Some Dealers are Slow on the Uptake

September 13, 2010

There's been a couple of poor taste remarks in some well known dealers' mail order catalogues recently directed at PCGS graded coins. Given that PCGS graded coins are becoming more and more common place in the market these days (a quick eBay search shows more than 200 slabbed Australian coins available right now) you'd think that these dealers would be trying their best to learn and move along with what the market is saying. But no, they have to stick their heads in the sand and try to dictate to the market what it is that collectors want. In my experience this is a well known short cut to a drop in sales and a quick exit from whatever industry you happen to be in. Here's a gem of a comment from a well known dealer in their latest mail out offering.

...which has been slabbed and graded by P.C.G.S. as VERY FINE - IT IS NOT VERY FINE! This coin I wold grade FINE+ which is two grades below P.C.G.S. The moral to the story is, when buying or trading any third party graded coins or banknotes, make sure they are correctly graded and priced accordingly.

Well there's a couple of points that this 'expert' has clearly missed.

1. PCGS probably have graded the coin correctly as VF30 according to the Sheldon scale that they use. Nowhere do they say that it is graded as Very Fine according to any adjectival grading scale, nor do they say it is graded according to ANDA standards. They have graded it according to the standards they've made available quite publically here: PCGS Grading Standards. What standards does the dealer who publishes this catalogue grade to? Well your guess is as good as mine because it doesn't say in their catalogue.

2. Ignorance is only brought into sharp relief when displayed from a position of self assumed expertise. The advice to make sure that slabbed coins are graded correctly is good but the key point has been missed. PCGS DO NOT GRADE TO AUSTRALIAN STANDARDS. Do Australian dealers hang their heads in shame when English dealers grade Australian UNC coins as EF or gEF? I think not, a lot of English dealers use different and much tougher standards to grade coins than here in Australia.

I can only hope that dealers like this one either learn to move with the times or are pushed to one side as the market moves forward. Reputable third party grading is better for the industry, PCGS have no hidden agenda with regards to the Australian coin industry and they probably provide as close to an unbiased grading service for Australian coins as can be had anywhere. I may be an un-trusting soul, but whose grading would I trust first? A dealer that I don't know at all who has to make a profit and whose gradings might be coloured by this motivation or a company who really doesn't care if a coin is graded VF30 or F15 as long as the grading complies with their own standards. I'll let you decide.

Posted by mnemtsas at September 13, 2010 4:04 PM
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