First of all, I want to point out that coin price guides are barely that… GUIDES ! For convenience, they list just one price for a given degree of a coin. It ’ sulfur crucial to note that unlike coins of the same issue and grade often deal for higher and lower prices than the print prices that appear in price guides. This is most often because there are coins that are strong for a grade, much equitable missing the adjacent highest grade, and there are coins that just make a grade, which of course will sell for less than the former .
But sometimes market conditions result in coins selling for higher or lower prices than what is published in these guides. At other times, it ’ s actually the prices established by the price guide writers that miss the actual market – by a small or a lot. I know… I ’ ve been there. I can speak with agency on this issue, after having been the Market Analyst for Coin Values magazine during 1997 and again between 2002 and 2009. Since then I ’ ve besides consulted with other price lead publishers .
Many other factors influence how price guides establish their prices for coins, but their accuracy actually comes down to the individual people who interpret and report the market for coins, and their motivations, methods and systems. Prompt timing in performing updates is besides another crucial factor. Some series in democratic price guides may not get updated for months, or even years ! For this cause alone it ’ s very significant to compare prices from diverse price guides. In years past my occupation used to sell coins by “ chain mail bid sale, ” which is a character of auction sale. I provided sales estimates in my auction catalogs, along with the coin descriptions and photos. In establishing those sales estimates, I regularly compared prices from at least three different price guides. I was frequently astounded to find prices for the same coin issues and grades that varied enormously !
today, because of the Internet, a democratic method acting many buyers of rare coins have been using to estimate the prices they should pay for coins is by using prices realized from auctions. Collectors, investors and dealers are doing their own research, rather than relying entirely on price guides. however, there are cautions urged in using this method acting. Are the individual coins sold at auction high-end for a degree, or low-end ? Were they purchased by collectors to hold for the long-run, or by dealers for immediate resale ? Are there large runs of the coins you ’ ra research in a particular sale, or are you researching a scarce coin that rarely makes an auction appearance ? Are you researching a coin for which there are few buyers, or is it a popular coin that many people want ? Has a particular auction been well publicized, or is it a repose, nameless sale ? Did the coins actually sell, or did they go back to the consigner because reserve prices weren ’ triiodothyronine met ?
I could go on and on with examples of considerations in your auction market research, but these ideas should give you an theme of what to take into account in doing your own market research. however, writers of price guides are often limited in their cognition of the commercialize ampere well, specially for private transactions. This is the nature of the coin market – it ’ s a individual marketplace, unlike the stock and very estate of the realm markets, for example, in which transaction information is more public .
other considerations to think about are the influences of Registry collecting upon auction prices, in which collectors are vying for the best coins of the best ; or in the event of a close-knit group of buyers, like for early copper coins, in which most of the advanced collectors know each other, and know who ’ s presently in the market for which coins and who ’ s out ? Knowing the personalities in the marketplace, when it comes to such specialize gather and invest is a big advantage in buying and sell and in knowing how to price coins .
The methods and systems by which price guides collect their market data is another factor in how their editors establish price guidebook listings for coins, and then is the aim of a price steer. There are presently five outstanding price guides that publish “ retail ” values for coins, which are what collectors pay when buying from dealers, and just one outstanding lead that publishes “ wholesale ” values for coins, which are dealer-to-dealer prices. This distinction between principal purchases and collector/investor purchases is blurred at auction .
The Coin Dealer Newsletter, popularly known as “ The Greysheet, ” along with its family of publications, is the most widely use monetary value guide that publishes sweeping prices of coins trading between dealers .
[ EDITORS’ NOTE – With the exceed of Shane Downing, CDN was sold. John Feigenbaum, once president of David Lawrence Rare Coins, is the managing collaborator of the new possession group, which includes Jim Halperin, Steve Ivy, Mark Salzberg and Steve Eichenbaum. Read the entire floor here. ]
Read more: What is a Challenge Coin? – Signature Coins
retail values are found in : A Guide Book of United States Coins, which is popularly known as “ The Redbook, ” annually published by Whitman Publishing ; Coin Values, which is no longer a stand-alone magazine, is now found in a special monthly edition of the hebdomadally issue Coin World ; Coin Prices magazine and Coin Market, separate of another hebdomadally, Numismatic News–both published by Krause Publications using the lapp prices ; the PCGS Price Guide ; and the NGC Price Guide, compiled by Numismedia .
One important differentiation between all these retail publications is the organization each of them uses to compile their valuations of coins. The Redbook ( and Coin Prices and Coin Market ) compiles its price guides by collecting prices from dealers around the country who specialize in particular areas of the market ; then editors evaluate the collected datum. Coin Values uses independent “ market Analysts ” to research and make “ price discoveries. ” The others use their own experts to maintain values, some are involved in mint deal and others operate at branch ’ sulfur duration, like to the Coin Values organization .
There are two schools of think with these systems. Some experts believe that dealers are more intimate and experienced in their own areas. This is truthful, but one concern with this system is that they can be biased and influential for their own personal benefit. importantly, there are editors who oversee these systems. Coin Values prides itself on operate at arm ’ s length, however their analysts get lobbied to change values for the benefit of the dealers and collectors who lobby them and they have to make judgments about the information received. On the other pass, those dealers and collectors who lobby routinely offer valuable market information and insights. A balancing act must be performed and editors a lot consider the motivations of all contributors – human nature is a huge factor ! And sometimes precisely one person, with all his or her personal biases and naiveties, desegregate in with expertness, establishes values for a given series .
In addition to finding pricing information from auctions and market intelligence, principal ads and price lists are regularly monitored from which to derive evaluation data. Another significant point with coin prices guides is that there are many issues of coins ( date and mintmark combinations ) that are not sold on the open market for hanker periods of time. therefore, price guide writers must estimate values and plug them into price guides to stay stream with these coin issues that don ’ t sell identical often. This is where talented judgment comes in, to achieve accuracy .
It ’ randomness besides significant for price guidebook writers to recognize and follow trends in the coin market. When I began managing the Coin Values price guidebook back in 2002, an experience dealer ally said to me, “ One price doesn ’ thyroxine make a trend. ” While I was doing that cultivate I always kept that instruction in mind. I believe it is a disservice to the avocation and commercialize for price template writers to not take the time to figure out marketplace trends and merely update price steer values based on one sale of a coin in one auction. As I previously pointed out, a particular coin in an auction could be a high-end coin or a low-end coin, and its auction price could skew a price guide rate if it ’ s not compared to other sales of the same or like-kind coins.
In establishing values for prices guides I believe it ’ south very crucial to consider how values affect both buyers and sellers, and owners of particular coins. I ’ ve seen many people flippantly say a coin is worth “ X, ” not bothering to consider people ’ s fairness positions who already own such coins. ultimately, it ’ randomness besides crucial to realize that most people typically want a discount off a price guide value most of the time. This seems to be human nature ! sometimes this is taken into account when establishing price guide values .
I ’ ve said for several years that price guides are the next frontier to be improved upon in the coin commercialize, nowadays that coin grading has been improved to the best of the ability of the professionals in the market. In my appraisal, prompt timing and accuracy are the two primary concerns. I believe computerize evaluation models are in shop for price guides in the coin commercialize. however, there are sol many factors involved that need to be considered in developing such models, many of which I ’ ve addressed here, that it ’ s not an slowly undertaking !
Mark Ferguson is a specialist in cherished metals investments and deals in all bullion products presently traded in the market. If any products or services mentioned in this article are of matter to to you, Mark can be reached at (920) 233-6777 or [email protected]. Mark Ferguson has been dealing in rare coins and cherished metals nationally since 1969. He has written have articles and regular column for Coin World, Coin Values magazine, The Coin Dealer Newsletter, Numismatic News, The Numismatist, ANA Journal, and the british issue Coin News, and has writes a hebdomadally column for CoinWeek. His web site is www.MFRareCoins.com, where extra research information about precious metals is available.