Gerry's Daily Blog Archives - January 2015
January 31, 2015
The last day of January is upon us and I'm wondering where did the time go? The decision to stay put in Venice yesterday was well founded. I was able to wrap up customer submissions at NGC in Sarasota and to retrieve the key dates from the Maine Collection Indian head set. As a preview of what is to come on the Indian cent price list, following are grading results for the better dates... The less expensive dates will be retrieved next week since using FUN show economy submission. NGC grading was accurate and I'm very pleased with the outcome.
1864-L NGC63 BN rotated die, 1866 NGC55, 1867 NGC53, 1868 NGC55, 1869 NGC45, 1870 NGC58, 1871 NGC55, 1872 NGC45, 1876 NGC40, 1877 NGC40 and 1909-S NGC45.
The Maine Collection 1901 Liberty V nickel proof piece graded NGC PF65 and will be added to that price list today.
Response to the Dallas Collection has been strong. I spent phone time with two GFRC customers describing certain pieces yesterday afternoon. All Dallas Collection pieces are photographed and asking prices are settled with the consignor...remaining is image processing and loading the price lists. This will happen throughout the weekend as I plan to get Open Registry updates posted along with adding the Dallas Collection. The Maine Collection Indian set postings will have to wait until early next week.
I am definitely going to attend the Lakeland Florida show on February 13-15 as a buying show. I need a break from the ongoing handling of consignments and to return to my roots. Walking a bourse floor and searching out nice coins is a pleasure...there was no time at FUN to walk the floor and then I passed on Ocala. So the Lakeland show will be the first time in two months to be on the collector side of the table.
Jim Poston is on a coin shop buying trip out west and indicates another consignment will be forthcoming within the next two weeks.
The weekend is here so today's Blog will be short. I must get to the growing backlog of Open Registry submissions today so that customers can showcase new acquisitions in the context of their Registry sets.
The featured coin of the day is an 1838 No Drapery PCGS AU55 quarter from the Dallas Collection. This piece is one of many to be loaded to the price lists this weekend. The images are unable to capture the bold luster coupled with beautiful old time album toning as seen under bright light.
January 30, 2015
The Dallas Collection Arrives!
Though I had planned to attend the Ocala Florida show today, a special event made me rethink those plans. Staying in Venice to focus on the arrival of the Dallas Collection consignment, the Maine Collection Indian cent key dates being retrieved from NGC today coupled with building the next GFRC ad for the Gobrecht Journal and Open Registry submissions are immediate priorities.
The significant news for the day is the arrival of the Dallas Collection consignment. This consignment arrived yesterday afternoon and is one of the finest selections of Liberty Seated coins (coupled with other offerings) that I've had the pleasure to handle. I carefully reviewed the single PCGS blue box containing 20 quality coins of which 10 were approved by CAC. Many of the pieces were simply drop dead gorgeous and will garner substantial attention once posted to the price lists. One of those knock your socks off pieces is the 1863-S PCGS MS65 CAC half dime which is a gem with a combination of bold creamy luster and beautiful natural toning. The 1853 A&R 25c graded PCGS AU50 CAC is another of many. Old time album bullseye toning over perfect surfaces. Then there is the 1857-O PCGS VF35 CAC 25c that simply dropped my jaw. Vibrant gun metal gray patina with superior eye appeal is the best way to describe this gem circulated piece. Let's not forget the semi key 1865-S PCGS VF30 CAC quarter too; even gray and so choice for the assigned grade. But there was more in that PCGS blue box. How about an 1861-O Civil War Seated half dollar graded PCGS MS65 CAC to continue the eye candy? An incredible piece with cartwheel luster coupled with soft gold, rose and blue patina that simply floats on the surfaces...it will be such a pleasure to determine the Wiley variety for fans of this New Orleans date. If the 1861-O was not enough, the consignor added more selections....an 1876-S Trade $ graded PCGS VF35 CAC that is gem for the grade and an 1878 7TF Morgan graded PCGS MS64+ CAC that is a toned monster.
I hope that GFRC customers can sense the quality and freshness of the coins being offered in the Dallas Collection. I feel blessed that GFRC was selected to market and sell this magnificent offering at fixed price list . These pieces are fresh to market and would typically be handled by a leading auction house or one of the top national dealers. GFRC customers and friends are in for a real treat....now I believe you might understand the reason for canceling plans to attend the Ocala show. I hope to have the Dallas Collection online by early next week.
Today's featured coin is a lovely 1860 Seated quarter that was added to inventory after the FUN show without fanfare. Properly graded PCGS AU50 and approved by CAC, this quarter offers solid eye appeal and would fit nicely into an advanced date and mintmark set.
January 29, 2015
Yesterday's highlight was a great lunch with Len Augsburger and completing the image processing and price discussions for the new Bust and Seated consignment (which will be called the Rhode Island consignment for reference). Let's start with lunch.....
Len and I drove to Sharky's at the Venice Pier with temps warm enough to sit outside and take in the ocean view. But when two coin nerds get together, the discussion topics centered around Len's Heritage employment, cool coins and new LSCC programs. One of the topics that I am free to share in the Blog are LSCC plans for an auction at the summer ANA's World's Fair of Money convention. Attendance at the ANA meeting is usually the largest of any show and ideal for a fund raising auction. Leveraging the E-Gobrecht and its website (www.LSCCweb.org), the LSCC will conduct an auction of club member Seated coins with the auction fees heading to the LSCC treasury. A limited number of lots will be solicited from club members with descriptions and images being posted in the E-Gobrecht and on the website. We've already approached one of the best professional auctioneers in the business for the event and he has agreed to help out the LSCC.
There were other discussion topics including my ongoing desire to increase collector education as one of the services derived from an LSCC membership. Grading remains subjective regardless of TPG holdered coins and the only way to learn how to grade and differentiate the best coins from average coins is to train one's eyes by examining thousands of coins or secondly, by having an expert mentor. Where this topic goes remains to be seen.....
Today's GFRC activities include posting the Rhode Island coins, shipping orders followed by a drive up to NGC in Sarasota for retrieving FUN show submission along with submitting more GFRC customer coins. An incremental consignment is expected to arrive later in the day to continually fuel new inventory offerings.
The featured coin of the day is from the Rhode Island consignment. As previously mentioned, this collector has a keen eye for original old album toning and has built a substantial collection. The 1861 half dime date is common....however, this example may be of interest due to the pretty toning and essentially no pricing premium for the eye appeal. My images failed to capture the reflective gold coloring throughout the obverse with faint gold on the reverse center. Attractive coins don't need to cost a fortune as demonstrated here....
January 28, 2015
Good morning everyone and thank you for making the Blog a part of your day; I am honored.
This Blog issue is a tad delayed as worked until nearly midnight to load the LATAM consignment along while running a virus scan on Venice home computer. Throughout the evening, I could hear the hard drive constantly churning with rouge activities....sure enough, there were trojans on the system that required clean up. Please don't worry about any GFRC/LSCC downloads...my business runs on a 2005 Dell laptop running XP and is clean as a whistle.
One does not appreciate the rarity of certified LATAM coinage until reviewing the NGC populations reports. Take for example the Mexico 1740MO MF 2 Reales that we are offering in NGC AU58. There are only two pieces certified by NGC; an AU58 and an EF45. I received multiple inquiries on this piece minutes after publishing yesterday's blog and the NGC study brought about the explanation. A similar case is the Spain 1808M AI 2 Reales graded NGC MS63 and the finest of four certified at NGC. The $600 asking price seems to be reasonable for the quality and top pop status......I have a few more LATAM pieces to load this morning then will move to yesterday's other consignment.
The Bust and Seated coinage consignment originates from New England. This consignor is a GFRC customer and enjoys early type coins with old album toning. He has a substantial collection and wishes to start pruning a bit. His first shipment included the following;
3c silver: 1861 PCGS AU50 nice old album tone
Seated 5c: 1861 PCGS AU55 choice old album tone
Seated 25c: 1858 VF30 original gray, 1878 VF35 original old album tone
Bust 50c: 1830 PCGS VF35 Small O choice gray, 1832 EF40 old album tone, 1833 PCGS VF35 choice gray
Seated 50c: 1854 VF30 light tone
In other GFRC news, a Seated dime consignment arrived yesterday including a mint state 1876-CC Type II reverse example. More on this consignment in tomorrow's blog.
Finally, discussions are underway with an advanced Bust half dollar collector towards a careful liquidation of his duplicates. This individual collects by Overton varieties and sub varieties and working with him will be an educational experience. John Okerson (not the indiviudal consigning) has been requesting that I add Bust halves to the Open Registry and offering pieces from this consignment may be the catalyst to get that module installed.....I only wish there were 36 hours in a day!
Ok....today's featured coin is one of the consignment LATAM pieces. While many collectors are looking at the Mexico 1740MO MF 2 Reales in NGC58, I've taken a liking to the Guatemala 1758G J 8 Reales residing in NGC VF30 holder. What an amazing piece that has an incredible strike and museum quality patina. Believe me, the piece is much nicer in hand than my images. Tomorrow, we move back to the United States for the Coin of the Day.....
January 27, 2015
Yesterday was one of those whirlwind days; there were plans and then there were the unexpected events.
As mentioned in yesterday's Blog, a consignor approached me with list of coins available at wholesale prices for cash raising purposes. After back and forth discussions, I bought his entire deal in the evening hours. The deal shifts ownership of existing price list items only; GFRC customers will see pricing reductions to reflect the favorable lot buy-out price. The deal is heavy in Bust and Seated quarters with a few Seated dimes and halves. I was up at 4:30am to update GFRC documentation system and have already executed the price list reductions. Some GFRC customers did ask for quotes in terms of splitting the deal with me but without quick decisions, I pressed ahead to help out this consignor.
Yesterday's other activity was playing quality engineer for the Auburn Lakes Condo building painting and door replacement project. I spent part of the morning inspecting local contractor workmanship. My standards must be too high for this area. Workmanship issues were found, documented and discussed via phone calls to the bosses. It seems that hourly workers strive to get tasks done as quickly as possible without much regard for the end outcome. I've worked in a professional and highly technical environment for most of my career and managing this painting project has been eye opening.
By midday, I spoke with NGC in Sarasota and confirmed that FUN show submissions are moving along nicely. The regular submission containing the Maine Collection Indian Cent set key dates will be ready for pickup on Wednesday along with a few pieces being reholdered for consignors. The economy submission (balance of the Indian cent set) was already in the grading room! Thank you NGC for the excellent service.
Also midday, I received an email for one of my favorite GFRC customers and had a hearty laugh. As a serious fan of the astrophysics nerds on the Big Bang Theory, I can appreciate how non collectors might view us numismatic nerds. This image says it all..........yes, I sold the customer this coin.
In the late afternoon, my favorite Venice postman arrived with two more consignments. This individual is an avid collector and we always chat about coins whenever he brings packages that require signature confirmation. As predicted, the LATAM consignment arrived and talk about eye candy! Also in house are the Bust and Seated half dollar consignment mentioned in the January 25 blog....the included 1861 3 cent silver piece is also very nice.
After dinner, I received a pleasant surprise via email. My good friend and LSCC Vice President, Len Augsburger, arrived in Ft. Myers yesterday and suggested with get together for Wednesday lunch in Venice. Len is now working full time in the numismatic industry after a long technical career in the wireless communications field. We are heading to Sharky's at the Venice Pier to catch up and discuss several strategic LSCC projects.
I will close today's blog with a preview of the LATAM consignment and will do same for the Bust and Seated consignment tomorrow. Here comes the the eye candy.....there are two raw pieces in the group that are rare and will be discussed later.
Guatemala: 1758GJ 8R NGC VF30 gun metal gray/blue; 1768P 4R NGC VF30 choice gray; 1809NG M 4R NGC EF45 choice original light gray + luster
Mexico: 1740MO MF 2R NGC AU58 a wow coin; 1825DO RL 8R NGC VF35 gray/blue/rose patina; 1853PL MC 8R NGC AU55 choice light gray; 1856P MC 1/2R NGC MS64 bold luster
Spain: 1808M AI 2R NGC MS63 another wow coin
The featured coin of the day is another monster piece from the Birmingham Collection. This 1880 F-102a dime resides in PCGS Old Green Holder with an assigned grade of MS66. As with all the Birmingham coins, none have been to CAC for review. This piece is just down right gorgeous with bold cartwheel luster and rich gold/rose patina. Sometimes, I wish I was still actively collecting the series as these jewels appear. Call or email me if there is potential interest. I also have an NGC MS63 example that was part of yesterday's consignment deal and have lowered the asking price. I'm in a dealing mood to recover some of the monies spent.
January 26, 2015
Welcome to the last week in January and, as always, thank you for visiting with me each morning at the Blog.
My thoughts go out to customers in the Northeast corridor who are dealing with blizzard snow conditions. Having lived in Maine for a good part of my life, I've experienced a few blizzards. Normal life stops for a few days while snow removal takes place. National news channels love to raise our anxiety levels with headlines like, "Crushed with Snow: Monster Blizzard to Bomb Northeast". Experiencing a blizzard is fairly harmless as compared to the destruction causes by hurricance, landslides and earthquakes. Maybe I'm growing more cynical as I age....the internet and news media are increasingly overhyping the news. Case in point was an NBC reporter sent to drive from Philly to Massachusetts to experience the poor weather first hand and reports from her car while driving interstate highways. During her "live news report", she indicates the main roads in MA are clear of snow but the side streets remain full of snow....the image from her camera person went turning into a side residential road was hilarious...there were some snow drifts on the road that probably measured 1-2 inches deep. Have we become a bunch of wimpy people in the Northeast?
There are more important happenings occuring in the world recently. One is the election of left wing candidate Alexis Tsipras as Greece's new Prime Minister. The NBC headline screamed, "I'll End Years of Humiliation" which sent a chill up my spine.....students of the Third Reich will understand. The Euro remains under pressure and the Saudis are talking down the price of oil.
Shifting back to GFRC, one of my major consignors is in a cash raising mode and sent a list of coins with wholesale buyout prices last night. These prices would be quite attractive for GRFC customers since at the wholesale level. If you are interested, I would be happy to discuss the pieces that are involved in this price reduction event. These will not be posted to the discount list as I would rather work one on one with GFRC customers who have ready cash in hand for purchases. The group consistents of mostly Bust and Seated quarters.
Lastly, I had an interesting discussion with a consignor last evening. One of his coins has been on the price list for awhile and has not sold at current PCGS trends asking price. However, the coin always secures attention when displayed at a major show. The issue is that most buyers now walk the bourse floors with their tablets and CoinFacts. Their goal is to buy accurately graded coins at prices at or under recent HA auction records. As I've mentioned in prior blogs, PCGS grading variance with current reverse hologram holders is wide and the overgraded coins go to HA, Stacks or GreatCollections for auction. These coins sell to dealers or naive internet collectors at "bargain" prices and become records on CoinFacts. If one simply reads recent auction prices and does not inspect the actual coins behind the price records, then one would think the market for nice original coins is weak and dropping. This my dear GFRC customers is an important issue facing the hobby and making it difficult for many dealers to sell choice coins at fair prices.
The featured coin of the day is a choice original antique gray 1825 bust half dollar graded PCGS EF45 and approved by CAC. This is one of the coins available on my consignor's reduced price list...so please email me to discuss a potential purchase at an attractive price.
January 25, 2015
Today is Sunday and a day of rest? Well here I am at 6:30am in the GFRC office and typing today's Daily Blog edition and responding to overnight inquiries.
The past few days have flown by considering the amount of new inventory that required processing. Nearly all of Birmingham Part II is online with just two more Seated halves to load (the 1861-O PCGS35 CAC 50c sold before hitting price list). I've managed to load some love tokens from recent lot purchase but many more to go. These ARE NOT the Eric Streiner pieces. Eric's hoard remains in what seems to be a perpetual queue. Finally, I am still loading world coins from the initial consignor and have another 5-6 pieces to go. To date, the response to World Coin offerings has been underwhelming. Our initial approach has been like the Rio Grande river.....very wide assortment of countries, but shallow in any one geographical region. Your feedback would be appreciated as I fine tune this product line for customer relevance. There is a need in the world coin marketplace for a collector consignment exchange...the challenge is to locate the right product mix and attract active customers.
Looking ahead to the coming week...three consignments should arrive on Monday/Tuesday.
1. Group of Bust and Seated halves, Seated quarters and 3 cent silver from existing GFRC customer. He is trying out the consignment service and has an excellent eye for natural silver toned pieces.
2. A lot of more challenging Latin America (LATAM) reales with fractionals denominations and natural toning.
3. A substantial 20 piece consignment of top end Seated coinage. Highlights include 1862 PCGS66 CAC and 1863-S PCGS66 CAC half dimes, then 1838 PCGS55, 1841-O PCGS35, 1853 A&R PCGS50 CAC, 1855-S PCGS15, 1862-S PCGS45 and 1865-S PCGS30 CAC quarters. There is a lone seated half dollar....1861-O PCGS65 CAC and several other surprise pieces.
Lastly in today's blog is a brief discussion about coins that are nice and original but are aging on the price lists. These pieces need to find a new home for consignors to continually upgrade their collections and for me to freshen GFRC owned inventory. To that end, customers will shortly see a second Discount Price List. The current list will be limited to coins up to $200 retail (typically raw) while the new list will focus on more expensive pieces (typically holdered). The sales philosophy will be the same for both price lists. Discounted pricing with the request for Best Offers. Best offers will be forwarded to consignors for consideration. Every coin has an appropriate price point based on quality and demand. My goal is to install a system to handle aging coins that is predictable and fair to all parties.
I remember promising in a prior blog that I would get to Open Registry updates this weekend. Since today is Sunday, then my time is limited to keep this promise.
The featured coin of the day is another offering from the Birmingham Collection. Several awesome pieces have already sold and there are more to go. Included in Part II is this 1852-O dime graded PCGS AU58. What immediately jumps out at the viewer is the hammered strike and the bold luster. New Orleans 1851 and 1852 dates are really scarce in AU or better and this offering is an opportunity for individuals building registry quality date/mintmark set or who focus only on New Orleans coinage......Have a great day!
January 24, 2015
Good morning to Daily Blog readers and thank you for joining me today.
This morning's new is important for Liberty Seated dime collectors. The Birmingham Collection 1843-O dime graded PCGS EF45 without CAC review is now on hold. I worked throughout the day yesterday to match this incredible dime with an important GFRC consignor/customer and good friend. The deal was sealed late in the evening. Now is it time to properly reflect on the significance of this sale.
I have incredible respect for the 1843 New Orleans date after years of searching. My first purchase came in 1990 from Bob Levi at Maine Gold & Silver. Bob was breaking up his set and I was the there at the right time. When purchasing his 1843-O (a VF35 piece), Bob looked at me and said that I would appreciate this purchase and have one heck of time finding an upgrade....oh so true. Fast forward to April 2003...Kevin Zeitler had been an important contributor to the Seated Dime web-book project and we became close friends. Out of the blue, Kevin offers his 1843-O PCGS AU53 and 1845-O PCGS55 Pittman Seated dimes for purchase towards the construction of my PCGS Set Registry set. This was an incredible friendship gesture and those two pieces moved from California to Maine. The Fortin Collection now had a high grade 1843-O dime but I still kept searching for yet another upgrade but none could be located. The New Orleans 1843 date was an extreme grade rarity in AU or better. Yes, I saw several AU problem pieces over the years. Jim O'Donnell tried to sell me one around 1997 and another AU details example appeared in the Bunker Collection during December 2005 on eBay. In the 2006-2007 timeframe, I carefully researched and published an article in the Gobrecht Journal indicating that the 1843-O was a grade rarity in AU or better and incredibly under valued and under appreciated at that time. The article compared the PCGS population of 1843-O dimes in AU or better against the big four Carson City dates with the 1843-O being a close match to the 1871-CC. Around 2009, an Atlanta Georgia LSCC member named Ed Zimmerman walked up to me at an LSCC meeting and provided images of his PCGS MS65 example and the right to use his piece for the web-book plate coin. Fast forward again to November 2013 and the New Hampshire Coin Expo.....Gene Gardner and Gerry Fortin team up to display their Liberty Seated dime collections. This was the first opportunity to view Gene's PCGS MS62 1843-O example in the flesh and with considerable admiration. That same piece sold for $140,000 the following June to the amazement of the entire Seated coinage community.
Considering this background, I was thrilled when the Birmingham Collection 1843-O arrived on Thursday and immediately recognized how special this piece was. The surfaces were absolutely original and the strike was all there. Few people on the planet understood how rare this piece was. How would I set a fair value for the consignor well above PCGS trends and "not bury" a GFRC customer in this coin? I knew what fair value should be as a PCGS AU50 CAC example had sold last year for over $10,000 at auction. The Birmingham piece was 100% certain for CAC so a $6000 firm price was proposed to the consignor and he agreed. This morning that piece is sold and heading to an important Liberty Seated dime collection (LSD) as my dear customer calls the series in jest. Here is this condition census 1843-O dime.
There is an important point to this monologue. The Birmingham Collection has incredible dimes that have been off the market for over a decade and should be immediately scooped up at current prices. I have priced these dimes in the same manner as the 1843-O; a fair price for the consignor and the buyer given the quality. GFRC customers will probably not see this level of quality again in the near term considering the lack of fresh seated coinage on the market.
Last night, I added the 1886-S PCGS MS63 and the 1889-S PCGS MS63 dimes on the price lists. The asking prices are $1150 and $1100 respectively. Both pieces have not been to CAC and my assessment is that both will easily CAC with the 1889-S having a possibilty for Gold CAC. (Please remember that I have 23 Gold CAC stickers in my collection). Following are images for both pieces. My suggestion is to move quickly on these pieces as the quality will be long appreciated after the purchase price is forgotten.......Have a great weekend!