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Pressure to Grade


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When I got into precious metals I quickly realized that the coin in it's form calls out the collector in us. Something seems to click and whisper it's not merely an ounce of metal, it's a collectible. Even more so with historicals (say Sovereigns, 20 Francs), even though most are just a regular n grams of... This mentality makes us want to encapsulate even mundane pieces, use gloves and want to slab things. And the more slabs do command a higher price, the more this will become investment mechanic. At it's pinnacle it may lead to slabbing being needed to produce trust for selling?

I am viewing this tendency from Germany where stacking graded coins is a novelty, with few NGC or PCGS grading services available. I am reading opinions of German international sellers however who say they can make huge profits by grading for the US and Chinese markets.

Personally, I'm a fond toucher of my metals, I am enjoying a good gold or silver ping, and the jingle of coins in a bag - I remember reading about Nazi gold and seeing historical photos of rough bags of 20 Mark coins thrown in by the hundreds - what a glorious image 😙  I'm feeling guilty however whenever I'm reading about slabbing initiatives. I'm feeling like an amateur then 😗 even though I'm always sure that the dealers I buy from will have sorted the numismatically valuable coins from those they offer as bullion grade. And yes, even I place joy in completing series like Queen's Beasts and cannot think of these pieces as bullion. And I'm happy to try to complete date runs. So it is inside all of us 😳 let's not forget: everything worth doing is worth overdoing 😁

I do hope graded coins will not become the stacking standard.

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Well said.  With a bullion coin for example a beautiful Victoria Shield, handling the coin and not viewing through a plastic shield is a far more pleasurable experience.  
 

I personally think plastic slabs separates a collector from their coins.  I appreciate that PF’s are different but MS coins are in my mind a different matter.    
 

Best

Dicker

Not my circus, not my monkeys

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For me having, for example, the 1 oz silver proof Queen's Beasts in a graded slab makes them a lot easier to enjoy and look at than 10 individual boxes. 

Yeah, there is some profit to be made on top of the coin too and I have taken advantage of that a few times, guilty as charged. 

Generally though 95% of what I buy will be set aside for a rainy day and for me to enjoy.

Visit my website for all my Hand Poured Silver: http://backyardbullion.com

And check out my YouTube channel 

https://www.youtube.com/backyardbullion

 

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@dicker Yeah there are pros & cons here pal. I'm not a fan of grading per se &  only about 5% of my collection is graded but the reason I bought for example my Queens beasts 1oz proofs graded is as BB they are easier to look at slabbed & I like the GB labelled slabs which most of mine are, they frame the coins perfectly.

I bought  the 2oz QBs slabbed for a different reason, a lot of the raw coins I saw for sale had some minor imperfections spots/scratches so I went down the route of only buying MS 69/70 coins with no spots & I've seen loads of slabbed QB 2 oz coins on ebay with spots sell very well in the US, for some reason they are more tolerant of spotting. In the 2 cases I'm talking about grading can & does add significant value compared to the raw coin.

But on the other side of the coin so to speak graded lunar series 1 proofs 1oz & 2oz in particular sell for less than the raw coins so grading is not always the best thing to do.

 

Its horses for courses whatever you do with your coins is the right thing to do graded or not we're all different.

Edited by motorbikez

The problem with common sense is, its not that common.

 

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55 minutes ago, KevinFlynn said:

Personally, I'm a fond toucher of my metals

Me too! Touchers unite! :D

The pleasure of owning coins is both visual and tactile, 'holding history in your hand', to quote an oft' used phrase. You won't get that (shouldn't?) with a modern proof, so grade away I say!

The dilemma with older coins, I feel, is the collector's paranoia that he/she has bought a fake/counterfeit coin. One should be able to spot a fake, I hear from the back, but these forgers were clever buggers and can fool even the experts at times. Buying a fake 1887 quintuple for example is going to hurt. So I can understand a preference for graded coins where the possibility of fakes are concerned, assuming of course the graders will stand by their evaluation.

Technically, alcohol is a solution..

'It [socialism] poses a growing threat, however unintentional, to the freedom of this country, for there is no freedom where the State totally controls the economy. Personal freedom and economic freedom are indivisible. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t lose one without losing the other.'

"There is no such thing as public money, there is only taxpayers' money"

Let not England forget her precedence of teaching nations how to live, and It's  Britannia, with one t and two n's.

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My own coins will remain unslabbed and ungraded so that I can enjoy the pleasure of ownership (for me) to the full and I will always take good care of them.  But each to their own.

I did once buy a slabbed predecimal penny - at an auction, cheaply, because no-one else bid on it (£18 including all fees for an 1889 penny, slabbed and graded AU58 by NGC - EF in UK old grade-speak) but I carefully broke it out of the slab when I got home and it now sits gloriously raw alongside its predecimal penny brothers and sisters.

 

Edited by Stuntman
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2 hours ago, dicker said:

I received a marketing mail from a U.K. grader this evening (Not a forum sponsor).

The tone of the marketing mail is along the lines of:

“you must grade to get the best prices”

”the best coins in the US are already graded”

etc

I personally dislike grading, and the “industry” that grading has created.  This is both because I think it is lazy to leave another person to decide a grade and also because so many people grade simply to achieve a PF70 and a top price for a grade.

We are a broad church and I know Many here grade and sell, but It’s just not for me.  
 

The more grading becomes commercialised, the more I dislike it.  I wonder if it will eventually become a “tax” on selling coins.  
 

Best

Dicker

I agree I hate grading coins,prefer to have them in hand and hold...grading is just for people who want to achieve a greater premium on their coins than they are really worth...(Greed)..at the end of the day each to their own.....and we only have the word of these grading companys who determine a 69-70 which commands a higher price on a 70....I don't trust these grading companys as they grade coins higher if you are in the know..I.e. (Clique)....to me its a rip off..unless you are in the (IN CROWD)....🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

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47 minutes ago, CollectorNo1 said:

I agree I hate grading coins,prefer to have them in hand and hold...grading is just for people who want to achieve a greater premium on their coins than they are really worth...(Greed)..at the end of the day each to their own.....and we only have the word of these grading companys who determine a 69-70 which commands a higher price on a 70....I don't trust these grading companys as they grade coins higher if you are in the know..I.e. (Clique)....to me its a rip off..unless you are in the (IN CROWD)....🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

Utter rubbish. Grading isn’t just for people who want to achieve a greater premium or greed. I see the market of grading and flipping modern coins where a 70 is a winner, everything else is second best. For which I do participate. However there are plenty of collectors who get a new release and grade immediately and hold it longterm. It provides an easy way to store a coin and also allow handling without worrying about damage or printing it. Grading is also a preservation of rare and expensive numismatics, for which I also participate. These are coins that do deteriorate and wear over a longtime in cabinets and capsules from gentle movements, regardless of what the auctioneers would have us believe, it isn't a good thing. I have some very rare and valuable coins that could easily have many thousands of pounds wiped from it’s numismatic value simply by a tiny knock, peck or smallest of prints to the point they would likely never see the light of day if they weren’t slabbed. Being in a slab allows me to enjoy and handle them.

yes, keep the bullion and low premium coins out of slabs, but if you have a rarity or valuable coin and you want to seriously increase it’s likelihood of not being damaged or deteriorating in your custody or that of those in the future, put it in a slab.

this all said, I do take the points of the gentlemen earlier in this thread and it is nice to fondle the metal, but there is a line where the value makes this too risky, which is where the slabs come in imo. 

also @CollectorNo1 don’t cast aspersions on those grading more recent coins, they are protecting the collectables of the future as they were minted.

 

Edited by SilverMike
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Reading through the replies, I think I would grade: proofs that rely on their finish to retain their premiums. Certain numismatics that need to be vallidated (say, 1916 Tabora).

My two possible forays out of the bullion area...

Though maybe proofs are better kept in their presentation case?

Is grading silver a risk, as opposed to gold? Silver is prone to degradation, so how good is a tarnished or milk spotted PF70/MS70?

 

Edited by KevinFlynn
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I completely agree with you @dicker and have stated my rather negative thoughts on grading a few times already on the forum. I especially dislike the optional extras that get pushed which add absolutely nothing - first release labels seem very popular at the moment as an example. The only reason I would grade at the moment would be for the potential resale value. As it is there is nothing that would benefit from it that I intend on selling anytime soon so all my coins will remain as they are. One thing I think people who aren't selling right away need to consider is that things tend to move in fads. There is no guarantee that grading as it is today will be a desireable feature in the future so I think its best to keep things as they are until the time to sell up comes. Best to keep ones options open.

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To be fair the letter did frame grading in the context of USA and the auction houses there preferring them for liability and perceived added premiums.

"

For a long while the major USA auction houses have been insisting that the coins they sell are graded by NGC or PCGS. In the USA distance selling to a world market has meant selling ungraded coins opens them to charges of mis description. Graded coins redirect some of that responsibility to the grader though as ever the rule of buy the coin not the slab is important.

The UK resisted this change for a number of years and though the trend is not universally welcomed by collectors, auction houses are increasingly unable to ignore the financial premiums that graded coins often attract. Spink has increasingly chosen to grade entire collections and has been one to embrace the value added by a special slab or treatment giving a persona to the entire collection. Whilst its clear that Spink so not always agree with the grades its likely the pros outweigh the cons.

It is likely that finding good quality ungraded coins in the UK will become as difficult as it is in the USA where practically every high quality USA coin has been graded - often many times and often by BOTH of the major grading companies..

"

The last sentence is an unfortunate fact of life in the USA, been for many decades already. Enjoy the relative opportunities in UK and Europe while they last, I suppose. 

For example, I bought my first Wreath Crown last week from an auction house in Europe. Without having any chance to inspect the coin in person, I would not have dared to make the purchase if it had not been graded. 😬🤷‍♂️ 

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

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44 minutes ago, SilverMike said:

Utter rubbish. Grading isn’t just for people who want to achieve a greater premium or greed. I see the market of grading and flipping modern coins where a 70 is a winner, everything else is second best. For which I do participate. However there are plenty of collectors who get a new release and grade immediately and hold it longterm. It provides an easy way to store a coin and also allow handling without worrying about damage or printing it. Grading is also a preservation of rare and expensive numismatics, for which I also participate. These are coins that do deteriorate and wear over a longtime in cabinets and capsules from gentle movements, regardless of what the auctioneers would have us believe, it isn't a good thing. I have some very rare and valuable coins that could easily have many thousands of pounds wiped from it’s numismatic value simply by a tiny knock, peck or smallest of prints to the point they would likely never see the light of day if they weren’t slabbed. Being in a slab allows me to enjoy and handle them.

yes, keep the bullion and low premium coins out of slabs, but if you have a rarity or valuable coin and you want to seriously increase it’s likelihood of not being damaged or deteriorating in your custody or that of those in the future, put it in a slab.

this all said, I do take the points of the gentlemen earlier in this thread and it is nice to fondle the metal, but there is a line where the value makes this too risky, which is where the slabs come in imo. 

also @CollectorNo1 don’t cast aspersions on those grading more recent coins, they are protecting the collectables of the future as they were minted.

 

I liked your comment/book...we all have our own opinions..which is the way it should be..I have my opinion like many others..you also have your opinions..neither of us is right or wrong....ITS JUST INDIVIDUAL OPIONS SIR....

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It's the fact that it is being graded that annoys me. By all means slab a coin to authenticate it or to preserve it. Paying a random stranger to grade a coin just strikes me as either a bit lazy or a bit flippy.

I do have some slabbed coins (bought that way) and i've noticed that the slabs are pretty scratched up. Not being into grading i don't know if the scratches are because of the material they're made from is not up to the job if or people treat the coins more roughly because they are slabbed...

 

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47 minutes ago, SilverMike said:

Utter rubbish. Grading isn’t just for people who want to achieve a greater premium or greed. I see the market of grading and flipping modern coins where a 70 is a winner, everything else is second best. For which I do participate. However there are plenty of collectors who get a new release and grade immediately and hold it longterm. It provides an easy way to store a coin and also allow handling without worrying about damage or printing it. Grading is also a preservation of rare and expensive numismatics, for which I also participate. These are coins that do deteriorate and wear over a longtime in cabinets and capsules from gentle movements, regardless of what the auctioneers would have us believe, it isn't a good thing. I have some very rare and valuable coins that could easily have many thousands of pounds wiped from it’s numismatic value simply by a tiny knock, peck or smallest of prints to the point they would likely never see the light of day if they weren’t slabbed. Being in a slab allows me to enjoy and handle them.

yes, keep the bullion and low premium coins out of slabs, but if you have a rarity or valuable coin and you want to seriously increase it’s likelihood of not being damaged or deteriorating in your custody or that of those in the future, put it in a slab.

this all said, I do take the points of the gentlemen earlier in this thread and it is nice to fondle the metal, but there is a line where the value makes this too risky, which is where the slabs come in imo. 

also @CollectorNo1 don’t cast aspersions on those grading more recent coins, they are protecting the collectables of the future as they were minted.

 

Oh......and utter rubbish as you say is a discrimination view on someone else's view...we all have our own opinions  and judge what we see and know...so I do take offense when someone states my comments are UTTER RUBBISH!!!! I respect your opinions..please respect mine Sir.

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Grading is useful to protect coins and also provide people without the knowledge and experience confidence in what they have as there are a very wide variety of types and ages for coins. It also keeps my grubby mitts off proof coins which are in excellent condition. I also have ungraded coins which tend to be older of types I have some knowledge of.

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8 minutes ago, Leonmarsh said:

I'm not a fan of grading. However I have a Small section of graded coins for the only reason of authenticity 

I only grade rare, unsual coins out of my expertise area which is limited 

 

I too have the odd one or two graded coins but just don't have the confidence on people I don't know grading my coins I've heard so many nightmare stories on grading companys who have a tight relationship with some dealers who get automatic PF70's - MS70's because they are friends/Aquantices with the grading companys...I believe its an in house...who you know to get the best grades possible.....I'm not saying its wrong each to their own..but I'm not paying money for my coins to be graded..I believe its just exploration for coin collectors to pay a third party to achieve the the highest grade..(Old school ties).....Great if you are in the circle of people who submit their coins knowing they will get the highest grades...like all things in life its who you know...not what you have..

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2 minutes ago, CollectorNo1 said:

I liked your comment/book...we all have our own opinions..which is the way it should be..I have my opinion like many others..you also have your opinions..neither of us is right or wrong....ITS JUST INDIVIDUAL OPIONS SIR....

Blimey, slightly hypocritical, if I put togther all of your posts over the last few months I could create an encyclopaedia of many volumes (not a very one good one though).

1 hour ago, CollectorNo1 said:

grading is just for people who want to achieve a greater premium on their coins than they are really worth...(Greed).

No, you are wrong. The above is a statement, uninformed drivel and completely wrong, but a statement and an attack on people and a group you clearly have no awareness or comprehension of and you’ve jumped on something for the ride without any idea of where its going. There is a world outside of pure PM stacking, which you aren’t involved in, thats fine, each to their own, but you can’t expect to make sloppy statements like that about something you have no idea on and not expect one of us to waste our evenings trying to correct you. the equivalent comment in the reverse is something along the lines of “stacking bullion is just for luddites, tax evaders and those without the nerve to trade proper stock” [this isn’t my position for all the stackers, but it is as inaccurate as @CollectorNo1 statement]

Alas, i am no Sir, but my thanks to you and your fellow Opions for the honour!

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1 minute ago, SilverMike said:

Blimey, slightly hypocritical, if I put togther all of your posts over the last few months I could create an encyclopaedia of many volumes (not a very one good one though).

No, you are wrong. The above is a statement, uninformed drivel and completely wrong, but a statement and an attack on people and a group you clearly have no awareness or comprehension of and you’ve jumped on something for the ride without any idea of where its going. There is a world outside of pure PM stacking, which you aren’t involved in, thats fine, each to their own, but you can’t expect to make sloppy statements like that about something you have no idea on and not expect one of us to waste our evenings trying to correct you. the equivalent comment in the reverse is something along the lines of “stacking bullion is just for luddites, tax evaders and those without the nerve to trade proper stock” [this isn’t my position for all the stackers, but it is as inaccurate as @CollectorNo1 statement]

Alas, i am no Sir, but my thanks to you and your fellow Opions for the honour!

Well @silvermike. I look forward  to your book..prove me wrong sir..instead of believing all the cotton candy BS you read...sir

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12 minutes ago, CollectorNo1 said:

I too have the odd one or two graded coins but just don't have the confidence on people I don't know grading my coins I've heard so many nightmare stories on grading companys who have a tight relationship with some dealers who get automatic PF70's - MS70's because they are friends/Aquantices with the grading companys...I believe its an in house...who you know to get the best grades possible.....I'm not saying its wrong each to their own..but I'm not paying money for my coins to be graded..I believe its just exploration for coin collectors to pay a third party to achieve the the highest grade..(Old school ties).....Great if you are in the circle of people who submit their coins knowing they will get the highest grades...like all things in life its who you know...not what you have..

Again, drivel and snippets you have gleaned in your short but busy time on this forum and compiled into utter nonsense. 

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