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What If We Ignored Grading Altogether?

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 15 / Views: 571Next Topic  
Pillar of the Community
Canada
925 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2023  5:01 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Silver101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Many of the debates about grading and grading companies have ended with the wise words "buy the coin, not the holder". What if auction houses like TCNC or Heritage stopped listing the grades of coins that were up for auction? If all you had was some high resolution photos then you would be in a position to do just that.

Thoughts?
Pillar of the Community
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Canada
4704 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2023  5:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add okiecoiner to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Never happen .... the auction companies get a nice slice of the prices paid. They wouldn't cut their own throat to save the customer from paying too much.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
925 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2023  5:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Silver101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm sure you're right. But would you bid on a coin that you knew had been graded but, instead of knowing the grade, had nothing but some high quality photos to go by?
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1426 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2023  5:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add purelywasted to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I would love to see high resolution photos, but still appreciate the grade. Photos can't/don't capture everything, while grading companies are not perfect, you can learn their styles and flaws.

I like the opinion they provide, especially when it comes to cleaning and hairlines (ICCS net grading excluded).

Pillar of the Community
United States
2038 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2023  6:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add dsking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Your question is a good "what if". I would probably purchase from a high resolution photo. I, too, have always been told "it's the coin, not the holder". Unless it's a high priced coin, even grading companies don't do high resolution to view the coins. I believe their max for viewing and grading is only around a 10x.

Auction houses, such as Heritage, have a reputation to preserve and I don't believe they would offer and price unless they don't back the coins ethically, and ruin their reputation.

Also, a good buyer/collector should not even find themselves at an auction without viewing the coins before bidding. Caveat Emptor!
Pillar of the Community
Canada
925 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2023  6:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Silver101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree in principle about Heritage but they, as are all auction houses, are weirdly uncritical about mis-grades. I have an 1873H Newfoundland 5c that I bought at a heritage auction. It's graded VF35 at PCGS. In truth, though, it's about an F15 or a VF20 on a good day*. I get the caveat emptor thing but it's always seemed to me that it would not kill the auctioneers to comment on something like that! Hugh Powell always tells you if a coin is accurately graded or not.

*it's a rare coin and the price was low so I didn't get ripped off regardless!
Pillar of the Community
United States
1362 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2023  8:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumismaticsFTW to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Silver101- So you bought the holder, not the coin, got it.
Valued Member
United States
56 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2023  8:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add silvering to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
When I started collecting, my mentor told me "grading is very subjective" and "buy the coin ,not the holder". I try to remember that when bidding on or purchasing slabbed coins. IMHO the TPGs grades have become" Very Subjective", from the Sheldon scale, which I was told was the holy grail of grading. It seems to me that a lot of bidders seem to have more money than sense. I guess it is on each of us to make the final bid or offer? It's all about the money, which ever side of the coin your on. (IMHO)
Edited by silvering
01/29/2023 8:27 pm
Pillar of the Community
Canada
925 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2023  9:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Silver101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@NumismaticsFTW - it actually sold for a price that was decent even given the mis-grade. I guess I've 'bought the holder' once or twice but only early on when I was still figuring this stuff out.
Valued Member
Canada
403 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2023  10:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add skip79 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
To answer Silver101's original question: ordinary estate auctioneers have long been doing just that -- albeit the photo quality is up for debate.

Many estate auctioneers (either by deliberate strategy and/or laziness) will even just use the photos and provide no description whatsoever, along with a live preview period to let the bidders examine and make their own determinations; which is frankly more attractive to both bidders and sellers in the basic free-market sense of "the item is worth what someone is willing to pay for it". Accordingly, such auctions also usually open all bids at $1 and everything must go -- which adds a healthy dose of energy into the experience.

But numismatic/collector-market auctioneers generally like to have certified + graded coins as a means of (a) authentication and (b) establishing estimates & opening bids; the latter of which effectively controls/limits the market activity in both price and transaction volume.

I trust my grading skills to know to always buy the coin and never the holder. I've bought countless coins based exclusively off of images. Sure, some were graded, but I make my purchasing decisions based on what my eyes see first and foremost. At the end of the day, I have to be happy with my purchase. My own grading opinion will ultimately drive that purchasing decision.
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Australia
15075 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2023  10:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For the highest-rarity coins, you could do this for sure. But for lower tier, commoner coins, you need some agreed-upon standard so you can ascertain value and get some idea of comparing apples with apples.

Also, the grade helps filter out "unwanted" coins from a large list. Suppose you're shopping for an MS-63 to 65 coin. No mention of grades means no way of sorting through a catalogue list. If the dealer/auction has 50 of the things for sale, all in various states of preservation, do you want to sort through all 50 of them to find the most appealing coin, or would you rather narrow your search to the five out of those 50 that fit the "63 to 65" target range?
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
Pillar of the Community
Canada
5079 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2023  10:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add john100 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If you had a key date coin or currency and it"s not graded at auction you will get as they say slaughtered, now you have to trust the auctioneer"s photographer lights ect. Any high value item not graded brings more questions, but remember there is crappy MS 63 and a good MS 63
Pillar of the Community
United States
2753 Posts
 Posted 01/30/2023  01:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add kbbpll to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm not sure if I understand the question. There are plenty of raw coins on ebay and elsewhere where you do exactly that. Does anybody really buy the coin and ignore the holder? No, you decide whether you agree or not, and set your value either lower or higher accordingly, if you're smart. Do you buy a house or a used car and ignore the appraiser or inspector, or do you factor in the professional opinion and then decide?
Bedrock of the Community
United States
49335 Posts
 Posted 01/30/2023  04:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It comes down to buyer beware and an informed buyer is a wise buyer.There is my 2 cents
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 6.5 +/- Million Cents Since 1971
Edited by John1
01/30/2023 04:39 am
Pillar of the Community
United States
2038 Posts
 Posted 01/30/2023  11:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add dsking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Here are a few questions and comments...

Do Professional Graders really look as closely to each and every coin such as we do here on CCF? We look at every minuscule detail here and then offer our grades accordingly, as each of us see them.

Also, are there more than 1 pair of eyes that look at the coins with Professional Graders and does that 1 grader make the determination? If that's the case, I too see coin grading as very subjective...in the eye of the beholder.

I'm well aware that there are "standards" to follow but, it's my belief that standards are basics - not strict definitions due to various issues possible with each coin.

What are your thoughts?
Edited by dsking
01/30/2023 11:48 am
Valued Member
Canada
218 Posts
 Posted 01/30/2023  12:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Levaril to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The biggest problem I have is that every single grading company has at least slightly different criteria for grading virtually any Canadian coin. You definitely know that ICCS is going to look at things differently than PCGS or NGC. Even the two main US companies have different standards though. So ultimately when buying based at least partly on the holder information, one of the most important things is understanding how the grading company grades. And of course to understand that even within their own rules they can be somewhat inconsistent.

I find that pictures don't help as much as you might expect and at times can be very deceptive. I recently purchased a coin that the owner took pictures of in a way that signficantly emphasized cameo in the PL coin that was in fact barely there. Fortunately I expected exactly that and paid a price low enough that it didn't matter to me too much. Unfortunately I've definitely bought coins that I was certain about some characteristics that I was very wrong about and paid way too much. If you are buying without having the coin in hand you are always taking a chance of getting ripped off. I don't care what anyone says, there is no way you can accurately grade a coin from pictures unless you have many high res images from all angles of both sides, and even then it's buyer beware. It's way too easy to hide hairlines or subtle cleaning in pictures or accentuate cameo or any of a dozen other things if you know what you are doing when taking the pictures. If you are buying from someone you trust then you are much better off, or if it's an auction and you can talk someone else into going to see the lots if you can't yourself then you are much better off. Sometimes you have no choice though and you have to roll the dice. I'd same more than 50% of the time I've done that I've lost. Lol. all learning experiences but I still do it from time to time. I'm a slow learner!

I do like the old auctions where everything was raw and with the higher value coins the auctioneer listed every possible flaw in the coin. Made it possible to actually buy sight unseen. Those days are long gone imho.
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