There are two top tier grading companies that are widely accepted in the precious metals industry as being the two leading grading companies; Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS). We would recommend members to choose coins graded by these companies. Coins graded by these companies generally trade to a premium over coins graded by other less popular grading companies.
Sorry - you are deceiving yourself. You clearly don't understand Fed QE is bank reserves. Anything you see going up is transitory supply side fluctuations and they will settle down pretty quickly. The $trillions being pushed out as stimmies, furlough, bail outs etc - these are minor ripples on the pond - it's transitory - Jay Powell called me last night and told me so.
Certainly supply and demand is at the core of product movement but the economy is the key driver. 18 months of the pandemic has left many on their knees. We have seen death, illness, lower levels of income, higher costs, empty shelves, no fuel, NHS waiting lists through the roof, kids with limited education and it goes on and on and on and on.
I dont't believe that as many people have the luxury of, or the state of mind for, investing in / stacking of silver as before whereas sellers, who are subject to the stresses of holding illiquid assets, are looking for a market that has diminished.
Nobody forces anyone to buy slabbed coins. There are plenty of outlets selling raw coins as well. As you say, however, Caveat Emptor. You only have to look at the number of threads in these very forums started by individuals who have bought or thinking of buying coins that they are having doubts about authenticity. Then you have the other side, where someone will post a photo of a coin and ask for an opinion on it's grade, only to be told it is not possible to reliably judge from a photo. But isn't that what you do when you buy a raw coin online. You look at a photo and make a judgement whether it is worth what you are being asked to pay for it.
At least with slabbed coins, you are buying something which is 99.9% guaranteed genuine and is of known quality, which you can then compare for value to similar quality coins.