1900-S SP66+ Barber dime - asking $183,750?
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61 posts in this topic

2 hours ago, MarkFeld said:

This is my personal opinion, only...coins are listed by their owners at prices of their choosing. Heritage is not making any representation regarding the “worth” of the coin. That said, the “suddenly” part and the much higher price are no secret. Obviously, both are strongly influenced by NGC’s change in theair designation of the coin.

Something similar has occurred on multiple occasions, with respect to percentage asking price increases, when coins have received significant (numerical grade) upgrades upon one or more resubmissions.

Fair points, Mark.....like you said, HA doesn't set the price.  But it sure is strange not to see any commentary below on ANY special or unique or pricey coin detailing the lineage, what makes it special, etc.

I'm going through some of the catalogs from HA I picked up at FUN -- it's amazing what you guys have on some of those coins.

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I think it is not only fair for Heritage to comment but necessary because they provide the venue for this sale as well as taking a commission. I've consigned material with dealers before and have been told my price was too high and would not list them as such. Don't forget Heritage stands to make 20k or more knowing full well they have already profited from the sale of this same coin in the past !

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On 5/24/2020 at 9:09 AM, numisport said:

I think it is not only fair for Heritage to comment but necessary because they provide the venue for this sale as well as taking a commission. I've consigned material with dealers before and have been told my price was too high and would not list them as such. Don't forget Heritage stands to make 20k or more knowing full well they have already profited from the sale of this same coin in the past !

If the coin were to sell, Heritage would not make anywhere near the amount you stated. And any commissions made when the coin was auctioned previously for another consignor have nothing to do with the current offering.

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On 5/24/2020 at 10:09 AM, numisport said:

I think it is not only fair for Heritage to comment but necessary because they provide the venue for this sale as well as taking a commission. I've consigned material with dealers before and have been told my price was too high and would not list them as such. Don't forget Heritage stands to make 20k or more knowing full well they have already profited from the sale of this same coin in the past !

I get where you are coming from, but is it Heritages -- or any auction company's -- business to say a price is too high or too low ?

The only qualm I have is if the same coin sold for a fraction of the current asking price and it appears that folks are mistaken as to the nature of the item.  I'm assuming that nothing else has changed, like the coin suddenly achieving rarity status or something like that.

FWIW, nobody seems interested at the current price.  

POST-EDIT:  I was unaware when I typed the above that the coin had a new grade designation making it much more valuable.  See post below.

 

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 5/23/2020 at 8:21 PM, MarkFeld said:

This is my personal opinion, only...coins are listed by their owners at prices of their choosing. Heritage is not making any representation regarding the “worth” of the coin. That said, the “suddenly” part and the much higher price are no secret. Obviously, both are strongly influenced by NGC’s change in theair designation of the coin.

Something similar has occurred on multiple occasions, with respect to percentage asking price increases, when coins have received significant (numerical grade) upgrades upon one or more resubmissions.

Thanks Mark.....this makes sense... since I'm not familiar with this coin type I wasn't aware of the change in the grade and the impact that it could make on the market value.

So maybe the current ask is legit, it's the change in the grade that we should be suspicious of.  Or maybe not.   I'll leave it to the Barber experts.xD

 

 

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On 5/25/2020 at 9:26 PM, MarkFeld said:

If the coin were to sell, Heritage would not make anywhere near the amount you stated. And any commissions made when the coin was auctioned previously for another consignor have nothing to do with the current offering.

I understand that if Great Collections sold a coin with a price over 1k there would be no seller commission taken. At Heritage those fees are collected on the buyer and the seller, so what do you think their commissions would be ?

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4 hours ago, numisport said:

I understand that if Great Collections sold a coin with a price over 1k there would be no seller commission taken. At Heritage those fees are collected on the buyer and the seller, so what do you think their commissions would be ?

The coin is not being auctioned and the typical buyer and seller commissions don’t apply. It’s listed on a “Virtual Bourse” for which the commission rate would be a flat 5%.

I’m not going to spam this site with a link to the Virtual Bourse commission rates and other specifics, but you can find it via a web search.

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Forgive me if this is a bit of a stretch with respect to staying on-topic, however, when I purchased an 1897-S Barber Half graded "MS-63 PL" (NGC), the selling was claiming that some people would try to market the coin as a "Branch-Mint Proof." I've only been collecting for a couple years and honestly wasn't sure what he meant at the time (I do now). I just bought the coin because I like to collect Key-Dates (term is loosely applied) of mostly U.S. Dollars and Half Dollars with Barber Halves being my top priority over the past six months approx.

The question I have is if the coin I purchased was in fact a "Branch-Mint Proof," would that mean it would be eligible for an "SP" grade? Also, would documentation be required to determine if a coin was a "Branch-Mint Proof" or can this be determined by analysis of the coin itself?

I spent quite a bit of time reading up on "Branch-Mint Proofs" before and after I purchased the coin and it was surprisingly difficult to find specific details on this subject.

Anyway, any feedback would be much appreciated, including criticism (constructive). I'm here to learn and have "A Guide Book of Barber Silver Coins 2nd Edition" (Bowers) right next to me. Thank you.

167848604_1897SPLBarberHalfObverseRevised.thumb.png.910e469869db3298cb5747c15ec6407b.png

2127444203_1897SPLBarberHalfReverseRevised.thumb.png.15a0c2b6b4ffe58f16da0a0172eb3e37.png

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Thanks for posting that article. I think I did eventually come across the same article when I was searching but it's a good reference nonetheless. 

Based on the info, it sounds like a branch mint proof would not be considered for an "SP" grade because specimens don't have the same characteristics of a proof strike. They're essentially "One-offs" typically handled with a higher degree of care compared to a circulation-strike... hence the "specimen" grade. 

With respect to branch mint proofs, the article is a bit open-ended in that it leaves room for additional, future insight as if this is a topic with many unknowns. This was ultimately part of the problem I ran into during my research in that I was looking for a book or detailed analysis of branch mint proofs. 

Another question I have, would all branch mint proofs, if submitted to a TPG, be graded using "PF" assuming the TPG did not make a mistake? I don't know if a proof-strike from the San Francisco Mint would exhibit the same characteristics as a proof from Philadelphia. In addition, since proofs were only supposed to be created in Philadelphia (using my 1897-S Barber Half as an example), could a Specimen grade be used instead? The nature of a branch mint proof being created is a rare event so in theory, there should be a reason behind the deviation in procedure in minting circulation strike coinage. Even if the reason is unknown, if the characteristics exhibited by the coin are unique enough to set it apart from other MS coinage, would this situation warrant a PF or SP grade?

I realize there's a lot to unpack here but I do find this to be an interesting topic. Also, please understand that I've always been operating under the assumption that my 1897-S Barber is NOT a branch mint proof. I just feel like it has such an exceptional strike that it could be more than just a PL circulation strike coin. Expert opinions are welcome and you won't offend me with criticism as long as it's constructive.

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Thanks for the insight RWB. I definitely appreciate it. If you have any recommendations on where to learn more about branch mint proofs, I do a lot of reading and I'd be interested in learning more.

On a different note, I'm becoming obsessed with the 1914 Barber Half Dollar Proof and would love to find a great example that doesn't destroy my bank account in the process. I've seen a couple available but I'm being picky. I also told the owner of the local coin shop if he comes across one to let me know. I like buying raw coins when possible but obviously have to be able to trust the seller.

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...interesting questions in an equally interesting area of US coinage, deserving of some interesting numismatic discussion rather than the normal baiting trolling n posturing that usually shows up here, most of the threads deteriorate rapidly into ego massaging n back patting or philosophical one upmanship or stupid attempts at humor....

but to add to ur questions...branch mint proofs (pre-1900) r a very specific area of collecting in a very shallow pool of collectors n almost always expensive n with very few examples known, most of the referenced issues in the ngc article most likely wouldnt meet strict current day definitions of proof issues, but due to their exceptional strikes surfaces n eye appeal r not the same as their normal every day circulation business strike cousins n therefore have received proof attributions, they r superior coins n do deserve some degree of status, perhaps special strikes or specimen strikes would be more accurate, but they r what they r n if attributed as proofs will probably remain that way...

...generally speaking, proof coinage is produced with specially prepared dies on specially prepared planchets n struck multiple strikes with additional pressure, doubtful that any of the 19th century branch mints could meet those conditions, however, there is ample evidence that specially prepared coins were struck at the branch mints for various reasons...presentations, commemorations etc etc....those coins deserve to be segregated n attributed as special, proof just probably isnt the most accurate numismatic word to describe them....specimen or presentation strikes probably more appropriate....the term proof wasnt actually used to describe coins early in the 19th century but as with most everything else attributions evolve n have a life of their own....in reality no one person can establish themselves as the definer of what is n what isnt, the numismatic collecting community will determine that for themselves...dont look for attrubuted branch mint proofs to be reclassified by collectors, tpg or auction firms anytime in the near future...

as far as reference books on the subject, there arent any really nor will there be, just maybe chapters in broader subject books....too expensive to generate n publish a book on such a narrow subject area n only a few buyers of said book...

ur '97-S PL is just that, very nice coin, but if u should compare it side by side with a '97 proof from the P mint u will see the differences.....again interesting area for discussion....

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14 minutes ago, 80s Kid said:

Thanks for the insight RWB. I definitely appreciate it. If you have any recommendations on where to learn more about branch mint proofs, I do a lot of reading and I'd be interested in learning more.

That's a difficult question. Nearly everything written about "branch mint proofs" is ancient speculation going back at least to S & H Chapman in 1888, through Wally Breen's "alternative facts," and modern catalog listings. Jeff Garret has a nice summary of these coins, but almost everything else in the article is incorrect assimilation from wishful thinking and sale-promotion nonsense.

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37 minutes ago, zadok said:

...generally speaking, proof coinage is produced with specially prepared dies on specially prepared planchets n struck multiple strikes with additional pressure, doubtful that any of the 19th century branch mints could meet those conditions, however, there is ample evidence that specially prepared coins were struck at the branch mints for various reasons...presentations, commemorations etc etc....those coins deserve to be segregated n attributed as special, proof just probably isnt the most accurate numismatic word to describe them....specimen or presentation strikes probably more appropriate....the term proof wasnt actually used to describe coins early in the 19th century but as with most everything else attributions evolve n have a life of their own....in reality no one person can establish themselves as the definer of what is n what isnt, the numismatic collecting community will determine that for themselves...dont look for attrubuted branch mint proofs to be reclassified by collectors, tpg or auction firms anytime in the near future...

Parts of the above are false....Repetition of old assumptions not based on fact and typical for internet searches. A few examples:

  • Dies for brilliant proof coins were normal except for careful polishing to a mirror-like finish before hardening. Polishing was manual work using emery and rouge charged polishing sticks and friskets.
  • All planchets were given a short tumble with abrasive to remove fire scale and polish them. Too much tumbling time would abrade the planchets and make them under weight, and thus unusable.
  • Proofs were struck once on a large screw press until 1894 when a new hydraulic press was used. No branch mint had either of these.
  • Specially struck coins from polished dies were called "Master Coins" until the mid-1850s when the term "Proof Coins" came into occasional use. The term was finally adopted about 1863, although both are found into the 1870s.
  • 1894-S dimes are not proof - they were struck from hurriedly polished dies which rapidly deteriorated as the 24 pieces were struck.
  • There is very little objective and factual information about so-called "branch mint proofs."

Having completed more direct archival research and published more primary source research than probably anyone in numismatics, with the notable exception of J W Julian, two observations come to mind. 1) Proof or master coins are not mentioned in relation to any US Mint except Philadelphia; 2) Creation of quality control sample coins at Philadelphia for other mint is mentioned on at least two occasions.

Edited by RWB
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Thanks for all the info. The more I read up on this topic, one of the impressions I got was that the term may have been somewhat of a marketing gimmick and/or jargon. The only reason I even looked into the topic was because the seller of my coin said some people would probably try and market the 1897-S as a Branch Mint Proof (even though he stated that coin was not or that if it was, he had no proof - pardon the pun). 

Barber Half Dollars are intriguing to me but I like big coins so I still go for the occasional Peace, Morgan or Ike Dollar (most of my Ikes came from the bank; just ask and occasionally they have some. I even got a Peace Dollar a couple years ago for $1 at the bank). 

I have a background in finance so there's always a part of me trying to figure out which coins are likely to appreciate the most over the long term. I genuinely love numismatics though. From what I've read and seen so far, it would appear that key/semi-key dates have the best track records. I just try to collect key dates from the series I enjoy the most. I may attempt to go for the entire Barber Half Dollar series though. I think the series strikes a good balance of difficulty and value. 

Anyway, I could be completely wrong with my key dates=better return. I'm curious if anyone has ever visited this site: 

https://www.us-coin-values-advisor.com/

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1 hour ago, RWB said:

 

  • Dies for brilliant proof coins were normal except for careful polishing to a mirror-like finish before hardening. Polishing was manual work using emery and rouge charged polishing sticks and friskets.

How did dies for Matte Proof (or any other type besides "brilliant") differ from normal production dies?

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2 hours ago, zadok said:

...interesting questions in an equally interesting area of US coinage, deserving of some interesting numismatic discussion rather than the normal baiting trolling n posturing that usually shows up here, most of the threads deteriorate rapidly into ego massaging n back patting or philosophical one upmanship or stupid attempts at humor....

.

Will anyone get past this load of horsesh1t to read ANYTHING else this guy posts.. Naa..:whistle:

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1 hour ago, 80s Kid said:

Thanks for all the info. The more I read up on this topic, one of the impressions I got was that the term may have been somewhat of a marketing gimmick and/or jargon. The only reason I even looked into the topic was because the seller of my coin said some people would probably try and market the 1897-S as a Branch Mint Proof (even though he stated that coin was not or that if it was, he had no proof - pardon the pun). 

Barber Half Dollars are intriguing to me but I like big coins so I still go for the occasional Peace, Morgan or Ike Dollar (most of my Ikes came from the bank; just ask and occasionally they have some. I even got a Peace Dollar a couple years ago for $1 at the bank). 

I have a background in finance so there's always a part of me trying to figure out which coins are likely to appreciate the most over the long term. I genuinely love numismatics though. From what I've read and seen so far, it would appear that key/semi-key dates have the best track records. I just try to collect key dates from the series I enjoy the most. I may attempt to go for the entire Barber Half Dollar series though. I think the series strikes a good balance of difficulty and value. 

Anyway, I could be completely wrong with my key dates=better return. I'm curious if anyone has ever visited this site: 

https://www.us-coin-values-advisor.com/

Key date coins (over time) usually show returns better than common dates.

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5 hours ago, Just Bob said:

How did dies for Matte Proof (or any other type besides "brilliant") differ from normal production dies?

Only two coin types were ever made in "matte proof" - Lincoln cents and Buffalo nickels. For these proofs, normal dies were sandblasted before hardening. This allowed hundreds or thousands of piece to be struck without the problems associated with sandblasting each coin individually.

"Sandblast proof" Saint-Gaudens gold, some proof Peace dollars and proof commemoratives, were made from normal dies in a medal press. After striking the coins were considered "satin proofs" - which collectors thought were too much like normal circulation pieces. The solution was to sandblast each coin. Because it was a manual process, performed possibly by different people over the span of a year, every sandblast proof was potentially unique.

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12 hours ago, 80s Kid said:

I have a background in finance so there's always a part of me trying to figure out which coins are likely to appreciate the most over the long term //  I'm curious if anyone has ever visited this site: 

https://www.us-coin-values-advisor.com/ 

I am a finance guy too so we share that in common. (thumbsu I checked out that site -- it's not bad, better than nothing -- but I believe that some of the prices for specific grades are somewhat limited (i.e., Saint-Gaudens DEs).  For smaller denomination coins, you may find it adequate.

I also am not sold on the actual prices for the grades listed.  They tend to be focusing on very long time frames so that their more recent prices won't skew the CAGR results.  But if you are a finance guy, you know that using a starting point of 1950 is ridiculous.  The period for PM's and gold/silver before 1973 (floating exchange rates) is fundamentally different since then. 

You had the demise of the gold standard, floating exchange rates, and a couple of PM and numismatic bubbles.  This makes using ROLLING PERIODS much more important than arbitrarily using certain starting points.  As you know, rolling periods show that stocks almost always generate positive risk-adjusted rewards over 10-20 year time periods, and ALL 30-year periods.  That is NOT the case with coins, whether small denomination, silver, or gold coins.

I believe that the site is more of a marketing vehicle to steer people into buying coins, and specific ones at that.  Lots of ads.  And the focus on more expensive "key dates" for the Saint series rather than cheaper commons is very telling.

Best source of data today is actual auction sales at HA, then GC, SB, and maybe Ebay

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11 hours ago, numisport said:

Key date coins (over time) usually show returns better than common dates.

Maybe....but with illiquid pricing given that we don't have a liquid, multiple-sales traded item (like stocks) it's tough to compare.

But at times common PM coins like Morgans or Saints can track bullion and outpace more numismatic coins.  For very rare or semi-rare dates in high-grade....a few dedicated price-insensitive buyers can clearly keep the price up over time and skew the results for that particular coin and grade.  Go a few grades lower and it's a different price environment over time.  

Key dates for silver/gold might also be different than small denomination, non-PM coins.

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6 hours ago, RWB said:

"Sandblast proof" Saint-Gaudens gold, some proof Peace dollars and proof commemoratives, were made from normal dies in a medal press. After striking the coins were considered "satin proofs" - which collectors thought were too much like normal circulation pieces. The solution was to sandblast each coin. Because it was a manual process, performed possibly by different people over the span of a year, every sandblast proof was potentially unique.

I can't recall if this is in FMTM...but how the heck did blowing sand at high-speed not mar the finish on the Saints or even the dies for the other coins ?

I could see it maybe working today with all our technology, but back in the early-1900's ?  They had problems not busting dies, aligning the press with the planchets, keeping things aligned on the press, etc..etc.......and NOW they're gonna improve the finish of a coin by high-speed sand blasting ?  How fine was this sand anyway ?

Sort of amazing for the times, when you think about it.

 

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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7 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

I am a finance guy too so we share that in common. (thumbsu I checked out that site -- it's not bad, better than nothing -- but I believe that some of the prices for specific grades are somewhat limited (i.e., Saint-Gaudens DEs).  For smaller denomination coins, you may find it adequate.

I also am not sold on the actual prices for the grades listed.  They tend to be focusing on very long time frames so that their more recent prices won't skew the CAGR results.  But if you are a finance guy, you know that using a starting point of 1950 is ridiculous.  The period for PM's and gold/silver before 1973 (floating exchange rates) is fundamentally different since then. 

You had the demise of the gold standard, floating exchange rates, and a couple of PM and numismatic bubbles.  This makes using ROLLING PERIODS much more important than arbitrarily using certain starting points.  As you know, rolling periods show that stocks almost always generate positive risk-adjusted rewards over 10-20 year time periods, and ALL 30-year periods.  That is NOT the case with coins, whether small denomination, silver, or gold coins.

I believe that the site is more of a marketing vehicle to steer people into buying coins, and specific ones at that.  Lots of ads.  And the focus on more expensive "key dates" for the Saint series rather than cheaper commons is very telling.

Best source of data today is actual auction sales at HA, then GC, SB, and maybe Ebay. 

I agree that the site is limited. I look at it more like a "tool" or one piece of a bigger puzzle. It's very difficult to find reliable info on returns for rare coins (for me at least) and I thought this site did a pretty good job considering how many variables that come into play. 

One of the issues I had was the reasoning behind choosing certain key dates over others. For example, he doesn't include the 1921-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar as one of the examples of key dates with solid historical returns since 1950. However, when you look at the historical returns for the 1921-S, they're right in line with the other key dates. It looks like this coin was omitted because he has a bias toward using lower circulated grades to determine investment potential. When you look at the returns for higher grades, they're higher (makes sense since the lowest grades for the 1921-S are not as rare compared to other key dates like the 1921 and 1921-D).

There are some annoying ads but I thought the only things being marketed were his downloadable investment returns for a large sample of rare coins and Morgan Dollars (maybe one or two others?). 

I still like the site and think it's something useful to build off of. If anyone has another good source for investment returns of specific rare coins, please share. Thank you!

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13 minutes ago, 80s Kid said:

I agree that the site is limited. I look at it more like a "tool" or one piece of a bigger puzzle. It's very difficult to find reliable info on returns for rare coins (for me at least) and I thought this site did a pretty good job considering how many variables that come into play. 

The great thing about RWB's new SAINT-GAUDENS book is that it has a yearly price going back to the mid-1970's.

I think the best thing to do, is if you are looking into historical returns, is to actually punch up recent and past prices on a website like HA and use that.  Don't be as fixated so much on the specific numbers but rather the overall trend since price rises/spikes tend to happen quickly and bubbles deflate over many many years.  At least this is the case for the series I usually track like Saints and Morgans.

13 minutes ago, 80s Kid said:

One of the examples of key dates with solid historical returns since 1950. However, when you look at the historical returns for the 1921-S, they're right in line with the other key dates. It looks like this coin was omitted because he has a bias toward using lower circulated grades to determine investment potential. When you look at the returns for higher grades, they're higher (makes sense since the lowest grades for the 1921-S are not as rare compared to other key dates like the 1921 and 1921-D).

I'm not familiar with the SLQ but he either uses his own personal standards/biases or he focused strictly on higher-priced coins.  As I noticed with the Saints, he didn't have links for common/generic Saints (which trade more like bullion) but higher-priced coins that sell for a big premium to the underlying gold content.  

But sometimes more common, bullion-type coins outperform pure numismatic coins.  For non-PM coins (small denomination stuff), more common stuff might be better at certain times. 

 

13 minutes ago, 80s Kid said:

I thought the only things being marketed were his downloadable investment returns for a large sample of rare coins and Morgan Dollars (maybe one or two others?).   I still like the site and think it's something useful to build off of. If anyone has another good source for investment returns of specific rare coins, please share. Thank you!

For a rough guestimate, like I said, it's not bad.  You can get some quick-and-easy numbers.  It can also tell you where the current price is relative to past periods especially pre- and post-bubbles like 1979 and 1990.  You can see if the coin came all the way back or only a fraction of the way.  My understanding is that non-Morgan and non-Saint coins (small denomination coins) which went up 5-20x in the bubbles are still down a ton from their all-time peaks.

I didn't check out the downloadable stuff since I figured you have to pay for that.

Best way to figure out investment returns is to go back and look at specific auction prices or use RED BOOK prices and then compute it to the current price.  I am curious about his downloadable prices (where they came from, how extensive) especially for Saints...maybe I'll do a bit more exploring.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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8 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

I am a finance guy too so we share that in common. (thumbsu I checked out that site -- it's not bad, better than nothing -- but I believe that some of the prices for specific grades are somewhat limited (i.e., Saint-Gaudens DEs).  For smaller denomination coins, you may find it adequate.

I also am not sold on the actual prices for the grades listed.  They tend to be focusing on very long time frames so that their more recent prices won't skew the CAGR results.  But if you are a finance guy, you know that using a starting point of 1950 is ridiculous.  The period for PM's and gold/silver before 1973 (floating exchange rates) is fundamentally different since then. 

You had the demise of the gold standard, floating exchange rates, and a couple of PM and numismatic bubbles.  This makes using ROLLING PERIODS much more important than arbitrarily using certain starting points.  As you know, rolling periods show that stocks almost always generate positive risk-adjusted rewards over 10-20 year time periods, and ALL 30-year periods.  That is NOT the case with coins, whether small denomination, silver, or gold coins.

I believe that the site is more of a marketing vehicle to steer people into buying coins, and specific ones at that.  Lots of ads.  And the focus on more expensive "key dates" for the Saint series rather than cheaper commons is very telling.

Best source of data today is actual auction sales at HA, then GC, SB, and maybe Ebay. 

I like Numismedia FMV for a quick glance but agree that auction house archives are a better gauge of current markets. Understand that Bluesheet and Greysheet values are dealer-weighted and don't reflect real prices paid for exceptional coins.

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1 minute ago, numisport said:

I like Numismedia FMV for a quick glance but agree that auction house archives are a better gauge of current markets. Understand that Bluesheet and Greysheet values are dealer-weighted and don't reflect real prices paid for exceptional coins.

It's all guestimates.  I actually bought a 1970 RED BOOK to see where alot of the Saint prices were right before we went off the gold standard and the hyper-inflation of the 1970's.

I wasn't old enough to know the prices back then. xD

If you focus on 1 or 2 specific coin types, it's easy to come across decent prices and charts that you can use to see if current prices are historically expensive, cheap, whatever.  I have a bunch I've come across over the years for the Saints.  But as you get into a rarer and rarer coin which trades less frequently (esp. in higher grades), you have to realize that 1 or 2 sales can skew results.

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8 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

I can't recall if this is in FMTM...but how the heck did blowing sand at high-speed not mar the finish on the Saints or even the dies for the other coins ?

It did alter the surface. The grit was ground mineral - mostly quartz - that was sifted through screens of various hold sizes and otherwise processed to achieve a uniform particle size. With proper technique, the loss of detail was slight. This is the same process applied to many medals. If placed side by side a normal gold coin, a satin proof and a sandblast proof will present different details and sharpness, in addition to the surface treatment. A satin proof will, on average, have much greater and sharper detail than a circulation coin. A sandblast proof, being nothing more than a satin proof, will have less detail due to mechanical abrasion from the sand - but the surface will sparkle due to light reflection off the tiny facets created by the sand.

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5 minutes ago, RWB said:

A sandblast proof, being nothing more than a satin proof, will have less detail due to mechanical abrasion from the sand - but the surface will sparkle due to light reflection off the tiny facets created by the sand.

Yes, I remember that from your SAINTS book.  I never knew it was microscopic facets and ridges etc. that caused luster and shinyness....always thought it just meant the coin was smoother and more polished.

Fascinating....(thumbsu

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