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Total newbie question! Help me if you can.


Nora1999
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I just started collecting coins very recently. I live in a small town north of Houston, Texas and there's no coin shop for miles. I started out buying a few coins on eBay and Littleton Coin. I'm sort of a general US coin collector I guess...though I'm starting to favor Morgan dollars and 20th century pennies.

 

I bought a lot of 10 mixed, slabbed coins on eBay as one of my first purchases, which I purchased for around $65, I think. It is a pretty varied assortment of US coins. About the same time I bought a nice software program to organize my slowly growing coin collection.

 

The software program, Coin Manage by Liberty Street, assigns coin values when you inventory a coin. It's a great program, I think (though I have nothing to compare it to) - however, I'm not sure where they get their data - how they come up with assigning coin values.

 

I was stunned when one of the slabbed coins, a 1999D Connecticut described as "MS69", was assigned by the software program as having a "value" of $6,500. I noticed the seller had scribbled 6500 in sharpie pen on the back of the slab, too, so this figure must be legitimate (?)

 

Then I came across a 1999P Delaware state quarter in the same lot, with a stated condition of MS69. This one was assigned a "value" of $7,500, and sure enough, when I turned the slab over, the seller had scribbled this number too on the back of the slab in Sharpie.

 

OK...this just isn't sitting well with me. These are very recent coins. MILLIONS upon millions of them were minted, I want to say over 800 million. And so this is my million dollar question. WHERE DO THESE VALUES COME FROM? Does some guy just pick this number out of the air? HOW could this (what I would think) VERY COMMON quarter, be "worth" more than my car? And more than, say, a good condition 1909 S VDB penny?

 

Because I'm PRETTY darn sure if I listed either of these quarters on eBay I couldn't get more than a buck or two for them.

 

Is coin valuing a total fraud? Someone help me, this question is keeping me up at night. Reply here or directly to my email if you like. Any help is really appreciated.

 

Nora1999@aol.com

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Hi Nora, and welcome !!! :ninja:

 

Sounds to me like those numbers are grossly exaggerated. I don't know where the numbers come from because I am not familiar with that software, but I know there is no way anyone would pay that kind of money for a common coin like that.

 

You're doing the right thing by asking here. There are knowledgeable people here who are always glad to help out with questions, though it may take a little time to get replies.

 

If you're near Conroe there is a coin shop near the south side of town on the east frontage road of I-45. I don't know the name of it, but it's the only one I know of that's north of Houston.

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Hi Auld :ninja:

 

Thanks for the reply. I'm still taking inventory of this lot. There is a nice penny in this lot...a 1957 graded as a MS67RD. It is, indeed shiny and red...WITH AN ASSIGNED "VALUE" OF $9,250!!!

 

WHAT THE HAY IS GOING ON?! Heaven help me, that CAN'T be right. WHERE ARE THESE VALUES COMING FROM? Both the software program I'm using AND the dealer guy I bought these from are coming up with the same values! That is not coincidence so what possible criteria is being used here? How can these coins be so grossly overvalued?

 

This just shows me how little I understand about collecting coins. I'm utterly clueless!

 

Thanks for the tip Auld, I'll check out that shop next time I'm in the Conroe area.

 

 

 

Hi Nora, and welcome !!! ;)

 

Sounds to me like those numbers are grossly exaggerated. I don't know where the numbers come from because I am not familiar with that software, but I know there is no way anyone would pay that kind of money for a common coin like that.

 

You're doing the right thing by asking here. There are knowledgeable people here who are always glad to help out with questions, though it may take a little time to get replies.

 

If you're near Conroe there is a coin shop near the south side of town on the east frontage road of I-45. I don't know the name of it, but it's the only one I know of that's north of Houston.

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I've been collecting a long time and have a great interest in modern Lincolns. The value may be some kind of max they are assigning based upon a percentage uplift crossing grades. The UC 70s have been selling for ridiculously high prices of late.

 

You may want to consider getting a set of albums, perhaps Danscos, covering the modern coin series. Ikes, SBAs, SACs, Kennedy's, etc. then purchase Mint sets and/or proof sets and break them out. It's a neat way to do moderns and cost-wise much more reasonable than buying individual coins.

 

Have fun.

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Welcome, Nora!

 

Fascinating story you have there. You've only been collecting for a short time and you already have more valuable coins than I have! :ninja:

 

Heritage Auction Archives

 

The above link is my personal favorite web coin info source (heard about it and CoinPeople in a COINage magazine a few months ago). They just added there one millionth coin to their permanent archive of coins they have sold. You can see the history of the coin, very very nice images, how many bidders, what the most reputable sources are quoting their values at, AND (here is what you will find the most useful) what recent examples of your coin in your same grade went for at auction! Signing up is free and easy. I have had an excellent experience using the site as a knowledge source for my own interests and collection. I have also bought a bunch of coins/notes from there at pretty good prices at auction.

 

Take your MS-69 Connecticut Q for example: this is the highest graded and most recent 1999-D Connecticut Q to sell at Heritage (a vastly popular site mind you. a few auctions A WEEK!).

 

This coin is MS-68 and sold in October for $120 with 4 bidders participating. Recent examples of the same coin in the same grade have sold at $250 at the highest. The most conservative estimate of what the coin would go for was $240 and the most optimistic was $2500!

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY: No examples of this date, design, and mint have graded for higher from PCGS and only 1 has graded higher at NGC (the two most reputable coin-grading firms). Therefore, if your slab is NGC graded then you have the nicest example in existence. (The demand for the highest graded coins is very high right now, so I'd imagine your coin could possibly go for $6500 but I wouldn't expect to see it anytime soon.)

 

So, is your coin graded by another company? If PCGS, then it sounds bogus. If it's ANACS then its a possibility (I don't think they have a pop. report). If it's ICG, the consensus is that they tend to overgrade somewhat, so you probably have a MS-68/67 on your hands.

 

 

I apologize for writing such a long-winded response. I am nowhere near as knowledgable as some of the coinnuts here. I hope my example wasn't disheartening. You still got a nice coin for a nice deal and hopefully you'll post some pictures on this site soon!

 

And I sincerely hope you decide to stick around CP for a long time. I've met a bunch of great people (and dockwalliper too) and learned TONS. Please ask more questions! I still ask them after almost half a year!

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Like Deadpoint said.

A lot of dealers will "quote" what the pcgs site has, (Which in my opinion is inflated to perpetuate the pcgs myth.) but the coin has been graded by the seller. Which brings the grading in to question. Why grade something 63 when you may be able to get more at 67+. Next finding some one who will actually pay that amount.

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The coin prices for graded coins is kind of misleading.

 

First you have to take into account the grading company. Stuff graded by SEGS is worth considerably less than PCGS. Stick with PCGS, NGC, ANACS, and ICG graded coins. Problem is some companies, like the four I mentioned, are very tight and very loose on their grading of certain coins. Take NGC for example, they are rather loose on their grading of Morgan Dollars while PCGS is somewhat tight.

 

Second, where are the prices coming from? The Coin World, PCGS, and Heritage prices often differ greatly. You have to take into account toning, population number, luster, strike, etc. Sometimes a well toned MS60 coin will bring a higher price than a MS65 of the same coin.

 

Last, prices are often inflated due to bidding wars. If two people REALLY want a certain coin the price can easily double from what any price guide says. In the coin collecting hobby values change very quickly.

 

May I ask what company had slabbed the coins you aquired? If you did get ripped off don't feel ashamed or down. I'm sure everyone here at one time or another was ripped off in some way. Myself included. It's all part of the learning process.

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