Gerry's Daily Blog Archives - February 2015
February 28, 2015
Please accept my apology for a late Daily Blog today.....I've spent the past 2.5 hours solving a corrupt file directory and FTP folder issue with old Dreamweaver software. Luckily, the Hostway (ISP) technical support people were able to walk me through the rebuilding of FTP access information and I am back online. This afternoon I must call Network Solutions and recreate access for Auburn Lake website....then there is access to the LSCC website afterwards to load the March E-Gobrecht issue. That will be an email request for help to Jason Feldman as he provides free hosting of www.LSCCweb.org. It really is time to replace the old 2005 vintage Dell laptop for a more reliable system.
Yesterday was another busy GFRC day as I retrieved the three NGC submissions, took in a new consignment and received the Birmingham Collection CAC results. There are many new coins to be posted to the price lists so I was in a mild panic this morning when Dreamweaver access failed while trying to mark coins that were sold overnight as being on hold.
Let's start with the Birmingham Collection news. CAC approval rate was a strong 55% and a credit to the consignor's ability to selection above average dimes for his collection. Dimes that were previously listed within the Part 2 consignment have been updated with their CAC approval status. Several include the 1863-S, 1864-S, 1880 and 1886-S dimes and most importantly the 1851-O PCGS AU53 dime. The latter piece is the only AU graded 1851-O with CAC approval. There is one higher, an MS62 piece. Since photography of the Birmingham Collection Part 3 dimes is already completed, then today's task is adding new listings.
Overall, I was pleased with NGC grading results. The Kam Ahwash 1839-O dime graded AU55 (I thought AU58) and the 1842-O F-105 dime graded MS62 (I thought MS63). As stated frequently within the blogs, recent NGC grading is conservative and I would rather offer attractive and conservatively graded coins at a small premium rather than selling overgraded pieces are price guide values. Twelve Indian cents from the Maine Collection were also retrieved and will be posted across the weekend. Hopefully the new additionals will bring more attention and potential sales within this series.
Finally, a lovely 1809 O-105 half dollar graded NGC AU50 arrived yesterday as a consignment and will be posted shortly. Handling early date bust halves when properly graded is a real pleasure.
The featured coin of the day is the 1851-O PCGS AU53 dime from the Birmingham Collection. As mentioned on many occasions, 1851-O dimes in original AU or better grades are rare and under appreciated by the numismatic community. We well remember how under appreciated the 1843-O date was in AU or better until prices aligned with rarity. So I will continue to stand on my blog soapbox and remind GFRC customers of the rarity of the 1851-O date. This piece now has CAC approval rendering it as the second finest with CAC approval and the only AU with a green bean.
February 27, 2015
Welcome to another Friday and thank you as always for visiting the Blog.
Yesterday was a break from coins....vacation or holiday, you might ask? Not really. I spent the day coordinating door replacements and touch up painting of those doors across ten buildings with four condo units each. Two contractor crews were involved; the door replacement crew and the site painters. The day was hectic with the complexity of certain unit owners not at home (security issues), two hour touch up paint drying time, late arrival of the assigned painting crew and one replacement door falling on a new Lexus. I did my best to respond to GFRC emails during the day. Today, I am back to a normal GFRC day and pleased to be working with coins again.
There is little to report today in terms of Newps or new consignments. I have a 2:00pm NGC appointment to pick up three submissions including the 1839-O/1842-O Kam Ahwash pieces and another group of Indian cents from the Maine Collection. Sales of the Maine Collection Indian cents have been weak. To date, I've only sold the 1908-S. These Indian are all original brown and the NGC grading appears to be accurate. Since GFRC is not known for selling Indian Cents then traffic to this price list is probably low. These pieces do need to sell since raising cash prior to the Baltimore show is an imperative. Please don't hesitate to email or call with offers on these nice original Indians. More dates from the Maine Collection will be posted starting tomorrow after NGC retrieval and photography.
I received an email yesterday from GFRC customer/consignor....he reported that a coin purchased from GFRC received CAC Gold approval. Do customers remember this lovely piece?
The featured coin of the day is the 1839-O F-105a dime purchased in original Kam Ahwash flip with insert indicating a grade of "Slider UNC". Obviously a fresh piece to market and a better No Drapery date that is in constant demand. This dime will be added to price list later this afternoon once the NGC assigned grade is known. The sale will include the original Kam Ahwash flip and insert with handwritten notes. The double obverse rim cuds for the F-105(a) designation are most evident.
February 26, 2015
A sincere Good Morning to American Blog readers and also to my Shanghai friends and customers.....Zaoshang hao wo de péngyoumen shànghai
I would like to open today's Blog with a customer question received last night. We were discussing a range of coins for potential purchase and the customer asked, "Of the coins I listed below, which, in your professional opinion, offer the best value?" This is a logical question from a relatively new collector who wishes to embrace the numismatic hobby. His question brought about the following response....When you say "value", what is your definition please? Is it resale value? Or is it enjoyment and potential historical research value? Or show and tell with friends value?
Individuals embrace the numismatic hobby for a variety of reasons. Some of us love history and enjoy associating our coins with special events in United States or world history. Coins and paper money are probably the easiest historical artifacts to acquire. Other individuals are born collectors/set builders and have a personal need to complete a memorable date and mintmark set. There are other individuals who only want the best....they pursue coins that are gems with incredible old album or natural toning. There are those individual who enjoy walking down the least traveled path and will embrace tokens and exonumia for the pure pleasure. Finally, there are individual who see coins as a means for quick or long term profits. The definition of "value" is highly dependent on the individual customer that I work with. Some customers have asked why the Gerry Fortin Rare Coins website does not offer a shopping cart? Yes, a shopping cart would be a convenience for those who wish for a quick credit card transaction. However, I believe a GFRC coin purchase is much more than a simple transaction. Maybe, I am an old fashion type, but establishing a relationship between the shop owner and the customer is an important part of the transaction. Again, the numismatic hobby is complex and can be overwhelming for those who are not involved on a day to day basis. My goal at GFRC is to work with individual collectors and attempt to simplify the hobby and understand individual collecting goals......advice is always free.
Images for the 1861-O PCGS58 CAC Speared Bud half are posted and waiting for confirmation from the lead customer on this lovely piece. A few offerings from the Liberty Seated dime Dansco are already online and today's major task is evaluating and pricing the balance of the set. At least one more consignment is due to arrive shortly with 1-2 more next week. I'm also processing the Birmingham Part 3 images as several inquiries arrived in advance of the CAC results.
A consignor/customer asked about the Kam Ahwash 1842-O dime that I have mentioned in several blogs. How nice is this piece? Luckily, I photographed the coin prior to NGC submission and processed the images yesterday to respond. Would I be exaggerating to say this is a beautiful 1842-O Seated dime? Please note this is the F-105 die pair with the die defect in the right field being so evident.
The featured coin of the day is a Seated quarter graded PCGS MS63 CAC that has superior eye appeal. I bought this piece simply due to the blast white and proof like surfaces. It is an eye catching piece and really needs to be viewed in hand as the images are incapable of capturing the true beauty. Attempting to price this offering with the "regular" trend guides is not realistic. Superior coins will garner strong monies when offered to knowledgeable and fair dealers....GFRC included. Have a great day everyone!
February 25, 2015
Good Morning and Happy Wednesday to loyal Blog readers!
The news of the day is that more consignments are coming to GFRC. Yesterday I received a partial Liberty Seated dime collection housed in pristine Dansco album; this is a strong VF-EF grade level set as the owner was selective about his additions. The individual has been a GFRC customer since 2013 and immediately I recognized a number of original dimes in the Dansco. He has decided to pursue Seated coinage at a more advanced grade level resulting in a combination consignment and outright sale of the entire set. More news is forthcoming as I dig deeper into the Dansco. To kick things off, the customer is consigning choice original 1859-S, 1884-S and 1886-S F-102 (rare date position) dimes to GFRC price list.....I hope to have these posted by end of day.
Besides the Liberty Seated dime Dansco set, I received an email this morning from another customer who will consign a 19th century Dansco type set. These pieces will be in the mail today and should arrive by the weekend. So two new consignments within the past 24 hours....there are several other raw coin consignments in transit including a new Great Britain world coin consignment.
The gem 1861-O W-15 PCGS58 CAC half dollar is on hold and received multiple requests. The lead buyer is waiting for images to render a final decision....Florida weather did not cooperate yesterday and hopefully today, there will be some bright sunlight to properly photograph this piece along with the new Dansco seated dimes previously mentioned.
Today's major task is packaging and shipping orders as a substantial number of checks arrived in the last 48 hours. Depending on weather, I may drive up to NGC in Sarasota this afternoon to retrieve two Early Bird submissions including the 1839-O and 1842-O Kam Ahwash legacy dimes. Already, there is a potential local customer for the 1839-O dime and depending on grading results, the 1842-O may be heading into the Gerry Fortin Collection after a visit to CAC.
Birmingham Collection Part 2 and Part 3 dimes are being reviewed at CAC this week. Once I have the results, then there will be a massive posting to the Liberty Seated Dime AU-MS price list. Part 3 features the balance of the Birmingham Collection including an incredible 1845-O PCGS50, an 1844 PCGS50 and many more semi-key dates in high grade. It will be a pleasure to offer these pieces at the Whitman Baltimore show.
The featured coin of the day takes us back to the initial GFRC product line....Liberty Seated dimes including Top 100 Varieties examples. Several individuals have suggested that I publish a Top 100 Varieties guide book for collector usage at shows now that both NGC and PCGS are listing the Fortin numbers on their labels. NGC offers the Top 100 set as a competitive set in their Open Registry. Today's coin is a crusty original 1875 F-107, Digit in the Denticles. A fair number of the F-107 variety have surfaced in the past few years as easily recognized due to the bold digit protruding from the denticles. This is a superior example that will easily grade and most likely CAC due to the strict originality.
February 24, 2015
Good Tuesday morning to loyal GFRC Blog customers and friends. Thank you for visiting today as there is lots of news to share.
The kind people who manage the Whitman Baltimore show published table assignments yesterday morning. The Baltimore venue is one of the top shows in the country and well attended by Liberty Seated Collectors Club and John Reich Collectors Society members. Starting in March, the show is moving to Halls F and G and provided W. David Perkins and I an opportunity to request incremental table space. We are pleased to announce that Gerry Fortin Rare Coins and W. David Perkins, Numismatist will be located at combined tables 1054 and 1056 and will be offering quality early American coins across nine cases. This show will solidify our partnership effort as we expand table space with increased quality inventory and consignments. David and I are very excited about the Whitman assignment and will continue to operate in this manner at other major shows. There is also some incredible karma at work here.....can you believe my LSCC club member number is 1054?
Yesterday brought the arrival of the 1861-O W-15 Speared Olive half dollar graded PCGS AU58 and approved by CAC. This is an incredibly original piece with gem eye appeal and as beautiful as when first seen at the FUN show. There were multiple orders on the recent 1863 PCGS AU58 half dollar...as nice as that piece is, this 1861-O half is even more attractive with light rose, gray, blue toning that gently floats on lustrous surfaces. This piece will be photographed and listed this afternoon with an asking price of $1650. Please don't hesitate too long on this special offering.
The Bust Love Token consignment is online and is an important offering for bust coinage collectors. Where else can you view such a broad array of bust dime love tokens? The 1821 Large Date and 1831 pieces are my favorites and GFRC is so proud to have been chosen to offer this important exunomia selection.
The Great Britain consignment is also fully loaded on the Wold Coin price list. Already, I have received excellent feedback about the quality of the pieces being offered. I expect to be loading prices within a few hours.
As I delve into the World Coin marketplace, more is being learned. This marketplace is fragmented and for certain countries, can be thinly traded. This situation brings a challenge to collectors when it is time to disposition a collection and raise cash. Due to the thin market, dealers work on substantial margins to protect against longer inventory holding periods. The GFRC collector to collector trading desk business model is applicable to the World Coin market. It is most enjoyable working with recent consignments as I quickly understand how the World Coin marketplace is structured (due to great consulting from several GFRC supporters) and the history associated with LATAM and European pieces. These coins are beautiful when in original condition and priced much lower than United States coins with similar mintages.
My plan is to increase the emphasis on world coins by using the GFRC business model approach. My commissions will be slightly higher than those for U.S. coins due to the investment in books and the amount of time required to research the individual coins before listing. Please call or email me to discuss a potential "quality" world coin consignment.
Today's featured coin is from the Bust coinage love token consignment. This is the first time that an inexpensive love token makes the daily featured coin list....exunomia is an important part of numismatics and is highly collectable so the coin of the day is a wonderfully toned 1821 Large Date bust dime with original gray patina and well soldered loop. (On Hold)
February 23, 2015
Welcome to the last week of February...the worst of the 2015 winter will be over in several weeks as March usually brings a warming trend.
I worked until 12:00pm processing images from the Great Britian world coin consignment and the Bust Love Token collection. Both consignments should be loaded on price lists by the end of day. Working with world coins, primarily LATAM and Great Britain is enjoyable and allows for a quick study of European history.
More consignments will arrive during the week including the 1861-O PCGS AU58 CAC W-15 Speared Olive half dollar which will definitely grab some attention. Other consignments included a variety of Seated quarter offerings and another world coin consignment. Birmingham Collection Part 3 along with select pieces from Part 2 are at CAC for review. Photography was done before shipment enabling the loading of these outstanding dimes during the coming week. Retail prices will be announced after CAC results are known. I also have two NGC submission that will be ready for pickup by Wednesday. I am excited to see if my grade expectations will be matched by NGC for the 1839-O and 1842-O dimes stored in Kam Ahwash flips since the late 1970s.
Other notable activities for the week include the Spring 2015 Gobrecht Journal shipment to renewing members and the release of the March E-Gobrecht come end of week. I can never thank Bill Bugert enough for his dedication and hours of work as LSCC Publishing Director. Back in Venice, portions of Wednesday and all day Thursday will be taken up with the Auburn Lakes painting and door replacement project....so the timing for a "slow" GFRC week is perfect.
Looking ahead, the March Whitman Baltimore show is only five weeks away followed by the Central States Numismatic Society show in Chicago. Baltimore marks the start of a busy GFRC show schedule and takes me to at least one national or major regional show per month through August. W. David Perkins and I will be sharing tables at Baltimore and CSNS, then the summer ANA. I will not be attending the Spring Portland ANA show and instead focus energies on more website upgrades and consignment preparations going into the Baltimore show. By early April, the GFRC business is moving back to Maine and spring clean up will be at hand.
I will close today's Blog with a reminder that most of March is currently open for handling incremental consignments. The next three weeks are a perfect time to consign coins to GFRC given the brisk upcoming show schedule. Your coins will be well represented at major shows and on the price lists.
Today featured coin is a preview from the Great Britain consignment. This 1698 English 4 Pence is graded NGC AU58 and is from the Eric P. Newman collection as labeled. 4 Pence was known in prior English centuries as a Groat. Wikipedia defines a "Groat" as the traditional name of a long-defunct English silver coin worth four English pennies, and also a Scottish coin originally worth fourpence, with later issues being valued at eightpence and one shilling. Learning the British coinage denominations is fascinating. Anyways...back to the featured coin itself. This 1698 4 Pence is the highest graded at NGC (a single AU58) and offers pristine surfaces that are light toned with gun metal gray and rose colors. This is truly a magnificant specimen from the reign of William III and coincidences with the earliest United States colonial pieces.
February 22, 2015
A quiet Sunday morning arrives and time to write another Blog. Thank you to those who make a regular habit of visiting with me.
Yesterday was an exciting day as many of the new coins added to price list sold within hours. It is gratifying that the hard work to locate quality original coins via show purchases is producing strong demand. Consignors have also learned the types of strictly original coins that are the GFRC sales trademark and continue to offer. The collector to collector trading desk concept is working well based on Saturday results.
The Great Britian consignment mentioned within February 17 blog arrived yesterday and was beyond my expectations. The lot is all NGC graded (except one PCGS piece) and condition census for date and denominations. More importantly, the coins are beautiful with natural toning. Here is a quick consignment preview....these will be photographed today along with consignor price setting discussions.
1868 Charles II 2P NGC MS63 choice gray/rose; 1689 William and Mary 4P NGC MS63 choice gun metal gray/blue; 1694 William and Mary Penny "Cheshire Collection" NGC MS62 choice gray; 1698 William III 4P "Eric Newman Collection" NGC AU58 amazing gun metal gray/blue, 1708 Queen Anne 4P NGC MS63 choice light gold, 1941 George VI 4P Maundy NGC MS66 gem gold patina, 1887 Victoria Double Florin PCGS MS65 choice multi color patina and 1890 Victoria Double Florin NGC MS65 blast white cartwheel luster.
During the evening hours, I was approached by a GFRC customer who wished to sell a few better date circulated Seated quarters that are raw. He reported visiting a local coin shop where he was offered CDN "greysheet" prices for his original pieces and felt underwhelmed. After sending a smartphone image of the quarters, I agree to handle these as GFRC customers will appreciate the purchase opportunity. This small lot will ship on Monday and arrives later this coming week.
I also managed to photo the Bust Love Token pieces and those will be posting today along with residual Seated quarters for Dansco album collectors.
More consignments are arriving next week from GFRC customers who wish to sell their pieces in a well described and faciliated manner. It seems that everyday I receive a phone call or an email asking about consignment rates and if I will handle a customer's duplicates. To date, customers understand the quality requirements and are offering coins that are consistent with the overall price list quality. So please keep the inquiries coming and let's determine how GFRC can be your online trading desk.
The featured coin of the day is a strictly original and choice 1853/4 Seated quarter graded NGC EF45 with CAC approval. The strike is hammered with bold hair curls, star centrils and complete reverse feathers and claws. Obverse offers a medium gray/brown coloring with some light aquamarine center under bright light. The reverse could be described as crusty light gray/brown. (On Hold)
February 21, 2015
Welcome to the weekend and thank you for visiting the Blog once again.
Yesterday's visit to the Sarasota show had predictable results. Skip Fazzari manning the ICG table and microscope (he was at Venice and Lakeland) and the usual array of Central Florida dealers. Sarasota Coin had the largest presence with three tables and solid inventory. Quality Bust and Seated material was very scarce as I had seen nearly all the offerings the past two weekends. But...there was one atypical dealer with two cases at Sarasota. He was a new face and one case contained nearly all PCGS OGH rattler Morgans with CAC approval. He other case was similar but mostly 20th century type but a few early pieces that were strictly original and with CAC approval. I marveled at these offerings and chatted with the individual surrounding the background of his pieces. He was a collector and Sarasota was the first time to offer coins for sale at full retail. Once again, my point is reinforced....collectors hold the majority of the accurately graded and premium coins while dealer move the marginal pieces among themselves until an inexperienced collector comes along. Speaking of marginal coins, I saw two better date Seated dimes (1839-O and 1874-S) in new PCGS holders in one dealer's case. Once in hand, the 1839-O graded EF45 was a white ugly cleaned up piece while the 1874-S had significant reverse rim damage. Both resided in normal PCGS holders and a left the table shaking my head. ICG grades more conservatively than this.
There was only one memorable Sarasota purchase as shown next while the balance was adding nice original Dansco type coins to inventory. The single Sarasota highlight is this toned gem 1824 Bust half. The dealer purchased this incredible piece at Lakeland and was sad to see it go...literally kissing it goodbye before I walked away. The NGC EF40 assigned grade is irrelevant when the coin is in hand. My images can capture the coloring but not the bold underlying luster that renders the combination so special. (On Hold)
I left the Sarasota at 12:30pm, drove back to Venice and immediately photographed Jim Poston's consignments and most of the Sarasota newps. My old Dell laptop started acting strange when tranferring images via USB and it took several hours to diagnosis problems with the ethernet card that were slowing the system's processor to a crawl. After dinner, I worked until 11:30pm processing images and loading price lists with the first of many new coins.
Today brings packing and shipping and loading the balance of Jim's consignment on price lists. Photographing the Bust love tokens and kitting an order for Shanghai friends along with mailing Bill Bugert the 600+ LSCC club member cards are other things on the "to do" list.
Please be aware that USPS mail appears to be slower than normal this week as one customer was questioning why his check had not arrived. I've not received customer payment envelopes for the last two days which seems a tad abnormal.
The featured coin of the day is from the Jim Poston consignment. This 1871 PCGS AU50 CAC half dollar has everything that a collector would want; great eye appeal, strict originality and beautiful gun metal gray/blue patina. This piece is highly recommeded. (On Hold)
February 20, 2015
Another Friday arrives so quickly. The Siberian Express plunged as far south as Florida last night and current Venice temperatature is 35F...Yes, I know that this would be considered a heat wave in the Northeast.
Today brings the Sarasota coin show and I will be driving north shortly after writing today's blog. Sarasota Newps will be listed in tomorrow blog.
Jim Poston's consignment arrived yesterday and I spent the evening evaluating each piece. This is another great consignment from Jim that contains a strong selection of Liberty Seated halves, two noteworthy Seated quarters along with other random pieces. Originality and problem free surfaces is the theme of Jim's offerings. Following are the new selections. If all goes as planned, I will add to price list this evening and catch up the images tomorrow. By now, everyone knows the first right of refusal drill...if a certain piece may be for you, then please email or call and I will place on hold until prices and images are posted.
Seated 10c: 1864-S NGC MS62, original light gold/violet surfaces.
Seated 25c: 1853/4 A&R NGC EF45 CAC, choice original, super eye appeal; 1879 NGC EF40 CAC, choice original gray.
Seated 50c: 1842 AU50, old album bullseye ring toning; 1842-O Med Date Rev42 PCGS EF40, choice and under graded; 1844 NGC EF45 original light gray with rim tone; 1853A&R NGC EF40, even medium gray; 1871 PCGS AU50 CAC, gem original gray; 1872-S PCGS EF40 CAC, choice light gray.
World: Hungary 1549-KB Denar PCGS AU53, luster and lightly toned.
Also arriving yesterday was the Bust Love Token consignment...it is a real pleasure to be handling these pieces. Assembled by an advanced Bust coinage collector and researcher, these pieces are choice with many having original gray patina. Dates include 1820, 1821 Sm Date (2), 1821 Lg Date, 1827, 1832, 1833 (2), 1834 (2) and 1835.
Yesterday's other activity was completing the LSCC membership cards; this is the President's tradition dating back to the mid 1970s. Writing and signing each club member's card is fun as I recognized the names of so many people in our club and their associated numismatic tenure and experience.
Response to this week's consignments, Dallas Collection halves and Mexico pieces was incredible with 4 out of 6 offerings sold. The 1738MO Mexico-Spanish Colony 8 Reales was featured yesterday and I did have one inquiry on the piece. Today's featured coin is the remaining 1865 Seated half from the Dallas Collection. This is a strictly original piece struck during the final Civil War year. Asking price may appear high as compared to the guides but you are invited to check auction records for this date...examples sell well above the guides.
February. 19, 2015
Good morning everyone and thank you for visiting with me today.
To say that yesterday was busy would be an understatement. The day started with inquiries on the Dallas Collection Seated halves and the LATAM offerings after posting the Blog. Most of the new pieces were immediately under first right of refusal status pending images and pricing. Then I shifted to writing LSCC club membership cards until noon time....the optimum lighting conditions for photography. By mid afternoon, the new consignments were listed and 3 of 6 were sold. After my 5:00pm scotch and dinner, I worked into late evening on more LSCC membership cards while responding to emails and phone calls.
The LATAM consignment contained top pieces and the remaining 1738 MO PCGS AU50 8 Reales deserves special attention since the surfaces are so pristine. One can only imagine where and how a large silver coin was stored for nearly 300 years without a cleaning or surface abraisons. The asking price may slow down some potential buyers but this piece is stone cold original and worth the monies.
The two remaining Dallas Collection halves (1863 PCGS AU58 and 1865 PCGS EF40) are still in play. Dialogue continues with multiple individuals on the 1863 and I suspect it will be sold before the end of day. The 1865 half is also worthy of consideration with its even medium gray surfaces.
Just a few minutes again, I received an email from GFRC customer offering a substantial England and Great Britian world coin consignment. These are a wonderful mixture of 17th and 18th century Mint State pieces with many fresh to market and recently holdered at NGC. More details are forthcoming as I expect the shipment to arrive middle of next week. Collectors continue to see the possibilities presented by a facilitated trading desk business model for exchanging coins. The common thread is quality and fair asking prices.
More consignments are due to arrive today and Friday brings the Sarasota show. I'm looking forward to spending Friday on a bourse floor as a welcomed break from office activities. My Newps expectations are low since checking local Florida inventories at recent Venice and Lakeland shows but one never knows what might be found for GFRC customers. As the product lines expand, there are purchase opportunities beyond the traditional Bust and Seated materials.
The featured coins of the day is the 1738 Mexico (Spanish Colony, Mexico City) 8 Reales. My photography is unable to fully capture the stone cold original surfaces but collectors should be able to garner a sense of the quality. Other than edge adjustment marks, there a no blemishes whatsoever. Under bright light, one can enjoy the natural silver luster through the transparent gray patina.
February 18, 2015
Happy Chinese New Year eve celebration to my dear friends Li Mei, Harry and Antique Gu. Gongxi chái dàjia! Wo hen huáiniàn women zài shànghai de youyì hé weidà de shídài.
The Consignments are Arriving! Three consignments arrived yesterday and all I can say is Wow! Thank you so much for the trust placed in GFRC and the chance to offer these spectacular coins. The World Coin consignment consists of three special Mexico pieces from an advanced collector.
1738 MO MF PCGS AU50 8 Reales, an incredibly original example with even medium gray patina; 1802 MO FT PCGS AU58 1/2 Real, beautiful multicolor ring toning and a little gem; 1944-M PCGS MS65, a kaleidoscope of natural coloring.
The Dallas Collection sent three superb Seated half dollars that will not last long.
1840-O WB-3 R5 LDS PCGS EF45, undergraded with choice gun metal gray/blue patina; 1863 PCGS AU58, hammered strike, luster and choice gray/rose patina; 1865 PCGS EF40, choice original gray and perfect.
A new consignor also sent in an 1934-S Walking Liberty half dollar residing in ANACS MS64 holder with bold luster and pretty reverse rose and blue arc toning. Walking Liberty half dollar sales are starting to pick up and I plan to be more aggressive with stocking eye appealing toner pieces.
I spoke with Jim Poston last evening and his consignment is shipping via Express mail and will arrive tomorrow. There will be more nice Seated quarters and halves forthcoming. Other consignments are in transit and will be announced as they arrive.
The next three days will be incredibly busy as I catch up on customer shipments, photograph and list the new consignments, prepare the LSCC membership cards and attend the Sarasota Show on Friday. If my email responses are slower than normal, then please understand.
Finally, more discrete dialogue is planned concerning the recent blogs that raised the need for a CAC/PQ coin price guide. This remains a critical issue for our hobby to thrive on a long term basis.
The featured coin of the day is from the Dallas Collection consignment and is a little gem. This 1862 Seated half dime resides in a PCGS MS66 holder, is approved by CAC and is for the advanced collector who only wants the Best in his collection. One immediately notices the proof like fields and frosty devices that exhibit significant luster. The clashed dies were heavily polished with die striations throughout obverse and reverse while Liberty is fully frosted. Strike is hammered and the reverse anomalies inside the denomination letters being heavy clash marks.
February 17, 2015
Good morning once again and I'm glad that you stopped by at the Blog.
With Monday being President's day, order shipments to customers and from consignor were delayed so there will be considerable activity in a shorter timespan this week. For example, I have two express shipments going out by noon and expect the world coin consignment today.
More great coins will be arriving based on customer discussions in the last 24 hours. The old saying, "you miss a day and you miss a lot" was indeed validated yesterday. Immediately after uploading the Blog, I received an email from customer asking if I would handle an 1861-O PCGS AU58 CAC W-15 Speared Olive half dollar as a consignment. Of course as this is an exciting offering for GFRC customers. This piece was seen in hand at the FUN show and is most likely the finest W-14 in existence. This piece ships today and will be posted by the weekend. Please email for first right of refusal, if this note worthy half dollar may be for you. Again, I have already seen this piece in hand and the eye appeal is all there.
If securing an 1861-O W-15 half was not enough, I received an email from a good friend who purchased a substantial number of PCGS Seated dime from GFRC during 2013 and early 2014. Circumstances require a liquidation of a portion of his holdings and those were offered. There are some choice original Seated dimes under discussion include a web-book plate coin or two. More on this topic will be forthcoming as the deal is finalized.
Finally for GFRC news...terms were reached for the Bust Love Token consignment and those pieces will also be shipped this week.
Coupled with all the GFRC activities this week, tomorrow morning brings the LSCC club member spreadsheet via email that kicks off writing 600+ club membership cards. On a positive note, when tired of processing images or writing coin descriptions, I can shift to writing club membership cards! Life is not boring.......
The featured coin of the day is from the Hanes Park collection. I was most excited about this consignment as it provides an opportunity to examine and learn the rarer Bust half dollar varieties first hand. One can read about these rare die states in Overton or Parsley and the AMBPR (Steve Herrmann's masterpiece listing of Bust half auction results) but having in hand allows me to memorize the specific diagnostics. Take for example this 1813 piece listed as O-109a with base variety rarity listed as R3 while an R5 die state when the reverse die is lapped and only one olive leaf remains. This is a really cool example with heavily clashed obverse die and metal stress lines throughout obverse and reverse.
February 16, 2015
Welcome to the Blog on President's Day holiday and thank you for stopping by.
As expected, more feedback arrived based on yesterday's Blog comments. It is best for the time being to allow readers and the hobby a period of time to digest these comments and watch what might happen. Personally, I believe change is needed in our hobby to address certain issues. But change takes time and collaboration around a common cause by multiple organizations is probably the better approach. Reaching consensus among numismatic organizations needs a facilitated process and takes time before a project execution can take place.
The Consignments are Coming! Yes, this will be a week of multiple consignments arriving at GFRC. The collector to collector trading model is being understood and more individuals are committing to employ GFRC as their platform for moving along duplicates or coins they no long cherish. Working with Gerry Fortin is simple, the execution is fast and professional and the coins are well represented. Here is a preview of new consignments that range from large auction grade lots to single noteworthy pieces;
- Jim Poston at GFRC-Coins on eBay is back from a buying trip and is sending a large lot of Seated quarters and halves. We well know that Jim has an excellent eye for naturally toned and attractive pieces so I'm excited about his shipment.
- Birmingham Part III is photographed and ready to be loaded...but first these coins will see CAC review to validate the better pieces.
- Dallas Collection is consigning more Seated halves and these are better dates and high on eye appeal. We may make a quick trip through CAC before offering.
- Hanes Park Collection offerings are fully posted as of last night.
- A small lot of high grade LATAM 8 Reales are due to arrive this week from a leading collector. These pieces are not the everday coins seen as most coin shows but rather museum quality pieces and an exciting addition to the World Coin price list.
- A Seated dime Top 100 lot in affordable collector grades.
- A three piece Seated dime San Francisco mint consignment from NH...1859-S ,1884-S and 1886-S in nice Dansco album collector grades.
- A Mint State toner 1934-S Walking Liberty half is a single coin consignment from another GFRC customer.
I've also been approached by a leading Bust coinage researcher and writer concerning potential Bust dime love token consignment. Bust dime love tokens are rare and being able to offer a 10 piece lot would be exciting for the love tokens buyers that frequent the GFRC price list.
While waiting for the above coins to arrive, Liberty Seated Collector Club duties are at hand. The March Gobrecht Journal issue is at the printers according to Editor Bill Bugert and will ship in late February to those who renewed dues on a timely basis. There will be a second Gobrecht Journal mailing to those LSCC members who provide dues payment by the first week of March. My role is to hand write 650 membership cards to continue the club tradition dating back to 1973. If you are not a Liberty Seated Collectors Club member then please consider joining immediately to secure the March Gobrecht Journal issue. An LSCC membership is the best value in numismatics today!
Today there will be two featured Coins of the Day and both are Lakeland show purchases. Many of the Lakeland show purchases are already sold. Let's start with this lovely 1875 Liberty Seated 20 cent piece (or double dime) as strictly original with even gray patina. The 1875 Philadelphia issue has a meager mintage of 36,910 and is presently under valued in today's market. PCGS guide suggests a price of $330 in F15 and $400 in VF20. This piece was purchased at an attractive price and is listed well below these price guide numbers.
The second Coin of the Day is a pretty 1833 Capped Bust quarter with attractive natural patina and grading EF40. This piece is the Browning 1 die pair with significant die pitting on both obverse and reverse. These dies were lapped after this piece was struck to eliminate the surface damage on the dies due to poor storage conditions. This is an early quarter with pristine surfaces, residual luster and eye appeal.....and reasonably priced for the quality.
February 15, 2015
Good Sunday morning to everyone and thank you for visiting with me today.
Yesterday's Blog touched a nerve as I received considerable feedback on the current confusion for properly pricing strictly original Bust and Seated coins that are accurately graded. In this morning's blog, an attempt is made to describe the multiple factors that is leading to the pricing confusion and a potential solution. Please read on.......
Collectors are constantly challenged with the issue of evaluating and how to price better quality Bust and Seated coins in any TPG holder with NGC and PCGS being predominate in their decision process. This uncertainty results in collectors becoming wary of selling their better pieces or paying strong prices to add top quality coins to collections. Most early type collectors are focused on strictly original VF through AU coinage and not high end Mint State due to financial barriers. For example, most Liberty Seated Collectors Club and John Reich Collectors Society members are fundamentally date/mintmark or variety collectors and not investors. But we need to be honest and point out that nearly every collector hopes to make money on a coin purchase or at a minimum, break even on resale. To achieve this expectation, collectors must have keen grading skills and work with trusted dealers who place the best interest of customers first. These individuals also need a longer term horizon.
To enjoy their hobby, collectors must enter and operate in a marketplace with a significant number of dealers, multiple tier 1 and tier 2 auction houses, competing grading services and many pricing guides. All of these variables can lead to the collector feeling overwhelmed and confused when spending precious disposable income. Many collectors jump into the marketplace, have difficulties and then exit when they realize that their "collector coins" are worth a fraction of purchase price upon resale. Individuals who carefully study the market, learn how to grade and work with a trusted mentor have a higher chance at success and hobby longevity.
Another factor to consider is the impact of the Internet on the hobby and the upcoming Generation X and Millennials entering the hobby. These individuals are well experienced with information access and rapid purchase gratification due to online shopping. Wise numismatic purchases run contrary to this purchasing style.
Returning to the core topic of this Blog, I see several important issues that contribute to the confusion surrounding the pricing of strictly original Bust and Seated coins in typical VF through AU collector grades. They include;
- TPG grading variability....grading services are for profit entities and if not grading coins they are out of business. Repeat business is paramount for longevity. Add in the stress and accuracy expectations on graders, then one can understand the variability of the human eyes when trying to grade uniform modern bullion (separating the MS70s from MS69s) and then early type with its host of date related striking characteristics.
- Multiple pricing guides....pricing guides are published by for profit entities and their maintenance can be erratic in a fast changing market place with many denominations and series. For example, the PCGS pricing guide is not accurate for many VF-AU Seated coins but is commonly seen being used on tablets on bourse floors. Economics dictate that business will focus on higher volume collector series (20th Century) and not spend the time researching changes in early type coin markets.
- Auction results are misleading....CoinFacts is an excellent tool for capturing and presenting recent auction results. However, the quality of many coins are auction these days is marginal due to "market acceptable" coins finding their way into holders. CAC coins are also found in the auction results population but not broken out separately. The marginal coins and the above average coins are simply presented as one population of auction results. CAC coins are not influencing the pricing guides and this, I believe, is a core issue for determining the price structure of strictly original Bust and Seated material.
Dear Daily Blog readers....we need a well maintained CAC pricing guide that accurately reflects auction results for CAC certified coins. I see CAC as the great equalizer between PCGS and NGC market share wars and the cross over gamesmanship that is currently occuring. The CAC pricing guide should be maintained by an impartial and unbaised entity that rises above the commercial parameters at work in the hobby. One option could be the major numismatic clubs rather than the "for profit" entities to become involved to level the playing field. Other possibilities may arise.
I'm sure today's Blog will bring about considerable feedback and all of it is welcomed.
The featured coin of the day is a common date but strictly original Seated half purchased at the Lakeland show. Regardless of the coin being raw, I paid strong money for the piece to offer quality inventory to GFRC customers. This lovely piece would fit nicely in a Dansco album. (On Hold)
February 14, 2015
Happy Valentine's Day to loyal Blog readers and visitors.
I attended the Collectorama Show in Lakeland, Florida yesterday. This is one of the better Florida shows with a few national dealers in attendance. Coleman Foster had a table along with Sergio Sanchez and Miller's Mint. Attendance was typical....the opening rush at 10:00am with the floor being essentially empty by 2:00pm. As with other Florida shows, collectors were mostly interested in 20th century coins, Morgans or silver and gold bullion. Early types coins were available but mostly with problems or the most common dates in the Seated denominations. I spent five hours at the show since working want lists for Shanghai customers along with digging for quality inventory additions.
Inventory purchases were limited. The highlights were 1833 25c B-1 in original EF40 and 1860 25c NGC MS61 that is a superb gem for the grade. Other pieces included 1834 LM-5 R3 5c original AU50, 1855WA 10c nice AU55, 1875 20c choice original F15, 1876 25c NGC AU55 with pretty toning and shattered dies, 1876-CC 25c NGC VF30 solid original gray and 1859 50c AU55 choice with light tone. Going into the show, my goals was to add more Seated halves to inventory but disappointed as the floor was devoid of nice halves other than several dealers selling at retail levels.
I took the opportunity to chat with other dealers about FUN show results and the market in general. Most mentioned weak FUN show results and a slow overall market since Fall 2014.
If I changed hats from being a dealer to the former Gerry Fortin, the collector, then it is easy to see why the market may be considered weak. There is a lack of attractive Bust and Seated coins at larger regional shows and when available, the offerings are mostly common dates or priced above the guides. Attractive early coins are sitting in collector hands while dealers continue to stock "stuff", "retreads" or whatever term you wish to use. Let me repeat this, the great coins are already in collector hands. Until collectors release their coins into the market, the overall market will appear weak as there is little available for trading among dealers and show offerings. In tomorrow's Blog, I will touch upon the pricing dilemma when few quality coins are available in the market.
Finally, I learned from a GFRC customer that PCGS started using the www.seateddimevarieties.com web-book numbering system on their holders. The following PCGS AU50 F-106a (cobweb reverse) dime is on eBay and marketed as the first dime to have the Fortin variety number on the label. The acceptance of a reference guide that is only available on the web is ground breaking for the hobby.
The featured coin of the day is an 1868-S Seated dime residing in PCGS AU50 holder. I wonder if Seated dime collectors truly appreciate how scarce 1868 San Francisco dimes are in AU or better grades. Let's take a quick look at CoinFacts and PCGS population report....AU50 (1), AU53 (2), AU55 (1), AU58 (2), MS60 (0), MS61 (0), MS62 (2) and MS63 (5). Amazing isn't it? This is another grade rarity sleeper and I am so pleased that GFRC is able to offer this piece at a fair price. This piece was sourced from the Strong Hands Collection and reinforces my earlier Blog point. The better Liberty Seated coins are in collector hands.
February 13, 2015
Good morning to everyone and my thoughts go out to individuals living in the Northeast. This winter is proving to be brutal with excessive snow and now the sub zero air mass.
I will be leaving for the Lakeland Florida show shortly, therefore today's Blog will be short. Tomorrow's Blog will feature Collectorama newps and other highlights.
Yesterday was productive as many coins were added throughout the price lists including the Hanes Park Collection bust half dimes and dimes. If you are a Capped Bust dime variety collector, then I might suggest a review of that price list as cool coins were added including two R5s. The 1811/09 in terminal die state is my favorite within the Hanes Park lot and is shown below. This dime was struck with bulged obverse die (at the cap) and completely shattered reverse die. Grading this one is a tad difficult since the uneven surfaces are susceptible to non uniform wear. The assigned VG10 grades is accurate.
Another favorite from Hanes Park Collection is this wonderful 1830 LM-2 R3 Capped Bust half dime. I really like this piece as the surfaces are covered with uniform gun metal gray/blue patina coupled with sufficient remaining luster and a great strike. NGC grading is accurate and I believe this little circulated gem would easily CAC.
February 12, 2015
Amazing how time simply flies by. Today is already Thursday and Valentine's Day is this coming Saturday. Please remember that special person in your life this weekend with an act of kindness.
I received a phone order yesterday from Alton Chow in Hawaii. We had a lovely conversation about his challenges in locating nice original coins and the fact that he is a Daily Blog reader. It is so gratifying to hear that individuals see the Blog as a numismatic learning opportunity. As the new LSCC President, I am committed to club member education and ensuring that all collectors acquire coins that are quality items along with being long term financial assets. In an earlier blog (months ago), I discussed the difference between "investment grade" and "collector grade" coins and strive to manage GFRC towards offering mostly investment grade coins. But....as explained in the January 12 blog, there are market forces that cloudy the investment grade coin landscape resulting is price setting or valuation challenges. Our great hobby is not an environment where coins can be treated as a pure commodity. There are those in the numismatic business who strive towards this goal....having collectors read a TPG label and then a quick look up on Coin World, CDN or CoinFacts to immediately know the market value. At GFRC, I believe the actual coin is the item being studied, appreciated and purchased with considerable subjectivity. Knowledgeable collectors are the best GFRC customers so the Blog will continue to single out noteworthy coins and the basis for these opinions.
The Hanes Park consignment arrived yesterday afternoon and is exclusively bust coinage. This lot is a treasure trove of mostly Capped Bust dimes and halves for variety collectors with many R3 through R5s. These will be photographed today and listed on Saturday and Sunday. It is exciting to be adding a wide selection of Bust coinage to the price list targeted at variety collectors. The Bust coinage sets in the Open Registry need a few more participants....adding better varieties to the price list may attract more bust collectors to GRFC and I welcome their Registry sets. One of the days, I need to add the Bust halves module to the Open Registry as John Okerson has already prepared the Excel input sheets and occasionally reminds me of this fact.
Tomorrow, I will be attending the Lakeland Florida show and securing an early morning start. It is doubtful that I will have time to write a blog so please check back on Saturday for a show summary and Newps report.
Yesterday, I posted seven nice Seated dimes to the price lists; these were purchased from the Strong Hands Collection and are above average in quality. The owner allowed me to pick through a group of dimes designated for fund raising purposes and I am most appreciative of this opportunity. There are some great dimes in the lot including the 1838 Partial Drapery F-109 and 1873 Open 3 F-104 which are now web-book plate coins due to their originality and eye appeal.
The featured coin of the day is the 1838 F-109 Partial Drapery dime graded PCGS AU58...PCGS labeled the dime as Partial Drapery. Nearly all "Partial Drapery" examples were struck from the original clashing die pair (Obverse 5 and Reverse G) with the huge reverse die clash mark through DIM(E). Occasionally, one sees "Partial Drapery" dimes with the clashed Obverse 5 subsequently paired with Reverse E as Reverse E does not exhibit the huge clash mark. During this F-109 die pairing, Obverse 5 and Reverse E are well worn and die erosion is most evident. I've only seen a few F-109 Partial Drapery examples over my collecting tenure and was excited to locate this marvelous example in the Strong Hand Collection. If I were still actively collecting, this dime would immediately be heading into the Fortin Collection. Please give this piece some serious consideration as it has eye appeal coupled with some serious rarity. (On Hold)
February 11, 2015
Good morning everyone and thank you for visiting the Blog.
Yesterday was a very busy day though few new coins were loaded on price lists. The morning started off with a draft review of the March Gobrecht Journal in PDF format. This issue is very well prepared with a host of strong articles. Editor Bill Bugert is now using Publisher, a double column format and alternate font which increases page efficiency. LSCC members are securing incredible value for their $20 membership dues given the quality and amount of information contained in the new large sized Gobrecht Journal. If you are not an Liberty Seated Collector Club member, then please contact me as the LSCC is the best value in numismatics......
After the Gobrecht Journal draft review, I drove to NGC in Sarasota to retrieve a FUN economy order and submitted several customer coins along with the 1839-O and 1842-O dimes with Kam Ahwash provenance. NGC grading on the economy order was conservative and accurate. Some GFRC customers still demand PCGS submissions so they can continue to upgrade their PCGS Set Registry sets and this I understand. However, I am working with NGC as consistency is important when selling higher priced coins and I am continually pleased with their current grading results. I would rather sell slightly undergraded coins at small premiums than marginally graded coins at average retail prices.
The afternoon brought the arrival of an outright purchase deal with Strong Hands consignor on a seven piece Seated dime lot. These coins are not retreads or wholesale material, but rather fresh and original collector coins from an advanced collector. These pieces will be photographed today and should be on the price lists by evening. Following are the Newps and I would suggest a quick email for first right of refusal if there is interest. Coins at this quality level just don't come to market often.
1838 F-108 Partial Drapery PCGS AU58 gorgeous light gold patina; 1868-S PCGS AU50 light gray with luster and rare at this grade level; 1871-S F-102 PCGS VF35 even light gray and well struck, 1873 Open 3 F-104 PCGS AU58 and a gem...will become new web-book plate coin; 1873-S F-101 PCGS EF45 CAC choice medium gray and well struck for LDS; 1877-S F-109 PCGS MS63 lustrous and always scarce; 1891-O F-109 O/Horizontal O, PCGS VF35 even gray and rare when fully original.
After dinner and one episode of the Big Bang Theory, I returned to the home office and worked until 10:30pm evaluating the 20 Seated dimes in Birmingham Part III. There are some incredible dimes in this lot that I would have died for years ago.....the highlight is clearly the 1845-O PCGS AU50 example that is so conservatively graded and has incredible eye appeal. I suspect it may be the finest of the 5 graded at PCGS with few better extant. PCGS pop report has (1) AU53, (1) AU55, (1) AU58, (1) MS62 and (1) MS69. The AU55 is in my collection, the Pittman coin, and now CAC Gold. The MS69 is the Gene Gardner coin going to auction in June and will probably sell for close to $500,000. It is so important for collectors to understand the limited supply of top coins on certain dates. Case in point in the Birmingham Collection 1843-O PCGS EF45 that sold for $6000 in one day. A few collectors kick themselves for not acting quickly on this piece.
Today will be a heavy packaging and shipping day and preparing the Birmingham coins for CAC submission. Friday is the Lakeland show and need to print out my want lists files and be ready for that day's requirements.
The featured coin of the day is an 1883 Seated quarter graded NGC MS64. This is one of the "low mintage" Philadelphia years that is challenging for collectors. This example is close to a gem with bold cartwheel luster and untoned surfaces. Surfaces are completely original with mint frost on Liberty, eagle and reverse lettering while the fields exhibit traces of metal flow and few if any tiny blemishes. I believe this piece is accurately graded at the assigned MS64 level.
February 10, 2015
There are days when writing a blog is a struggle and then there are days when a host of important items occurred in the last 24 hours worthy of sharing. Today is the latter as there is lots of news and I'm excited about writing the Blog!
Leading today's topics is a small but historical Seated dime deal that I've been quietly negotiating with a California individual. Several weeks back, I received a phone call asking if I might be interested in purchasing or taking a consignment on certain dimes purchased in the 1970 timeframe. Of course I replied as the details were explained on the phone. Three Seated dimes arrived on Friday and were sitting in high quality flips with the below insert. Does anyone recognize the dealer who issued these inserts? The three Seated dimes are 1839-O AU55, 1839-O Huge O EF and 1842-O AU55 as graded by the dealer.
Yes, this is none other than Kamal Ahwash's insert with his long hand written description on the reverse side. On Sunday, I made the owner an offer for the lot and yesterday, he phoned to accept the offer. It is with great pleasure that I announce the purchase of three important Liberty Seated dimes that have been in storage since the late 1970s. First is 1839-O F-105 graded AU55 by Kam and described as "Nice luster, Slider Unc". Second is 1839-O F-108 graded EF and described as "Huge O, Rev of 1838-O, Excessively Rare". Saving the best for last, the third piece is an 1842-O F-105 graded AU55 with the insert description, "Very Scarce, Slider Unc". One needs to understand that the AU58 grade was not used prior to the TPG era, therefore AU55 was the highest grade level assigned to a coin when it was essentially Mint State with a trace of rub. Let's close this topic by saying that the 1839-O F-105 and the 1842-O F-105 are gems for the Ahwash assigned grade and heading to NGC for grading later this morning.
Next up is consignment news! I received an email from a new GFRC consignor that his bust coinage shipment was in the mail. Moving forward, the consignor will be referred to as the Hanes Park Collection. This initial offerring includes 15 pieces across all denominations but concentrated in dimes and halves. Key to note....the Hanes Park Collection is from an astute variety collector and will be ideal for GFRC customers who wish to add to their Open Registry Ultimate sets. The 15 pieces include R2 through R5 varieties with one R6 die state. It is such a pleasure to be working with this advanced collector and helping him disposition duplicates. I expect the shipment to arrive by end of week and will be posting these during the coming weekend along with Lakeland show newps.
Also in today's consignment news is the arrival of Birmingham Part III. Wow! Another outstanding group of Liberty Seated dimes including many important pieces....the 1845-O PCGS AU50 is a grade rarity that is gem for the grade with original gun metal toning and residual luster. I believe that I owned this piece for a short period of time back in the early 1990s when working with Kevin Zeitler on web-book New Orleans coinage research. There are many other great coins like an 1842-O PCGS MS62 and 1884-S PCGS MS64 that are noteworthy. More on Birmingham Collection Part III in the coming days.
Finally, I've been conversing with the Virginia Collection consignor and we agreed to refocus attention on his residual GFRC pieces. To that end, each piece was reviewed, prices were adjusted to be attractive and descriptions rewritten. The price lists are updated and you are invited to consider the Virginia Collections pieces at new pricing levels.
The featured coin of the day is the 1872-CC half dollar from the Virginia Collection. Sales of Seated halves have been strong recently and this choice original Carson City half deserves new attention. This half is strictly original with uniform gun metal gray toning throughout the obverse and reverse. Under bright light, the toning has nice blue hues at the rims. These images are dated and will be redone in bright Florida sunlight today. Please email or call if there is potential interest. Terms are always available as this is a four figure coin.
February 9, 2015
Another Monday and work week is upon us. My thoughts go out relatives, friends and customers living in the Northeast as each week brings another major snowstorm. This winter, the jet stream is positioned higher than 2014 with storms flowing across the upper United States with most reaching the PA, NY region and then turning northward into New England. Raymond, Maine has at least five feet of snow on the ground and I can only imagine the size of the roadside snow banks.
Though yesterday was a Sunday, I worked from early morning until 9:00pm with breaks for a morning walk, then lunch and a low calorie Subway dinner. Many new offerings were loaded on price lists including the 1867 and 1879 half dollars. This morning, I received an email requesting both pieces along with several other halves. Love token sales were strong this weekend. Also on Sunday, I managed to load the Hamden type set in the Open Registry, make rarity rating adjustments to the Bust Dime Ultimate set per John Okerson and also continued to pen personal notes to LSCC members who have not renewed their 2015 memberships.
Intermixed with GRFC activities, the LSCC officers reached consensus on our new club logo. Bill Bugert, E-Gobrecht and Gobrecht Journal Editor, will be publishing the club logo in the upcoming March E-Gobrecht. The selection process was lengthy with considerable inputs from club members including Jim Macor, a graphic artist who submitted a variety of options and worked diligently with the officers to fine tune several of the candidates. I am proud of the LSCC leadership team and their ongoing efforts for club outreach throughout the United States. John Frost and Dennis Fortier are in the southern U.S. and attempting to market the club at small weekend shows in that region. One day, I can envision that the LSCC will have international members; it is only a matter of time as the club expands its online presence.
Today's primary activities are packaging and shipping orders then rendering pricing reductions on certain items along with transfer to the Discount price lists. My goal is to clear up shipping and price reduction backlog before the next consignment wave arrives this week coupled with attending the Lakeland FL show on Friday. A large want list arrived this weekend from GFRC's most active Shanghai customer and his needs will keep me busy the entire day at the Lakeland show. By next weekend, GFRC customers will be treated to a host of new offerings.
Wanted....Liberty Seated Half Dollar consignments! The market is strong for this Seated denomination and GFRC would be interested in working closely with individuals who might wish to thin out their collections.
The featured coin of the day is a Choice Original 1856-O Seated half dime graded PCGS AU53. This is the V-3 variety, with lustrous silver centers and deeper gold toning near the rims. It is well struck from later die state dies as the obverse exhibits die cracks through Stars 8 to 13 and the reverse has die crack through tops of letters in UNITED. Sales of Seated half dimes has been slow of late and my hope is to bring attention to this moderately priced and highly collectable denomination. Please remember that the series is short as ending in 1873 and does not contain difficult Carson City dates.
February 8, 2015
Good morning and thank you for visiting the Blog on a Sunday. On week days, I usually have the Blog completed before 8:00am but this morning I was in slow motion and slightly distracted with a host of overnight emails.
Yesterday was an excellent day for photography with clear skies and bright sun. More coins were imaged including another Seated quarter acquired during a second visit to the Venice Coin show. Having a reasonably sized coin show within 10 minutes of home is convenient and the second visit was well worth the time. I purchased a very attractive and undergraded 1878-CC PCGS30 Canceled Die quarter with natural gun metal toning. This coin was immediately imaged and place at the top of the Price List page as just so nice. It lasted all of one hour and sold to a repeat customer who enjoys attractively toned Seated and Bust coins. Top quality photography is important for selling coins online and being able to accomplish within minutes of a purchase is an added benefit of living in Florida.
The consignments continue to arrive and their composition is starting to broaden. As stated repeatedly, the GFRC business model goal is to develop a faciliated collector to collector trading platform coupled within an enjoyable online collecting experience. More customers are starting to send along smaller amounts of quality duplicates to convert into upgrades or alternative purchases. Instead of having to shop these coins to dealers at a coin show (most are not Seated or Bust experts) or to place on eBay, customers simply mail their pieces to GFRC with a minimum price expectation and then I handle the rest. As an example, yesterday brought a two coin shipment from the Rhode Island Collection....a gorgeous but raw 1867 half dollar grading full AU55 with light natural toning but a tiny rim nick on the reverse. The customer purchased this half dollar years ago due to its beauty and ignored the minor imperfection and now wishes to sell. The second piece is a scarce 1879 half dollar in mint state condition. I will be busy imaging these pieces today and placing on the price list by end of day. This is the type of personal service that customers and consignors receive at GFRC.
I will try to catch up with posting new inventory today as this week brings several important shipments (Birmingham Collection Part III and Strong Hands Collection outright purchase of seven Seated dimes). Also forthcoming is another Latin America (LATAM) consignment by a top collector of these pieces. His offerings have incredible eye appeal with natural toning. Though initial world coin sales have been slow, several GFRC consignors see a need for collector trading system in this area and are willing to help build up GRFC inventory in the hope that more knowledgeable collectors will become involved in this market segment. I am so blessed to have the support of these fine individuals as we cooperate towards building a world coin trading platform.
The featured coin of the day is an attractive 1883 San Francisco Morgan dollar purchased this week. For those unfamiliar with Morgans, the 1883-S date is available in lower grades but quickly becomes a grade rarity in Mint State. The AU grade level is the pricing inflection point where one can purchase an example with only minor rub for a fraction of Mint State price. This example has attractive toning and mildly proof like obverse with superior eye appeal to blast white pieces.
February 7, 2015
Attendance at the Venice coin show was strong on Friday morning. This is a small 30 table venue with local coin shop owners and the usual cast of Sarasota through Corral Springs dealers. I arrived before opening time and immediately scanned the floor for early type once the doors opened. Within a hour, the floor was jammed with collectors mostly seeking out traditional 20th century coins for their sets. Some Seated coins were available including a fair number of quarters, some dimes and suprisingly few halves. Seated quarters were mostly the common dates in VG through VF grades. Of note was the disproportionate amount of Independent Coin Graders (ICG) holdered coins on the bourse floor. Some dealers had more ICG coins than PCGS/NGC combined. ICG is located in Tampa and it appears that West Coast Florida dealers are loyal to ICG for their certification needs. I may be of a different opinion and view ICG holdered coins as if raw during potential purchase and would most likely crack out any purchased in these holders.
Once I had the lay of the land at the Venice show, I settled in with a dealer offering a nice mix of early type and toner Morgans and spent the next hour going through his inventory and purchased several better pieces for price lists.
Returning back home and checking emails, the Birmingham Collection consignor informed me of decision to ship the balance of his collection this coming week for price list loading and a pass through CAC review. To date, the Birmingham Collection has offered important Seated dimes including the 1843-O PCGS45 and the 1852-O PCGS58; both are on lay-a-way. This next shipment includes 20 more Seated dimes with numerous better date/grade level combinations. Some highlights are;
1840 ND PCGS64, 1840-O PCGS50, 1841-O NGC64, 1842-O PCGS62, 1845-O PCGS50, 1856-S PCGS50, 1860-S PCGS55, 1865-S PCGS50, 1866-S PCGS50, 1869-S NGC65 and 1884-S PCGS MS64.
For GFRC customers building advanced Seated dimes sets, the arrival of Birmingham Collection Part III is a substantial event.
Yesterday afternoon was spent with the Auburn Lakes association door replacement project and I finally settled into loading newps after dinner until midnight. There are a new offerings scattered throughout the price list this morning and do wish to call attention to several pieces. First up is a strictly original 1828 O-118a Bust half residing in new NGC AU53 holder. Bust halves are popular and always available on bourse floors; the challenge is to locate top quality original examples. Second is an 1860-S WB-1 Large S half that is a naturally toned AU piece and quite scarce. Third is a toner 1945-S Walker residing in pristine old fatty NGC MS65 holder. All three coins are high on my eye appeal scale as GFRC customers know that I am very selective. Photographing the 1828 and 1860-S peices was straightforward while the 1945-s was a real challenge when trying to capture color and bold luster simultaneously through a thick plastic holder. This morning, GFRC customers are treated to three featured coins of the day as each half dollar is special in its own way.
February 6, 2015
Friday is already here as another week quickly flashes by. The response to yesterday's Blog was strong including over 20 downloads from mainland China. Though at times I worry about the impact of the internet to conservative values, the communication opportunities are endless for small business individuals.
More great coins arrived yesterday via USPS along with an early morning visit to a favorite coin shop. Today is the Venice coin show which I will be attending shortly followed by the Lakeland show next week then the Sarasota show the following week. Attending coin shows as a buyer takes me back to collector roots, is so enjoyable and gets me away from the day to day office activities.
Yesterday's new arrivals included an 1891-O O/Horizontal O dime in raw AU, an 1854-O EF40 half dollar that is perfectly original gunmetal gray/blue and an attractive 1883-S AU55 Morgan. Also arriving for evaluation/potential purchase was a shipment of three Seated dimes in pristine Kam Ahwash flips dating back to the late 1970s. I will not discuss these pieces until a course of action is decided with the owner....let's just say that the dimes are significant. Finally, the Seated dime deal mentioned within the February 4 blog has been shipped via registered mail and will arrive next week. This lot contains an important group of investment grade better dates and many S mints mostly certified by PCGS and held in a collection for years.
I've loaded the first round of Maine Collection key dates to the Indian Cent price list. This price list is securing many hits and I'm looking forward to potential sales as GFRC expands product lines. The Maine collection pieces are original EF-AU grade pieces with the 1864-L grading NGC MS63 BN and the 1877 NGC EF40.
The LSCC officers held their monthly conference call last night; it is such a pleasure to be a part of this professional leadership team. The LSCC logo selection process is moving forward with only two candidates remaining. The final decision will occur once the officers consider all potential uses for the club trademark and how well each option will scale on presentation templates, brochures, letterhead and within our signature publications...the Gobrecth Journal and the E-Gobrecht. Speaking of the Gobrecht Journal, the March 2015 issue is nearly done and Editor Bill Bugert is waiting for a few more ads before preparing a PDF version for the officers to perform a final check. Article backlog for the summer issue is strong. Other LSCC news includes a fund raising auction at the annual ANA meeting. Unlike past years, this auction will have regular Liberty Seated coins consigned by the membership with fees benefitting the club treasury. Shortly, I will be setting up an auction page (mini auction catalog) on the LSCC website to feature consigned and donated lots. All lots will be handled by the LSCC President for photography and storage until the ANA auction event.
That is about all for today's GFRC and LSCC news. I need to grab a quick shower and prepare for the Venice coin show. Today's feature coin is a Gem original 1873 proof 3 cent silver piece from the Birmingham Collection. Little has been said about this really attractive type coin. It is the last year of issue with only 600 proof strikes. Surfaces feature light natural coloring over reflective mirrors.
February 5, 2015
Good morning everyone and thank you for visiting with me this morning. Today's Blog will be on the low energy side as I was up too late writing LSCC membership renewal letters and loading new inventory on price lists. The Auburn Lakes door replacement session did not go as planned as the installation crew was undersized and slow. We managed to replace 16 doors across 8 hours of work with 24 more doors remaining for today and subsequent days. I am not pleased......
Valentine's Day must be approaching as I received multiple phone call and email orders during the day on these pieces. Love tokens sales behavior is different than coins. This price list behaves more like jewelry with sales spiking prior to special holidays with credit card payments and requests for quick shipments. Individuals keep asking about the Eric Streiner hoard and when these will be posted....no answer is presently available.
My Venice postman is an avid collector and stopped by yesterday to remind me that the local Venice coin club show is tomorrow and Saturday. This was a pleasant surprise as I've been so consumed with activities and had not paid attention to the local Florida coin show schedule other than the Lakeland show end of next week. I'm really looking forward to spending Friday morning on a small bourse floor and will report Newps on the Saturday blog. Raw coin sales have been brisk and searching out new inventory is paramount during the February show schedule.
For those who are familiar with Chinese culture, Chinese Lunar New Year typically takes place in late January or during February. 2015 is the year of the Goat with the New Year arriving on February 19. Chinese life experiences a social transformation during the weeks prior to the holiday. There are ongoing evening dinner parties everywhere in the country and migrant workers will always return home for the holidays to reunited with family. I distinctly remember those mass movements of humanity on the highways and at the train stations prior to this special holiday. Chinese New Year's eve brings massive fireworks on every street corner starting in the early evening and reaching a crescendo at midnight. I've dug out an image taken at one of the CSMC Marketing and Sales parties. My organization was well known for its ability to entertain China and International customers and was skillful with food and alcohol; we had a reputation for hosting an exciting Lunar New Year dinner party.
Don't be fooled by the small shot glass....the white Chinese liquor is nasty stuff. My staff would scheme to individually toast me throughout the party and expect that I drink a shot with each of them separately.....My mentor Frank Lai, opposite in the image, was typical of many Chinese people and lacked the ability to digest alcohol. So that is tea in his glass and he had the responsibility to take me home that evening. In the middle is QianJianJian who managed sales order scheduling and production in the factories. Though her English was weak and my Mandarin was poor, we did manage to communicate well.
Today's featured coin is an attractive 1832 O-119 bust half dollar in raw condition. This is an R4 variety with no blemishes. The peripheral ring toning patterns on both obverse and reverse well frame the lighter centers.
February 4, 2015
Another day and another Blog....thank you for stopping by and sharing in my active life. Today is another one of those day's where I've over committed precious waking hours by attempting to juggle writing more personal notes to LSCC members who have not renewed 2015 dues, chaperoning contractors who will replace 40 carport and entry doors at the Auburn Lakes condo association and building a Indian Cents price list to showcase the Maine Collection. Taking all in stride is important and the majority of these items will be completed before bedtime.
I'm pleased to announced that a shipment of investment grade Seated dimes will be in transit to GFRC this week. This is an outright purchase transaction with a West Coast customer who is trying to slim down his holdings and offered me first shot. On behalf of GFRC customers and GFRC, I appreciate this acquisition opportunity. Once top quality Seated coins are placed with GFRC customers, my hope is the coins will stay "within our collectors circle" and move between customers over the longer term. Having access to quality coins is an important issue for collectors attempting to build advanced type sets or date and mintmark sets. Working together as a "community" to faciliate the transfer of top quality coins has been an implicit goal behind the GFRC business model. Today, this vision is starting to materialize as GFRC customers feel comfortable with consigning duplicates or dispositioning portions of their collections directly into the GFRC community via a friendly brokered process.
The Open Registry has seen a fair number of updates in the past few days and is another important aspect of the GFRC collector experience. Collectors enjoy searching out and purchasing attractive coins and then sharing their accomplishments with others. There is an important community aspect to the Open Registry by which individuals can display their collections in a none competitive environment. The original "Registry" concept was designed to stimulate grading business at PCGS by being exclusive and only allowing PCGS certified coins. My Open Registry concept was built on the premise that collectors are social beings and wish to share their collections with others in a fully open environment. The Open Registry has grown since 2005 and today features 183 sets and 46 participants. These numbers are tiny as compared to the anonomous and competitive TPG registries. Participating in the Open Registry means working directly with me to have collections or acquisitions posted since my system remains manual. But the combined efforts of the collector to submit updates and my involvement with the posting demonstrates a common bond for the appreciation of fine coins and accomplishments with set building.
Over the past week, selections from the Dallas Collection were featured. Today will be a departure as I showcase an upcoming piece from the Maine Collection Indian Cent set. As Daily Blog readers are aware, the Maine Collection is multiple high quality sets that were assembled during the 1955 - 1965 timeframe and stored in Wayte Raymond holders via bank box in Auburn, Maine. I've been actively grading the Indian Cent set at NGC and will be featuring these coins on a new price list during the balance of the week . This is a challenge as photographing copper coins is not as straightforward as toned silver. First up is a wonderful 1864-L cent graded NGC MS63 with a rotated reverse. Please don't hesitate to email me with potential interest.
February 3, 2015
A sincere good morning to Daily Blog readers! Writing the blog is an activity that I look forward to each day as the quiet time between 6:00am and 7:30am allows me to focus on the upcoming day's activities and to capture relevant thoughts in writing. I've never kept a diary in my life, but this ongoing blog is turning into a public numismatic diary with other anecdotal thoughts..
I'm pleased to report that all Dallas Collection consignment pieces are loaded on price lists. Working with the Dallas coins has been a real pleasure and I thank this consignor for entrusting his wonderful pieces. The 1861-O WB-9 half dollar is really a sight to behold in hand along with the 1863-S half dime. These are condition census type coins that are most attractive.
I worked late into Monday evening and also updated the Coins of the Month link with an updated set of my favorite pieces from GFRC inventory. It seems that the Coin of the Month link is being refreshed every two months and I do need to be more diligent with the maintenance of this link.
Yesterday afternoon brought the arrival of a priority package from LSCC Secretary, Craig Eberhart. This package contained a substantial amount of letters that will be sent to LSCC members who have not renewed their 2015 dues on a timely basis. Today's major activity is to hand address a note to each club member on this dubious list in the hope that they will renew their dues quickly towards receiving the upcoming March Gobrecht Journal issue. I wonder if my hand writing will be legible by the end of the day.....computers, tablets and smart phone have nearly eliminated the need for traditional writing on paper.
Coupled with the day's LSCC activity, I will be packing and shipping a fair number of orders and starting to build the Maine Collection Indian Cent price list. The key and semi key dates are sitting on my desk in fresh NGC holders and have been photographed. Hopefully, there will be time to get this new price list online today with a few selections. NGC should have the FUN show economy submission ready this week; more of the Indian Cent collection will be available at that time.
Currently, I am expecting one consignment to arrive this week. Afterwards, there will be available time since my next buying event is the Lakeland Florida show on February 13. This would be a good time to consider a potential GFRC consignment as I will have the bandwidth to act upon it quickly. New consignments that arrive in the next 30-45 days will be well positioned for display at the Whitman Baltimore show followed by the Central States (Chicago) show in mid April. I remember the wave of consignments that arrived immediately before the FUN show and the amount of last minute work to properly absorb those offerings. We have a 45 day window available before major national shows and I would enjoy speaking with you about potential consignments in the near term.
The featured coin of the day is once again from the Dallas Collection. I am in love with this 1861 New Orleans half dollar struck by the Confederate States of America and wish it could stay in my personal collection. Not only is this a historical piece but also a condition census example at the PCGS MS65 CAC grade level. The eye appeal is incredible as illustrated here. Please don't hesitate to call or email to discuss a potential purchase as the consignor is flexible with terms.
February 2, 2015
To be honest, I thought the Patriots had lost the Super Bowl regardless of Tom Brady's relentless scoring drives. Then the end zone interception occurs with 20+ seconds followed by double Seahawk penalties. It was a wild finish to a "game for the ages" with the Belichick-Brady duo setting new records in NFL history. Pete Carroll will be haunted by the slant out passing play call for the rest of his life.
Regardless of yesterday being a Sunday and the Super Bowl event, orders were strong with considerable attention on the Dallas Collection. Nearly all the Seated quarters are posted along with the amazing 1862 PCGS MS66 CAC half dime and the stunning 1878 7TF PCGS MS64+ CAC Morgan. There are still more great coins to come including 1863-S PCGS MS65 CAC half dime and 1861-O W-9 CSA PCGS MS65 CAC half dollar...... I also managed to fit in a one hour walk and post notices for the door replacement portion of the Auburn Lakes painting project.
The LSCC published its February E-Gobrecht with a call for Hall of Fame nominations, the four final logo design candidates and many excellent columns and feature articles. After the Super Bowl, the E-Gobrecht issue was loaded onto www.seateddimevarieties.com and www.LSCCweb.org websites and I finished the day by writing a President's message for the upcoming March Gobrecht Journal issue.
Today's blog will be short....the balance of the Dallas Collection pieces must be processed and listed. The submission deadline for Gobrecht Journal advertisements is upon me and I have an Auburn Lakes board meeting this afternoon. Lots to do today along with the usual email and phone call discussions with GFRC customers.
The featured coin of the day is the lone Morgan dollar in the Dallas Collection. This is a stunning example with natural obverse toning residing over lustrous surfaces. Definitely a conversation piece for the collector of the finest toned United States coinage. This piece is priced at a modest level and worth to check out.
February 1, 2015
Super Bowl Sunday has finally arrived! Of course, I will be cheering on Bill Belichick's bad boy New England Patriots for obvious reasons.
Turning back to coins.....The Dallas Collection is an amazing consignment. This becomes more apparent as each piece is processed, loaded on price list along with descriptions. Already, three Seated quarters are on hold via the Daily Blog pre announcements and first right of refusal requests. I will still post these quarters with their Hold designations in the event that the early buyers decide to pass (which I believe to be unlikely). Today will bring the Dallas Collection half dimes, more Seated quarters and the incredible 1861-O W-9 CSA half dollar graded PCGS MS65 CAC.
While loading Dallas Collection Seated quarters this morning, it dawned on me that the Seated quarter series is alive and well as more collectors are returning to this difficult denomination. Yes, Seated dime and Seated halves have always been popular with Seated quarters listed as the "most difficult" series to collect. But since starting GFRC and amassing a strong Seated quarter inventory, I believe this series is indeed collectable with an adequate supply of nice investment grade pieces returning to the market during the last 12 months. Prior to 2013, it appears that asking prices were run up by specialty dealers and reached levels that discouraged collectors with many of them giving up on this demanding series. Without an active collector base, existing dealer inventories remained stagnant at high prices. Now, collectors are returning as prices adjust to "reasonable levels" near trend guides. The outcome is nice Seated quarter offerings are increasing as collectors deciding to upgrade and release duplicates back into the market. GFRC seems to be a preferred dealer as my Seated quarter inventory and sales continue to ramp.
Yesterday, I received an email from a West Coast customer/consignor who seeks to liquidate a portion of his Seated dime collection. His email contained a list of potential offerings and I have already replied on a number of his pieces requesting direct buy out prices. My goal is to improve the quality of GFRC Seated dime inventory. Since focusing so heavily on Seated quarters and halves inventory expansion during 2014, it is important to maintain quality pieces in my signature denomination in 2015.
With that last thought, I need to return to loading Dallas Collection offerings. Today's featured coin is from the Dallas Collection and a marvelous 1853 Arrows and Rays quarter graded PCGS AU50 and approved by CAC. The old album bullseye toning is short of spectacular and should be carefully considered. The consignor has not requested a premium for the eye appeal and I believe this piece is an excellent value at the asking price.