Do we need CAC, MAC and now PQ? Scrape off those stickers!

I know evolution is a reality for many things. I'm sure coin grading is well involved (or should I say, ensnared) in a manufactured market regarding our wonderful coins.

I started collecting before all this static came into the picture. I first saw the pretty glitter of physical silver and gold and as you know, if you have been following me, was enticed into numismatics as physicals became boring and not a lot different from trading equities and other investments.

As a former stock broker, including commodities and insurance, I certainly have seen, heard and felt extreme fear and greed.

I fully understand how this has happened, this sticker war now evolving.

First it was my chore to understand grading, of proof and mint strike coins. then, cam grading as I began to have a table at various shows around Florida. As folks would come to me with raw coins I attempted to figure what grade, hence value was the coin offered me for cash.

The best I could do was to keep a jewelers loop and grading book handy. I use the Official Whitman Guidebook of Numismatic Grading Standards. It has held me in good stead but still have to be wary of many pitfalls and mines lurking with the coins that show up over the counter.

In my travels I have bought four counterfeit coins and have been offered many Chinese fakes. I'm getting better.

Due to the charlatans and thieves out there, I can understand how the new sticker crowd is showing up on the scene.

I feel these companies are jumping on a lucrative bandwagon of an industry fat with money and wealthy people. This sticker war, I feel, must be stopped.

The two main coin graders NGC and PCGS were first on the scene. Now there are many. Along came ICG, and trying to sell one of those green labels is a fools errand unless you are asking bullion price. Most dealers will not pay over bullion.

Going to the two main graders, they have the full grades through and up to 70. Should the graders find a coin is a little better than a full grade, there are plus and stars they use to enhance a grade, but not go to the next higher.

I feel the label makers are totally useless and are making a market along with one with a near perfect system. If it works, do not fix it.

I mean, have you ever seen a PF70 with a star or plus? NO you have not! WHY? Because a 70 is the best, the pinnacle, the apex the holy grail and so on and so fourth.

So now, if you have a PF or MS 70, the labelers want to say, Oh, we think this coin is not a good 70 so we will not grade it. It has a spot or flaw. Fine. If a coin is graded at a trusted grader such as NGC and is used by the ANA, then why do we need a 2nd opinion? I mean, do we need all graders and labelers to agree that one specific coin is better than any other?

What if it is a 70, and CAC doesn't like it. So you send it to PQ. And if they don't like it,you send it to MAC and so on. How many stickers must we have to prove our coin is tops? Twenty, and what if the 23rd company does not like it? Do we need three or more stickers along with the graders grade?

No,I think this is total nonsense. If NGC or PCGS is not trusted, then why have them grade the coin or why buy it in their holder.

This subjective, manufactured market is getting out of control and I do not like it.

I am not going to jump on the bandwagon, and have three or more stickers on my wonderful coins. I will not stay away from a coin graded by a trusted grader because it does not have the sticker.

At the present time there are myriad coin graders, and then along came the labelers.

You do what you like, but I am sticking with the pros and not going to be dragged into this whirlwind. I say PFMS70 is good enough for me.

If you are not sure what we mean, follow this link.

You can see all the labels stuck on our coins.

At the F.U.N. show in Orlando last January, I was approached by MAC labelers. For $20 they would double the value of your coin. I thought it sounded pretty good until he sat down with a stack of envelopes, and began writing out a bill before he even looked at my coins. He was simply interested in the money, and I could see what he was about to do. I sent him away.

Then I went to his booth and tried to buy a certain silver eagle and he wanted many times its value. Like, $10,000. I made a call and a friend I knew had 2 of them and would sell them for $4500. This fellow bellowed that he would pay $9500 thinking I could not get the rare item. When I took him up on his big mouth, he screamed and yelled. I went to the authorities at the show, and told them what he was doing and in no time, his booth was empty. If you see a coin with the MAC label, it was a purchased label, not a graded coin.

What do you think?

Capt. Brian

The Lost Navigator


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