Monday, March 10, 2014

Rick’s Pedigree Coins – Stack’s Bowers Numismatics – Coin Photos

I pointed out in my last blog that Stack’s Bowers auctions refuses to show the full slab of coins they are marketing.  Why they refuse to give full product disclosure for the items that they are offering for auction is beyond me, but I would like to point out two cases of where showing the full slab is important:

First, glance at this auction item featured by AANtv (America’s Auction Network).

The description by the AAN is:  1882-S Morgan Silver Dollar Fitzgerald Collection MS66/NGC”

Now by seeing the full slab I can identify at least 3 errors.

1.  The label of the coin identifies the coin as an 1881-S, not an 1882-S. 

2.  The actual coin in the slab is dated 1880.

3.  The slab identifies it as MS66, but by using NGC’s verification system I see that NGC identifies it as: 1880-S, MS63.  Viewing of the full slab allowed me to see the certification number.

So by seeing the full slab three errors are easily detected and the coin described in the listing error being sold for $499.77 is all of a sudden worth around $70.

This listing and the errors were brought to the attention of NGC and they promptly handled with the America’s Auction Network to have the coin returned and errors corrected.  Typo’s happen and we all make them.  To NGC’s credit, they responded immediately after receiving notification of this error.  It is easy to see why NGC is so well respected in the numismatic field.  My only purpose in using this example is to illustrate why it is important to see the entire slab.    

Incidentally, if you are purchasing any pedigree coin with a premium value, I would suggest you use either NGC’s verification system or PCGS’s verification system.  

Here is another example I saw on Ebay last week covering a coin with the GSA pedigree:

The title describes the coin as:  $1 1883 S MORGAN NGC MS 62 GSA HOARD PL FIELDS”

 A quick look at the full slab shows the GSA pedigree coin as 1880-S, not 1883-S.  This is another example of the importance of showing the full slab.

I sent the seller a quick note as a “heads-up” about the error in the title and he immediately canceled the listing.  The seller has an amazing feedback and I am sure it was a simple typo’.  We all make them and his quick action supported my believe that nothing ill was attended.  I am only referencing this incident to further illustrate the importance of showing the full slab.  Now if Stack’s would make this mistake, you would end up paying $1,500 for a coin that is only worth $45 to $50.

Everyone makes typo’s.  I have seen them on all the major auction sites by being able to see the full slab.  And every time I see one from reputable vendors, they pull the coin or if they can, immediately correct the error.  The only time I do not see immediate correction is on Ebay by shady sellers that are trying to scam buyers.  And in these cases, I do notify the seller of errors and when no action is taken, advise Ebay.  But Ebay does nothing about it, so be sure to use utmost caution when buying pedigreed coins on Ebay. 

Now on Stack’s, I really don’t know what their problem is in providing full slab pictures.  I don’t know if they are lazy or just don’t understand the importance.  Whatever it is, it is worse than the scammer on Ebay.  At least with the Ebay scammer you can see the full slab so you have a fighting chance.    

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