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The unexpected benefit I received when I began to collect CAC approved coins

I had collected for quite awhile before deciding that I would only collect coins approved by CAC (except in special situations).  The decision was based on several reasons but one in particular.  I bought one gold coin and did all the right things.  Worked with one of the best dealers in the country.  Viewed it in hand.  Of course it was slabbed.  Great eye appeal.  Price seemed very fair.  At some point I send my first 20 coins in to CAC and I "knew" this one would sticker.  Others did but this one came back with a note saying "puttied"!   Everyone is different but I did not want a puttied coin in my collection.  I also realized what I was doing needed an added layer of scruitny--CAC.  It didn't mean I still wouldnt view coins myself, look for eye appeal, work with dealers, etc but CAC became a requirement for me.

So I thought going this route would help with avoiding coins that were doctored.  But there was an added benefit to my new criteria--- I learned patience!  I collect gold and proof gold.  CAC is really tough on these.  Before if there was a tough date and it came up for sale I would usually makes excuses to buy it since I knew that date was hard to find.  I would say things like "well it's not all there but it's better than nothing" or "well the price is a bargain" , etc.  Next thing you know you have a bunch of coins that are exceptions.

When I switched to CAC only I quickly learned that the gold coins I collected simply did not show up very often with CAC approvoal.  I was tempted regularly with non CAC examples but held firm and waited.  I learned patience.  I know because of CAC I avoided alot of mistakes.    Best of all,  taking my time I built a collection with no compromises.
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Comments

  • Patience can be an extremely beneficial attribute in assembling a collection. Many collectors either can’t or don’t want to practice it. There have been a few occasions in which someone became frustrated with my suggestions about waiting for a better and/or more realistically priced example. Fortunately, however, many more times than not, I have later received thanks for my suggested course of action.
  • edited January 1
    @MarkFeld Depends on one’s goals, there really is no wrong coin only wrong prices. Buying an exception can be a great strategy (especially when truly rare is in play) when one learns to trade up based on availability. That assumes you pay an exception level price that is in line with the two way market giving you an exit strategy. Buying out of step with the two way market can lead to mistakes regardless of quality or cac if the greater fool doesn’t come along. One should not assume appreciation in collectibles especially if the financial aspect is one’s primary correlation to enjoyment.

     I maintain quality is based on enjoyment and satisfaction of ownership and not market preferences about patina. There are collectors that have collections of nothing but holed coins that are amazing, they will never cac and they are not exceptions. I agree price is wrapped up in market preferences and there is a rush towards perfection but you could have a collection full of mistakes equity wise with a set of perfection and if you sell wrong while being too focused on the money side of the hobby you will not enjoy it. 

    People act like an all cac collection makes you immune from being the greatest fool, that is simply not the case. Easy to sell and easy to sell right are two different things and like any other echelon of the hobby, knowledge is king. CAC doesn’t substitute for that 
  • @Crypto, I agree and believe that since it’s the collectors’ money and collections, ultimately, the decisions are theirs to make. I give my advice, based on what I believe to be their collecting preferences and goals. And I don’t take it personally if they choose to ignore it.
  • edited January 1
    MarkFeld said:
    @Crypto, I agree and believe that since it’s the collectors’ money and collections, ultimately, the decisions are theirs to make. I give my advice, based on what I believe to be their collecting preferences and goals. And I don’t take it personally if they choose to ignore it.
    @MarkFeld  Fair enough, it’s quality for the price and if one can end up with great quality for a great price that is the ideal sweet spot. The trick is knowing what constitutes quality on both the Coin and the price side which is where knowledge and experts come in like your self.

      I guess that was my point, impatience to me is sacrificing one or both of those and getting those out of alignment.  Not necessarily waiting for coin perfection constantly if one is prepared to engage in the two way market. 

    I just think it isn’t the best message for the hobby to condition collectors to be unhappy with anything less than perfection. Doesn’t work with spouses either, ask my wife 

    fun should come for engagement and learning where both take compromise sometimes and not just on the pay up side.  Arguably my favorite Coin is one of my worst. But buddies and I discovered, researched and conversed endlessly about its Arcane die pairing. This type of perfection (engagement & learning) is what I think brings out the best in hobbiest, but there are many ways to play a fiddle. 


  • edited January 1
    I would have this approach with gold, but not with silver. I’m ok with buying a CAC reject that is a great looking coin that might be slightly over graded per CAC standards but not Grading company standards. 
  • Catbert said:
    I would have this approach with gold, but not with silver. I’m ok with buying a CAC reject that is a great looking coin that might be slightly over graded per CAC standards but not Grading company standards. 
    It’s a good point, the severity of the detriment is an important variable. Overgraded if fine depending on price, tooled can be a money trap
  • edited January 2
    Catbert said:
    I would have this approach with gold, but not with silver. I’m ok with buying a CAC reject that is a great looking coin that might be slightly over graded per CAC standards but not Grading company standards. 
    Yes I agree with you as I own a coin that has minor pvc, white and inert in a 20 year holder that has exceptional eye appeal nonetheless. I also own a beautiful standing liberty quarter that has very minor leg friction in MS 64 net graded that really is a 66. While I would prefer CAC I would not sell these 2 coins till I find a better coin that could also meet CAC standards 
  • edited January 2
    Gazes said:
    I had collected for quite awhile before deciding that I would only collect coins approved by CAC (except in special situations).  The decision was based on several reasons but one in particular.  I bought one gold coin and did all the right things.  Worked with one of the best dealers in the country.  Viewed it in hand.  Of course it was slabbed.  Great eye appeal.  Price seemed very fair.  At some point I send my first 20 coins in to CAC and I "knew" this one would sticker.  Others did but this one came back with a note saying "puttied"!   Everyone is different but I did not want a puttied coin in my collection.  I also realized what I was doing needed an added layer of scruitny--CAC.  It didn't mean I still wouldnt view coins myself, look for eye appeal, work with dealers, etc but CAC became a requirement for me.

    So I thought going this route would help with avoiding coins that were doctored.  But there was an added benefit to my new criteria--- I learned patience!  I collect gold and proof gold.  CAC is really tough on these.  Before if there was a tough date and it came up for sale I would usually makes excuses to buy it since I knew that date was hard to find.  I would say things like "well it's not all there but it's better than nothing" or "well the price is a bargain" , etc.  Next thing you know you have a bunch of coins that are exceptions.

    When I switched to CAC only I quickly learned that the gold coins I collected simply did not show up very often with CAC approvoal.  I was tempted regularly with non CAC examples but held firm and waited.  I learned patience.  I know because of CAC I avoided alot of mistakes.    Best of all,  taking my time I built a collection with no compromises.
    Great point. While most of my collection passed CAC as I was very conscious of quality and eye appeal I missed pvc and high point friction on a few. I never realized TPG services allow for some pvc and net grade some uncirculated coins with  high point friction. I learned from AJ. Now I will look more carefully at TPG coins before I purchase. 
  • Gazes said:
    I had collected for quite awhile before deciding that I would only collect coins approved by CAC (except in special situations).  The decision was based on several reasons but one in particular.  I bought one gold coin and did all the right things.  Worked with one of the best dealers in the country.  Viewed it in hand.  Of course it was slabbed.  Great eye appeal.  Price seemed very fair.  At some point I send my first 20 coins in to CAC and I "knew" this one would sticker.  Others did but this one came back with a note saying "puttied"!   Everyone is different but I did not want a puttied coin in my collection.  I also realized what I was doing needed an added layer of scruitny--CAC.  It didn't mean I still wouldnt view coins myself, look for eye appeal, work with dealers, etc but CAC became a requirement for me.

    So I thought going this route would help with avoiding coins that were doctored.  But there was an added benefit to my new criteria--- I learned patience!  I collect gold and proof gold.  CAC is really tough on these.  Before if there was a tough date and it came up for sale I would usually makes excuses to buy it since I knew that date was hard to find.  I would say things like "well it's not all there but it's better than nothing" or "well the price is a bargain" , etc.  Next thing you know you have a bunch of coins that are exceptions.

    When I switched to CAC only I quickly learned that the gold coins I collected simply did not show up very often with CAC approvoal.  I was tempted regularly with non CAC examples but held firm and waited.  I learned patience.  I know because of CAC I avoided alot of mistakes.    Best of all,  taking my time I built a collection with no compromises.
    I have a dollar threshold over which I’ll only buy a CAC coin if I am buying based on images.  At lower price points, I have enjoyed learning how to buy coins from images that will CAC.  If I adhere strictly to my process, I enjoy success.  For some sets, however, I want coins in certain generation holders which really shrinks the candidate pool.  On those, I will buy coins that I think may have issues simply because I may never see another.  Some of those submissions can be brutal.

    I have purchased some gold that stickered, even some that gold beaned, but also a number that didn’t.  Either way, I learned something from every coin submitted.


  • Gazes said:

    I had collected for quite awhile before deciding that I would only collect coins approved by CAC (except in special situations).  The decision was based on several reasons but one in particular.  I bought one gold coin and did all the right things.  Worked with one of the best dealers in the country.  Viewed it in hand.  Of course it was slabbed.  Great eye appeal.  Price seemed very fair.  At some point I send my first 20 coins in to CAC and I "knew" this one would sticker.  Others did but this one came back with a note saying "puttied"!   Everyone is different but I did not want a puttied coin in my collection.  I also realized what I was doing needed an added layer of scruitny--CAC.  It didn't mean I still wouldnt view coins myself, look for eye appeal, work with dealers, etc but CAC became a requirement for me.

    So I thought going this route would help with avoiding coins that were doctored.  But there was an added benefit to my new criteria--- I learned patience!  I collect gold and proof gold.  CAC is really tough on these.  Before if there was a tough date and it came up for sale I would usually makes excuses to buy it since I knew that date was hard to find.  I would say things like "well it's not all there but it's better than nothing" or "well the price is a bargain" , etc.  Next thing you know you have a bunch of coins that are exceptions.

    When I switched to CAC only I quickly learned that the gold coins I collected simply did not show up very often with CAC approvoal.  I was tempted regularly with non CAC examples but held firm and waited.  I learned patience.  I know because of CAC I avoided alot of mistakes.    Best of all,  taking my time I built a collection with no compromises.

    I too collect now mostly only coins with CAC approval. Especially so in the upper echelons of my spending capacity. Patience is my weakness. I want a new coin now and the waiting kills me. From submissions, to consignments, waiting for an auction to end in 3 or 4 weeks, and even the wait for shipping after I've purchased something new. LOL. Numismatics is a hobby that requires so much patience and I hope eventually I will get better at it. CAC makes me feel better about my coin's value for the grade.
  • Patience can be a thought nut to crack. I’ve learned to be more patient (somewhat🤪) but sometimes one just has to act fast or the ship will sail. I’ve acquired some nice non CAC coins because I needed them and waiting could prove fruitless. But I don’t pay CAC prices for non CAC coins. Sometimes rare and/or beautifully toned coins come available and don’t have a “bean”. So, it’s either negotiate for a better price or pass. I usually negotiate a better price when possible. If the coin is just too expensive for what it is I’ll pass on it. Someone else will surely but it. 
  • Patience is not inaction rather it is "timing"...waiting for the right time to act.
  • jonruns said:

    Patience is not inaction rather it is "timing"...waiting for the right time to act.

    In other words, patience is timing, as in inaction, while waiting for the right time for action/to act.
  • Now that is confusing 😕 
  • Gazes said:

    Everyone is different but I did not want a puttied coin in my collection.

    I just wanted to mention that I don't think everyone is so different here ;)
  • Zoins said:

    Gazes said:

    Everyone is different but I did not want a puttied coin in my collection.

    I just wanted to mention that I don't think everyone is so different here ;)
    Ha! You would be surprised!
  • I think what @Gazes is saying (please correct me if I’m wrong) is that while not many who buy numismatic gold with values much higher than the p.m. price would knowingly buy a piece they knew had been puttied, but collectors buying these coins that don’t merit a CAC, either:
    1. Don’t understand the concept of gold being puttied, or;
    2. Convince themselves (right or wrong) that the non CAC coin they added to their collection absolutely had not been puttied!

    Steve
  • I think what @Gazes is saying (please correct me if I’m wrong) is that while not many who buy numismatic gold with values much higher than the p.m. price would knowingly buy a piece they knew had been puttied, but collectors buying these coins that don’t merit a CAC, either:
    1. Don’t understand the concept of gold being puttied, or;
    2. Convince themselves (right or wrong) that the non CAC coin they added to their collection absolutely had not been puttied!

    Steve

    With respect to puttied coins, I’m not certain that CAC is noticeably better than NGC and PCGS at detecting it. Unless the putty has changed in appearance from when it was applied, it’s not usually detectable. But once it’s changed color, it’s pretty easy to recognize.

    If/when NGC and PCGS are reviewing puttied coins that have “turned” in the holder, they’re likely to defect it, just as CAC is. The major difference is that CAC can simply decline to sticker a puttied coin, whereas NGC and PCGS are in a different position.
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