In its five years, Certified Acceptance Corp. has had more than
429,000 coins submitted to it.
Of those coins, just 1,754 have received the coveted CAC gold
sticker. It’s a bit of a numismatic legend, in that CAC gold stickers
are infrequently found.
What kind of coin gets a CAC gold sticker? CAC founder John Albanese
describes it as a coin that could “easily green sticker at the next
highest grade level.”
He adds that the vast majority of the coins that receive CAC gold
stickers are not great rarities, but just relatively common coins that
are exceptional for the grade.
That makes sense, because if someone had a rare coin and it was
undergraded by several points, one would think that the coin’s value
would be maximized by getting the coin into the highest possible grade.
For example, in a Nov. 30, 2012, Heritage auction, a 1908
Saint-Gaudens, No Motto $20 double eagle, in a first generation
Professional Coin Grading Service Mint State 63 holder with gold CAC
sticker, realized $2,585. Comparable MS-63 examples were selling for
around $1,900 at the time and on Oct. 19, 2012, an example graded
MS-66 realized $2,525.08. This is a relatively common coin even in
Another strong price was seen when a PCGS 1936 Walking Liberty half
dollar, Proof 65 with a CAC gold label, realized $7,050 at an Oct. 18,
2012, Heritage auction. That price was in line with what Proof 67
pieces were bringing at auction at the time.
Occasionally, legitimately rare coins receive CAC gold stickers and
make it to auction. An 1896 Coronet quarter eagle graded Proof 65 Deep
Cameo by PCGS and bearing the gold sticker realized $34,500 at an
April 19, 2012, auction. An example of this issue graded PCGS Proof 65
Deep Cameo with a CAC green sticker sold for “just” $23,500 on Nov.
Yet, just having a CAC gold sticker does not mean a coin is
guaranteed to bring a crazy price.
On eBay, in a Dec. 16 auction, a PCGS Proof 64 red 1939 Lincoln cent
realized $137.50, while on eBay in a Nov. 24 transaction, a 1938-D
Indian Head 5-cent piece graded MS-65 realized $99. Both sales
resulted in strong but not exorbitant prices from collectors intending
to add a coin with a CAC gold sticker to their collection. The jumps
in price for the next higher grade for both of these issues are