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Eye Appeal – Revisited


In our March-April 2019 issue of the Rare Coin Market Report, we ran an article on Eye Appeal and its impact on today’s coin market. We received a substantial amount of feedback on that topic, and due to this widespread interest, I thought we’d revisit the subject. We looked at some recent sales of high-grade Walkers, and the results were eye-opening, to say the least.

Keep in mind that all the examples illustrated were graded identically by PCGS, and CAC stickers accompanied each coin. From the standpoint of timing, all sales were in relative proximity to each other so any movement in the market was minimal. In essence, all variables except for the appearance of the coin itself were eliminated. The PCGS population on these coins ranges from 20 to 85 pieces, so none are unique or even close. The exact population of those with a CAC sticker is unknown* however at least two exist by virtue of their listing here.

While it has been said many times, it bears repeating that aside from intrinsic value, a coin is worth only what someone else will pay for it. Of course, this begs the question of the value of price guides. How would one assign a value to a high-grade Walker? "Splitting the difference" between these realizations doesn’t work well, as it often yields a value nowhere close to where any example has sold. Going with the lower value insults the owner or seller of a colorfully toned coin while going with the higher value potentially harms buyers who are sold a coin without such spectacular color.

The purpose of the following illustrations is simply to present the reality of today’s market trends. We leave it to the reader to make the necessary observations and draw the appropriate conclusions. There are no "right" answers.

1942-S Half Dollar PCGS MS66+ CAC

Click to enlarge.

While the coin on the left is certainly not "blast white," it is nowhere near as richly toned as its counterpart on the right that brought five times the price.

(*The CAC pop report does not list "plus" grades separately, nor does it differentiate between PCGS and NGC certified coins.)

1943 Half Dollar PCGS MS67+ CAC

Click to enlarge.

A similar story here – the piece on the left certainly boasts some attractive colors though not quite as spectacular as the one on the right. oes it seem 3.5X as pretty to you?

1944 Half Dollar PCGS MS67 CAC

Click to enlarge.

What value would you assign to a 1944 Half Dollar in PCGS MS67 CAC? $1,000 or $10,000?

1945 Half Dollar PCGS MS67+ CAC

Click to enlarge.

It appears that the deeper the toning, the higher the price?

1946 Half Dollar PCGS MS67 CAC

Click to enlarge.

Our final example does not quite boast the percentage difference as the others, but I’d say triple the price is significant – wouldn’t you?

I hope this short article has been informative and has been helpful in illustrating some of the important trends in today’s coin market. As always, your thoughts and feedback are welcome.

This article is from the current July/August Rare Coin Market Report. To continue reading this issue, please visit the digital version for the Current Issue. You will be prompted to input the email address linked to your PCGS profile. All current PCGS Collectors Club members will have free access to the Rare Coin Market Report. To purchase a single issue or 1-year subscription, please visit the RCMR Homepage.

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