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Journal entries from the founder of Legend Numismatics, Laura Sperber, help you stay current with the real happenings of numismatics. A former ANA Board Member, Laura has handled close to $1 billion worth of rare coins to date and has assembled many of the greatest collections ever. Her views and opinions are as "inside" as you can get. Warning: ALL her Hot Topics articles are pretty blunt!
Posted: June 18, 2016 09:12 PM EDT| 1 Reply
For years now coin doctoring and gradeflation have been two of the biggest problems with the hobby. Coin doctoring actually has lessened to a small degree, while gradeflation has not. Its one thing that’s standards have changed, but its another when EVERYONE keeps pushing the standards.
I have seen a very upsetting trend of late. I work very hard to help collectors build their dream sets. I buy them ONLY PCGS CAC coins that are all there and then some. In many cases, that is what the customers demand anyway. The disturbing thing I am experiencing has to do with the day they finish their sets. Now I am getting calls “hey when are we going to resubmit everything?”. I am perplexed. These are the same people who would never even consider a NON CAC coin for their set. Collectors are not stupid, they know if a coin gets upgraded they will lose the CAC bean among other issues. Yet, that’s what they all of the sudden want.
Upgrading a set just for the thrill or maxing out the coins is NOT as smart as you think. Buyers want fresh and NOT over graded coins. You don’t always get more money. We all know when a good set gets regraded, the services try hard to grade the sets higher. THIS DOES NOT HELP THE HOBBY. If you were to leave your set as is and seek maybe a + and pedigree, I think your in much better shape. If there really are upgrades-real upgrades, when it comes time to sell, the market WILL notice.
I’m sure the boo birds will disagree, but having a PCGS CAC piece in MS65 is BETTER then having a NON CAC coin in MS66,
How much maxing out do we really need? The standards have already been pushed 2x since 3rd party grading began. Unless you have a coin that is grossly UNDERgraded-appreciate the coin, NOT the grading game. Last week I got an email from someone desperate to upgrade their set. They saw a single coin owned by someone somewhere get a + and they are asking me to redo a whole set and most likely loose CAC beans. This stuff boggles my mind.
What I am saying here is for collectors to think before they act. While the grading services seduce you for fees, look at what your really doing. Is it really worth it to you and your set you worked so hard to build to be totally maxed out to a point that its over graded? I’ll be the one to say it, The Pogue Collection cost itself MILLIONS because as many of us in the know, knew-not all that much stickered. While there were some amazing coins in the collection, they failed to get strong money on the OVERGRADED coins. Had they left them in the original grades and had the CAC bean, I do believe the coins would have sold for a touch more as these coins were nice and had no problems. The results PROVED no one got excited about the overgraded coins-not matter how rare they were.
This Hot Topics is NOT a pro CAC rant. Its about common sense and not falling into a trap. The crack out game really has changed. Every day now we see the real pros crack coins out of habit, get the upgrade and then NOT be able to resell the coins for a profit. I have witnessed this happen to the best dealers/crackers. Its hard to accept we are in a different market then even 2 years ago. Collectors are over doing it thinking its a new game.
My suggestion is to look over your set and definately resubmit the UNDERgraded coins ONLY-if there are any. Then you can play the game on the entire set and seek a +, pedigree, images, etc (CAC will regraded 95% of +). Its a turn off for me and I assume any buyer who sees a top or special set ready for sale and its drecky due to being over graded. You are really hurting yourself over maxing out your coins.
I used to blame the grading services for everything. Now, I see a clear pattern of collectors who insist on pushing the line even further. We have a really BAD culture. You don’t have to regrade if you have really nice high end and eye appealing coins. In today’s market, many coins are so hard to find they WILL bring huge money as is in a PCGS CAC holder. Mess with the grades and lose the bean-sorry, your not getting that big pay day.
Do not think for a minute I am not for making sure a collector gets the most money for their collections. I just all of the sudden in the past year have experienced this bad trend. Quality is and will always be a critical factor in the value of ANY coin.
What is written here is my personal opinion. I maybe reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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