What is the Wholesale Coin Price Guide that Coin Dealers Use?
I know that coin dealers have a secret price guide that they use when dealing with other coin dealers, or buying coins from the public. What is this price guide, and is it possible for non-coin dealers to get copies? (Submitted by Marilyn G. in Fresno, Calif.)
The Secret Coin Dealer Pricing Guide
The wholesale guide to coin prices is a monthly publication called the "Coin Dealer Newsletter" (or "CDN" for short). Because this newsletter is printed on grey paper, coin dealers refer to it as the "Greysheet."
The Coin Dealer Newsletter has been continuously published since 1963. This publication targets coin and paper currency professionals and dealers that need accurate and current pricing information. CDN prides itself on providing factual and unbiased pricing information based upon actual coin dealer transactions. Additionally, the pricing guide assumes that coins are accurately graded using current industry standards.
The Greysheet lists prices for all major U.S. coins, type coins, world bullion gold, bags, complete sets, Proof sets, and U.S. Mint sets, in a wide range of coin grades. The prices listed are "bid" prices. The "bid" price is the price dealers are paying for the coin at the wholesale level. In other words, you would need to do a high volume of business with a particular coin dealer to get wholesale pricing. The public does not usually reach the required volumes and hence will get retail pricing.
Although the Greysheet can be a helpful reference when buying or selling coins, keep in mind that these prices are wholesale prices and often imply multiple coin sales with little or no customer service involved. If you have inherited a coin collection, and need to have it appraised and graded before selling it, you should also get the Red Book which will help you properly identify, grade, and value your coins.
The Greysheet publisher sells the newsletter by subscription, but you can also buy a sample issue for about $40 that includes all wholesale pricing for virtually every coin minted by the United States Mint. It is highly recommended that you buy a sample issue about twice a year for most collectors, just to have as a reference. When negotiating a price for a coin with a coin dealer, you can use the Graysheet as a reference to get the best price for coin without insulting the coin dealer.
In addition to the printed paper copy of The Greysheet, CDN also publishes an electronic version that is available for immediate download. Current online subscribers to the publication can get their copy the same day it is published. Hardcopy subscribers need to wait until their copies are delivered via Media Mail.
Keeping up with modern technology, online subscribers can access current wholesale pricing information as it changes from day-to-day via the CDN website or the free CDN Pricing app available for both Android and IOS smartphones and tablets. CDN also provides retail pricing similar to the Red Book and this is freely accessible at the CDN website or via the free smartphone app.
The Goldsheet originally was published as a separate newsletter and covered the wholesale buy and sell prices for modern Chinese coins both raw and certified by third-party grading services (NGC and PCGS only). It is now published monthly with the Graysheet as a comprehensive pricing guide. Bid prices are based on actual data from dealers or recent transaction auction histories. Ask prices are what a buyer can expect to pay when seeking a given coin at a wholesale price. Additionally, prices indicating "OGP" indicate that the Original Government Packaging is included with the coin.
In addition to the monthly guides for pricing coins, The Coin Dealer Newsletter also publishes an additional wholesale pricing guide. The Currency Dealer Newsletter, or "The Greensheet", provides currency collectors and dealers with the latest wholesale BID and ASK prices for commonly collected U.S. Currency. It is published monthly and currency notes are priced in the eight grading ranges most often used by currency specialists: VG (Very Good); F (Fine); VF (Very Fine); XF ( Extremely Fine); AU (About Uncirculated); CU (Crisp Uncirculated); CH CU (Choice Crisp Uncirculated); and GEM CU (Gem Crisp Uncirculated).
Edited by: James Bucki