Purchasing BU coins for Mint State Grading for newer silver coins
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Hello,

As a new coin collector there is a vast ocean of websites to help you build a collection. My question pertains to buying BU coins and then having them graded.

In particular I'm looking at newer aged (year 2000+) silver, one ounce lunar coins. Are there any websites/vendors you have had more success with vs others? Or is this type of information kept secret or not appropriate for this forum?

Thank you for any help or direction.

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The idea of having coins like those graded is going to be DEEPLY controversial. I am in the “never” camp, while I realize many are okay with it. 
 

To me, a solid MAJORITY of coins presently graded should never have been submitted. The costs incurred can never be recouped. 

Edited by VKurtB
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Welcome to the forum.  Buying BU coins and having them graded is a collecting strategy, but it doesn't come without risk.  Understand that very modern coins only carry premium (and worth the cost of TPG)  in super high grades (MS68+), and proof coins/bullion are even more strict (PF69 and more likely PF70) (note: graded bullion is a different kettle of fish, and bears risk despite the grade).   Most of the time you can buy these coins graded for less than it costs to have them graded.

If you are brand new and your grading skills are not impeccable, this is tricky.  An MS66 is a nice grade, but you will be underwater financially if you submit a modern coin that comes back MS66.

I am certainly not trying to talk you out of anything.  I just want you to go into this eyes-wide-open.  

Factors:

  • Raw coin cost 
  • Membership to TPG
  • Shipping and insurance (both ways)
  • Grading fees

Add those together and then look at the cost for a graded one.  Understand that the pre-graded coin is a "sure thing", so place a financial factor to accommodate for the risk you are taking.  

Again, I cannot stress enough... if you don't make the grade, you will lose.

Edited by The Neophyte Numismatist
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Not something for anyone who has rudimentary grading skills. A novice will loose money every time. It is all about spotting the highest grades before the coins are sent to a TPG, then churning the margin as rapidly as possible.

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On 6/22/2022 at 3:01 PM, VKurtB said:

The idea of having coins like those graded is going to be DEEPLY controversial. I am in the “never” camp, while I realize many are okay with it. 
 

To me, a solid MAJORITY of coins presently graded should never have been submitted. The costs incurred can never be recouped. 

Hello VKurtB,

Thank you for your insight. If a coin is generally worth $40 then to have it graded with all the costs incurred would make it very hard to recoup any financial loss. That does make sense. Again thank you for your time in replying.

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On 6/22/2022 at 3:12 PM, The Neophyte Numismatist said:

Welcome to the forum.  Buying BU coins and having them graded is a collecting strategy, but it doesn't come without risk.  Understand that very modern coins only carry premium (and worth the cost of TPG)  in super high grades (MS68+), and proof coins/bullion are even more strict (PF69 and more likely PF70) (note: graded bullion is a different kettle of fish, and bears risk despite the grade).   Most of the time you can buy these coins graded for less than it costs to have them graded.

If you are brand new and your grading skills are not impeccable, this is tricky.  An MS66 is a nice grade, but you will be underwater financially if you submit a modern coin that comes back MS66.

I am certainly not trying to talk you out of anything.  I just want you to go into this eyes-wide-open.  

Factors:

  • Raw coin cost 
  • Membership to TPG
  • Shipping and insurance (both ways)
  • Grading fees

Add those together and then look at the cost for a graded one.  Understand that the pre-graded coin is a "sure thing", so place a financial factor to accommodate for the risk you are taking.  

Again, I cannot stress enough... if you don't make the grade, you will lose.

Hello Neophyte Numismatist,

Thank you for the detailed information. What you put together makes sense. I have come across some items that seem available to buy in BU condition yet are unavailable in graded condition on third party sites, or, if they are, carry a large premium. If you can get a raw BU coin for $40 yet only see it online in graded condition for $120 or more it make me ponder why that is. Perhaps it means that that coin only comes back in ps70 or ms70 condition one out of x times, thus the price? This is what prompted my initial question.

Thank you again.

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On 6/22/2022 at 7:32 PM, RWB said:

Not something for anyone who has rudimentary grading skills. A novice will loose money every time. It is all about spotting the highest grades before the coins are sent to a TPG, then churning the margin as rapidly as possible.

Hello RWB,

Thank you for the reply. Yes, I have zero skills at this time for pre-grading with exception of using a magnifying glass!

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@Werewolves Revenge AG Immunity You bet.

On 6/23/2022 at 8:38 AM, Werewolves Revenge AG Immunity said:

Perhaps it means that that coin only comes back in ps70 or ms70 condition one out of x times, thus the price? This is what prompted my initial question.

You are spot-on.  All BU coins are not equal, and unless you are a superb pre-grader, you are going to come back with many coins that are less than MS70.  Many dealers submit a large/bulk submission... the premium they squeeze out of the MS70 coins pays for those that don't make the cut.  

Also know that some dealers crack the subpar coins back out of the holders if they think they can sell them raw.  This is particularly true if coins come back a "problem coin" (cleaned, etc).  There are certainly dealers that are very honest and do not do things like this - but this is an identified trick in the marketplace. 

Collectors submit coins "by the ones" and get good grades all the time.  But, as mentioned above... you better be a great pre-grader.  Every coin that doesn't make a super high grade will be upside down financially.  The drop-off in price between MS70 and MS69 could be very significant, MS69 to MS68 could be the same.  One point can make a huge difference in price.  

I own a few MS70 coins, but I have to be 100% honest here... If there was an MS69 on the label, I would not be the wiser.  The difference between MS69 and MS70 (visually) is so small.  You need to be a great grader, and have some luck, too.

I wish all the luck, but you will have to get the pre-grading skills on your own. 

 

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On 6/23/2022 at 9:01 AM, The Neophyte Numismatist said:

You need to be a great grader, and have some luck, too.

Truer words have never been typed. 

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