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Prices not cast in stone in guides

 (Image courtesy

(Image courtesy

Grading does not take eye appeal into account. Grading does not take toning into account either. Ditto for quality of strike. Scratches and other detractions may or may not be identified on an encapsulation at the time a third-party certification service assigns a grade to a coin.

The grade someone assigns a coin is only one factor in determining the value that should be given to an individual coin.

The CDN Greysheet Supplement recently editorialized, “It would appear the market has seen an abundance of marginal coins which are realizing far below the price point of choice original material in the same grade.”

Think about that a moment. In my view, these coins are not “marginal.” They are graded correct, but there are other factors to be considered when pricing a coin.

Among these factors is timing in the market, the venue through which they are offered (coin show, retail store, Internet sale, public auction, flea market, garage sale), and the skill of both the seller and the potential buyer.

So, how do you handle published prices such as are offered in the weekly Coin Market section? Unless the coin is just about unique, treat published prices as a guide, not as gospel. Remember, there is no buyer out there who has to buy at a specified price. It is all negotiated.

Right now the gold and silver markets are in decline, as are most coins impacted by their intrinsic value. The scarce to rare coins not impacted are stable, but under-performing.

Do not be deceived by a published price that is significantly different from what you may view in person. Consider each coin on an individual basis.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• Order the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues to learn about circulating paper money from 14th century China to the mid 20th century.

• Any coin collector can tell you that a close look is necessary for accurate grading. Check out this USB microscope today!