Posted on May 6, 2014 by Don Willis
Greetings! As I’ve said before I enjoy learning about a coin or a series as much as finally adding one to my collection. Knowing the story behind the coin adds dimension and depth to collecting any series. Part of that story is varieties. In this week’s video, we talk about varieties and a short cut you can use to determine which varieties PCGS considers major and includes in basic grading versus varieties that we consider minor and additional to grading.
Posted on April 22, 2014 by Don Willis
With over 2.8 million records, the PCGS Auction Prices Realized archive is extremely useful. For many this is a well-kept secret that is tucked away on our website. As a buyer, I want to know what others have paid for coins similar to what I am considering purchasing! APR is one of three major data points that I have always used in buying or selling coins. The others are the PCGS Population Report and the PCGS Price Guide. Using these three tools, and sometimes a bit of deductive reasoning, reasonable conclusions can be reached in regard to a coin’s value, availability and desirability. In this week’s video we explore the APR system offered by PCGS. Take a minute to check it out, and more importantly, go to www.pcgs.com/auctionprices and see for yourself.
Posted on April 8, 2014 by Jaime Hernandez
Imagine going to a really nice restaurant – for our purposes, let’s call this eatery Joe’s Restaurant – and the menu only offers one item.
The menu shows a steak that looks dry and it’s made well-done only, they use one specific spice and offer you one side dish. Most of you would probably walk out of Joe’s Restaurant and find some other place to eat, or if you are in a hurry, you might just try the plain steak and side dish, eat it and be done. But more than likely, you won’t enjoy it and probably will never return to Joe’s again.
On the other hand, imagine going to a place called Fabio’s Restaurant where you are offered dozens of different meats to choose from like filet mignon, tenderloin, porterhouse, T-bone, rib eye, and more. To top it off, they have dozens of different spices for each meat and they offer it cooked several different ways: medium, medium rare, rare – you name it! For those who are on a diet or who are vegetarians, they also have many salads, fruits, vegetables, dozens of different salsas, sides, drinks, and desserts. And they all look delicious!
Luckily for collectors, the coin market is very similar to Fabio’s Restaurant, which has all the different meats, spices and side dishes. Coin collectors can choose from an array of meats, sides and spices.
In coins, you can select from different countries, denominations, designs, metal contents, years, mint marks and even varieties and die varieties.
- Collectors on a financial diet can chose from inexpensive coins.Coin vegetarians can collect only graded coins.
- Tourist can collect coins from different countries.
- Collectors who like hot and spicy coins can collect bullion.
- Collectors who like to supersize their meals can collect supersized Morgan Silver Dollar (or those who like the triple size meals can go for the 5 ounce coins)!
There are no holds barred when it comes to collecting coins. No matter what the collector is looking for, our restaurant, which we will call The Coin Market for the purposes of this article, has it all.
It’s no wonder that The Coin Market has happy returning customers every year!
Posted on April 8, 2014 by Don Willis
In this week’s video, I continue our review of one of the best kept secrets on www.pcgs.com – the Resources page. Last week we reviewed the articles and e-books, and this week I walk you through the visual side of our Resources page – PCGS Photograde and PCGS CoinFacts. Each of these sections contain thousands of beautiful coin images that you can literally spend hours reviewing. These images are great visual tools for understanding the PCGS grading scale as you build your collection. But don’t take my word for it – check it out for yourself!
Posted on March 25, 2014 by Don Willis
They say that half the fun of collecting is the story behind every coin. The phenomenal interest in the recent discovery of the Saddle Ridge Hoard is a great example. Did you realize that PCGS offers thousands of coin related stories for free on our website? These stories range from general introductions of different coin series to in-depth analysis of specific coins. We offer easy to read articles as well as lengthy research pieces. From essays to books you can find it on PCGS.com as this week’s video explains!
Posted on March 18, 2014 by Ron Guth
Statistics – those seemingly dry numbers that can be manipulated in so many different ways – can be an excellent way of determining where you’ve been and where you’re going. For instance, if sales in your coin business have been $10,000 for a month for the past two years, you can reasonably expect that you will have $10,000 in sales every month for the next two years, barring any unforeseen changes in the way you do business. However, you can also use statistics to figure out how you can expand your business to $12,000 a month, then use other statistics to determine how well you are doing at achieving that goal. Knowing where you’re going requires knowing where you’ve been.
Statistics are particularly important for us at PCGS CoinFacts because the size of our website cannot be seen. PCGS CoinFacts is not a like a physical balloon that expands with each puff of air. Because the viewer can only see one page at a time, it would appear that PCGS CoinFacts is just like it always has been except for regular updating of the population data and prices. Without statistics to prove otherwise, PCGS CoinFacts appears fairly static.
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
To show you exactly what is happening on PCGS CoinFacts, we’ve developed a useful Statistics page at http://www.pcgscoinfacts.com/Stats.aspx
This page shows the changes in the past month, in all the major categories and subcategories, of the number of individual coin pages, population, images, narratives, and auction prices.
As I review this page right now, I see the biggest changes in the population data, which is to be expected because we’re grading hundreds and thousands of new coins each day. Auction prices are relatively flat this month, but they can be subject to sudden spikes as data is imported after major auctions occur. The real activity this month, and the one which is of great interest to anyone following the news these days, is the addition of the data from the Saddle Ridge Hoard of over 1,400 gold coins (if you haven’t heard about this cool deal yet, simply do a Google search for “Saddle Ridge gold coins”).
The influx of data from the Saddle Ridge Hoard affected the number of coin pages because special pages were made for each date/mintmark combination included in the hoard. The population of Liberty Head $20s (the bulk of the hoard) jumped by over 1,500 pieces (yes, we graded other coins than just the Saddle Ridge Hoard). Over 1,177 images were added to that subcategory, as well. And, of course, the number of narratives increased as we described those special coins.
You might notice a small drop in some of the statistics. This can happen when duplicate images are removed from the system, or when we clean up the auction prices realized by deleting errant data. In general, however, the trend in the numbers is onward and upward.
What this all means is that even though you may not be able to “see” it, CoinFacts is expanding and getting better every day. If you want to see specific examples of the changes being made, check out this page: http://www.pcgscoinfacts.com/MostRecent.aspx?mr=1&level=0
Here, you will see all the most recent additions to narratives, the condition census, and images. Spend some time in any of these tabs, and you’ll find some remarkable stuff going on.
Have fun examining how we’re making your PCGS CoinFacts experience better every day!
Posted on March 11, 2014 by Don Willis
The biggest news of the past week has been the Saddle Ridge hoard of gold coins discovered in Northern California. One aspect of the market that this exciting discovery has changed is the PCGS population for many San Francisco mint $20 Liberty coins. This week’s Ask Don takes a look at the importance of the PCGS pop report and ways that it can be used. The pop report is a valuable data point that should be part of every buying and selling decision.
Posted on February 24, 2014 by Don Willis
PCGS spends a tremendous amount of time adding and updating content to our website. I am always disappointed when I meet someone who doesn’t know what’s available or how to use www.PCGS.com. That’s not their fault, it’s ours! In the latest Ask Don video I review the PCGS Price Guide. This is far more than simply a list of prices as you shall see. To be continued…
Posted on February 11, 2014 by Don Willis
This week’s video is all about our Restoration service that PCGS
introduced last year. The service has produced some amazing results and we have been happy to help. Understanding whether your coin is a candidate for this service is important. To avoid disappointment and unnecessary costs, watch the video and carefully examine your coins before you send them in.
Posted on January 30, 2014 by Don Willis
I just returned from several days at our Shanghai office. The Chinese culture is very interesting and there is always something new to discover and explore! One thing that is the same in China as here in the States in the interest in collecting coins. Coin collectors in China are very much like we are. China’s long and rich history combined with its many empires and regimes has resulted in many different coin types and varieties. There are many different collecting specialties. The coin market is very well established in China with coin markets in most major cities. Collectors around the world share the same passion for their hobby!
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