You make good points in your post John for explaining the drop in prices for specific grades. But that's really only part of the overall explanation for the state of the market. Allow me to explain. For about 15 years now I've been writing on this forum, and others at times, about how the TPGs changed their grading standards. But at the same time I also wrote about how people who know coins readily recognized the same thing. In other words, I wasn't the only one aware of the changes that had taken place. For most of that time the majority of forum members scoffed and said it simply wasn't so, that no change in standards had occurred. Eventually things changed, and pretty much everyone, excepting a few diehards, acknowledged that gross changes in standards had indeed occurred and affected the market. But back to the part about explaining the drop in the market. As everyone knows the drop began in 2008, but what touched it off ? What happened to make it happen then ? I suppose the initial spark was the general economy blowing up the way it did. I mean the bottom fell out of basically everything. But with the coin market there was more than that to it. And when you stop and think about what has happened since then - there had to be. After all, everything else has recovered rather nicely, but not the coin market. No, unlike everything else it has continued its downward fall. So why ? What explains this ? Market levels today are where they were in 2003 and still going down. And it's not just the overall market, it's the specific parts of the market as well. For example, look at the gold indexes, they pretty mirror the overall market. Generic gold - there's your 50% drop. Mint state gold, it's not much different, but nowhere near 50%. But in a relentless downward trend and showing no signs of slowing. Now some might say the drop in the spot price is what did it. And yeah, it contributed, but not to that extent. Look at spot price chart for the same 10 years. It looks a bit different. So what's doing it then, what's causing it ? Well, part of it is what you're talking about - in essence, plastic buyers. But at the same time knowledgeable people, people who know coins, are playing even a larger part. Ya see, as I said above, they noticed the radical change in grading standards the same time I did. And as time progressed more and more of them noticed it as well. By 2007 CAC had come along, but why ? Does anybody really think that was just a coincidence ? No, it wasn't, it was because the numbers of those aware of what was going on had increased to the point that the market needed something else to help sustain it's ride upwards. The founders of CAC recognized this and the company was born, it was a good money making proposition for them. The market was still going up in 2007. But it didn't work for long, those same people who know coins also saw what CAC was doing - rubber stamping coins that didn't deserve the grades they were getting. But the plastic buyers went right along with it. They bought into it hook line and sinker and they outnumber those who know coins by far. But by late 2008 the bottom fell out anyway. And it hasn't stopped yet. Ya see, those people who know coins have a greater affect than most give them credit for. They are the underlying factor and when they stop sustaining prices, well eventually it matters. Smart money is almost always the first ones to get out of any market, or at the very least the first ones to stop buying. And without their support, eventually everybody else notices what the smart money has been doing for some time. And once that happens well it's all over. And we see the market do exactly what it has done. But there's one more factor, the Grey Sheet, you mentioned it yourself. But did you stop to consider the changes that have occurred with the Grey Sheet ? It's not what it used to be. It no longer reflects the prices and values found on the electronic dealer markets - the actual bids and asks, the sole determining factors of the Grey Sheet for 50 years. Now, instead they use the "magic of market analysts" to determine prices and values. Was that sudden and drastic change an effort to stop the drop ? Was that just a coincidence ? Or was it similar to the creation of CAC ? In any event, even if it was, or wasn't, it didn't work, the market has continued downwards. All of these things, combined, are what explains the drop in the market. More than anything else a lack of confidence in the TPGs is what's done it. And that lack of confidence was created by all of those things combined. Eventually it'll stop, but nobody knows where yet, or when. But I suspect it will not occur until the TPGs make major changes again and do a full reversal with grading standards, back to the days of 1986-87 when they were first created. In my eyes only something as drastic as that will have the ability to restore any degree of confidence the market has in them. Will it happen ? I dunno, time will tell as they say, but I believe it will. Why ? Personally, it's because everything else I've predicted has happened. But there's two ways to go with that. One is the obvious, the other is - I gotta be wrong eventually. Reckon we'll see.