Is this "CAC" thing a load of *spoon* or what?
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They provide a high level of professional and intellectual rigor to their analysis.  Their sticker on many coins is worth a lot more than sellers will get.  More liquidity with cac.  I often get ebay offers around cac bid from dealers and serious collectors because they realize there is not risk for them.

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On 11/22/2017 at 3:43 PM, Nutmeg Coin said:

They provide a high level of professional and intellectual rigor to their analysis.  Their sticker on many coins is worth a lot more than sellers will get.  More liquidity with cac.  I often get ebay offers around cac bid from dealers and serious collectors because they realize there is not risk for them.

I cannot agree with your first sentence. I have been disappointed too many times with them. 

As for the next two sentences, that is true because many collectors have been drawn in by the marketing. 

As for the "no risk" comment, an over graded coin is still an over graded coin even with a sticker. When you pay more than the retail price because of the sticker for that over graded coin, you take on a lot of risk. 

Edited by BillJones

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On ‎11‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 7:00 AM, BillJones said:

Nice 1916-D Mercury Dime, Coinman1794!!!

That coin would at least make VF-35 in a main stream holder under the watered down standards for coins like this today. It might make EF-40.

When I was a dealer I had a want list for a 1916-D Mercury Dime. The customer and I looked at the Gray Sheet and came to the conclusion that he could afford a VF. When I started shopping for the coin I found out that what used to be VG is now VF. The lines on the ax handle were not complete on any of the coins I say. I finnally found a VF35 graded piece that I could call VF-20 to fill his want list for a bit of extra money.

I love Bill's expertise.

 

"When I was a dealer" (Psst......a dealer (most of them. not all) will try to rip you off in a hot second)

If you are buying a dealer is your best friend (my coin was just returned from XYZ grading service as a 64 but I'm positive it's a 65, yea right!), selling is a different story "your coin should be in a 64 holder instead of a 65"

 

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Personally I have had some very good relationships with coin dealers over the years. You learn to size them up over time. The good ones are the people you look up first at the shows and on the Internet. The bad ones are the last people you see at the shows, and when you do, you go armed with all of the expertise and skepticism that you can muster.

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In all the various fields of collecting, there is much opportunity for larceny and not much in the way of public retribution. Same applied to mainstream investments back in the day, and to some extent today. Sadly, knowledge and experience gained the hard way are our only real protection from the bad guys. 

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On ‎11‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 6:24 AM, BillJones said:

Personally I have had some very good relationships with coin dealers over the years. You learn to size them up over time. The good ones are the people you look up first at the shows and on the Internet. The bad ones are the last people you see at the shows, and when you do, you go armed with all of the expertise and skepticism that you can muster.

The "bad dealers" are the first to go at a coin show, and I'm talking about the internet scumbags that are just here to rip us collectors off..............

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On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 3:03 PM, the_Thing ® said:

I don't know, just seems a way to try and jack up a coins value over its grade. (shrug)

I have to agree.  Maybe I have old fashioned thinking but I try very hard not to buy coins with stickers on.  Do you know CAC dealers even have a "W" sticker now that 'supposedly' certifies your coin is Blast White!  I Pay a TPG (NCG & PCGS) to certify a coin and grade it.  I trust them to be honest and provide a fair grade.  Oh for the old, old days when none of this inflated stuff was around and prices were easy.  :makepoint:

Edited by Alex in PA.

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14 minutes ago, Alex in PA. said:

I have to agree.  Maybe I have old fashioned thinking but I try very hard not to buy coins with stickers on.  Do you know CAC dealers even have a "W" sticker now that 'supposedly' certifies your coin is Blast White!  I Pay a TPG (NCG & PCGS) to certify a coin and grade it.  I trust them to be honest and provide a fair grade.  Oh for the old, old days when none of this inflated stuff was around and prices were easy.  :makepoint:

A sticker signifying that a coin is white has nothing to do with whether a dealer is a CAC dealer. Did you prefer the “old, old days when none of this inflated stuff” like PCGS and NGC grading  “was around and prices were easy”?

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I can testify as to how bad the good old days were, before the TPG's came along. Collecting was very hazardous financially. One still needs to buy the coin, not the plastic, but at least one isn't faced with a total loss if making a bad decision. CAC provides a worthwhile service, yet another opinion. It seems to me that that opinion is overvalued by many, such as those who only buy stickered coins, and may be abused, which is too bad. But that opinion nonetheless has value. As adult collectors, we need to take responsibility for our decisions, learn as much as we can, and buy what we like, not what someone else tells us to like. 

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4 hours ago, MarkFeld said:

A sticker signifying that a coin is white has nothing to do with whether a dealer is a CAC dealer. Did you prefer the “old, old days when none of this inflated stuff” like PCGS and NGC grading  “was around and prices were easy”?

The only places I found this 'W' nonsense were on websites of dealers who, for a fee, will get  you a CAC sticker.  The man I first started buying coins from (back in the Day) graded all the coins he sold.  Over the years I came to trust his judgment; he is gone now.  Yeah, I'd like to go back to the old days when coin dealers respected the collector instead of looking at us as if we were their retirement plan and used all these neat little tricks to squeeze more bucks out of us.   

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14 minutes ago, Alex in PA. said:

The only places I found this 'W' nonsense were on websites of dealers who, for a fee, will get  you a CAC sticker.  The man I first started buying coins from (back in the Day) graded all the coins he sold.  Over the years I came to trust his judgment; he is gone now.  Yeah, I'd like to go back to the old days when coin dealers respected the collector instead of looking at us as if we were their retirement plan and used all these neat little tricks to squeeze more bucks out of us.   

Long ago and for what I believe was a relatively short time, NGC used the “W” designation on some of their grading labels for certain color-free coins. Whether it’s some of those or something else you’re speaking of, and regardless of where you saw them, it likely has nothing to do with CAC dealers. Any dealer could have or use a “W” designation.

I’ve been involved in the rare coin industry for more tha 40 years. My impression is that some dealers respect and treat collectors well, while others take advantage of them, whenever/however possible - just as it was decades ago. I’m glad you had good experiences with your dealer, but a great many other collectors weren’t and aren’t currently nearly as fortunate.

 

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Perhaps I have not made myself clear; perhaps some misunderstood.  When I was researching the CAC phenomena some, not all, coin dealers who submitted your coin to be CACed advertised a 'W' sticker.  Now, I do not purchase coins with additional enhancements on.  That is just my personal preference.  What others do is their business and none of mine.  I use NGC and PCGS and have not yet found any reason to doubt their ability to evaluate my coins satisfactory.  It's nice that these people have found a device that gives them profit; good luck in the future.

sight-white.jpg

Edited by Alex in PA.

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5 hours ago, MarkFeld said:

Long ago and for what I believe was a relatively short time, NGC used the “W” designation on some of their grading labels for certain color-free coins. Whether it’s some of those or something else you’re speaking of, and regardless of where you saw them, it likely has nothing to do with CAC dealers. Any dealer could have or use a “W” designation.

I’ve been involved in the rare coin industry for more tha 40 years. My impression is that some dealers respect and treat collectors well, while others take advantage of them, whenever/however possible - just as it was decades ago. I’m glad you had good experiences with your dealer, but a great many other collectors weren’t and aren’t currently nearly as fortunate.

 

40 years is a long time and a lot has changed has it not?  So, I have a question for you.  Today we have an enormous amount of Chinese manufactured coins flowing through our little hobby.  Are we soon to expect slabs with counterfeit stickers on them?  Could it be done?  Will we have one more item to worry about?

Edited by Alex in PA.

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2 hours ago, Alex in PA. said:

40 years is a long time and a lot has changed has it not?  So, I have a question for you.  Today we have an enormous amount of Chinese manufactured coins flowing through our little hobby.  Are we soon to expect slabs with counterfeit stickers on them?  Could it be done?  Will we have one more item to worry about?

I don’t necessarily expect to see counterfeit stickers, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Keep in mind, that the profit margin in selling a counterfeit coin would typically dwarf that of selling a (coin with a) counterfeit sticker.

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8 hours ago, Alex in PA. said:

The only places I found this 'W' nonsense were on websites of dealers who, for a fee, will get  you a CAC sticker.

No dealer can 'buy' you a CAC sticker. It is solely up to verifiers at CAC whether or not your NGC or PCGS coin gets their A or B level verification. I've talked to John Albanese in person and I can assure you he is a straight up player.

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I am sure Mr. Albanese is and I am sure everyone since the advent of third party grading/certifying had the good of the hobby at heart when they started.  As I said:  "good luck to them in the future".  Thanks very much for you reply.

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6 hours ago, MarkFeld said:

I don’t necessarily expect to see counterfeit stickers, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

I have seen at least one counterfeit CAC sticker.  And if it can be done once, it can be done again.

6 hours ago, MarkFeld said:

Keep in mind, that the profit margin in selling a counterfeit coin would typically dwarf that of selling a (coin with a) counterfeit sticker.

True but the cost to add a fake sticker to fake slab is minimal and it will increase the profit even more.  Put a fake coin (big profit) in a fake slab (even more profit) and add a sticker that basically cost nothing and increase the profit again.  Sounds like a business plan that would appeal to some people.

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6 hours ago, Conder101 said:

I have seen at least one counterfeit CAC sticker.  And if it can be done once, it can be done again.

True but the cost to add a fake sticker to fake slab is minimal and it will increase the profit even more.  Put a fake coin (big profit) in a fake slab (even more profit) and add a sticker that basically cost nothing and increase the profit again.  Sounds like a business plan that would appeal to some people.

Fair point on the business plan.

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On 10/21/2018 at 7:34 AM, Alex in PA. said:

I have to agree.  Maybe I have old fashioned thinking but I try very hard not to buy coins with stickers on.  Do you know CAC dealers even have a "W" sticker now that 'supposedly' certifies your coin is Blast White!  I Pay a TPG (NCG & PCGS) to certify a coin and grade it.  I trust them to be honest and provide a fair grade.  Oh for the old, old days when none of this inflated stuff was around and prices were easy.  :makepoint:

For a short time, NGC used a W designation to classify a coin as White. I have not seen stickers for this, as you mention, but I believe you because White is a thing. Personally, when I see bright white, I know not to buy.

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On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 9:18 AM, LINCOLNMAN said:

I can testify as to how bad the good old days were, before the TPG's came along. Collecting was very hazardous financially. One still needs to buy the coin, not the plastic, but at least one isn't faced with a total loss if making a bad decision. CAC provides a worthwhile service, yet another opinion. It seems to me that that opinion is overvalued by many, such as those who only buy stickered coins, and may be abused, which is too bad. But that opinion nonetheless has value. As adult collectors, we need to take responsibility for our decisions, learn as much as we can, and buy what we like, not what someone else tells us to like. 

I believe the internet would reduce the risk of some of the problems you mentioned, in the sense that at least the buyer can far more easily acquire coins outside of their immediate geographic area.  TPG

Most of the risk you describe is substantially if not predominantly the result of the hugely inflated price level.  Prior to TPG and buying coins as "investments", the vast majority of the coins most collectors buy now sold for nominal amounts, so the risk was much less.  Outsized financial buying and a distorted pricing structure where minimal differences in (supposed) quality have such large price variances create most of the financial risk you describe.  Counterfeiting, doctoring and artificial toning are a lot more profitable due to the inflated price level.  This should be self-evident since counterfeiting is presumably far less prevalent on non-US coinage (I am aware it is selectively a problem) and hardly to anyone will bother to doctor or artificially tone this coinage either.

TPGs have increased buyer confidence and with it, made it easier to sell coins.  However, TPGs have also contributed substantially to the inflated price level by increasing the number of financial buyers and registry competition has noticeably contributed to the existing price structure.

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I don't buy coins just for a CAC sticker. In the series I collect I do ok as far as the grading goes.

I think CAC does have a place in ensuring things weren't missed by someone. Mainly gold.

I have sent coins to CAC and called John for explanations when coins failed. Mainly for my own benefit.

CAC will also buy coins with a sticker if it fits in a place that they have a market for.  The bought a Peace S$ from me.

Isn't that a two way market?

 

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On ‎10‎/‎22‎/‎2018 at 11:22 PM, leeg said:

Isn't that a two way market?

I think this is a good business model; CAC putting their money where their mouth is so to speak. Identifying high end coins and making a fourth party market is fine with me. Isn't that what specialized dealers would do if coins were raw ?

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On 10/22/2018 at 2:57 PM, World Colonial said:

I believe the internet would reduce the risk of some of the problems you mentioned, in the sense that at least the buyer can far more easily acquire coins outside of their immediate geographic area.  TPG

Most of the risk you describe is substantially if not predominantly the result of the hugely inflated price level.  Prior to TPG and buying coins as "investments", the vast majority of the coins most collectors buy now sold for nominal amounts, so the risk was much less.  Outsized financial buying and a distorted pricing structure where minimal differences in (supposed) quality have such large price variances create most of the financial risk you describe.  Counterfeiting, doctoring and artificial toning are a lot more profitable due to the inflated price level.  This should be self-evident since counterfeiting is presumably far less prevalent on non-US coinage (I am aware it is selectively a problem) and hardly to anyone will bother to doctor or artificially tone this coinage either.

TPGs have increased buyer confidence and with it, made it easier to sell coins.  However, TPGs have also contributed substantially to the inflated price level by increasing the number of financial buyers and registry competition has noticeably contributed to the existing price structure.

WC, as I recall the whole investment idea and its attendant sins preceded the TPG's. However, facility of trading and confidence undoubtedly made the idea of coins as an investment more feasible. Of course the condition rarity phenomenon, which has always existed ("buy the best that you can afford"), has increased exponentially. On balance, I'm not unhappy with the price levels of the coins I collect, although the prices are many multiples of what I would have paid and did pay as a YN in the 50's and 60's. 

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4 hours ago, LINCOLNMAN said:

WC, as I recall the whole investment idea and its attendant sins preceded the TPG's. However, facility of trading and confidence undoubtedly made the idea of coins as an investment more feasible. Of course the condition rarity phenomenon, which has always existed ("buy the best that you can afford"), has increased exponentially. On balance, I'm not unhappy with the price levels of the coins I collect, although the prices are many multiples of what I would have paid and did pay as a YN in the 50's and 60's. 

From what I read first hand in the 1980's, coins were marketed as "investments" on a large scale starting sometime in the 1970's as a "hedge" against inflation.  This is also consistent with the price changes from my Redbooks and charts of the PCGS 3000 index.  As an example, common date "UNC" Capped Bust halves are listed at $450 in my 1977 edition (which I owned at the time) which I recall was up from $250 in 1972 and from $75 a few years before that.  I might have the dates wrong but the prices and trend I believe are accurate.  I don't consider Capped Bust halves "investment" coins either then or now, yet the prices still exploded anyway.  I can't tell anyone whether the Red Book represented "retail" at the time but it did in the coin shops I bought from and to my knowledge did for most of the coins most collectors bought.

As for conditional rarities (or near it), I have never heard that collectors paid what I consider to be exorbitant (and absurd) prices much before TPG.  I have heard anecdotal accounts that it happened on occasion in the 1980's prior to 1986 before PCGS was founded but not otherwise.

When I have looked at my Red Books from 1965 and 1967 before the price run-ups, most of the coins in the most widely collected series (even excluding key and semi-key dates) sold for what I would describe as nominal prices. Most, but not all.  As an example, I believe common "UNC" SLQ listed for $20 in 1972 (my preferred dealer had one for $60 in 1977).  I wouldn't consider this price "low" because the coin isn't remotely scarce and $20 was a meaningful amount.  Concurrently, don't believe any "uber grade" but even more common coins would hardly ever sell for a noticeable multiple to the "Red Book" price because communication limitations would have virtually guaranteed that most collectors would never get most of their money back.

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So lets see, on an ngc slabbed coin you can have a plus on the grade, a star for superior appearance, and a “bean” from CACI for ?  Good grief!!!!

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53 minutes ago, t-arc said:

So lets see, on an ngc slabbed coin you can have a plus on the grade, a star for superior appearance, and a “bean” from CACI for ?  Good grief!!!!

I'm with you.  I have a hard time understanding, other than to make more money off a coin, why it's needed.  I wonder what will come next. 

It seems to me all CAC does is tell you if the TPG knew what they were doing or didn't.  Very confusing.

 

Edited by Alex in PA.

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On 11/5/2018 at 7:39 PM, Alex in PA. said:

I'm with you.  I have a hard time understanding, other than to make more money off a coin, why it's needed.  I wonder what will come next. 

It seems to me all CAC does is tell you if the TPG knew what they were doing or didn't.  Very confusing.

 

Valid points, all my CAC'd coins look outstanding and well above average for the coin, would probably grade higher also...although before pulling the trigger I have to wonder how much extra juice is in there because of it...??

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Late to the debate but have to register MY ..opinion.   My OPINION only.

I consider it to be one of the worst innovations in the "hobby."

I agree completely and wholeheartedly with those saying how brilliant the BUSINESS PLAN is/was.   Pure genius in fact.

In my OPINION, we have conferred on one man (who does no grading) the power to decide just how GOOD the grade is.   If it's in the top 2/3 of the grade per...his...opinion, then approval is granted.  If not, well then the coin will have... and in reality already HAS HAD.... an inferred negative inference as to its MARKET PRICE.

I just sold an 1848-CAL quarter eagle that had such NICE color that it brought a record price "for its grade" ....but.... I can't even count the number of queries I got asking it it had been "approved."   So that tells ME that whether or not it has been "blessed" affects ...desirability.... to BUYERS.   Rightly or wrongly, that's an observable fact.  

I base this on another observation that NEW collectors and "the public" in general want, desire, hope for, accept and NEED .....advice ... in order to make decisions.

It's not something that ...I...want to deal with.   

You may be the best "unofficial" grader on earth.  You may have more time in the arena than most collectors.  But YOUR opinion will remain only YOURS without an "outside" approval.  

So MY ....actual program has persuaded me to SELL almost every coin I have that is NOT APPROVED!   Silly?  Maybe.   But it's what I did.

My PRESENT practice is to buy whenever possible a coin ALREADY APPROVED and remove at least one possible hoop for it to jump through if I decide to no longer own it.   I also have a STRINGENT requirement that the approved piece being considered is also EYE APPEALING TO ME !!!  So, the approval alone won't dictate whether I buy a coin or not.

My ...advice... (if even solicited) is to give yourself the least grief possible in pursuit of an enjoyable "hobby" and thus keep it a valued activity.   I don't consider approval to be so important in the arena of GOLD coins.   As a former dealer I can vividly recall the competition to buy GOLD coins whenever and wherever because they ARE LIQUID.. Gold sells. Day in, day out.....gold sells easily.   To a WIDE base of buyers.   But NON gold coins appeal to a more specialized and PERSONAL ...hobbyist.  And there is where "approval" becomes a necessity to them.

I base this OPINION as I have written it on personally observed TRENDS and as in the stock market (which coins definitely are NOT) fighting a "trend" is a discouraged practice by every financial person I know.

Pan this post or applaud it; it matters not to me.  It's MY OBSERVATIONS that have formed MY actions.

Having fun with your coins should be your ultimate objective.

In MY opinion. :smile:

 

Edited by Rollo Tomassi

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1 hour ago, Rollo Tomassi said:

Late to the debate but have to register MY ..opinion.   My OPINION only.

I consider it to be one of the worst innovations in the "hobby."

I agree completely and wholeheartedly with those saying how brilliant the BUSINESS PLAN is/was.   Pure genius in fact.

In my OPINION, we have conferred on one man (who does no grading) the power to decide just how GOOD the grade is.   If it's in the top 2/3 of the grade per...his...opinion, then approval is granted.  If not, well then the coin will have... and in reality already HAS HAD.... an inferred negative inference as to its MARKET PRICE.

I just sold an 1848-CAL quarter eagle that had such NICE color that it brought a record price "for its grade" ....but.... I can't even count the number of queries I got asking it it had been "approved."   So that tells ME that whether or not it has been "blessed" affects ...desirability.... to BUYERS.   Rightly or wrongly, that's an observable fact.  

I base this on another observation that NEW collectors and "the public" in general want, desire, hope for, accept and NEED .....advice ... in order to make decisions.

It's not something that ...I...want to deal with.   

You may be the best "unofficial" grader on earth.  You may have more time in the arena than most collectors.  But YOUR opinion will remain only YOURS without an "outside" approval.  

So MY ....actual program has persuaded me to SELL almost every coin I have that is NOT APPROVED!   Silly?  Maybe.   But it's what I did.

My PRESENT practice is to buy whenever possible a coin ALREADY APPROVED and remove at least one possible hoop for it to jump through if I decide to no longer own it.   I also have a STRINGENT requirement that the approved piece being considered is also EYE APPEALING TO ME !!!  So, the approval alone won't dictate whether I buy a coin or not.

My ...advice... (if even solicited) is to give yourself the least grief possible in pursuit of an enjoyable "hobby" and thus keep it a valued activity.   I don't consider approval to be so important in the arena of GOLD coins.   As a former dealer I can vividly recall the competition to buy GOLD coins whenever and wherever because they ARE LIQUID.. Gold sells. Day in, day out.....gold sells easily.   To a WIDE base of buyers.   But NON gold coins appeal to a more specialized and PERSONAL ...hobbyist.  And there is where "approval" becomes a necessity to them.

I base this OPINION as I have written it on personally observed TRENDS and as in the stock market (which coins definitely are NOT) fighting a "trend" is a discouraged practice by every financial person I know.

Pan this post or applaud it; it matters not to me.  It's MY OBSERVATIONS that have formed MY actions.

Having fun with your coins should be your ultimate objective.

In MY opinion. :smile:

 

Good post. I haven't gone so far as to liquidate my non-CAC coins or totally limit my buying to stickerd coins. However, the vast majority of my recent purchases are CAC. That's reality. 

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P.S. most of my collecting most recently is 18th century medals. More like how I used to enjoy the hobby. Beauty, rarity, no slabs, no CAC and in my series', low cost/risk. 

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