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You’d be Surprised at What paying 5-15% More Can Do
By Laura Sperber

For years we have stressed buy “the best quality you can afford”. Some people think we are wrong or crazy. Most people simply do not understand that statement.

“Buying the best quality you can afford” does NOT mean you have to go out and blow your wad on a MS/PR 68 coin. Our exact intent for that sentence is: if you seek an MS64 piece, do not just settle for allow end or so/so coin. Wait until you find the “right” coin that is the best for the grade. The optimum piece will have terrific eye appeal and technical qualities reaching almost the next grade level.

Over the past several years we have purchased many collections from educated collectors. Some were great, but many were near misses. These near misses did not yield substantial returns (some actually were in the loss category). In fact the majority of these collections could have had much better coins in terms of both quality and eye appeal if the collector had chosen to spend about 5-15% more.

Quality reigns supreme, especially in today’s softer market. When there was euphoria and uneducated collectors, the fine line between high and low end for the grade didn’t really much matter. Most people were just looking at numbers and believing they could get strong short term returns by buying a certain kind of coin. At times, the holder or the quality of the coin itself did not much matter. Today (especially as evidenced in the recent Heritage FUN sale), those “off” quality coins are selling for at least 20-40% less than they did only a year ago. Compare them to the “quality” oriented coins and you’ll see for the most part, those have held their values.

Do NOT be afraid to pay a premium for quality-it DOES very much matter and DOES come back in a positive way. Being a “price” or “sheet” buyer is rarely going to bring you the top quality coins. While its not practical to fully pay the next grade up, you should do some homework and look at auction archives and other current reports on the web to see what a possible comparable coin sold for. There is no scientific formula as what premium to pay for quality.

Coins values have always been based upon quality and rarity. The better preserved and eye appealing a coin is, the more desirable it will be. You can buy a so/so PCGS MS67 common date Morgan today for $850.00. But, you can also buy a killer piece at around $1,000.00 that’s nearly an MS68. The cheaper so/so pieces value will only rise and fall with the sightUNSEEN bids. While the high end killer piece has unlimited opportunity and a larger marketplace.

Now is the best time of any to practice this philosophy. Avoid the temptation of buying “stupid cheap” and missing out on real quality. Cheap coins are cheap for a reason. And if a coin isn’t all there, you might end up saying: “cheap was not cheap enough”. Today, the separation between the junk and the quality can be as much as 60%-with the scary possibility of further separation.

Its a buyers market out there today. Do not be afraid to take full advantage of it!


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