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09-21-2007, 06:16 PM
Posted By: <b>bruce Dorskind</b><p><br /><br />We have given considerable thought to the countless discussions surrounding<br />third party grading, subtle alterations and the entire issue of integrity on the part<br />of the auction houses, dealers and collectors.<br /><br />What is quite astounding is there are very few aspects of our lives in which<br />we can not help but rely on the opinion of a third party grader.<br /><br />Food companies have their beef graded, movie companies have their pictures<br />rated, umpires call balls and strikes all night and all season long and hundreds<br />of you have bought expensive diamond rings for your wives and/or significant<br />others.<br /><br />In large part the price associated with that diamond ring was based on the grades<br />it received from an independent (GIA) third party grading service. As most of you<br />know, graded stones trade all the time just like baseball cards.<br /><br />Meat inspectors, film board judges, umpires and GIA graders all make decisions.<br />People disagree, wrong decisions are made. Obvious flaws are missed.<br /><br />The simple fact is that no system is and/or ever will be perfect. The buyers in all<br />cases are relying on the integrity, experience, expertise and reputation of the third<br />party. The vast majority of buyers will pay a significantly higher price for an item<br />that receives a high grade.<br /><br />It is no different with baseball cards. We can complain all we wish, but unless and until<br />someone develops a viable alternative to grading...the beat will go on.<br /><br /><br />Bruce Dorskind<br />America's Toughest Want List

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09-21-2007, 07:16 PM
Posted By: <b>Gilbert Maines</b><p>In my estimation, where the problem with this scheme lies is in believing that third party graders cast the definitive vote. When in actuality, they provide one piece of data valuable in the overall assesment of the item under evaluation.<br /><br />For example a top color but seriously flawed diamond will be downgraded because of the flaw. And have a significant reduction in price associated with this professional's assessment. In actuality, the flaw could be a perfect ruby entrapped in the diamond. To some, there can be no better a birthstone ring gift than such an ruby. Certainly worth quite a premium (to one's wife). But the actual diamond's grade is low eventhough the overall piece's attributes are more desireable than a perfect diamond to some.<br /><br />That is, a third party employs its assessment criteria. The purchaser should include this analysis in his overall determination of the desirability of the subject. In our hobby, this is not being done yet.

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09-21-2007, 07:40 PM
Posted By: <b>peter chao</b><p>Gil,<br /><br />Veteran hobbyists know how to grade cards because we've been doing it for 10-15 years. But the new hobbyists most of them rely solely on PSA or SGC, they have no idea how to independantly grade a card.<br /><br />Peter C.

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09-21-2007, 08:34 PM
Posted By: <b>Marc S.</b><p>My family was in the supermarket business for 70+ years, and I have been collecting baseball cards for over 25 years now. In all that time, I have never made any comparisons between beef and baseball cards. I do appreciate your thought-provoking insight on this.<br /><br />Is America's Toughest Wantlist the Wagyu Beef of the collecting world? Please discuss.

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09-21-2007, 08:54 PM
Posted By: <b>dstudeba</b><p>Campy thought about beef and baseball cards too.<br /><br /><img src="http://www.baseballcardresource.com/img/54Wilson/54WF_Campanella_A.jpg">

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09-22-2007, 08:11 AM
Posted By: <b>Rich Klein</b><p>Most people now think that Gary Lewis could not sing. On the other hand, the songs are still good pop singles from the 60's<br /><br />Regards<br />Rich

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09-22-2007, 09:09 AM
Posted By: <b>Al C.risafulli</b><p>I agree. The song has been going through my head for two days now, since I read this thread.<br /><br />Good post, by the way, Bruce. I agree with it entirely.<br /><br />-Al

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09-22-2007, 09:22 AM
Posted By: <b>Alan</b><p>I agree, but those other industries all are regulated, right ? The sports memorabilia hobby/business follows the idea of (Cyndi Lauper's) song, "Money Changes Everything"<br /><br />Alan<br /><br />P.S.<br />Bruce, were you at the National ? We didn't see you.

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09-22-2007, 09:24 AM
Posted By: <b>bruce Dorskind</b><p><br /><br />The diamond industry, to the best of our knowledge, is self-regulated.<br /><br />Bruce Dorskind<br />America's Toughest Want List

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09-22-2007, 09:28 AM
Posted By: <b>JimCrandell</b><p>Another "thoughtful" post by Bruce.

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09-22-2007, 09:52 AM
Posted By: <b>PS</b><p>The Steely Dan line, "You wouldn't even know a diamond if you held it in your hand" just came to mind.<br /><br />I agree, a very interesting post. Knowing nothing about diamonds, I am just curious, is there as much room for subjectivity in evaluating them as there is in cards?

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09-22-2007, 10:32 AM
Posted By: <b>Jim VB</b><p>&lt;&lt;The Steely Dan line, "You wouldn't even know a diamond if you held it in your hand" just came to mind.&gt;&gt;<br /><br />And I keep thinking of Robert Palmer. "She's so fine, there's no telling where the money went!"<br /><br />

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09-22-2007, 10:43 AM
Posted By: <b>Al C.risafulli</b><p>Now I have three annoying songs going through my head all at once.<br /><br />-Al

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09-22-2007, 11:14 AM
Posted By: <b>William Brumbach</b><p>Actually, the diamond and graded card analogy work well in a way. For instance, it could said that the diamond in my wife's engagement ring is like a PSA 6 or 7 that looks like an 8. It has outstanding clarity and the cut is the best there it, but when closely examined there is what appears to be an onion peel right in the middle. However, that defect does not affect the look of the diamond and it sparkles something fierce due to the aforementioned cut and clarity. Plus, it was 1.4 carats and less expensive than a 1.5 carat would have been.<br /><br />I can see where the ideas of objective and subjective metrics and the balance between technical and aesthetic critiques would have varying impacts on value.