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How to value my coins, PCGS, CAC etc

Just a garden variety coin collector here with a few questions of how to value my coins. Appreciate any help, thank you

1) I use PCGS and or NGC “values” for my coins and assume these are closer to retail price. If I want a value of my collection how much of a “hair cut” do I use to get a fair value between CDN bid and retail? I realize there is a big difference between where I can sell them and buy them, so-10% or 15% as a mid value?

2) Nowhere I know of gives a value for CAC? How much % should I add for CAC?

For reference I collect mostly proof V nickels (65 area) and MS Barber 25 60-65. Thanks again



  • Thanks did not know that about CAC! So are they pretty close to fair value, I assume PCGS and NGC are high, but may be wrong? Again I get “fair value” is not a great term but looking for a middle of the road to CDN bid and selling prices.

  • semikeycollectorsemikeycollector Posts: 829 ✭✭✭✭✭


    I can't speak to the different series that you have collected, but I have been through the experience of selling some of my coins. What we have in common is that I have sold some scarce and rare date circulated Seated Dimes and dollars. So our coins are not the common type that one finds at every coin show. I have had different types of results. Selling information include how to value them. Sorry for any TMI.
    1. If you sell directly to a specialty collector and are not in a rush, it is reasonable to ask what similar coins have gone for at auction. This is the true value and will be somewhat different from trends. See PCGS coin facts. This has a few caveats: How closely does the quality of your coin match what's been auctioned? From this you can make a fair estimate, either up or down. Also if the last auction was a few years ago and trends has risen, factor in a fair amount in addition for yourself. As for CAC, I'm not certain what the fudge factor may be, but eye exceptional appeal can give the coin a good value boost. I think that the trends in the CAC report are not especially accurate. Also it's worth to check if your coins are of any special varieties.
    2. Even if you sell a group of coins directly to an honorable dealer, chances are you will get about 80% of auction. I was in a hurry and went this route recently. It is good to take your time. It is possible that a specialty dealer will off slightly more to buy the coins outright.
    3. Perhaps find a specialty dealer in your coin series, who sells on a reasonable commission. They will generally tend to ask more money that you will and may be the best way to do this.
    4. Auction like GC and Heritage are a way to move a lot of coins, but you don't know how the crowd present will feel about or if they will really notice your coin.

  • Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,205 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 15, 2022 11:42AM

    While I refer to TPG price:

    I also refer to CDN CPG (Retail Price guide). It is based on CDN bid and also has values for CAC coins. It is free and has an app. I have the app on my phone along with the Pcgs app / inventory manager.

    I recommend you get the app on your phone or PC. You can also buy the currently quarterly published booklet CPG and CAC CPG price guide off eBay or subscribe to qtrly publication.

    Coins & Currency both US and World
  • ambro51ambro51 Posts: 13,529 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Less than 1/2 of ANY published “value”.

  • WaterSportWaterSport Posts: 6,655 ✭✭✭✭✭

    They call it a price "Guide" for a reason. But I agree, if you looking at values and can find recent sales at Great Collections or Heritage in their Sales Archives you will have a better real time market opinion of the coins you have.


    Proud recipient of the coveted PCGS Forum "You Suck" Award Thursday July 19, 2007 11:33 PM and December 30th, 2011 at 8:50 PM.
  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ambro51 said:
    Less than 1/2 of ANY published “value”.

    ...and if they are in any way "ordinary" 1/2 may be high.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 1,463 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For the coins you list as your main collecting interest, Look at auction prices realized on this site. Prices will be all over the place, especially over time. Examine the photos of the actual coins, deduct about 20% from your best guess based on recent averages and similar appearing coins. Works pretty well for me on average when I have sold at auction, some do better, some worse.


    Thank you for the feedback although the 50% or more below I have to assume are sarcastic, would imply a $1,000 purchase is instantly worth $500 or less, not a sustainable business model apart from QVC and home shopping networks.

  • Cougar1978Cougar1978 Posts: 7,205 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 16, 2022 2:49PM

    I find using CPG very handy and reliable.

    One reason it based on CDN bid developed by seasoned professionals in the business reflecting real market trades. Auction results can vary between what somebody gave it away for or grossly overpaid in a bid war. In addition auc houses have juice which will lower what the consignor gets where he is doing well to even realize 80 pct CDN bid. CPG offers me a consistent base in sync with CDN Bid.

    My offers online or from table at shows based on a pct of CPG. Another factor which weighs in is what can I get it from the wholesaler for. Plus I check PCGS Mkt report.

    Right now plan take CPG / CAC Combo Quarterly retail coin & PM price guide for $6 / mo or $65 per yr. Works for me!

    In addition have PCGS Market Report which gives PCGS MV and total pop (in all grades) for an issue (very important stat).

    Coins & Currency both US and World
  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,593 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For insurance purposes, use the highest published guide you can realistically justify.

    For an estimate of potential retail value..... it depends. If you get in a situation where you have to sell quickly, it's tougher. Assuming I can sell on my terms, I usually assume about 70-80% of PCGS Price Guide for my CAC'd coins, but the validity of that depends on the particular grade range and series you're collecting. For me it's (hopefully) a conservative estimate.

    Better than any price guide though is to use recent auction results for coins like yours. That should get you into the ballpark pretty well. Of course, keep in mind that if you sell via auction, there will be significant transaction costs.

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