The new year is still young and we have just sworn in a new president-elect who promises to rock the boat of status quo in Washington, and beyond. For the first time in many years this president’s promises are so real, and likely, that the world is taking notice in a way never before witnessed. How Trump’s policies and mannerisms will affect the rare coin business are anyone’s guess, but we expect that if he is able to generate confidence among business owners (small and large) then the hobby will benefit as a majority of rare coin dealers represent a cross-section of today’s small business people.
The average coin dealer/shop consists of one to three employees, often a husband and wife, or other familial combination. Even from a liberal perspective, it would be hard to argue that recent administrations have done much for the small businessperson in regard to support or tax benefits to help spur the growth of small businesses around the country, which are often cited as the largest employer bloc, and therefore key to job growth. Whether or not you voted for Trump, it’s time to come together as a nation, and a (rare coin) industry to work together and build upon the fabric of the great nation.
From an industry perspective, we have much work to do as well. Just like our two-party political system, we have two dominant grading companies that collectors and dealers rely upon to ensure order and values for their investments. Here at CDN, we have devoted the Bluesheet to informing of these values since 1986. We continue this tradition today and subscriptions to the Bluesheet are now the fastest-growing segment of our reader base.
Both PCGS and NGC are extremely important to our hobby in depth and manner which would be hard to appreciate. We recognize that neither company is perfect, but both do a better job than anything of their ilk in other collectibles’ markets. The fine art market, for example, is fraught with general disagreement among experts as to authenticity and good luck getting consensus among dealers on condition reports. Everyone is biased and wants a piece of the action.
There has been much discussion lately of loosening grading standards, leading to “gradeflation” and dilution of value. Here at CDN we simply present hard pricing data based on real-world auction results, market exchange bidding and other verified transactions. The values speak for themselves. Most recently, what we’ve seen is that the basal, or sight-unseen, portion of the market has been slipping while sight-seen and CAC-approved levels have held steadier. We highly encourage our readers to study this complex market, from both population and historical pricing perspectives, when making large purchases. We might also suggest that coins with big spreads (downside) to the immediate lower grade might be most vulnerable to these drops. Consider buying a high end MS65 coin, rather than an MS66 at twice the price. Regardless of your preference, it does appear that there are some great values in the market today for the savvy buyer and that our two-party system is still the best in the collectibles world.