Gerry's Daily Blog Archives - January 2016
January 31, 2016
Posted at 2:30pm: I'm back with the Grey Soldier Client Gallery. The images will speak for themselves.
The Grey Soldier Collection Consignment - January 31, 2016
Liberty Seated Dime and Capped Bust Reed Edge Half
Liberty Seated Half Dollars
Posted at 8:00am: Welcome to the last day in January and thank you for stopping by this morning.
I had original planned to feature the Grey Soldier Client Gallery in today's blog but an important issue needs to be immediately communicated to protect GFRC customers and friends. Following is a GFRC customer alert.
The crackout dealers or coin doctors are at it again on Liberty Seated quarters. I was approach to buy the following freshly graded PCGS 1858-S Seated quarter on Saturday evening. The seller is a New England wholesaler friend who was involved in a multiple coin deal with a certain party. Included in that deal was the following piece. The deal was contingent on my friend finding a home for this 1858-S quarter.
I was immediately suspicious of a new semi key date Seated quarter coming to market in fresh PGCS holder from unknown origins. After aiding an LSCC club member with a PCGS buyback on a five figure key date Seated quarter during late 2015 that had been professionally restored, I've grown most skeptical of freshly graded better date Seated coins from unknown parties. The above 1858-S did not feel right and cautious was justified. Below is the origin of the above coin.....Heritage Houston auction, old ANACS AU53 Details Cleaned Holder, December 2015 which sold for $1146. Please click on below image to see the full sized Heritage auction images. The piece was accurately graded by ANACS years ago.
Using Paint Pro Shop, I've cropped out the obverse and reverse images and increased the contrast to get a better look. The hairlines from old cleaning are obvious in the right obverse field and within the reverse fields, especially above the eagles head. Can you imagine how easy it would be to see these hairlines with the coin in hand? Again, please click on the below image to see full sized representation of the 1858-S quarter in question.
Comparing the above images with the PCGS TruView suggests that the coin has been restored but cannot be certain. The reverse hairlines are gone on the PCGS image but are they still on the coin in PCGS holder? The owner offering the coin was smart....no firm asking price but rather seeking an offer.
I will be back later this morning with the Grey Soldier Client Galley. It was important to immediate post this GFRC customer alert since this 1858-S quarter is floating around. Time for a nice hard boiled egg breakfast.....
January 30, 2016
Greetings and thank you for visiting the Daily Blog on this Saturday morning.
The last weekend in January is upon us while preparations for Chinese Lunar New Year are underway across the globe. Chinese New Year takes place on February 4 during 2016. 2016 brings the year of the Monkey and is the ninth in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. Those who are born in the Year of the Monkey are considered to be intelligent, quick-witted, mischievous, and versatile. They are also thought to be honest and sociable as well. Being a monkey in a Monkey year does brings risk for bad fortune however. Career changes are not advised while August-September being the timeframe where caution is warranted for bad luck events.
A huge amount of new coins will be reaching the price list this weekend. The theme will be pretty toning and eye appeal after purchasing a lot from the Upstate New Year collection and prices for the latest West Coast consignment being approved last evening. Nine quality Capped Bust dimes will be added to that price list shortly as GFRC continues to expand capped bust product lines. Here is a quick sampling of quality coins that are fresh on the price lists as of last evening.
Please note the 1875-S IW F-106a PCGS MS63 dime as this piece has the most incredible luster and eye appeal for being struck with badly eroded dies; examples just do not come this nice. I'm in love with the new 1838 reeded edge half graded NGC AU55 with CAC approval. The 1852 half is the Eric Newman example graded NGC AU58 CAC.
The latest Grey Soldier consignment has bee priced and photographed. I expect to have a Client Gallery posting later today or early on Sunday. The Wisconsin consignment will be photographed today.
Please check back on price list updates as there will be many new offerings.
Let's end the Daily Blog at this point. I hear a health walk calling me followed by the usual packing and shipping of orders. Sunday's Blog will contain a featured topic.
Again, thank you for stopping by and happy hunting at GFRC Coins.
January 29, 2016
A sincere good Friday morning to loyal readers and friends. Thank you for placing the Blog into your daily routine.
No, the Republican debate was not part of the evening agenda, instead working until 12:00am processing images for the latest West Coast Collection consignment. When I am entrusted with selling consignor coins, then getting the job done well is paramount. I must give Diane credt for sitting through a portion of the debate to the point of disgust. She walked into my office and simply said, "These guys are a bunch of clowns, I'm going to bed". As reference, Diane is a staunch Bernie Sanders supporter.....those of you who know me well understand that I reside within a family of liberals with Bernie being their candidate.
Two important consignments arrived yesterday along with new purchases from a dealer friend with tuned eyes for eye appeal and originality. The Grey Soldier consignment is pure eye candy including 1851, 1851-O and 1852 better date halves in AU grades. The Wisconsin consignor also shipped a lovely offering including Seated halves and two high grade and wonderfully toned early commemoratives. My new purchases should please the most selective customers once posted.
I'm also relieved this morning after completing a promised Gobrecht Journal article, the President's Message and submitting GFRC full page ad to Editor, Bill Bugert. The article is entitled, Using Numismatic Provenance as Buyer Protection, and should be thought provoking once published in early March.
Jim Poston and I spoke last evening as he is also planning a consignment transfer early next week. Jim is once again on the hunt for new GFRC inventory and is demonstrating some sales momentum with GFRC eBay offerings.
Following are the Capped Bust dimes from the West Coast consignment. I am always pleased to handle numismatic properties from this individual. Quality and original surfaces have been the trademark of each submission and is once again demonstrated by this lot of dimes. Suggested asking prices were emailed to the consignment last evening and I will be posting these along with separate lots of Seated dimes and Seated quarters today. On the latter two, I just did not have time to name the image files for presentation in gallery format this morning. Please remember that variety attributions can be found in the image file names when reviewing coins in this gallery.
The West Coast Collection Consignment - January 28, 2016
Capped Bust Dimes
Negative interest rates have become a global contagion as Japan shocks the markets this morning with their announcement. U.S. Q4 GDP announcement is due today and the forecasters are expecting a weak showing. I wonder if the hoards of government statisticians and accountants are able to capture growing online sales by small business startups like myself? Please notice below how weather always seems to be cited for GDP performance outside of expectations.
The Bank of Japan shocked financial markets overnight by adopting negative interest rates for the first time ever, in a desperate attempt to kick start the world's number three economy. A rate of -0.1% will now apply to excess reserves parked at the central bank, which will extend the policy "as long as it is necessary." The decision saw global shares jump, the yen fall and sovereign bonds rally, and comes a day after the surprise resignation of Economy Minister Akira Amari.
U.S. economic growth likely braked sharply in Q4 as businesses doubled down on efforts to reduce an inventory glut and unseasonably mild weather cut into consumer spending. The consensus calls for an 0.8% rise (from a 2% advance last quarter), but some forecasters think the number could come in well below that, or even show a contraction for the period. If that happens, it would lower the average rate of growth for all of last year to well under 2%. The Commerce Department will release the GDP figure at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Featured GFRC Pricing Reductions
The Indiana Collection consignor emailed earlier this week and requested a 5% pricing reduction. So let's spread the word using a gallery of his consigned coins. If there is something for you in the following group, then it will be discounted by 5% effective immediately.
Featured Coin of the Day
There are many quality coins on the GFRC price lists and picking a daily featured coin can be challenging at times. This morning's coin is for Liberty Seated quarter variety collectors. I like this 1843-O Large O, Briggs 3-F quarter that resides in PCGS VG 8 holder with CAC approval. In lower circulated grades, examples of the 1843 New Orleans Large O variety can be located but finding strictly original pieces will be the challenge. This CAC certified piece offers optimum visual contrast between the darker fields and lighter main devices. Surfaces are essentially blemish with only honest wear.
Thank you for visiting this morning and I promised more great coins and consignments will be posted in Friday's blog. So come on back!
January 28, 2016
Greetings once again and thank you for visiting the Daily Blog.
Yesterday brought an a much needed break from the daily business routine as Len Augsburger was in town. For Blog readers, who may not be aware, Len is the Newman Numismatic Portal project coordinator at Washington University and has written widely in the field of American numismatics. He is also a close friend and serves as vice president of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club. We made Sharky's on Venice Beach our home for a few hours regardless of the rains. Here are the two gents taking a break from numismatic industry ramblings to poise for a photo.
1500 miles north in Maine, a professional tree cutting crew was working to clear out over grown trees in the Raymond backyard. We bought a 22 acre lot during 1985 and built a passive solar/super insulated home that year. Our home faces southeast and provides an excellent view of the land stretching to Maine coastline. However, over 30 years, small trees have grown into large trees and blocked the coastal view. It was time to deal with the situation and Q-Team Tree Service from Naples, Maine was hired to cut down a stretch of trees to enable our view and also provides enough firewood to last several years.
It is well known that I love to burn large brush piles as an annual family evening event in September or October. But take a look at the brush pile from yesterday's tree cutting! Yes, that is a Bobcat Loader to the left of the brush pile and provides a perspective as to the size. The 2016 brush pile burning could be a two day event for sure.....
I'm pleased to announce that GFRC wrapped up its inventory management software due diligence yesterday and is moving forward with e-BizSoft's Numismatic Inventory Manager. Matt and I believe the product and technical support will enable our goal for automating GFRC inventory management and online price list table generation.
Outside of lunch with Len and the e-BizSoft conference call, a 13 piece toned seated half dime and dime deal was purchased from the Upstate New York collector. Late afternoon saw this small lot of Liberty Seated reaching the price list. Please note not one but two 1838 F-110a Cracked Obverse dimes in the lot. The F-110a variety/die state is scarce and infrequently seen, therefore an opportunity for Top 100 Variety collectors to acquire an example. Also included in the lot was an 1854-O F-102 Shattered Obverse dime grading VF30. 1854-O F-102 variety is one of the key dates within the Top 100 Varieties set. This example is in a very late die state with shelf metal along the entire die crack.
Today's focus is writing an article for the Gobrecht Journal and formatting West Coast consignment images. Hopefully, I can start loading these coins on price list tomorrow. Today's mail should bring at least three new consignments and these will be discussed in Friday's blog.
The Shanghai stock market continues to tumble and I suspect that Chinese investors are extracting their monies before the Chinese Lunar New Year festival period that begins on February 4. This market is down 25% since the beginning of calendar 2016. Also emerging market countries that are dependent on oil revenues are in trouble with the World Bank and IMF stepping in. Several headlines from Seeking Alpha.
China's volatile shares tumbled again today, taking losses this month to about 25% or 13T yuan ($2T), while state media insisted that the market ructions did not reflect the real economy. The People's Bank of China also auctioned 340B yuan ($51.7B) of reverse-repurchase agreements during the session, after offering a record 440B yuan two days earlier. Policy makers are hoping to prevent a cash crunch before the week-long Lunar New Year holiday. Shanghai Composite -2.9%.
Officials from the IMF and World Bank are heading to Azerbaijan to discuss a possible $4B emergency loan package in what risks becoming the first of a series of bailouts stemming from tumbling oil prices. Delegations from other international financial institutions, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Asian Development Bank, are also due to arrive in the next few days, as concerns grow about emerging market producers.
Featured Coin of the Day
Today's featured coin is from the Woodlands consignment. This fully struck 1832 O-106 PCGS AU58 Capped Bust half provides ideal balance between originality, strike and eye appeal with cartwheel luster radiating through thin gold patina. Strike is complete and well balanced between obverse and reverse. Obverse stars are all rounded with deep connections are center points. Every eagle feather along with claws are well defined. There are no blemishes whatsoever. CAC approval signifies that this piece is a near gem.
January 27, 2016
Good morning on this last Wednesday in January and thank you for visiting the Daily Blog.
The political world is buzzing, or is it just FOX News, concerning Donald Trump's decision to skip the last FOX hosted debate. Frankly, our election process has been hijacked by the media for enhanced ratings. Today's political drama will be excessive with this individual tuning out. Enough said...
Another busy GFRC day arrives. A follow-on meeting with numismatic inventory management software vendor takes place this morning. Our goal is to secure commitments for several software modification, specifically for GFRC, and for explanation of the QuickBooks integration. A decision to move forward and establish an evaluation license for Matt will be made today. I hope this project convinces consignors and customers that GFRC plans to be in the numismatic market for many years. Installing robust infrastructure towards a two or three person operation during 2016 is the near term goal.
Today also brings a visit by LSCC Vice President, Len Augsburger. Lunch is planned at a Venice ocean side venue regardless of forecasted rainy weather.
Regardless of the number of choice and gem early type coins handled, I still become excited when a unique exonumia piece arrives. This is the case with the following 1853 Arrows and Rays quarter that was struck on copper and converted into a love token. Weight is 5.2 grams but with wear and love token reverse polishing, this measurement is not accurate. The reverse engraving retains most of the silver wash including the non reeded edge. The obverse is well worn to a Fair 2 grade level but the date and arrows and a few stars being visible. Some verdigris is seen along Liberty's edge, especially between the date and the base. I'm not certain if this is residual silver wash.
Few 1853 Arrows and Rays contemporary counterfeits have been reported. The LSCC Contemporary Counterfeit database lists C-101, an 1853 Arrows with No Rays counterfeit struck with hand cut dies on copper. I believe that the newly consigned piece is from the same dies based on the matching date and arrows position.
What is so puzzling is the lack of silver wash on the obverse while the love token reverse retains most of the silver coloring. You will also note the lack of a removed pin back or center solder joint which is typically seen on quarter and half dollar sized Victorian jewelry. We can say for certain that this contemporary counterfeit was made into jewelry and then the silver wash applied.
Last evening, images were emailed to Chris Majtyka, a noted collector of contemporary counterfeits and key contributor when assembling the LSCC online counterfeit database. He studied the new GFRC consignment and responded with the following;
I've struggled to identify the love token counterfeits. The only logical conclusion I can offer is a "loop hole" as it was illegal to counterfeit coins but if one was counterfeiting coins to use as jewelry, then the maker ran much less risk of being prosecuted for his deeds. He probably was able to "sell" them for more than face value so it was not only worth the effort but much more worth the risk. This is my own conclusion as it defies reason that so many counterfeits just happened to be transformed into love tokens. A good example is the 1856 C101 dime. I've seen roughly a dozen examples of this piece and everyone seen is a love token. There are a few similar examples of quarters, all are love tokens. This reinforces my belief that the original purpose of some were not to spend but to sell as jewelry.
In other GFRC News, it is about to start "raining" new consignments commencing today. I spent last evening loading "odds and ends" on the price list toward clearing up PCGS blue boxes for the next wave. Each consignment will be announced upon arrival for the usual FRoR. The West Coast consignment is photographed and is the lead priority during the balance of this week along with writing a Gobrecth Journal article against February 1 deadline.
Global financial news is quiet this morning. Oil is back in slow retreat mode at $30/bbl. Countries with major planemaker industries are positioning themselves for Iran's buying spree. Unfortunately, Boeing may be left in the dust and Airbus being the major winner. Following are two Seeking Alpha headlines.
Oil prices are retreating following a surge on Tuesday after Iraq's oil minister alluded to flexibility from non-OPEC states in collaborating regarding production cuts. "This is a schizophrenic market. Big up days, big down days. No real direction," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of the Solaris Group. "We need some stability in oil prices for the markets to calm down from here and become less volatile." Crude futures -3.5% to $30.36/bbl.
Canada has confirmed a decision to lift sanctions on Iran, saying that if Airbus (OTCPK:EADSY) is allowed to sell to the country, then its planemaker Bombardier (OTCQX:BDRAF, OTCQX:BDRBF) should be allowed to export there as well. Tehran is looking to upgrade its aging fleet with aircraft of the same range and seats as Bombardier's 100- to 150-seat CSeries. The move comes after the U.S., EU and other major nations lifted some of their own punitive measures on the Islamic Republic.
Featured Coin of the Day
While we are discussing Liberty Seated quarter counterfeits, how about featuring a choice With Arrows specimen with CAC approval? I believe this attractive 1854 example graded PCGS AU53 fits the bill nicely. Locating choice AU examples will take diligent searching. This example is strictly original with thin antique gray patina that allows the lustrous surfaces to still radiate through under bright light. Surfaces are completely blemish free and the strike is full. Struck from eroded and cracked dies with obvious weakness in QUAR DOL. Regardless of the eroded dies, the strike is crisp with all star centrils connected and deeply impressed hair curls and eagle claws.
I will see you bright and early on Thursday morning. Have a great day!
January 26, 2016
Greetings from Venice on another Tuesday winter morning and thank you for stopping by.
The days just fly by when executing commitments in support of a start up business, a non profit organization and a condo association. Monday was one of those days where the mind was fully engaged from breakfast at the laptop until 11:30pm bedtime. Much was accomplished including a body shop estimate for Toyota Avalon repairs and securing a rental car while the car is in the shop. It almost seems unfair that the careless person who backed into me, only reports the accident to his insurance company and then sits back while I spend hours coordinating with an insurance company, a repair shop and a car rental agency. On a positive note, the GFRC full page advertisement for the March Gobrecht Journal issue is completed and submitted to Editor Bill Bugert. Also, the Hostway file quota driven uploading issue was resolved. GFRC file quota was increased to a staggering 70,000 files and should be satisfactory for years to come.
At the Auburn Lakes Condo association, we are wrestling with basic issues that are difficult to resolve; excessive speed in the complex by certain residents along with the recyling and waste pickup trucks and a growing dog population (some violating our 20 lbs weight limit).
Monday was a favorable GFRC day! Morgan dollars were the hot sales item of the day as nine pieces sold. It appears that Sunday's posting of the Alexandria Collection brought attention to the price list with collectors discovering quality pieces needing a new home.
I'm pleased to report that three new consignments were discussed yesterday including several key date Carson City Seated quarters from a first time consignor. Grey Soldier emailed a significant consignment proposal that includes seven Seated halves with most being CAC approved. While at the body shop, I spoke at length with the Woodlands consignor and he plans to ship more Seated halves and duplicate Seated dimes.
Matt and I also chatted during the morning hours and are moving forward with initial license for recently demo'ed inventory management software. Flights arrangements were made with Matt (and granddaughter Natsumi) spending ten days starting February 8 in Venice to install, learn and configure the new software system for GFRC business approach.
With all of the above going on, I did not load a single new coin to the price list yesterday.
Global financial highlights continues along a well defined and expected path. Global equities are weak with Shanghai shares being hammered over night. Oil prices remain anemic as oil producers across the world continue their extractions regardless of the current market glut. The European economy needs more stimulus according to the ECB while bets are on that the Fed will delay its forecasted interest increases during 2016. Seeking Alpha covers these points this morning;
China's fickle stock markets sold off sharply today, amid concerns about capital outflows, a renewed selloff in oil, and caution ahead of the Fed's monetary policy decision. News that the PBOC conducted its biggest daily open markets operation in three years failed to lift sentiment, as the central bank injected 360B yuan into money markets ahead of the country's Lunar New Year holiday. Investors also remain wary about further weakness in the yuan, despite assurances from Beijing that it has no intention of pushing the currency lower. Shanghai -6.4%; Shenzhen -7.1%.
ECB president Mario Draghi came out swinging late Monday, stating that the central bank must fulfill its inflation mandate in order to maintain its credibility. "Time and again, the critics of our decisions have been proved wrong...but what I never hear them discuss is the risks of doing nothing," he proclaimed. ECB policymakers have less than seven weeks until a March 10 meeting when they'll decide whether their €1.5T bond-buying program and negative interest rates are enough to meet an inflation goal of just under 2%.
The Federal Reserve had always planned to pause after raising interest rates in December, but the question now is how long that break will last. Initial expectations were that the FOMC would raise rates again this March, but a downturn in the equity markets, a stronger dollar and weak inflation have led some to predict that another move may be months away. Investors may get some more insight as Fed officials gather today for their first policy-making meeting of 2016.
Featured GFRC Pricing Reductions
Individual GFRC consignors have different goals and expectations during the sale of their coins. Some consignors seek quick sales turnover and are willing to discount prices to bring about results. Other consignors are comfortable with a longer term horizon and allowing their coins to remain on price lists at existing prices.
For consignors requesting pricing reductions, the Daily Blog is an ideal venue to showcase their wishes. Since readers check in daily for new consignment announcements and potential FRoR, then why not post consignor pricing reductions in the same forum with a gallery to illustrate these bargains? This morning, I'm exploring this new concept and featuring a price reduction from the Washington State consignor. From an original 1944 Walking Liberty roll, the MS66 and MS65 pieces were consigned. Today, we are announcing a 30% pricing reduction....yes, you read that correctly, 30% reduction on the following choice Walkers. The center toned piece is one of the two end roll coins. The other sold at FUN.
Featured Coin of the Day
For today's featured coin, we visit the Osprey Collection and this choice 1856 San Francisco Liberty double eagle graded PCGS AU50 with CAC approval. Mintage is a little over 1.1 million pieces with many arriving to market from SS Central America recovery. Eye appeal for this date is above average as striking conditions were favorable. Higher grade pieces are found with excellent luster that is usually frosty in nature. The below Osprey example originated from Europe and not from any shipwreck recovery.
I'm pleased that you could visit the Daily Blog on this Tuesday morning. Thanks for stopping by.
January 25, 2016
Good morning and welcome to the Blog on this chilly Florida morning. Temperature is only 38 F and the condo has cooled down during the overnight hours. But all in life is relative and I'm so pleased to be in Florida and not in Maine for another two months.
The decision to not attend the Long Beach show was well taken. GFRC consignment backlog continues regardless of the long hours spent processing individual submissions. At the moment, I still have toner seated half dimes and dimes from the Upstate New York collection, 20 pieces from the West Coast collection, an awesome Seated quarter and half dollar love token collection from Central California consignor and a Shield 5c collection from Seal Beach consignor. Oh, I just received several Seated contemporary counterfeits including an 1853 A&R quarter in copper that has been made into a love token; talk about a unique piece! GFRC is becoming the eclectic consignment shop and I'm so pleased to be handling such a vast array of numismatic items.
Please make sure to check back on Tuesday as I will be launching a new section in the Daily Blog; special sales and pricing reductions as ordered by consignors.
The Alexandria Morgan collection is online for your consideration.
Today's priority is solving the Hostway ISP file upload issue to enable the uploading of more consignment images coupled with preparing the full sized GFRC advertisement for the March Gobrecht Journal. Adding in a potential appointment with Toyota body shop for insurance claim and some coin photography plus packaging and shipping results in another busy day.
GFRC has already set a new monthly sales record in January with a week remaining. Collectors and consignors are taking note of the commitment to quality service and the construction of an alternate marketplace for selling and buying above average coins with honest descriptions. Additional consignments are in the pipeline and targeted for February arrival. I'm presently holding these back until existing backlog can be processed and loaded. The coin market is presently robust and should stay in this mode through spring time.
The current GFRC situation reminds me of my prior life in the semiconductor business. I spent the middle years of my career in operations including a three year assignment as a Wafer Fab Director. My National Semiconductor factory could only process a maximum number of semiconductor wafers per day based on installed equipment capacity. The semiconductor chip business was cyclic and we were always in a boom or bust mode. During the boom times, the marketing and sales people demanded to accept each and every customer order and would always place pressure on the factory to go faster than theoretically possible. Being the wafer fab director, I had to push back and extend the shipment dates for new orders and was the blame target for those being driven to generate higher sales revenue and larger bonuses. When bust times came, the pressure shifted to cost cutting and explaining why it was a dumb idea to lay-off highly skilled production people needed for the boom times...... I'm so happy to be in the numismatic business but have learned important lessons in life towards handling the annual highs and lows in the coin business.
There is growing concern that the Federal Reserve's interest rate increase during late 2015 may have been misguided. The bond market forecasters now believe that the Fed will not move forward with further tightening as planned. Also, Iran is going on a spending spree with their 150 billions USD. The jet manufacturing industry will benefit as Iran moves to modernize air travel. Following are worthy Seeking Alpha headlines for this Monday morning.
Fund managers that were relaxed about slightly tighter monetary policy last month are wondering whether that was complacent, as concerns surface over whether they're now operating without the safety net they had grown attached to during the post-financial crisis. "It is reasonable for investors to wonder whether Fed's December rate hike was a policy error," admits Bob Michele, chief investment officer of JPMorgan Asset Management. The FOMC's January policy meeting begins tomorrow.
Following the lifting of economic sanctions and the release of billions of dollars' worth of frozen Iranian assets, Tehran is ready for business: The country just struck a provisional deal to buy eight A380 superjumbos, while an agreement for 100 more Airbus jets could be completed this week. The Islamic Republic is also looking to purchase over 100 planes from Boeing and regional aircraft from Bombardier MRJ, Embraer and Sukhoi. Insurers and reinsurers are exploring ways to tap the market worth $7.4B in premiums - Allianz, Zurich Insurance, Hannover Re and RSA are all currently evaluating potential opportunities. Over the weekend, China and Iran also mapped out a plan to broaden relations and expand bilateral trade up to $600B over the next decade.
Featured Coins of the Day
Liberty Seated half dimes are clearly the best value due to lower demand. Half dimes are small and difficult for some aging collectors to work with and enjoy. But mintages are relatively low along with survival rates. Given their size, many are found with lovely uniform toning. Finally, prices are reasonable. So this morning, let's feature several of my favorite Seated half dimes on the GFRC price list.
First up is an 1842 NGC MS64 V-1a shattered reverse half dime that is essentially gem original with lustrous aquamarine surfaces and lots of eye appeal. This is another piece from the Grey Soldier Collection and we well know the quality of this gentleman's coins. There are bold and parallel vertical die cracks that drop down from the legend through the denomination and into the left and ring wreath stems into rim. This lovely piece is perfect for an advanced variety collector.
Our next Featured Coin is a gorgeous 1850 half dime graded PCGS MS64 with CAC approval from the Central California Collection. I've sold the majority of the Central California consignment but this near gem original example with proof like surfaces is still available. Bright light viewing is definitely the highlight of this superb 1850 half dime. Rich orange gold and yellow coloring covers the obverse while the reverse is a combination of light orange, yellow and aquamarine toning. This piece is fully struck with bold head and round stars.
And rounding out our Feautured Coin section is this 1853 New Orleans half dime graded PCGS AU50 that was purchased at the FUN show.This lovely specimen offers plenty of residual luster that accentuates both obverse and reverse toning. Obverse appears to be even silver gray but placing under bright light releases rose coloring along with blue rims. The reverse has aquamarime rims that shift to blues under a light source. This piece is fully struck too.
Thank you for checking in this morning. Please remember that Tuesday will bring a new Daily Blog section focused on consignor ordered pricing reductions.
January 24, 2016
Welcome to the Daily Blog on this Sunday morning. Reheated pizza and black coffee is breakfast while typing today's ramblings and GFRC News.
I was at the laptop until 12:00am on Saturday process images from the Alexandria Morgan dollars since promising the consignor that his lovely dollar coins would be posted in a gallery on Sunday morning. While uploading the first few files, I ran into a code 533 FTP transfer issue where the hosting server did not accept the files. Some quick problem debug revealed the server accepting the transfer of existing files but not newly created and named files. Yes, I had exceeded the number of allowed files on Hostway's Platinum hosting plan. Quick thinking was in order. There were a bunch of obsolete half cent image files on the server with the count being slightly large than the number of coins in the Alexandria display. So don't be surprise when the Morgan images have half cent files names..... The file number limitation issue will be resolved on Monday with Hostway account support.
Are you curious as to the number of files currently populating all content at www.seateddimevarieties.com? The number is approximately 41,000!
Ok, after than long preamble, I am pleased to present the following Alexandria Client Gallery of toned Morgans dollars. The Alexandria consignor previously assembled a complete Morgan dollar set including many Top 100 and Hot 50 VAMS. Since GFRC typical limits Mint State Morgan offerings to toned coins, this individual sent along the following pieces. Unfortunately, the prettiest piece in the lot, an 1897 NGC MS64 with electric rose, violet and blues did not photograph well and is not shown today. But there are some excellent offerings for toned Morgan enthusiasts. The 1882 NGC MS64, the 1883-O VAM-36A NGC MS62 along with the 1896 NGC MS64 and 1897 NGC MS63 being my favorites. All pieces are graded by NGC except for the 1887 which is PCGS MS63.
I hope you enjoy this gallery as it took nearly four hours to process and display here. I will do my best to load these on the price list later today. Please email immediately to place a hold on any of these.
In other GFRC news.... My favorite wholesale dealer emailed yesterday afternoon and offered a new group of quality early type coins. It is always a pleasure to deal with this individual as his coins are well selected with strong eye appeal. After a careful image review and phone descriptions, I bought the following pieces;
Bust 10c: 1821 Large Date PCGS VF30 choice original gray and conservatively graded; 1836 PCGS AU55 CAC with huge eye appeal
Bust 50c: 1831 PCGS AU58 with great eye appeal
Seated 50c: 1858-O NGC AU58 CAC choice original
One of my near term goals is to substantially increase Capped Bust dime inventory as there is a strong collector base when considering date and JR varieties. The above pieces and those from the West Coast collection will increase current inventory by 40%.
Featured Coins of the Day
Yesterday, I loaded several new coins to the price list so let's featured these today. The first is an important 1838-O PCGS AU58 CAC Liberty Seated dime. Badly eroded F-102 dies were employed to strike this piece. The result is "orange peel" type surfaces that produces lots of satiny luster. This piece is accurately graded at the AU58 level as some faint rub is seen on the lower leg. But the luster and eye appeal is consistent with an MS63 grade. The last 1838-O PCGS AU58 dime market appearance (no CAC approval) occurred during mid 2015 and brought slightly over $3500 at Stack's auction.
When viewing the images, please remember that the surfaces have irregular "orange peel" texture and will reflect light differently than those struck with smooth fields from the more common F-101 die pairing (repunched mintmark). White spots on the obverse are plastic holder haze; this piece is housed in old PCGS holder.
Also added yesterday was a gorgeous 1831 O-111 PCGS AU50 CAC Capped Bust half from the Motor City Collection. The Motor City Collection is new at GFRC. This individual has decided to slowly start pruning long term holdings and selected GFRC to handle his coins on a consignment basis. I received other capped bust halves from this individual and they were immediately sent to CAC for review. Each offering will have a detailed provenance.
My images are inadequate for capturing the beautiful colors and toning during bright light viewing. Also this piece is undergraded at the AU50 level and is a full AU55 or better.
Thank you for visiting this morning. I will be back bright and early on Monday with yet another new consignment; Liberty Seated dimes.
January 23, 2016
Good Morning on this wild weather weekend! Thank you for visiting the Daily Blog each day. It is a honor and a responsibility to have over 300 individuals stopping by for the latest GFRC News and personal commentaries.
As I write, the winds are howling here in Venice. The temperature is a moderate 55 F but the winds are at the mid 30 mph level and roaring through trees and buildings. There are no complaints as the Eastern Seaboard is being walloped with snow.
Friday was a low GFRC productivity day as the hours were mostly spent on the cell phone. Between a long conference call with software vendor and multiple phone calls with Hartford insurance claims people, little was done to add new offerings to the GFRC price list. The day wrapped up with a nice seaford dinner at local Venice eatery and I was in bed by 8:30pm. The long hours of the past few days finally caught up with me and a lengthy night's sleep was mandatory. I'm back in the swing of things this morning and luckily will not have to speak with insurance people until Monday when the Toyota Avalong heads to body shop for repair estimate.
There is little new news to report this morning. The Alexandria Morgan dollars are in the image processing queue while the West Coast seated coins will be photographed on Sunday. There also has been a notable slow down in sales during the past week as the weak stock market and poor national weather is capturing people's attention. Then there is the Democratic and Republican political drama to also distract our attention from daily life. It is so easy to become a news addict when sitting at a computer.
Today's goal is customer shipments followed by processing the Alexandria Morgans dollars for a Client Gallery display.
During the past few months, I've been warning that 2016 would bring a high yield debt blood path in the oil section. Drillers are pumping oil at substantially reduced pricing levels simply to make interest payments on their debt. With no monies targeted for incremental wells and rapid deterioration of current wells, the prognosis is not favorable without a quick recovery in spot oil prices. Obviously with the Iran deal and their oil supply hitting the market in early 2016, the chances for a recovery in oil prices is miniscule.
I checked Seeking Alpha's recent selection of guest commentaries and located an article entitled, Asset Class Weekly: High Yield Blood Bath, which provides a thorough analysis of the high yield bond sector and lists the names of larger companies according to the discount rate of their high yield bonds. The higher the discounted rate of a bond, the greater the probability that these companies will default on bond payments due to insufficient cash flow.
The list of company names is eye opening with the oil sector being dominant. Companies that are near default include Sandridge Energy (NYSE:SD) and Cliff Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) as names that I well recognize from past stock trading. But more importantly, the next group with bond discount rates of up to 75% is cause for worry. They include well known companies including Transocean (NYSE:RIG), U.S. Steel (NYSE:X) and Whiting Petroleum (NYSE:WLL). Transocean is one of the largest ocean based oil drillers in the world while U.S. Steel is one of the last major producers in our country. If United States drillers are struggling then the demand for well pipe steel will have ripple effects.
Reading through the articles leads to another list of companies who are approaching the distress level. They include companies from the semiconductor sector also including Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) and Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU). But all lists are dominated by companies from the oil patch.
High yield bond defaults will not be an isolated event. These bonds are held in larger bond funds (for example HYG) which are then owned by public and private investors. In the end, a broad range of investors (banks, hedge funds and private investors) must write off debt due to the collapse of oil prices. If looking out on a 2-3 year horizon, United States oil generation will decrease as oil from fracking is more expensive to produce than that from the Middle East.
Something to think about this morning as none of the politicians are openly discussing these types of issues facing the United States economy in the upcoming years. If the oil patch collapses, then there will be an impact to tax revenues. The United States is no different than Russia or Saudi Arabia when there is a glut of oil on the global market.
Featured Coins of the Day
It would be great to sell a few coins this weekend. Might you consider this choice original 1863 Seated quarter with gun metal gray toning and a better Civil War date from the West Coast Collection? This piece is properly graded at the EF45 level by PCGS. Surfaces are covered with gun metal gray toning along with deep gold highlights on the obverse. The reverse turns to classic gun metal gray/blue under bright light. Strike is full throughout all devices and stars.
For the next recommended coin this morning, let's visit the Seal Beach collection and this key date 1894 Morgan dollar graded PCGS VG10. This is a choice original example with even natural gray patina. Within the Morgan series, this is a key Philadelphia date with mintage of only 110,000. This specimen offers lots of eye appeal and blemish free surfaces. A great entry point for such a key date and typical of the Seal Beach collection.
Thank you for visiting this morning. I will be back bright and early on Sunday with more numismatic ramblings. Have a great weekend regardless of the weather.
January 22, 2016
Greetings on this Friday morning and thank you for visiting the Daily Blog.
I hope that everyone is well prepared for the coming East Coast blizzard since many GFRC customers are located in the forecasted storm track. My daughter, Renee, lives in Blacksburg, VA and she will feel like being back home in Maine! Washington DC receiving 12-20 inches of snow will be interesting to watch given the population density and lack of snow clearing equipment. Florida temperatures will be dropping into the high 30 F nighttime during weekend as part of this major low pressure system. Hopefully there will be no more tornadoes today.
There is much GFRC news to discuss so let's keep the preamble to a minimum this morning.
Thursday was a long day in the GFRC office along with a visit to local State Farm insurance office to file claim against the individual who backed into my car last Saturday. I worked until 12:00am again as more consignments arrived yesterday. At 11:00pm, Matt and I were engaged in a preparation discussion to solidify evaluation criteria for today's cloud based inventory management software demo.
Updating GFRC advertising banner in the E-Gobrecht has been a priority and with the January 31 publishing deadline quickly approaching, the afternoon was spent designing the following graphic. I'm pleased with the outcome as the banner illustrates core messages concerning GFRC operating philosophy and business model.
Another quality consignment arrived from the West Coast collector yesterday. His consignment pace is starting to increase much to the benefit of GFRC customers. His offerings are strictly original with intermixed semi key dates. Here comes the new West Coast consignment. FRoR program is available for these coins.
Bust 10c: 1821 JR4 R2, PCGS VF35 CAC; 1821 JR-9 R2, PCGS VG 8; 1825 JR-1 R4, PCGS VG8 CAC; 1827 JR-12, PCGS VF30; 1827 JR-11 R2, PCGS VG10; 1832 JR-2 R2, PCGS VF35
Seated 10c: 1850 PCGS AU50; 1852 PCGS EF40 CAC; 1852-O PCGS AU50; 1857 PCGS VF35; 1868 PCGS EF40; 1871 PCGS VF35 CAC
Seated 25c: 1841-O PCGS AU50, 1855 PCGS VF25; 1856-O PCGS EF40 CAC; 1861-S PCGS VG8; 1862 PCGS VG10, 1869-S PCGS F15 CAC; 1874 PCGS VF20; 1877 PCGS F12
I also worked with the Alexandria consignor last evening to set pricing for his lovely 19 piece Morgan dollar consignment. This consignment features a combination of beautifully toned examples along with Top 100 and Hot 50 VAMS. Here comes a listing of the Alexandria consignment;
Seated 50c: 1864-S PCGS VF30 even gray
Morgan $1: 1878 7/8TF VAM-34 NGC MS61; 1882 NGC MS64 gorgeous dual sided toning; 1883-O VAM-36A NGC MS62 dual sided toning; 1883-O NGC MS64 light rose toning; 1885-O NGC MS64 pretty obverse gold toning; 1887 PCGS MS63; 1888 VAM-7C NGC MS63 toned reverse; 1888 VAM-11A NGC MS63 dual sided rose toning; 1888 Binion label NGC MS63 rainbow arc; 1888-O VAM-9 NGC MS64 white; 1889 VAM-49 ANACS AU58 dual sided toning; 1889 NGC MS64 golden obverse; 1890 NGC MS64 light rose; 1896 NGC MS64 dual sided gem; 1897 NGC MS63 dual sided toning; 1897 NGC MS64 dual sided gem with deep violet and rose; 1898 NGC MS64 dual sided copper patina; 1900-S NGC MS63 better date
If the above was not enough, I also made a CAC submission yesterday.
Following is a brief mini gallery preview of some wonderfully toned coins and an important 1854-O F-102 Shattered Obverse dime heading to the price list today. The 1831 capped bust half is from the new Motor City consignment and resides in PCGS AU50 CAC holder, Overton 111. The 1896 Morgan is a preview from the Alexandria consignment.
This guest commentary falls into the category of "I feel your pain" with empathy for Jim Poston's recent legal issues as a landlord. Our Silicon Valley consignor shares his perspective on the state of morals and how manipulating our legal system is standard operating procedure for those lacking respect for fellow citizens.
Your mention of Jim Poston's recent troubles really struck a chord with me. My wife works in insurance, and have relayed countless horror stories about folks who got burned with rental properties.
In Chinese culture I think there's almost a mythical status about being able to call yourself a "landlord," and many Chinese families invest their disposable income on second, third, or even more houses to jump on this "passive income" gravy train. After all, in the Silicon Valley where housing prices have long departed sanity, the rents you collect will more than pay for the mortgage one has to take out to afford these extra houses right? (Yes, folks are so sure of the long-term ROI on real estate here they are taking multiple mortgages to leverage these purchases.)
Just recently, one of my wife's insurance clients said an immigrant family came by their open house, and during the process the elderly father of the visiting group slipped and fell within the house. While the father was adamant that he did not need an ambulance, the younger couple toured the house for another hour while the father asked for a chair and sat outside. A few days later, the client was informed that those visitors have made a claim against their property's liability insurance, for the exact maximum coverage on their policy of $300k to pay for serious injuries and multiple bone fractures as a result of the fall. I believe any claim above the policy maximum would've required further investigation by the insurance company, which these likely multiple offenders have already learned to avoid.
Personal morals have indeed eroded this far, this land of opportunities through hard work have become for many, land of getting rich quickly through exploiting the many loopholes of an obsolete system designed with integrity in mind. My best wishes to Jim, I hope his troubles are behind him with minimal damage.
Spot oil has rebounded overnight to $31/bbl and the global equity markets and certain currencies are recovering on the news. The European Central Bank and China are also paving the way for more stimulus (money printing). Here are Seeking Alpha headlines that captures overnight developments in the global markets.
Marking the largest weekly rally in three months, oil futures have skyrocketed above $31, as a cold front sweeping the U.S. and Europe as well as firmer financial markets gave traders reason to cash in on short positions. Although crude is poised for its first weekly gain this year, analysts still warn there has been no shift in the fundamental backdrop of supply that far exceeds demand and swelling inventories. Earnings season could also play a big role in driving prices in the near term. WTI +5.7% to $31.23/bbl; Brent +7% to $31.30/bbl.
There's a major relief rally going on across the globe, pushing equities up following several gut-wrenching sessions, after a dovish Mario Draghi hinted at more stimulus and crude prices continued to bounce higher. The ECB is not the only one suggesting additional easing. On Thursday, China's Vice President Li Yuanchao signaled that Beijing would keep intervening in its stock market, and speculation is rife that the Bank of Japan could opt for extra stimulus at a policy meeting next week.
The ruble jumped the most since August overnight, rebounding from its lowest level on record, as a recovery in crude prices encouraged investors to buy assets in the world's biggest energy exporter. The Russian currency rose 3.6% to 79.7450 per dollar after touching a record intraday low of 85.999 on Thursday, paring its weekly slump to 2.7%. "The ruble keeps tracking changes in the oil price," said Oleg Kouzmin, chief economist at Renaissance Capital. "The currency is still largely commodity-based."
Featured Coins of the Day
I'm going to pass on this Blog section as would like to get a health walk in before 10:00am webinar session with software vendor.
Thanks for visiting with me today!
January 21, 2016
Welcome back to the Daily Blog on this Thursday morning.
I'm sitting at the laptop with spicy leftover Chinese takeout for breakfast along with black coffee. Hopefully this combination will generate some creative juices towards meaningful Blog content today. The weak stock market and never ending campaign season are dominating the news media and will not be discussed. Mentioning Florida weather is probably not a good idea either given the heavy snows forecasted for eastern seaboard states. Rather let's keep this edition focused on coins and GFRC news.
I spent all of Wednesday, including the evening, in the GFRC office and finally have a good feeling that the large backlog of consignments and new purchases are being worked through and loaded on the price list. Order rate has slowed which could be tied to the falling stock markets and impact on human psyche. But demand for top quality coins never stops. Below is the West Coast mini gallery that illustrate the recent consignment from a California advanced collector. Within this lot, the 1885 Seated quarter grading PCGS VG10 is a gem for the grade and probably the finest of the nine examples graded at the VG 8 through Fine 15 levels. Two individuals asked for First Right of Refusal (FRoR) on this 1885 quarter. After seeing the posted images yesterday, the individual who has second FRoR on the coin broke new ground in the FRoR program. He offered the individual with first access a healthy profit to pass on the coin so he could purchase. Unfortunately for the second individual in the queue, the person with initial FRoR is in love with the piece and will follow through with the purchase. It does pay to read the Daily Blog each and every morning! Also, please pay attention to the lovely 1840 No Drapery F-104a (Shattered Obverse) dime graded PCGS AU55. This is one of the finest F-104a examples seen and should be considered by variety collectors.
The West Coast Collection Consignment - January 20, 2016
Capped Bust and Liberty Seated Dimes
Liberty Seated Quarters
The West Coast consignor indicates that another twenty coins are/will be shipping to GFRC this week. I will announce the new consignments in the Daily Blog upon their arrival.
Post FUN show new purchases continue with the emphasis being on high quality better dates. I'm excited to announce that two new purchases reached the price list yesterday. The first is a wonderful 1838-O F-102 Liberty Seated dime graded PCGS AU58 with CAC approval. Satiny luster dominates resulting in eye appeal consistent with MS63 grade level. Hopefully, I will have images ready by the end of the day. The second new purchase is a serious "Gerry Coin" with beautiful original gray patina. This gorgeous 1865 Seated half dollar resides in an older NGC AU55 holder and should be titillating for those working on Seated half dollar sets.
I'm also pleased to report that my buddy, Jim Poston, is back on the numismatic scene after dealing with certain legal matters.....all I can say is seriously think twice before purchasing rental properties. Locating quality tenants becomes more and more challenging in this weak economic environment along with the erosion of personal morals and respect for other's property. In the near term, we should start seeing more activity from Jim on the eBay GFRC-Coins storefront and loading of GFRC inventory.
Harry Zhang and I also chatted yesterday concerning the Shanghai coin market. As the Yuan continues to be devalued against the US dollar, more collectors/investors are seeking financial shelter with US coins being a potential target. Harry brought new orders and we've worked out a mutual demand and order fulfillment worksheet to simplify our communications and the servicing of Shanghai customer needs.
Finally, the latest Wisconsin consignment should be arriving today as several coins are already under FRoR and customers are anxious to see images.
It is more of the same this morning in the global financial sector; sagging oil prices and fallout equity markets have kick up anxiety levels among investors. Spot gold continue to hold at the $1100/oz level. Following are a few Seeking Alpha headlines.
Asian shares fell heavily into negative territory, while European equities rose, following another selloff on Wall Street due to world growth concerns, uncertainty in China and lower oil prices. "The ground right now is so unstable, and there's so much anxiety," said Ayako Sera, a market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank. Yesterday, U.K., French and Japanese stocks fell into a bear market (more than 20% below their 2015 highs), while U.S. indices dropped 10% under their prior peaks, entering a correction.
Oil prices are hanging around the $28 level, following an API report showing a U.S. crude inventory build of 4.5M barrels last week - about double trade expectations. The EIA estimate will be released later this morning. The first export of U.S. crude oil in four decades has also arrived in Europe, reaching the French port of Marseille after leaving Texas nearly three weeks ago.
Russia's ruble fell more than 5% overnight, to hit a new record low of 85.97 per dollar amid a global crash in crude prices. The country is suffering considerably from the oil slump, which has sparked widespread predictions of a second straight year of recession. On Wednesday, Russia's central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina said she did not intend to intervene to support the currency, describing it as being close to its "fundamental levels."
Featured Coins of the Day
I wish to call your attention to an 1884-S Seated dime from the Indiana Collection consignment. It is difficult to believe that this piece has not sold and the reason is probably due to inadequate marketing on my part. This 1884 San Francisco F-105 dime is absolutely choice with mirrored fields that glow with rose, blues and gold under bright light. I have not seen any 1884-S dimes that have the proof like mirrors as found on this example. My in hand images are completely inadequate for marketing this attractive piece and will attempt to photograph again. Trust me on this one....
The Strong Hands consignor is back! This individual is working on a monster set of San Francisco Liberty Seated dimes and always sends his duplicates to GFRC once upgraded. He recently purchased an 1886-S graded PCGS MS66 and immediately passed along this sweet NGC MS62 CAC example for the price list. Originality, bold luster and light gold patina are the highlights. This piece was added to the price list yesterday!
January 20, 2016
Greetings once again! Is it already time to write another edition of the Daily Blog?
Tuesday was so busy that I skipped the daily walk to gain an extra hour of productive time towards accomplishing LSCC and GFRC goals. For those who may be interested, following is a diary of Tuesday's activities and an example of a typical day in my life. Building a successful business requires constant attention to details and accomplishing a long list of daily tasks. Self motivation is key.
- Writing the English Daily Blog and translating into Simplified Chinese for Chinese readers.
- Updating Auburn Lakes Condo Association website with new link entitled, "Pool and Spa Rules". Sarasota county health inspectors are very strict with regulations concerning common use pools.
- An LSCC new club member welcome package shipped to Carl Feldman in Del Ray Beach. For those who are not LSCC members, Carl sends a welcome letter, club membership card and Gobrecht Journal to individuals followed by a personal phone call. Each new club member is so special to us.
- Signing 2016 LSCC club member cards; I'm trying to sign about 100 per day in preparation for the club member list from Bill Bugert. Once the list arrives, I will hand write club member names and numbers on each card and return to Bill for inclusion in the March Gobrecht Journal shipment.
- Packaging GFRC customer orders and running to post office followed by purchasing wine and lunch at the local Winn-Dixie. The wine was not for lunch....;)
- Processing consignment images
- Writing the President's Message for the March Gobrecht Journal.
- Loading the last of Seal Beach and Baltimore new purchases on price list; this includes writing descriptions for each offering.
- Updating GFRC listings with requested price reductions from a consignor.
- Responding to GFRC customer emails and updating several consignor accounts due to collector to collector trading desk purchases
- Unpacking two new consignments and sending acknowledgements
- Processing the West Coast consignment images for addition to his Client Gallery and adding to price list on Wednesday.
- Negotiating the sale of 1903 PCGS AU58 Barber half...yes, it is on hold after a price reduction. Selling an original VF 25 1856 Briggs 9-G quarter (MPD 5 in the shield) to customer/consignor. This was a want list item that never reached the price list.
- Opening and recording seven payment letters into GFRC database. These will become Friday shipments.
- Preparing for Friday's webinar review of commercial inventory software with my son, Matt and vendor.
- Bedtime was 12:00am after reading FOX news for 30 minutes. Sarah Palin has endorsed Donald Trump in grand style and the news media is starting to embrace Bernie Sanders as Clinton's State Department email scandal grows worst.
Global equity markets are struggling as spot oil continues to fall. Asian and emerging market currencies along with Saudi Arabia's "riyal" are in trouble as the US dollar continues to strenghten. Imagine having to buy US dollars with currencies that are decreasing in value each day in order to make debt interest payments or purchase essential materials for your economy. This is the current global situation and the equity markets are increasingly worried. Spot gold remains a safe haven and holding close to $1100/oz level. Here are important Seeking Alpha headlines.
Global markets are in full retreat as a relentless slide in oil prices and a weaker world growth outlook from the IMF dealt another blow to investor appetite. Hong Kong shares tumbled to their lowest levels since the depths of the global financial crisis, Japan's Nikkei entered a bear market and equities everywhere else are deep in the red. With risk out of favor, sovereign bonds and gold are in demand. Yields on U.S. 10-year Treasuries fell below 2.00% - down a massive 29 basis points since the new year began - while the yellow metal advanced 0.5% to $1,094 an ounce.
Crude futures are getting slammed again, with U.S. oil falling to its lowest since September 2003 on worries about a global glut. The drop comes after the International Energy Agency, which advises industrialized countries on energy policy, warned on Tuesday that oil markets could "drown in oversupply". Stocks data from the American Petroleum Institute is due later today, while official figures from the Energy Information Administration will be released tomorrow. WTI -2.3% to $27.80/bbl; Brent -2.3% to $28.09/bbl.
The Hong Kong dollar's 32-year-old peg to the U.S. greenback is at risk, analysts continue to caution, as local stocks took another pummeling during today's session. Contracts to buy the currency in 12 months fell as much as 0.3% to HK$7.8904, beyond the HK$7.75-HK$7.85 range that it can trade within under the existing exchange-rate system, as the city's once alluring access to Chinese assets becomes less attractive to investors. Hang Seng -3.8%.
Meanwhile, the Saudi central bank has warned commercial lenders against betting on depreciation of the riyal as tumbling oil prices put pressure on the currency. Bets for a devaluation of the riyal reached their highest in almost two decades this month, driving 12-month forward contracts to their highest since at least December 1996. Banks and hedge funds are also speculating that low oil prices might eventually prompt Riyadh to scrap its peg to the U.S. dollar (which has been linked since 1986). Tadawul All Share Index -4.3%.
The collapse in crude prices also caused the ruble to nosedive to a record low today as the oil plunge weighed on the Russian economy and surpassed every other obstacle the nation has endured including crippling sanctions. The currency fell 1.8% to 80.156 against the dollar, breaching a threshold it last crossed during the ruble crisis of December 2014 that forced the central bank to intervene through a series of emergency rate increases. MICEX -1.6%.
Featured Coins of the Day
I firmly believe the gold and silver spot prices reached their bottoms during 2015. Buying United States gold eagles and double eagles that have both numismatic and bullion value may be a wise decision for the coming years. So you know, I am converting some of the GFRC profits into gold bullion and migrating duplicate Liberty Seated dimes (once sold) into MS62 grade St. Gaudens. This is a prudent step towards balancing personal investments.
GFRC now offers a nice selection of United States gold at attractive prices. Following are two recommendations with emphasis on natural patina.
How about this lovely 1856 $2.5 gold piece from the Woodlands Collection? This is the same collector who brought us an incredible offering of quality Liberty Seated halves. This lovely piece sports original orange patina, and a full strike. Obverse stars are rounded with deep connected centrils. Liberty's curl are crisp too! Reverse eagle is deeply impressed. No blemishes anywhere and a sharp reverse rim.
If rarity is your cup of tea, then consider this 1859-C half eagle from the Osprey Collection. This Charlotte piece is graded NGC AU53 and approved by CAC. Mintage is a low 31,847. This piece offers a better than average reverse strike.
As always, thank you for visiting. I will be back bright and early on Thursday morning with the West Coast Collection gallery and more consignment news.
January 19, 2016
Good morning and welcome to the Blog on this Tuesday morning.
Venice weather remains seasonal with today's high forecasted to be 61 F. In contrast, Portland Maine is well below freezing during these short January days. Operating the GFRC business in Maine during winter months would be so much more challenging. I'm grateful to be in a warmer climate with bright sunlight and quick access to postal and shopping facilties.
A substantial Liberty Seated Collector Club deadline is looming just ten days away that will impact an already busy schedule. February 1 brings the deadline for March 2016 Gobrecht Journal article and advertising submissions. Writing a President's Message and an additional article are on my list of thing to do along with updating the full page GFRC advertisement. These activities will take several days out of the GFRC operations schedule. There will be a delay in response times and processing consignments during the coming week and your understanding is appreciated.
Liberty Seated halves have been very popular in the past several months. The Woodlands and Grey Soldier consignments are selling well as demand for accurately graded EF and AU examples is strong. CAC approval is having an impact on the market as collectors recognize the additional layer of quality screening that is necessary to win the John Albanese certification. This is the ideal time to consider dispositioning some of your Seated half dollar duplicates as selling into a strong market is much more advisable than selling into a weak market. Please call me to discuss potential holdings and sales strategy.
Most of yesterday was spent processing and loading Liberty Seated dollars from the Seal Beach Collection. Like the lower grade semi key and key date Morgan dollar lot, the Seal Beach Seated dollars are in problem free lower grades with strong eye appeal. Following is a mini gallery that showcases the Seal Beach dollars reaching the price list yesterday along with an 1847 PCGS AU55 CAC specimen from the Woodlands Collection.