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Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:48 pm
by DHalladay
Each morning this year, as I enter previous day’s VAM sales prices into my database collected from various auction sites, the same reaction loudly shouts in my head: “What are you buyers doing!? Do you have even the slightest clue?”

What I’m talking about are common VAMs in ho-hum grades that are now regularly selling for two and three (or more) times than they did a year ago. I’ve probably entered more all-time high prices across the grade spectrum this year than I have in the previous 10 years combined. To say it’s ridiculous doesn’t come close to the lunacy that’s going on… and on and on.

This can’t be seasoned VAM collectors; they know what’s scarce and what’s not, and more or less what things are worth. So it has to be newcomers; beginners who don’t… well, who don’t know what they’re doing. And they’re doing it every single day, most often in the form of eBay Buy It Now or Make Offer listings. But not exclusively.

An auction at Heritage earlier this week was a huge example. Included in it were six Early Die State 1888-O Scarfaces, four graded by PCGS, one by NGC, and one by ANACS. Five were MS62s and one was a 63. All were attributed on the holder as Early Die State, except for the ANACS coin which said Harrison Stage 2 on the 0-10 Harrison scale. I judged four of the others to also be Stage 2, and the other perhaps being a scarce Stage 4.

Scarfaces, the “real” ones that are Harrison Stage 8, 9 or 10 and are labeled as Scarfaces by the major grading companies, are rare and expensive and there is huge demand for them outside of VAM circles.

EDS Scarfaces, with very few exceptions, are none of those things. Ash Harrison, who created the scale, has written that H2 is “by far the most common variety available”. Coins labeled EDS are numerous and have very often sold for less than $100 in MS62-63. And yet, look what happened in the Heritage auction:

EDS Scarfaces copy.jpg
EDS Scarfaces copy.jpg (149.16 KiB) Viewed 1167 times

I can’t help but think that bidder(s) who don’t know the profound difference between EDS and “real” Scarfaces thought Christmas had come early, so they bid like they were getting the year’s biggest bargains. The consignor(s) may still be partying in celebration. The buyers will eventually learn the truth about what they did, most likely when they go to sell. It’s a sting that could last forever.

As the saying goes, knowledge is power. And in VAM collecting it is often profitable. But ignorance tends to be painfully expensive.

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:51 pm
by fogie
I sure am glad I got mine cheaper than these!!!!

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 10:03 pm
by vamnuke
😵💫

Yes it’s crazy; getting too expensive to collect. Not sure I remember anything this volatile. I’m

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2021 11:35 pm
by blh74
I sent mine to the bulk submissions. JB called it a 1B1 (H4) PCGS gave it a MS 63.

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 1:07 am
by lioncutter
An EDS Scarface PCGS MS 63 sold yesterday on Ebay for $3000. Insane! Might have to sell mine. LOL

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 1:36 am
by ljs123
Thanks Dennis
Ever since I got my MS H10 I have thought that I should sell my EDS. I guess it’s time

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 1:07 pm
by hairfield1
I bought the following a couple of years ago off eBay

H1 ANACS MS-63 EDS for $78.00
H2 ANACS MS-63 EDS for $60.00
H2 PCGS MS-63 EDS for $75.00

I feel like I got a deal all of them

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 3:03 pm
by Options25
Wish I saved mine. 10 years ago they were easy to find on ebay without premium. I didn't like EDS so I got rid of them. I had numerous in raw and in 63, 1 in 64 and 1 in 65. My notes say the 65 is still here somewhere, might be time to find it and sell. Jim

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:55 pm
by vamsterdam
i can't believe this insanity. i guess my pcgs63 h5 sold too soon for the lunacy. mine sold for less than $275 a few months ago.

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:20 am
by hairfield1
Hey lioncutter is that your H4 MS-63 on the bay now?

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 10:44 pm
by lioncutter
hairfield1 wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:20 am
Hey lioncutter is that your H4 MS-63 on the bay now?
Yep & sold that puppy too. :D

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Sat Sep 25, 2021 8:00 pm
by ...kenny
I just saw this! It's eBay number 224623437461. Talk about insane...kenny

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Sat Sep 25, 2021 9:10 pm
by lioncutter
...kenny wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 8:00 pm
I just saw this! It's eBay number 224623437461. Talk about insane...kenny
It's the same one that I posted about earlier in the week that sold for 3K. :shock:

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2021 12:05 am
by JASONKFLO
I was hoping to find a Die stage 6
Maybe I will not be now.

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 3:22 am
by rogerg
I'm not a dealer or a veteran VAMMER and have no doubt paid a little extra extra here and there but, what I don't get is "toning". My mother"s tea service would become alive with rainbows of blues, reds and yellows a few weeks after polishing. Then, blacker than sin within the next week. I prefer coins that look "day one" new. I just do not understand the premium paid for tarnish.

Re: Scarface bidding lunacy

Posted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:33 am
by Tennessee
How about some of the other Vams. Are they going up in price too because of this craziness also? Is it because there are so many new people collecting coins and not learning, researching, and getting advice from others that have been collecting coins for years. Just asking...