Dealers and collectors interested in becoming members of the Certified Acceptance Corp. (CAC) will have to apply by May 1.
Membership will be closed after that date, at least through the end of 2011 and possibly beyond, according to John Albanese, founder and president of the company.
"We’ve been very busy," Albanese said, "and we don’t want to get completely overwhelmed. We’ve kept our prices friendly and our turnaround times favorable, and we want things to stay that way. Capping our membership for at least the rest of the year will give us a chance to consolidate our growth and assess where we’re headed in the future.
"We’re a small company and that’s the way we like it. It gives us the ability to maintain high standards for the loyal members we already serve."
CAC experts examine coins previously certified by either the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of America (NGC). CAC then affixes a distinctive green sticker to the holder of each coin which, in its judgment, fully merits the grade that was assigned. Each sticker incorporates a tamper-resistant hologram.
As of March 1, the company had 357 dealer members and nearly 400 collector members. The cutoff date for new membership applications applies to both groups.
Albanese said the decision to declare a moratorium doesn’t reflect concern about weakness in the coin market. On the contrary, he said, it stems from a belief that business will soon be much more robust.
"I have a sense that we’re starting to come out of the recession," he said. "That’s what the government has been saying, and I can see activity picking up in the coin business.
"We want to keep our growth under control so our service to existing members remains at a high level.
"We want to keep prices low and quality high."
Dealer members serve as Submission Centers through which their customers’ coins can be sent to CAC. Collector members, known as Advanced Collector/Submitters, can submit certified coins directly to the company for evaluation.
Both are charged the same submission fees: $10 apiece for coins valued at $10,000 or less, $20 each for coins valued at more than $10,000. Typically, Albanese said, turnaround time is less than a week.
Since its inception in late 2007, CAC has processed more than 200,000 submissions with declared insurance value totaling more than $1 billion. It also has purchased more than $175 million worth of coins.
Further information about the company, including directions on how to apply for membership and where to obtain CAC-stickered coins, can be found at its Web site, www.caccoin.com.