I am going to add in rarity to evaluating the value of a Pedigree coin with the 1881-CC Fitzgerald. First I start by assembling all the facts for the formula:
1.) Pedigree name (Fitzgerald)
2.) Date of coin (1881)
3.) Mintmark (CC)
4.) Grade (MS62)
Now I apply my purchasing logic.
1.) How has a similar coin with no Pedigree performed in recent auctions – what is the average selling price? You can use any auction site, but I use Heritage Auctions. For my selection, I enter the date, mintmark and grade. I eliminate any chart busters like coins with exceptional toning, having Pedigrees or Proof like, etc. I am using comparable coin in auction to comparable Pedigree coin except the Pedigree is not relevant at this point.
2.) What is the premium value of the Pedigree worth to me? To help me with this decision, I look at the population (census) report for the Pedigree. The Binion, Fitzgerald, GSA, Battle Creek and several others have this information available. While the population reports do change over time, they are directionally correct and assist in determining rarity. The more rare the coin in the Pedigree, the more it is worth to me.
First, for the fun of it, I check the NGC price list value and find it is $540. Now I go to Heritage’s auctions and find the coin consistently sells for $470 in auction. So $470 is my base purchase price. (Another example of why you should not rely on price guides for purchasing decisions).
Now I need to determine the “Premium for the Pedigree” value. I again reference the number one book on Fitzgerald coins on the market – Fitzgerald Silver Dollar Collection – “The Purple Gang Set” and review the basics pertaining to the coin and consult the population report. Here I find that there is a population of 29, 1881-CC silver dollars in the Fitzgerald Collection. I also see that the 1881-CC in the Fitzgerald Collection has one of the lowest populations in the CC mintmark. With such a low population comes a higher Pedigree Premium. So instead of being in the $25 to $50 range I use for a common population coin, I increase my premium value range to $75 to $150 for the rarity. If I have the coin, I would place my offer in the $75 range and if I do not have it, and want it for my collection, I would go up to the $150 premium level.
Using the formula developed, my calculation looks like:
Base Price of Coin + Premium for Pedigree = My Value
$470 + $75 to $150 = My purchase range is $545 to $620