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Coin club auction grading committee?

logger7logger7 Posts: 8,084 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 28, 2024 6:10AM in U.S. Coin Forum

Our local coin club permits members to place items in auction and state their own grades. The problem with this is that grades are provided which in many cases are not accurate. "PL", "MS**" and the like are put on coins that are misleading and untrue. One listing last night was an 1825 half cent graded by the member as XF no problem when it was clearly a problem details coin and may have XF details. I know another club has a grading committee to review raw coins in their listings at the time of the meeting to change the description to reflect and accurate grading analysis. How do other club members deal with members listing coins in the auction?

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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,438 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Your coin club wouldn't be having this problem if they limited the auction to just PCGS CAC and CACG coins. ;)

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

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    1Bufffan1Bufffan Posts: 620 ✭✭✭

    Collectors should be able to see for themself if a coin is accurately graded if not someone in the club should give a talk on coin grading, our club also hold a small auction and it is stated "please inspect and grade all items yourself before bidding" sometime people see things differently, but you must be satisfied with yours.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would NOT have any association of the auction with the club. The meeting should be adjourned before the auction. The club should not render any opinions on the coins being auctioned - other than perhaps refusing to auction them. Do you really want your club to render an "official" opinion on a coin that turns out to cost a club member a lot of money?

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    logger7logger7 Posts: 8,084 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What I've been seeing is that the club president has been running coins he got from an auction company that has had a long run of selling over-hyped often problem coins. Members who buy them are not knowledgeable enough to recognize problem or over-graded coins.

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    nwcoastnwcoast Posts: 2,845 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @logger7 said:
    What I've been seeing is that the club president has been running coins he got from an auction company that has had a long run of selling over-hyped often problem coins. Members who buy them are not knowledgeable enough to recognize problem or over-graded coins.

    It sounds like your club president doesn’t have the best interests of the club members first and foremost.
    Utilizing their position of power to take advantage of others, to line their own pocketbook is wrong.
    Depending on your tolerance for conflict and position in the club, it may be a delicate situation to navigate gracefully.
    Some, myself included, might call them out on this, tactfully, if possible.

    Happy, humble, honored and proud recipient of the “You Suck” award 10/22/2014

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    nwcoastnwcoast Posts: 2,845 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Assembling a “grading committee” could mitigate this to some extent, though you would need to be mindful of possible liabilities.

    Happy, humble, honored and proud recipient of the “You Suck” award 10/22/2014

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    logger7logger7 Posts: 8,084 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 28, 2024 10:39AM

    @nwcoast said:

    @logger7 said:
    What I've been seeing is that the club president has been running coins he got from an auction company that has had a long run of selling over-hyped often problem coins. Members who buy them are not knowledgeable enough to recognize problem or over-graded coins.


    It sounds like your club president doesn’t have the best interests of the club members first and foremost.
    Utilizing their position of power to take advantage of others, to line their own pocketbook is wrong.
    Depending on your tolerance for conflict and position in the club, it may be a delicate situation to navigate gracefully.
    Some, myself included, might call them out on this, tactfully, if possible.

    That's why I was thinking of a couple members doing periodic grading checks in an objective way to "adjust" grades a given member has assigned. It would at least put gullible members on alert of grading discrepancies. A Massachusetts club I've attended has a couple members who do this. Other clubs will not permit any grade whatsoever to be added on raw lots. Actually the club head has a good professional day job, and is well meaning in general.

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    nwcoastnwcoast Posts: 2,845 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @logger7 said:

    @nwcoast said:

    @logger7 said:
    What I've been seeing is that the club president has been running coins he got from an auction company that has had a long run of selling over-hyped often problem coins. Members who buy them are not knowledgeable enough to recognize problem or over-graded coins.


    It sounds like your club president doesn’t have the best interests of the club members first and foremost.
    Utilizing their position of power to take advantage of others, to line their own pocketbook is wrong.
    Depending on your tolerance for conflict and position in the club, it may be a delicate situation to navigate gracefully.
    Some, myself included, might call them out on this, tactfully, if possible.

    That's why I was thinking of a couple members doing periodic grading checks in an objective way to "adjust" grades a given member has assigned. It would at least put gullible members on alert of grading discrepancies. A Massachusetts club I've attended has a couple members who do this. Other clubs will not permit any grade whatsoever to be added on raw lots. Actually the club head has a good professional day job, and is well meaning in general.

    That sounds like a pretty good solution to me. It sounds like you’re navigating this well!
    I think a good case could be made for not stating numerical grades unless TPG encapsulated as an alternative.

    Happy, humble, honored and proud recipient of the “You Suck” award 10/22/2014

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    SapyxSapyx Posts: 2,007 ✭✭✭✭✭

    At my coin club, if a member grades a coin as MS when it clearly isn't, the auctioneer - that's me, more often than not - will say "Well, I'm not entirely sure it's really MS". If the vendor doesn't like it, they need to grade better, but I'm not going to be party to blatant overgrading. Just like I won't tolerate a blatant Chinese fake being sold as genuine. Most members don't try it more than once. The vendors are anonymous; nobody (in theory) knows whose coins they are except the vendor and the auctioneer.

    In fairness, it's far more common in our coin club for the auctioneer to have to go the other way, with a vendor who's an "old school collector" who learned to grade in the 1960s seriously undergrading their coins. "VF? No way, it's more like gEF".

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

    Apparently I have been awarded one DPOTD. B)
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    jerseybenjerseyben Posts: 114 ✭✭✭

    The grading committee idea is absurd, IMO. Our local club used to let the auctioneer handle this by saying stuff like "consignor says XF". They have since changed it to only allow the consignor to state a grade if it was certified. Personally, if someone is paying strong money for an XF coin that is not XF and they are taking someone else's word for it... Then that's on the buyer. People should 1. Have a sense of how to properly grade and 2. Have enough sense to get a 2nd opinion before spending any kind of decent money.

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    logger7logger7 Posts: 8,084 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jerseyben said:
    The grading committee idea is absurd, IMO. Our local club used to let the auctioneer handle this by saying stuff like "consignor says XF". They have since changed it to only allow the consignor to state a grade if it was certified. Personally, if someone is paying strong money for an XF coin that is not XF and they are taking someone else's word for it... Then that's on the buyer. People should 1. Have a sense of how to properly grade and 2. Have enough sense to get a 2nd opinion before spending any kind of decent money.

    Unfortunately there are many members who do not really have an eye for problem coins and as usual other members don't want to rain on the parade. I'd think that not permitting grades on uncertified coins would be one solution. When members have bought a coin that are usually from the club president and balked and complained when they realize the problems, he's been willing to refund them.

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,055 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @logger7 said:

    @jerseyben said:
    The grading committee idea is absurd, IMO. Our local club used to let the auctioneer handle this by saying stuff like "consignor says XF". They have since changed it to only allow the consignor to state a grade if it was certified. Personally, if someone is paying strong money for an XF coin that is not XF and they are taking someone else's word for it... Then that's on the buyer. People should 1. Have a sense of how to properly grade and 2. Have enough sense to get a 2nd opinion before spending any kind of decent money.

    Unfortunately there are many members who do not really have an eye for problem coins and as usual other members don't want to rain on the parade. I'd think that not permitting grades on uncertified coins would be one solution. When members have bought a coin that are usually from the club president and balked and complained when they realize the problems, he's been willing to refund them.

    The club president sounds like a lot of bad eBay sellers who get away with selling over-graded and/or problem coins, largely to buyers who don't know better. And the sellers are smart enough to allow returns in the small number of instances when someone is unhappy with their purchase.

    I'm not advising anyone else to do what I would, but I'd speak up if I were aware of such a situation.

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

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    MICHAELDIXONMICHAELDIXON Posts: 6,411 ✭✭✭✭✭

    SInce the coin club is for education, and many are educational non-profit organizations, I would want the coins described accurately and not have a problem with a grading committee. It would be disingenious to allow problem coins to be auctioned without letting the bidders know of any problems. My first coin club auction, whenever I was 10 or 11 years old, was an 1864 2c graded XF. I thought it was a nice coin because an older person graded it XF. It was a slightly pitted coin with several reverse rim nicks and not worth what I paid. One of the older dealers gave me a lesson on what to look for and grading that night. I returned the coin and received a refund.

    Spring National Battlefield Coin Show is September 5-7, 2024 at the Eisenhower Hotel in Gettysburg, PA. WWW.AmericasCoinShows.com
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    MICHAELDIXONMICHAELDIXON Posts: 6,411 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jerseyben said:
    The grading committee idea is absurd, IMO. Our local club used to let the auctioneer handle this by saying stuff like "consignor says XF". They have since changed it to only allow the consignor to state a grade if it was certified. Personally, if someone is paying strong money for an XF coin that is not XF and they are taking someone else's word for it... Then that's on the buyer. People should 1. Have a sense of how to properly grade and 2. Have enough sense to get a 2nd opinion before spending any kind of decent money.

    See my post. Should I have 1. and 2. at 10 or 11 years old? Many young people and newcomers expect honesty and integrity from coin club members. Honestly, I expect it at my age!

    Spring National Battlefield Coin Show is September 5-7, 2024 at the Eisenhower Hotel in Gettysburg, PA. WWW.AmericasCoinShows.com
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    WalkerfanWalkerfan Posts: 8,974 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 29, 2024 4:10PM

    @MICHAELDIXON said:

    @jerseyben said:
    The grading committee idea is absurd, IMO. Our local club used to let the auctioneer handle this by saying stuff like "consignor says XF". They have since changed it to only allow the consignor to state a grade if it was certified. Personally, if someone is paying strong money for an XF coin that is not XF and they are taking someone else's word for it... Then that's on the buyer. People should 1. Have a sense of how to properly grade and 2. Have enough sense to get a 2nd opinion before spending any kind of decent money.

    See my post. Should I have 1. and 2. at 10 or 11 years old? Many young people and newcomers expect honesty and integrity from coin club members. Honestly, I expect it at my age!

    The problem with that is that many of the clod-hopping Yokels who attend these meetings, don’t know how to grade, themselves. They are simply trying to give their own opinion, while also trying to make money when selling the coin..

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

    My Full Walker Registry Set (1916-1947)

    https://www.ngccoin.com/registry/competitive-sets/16292/

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,952 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Walkerfan said:

    @MICHAELDIXON said:

    @jerseyben said:
    The grading committee idea is absurd, IMO. Our local club used to let the auctioneer handle this by saying stuff like "consignor says XF". They have since changed it to only allow the consignor to state a grade if it was certified. Personally, if someone is paying strong money for an XF coin that is not XF and they are taking someone else's word for it... Then that's on the buyer. People should 1. Have a sense of how to properly grade and 2. Have enough sense to get a 2nd opinion before spending any kind of decent money.

    See my post. Should I have 1. and 2. at 10 or 11 years old? Many young people and newcomers expect honesty and integrity from coin club members. Honestly, I expect it at my age!

    The problem with that is that many of the clod-hopping Yokels who attend these meetings, don’t know how to grade, themselves. They are simply trying to give their own opinion, while also trying to make money when selling the coin..

    So true. My local club has an amazing collection. We're 110 years old and men like John Jay Pittman were once members.

    About 20 years ago, the curator decided to go to the ANA summer site and complete the bust half collection. The only problem is he's mostly a paper money guy. All 4 coins he bought were cleaned.

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    leothelyonleothelyon Posts: 8,363 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Some of these old-time codgers running the local shows, one look will immediately tell you if they're playing with a full deck. So 99.9 % of the time when you see something wrong with a lot/grade of a coin it's just best to smile, maybe say, YEAH RIGHT or laugh to the guy standing next to you and then move on. It's just not worth the time and effort trying to reason with some folks. If I don't see anything of interest and this usually happens a lot, I don't stick around.

    Leo

    The more qualities observed in a coin, the more desirable that coin becomes!

    My Jefferson Nickel Collection

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,484 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 1, 2024 1:14PM

    I once belonged to a club where the club treasurer was selling counterfeit gold dollars to the president. They were really bad fakes. I pointed this out to the President who eventually got his money back. Since I was under 25 at the time, I was not a popular figure for doing that.

    As for club grading committees, I'd say you would be better off with one or two experts. Many people have no idea how to grade coins and even less knowledge of counterfeits.

    I weeded this item out of club auction when I was compiling the auction lists.


    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?

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