What is the Wholesale Coin Price Guide that Coin Dealers Use?

How Do Coin Dealers Decide On Prices?

Sample Copies of the Coin Dealer Newsletter, Also Known As "the Greysheet"
Sample Copies of the Coin Dealer Newsletter, Also Known As "the Greysheet". © Copyright 2016 CDN Publishing, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Question: 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 each other, 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.)

Answer:  "Coin Dealer Newsletter"

The wholesale guide to coin prices is a series of newsletters published over a cycle of weeks called the "Coin Dealer Newsletter" (or "CDN" for short.) Because this newsletter is printed on grey paper, coin dealers call it the "Grey Sheet."

The Greysheet lists prices for all major U.S. coins, Proof sets and mint sets, in a wide range of grades, and with two price points, the "bid" and the "ask" price. The "bid" price is the price dealers are paying for the coin, and the "ask" price is the asking, or selling price. In other words, if I am a coin dealer I am "asking" for certain price. If you don't want to pay that price, then you as a buyer, may place a "bid" price on it.

Although the Grey Sheet 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 Grey Sheet publisher sells the newsletter by subscription, but you can also buy a "sample pack" for about $40 that includes one of each the current Weekly Greysheet, the current Monthly Supplement and each Current Quarterly Supplement.

You will get 5 issues in all. I highly recommend buying this sample pack about twice a year for most collectors, just to have as a reference. I've gotten many dealers' prices down just by having a copy peeking out of my satchel at coin shows and stating that I'd be back later after I look up the coin in the Grey Sheet.

"The Bluesheet" and "The Greensheet"

In addition to the weekly, monthly and quarterly guides for pricing coins, The Coin Dealer Newsletter also publishes two additional wholesale pricing guides. The first one is known as The Bluesheet, or formally The Certified Coin Dealer Newsletter. This newsletter Is published weekly and list wholesale coin values for some of the most common  certified coins in the market. Since these coins have already been authenticated and graded by a third party grading company, they usually sell for a premium over a raw coin.

Finally, 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). 

The Gold Sheet

The Gold Sheet covers wholesale buy and sell prices for modern Chinese coins both raw and certified by third party grading services (NGC and PCGS only).

Bid prices are based on actual data from dealers or recent transaction auction histories. Ask prices is 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.

Edited by: James Bucki