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CAC Rare Coin Market Review Spring 2021 Publisher's Message
Published on April 16, 2021
Welcome to the seventh edition of the CAC Rare Coin Market Review. This is the third year of publication for this guide and I’m proud that it has become an indispensable tool for thousands of readers in this short time frame.Editorial Pricing Collectors U.S. Coins
Welcome to the seventh edition of the CAC Rare Coin Market Review. This is the third year of publication for this guide and I’m proud that it has become an indispensable tool for thousands of readers in this short time frame.
As pricing editors, we spend a tremendous amount of time working on specific coin prices for nearly all U.S. coins in nearly every grade imaginable. CAC is a unique company in the world of collectibles. As far as I know, there is no other third party company with their level of credibility which lends its approval of another third-party’s assigned grade. CAC will only evaluate NGC and PCGS-graded coins but their place is the current market has been firmly cemented and the evidence of this is clear when comparing the results of auction prices realized of CAC-approved coins compared with similarly-graded items without the approval.
As professional price analysts we do our very best to remain agnostic to subjective opinions about coins. In other words we look at the data and let the market determine what items are worth. It’s not possible, really, for us to look at APR’s and overlay external factors and account for them. For example, what if an auction was held during the first month of the pandemic (i.e. Pogue VII) because we would also have to calculate whether the auction was held during an overheated market. Where ever possible, we try to let the market prices do the talking and we interpret this data as empirically as possible.
This is, of course, an incredibly complicated subject and putting five experts in a room will yield equally as many opinions about the best strategies for pricing. What works for the pricing of million-dollar rarities does not necessarily apply to $250 Buffalo nickels, or common-date Saint Gaudens.
Many price guides would duck this conversation but we welcome it, because we see pricing strategy as a fluid process that changes along with the sentiment of market buyers and, inevitably, the third-party authentication companies that are setting the grading standards of the day. Values for MS65 Saints are heavily reliant on the way these coins are graded in the current market. It’s no secret that many gold coins graded in the 1990’s would grade higher by today’s standards. This has an effect on their values in these grades, which is something we follow closely in the Greysheet, CPG® and CAC guides.
While I regularly speak with readers on pricing strategy, few have the insight and thoughtfulness of Joe O’Connor, a Houston coin dealer. Joe is known to be incredibly sharp and knowledgeable, and equally outspoken when he feels strongly on a topic.
Joe called me a couple months ago with his ideas regarding pricing which was incredibly enlightening. Naturally, as you’d expect for two stubborn numismatists, we didn’t necessarily agree on everything, but I went one better. I invited Joe to write a column for us and explain his rationale for pricing in the current market. In Joe’s world view, which typically centers on rarity and quality, the CAC sticker is incredibly relevant. You won’t be surprised to know that Mr. O’Connor doesn’t always agree with CAC, and that’s ok too. He has a ton of credibility with his clients (for good reason) but his is just one respected opinion of many. And we are grateful that he has taken the time to share it with us on page 8 of this issue.
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