Letters to the Editor: Now that the CAC slabs are here, what are they worth? Readers respond...

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by John Feigenbaum | Published on August 16, 2023

I received a lot of interesting feedback on my recent blog post regarding pricing for the new CAC slabs. Here are a few selected responses, as well as responses from CAC founder and CEO, John Albanese:


Every collector and dealer needs to read your words of wisdom regarding the new CAC slabs, future pricing, etc. I think you are CORRECT on the many points you made. While I am really not active much now I have been around a long time and we need good clear thinking like yours ! ! Thank you for your comments ! ! Keep it up ! !

C.C.  (ANA Life Member)

Hi John,

My thoughts on the value of CAC are as follows:

To me CAC adds value because they are basically fourth party grader. You've got two independent services weighing in on a coin's grade. This adds additional value or credibility to a coin's assessed grade. By eliminating the green bean and gold bean and just going with their own slab, they are removing this, which I think is where many collectors see their value.
I'm not sure how their "slab only " business model will be received. Time and the market will tell. With PCGS abd NGC already entrenched in in the number one and two spots, they have a bit of a chore to complete.

Just my opinion!



Hello John,

In my opinion, what has made CAC stickered PCGS/NGC coins special (and worth a premium) is that they have been examined by two grading services, rather than only one. This means that one service or the other will catch the coins that are not really solid for the grade, the MS64.8 coins that have been cracked out and resubmitted multiple times until they finally receive the MS65 grade or the lightly cleaned coins that sneak through after multiple submissions. CAC graded coins have been graded by only a single service (unless PCGS or NGC starts stickering them!) Personally, I would much rather purchase a PCGS-graded coin with a CAC sticker than a CAC-graded coin.

Best Regards,


Response from John Albanese: Many feel this way. We are happy for their stickering business as well :)

Dear Mr. Feigenbaum,

Thank you for the excellent perspective on how the Grey Sheet will adapt to the emergence of a new grading service that presently seems to have greater prestige than NGC and PCGS.

My sense is that when the new service is in full operation, CAC grading standards will drop to meet those of the existing grading leaders. Grading standards are supposed to be consistent throughout the industry. If CAC returns coins graded lower than what the competition would assign, CAC will quickly lose business.

Up until now, CAC only evaluated top specimens for the grade. In entering the grading market for lower tier coins, their average grades should be comparable to those of PCGS and NGC. CAC will still need to put extra "stickers" on superior coins for the grade in order to maintain the positive image that it presently has. Otherwise, it will become just another grading service employing uniform industry standards.

CAC is a welcome addition to the grading competition as existing certification leaders have delivered unsatisfactory service in the past year, taking months to grade submissions. NGC and PCGS will either need to up their game or lose business to CAC.

I hope the Grey Sheet does not focus too much on pricing certified coins at the expense of accuracy in pricing based on the grade as determined by uniform industry standards.

In a recent viewpoint I wrote for Numismatic News, I warned that too many grades is not good for the hobby, makes valuing coins more difficult and confusing, and causes many more grading disputes among hobbyists. I detest NGC going to the 100 point system as accuracy in the 70 grade system has been tough enough.

I am amazed at how great a job you do in tracking all the pricing schemes. I appreciate your sticking to the basics and trying to keep pricing simple, keeping the sheet user friendly.
Coin dealers give me unexpected comments about the grey sheet when I am buying or selling coins while using the sheet as a guide.

When I am buying, I am told that the sheet has low prices that have not been updated recently. When selling to a dealer, I am often told either that the prices in the sheet are too high because the sheet is too optimistic or that prices have recently fallen and the sheet has not been updated. I figure grey sheet prices must be on the mark because the criticism about precision runs in both directions!



Response from John Albanese: We’ll shut it down before we loosen :) I do agree there are too many grades

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Author: John Feigenbaum

John Feigenbaum image The President, CEO and managing partner at CDN Publishing, John Feigenbaum, has been a professional numismatist since 1979. Formerly president of David Lawrence Rare Coins, John has taken on Publishing and executive responsibilities for CDN Publishing. John has written for numerous trade publications and published "The Complete Guide to Washington Quarters" in 1991. In 2014, John received the PNG Abe Kosoff Founders Award for "his steadfast dedication to the entire numismatic community".

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