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Would Jay Gatsby collect these?

I had an email solicitation in my inbox when I got to work this morning.

It offers me a chance to buy Professional Coin Grading Service slabbed Proof-69 and MS-69 two-coin West Point American Eagle sets as well as Proof-70 and MS-70 coin sets.

This was at least the third email offer I have gotten this week.

I know thousands of other collectors are getting these offers as well.

If you are interested in collecting -69 and -70 third-party graded coins, this is a wonderfully convenient way of doing so.

It is also educational.

Many collectors are still trying to get their minds around the ultra-grade collecting phenomenon.

Just what exactly are -69 and -70 coins worth?

In the case of my current offer, not only are the coins -69, but they are First Strikes.

Price is $179.95.

Considering the fact that issue price of the set was $139.95 plus $4.95 shipping and handling for a single set, it might surprise some that the retail market can sell these slabbed coin sets and make a profit on so narrow a margin.

The -70 set coins are in Blue Label slabs. Naturally, the price for a set of coins in the highest possible grades is higher than the -69s.

Buyers are asked to pay $259.95.

This means something that is as flawless as is humanly possible to create is priced at less than twice issue price.

What will buyers think of that?

Ultra-grades have been around in a serious way for a decade, but collecting them as yet has not become as common as collecting coins out of change.

Certainly with promotions and prices like this, the retail sector is making these coins as accessible and affordable as possible.

With the recent movie The Great Gatsby inspiring the creation of so many luxury goods, perhaps more people will buy top-of-the-line numismatic products.

After all, if you yearn for a lifestyle of the finest things, why not add a little numismatic bling?

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."