Posted: 10/14/2009 11:52:59 PM |
After all, they are the professionals...
As I wrote in my last journal, I went to Coinfest this past weekend. The Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) has offered collectors free evaluation of up to 20 certified coins at that show. (See their website, www.caccoin.com, for limitations on what they accept.)
Prior to the show, I went through my coins, grade by grade, to choose my opinion of the 20 best-for-the-grade examples - the 20 coins I thought had the best chance of getting a little green sticker. Now I like to think that I choose good-for-the-grade coins in the first place, so the best of mine should be pretty good, right? Of course, like everyone, I make an occasional mistake. And on-line purchases are always a bit risky: As good as major auction house on-line photos usually are, they cannot replace in-hand evaluation. Sometimes the coin isn't as good as the photo. Nevertheless, I think most of my mint state registry coins are pretty nice specimens. Even so, I was not necessarily expecting tremendous success.
To the results...
First up was my 1853 MS64BN half cent. This is a great looking old copper, and earned a sticker. A baker's dozen of my large cents followed. Five of them got stickers, but if I had to pick 5 of the 13, I wouldn't have chosen all of the same 5. Finally, six of my silver coins were rejected. Somehow, batting .300 doesn't feel so good. I know I'm probably biased, but I think the average should have been higher. And interestingly (to me, anyway), none of the seven submitted coins graded 66 or higher got stickers.
Rejection of one coin in particular really bothers me. I was shocked to find no sticker on my 1837 MS65BN cent (in my "Extra Large" set of duplicate large cents). This cent is a Newcomb-9, a really cool variety with several different obverse die cracks. And it is a stunning coin. It is fully light brown with booming luster and a sharp strike. It has no spots or stains. The only negative is that it has a couple very tiny ticks on the jawline. When I examined the 11 Naftzger examples of the variety, I wrote in my notes that, except for the color, none of them were better than my coin, not even the three graded MS66BN.
I submitted two other MS65BN large cents. My 1854 is a lovely coin that flirts with an RB designation and has no mentionable flaws, but looks a little rough due to worn dies. Overall, I'd place it just behind the 1837. It got a well-deserved sticker. The other is my 1839 head of 1838 cent. It also has no mentionable flaws, but its luster is nowhere near as nice as the 1837. Side-by-side, the 1837 easily out-classes it. It got a sticker.
I'd really like to know what the CAC folks were thinking when they examined those three cents. I just can't see why the 1837 shouldn't get a sticker when the 1839 did. But they are the professionals... It seems to me that they're just like the slabbers: CAC has its standards, but inconsistency is probably just as common as it seems to be in slab grades. The difference is that you can occasionally find both gems in 63 NGC/PCGS slabs and dogs in 65 NGC/PCGS slabs, but we generally don't get to see CAC's undergrading mistakes because the lack of a CAC sticker doesn't indicate that CAC has or has not evaluated the coin.
Anyway, those are my thoughts regarding my first CAC submissions. They are now allowing some collectors to become members and submit directly. I don't know if it's worth bothering. If they continue to offer free evaluation at Coinfest or other shows I may try again. Time will tell if the market's current infatuation with the little green stickers will last.
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