Quality and Its Importance in the Market and Other Markets
December 17, 2012
by Matthew Kleinsteuber (Numismatic Financial Corp.)
Edited by Don Bonser
Quality has always been an issue in the numismatic marketplace, but in the past 25 years, its significance and means of determining price and rarity has been more important than ever before. Designating quality allows you to group items that some people would see as being the same and then show/explain why they are not. An example of this in the current market would be a 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent–in grades of MS63RB and MS65RD, most non-collectors would not see much discernable difference in quality, but in the coin market, the former is currently worth around $2000 and the latter $6000. By distinguishing quality more precisely, we have learned which coins typically are available in which grades, and we have learned how to better place premiums on coins that generally don’t come in certain lofty grades. As an example, an 1886-O Morgan Dollar in MS63 is currently worth about $3000; in MS64, it’s $10,000, and in MS65, it’s a whopping $175,000. Can you imagine a market in which these levels of quality were not distinguished? Strangely enough, as recently as the 1960s, the spread in value on this coin (using current-day grading standards) may have been as little as $100 or less. ANACS, PCGS, and NGC were at the forefront of the quality revolution and have helped the coin market immeasurably. Our market has helped other markets to realize how important quality really is.
Many other markets of collectibles are now highly based on quality as well. Examples are sports cards, which are now graded on a 10-point scale, stamps on a 100-point scale, and there are even companies like PSA/DNA that are grading autographs on a 10-point scale and also authenticating sports memorabilia. These companies and industries have followed the coin market, and other markets have followed it as well.
Other industries are evolving rapidly due to the emphasis on quality and education as to what quality really is. Cars are a great example. Just a few years ago, virtually all collectible cars were being restored. The result of restoration is often an automobile that, while beautiful and functional, is no longer in any way original, and often looks nothing like what was really sold new years ago by car dealerships. Now an increasing number of people want unrestored “survivor” cars in their original, used condition, with (obviously) higher-quality original specimens worth more than “beaters.” As an example, you can buy a beater 1960 Nash Metropolitan for perhaps $3500; a pristine restoration or a high-quality original car will set you back $35,000 or more. Quality, again, is paramount.
Quality and its recognition are the future of all collectible markets, and those who educate themselves will be significantly ahead of other collectors and dealers. Knowledge is power! No matter what you buy, be it art, books, stamps, coins, cars–whatever–you must educate yourself about quality. Buying the best you can afford is generally sound advice. This isn’t to say that you must buy the best available; the best you can afford and the best available are two concepts often confused, and people who confuse them often stop collecting in frustration. Know the difference, and enjoy what you can afford to collect. The author recommends to a beginner in any field to find someone knowledgeable and trustworthy, and learn from them. As for the coin market, if you have $100 to spend, it’s generally good advice to buy one $100 coin, not ten $10 coins. If you have $1000, buy one $1000 coin, and so on. Buy quality within your price range. The collections that bring the most enjoyment and often the greatest increase in value are not simply hoards, but collections built on quality and understanding.
Remember: quality is found in all price ranges in all collectibles! Spend some time and money on education and you will be repaid many times over when you decide to sell your collection.
About Numismatic Financial Corp.
The Numismatic Financial Corporation, Inc. was founded by Timothy E. Carroll in 1990. NFC’s mission is to offer a comprehensive range of services including the buying and selling of certified coins, raw coins, rare currency and precious metals. NFC works closely with the banking community on appraisals and offers a reputable appraisal service for both collectors and clients with estate evaluation needs.
NFC’s strong financial position allows the company to handle very large transactions on a routine basis. Perhaps its strongest asset is its friendly and knowledgeable staff, with over 150 years combined experience in the industry. Our experts have the ability and the knowledge to recognize the rare and unusual coin and have the contacts to either find it…. or sell it…. for a client. We offer an accurate appraisal service with written documentation of value for a reasonable fee.
NFC’s initial focus was in the wholesale segment of the numismatic industry. In 1993, by popular demand, the company opened a retail gallery to offer products and services to both collectors and small dealers. It then expanded onto the internet, and now offers one of the largest and most diverse numismatic inventories available anywhere. In the years since its inception, NFC has come to achieve national recognition and respect in the numismatic community, earning a reputation for both aggressiveness and absolute integrity.
NFC’s corporate headquarters and retail gallery, open weekdays from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM EST, is located at 901 West State Road 434, Winter Springs, Florida…. affording both convenience and safety to its clients. Winter Springs is located in the greaterOrlando metropolitan area, just 20 minutes north of downtown Orlando and about 30 minutes from the area’s major tourist attractions.
Whether you are a new collector or a seasoned investor, looking to buy or to sell, NFC is a great company to do business with!