1st American Reserve says without a doubt, that "What's it worth?" is the question most frequently asked about any coin with premium value as either a collectible or an investment.
The question sounds simple enough. Coming up with the right answer can be a lot more difficult unless you are dealing with a true expert who has peer respect for his pricing skills in specialized areas evidenced by being listed as a contributor in leading price guides. To make matters worse, coming up with the wrong answer - even doing so on purpose - isn't hard at all. All you need is a price guide with outdated values. And that includes the great majority of all the price guides available at any given time.
The accuracy - or inaccuracy - of price guides is a matter that should concern every collector who relies upon these authoritative-looking compilations. If the prices in a guide book or list are too low, collectors who depend on these resources could sell their coins too cheaply. If they're too high, collectors could end up paying too much when buying coins.
Honest dealers also can be hurt by inaccurate price guides. Collectors who rely upon such guides can wrongly conclude that competent, experienced dealers are cheating them - buying too low or selling too high - when their prices, though actually fair, deviate from those in the listings.