Commercial Grading Commentary
Provocative article from Warren Mills (RCNH), quoted below:
Commercial Grading a Sham and a Shame
"Call it what you want, the words are interchangeable, commercial or market grading. Those of us with snow on the roof or a shine on the top of our heads call it “grade-flation.” Commercial grading relaxes strict grading standards to the point that it increases the supply so much that prices drop and continue to slide downward. A coin may have the look of an XF and you may grade it XF without punishing the coin for a wipe, nick, cleaning or scratches, however, that coin should be punished. Those of use that grew up buying wholesome original coins for the grade are appalled at the over-graded pieces that distort populations to make great coins look common. Apply the same process to mint state coins. A lustrous nice AU-58 with obvious rub ends up in a MS-61 or MS-62 holder. A nice MS-63 with noticeable naked eye abrasion ends up in a MS-64 or MS-64+ holder. Hence market grading.
You may not like it, but in my opinion C.A.C. has the potential to save the coin market by delivering to the knowledgeable collector the strict standards that they deserve not only to preserve value but hopefully to increase in value. I’d love to know how many collectors are submitting coins for cross-over to C.A.C.G. and will even take a lower grade based on true technical merit! I’m not saying that all C.A.C. or C.A.C.G. coins are fine, far from it and I will state examples later, but at least these services give the collector a better-quality product that may actually increase in value. Distorted high populations only lead to lower prices.
Even though I believe in C.A.C. and C.A.C.G., I had to decline becoming a shareholder. When John contacted me and I said I thought it would be a conflict of interest, his words to me were “I knew you would say that.” I understand all of the affluent dealers and collectors that want to take a bite of the apple. Many could care less about coins or collectors but they hope to be in on the next money-making opportunity. To me, it’s not right. I never want to lose my objectivity to help the end buyer of a coin. I think I still would be able to be objective, but my opinion could be looked at as tainted as an owner."