CAC Coins Snag Premiums At Auction

by CAC Grading | Published on March 10, 2018
cac coinsCAC coins certified coins that have been given a seal of approval by Certified Acceptance Corporation are luring bidders at auctions. CAC-labeled coins have grown in favor with dealers and collectors, who have long known that no two coins are exactly alike. This even goes for, say, two 1938-D Walking Liberty half dollars that are both graded by Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) with identical labels, from the same era, declaring each Walker” as grading MS64. While both coins may be the same” on paper, any seasoned numismatist who carefully examines both coins is certain to say that one of those two coins looks just a little better than the other. Maybe, even, he or she would say one of those coins looks a lot better than the other!


CAC was established by numismatic innovator and coin expert John Albanese, who co-founded PCGS in 1986, established Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) in 1987, and founded CAC in 2007. CAC, based in Far Hills, New Jersey, evaluates coins already certified and encapsulated by third-party graders (TPGs) PCGS and NGC and affixes a special bean-shaped labels; green stickers indicate a coin that is on the high-end of its labeled grade, whereas as the coveted gold sticker is bestowed to coins that are virtually certain to be undergraded, thus (usually) compelling the coin’s owner to resubmit it to a TPG for potential re-encapsulation at a higher grade.


Over the past decade, CAC has grown from a novel market concept to a highly regarded player in the certified coin industry. CAC coins are regularly trading for higher levels than similar, unbeaned” coins, and the latest news on February 2018 auction results as reported by CAC backs this up.


Here’s a roundup of some highlights from February 2018 auctions, as reported by CAC:

  • In the Goldbergs sale in Los Angeles shortly before the winter Long Beach Expo, a CAC MS65 1900 Lafayette commemorative silver dollar brought $5581. At the FUN Convention in January 2018, two other certified MS65 1900 Lafayette dollars, without CAC stickers, were auctioned for $3360 and $2880, respectively.
  • The Goldbergs auctioned a CAC Proof 65 1883 half dollar for $3819. On September 5, 2017, Bonhams auctioned a certified Proof 65 1883, without a CAC sticker, for $1521. In June 2017, Stack’s-Bowers auctioned another non-CAC Proof65 1883 half dollar, which realized $2350.
  • A CAC Proof 67 1907 quarter realized $3525 in this Goldberg’s auction. This same coin was auctioned by Stack’s-Bowers for $4935 in March 2017. In November 2017, Stack’s-Bowers auctioned a certified Proof 67 quarter without a CAC sticker, for $2400.
  • The Goldbergs auctioned a CAC MS67 Vancouver 1925 commemorative half dollar for $3055. Another major auction firm recently auctioned two other certified MS67 Vancouver 1925 halves, both without CAC approval, one in December for $2040 and another in November 2017 for $2640.
  • The Goldbergs auctioned a CAC XF45 1861-S $20 gold coin for $2703. At the ANA Convention in August 2017, a certified XF45 1861-S, without a CAC sticker, went for $1762.50.
  • The Goldbergs auctioned three certified MS64 1927-S Peace silver dollars in their February auction. One of the three had a CAC sticker and it brought $1175. The other two went for $588 and $499, respectively.
  • Well-circulated coins with CAC stickers brought premiums, too. A CAC VF35 1895-S silver dollar was auctioned by the Goldbergs for $940. Another auction firm auctioned two non-CAC, certified VF35 1895-S Morgans, one for $630 in September and the other for $576 in December.
  • On February 25, GreatCollections sold a CAC approved MS65 1901-S silver dollar for $4708.12. The same firm sold a non-CAC certified MS65 1901-S earlier the same month, on February 4, for $1913.62 and another without a sticker less than two weeks later, on March 4, for $1867.50.
  • On February 25, GreatCollections sold a CAC AU58 1882-CC $20 gold coin for $9562.50. During the same week, Heritage auctioned an AU58 1882-CC, without a CAC sticker, for $7800.
  • At the Long Beach Expo in February, Heritage auctioned a CACapproved MS64 1875-CC half dollar for $7440, a result that is more than twice as much as any non-CAC MS64 1875-CC half has realized at auction since CAC was founded in 2007. Fifty MS64” 1875-CC halves have been certified by the leading grading services, ten of which have been CAC approved.


Generally speaking, CAC coins have re-defined the TPG landscape, and the auction results as reported above are evidence of this. Of course, there is never a guarantee that a CAC-stickered coin will always get a higher price than one that does not carry the now-familiar green or gold CAC bean. If for no other reason, this would certainly be the case for an ordinary” slabbed coin that might make an excellent candidate for a CAC label but simply has not yet been submitted to CAC. And, as many TPG coin buyers know, there are still some grossly undergraded coins out there lurking in auctions and on the marketplace that an astute buyer will spot and for which he or she will eagerly bid regardless of whether or not it has a CAC sticker.

At the end of the day, it’s safe to say that CAC coins have earned an important place in the marketplace, with many trading for premiums of 10% to 50% or more over similarly graded, un-stickered certified coins an assertion that the latest sales data from CAC supports. Certainly many more CAC-stickered treasures await buyers. What will the next batch of CAC coin sales data tell us? Stay tuned…

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Source: CAC Grading

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CAC was formed in 2007 by John Albanese, a respected authority on coin grading and the rare coin market, along with twenty-two leading members of the numismatic community. Because certified coins of the same grade can be of varying quality, CAC’s mission was to advocate for the hobbyist by establishing an extremely stringent standard of grading. As a verifier of previously certified coins, CAC only recognizes coins that meet the highest standard with the now famous green sticker. Out of all the coins submitted to CAC, less than half receive the honorable CAC sticker. As a result, the CAC sticker serves as an unmistakable means of identifying premium coins for the grade.

In 2022, John Albanese assembled over one hundred and fifty leading members of the numismatic community with a purpose to reclaim accuracy and consistency in grading. After all, why merely sticker a previously certified coin when the same stringent standards can be applied within the context of a grading service? Thus, CAC Grading was born! The only difference now is the grade assigned to a coin is a true representation of that coin. Boasting a team of world-class graders including Ron Drzewucki, John Butler, among others, CAC is committed to applying an unparalleled level of expertise to every submitted coin. As a result, hobbyists can have total confidence in a coin certified by CAC.