The value of a CAC sticker

Will it raise Eisenhower dollars?
Published : 05/14/12
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Certified Acceptance Corp.’s recent announcement that it will now accept copper-nickel clad and silver-copper clad circulation strike Eisenhower dollars for grade review led some Ike enthusiasts to say that this could revolutionize the high-end Eisenhower dollar market. That might be an exaggeration, but it certainly cannot hurt the market.

CAC began in late 2007 and evaluates coins previously certified by either Professional Coin Grading Service or Numismatic Guaranty Corp., affixing a green (or in rare instances gold) sticker with a tamper-resistant hologram to the holder if the coin meets CAC’s quality standards.

CAC stickers have been generally warmly accepted by the market and have had the greatest impact in areas where grading has been perceived to be inconsistent, such as Mint State 65 Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagles, which are trading at the $2,200 level for nonstickered coins and at the $2,650 level for coins with a CAC sticker.

CAC-stickered coins have also been embraced in areas where grading is particularly challenging, such as early U.S. coins that were produced with uneven production technologies, and in areas where coin “doctoring” is a problem, such as classic U.S. Proof gold coins.

The value of a CAC sticker in other areas where grading standards are perceived to be consistent is less easy to generalize.

General dealer and collector consensus is that CAC accurately identifies coins that are nice for the grade. Further, the presence of the sticker as an option has made coin buyers aware that quality differs even within a given grade.

A high-end market for Eisenhower dollars exists today, as evidenced by the July 8, 2011, sale by Heritage of a 1972-D Eisenhower dollar graded Mint State 67 by PCGS that realized $9,775. It was one of five examples of that issue in that grade certified by PCGS with none graded finer.

For comparison, on March 15, Heritage sold a PCGS MS-66 example for $126.50.

Will CAC stickering Eisenhower dollars create a stampede for the highest-end coins that will immediately boost prices? Likely not.

However, a CAC sticker might give a buyer greater confidence when spending a substantial amount of money on an expensive, conditionally rare, high-mintage Eisenhower dollar. ■

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