I spoke with a client that I met about 15 years ago. He’s a nice man that loves coins but not an astute grader. I told him any time he needed help to let me know. He’s never spent much money with us but about once a year he’ll call to ask me if it’s okay to send up a batch of coins for me to grade. I say “sure” and charge him nothing just to help hone his grading skills. We actually do that for a lot of clients! He asked me if I remembered when we met. I said “I know where we met.” His response was “I tell everyone I know that is into coins the story.” I have to paraphrase now: “I came to see you and offered you an Isabella Quarter for $300. You said if you bought it, you’d be stealing it from me. That it is really worth more than ten times the number and that it should be certified. So I gave it to you and you sent it to PCGS and it graded MS-66.”
Every so often the grading services get it wrong. Well, this time they BLEW it! We recently submitted a gem originally toned Long Island commemorative (see picture) to PCGS for grading. As you can see the coin came back encapsulated questionable color. How ridiculous. This coin is one of Warren’s personal coins that he has owned for decades and comes with the original holder that Long Islands were issued in along with the outer mailing envelope and letter from the issuing authority, how cool. Warren was so upset by this obvious mistake that he took the coin to the ANA and showed it to Don Willis the President of PCGS. Don showed the coin to a experienced former PCGS grader and ANA grading instructor who said that the color was unequivocally original.
Happy to be back from sunny Chicago. I have to admit, for an ANA show it was run very well: traffic police on duty all day, good security, excellent displays and no real problems except for the lack of table covers. Overall, good job ANA staff.
At Rare Coins of New Hampshire (RCNH) we have always preached to buy the coin not the holder but I am going to present a new twist given a recent event that occurred with a customer.
We had a beautiful high-end Very Fine CAC Continental Dollar that we priced about 20% over PCGS price guide levels. We offered the coin to a customer who had it on his want list and it fit every criteria that he was looking for, exact grade, eye appeal, CAC sticker, PCGS graded, etc. He “did his research” and without even seeing the coin made a counter offer which was fair but we felt the coin was worth more. Soon after a dealer who is very knowledgeable about colonial issues called and wanted to see the coin so we sent it out to him. Once he saw the coin he bought it for a couple of hundred dollars under our retail price and more than the counter offer we received from our client.
I have to admit, in this business you have to go a long way to shock me, but I was just shocked. A few years ago, we started a relationship with a West Coast specialist that collected half dimes and dimes. He contacted us because he heard of our reputation for selling the strictest graded coins with nice eye-appeal.