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Results Of My First Submission To CAC And Images & Analysis

TomBTomB Posts: 20,606 ✭✭✭✭✭

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-

Guessed Fail-2
Guessed Green-65
Guessed Gold-5


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-

Actual Fail-4
Actual Green-60
Actual Gold-8


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.

Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

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

image

Comments

  • FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,745 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Tom - can you post that Word document in a PDF? I'd like to glance through it!

  • JWPJWP Posts: 16,410 ✭✭✭✭✭

    WOW -What a super submission. Must be a record for one submission. Congratulations

    USN & USAF retired 1971-1993
    Successful Transactions with more than 100 Members

  • braddickbraddick Posts: 22,838 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Outstanding.
    As always, (as shown above) I bow to greatness.

    peacockcoins

  • pursuitoflibertypursuitofliberty Posts: 6,500 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have heard that such a feat existed @TomB

    Thank you for filling us in with the details!

    I think if someone did that percentage today, even with 20 or 30 coins, most would think they were full of that hubris. I can see it happening, but the submission would have to be pretty picky. I'm sure yours was the best of what you had to consider at the time.


    “We are only their care-takers,” he posed, “if we take good care of them, then centuries from now they may still be here … ”

    Todd - BHNC #242
  • erwindocerwindoc Posts: 4,893 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Tom, you have a great eye for quality coins!

  • robecrobec Posts: 6,531 ✭✭✭✭✭

    WoW on that gorgeous 1795!!

  • BAJJERFANBAJJERFAN Posts: 30,959 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've sometimes wondered if the "best" eyes get 100% or nearly so on the sticker rate

  • DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB said:

    "...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."

    What a powerful statement!

  • cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,055 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TomB said:
    I wasn't certain if CAC evaluated chop-marked TDs, but this 1875-CC TD PCGS F15 went green-

    >

    CAC stickering chopmarked Trade Dollars is surprising given that it is post mint marks despite the collectability of some them.

    Nice coins. I am not surprised by your high concordance rate with CAC.

  • cameonut2011cameonut2011 Posts: 10,055 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I too am surprised by the seated Liberty Dime and 1932 Washington quarter. What do you think precluded the gold for both?

  • 1madman1madman Posts: 1,255 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Keep in mind that pcgs graded stricter 2008 and before, so it didn’t take as much nitpicking to select decent quality coins in for their grade in holders. If you went 90% with $20 saints in NGC holders, you’ve beaten the game.

  • lermishlermish Posts: 1,757 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cameonut2011 said:

    CAC stickering chopmarked Trade Dollars is surprising given that it is post mint marks despite the collectability of some them.

    Nice coins. I am not surprised by your high concordance rate with CAC.

    They can be great coins with evidence that they were used as intended in global trade. They have a numeric grade that CAC can judge and, on average, their surfaces are more original than most (or any) other series because they were so unpopular for so long that they weren't messed with as much.

    On a semi-related note, I have made and own more than 10% of all CAC stickered chopped T$s.

  • FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,745 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @1madman said:
    Keep in mind that pcgs graded stricter 2008 and before, so it didn’t take as much nitpicking to select decent quality coins in for their grade in holders. If you went 90% with $20 saints in NGC holders, you’ve beaten the game.

    Can you ever say anything positive?

  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,671 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very nice coins. Very pleasing thread. Thank you for sharing.

  • breakdownbreakdown Posts: 1,947 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Boosibri said:
    I miss your sale lists Tom. You have a great eye.

    Amen. I had no idea how good I had it when I could buy from TomB and Mark Feld.

    Here is one I bought from Tom and (what was i thinking!?) later sold.

    Around here somewhere I have my submission form from my first trip to Far Hills - full of Buffalos and Walkers. I had a pretty good sticker rate, but nowhere in the ballpark of Tom or TDN.

    "Look up, old boy, and see what you get." -William Bonney.

  • zer0manzer0man Posts: 30 ✭✭✭

    You da man.

    DOG acolyte

  • GoldbullyGoldbully Posts: 16,793 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Congratulations, certainly deserving of a......


  • BarberianBarberian Posts: 2,875 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's my mentor, kicking CAC butt! I've always admired your eye @TomB for nice coins, and your ability to articulate the attractiveness of, and your passion for choice, original coins.

    3 rim nicks away from Good
  • AngryTurtleAngryTurtle Posts: 1,548 ✭✭✭
    edited February 11, 2024 7:17AM

    @TomB said:

    I asked JA later why these two coins didn't receive a gold sticker and he said both were pretty coins with great eye appeal and worth MS66 money, but they weren't good enough to be CAC gold stickers at MS65. That was a pretty simple answer, but remarkably to the point.

    An interesting gradation, that I would have assumed did not exist - e.g. I would have thought all coins worth the next grade up would go gold.

    Another related interesting tidbit from this exercise is that arguably Toms biggest difference from CAC was in Gold stickers. He came pretty close to getting the the number right, but went 0 for 5 or 8, depending on how you want to score it in picking which ones got it.

  • mattnissmattniss Posts: 543 ✭✭✭

    1.5 grades up tends to be the accepted gradation and market dynamics for coins with a gold bean despite the belief that it's defined as one grade up. I'm pretty sure I've heard a story here on the forums about a gold bean coin being re-submitted and the coin went up 3 grade points. :o

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,606 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AngryTurtle said:

    @TomB said:

    I asked JA later why these two coins didn't receive a gold sticker and he said both were pretty coins with great eye appeal and worth MS66 money, but they weren't good enough to be CAC gold stickers at MS65. That was a pretty simple answer, but remarkably to the point.

    An interesting gradation, that I would have assumed did not exist - e.g. I would have thought all coins worth the next grade up would go gold.

    Another related interesting tidbit from this exercise is that arguably Toms biggest difference from CAC was in Gold stickers. He came pretty close to getting the the number right, but went 0 for 5 or 8, depending on how you want to score it in picking which ones got it.

    I think @AngryTurtle brings up an interesting point with respect to my whiffing on the guessing of gold stickers.

    What we have to keep in mind is that I had seen exceptionally few CAC-stickered coins up to that point and only owned a single CAC-stickered coin in my collection. I had known JA and company for 15-years or more at that point and I also knew that I graded along the same lines as JA and company, but my "line in the sand" for certain grades or certain surface properties was slightly different (depending upon the grade and/or surface property) than that for JA and company. We largely overlapped far more than most folks overlap, but there were (and still are) some points where we disagree at the margins.

    That is where the CAC gold sticker misses came from; coins on the margins. In particular, I grade WQs about a third to a half point tighter, on average, than PCGS while I grade them even tighter relative to NGC. I had not known where the CAC gold sticker line was and so at that point I was guessing at the margins. So, the 1946-S and 1949-D MS66 WQs received CAC gold stickers while I guessed green, but if I had provided the entire content of the email I sent to Mark Feld you would notice that I wrote that they were undergraded as MS66, but did not feel they met what I interpreted as the CAC standard for a gold sticker at that grade. Really, it was a miss at the margins.

    Similar things can be written about the other coins that did or did not receive a CAC gold sticker. As for the VF25 1921 WLH that only received a green sticker, I asked JA and he agreed that the coin was a VF30 or VF35, but he didn't want to give it a gold CAC sticker unless it was really pushing hard on EF40. Perhaps that stance has changed with time, but when I submitted the coin the line was there.

    More images to keep it interesting-


    This 1839-O Reeded Edge half dollar PCGS EF45 received a green sticker.


    As did this 1836 Gobrecht dollar PCGS PR10.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

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

    image
  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,470 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Tom, I think you have an employment opportunity! :);)

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • logger7logger7 Posts: 7,939 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 13, 2024 6:54AM

    I was set up Coinfest. I was not "with it" realizing that cac was something to take advantage of and I had a lot of coins I would have submitted had a friend strongly recommended it. Vic Bozarth who is now with Heritage smartly cherry picked a few coins I had there. Stamford, CT was the headquarters of some major hedge funds--you'd think that the big money would have bought a lot there but I have not found that to be the case though Steve Cohen who owns the Mets has a stake in PCGS.

  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 11,700 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 12, 2024 4:04PM

    @logger7 said:
    I was set up Coinfest near Irma Kane who is now married to Doug Winter. I was not "with it" realizing that cac was something to take advantage of and I had a lot of coins I would have submitted had a friend strongly recommended it. Brett Bozarth who in now with Heritage smartly cherry picked a few coins I had there. Stamford, CT was the headquarters of some major hedge funds--you'd think that the big money would have bought a lot there but I have not found that to be the case though Steve Cohen who owns the Mets has a stake in PCGS.

    I don’t know of a Brett Bozarth. And while Vic Bozarth worked at Heritage at one time, he’s been gone for about two years.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

  • Eldorado9Eldorado9 Posts: 2,062 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great post Tom. There is a reason that I want every coin you post.....They are all gorgeous. You have a great eye buddy, and I know you have honed it over many years. Thanks for being a positive presence here on the Board.

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