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Community Voice Responses (10/30/12)

From the October 5thNumismatic e-newsletter: An MS-70 $20 Saint sold for $21,000, eight times the MS-65 price. Is it worth it? Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

I hope it’s worth it, as I have one that I haven’t sent in and would like to think it could be just like the one sold.
Dave Johnson
Baraboo, Wis.

No, it’s definitely not worth the extra big bucks. Virtually all of the coins grade MS-69 or 70, so why should there be a premium on an ultra grade?
Mike Thorne
Starkville, Miss.

No. I’m my opinion it is not. Apparently it was to the person who purchased it. Good luck to them, and I hope the bottom doesn’t fall out of their investment when they look to resale. I personally don’t see that price being sustained.
Bryan New
Columbia, Ky.

Obviously it must be worth it to two people. The one that sold it and the one that purchased it. All I can say is WOW.
Many thoughts racing through my head. Trying to figure out what would make it so valuable. Mintage is 115,000.
Perhaps this is the first MS-70 2009 Saint coin to be graded?
Is this the only MS-70 ?
Is this a hoax? Is this a new method to launder money?
Whatever the reason, I am very happy to see a modern day coin sell for a substantial amount. I certainly hope the trend continues.
Dom Cicio
Old Bridge, N.J.

Paying $21,000 for a modern bullion coin is ludicrous. Even if it is a MS-70. With today’s technology that our Mint has, MS-70s are going to be much more common than even 10 or 15 years ago. If you buy into the thought that fiat currencies are near collapse, then spending that kind of money was exceptionally foolish. My wooden nickel’s worth.
Shawn Willett
Saginaw, Mich.

Editor’s note: How quick we forget. Not to single Mr. Willett out, but his was the best response from those who confused the 2009 Ultra High Relief Saint-Gaudens $20 with a 2009 $50 gold American Eagle. The record high price, was indeed achieved by the UHR Saint.

From the European point of view, grading is something which happens only in the USA. For the vast majority of the European coin auctions, an uncirculated mint state coin gets the same price whether or not it’s graded by a professional coin grading company.
The vast majority of European collectors do not want to pay extra for grading. The lack of European grading services and import taxes means that the collectors simply don’t get their coins graded. And the buyers are indifferent for grading, when it comes to the price they want to pay. In short: slabbing doesn’t increase prices in Europe.
Ossi Halme
Pori, Finland

Any coin is worth exactly what a willing buyer is willing to pay a willing seller. Now if the question is re-stated to ask whether I would pay $21,000 for a MS-70 2009 Saint $20 I would have to decline.
On the other hand, I own four such coins in both PCGS and NGC holders in regular, First Strike and Early Release that if offered money in the range of $21,000 per coin I would have them packaged and shipped before the willing buyer changed his mind. (I do not think a women would make such an offer so I limited my conjecture to guys).
I also have a Proof-like 2009 Saint MS-70 $20 that I would sell, but I am not anxious to do so as I feel it will achieve this value in the not to distant future. That’s my opinion and thanks for asking.
Richard Pedro
Austin, Texas

Since I have one of the 2009 Saint-Gaudens High Relief $20 gold coins that I purchased from the U.S. Mint in 2009, I would like to think my coin would grade at an MS-70 (perfect coin), but I personally have never seen what I would consider a perfect coin.
So, with that said,no, I would not pay $21,000 for one these coins that has been graded as a MS-70. This grading thing has become so subjective that I personally don’t trust any of the coin grading services.
I have been collecting U.S. minted coins for over 50 years, and I’ve yet to see a perfect coin (MS-70)!
Larry W. Young
Tyrone, Ga.

I do not feel it is worth the price. Many coins are getting so over valued because of the PCGS registry hype.
I am on many of the registry sets but would never pay the prices to get the top pop as people call it. No dealer would ever give your family what these coins are going for when you die and all that money would be wasted just to be top pop.
Yes, if all the hype continues and your family knew enough to get hold of Heritage or another auction house then maybe they might get your money back.
If I was to send in a coin for grading and did get the top pop you better believe I would sell it for the crazy money people are paying. I would not want to hold on to it and hope some of the value would still be there or hope my family would get it.
Dave Pierce
Anaheim, Calif.

Everyone but the buyer knows that this person will never be able to recoup his money if he walked into any coin shop in America to try and sell this. The value of it will only be maintained as long as perception is that this market is still going. The minute there are signs that the demand for this type of product is waning there will be no bids for it over its basal value.
Has anyone ever explained that the grade of a coin is determined by the original condition accepted by the Mint? The mint has almost no tolerance for imperfect planchets it receives by its suppliers, so by that very nature all coins that are minted by any mint is a 70/69.
It’s time we start protecting the consumer rather than finding more ways to take advantage of them.
Robert L. Higgins
Wilmington, Del.

I think it’s little on the high side.But lots of people with lots of money seem to be setting these high prices to have the best of the best. I personally think these overpriced high grade slabs are a rich man’s game.
They can have these coins if they want them. I will still take a nice mid grade or even low grade 200-plus year old American copper coin and get just as much and probably more enjoyment from owning it and looking at it than I would with the 2009 gold coin, so to each his own. But I don’t think I would have spent the money on that coin even if I had it.
David Tortorice
Buffalo N.Y.

It’s worth what a buyer and seller agree on. For $21,000 I can think of a lot of other coins that are on my bucket list.
Donald Cantrell
Address withheld

Absolutely not.
The $21,000 realized price was during last week’s Great Collections auction where some rather high (and quite low) hammer prices for modern era coins have occurred. Right now, there’s a “buy now” for another PCGS MS-70PL $20 MMIX UHR for $6,250, some 70 percent lower price. This price point, compared to prices being paid for original still-in-the-box prices, as well as MS-69 and MS-69PL and about four times strictly bullion melt seems to be just right.
The $21,000 price was an aberration, a result of a feeding frenzy that can at times result in prices far beyond a true, market value.
Steve Gregory
Schaumburg, Ill.

I have an early release UHR MS-70 2009 graded by NGC one of only 556 that made it in time. Would this coin really auction for $21,000 and if so where?
Name withheld

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