One of the most fulfilling developments over the past 18 months here at CDN is the increased readership, understanding, and use of the Bluesheet. Rather than being a little-used companion to its longer-established Greysheet cousin, we have emphasized the Bluesheet’s critical role in understanding and navigating value in today’s complex certified rare coin market. We have also worked quite a bit to ensure the prices reported are accurate. One thing that is increasingly obvious is that there will always be pricing outliers-tricky coins that are well-known by specialists but, perhaps, not as familiar to the wider dealer and collector community. Following are two such examples:
EXAMPLE A: 1921-S MORGAN DOLLAR MS65
The 1921-S Morgan has a Greysheet bid of $1,425, and a Bluesheet bid of $600 for both PCGS and NGC coins. One does not have to look far for many auction results that justify both numbers. Recently, two NGC-graded coins-neither of which had CAC stickers-sold strongly: one in August 2016 for $2,056; the other in January 2017 for $1,293. Strangely, exactly one lot prior in the January sale (another NGC coin) sold for $827. In contrast, there have already been 14 PCGS coins sold in 2017, which have ranged in price from $588 to $1,175 for a Plus-graded coin. Like the NGC examples, none of these bore CAC stickers. The takeaway here is for collectors who are looking to add this date to their collection to be patient and seek out a high-end example at a Bluesheet level. If you want a superb specimen with a CAC sticker, expect your cost to start at $1,425 (Greysheet bid) and go up from there.
EXAMPLE B: 1924-S SAINT-GAUDENS $20 MS65
The 1924-S Saint is a famous rarity at the gem level, with only a single coin that has been CAC stickered out of a possible 25 examples graded MS65 by PCGS and NGC combined. The CAC-approved coin last sold publicly in the January 2012 FUN sale for $172,500 from the famous Duckor collection and CAC has posted a CDN Exchange bid of $140,000 for this coin sight-unseen.
So why, this week, was another gem example available from a major wholesaler for $60,000? It comes down to supply and demand. Those who are seeking to build a set of high grade Saints will one day come to the point where they need a 24-S. If the person building the set wants the finest gem out there, in the opinion of experts, they will need to wait for the Duckor coin to come available, and pay dearly for it. If they want to complete their set in the meantime, they will need to seek a different coin. This is not to say that the other MS65 certified Saints are not worth owning. However, the price paid becomes more important. The Greyshee bid is $140,000, because that is what a dealer will “happily pay that or more” (in the words of CAC’s John Albanese) for a coin that meets their sight-seen standards. The Bluesheet bids are $100,000 for a PCGS coin and $54,000 for a NGC coin represent recent auction activity for this coin. Frankly, it’s hard to deny the value of the NGC graded coin in the $60,000 range, if you like it.
In this complex market, it would not be difficult to find dozens of similar examples to the two above. As a buyer and seller of certified coins, it’s critical to understand the spread of values from Bluesheet to Greysheet. Better information yields increased confidence for you and your clients, so we encourage you to share and educate.