Results Of My First Submission To CAC And Images & Analysis
Lately there have been myriad threads regarding a first submission to CAC, the submission process for CAC or “guess the CAC” on the boards. Therefore, I thought it might be interesting to drag up my first CAC submission.
Many (most?) folks likely realize I am a big fan of CAC and of the small investment required to get some truly experienced eyes to review (sticker) coins at a much slower rate than they are reviewed (graded) through the TPGs. As with anything else though, I don’t agree with all the calls made by CAC and I believe there have been times where their communication has been lacking.
My first submission to CAC was done November 8, 2008 in-person at the now defunct CoinFest show held in CT and hosted by Laurie Sperber of Legend Numismatics. JA and company were set-up at the show and they offered to evaluate 20-coins per person for free and the coins would be returned that day. That was a pretty darn generous offer so, like anyone else, I went to the show with 72-coins to submit!
Yeah, 72 is more than 20, but if CAC wasn’t busy I assumed they would look through all of them. Also, I had known JA and company for more than a decade at that point and I knew they would be generous with their time and appreciate the market penetration.
One of the coins I guessed green correctly on was this 1795 DBSE dollar in a PCGS EF40 holder.
This is the point where things get geeky. I’m a scientist and thought it would be cool if I predicted the CAC results prior to submission. We know how it would have gone otherwise…if I hadn’t predicted the results then I’d have gone through the box and said “I assumed that would green…I thought that would fail…I knew that would gold…etc…” With that in mind I prepared a two-page Word document and emailed it to Mark Feld on October 26, 2008. In this way there was a written record of the coin-by-coin prediction. TOTAL SCIENCE GEEK!
Mark received the email, presumably read it, perhaps didn’t fall asleep due to its length and dryness, recovered his breath from laughing so hard and then politely responded with-
“I looked at your list and comments. As nice as I imagine most of your coins must be, I would still be shocked if you receive as many green and gold stickers combined as you are estimating. I look forward to being mistaken, however.”
The list actually contained a few more coins than the 72-submitted, but I sold those in the two-week gap. Although the Word document has a detailed list of each coin and its prediction, I will absolutely not hammer everyone with the details. The aggregate totals are below-
I guessed gold for this 1921 WLH PCGS VF25 OGH, but didn't get it.
This would have been a 97.2% sticker rate that included a 6.9% rate for gold stickers. Yes, I know, there is a word for that…“hubris”. The coins went through and these were the results-
I guessed green for this 1946-S WQ PCGS MS66, but was pleasantly surprised with gold.
The results were pretty darn close, but not exact. The overall sticker rate was lower at 94.4%, but the gold sticker rate was higher at 11.1%. Overall, I was pleased.
A few notes on the results and/or process-
1) The coins submitted ran the gamut from early Federal silver to gem nineteenth century type to superb mid-century silver. I did not submit scores of low hanging fruit (proof Franklin half dollars, late date MS Mercury dimes or 1938-D Buffalo nickels). If I had, then my gold sticker rate would have gone up.
2) Many of these coins were either submitted for certification or purchased in the 1990s, which means the pool of coins that I was choosing from was a bit different than would be found today since many of these coins would have been resubmitted in search of a higher grade or might already be tucked away in collections.
3) None of the coins that I predicted would receive a gold sticker actually received a gold sticker.
4) Fifteen-years later, I still own 40 of the 72-coins submitted. None have been regraded in that time.
5) The only gold-stickered MS66 Barber half dollar was in that group and I still own it.
6) My green and gold sticker rates have dropped only a small amount over the last decade and a half.
7) Some folks have mentioned that CAC has gotten tighter since the launch of CACG, but my small dataset submissions in that time has not shown much difference.
8) I strongly believe it was easier in 2008 to have a high success rate at CAC than it is today, especially if one is looking at $500+ coinage because so much of what is offered today has already cycled through the process whereas it was all new in 2008.
9) The CAC booth was not terribly busy at the CoinFest show and many folks there were not interested in taking CAC up on their offer, even if they brought nice coins with them.
10) My success rate at CAC was not universal at all as there were other dealers and collectors who submitted similar types of coinage and who received sticker rates of 20% or less.
11) Alas, Mark was correct, I did not receive the guessed 70 coins to receive green+gold stickers, only 68-coins.
In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson