Featured An example of "grade-flation" lowering specific grade market values

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by johnmilton, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. Mainebill

    Mainebill Wild Bill

    No it doesn’t. You got to know coins and pick and choose. I n
    Bought a sexy looking ngc pf 64 cam trade. Crossed it to pcgsand got a green bean as a trade dollar collector pcgs is much tougher and cac tougher yet. A few series cac really means something trade dollars seated dollars $20 gold early copper etc. got to be clean accurate original and eye appealing or no go
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  3. Mainebill

    Mainebill Wild Bill

    jA personally looks at the coins unlike the rest. He does reconsider on occasion
  4. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect for 64 years

    I guess I find it unfathomable that one person can review hundreds of thousands of coins of different types and denominations and the coin community accepts his opinions blindly, no matter how much an expert he is.
  5. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Yes they do, but they give everything a fresh look if you try again.

    A lot of collectors and the community know that experts such as him who honestly may have seen and dealt with more high value US classic coins than anyone have more skill than we ever will and value the expertise. Other's think they're his peer and get upset. Mike Trout is the best baseball player on the planet but there's still guys playing beer softball leagues who think they're a better hitter than he is. Collecting is no different, all aspects of life their will always be people who think they know everything and have nothing to learn or are smarter and better than known experts
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  6. whopper64

    whopper64 Active Member

    The coin may be superior to other ms 63's, but again, if the coin is not truly rare, for pete's sake, do not purchase it as an investment! If you just collected it for it's numismatic history, good for you. From what I've read, coins like this fluctuate with the market and over the past 30-40 years, have definitely not kept up with real world inflation. Just saying.
  7. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I think you were addressing me. I did not buy the 1873 double eagle as an investment; it is part of a complete type set of U.S. gold type coins from 1795 to 1933.

    As for rarity, true Mint State Type II Double Eagles are scarce. In MS-65 or better, they are rare. Check “Coin Facts” to see how many have been graded. As for losing value, shifts in the demand curve are one thing (legitimate); watering down the grading standards, which results in lower prices, is another.
  8. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I would not be as harsh a critic of CAC if the company snickered only properly graded or superior coins for the grade. Unfortunately it has made enough mistakes to make that assertion questionable in my opinion.
    Pickin and Grinin, wxcoin and furham like this.
  9. C-B-D

    C-B-D U.S. Type Coins or death!

    Interesting thread for sure. I'd like to add a couple things:
    1. The entire coin market has dropped off, not just PCGS coins or bullion. I've been a vest-pocket dealer since 2011, dealing mostly in raw U.S. type coins. The market was hotter than Hell back then. I could auction anything from 99 cents and I'd be shocked at the hammer price. I felt the slow drop off between 2012 and 2015. By 2016, it was bad. Then I experienced a bump in the positive in early 2017 through late 2018... so for nearly 2 years. People were spending again. There has been another dip in 2019, but thus far, it hasn't been terrible by any means.

    2. CAC is becoming more popular as of late, especially for common coins. I try to sell my NGC and PCGS coins to no avail, but I send them to CAC and they sticker? BOOM! Sold for a premium. Just yesterday I sold a Capped Bust Half 1836/1336 XF40 CAC for $350. It sat there without a sticker for nearly 2 months at $275. Crickets.

    3. CAC is sort of in bed with PCGS. The lines are blurring. Some of the owners of CAC are on the PCGS board of experts, right? And when Mark Salzberg of NGC sent out a critical letters naming examples of PCGS gradeflation, PCGS not only issued a counter-response, but they also created an advertisement stating that more of their coins were CAC stickered than NGC! That's a straight up endorsement!
  10. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect for 64 years

    I'm not questioning his expertise here. The point I was trying to make is that any one person looking at that many coins can and probably will make mistakes. If the coins he was evaluating were truly the cream of the crop rarities then I would not be so critical. I would assume that he would give each of these coins the adequate amount of time to make a reliable evaluation. Given the number of CAC stickered coins on the market today one needs to ask how much time does he spend looking at a given coin and how many hours per week does he spend doing this. Any human has a point where they become mentally fatigued and their work suffers.

    I'm a big baseball fan but find your Mike Trout analogy flawed. He only comes to bat roughly 4 times per game over a three hour period, makes a half dozen or so plays in the field and spends most of his time standing in the outfield or sitting in the dugout. It would be different if he took all the teams at bats and played all field positions.

    For a particular coin I'd find it more valuable to have an expert for that type/series evaluate it. For example, if I wanted an opinion on an early copper coin, I'd value the opinion of someone who specializes in early copper coins.

    Again, I don't question John's experience and knowledge. I question one individual handling that many coins and providing the proper amount of time to make an adequate evaluation.
  11. C-B-D

    C-B-D U.S. Type Coins or death!

    John Albanese isn't the only person handing out stickers and reviewing coins anymore. CAC has other employees reviewing coins.
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  12. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect for 64 years

    Thank you for clearing this up. I found it hard to believe that one person could do all of this. This leads to another question then. What level of experience does his other evaluators have? My quess is that they are no more experienced than those working at one of the TPGs. I'm sure that John probably handles the true rarities and big price coins himself.
  13. EyeAppealingCoins

    EyeAppealingCoins Well-Known Member

    @C-B-D @wxcoin My understanding is that JA is the finalizer for all CAC coins.
    wxcoin likes this.
  14. EyeAppealingCoins

    EyeAppealingCoins Well-Known Member

    CAC has always had a panel of graders. I think there are three other regular graders. I can't remember all of their names, but Bill Shamhart and William Wexler are definitely there.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  15. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Early in the process, John Albanese offered to grade my collection for free and invited me to be one of his graders. Since the graders were supposed to be active dealers, I declined because I had retired. The offer also took me aback because He didn't know me at all. How did he know that I knew how to grade coins? I declined the grading offer because I had ethical reservations with the offer.

    Other people have been grading CAC coins for a long time as well. This Bechtler dollar is graded EF-40 with a gold CAC sticker. When I showed it to a dealer, he recalled the piece and indicated that he was one of the people who rendered an opinion on it. Here the piece is from a couple of angles.

    C Bechtler Dol 2 O.jpg c Bechtler Dol 2 R.jpg

    C Bechtler gold dol O.jpg C Bechtler gold dol R.jpg

    Looking back on this, the coin was one of my less astute purchases. While it's nice, it does have some hairlining from being brushed. I think that PCGS was cloer to getting it right than CAC with gold sticker.
    Mainebill, medoraman and wxcoin like this.
  16. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Let me make this really clear. I think that JA is a gentleman and an honest person. We have had good conversations.

    One the problems has been and continues to be with some of his supporters. More than a few of them are "all in" with large investments in CAC approved coins. Some dealers are basing their marketing programs around CAC. Those people will attack anyone who does not support their cause. I have been the target of their wrath for the past five years because I have refused to give CAC a full throated endorsement.

    I am not the only one who has questioned the wisdom of having one arbitrator decide whether coins are properly graded or not. A lot of them seem to think that I have a great deal of influence. I don’t. I am just a former moderately sized purchaser of coins. Today I have pretty much withdrawn from purchasing coins in the U.S. coin market because of the grading issues.
  17. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I liken the situation to the NGC ancient slabbing. David Vagi, who designed the program and runs it, IS a very good dealer. His general understanding of the ancient coin market is almost as good as anyone's. However, there are a few dealers who's opinion carries more weight, (David Sear, Harlan Berk, etc).

    However, within a specialty I would not say they are nearly as good as specialists. I know someone who probably is the world's authority of Thasos coinage. I would trust his opinion over David Sear on the subject. Same is true of every subspecialty. Every area has people MUCH more authoritative than a generalist. Its just nature. No one can know everything anymore, and a specialist should always know much more than a generalist.

    So, by definition, one person being relied on for all general coins of a country is going to be a flawed model. If they had 6 or 8 specialists who were responsible for their area, that would be a definite improvement.

    I still don't like even more money being drained from the hobby. What is next, a "certified plastic overlay guaranteeing the CAC sticker is authentic", and take even more money out of coin collecting? At a certain point, when are we not "mint with mint tags, certified beanie babies"? Heck with that, I am staying in my sandbox where I can handle my coins, feel the connection with history, and laughing at everyone playing with plastic.
  18. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect for 64 years

    I appreciate your comments and sharing your experiences with CAC. I don't know JA and have personally never met him. From the things I've read, he is well respected.

    However, as well intended as CAC was when it began, it appears to me to have morphed into something else. It's being used by some as a marketing ploy to support a business model to drive up prices; the grade of a slab without a bean is suspect. At least that is how I'm interpreting all of this.
    CasualAg$ and johnmilton like this.
  19. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    From my understanding, at least for coins submitted by collectors, there is no charge for coins that don't bean. So if a collector submits it and their records say no bean there are no fees.
    wxcoin likes this.
  20. C-B-D

    C-B-D U.S. Type Coins or death!

    That is correct. I have a dealer membership, so I get charged for all, even those that fail.
  21. wxcoin

    wxcoin Getting no respect for 64 years

    According to their website collector memberships are closed. So to have a slab sent to them you need to go to a dealer member. What does the dealer member add to the submission cost? All of this seems to discourage the small time collector.
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