Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by statequarterguy, Feb 5, 2016.
Log in or Sign up to hide this ad.
I am glad to see how Mr. Bowers affirms what many of us here have always contended, that grade inflation is real. Any collector who buys based upon what a TPG "grades" their coin is a sucker waiting to be fleeced.
It's from "OU"..........Online University!
He might be the singularly most respected figure in US numismatics. I have collected coins for 40 years and do not know what he probably forgets in the average day. If anyone in US numismatics has earned the right to have his opinion respected, its Mr. Bowers.
I read your post before the article, and initially agreed that it seemed a rather questionable approach. However, he used a very simple and single qualifier for his comparison, so if based upon that alone, it's not at all unreasonable.
I'm not saying he needs to do as much research as he did for a book, but his resume really shows he can do much better than that "article".
Really no discussion of wide spread grading standards should start or end with based off my findings from ebay pictures.
That's a fair enough point, Liberty was certainly overemphasized. In all honesty in my opinion it was a rather unimpressive write up, especially from someone like him.
I wasn't impressed, but wasn't roll-my-eyes unimpressed either. It certainly could have been much, much better, but could have been worse as well. While he was clear with his point, and made a sincere effort to validate it, with a little additional work I do believe he could have made it that much stronger.
In order to fully understand Bower's comments and the move toward more liberal grading I believe a collector must be over fifty and will have gone through all the changes themselves. I know several of us on CT fit that description. Yes, TopcCatCoin, virtually any high AU with eye appeal has gone up a grade. Most AU gold has; and many major rarities have (Some even went from XF to Unc). If a grader questions this, the TPGS reply is along the lines of: "Grading has evolved as we (TPGS) learned more."
If you actually believe TPGS grades are meaningless...IMO, you are living in a dream world. Please state your case. Are they meaningless because two similar MS-65's bring different prices? Are they meaningless because YOU (and I) don't agree with 'the "market grading of today? Please tell us.
He said it in his first printing of the guide years ago. It's OLD NEWS! And for you younger collectors, Bowers was one of the dealers who started the slide toward more liberal grading than was being practiced.
Can't say for sure, but It certainly looks like it.
In the end, you either go with the flow or drown while sticking to the old standard. In a few years most of us will be dead and the new standards of today will be old - an possibly still evolving. Try to imagine how an Eric Newman feels about coins he purchased as VF/XF are now AU/Unc.
Secondly, some of you may want to read his follow-up weekly column to the one in the OP.
Lastly, Early American Copper collectors have been saying this exact thing for years. The thing that I think seems to be a bit of a disconnect in the opinion column, though, is that neither of the "Big-2" TPGs claims to grade to ANA standards. They have always used their own in-house and somewhat vague grading standards. Rick Snow posted a write-up on the PCGS forums last year about the problem with grade-flation of IHCs, and the post was "poofed" (i.e., removed by PCGS forum "gods") because it implied that PCGS was part of the problem. Other dealers are happy to play the "upgrade game" -- or as I like to call it, the "grade-flation max-out game". The TPG$ win, the dealer$ win, and the buyers / collectors / investors who blindly buy plastic and labels lo$e.
Now as far as the limited sampling Bower's chose, IMO he went too far. Today, plenty of Indians are graded Fine w/o a full liberty. Unfortunately, the market has accepted this. Just a little of this is due to strike. I personally get my first indication of the grade of an IHC from the details on the wreath and the amount of luster remaining. Then I check the "Liberty."
Now I'm back - too bad
YES! SO ALL THOSE HERE WHO THINK THE ANA GUIDE IS THE BEST can keep on deluding yourselves.
To exist in this market YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW TO GRADE for yourselves with your own personal standards and YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW THE TPDGS GRADE COINS BY THEIR STANDARDS (which can fluctuate with the market conditions, value of the coin , etc.) Can you say: Somewhat vague standards as @brg5658 said? When you can cover the grade on a slab and hit the same TPGS grade over 90% of the time (no matter how that grade relates to your personal standard) you will have joined the ranks of the elite professionals in this business.
Because grading from pictures in the first place is inaccurate, you can get within spitting distance of a grade usually but to come to concrete conclusions from them is silly.
Secondly Heritage would have been a more reasonable source, or Great Collections. At least with Heritage or Great Collections the picture taking is relitively consistent so you have a little more of an idea what something should look like in hand.
With ebay the pictures are all over the place in quality, how they were taken, some are even scans, there is absolutely no consistency what so ever.
He also came to more reasonable conclusions in his write up and wasn't claiming 12s were now at least a 40.
It is pretty easy to grade non AU/MS coins from pictures of most any decent quality. We're not talking about luster and hairlines here, we're talking about general coin details left after wear. I understand that your M.O. on coin forums seems to be polemics, but in this case you're just being silly.
Someone who is supposedly as good of a photographer as you are should then understand that a small detail such as the liberty bans details can look better or worse based off of the quality of photo and lighting.
Look at that listing as an example. First picture it looks like liberty is missing or rubbed away but the better picture its clearly there. There is a little over 200 40 or 45 PCGS/NGC Indians on ebay right now. The photo quality of them is atrocious on a good number of them making it look like liberty is missing yet any objective person could see the photo is to bad to make any conclusions about the level of detail on the coin.
Quite frankly looking at a few coin pictures on ebay and coming to wide spread spread grading conclusions based off of one qualifier is rather amateurish. As I said he should be better than that type of sloppy work.
I see you ignored the part about Rick Snow who actually did some legitimate research coming to more reasonable conclusions. Go on though with the personal attack when proven wrong, just reminds me of all the valuation threads where you gave people opinions instead of facts.
You are truly incorrigible.
I just looked through the more than 200 PCGS or NGC graded 1877 IHCs on eBay that are currently for sale, or show up as having been recently sold. Approximately 70% of the coin images are of more than sufficient quality to determine the details of a circulated coin. Approximately 30% of the photos are what I would consider better quality than Heritage Auctions. I think Mr. Bowers is intelligent enough to know which pictures are good enough for grading.
And, for the record, I never ignored anything about your comment on Rick Snow. Your reply was simply irrelevant to my original post -- I said he posted an educational thread, and his criticism was poofed from the PCGS boards. My point wasn't that his quality of research was better or worse than Bowers', it was that TPGs simply don't want to hear any facts about their inconsistency. They'd rather remove the educational post by the most respected IHC dealer in the world than admit their ever-loosening standards.
Now as for your personal attacks on me -- when I see you post even a single good quality image of a coin here or elsewhere, or when I see your well researched article in CoinWeek, I'll give you the respect you so clearly crave. Until then, you're just blowing hot air. Congratulations on having successfully attaining "keyboard warrior" status.
And those all showed a liberty. I looked through about 90 percent of them too and most of the photos were substandard. Heritage may overexpose which hides defects, but at the very least you'd be able to see the fine design detail when that is all he was apparently looking for.
Ah just more PCGS bashing.
Regardless the fact that Snows real research came to more accurate and reasonable conclusions re-enforces my initial point about his methodology. If the best someone can do is say "after looking at photos on ebay" no matter who they are that article doesn't need to be written.
Why thank you, I must say I do admire your work. You lecturing Aussies about why their grade rarities shouldn't actually be rare and continuing to argue when their experts corrected you is one of my favorite threads of yours.
Separate names with a comma.