no sense to me....none...nada, zilch!!!



Some of it (most of it) is due to marketing; the PCGS Registry is largely responsible for the large premiums you see for condition rarities in PCGS plastic.

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CAC doesn't review modern coins. So I'm not sure why you included them in a discussion about MS/PR 70 examples.


Additionally, while you might not care about CAC stickers, many buyers obviously do. So there is no upside and plenty of downside in removing them from holders.


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Stickering is definitely a value-added niche. The hard part is understanding how much value it actually adds. There is benefit to everyone if stickered coins sell above FMV if folks just went off of the price history alone, because they do not differentiate stickered from non-stickered coins. If you look at the actual sale or auction however, you will see many of them selling at a higher premium are stickered, so it self re-inforces the notion. What I typically look for is stickered plus grades, and I avoid top pop-- the exclusivity is already there and the TPGs appear to filter quite well at that level to insure values do not get radically destabilized in their local market.


A stickered PR70 would be pretty absurd, and any services offering to sticker sight unseen for money will be weeded out eventually, but will bite a few people along the way. Imagine if you [@CptBrian] had actually paid 10k for a 4.5k coin?! Putting a sticker on it at the end of the day is not all that different from a first strike label imo. They are both ways to enhance rarity, value, and collection uniformity, but are only worth the margin difference someone is willing to pay for either one.

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