NGC's reponse to adjusting the Presidential MS point posted by walnutto
1 1

157 posts in this topic

4,118 posts

I wasn't "bashing" moderns. I was stating a fact.

 

Mia culpa.

 

In closely rereading the thread there wasn't enough to even warrant posting.

 

This hardly means I agree with all the "facts" about moderns stated in the thread but there really wasn't a need to challenge them.

 

No problem. I wasn't offended and I have done it with your posts before also.

 

The facts I was referring to was not the entire thread. It was the difference between the scarcity in pre-1999 moderns and those afterwards. You have stated this in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,118 posts
What I do have to respond to is your assumption that in 1965 all roll saving stopped. That couldn't be backed by fact because I knew a LOT of dealers and hoarders over my fifty one year numismatic career and there is no doubt that much of that stuff was buried in cellers and closets, not to come out until these people begin dying off. Since I started collecting in 1965 I can say with conviction that a lot of the change ended up in piggy banks, barrels and jugs.

 

And to be absolutely sure, the treasury department has minted more and more coinage over that period, so where does it go? I think a clad coin has a life of thirty years or more. Where did they all go? It's expensive to melt and refine clad coinage so it didn't get melted. The treasury chose clad coinage because it would save them from having to melt much of it, so they aren't taking it from circulation nearly as fast as the mint is coining it. So where are all those hundreds of billions of coins that you say no longer exist? I think they are in sock drawers and the backs of closets all over America, just waiting for baby boomers to start dying off and their children to start finding them. Just trying to treat this with some logic. No one thought the gov't would find a hundred million silver dollars in their vaults either but hoarders of 1898-O, 1903-O and 1904-O Morgans lost their pants when they were released. Baby bommer children may disperse their parents loot at a much slower rate but the fact remains that many of those coins will be high end gems. When will the Presidential dollars and the like be found? Probably in about fifty years when those hoarders children find them in the back of your closets...

 

Not sure you have followed my prior post exchanges with cladking but if not, you are new to this debate.

 

My interpretation of your comments is that you have a similar concept of scarcity to mine. Cladking has his own which he can elaborate on himself.

 

Cladking's quality standard's appear to be stricter than the TPG and are limited to a narrow segment even within modern collectors. This is evident by the price level below the "conditional rarity" grade.

 

I don't find anything significant in "conditional rarity" coins that are either otherwise absolutely common or practically available on demand even in "high quality". This is true whether the coin is a modern or classic. This describes practically all US coins and most world coins as well with the distinction that, where the price is low, the actual availability may be an unknown and the coins may not be available for sale because it isn't worth the bother of offering it for sale. Like you, I believe the NGC and PCGS populations for most (US) coins are vastly understated except in the absolute highest grade and sometimes one directly below it.

 

So to summarize, you are both right using different criteria.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
487 posts

What I do have to respond to is your assumption that in 1965 all roll saving stopped. That couldn't be backed by fact because I knew a LOT of dealers and hoarders over my fifty one year numismatic career and there is no doubt that much of that stuff was buried in cellers and closets, not to come out until these people begin dying off.

 

Not all roll saving came toa screeching stop in 1965. Indeed, there were probably almost half as many 1965 quarter rolls saved initially as 1964 rolls. But in '66 nobody wanted these rolls and it was the same in '67. Most of these rolls were simply spent. $10 was too much money to tie up in coins no one wanted in those days. As the years rolled by fewer coins were saved. The '69 quareter roll is actually scarce. You can find mint set rolls but the bank rolls were scarce in 1971 and they're far scarcer today.

 

This applies to all the coins, however pennies and nickels are more available.

 

Since I started collecting in 1965 I can say with conviction that a lot of the change ended up in piggy banks, barrels and jugs.

 

No.

 

If this were true then you could find some high grade early dates in circulation as they cycle between one hoard and another. The reality is that very few accumulations are older than about three years. In aggregate the accumulations aren't suffient in size to protect coins from getting a lot of wear. The reality is that because the FED rotates their coin stocks that ALL of the coins that collectors ignored are now heavily worn.

 

This same thing has occurred in almost every country that went to base metal coins since WW II.

 

So you can prove that all those 3 year hoards were spent? It is senseless for me to argue a point that can't be proved by either side, so I'll just ask once again- the coins *were* made and they were hoarded, so if they were mostly dispersed in the early years following production, WHERE DID THEY ALL GO? I again submit the notion that they were saved by the millions and we should see more and more of them come out of the woodwork in coming years, as the original hoarder's hoards are discovered in their estates. To back that from presonal experience and observations, I knew a lot of roll collectors and bag accumulators in the 1970's who had plenty of 1960's rolls and bags. We can pretend that they don't exist, but people with deep pockets lived in the 60's just as they do today and most of them put the stuff away and forgot it. There is just no way I can believe that superb gem examples survived in a large enough quantity to more than satisfy demand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,862 posts

So you can prove that all those 3 year hoards were spent? It is senseless for me to argue a point that can't be proved by either side, so I'll just ask once again- the coins *were* made and they were hoarded, so if they were mostly dispersed in the early years following production, WHERE DID THEY ALL GO? I again submit the notion that they were saved by the millions and we should see more and more of them come out of the woodwork in coming years, as the original hoarder's hoards are discovered in their estates. To back that from presonal experience and observations, I knew a lot of roll collectors and bag accumulators in the 1970's who had plenty of 1960's rolls and bags. We can pretend that they don't exist, but people with deep pockets lived in the 60's just as they do today and most of them put the stuff away and forgot it. There is just no way I can believe that superb gem examples survived in a large enough quantity to more than satisfy demand.

 

Finding whole bags of 1962-D nickels is remarkably easy. You can even buy 1979 cents by the cartload. But it's still a simple fact that most coins made after 1964 are very difficult to find in BU rolls. If you don't believe then try to find a roll of 1969 quarters! If you want to warm up with an easy one then find a roll of 1967's. They aren't outr there because they weren't saved. They not only weren't saved in BU but then they weren't saved in AU before not being saved in XF or even VF. They aren't out there in collections because people don't collect them. They aren't in circulation because it's a verifiable fact that more than 99% of every quarter made since 1965 has been spent at least once within the last three years. Since they are all circulating they are all getting worn down. If you don't believe this try finding a nice solid XF 1969 quarter.

 

If you can do any of these I could give you far harder tasks because people don't collect most moderns. If you're wondering where alkl the old coins go they are being recycled with old car and they are being destroyed in fires and floods. They're gone forever just like nice examples of most modern coins.

 

I don't really have so much higher standards than the TPG's for moderns, just different.

 

Unc; clad coins without a luster break

BU; clad coins that appear fresh out of a roll and aren't too chewed up

gemmy; clad coins that arte well made by good dies and without major distractions

Gem; clad coin that was well made by newer dies with only very minor distractions and very clean

Gem+; clads that are "miracles" of the production process

 

The fact is that many moderns are tough even in gemmy condition but people think they are all common. They think they are common because they were made in the billions but they just don't consider the fact thatmillions of collectors simply ignored these billions of coins and they are pretty much gone now unless you like low grades and culls. Ironically clads actually start looking better as they acquire a lot of wear because their flaws are worn right off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13,441 posts
"No one thought the gov't would find a hundred million silver dollars in their vaults either..."

 

In reality, the Treasury published the inventory monthly. The dollars were not hidden and were not "found." The only discovery was the large quantity of Carson silver dollars in one vault.

 

this is absolutely true but has no bearing on the subject since those were numbers on a spreadsheet, not a list of dates, mints and conditions. And actually, it was known that some quantity of Carson City dollars were included, and the real surprise was the thousands of bags of 1898-O and 1904-O dollars in the mix- those were the rarest of the rare and even put the 93-S to shame so no one expected such a large percentage of the original mintage to be preserved in mint state bags. Those were the days. Today we just consult a population guide because most of them are now in slabs anyway.

The mints did not routinely track coins by date or mint beyond the year of manufacture. Although it was often convenient for the Cashier and vault custodian to mention the dates on coins in storage, it was not required. This is why the "discovery" of CC dollars was a surprise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
487 posts

Well, it looks like we could go back and forth on this disagreement but neither of us can *prove* anything at this moment in time because the future hasn't given us the rest of the story, but I will ask one more time- WHERE DID BILLIONS OF CLAD COINS GO? They couldn't possibly all have been circulated, and if not, then it is probable that tens of thousands more gems will be discovered over the coming decades. We can argue that they are all gone or that the coining process for clads didn't allow for gems but we have plenty of evidence that that isn't true because they do exist.

 

The real problem here though is calling something rare that *could* quite possibly be common. Another problem is that moderns collectors call things 'rare' that if compared to truly rare coins, simply aren't. Take the series I collect for instance- many of the early issues (over forty of them I think) are truly rare, with the scholars pretty much in agreement that there are less then 100 of each left in existence. We can all agree that these are 'rare', can we not? We are fairly sure of this because the TPG's data shows it, the auction records show it and time hasn't changed that in my 51 years in the hobby. But we had a hundred and fifty years to find more of these, and many of them had to filter through a couple or more generations before they were put back on the market. I personally don't think there is any reason to believe that the same pattern won't happen again with clads, but since they were saved in such huge quantities and weren't used to death like so many early gold coins that DID circulate heavily, the numbers discovered in sock drawers and the backs of closets should be in quantities equalling magnitudes of the numbers of truly rare coins in the half eagle series, meaning that compared to truly rare coins, these are common. Conjecture, sure, but until this plays out and the hoarders of these coins die off and their heirs spend or sell their parents' hoards, we will not know the whole truth. As for my example of silver dollars, you can beat me over the head with it, and maybe it was a poor example, but the fact remains that the 1898-O Morgan *was* the rarest dollar until the hoard of 1898-O bags was discovered, was it not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9,044 posts

Second rarest, the 1903-O was the King of the Morgans until the bags of 1898-O, 1903-O and 1904-O dollars appeared in the Treasury dispersals of the early 1960's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,862 posts
Well, it looks like we could go back and forth on this disagreement but neither of us can *prove* anything at this moment in time because the future hasn't given us the rest of the story, but I will ask one more time- WHERE DID BILLIONS OF CLAD COINS GO? They couldn't possibly all have been circulated, and if not, then it is probable that tens of thousands more gems will be discovered over the coming decades. We can argue that they are all gone or that the coining process for clads didn't allow for gems but we have plenty of evidence that that isn't true because they do exist.

 

I won't go back and forth on this because I believe I have already established that these coins were never saved in meaningful quantities. The simple fact is thatif they had been saved in any manner at all, intentionally or inadvertantly, it would be possible to find lots of coins like Gem '69 quarters, or rolls of them or nice XF's. These coins do not survive therefore they did all circulate.

 

It's not my contention that there are no Gems or that there aren't tens of thousands of them. A few do exist because of mint sets and the fact a few were set aside. But these exist as both rare dates and common dates. Some are very common with as many as 40,000 Gems still in existence and some don't exist at all above AU. Some had mintages as low as "1". You can't get rarer than this.

 

I'm going to try to bow out of this discussion since I probably shouldn't have gotten involved in the first place. It's not my job to fix each and every misstatement about moderns. A lot of us love these coins and don't need to worry about what non-collectors say about them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,118 posts

My view is between yours and cladking's.

 

In prior posts, I have speculated that most US moderns prior to 1999 are a Judd R-1 as a date/MM combination with 1250+ in PCGS MS-66. The balance I believe are an R-2 (501-1250) with a very few as an R-3 (201-500).

 

This excludes die varieties, "special designation strikes", errors, PL and toners which are collected as a specialization. Many of the specializations are "rare" or "scarce" by default because it's narrow and artificial to which I see no significance.

 

I use PCGS because the population counts and prices indicate they are somewhat stricter than NGC. This grade is usually the "under grade' and probably the most meaningful to most collectors who will buy them in any quantity at open market prices, as opposed to "cherry pickers" searching for them at or near face value.

 

I don't consider what I described above as scarce or rare. However, the estimates I provided don't require the existence of hoards which I think are much less likely to exist in higher grades than the predecessor silver coinage and silver dollars. In the same grade, I consider it likely that most of the earlier moderns (maybe up to the early 1980's) are usually scarcer than the most common dates from the later classic series.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,862 posts

Let me just tell a story as anecdotal evidence of how truly rare Gems can be. In 1982 I drove hither and yon searching pocket change and rolls for nice choice and well made 1982-P (or D) quarters. The intention was to find a nice one and trace them back to the bank they came from where I would purchase an entire bag of coins to search.

 

By autumn I hadn't seen a single nice specimen in change in at least eight states and probably a lot more. Ironically I was in the local BMV where I recieved three spanking new 1982-P quarters. They weren't Gems but they were well made so the bag they came from probably had some Gems in it. I asked where they did their banking and as luck would have it it was right across the street and was my own bank: First National Bank of East Chicago. I walked straight over, established I was a customer and requested a bag of new quarters. I was turned down! I couldn't beg, borrow, or steal a bag under any circumstances.

 

So I went home and poured over my banking statements in detail for the past few years and found several minor errors that totaled up to 26c in my favor. The next day I went back tothe bank laid the documents on the table and said, "I believe I owe you 26c and would like to pay it". The same manager who had turned me down the day before suddenly thought selling me a bag of quarters for $1000 sounded like a great idea. In fact without a word she phoned down to the basement and asked the vault manager to come up and talk to me. I told him what I wanted and he came back a little while later with the bag of '82-P quarters. I later talked to him again as he got me more coins over time and he told me that he called all the vault managers in the area to ask if they were asked for new coins and he said not one single one of them had ever heard of such a thing. Once in a while someone wanted pennies or nickels but that was it.

 

The bag turned out to be a great one. Almost all the coins were well struck by good dies though of the eight runs in it only a single one was close to the beginning of the dies' lives. In this run were a few hundred nice clean specimens with a single coin that was fully struck and in the first few thousand strikes. Fortunately it was clean. I grade it a very low level Gem but this is giving it the benefit of the doubt. I am quite confident it is the finest example in existence. This coin essentially represents about 1000 bags of searched 1982 quarters since I had looked at about 10,000 coins before homing in on this one.

 

There was a lot of work and heavy lifting to find Gems back before the services existed. Anyone who thinks you can just go out and find the rarities like the '69-P for a few dollars is going to be in for a rude awakening. Some of these aren't available as true Gems at any price. I'm sure many of the coins from that bag would grade rather high at the services because so many of them are very clean. But these are well struck from good dies. They have almost all the detail that is lacking on so many high grade moderns. The Redbook lists them for $3 each but I'd spend them brefore selling for that. At least this way a few might end up in the hands of someone who appreciates them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,862 posts

I advertised to pay $40 each for Gem '82 and '83 quarters all through the early and mid-90's and acquired a mere handful of coins. Some of these weren't really Gems but it was obvious the sender had actually checked a few coins and sent me the best so I paid the money anyway. I doubt I got even five true Gems and none were the '82-P.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,118 posts

As I stated in my prior post, my opinion is somewhere between yours and LuckyOne's, though closer to his.

 

The last time we had an extensive exchange on this topic, I again provided an explanation of why I don't believe these coins (whether the 1982-P quarter or otherwise) are as scarce as you claim. They are or may be as scarce as you claim by your criteria but not PCGS or NGC.

 

The PCGS count today in MS-66 is 190 with 19 in 67 as the "grade rarity". There are presumably some duplicates (more likely in 66 in my opinion) but I still think there is every reason to believe this coin is actually a Judd R-2 as a PCGS 66, with somewhere between 501 and 1250.

 

This would represent a survival rate of one per million from the original mintage and at a current value of about $60, I don't see that the motivation is that great to submit others out there, assuming the owners even know they have them, are collectors and know how to grade it.

 

I interpreted from our last exchange that a PCGS MS-66 might not qualify as a gem to you. If it doesn't, it still is good enough to practically all collectors of this series, certainly those who are paying an open market price versus "cherry picking".

 

I don't believe a modern such as the 1982-P in PCGS 66 is as common as most collectors almost certainly believe because I accept your experience to a point.

 

At the same time, there is nothing significant about the scarcity of any coin in "gem" because most coins are scarce in this quality. Almost exclusively, it's only moderns and recent US classics which are not or may not be.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,862 posts

 

At the same time, there is nothing significant about the scarcity of any coin in "gem" because most coins are scarce in this quality. Almost exclusively, it's only moderns and recent US classics which are not or may not be.

 

 

No.

 

The typical Barber quarter was in MS-64 to MS-69 when it left the dies. This is because it was mark free and the dies were new and well aligned.

 

The typical 1982 clad quarter was a piece of garbage when it left the dies. It was mark free and made by poorly made and highly worn dies that were not well aligned. Then incidentally most of them were marked up before they left the mint.

 

The Barber quarter is scarce in Gem because a low percentage survive in pristine condition. The '82 is scarce because very few true Gems were made and the vast majority were destroyed back in 1982 by circulation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,118 posts

My difference of opinion isn't because I am not aware of the explanations you provide. Its because I consider it an exaggeration and the equivalent of a "participation trophy" just for showing up.

 

If your gem is a PCGS MS-67, by default it is "rare" because this is the "conditional rarity" grade and all "conditional rarities" are "rare" by definition. If a PCGS MS-66, the population is already 190 and given its low market price, no reason to believe its much if any scarcer than my estimate as a Judd R-2 with at least 500.

 

In absolute terms, the 1982-P quarter is more common in equivalent quality except a very low proportion. Whether in gem or otherwise, out of several hundred thousand circulation strike issues, the 1982-P quarter is almost certainly more common than 98% or 99% of them.

 

Except maybe to cherry pickers, I cannot think of any reason why anyone would care about the survival rate. Certainly to anyone who is willing to pay the going market price, the absolute availability is a lot more important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,862 posts

 

If your gem is a PCGS MS-67, by default it is "rare" because this is the "conditional rarity" grade and all "conditional rarities" are "rare" by definition.

 

EVERY coin is unique. But the problem here is that this is drifting off topic and this is partly my fault.

 

Each collector selects those unique coins that fit his definitions for a collection. One prefers good dies and another full strike while most pay a lot of attentioon to marking. TPG coins are already "graded" but they are still unique since no two coins will look alike even in the same grade. This is actually the concept behind grading companies; to remove the burden of determining the price by assigning a grade.

 

Registry set collectors are following defined parameters for what constitutes a "collection" but they are still selecting unique coins to make their collections.

 

I think a lot of the problem here is some people seem to think modern collecting exists only as a competition for registry points. Of course this is one manifestation and the point of this very thread but there are others who collect presidential dollars and don't even have them graded or they were bought in slabs and have been removed. It's far easier now days to find Gems in plastic than to run them down in the wild and it was never very easy to run them down. The fact that some choose to compete or just to show off their collections in the registry in no way diminishes any collection of unique coins. It doesn't change a great coin into a piece of plastic as so many seem to believe just as a great piece of plastic can't make a superb Gem.

 

Collections must be rated on their merits whether they're in the registry or not. Part of this is that the "uniqueness" of each coin is consistent through the collection and the amount of effort required to put it together.

 

There should be logical reasons for ratings for those who are competing. Of course with a series that is still in production one might expected changes in weighting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,862 posts

 

Except maybe to cherry pickers, I cannot think of any reason why anyone would care about the survival rate. Certainly to anyone who is willing to pay the going market price, the absolute availability is a lot more important.

 

This merely highlights our very very very different perspectives on coin collecting.

 

I look at a 1982-P quarter from circulation and I see the route it traveled from the mine to my hand. Each of them has a thousand stories to tell in its three dimensional format as a disc of metal(s). It speaks volumes about statistics, human nature, mechanics, the economy, and every other subject. It is a physical manifestation of randomness and uniqueness.

 

It's as impossible to understand one 1982 quarter as it is to deduce the picture of a jigsaw puzzle from a single piece.

 

To each his own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13,441 posts

The phrase "conditional rarity" is meaningless without knowing the entire population of extant specimens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
487 posts
Well, it looks like we could go back and forth on this disagreement but neither of us can *prove* anything at this moment in time because the future hasn't given us the rest of the story, but I will ask one more time- WHERE DID BILLIONS OF CLAD COINS GO? They couldn't possibly all have been circulated, and if not, then it is probable that tens of thousands more gems will be discovered over the coming decades. We can argue that they are all gone or that the coining process for clads didn't allow for gems but we have plenty of evidence that that isn't true because they do exist.

 

I won't go back and forth on this because I believe I have already established that these coins were never saved in meaningful quantities. The simple fact is thatif they had been saved in any manner at all, intentionally or inadvertantly, it would be possible to find lots of coins like Gem '69 quarters, or rolls of them or nice XF's. These coins do not survive therefore they did all circulate.

 

It's not my contention that there are no Gems or that there aren't tens of thousands of them. A few do exist because of mint sets and the fact a few were set aside. But these exist as both rare dates and common dates. Some are very common with as many as 40,000 Gems still in existence and some don't exist at all above AU. Some had mintages as low as "1". You can't get rarer than this.

 

I'm going to try to bow out of this discussion since I probably shouldn't have gotten involved in the first place. It's not my job to fix each and every misstatement about moderns. A lot of us love these coins and don't need to worry about what non-collectors say about them.

 

All I have seen you establish so far is an opinion, with all respect of course. Like I said, we should see a lot more of them come to market over the next decade or so. I should live that long, you can tell me you told me so at that time if my prediction turns out to be wrong, but I don't see how you can prove your opinion. As for loving the coins, again, I love coins too, but not enough to get upset when someone offers their opinion of what I collect, just doesn't matter to me. What does is seeing every other seller of a coin on ebay stating how 'rare' it is in the title when it isn't even close. Rare means very few in existence, not very few in a slab with a special label. If the possibility exists that many more are out there, then nothing is written in stone just because they haven't made it into slabs yet.

 

As for the story you told in your last post, this is very interesting story and I enjoyed reading it, but how did you get the math to 1000 bags? Just curious how searching through 10,000 coins could represent searching through 1000 bags...???.

 

And I have seen some bags of 1982 quarters, some of which were stripped of their gems. Do you really think no one thought of searching for them but you? I have known many gem roll accumulators in my time, both coin dealers as well as fellow collectors, and that is how they got gem rolls- by stripping every gem from every bag they could get their hands on. Yes sir, there are plenty out there, and they come out solwly because the hoarders aren't insufficiently_thoughtful_persons.

 

As for bags of 'rare' coins that I have seen offered- how about bags of 1972 doubled dies? Yes sir, the real thing, they were offered to me at the 1989 ANA summer convention. Even 'rarer' were the 10 rolls of gem 55 doubled dies that a dealer showed me in my home town when I was a kid, back in 1970. He opened one and slid them out on the countertop to show them off, again the real thing. Things like this were once common, but no one wants to share what they have these days for fear of being robbed or killed for them. I have seen a lot of 'rare' gems in rolls and bags in my time. It is a much more common pasttime than most would think, and like I said, those coins WILL make it back to collectors over time, mark my words.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
487 posts
The phrase "conditional rarity" is meaningless without knowing the entire population of extant specimens.

 

my point exactly. I think some people live on nwishful thinking. I live by probabilities and since many of the 'rare' coins spoken of these days were minted by the hundreds of millions, there is a high probability that many more exist and the present owners just aren't aware that they are worth the $$$ to send them in for grading or put them on the market. If this was 2036 I think we'd know more and one of our opinions would be changed drastically, and yes I believe the possibilty exists that it could be my opinion, but the probability is nil...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
487 posts
I advertised to pay $40 each for Gem '82 and '83 quarters all through the early and mid-90's and acquired a mere handful of coins. Some of these weren't really Gems but it was obvious the sender had actually checked a few coins and sent me the best so I paid the money anyway. I doubt I got even five true Gems and none were the '82-P.
I advertised to pay $40 each for Gem '82 and '83 quarters all through the early and mid-90's and acquired a mere handful of coins. Some of these weren't really Gems but it was obvious the sender had actually checked a few coins and sent me the best so I paid the money anyway. I doubt I got even five true Gems and none were the '82-P.

 

but keep in mind that one person's experience doesn't a market make... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
487 posts
What I do have to respond to is your assumption that in 1965 all roll saving stopped. That couldn't be backed by fact because I knew a LOT of dealers and hoarders over my fifty one year numismatic career and there is no doubt that much of that stuff was buried in cellers and closets, not to come out until these people begin dying off. Since I started collecting in 1965 I can say with conviction that a lot of the change ended up in piggy banks, barrels and jugs.

 

And to be absolutely sure, the treasury department has minted more and more coinage over that period, so where does it go? I think a clad coin has a life of thirty years or more. Where did they all go? It's expensive to melt and refine clad coinage so it didn't get melted. The treasury chose clad coinage because it would save them from having to melt much of it, so they aren't taking it from circulation nearly as fast as the mint is coining it. So where are all those hundreds of billions of coins that you say no longer exist? I think they are in sock drawers and the backs of closets all over America, just waiting for baby boomers to start dying off and their children to start finding them. Just trying to treat this with some logic. No one thought the gov't would find a hundred million silver dollars in their vaults either but hoarders of 1898-O, 1903-O and 1904-O Morgans lost their pants when they were released. Baby bommer children may disperse their parents loot at a much slower rate but the fact remains that many of those coins will be high end gems. When will the Presidential dollars and the like be found? Probably in about fifty years when those hoarders children find them in the back of your closets...

 

Not sure you have followed my prior post exchanges with cladking but if not, you are new to this debate.

 

My interpretation of your comments is that you have a similar concept of scarcity to mine. Cladking has his own which he can elaborate on himself.

 

Cladking's quality standard's appear to be stricter than the TPG and are limited to a narrow segment even within modern collectors. This is evident by the price level below the "conditional rarity" grade.

 

I don't find anything significant in "conditional rarity" coins that are either otherwise absolutely common or practically available on demand even in "high quality". This is true whether the coin is a modern or classic. This describes practically all US coins and most world coins as well with the distinction that, where the price is low, the actual availability may be an unknown and the coins may not be available for sale because it isn't worth the bother of offering it for sale. Like you, I believe the NGC and PCGS populations for most (US) coins are vastly understated except in the absolute highest grade and sometimes one directly below it.

 

So to summarize, you are both right using different criteria.

 

Yes sir, sorry, not a lot of time to post sometimes but you made some very good points.

 

As for who is right, it really doesn't matter to me if anyone agrees with what I say or not, I'm not here to compete but to share 51 years of numismatic knowledge. I make my decisions based on probabilities and it is much more probable that a coin that had a mintage of over 100 million is much more common than the population guides suggest, and a coin that was actually used heavily in commerce a hundred and fifty years ago with a small original mintage is much more likely to not have many more specimens extant, simply because there has been 15 decades to find every last piece in sock drawers, closets and attics. Compare that vast amount of time to the few decades for clads, and keep in mind that they are almost worthless as far as bullion value goes so there has been much less incentive for anyone to search for them outside of knowledgeable hobbiests.

 

Something is not actually rare until the majority agree that it is. I doubt you would get a majority to agree that any modern issue in the hundreds of millions is rare no matter what grade under MS70.

 

And yes, I'm objective enough to agree that what cladking is saying is true to a certain extent- the extent that today, at this moment in time, there are relatively few gems available *in slabs*, but again, what does that prove until we've had enough time for them to come out of the woodwork? Time WILL tell...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
487 posts
Second rarest, the 1903-O was the King of the Morgans until the bags of 1898-O, 1903-O and 1904-O dollars appeared in the Treasury dispersals of the early 1960's.

 

Good catch, I stand corrected! I actually had to go dig out my early Red Books, and to back what you stated, here are the values of the three from the 1960 issue:

 

1898-O XF $50.00 Unc $375.00

1903-O XF $90.00 Unc $500.00

1904-O XF $15.00 Unc $150.00

 

and the 1962 issue:

 

1898-O XF $50.00 Unc $300.00

1903-O XF $150.00 Unc $500.00

1904-O XF $15.00 Unc $250.00

 

and then the 1964 issue, after the discovery of bag quantities:

 

1898-O XF (face val) Unc $5.00

1903-O XF $15.00 Unc $30.00

1904-O XF (face val) Unc $3.50

 

It is interesting to note that in that same time frame the 1889-CC went from $22.50 in XF & $95.00 in Unc to $150.00 in XF & $350.00, indicating that dollar collecting and subsequently values didn't fall off, they seem to have gained in popularity after the announcement.

 

Isn't it fun to look back and see the most drastic changes as a reality check to modern thinking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,314 posts

Market rarity - collector demand for a particular coin is greater than the market can accommodate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,862 posts

As for the story you told in your last post, this is very interesting story and I enjoyed reading it, but how did you get the math to 1000 bags? Just curious how searching through 10,000 coins could represent searching through 1000 bags...???.

 

 

Every coin is unique but in a very real way this doesn't apply to every coin in a bag of old quarters.

 

Let me explain. If you get 100 coins of the same date/ mm from 100 distinctly different places you'll have a fair representative sample of what that specific date/ mm looks like. But I didn't look at 100 coins, I've looked at tens of thousands now. In 1982 they were Unc but now they are VF but they still represent the die pair and the press that made them. A bag contains only about ten die pairs on average in any quantity. There will often be several others with only a few specimens. If there are any Gems they'll probably be one of the well represented die pair. So looking at ten thousand rejects is just about equivalent to rejecting 1000 bags. Remember the vast majority of these bags contained no Gems at all. You don't need to look at every coin to determine every coin is a dog. All you have to do is establish that each run is poor by sampling and that's it. I never looked at most of these bad bags because I "cheated" and went straight for the well made coins.

 

It doesn't matter if you believe these are scarce or not. The fact is nice well made 1982-P quarters are not available. They are not available in souvenir sets or the Paul and Judy sets. They are no longer available in the flat pack "California sets". Fewer than about a dozen were in the Numismatic News sets but most of these may be gone now. There were never many rolls of these (probably fewer 1,200 rolls) and, as I said, a very tiny percentage of these were Gem (<.1%)(~25 coins total).

 

They are not available in the marketplace. Once in a while one of the high grade TPG coins will appear on eBay but from the pictures taken yards away you can see strike deficiencies and die wear. My understanding is that most of the high grade coins come from souvenir sets but sampling of these sets has shown that there is nothing even close to Gem from this source. They're better than roll coins and cleaner but not even close to Gem.

 

I'm just one collector with one opinion of coins. Modern collectors each have their own opinion and they collect what they like. It might seem that a coin only 34 years old with a mintage of hundreds of millions should be common in any grade but it only seems that way. This same thing applies to almost all clads and most moderns; they seem common but when you try to put together any sort of meaningful collection they are everything but common.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
487 posts
Market rarity - collector demand for a particular coin is greater than the market can accommodate.

 

I agree, there are different kinds of rarity- absolute rarity, conditional rarity, and casual market rarity- looks like you pretty much summed up the whole discussion with one descriptive term. I'll add that only absolute rarity is true rarity- you can't expect more to be found when you know where they all are and that number has stayed constant for a hundred years or more, but we're talking about coins that were manufactured by the hundreds of millions and billions, per issue, well within our lifetimes. I know they are interesting to collect, like anything else, but at what cost? I guess that is really what the two camps are disagreeing on in this debate- the value and the risk, not the series...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,118 posts

One of my favorite all-time coins is the Peter Goetz 1792 Washington half dollar small eagle in silver, Baker 24a.

 

In 2009, a book was published (link below) which lists every specimen the author could identify, 22 in all. According to the article, this was twice the number previously known publicly.

 

Now, if a 200+ year old relatively famous coin like this one had double the number previously publicly known, it should be apparent that this is going to be true of practically every other coin (literally) to an order of magnitude, regardless of grade or the arbitrary, artificial and narrow definitions of "scarcity" used on this forum or PCGS.

 

http://www.coinnews.net/2009/09/11/the-washington-pattern-coinage-of-peter-getz/

 

I don't think there isn't anything wrong with collecting common coins. What I do not" get" is why anyone needs to exaggerate their supposed merits. Most of the coins I collect are either relatively scarce, absolutely so and a noticeable proportion are rare. However, I still like a lot of common coins; I just don't buy them. This includes US and the primary reason I don't is first, because I don't have the budget for it and second, because of the disproportionately inflated price level.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
487 posts

I've searched BU bags of silver dollars, buffalo nickels, walking halves, etc, so I understand what you're saying (except that a BU quarter is BU whether struck weakly or from a worn die or not), but you're making a lot of assumtions in all of your replies, and this is one of them. When I tell people I have looked through millions of coins in my life, I don't tell them it was representative of millions of coins, I mean it literally because I actually did it. I want to add also that you're comparing apples to oranges when saying these were not hoarded because if they were, they'd have been brought to market. I say that all (nearly) pre-1971 bags of silver based coins have been brought to market because they were worth a lot of $$$ on each peak in the bullion market, but clad coins have been left to rot because most people hear only about bullion coins in the news- when is the last time you saw a headline ad screaming "BRING US YOUR CLAD COINAGE, IT IS RARE!"? When there is reason to dig those bags and rolls out, they will be dug out. I personally had a lot of rolls of silver coinage- I sold it all too when silver hit new highs in this decade, but what's more interesting is that I have many rolls of clads, mostly quarters, and also some dollars. I never once thought to waste the money to slab them even though I have sold some very nice raw singles over the years that would easily grade 68 or so today. I'm sure I still have a lot of high grade pieces in my hoard but I'm not interested and not informed, thus the decision to dig some rolls out and sell them, and others still sit there. To tell you the truth, most of them got packed many years ago during a move and I have no idea where they are, that is how far removed some people get from their 'hoards'.

 

One last concept I'd like to offer- in the old days, there was a reason to hoard coins. Every non-minor coin that circulated before the federal reserve was created had nearly it's value already in it in bullion, so hoarding them was smart if you wanted to make money on the bullion during times of shortage, and it was smart if you wanted to bury a small fortune for future use. Today, who would want to haul off their copper nickel clad bag and rolls to the coin shop or coin show when they were told on the phone by their local dealers that they weren't interested? To the average citizen with the hoarding mentality, they have no real value except face, so there is no incentive to bother even digging them out of storage. When the headline ads say they want your clad coinage and they will pay record prices to get them, we'll find out just how rare they are. I have been watching and waiting but I haven't seen it yet.

 

Maybe you should advertise to buy certain dates in certain grades and promote the series to the point that it is a real market and really brings the rest out of the woodwork? It could be fun and you could make a lot of money in the process. Rick Tomaska was ridiculed when he said cameo proof Franklins were rare and look at who got the last laugh on that topic...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,862 posts

I'll add that only absolute rarity is true rarity- you can't expect more to be found when you know where they all are and that number has stayed constant for a hundred years or more, but we're talking about coins that were manufactured by the hundreds of millions and billions, per issue, well within our lifetimes. I know they are interesting to collect, like anything else, but at what cost? I guess that is really what the two camps are disagreeing on in this debate- the value and the risk, not the series...

 

Are you seriously telling me that an 1804 dollar wasn't rare in 1850 because no one knew how many there were? I know you said this but I assumed you had misspoken.

 

Rarity is independent of supply and demand and price. If no one wants something it doesn't matter if there are none, one, or one billion and if only one of something exists it doesn't matter how many want it or how many years have elapsed since it was produced. There is a single, unique, 1964 clad quarter with a mintage of "one", 1, fewer than two exist. This coin was unique in 1965 and it is unique today. For as long as it exists there will be one. It simply doesn't matter how many want it as this affects only the price and not the number that exist.

 

Gem clad wasn't especially scarce in the year of issue. The mintage of Gem 1982-P quarters was probably on the order of 50,000 though could easily have been somewhat higher. These coins virtually all went into circulation. They were no longer Gem in 1985 and they are no longer Gem today. They won't be Gem in a hundred years either. Time is irrelevant.

 

I remember this same specious argument back in 2002. People were telling me that they had only been grading clads for a few years and in time all the moderns would be as common as grains of sand on the beach. Guess what?!? They've been grading moderns for longer now than they had been grading classics in 2002 and still there are no MS-67 '69 quarters. The pops of many of these coins has not increased or has only nominally increased.

 

Things are priced on supply and demand. If you aren't buying or selling moderns then talking them down isn't going to have a lot of effect. It will serve principally to alienate people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,862 posts
When there is reason to dig those bags and rolls out, they will be dug out.

 

This is nonsense. In order to dig out rolls of clad and find them in the woodwork there must be in existence rolls of clad and this is obviously and patently not the case. The reality is that there is almost no demand so the price is low. But there is a little demand so roll prices are often over $50 per roll. Tiny demand vs tiny supply equals $50.

 

I personally had a lot of rolls of silver coinage- I sold it all too when silver hit new highs in this decade, but what's more interesting is that I have many rolls of clads, mostly quarters, and also some dollars. I never once thought to waste the money to slab them even though I have sold some very nice raw singles over the years that would easily grade 68 or so today.

 

Frankly I'm impressed but I already know exactly what rolls of clad quarters you have. You have a bunch of rolls of '76 and maybe a few '65's. You also have a few oddballs like '72-D, '74-D and maybe an ugly roll of 1979's. Probably lots of early states quarters. This is pretty much what "everyone" has and it's exactly what shows up at the coin shops from estates.

 

Mostly there won't be any Gems in the lot except maybe a dozen '76's.

 

I can also tell you what you don't have. You don't have a roll of 1969 quarters. If you did (and you most assuredly do not and can not) they would be 40 dogs. You don't have a roll of '71-P's either.

 

Are you aware that a really nice roll of '83-P quarters can easily be sold for $1000 wholesale? Yet I don't see coins coming out of the woodwork to suppress the price because there are no such coins in the woodwork. Just like everyone else you didn't save these coins.

 

Maybe you should advertise to buy certain dates in certain grades and promote the series to the point that it is a real market and really brings the rest out of the woodwork? It could be fun and you could make a lot of money in the process. Rick Tomaska was ridiculed when he said cameo proof Franklins were rare and look at who got the last laugh on that topic...

 

It's really a little too late for that. If the market ever developes I'll just start digging coins out of my safety deposit boxes to sell. This market will grow over time. Every year that goes by there are more signs of growth. Eventually there won't be enough mint sets to satisfy the growth and then it will suddenly explode.

 

I am jealous of your seeing a bag of buffalo nickels. Of course I've seen bags of Morgans but most of the bags I've gone through are 1957 and later. I've been through a lot of coins too but mostly I only go through the good bags. I can gothrough a bad '64-D nickel bag in less than fifteen minutes so I save most of my time for the nicer coins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4,118 posts
Things are priced on supply and demand. If you aren't buying or selling moderns then talking them down isn't going to have a lot of effect. It will serve principally to alienate people.

 

Disagreeing with you while not buying moderns is not "talking them down". It is a difference of opinion but you just do not like it.

 

According to one of your earlier posts in this thread, every coin is unique. Its up to you if that is your standard but when evaluating scarcity, there isn't a more liberal one possible. Now I finally understand our difference of opinion. Your claim is literally true but I never heard anyone else anywhere define scarcity in the same context. I consider it nonsensical.

 

Rarity is independent of demand and price but it absolutely isn't independent of supply. What is this supposed to mean?

 

If you want to support your point, you should have used a better example than the 1804 dollar. It is irrelevant to your claim because it was "made rare" and while in the past the number of survivors may not have been known due to limited communication, the maximum possible was "common knowledge".

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 1