Same coin, $17,000 difference in holders

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by TypeCoin971793, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Here is an early half cent that really is an AU. PCGS graded this one AU-58. That makes it "equal" to the OP coin. Yea, right.

    1795 Half Cent O.jpg 1795 Half Cent R.jpg
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    EAC as a club/group/institution, does not grade anything or provide grading endorsements and there is no implication that is the case for Heritage's auctions. Members of the club decide individually whether and how to apply the club's grading standards which are markedly different to those of the TPGs.

    Heritage Auctions employs Mark Borckhardt who, among whatever his other duties might be, provides an opinion of the EAC grade for early copper. That opinion is his, with whatever input comes from Heritage and the consignor, not the opinion of the EAC club. Mark is highly respected in the early copper community and is one of the most knowledgeable people in this area of numismatics. I have no idea if Mark provided the EAC grade in one, both or none of the grading occurrences of this coin.

    As to how it got a EAC 15 once and then got a 25 a few months later, I wouldn't presume to know or speculate, but note that it's a 10 point difference in EAC grade but a 23 point increase in TPG grade. Reasonable people might disagree within 10 points, particularly for early copper. Even the same reviewer might disagree with himself as I'm sure we have all done at times.
  4. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    In my opinion the OP coin should have gotten an EAC grade of VF-20 or 25.

    Once more to help the newcomers with this, the EAC grade might seem low, but the pricing structure is higher. "If the allogators don't get you, the mosquitoes will." Either way, you will end up paying EF money.

    In this case, since the TPG took it to a grade level, which I think was too high, the allogators had a feast.
  5. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    That has certainly been my experience. Regardless of the EAC grade and the TPG grade, the price is the same. That assumes that there is not a huge disconnect between the grades like the case of the OP's AU-58 grade. In that case, someone paid an AU-58 price so they were buying the slab and not the coin.
    Beefer518 likes this.
  6. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Here is another early half cent. NGC graded this one MS-61, Brown. The biggest negative to this piece is that the date is weak, which an occasional fact with this variety, Cohen 1a. The surfaces are a lot smoother.

    1794 C-1 half cent O.jpg 1794 C-1 half cent R.jpg
  7. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted

    Gradeflation... it happens faster than you thought it could :)

    ...on a more serious note: wear, weak strike, corrosion, dark color, lack of luster - how can this coin possible grade AU58?
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
    Andrew G. likes this.
  8. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Supporter! Supporter

    What is this "EAC" grade referenced ?
    Beefer518 likes this.
  9. Beefer518

    Beefer518 Well-Known Member

    (From Coinweek):

    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  10. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    Man, I may be old but I can still remember when there were actual minimum grading standards. In those days of yore, it took a good lens and substantial experience to see the difference between AU-58 and fully MS. Nowadays smoke and mirrors are the tools of the trade.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  11. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I think this has to do with the epidemic of "registry sets" and people buying the holder and not the coin.

    I think if you offered the person who paid $16k for the "AU" one would have scoffed at buying the "XF" one at any price.

    It sort of reminds me of those blind tests where participants are give two glasses of the same generic cola. They are told that one is Coca Cola and the other is generic. The majority of individuals will indicate the Coca Cola tastes "better" despite it being the exact same as the other generic one.

    Final example:
    Wine "experts" were given a white wine and asked for tasting notes. Then the exact same white wine was dyed with food coloring and given to the same people. The tasting notes magically changed.

    Long story short, this price differential is due to people not understanding, or not caring, that a label does not a coin make.
  12. geekpryde

    geekpryde Husband and Father Moderator

    EAC grades are not ALWAYS lower than TPG. They are 95% of the time, yes, and sometimes significantly lower. I have seen examples where the EAC and TPG grades were the same, and if I recall correctly, at least one time I saw an EAC grade a point higher than the TPG.

    EAC certainly was more consistent on this coin, so for me this isn't nearly a condemnation of them versus PCGS. I mean, if someone willing buys a AU58 that clearly lists a EAC grade of VF25, and you're about to spend more than $10,000, yeah, you might want to investigate that, start looking around, asking questions, and generally being curious. As Doug likes to say "thinking it ALL the way through".

    Let me put it another way, lets say you are about to loan someone money and pull their credit scores from two bureaus. Experian says this guy has a FICO of 740 and all is good. Transunion tells you he has a score of 580. Whoa Nelly! Both scores / grades are clearly listed for you in addition to what you have collected using your own eyes and information from the application. Are you telling me the 580 score isnt going to raise some alarm bells and maybe prompt you to dig deeper into the application and think it over without just rubber stamping it?

    Now, let me make this analogy one more layer deep for those still following along. Did you know the FICO scoring system changes over time? FICO 8 (around year 2009), FICO 9 (2014), FICO 10 (2020), you get the idea. The "standards" evolve over time. The algorithm gets updated. Even if you had a 100% perfectly identical credit history in 2009 as 2020, you're score from Experian would be different! It can be significantly different depending on what sorts of things are on your report, for example, the way medical debt is handled now versus in 2009. Same with coins.

    Many people, especially a certain Moderator here on CT, think the TPG standards have evolved over time. :zombie: Sometimes swings in grades like this reflect that changing standard. Some people might call it a "loosening" or "relaxed" standard while others might simply say it "evolved" or "changing with the times". Still others refuse the believe there has been any changes at all! Some coins graded 20 years ago might be similarly graded today, but a different series, or a coin with a different set of issues, might results if a large swing between the new and old TPG grades.

    When it comes to your FICO score, the agencies quietly admit they scoring system changes over time and if you look you can find loads of information about it, but with TPGs, its all hush-hush and they will take it to the grave.

    Now, in this case, the holders of the OP coin are from either the same generation, or about the same generation, so that might be less likely that its simply and old standard vs a new standard at PCGS, however, lets say the first grade of VF35 was simply a re-holder of a grade from 15 years ago and no one really looked at the coin. Then someone cracked it or asked for a grade review and it got graded to 2017 standards? There are a few possibilities here.

    If a buyer still wants the coin after realizing such a massive grade discrepancy, by all means, buy it. And perhaps that exactly what the buyer did. Keep in mind, sometimes specialists see something about a coin that makes it immensely valuable to them, and it has nothing to do with the TPG grade. It's hard to judge the motivations of the buyer here. We are sort of just theorizing based on limited knowledge.

    But certainly the PCGS "before" and "after" grades are an eye opener, well at least for the collectors who haven't already seen the light yet. For some of us, our dang eyes open up so much they swelled up and popped out of heads! ;)
  13. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    EAC published the "EAC Grading Guide for Early American Copper Coins" in 2014 (cover photo below).

    The gist of the grading system is, as quoted from page 15:

    • "An EAC grade usually consists of two grades. The first refers to the sharpness or degree of wear on the coin, i.e., the technical grade. The second is a net grade after accounting for any post-strike impairment(s) to the coin, i.e., the market grade. If there is a single grade, that means the coin has no significant impairments, and the net grade is the same as the sharpness grade. Commercial grading does not give separate sharpness and net grades, but provides a single overall grade.
    • Sharpness standards for commercial grading also differ from those used in EAC; EAC standards are generally more strict, especially in middle and higher grades."
    As I stated in an earlier post, EAC as an organization does not grade coins nor validate any individual's grading effort even if they are applying the EAC Grading Guide. So when someone states "the EAC grade is XX-YY", they are not saying that the EAC club is giving the grade, they are stating that, as an individual, they are using the EAC Grading Guide to grade the coin.

    On Heritage Auctions, I believe they always list the EAC Net Grade and label it as such. The OP coin auction descriptions (I don't know who the auction company is) do not describe the EAC grade as Net but I don't believe the coin's EAC sharpness and net grades are the same.
  14. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    I forgot to include the cover photo in my post.

    WIN_20200704_13_13_05_Pro (2).jpg
    GoldFinger1969 and Jack D. Young like this.
  15. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  16. LRC-Tom

    LRC-Tom Been around the block...

    Long ago, back in the 80s, I was an EAC member. Back then, their grading system was a little different. They would evaluate the degree of wear, the technical grade, and then classify things like planchet porosity as well as post-strike impairment using the terms "Choice", "Average", and "Scudzy". The main price guide in use by EAC members was "Copper Quotes by Robinson," known as the CQR. He would list three prices for each grade, based on those three classifications. There were often huge differences in price for the same technical grade, based on those three classifications.

    I haven't belonged in a long time, and I haven't seen that grading guide. I do wonder, under the current system described above, how a porous, dark planchet or extreme strike softness would be treated, since these are not "post-strike impairments."
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  17. frankjg

    frankjg Well-Known Member

    Someone please tell me again how we can’t live without TPGs and how they protect the consumer. I want a good laugh.
  18. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted

    They usually protect buyers, especially when coins are purchased online from pictures. The TPGs grade millions of coins and usually they “get it right”. Unfortunately in this case PCGS dropped the ball.
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  19. frankjg

    frankjg Well-Known Member

    Dropped the ball would imply that it was a mistake.... do you really think this was a mistake?
  20. micbraun

    micbraun coindiccted

    Yes I do. Let’s hope the grade bump wasn’t due to “evolving standards”...
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  21. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Another, and perhaps better way to look at the changes is that the 10 point change in the EAC grade represents only 2 grade levels (15, skips 20. to 25.) the TPG 23 point increase is SEVEN grade levels (25, skips 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, to 58) A two grade level change could possibly a simple change of personal opinion, but seven grade levels is not excusable.

    At one time they did. At one time, briefly, EAC did have their own grading service.

    The guide may say that, but I think it would be safer to assume that if only a single EAC grade is given that that is the NET grade after deductions
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page