Yes, by the end of the year I hope to complete auction history research into about 120 of the top varieties. Actual auction records are informative. The value and prices of varieties are a factor of supply and demand, and auctions are a historical gauge of that supply and demand.
Many guides and dealers try to assign a hard value to varieties for each grade. Personally, I don’t like to speculate as to the current or future price of a variety – especially in print. Too many factors can influence the supply and demand, changes to which will instantly make your speculative pricing even more of a shot in the dark.
However, past auction histories are always useful because they tell a story – especially when we see changes in supply and demand. These changes over time will be captured in the price. For example, if a roll of mint state 1877 IHCs were found, then we’d expect that the sudden increase in supply to cause a reduction in price for MS 1877 Indians. And that change should be evident in the auction history.
Collecting Flying Eagle and Indian Head pennies never made more cents!