Gerry's Daily Blog Archives - May 2015
Sunday arrives and Maine is forecasted to received up to 2" of rain today. This weather is a blessing after last week's 90F temperatures. Lawns are already dried to conditions typically seen in July so a good long soaking rain will be helpful for home owners and the forests. I can think of only one benefit for a dry spring....a smaller presence of black flies, ticks and mosquitoes.
There was positive feedback concerning yesterday's Blog as one individual enjoyed the Mastery vs. Performance Goal discussion including my personal use of numismatic pursuit examples. Staying on the Mastery Goal topic, this individual recommended a weekly newsletter (Farnam Street Blog ) for stimulating reading and potential Blog topics. One quick article already caught my attention...Six Strategy Traps which is helpful in examining GFRC business startup progress and current strategy.
Another individual provided a newsletter that was quite sobering. The newsletter is from The Stansberry Digest: Master Series and features a brief article by Bill Bonner discussing commencement speeches since this is graduation season. The key point is that the Class of 2015 is currently the most indebted in United States history. A few excepts from the article....
It is unlikely that we would ever be called upon to give a speech to graduating students. But if we were, we would say the following: Congratulations, Class of 2015 – You chumps!
The Wall Street Journal reports that you are the most indebted generation in history.
The average graduate with student debt has a little more than $35,000 of it. The whole bill for student debt this year is expected to reach $68 billion – a 10-fold increase over the last 20 years.
In my lifetime, there has been a dramatic attitude shift concerning debt. I was taught that debt was to be avoided as much as possible due to interest payments and the default risks in the events of a personal crisis. Consumerism changed society's attitude towards debt along with government's leadership by example. For many, today's lifestyles are build on a variety of debt instruments including home equity, credit cards, special financing to buy about anything but groceries and now college education. Growing personal indeptedness coupled with a challenging job market for Generation X and Milleniums and a stagnant global economy leads to personal risks as those holding the debt (financial industry) are not altruistic (the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others)..... I'm still old fashion and believe debt is to be avoided other than for a home mortgage or business expansion.
I'm finally catching up on the consignment backlog and will have the Maine Collection Barber sets priced out today.
The initial Gentleman's Collection items, not at CAC review or being sent to TPG, are posted.
Another West Coast collection shipment of Liberty Seated dimes arrived yesterday and will be announced and processed in the next few days.
By the middle of June, GFRC will be aggressively soliciting consignments in preparation for the Chicago ANA show being held August 11 -15. Dispositioning duplicates or an entire collection is straightforward at GFRC since I do 95% of the work for the consignor. The consignor simply needs to make a decision to sell some holdings, package and ship and then I will take over the evaluation, marketing, sales and payment process.
Featured Coins of the Day
First up today is a beautifully toned 1807 O-105 Draped Bust half dollar from the Gentleman's Collection. This is a raw piece that grades a full VF20, is blemish free and provides showcase eye appeal. I'm currently in discussions with the consignor on pricing and if there is potential interest, please don't hesitate to email or call.
Next is a choice original 1845-O WB-14 Seated half dollar graded PCGS EF40 that needs a new home. The obverse is covered with a medium gray patina that is more concentrated in the fields and acts to well contrast the lighter main devices. The reverse has lighter gray coloring with darker rims. This piece has no blemishes so I'm calling it choice for the grade.
May 30, 2015
Welcome to the last weekend in May and thank you so much for visiting the Blog today. Daily readership continues to grow as the average daily download rate is over 200 and is appreciated. Blog readers are also starting to provide follow-on thoughts to be published or related links for exploring topics in greater detail. A small community is building around the Blog and writing each day's installment is now an integral part of life.
I would like to open the Blog with a Quora Digest topic. What is the Quora Digest? Quora is best described as an open forum built by people who write answers to questions for sharing knowledge. Each morning, I receive a Quora Digest feed with a host of questions and answers across multiple topics. Many of these are insightful and satisfy my need to be learning each and everyday. Friday's Quora feed brought a topic that brought good advice to coin collectors but in a philosophical manner. The question was, "Everyone has a list of not-so-exciting tasks (personal or work related) that he or she needs to get through. How do you motivate yourself to get to these and not procrastinate? Edmond Lau, author of the Effective Engineer shared a long but important response that may not have directly answered the question but definitely caught my attention. His keys points were....
- Define Mastery Goals, Not Performance Ones...where Edmond defines Mastery Goals as where you aim to learn and get better at some skill while Performance Goal is where you aim to be good, either to demonstrate you are talented or to outperform other people.
- Actions performed to accomplish a Mastery Goal or Performance Goal might be the same but your motivation and mindset will be different. When focused on improving skills rather than demontrating them, you are less likely to be discouraged by obstacles, time constraints or unexpected challenges. Having a "growth mindset" is an important factor for finding happiness when working on not so exciting or challenging tasks.
Edmond Lau's thought process rang close to home with my experiences in the numismatic hobby. I could easily separate different aspect of my numismatic career into the Mastery Goal and Performance Goal categories. Please allow me to explain.......
- Conducting Liberty Seated dime variety research and building the GFRC business are both time intensive projects that require considerable personal commitments on not-so-exciting tasks like data recording, photography, webpage creation and so on.....but with an ongoing "personal growth and learning mindset", these mundane tasks evolved into mastery of a niche numismatic area (Seated Dime varieties) and learning how to operate a small business that services an important numismatic market niche.
- Building the Liberty Seated Dime set in the PCGS Set Registry was an example of a Performance Goal, namely to have the best set in the competition with the ongoing challenges and frustrations associated with locating quality upgrades (and the financing) to stay ahead of other competitors. It was easy to become demoralized in this pursuit and I know this first hand....the construction of the Gerry Fortin Liberty Seated Dime Collection essentially stopped during 2006 when Eugene Gardner entered the market and bought all the potential upgrade Seated dimes that I was after.
So some food for thought here on approaching a numismatic objective. Consider the knowledge mastery of certain coinage series including originality, individual date rarities, strike characteritics and major/minor varieties rather than attempting to build a top set to be showcased on registries or message boards.
Daily Blog Reader Feedback
A Blog reader provided the following Economist Online link to augment my ongoing comments about the "casino" nature for investing in the Shanghai Composite index. The article is entitled, "Share prices in China flying too high...The long-term consequences of China’s coming stockmarket correction are the ones to fear." This article is a quick read and worth the time if interested in this topic.
Featured Coins of the Day
We start this section of the Blog with a lovely 1854-O Liberty Seated quarter that was added to the price list yesterday. This piece resides in a 2013 generation PCGS holder and is accurately graded as AU50. This is an attractive example with natural light gray patina along with intermixed rose/gold. Under bright light, the surfaces expose considerable luster for an AU50 graded coin.
Next up is The Richmond Collection 1868 Liberty Seated dime that has been on the price list for awhile and needs recognition for its NGC MS65 grade level rarity. I've acquired a deep respect for the 1868 date in mint state grades. PCGS pop reports shows (4) MS63, (9) MS64, (5) MS65 and (2) MS66 indicating the few number available. This example is a frosty white gem with characteristics that are similar to a well struck proof. Rims are sharp and consistent with proof strike wire rims. The strike is absolutely hammered with exceptional device details for a With Legend dime. Surfaces are completely blemish free as one would expect for a dime graded MS65.
May 29, 2015
Friday arrives during this shortened Memorial Day work week and there is much news/information to share in today's Blog. Thank you for visiting today.
Let's start with Financial News as the daily Seeking Alpha newsletter is full of good stuff this morning. Then we will move on to Blog reader feedback concerning yesterday's reporting of Texas legislation to establish a gold repository and close with a cool counter stamped 1861 New Orleans W-1 Seated half dollar that is well researched by the owner of the 36 piece hoard.
The US economy may be bordering on recession due to the strong dollar, oil price war with Saudi Arabia and other issues. Following is this morning's Seeking Alpha headline about revised Q1 GDP. Hammered by a port slowdown, adverse weather and lower growth inventories, the U.S. Commerce Department is expected to report this morning that GDP shrank 0.8% in Q1 instead of growing at the 0.2% pace it estimated last month. With growth estimates so far for the second quarter around 2%, the economy appears poised for its worst first half performance since 2011. The GDP revision will be published at 8:30 a.m. This announcement seems to run counter to the Federal Reserve discussions of an interest rate increase during the second half of 2015.....
Then there is the political postering over Greek default on IMF loan obligations that come due on June 5. "A Greek exit is a possibility," IMF Chief Christine Lagarde told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview due to be published Friday. Such an eventuality would "not be a walk in the park," she added, but would "probably not" mean the end of the euro. Although cash-for-reform talks between Greece and its creditors have dragged on for months now, many see June 5 - the date when Athens will have to repay €1.5B to the IMF - as a coming deadline.
How about the irrational Shanghai Composite Index? Now we learn that overseas money is pouring into this casino....Bubble or no bubble, Chinese shares extended a selloff today after swinging wildly in the wake of one of their biggest falls of the year. China equity funds have taken in $4.6B from overseas over the past week, according to data from EPFR, more than double the previous high set in the second quarter of 2008. Meanwhile, China is reportedly easing its limits on overseas investments by individuals and businesses as it advances its goal to make the yuan a reserve currency. The IMF hinted this week that the promotion may happen in 2015, after saying it doesn't consider the yuan undervalued.
Daily Blog Reader Feedback
It seems that yesterday's reporting of Texan efforts to establish a gold repository on its own soil secured the attention of readers. One indiviudual sent the following commentary that further explores the market feasibility of a commercial gold repository and ability for bullion holders to use the facility as a payment system. The reader writes, "None of the mainstream media have picked up on the idea of electronic payments backed by gold. There is some coverage of the gold shipments back into Texas, but that’s as far as it goes. This concept is very much along the lines of Paypal or Bitcoin. Bitcoin, by the way, seems to be completely accepted by the U.S. legal system, as long as you pay your taxes on any Bitcoin appreciation. An electronic system for payments backed by gold is technologically not complicated. What it comes down to is who do you trust? The fiat dollar is ultimately backed by strong military power, while a private or state-run gold exchange is less secure. The public has previously been told “we will store your gold for you” with generally bad results. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. It is definitely going to be tried, since it is very easy to setup such a system.
I was able to photograph the entire 1861 New Orleans half dollar hoard yesterday and initiated purchase discussions with the owner. So progress on this topic is being made. One of today's featured coins is from the hoard and a most interesting opportunity for Civil War collectors.....
Secondly, selections from this week's Seated quarter consignment are starting to appear on the price list with many more to be loaded today.
Finally, the holdered Flowing Hair and Draped Bust halves and dollars from the Gentleman's Collection were express shipped to CAC. Once this review is completed, then pricings will be announced for the individual pieces. Already, there is considerable interest in the 1802 PCGS EF45 half dollar and I hope to have pricing finalized by end of next week.
Featured Coins of the Day.
The first featured coin is a pretty 1906-D Barber half dollar graded PCGS AU58 and approved by CAC. GFRC will also be moving in the Barber coinage space given the upcoming Maine Collection Barber sets that will be broken up. I will be seeking out nice EF and AU Barber coins for inventory with the same goal of offering strictly original toned coins. This 1906-D half is consistent with that goal.
We close today's Blog with a cool counter stamped 1861-O W-1 Seated half dollar that was struck while the New Orleans mint was under Union control. This is a consigned piece and the owner has done some initial research towards establishing provenance. Following is this R6 piece with the N. GOOLD counter stamp on the reverse and the owner's commentary. (On Hold)
A NEATLY PUNCHED “ N. GOOLD. “ COUNTERSTAMP on a W1 1861-O HALF DOLLAR
The 1861-O half is a historical reminder of the Civil War and some of its die marriages (W11, W13-W15) provide the only affordable examples of Confederate coinage. The W1 die marriage, however, was struck under Union control in early 1861 and is considered a tough R6.
The N. GOOLD counterstamp gets one to speculate that this was the name of a Union soldier that fought to retake New Orleans in April 1862. The name Goold is unusual and searchable for free in the genealogy website Familysearch.org. We are looking for a male whose name began with N and who was born between 1820 and 1846 as a possible Civil War soldier. Only three candidates can be located, all from Maine. We find a Nathan Goold, who was born in Windham, ME in 1822 and died in Boston in 1897. There is another Nathan Goold who was born in Maine in 1833. Finally, there is a Nathan Goold (1846-1914) who was a prolific author and the librarian of the Maine Historical Society. Unfortunately, there are no Civil War military records for any of these Goolds. It is possible the Goold name was recorded as Gould or Gold in the military records, but that opens up a great number of names.
Other possibilities exist, however. Bowdoin College awards the Nathan Goold prize to an outstanding Senior in Greek and Latin studies. Abba Goold Woolson established the prize in 1922 in memory of her grandfather. It is possible that the 1861-O half stamped N. Goold was, at one time, a presentation item for the prize. Gregory Brunk lists an A.L. Goold stamp on a cent and nickel (G-371) and a H.A. Goold on a hard times token (G-372). There is no listing for N. Goold. This piece of Maine history in VF30 is available at $250, provenance of the buyer’s choice.
May 28, 2015
Welcome back to the Blog this Thursday morning and hope your visit is worthwhile.
The Maine heat wave continues today and will finally break on Friday with forecasted highs to only reach 70F next week. I will gladly take evening lows in the mid 40s and daily highs at 70 considering the amount of yard work that needs attention. Summer has arrived and coin sales typically decrease as collectors enjoy outdoor activities and shift away from winter hobbies. To be honest, I'm looking forward to the slower sales rate as my list of outdoor projects is lengthy this summer including the replacement of a 30 year old pressure treated wood retaining wall.
A portion of the Gentleman's Collection consignment was added to price list yesterday evening and represents a small fraction of what is to come. A group of Bust halves and dollars are heading to CAC today for review and should be online by mid June. Other pieces are heading to the TPGs.
The Seated quarter consignment that I listed in the May 26 Blog is photographed and asking prices are settled. One of today's goals is moving the majority of these pieces to the price lists. Those who requested FRoR will be notified once their targeted coins are posted.
The 1861 New Orleans Seated half hoard is fully attributed and purchase discussions are underway. These pieces will be photographed today.
Maine Collection Barber and Lincoln sets need evaluation attention in the next 48 hours with the goal of purchasing these sets by end of next week.
Orders from GFRC's Shanghai agent continue to pour in and will need sourcing attention next week.
Gold in the News
The good folks at Agora Financial are monitoring developments in Texas for establishing a gold repository within state lines. The background starts in 2011 when the University of Texas endowment took delivery of $1 billion in gold bullion with the bars held at HSBC in New York. By 2013, Texans called for the gold to be moved to the Lone Star soil and this month, both houses of the legislature voted to establish a gold bullion depository. The bill is heading to governor Greg Abbott for approval. It appears that the bill also allows private individuals to store their gold bullion at the depository. Electronic accounts would enable the depositors to make payments in gold to other depositors.....the results would be commerce without the use of fiat monies.
From this morning Seeking Alpha headlines comes the following concerning the Shanghai stock market.....The Shanghai Composite ended a seven-day winning streak with a bang, wiping out 6.5% to record its second-worst session of 2015, while the tech-heavy Shenzhen Composite lost 5.5% - its third biggest fall in five years. Until Thursday, China's benchmark index had surged more than 50% this year, despite widespread concerns that the market was in bubble territory. Given the mainland Chinese people's love for gambling and the Beijing Central government ownership of most listed companies, the Shanghai Composite is not a place to be parking long term monies.
Featured Coins of the Day
Today's featured coins are from the Gentleman's Collection. The consignor has been active in numismatic for over 40 years and during that timeframe, has managed to set aside some incredible bust type coins. It is exciting to be handling fresh to market coins housed in early PCGS/NGC holders along with ANACS old white holders. The first featured coin is an 1802 Draped Bust half residing in old PCGS holder and graded EF45. Eye appeal and pristine surfaces are the highlight of this magnificent piece which is heading to CAC review today. I've listed the 1802 half on price list and pricing will be set once CAC results are known with the AMBPR44 document as the guide.
Also from the Gentleman's Collection, and probably less exciting, is this 1903 Liberty Nickel residing in ANACS old white holder and graded MS65. The surfaces on this V Nickel are covered with rich textured gold patina in hand but under bright light, there are lovely rose hues accentuated by the original luster. This is a piece for collectors who strive for gem originality in their type sets at a reasonable price.
May 27, 2015
Good Wednesday morning to friends and daily readers! Thank you for stopping by at the Blog.
Nearly all of Maine is experiencing an early season heat wave with temperatures topping out at 91F yesterday and forecasted to be close to that level again today. Though other regions of the country are inundated with excess rains, we are starting the summer season with below average rainfall and high temperatures.
While retrieving GFRC inventory from the bank vault yesterday, I drove by our gun shop owner in Raymond. This individual is well known for posting conservative messages on his street side billboard much to the despair of local liberals. Yesterday's posting was simple yet stuck with me for the balance of the day, "Fear the indifference of good men". A quick Google search revealed the quote to be from a movie entitled Boondock Saints and you are free to view portions on YouTube. The entire context of the quote is, "Now, we must all fear evil men. But, there is another kind of evil which we must fear most … and that is the indifference of good men!" This quote caught my attention and well summarizes growing feelings concerning the 21 st century media, and certain aspects of big business and our government that are well suited for capitalizing on the indifference of good men.
Continuing on this topic...let's examine the current obesity crisis in the United States and spreading throughout the developed world. Have you noticed that there are many different new drugs for Type II diabetes and its complications being marketed each day during the nightly evening news hour? The obesity cause is well defined by the latest US Surgeon General report and can be viewed here. The cause is not rocket science, but simply the last of physical activity and excess/poor quality food consumption in our daily lives. The causes for lack of physical activities and poor diet are many however. Obesity is a national health crisis but big Pharma capitalizes on the trend by designing a host of new drugs to deal with the symptoms and driving health care costs upward. My belief is that capitalism can be evil at times, and the indifference of government (which now controls health care) and media to the issue is obvious. The media is quick to report deaths and injuries for violent weather events but deaths and climbing health care premiums due to our obesity crisis are not worth reporting or discussing as they may be inconsistent with large advertiser expectations. There are limited options for changing human behavior; education, negative feedback or laws and with individual rights, then education and negative feedback are it. .....Just food for thought concerning our society's current direction as we travel through the "information age".
Many new offerings were added to the price list yesterday and still more are in the queue. Response to the new Seated quarter consignment was rapid as certain pieces are already on double or triple FRoF. This new consignment is photographed and one of today's activities is building a consignment document with suggested retail prices for approval.
The 1861 New Orleans hoard attributions will be completed today and a phone call with the owner is planned for tomorrow to determine if the parties are close on a potential purchase price.
With respect to the Gentleman's Collection, I am preparing a CAC shipment for his holdered early Bust halves and dollar coins that will go out tomorrow. Those coins that are not heading to CAC or TPGs are photographed and ready to be loaded on price list once asking prices are firmed up with the consignor. So lots on the agenda once again.
There is little to report this morning from the financial world. The consolidation trend for big businesses is moving seriously into the cable industry and also the cigarette industry. One can see that same playbook utilized by large corporation facing no significant market expansion opportunities and stiff competition...buy-outs and consolidations to reduce operating costs (jobs) while carefully raising rates or prices for services rendered. Cable and telecommunication service costs (not hardware) continue to increase as broader bundled service packages are offered as the basis for price increases.
Featured Coins of the Day
I wish to share two spectacular coins that were added to the price lists yesterday. First is an attractive 1841-O PCGS MS62 CAC dime which is the F-104 Medium variety. This piece offers wonderful eye appeal and even frosty surfaces with just a touch of gold.
Second is one of the nicest Great Britain Trade $ seen in a long time. This 1901B piece is first year of design issue and has the most incredible multiple color toning and perfectly original surfaces. It resides in an NGC MS64 holder and is one small obverse blemish away from being MS65. My photography struggles on large one dollar size coins especially when housed in new edge view NGC and PCGS holders. The prongs create all types of light reflection opportunities and multiple photo session are necessary to produce a respectable outcome. The toning on this Trade $ is uniform across obverse and reverse regardless of the appearance in the images.
May 26, 2015
I hope that everyone arrived home safely after a long holiday weekend. Now we can look forward to a short work week unless self employed. Many thanks for returning to the Blog this morning.
Monday was indeed busy at GFRC as I accomplished nearly all goals mentioned in Monday's blog. There are exciting new consignment pieces online this morning and plenty more to be added throughout the day. LSCC duties were accomplished with the 2015 ANA annual meeting auction listing now posted at LSCCweb.org. The LSCC auction link is here and still requires some more work as auction lots continue to be added via the generosity of LSCC members. The Literature section is exciting with #121 transition Gobrecht Journals, a leather bound version of Bill Bugert's A Register of Liberty Seated Half Dollar Varieties, Volume IV, New Orleans Branch Mint and Eugene Gardner's self published picture books for his Liberty Seated collection.
The Shanghai Composite Index is on fire as global monies continue to pour in. The Shanghai Composite rose 2% to 4,910.90, taking its six-day rally to over 14%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.9% to 28,250. One must remember that the Beijing government is heavily involved as its owns significant positions in most major companies listed on the Shanghai Composite.
Greece is back in the news and has threatened to default on its loan repayments again, saying it would be unable to meet pension and wage bills in June and also reimburse the IMF without a bailout deal with creditors. A practical person can see that Greece is completely broke and on life support with creditors. The Euro is once again dropping and at 1.0899 to the US$.
I spent yesterday evening attributing the PCGS slabbed portion of the 1861-O half dollar hoard and found the following variety distribution. Varieties are labeled per Wiley numbers. We must remember that the owner was attempting to hoard CSA issued pieces so the results are not surprising. I failed to attribute one of the fourteen pieces but only VG8 grade level.
Federal Issues: None
Louisiania Issues: W-4 (PCGS EF45), W-6 (PCGS EF40 and VG10) and W-8 (PCGS EF filed rims)
CSA Issues: W-10 (PCGS VF35 and VG10), W-13 (PCGS AU50, EF45 and F15), W-14 (PCGS VG10) and W-15 (PCGS VG10, VG8 and VG8)
The balance of the hoard, all raw pieces, will be attributed today followed by a strategy session with the owner later this week. For those searching for CSA issued 1861 New Orleans halves, then the next few months will bring an opportunity to acquire some examples.
Moving on to new consignments......
An important Seated quarter consignment was opened this morning just in time to be listed in the Blog as today's news. The consignor is an avid Seated quarter collector and decide it was time to release duplicates and raise cash. This individual has an excelleent eye for original pieces. Following is a detailed listing of his consignment pieces. Depending on weather considitions, I may attempt to photograph these today and settle down asking prices quickly to enable posting by end of week. Isn't this exciting to have another quality group of Liberty Seated quarters entering the market place?
1842 AU53, 1843 Large O AG3, 1845 RPD PCGS EF45, 1853-O Obv3/RevA frosty AU50, 1853-O Obv5/RevG VF20, 1854-O PCGS AU50, 1857 PCGS EF40, 1857 Smoking Liberty VG, 1857-O PCGS AU53 CAC, 1858-O AU53, 1861 Type II Rev AU55, 1865 VF20 some lines, 1868 PCGS AU50 OGH, 1874 AU cleaned, 1876 PCGS MS62, 1877-CC PCGS AU53, 1891 MS62
Featured Coins of the Day
Today's featured coins were added to the price list yesterday and deserve special attention. First up is an important 1874 With Arrows Liberty Seated quarter that is the Larry Briggs plate coin and formerly from the Stack's Frog Run Farm sale in 2006. This quarter resides in PCGS MS62 CAC holder and is a superior piece belonging in an advanced collection. A full description is available on the price list.
Our next featured coin is an 1877-CC Liberty Seated half dollar residing in old NGC AU53 holder and the WB-1 Small CC variety. Bugert lists this variety as an R-5 rarity. This piece is strictly original with light gray patina and perfect for the assigned grade. One individual has expressed interest after the piece was announced in yesterday's blog. (On Hold)
May 25, 2015
Good morning everyone! I trust that the Memorial Day holiday is treating you well. Thank you for visiting today as I'm back in the office attempting to catch up on last week's consignment wave.
I did manage to take some time off on Saturday and Sunday as Diane, myself and Buddy made a short trip to Boothbay Harbor for an overnight stay followed by a lovely late afternoon lunch at Cook's Lobster House on Bailey's Island. Being by the ocean faciliated some much needed relaxation as life's pace slowed to a crawl if only for a few hours. Living 30 minutes from the Maine coast does have its benefits and we hope to enjoy more weekend trips this summer.
Saturday brought the arrival of multiple consignments and I am trying to work through these as quickly as possible but will not sacrifice quality evaluation and processing for the sake of expediency. Specifically, three consignments arrived and I was able to photograph the contents of two while the third remains in its Express shipment package. Following are the contents of the first two consignments...these will be loaded today either with agreed upon asking prices or POR as a placeholder until the consignor is back in touch via email. The third consignment is loaded with nice Liberty Seated quarters and will be featured in tomorrow's Blog.
Florida Consignment - 1853 A&R NGC MS61 25c that is gem eye candy; 1874 WA PCGS MS62 25c that is the Briggs plate coin and formerly from the Stack's Frog Run Collection; 1832 NGC MS62 CAC 50c that is the O-115 variety and another gem eye candy piece and finally; a 1901B Great Britain Trade $1 graded NGC MS64 and also eye candy. This consignor has a discriminating eye for top quality silver coinage with eye appeal.
California Consignment - 1875-CC PCGS AU55 WB-4 50c that is frosty white with bold luster; 1877-CC NGC AU53 WB-1 R5 50c that is choice original light gray and finally, an 1877-CC PCGS AU58 WB-15 50c that is proof like gem.
The Gentleman's Collection continues to be evaluated with some of the pieces already photographed. Typical of the quality is this early 1795 Flowing Hair dollar which I grade as AU-55. The surfaces are strictly original with a base layer of gray patina that is intermixed with some rose and gold. This piece is close to perfection except for several micro lines near the eye. Regardless, the in hand eye appeal is incredible while under bright light the fields are proof like.
Today's Blog will be brief as the "to do list" also contains mowing the lawn, adding the LSCC ANA Auction lot display at www.LSCCweb.org and writing a first draft President's letter for the forthcoming July Gobrecht Journal issue....oh yes, I also promised to get to the 1861-O 36 piece half dollar hoard and completing those attributions.....
Featured Coins of the Day
The two features coins of the day are from the Florida consignment and will be added to price list this morning. The images well represent the superior quality of these pieces and I believe you will agree that the term "eye candy" is an appropriate description.
May 23, 2015
As I write this morning's Blog, the Maine sky is cloudless and a gentle breeze is rustling the leaves outside the office window. The window is not open as this morning's temperature is only 39F and the forecasted high will be 61F. But Memorial Day weekend has arrived and marks the official start of the Maine summer. For Daily Blog readers still checking, my sincere thanks and wishing you a restful next few days with family.
There are two important highlights from Friday's activities...first, I completed loading all pieces from the Capped Bust 25c set and the orders have started. The 1828 20/50c PCGS G6 offering just went on hold a few minutes ago. Second, is the arrival of Gentleman's Collection Part I. GFRC is blessed to have secured the trust of this individual given the scope and quality of coins sent in the first shipment. This individual has been involved with numismatics for nearly 50 years and has amassed a substantial holding. His love is primarily early silver and gold type. Following is a quick listing of Part I contents. Please understand that some pieces will be heading to the TPGs before being listed while others will be heading to CAC given their originality and market significance.
Gentleman's Collection Part I
Bust 5c: 1800 G4 original gray; 1831 LM-6 MS63/MS64....both heading to TPG
Liberty 5c: 1903 ANACS MS65 choice, old white holder
Buffalo 5c: 1931-S MS64/MS65 bold luster, heading to TPG
Bust 10c: 1832 JR-3 EF45 original; 1833 JR-5 EF45 original; 1835 JR-1 AU50 original; 1836 JR-1 original
Bust 25c: 1805 VF35 old clean, retoning
Barber 25c: 1908 ANACS MS64 frosty white, old white holder
Standing Liberty 25c: 1917-D Type I; 1917 Type II; 1917-S Type II; 1926-D; 1927-D; 1928-D; 1929; 1930 all mint state with dripping luster...heading to TPG
Bust 50c: 1795 VG8 O-122 R5 original gray; 1802 PCGS EF45 gem original; 1807 VF20 eye appeal; 1808 EF40 O-101 old clean/retoned; 1827 PCGS VF30 choice original gray
Bust $1: 1795 3 Leaves AU55 eye appeal, original patina; 1795 2 Leaves NGC VF25 choice original; 1796 NGC EF45 choice original; 1797 NGC EF45 choice original; 1798 PCGS VF35 choice original; 1799 NGC AU55 original gun metal blue patina....these are heading to CAC along with 1802 Bust 50c while 1795 AU55 is heading to TPG.
By end of next week, some of the above coins will be posted to price list while others will be securing frequent flyer miles.....stay tuned on the Gentleman's Collection.
Today's is a substantial shipping day and then GFRC will close down through end of day Sunday. I'm going to rechannel my attention to the great Maine outdoors and relax for 36 hours.
On Monday, my plan is to start working on the 1861-O Liberty Seated half dollar hoard and attribute all 36 pieces. This may prove to be challenging or impossible on some of the lower grade examples. Once the attributions are done, then an offer will be made to the owner followed by photography and loading on price list.
With the above being said, I will keep today's Blog short and there will be no Blog on Sunday. I sincerely hope that all GFRC customers, consignors and friends have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend......the next Blog edition will be available on Monday morning.
Featured Coins of the Day.
Capped bust halves sales are starting to increase consistent with the amount of GFRC inventory that is being offered. I find these large denomination pieces to be attractive when having choice surfaces and natural patina. Building a date set is in original VF is attainable for many collectors. Following are two choice original pieces that need to find good homes. The first is pretty 1825 O-114 EF45 with good contrast between the higher wear points that are lightly toned and the darker fields. Overall strike quality is high with minor weakness in the upper left wing. Surfaces are blemish free.
Second is pretty 1826 O-116a EF40 with choice surfaces and ebony gray toning. Fields are toned a uniform ebony/gray while the main devices are toned a lighter gray resulting in good contrast. Reverse exhibits the 0-116a long die cracks through 50 C and STA(TES OF AMERICA).
May 22, 2015
Welcome to the Memorial Day weekend and family vacation season in the great outdoors. As always, thank you for stopping by this morning.
Indeed Memorial Day weekend is viewed with some consternation as the quiet town of Raymond doubles in population this coming week. The tourists from the East Coast corridor will be clogging our roads but are essential to the Maine and local economies. Sebago Lake is an incredible natural resource with land locked salmon and trout fishing.
There is much to discuss this morning as access to quality coins continues to increase.
I worked late into Thursday evening to load the Capped Bust quarter earlier dates and those are online including an 1822 20/50c graded PCGS AG3 and approved by CAC. Regardless of the wear, the surfaces are nice and original on this very rare "date" within a Capped Bust quarter set. Also added was a second 1828 20/50c residing in PCGS G6 holder along with a host of raw dates ranging from Fair 2 to Good 6. I especially like the 1815, 1821 B-3 and 1828 B-4 pieces. It must have taken the consignor years of searching to complete this set with such uniform grades, original gray surfaces and no problems. The balance of the set including dates through 1838 will be loaded today.
The Capped Bust quarter set consignor also provided an important selection of lower graded Seated quarters including 1842-O Sm Date AG3, 1864-S VG8 cleaned, 1865-S PCGS VG10, 1866-S net VG8 grafitti, 1869 PCGS AG3, 1880 PCGS F12, 1882 PCGS F15, 1891-O PCGS G6. These will also (hopefully) reach the price list today.
GFRC seeks more Liberty Seated quarter consignments as this series in HOT! New collectors are deciding to pursue this challenging series and demand is well ahead of supply at the moment. Please consider converting your duplicates to cash while enabling a chance for other collectors to discover the joys of the well known "hardest" Seated denomination to collect.
The Maine Collection Barber, Lincoln and Jefferson sets are sitting on my desk and total 31 Wayte Raymond album pages. One can immediate see the age of the Wayte Raymond pages as the pre-printed dates for the Lincoln set stop at 1953......amazing. Today's Blog will provide a quick summary of each set. Please remember that I must evaluate the contents and reach purchase agreement with the owner before the sets can be broken up and sold.
Lincoln set - All pieces are original with the following highlights. Grading is quick and dirty with the coins remaining in Wayte Raymond pages; 1909-S VDB EF45 or better, 1909-S EF, 1911-S F, 1914-D F, 1915-S VF, 1931-S EF and 1955 Double Die AU brown (was pulled from pocket change during 1955.)
Barber 10c - this set has a higher average grade than the quarter and half dollar sets...1892-S original F, 1895-O VG, 1896-O original F/VF, 1896-S G, 1897-O VG+, 1904-S G/VG. The 1898 is PF63 and the 1899 being pretty original MS63 or better.
Barber 25c - this is a very well matched set with nearly all pieces being original. Grades range from Good through EF with the 1896-S and 1913-S being nice original Goods. Unfortunately the 1901-S is the only unfilled slot in the set.
Barber 50c - perfectly matched is the best way to describe the half dollar set. All piece range from full Good through Very Fine and are evenly matched with natural gray patina. It is almost a shame to break up this set given the natural surface consistency. 1892-S grades AG3/G while the 1892-O grades Good 4. The 1897-O and 1897-S are G/VG.
Today also brings the initial installment of the Gentleman's Collection which I briefly mentioned within Wednesday blog. This is a substantial early silver and gold Bust collection in better grades and the Part I consignment should arrive today. Much more will be discussed concerning the Gentleman's Collection once the pieces are in hand.
Finally, there is another consignment waiting for pickup at the Post Office including two former Gene Gardner seated dimes; 1841-O PCGS MS62 CAC and 1850 PCGS MS64 CAC. I'm not certain if the 1850 PCGS MS64 may head into the Gerry Fortin collection.
Money printing continues in Japan and Europe at a torrid rate based on the following two headlines from this morning's daily Seeking Alpha summary..
Europe - ECB President Mario Draghi reiterated his call this morning for euro zone countries to reform their economies, warning that future growth would remain modest. "It should...be clear that the argument that accommodative monetary policy constitutes an excuse for governments and parliaments to postpone their reform efforts is incorrect," Draghi declared, stating that the ECB's money printing would have to be accompanied by an economic overhaul. "Recently, economic conditions have improved somewhat in Europe...but growth is too low everywhere," he added.
Japan - As widely expected, the Bank of Japan kept its massive ¥80T monetary stimulus program intact on Friday, and revised up its assessment of the economy, despite inflation still hovering around zero. Data last week showed GDP grew an annualized 2.4% in the first three months of 2015, as consumption climbed for a third straight quarter and companies boosted spending for the first time in a year.
Featured Coins of the Day
How about the unquestionably rare 1822 20/50c and 1828 20/50c Capped Bust quarters as today's featured coins. First up is the 1822 20/50c residing in new PCGS holder and graded AG3 with CAC approval. Choice surfaces are covered with uniform light to medium gray patina. This quarter has no issues whatsoever and just honest wear. The reverse is very close to full Good 4 while the obverse has considerable wear into all stars.
Following the 1822 20/50c is a lovely 1828 20/50c specimen residing in PCGS G6 holder. Surfaces are covered with uniform medium gray toning. Both obverse and reverse have well raised rims with the reverse exhibiting the long pointed denticles that are characteristic of the 20/50C variety. (On Hold)
May 21, 2015
Happy Thursday to ongoing Blog readers and thank you for visiting once again.
I closed the Wednesday blog with a promise to explore the concepts of wealth and money and why the differences between these two financial terms has an important bearing on enjoying a secure long term future. Let's start with Wikipedia and review their definitions for "wealth" and "money".
Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or valuable material possessions.
Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a particular country or socio-economic context.
Based on the above definitions, it is possible for an individual to have considerable short term monies in hand but at the same time having little if any long term wealth. On May 19, 2015, Jim Rickards, who is on staff at Agora Financial, published an essay within the Daily Reckoning newsletter. I found this one essay to be particularly insightful given current global currency wars and the vaste amounts of fiat monies being created. This article is a quick read within the scope of a 10 minute coffee break. Here goes....
Why Warren Buffett and China Are Loading up on Hard Assets by Jim Rickards
Money is transitory and wealth is permanent. A lot of people confuse money and wealth. The think that because they have a lot of money they’re wealthy. Well, in the short run, that may be true but in the longer run, the money can go away. Wealth, however, is something that prevails.
Look at Warren Buffett. In the last several years, Buffett went out and bought the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad. He didn’t just buy stock, he bought the whole thing and took it private. What is a railroad? A railroad is nothing but hard assets. It’s right of way, mining rights adjacent to the right of way, rail, rolling stock, yards, switches, signals, buildings -- it’s all hard assets.
How does the railroad make money? It makes money by moving hard assets like coal, wheat, corn, steel and other kinds of freight. A railroad is the ultimate hard asset play -- it's hard assets moving hard assets.
Warren Buffett’s next deal was to go out and buy massive natural resources in oil and natural gas. And by the way, he can move his oil on his railroad. He doesn’t need the Keystone Pipeline. You line up a hundred tanker cars, that’s a pipeline on wheels. Warren Buffett’s a guy who’s dumping paper money, getting into hard assets in the form of transportation and energy in particular. The dollar could go to zero and it has no effect on him. He still owns a railroad.
The other example are the Chinese. The Chinese have spent the last five years acquiring approximately 3,000-4,000 tons of gold. Now, how do we know that? We have some hard data. We know China’s mining output is about 450 tons a year. We know China’s imports through Hong Kong are coming in between 800-1,000 tons a year. This has been going on for over four years so that’s more than 6,000 tons. We know how much gold China is getting but how much is going to private consumption and how much is going to the government? We’re not as clear on that, but I use about half as the first approximation.
We also know that China is acquiring gold through stealth using intelligence and military assets to bring gold in completely off the books. It doesn’t show up in Hong Kong imports. Why is China doing this? Because they've got a mountain of paper assets. They’ve got $4 trillion in reserves which is nearly all denominated in paper bonds.
The oldest joke in banking is if I owe you a million dollars I have a problem, but if I owe you a billion dollars, you have a problem because you have to collect it from me and I can walk away. Well, we owe China $4 trillion, so China has a problem. They can’t dump those paper assets. They know that. Their treasury market is big, but it’s not that big. It can’t absorb those kind of sales. China’s vulnerable.
If we have inflation, that’s a wealth transfer from them to us. That’s one reason they’re acquiring thousands of tons of gold. By the way, there are only about 33,000 tons of official gold in the world. All the central banks, sovereign wealth funds and treasuries and finance ministries combined have about 33,000 tons of gold.
China’s acquired 10% of all of the official gold in the world in the last five years. Why are they doing that? Because they now have a hedge position. They actually want a strong dollar because they own so much dollars denominated paper. If the dollar is strong they might not make very much on the gold, but they’ll collect the value of their bonds. But if we inflate the dollar, which we’re trying to do, and the value of those bonds goes down in real terms, then gold is going to go up in value.
So, they’ve created a hedge where they win in either case. I would say look at China buying gold and look at Warren Buffett buying hard assets in energy and that will give you some guidance. The two most powerful, biggest, best and foreign investors in the world are getting out of paper money into hard assets.
More consignments are coming! On Wednesday, I reached agreement with a GFRC customer to help him trim down his Seated quarter collection leading to ~ 15 quarters arriving next week. This is a noteworthy consignment including a fair number of AU pieces with most certified by PCGS.
If that was not enough, another customer called today and will be shipping three PCGS AU55 Seated half dollars (1875-CC and two 1877-CC) as a consignment. This customer wishes to convert the value of these three Carson City halves towards completing his San Francisco half dollar set.
Moving on to Barber coinage....a dedicated Barber coinage icon and price list can be found on the For Sale page. I've decided to move all of the Barber offerings into one dedicated price list rather than trying to group each denomination with other 20th Century coinage series. The new price list can be viewed here.
The complete Capped Bust 25c set consignment is priced and photographed with hopes to have on the price list by Monday.
Featured Coins of the Day
Since I am retrieving the Maine Collection Barber sets in pristine Wayte Raymond holders today, how about a nice 1898 Barber 25c just back from NGC and graded AU58 as today's featured coin. This lovely piece has lots of remaining luster with minimal wear and a transparent gold patina. A really attractive quarter that is also being used as the Barber price list icon. Enjoy and look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.......
May 20, 2015
Wednesday arrives and it will be a sunny Maine spring day with a high temperature near 70F. Thank you for visiting with me today as lots of news and commentary this morning.
We start today's Blog with GFRC news. The GFRC brand name is gaining traction as more collectors and consignors learn of the "fair deal" business approach and the quality coins being offered. Consignment inquiries continue to grow with some taking time to develop as the collections (more like estates) being sizable. The latter part of this week will see the transfer of important properties as new consignments or outright purchases.
The Maine Collection - I've spoken about the balance of this collection with three complete Barber sets and a gem Lincoln set previously; these are being retrieved on Thursday in their original Wayte Raymond holders. There is excitement building for working with the individual Barber denominations and learning grading/strike characteristics and the key dates. The Lincoln set will be heading to the TPGs first.
The Gentleman's Collection - This is new consignment that has been under discussion for weeks and an initial lot arrives on Friday. Formed over a period of 50 years, this early type collection is magnificent in its breadth and quality. As with Birmingham Collection, the owner made a careful decision to employ GFRC for catalogging, photography and selling rather than the large auction houses. This Gentleman wishes to see his lifetime collection appreciated by the collecting community and slowly dispersed to other collectors. More will be forthcoming on this topic during the Memorial Day weekend.
I've made substantial progress this week with loading new offerings on price list and bringing order to GFRC inventory. Yesterday, the two USPS boxes with Bust and Seated 25c consignment was opened and are in the early processing stages. The Capped Bust 25c portion is a complete set (no 1823/2) with nearly all pieces being original and grading AG-3 to G-6. For example, the 1822 B-2 25/50C resides in PCGS AG3 holder with CAC approval. Also included in the lot is an 1804 25c residing in PCGS PO1 holder. This collector made a command decision to build a complete Seated 25c date/mintmark set in nice original Fine grade and is rechanneling monies toward this new project. More will be forthcoming on the Bust 25c offerings shortly as I plan to get the photography done today.
What is in the posting queue? The West Coast Collection of circulated seated dimes is ready to load onto price list along with an 1864 Seated half dime and other cool pieces.
From this morning's Seeking Alpha headlines is this snipet confirming big bank behavior in low interest rate environment. "HSBC has become one of the biggest global banks to say it will begin charging clients on deposits in a basket of European currencies to prevent its profit margins from being crushed in a record low-interest rate environment. The unusual steps come after the ECB became the first big central bank to announce a negative deposit rate - in effect a penalty on banks parking their surplus cash - last year.
Also from Seeking Alpha, Greece is approaching its financial judgment day on June 5 as it owes creditors a Euro 1.5B payment. "Greece will not be able to make a €1.5B repayment to the IMF that falls due on June 5 if there is no deal with its international creditors by then, the government's parliamentary speaker said today. "Now is the moment that negotiations are coming to a head. Now is the moment of truth, on June 5," Nikos Filis, from the ruling Syriza party, told Greek television.
Thursday's Blog Topic
Do Blog readers understand the difference between wealth and money? There is an important distinction between these two financial terms and capitalizing on that distinction is critical for long term financial wealth accumulation. I am preparing a meaty Blog article to share concerning this topic on Thursday morning so please check back. Essentially, in this age of fiat money, we should be accumulating wealth and not holding onto monies in the electronic banking system
Featured Coins of the Day
Many of the daily featured coins sell quickly. Yesterday was an example with the 1886 F-108 residing in NGC MS65 old fatty holder lasting minues after being published on the Blog. Actually, I had two orders within an hour. High quality Seated coinage is in strong demand, especially if an important or interesting variety.
First up today is a scarce 1856-S WB-3 Seated half dollar graded NGC EF40 and from the Birmingham Collection. This is a second year San Francisco mint issue during an era when many large denomination silver coins were being exported to China for trade payments. The 1856-S date is scarce with mintage of only 211,000 piece. I see this piece as conservatively graded and an important example of West coast gold rush era history.
Second on the featured coin list is a raw 1871-S Seated half dollar purchased at Central States. The TX dealer had just purchased a large local estate and had a decent number of Seated pieces, many of which I bought and have already sold since the show. This 1871-S is a lovely original example and also a better WB-8 variety with strictly original surfaces that exhibit residual mint frost in protected areas and no blemishes whatsoever. The assigned AU-55 grade is accurate.
May 19, 2015
Yesterday's comments about the ongoing California drought brought considerable feedback. If I can summarize the feedback into one core message, then it would be that the balance of United States residents under appreciate the severity of the California water situation and potential food production impacts later in 2015 and definitely in 2016. One individual provides another CA.gov link indicating the amount of snow pack in the Central Sierra Pacific Mountains that is critical for sustaining the central and southern Californina water supply. You can view this government prepared illustration here and frankly I was shocked to see essentially no snow in the mountains and the under reporting of this fact at the national level. As one GFRC customer living in southern California wrote, "California has the 5th largest economy in the world, yes world, and you will not see any national coverage of the drought since the feds do not want it known our farmers, ranchers, and vintners are in serious distress. You can imagine the effects of less than normal productivity in those areas in not just the products produced but also the revenue generated by the sales of those products. California exports most of her production of food products to other states and globally.
I'm making some headway with the amount of coins in queue to be loaded on price lists and down to another 30 pieces which are mostly consigned circulated Seated dimes and a few more Birmingham half dollars.
Tomorrow is another heavy shipping day along with settling several consignor accounts. The "trading desk" business model can be documentation intensive since some consignors are immediately turning credits into new purchases. So best that I quickly settle "trades" and bring consignment balances to parity.
On Wednesay, I am opening the Bust and Seated 25c consignment boxes and will have a full listing on Thursday's blog.
Thursday also brings the transfer of the Maine Collection Barber and Lincoln sets for evaluation and purchase so there will be more exciting coins to offer during the month of June.
Featured Coins of the Day
Today's features coins are different denominations and designs but both have one parameter in common; superior eye appeal due to wonderful toning. First up is an incredible 1886 Seated dime that resides in an old fatty NGC holder and is graded MS65. This piece is the F-108 variety with a misplaced digit in the denticles. I've added this dime to the F-108 web-book listing and can be viewed here. The fields have booming luster under bright light and the interactions with the toning is spectacular. Trust me, this is not hype and I've gone back and forth on adding this piece to my collection. If someone really wants this dime, then it will be for sale as customers do come first. (On Hold)
Second up is this incredible 1899 New Orleans struck Morgan dollar that resides in new NGC MS64 holder. When it comes to doubled sided toner Morgans, the dramatic coloring and eye appeal will dominate the pricing equation with the assigned TPG grade providing guidance about surface conditions. This Morgan has an incredible rose/gold obverse center toning that transitions to blues at the stars. The reverse features rainbow rings around a lustrous center.
May 18, 2015
Another work week arrives along with the morning commute for most individuals. Though I work seven days a week, entering my home office with a coffee and being immediately productive is a blessing. This past week, numismatic work was done with a close up view of hummingbirds and bees pollinating the flowering rhododendron outside the office window....so no complaints. Thanks for visiting with me on this Monday morning.
An order arrived yesterday from a California customer and steadfast E-Gobrecht contributor. I raised the subject of the ongoing California drought to secure credible information rather than the alarmist reporting that one often sees on the evening news. The evening news stories are consistently weak on comprehensive information so one must go to the internet to learn the true situation. He provided this link from the California Department of Water Resources that well illustrates the remaining water levels in southern CA reservoirs. As my customer states after inspection of the reservoir maps, "My gist is no problem with domestic water supplies this year except in some very small isolated cases, which will get a lot of nationwide press coverage... The issue is, do we have a statistically normal, or even remotely normal rain and snowfall for fall winter-spring 2015-16.. If yes, then 2016 at least for domestic water in assured. If no, then we will have big problems in regional areas late summer and fall 2016."
Gold appears to be adding to last week's gain and is trading at $1230/oz. This is still within the normal $1180 - $1250 trading range that is consistent with gold miner production costs. A move consistently above $1300/oz would be significant.
China's housing market and home prices (average across 70 Chinese cities) continue to drop about 0.15% per month and is placing pressure on the overall economic forecast of 7% GDP growth for 2015. There is some optimism that the housing will bottom out and start to recover in late 2015. Believing Chinese market statistics is difficult given the cultural influences on reporting bad news.
Otherwise a quiet morning for financial news.
Shanghai customer orders rates continue to increase. Two shipments arrived last week and already, one agent made a request for more coins and will be sending comprehensive list this week. It appears that a trip through ME and MA coin shops will be necessary to service this order.
Birmingham Collection is well known for his Liberty Seated dimes but he also assembled a nice group of original Seated halves. Those were posted to price list yesterday and worth a look.
If all goes as planned, I will be securing the Maine Collection Barber sets (10c, 25c and 50c) and gem Lincoln set this week. These will be evaluated and purchased outright, then added to GFRC inventory after a trip through the TPGs.
Also planned for this week is the attribution of individual pieces within the 1861-O half dollar hoard and a marketing decision with the owner along with working up the Bust and Seated 25c consignment that remains in two USPS Priority boxes.
Many new offerings were added yesterday and I still have many more to post in the next 48 hours as three PCGS blue boxes remain in the price list posting queue on my desk. All the imaging work is done, so just a matter of processing the images and uploading with descriptions.
Featured Coins of the Day
Today's featured coins are from the deal purchased late last week. Both pieces are choice with CAC green beans and will be loaded to price list this morning after the Daily Blog is posted. First up is essentially a gem 1875 Seated quarter if strict originality is your cup of tea. Surfaces are perfect and covered with a thick gray/gold patina. (On Hold)
The next featured coin is an attractive 1821 Capped Bust O-106 half graded PCGS VF30 and a strong offering for the grade. One could not ask for a more original half dollar. (On Hold)
May 17, 2015
Good morning everyone and I hope this Spring weekend is treating you well. Thank you for the loyalty and visiting the Blog on a frequent basis.
Yesterday, I actually took a break from GFRC, mowed the lawn for the first time this year followed by the annual dethatching and sweeping loads of dead grass. Our home sits on 22 acres in the country side with 3 acres of lawn and landscaping. Thank goodness for a robust John Deere tractor to accomplish ground maintenance and landscaping work. The next important chore is the semi-annual brush burning. In Maine, we are allowed to conduct outdoor burns but fire codes are strict. Burning typically takes place on a wet or rainy day and during the later hours when afternoon winds have ceased. Rain is forecasted for this coming Tuesday and I'm targeting that day for the first outdoor burn of the season...kerosene is an excellent accelerant even in the rain.
Back to GFRC....good progress is being made on loading Bay State, Central States, Denver and consignment coins on the price lists and I may be caught up by end of day Monday at current pace. I've not opened the double USPS boxes that contain a substantial Capped Bust and Seated quarter consignment on a principal learned while managing semi-conductor manufacturing operations. Let me digress for a moment. Every manufacturing operation has its constraint or bottleneck....a factory can only achieve a production rate as fast as the bottleneck tool. To better explain this point, consider a 20 person Boy Scout troop hiking in the woods. The troop can only move as fast as the slowest person if they are to stay together. That person is the hiking speed constraint or bottleneck and should be placed near the front of the troop to keep the boys together in close proximity. Placing the slowest boy in the middle of the hiking troop is a bad idea as half the boys will race ahead and the other half will be upset with having been left behind.
The GFRC processes for handling Newps and consignments is no different than a semi-conductor manufacturing operation or Boy Scout troop on a hike. There are multiple processes for handling coins (attribution, documentation, photography, image processing and price list loading) towards placing them on a price list. At the moment, the bottleneck is clearly the final price list loading step which includes images transfers to the price list tables on my ISP (Internet Service Provider) and writing accurate descriptions. This is a tedious but important process since GFRC customers visit the price list each day and expect to see quality images and accurate descriptions for buying with confidence.
Working down and managing GFRC inventories in front of the price list loading step is key since the bottleneck is at the end of the process. If I open more consignment boxes and go out and buy more coins, then there are lots of inventory piles sitting in the "get to it" queue (multiple PCGS blue boxes) rather than being placed in a secure local bank box for safe keeping. If I announce new consignments too early on the Blog and unable to quickly load on price list, then the announcement has little value as customers wish to see new coins quickly to render a potential purchase decision.
Ok....I will take my semi-conductor operations hat off and return to numismatics....
The featured coins of the day are two 1846 Liberty Seated dimes in high grade. By now, GFRC customers are well aware that the 1846 is one of the key dates in the series and locating examples in certified EF40 or better is very challenging. At the moment, GFRC has three pieces in stock; a raw VF30, PCGS EF40 from the Birmingham Collection and PCGS AU50 in a venerable OGH. Mintage for the 1846 date is only 31,300 pieces with many having weak obverse strikes especially at the head, gown line and lower right leg. There is only one Mint State example to my knowledge (former Gene Gardner piece) even though PCGS now shows a pop of (2) in MS63. Then there are (2) in AU58 with one residing in my collection and having a monster strike for the date. Following are the two 1846 Seated dimes as the featured coins of the day for your consideration. Terms and lay-a-ways are available for serious buyers.
PCGS AU50 Old Green Holder
PCGS EF40 - Birmingham Collection - 2013 Generation Holder
May 16, 2015
Amazing that today marks the second half of May with Memorial Day just around the corner. It could be considered a blessing to be living life with much more to do than daily times allows for. Regardless, thank you for visiting the Blog during this spring morning.
We start the Blog with some quick GFRC new purchase and consignment news. Can you believe that I bought a strong early type coin deal at my wife's paint store yesterday? I was pleasantly surprised as the individual pulls out a blue PCGS and white NGC box full of quality type coins. The situation was not pure chance as I was meeting the collector for transfer of the 1807 AU55 draped bust dime listed several weeks ago. He decided to thin out his collection a tad and gave me first shot. Here comes the list of purchased coins....FRoR is in effect here after I check want lists;
Bust 10c: 1814 PCGS VG8 CAC lovely gray fields, nice contrasting eye appeal; 1823/2 PCGS VG10 CAC a brother to the 1814; 1827 PCGS VG10 CAC light gray and pretty.
Seated 10c: 1886 NGC MS65 old fatty holder and colorful gem...no hype here, just one of nicest MS65s I've seen for the date
Seated 25c: 1845 PCGS VF30 CAC even original gray; 1875 PCGS AU58 CAC a gem example
Bust 50c: 1819 PCGS VF30 O-111 R2 original gray obv, gold rev, 1821 PCGS VF30 CAC gem original
Morgan $1: 1883 PCGS MS63 PL CAC stunning for the grade; 1899-O NGC MS64 two side toner with rose, violet and blue obverse and bullseye reverse.
Physical consignments and consignment inquiries are really starting to pour in now. Collectors recognize that GFRC is the dealer of choice for selling duplicates (or an entire collection as we see happening with Birmingham) and securing a "fair deal" with little effort on the consignor's part. A double USPS Priority box shipment of Capped Bust and Seated 25c arrived yesterday and I will be opening and recording today. I received and responded to two new consignment inquiries yesterday and also received notice of a consignment in transit with the following pieces;
Seated 25c: 1853 A&R NGC MS61; 1874 WA PCGS MS62 CAC (Briggs Plate Coin)
Bust 50c: 1832 NGC MS62 CAC
World Coins: 1901 Great Britain Trade Dollar NGC MS64
I've been watching the Mauldin Economics, Seeking Alpha and Agora Financial daily newsletters for more information or forecast about the Chinese Yuan being added as a world reserve currency. There will be some impacts to the US Dollar's reign as the global reserve currency and ongoing deficit spending at will by the representatives in Congress and our President.
Agora Financials published a piece yesterday concerning recent IMF meetings and the discussion points that were not generally made public. The article opens with the following comment, "Jim Rickards joins us this morning to open his notebook from last month's gathering of the International Monetary Fund in Washington -- or as he calls it, "Woodstock for the global financial elite." Then he reports....""As with all such gatherings, the most important conversations are not the ones that take place onstage or in front of cameras," says Jim, "but the ones that happen in private suites, dining rooms in Georgetown town houses and exclusive hotels. This is where the important business gets done.
"This year, there were three main topics in these secret sessions: the Greece debt crisis, the Chinese yuan as a new reserve currency and global financial stability."
The German and Greek finance ministers met on the sidelines of the official gatherings. The outcome affirmed Jim's outlook, which we shared on Wednesday: "While the situation remains tense, with Germany demanding more reforms and Greece pleading for more flexibility, the parties are coming together on a plan. "There will be bad headlines and market volatility around Greece for months, but you should expect that Greece will remain in the euro and a major crisis will be averted despite the public acrimony."
As for China Yuan as a world reverse currency...
"The IMF also laid the groundwork for including the Chinese yuan in its reserve currency basket used to determine the value of its world money, the SDR," Jim goes on.
"These off-the-record discussions included IMF head Christine Lagarde, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei. On balance, the U.S. is willing to let the yuan join the SDR basket provided China acts responsibly and pegs the yuan to the dollar.
"China seems willing to go along for now in order to join the SDR club. This has important implications for global finance in 2015. The yuan may be stronger and Chinese growth slower than many expect due to this backroom deal."
As for global financial stability...
"The final secret topic was the fragility of the international monetary system," says Jim, wrapping up our briefing.
"The private discussions are even more troubling than what is revealed publicly. The IMF is keeping the SDR in reserve in case a new global financial meltdown requires a massive dose of liquidity beyond the ability of tapped-out central banks to provide.
"This is why getting China in the SDR and keeping a lid on Greece are so important.
"If the IMF needs to break the glass and pull the emergency SDR switch, they want to make sure China is onboard. Solving the Greece situation reduces the likelihood that they will have to break the glass.
Closer to home, my priorities are loading more coins on price list today along with the first lawn moving of the season. It is the weekend, right? Have a lovely May weekend and I do hope you might visit GFRC price lists to view my new and old offerings.
The featured coins of the day were added to the price lists in the past two days. First up is a splendid 1862 F-108 Seated dime residing in PCGS MS65 holder. This piece sports antique gray, olive and light blue patina over proof like fields. Many 1862 dime will be seen with proof like surfaces as I suspect the planchets used that year were well polished.
The second piece is a quite scarce and under rated 1876 double dime residing in new PCGS VF30 holder. Purchased at the Denver show, this piece offers crusty original surfaces and is fairly priced for its rarity. (On Hold)
May 15, 2015
Is it possible that Friday is already here? Yes, time does move along quickly when the mind is fully engaged. As always, thank you for visiting with me this morning.
Of high importance is the recognition that B.B. King passed away yesterday. The legendary blues master influenced several generations of blues musicians and preserved this critical musical genre. A few moments of silence for the one and only B.B. King...........
There are several important news items this morning. Let's start with the ANA World's Fair of Money table selection process that has been ongoing this week. Yesterday, the dynamic duo of W. David Perkins and Gerry Fortin selected their ANA tables. This is a complicated process involving an ANA "stars" system for selection priorities and a colorful online convention center table map for tracking minute by minute table selections. We spent the morning studying the map and remaining tables and made a command decision to select a corner and adjacent regular table in the Ultra Premium section by the bourse floor entrance; several possibilities were agreed upon and then the wait began. David monitored the dealer selection queue and at 1:15pm, our turn arrived. We selected tables 617/619 (center area by entrance) and are pleased with the outcome and our placement among well known neighboring dealers. In the ANA dealer directory, David will be listed under D; David Perkins, Numismatist and I will be listed under G; Gerry Fortin Rare Coins.
The ANA table placement in Ultra Premium signifies the ongoing GFRC inventory migration to higher quality and better dates. This migration is two fold; consignors have more confidence that GFRC is now the "go to" entity for selling advanced Capped Bust and Seated collections. Secondly, I am also seeking out higher prices coins as part of GFRC business inventory. It seems that each week brings new consignment inquires and those offerings are growing in significance to the marketplace.
For example, last night I received an important consignment proposal from a Wisconsin collector. This gentleman has decided to sell a ten piece group of Seated half dollars all dated between 1861 and 1866 and just back from PCGS grading. All pieces are in the desirable VF30 to EF45 collector grade range. Moving forward, this group will be referred to as the Wisconsin Collection. The lot is presently heading to CAC review and should be ready for GFRC transfer and listing during early June timeframe.
GFRC is actively soliciting Seated coinage consignments across all denominations. My sales continue to ramp as more collectors learn of the GFRC "fair deal" business approach.....quality coins at fair prices without the burden of long purchase negotiations. As mentioned in earlier blogs, quality early type coins are a store of financial wealth if properly selected and bought at fair prices. Couple this fact with the joy of the numismatic hobby and one might consider taking a small position in quality coins rather than letting fiat monies sit in an electronic bank account with no interest payments. Collecting early type coins provides "the thrill of the hunt" and facilitates historical insights and appreciation...there is intagible value here along with a reasonable store of wealth that is not public on an electronic banking grid.
I am still loading selections today from the Birmingham Collection, the West Coast Collection along with other offerings from Denver show. Each day brings a combination of tasks to ensure error free customer service and loading coins on the price list is only one portion of the workload. Your patience is appreciate.
The featured coins of the day are from the World coin price list and truly inexpensive for their beauty. Both are large French silver pieces in choice mint state condition with attractive patina. I purchased these raw pieces from an old time estate that was fresh to market at the Denver show simply based on eye appeal and preservation state. If I really enjoyed the appearance of these silver Francs, then fellow collectors probably would too. First up is a 1967 10 Francs followed by a 1979 50 Francs. Both offer vibrant luster along with some delicate gold toning along the rims. These are pretty silver coins at an attractive price for the collector who wishes to start exploring world coins.
May 14, 2015
Good morning everyone and thank you for stopping by the Daily Blog. Yesterday was very busy as the day started with the Blog at 6:00am and did not end until 11:00pm when responding to the last emails of the day.
I received feedback concerning comments made about Baltimore in yesterday's Blog. It appears my facts were incorrect and will use today's edition to provide insight into reader responses. Though Baltimore is the defacto home of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club, the city has numerous issues as we witnessed in late April during the Freddie Gray riots. Wikipedia already offers an online summary if one searches on the key words, "Baltimore riots".
The first email received corrected a statement made and addressed my fears about attending the Baltimore show in July. This GFRC customer writes, "I think you’ve mis-stated the involvement of any Grand jury here compared to Ferguson and NY where the grand jury caused a mess by declining to prosecute. City States Attorney Mosby filed charges herself rather than leaving it up to a grand jury. The next big thing will be the actual trial of the six officers – THAT could cause riots somewhere down the road if they aren’t convicted of something but the trial itself would never happen so fast as June."
This individual provided a link from the Baltimore Sun as follows for more information, http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-freddie-gray-grand-jury-20150512-story.html.
The second email came from a friend who previouly lived in the Baltimore outskirts and provided this link whereby a 61 year man was serious assaulted by a group of black teens. My friend warns me to never ride the MTA light rail alone between airport and convention center as local riders can easily commit a robbery or assault between two rail stops and simply disappear into their neighborhoods. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/dundalk/bs-md-co-dundalk-charging-docs-20150513-story.html
The US$ has reversed course during the past month and is quickly weakening against other major currencies. The US$ is already down 7% from its high in March and financial analysts are citing a weaker U.S. econony and little chance of an interest rate increase in the coming months by the Fed. Gold has moved up slightly to $1216.
Also in the news is the global oil producing war between Saudi Arabia and United States shale industry. As directly extracted from this morning's Seeking Alpha headlines, "Saudi Arabia says its strategy of squeezing high-cost rivals such as U.S. shale producers is succeeding, as it seeks to reassert itself as the dominant force in the global oil market. "There is no doubt about it, the price fall of the last several months has deterred investors away from expensive oil including U.S. shale, deep offshore and heavy oils," a Saudi official told the Financial Times. The kingdom's production rose to a record high of 10.3M bpd in April and there is no sign it will reverse its policy at the OPEC meeting next month in Vienna." It has become clear that the Obama administration's efforts to negotiate with Iran have produced serious collateral damage for certain entities within the United States. As U.S. oil producers struggle with incremental investments, the oil sector that drove considerable economic growth in the past 18 months is no longer able to pull the U.S. economy forward. U.S. shale wells are drilling and investment intensive as their production life cycles are only a few years.
Posting of Birmingham Part IV offerings is underway along with Denver Newps. I spent a good part of Wednesday imaging Denver and consignment coins and those will be listed today. So please expect many new quality offerings to be loaded before I hit the pillow tonight.
New consignment inquiries continue to arrive with several received yesterday. Seated half dollars were the common theme among three inquiries and I am so pleased with the possibility to expand quality offerings for this denomination.
I am excited about today's featured coins with the first being an 1838 V-10 half dime freshly graded as MS63 by PCGS. This piece, from the Birmingham Collection, has massive reverse die disintegration at AMERICA with the technical terms for the pitted die steel known as "spalling." The half dime's surfaces are entirely blemish free with considerable golden luster and lots of heavy die clash marks coupled with the reverse anomaly. This is a conversation piece in itself and worthy of the finest variety collections.
The second featured coin is an 1878-CC Canceled Die seated quarter that is consistent with the Briggs 1-A diagnostics. This piece is just back from PCGS and graded MS63. It recently surfaced from an old time collection, having spend the past 30 years or so in a bank box. Surfaces offers satiny luster with cartwheel effects under bright light. This piece is strictly original.
May 13, 2015
The Eugene Gardner Part III Sale is now in the history books. One Seated dime of particular interest was the former Eliasberg 1845-O graded PCGS MS69 and obviously a superb gem. I had the opportunity to inspect this incredible piece at the Fall 2013 Manchester, NH show when Gene and I displayed our dime sets side by side. I remember the dime clearly as having a monster strike, uniform mint frost across all devices and pristine original surfaces. Yesterday, the 1845-O dime sold for a surprisingly low amount of $123K with the buyer's premium and I spoke with the buyer after his purchase extending my congratulations and respect for this accomplishment. Let it be known that the new owner of the Eliasberg 1845-O dime is one of GFRC's primary consignors and an enabler of the GFRC business startup. My heart felt congratulations go out to this individual as this is a piece I once dreamed of adding to my personal collection and so pleased to know that the 1845-O remains "in the family".
On a sad note, I spoke with the wife of the Maine Collection owner yesterday and learned that this collector passed away while I was in Denver. His funeral was yesterday morning. This individual was well known in the Lewiston-Auburn Maine community as a land developer and true gentleman. His wife is an incredible woman who possesses unwavering strength as she pursued all avenues to ensure that her late husband's last year would be spent at home rather than in a nursing home. Acquisition of the balance of the Maine Collection is pending the appropriate timing for the family given their loss.
Maine weather has been less than ideal for photography but that changes today. I have three PCGS blue boxes full of Denver acquisitions along with Birmingham Part IV and West Coast Part II to be imaged today. Trust me that the new offerings will be exciting for all levels of Liberty Seated collectors.
I've been on the fence concerning the summer Baltimore show. This year, the Baltimore show is sandwiched between Summer FUN (a week before) and the ANA World's Fair of Money show (several weeks later). Given the riots and potential unrest in Baltimore if the grand jury does not bring charges consistent with local resident expectations, then there could be more trouble in the streets. My current plan is to drive to Baltimore and simply walk the floor as a buyer for several days rather than taking a table. I hope that GFRC customers and consignors will understand this decision.
Speaking of the ANA show, my hotel is booked and the ANA table draw is tomorrow and Friday. W. David Perkins and I have requested adjacent corner and regular tables in the premium section and will know the outcome by end of day Friday. Let's hope for the best during the table draw as this is the premier show of the year other than Winter FUN.
Today's focus is loading price list with a host of new offerings so please check back often as some listing will be published without images and those will follow tomorrow.
The featured coins of the day are from the Seated quarter price list and well illustrate my passion for locating and stocking truly original pieces even if common dates. My belief is that naturally toned seated coins will always be in demand and adding these to the price list is a service to the full range of collectors that visit the GFRC website. The first piece was purchased at the Central States show and comes from a large raw collection in the southern US. This 1844 Briggs 1-A quarter grades so close to AU and sports light gray patina. (On Hold)
Next up is a common date 1858 quarter graded PCGS EF45 but with choice surfaces and residual luster under the strictly natural gun metal gray patina. Under bright light, the surfaces come to life with a beautiful blue ring about the stars and date. This piece would be most difficult to improve upon at the EF45 grade level. (On Hold)
May 12, 2015
Operating a personal business is essentially a continuum. Each day brings exciting new coins and ongoing relationships with customers and friends. Time marches on so quickly as the days are filled with new opportunities while commitments and priorities must be well done. Working as a sole proprietor in a hobby business is a dream come true and I hope that all Blog readers will find a similar opportunity towards the end of their professional careers. I have always believed that good fortune comes to those who live life with integrity and treat others with respect and empathy. As always, thank you for visiting with me each day as it is a joy to write the Daily Blog and to provide a window into my life.
April was a record revenue month and that trend continues. I am working hard to develop new personal efficiencies for shipping larger volumes and handling more coins. Attending major shows means the lost of office time and I'm still attempting to catch up with order shipments and processing new consignments after a long Denver show. You will note that few new coins have been added to the price list in the past week and this will change starting tomorrow. By Wednesday, I will be caught up with shipments and other past commitments and will shift the focus to loading a broad range of new coins onto the price lists.
Birmingham Collection Part IV arrived yesterday and brings another exciting round of new offerings. The sad part is that Part IV is the last installment from this advanced collector. I have thoroughly enjoyed partnering with this consignor to convert his precious coins into monies for other personal pursuits. Following are the forthcoming listings including some old friends that were sold to the consignor.
Seated 5c: 1838 PCGS MS63 choice light gold with massive reverse die disintegration at AMERICA known as "die spalling"; 1842-O PCGS EF40 ring toning
Seated 10c: 1838-O NGC AU58 CAC choice original, 1838 PCGS AU53 CAC Small Stars, near gem; 1840-O PCGS AU53 F-101a choice light gray; 1842 PCGS MS63 CAC choice example, 1846 PCGS EF40 original gray; 1873 NGC PF63 Cameo looks PF65 with reverse lint mark; 1883 PCGS MS63 OGH under graded and choice; 1891-O PCGS MS64 CAC F-128 choice original
Seated 20c: 1875-S NGC VF25 original medium gray
Seated 50c: 1854-O PCGS EF45, choice original, cracked reverse; 1856-O NGC EF40 original gray; 1856-S NGC EF40 original gray, well struck; 1858-O PCGS EF40 original gray, 1859-O PCGS EF40 choice original, 1860-O PCGS EF40 original gray; 1869 PCGS VF30 original with arc toning; 1876-S PCGS EF40 original gray
West Coast Consignment Part II also arrived this weekend and continues the supply of new original circulated Seated dimes that are both holdered and will be attractively priced. The twelves pieces in this shipment include;
Seated 10c: 1838 PCGS VG10 CAC F-106 choice original; 1838 PCGS VF20 F-101 Small Start original gray; 1840 ND PCGS VF35 choice original gray; 1850 PCGS VF30 CAC choice gray; 1851 PCGS VF25 light gray, 1855 PCGS F15 CAC F-103 Top 100 choice gray; 1876-CC PCGS G4 CAC DDO F-107; 1876CC PCGS VG10 DDO F-107 choice gray; 1876-S PCGS VF35 original gray; 1877-S PCGS F15 choice original; 1890-S PCGS F12 Lg S original; 1891-S PCGS VF30 Lg S choice original
Between the above two consignments and the host of new coins from Denver show, I will be consumed with photography, image processing and adding coins to the price list for the balance of the week. Please start checking in on Wednesday for the many new offerings.
The featured coins of the day are from the Seated half dime price list. These little pieces are always in the shadow of the more popular dimes through half dollar denominations but offer great value for the mintages. For example, the following crusty original 1863 half dime graded PCGS VF30 and approved by CAC sports a mintage of only 18,000 pieces and would appear to be a bargain at the asking price. Only 5 circulated 1863 half dimes have been stickered by CAC with 2 of those at the VF30 grade level.
The second featured coin is a choice original 1872 half dime with doubled die obverse. This lovely piece has minimum wear, grades AU55 and provides superior eye appeal. It sure seems like a bargain at $145 and would be the type of coin found in my personal collection.
May 11, 2015
Has another work week already arrived? It appears so and thank you for visiting with me this morning!
We start the blog from a global perspective this morning. First up is the fact that China has surpassed the United States as the world's largest oil importer in April. China purchased 7.4M barrels a day while the United States imported 7.2M barrels per day. China's oil demands continue to increase even as it economy slows but we must keep in mind that China's economy is still growing at roughly 5% per year while the U.S. is undergoing the shale oil revolution. This news on the surface may not be alarming but let's connect the dots further. If we convert the purchase price of 7.4M barrels per day into China's monthly global spending for oil in Yuan, that number is 73.3B Yuan. We can assume that China is not using US$ to buy oil, but rather has negotiated oil deals in its own currency with Russia and Middle East suppliers. My point? The Chinese Yuan must become a world reserve currency if China is the largest global consumer of oil. Next question....as the amount of US$ shrink in the global foreign exchange market, can the US$ maintain its status as the global reserve currency? This is an important question given the ongoing deficit spending by the United States Government. Financial newsletters have been warning of an imminent reduction in the importance of the US$ as the world's major reserve currency and the day has finally arrived with China's huge appetite for oil imports.
Three substantial coins were added to GFRC inventory this weekend. They include an 1837 PCGS AU50 LD 5c, 1840 ND PCGS AU58 CAC 5c in first generation rattler holder and thirdly, an 1859-O Seated quarter graded PCGS AU58 with light golden cartwheel luster. The 1840 No Drap half dime is a special piece with steel gray surfaces and little if any wear. The holder is also a collectible as in pristine condition with dot matrix printed label and CAC sticker. The 1859-O Seated quarter brings a combination of rarity and choice surfaces. Has anyone checked the rarity/pricing of New Orleans 1859 quarters in the AU58 through MS63 grade range? CoinFacts indicates (3) pieces graded in AU58, (1) in MS61, (3) in MS62 and (3) in MS63. Pricing jumps from $350 in AU50 to $5000 in MS63...talk about a sleeper date in higher grades!
There was considerable email response and FRoR requests on the 1840 ND and WD seated quarters mentioned yesterday. I expect these will be sold quickly once imaging can take place. All three quarters from old bank box will be loaded on price list today without images as Maine is expecting rain and clouds throughout the day.
Tomorrow, I will feature the contents of West Coast Collection Part II.
Today's GFRC priorities are shipping orders and writing consignment payments given the record breaking April sales results along with continuing strong May sales.
Upcoming New GFRC Inventory
Tuesday brings the three Maine Collection Barber sets along with a superb Lincoln set. More consignments are being discussed including one important lot which will bring a group of 1861 through 1864 Seated halves.
My next show is the New Hampshire Coin Expo in early June so there will be three weeks to focus on consignments and bringing the price lists completely up to date with new offerings.
Featured Coins of the Day
Today's focus is on proof Seated coinage. I've been hesitant to take a substantial inventory position in nice Seated proof coinage since not well understanding this niche market and the collector base. At some point, GFRC must make a transition and start handling these historical pieces that were specially struck in limited quantities for East Coast collectors....mostly wealthier business people. First up is an incredible 1882 Seated dime followed by a gorgeous 1867 Seated quarter. This 1882 proof Seated dime resides in an NGC PF67 Ultra Cameo holder and is a grade rarity with few graded Ultra Cameo by NGC or PCGS. This piece has the appearance of being struck yesterday and immediately holdered. The fields are fully mirrord with a natural "watery" texture. It would be difficult to find a proof Seated dime with more natural eye appeal than this offering from the Birmingham collection.
Next is a gorgeous 1867 Seated quarter graded PCGS PF63. One immediately notices the beautiful in hand toning that features original blues gray and rose coloring typically seen on original proofs. Under bright light, the watery fields come to life and expose light blues and rose. Though PCGS only assigned a PF63 grade, the eye appeal is that of a higher grade example. This quartetr resides in an older PCGS blue label holder and any wispy lines are on the holder and not on the coin.
May 10, 2015
Happy Mothers Day to potential mothers who may read the Blog!
Yesterday's return trip to Maine was tedious and reminded me of the old career days with random flight issues and missed connections. I arrived at the Denver airport with ample time and we boarded the US Airways flight to Charlotte on schedule. Then the issues started. After pushing out from the gate, the pilot spent time rerouting the flight around weather in Missouri and then 10-15 minutes testing the airliner's brakes and finally announced a mechanical issue that would require returning to the gate. So we did and after an hour, the diagnosis was a faulty sensor and all was well. Then there was refueling, paper work and we finally departed over one and half hours behind schedule. Most individuals on the flight had connections since Charlotte is a US Airways hub. Luckily, my connection was still in play if nothing else went wrong.
We arrived into Charlotte at 5:00pm with Maine flight boarding at 5:25pm so no problem.....Charlotte had awful tarmac congestion and we sat 10-15 minutes until a path was clear for our A321 to reach the gate. Of course, the gate turned out to be in the International concourse far away from connecting flight in Concourse C. I'll close by saying that I made the connection just in time by hustling through the crowds. Luckily, I'm still in shape and can still execute very tight connections like the old days even with a carry on filled with four doubled row slabbed boxes.
Upon arriving home, a Priority shipment box from PCGS was waiting. After a quick sandwich and a double scotch (that was well earned), the PCGS grading return was opened to my delight and soon to GFRC customer delight also. To date, I've not made mention of the three coins submitted to PCGS as I wanted professional certification before announcing on the Blog. My grading and review of each coin's surfaces were validated by PCGS. The three coins are from an old time bank box collection and completely fresh to market. There were purchased raw and I paid strong monies since these pieces were well above average in terms of eye appeal and original surfaces. Are you tired of reading and wish to learn of these special coins? All are Seated quarters.
1840-O ND PCGS EF40; choice original gun metal gray with blue at the rim, also conservatively graded by PCGS.
1840-O WD PCGS AU58; a gem with light blue obverse center and gold stars coupled with rose/gray throughout the reverse. I thought this one might come back MS62 but AU58 is just as good as the eye appeal will drive the pricing and demand.
1878-CC PCGS MS63; another choice example with satiny light gold surfaces and cartwheel luster.
Pricing on the above three will be established later today. I have several want lists for Seated quarters of this caliber and will offer to those individuals first. In the meantime, FRoR is in effect for those who wish to line up early in the event these are not sold to existing want list customers.
Birmingham Part IV is shipping in Monday and I will report on those offerings later this week.
West Coast Collection Part II arrived while I was Denver and needs to be processed.
A new consignor (Vermont Collection) arrived also and will be discussed in tomorrow's Blog.
Featured Coin of the Day
Some great coins will sit on the price list for months unappreciated until that special collector comes along and sees the coin in hand. This was the case in Denver with the 1834 PCGS55 Bust dime and 1870 NGC MS64 Seated half. Both were choice with superior eye appeal but just sat on the price list for months. Finally, they found a good home with astute collectors in the Denver area. The same situation exist for this 1840 No Drapery PCGS MS64 CAC Seated dime. This dime is choice with bold luster and eye appeal. If I were still actively collecting, then it would be brought into the Gerry Fortin Collection. Since I'm being incredibly selective on upgrades, then this lovely dime is available and I would suggest that type collectors along with Seated dime date/mintmark collectors consider this piece.
May 9, 2015
Denver Coin Expo Show Report.....Public Day 2
I really can't say enough good things about the Denver show. Friday was pretty much a continuation of the good fortunes during the first two days. There was a steady stream of new collectors during the day and several made GFRC purchases. The day's highlight was the combined sale of my former PCGS Registry set 1858-O PCGS MS63 10c along with the gem 1870 NGC MS64 half dollar. These pieces found an excellent home. Buying became more difficult as we've visited nearly every table in the show except jewelry dealers...... We did manage to buy an 1810B Brazil 960 Reis graded NGC AU50 with attractive light gun metal toning and eye appeal. This piece is an overstrike on a Spanish 8R. Outside of the Denver show, I've acquired an 1839 WD PCGS AU58 CAC half dollar that should be stunning when listed.
A repeat of Thursday's LSCC educational seminar realized eight attendees which was well beyond expectations. I suffered a last minute Powerpoint issue (Windows 8.1 is such a pain) and the formal projector presentation was scrapped. Instead, we just pulled up chairs around my laptop and held a close knit meeting....it was so much fun to watch reactions of both experienced and novice collectors when they first view the 1839 Pie shattered obverse in hand. My good friend, W. David Perkins attended and attempted to take the 1839 Pie for a stroll.....all in good fun for the attendees.
GFRC has already booked the next Denver show in October...Jim and I will be back at table 210 per normal. I'm thinking about bringing the 1874 Polished Arrows dime and a corresponding presentation to continue LSCC momentum in Denver area.
I'm writing this blog on Friday evening as tomorrow brings an early morning trip to the Denver airport (thank you Jim for the lift). I'm planning to relax on the two flights and enjoy more of the Game of Thrones by George Martin and not think about coins. After attending three shows in four weeks, I'm starting to get coin'ed out and looking forward to a down day. Next week brings the writing of many payment checks to consignors after strong April and early May sales. Next up are two more consignments and retrieving/evaluating Maine Collection Barber sets (10c, 25c, 50c) along with an incredible Lincoln set (1909 - 1965). All coins are stored in pristine Wayte Raymond album pages. The 1861-O Seated half dollar hoard is also waiting in the wings for attention.
There is no featured coin of the day....it is time to pack and call it a day. Thank you for checking in each day and reading these ramblings...
May 8, 2015
Denver Coin Expo Show Report.....Public Day 1
Don't I love writing positive show reports and yesterday's Denver show action and LSCC meeting definitely warrants praise. GFRC had another strong day and some really nice bust and seated coins found new homes. Public attendance started slow at 10:00am but the pace of visitors throughout the day continued to grow with many being serious collectors. Jim and I sold all type of coins ranging from the 1877 Indian NGC40 to an 1853-O PCGS AU50 25c and 1834 PCGS AU55 10c as examples. We remained viligant on dealer early type coin stocks and selectively purchased better pieces for inventory. Yesterday's newly purchased 1845 NGC55 CAC 10c and 1848 NGC WB-103 NGC AU58 are either sold or on hold. GFRC will definitely be coming back to Denver in October.
Today's LSCC educational session had a record five attendees and one latecomer who missed the meeting. This is progress at Denver along with the same trend seen at Baltimore and Central States Meetings. Club members enjoying attending educational sessions rather than listening to club news items. I will give the same presentation Friday (today) at 1:00pm for those who may have read the E-Gobrecht announcing indicating a Friday session also.
Following are yesterday's Newps...Jim and I continue to be fussy about originality and eye appeal as we search out better Seated coins.
Seated 10c: 1862 PCGS MS65 proof like, pretty toning
Seated 20c: 1876 PCGS VF30, crusty gray, strong scroll and nice!
Seated 25c: 1844 PCGS AU53 choice original, gold and light luster
Seated 50c: 1841 PCGS AU53 CAC OGH so choice; 1842-O EF40 original gray; 1843-O PCGS EF40 CAC original gray; 1849-O F15 old album gun metal gray/blue; 1861 NGC MS61 CAC; 1873 WA NGC45 original ebony/gray
Today's featured coins are from the Seated Half dollar price list and reflect the growing inventory selection being put in place. First up is an 1858-O that has it all..rose over steel gray backgound. Purchased directly from a type set album and very choice. How can you not like this piece?
Second is an 1871-S PCGS AU55 that appears to be unlisted since the obverse matches WB-3 obverse while the reverse is definitely WB-8 Reverse. Lots of pretty golden luster on this half dollar. PCGS plastic dampens some of the luster during photography, just compare the 1871-S with the 1858-O above which is raw.
May 7, 2015
Denver Coin Expo show report.....Dealer setup day.
Traveling to the Denver Coin Expo and hanging with Jim Poston and sister Kim Dade is always fun. It really is the odd couple..the old professor and the eBay barndog. Jim brings lots of wholesale stuff to wheel and deal while Gerry walks the floor looking for the gems. The synergy is there along with common business philosophies and a great relationship is developing.
I was pleasantly surprised with first day bourse floor action. GFRC was offering coins within 45 minutes of arrival as larger retail/wholesale dealers were about at the table and we sold coins at fair money. Then the floor paced was steady until 5:00pm. Denver had the right "bourse floor buzz" on setup day and hope this level continues through Thursday and Friday. Please remember that Friday is the LSCC Educational Session at 1:00pm. Topic is the 1839 Pie Shattered Obverse variety.
Writing daily show reports and listing Newps brings the challenge of working hard to locate better coins. This I did and pleased to report the following new GFRC additions. FRoR is in order if they may be something for you. Just email me on potential interest. Thanks. This is not a huge group of Newps but again I'm being selective on eye appeal, originality and price. So the intersection of these parameters can be narrow at times.
Seated 10c: 1845 NGC AU55 CAC...old album bullseye and choice (Sold); 1876 MS62 mirror proof like and original.
Seated 25c: 1876-CC PCGS VF35..crusty gray original
Bust 50c: 1828 PCGS AU55 choice with bright light eye appeal, 1838 Reeded PCGS AU58 choice and in hand eye appeal
Seated 50c: 1848 NGC AU58 gem original. (Hold)
World Coins: Mexico 1934 Un Peso, Blast White Luster; France 1967 10 Franc and 1979 50 Franc both mirrored and well struck....these coins were fresh from brokered collection.
Featured coins of the day reflect my growing interest in Capped Bust half dollars. I've been consistently ramping inventory for the past year and added two more halves today. These two early date halves well illustrate the original toning that is sought. The first is a raw 1811 O-106 in pretty VF20 for only $175. The second is an 1813 50c/UNI O-101 PCGS EF40 with rich rose/gold toning that comes alive under bright light. Please remember these are in hand appearance photographs that are unable to capture luster and reflection when the coin is placed under a bright light. Typically if toning appears transparent in hand, then the bright light appearance is even better.
May 6, 2015
Greeting from Denver! Yesterday's flights were uneventful and arrived in Denver early afternoon. I enjoyed a loud and fun Mexican dinner at Garcia's with Jim Poston, Kim Dade and a few other of their friends. Indeed it was Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May in Spanish) and the restaurant was rocking with live band. Considerable alcohol is consumed in the United States on Cinco de Mayo but few Americans probably know the historical background for this Mexican holiday. A quick Google search resulted in the following from USA Today, "Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over the French forces of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla. Mexico had trouble paying back war debts to European countries and France came to Mexico to collect that debt."
There is little to report this morning on new GFRC offerings since I spent most of Monday preparing for the Denver Coin Expo along with yesterday's travel schedule. Today is dealer setup at the Denver Coin Expo which means considerable dealer to dealer wholesale trading. The day always ends on a positive note with Chuck Hayes, show manager, hosting the dealers with free beer and a pulled pork sandwich and beans dinner.
Since dealer setup is hours away, an opportunity exists to update the price list with two piece Seated dime consignment previously mentioned in earlier blog, a portion of the West Coast Collection consignment along with some other pieces that remain in the processing queue. So please check back after 3:00pm EST for price list updates.
The 1807 Draped bust dime is on hold at asking price and pleased to announce that a Maine collector made the purchase.
April brought record GFRC sales and a sincere thank you goes out to the many customers and friends for your patronage. The price lists definitely need maintenance to remove sold/accepted coins for a fresh May start with forthcoming Denver Coin Expo newps.
Please check back tomorrow morning for a Denver Coin Expo report and discussion of new purchases.
Featured Coins of the Day
First up is a crazy original 1873 Open 3 Seated quarter residing in old ANACS white holder. Surfaces are covered with rich gun metal gray/blue patina throughout the obverse and reverse. The obverse blues can be detected in hand and further explode under bright light while the reverse turns to rose with some blues below eagle. Don't I love to see these old ANACS holders as the grading was routinely spot on.
The second featured coin is a lovely Capped bust dime with perfectly natural surfaces and recently purchased out of an old Maine collection. Thie piece offers thick gun metal gray patina along with a reverse that is well struck regardless of the upper denticle weakness that is characteristic for the JR-4 variety. Fields and devices are fully blemish free. I definitely enjoy locating and offering these type of quality coins.
May 5, 2015
Thanks for stopping by! There will be no Blog this morning as heading to the airport early for Denver flights.
May 4, 2015
Monday morning arrives and local weather is forecasted to be bright and sunny with highs in the mid 70s. The Miata is definitely the vehicle of choice as a large morning postal shipment is in order along with moving non Denver show bound inventory to the bank boxes in later afternoon. Preparing for Denver Coin Expo is another must get done activity as flying to Denver Tuesday morning.
Yesterday's Financial Thought of the Day brought email feedback and I would like to share an article's that arrived in my Inbox. Unless one invests time reading the financial press, it is difficult to maintain a sense of the evolving global economic and monetary policies. Free Trade and globalization have brought improved living conditions for many of the world's citizen but has also impacted many in the United States. This can be a controversial topic and will not be explored. Rather, I will continue to provide Blog readers with published information and let you draw your own conclusions. A reader from PA offered this short article concerning China's rapid economy growth and its forthcoming push to have the RenMinBi (literally translates as "people's currency") and abbreviation RMB achieve world reserve currency status. The primary Chinese unit of money is the Yuan and one will see the abbreviation CNY (Chinese Yuan) in the financial press. This may seem confusing but consider the similar situation with British Sterling and its monetary unit, the Pound.
While writing to this point, my daily dose of global financial headlines arrived and China's weakening manufacturing section made top news as follows; Chinese shares bounced back from their earlier lows on Monday as weak China factory activity reinforced views that Beijing will roll out more stimulus measures to support its slowing economy. The HSBC final Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 48.9, its fastest drop in a year, down from the preliminary reading of 49.2 and weakening from the 49.6 print in March. Meanwhile, the IMF is close to declaring China's yuan as fairly valued for the first time in more than a decade, a milestone that follows years of IMF censure of Beijing's management of the currency. (Last point ties so well with PA reader's submitted article).
If one carefully considers this news headline, the implications are that China's exports continue to shrink. Why? I believe there are several reason.
1. Weak global export demand from Europe and the United States as these economies are approaching stall out speed even with ZIRP and QE
2. Japan waging a currency war by devaluing the Yen through massive QE and taking export market share from Asia competitors.
3. Internal China inflation issue (labor costs) that is a disincentive for global outsourcing investment into China.
Ok, back to the Blog reader's submitted article. The article is from the well known financial newsletter Stansberry Digest as published by Porter Stansberry. The article is entitled What to Expect From This Upcoming Once-in-a-Generation Financial Event By Steve Sjuggerud, editor, True Wealth.
Following is the entire article and a short read.....
In a decade or two, this newly added currency will likely challenge the euro for the No. 2 position among reserve currencies. And in the long run, it could potentially take over the U.S. dollar's role. Like I said, this October's announcement is a significant event. Twice a decade, the IMF executive board meets to reassess the makeup of its basket of reserve currencies. The next five-year meeting is this June. And the results of that meeting will be announced in October.
We haven't seen a major change to the reserve currency system in more than 33 years. But this October, the world will likely learn about a NEW reserve currency. You may have guessed that I'm talking about China's currency, the renminbi.
China is the world's second-largest economy. It could be the world's largest economy within 15 years. The country certainly deserves a seat at the "grown-ups" table. China has asked to be included as part of the IMF's "Special Drawing Rights" (SDR) reserve currency basket. In my opinion, this June, the IMF should grant China's currency entry as part of the SDR.
The entire world gets it… Germany and the U.K., for example, have been downright enthusiastic about China joining the IMF's SDR currency basket. However, the U.S. is being embarrassingly ornery about this situation. The U.S. has cited a number of technical reasons why the renminbi shouldn't become part of the SDR. Just two weeks ago, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew visited China, and then said China "wasn't ready" for reserve currency status.
The U.S. can seriously stand in China's way… It has the majority of the IMF's votes. So it's possible that the U.S. could block China's request to have its currency included as part of the IMF's SDR. But looking at the longer term… It'll be hard for the U.S. to hold off China. It should become the world's largest economy soon. (I'm not being unpatriotic, I'm just stating a fact.)
And China's currency is already unofficially a reserve currency in many places… At least 40 government central banks have invested in the renminbi, and more are planning on doing so, according to British bank Standard Chartered. More than 10,000 financial institutions already do business in the renminbi.
In short, it's happening, whether the U.S. government wants it to or not. So some sort of deal will likely be worked out between China and the U.S. to give China the currency status it wants. I expect that's the news we'll hear this October (despite what the U.S. is saying today).
Featured Coin of the Day
As mentioned in yesterday's afternoon Blog update, only one coin was purchased at the small Maine coin show; a near gem 1807 Draped Bust dime that has been off the market for decades and quietly sitting in a bank box. This dime was originally certified by ANACS Photograde during January 1987 and registered to Norman Pullen. Norm is well recognized by those who have been in the coin business since the 1980s. He was one of the first PCGS graders, owned his own coin business Norman Pullen Inc and bought Maine Gold and Silver around 1992 timeframe. I've bought my fair share of coins from Norm since starting the GFRC business.
This dime is a joy to own and view. Many of the 1807 strikes come with notable weakness while this piece has a hammered overall strike with bold hair curls and reverse devices. The piece was originally graded AU55 by ANACS and I have the original ANACS certificate and Norm's flip. Really an interesting offering and priced at $4600. (On Hold)
May 3, 2015
I'm back from small Maine show and only purchased one coin....1807 10c ANACS Photograde AU50/55 dating back to 1987 and owned by early PCGS grader, Norm Pullen. This piece has a hammered strike with frosty gold luster throughout. The 1807 date is a single die variety with many being weakly struck. Images will be posted tomorrow. This piece is definitely for sale raw or after a trip through a TPG.
Good morning everyone! I'm up earlier than planned so the Sunday Daily Blog edition is ready per normal. Shortly, I will be attending a local Maine coin show. Please check back during mid afternoon for potential Newps.
The LSCC's May E-Gobrecht edition is online and already there are lots of downloads via this website or through www.LSCCweb.org. This is another great issue and worth the time to read.
I continue to plug away at loading Newps and consignments onto the price list and seem to average about 10-15 pieces a day. There is still another 30 or so new coins to load including the Seated dimes from the West Coast collection. It is doubtful that all will be online before leaving for Denver on Tuesday as this evening will be dedicated to packing the Monday morning shipment followed by preparing inventory for the Denver Coin Expo.
PCGS returned the Baltimore show submission and the 1861-O hoard is staring at me waiting to be attributed. It will be interesting to learn the Wiley variety distribution and then develop a sales strategy for disbursement.
Financial Thought of the Day
So that everyone is not disappointed for visiting the Blog this morning, here are two graphs to consider as food for thought. The background is the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee report published on April 29, 2015 which can be summarized as, "more of the same since 2008" by the Fed. More of the same means an ongoing issue for the middle class as it struggles to maintain current lifestyle without more debt accumulation. On these graphs, please focus on the timeframe between 1980 through 2011. The middle class saw an incredible increase in living standard post WW II but this came to a halt in the early 1980. The beginning of globalization and outsourcing of American jobs overseas along with Information Technology and Robotics manufacturing efficiency improvements started in this timeframe. Big business leveraged these trends to eliminate high paying industrial jobs and drive capital appreciation of stock prices. Since 2008, stock price growth has been engineered through very low cost financing and of course, the QE monies pumped into the United States banks. These trends have been leveraged by the top tier in our society to achieve rapid income growth rate over a 20 year period. One needs to remember that a 200% increase of a family income from $15,000 to $45,000 is necessary to maintain lifestyle with continuing inflation and omnipresent taxation at the city, state and federal level. The top tier seeing a 200% increase in income from say $1,000,000 to $3,000,000 just leads to more investment capital and the ability to fund luxury goods, high end cars and large homes. Just food for thought on what is happening in our country....Since 2016 is an election year, my bet is the politicians will give this topic much lip service to attract middle class votes and then it will be business as usual in 2017 as there is no incentive for the upper tier to make changes unless there is substantial upheavels in our society.
Graph 1 - United States Money Creation Since Nixon Removed US$ Tie to Gold Standard
Graph 2 - United States Income Equality Before and After 1971
Featured Coins of the Day
I'm moving towards featuring two coins per day as inventory and sales volume expand. There are just so many nice coins that I would like to discuss at the Blog. First up is an 1877-S NGC MS64 Seated quarter acquired at Central States show. This piece originates from a very advanced collection and become a duplicate due to upgrade. One really needs to see this piece in hand and under bright light to appreciate the originality and eye appeal. My images are completely inadequate is conveying how special this quarter is regardless of being a common date.
The second featured coin is from the World Coin price list. Steady progress is being made with this product line as more consignors are jumping on board and realizing the possibilities for a world coin trading desk. Given more growth in the upcoming months, then it will be time for GFRC to begin advertising in Coin World's monthly magazine section as a credible broker of nice original inventory. This Italian States, Naples Coronato dates back to the 1488-1494 time period and was just freshly graded at NGC. Surfaces are frosty with no issues; just light silver gray coloring and featuring Ferdinand I on the obverse and St. Michael slaying the dragon on reverse. The reverse is rotated right as shown. Pricing world coins that infrequently trade is tricky and I hope to have a retail price fron the consignor by end of day.
May 2, 2015
Welcome to the first May weekend and as always, thank you for visiting with me at the Blog.
GFRC customers who frequent the price list will notice the ongoing improvement in the coins being offered. My humble business enjoyed record sales during April as the focused moved towards higher quality Seated and Bust coins throughout all denominations. As with anyone building his/her own company, rapid learning and making adjustments is paramount for being successful. Today's marketplace is highly competitive, therefore GFRC must offer superior service and quality coins at a fair price to differentiate itself from the established competitors. I've worked diligently on a seven day a week basis for the past year to grow inventories via careful purchases and attracting top notch consignments. As usually, I will be working throughout this weekend, attending a small Maine coin show on Sunday morning and then flying to Denver on Tuesday for the Denver Coin Expo.
- The West Coast Collection of Seated dimes is photographed with image processing to be completed today. Already 2 of the 12 dimes are sold or under FRoR. Part II should arrive after Denver Coin Expo.
- A new consignment is arriving next week. The consignment is only two pieces but both are important and high quality Seated dimes; 1865-S F-101a NGC VF25 and 1876-CC F-110 RPD 18 residing in NGC MS64 holder. The 1865-S F-101a is the rare die state with obverse and reverse depressions with few known.
- Birmingham Part IV will arrive a week or two after the Denver Coin Expo and brings another round of outstanding Seated dime offerings plus a few other residual pieces.
- I'm looking for a sizable Seated quarter or Seated half dollar consignment prior to the ANA World's Fair of Money Convention and hope you might consider GFRC as a viable alternative to the auction houses.
1861-O Half Dollar Hoard News
Grading results are in for the 16/36 or so 1861-O halves that were submitted to PCGS. All but one graded...so I'm pleased with personal ability to evaluate Seated half dollars in terms of certification potential and may have been a tad too selective. These halves should arrive to Maine while I'm at the Denver show....next steps are attribution and pricing process upon my return and then outright purchase from owner.
Maine Collection Update - Barbers/Lincolns
A transfer of the Maine Collection Barber 10c, 25c and 50c along with a magnificent Lincoln set is schedule for the week of May 10. All are in Wayte Raymond album pages and remain in same condition as when stored in bank box during mid 1960s. Upon transfer, I will price each set and make offer to owner before being able to break up and market individual pieces to GFRC customers. The Lincoln set will be heading to the grading services.
As for the Maine Collection large cent and half collection collections, those have been privately sold intact to a third party. My inexperience with early copper resulted in decision to sell the sets intact and secure a strong price for the owner.
Featured Coins of the Day
I would like to highlight two very different coins today and explain why each is an important new GFRC offering. First up is an 1896 double side toner Morgan dollar just back from NGC and graded MS64 Star. This is a fabulous piece in terms of eye catching rainbow coloring and is part of a four piece lot purchased at CSNS. This piece is also the VAM20 variety with repunched 6. All four Morgans are date 1896 and were stored together resulting in similar toning patterns....this is the finest of the four in terms of vivid reverse colors and is amazing to view under bright light.
The second coin being offered is a rare Seated dime variety, freshly graded and resides in PCGS EF45 holder. This is the first time I've offered a fully problem free 1841-O F-105 dime with late die state shattered reverse as so difficult to locate. This variety results when an 1841 New Orleans obverse die is paired with a transitional Small O reverse from 1842 after the striking of 1842-O dimes. The finest known example is the Greer plate coin which I owned for years (PCGS AU50) and eventually sold to Dale Miller. This piece was offered to me at the Bay State show and has all the reverse diagnostics except for the die crack through STAT(E)S. The rarity is conservatively listed as R5.
May 1, 2015
May Day arrives and I performed some brief research on the topic since the holiday is not celebrated in the States but is an important public holiday in most of Asia. May Day is a celebration of International Worker's Day and is observed in 66 countries around the global and informally in many others but not in the United States. Did you know that May Day had its origins in the United States? Yes, I was surprised to learn this fact...this link provided by the Industrial Workers of the World provides a detailed history of United States worker attempts to achieve a fair 8 hour work day. As extracted from the website article, "On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. In Chicago, the epicenter for the 8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on strike with the anarchists in the forefront of the public's eye. With their fiery speeches and revolutionary ideology of direct action, anarchists and anarchism became respected and embraced by the working people and despised by the capitalists."
A Daily Blog reader just reminded me that May Day is actually a pagan holiday and pre-dates the United States' workers unrest. May 1 was celebrated by the Gaelic people (mostly Irish and Scotish) and has roots back to Irish mythology. You can read more via this Wikipedia link.
Back to numismatics and yesterday's Blog...I received a fair amount of feedback concerning yesterday's blog with most being supportive. There is a need in the numismatic industry for the GFRC business model and the resulting growth rate has been rapid. Each GFRC customer is unique and presents different collecting and buying habits. Most are basically transactional while others requesting incremental services including lay-a-ways, trading coins to make deals happen, purchases with included grading/CAC submissions etc. I strive to provide the best possible service to all customers and on occasion, certain service adjustments need to be made as I defined yesterday. We will leave this topic here.
Now that PCGS is listing the Fortin variety numbers on their holders, The Definitive Resource for Liberty Seated Dime Variety Collectors is gaining more awareness and usage. I am most pleased with this progression as first NGC recognized the Top 100 Varieties on their VarietyPlus attribution service last year and now PCGS is taking the next step. This is a double edged sword however for the author. The renewed awareness of Liberty Seated Dime varieties means more individuals attributing their dimes, having questions and writing me for attribution help and advice. During the web-book construction, I was pressed for time and did not list/document all diagnostics including die polish lines, die cracks etc for each variety. Years later, individuals are seeing these undocumented diagnostics and believe them to be new and important and hope that I will add to the web-book.
Today's blog will be brief as the queue of coins to be photographed and added to price lists along with some web-book updates is staggering and I need to get to it. Oh, I also need to add an LSCC ANA Auction module to the LSCCweb.org website soon as we are already in May and the auction lots are starting to accumulate.
The featured coin of the day is from my personal collection. This 1858-O dime has been in my collection since 1999 and was originally purchases in an NGC MS64 holder and then downgraded to PCGS MS63 to be included in the PCGS Set Registry set. This set eventually won numerous Classic Set awards and is now listed as a Platinum set. This is a dime with considerable eye appeal due to its blue and rose patina and bold obverse strike. Recently, this piece was upgraded and my philosophy has always been to immediately sell available coins from collection to raise funds for other potential upgrades.