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How much over PCGS Price Guide would you pay for a spectacular coin?

MidLifeCrisisMidLifeCrisis Posts: 10,503 ✭✭✭✭✭

I know you'd need to see the coin...it depends on the coin...etc. But for the sake of discussion...let's just stipulate that you really love the coin and it is spectacular.

PCGS Price Guide says the coin is worth X. How much more than X are you willing to pay? Are you willing to pay multiples of X? Would you throw the price guide out the window and pay whatever it takes? Or do you use the Price Guide as a rule book and pass if the asking price is more than X?


  • pcgscacgoldpcgscacgold Posts: 2,510 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am willing to go 30-50% above for low pop CAC gold.

  • Wahoo554Wahoo554 Posts: 1,071 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I tend to rely on APRs much more than the price guide. I’ve seen some dealers price really special coins about 10 points higher than the guide would specify for the grade. Im ok paying the price if the coin is unique and of exceptional quality.

  • P0CKETCHANGEP0CKETCHANGE Posts: 2,039 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've paid multiples for coins with unique toning that I had to have. But I'm talking multiples off base prices of $40, not $400 or $4000. Also I don't use the PCGS Price Guide as my budget — I use recent auction values if available.

    Nothing is as expensive as free money.

  • cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 9,913 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 20, 2021 7:07AM

    I’ve bid 100x guide and been blown out of the water on occasion.

  • TheMayorTheMayor Posts: 213 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The multiple I am willing to pay for an outstanding coin is inversely proportional to the base price.

  • LazybonesLazybones Posts: 1,321 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 20, 2021 7:23AM

    @ricko said:
    Price guides give you an idea of where to start if you are unfamiliar with the coin/series... after that, it is up to you and what you can or are willing to spend. Cheers, RickO

    Rick speaketh the truth.

    I base my decision solely on recent prices realized. I find the online price guides to be inflated.

    I will add that for a particularly nice or unique appearance I will pay a premium over PR.

    USAF (Ret) 1974 - 1994 - The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. Remembering RickO, a brother in arms.

  • planetsteveplanetsteve Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭

    If it's an unc coin and it's not in a top-grade slab, like my avatar coin, triple price guide seems okay. Keep in mind that price guide for this coin is like $50. (It was in an NGC66FB holder; now it's a PCGS 67 w/o the FB designation.) I put in a nuclear bid for it -- not "double nuclear", just a mere Castle Bravo -- and I was made to pay $150. And I was thrilled. Just recently I saw an amazing 1862 10c in AU58 with spectacular album toning. It also sold, after awhile, for triple price guide.

    Here's something to think about, though: I know that nice toning factors into the grade on the label. Maybe more so than 15-20 years ago; I'm not sure. (We definitely didn't have Plus grades back then.) So I ask you fellas, should we apply my "triple it!" guideline to freshly graded coins, like these two? The first is 66+FB, the other is 67. I bought both at the same time late last year at asking price from a very nice dealer:

    I think both of these coins are fairly graded. They should not go numerically higher. I also think they were given a boost because of toning. So -- am I really sure that triple price guide should apply here?

    Before I bought the 66+FB example, it was sold on GC, in that very slab, for $360. Someone definitely embraced the triple-it ethic; in fact that was almost five times price guide. Somehow it got to my dealer, who sold it to me for just 20% over price guide, and since then PCGS' valuation increased to match what I paid.

    The 67 is a different story. I'm not aware of previous sales, and I did pay triple price guide. Toning like that is kinda rare, and people respond positively to it.

    So I don't have a ready answer or a firm guideline. One might expect to pay multiples of price guide -- but also should not expect that it is necessary to do so all the time. And once one gets up to the top grades available, it seems possible that the toning is already accounted for in the grade on the label and it is gratuitous to spend extra.

  • CocoinutCocoinut Posts: 2,488 ✭✭✭✭

    If it's a coin I need and has the right "look", I'll pay well over the price guide, especially if it seems to be undergraded or is infrequently offered. Another case would be if a particular coin is "hot", the price guide does not yet reflect the latest sales. That said, I have no problem paying 50% over the price guide for what I think is a high-end coin. I've done that, and still been outbid.

    Countdown to completion of my Mercury Set: 2 coins. My growing Lincoln Set: Finally completed!
  • WAYNEASWAYNEAS Posts: 6,117 ✭✭✭✭✭

    10% over for me as I am a shallow pocketed buyer :(

    Kennedys are my quest...

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 8,700 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I see no way to offer a set amount. Without something to attach the price to, I wouldn't be able to state a number that I would or could live with each and every time.

    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.
  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,392 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I also do not use price guides and they are almost always wrong. I also am not one to just throw the checkbook at any coin, the coins I seek are always available so there is no need to lose my shirt on one. For sure another will come along.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
  • BearlyHereBearlyHere Posts: 254 ✭✭✭✭

    I will usually hit Coin World and NGC sites for their values as well. There is frequently a spread.

  • BearlyHereBearlyHere Posts: 254 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 20, 2021 8:31AM

    I'm more of a blast white guy. Here is my one token Merc ($13 under list)

  • amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 11,269 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If it's a nice mid-grade Barber Half I do all the time. B) Put that + on the end of a 58 and I've been know to pay many multiples of the ridiculous prices PCGS says they are worth! :o

  • WalkerfanWalkerfan Posts: 8,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 20, 2021 9:40AM

    @SeattleSlammer said:
    You have to throw out the guide with the special toners......

    Same with nice Early Walkers. One of the auctioneers even stated that exact same comment right before the bidding began. Sure, he was trying to drum up business but he was also speaking the TRUTH.

    I've paid double before. That's a lot, when you're talking thousands to begin with. Likely not a real smart move from a financial standpoint, but I got the special coins that I wanted and am happy with them.....

    “I may not believe in myself but I believe in what I’m doing” ~Jimmy Page~

    My Full Walker Registry Set:


  • planetsteveplanetsteve Posts: 1,425 ✭✭✭✭

    @BearlyHere said:
    I will usually hit Coin World and NGC sites for their values as well. There is frequently a spread.

    I recently discovered that CAC puts up prices, based on "CPG." How should I rely on these? I'm guessing it's similar to PCGS' price guide and means 100% of full retail. (Great Merc by the way! If I can't get color toning, I'm happy to get undipped surfaces with white toning.)

    I thought of another cautionary example: a 1945-S merc in 67FB (can't recall whether a plus or not) with extraordinary deep blue toning on the reverse sold on GC in the last year or two for like $2200. About a year later, a gent from our forums placed the same coin and slab with a buyer while asking $1050. (If I had known about the previous auction sale in time, I would have been more likely to but it at that much lower price from a dealer.)

  • bramn8rbramn8r Posts: 687 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Any price if it's the coin you want.

  • spacehaydukespacehayduke Posts: 5,065 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've paid multiples of price guide for some coins. Great coins cost.

    Successful transactions with-Boosibri,lkeigwin,TomB,Broadstruck,coinsarefun,Type2,jom,ProfLiz, UltraHighRelief,Barndog,EXOJUNKIE,ldhair,fivecents,paesan,Crusty...
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  • DRUNNERDRUNNER Posts: 3,775 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Saturday morning . . . . down the comment list a bit . . . hoping not too many see my response as usual for my posts . .

    First . . . I have noticed through the years, in the series (s) and grades I collect, the 'wholesale' price (of an appropriately graded coin) is almost always running right around 68 - 73% of the PCGS Guide. I can bet my life on it. Sure . . you guys in the Barber Half VF-XF range . . . .Old CAC Gold . . . . 1916 Standing Lib Q in MS67+FH . . . . Lowballers . . . . Everymans (58+ guys), yeah, just chop and chew me up. Super. I am talking of 88% of the collectors who are looking for that 1870 Indian in a solid Fine. Look for that range of price and you will never be wrong. I am a realist and I don't spend my time on the 'outliers'.

    Now . . . toners. Surely. It is all about eye appeal and having a coin that REALLY dresses up a collection or a dealer's case. There is no way to value, substantiate, or predict a price. It is an ethereal realm, without any sort of (see OP) way to price a coin at "multiples". Hey . . . I own "BagBurn". It is usually thought of (including by the previous owner of the "Moose", as the greatest toned Morgan in history. PCGS Price Guide is $750. I have offers (3) at 51x Price Guide. How can this outlier be thought of in a cogent answer to the OP ???

    I digress . . . .

    Wonderful post . . .thought-provoking . . . .and a quality question. I think it prods us to think . . . but is one of those posts that wi8ll be resolved by 20-30 intelligent responses all going in different directions . . . . .


  • bidaskbidask Posts: 13,704 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If the coin is an auction and there are underbidders then anything it takes to win.

    If the coin is being offered by a dealer then I would have to research .

    I manage money. I earn money. I save money .
    I give away money. I collect money.
    I don’t love money . I do love the Lord God.

  • rec78rec78 Posts: 5,623 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Smudge said:
    How often do you have an opportunity to buy the coin, is one factor.

    Yes, I have been searching for years for some coins. When I find them, I will buy them at almost any cost, even 2-3 times listed value. Most listed values are inflated as someone else has stated. But then there are a few that make no sense at all.

  • SeattleSlammerSeattleSlammer Posts: 9,940 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 20, 2021 10:02AM

    @DRUNNER said:

    Hey . . . I own "BagBurn". It is usually thought of (including by the previous owner of the "Moose", as the greatest toned Morgan in history. PCGS Price Guide is $750. I have offers (3) at 51x Price Guide.

    But have you been offered $38,250 + unlimited Starbucks drip coffee for life ??

    Aghhhhhh BagBurn ... the reclusive beast ... deeply saturated shades perhaps now shaded in the lonely, cold confines of a nondescript SDB or soundless safe or tattered shoebox .... superlative cartwheels dormant ... neon vibrancy vanquished .... sigh 🥲

  • divecchiadivecchia Posts: 6,459 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll go between 10%-25% over the guides or recent sales, but I really have to like the coin. As of right now I've never gone over 25% and don't think I ever will.


    Hobbyist & Collector (not an investor).
    Donato's Complete US Type Set ---- Donato's Dansco 7070 Modified Type Set ---- Donato's Basic U.S. Coin Design Set

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  • yspsalesyspsales Posts: 2,025 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 20, 2021 10:54AM

    I always thought PCGS prices reflected PQ coins for the grade and series.

    Toning doesn't move the meter for me at all... but if there is a hidden unattributed variety...

    BST: KindaNewish (3/21/21), WQuarterFreddie (3/30/21), Meltdown (4/6/21), DBSTrader2 (5/5/21) AKA- unclemonkey on Blow Out

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,275 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I guess the best answer (for me) would be "as little as possible". Alas, I don't think that is what you want.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

  • santinidollarsantinidollar Posts: 1,055 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 20, 2021 6:17PM

    If one says “no more than the price guides” he’s likely cutting himself out of owning some show-stopping coins.

  • tradedollarnuttradedollarnut Posts: 20,071 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I paid like $500k over priceguide to acquire the gem 1851&1852 seated dollars. Triple the listed price.

  • retirednowretirednow Posts: 388 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Depends on a handful of criteria.

    1st ... I sign into the Heritage web site for their auction archives for the specific coin and grade you might be thinking about ... there they post several price guides for that specific piece and for 1 grade higher and one grade lower using the various CDN sheets, PCGS and NGC price guides etc. This gives your a good look at the spreads of publish prices Then I hit PCGS auction records to see over the past couple of years what others paid via auctions. This gives me a general range on what that type of coin my be valued. Then it is my hands.. , how offend is the piece on the market for the grade , how high on my collecting priority list ...and overall eye appeal -- and then is it in my budget?

    In the end there is no magic ceiling ... most of the post above suggest that if it is a very nice coin with special eye appeal then the sky can be the limit. I for one have paid in auction 2 times a price guide suggestion because I though it was worth it and underrated.

  • HydrantHydrant Posts: 7,773 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I just paid near $1k for a coin that PCGS has at $450. You do the math. It's not a spectacular coin but fits in the collection nicely and I've been waiting for one with that "look" for over 4 years. I don't mind the price at all. There was another bidder who I just barely edged out. So....I'm not the only fool. I'm happy with it.

  • Tom147Tom147 Posts: 1,289 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For me, it depends on a lot of factors. How often it comes available ?, how bad do I want it ?, is it top pop ? I won't mention the particular coin but I'm needing one coin in a particular date and grade to complete a set. Hasn't come available in two years. If/when it does, price guide doesn't mean a thing. Moon Money baby.

  • MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 31,832 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I haven't found out yet.

    I'm looking for the impossible white whale. perhaps it is a pink whale then.

    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,592 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If I want it ...What ever it takes.

  • AlanSkiAlanSki Posts: 1,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Moon money if it's crazy neon colors.

  • amwldcoinamwldcoin Posts: 11,269 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I couldn't have said it better!

    @scubafuel said:
    “Price guide” pulls down great coins and boosts crummy ones. Which makes sense if you think about how the price guide is set up.

  • KindaNewishKindaNewish Posts: 827 ✭✭✭✭✭

    for the right coin, lots

    check out the 1950 5c in PF68

    most ever recorded before I noticed this is about $270
    I bid 5x PCGS guide for this wonderful coin and was so very grateful that I was the high bid. (tanks @badger).
    I've had a few offers for this through the Heritage site for many thousand more.

    one of the stars of my set . Pop 3/0 in rattler plastic.

  • Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,189 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 21, 2021 9:21AM

    It depends on if the play is there - what I think I can sell it for. Let’s say pg says $150 but I think it’s a $300 coin or much more. Price guides while a guide not an absolute for me. An exceptional coin that is really low pop, PQ, super toner I just buy it then mark up cost plus. Sometimes some PL (pathetic loser) tire kicker will quote bid or pg. I simply ask them “have one sell me at that?” Stuffs them in the backfield / Shuts them up every time.

    I have a Mexico 2nd republic PCGS silver 20c PCGS 65 pop of 2 none higher. Picked from (non eBay) online auc house at $150. The Krs CV says $110 MS60. One would be incredibly stupid go by that. At the very least I think it’s a $2500 coin. It’s USA counter part (same pop) a $50,000 coin. People have paid $2500 premium or more on certain stickered USA coins with much greater pops.

    Ditto on auc prices. What somebody gave away at auc not relevant for me especially if single digit pop.

    Coins & Currency both US and World
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,726 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SeattleSlammer said:
    Price guide $28

    I paid $225 and thought it was a steal.

    I’ve since been offered $700 by a fellow forumite.

    I think it would sell $1000+ if offered in a toner auction...

    It’s one of the most nuclear Washie’s I’ve encountered regardless of grade.

    You have to throw out the guide with the special toners. Morgan’s especially......

    Agree, I've bid like 50x Price Guide on common date Morgans, and lost.

  • WAYNEASWAYNEAS Posts: 6,117 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AlanSki said:
    Moon money if it's crazy neon colors.

    do you pay with moon money?


    Kennedys are my quest...

  • RYKRYK Posts: 35,710 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It really depends on a lot of factors, not the least of which is the actual PCGS Price Guide value. If it were a $500 coin, I could conceivably pay multiples. For a $5000 coin, maybe 50% more. For a $50,000 coin, maybe 10%. All of these are estimates, and it really depends on the coin, the value in adjacent grades, auction history, and how badly I want it.

    "There are no called strikes in coin collecting."--Henry David Thoreau RYK
  • DelawareDoonsDelawareDoons Posts: 3,070 ✭✭✭✭✭

    1944-S Mercs in 66 go for around $40.

    Rare plastic + Color got me to pay 9x that.

    Professional Numismatist. "It's like God, Family, Country, except Sticker, Plastic, Coin."

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