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Ludicrous hammers for slabs


zadie
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Not sure where, but I heard/read that Heritage attracts many Asian/Chinese/Korean collectors who mainly focus on grade. Maybe it was one of the Berk podcasts. I don't judge on what and how they collect by the way, but it does explain the, in my opinion, ridiculous prices. 

Edited by Limes
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10 hours ago, zadie said:

Did anyone watch the Heritage sale last night? I've been gawking at the bids "5/5" coins get at Heritage but this take it to an entirely new level... Who are these people?

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I wonder if those numbers aren't just typos 🤔, even $1,800 & $1,440 seem high....

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The way I see it, there are three possibilities, based on my experience in real estate.

  1. The bidders (because someone else helped bid it this high) are morons.
  2. The bidders are from mainland China. Until recently, we had many mainland Chinese buyers in our real estate market. They would stick to the well-known areas and would bid up houses far more than their value - but pay in cash so banks weren't an issue. Between COVID and concern after Russian properties were seized during the Ukraine war, we've seen a sharp decrease in real estate investments from them. However, my son, who is in the sports card business, has seen an uptick there. Whether it's real estate or sports cards, they typically purchase with an agent who they trust for valuations, and who often fleeces them. The motivation for them is they don't trust the government with any money in China, so they're after any way to get it out. That's why they're often less concerned with paying fair market value.
  3. This may be less likely, but it's possible the buyer is from the US/Europe and has engaged an agent who has misrepresented the values. These agents are typically paid only when they win the coin, so they're motivated to win it at any cost. I have seen this in real estate (most commonly with syndicates), but I'm not sure how much of an issue this is with coins.
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Money means nothing to people who have more than they know what to do with.  Currently we are eating chickens since they are cheaper than eggs.  There are plenty of interesting and beautiful coins available People with a million dollars might be concerned over an extra $100 but people with a billion have no reason to sweat a $100,000 here or there.  What is sad about these two is that neither is of even average style.  The Caesar is also off center with the trunk touching the edge of the flan.  It will be interesting to see if and when either of these coins reenters the market.  

If I ran NGC, I would offer an upgrade service for only 50% additional where I evaluated not only style as well as adding a nice word on the label.  Now we have a single star for fine style.  What would a coin be worth if it had two star extra fine style or five star unbelievably stupendous style?   I hear that some people tell NGC to just return coins not slabable at 5/5, 5/5 to save the submitter the hassle of cracking them out.  True?

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14 minutes ago, dougsmit said:

The Caesar is also off center with the trunk touching the edge of the flan.

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I, too, am bewildered that this particular coin, with the off-center elephant lacking a full trunk on the flan, can possibly be graded "NGC MS * 5/5 - 5/5"

There are literally hundreds of these denarii listed on ACSEARCH with the full trunk on the flan and better centered... and for considerably less money.  Would anyone other than an unknowledgeable purchaser prefer a coin with -- excuse the pun -- a truncated feature on the obverse? 

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9 hours ago, idesofmarch01 said:

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I, too, am bewildered that this particular coin, with the off-center elephant lacking a full trunk on the flan, can possibly be graded "NGC MS * 5/5 - 5/5"

There are literally hundreds of these denarii listed on ACSEARCH with the full trunk on the flan and better centered... and for considerably less money.  Would anyone other than an unknowledgeable purchaser prefer a coin with -- excuse the pun -- a truncated feature on the obverse? 

I dont want to insinuate things without any proof whatsoever. But maybe we are seeing the obvious downside of this practice in action. If I, as a commercial profit driven company, know that a large customer group pays big money for certain products i can deliver, I might be inclined to do anything to deliver those products. I.e., grading a coin 'upwards' whilst downwards would be more obvious, if you know what I mean. 

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1 hour ago, Limes said:

I dont want to insinuate things without any proof whatsoever. But maybe we are seeing the obvious downside of this practice in action. If I, as a commercial profit driven company, know that a large customer group pays big money for certain products i can deliver, I might be inclined to do anything to deliver those products. I.e., grading a coin 'upwards' whilst downwards would be more obvious, if you know what I mean. 

Well, sure, but I thought the only purpose of a TPG was to give an independent appreciation (i.e. independent from what the coin would/could sell for in the future I mean), or am I wrong ?

😄 Q

Edited by Qcumbor
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What is wrong with heritage?  OK they like  selling slabs but they don't slab them. If you don't want a slab don't buy!  If your a collector and want that coin and its slabbed, well the choice is yours! It is the slabbing companies that offer a service and offer an opinion to put on their labels and most people go with that.

I bought a NewStyle from them unslabbed some years ago....nothing wrong, nothing off with that.......I bought a coin from Palm...... it was slabbed..........I didn't buy it for the slab, investment is not on my radar.

 

It's a bit like provenance it seems people want to buy it for a premium for reselling. It's a fashion that will last sadly.......people are less and less interested in coins but  focus on irrelevant side issues. 

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These crazy slab prices (and many non-slabs) are driven by the speculators.  These are not collectors buying these coins.  At least, very few collectors.  I know there are a few billionaires out there who genuinely collect ancients, but for the most part these are the same people who are buying up real estate, artwork, NFT's, Bitcoin, etc.  And like all those other markets this will crash as well.  The only way they can profit is to get more people into their market and pay more than they did, which likely will not happen.  There is a LOT of disposable money floating around in the world with many people looking to put it somewhere.  Oddly ancient coins got their attention, which I think is highly unusual.  

But, it will calm down at some point.  In a few years those who paid 10 times what the coin was worth will try to sell, and....I honestly dont think there will be anyone there to buy them.  It also makes one wonder, where will all these coins end up?  When people finally learn the truth will they just dump them back on the market or will they sit in a bank vault until the owners die?

Time will tell.

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