Kitco: How many of these exist?
Van Simmons: You know, I don’t have any idea. This is a $22,000 USD note. I’m guessing there are just a handful of these in existence.
Kitco: Where do you safeguard these things Van? not that you would tell me…
Van Simmons: In my office at PCGS, the coin grading company. We walk in the vault and that’s where we store everything.
Kitco: Is it open to the public? Van you can almost open a museum with all the memorabilia you have.
Van Simmons: It kind of comes and goes. There’s a lot of stuff that goes in and out of our office.
Kitco: You mentioned that PCGS is obviously a world famous coin grading company. When you’re grading a coin what makes one coin better over another coin?
Van Simmons: Rare coins are graded based on how well-struck they are… in other words, when the dye is the right temperature, and the metal is the right temperature…the gold or the silver would be able to get up into the coin’s design elements and thus become a fully struck coin. Another factor of grading a coin is how many marks or abrasions the coin exhibits or how banged up the coin is. Another factor is the luster on the coin. Whether or not the coin is bright and lustrous. And lastly, the overall eye appeal. So there are really four technical things involved in grading a rare coin.
Kitco: Van, what’s the rare coin market like? Is there any room to make money here?
Van Simmons: For investors, I think it’s one of the underpriced assets out there because gold has gone up six or seven times. In the rare coin market, over the same period of time, it’s probably gone up 100% not 700% or 600%
Kitco: Fantastic. Well I’ve definitely learned a lot today Van. Thank you for taking the time to explain it.