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 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




Financial News

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.

Financial News

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.

Financial News

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.

Financial News

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.

Financial News

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 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.

Featured Topic

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.



Guest Commentary

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.

Financial News

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.

Financial News

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.

Morning hours.....

- 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

Afternoon hours.....

- 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

Evening hours.....

- 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.

Financial News

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.




Other GFRC news highlights include;

- West Coast consignor has approved suggested pricing for his recent submission of original bust dimes, seated dimes and quarters. These are photographed and should load to the price list today. He is also shipping another 20 pieces towards a slow disbursement of a life long collection. I would recommend that GFRC friends pay close attention to the strategy being executed by the West Coast consignor. Some of his coins may sit on price lists for up to a year but do eventually sell for full asking prices. Patience and a longer term horizon are important for maximizing returns when selling a personal collection.

- Matt arranged a webinar meeting this coming Friday to review cloud based inventory software that has a nicely tuned application for numismatic and antique sales. This software easily integrates with QuickBooks for financial management. Of primary concern is the ability to conduct database extractions to build HTML based price list tables that GFRC customers currently enjoy.

Financial News

Seeking Alpha headlines are back after taking the day off for MLK holiday. Global economics continues to be tied to the China slowdown and very weak oil prices. Major countries are desperately attempting to stoke inflation towards monetizing national debts but inflation remains elusive due to aging demographics and wage stagnation along with near zero interest rates.

Investors should carefully consider Beijing published statistics for potential manipulation. Equities across the globe are posting big gains after China's 6.9% annual growth rate seemed to offer relief to investors, some of whom had feared far worse, and many expect Beijing may do more to stimulate its economy. Gains in crude oil and base metals prices are also lifting downtrodden energy and mining shares. U.S. futures are all up by 1.6%.

Taiwan independence could become a major headache for next United States president. Opposition candidate Tsai Ing-wen won a landslide victory in Taiwan's presidential election on Saturday, bringing to power her Democratic Progressive Party, which espouses Taiwan's formal independence from China. "Our democratic system, national identity and international space must be fully respected," Tsai told a news conference. "Any suppression [of those] will harm...relations" between China and Taiwan. The election had been closely watched from Beijing to Washington because of the implications for cross-strait ties and regional stability.

$30/bbl oil is now seen as positive news! Despite tumbling in the previous session due to the lifting of sanctions, crude is inching back towards $30 per barrel. Prices appeared to get some support from strong oil data in China, where preliminary demand for 2015 was at a record 10.32M barrels per day, up 2.5% from a year ago, despite a slowing economy. However, fears of additional Iranian barrels is still likely to weigh on traders' minds. Deputy Oil Minister Rokneddin Javadi said on Monday the Islamic Republic was ready to add 500K bpd to its output. Brent +4.6% to $29.86/bbl; WTI +1.7% to $29.91/bbl.

Featured Coin of the Day

Today's featured coins is a pretty dual sided toned 1886 Morgan dollar graded PCGS MS64. I've chosen this piece to remind customers that the Alexandria Collection 19 piece toner Morgan consignment has arrived and is photographed. There will be many more nicely toned Morgan dollars reaching the price list shortly. This 1886 example walked up to the GFRC table at FUN show.

Thank you for stopping by the Daily Blog this morning.


January 18, 2016

Welcome to the Blog on MLK holiday and thank you for visiting.

Yes, I took a break last evening and sat through the Democratic debate. This event can best be summarizes as P&P. The Political master (Hillary) vs. the Passionate outsider (Bernie). Hillary would not touch Bernie's comment about $600,000 in Goldman Sach speaking fees, rather going back on the offensive against some aspect of Bernie's record to move the attention elsewhere. What came to mind was the infamous Bill Clinton rationalization of "is" and "was" in front of a grand jury with respect to Monica Lewinsky.

On the Republican side, the Establishment is working overtime towards unseating Donald Trump's lead in the polls. FOX is fighting back and calling the Establishment out based on this morning's edition. The 2016 presidential election may be the first in years where the Establishment and influential monies (the unseen 4th pillar of United States government) may be unable to affect the outcome.


Nearly all FUN show purchases were loaded to the price list yesterday with the majority being Liberty Seated halves along with most of the Upstate New York Collection pieces.

I've mentioned the 27 piece silver toner lot on multiple occasions and formalized this offering with an Upstate New York Collection display in the Client Gallery. There are a few remaining half dimes to be loaded today along with making an offer on a group of raw toned seated half dimes and dimes.

The Seal Beach Collection Seated dollar imaging processing is moving along and I should have this completed by end of day. GFRC will be expanding its Seated dollar inventory towards becoming a top quality supplier for this denomination.

Many more consignments have or will arrive in the next few days. The GFRC consignment model and collector to collector trading desk busines concept is gaining momentum. Following is a summary of what to expect in the coming week;

- Strong Hands Collection consigns a strictly original 1886-S F-101 dime graded NGC MS62 CAC. This piece has already arrived and belongs in a top collection.

- Wisconsin Collection consignor shipped an eclectic lot of quality coins and these should arrive tomorrow.

Seated 50c: 1864-S Seated Half PCGS EF-45 CAC; 1844-O Seated Half WB-20 PCGS VF-35 CAC

Early Commem 50c:1925 Stone Mountain Half, PCGS MS-66 CAC gorgeous toning; 1926-S Oregon Half NGC MS-64 very attractive toning;

5c and 10c: 1862 Seated Half Dime V-2 ANACS AU-58 gorgeous toning; 1884 Liberty Nickel NGC AU-58; 1913 T1 Buffalo Nickel deep multicolor toning NGC MS-64; 1908-D Barber Dime (08/multiple digits) NGC AU-58

- A new consignor, entitled the Alexandria Collection, shipped two lots of toner Morgans totaling 19 pieces. These will be an exciting addition to the growing Morgan dollar product line.

- The Woodlands Collection consignor is waiting for my signal to send a large lot of Liberty Seated dime duplicates. His Seated halves have been popular on GFRC price list due to top quality and many being CAC approved.

Featured Coins of the Day

At the FUN show, this lovely 1845-O WB-1 RPD grading PCGS AU53 and attributed as "RPD FS-303 WB-108" on PCGS label walked up to the table. A collector was hoping to raise cash so I bought the piece. Surfaces are covered with a faint and transparent golden patina that is a bit over emphasized on GFRC images. Strike is complete while all main devices and fields are blemish free. This piece has a lightly mirrored appearance that is quite reflective under bright light.

The Osprey Collection consignor is recognized for his important United States gold offerings including the 1859-O NGC AU50 Gold $20 rarity. This collector also pursues attractive world coins when traveling through Europe. A recent purchase is this Mexican Republic 1/4 Reales struck at Mexico City mint and dated 1843. This minor silver piece offers perfectly original surfaces, even gray patina and plenty of luster under bright light. Overall, an inexpensive piece that caught my attention as a collector. I really enjoy having this 1/4 Reales in inventory and hope it migrates to a good home where it can be appreciated.





January 17, 2016

Good morning and thank you for stopping by at the Daily Blog.

During early morning hours, the Sarasota Florida area experienced tornado touchdowns. Worst hit was Siesta Key which is about 10 minutes from our Venice home and an area in Manatee County. My cellphone buzzed at 3:30am and 4:30am with tornado warnings. The winds were incredibly strong and still howling as I write this blog. This is the closest I've ever been to a tornado touchdown in my life.

I should have gone to the Ft Myers coin show after all on Saturday morning to save myself a body work repair headache on the Toyota Avalon. While at a small USPS outlet in Venice, a person from Michigan in a fancy BMW backed out of a parking spot without looking rearward and crunched my right back seat door. I had just stopped at a STOP sign to make a turn and he assumed that there was no vehicle behind him. My timing was incredibly unfortunate. Of course, there was no damage to the BMW......this is life and another item to add to the "to do" list.

The New England Patriots reversed course and beat the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday. I feel Jim Poston's pain and will not gloat. Enough said on this topic.


I'm pleased to announce that more consignments are in the shipment loop and will arrive later next week. The GFRC business model is gaining attention resulting in an increasing number of advanced collectors deciding to downsize or fine tune collecting objectives and sell their duplicates via GFRC. These new consignors are mostly advanced collectors and business professionals who are pleased to have a reliable sales channel other than the major auction houses.

Following are the contents of a consignment that was discussed and agreed upon just yesterday; four Capped Bust halves in AU grades with cool provenance (I believe the 1832 is a nice EF45). These will be heading to CAC first before being listed.

1831 O-111 from Bowers & Merena Phillip Mann / Glen Smedley Sale in Sept. 1998; included is the auction flip

1833 O-106 and O-111 from Sheridan Downey. The 106 is from Sale #25, July 2000 while O-111 is from a Dec 1997 fixed price list.

1832 acquired from J D Parsons, March 1987.

Several hours were spent photographing coins yesterday and following is a eye catching mini gallery of nicely toned Seated coins from an upstate New York collection. These were purchased on Friday. The grades are 1858 NGC MS63 CAC, 1862 PCGS MS63, 1868-S ANACS AU58, 1871 PCGS MS64 CAC, 1882 NGC MS65 CAC, 1846 Tall Date NGC EF45.



Today's goal is to load the Seal Beach Liberty Seated dollars on that price list along with more FUN show purchases. This is a slow process but daily progress is being made. Most other dealers take a full week to recover from FUN and announce their new purchases at one time. My philosophy is to add new coins to the price list on a daily basis across all denominations.

Featured Coins of the Day

1885 Seated half dollars have very low populations in choice AU grades. This is another lovely piece purchased from the Upstate New York collection on Friday and just added to the price list. This Philadephia half is holdered and graded by NGC at the AU53 level and approved by CAC. I believe the asking price is fair for the overall eye appeal and original steely gray surfaces with overlaid rose and blues.

I would also like to call your attention to a lovely 1862 Seated quarter purchased at FUN. Surfaces are perfectly original and covered with golden gray patina while the strike is absolutely hammered. I wish more Seated quarters could be located like this 1862 example. Housed in new PCGS AU55 holder and reasonably priced for the quality. (On Hold)

Once again, thank you for visiting and supporting the GFRC business. Your patronage is very much appreciated.



January 16, 2016

Welcome to the Daily Blog and the first national holiday weekend of the year. With Monday as an official holiday then USPS is closed. As a result, this morning's primary task is packing and shipping multiple collector to collector trading desk orders where customers are buying coins with consignment credits. Yes, the GerryFortinRareCoins homepage indicates a visit to the Ft. Myers coin show today but unfortunately, the realization that USPS being closed on Monday altered my plans. So another day in the GFRC office is at hand.

If I'm not busy enough, the Liberty Seated Collector Club's 2016 membership cards arrived yesterday. Bill Bugert handled the printing and shipment and now the ball is in my court; signing over 600 membership cards along with printing each club member name.


The major news this morning is the arrival of the 1859 New Orleans $20 gold piece graded NGC AU50, the third rarest double eagle from the New Orleans mint. The Osprey consignor visited the GFRC Venice office yesterday for some fun numismatic show and tell along with dropping off this $20 gold rarity on consignment. The piece was immediately photographed and posted online by early afternoon. Following are the images.

Mintage is a very low 9,100. The example originates from Europe in a raw state and was repatriated during the past 12 months. The Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins published by Garrett and Guth indicates that :

The population and auction data confirm that this coin is rare in any grade. The 1859-O double eagle is the third rarest issue from the New Orleans mint, exceeded only by the ultra-rare 1854-O and 1856-O issues. Most of the coins offered are VF to XF, and many of those display heavy bag marks or damage. There were just 2 examples of the date found aboard the SS Republic. Both of these were certified as AU58, one of which was proof like.

CoinFacts offers a detailed analysis of the 1859 New Orleans date as published by Doug Winter, noted U.S. gold specialist. His evaluation characteristics for this New Orleans date are utilized for assessing the Osprey consignment. My evaluation and comments can be found on the GFRC gold coin price list. The offered example has minimal surface marks and is better struck than many seen in the Heritage auction archives. I believe the initial $45,000 asking price is not unreasonable and look forward to discussions with serious individuals who have interest.

In other GFRC News, I failed to mention in yesterday's Blog that one of the Liberty Seated half dollars consigned by Grey Soldier is a personal donation to the Liberty Seated Collector Club treasury. This was an oversight on my part. Below is the 1843 half from the Grey Soldier consignment that will be sold on behalf of the LSCC. GFRC will also be donating its time to market and sell this lovely early half dollar. Please look for this listing later in the day. A sincere thank you goes out to Grey Soldier for his LSCC donation.

I will write more shortly....Microsoft demands to restart my computer and perform updates; there are no negotiations on this point. Don't you hate losing control of your own computer?

Ok, I'm back after the update and restart. Let's wrap up GFRC News.

Nearly all the Grey Soldier consigned halves are loaded on the price list so please enjoy these new offerings.

Coming to the GFRC price list this weekend are the West Coast Collection silver pieces, the Liberty Seated Dollars from the Seal Beach Collection and selections from the NY State 27 piece toner lot that was also purchased on Friday. There is still plenty of new material in the queue for price list updates. Yes, I recognized that the Liberty Seated dime price list has been neglected in the past few months but that will be changing shortly. A small Liberty Seated dime consignment is in transit while the Woodlands Collection consignor is waiting for my signal to start shipping his Seated dime duplicates also.

Finally, I've made decision to not attend the Long Beach show in early February. Fundamentally, it is best to stay focused on absorbing and posting all of the consignment backlog rather than losing four days of time to fly to/from California on a buying trip when consignments and for purchase shipments are waiting in the shipping queue. My apology for raising expectations on this potential trip.

Let's end the Daily Blog here for the today. Thank you for visiting and I will see you bright and early on Sunday morning.


January 15, 2016

Good morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for checking in as the middle of January has arrived. A sincere Happy Birthday to my son, Matt, is also in order. At the end of 2015, Matt resigned his project management position at Environmental Resource Management after a nine year engagement that initiated upon Tufts University graduation. Matthew is currently the founding principal at Decoding Sustainability, a new company in the environmental and sustainability field. In parallel, Matt is helping his father with the GFRC information technology selection and implementation. Staying busy appears to run in our family! If interested in learning more about the sustainability field and Matthew Yamatin consulting support, then please visit

No, I did not watch the Republican debate as last evening was allocated to the Grey Soldier Collection; image processing and Client Gallery construction wrapped up at 11:30pm. From the various media outlet headlines, it appears that the Donald Trump and Ted Cruz drama was entertaining but no new policy ground was broken.

There is much to discuss this morning so I will keep the preamble short.....


The Grey Soldier Collection has arrived at the Client Gallery and is show below. When viewing the Grey Soldier Liberty Seated halves (and the lone Seated half dime), one can easily conjure up a number of superlatives; amazing, incredible, beautiful, gem original and so on. However, these pieces are absolutely worthy of strong praise as is the collector himself. Patience and a strict selection criteria are necessary to repeatedly collect at this quality and eye appeal level.

The Grey Soldier Collection Consignment - January 14, 2016

Liberty Seated Half Dime

Liberty Seated Half Dollars





Several of the above halves were previously requested as part of the First Right of Refusal (FRoR) program. Once these are loaded onto the price list this morning, I will contact those individuals for a decision as more requests are anticipated moving forward.

The Osprey Collection consignor will be visiting the GFRC Venice office this morning and dropping off a $20 Liberty gold rarity as new consignment. A detailed announcement is forthcoming in tomorrow morning's Blog.

Liberty Seated Collectors Club News

Liberty Seated collectors who were unable to attend the Tampa Fun show or the LSCC meeting on Friday January 8th can still view the proceedings thanks to a meeting video capture by John Frost. The following meeting topics and video links are now posted on the LSCC website. I've copied these to the Daily Blog to spread the word. Simply click on the below links to access individual streaming videos. Isn't technology wonderful?

FUN 2016 Regional Meeting, Tampa FL, January 8

Club initiatives and updates - Gerry Fortin, John Frost, Dennis Fortier, Dick Osburn (mp4, 15 minutes, 60 mb)

1874 F-106 Polished Arrows (aka "No Arrows") Dime - Gerry Fortin (mp4, 13 minutes, 58 mb)

Scarcity of New Orleans Dimes in AU or Better - Jason Feldman (mp4, 37 minutes, 101 mb)

Financial News

Once again global equity markets and oil prices continue to fall while gold remains resilent at $1080 spot price. The Seeking Alpha headlines speak for themselves.

Most disappointing news is that General Electric is selling its appliance division to China's Haier company located in Qingdao. This decision is a clear indication that the United States continues to lose quality manufacturing and employment opportunities. Sad indeed; but a strong US Dollar and weak Yuan results in multi nationals moving more production and profit centers overseas based on existing United States tax codes.

Giving up yesterday's gains, the Shanghai Composite fell 3.6% to 2,900 during the session, pushing the index to an 8.8% loss for the week. That puts the benchmark extremely close to its 2,850 level in August, when Chinese policymakers scrambled to prevent a full-blown financial crisis through a raft of support measures and a so-called 'National Team' of investors. Chinese shares also posted losses after data showed new yuan loans in December were well below the previous month's lending, and broad M2 money supply growth also slowed.

Crude futures are once again in the $20s, with the prospect of additional Iranian supply on expectations that Western sanctions will be lifted within days. China's Sinopec (SNP, SHI) has also purchased its first ever batch of U.S. oil for export, a landmark transaction after the ending of a four-decade ban on domestic exports. West Texas Intermediate is down 5.3% at $29.54 a barrel, wiping out the 12-year low of $29.93 hit earlier this week.

Confirming earlier reports, General Electric (NYSE:GE) has agreed to sell its appliances business to Qingdao Haier for $5.4B. The deal, which will generate an after-tax gain of about $0.20 per share upon closing, values the appliances business at 10x its EBITDA in the last 12 months, and GE expects to offset the gain with restructuring in 2016. Louisville will still remain the headquarters for GE Appliances.

Featured Coins of the Day

At the Tampa FUN, I sold three Mint State 1877-CC quarters in two days. The probability of that happening was consistent with my winning the Powerball jackpot; but it did happen. Interestingly, no one paid attention to this wonderful 1874 With Arrows Seated quarter graded PCGS MS62 and approved by CAC. This is the Larry Briggs plate coin for his Seated Quarter varieties book and from the Grey Soldier Collection......just typical Grey Soldier eye appeal and quality.

The GFRC Morgan dollar offerings continue to expand and here is a lovely 1884 New Orleans dollar graded PCGS MS65 with beautiful rainbow type toning. If you like the images, then this Morgan just might be for you.



January 14, 2016

Welcome to the Thursday Blog edition and thank you for visiting. This evening brings the Republican debate and it is doubtful that time will be allocated to view the ongoing political drama. Florida weather remains seasonal with daytime highs at ~70 F. Friday is forecasted to be bright and sunny; a perfect day for more consignment and new purchase photography.


Wednesday was another long day in the GFRC office and I'm pleased to report that progress is being made on pre and post FUN show consignments. There is also some exciting news in the works for GFRC's new United States gold product line too!

- Offering prices for the Grey Soldier consignment are settled with image processing and price list loading being the final steps to complete. For those customers building serious Seated half dollar sets, then please pay careful attention as the Grey Soldier coins are of incredible quality and carefully selected from major auctions and leading dealer price list. Several pieces are on FRoR and potential buyers will be contacted once the images are available.

- Draft offering prices for the West Coast consignment were issued and image processing needs to be completed. The lot highlight is a sweet 1863 Seated quarter (PCGS EF45) that is already under FRoR.

- The 27 piece silver toner lot consisting exclusively of Liberty Seated half dimes, dimes and half dollars has arrived and is an excellent offering of beautifully toned pieces. This collector has been chasing eye appeal ring toning for years and recently decided to start the slow disbursement of the collection. GFRC is so pleased to have been selected for this project.

- A Morgan dollar consignment arrived featuring 12 pieces with lovely toning. Some pieces are single sided toners while others are dual sided. This new consignor is actively building a Liberty Seated half dollar set and raising capital through the sale of his complete Morgan dollar set including a host of VAMS. GFRC will be handling the toned pieces in that collection.

- The Woodlands consignor is very pleased with the sale of his Seated halves and will be consigning a lot of Seated dimes within the next ten days.

- And finally, ongoing dialogue with the Osprey consignor will result in more United States gold being consigned. Look for a special announcement in the next few days.

- The GFRC collector to collector trading desk business model is showing growth during early 2016. In just the first two weeks, nearly $20,000 of sales have resulted from consignors using their sales proceeds to purchase quality coins from other consignors or GFRC inventory. Quality in and Quality out results in a low risk investment/collecting environment for business professionals who wish to assemble a long term collection of rare coins.

If the above items are not enough to keep me busy, I also owe Bill Bugert two articles for the upcoming LSCC Gobrecht Journal. The first is the President's message and the second will focus on a recommendation that collectors begin demanding records or provenance for five figure key date Seated coins. The Third Party Grading services are enable to screen the work of certain coin doctors and the risk passes to the collecting community. A new approach is required to ensure that collectors have adequate disclosure before purchasing expensive coins that might have been enhanced by the doctors.

Guest Commentary

One of the earliest GFRC consignors is the Virginia Collection. During the GFRC start-up phase, this kind individual helped launch the consignment model with his Seated quarters, halves and dollars. I am most grateful for his kind support. Yesterday, this individual sent in the following observation concerning the shrinking middle class.

Just a word of thanks for your daily blog. I try to read it regularly and find the information about the coin markets, your business, and the overall economic outlook quite helpful.

One particular comment -- your and everyone else's concern about the shrinking middle class. My comment: There is no problem with the middle class shrinkage so long as the cause is a growing upper middle and upper class. The real problem is that of an expanding lower and lower middle class or, perhaps, the combination of simultaneous growth in lower and upper classes. The American system distributes from the poor to the richer, but the distribution has been mitigated by a growing economic pie. With policies of the past three to four decades the growth has slowed and the redistribution of wealth has grown.

Financial News

Global equity markets are struggling during early 2016 while still waiting for spot oil to find a floor. China's ongoing economic contraction will result in the Yuan being further devalued along the same path taken by the Japanese Yen. The result is a stronger United States dollar while our country imports more pricing deflation from across the globe. Can the Federal Reserve continue to raise interest rates during the first half of 2016? The bright spot is spot gold which is holding close to $1100. Here are pertinent Seeking Alpha headlines.

Almost $3.2T has been wiped off global stocks since the start of 2016, driven by renewed jitters over China's economy and a slump in energy prices, pushing all major U.S. indexes into correction or bear market territory. Asian markets (except for China) and European bourses are keeping up the trend today after a bruising session on Wall Street that saw the S&P 500 drop 2.5% and the Nasdaq tank 3.4%. Despite looking for a comeback earlier, U.S. futures have also dipped into the sea of red.

Brent oil prices dipped below $30/bbl during Asian trading hours, hitting a new 12-year low and putting the benchmark at a discount to U.S. crude. "I think most of the bearishness is coming from worries over Iranian sanctions being lifted. It seems to be causing panic selling in Brent," said Daniel Ang, an analyst with Phillip Futures. Prices have already tanked 20% this year and analysts vary greatly over the level and when the commodity will hit a bottom.

The Hong Kong dollar sank by the most in more than a decade overnight and speculation mounted in the options market that the city's 32-year-old currency peg will soon come to an end, as investors lost confidence in Chinese assets. The local dollar dropped as much as 0.21% - its biggest intraday loss since October 2003 - to a four-year low of HK$7.7761. Other currencies also took a hit. The loonie fell to its lowest level since April 2003, fueling speculation the Bank of Canada could cut interest rates as early as next week.

Japan's core machinery orders fell the most in 18 months in November after solid gains in prior months, as domestic demand stayed subdued and China's slowdown dimmed global growth prospects. The 14.4% fall in core orders could lead Japanese firms to further delay implementing their spending plans, diminishing policymakers' hopes of generating a growth cycle of higher incomes and investment by the private sector.

Featured Coins of the Day

If you've read this far into the Blog, then a few featured coin images are well deserved. How about two attractive offerings for under $150?

The first is a lovely 1850-O PCGS VF25 half dime with strictly original surfaces and plenty of blues and rose when viewed under bright light. The population in VF is surprisingly low with the PCGS pricing guide needing a serious revision to capture true pricing.

Next is a pretty 1941-S Washington quarter with MS65+ eye appeal but graded PCGS MS64 in new 2015 holder. This silver beauty offers bold luster and gorgeous toning. The quarter is mounted with the reverse on the front of the PCGS holder. A tiny cheek mark holds this one back from MS65/66 grade level but the eye appeal is huge.



January 13, 2016

Wednesday arrives and the numismatic "Beat Goes On"...Sonny and Cher, 1967. This is turning out to be a nostalgic week with Bowie's death and the late evenings attempts to catch up on consignments. I worked until midnight on Tuesday after the Auburn Lakes Condo Association board meeting and selected the perfect Pandora station on laptop while processing images. Do readers remember "Time Machine" by Grand Funk Railroad? This selection brought about a host of great oldies as the Seal Beach Morgan Collection was formatted, loaded in the Client Gallery and onto the price list.

By the way, have you visited your local bank branch since the start of 2016? Try attempting any size cash deposit into a savings or checking account, but make sure you have government issued ID else the bank will not accept the transaction. This is the new banking landscape according to Bank of America. No ID, no deposit and forget the past tradition of depositing some cash into a child's saving account unless your name is on the account. The Feds have taken the next step to track any physical money deposit at a bank counter. My Bank of America teller indicated the new rule was to better monitor and enforce "money laundering", a convenient and logical explanation but difficult to swallow if attempting a $50 cash deposit. Let's leave this topic here......


Thank you so much for the strong orders after the FUN show as new purchases are selling as quickly as I can post them. Yesterday's sale highlight was the Pickering Creek 1859 PCGS MS67 CAC dime that is one of the finest known regardless of the PCGS population reports. This incredible dime is heading into another serious Liberty Seated collection and I look forward to supporting this individual during his set building journey.

The Osprey gold consignment is completely illustrated in the Client Gallery. So place a check on the "to do list" for that task. The display provides an excellent contrast to the toned silver pieces in the Gallery.

The Seal Beach Morgans have arrived in the Client Gallery and on the Morgan price list. ! What a cool collection of key and semi-key date Morgan dollars ranging in grades from AG3 to VF30. The cool part is the light to medium grade color uniformity across the collection. The 1900 in PCGS MS65 OGH does not count....

The Seal Beach Collection Consignment - January 13, 2016

Morgan Dollars






Financial News

2016 will be the year of United States oil patch bond defaults and reduced trade exports due to a strong US dollar. High yield "junk bond" funds should be carefully managed; I've already sold my position and will not touch this investment sector until spot oil stabilizes and the carnage in the United States oil drilling sector is over. Fracking wells have short life spans and drillers maintained output during 2015 for cash flow to support debt payments at the expense of drilling new wells. Once well productivity declines, then cash flow will be insufficient to cover debt and companies will default.

We can expect the United States to run larger trade deficits and China returning to trade surpluses. Seeking Alpha headlines triggered these thoughts this morning.

Crude futures are on the rise for the first time in eight days, with U.S. oil pulling further away from the $30-level breached last session following data from the American Petroleum Institute. According to the industry group, oil inventories unexpectedly fell last week, sliding 3.9M barrels to 480M. Also on tap: The EIA publishes its weekly inventories data at 10:30 a.m. ET. Brent +2.5% to $31.63/bbl; WTI +2.4% to $31.17/bbl.

Chinese shares have reversed back into the red (but shares are in the green elsewhere) in response to a surprise jump in the nation's trade surplus. In yuan-denominated terms: December exports rose 2.3%, while imports dipped 4%. In U.S. dollar terms: Exports fell 1.4% from a year earlier, while imports dropped 7.6%, widening the December trade balance to $60B (and the full-year tally to $595B). Separately, the cost of borrowing renminbi plunged today in Hong Kong, suggesting China backed off from intervening in the currency markets after eliminating the gap between its onshore and offshore exchange rates.

Featured Coins of the Day

A single 3 cent silver piece was acquired at FUN and is now loaded on price list. My images are horrible with respect to the original toning and luster. Please use your imagination when viewing these 1854 trime images. This piece is graded PCGS MS63 CAC and was immediately purchased when offered as so nice. Surfaces are pristine. Housed in old PCGS blue label holder and a perfect type coin.

How about this incredibly original 1838 F-106 shattered obverse dime graded NGC MS64 at the FUN show? This piece is offered in NGC holder with the Top 100 Varieties label. It would be difficult to locate a more original example at the MS64 grade level. I believe there is high probability for CAC approval too.



January 12, 2016

Tuesday morning quickly arrives and time for another Daily Blog edition. As always, a sincere thank you for dropping by and checking out the latest ramblings.

Yesterday's blog brought considerable feedback. David Bowie's passing touched many of us and I appreciate the kind expressions of sympathy in your emails. Our formative years occurred during a cultural transformation and David Bowie was a symbol of personal experimentation. Though so flamboyant on stage, the individual was a private man and I will definitely be purchasing his last recording, which in essence, is his own obituary. God bless the Queen, David Bowie and all the great British musicians who have already passed (Lennon, Harrison, Mercury, Cocker, Bruce and now Bowie).


I'm pleased to report that the FUN show administrative work was promptly wrapped up yesterday including the removal of all sold coins from the online price lists. It took all of Sunday to bring the GFRC office back into full operation allowing me to catch up on customer shipments on Monday. Nearly all orders received prior to FUN have been shipped.

On the Information Technology front, Matt identified a potential e-commerce software package and started the inquiry process last evening. Our challenge is to implement a cloud based inventory system that will eliminate the need for the 50+ excel spreadsheets used to manage inventory and consignment tracking. We have a ground breaking implementation concept that will substantially improve personal efficiencies while not disturbing the current "look and feel" of the GFRC website. I hope we can pull this off as it will be really cool and GFRC customers will benefit with increased inventory selections, more price list sorting options at current fair pricing levels. Visions are important when building a company.

Consignments and coins for purchase are pouring in and GFRC customers should be pleased once these offerings reach the price lists. In yesterday's mail alone, two Morgan dollar lots arrived along with a satiny 1905 NGC AU58 Barber half. Wednesday will bring the 27 piece Seated half dime, dime and half dollar toner lot for purchase.

Venice weather was absolutely perfect for photography on Monday so I processed all FUN new purchases, the West Coast consignment and the Osprey and Grey Soldier FUN show consignments. Believe me, there are many great coins in the pipeline heading to price lists in a few days. Below are the Osprey gold $10 and $20 pieces to be loaded shortly.

The Osprey Consignment Part II - January 12, 2016

Liberty Gold $10 and $20



Guest Commentaries

During the January 9 Blog, I mentioned those "Interesting Bourse Floor Comments" to share how some individuals attempted FUN show purchases with "win-lose" negotiating strategies. Well, one of my California customers, who is in the real estate business, sent along this guest commentary and translated the same behaviors experienced with his clients. Following is an excerpt from the email.....

Yes, very sad, David Bowie's passing yesterday. My favorite album of his was "Aladdin Sane" although I loved his consistently changing personas, preferences, music and everything else about him. I guess he was just mirroring the world we live in. RIP, Starman. Once a million years ago I was dating some girl and she said that David Bowie was the best looking man she ever saw. For some reason that stuck with me. I also enjoyed your blog from the FUN show on January 9 (actually January 8 late evening), specifically the portion regarding the ubiquitous all-knowing consumer. We also have them in real estate, as follows:

1) We call the "CDN" (Grey Sheet) people, the "Zillowers" since they always cite that website as well as the many other similar websites; "Zillow says this" and "They must be right because they're online" (I really heard this several times!). Of course the Zillow website is a wonderful GUIDE to the real estate market, but it's only a guide. Sound familiar?

2) The guy in the line at "Home Depot" (as well as many other places) said that his home sold for "x" dollars, so my house must be worth at least that. Too bad the guy at "Home Depot" lives in PGA West or Laurel Canyon - I didn't know that!

3) My house must be worth way more because of the Olympic pool I just installed. Too bad it's the only pool within a 5 mile radius of this neighborhood. If I hear that one more time...

Yesterday's sharing of a BBC article concerning the upcoming United States presidential election brought another guest commentary. I closed this topic and mentioned that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were performing well due to their Populist messages. Here are well composed thoughts from a New York City customer worth considering.

I enjoyed your blog this morning as always. I offer this comment: I don't believe it's accurate to call Bernie Sanders a populist. He is a principled socialist. Agree with his views or not, he has a consistent political philosophy which he has advocated throughout his political career. A populist is one who has his finger up in the air for whichever way the wind of popular opinion is blowing, and pitches to that. Calling Trump a populist is spot on--his floating political philosophy and feckless flip-flops have been well covered. On the other hand, Sanders has espoused the same views for 30 years and with no regard to who his audience is. That is the opposite of a populist.

Also, I think we're missing the real story here, namely that this is the first time in at least 85 years when the mere label of socialist has not been sufficient to disqualify a candidate for national office. It's a surprising thing, but the American public is actually willing to tolerate a high level of greed. However, the greed of the ruling economic class has now become so egregious, so destructive of the desire of average families simply to survive, and smells so high to heaven, that for the first time I can remember, people just don't care whether Sanders is a socialist or not.

Featured Coins of the Day

Late last evening, FUN new purchases reached the price list including these two outstanding Seated halves. The first is a perfectly original 1871-CC WB-6 NGC VF30 half that is accurately graded and was sourced from an old time collection in up state New York. This half is completely blemish free. The tiny white spot on the shield is a piece of verdigris on the coin within the NGC holder. How often does a circulated key date half dollar appear in this preservation state?

This beautifully toned 1891 Seated half dollar walked up to the GFRC table on Saturday. GFRC images accurately capture the in hand appearance while viewing under bright light exposes booming luster and the rainbow toning. Under bright light, the obverse center offers rose/gold hues that transition into blue, gold and aquamarine arcs at the rim. Talk about an eye catching last year of issue strike!

Thank you for visiting and please check the price lists by mid afternoon for the latest offerings.


January 11, 2016

Monday arrives with very sad news indeed. Thank you for visiting the Daily Blog this morning.

NBC News, FOX and the BBC all agree on today's major headline; the passing of David Bowie. I write this blog with tears as David Bowie was one of the most innovative and influential musicians of our generation. British musicians have had a huge impact on Western culture with David Bowie as a standout genuis combining progessive music with theater. Of course, Space Oddity is well recognized but my favorite Bowie album is The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars more commonly known as Ziggy Stardust. It is consider to be one of the finest recordings of all time; an early concept album that discusses issues of politics, drug use, and sexual orientation during the early 1970s. Then there was the unforgettable Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy duet between David Bowie and Bing Crosby recorded during September 1977; the meeting of two musical giants. I will never forget Under Pressure, a 1981 recording featuring Bowie and Freddie Mercury along with Queen. It is indeed a sad day for David Bowie fans....... I recognize that the great British musicians must all pass at some point. But each death is still incredibly moving as their artistry had such a profound impact on my psyche and life during teenage years.

Featured Topic

The BBC continues to provide unbiased analysis of the political state of affairs in the United States, especially during this election year where the electorate is so frustrated with the Establishment. Nick Bryant pens a quick read entitled, US set for year of fear, and sanely analyzes the overall American psyche. He opens the piece with the following comment concerning United States presidential elections and cites Kennedy, Reagan and Obama all winning the White House on expressions of hope... but also due to outpourings of fear.

The romanticised view of US presidential elections is that they present quadrennial opportunities for national renewal; that they are expressions of hope and optimism that reflect this country's founding belief in its inexorable advancement and improvement.

As we enter election year, there is a deep pool of nervousness and resentment from which to draw. On the economic front, there is the shrinkage of the American middle class. New figures from Pew Research suggest that for the first time in more than four decades, the middle class is no longer in the majority.

This graphic clearly illustrates the slow but consistent erosion of the middle class and much of that erosion is towards poverty.

Terror fears are also up sharply in the United States (thanks to the omni present media) while American lack confidence with all major institutions. I will leave this topic here but do suggest you read this BBC article as it provides a clear overview of the United States electorate mindset and why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are performing so well with their Populism messages. For those who are not familiar with the Populism term, Wikipedia defines Populism as follows;

Populism is a doctrine that appeals to the interests and conceptions (such as hopes and fears) of the general population, especially when contrasting any new collective consciousness push against the prevailing status quo interests of any predominant political sector.


A new West Coast Collection consignment has arrived. My initial understanding was that the consignment would be all Capped Bust dimes in circulated grades. However, this shipment brings a nice mix of choice original early type pieces as follows;

Bust 10c: 1835 PCGS VF20 JR5, 1837 PCGS VF20 CAC JR3

Seated 10c: 1840 PCGS AU55 F-104/F-104a die state with right die crack only, 1850 PCGS EF45 CAC F-103, 1877-S PCGS EF40

Seated 25c: 1843-O PCGS F12 Briggs 1B, 1858 PCGS AU53, 1863 PCGS EF45, 1885 PCGS VG10

Discussions continued yesterday for the transfer and outright purchase of a 27 piece lot of beautifully toned Seated half dimes, dimes and halves. We have settled on the list of coins to be shipped and those will be itemized in Tuesday's Daily Blog.

Featured Coin of the Day

On Sunday, I migrated a fair number of higher grade Seated dimes to the Discount list in an attempt to help these pieces locate a new home. I'm surprised that this 1849 F-101 dime graded PCGS MS63 from the Birmingham Collection has not sold. This example offers creamy original luster and is very scarce in Mint State. I still don't understand why higher grade 1849 dimes lack respect. The PCGS population reports are low at (6) MS63, (9) MS64, (1) MS65 and (1) MS66 with the MS64 number being influenced by regrade attempts due to large MS65 price jump. The Birmingham Collection example has typical satiny surfaces with a hint of light gold. Strike is all there with complete head details and bold star centrils while the reverse has complete wreath leaves other than a spot at 10:00 which is typical for the F-101 variety. Price has been reduced making this piece an even better value.



January 10, 2016

Greetings from Venice, Florida! The 2016 FUN show is in the history books and this blog edition is being written early on Sunday morning. Diane and I returned home Saturday evening at about 6:30pm and after a well deserved scotch and pizza, I was in bed by 8:30. The coin dealer profession can be challenging, rewarding and also most tiring during major shows as was the case during FUN. Managing an inventory that now includes ten double row slab boxes and two double row raw 2x2 boxes takes considerable attention, especially during show setup and breakdown.

The Tampa Convention Center was an excellent venue for a major numismatic show. Parking was integrated with the convention center so security was not an issue. Meeting room facilities were top notch and food vending was also quite good. The FUN staff executed well with the only GFRC issue being a misprint of my name in the show directory. Instead of Fortin, the directory read Ortin but the listing was still under the F category. Overall, I was very pleased with the Tampa location, the facilities and show results and hope another major coin show will be held in that local in the future.

FUN Show Report - Day 3

We went into Saturday with low expectations based on last year's Orlando FUN results. Saturday attendance shifts from advanced collectors to the local public. There is a higher percentage of "tire kickers" who enjoy viewing quality coins but just don't have the funds to collect choice early type at the higher grades. Tampa turned out to be different as GFRC had another strong sales day. Capped Bust halves were the star on Saturday along with type gold and Liberty Seated dimes. We bought an incredible 1885 PCGS MS64 toned Morgan in old green holder that would knock your socks off with eye appeal any day of the week and a lovely toned 1891 Seated half in NGC MS64. The Morgan lasted an hour and was purchased by the Osprey consignor as he returned to the show on Saturday.

The Tampa FUN show was a strong success for nearly every dealer I spoke with. Everyone had a robust show as collector attendance was high and people were buying quality coins for their collections. Let's hope that FUN is the start to strong 2016 numismatic year as many collectors were befuddled about where to be investing. Hard assets including gold bullion and rare coins appear to be at the top of priority lists for many old time collectors as the equities and bond markets are off to a poor start during 2016.

GFRC enjoyed record sales at FUN and eclipsed 2015 Chicago ANA results. Part of that credit goes out to GFRC consignors including Grey Soldier, Woodlands, Seal Beach, Osprey and Pickering Creek. These collections are all above average in quality and featured some outstanding offerings, many of which sold at FUN. Unfortunately, I bought much less than was sold as GFRC standards are selective as I continue to refine inventory composition. Quality consignments will continue to play a significant role in GFRC's 2016 offerings and inventory expansion plans.

New Consignments/Purchases

I bought only two coins on Saturday as previously mentioned and the Morgan went to an excellent home. But....I am pleased to report that a 27 piece lot of beautifully toned Seated half dimes, dimes and halves are shipping to GFRC this coming week. The West Coast consignor, known for strictly original circulated Seated dimes and quarters in PCGS CAC holders, has shipped the first installment of his Bust dime collection and those coins are already on hand for processing this week.

My requests for quality consignments may sound like a broken record (for those of us who are old enough to remember what a "broken record" is) but I firmly believe that GFRC has demonstrated its ability to market and sell top quality collections at fixed prices and at an aggressive commission rate. GFRC has a unique business model and marketing approach combining the best attributes of major auction house descriptions and catalogging with personal customer service. When speaking with Gerry Fortin, you are in contact with the business manager, senior numismatist, photographer, web master and customer service rep. So please consider GFRC as a alternative to the auction houses for a small lot of duplicates or a major collection. Generating results and winning trust are not new concepts but require integrity and lots of hard work. Many individuals are commenting that I am the hardest working individual in numismatics today....

Thank you for visiting this morning. Today's primary challenge is adminstrative in nature; transferring FUN show sales into consignor spreadsheets,updating GFRC website and packaging of online orders for Monday shipment. During the Monday or Tuesday Blog, I will announce the content of the West Coast Bust dime consignment and also attempt to provide a preview on the 27 piece toner lot that is due to arrive this week. Have a great Sunday and please check back with me this coming week.


January 9, 2016 (Actually late January 8 evening)

FUN Show Report - Day 2

Welcome back to the Blog during the FUN show. Yesterday's Daily Blog and FUN show report received nearly 400 downloads which is incredible and justifies working late into the evening after a long day on the bourse floor and the commute back to Venice home. What is sincerely appreciated are the face to face meetings with GFRC customers at the FUN bourse floor table and many individuals mentioning that they read the Daily Blog; they expressed an appreciation for providing numismatic education along with exposure to global financial trends. My sincere thanks to all the Daily Blog readers and to GFRC customers as we collectively build a special community.

Friday GFRC results were an extension of Thursday sales; two day sales revenue is already 70% ahead of 2015 FUN results with the potential for more sales on Saturday. Today's sales highlights were the 1861 Scott Restrike PCGS AU55 CAC and the 1861-O PCGS EF40 W-1 half. We also sold the 1846-O and 1847-O $10 gold pieces from the Osprey collection and two mint state 1877-CC Seated quarters. Seated halves remain hot along with CAC certified seated and bust coins in all denominations.

Friday started early with Venice to Tampa commute, a quick opening of the GFRC booth and then attending the LSCC regional meeting at 9:00am. The LSCC team did an excellent job at the meeting with a variety of topics. Attendance was strong but limited by a meeting time conflict with the JRCS club in the adjacent conference room. I've received feedback that the LSCC and JRCS should try to coordinate separate meeting times as many LSCC members are also JRCS members and torned over which meeting to attend. This is food for thought as your LSCC president.

Friday purchases were limited to coins being offered at GFRC table as I was unable to take a break and find the men's room until late in the afternoon. Though today's purchase volume was limited, the quality and selection is high as I continue to be one of the most selective buyers in the numismatic market much to the benefit of GFRC customers. Here comes the Friday new purchases;

3 Cent Silver: 1854 PCGS MS63 CAC and perfectly original

Seated 10c: 1886 NGC MS64 choice original

Seated 50c: 1845-O PCGS AU53 RPD FS-303 WB-108 and choice; 1861 NGC AU58, a true AU58 with bold luster; 1871-CC NGC VF30 choice original gray and perfect for grade.

I wish there were more new purchases. During the late afternoon, Warren Mills from Rare Coins of New Hampshire stopped by to chat. Warren is one of the really "good guys" in the coin business who I admire. He complained of walking the FUN show floor for two days with limited success in locating choice original 19th Century coins that were affordable. He indicated that dealers are becoming smarter about quality and asking for premiums on anything that is strictly original. CAC is playing a significant role in the growing awareness for eye appeal and originality.

As GFRC volume and average price per coins continues to ramp, locating quality consignments or outright collection purchases will become critical to maintaining this momentum. I am convinced that GFRC will secure more money for your collection along with less risk (and more fun) than employing the major auction company route. Please call or email me after the FUN show if you may have a numismatic property that needs to be disbursed during 2016.

Interesting Bourse Floor Customers......

Dealing with the collector community means meeting a variety of people with creative negotiating approaches when attempting a numismatic purchase. Nearly all customers are a pleasure to work with as long term relationships and "win-win" transactions are paramount at GFRC. But there are always certain individuals that leave me wondering about their numismatic knowledge and business approaches.

- Foremost are the "GreySheet" people who reference CDN bid for choice original CAC certified coins. Frankly, there is no patience for these individuals and discussions are quickly terminated.

- The most memorable negotiation strategy of the day was, "Heritage charges a 17.5% buyer's premium so Coin Facts auction record must be discounted by same amount to arrive at a fair purchase price to me for your early gold coins." Really?

- Then there was a young dealer who used CoinFacts and referenced the lowest auction record at holdered grade level as the offer/current market basis for my 1840 NGC graded gold $10; there was no sale here.

Ok, enough rambling for a Friday evening and time to head to bed. Thank goodness that Saturday is the last day for GFRC participation at the FUN show.

GFRC Shipments

GFRC shipments will resume on Monday per normal business operations. There is a substantial pile of unopened payment letters that will be opened and processed on Sunday. Responding to voice messages, text message and phone calls will also begin today as I expect Saturday FUN table sales to be slower than the past two days. Thank for you understanding on my slow responses during the FUN show.


January 8, 2016 (Actually late January 7evening)

FUN Show Report - Day 1

If the FUN show is the temperature gauge for the early 2016 numismatic market, then quality coins are hot! Please understand that this statement is not dealer hype but rather what was experience during today's FUN show.

GFRC had an outstanding first day at FUN. We arrived at the Tampa Convention Center for the 8:30am dealer opening and sales kicked off within the next hour. The show opened for public attendance at 10:00am and immediately the bourse floor "hum" was apparent until about 4:00pm. GFRC had sales until 6:15pm as one way bourse floor traffic kicked in at 6:30. The FUN staff should be congratulated for coordinating a top notch show at the new Tampa venue. Collectors were in force and making quick decisions when acquiring quality coins.

FUN show first day results confirmed a trend that emerged during 4Q 2015. GFRC is now selling many more four figure coins than in the past. Recent consignments including Woodlands, Seal Beach and Osprey have brought a substantial amount of quality coins priced over $1000 that is enabling this upward shift in average sale price per coin.

With the constant GFRC customer volume, I spent the entire day behind the GFRC except for two bathrooms breaks; it was that busy. So what was hot and cold at the FUN show? Seated half dollars are by far the best selling denomination at the moment. GFRC sold the Woodlands 1876 PCGS MS66 CAC half for the full $9000 asking price along with 1843 PCGS MS63 center dot half and several other quality pieces. Osprey gold coins were next in sales volume as many customers stopped to enjoy the early San Francisco and Carson City double eagles. Given the immediately Osprey Collection online and FUN show sales volume, the consignor visited today and added five more early double eagles to the consignment. Seated dimes were also selling well; the 1878-CC PCGS AU58 CAC Type 1 reverse dime sold along with the 1878 PCGS MS64 example from the Central California collection. Today was a slow sales day for Capped bust half dimes and halves but let's not be greedy.

The GFRC consignor centric business model was proven successful at FUN as nearly 70% of sales were consigned coins. Response to the Grey Soldier consignment listing in yesterday's Blog was overwhelming as half of those pieces are already on FRoR. GFRC is now well positioned to service those collectors who have collections valued in the $10,000 to $250,000 range. At this value level, the major auction houses are not your best option due to high commissions rates and loss of control over the selling process. The opposite is true at GFRC! Consignors are treated as active partners in the selling process with their own Client Galleries, detail descriptions for each coin and the no risk selling approach. If I can't sell your coins, then you can request their immediate return without any hassles. At GFRC, price setting is a consensus approach with the consignor. After the pricing setting process, consignor can relax and well know what their coins will sell for in a hands off manner. I need more consignments starting immediately after FUN to maintain current sales and customer support momentum.

Several wholesaler friends stopped by today and I carefully worked in a most selective manner when reviewing multiple double row slab boxes and buying only the cream of their offerings. One new wholesaler commented that my eye for original coins was superior to most other dealers based on the selections from his boxes. Following are the GFRC new purchases; the quantity is small but the individual quality and eye appeal is much above average.

Bust 5c: 1829 PCGS AU55 choice original gray

Seated 5c: 1853-O Arrows PCGS AU50 beautiful toning; 1850-O PCGS VF25 choice and under graded; 1858 PCGS EF40 choice toning

Mercury 10c: 1917 PCGS AU58 with super choice toning, so undergraded.

Seated 50c: 1865 PCGS EF45 light gray and difficult to locate; 1870 PCGS EF45 choice original

Seated $1: 1866 PCGS F15 Motto, choice original

Gold $20: 1862-S NGC VF30, few graded at this level and choice.

World: 1849 Canada $1 NGC MS65 toned gem.

Financial News

Global equity markets are falling quickly during the first week of 2016 and is a negative omen for the coming year. Spot gold moved over $1100/oz as oil continued to tank to $33/bbl. There are worries about an all out Iran-Saudi Arabia conflict in the Middle East along with China's economic slow down. Several GFRC customers discuss this situation during purchases and believe that bullion gold stored outside of bank safety deposit boxes is the last remaining personal wealth hedge as financially engineering global markets show signs of weakness. China's attempt to use "trading circuit breakers" is only making matters worst for the Shanghai market.

Seeking Alpha offers several pertinent headlines.

World shares are taking another beating amid further turmoil in the Chinese stock market, where equities were suspended for the second time this week after tumbling more than 7% in the first half hour of trade. What's triggering the panic selling? The continued slide in the renminbi is weighing heavily on investor sentiment, as it suggests all the government's stimulus efforts aren't working. Why? A currency devaluation is seen as a last-ditch effort to boost exports, and the fear is China won't be able to maintain its growth targets. Today's yuan midpoint was set at 6.5646 per dollar, 0.51% weaker than the previous rate, marking the biggest fall between daily fixings since the currency's major devaluation in mid-August.

Is oil in the $20s an inevitable reality? Crude prices tumbled as much as 5% overnight to levels not seen since the early 2000s as China's stock plunge left markets in turmoil, while a huge supply overhang and near-record output levels continued to drag on prices. "With oil markets producing 1M barrels a day in excess (of demand) and very little sign of any rational response from the supply side, it's little wonder we're seeing pressure again," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets. Brent and WTI plunged as low as $32.16/bbl and $32.10/bbl, respectively.

It is now 10:00pm and I am thoroughly exhausted and heading to bed. Tomorrow morning's start will be early once again. There is a need to open the GFRC table at 8:30am and then immediately head to the LSCC regional meeting at 9:00am. Thank you so much for visiting with me today and please check back tomorrow for the FUN Show Day 2 report.


January 7, 2016 (Actually late January 6 evening)

Greeting from the FUN show event! We are commuting to/from Tampa during the FUN show since Venice home is only one hour away. I'm writing Daily Blog and FUN show reports during evenings as we have early commutes on Thursday through Saturday mornings.

FUN Show Report - Dealer Setup Day

Wednesday was a hectic day as the morning was spent packaging and shipping orders along with final FUN show preparations. The one hour commute went smoothly as did the Tampa Convention Center parking. Diane and I were on the bourse floor at 2:00pm and it took about two hours to fully prepare cases, lighting and coins. During our table setup process, one of my favorite wholesale dealers approached us to have a look at his quality inventory. The decision to stop booth setup and review his inventory was wise as I bought four attractive pieces (more later on this). Once the six cases were fully loaded, I relaxed for a few minutes and then the dealer floor traffic appeared. The 1874-CC PCGS AU Details dime immediately brought attention and a dealer friend will be attempting to place the coin with one of his clients. The Osprey and Seal Beach gold coins were popular with the Seal Beach 1890-CC $20 selling quickly; this piece had not reached the price list or Client Gallery.

Grey Soldier consignor then stopped by for face to face introductions and transferred an amazing consignment of high quaility Liberty Seated halves. The consignment contents were previously mentioned during the December 16 Blog, but here is a listing to refresh everyone's memory. It is one thing to read a list of coins and another to view these coins in hand. All I can say is the Grey Soldier pieces are spectacular and will not last long once photographed and featured in the Client Gallery and Daily Blog.

Grey Soldier Tampa FUN Consignment

Seated 5c: 1842 NGC MS64 Shattered Reverse V-1a, a gem example

Seated 50c: 1857-O PCGS AU55 CAC; 1859 PCGS AU53 CAC; 1862 PCGS AU58 CAC; 1865 PCGS AU58 WB-101; 1868 PCGS AU55 CAC; 1869 NGC MS61 CAC; 1871 PCGS AU55; 1873 PCGS AU53 CAC

After the Grey Soldier visit, another one of my favorite wholesale dealers arrived with four double row slabbed boxes of coins to review. Thought being very selective, I was still about to source several coins for inventory. At 7:00pm it was time to close the booth for the day followed by the commute back to Venice, a quick dinner, catching up on customer emails and finally, writing this Blog.

Following are the FUN show new purchases. Please email me for FRoR as these coins are already transferred into cases in anticipated of strong Thursday sales.

FUN Show New Purchases

Capped Bust 5c: 1837 PCGS AU55 CAC lightly toned and very attractive

Seated 10c: 1848 NGC AU58 CAC (Eric Newman Collection holder), so underrated in AU or better.

Seated 25c: 1862 PCGS AU55 with original transparent patina that perform well under bright light.

Seated 50c: 1861 PCGS AU58 CAC with light gray patina; 1861-S PCGS AU55 choice original; 1865-S PCGS EF45 medium gray and choice

Morgan Toners: 1886 PCGS MS64; 1904-O PCGS MS64 both with beautiful dual sided toning.

Thank you for visiting the Daily Blog this Thursday morning. I will do my best to write FUN show reports each evening before heading to bed. Please don't hesitate to email orders as the laptop will be online throughout the show and I will be checking emails frequently.


January 6, 2016

Welcome to the Daily Blog and thank you for being loyal readers. It is flattering to know that 300 or so individuals visit each day. There is the ongoing challenge to keeping the commentary fresh and relevant but so far so good.

The Tampa FUN show starts today with dealer setup between 2:00pm and 8:00pm followed by public show access tomorrow morning. GFRC is essentially ready with hundreds of great numismatic offerings. At least year's Orlando FUN show, GFRC shared a corner table with W. David Perkins and stocked four cases. At this year's Tampa FUN, GFRC will have six cases of top quality coins and could easily fill eight cases. GFRC raw coin inventory will be traveling to FUN but these pieces will stay boxed and available for viewing upon request due to available case space.


Gerry Fortin Rare Coins and W. David Perkins, Numismatist will be located at Tables 1034-1036. Following is the Tampa bourse floor layout and our location. Finding us is easy, just walk through the bourse entrance and directl