Auctioneer and Bidder Alike!
The description here by the auctioneer is misleading in so many ways–perhaps not intentional–but that is beside the point. Proxibidders will learn values soon enough, especially ones who view Proxiblog–just for cases like this.
The description cites PCGS population report, noting there are only 16 such coins. Remember that. It indicates that the auctioneer knew where to look for that select information. You can find it here.
First, go to the PCGS population report. Below is a screen shot with the search function circled.
Die varieties can be tricky, so I use “PCGS Lookup Numbers” to be sure of value. The numbering system may seem tedious to some collectors, but I find it precise. The lookup number is found on the left side of the certification number, in this case, “38031.” (This particular number reads 38031.65; but the “65” is the grade for the specific coin.)
Here’s a photo depicting that.
If you input 38031 in the population report, you get these data:
This is why I find it curious, in as much as the auctioneer knows where to look for the PCGS population report, that he quotes the Redbook (A Guidebook of United States Coins). In as much as the auctioneer knows PCGS values, why not check those, because this coin is in that company’s holder?
Let’s give the auctioneer the benefit of the doubt here. Let’s assume he didn’t know that this wasn’t a 1972 Double Die Obverse, Die 1. In that case, he could have checked the exact retail value of this coin by going to the PCGS certification database.
By inputting the certification on the label of this specific coin, 27491922, the auctioneer could cite the retail value as $60. See photo below:
You’ll note an arrow by the hotlink to PCGS CoinFacts. There’s a reason. When bidding on coins, even slabbed ones, it is advantageous to know what the going auction prices are for specific coins. As you will see from the screen shot below, CoinFacts notes that prices for this coin ranged from a low of $45 at MS64 to a high of $211 at MS65.
That eBay sale seemed awful high for this coin, even though it is about $400 less than what the Proxibid auctioneer is claiming by way of value. Using CoinFacts, you can see how the eBay seller described the item.
Copy that description. Put it in Google.com, and you find this page.
Now scroll down, and you get this screen shot:
The eBay seller described the coin correctly and did not post a value or otherwise mislead the buyer.
One can only surmise that the buyer did not realize the coin was a die variety worth about $60 retail.
You can avoid the same fate by following the online numismatic techniques illustrated here.