FAQ of the week: How does CDN derive CAC pricing?

by CDN Publishing

Published on September 4, 2019

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While many coins have different wholesale values based on CAC vs. non-CAC, most often there is no difference.


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The pricing editors at CDN work day and night on the task of determining and refining a database of over 181,000 U.S. coin prices. The work coins includes giving multiple prices for the same item depending on grade, grading service, eye appeal, and now CAC approval (or not). This is a tremendous last, that we spend our lives considering, is complicated but also becomes easier to do when different variables are applied. The better we know a coin, the easier it is to define value. However, while many coins have different wholesale values based on CAC vs. non-CAC, most often there is no difference. A nice coin is a nice coin and an informed buyer will pay it’s worth, regardless of grading service, sticker, etc. However, market forces like wholesale buyers, opportunistic auction bidders, or even loyalist can affect a collectible, and CAC-approved coins benefit from this in certain areas more than others.

The CAC Rare Coin Pricing Guide derives its values based on our determination of reasonable retail markup over the determined wholesale value of a particular item. This is branded on our web site and sister publication as the CPG (Collector’s Price Guide) value. If the Greysheet has a specific CAC value for the item (i.e. 1891-CC $1 MS65) we use that value as the basis. If there is no CAC-specific value (i.e. 1891-CC $1 VF20) we use the VF20 value, which would apply to CAC and non-CAC coins. It is always implied in the valuations we provide that coins should be attractive, properly-graded examples. Thus a CAC or non-CAC value should be the same. Over time, as the market informs us with new information we will continue to apply premiums to CAC coins where applicable.



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