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Client Questions

I see varied prices offered or in auction for the same coin. Why the large discrepancies? ( sent by C. G. Clarks, Summit, Pa.)

I hear this question frequently, especially from collectors trying to value their coins from retail price sheets online or in print. The simple answer is condition + date = price.  Oh, that it was truly that simple! The attribute with greatest variance lies with “condition”.  A technically graded coin, say mint state 64, can be bright white or toned dark. It can be well struck or very weakly struck. It can have the “WOW” factor with great eye appeal and amazing color or a dark and unappealing ugly duckling. There maybe a mark on the check for all to see, or a mark in the hair detail that is invisible. THERE IS A SUBJECTIVE ART TO GRADING! Even with the third party grading services, there is tremendous value in eye appeal.  After 48 years as a numismatist, and active coin dealer, I as well as many other dealers can instantly look at your coins and say, Cleaned, artificially toned, original, or a myriad of other descriptions you cannot get from a price sheet! After many years you may develop an “eye” for grading. Still, THERE IS ENORMOUS VALUE WORKING WITH AN EXPERT!

Answer provided by: Malcolm Varner-Owner Alhambra Coin Center, Inc.

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Our History

The Alhambra Coin Center was founded in 1975 by brothers Malcolm and Jay Varner, both of whom are recognized experts in rare coins and numismatics, as well as members of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), and Malcolm is a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG). Based out of the Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra, the Alhambra Coin Center has grown over the course of its thirty-five plus years to become one of the largest and most frequented coin stores in California. Alhambra Coin Center not only retails to the public, but functions as a wholesaler to other coin companies and numismatists across the country.

Developing and expanding, the Alhambra Coin Center has evolved into a center not only for numismatics, coins, and bullion, but also for antiques, jewelry, diamonds, antique pocket watches, luxury items and more. Now a central hub for the public and dealers alike for the buying and selling of collectibles of all descriptions, the Alhambra Coin Center is flourishing. Our tremendous growth is a direct result of our commitment to professionalism, to ethics, and to serving each and every customer to the highest of our abilities.

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