Note: James Taylor resigned from ANACS effective Oct. 31, 2006, to return to former employer Independent Coin Grading Service (ICG) as Chief Executive Officer. I'm leaving this interveiw up for historical interest and reference, but it remains unclear whether ANACS will continue to follow the same stretegic thinking under its new president, Mary Counts.
More news: In late December 2007, James Taylor bought the ANACS company from Whitman Publishing. Any further coverage I do will be linked from here.
ANACS President James Taylor took questions from ANACS customers and coin collectors during a live forum chat at the Coin Community on September 26, 2006. He was asked some tough questions about why ANACS engages in some of the practices it does, as well as questions about future plans for ANACS.
Some of the most interesting things to come out of the chat include:
- Taylor noted that many dealer sources, and the July 7, 2006 GreySheet, have observed a strong upward trend for coins in the new ANACS holder. According to the July 7 GreySheet, (as quoted by Taylor,) higher market confidence in the ANACS holder perhaps stems from the recent change of ownership philosophy at ANACS.
- ANACS has plans to significantly upgrade its Web site services to include online certification (label) verification, an ANACS customer discussion forum, and some form of submission status tracking.
- Current submission trends at ANACS shows a "huge increase" in encapsulating gold, a "disproportinate number" of Morgan Dollars, (since ANACS certifies more than 3,000 VAMs), and "a lot of" Lincoln Cents.
- Overall business at ANACS is up by 40% over last year, which will preclude ANACS from being able to offer Coin Show opinions in the future.
Some of the Questions and Answers (edited for brevity):
The news ANACS holder seems to be flimsy, and there are reports that people are switching out the coins. Does ANACS plan to improve the holder's rigidity or otherwise deal with this problem? - Submitted in various forms by TLS5933, The_Cave_Troll, and catmandew.
Taylor: I too have heard those reports, but I can tell you that I have not seen even one example of a switched coin in our ClearView holder, nor have I heard from even one person of a specific incidence of it happening. The reason why I don't think it could happen is because our ClearView holder is the most tamper-evident holder in the market. I'm not saying it can not be broken, but I am saying that if you try, it will clearly be evident.
In order to have the clarity of the holder that we have, we made the viewing walls thinner than other holders. It's great when looking at the coin, but it does make it easier to crack open. As long as the holder is tamper-evident I am OK.
I should mention that we have made subtle but important improvements to the holder in the past months so as to improve the strength and seal of the holder. As a result, I am hearing almost universally positive comments about the holder.
Why does ANACS certify "First Strikes" when the U.S. Mint doesn't even know which coins were struck first? - Submitted by an anonymous visitor.
Taylor: As the industry defines "First Strikes" it means a coin that was struck within a month after the coin was first issued. The Mint--the government--sees it differently. I know enough to not fight city hall, much less everyone inside the beltway. I'll leave it to people and the market to decide for themselves. As for why ANACS does it, simply because there is a demand for it. Obviously not from you or your customer, but enough people must like them. But I've gotta say, I'm like you though. I wonder why they still make sugar-coated cereal. I never touch it.
Does ANACS plan to make a holder that will make the edges of the coin visible? - Submitted by gxseries.
Note from your Guide: This question is especially relevant because the upcoming Presidential Dollars will have edge lettering.
Taylor: I could not agree with you more, as do a lot of people associated with ANACS. We have spent a lot of time and money trying to create a coin gasket that will allow a person to CLEARLY see the details on the coin's edge. We're not there yet, but we're a little closer. Please call me--512-257-5701--so I can tell you in confidence where we're at.
Why does the ANACS Guarantee only apply to Gold, Silver and Platinum coins? - Submitted by Marv.
Taylor: I assume you are wondering about copper coins. With copper we guarantee the grade and authenticity, but not the color. Thus, if we downgrade a copper coin from 65 Red to 64 Red, we will make up the difference in value. This is different than if we change the grade from 65 Red to 65 RB.
With reholdered coins going from the classic to ClearView holder, there have been a number of coins that we have paid the difference in value because the grade coin was downgraded.