By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics …….
I want to make it clear – this is not a self serving Hot Topics. I am writing this based upon several negatives I see happening. As many of you know, I tirelessly fight coin doctors and dealers who shill for them. For awhile, things chilled. Lately, I do not like a lot of what I see starting to happen again. The public needs a little reminder.
One thing I can proudly state: Legend and Legend Auctions do NOT deal in doctored coins. Legend Numismatics sells ONLY CAC-beaned coins to its customers for a reason. Legend Auctions has myself, Greg Cohen and George Huang always on the look out for bad coins. I assure you, we reject more coins than ANY auction house in the biz today. I can not stress enough how critical CAC is for people who can’t grade. While some experts may disagree with CAC on the grades (everyone sees coins differently), one thing you will NOT get is a doctored coin.
If you notice, all the Internet Auctions today have NO descriptions. Why? The Internet-Only crowd and eBay dudes are not true numismatists and CANNOT grade. Many (especially on eBay) are trolling for victims. I am stymied by how people think seeing an image with NO description is safe. Images LIE. You are NOT getting any bargains buying a bad coin–no matter how cheaply you pay! The big auctions houses at least have people on staff who can tell you if a coin was doctored (they will only tell you if ask directly, though).
Use common sense! If a coin is NOT CAC today, ask why. Any dealer worth their salt will have their coins CAC’d. Simple: they bring the most money (a MORE-than-proven fact). There are legitimate times when a coin doesn’t bean because of an opinion and the grade is off by 1/2 point. Those coins I green light. However, there is a higher percentage that have been messed with – and you need to stay away. Gold is the worst area, especially Saints and Early Gold. I have yet to see any Internet Auction house mention anything about funky toning or what ever… because they don’t even do descriptions! I saw one place this weekend selling a $10,000.00 doctored coin (yes, I did say something about it).
How do you know what is good and bad, whether it’s an auction or direct sale or not? If you have no way to get a real opinion, do NOT buy the coin. Always question why a coin didn’t CAC. Ask the seller to send it to CAC. If you can, have someone represent you – or even ask if the coin can be sent to you. Representation WILL save you from many disasters.
For the monies you spend on coins, you should be careful. Coin doctoring is slowly creeping back into the forefront of grading issues. Auctions clearly are the docs’ #1 route to sell these days. Be vigilante of dealers too who prefer NON-CAC coins. It’s time to cut off the money to the coin docs and the dealers who support them (again).
If you have any questions or comments, please email me at: lspeber1[ at ]hotmail[ dot ]com
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