Question: In 1984, '85 and '86, I purchased many silver dollars and 50-cent coins from a local dealer. Every one was graded 65/65 by ANACS (American Numismatic Assn. Certification Service), and I received a "pedigree" for each, complete with picture and coin number. Last week I visited the same dealer and was told:
--The ANACS rating is no longer operative.
--It would cost $45 per coin to have them regraded.
--If--only if--the new grade is 65/65, the coins would be worth just about half what I paid for them.
Should I have them regraded? Have I been taken? What do you suggest?--P.S.
Answer: Grading services came into being precisely to prevent situations such as you've described. Unfortunately, problems have not been totally eliminated.
As an example, I heard about an early dollar that was submitted to one grading service recently and it was dubbed an MS-58. A second grading service called it an MS-65. Graded MS-58, it was a $4,000 coin. Graded MS-65, it was worth $50,000.
As a rule of thumb, coin dealers believe coins graded by ANACS during 1984, '85 and '86 were off about two grades. If so, your MS 65/65 silver dollars may actually be only 63/63. If so, they're only worth about $50 each. It's quite possible that the dealer sold them to you in good faith and that you both relied upon the grading service to determine a fair price.
ANACS has recently restructured its grading practices and has teamed with the Professional Numismatists Guild in order to standardize industry practices. The Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp. of America are other leading services. Each has its own fee schedule and following.
Should you have your coins regraded? Possibly. Get several opinions. If you decide to regrade, submit only one or two coins at a time to decide if it's worthwhile. You might want to try more than one service. The results may be surprising.
Q: I have some old coins and would like to know if they have any value. They include a large American cent, 1851; an 1895 U.S. nickel; 1955 gold piastre, Republique Libanaise; 1 new penny, 1976, Elizabeth II on the reverse; 1918 Canada 1 cent; 1944 cinco centavos; seven Buffalo nickels; 1892 half dollar, World's Columbian Exposition; 1877 trade dollar, and two 1922 silver dollars and one dated 1923.--R.V.A.
A: Your large cent is worth about $4; the Liberty head nickel is $1; the Lebanon gold is $75; the new penny has little or no value; the 1918 Canadian cent is 50 cents; the centavo has little or no value; the Buffalo nickels are 7 cents each; the Columbus commemorative is $7; the trade dollar is $50, and the silver dollars are $8 each. Prices will vary with condition.
Platinum is joining gold and silver in the numismatic market. The latest offerings include the Australian Koala (pictured), the first proof platinum coin from Australia. It contains half of an ounce of 999.5% platinum and is limited to 12,000 coins worldwide, with 3,000 allocated for the United States.
Also available is the 1-ounce platinum Panda (pictured) from the China Mint. This is the second year of issue for the Chinese coin, and it is limited to 2,000 pieces. The Koala and the Panda may be ordered from PandaAmerica, 23326 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 150, Torrance, Calif. 90505; telephone (800) 472-6327
Last week's mention of Joel L. Malter's Auction XXXIV, coming up Sunday at the Century Plaza Hotel, included his fax number instead of the direct phone number. Malter can be reached at (818) 784-7772. The auction will include some rare and important U.S. gold coins as well as choice foreign pieces.