The Bluesheet is your friend! If you are not already a regular subscriber, you should be, because the Bluesheet is like the Swiss Army knife of pricing tools. For starters, the Bluesheet offers you a baseline value for certified coin. While we cannot guarantee your downside in any purchase, the Bluesheet is representative of the lowest transacted value we’ve seen for a particular coin, or the highest sight-unseen bid in exchange trading (CCE or CDN Exchange). In other words, if you can buy a coin for less than Bluesheet, it’s probably a great deal.
On the other hand, it’s generaly impractical to try and buy your certified coins at Bluesheet. Unless a coin is really unattractive or overgraded, it should trade somewhere higher than Bluesheet. This is where the Greysheet comes in. Greysheet levels are the other end of the pricing spectrum. At CDN, we determine valuation based on high end coins for the grade deferring, where possible, to the highest sight-seen exchange bid.
One of the largest market-makers for sight-seen coins is the CAC company itself. The CAC business model is such that the firm places bids for CAC-approved coins, and these bids are often the highest posted for any item they set markets in. Interestingly, CAC will buy any of their coins sight-unseen, as long as it has the sticker of approval on it.
Of course, there are a majority of instances where coins sell in the marketplace for greater than Greysheet levels, as well. This is because our pricing is a guidance only. Scarcity, quality and demand will always trump our ability to set specific prices for coins.
EXPLOIT THE IMPERFECT SYSTEM
So, how can you make money on this spread? The fact is, many of the coins represented here in the Bluesheet sell at a wide range of prices at shows, live auction, dealer web sites and eBay. We recently answered an inquiry on “Coin Dealers Helping Coin Dealers” Facebook page from Ailie Byers, of Scofield Auctions in North Conway, New Hampshire. Ms. Byers asked about the “hefty spread” of the 1925-S Peace dollar where the Greysheet is $23,500 but Bluesheet is only $9,400. Our detailed answer is provided on that forum (find a link to it at blog. greysheet.com), but as a buyer there’s huge opportunity here for you to identify a nice, high end NGC coin in the low teens and sell it at a higher level in this spread. In fact, we know of one national dealer who is getting ready to start a specific trading fund for NGC coins alone. As editors of these sheets we are constantly scratching our heads wondering why this hasn’t been done already. The Bluesheet is your tool to unlocking this value.
As you take these thoughts into consideration, keep in mind that, as pricing editors, we often find that “tail wagging the dog” come into play. In other words, a single low-end example can distort the value of the market for a specific coin. While dozens (or more) of the same coin exist at much higher quality, we have to lower the Bluesheet to reflect this new “low” number which is really unfair, but we report this way for consistency. As a buyer, you can exploit this new low number to your benefit.