I just finished looking at some upcoming auction coins. As is typical, many of the coins are the grading mistakes, or the “lucky” upgrades of the big submitters, that the dealers have a hard time selling to any collector with a loupe and at least one good eye.

Grading mistakes happen, mechanical errors (input mistakes, typos, etc.) happen, but isn’t CAC supposed to protect collectors from these screw ups?

The Proof Indian Cent shown above is graded RB and CAC certified. RB, really? Really? RB stands for red and brown. On what planet at any time of day can anyone detect the slightest smidgen of red on those surfaces. That coin could be the poster coin for BN. Full lifeless, luster-less, dull garden-soil brown!

It wasn’t the only one in the sale like that.

The California is just flat out ugly! I’ve never known any collector who wants to pay a premium to buy coins that look like that. Never once in my thirty years of being a commemorative specialist for the collector have I ever gotten a call from one of them saying, “Hey Lar, can you hook me up with some dirty, crusty, ugly commems?”

BUT, it’s the CAC look. It’s what they like, and try to force down our throats. Dirty, crusty, spotty, ugly. Original yes, desirable no. In the past, those kind of coins always had to be discounted. Now some would lead us to believe they’re worth a “CAC premium.”

That’s why a huge percentage of the dealers I know praise me for my stand on CAC. They tell me they appreciate that I have the *#%#’s to say publically what they all think, but are afraid to speak out about. Only one very vocal dealer, widely rumored to be a hidden investor in CAC, who if true, disingenuously promotes CAC as consumer protection rather than a for profit motive, has disagreed.

People, wake up! If you buy coins like the ones above, it is highly unlikely you’re going to get that CAC premium back when you go to sell. Eye appeal sells, grunge doesn’t!