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Old May 2, 2007, 08:58 AM   #1
4to2centophilia
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Prices

Just another example of how prices are "relative"


http://www.geminiauction.com/details.asp?LotNumber=217

http://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=105435
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Old May 2, 2007, 11:56 AM   #2
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It's only inflation and the rising cost of doing business...and gas, and...

Isn't capitalism great for business?!
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Old May 2, 2007, 12:31 PM   #3
cogito
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Not quite an equal comparison. CNG coin shop prices are almost always way over what you might expect to pay at auction for the same coin. I don't even look at their coin shop anymore because I know that I'm likely to find the same or similar coin elsewhere for cheaper. This being said, it's apparent that I'm an aberration as I see lots of "sold" markers in their shop. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that many of the CNG coin shop purchases are by overseas collectors taking advantage of the pitiful dollar.

BTW - > $2500 for a Mazaios stater of this type is CRAZY. The issue is fairly common and good EF examples run around half their price. I know this is likely to raise the ire of some, so I'll provide some hard data to support my contention. A search of coinarchives limiting auction results for coins of this type, centering, and condition sold within the last 3 years yielded an average auction price of $1135.66 [range $500 - 3800 (Busso last year, but this was a major outlier as most were in the 900 - 1200 range)].

Also, "among the finest known" is MEANINGLESS if you don't know how many of similar condition fit in that qualitative range. The Busso $3880 2006 coin was FAR better, but it was still an outlier as there were other better centered examples sold over the past 2 years that were half the CNG coin shop price.

Jeff

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Old May 2, 2007, 05:05 PM   #4
4to2centophilia
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Originally Posted by cogito View Post
Not quite an equal comparison. CNG coin shop prices are almost always way over what you might expect to pay at auction for the same coin. I don't even look at their coin shop anymore because I know that I'm likely to find the same or similar coin elsewhere for cheaper. This being said, it's apparent that I'm an aberration as I see lots of "sold" markers in their shop. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that many of the CNG coin shop purchases are by overseas collectors taking advantage of the pitiful dollar.

BTW - > $2500 for a Mazaios stater of this type is CRAZY. The issue is fairly common and good EF examples run around half their price. I know this is likely to raise the ire of some, so I'll provide some hard data to support my contention. A search of coinarchives limiting auction results for coins of this type, centering, and condition sold within the last 3 years yielded an average auction price of $1135.66 [range $500 - 3800 (Busso last year, but this was a major outlier as most were in the 900 - 1200 range)].

Also, "among the finest known" is MEANINGLESS if you don't know how many of similar condition fit in that qualitative range. The Busso $3880 2006 coin was FAR better, but it was still an outlier as there were other better centered examples sold over the past 2 years that were half the CNG coin shop price.

Jeff
No arguements here. When I looked these over at Gemini, considering the close quality on all of them (this one was almost the best) and the quantity of them, I set a upper limit on bidding. I thought anything over $1,100 was the tops. I got knocked out on this and a couple others at that price, but got mine for $725. In fact, mine was the next lot and it seemed like people were a little stunned in the room and stopped bidding for a moment.

I will never figure out how someone decides to pay such a premium for such a coin. But then again, it ain't my money.

M
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Old May 2, 2007, 06:22 PM   #5
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Here's that INSANELY expensive Mazaios stater sold at Busso Nov. 2006 on an estimate of 1500 EUR (see below). Sold for 3000 EUR (3832 US).

If this is where dealers think this coin type should go, I have a wonderful, nicely toned example in my collection (again see below) available for consignment with an absolute minimum of 2000 US.

Mine ($825).



CNG example ($2700+)



Busso example ($3800+).
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Old May 2, 2007, 11:39 PM   #6
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The CNG specimen is significantly better than the Peus specimen. What exactly are you looking at Jeff? The CNG coin is better struck and it is one of the boldest strikes I've ever seen. Why the Peus coin sold for so much who knows. The CNG coin is pricey though but the market for A+ coins is pricey across the board, thought he small flan flaw almost takes that coin out of the A+ category in my mind.

One of the things collectors tend not to be able to comprehend (in fact many dealer don't comprehend it either) is the difference between an A coin and an A+ coin, and there are many collectors looking only for A+ coins. There was a recent discussion on another forum where a collector was claiming that Freeman and Sear were selling "near perfect" Athens owls for $1000 each. The collector clearly had no idea what "near perfect" meant. There were very few near perfect owls in the hoard and those that were were priced over $3000. The $1000 coins were B+ coins at best.

Looking at the 170 Mazaios staters on Coin Archives, I found 3 that come close, one in a Lanz sale that sold for almost $1700 (May 2006), a Gorny coin that sold for over $2000 (October 2005) and another Gorny coin at just under $2000 (March 2004).

Interestingly, there are only 2 examples on Coin Archives with a full border of dots on both sides, and 2-3 others that almost have full border dots. I never noticed this before.

Your coin isn't close to $2000 Jeff.

Barry Murphy

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Old May 3, 2007, 05:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by bpmurphy View Post
The CNG specimen is significantly better than the Peus specimen. What exactly are you looking at Jeff? The CNG coin is better struck and it is one of the boldest strikes I've ever seen. Why the Peus coin sold for so much who knows. The CNG coin is pricey though but the market for A+ coins is pricey across the board, thought he small flan flaw almost takes that coin out of the A+ category in my mind.

One of the things collectors tend not to be able to comprehend (in fact many dealer don't comprehend it either) is the difference between an A coin and an A+ coin, and there are many collectors looking only for A+ coins. There was a recent discussion on another forum where a collector was claiming that Freeman and Sear were selling "near perfect" Athens owls for $1000 each. The collector clearly had no idea what "near perfect" meant. There were very few near perfect owls in the hoard and those that were were priced over $3000. The $1000 coins were B+ coins at best.

Looking at the 170 Mazaios staters on Coin Archives, I found 3 that come close, one in a Lanz sale that sold for almost $1700 (May 2006), a Gorny coin that sold for over $2000 (October 2005) and another Gorny coin at just under $2000 (March 2004).

Interestingly, there are only 2 examples on Coin Archives with a full border of dots on both sides, and 2-3 others that almost have full border dots. I never noticed this before.

Your coin isn't close to $2000 Jeff.

Barry Murphy
Regarding the owls. I am relieved to hear you confirm that the perfect ones were not going for $1,000. I really couldn't reconcile the supposedly bargain basement prices at the show vs what I was receiving as coin selections from F&S. I thought I was missing out on a local gold rush. I was seriously considering rearranging some priorities and getting another owl. In the end, circumstance prevented that, but it did sound too good to be true.

As far as the Mazaois. You are correct I cannot tell the difference between an A and A+ nor justify the price difference. I have looked at these 8 coins periodically for the last 5 months. Strengths in one, to me are outweighed by certain weaknesses. I still can't see one being worth over double some of the others. I thought those blemishes near the obverse legend on lot 217 were very distracting.

http://www.geminiauction.com/categor...y=Greek&search=

That is why I don't do this for a living.

BTW, I am sure Jeff was being facetious regarding his coins price.

BR

Mark
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Old May 3, 2007, 06:53 AM   #8
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Barry, I was kidding. Though, if differences between great and exceptional are "in the eye of the beholder," why not go for it and see if someone like the toning on my piece?

The CNG strike is very good, that's a given. I wonder how much that apparent spot of horn silver knocked off the price?

Jeff
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Old May 3, 2007, 01:09 PM   #9
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It all depends on what you're looking for in a coin. To my eyes, the CNG coin is technically higher grade but the Busso/Peus coin has much better eye appeal. I'd pay significantly more for the Busso/Peus coin. It has much nicer toning, and it doesn't have those ugly black spots and ragged flan of the CNG coin. The CNG coin does have a bolder strike, noticeable most with the eagle on the obverse. But overall the Busso/Peus coin is better. It could still stand to be improved, or "conserved." Somebody like NCS (Numismatic Conservation Service) or an ancients specialist who does similar work should be able to get rid of the blackish smudge to the right of Baal's waist and the two darkish dots on the reverse. That would make it truly lovely, and it would be worth it for a coin like this.
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Old May 3, 2007, 06:25 PM   #10
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Reid,

What's NCS? Is it open to mere collectors?

Jeff
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Old May 15, 2007, 06:44 AM   #11
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http://www.cngcoins.com/Coin.aspx?CoinID=105435

There you have it.

M
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Old May 15, 2007, 10:02 PM   #12
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Reid,

What's NCS? Is it open to mere collectors?

Jeff
NCS (Numismatic Conservation Service) is open to anyone:

http://www.ncscoin.com

I've never used them but have heard good reports, at least with U.S. coins. I don't know if they do ancients, actually, and a quick check at their Web site just now didn't turn up anything.
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Old May 16, 2007, 06:00 AM   #13
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It all depends on what you're looking for in a coin. .

Happy B-Day old man.

Mark
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Old May 16, 2007, 10:23 AM   #14
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I think the question many collectors, like me, have is why the difference between an A and an A+ (which I agree is real and is appreciable) matters so much. A coin at the 95th percentile is worth orders of magnitude more than a coin at the 90th percentile, but the quality difference is only a few percentage points. Disagreeing about this valuation doesn't necessarily mean that you don't see the difference between the two coins, or don't appreciate the relative rarity. You can reject the valuation even though you fully understand it.

My personal view is that many markets, especially markets for luxury goods like collectible coins, are driven by questionable desires. At times, I call them irrational, but I think suboptimal may be the better word. For example, you can buy a high quality denarius of Tiberius for much less than a low quality aureus, but the high quality denarii are more common and, therefore, less expensive. Many people would actually prefer the lower quality aureus coin because it is more scarce, and so they pass the denarius by (and drive the price of the aureus up and denarius down). They are willing to spend considerably more money for an item that is the artistic and historical equivalent of a much cheaper item (indeed, an item of the same size and shape), because it is rare. I have trouble understanding this.

I'd love to hear a justification for this that involves reference to values that are healthy and worth encouraging. Having a "better" collection than someone else is a fool's errand. I'd especially love to hear an argument that doesn't involve appeals to "investment value" because that is circular. No matter how hard I try to wrap my mind around it, I can't.

Although many rightly encourage collectors to seek higher quality, valuable coins for investment purposes, I think many collectors would do well to reflect on their personal interests and desires, what matters to them and what doesn't, and, even, make a conscious effort not to assume that an accurately priced expensive coin is "better" than one that is cheaper. The truth is, although many people would like to have the more expensive coins, many also think that paying what they cost is foolish. Many collectors could afford at least one $1500 coin, but they choose, say, ten $150 coins instead. Some think that is a mistake, because the $1500 coin is "better" and more rare than the others combined. Obviously, the person who bought the 10 coins disagrees. What is a mistake is to blame this difference of opinion on ignorance or lack of sophistication. It really is all a matter of perspetive . . . except, of course, for the Tiberius aureus -- that is a mistake (just kidding)! I concede that higher end coins are better investements.

Just my two cents. I'd love to hear from others on this.

Dan
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Old May 16, 2007, 10:49 AM   #15
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I'd love to hear a justification for this that involves reference to values that are healthy and worth encouraging. Having a "better" collection than someone else is a fool's errand. I'd especially love to hear an argument that doesn't involve appeals to "investment value" because that is circular. No matter how hard I try to wrap my mind around it, I can't.

Dan
Dan - I think you basically answered your own question. Each person collects for different reasons. Having a better collection than someone else is a fool's errand? I think the collectors in the extremely well marketed "PCGS Registry" who compete for the best collection would wholeheartedly disagree.

http://www.pcgs.com/setregistry/

Investment Value? That's not a circular argument. There are collectors whose primary collecting interest is to buy "undervalued" coins and resell them for profit, but enjoy owning them while they have them.

Why do I collect even though I am a dealer? That's simple. I love ancient coins and I want to leave research behind that may help my fellow collectors. That's also why I cowrite a monthly column in the Celator for no compensation at all.

I cannot afford to collect expensive coins, but my two main collecting areas right now are neither expensive, nor well documented - VLPP series of Constantinian Era and Eastern mint Hadrian denarii. I would love to have all pristine grade examples, especially for documentation purposes, but that's just not possible or practical. By the time I finally publish my findings on the VLPP series, hopefully it will show all of the varieties of the type and correct any potential chronology issues. Also, by the time I publish my Hadrian collection, I hope to use the work laid out by Metcalf in his book "The Cistophori of Hadrian" in determining all of the non-Rome mints which issued denarii based on the style of his cistophori issues.

So, why do people collect and why will someone pay whatever for a given coin? Because they either can or want to. You just have to accept it for what it is, even if it doesn't seem to make any sense to someone else. Just like why I can't figure out why someone would pay $1000+ for a Ty Beanie Baby. It doesn't make sense to me, but that doesn't make it wrong. Why will someone pay 5x the value of a coin in MS-68 vs. MS-67? Personally, I think it's because big dealers and auction houses target the type of obsessive/compulsive and competitive collector and tell them it's worth it. In those high grades, I think it's just all way too subjective and I agree it doesn't make much sense. But, it's not my money, so it doesn't have to make sense to me. Besides, I can't see such grading every taking off with ancients. Grading is WAY more subjective in what we collect.

--Zach Beasley
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