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Do bidders actually understand the NGC coin grading scale?

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lilythepink

I think that all new bidders on coins should read the proper information BEFORE they place a bid. It is unfair to draw their attention to problems AFTER they have bid. Not fair on seller or buyer and would cause innumerable problems for the BoB team!

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jwither

The seller should only be responsible for accurately describing their listing, not educating the buyer. In my experience both in reviewing listings here and on eBay, sellers tend to omit information on raw coins (many in my opinion have problems that are not disclosed which is why their prices are so low) and exaggerate the scarcity of both raw and graded coins.

 

But as long as the seller provides accurate information, its the buyer's responsibility to be knowledgeable and to make up their mind what to pay.

 

On a coin such as the 2008 Mandela 5R, it is completely nonsensical to pay more than a modest price for any specimen, regardless of the grade. I would concur that it deserves a MODEST premium over other comporable and slightly scarcer coins because of the historical association, but that is all.

 

In my opinion, the prices of coins such as this one only exist because of rampant speculation and in many cases, numismatic ignorance. This coin is a conditional rarity as an MS-68 and MS-69 but is extremely common as an MS-67 and there is simply little difference between these three grades. To give readers here an indication of how common this coins is, the census population of over 40000 is only surpassed by a handful of United States coins such as the 1881-S Morgan dollar. Most US coins, even modern ones, have census populations which are a miniscule fraction of 40000.

 

And though because of the coin's theme, there is undoubtedly some genuine interest from even non-collectors, I consider it likely given the prices of other RSA circulation coins, that the collector demand is much lower than the supply. From both a collectibility and financial standpoint, I can come up with literally thousands of other coins that represent better value than this one.

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Guest Guest

BoB this is a real problem!

 

This post is aimed more at the management of BoB than general discussion and I would welcome any input from other members of the forum.

 

I just came across this listing: Graded - PROOF THAT NELSON MANDELA COINS VALUE ARE DETERMINED BY NGC POPULATION REPORT. HAPPY BIDDING!!!!!!! for sale in Durban (ID:23675565)

 

The operative word is PROOF.

 

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this sort of listing is misleading and a blatant rort aimed at the new collectors.

 

A "population report" given by a grading agencies like NGC changes from day to day.

 

The more lower graded coins submitted the higher the number that appear under the lower grading ratings. This is not rocket science. Most coins graded are of a high grading, because of their VALUE, meaning that there could be dozens of MS66 Mandela coins while there are only three MS61 (ONLY because few collectors would bother to submit lower graded coins for official certification)!

 

Unless you tamper with a coin, which is illegal, you cannot raise a coin's grading if it is impaired by a scratch etc...

 

So a higher graded coin (MS66) can only fall to a lower classification (MS61) if badly handled - never the reverse.

 

Now to take this logical discussion one stage further ANYONE who promotes lower graded coins on BoB as "rarer" (through their wording) is committing a fundamental fraud because a lower graded coin can NEVER be rarer. The new collector who buys it will be left with a lemon - not good for our hobby.

 

I am raising something which has been discussed here by many others in the past and just wish to thrown my hat in the ring.

 

This sort of listing is DAMAGING BoB's reputation because it is a blatant fraud when you understand the facts.

I hope that BoB hear what I am saying and block or cancel listings that promote low graded coins as rare when they are not. It is simple mathematics. In my eyes the fraud here is worse than the recent double listing of a coin earlier purchased on BoB by a well known collector in Durban (the ZAR 1/- discussed in the last few days).

See this thread: http://forum.bidorbuy.co.za/coins-notes-numismatist/10400-beware-new-coin-sellers.html

 

Sadly it is more damaging because the victims are a new generation of collector who do not understand or are misled by listings like this.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

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Pierre_Henri

I support you 100%

 

Now to take this logical discussion one stage further ANYONE who promotes lower graded coins on BoB as "rarer" (through their wording) is committing a fundamental fraud because a lower graded coin can NEVER be rarer. The new collector who buys it will be left with a lemon - not good for our hobby.

 

I support you 100% - this is fraud and nothing else. I could carry a Mandela R5 in my pocket for a month or three and let it shuffle and scratch against other coins untill it grades as a F15 and THEN market it as an unique coin in this grade worth even more than Donald Trump's latest hairdo (to him).

 

Pierre

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qball

Hi All

 

Whilst we do understand your concerns and agree with some of your statements, we do not believe this is fraud. The seller is offering an opinion regarding these coins and the values, based on their subjective view of the items. We will be discussing this further internally in conjunction with the new Consumer Protection Act to see if there is grounds to take further steps on this issue.

 

Kind regards

Cuan

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MsPlod

Legal opinion should be sought!

 

Graded - PROOF THAT NELSON MANDELA COINS VALUE ARE DETERMINED BY NGC POPULATION REPORT. HAPPY BIDDING!!!!!!! for sale in Durban (ID:23675565)

 

The operative word is PROOF.

 

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this sort of listing is misleading and a blatant rort aimed at the new collectors.

 

Hi All

We will be discussing this further internally in conjunction with the new Consumer Protection Act to see if there is grounds to take further steps on this issue.

 

It may in fact be necessary to seek appropriate legal opinion on this matter. The advertisement is worded in such a manner that it WILL mislead the ill-informed reader.

 

Had it been phrased something of the ilk of:

 

"Graded - proof that ill-informed members of the public are paying higher prices for low quality coins than higher quality coins because of misleading advertising"

 

Then no-one would be able to touch them.

 

Part of the truth is that much of the advertising regarding the R5 Mandela b'day coins is highly problematic. Many traders appear to be getting away daily with blatantly misleading advertising regarding the scarcity of certain grades of these coins. Just read this thread through from the initial question by design hibo and think for one minute whether a gem seller would be allowed to get away with an advert such as this:

 

EXTREMELY RARE amethyst - THE ONE AND ONLY 3.285ct SI hydrothermal on BoB - R30,000.

 

The gem sellers would be all over that seller like hot grease on a monkey!

 

Come on Uncle BoB - please make sure that the coin buyers are appropriately informed! Yes, it is up to the buyer of anything to make sure that they read, inform themselves, take the necessary steps to get up to speed with the issues, etc., etc. - but my guess is that if and when the axe falls - it will fall just as hard on BoB as it does on the trader/s who are pushing the realms of truth into total fiction!

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Guest Guest

Suggestion

 

Hi Cuan

 

I know that BoB are not coin experts but, because of your growing success in the local South African coin market, you should consider approaching a small committee of three prominent collectors to have a final arbitration on listings like this.

 

If they find it is misleading or likely to damage our hobby (as exposed time and again in this forum) then this committee could report back to you and on their advice the listing suspended and, in repeat offence scenarios, the seller banned.

 

Hell you ban members for misbehaving on this Forum! I know this first hand.. lol (ouch.. did I say that!)

 

I am sure that you have enough contacts in the local numismatic community to approach three knowledgeable members (preferably not dealers) to advise you on matters like this. I am sure that they would do this at no charge and in the interests of their hobby. (I would strongly suggest that their identities be kept secret).

 

If you took up this suggestion and implemented it you would be leading the minor coin auction sites worldwide and be adding a dimension that even Heritage and Sothebys would be envious of.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

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MsPlod

Dear Uncle BoB...

 

It still boggles my mind how the grading census reports are being used to determine supposed rarity in the lower grades.

 

It is clear that the bidders do not understand the NGC coin grading scale and then the census reports are being used to fool them even further into thinking that a certain grades makes for a scarce coin.

 

They just don’t seem to realize that they are buying a 1 of millions coin and not a 1 of 30 as the seller is making out.

 

Totally ridiculous !

There really does need to be some buyer (and seller) education.

 

I wholeheartedly second the idea of some sort of expert reference group (committee, etc.) to feed back to BoB on the validity of advertising. Great suggestion NDOA18 :D

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4kids

The real heartache here is that these Mandela 90th Birthday Coins are not being bought for their numismatic value or as a collectable, but many buyers are are led to believe that these are rare investment coins.

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Bellcoin

A bit of history here!

 

I started collecting coins about 3 years ago, and my very first purchase was, take a guess, a Mandela Coin, I bought piles thinking, AND READING THE AUCTION DESCRIPTIONS, I believed I was on my way to the investment of a lifetime, just could not go wrong. I was buying graded in bulk! Started reselling and BANG went that idea!

 

Nevertheless I weathered the storm, got rid of the coins, admit that I do still own a couple, gave a pile away, and have made a couple of rand on the coins when I wised up on how to do it - made money a grand total of once! Unfortunately not everyone is in the position to write off money. I do not trade in Mandela coins anymore!

 

I collect ZAR, Gold and silver, still not making money, but oh so much happier. And am pretty sure that in ten years time I will make a return!

 

Moral of the story - I would have saved a pile with some research (my fault) and most of all accurate auction descriptions and and less hype! I speak from experience.

 

I see almost every other day another new buyer spending big money, on which in effect is a mass circulation coin. 20 years time - worth 5 bucks, nothing more, nothing less.

 

With tears in my eyes - how can the 2008 Birthday Mandela be an investment.

Enlighten me?

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qball

Whilst we do understand the controversial nature of this topic, many sellers, especially who deal in collectable goods, in many instances offer a subjective opinion regarding their items, this is not always an attempt to mislead buyers, they honestly believe that what they are selling is collectable and will be an investment. Yes, there are those that may not adhere to the code of ethics many others have, however, we cannot be drawn into an emotional debate about this topic.

 

We have to look at it from a legal and business point of view. Having said that, it is also a buyer's responsibility to ensure they educate themselves before making the decision to purchase. Yes, the seller has a responsibility to ensure the item is listed accurately and correctly described, the onus is on both parties to act responsibly.

 

Thank you for the suggestion about a committee etc. however, there are many pitfalls to this, objectivity and financial interest from buyers and sellers being a big concern. Even if they are not dealers, most people will have a vested interest in the outcome, either from a Buying or Selling perspective. We see many debates and arguments on the forum and people do not always see eye to eye on these issues due to their own interests not being considered. Our business is not to be experts in these fields, we provide a market place or trading platform for buyers and sellers to interact and transact.

 

Once the new CPA comes into being, sections 24, 29, 40, and 41, all sellers will have to comply with the Act. However, this needs to be done in consultation with the regulations and penalties once they are established.

 

As we have already stated we will be looking into this to decide what course to take. In the mean time, as many suggested, if you want to draw up a set of guidelines/buyers guide, we will be happy to look at it and put it on the site, bearing in mind we in no way endorse it or enforce it.

 

Thank you.

Cuan

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4kids
A bit of history here!

 

 

With tears in my eyes - how can the 2008 Birthday Mandela be an investment.

Enlighten me?

 

 

With tears in your eyes you ask this question, Just imagine the tears when one day these buyers find out that the coin they paid R 50 000.00 for can not even buy them a loaf of bread in todays terms.

 

Imagine the consequences that would result broken up and impoverished families.

 

Don't get me wrong, these coins are collectables and has a place in any numismatic collection or thematic collection as I myself have graded coin of the 90th Birthday coin and every other Mandela related piece. It is my opinion that at best any 90th Birthday coin graded as a MS "Mint State" is worth in numismatic terms from R 400.00 to R 1200.00 considering the cost of grading and factored into the coins value. Anything less than MS a simple face value of R 5-00.

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Guest Guest
As we have already stated we will be looking into this to decide what course to take. In the mean time, as many suggested, if you want to draw up a set of guidelines/buyers guide, we will be happy to look at it and put it on the site, bearing in mind we in no way endorse it or enforce it.

Hi Cuan

 

As an option why not have a prominent button/link on the home page of the coin category called something like "IMPORTANT ADVICE FOR NEW COLLECTORS" linking to a new sticky on this forum headed - something like:

 

"New to the hobby? Before bidding please read the posts below on the tricks and traps of collecting".

 

The first post could include ten key pointers which could then be expanded on by members of this forum - and include current examples of misleading and deceptive listings.

 

I think that this action could assist BoB in the event on any possible legal challenge at a later stage and also appease many of my fellow collectors who are outraged by what they see here from time to time.

 

It would also give new collectors a clear direction on their new hobby.

 

My suggestion for the ten points are as follows, I would ask other participants to offer alternative suggestions:

1) Be informed before bidding any amount on a coin.

2) Start small - don't pay much, develop an interest and study your area before spending more than ZAR1,000 on a single purchase.

3) Join a coin club or watch this forum ask questions here and get free advice from experts.

4) Do not believe everything you read on the coin listing, sometimes statements are made to encourage you to pay more than you should.

5) Never buy a coin on an emotional basis. Always think your buying decision through before placing a bid.

6) Never borrow money to pay for a coin, only use money that is saved or not needed for day to day living.

7) Never rush into buying a coin. The auction tells you how much time is left before it closes. Get or print out the details of the coin listing - and speak to an expert before placing a bid.

8) Most new collectors start by paying too much for coins - don't fall into the trap through being poorly informed.

9) A poorer graded coin can NEVER be worth more than a higher graded coin - regardless of the "population" report given by grading companies. Many collectors are caught in this trap by spending too much money on low graded Mandela coins.

10) The older pre-1965 South African coins include gold and silver so they often have an intrinsic metal value.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

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Bellcoin

 

Don't get me wrong, these coins are collectables and has a place in any numismatic collection or thematic collection as I myself have graded coin of the 90th Birthday coin and every other Mandela related piece. It is my opinion that at best any 90th Birthday coin graded as a MS "Mint State" is worth in numismatic terms from R 400.00 to R 1200.00 considering the cost of grading and factored into the coins value. Anything less than MS a simple face value of R 5-00.

 

I agree that the coins have a place in a numismatic collection, and I agree that anything below MS is worth R5.00, full stop.

 

My gripe is with the issue of whether the coin is an investment of not, many a buyer believes that these are investments - that they are NOT, I paid about R750.00 two years ago for a graded birthday coin, sold it for R100.00 = R650.00 down the drain. If i am not mistaken the first MS68 sold for about 100k. mmmmm

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Dulal
A bit of history here!

 

I started collecting coins about 3 years ago, and my very first purchase was, take a guess, a Mandela Coin, I bought piles thinking, AND READING THE AUCTION DESCRIPTIONS, I believed I was on my way to the investment of a lifetime, just could not go wrong. I was buying graded in bulk! Started reselling and BANG went that idea!

 

Nevertheless I weathered the storm, got rid of the coins, admit that I do still own a couple, gave a pile away, and have made a couple of rand on the coins when I wised up on how to do it - made money a grand total of once! Unfortunately not everyone is in the position to write off money. I do not trade in Mandela coins anymore!

 

I collect ZAR, Gold and silver, still not making money, but oh so much happier. And am pretty sure that in ten years time I will make a return!

 

Moral of the story - I would have saved a pile with some research (my fault) and most of all accurate auction descriptions and and less hype! I speak from experience.

 

I see almost every other day another new buyer spending big money, on which in effect is a mass circulation coin. 20 years time - worth 5 bucks, nothing more, nothing less.

 

With tears in my eyes - how can the 2008 Birthday Mandela be an investment.

Enlighten me?

 

Hi BELLCOIN

you must be happy. Atleast you managed to get rid of coins. In my case it looks coins will get rid of me. Anyway congratulation for this success.

Dulal

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Dulal
Hi Cuan

 

As an option why not have a prominent button/link on the home page of the coin category called something like "IMPORTANT ADVICE FOR NEW COLLECTORS" linking to a new sticky on this forum headed - something like:

 

"New to the hobby? Before bidding please read the posts below on the tricks and traps of collecting".

 

The first post could include ten key pointers which could then be expanded on by members of this forum - and include current examples of misleading and deceptive listings.

 

I think that this action could assist BoB in the event on any possible legal challenge at a later stage and also appease many of my fellow collectors who are outraged by what they see here from time to time.

 

It would also give new collectors a clear direction on their new hobby.

 

My suggestion for the ten points are as follows, I would ask other participants to offer alternative suggestions:

 

1) Be informed before bidding any amount on a coin.

2) Start small - don't pay much, develop an interest and study your area before spending more than ZAR1,000 on a single purchase.

3) Join a coin club or watch this forum and get free advice from experts.

4) Do not believe everything you read on the coin listing, sometimes statements are made to encourage you to pay more than you should.

5) Never buy a coin on an emotional basis. Always think your buying decision through before placing a bid.

6) Never borrow money to pay for a coin, only use money that is saved or not needed for day to day living.

7) Never rush into buying a coin. The auction tells you how much time is left before it closes. Get or print out the details of the coin listing - and speak to an expert before placing a bid.

8) Most new collectors start by paying too much for coins - don't fall into the trap through being poorly informed.

9) A poorer graded coin can NEVER be worth more than a higher graded coin - regardless of the "population" report given by grading companies. Many collectors are caught in this trap by spending too much money on low graded Mandela coins.

10) The older pre-1965 South African coins include gold and silver so they often have an initrinsic metal value.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

 

Hi Scott

You are absolutely right. I also beleive any coin books even a catalogue can include a chapter elaborating those points you mentioned.

Dulal

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Guest Guest

Hi Cuan

 

Any developments on the info/advice for new collectors?

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

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alloway65

On the Gemstone Forum a few years ago a set of gemstone rules and educational information was developed with a modicum of success, I for one learned a lot from the developed gemstone guidelines as a then novice gemstone buyer.

One the basis of the BoB Gemstone Guidelines certain reputable sellers referred to these guidelines on their selling pages and adhered to them, others just ignored them!

In the end certain sellers just disappeared but the “high negative rating” sellers just sold as they had always had done…..basically ignoring the basic principles of honest and factual selling!

Further certain sellers continued to parrot what their sellers had told them with regard to quality and grades of the stones they were selling and took on no personal responsibility for what they were selling.

I eventually gave up buying gemstones on BoB as even certain trusted sellers were selling Hydrothermals etc as natural gemstones and badly flawed stones as high grade gemstones!

A set of buying rules and guidelines relating to the purchasing of coins can only do well……..at least for some of buyers and certain sellers!

 

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qball

Hi All

 

You guys need to decide on what you want included, once you have finalised what you want in the guide, we will look at it and add it to the category. There needs to be consensus from the posters in this thread so that everyone agrees on what should be included and what is relevant, we cannot make that decision for you.

 

Thanks

Cuan

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Guest Guest

GO or NO? Its over to you.....

 

Hey guys and gals

 

I live in Australia... my suggestions posted on the previous page of this thread require YOUR ratification or modification. Obviously BoB are happy to accommodate OUR concerns but now the Anthony's, Alex's, Pier's, Michael's (to name a few).. need to comment otherwise it obviously ain't going to happen.

 

This is your backyard guys.. let's stop the newbies being ripped off.

 

Thanks for listening to the concerns of members Cuan.

 

This is my last post on this subject.

 

Kind regards

 

Scott Balson

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MsPlod

Could the gemstone forum guidelines be adapted?

 

On the Gemstone Forum a few years ago a set of gemstone rules and educational information was developed with a modicum of success, I for one learned a lot from the developed gemstone guidelines as a then novice gemstone buyer......... A set of buying rules and guidelines relating to the purchasing of coins can only do well……..at least for some of buyers and certain sellers!

 

The gemstone guidelines (Gemstone Selling Guide) could potentially be adapted for the coin, token, note and bullion auction descriptions. There is rather a lot in common between the two broad categories - gems and numismatics.

 

Is there a space on BoB where drafts of the guidelines could be posted for comment?

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kyle2

Hi all, being a bit of a coin collector, I thought I'd throw in my 2cents worth(sorry,couldnt help it!):D,

At the end of the day what a coin is really worth depends on how much a collector(ameteur or not) wants it and how much they are prepared to pay for it. Sellers know this and will take advantage of it if they can.

This is a tragic downfall if this person is misinformed or led to believe that it is worth more than it is, due to rediculous low grading populations. I agree that in the very short term, there is money to be made for sellers, but the true cost will only be felt by the inexperienced novice or one duped by outrageous claims made by sellers.

A public notice of some sort would be appreciated stating that buyers need to beware of buying graded coins.

Should buyers only find education in lessons hard learnt?

I'm probably just repeating what everyone has said, but there is a genuine concern here.

It probably isn't BoB's responsobility or in their best interest to post warnings all over informing people of potential pitfalls, but if there is evidently a problem then bidders, especially newbeys like myself, need to have something, some sort of guide, like "check the user forum first before bidding, or check user feedback first" type of welcome.

I don't know. Its a difficult one.

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Microtrader

where to start

 

What i am not understanding is the following - i have most of the coins in perfect uncirculated condition that some sellers are offering for up to

5 000 000 ZAR. Only thing is, mine are not certified. So what to do? where to even start with a value for sellling?

any comments will be appreciated.

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jwither

What coins do you have and what exactly do you mean by perfect uncirculated condition?

 

Most coins are not in perfect uncirculated condition when measured by the Sheldon grading scale which is what the certification companies use. Of those that are, it is only moderns. There are zero ZAR or Union coins graded MS-70 or even PR-70.

 

Also, aside from the unique 1898 "Single 9" Pond, I am not aware that any South African coin has actually sold for R5MM. If there are any others, they would only be the rarest ZAR such as one of the other Kruger "patterns".. The prices you saw must be listings on BoB which had opening bids at that price, which is an entirely different consideration altogether.

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