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Bullion value

For the Standard Catalog of World Coins series the term Bullion Value, signified by BV, has been in use for many years. Initially it was used simply to indicate that, at a certain grade level, a precious metal based coin was merely worth its actual precious metal weight. In the SCWC editions of the past a reader might see BV in the Fine column and would then know that by multiplying the Actual Gold Weight figure by the current spot price of gold they could figure out the melt value of a coin. Since spot prices for precious metals are constantly in flux, this was always a useful tool for those wanting to stay current, as well as for those dealers wishing to work on tight margins for heavily traded coins in high volume.


Bullion value, symbolized by BV, has been utilized in the Standard Catalog of World Coins series for many years.

When we advanced from our original operating system for the SCWC series and moved into our first database format, I asked for some advancement in the use of BV as a grade based value. Our first improvement was the addition of a percent markup. This allowed us to list BV+10% as a value for a given grade. Back in those days you might have seen a few listings in the book where a common gold type might have BV+5% in VG, BV+10% in Fine and BV+15% in VF, followed by actual numeric values for XF and Unc.

Since that first database transition, we have experienced two more conversions with our precious numismatic data. Each time there have been ups and downs to deal with and careful clean-up for periods afterwards. With the assistance of our dedicated contributors, we have weathered each of these milestones and been able to create some very special advancements in the process. Regarding the use of BV, in the current database, we have established a number of new options and here I will express my gratitude to contributors, Bill Noyes and Scott Cordry, for their helpful comments and suggestions which prompted these developments. All of these new options can be accessed and tinkered with on the excel spread sheets contributors now use to update our values.

First, we retained the ability to use BV and BV+% in all grade fields. Second, we added the ability to add a specific dollar amount, making BV+1.5 possible. BV+1.5 would be calculated as BV+$1.50. Third we added the ability to combine these, making BV+10%+1 possible. Finally we made the decision to show these fields exactly as they are in the database and on your spread sheets, while printing a calculated figure in our books, downloads and uploads for websites licensing our data. Unfortunately, though I developed an excellent graduated rounding table, the database programmers for our current system have only been able to apply a very simple rounding function of up for .5 and above, down for .49 and below thus far.

As a result of these advancements and limits, you may notice some unusual figures in some grade columns on bullion based type coins of all precious metals. If you see a $312 or a $271 figure on a small gold coin in the VF grade column in an SCWC publication, take that odd figure as an indication of the use of these BV+ combinations and the limited rounding function. To examine the backside calculation and make adjustments, simply ask me to email you a spread sheet for the specific country and time period. Just like our annual updating, enter your suggested changes into the appropriate filed using red type and send it back to me for review and importing. The use of red type allows me to quickly find and check your suggested changes.