Hello Nice to meet you all! Question about coin.
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I have been a long collector of antique sterling silver, and I decided it was time to play with a new hobby.  I thought researching the providence of some of the items I own, was difficult.  It is simple compared to this hobby.  I have been reading as much as I can and have found a few people who have helped explain, and also told me that a membership here is a must.  So here I am.

 

Now for my question. I recently was convinced that this was a good coin for me to add, it bit on the higher end for a start as it was explained, but he told me to look into the coin.  Well frankly, the coin at least for me is to hard to judge what fair market is.  I understand you can not go on the price listed in your coins profile.  Clearly Ia m not allowed to discuss the price I did purchase on the forum, nor is it good practice I suspect.  But the price we negotiated was IMO fair, all I can say is I did not pay what the coin is listed for.  Looking for comps on this coin are next to impossible, at least for me, they simply are not up for sale, and with only 1 graded higher.

I guess, what i am asking, is how does one know they pay a fair price when comps on a coin are difficult.  Plus, I would not mind some feed back on what you experienced coin collectors think of this coin. https://www.ngccoin.com/registry/coins/2050273/

 

Thanks for your time.

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Posted (edited)

Hello and welcome to the forum. A good thing you can do to look for comps would be to go to the different auction houses like Heritage, Great Collections, and ebay and check the active and sold listings for the particular coin you are looking at. I did find one comp for you on ebay. You certainly went for it on your first coin for sure. I like it. Here is a link to that listing if you haven’t already seen it. Hope this helps a little. Welcome to the hobby, and good luck. https://www.ebay.com/itm/1957-NGC-MS67FBL-Full-Bell-Lines-Franklin-Half-Dollar-Mint-Set-Toned-/233871467455?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49286

Edited by Lem E
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I have that problem when I buy “top pop” world coins since it’s top graded only 1 known coin at this time with highest grade ,how can someone put the price tag on it (there are no price guides for “top pop coins” ? There are no other coins to compare against it in that specific high grade or to determine a “ballpark” price ... there a saying in coin collecting world (if you like the coin so much ? And you want it the price shouldn’t bother you if you have money) but there is always room to haggle a price with a dealer or who ever you’re buying the coin from does price feel fair what you paid ? Does it feel like an honest asking price ?

I can show you some dealers who price stuff right on “price” that NGC or PCGS listed on their website (I don’t call them dealers they are collectors just selling off their collection ebay is full of them) , I can show other dealers who mark stuff up sky high nobody buying from them (they don’t know how to conduct business) . Then we have dealers who are honest price coins fairly or just a tad below “retail” price and don’t mind haggling prices or accepting offers after all its your hard earn money doing business with them , they want to make a deal they don’t want to have put coin back in inventory collecting dust and cobwebs waiting for the next buyer those are dealers who stay in business the longest . As a collector I’m even open to haggling prices with other collectors when I’m selling or trading coins I don’t look online and “say look NGC priced this coin at $250 sorry I can’t go any lower than that” that’s wrong kind of business to do anyone treat you like that walk away from deal that best advice I can give you 

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Posted (edited)

If you are totally starting out....do you really need to buy a 4-figure coin as your 1st major purchase ?  I would do more research on Franklins specifically before buying....it's one thing to buy a very well-known coin like a Morgan or Saint where you have bullion value underpinning the price and a very liquid market. 

Franklins are more of a specific niche and the FBL thing is very debatable and tenuous if someone disagrees with the TPG rating.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Welcome to the Forum!

This question has been bandied about here and the one explanation given that I accept is that is a matter that is resolved every day with the bidding that goes on at eBay.  

For your top pops, while I cannot as yet speak from experience, the same formula applies. It never hurts to politely answer an Or Best Offer (obo) provision if one is available.  Once I bought a rare item by contacting the seller directly and stating my case, again humbly:  "If you could see your way clear to sell me the item for (a modestly discounted price or discount, I will pay you immediately" (particularly if I see the item sitting around for days going into weeks.) He shocked me by immediately accepting. By far the most gentlemanly reply I have ever received was an indirect, "We believe (price) to be the Fair Market Value for this item."

Next month ar Heritage if all goes as planned, they will auction off the only 1933 Double-Eagle that is lawful to own.  Now what is the Fair Market Value of a unique coin like that?  I am guessing bidding will start at $7 million and quickly devolve into a bidding war amongst serious contenders acting through their agents from around the world.  There is no telling what the gavel price will be.  I am predicting $10 million.

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to the forum; the NGC coin explorer can be a very helpful tool.  1957 FBL  The NGC price guide shows this as $2450, however as you can see from the page I linked this has been crossing the auction blocks last year (no sales for this year are showing) at around the $1000 price level.    Now all of those 2020 auctions were PCGS graded examples and as a general rule the market place tends to value PCGS graded coins slightly higher over NGC coins.   That can be a good thing as it does allow the occasional opportunity to get a nice coin for a discount.   And one further point on prices, two of those prior sales listed had CAC approval which also tends to bring a higher value.   You can see that with the fourth coin that sold for over $1,600, and that coin is the nicest in that group of four in my opinion.   So from this data I would place the value of the coin you linked at around the $700-$900 price range give or take, of course the only true test of its market value is what would it sell for at auction.

You asked "what you experienced coin collectors think of this coin" speaking only for myself (and as someone that is not a big fan of the Franklin series) I would give it a "Meh".  I'm not in love with the toning on the coin as it mutes the surfaces and luster form the photo, it is of course also very possible that in hand the coin is nicer than the photo suggests.  Of course that is just my personal opinion.

 

Edited to add: When you click the link scroll down and select MS FBL to see the data I have noted above.

Edited by Coinbuf
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I don't know how advanced you are about Franklin's and FBL designations, but there's also a famous/infamous thread ATS talking about Franklin Gradeflation.  Of course, if the air is all out of that sector (prices were falling for years, I believe) then maybe the downside is limited at this point.  I have no opinion as I don't follow the coins.

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I do thank you all for your responses and feed back.  I did seek others, and I did do my due diligence.  Yes, this is a new hobby and I have much to learn.  Now, if you ever need advice on Antique Sterling silver from th 1700 forward, this I know well.  If you want to know anything about American pocket watches and chains, and how to evaluate them, I am your guy.

However, at this time I needed a new hobby.  Someone asked if one of my first coins had to be a 4 digit coin, and this is a good question, did it?  What is the good price point for a starter who can afford and wants a nice coin from time to time? When do you take the chance the the valuation of the coin is better then what you spent and go for it?  I guess in this case, I took a chance, on a coin that I personally liked.  In the end, I guess that is all that maters.  I have seen it said here, if you like the coin, buy it.

Coinbuf, I do thank you for the suggestion of using the tool, it is part of why I like this site.  the problem I had is when using the tool, the prices it were coming up with were far more then I valued and the seller valued the coin.  I guess I was just looking for some affirmation that it is a good coin, and that others seen potential. Ebay checking comps, well, that is always fun, almost as fun as checking etsy.

Thanks and I do look forward to learning from you all as I get more into this hobby.

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6 hours ago, Romonaga said:

I do thank you all for your responses and feed back.  I did seek others, and I did do my due diligence.  Yes, this is a new hobby and I have much to learn.  Now, if you ever need advice on Antique Sterling silver from th 1700 forward, this I know well.  If you want to know anything about American pocket watches and chains, and how to evaluate them, I am your guy.

However, at this time I needed a new hobby.  Someone asked if one of my first coins had to be a 4 digit coin, and this is a good question, did it?  What is the good price point for a starter who can afford and wants a nice coin from time to time? When do you take the chance the the valuation of the coin is better then what you spent and go for it?  I guess in this case, I took a chance, on a coin that I personally liked.  In the end, I guess that is all that maters.  I have seen it said here, if you like the coin, buy it.

Coinbuf, I do thank you for the suggestion of using the tool, it is part of why I like this site.  the problem I had is when using the tool, the prices it were coming up with were far more then I valued and the seller valued the coin.  I guess I was just looking for some affirmation that it is a good coin, and that others seen potential. Ebay checking comps, well, that is always fun, almost as fun as checking etsy.

Thanks and I do look forward to learning from you all as I get more into this hobby.

Maybe take it from another prospective.  What would you say to an experienced numismatist that was interested in antique sterling?  Assuming they can figure out the basics like looking up hallmarks, understand that counterfeits exist, and know about cleaning, patination, silver manufacturing, etc 

Would you recommend they start with higher End items with the potential risks of not understanding the market, overpaying, buying  counterfeits/repaired/ damaged or starting out with a lower valued series, learn the hobby, and reduce the risk of being cheated?

There are plus and minuses to each approach.  I think it also depends what you want out if numismatics.  Investment?  The enjoyment of searching for coins to complete a set?  Recognition/competition from as the registry sets?  History? Building knowledge?  Lots of different ways you can go and each could have different recommendations.

 

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9 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

If you are totally starting out....do you really need to buy a 4-figure coin as your 1st major purchase ?

Absolutely the best advice given so far.  Better to learn before we buy the high priced goods and everyone should ask themselves this question.

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6 hours ago, Romonaga said:

What is the good price point for a starter who can afford and wants a nice coin from time to time?

This a question I often hear from newer collectors , I have to ask what is your goals in collecting ? Do you want to own “rare” coins not every coin on market is rare in fact I believe about 95% of coins on market are common coins they can be found and bought any day . The rare coins people are talking about are ones that collectors with deep pockets bid on in auctions . 
 

I always tell someone if they want to build up a particular coin series go after the Key dates coins first then rest of series is easier to build up. Key date coins appreciate more higher demand especially nice key date coins in upper grades, familiarize yourself study auctions look at bids search around for private coin dealers online selling a specific coin you’re looking for then set a ball park price how much you’re willing to pay for that special coin you want just don’t jump on impulse buying there were coins that I’ve wanted I actually waited a whole year studying auctions and private dealer sites to later learn few more coins were graded at higher grades during the year I often write down cert#’s of coins that I like I will check back later see if anyone been submitting coins for higher grades watch out for population reports before I even think about buying right away it gives me a chance to see a couple different coins in higher grade to determine a “decent buy price” everyday coins are being sent for grading the population reports change often for some series 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Oldhoopster said:

Would you recommend they start with higher End items with the potential risks of not understanding the market, overpaying, buying  counterfeits/repaired/ damaged or starting out with a lower valued series, learn the hobby, and reduce the risk of being cheated?

This is a good point, but truthfully, the antique sterling silver market I am talking about, the entry point for a decent item, in good shape, with proper providence, will cost more then any coin I have purchased.  And my advice for that person would be to seek out a person who is knowledgeable and trust worthy.  Then, if you like the item purchase it.  No different then coins.  I guess the point of my question was not to get into a discussion of what I can or can not afford to do with my money.  I got a good deal on this coin, you all assume I spent more then the coins worth, when my point was more how can I do more to make sure I do nt spend more then a coins worth, particularly hard to find or rare coins.

Now, my question was more of how to use this to better learn.  This coin was a perfect example for me so this is why I asked the people here.  How better can I decide the value of a coin when comps are not so easy to find.  A few of you were kind enough to answer, and a few of you questioned the choice of what I can and can not afford.  Now, I am not filthy rich, and I am not poor, I make more then enough to allow myself to have a few expensive hobbies and toys, the amount I have spent on coins at this moment, would not even cover the lowest priced pocket watch, or sterling silver item that I have in my possession.  

I did consider these coins for me as starters, each and every coin you see in my collection was because I liked it, checked into it, and decided to buy.  Some of you seem to think I did not leg work, well that was far from the truth.  I guess all I was looking for was more help in how to better evaluate what could be considered a rare coin.  Someone here did ask me a good questions, yes I like rare unique or hard to come by items, for example I recently purchased a 1714 Sterling silver platter owned by the 1st Duke of St Albans.  It took me 3 months working with the dealer to prove providence, and decide upon a fair price for a one of a kind item.

So now I sound like I am showing off so I will stop, but again all I honestly wanted was some help for how better to check in the future, the people who did answer without judging me, thank you.  I guess what I did was correct, use this site, and use ebay as a comp.  I just never in my life expected to hear use ebay as a way to judge.  But, again, this is a different market.

I will now go back and just read and learn, my first experience here at asking for help, left me feeling, well, judged.  I do thank everyone for your time, and wish you all a blessed life.  Clearly this is not the place for me to ask questions.

Edited by Romonaga
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2 minutes ago, Romonaga said:

I will now go back and just read and learn, my first experience here at asking for help, left me feeling, well, judged

I’m sorry you feel that way , we are all trying to give you tips and pointers on coins you want to buy , it’s hard to determine a price for something that you nothing else to compare to it . Believe me I’ve made a lot mistakes “over paying” for coins that later I learned more were graded and price collapsed ... you buy what you feel is right amount to you everyone has different pockets and budget to spend ... If you like very nice looking coins we all do , Who doesn’t ? The price alone shouldn’t determine if that’s a nice enough coin for you to own , only you can decide that . I wish well on your coin collecting and welcome to the hobby we all come from different walks of life but we all share one thing on here our loves for coins 

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1 hour ago, Alex in PA. said:

Absolutely the best advice given so far.  Better to learn before we buy the high priced goods and everyone should ask themselves this question.

I agree, one should, and even when one does this, one should continue to ask questions that will help them learn and grow.  I would l think we can do that without judging.

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I believe “high priced goods” are only based on buyer who paid for it , you pay high price for certain thing it’s only based on you and your wallet , not everyone else agrees that should be a price for something if that’s what your asking us ? If you paid a fair price ? If you over paid ? Only you and your wallet can answer that one , if you want nice coins you’ll notice the price is higher for nicer coins we cannot tell you how much you should spend on nice coins only you can decide that one 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Romonaga said:

I guess, what i am asking, is how does one know they pay a fair price when comps on a coin are difficult. 

You just check recent auction prices....you ask here or in other Coin Forums.....reach out to friends and associates....and ask yourself this question:   "If the coin loses 50% of its value, will I still enjoy the coin and/or will it cause me any financial stress or anxiety ?"

If losing 50% of your money in a few months or years will cause you agita, then don't buy it.  If you won't be thrilled but it won't change your lifestyle, then its just a question of if you really LIKE or LOVE the coin, price appreciation/depreciation be damned.

8 hours ago, Romonaga said:

Someone asked if one of my first coins had to be a 4 digit coin, and this is a good question, did it?  What is the good price point for a starter who can afford and wants a nice coin from time to time? When do you take the chance the the valuation of the coin is better then what you spent and go for it?  I guess in this case, I took a chance, on a coin that I personally liked.  In the end, I guess that is all that maters.  I have seen it said here, if you like the coin, buy it.

Absolutely !!   If the coin won't change your lifestyle after paying for it, and ditto for subsequent price depreciation (if that happens)....then mazel tov and enjoy the coin.  I am a  Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle afficionado and these coins can cost $1,800 (for generic commons) or tens of thousands for numismatic rarities.  If I am going to spend thousands of dollars on a coin -- bullion or numismatic or both -- I want to make sure I give myself the best opportunity to avoid overpaying (and losing $$$).... but more importantly....make sure it is a coin I will want to own for YEARS.

Speaking of which.....I researched a 1923-D Saint for YEARS because for me a $3,000 investment was pretty significant.  Would it break me if the price got sliced in half because a secret hoard materialized or the price of gold fell by 50% ?  No, but at a minimum assuming those events didn't happen I wanted to make sure I got a nice-looking coin solid for the grade...and solid for the $$$.  I finally pulled the trigger at FUN 2020 (I didn't want to buy one online, wanted to save it for my 1st big coin show) and hope to hold the coin the rest of my life.

Of course, it also depends on your particular financial circumstances.  If you've done very well financially, then a $2,000 coin that is purely numismatic (as opposed to a gold bullion coin) might be small potatos.  OTOH, we have working-class folks here for whom a $200 coin is a luxury that takes a few months of savings and they don't want to be 50% underwater 3 months after they buy their coin.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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13 hours ago, Romonaga said:

I have been a long collector of antique sterling silver, and I decided it was time to play with a new hobby.  I thought researching the providence of some of the items I own, was difficult.  It is simple compared to this hobby.  I have been reading as much as I can and have found a few people who have helped explain, and also told me that a membership here is a must.  So here I am.

 

Now for my question. I recently was convinced that this was a good coin for me to add, it bit on the higher end for a start as it was explained, but he told me to look into the coin.  Well frankly, the coin at least for me is to hard to judge what fair market is.  I understand you can not go on the price listed in your coins profile.  Clearly Ia m not allowed to discuss the price I did purchase on the forum, nor is it good practice I suspect.  But the price we negotiated was IMO fair, all I can say is I did not pay what the coin is listed for.  Looking for comps on this coin are next to impossible, at least for me, they simply are not up for sale, and with only 1 graded higher.

I guess, what i am asking, is how does one know they pay a fair price when comps on a coin are difficult.  Plus, I would not mind some feed back on what you experienced coin collectors think of this coin. https://www.ngccoin.com/registry/coins/2050273/

 

Thanks for your time.

The best method to research FMV is auction records, not all coins at the same grade are created equal but for someone just starting out it's really the best tool I can think of. I did a quick search at a few popular selling platforms and GC seemed to have the best comps. As an example here are the Great Collections auction records for a 1957 50C NGC MS 67 FBL, including BP.

GreatCollections - PCGS Coin Auction Archive > US Coin Prices > Half Dollars > Franklin Half Dollars > 1957 Franklin Half Dollar FL 

2019, July 21 = 900.00

2019, Aug 04 = 904.50

2019, Sep 15 = 1,293.75 

2020, June 07 = 1,096.88

2020, June 14 = 928.91

Based on those number you'll be able to make a determination as to FMV, obviously the more and most recent records you can add to the list the better. NGC and PCGS have price guides but they often seem to be high for example NGC Price Guide lists this coin at 2,450, which is higher than the auction records listed above. You also have to take into account such factors as bright toning, varieties, provenance, CAC, etc..

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Looks like the coin sold on eBay, at least it was listed there and sold on May 7th, and the Best Offer was accepted.

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My guess is that the coin sold for above FMV but that is not to say it was a bad investment. If prices have hit bottom on this series it could be a very good investment. There is so much information out there that, with most purchases, an individual should be able to determine FMV within an acceptable range. Nobody is judging you, there is a lot of sound advice being laid out there for you. There are A LOT of subtleties and the more you can research and learn before a purchase the better. In the end if you truly enjoy the coin then, for me, it's always a good investment. 

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While a lot of our forum regulars have glaring faults they parade as though these were virtues, I read over all of this and didn't see any judging of the OP at all. I did see a lot of thoughtful guidance.

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Posted (edited)

Romon, one of the key questions I would ask you is this:  how much do you intend to spend on coins in the next year or so ?

Let's just say for arguments sake that the number is $2,000 -- that's your limit.  If that's the case, then I think that spending $1,200 or so right off the top in a bit of a "rush feel" to it screems to proceed with caution.  Do more research -- due dilligence, as we say in the trade -- and be patient.

OTOH, if you told us you were going to spend $15,000 in coins in the next year (or were generally OK with that amount), then I would say that while you still might benefit from waiting and doing a bit more DD on the particular coin and the coin type, it's not going to be a fatal mistake to your budget if you buy the coin in question.

No 2 coins are alike....and no 2 coin collectors needs, wants, pitfalls, and strategies should be alike, either.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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But what about me?  I was minding my own business, taking my prescription medicine (oxycodone 5 mg tablets, as advised but disregarding the advice about making "important" decisions for the first few months after major surgery after a prolonged absence from the hobby.

Next thing I know, little by little, I became a Rooster Meister and by the time I realized what I had done, I discovered TPGS, Set Registries, was in over my head, have no choice (being a Virgo) of pursuing perfection, and you know the rest.

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