Gerry's Daily Blog Archives - November 2014
November 30, 2014
This is one of those uninspired mornings when difficult to write a daily blog. I'm surrounded by Newps and consignments on the desk so there is no lack of new offerings but the creative juices are on idle. The view outside the home office window is that of mid January so I'm in a winter mood. Instead of another blog about GFRC this or that, here is a picture circa 2003 during my former world travels. I would entertain guesses as to where the picture was taken (City and Country) and the significance of the background imagery. My only hint is to carefully look at the clothing worn that evening and please don't revert with my lack of winter wear fashion. It was multi clothing layer survival against the extreme cold. You can click on the image to view high resolution version............. I'll provide the answer in tomorrow's blog.
Today's program is loading more Newps and consignments and decorating the Christmas tree which was cut (at local Raymond tree farm) and brought home yesterday. There are many more imporant Seated quarters and halves to be loaded today, so please check back by end of day to view what might be new.
The featured coin of the day is extremely high on the eye appeal scale and was added to inventory yesterday. It is a magnificent piece with superior appearance, sits in an older PCGS holder and graded AU58. For those collectors who enjoy owning and sharing eye appeal coins with friends, then this lovely Liberty Seated half dollar might just be for you. Or it would be a great Christmas gift....I take credit cards too! Have a great Sunday, my dear friends and Daily Blog readers.
November 29, 2014
It is official...Gerry Fortin Rare Coins now accepts major credit cards for purchases. This payment method will be posted on website today. First credit card order has already been processed so we are good to go.
Friday went as planned; a quiet day focused on photography and price list updates. I'm starting to load selections from a significant Liberty Seated quarter consignment with POR listed for asking prices. Retail pricing has been proposed and consignor will approve or issue minor adjustments on Monday. I ask for your patience until then as unable to provide a "firm" commited retail price during weekend. The coins will be physically transferred to GFRC in Florida immediately before the FUN show. Posted images are from the consignor who utilized his own photographer to catalog a superior collection. For initial online price list sales, I will ask the consignor to ship those piece to me in Maine so buyers can receive and accept their selection before I display at FUN.
GFRC is moving to Florida after Christmas as we escape the Maine winter and spend three months at Venice home. I'm planning to idle the business from December 23 until December 30 for the holiday and subsequent transport to Florida. Shortly, my Venice, Florida address will be posted and will work closely with customers for mailing address transition. Using USPS mail forwarding capability is not a workable option as past history indicates several weeks delivery time for forwarded Maine mail to arrive in Florida. Reminders and updates will be listed in the Daily Blog.
Today is another busy day. It is cold at 25F for the high but sun is bright and perfect for photography. Some.of the images taken yesterday (the 1859-O half as an example) were just outright bad and will be redone today. There are many more Newps and consignments in the listing queue so please check back often throughout the weekend.
The featured coin of the day....drum roll please......is an attractive 1847 seated half dollar graded PCGS EF45. I forwarded images to my good friend Bill Bugert since the reverse has substantial die cracks. Bill indicated this is the Obverse 4 and Reverse D variety as listed by Wiley Bugert. Strike is bold and surfaces are choice original.
November 28, 2014
Black Friday is here and I will be in the GFRC office throughout the day processing images and loading inventory onto price lists. Thanksgiving turned out to be sunny and I manage to photograph nearly all Newps and new consignments. Even with those pieces loaded yesterday evening, I still have two blue PCGS box full of nice offerings to upload and describe.
The Eric Streiner Love Token hoard was reviewed for key dates and varieties and not much was found. I found 1860-S and 1861-S dime love tokens along with a fair number of 1875-CC, 1876-CC and 1877-CC love tokens based on obverse die characteristics. The hoard contains a pretty Seated dime necklace with nearly all pieces dates 1877 and engraved with three initials; one being an "A", probably the surname initial.
Changing subject towards some thoughts on TPGs..... I speak with GFRC customers and find some still attempting NGC to PCGS cross overs and ask myself why? It does appear that PCGS continues to convince collectors that a coin holdered by PCGS is better graded and more desirable than those holdered by NGC. PCGS is impressive with their cross over marketing strategy and efforts to eventually control the TPG marketplace. Through convincing collectors/dealers to cross, PCGS slowly absorbs all the accurately graded NGC coins in the marketplace and leaves the marginal/improperly graded as evidence of NGC poor grading and lower value potential. And while executing this strategy, PCGS receives grading, handling and 1% fee....
When seeking new inventory, I don't pay much attention to whether NGC or PCGS holdered the coin but rather focus on the coin itself. Is the coin strictly original? Does it have subtle issues, an old cleaning etc? Then I look at the TPG assigned grade, if CAC approved along with asking price to render a purchase or pass decision. The goal is to add accurately graded problem free original coins to inventory regardless of NGC or PCGS holders. Essentially, the coin needs to stand on its own merits.....
I see differences in how NGC and PCGS will handle "Market Acceptable" coins. Market Acceptable is best defined as those coins that are attractive, not strictly original or problem free and obviously will not be approved by CAC. This is possibly the bottom 30-40% of the circulated grade distributions and represents a substantial number of coins in the market. The TPGs choose to grade these types of coins to ensure revenues (stay in business) and use subjective net grading. I avoid these coins as purchased GFRC inventory but see examples within consignments. Today, GFRC customers will see an 1862-S 25c added to inventory. It is graded NGC Good 4 but is a solid VG 8 piece with bright surfaces from cleaning. So there are times when the TPG will net grade and other times when they will use a Details grade designation. This topic deserves more discussion on another day....
The featured coin(s) of the day are attractive 1875-P and 1875-CC Seated double dimes acquired at Westford and loaded to price list last evening. These are raw pieces which I've graded as VF20 and AU55 respectively. I'm starting to grow fond of 20c pieces as fully struck and original examples can be most pleasing and deserve more respect....a 20c set business strike set in the Open Registry is overdue and on my action item list.
Enjoy your Black Friday and I am in the office all day....phone call orders or inquiries are most welcomed.
November 27, 2014
Greeting and Happy Thanksgiving! I'm so pleased that you took the time to stop by and check my blog on a holiday. After writing the blog for nearly five months, sharing of life and thoughts have become important given the 120-150 daily downloads. Thank you for visiting so frequently and hope everyone can enjoy family time along with today's food, fine drinks and NFL games.......No where in the world but America.
Yesteday's email inbox was bombarded by mass distribution emails touting Black Friday, Deep Discounts, Cyber Mega Sales, 8% Off Site Wide and on and on......One can grow tired of this indiscriminate mass marketing as human relationships are important in all aspects of life including procuring necessitates or enjoying relaxing hobbies. I'm also unable to comprehend the need to stand in lines for early Black Friday deals. These so-called bargain items are loss leaders and typically of inferior quality for mass promotions at cheap prices. At my humble business, there are no deep discounts on Black Friday. Instead I will be in the office imaging coins and updating price lists and striving to offer original Bust and Seated coins. Quality sells well and customers are pleased for the long term rather than succumbing to impulse purchases at "deep discount". GFRC customers will receive prompt replies to inquires and friendly service as if any other business day.......
I'm happy to report that closure was reached on several near term project yesterday. A Bank Of America Merchant Services account was approved and will be accepting credit cards over the phone starting next week. Secondly, I closed on a significant Liberty Seated Quarter consignment from an advanced collector. Hopefully, these will start posting by middle of next week. Thirdly, another consignment from new consignor arrived yesterday and will be processed starting Friday. So lots of new GFRC inventory will be available online within a week and also on display at the FUN show.
The featured coin of the day is an nice original 1867 quarter and accurately graded NGC EF45. More on this coin later as I need to shovel snow and clear access to our garage. We received over a foot of snow last night.
November 26, 2014
Welcome to the Thanksgiving Holiday and the mad scramble for last minute preparations or that long journey to family gatherings. Travel on the upper Eastern seaboard will be challenging today as the first major snow storm of the season arrives. I'm packaging and shipping new orders this morning to avoid the unpleasant travel conditions later in the day.
Yesterday was cloudy and I did manage to take a few images on customer requests but felt it best to wait on the balance of new purchases and consignments. Picture quality at 1/250 and F4.5 was poor (against my standard) but provided at least one GFRC customer enough confidence to purchase the 1884 PCGS45 CAC 25c acquired at Westford show.
Jim Poston's consignment arrived right on schedule and I worked into late evening to set retail pricing and will start listing these pieces later today. The Fortin's are not traveling for Thanksgiving and simply heading to my sister's home tomorrow (a 30 minute drive) after we are plowed out.
I'm pleased to announce consignment discussions with an advanced collector of multiple Liberty Seated coinage series. This individual is constantly upgrading and wishes to work with a dealer who can well represent and disposition his expensive duplicates. Hopefully, we can align quickly on pricing strategies and begin to add his coins to the GFRC price lists in advance of the FUN show.
Since there is much order invoicing and packing this morning, today's blog will be brief. I do wish all GFRC customers, blog readers and their families safe travels and a Happy Thanksgiving celebration.
The featured coin of the day is a nice original 1865-S half dollar and attributed as WB1 (R4) Small Broken S mintmark. Eye appeal is high due to nice contrast between the light gray fields, the darker rims and well struck main devices. Don't you wish that all Liberty Seated coins at the VF35 grade level would have this appearance? Maybe..just maybe, this lovely piece might find a new home for Christmas?
November 25, 2014
The Voice is the only television show that I watch other than Nightly News with the balance of time being online. I felt rather uninspired by The Voice this season until experiencing Craig Wade Boyd's cover of I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash last evening. During childhood, my father was a country music fan with Johnny Cash and Eddie Arnold being frequently heard. So there might just be a connection even though I am a die hard British rock music fan along with great American bands as the Dead and Allman Bros.
Today's Maine weather forecast is for mid 50s with sunny skies and then 6-10" of snow starting tomorrow afternoon. Therefore imaging and posting Newps will be a top priority including the anticipated Express shipment from Jim Poston. I will mail coin orders early on Wednesday and then position the vehicles in driveway for the first snow plowing of the season on Thanksgiving Day.
Heading to the price list this morning is the 11 piece Liberty Seated dime lot purchased last week; all PCGS graded and part of an advanced set that was recently broken up. John Okerson supplied more Open Registry updates which should be loaded today.
Remaining in the "get to it queue" are the Eric Streiner Love Token hoard review and the 1/2c and 1c early copper sets in the Maine Collection. I really need to start evaluating these opportunities.
The featured coin of the day is a Seated dime that has been on the price list for awhile and needs some renewed attention towards securing a good home. 1859 New Orleans dimes in mint state are much more difficult that one would expect and are obviously underrated. A CoinFacts check validates my observation as recent auction appearances sell above PCGS guide prices. CAC has only stickered two MS62 and two MS63 examples with one at the MS64 level. Imagine that, a market population of five CAC approved dimes in MS62 through MS64 grades for a date that is viewed as common and consistent with 1857, 1858 and 1859 Philly dates....this is a crime and demonstrates that those who set price guides values may have undue influence from mintages and not market availability. Close inspection of images from this 1859-O PCGS MS62 CAC piece will reveal a line in the right obverse field by Liberty right arm. As GFRC customer recognize, my photography is sensitive to any surfaces anomalies and tends to over enhance these, much to the detriment of this outstanding dime. CAC's John Albanese is very tough on mint state coins and typically WILL NOT sticker a mint state Seated dime with any marks or lines (as learned during submission on my coins). Since he stickered this piece, then the coin's eye appeal and bold luster far outweight a tiny line in the right field. Trust me on this offering and please ignore the guides as they are incorrect.
November 24, 2014
Thanksgiving week has arrived and signals the start of the holiday season. With gasoline and oil prices continuing to drop, consumers will have extra cash to spend for the holidays or will feel more financially secure and add to their credit card debt. I believe the latter will occur as the world (yes, the developed and emerging countries) is migrating to a culture of ongoing debt creation with no strategies to ever pay back. The new norm is to create debt to fund prosperity. I invite you to read the following article from John Mauldin. His Thoughts from the Frontline articles can sometimes be esoteric and difficult to digest, but this piece is straightforward and well addresses the Asia currency debasement that is upon us while the US dollar continues to strengthen.
$50 oil will thrash Russia's economy and lead to unknown consequences in oil exporting countries. A strong US$ will eventually impact midsized United States companies who rely on global exports but the larger multi national corporations will be in better shape since their production is located in regions with debasing currency. I'm not positive on gold and silver when priced in US dollars unless the world enters a period of political instability.
Close to home at GFRC, it is another week of inventory expansion in preparation for the January FUN show and loading Westford and Jim Poston's consignment that arrives tomorrow. All the Westford Newps will be loaded by end of today but without images due to a rainy Monday.
Other news is that Gerry Fortin Rare Coins will be accepting major credit cards for purchases effective this week. Initially, customer will need to phone in their credit card information and eventually, the GerryFortinRareCoins.com website will have credit card entry and purchase module.
As a result of Saturday's Constant Contact mailing, a new customer consignment is under discussion and should arrive this coming weekend.
Finally, I plan to retrieve the Eric Streiner love token hoard from the bank today and will tabulate the contents during latter part of the week.
The featured coin of the day is one of the remaining gem pieces from the Maine Collection and needs a new home for the holidays. This piece has a hammered strike, blemish free surfaces and more importantly, eye appeal.
November 23, 2014
Westford, MA Show Report.........5:30pm
Westford turned out to be an excellent buying show today. First, I want to recognize Ernie Botte for promoting some great shows in the MA/NH area. There were 5 national show circuit dealers present at Westford, a one day Sunday show. Attending in no specific order; Dave Wnuck, Tom Caldwell (Northeast), Bob Harlow, John Agre (Coin Rarities Online) and your's truly. Tom Caldwell is a great guy as he sponsored free "hand full" of coins for kids at the show. Santa was there along with an excellent Toys for Tots donation outcome. It was a busy show in terms of floor traffic and dealers were in a dealing mood before the holidays.
As usual, I focused on early type that had nice original problem free gray patina. It has come to the point where I can detect this "look" immediately upon peering into a case. Unfortunately there are many cases void of "the look" coins and I immediately move on.... So here are today's Newps;
3c: 1862 EF45+ perfect original silver
5c: 1831 EF45 LM6 original gray
10c: 1832 VF25 JR1; 1833 VF20 JR5, both original gray and problem free
20c: 1875 F15+ so choice; 1875-CC AU55 so original
25c: 1840WD AU53 light gray, 1876 PCGS55 CAC original, 1877-CC F15, 1884 PCGS45 CAC so original
50c: 1861 PCGS AU50 so original
Morgans: 1878-CC VF, 1890-CC VF, 1893 F15
The 1913A Prussia 3 Mark had multiple requests and sold with several hours of image posting. The 1840-O With Drap 5c graded NGC EF40 also sold within a day of being posted.
The new 2x2 Gerry Fortin Rare Coins ad can be seen on page 61, December Coin World Monthly magazine. I am soliciting consignments in preparation for the FUN show. GFRC can provide a credible alternative to the major auction houses for original Bust and Seated coinage in the $200 to $4000 price range. More collectors are discovering that I am a hard working "collector's dealer" with quality coins that are accurately graded and fairly priced for straightforward transactions. My business model is based on a fair deal for consignors and buyers with GFRC facilitating transactions at lower commission rates than auction houses. Just think of GFRC as your online trading desk....
November 22, 2014
Had fun yesterday when taking my 2005 Toyota Tacoma into the local shop (Auto Werke) for inspection and four new tires. This is the same vehicle that received a new frame earlier in the year. Tom, the shop owner and one of the best mechanics around, enjoys restoring older BMWs and reselling on his lot. So when Tom asked if I needed a loaner for the day, I knew it might be one of his BMW projects and was not disappointed. This older 330i had 169K miles but still handled and felt like a great European road car.
Liberty Seated Collectors Club leadership team discussions were in high gear yesterday as we work to develop a signature logo or trademark for upcoming educational presentations. Check out the forthcoming December E-Gobrecht for leadership team ideas and the opportunity for club members to also weigh in with their creativity.
I also started discussion with an external party for significant content in the #123 Gobrecht Journal due out in summer 2015. Clearly, the redesigned format has energized club members, advertisers and numismatic industry colleagues.
As promised in yesterday's blog, here are images for the 1913A Prussia 3 Mark Silver Jubilee piece purchased at local coin shop. The images well capture the pretty toning patterns and I sure that some GFRC customer would enjoy owning this piece. Please email for a price....there are no foreign coin price lists on the website so not sure where to display after today.
Believe it or not....I still have about 15 raw seated half dimes to load on price list today to be fully caught up with Denver Newps. Then tomorrow morning is the Westford, MA show and will be looking to buy ahead of FUN in just six weeks. Jim Poston's consignment arrives on Tuesday and if the weather cooperates, should be posted before Thanksgiving Day.
Please remember that I am still actively seeking your consignments as January and the FUN show is just around the corner. W. David Perkins and I will have 10 cases at FUN as we expand major show presence and cooperation. January is always a great month for coin sales and would be an excellent opportunity to market your duplicates.
Today's featured coin is an inexpensive 1860 half dime with rich original gun metal patina. It would be a great type coin or gift for younger collector as a teaching tool for the appearance of original silver after 150 years of exposure to natural environmental conditions.
November 21, 2014
Friday arrives with Thanksgiving preparations being a priority this weekend. The Fortin Thanksgiving will be quiet this year as Matt, with his family, and Renee, with significant other. are planning activities in Virginia. Christmas will be the Maine family gathering event followed by a long drive to Venice Florida and wintering in a warmer setting. I'm really excited about the FUN show as W. David Perkins and I have collaborated on corner + regular table space allowing both individuals to fully feature our expanding inventories.
Yesterday was productive with another coin shop visit, dentist appointment and Bank of America merchant account application (credit card capability). It is always a pleasure to visit with Norm Pullen and John Colby at Maine Gold & Silver. Senior collectors will remember both individuals...Norm Pullen was active on the national show circuit during the 1980s and was one of the first PCGS graders. Norm tells stories of the PCGS start-up with graders being contracted dealers who would fly into California for a week or two of intense grading sessions then return home to their regular business. Due to conflict of interest concerns, PCGS migrated to full time employees as graders. John Colby tells his many stories of working for David Akers at Paramount and has become a good friend over the years.
The highlight of the Maine G&S visit is an inexpensive but very pretty piece for those who collect beautifully toned European silver. I bought a 1913A Prussia 3 Mark Silver Jubilee that is choice to gem BU with typical Wayte Raymond bullseye patina. This piece will be photo'ed today and featured tomorrow.
Yesterday's 1825 Bust 10c sold within an hour of being featured with two individuals requesting the piece. Last evening, I started loading a recent Seated dime purchase (all PCGS CAC) with the 1886-S PCGS30 lasting a few minutes....yes, I underpriced this one and an astute GFRC customer grabbed it immediately.
Jim Poston at GFRC-Coins sent along his planned consignment list that is due to arrive in Maine before Thanksgiving. Following are the list contents so that GFRC customer can secure a preview. Email me with your potential interest and I will tabulate first rights of refusal and offer coins once images are done.
Dimes: 1851-O 10c PCGS35 CAC
Quarters: 1842-o 25c Small DatePCGS4, 1861-s 25c PCGS30, 1862-s 25c NGC4
Halves: 1806/5 50c NGC25, 1809 50c O-102 F12, 1818/7 50c Small 8 PCGS45 CAC, 1819 50c PCGS35, 1819/8 50c Large 9 PC40, 1840-o 50c PCGS45 CAC, 1847 50c PCGS45 - (die crack reverse), 1859-s 50c PCGS30 CAC, 1860 50c ANACS AU50 OWH, 1860-o 50c PCGS45 (WB-105), 1861 50c PCGS45, 1869 50c NGC50, 1871 50c PCGS58 (PQ toning w/ Luster).
The featured coin of the day is one of the Seated dimes in the recently purchased PCGS CAC lot. This piece has a long story and illustrates how nice coins tend to move in circles. I bought this 1868 F-102 raw due to its strict originality and even gray surfaces then placed it into a PCGS VF30 holder. PCGS was tough on this piece grading the strike more than wear as solid VF35+. The dime was sold to customer who then sent it to CAC where it was approved. Several weeks ago, the customer decides to break up his Seated dime set and I immediately purchased this piece and a host of others from the individual. So here is the 1868 dime with the original raw coin images taken in late 2013; of course, the PCGS edge view prongs are missing!
November 20, 2014
Working with Jim Poston at the GFRC-Coins subsidiary is a pleasure as our skills are complementary. GFRC customers will continue to see inventory expansion as both Gerry and Jim pursue quality coins. Yesterday was very busy as I mixed coin shop visits with closing down our summer camp on Androscoggin Lake. Yes, the property line fence issue was resolved after we issued notice of pending lawsuit resulting in an easement settlement and fence removal in the driveway....
I heard a common theme from coin shop owners during visits, nice raw collector coins are selling quickly and difficult to keep in stock. My only significant purchase was a sweet original VF25 1825 Bust 10c and JR-1 R4 variety otherwise the offerings were the typical common dates or problem coins. Jim on the otherhand, had an excellent buying week including 1842-O Sm Date 25c, 1861-s and 1862-S 25c and thirteen PCGS/NGC graded Bust/Seated halves. These will ship to Maine for consignment and dual listing early next week.
I'm waiting to hear back on offer price for Maine Collection Flying Eagle/Indian Head cent set as Jim and I will quickly break the set with the key dates heading to NGC for grading (along with Two cent and V Nickel key dates) and several semi key dates already targeted for select customers.
Today brings a meeting with Bank of America to launch GFRC's Mechant Services account and install Global Gateway application for handling credit card payments. First step will be the ability to take credit card payment via phone and hopefully by January 2015, I will install online credit card module. It does appear that the GFRC module will need a serious redesign for shopping cart installation while not disturbing the Liberty Seated dime web-book or Open Registry modules.
The featured coin of the day was previously mentioned in this blog. This 1825 dime is strictly original with nice even gray patina. It is the JR-1 variety and rated an R4 rarity. I believe my asking price is fair for this attractive piece.
November 19, 2014
Maine has been fortunate to escape the brunt of the polar vortex including the crazy snowfall seen in the Great Lakes region. This morning's 6:00am temp was 20F but there is only a trace of snow on the ground and the longer term forecast calls for a return to 50F temps early next week. This will allow one final leaf blowing/raking event to clear the property. Our contractor finished the 3rd floor window replacement project yesterday with just a ladder and all clapboard is back in place for the winter months.
W. David Perkins and I are discussing a show schedule expansion beyond, FUN, (3) Baltimore shows and summer ANA. Potential targets include CSNS, Houston and also Michigan. PAN was discussed but is the same weekend as Denver Coin Expo. We are also considering adding a show in the TN or SC region. We agreed that Long Beach is not an option due to aggressive CA tax collection behaviors reported by other dealers.
Yesterday was a substantial ship day and USPS Click N' Ship is still not functioning properly so returned to former manual 2 day priority box process. Included in the shipment was boxes heading to Kansas for the GFRC-Coins eBay store. To date, three GFRC customers have requested that their aging consignments be moved to eBay for disposition. I spent the evening hours wrapping up the Maine Collection Flying Eagle/Indian Cent set evaluation and issued a quotation to the owner before heading to bed. Lastly, I move about ten raw Seated dimes from the regular to dealer price list for speeding up sales. My order rate slowed this week and will be adjusting prices in an attempt to lower inventory levels before year end.
I'm starting to receive love token inquiries concerning the Eric Steiner hoard and will start the evaluation and documentation process during the Thanksgiving timeframe along with the remaining Maine Collection half cent and large cent sets. These will be fun and mind expanding projects with a target to purchase the balance of Maine Collection by FUN 2015 and the love token hoard in February. As a result of the latter purchase, GFRC will have the largest love token inventory in the country.
I spoke with Jim Poston on Tuesday and he will be shipping a large Seated half dollar consignment early next week. We are executing our strategy for offering quality Seated coinage across all denominations.
Today's activities include receipt and photography of the 1st shipment of PCGS CAC Seated dimes previously mentioned, more Open Registry updates and continuing to add Newps/consignments to price list. I have a substantial group of raw and TPG Seated half dimes that need to be posted to be fully caught up with Denver/Baltimore new inventory.
The featured coin of the day is a choice original 1821 Bust dime graded PCGS AU50. I'm learning that choice early bust coinage is scarce in the marketplace and a pleasure to own/study while expanding GFRC inventory selection. I've owned the John Reich dime book for years and finally having an opportunity to attribute higher grade specimens while learning individual date strike characteristics. This piece is so original with even medium gray patina and delicate obverse features.
November 18, 2014
Do you every have one of those days that whatever can go wrong actually does? Well, yesterday was that type of day and almost funny when reflecting back this morning. The folks at USPS decided to update their website for "better service" and broke Click N' Ship label printing....my Nikon Coolpix camera decided to enable its flash during macro photography on microscope and spent nearly two hours reading the owner's manual to resolve without luck....and there was more stuff related to GFRC. Today will be a better day!
While loading a group of PCGS Seated dimes on price list yesterday, the 25th 1853WA unhubbed date/arrows obverse die was identified....so that was a cool event and the consignor is pleased (the dime is going back into consignor's collection after web-book posting.) Breaking news on this one, it is not the 25th unhubbed obverse die, rather a new hubbed obverse die with bold hubbing that is atypical for nearly all 1853WA hubbed obverse dies. This coin has date position DR -`1C due to deep date transfer strength while weaker hubbings are DR -1L. All other devices match up. So will be posting in the 1853WA Hubbed Dies chapter.
Also added the eighth 1861 Type I obverse (F-110) to the web-book late yesterday (I have a backup Nikon Coolpix with broken bayonet mount that was temporarily glued in place). The macro images well captured the heavy obverse die polish lines. This discovery piece was also posted on price list. So, I'm starting to once again work on web-book updates but please do not send any new Seated dime varieties until contacting me. There is a large backlog that needs to be consumed before entertaining others.
On Thursday, a meeting is planned with my Bank of America branch manager to explore adding credit card payment capabilities to the GFRC website. I'm receiving more inquires from new customer asking how to order coins as they are use to a shopping cart on some other dealer websites.
The featured coin of the day is a better date Morgan dollar graded by PCGS; the combination coin and holder brings lots of character. This MS66 1903 Morgan has light rose/gold patina over perfect fields and is housed in second generation large sized PCGS holder. This holder features early dot matrix printed label and the plastic edges are well raised and sharp. Researching further indicates it is PCGS 2 as listed on this Collectors Universe thread. It was a short lived holder/label design and quickly replaced with PCGS 2.5.
November 17, 2014
Another week arrives; it was fun to watch the Patriots on SNF. Actually, I am unable to remember watching a complete NFL game during the past few years. Folks in New England should be delighted with the caliber of this year's Patriots team; especially after the Red Sox season.
I'm thrilled to announce the purchase of 15 PCGS slabbed Liberty Seated dimes from a collector breaking up an advanced set that was only missing the key dates. Negotiations occurred yesterday and following is the list of forthcoming Newps. These were hand selected by a senior collector with a keen eye and are choice.
1838 F-106 P45 super choice, 1840-O F-101a Lg O P30, 1849 P53, 1850 P53 beautiful, 1851 P55 choice, 1856 LD F-103a P35, 1859 P45 CAC, 1868 P35 CAC, 1875-CC IW P45, 1876-CC P55, 1877-CC P50, 1884-S P45, 1886-S P30 CAC, 1887-S P55 CAC and 1888-S P53 CAC.
This morning economic news indicates Japan is slipping into another recession regardless of debasing their currency while China and Australia have inked a huge trading deal that will further erode the US$ as world reserve currency. Most economic powers will continue to print their fiat currencies while the US$ will continue to grow stronger due to present oil glut as fewer Petro dollars are required to service Middle East oil purchases. I sense that gold/silver prices have bottomed at current levels with the silver/gold ratio (~70) indicating that silver is an attractive long term buy at $16 per oz. The primary reasons are current negative sentiment of the short term traders, mining production and exploration costs curtailing supply, and ongoing printing of fiat currencies. World central banks have united on the prescription to solve recessions; printing more fiat monies to lower their currency value and stimulate exports.
Today's featured coin is a wonderful 1834 Bust dime graded PCGS AU55. This piece went on a quick lay-a-way immediately after Baltimore show but the buyer reported a personal issue yesterday and asked that the piece be released to GFRC customers. For those building an advanced type set, please consider this 1834 dime; the images are unable to capture the full extent of its bold strike and beautiful gun metal blue/gray patina.
Thank you for being loyal Daily Blog readers and GFRC customers.....your ongoing patronage allows me to provide a range of services to early United States coinage collectors.
November 16, 2014
It is amazing how quickly the weeks go by when working on three separate start up projects and now adding in the eBay subsidiary, GFRC-Coins. Dedicated customers and good friends may wonder why it takes so long to have Open Registery updates accomplished or to post new Liberty Seated dime varieties in the web-book. The answer is my perpetual habit of over committing coupled with the love for exploring new ideas. Three start-up projects? Yes, I still consider Gerry Fortin Rare Coins a start up effort as there is more innovation possible. Then there is the LSCC evolution with exciting new programs in the wings. Finally, there is the Venice, Florida condo association website construction project which organizes all of the Board of Directors informational and communcations needs.
GFRC-Coins eBay subsidiary is one week old and I'm pleased to report that transferred coins from the parent company are selling and consignors are asking that their inactive items be moved to eBay for disposition. This indeed was the intention of the eBay subsidiary so all is moving forward as planned. On the other hand, Jim Poston is an active buyer of quality material for the parent company and his coins are also selling well. It is a win-win partnership and I am excited to be working with Jim Poston and Kim Dade. One of my key learnings from former semiconductor business career is that growth occurs more rapidly through mergers and acquisitions rather than through organic development. The overwhelming challenge with M&A is merging of different business culturals after basic synergistic advantages are identified. In the case of small coin businesses with sole proprietors, the merger is based on strong friendship, mutual respect and trust.
Today's priorities include catching up on Open Registry submissions and preparing a substantial shipment for GFRC-Coins and if time allows, working on Maine Collection evaluation for Indian cent, 1/2 cent and large 1 cent sets. The Maine Collection bust half set is completely broken up with much of it being sold to a single PA collector who also received the Wayte Raymond album pages to house his set. The remaining pieces can be found on my price list or are heading to eBay.
The featured coin of the day is a Baltimore show consignment and the first time I've handled an 1829 Curl Based 2 dime. Rarity is well known by early Federal coinage collectors as so challenging to locate with decent details. This piece has obvious rim damage but the remaing details are quite strong at the Very Good assigned grade. Even with holes or other forms of damage, important United States rarities are always in demand. The question becomes setting a fair price and I believe the asking price on this example is attractive but offers will be discussed with the consignor as this piece needs to find a new owner.
November 15, 2014
Have Gerry Fortin Rare Coin customers noticed that I don't stock the 1854-O Huge O 25c variety? Yes, it is part of the Seated Quarter Top 25 Varieties set. However, the Huge O variety is probably the most overrated variety across all Seated coinage denominations with a substantial disconnect between pricing and availability. My belief is the downside risk on the Huge O variety is too large for customers, therefore I refuse to stock or sell any examples.
Let's take a quick look at eBay this morning for 1854-O Huge O availability.....Out of 30 listings, 13 were the Huge O variety! A quick look at PCGS price guide shows that in F12 grade, a "regular" 1854-O lists at $56 while the Huge O lists at $2750. Even CDN lists the Huge O at $2250 in F12 and there lies the explanation. Since the Huge O is listed in nearly all major price guides with a well defined pricing structure, then examples will trade at those levels even if the pricing level is not justified by rarity. The Huge O is a cherrypicker's dream variety since a pick can produce a four digit profit.
Going back to eBay and searching Seated dimes for "1841-O Large O" or "1841-O Closed Bud" resulted in no listings. The 1841-O transitional closed bud reverses (F-101 and F-102) are recognized rarities among most Seated coinage collectors, however these varieties are not listed in the price guides and few dealers will make an active market in the variety. Obviously 1841-O closed bud specimens are much scarcer than the 1854-O Huge O especially in problem free Fine or better. On my Seated Dime Top 100 pricing guide, the 1841-O Large O (F-101) is listed at $1500 retail while the Small O (F-102) is shown at $2250. Which would you rather have from a rarity and originality perspective in Fine grade? From a rarity perspective, of course the 1841-O Closed Bud Small O. But collectors are hesitant to pay the premium since not listed in the major guides. From a marketability perspective, the 1854-O Huge O is listed in CDN with dealers paying 20-30% back of CDN for a specimen. If any of the pricing guides start to drop Huge O prices, then watch out below.
My advice is don't always trust the pricing guides but rather become a knowledgeable collector when committing hard earned monies towards your numismatic hobby. True rarities will always be rare regardless of the pricing guides and using auction records for value assessment is probably the best tool available.
Though there are many new coins listed yesterday that could be today's Coin of the Day, I would like to highlight this 1841-O Large O Closed Bud (F-101) residing in PCGS VG10 with the proper attribution on the PCGS label. It is a consigned piece and well priced at $1395 and ready for inclusion in a Top 100 set or even the PCGS variety set in their Set Registry. This dime is strictly original with ample remaining details for the assigned VG10 grade. I'm flexible with lay-a-way terms on purchases over $1000 as remember being a collector and stretching for difficult varieties including my 1841-O Closed Bud F-101 PCGS AU55 that secured a Gold CAC sticker in late 2013.
November 14, 2014
Happy Friday everyone! The window replacement project went smoothly and by 8:30pm, the 55ft power lift was towed back to the rental company in Windham in advance of forecasted snow. This proved to be a wise decision as we experienced 3" of wet snow overnight.
In today's blog, I would like to discuss the GFRC coin photography method and its seasonal limitations. As most of you know, I use natural sunlight for picture taking as this renders accurate colors. The setup is nothing more than an old Nikon Coolpix 995 (with bayonet mount) and a photodome attached to the camera. A folding table is positioned in the driveway coupled with white paper as the background. Photography occurs between 11:00am to 1:00pm when the sun is highest in the sky. The Nikon is placed on automatic exposure and macro mode. For optimum color and contrast, the Nikon should register 1/500 shutter speed and an F-stop of greater than 7.0. These requirements are realized on bright sunny days.
The photography challenge in Maine during the Fall months is the lowering sun position due to a latitude of 44 degrees. Adding in any wispy clouds results in the Nikon shooting at 1/250 and F-stops of about 6.0 to 6.5. The result is images that have subdued contrast and less than optimum color registration. To compensate, the image processing requires higher contrast and brighter adjustments. GFRC customers may not immediately notice the higher contrast settings but a close inspection will reveal the images to be a bit too crisp as compared to those shot during summer months. Photography during December is very challenging but luckily, the migration to Florida after Christmas means top quality images once again in January.
Frequently, I received feedback that GFRC coins upon customer arrive look better in hand than on the images. Though I take some of the most realistic images in the business, the image processing and the sun's angle in the sky will over emphasize surface anomalies or fail to properly capture the full color spectrum on a coin's surface. A case in point is this 1876-CC PCGS AU55 CAC quarter shot yesterday with 1/250 and F-Stop 6.0 settings. I was able to accurately capture the reverse coloring while the obverse color gradient is not representative of this coin's beauty. Actually, the obverse does not have the dramatic coloring difference between the lighter date/base area and the darker upper right. To balance the images, I work hard to properly highlight special toning patterns within each coin's descriptions. By the way, this 1876-CC quarter is a very nice piece and would fit well into most collections.
Today will be a dedicated GFRC day with no distractions. I hope to add many new coins to the price list as they just keep piling up on my desk and wait for image processing and descriptions. Please don't hesitate to email or call if you see something of interest as I will be in the office all day. New shipments will go out with Saturday morning's mail.
The featured coin of the day is the very rare 1861 Type II F-105 dime with badly rusted reverse. The offered example resides in a new PCGS EF45 holder and is choice. This is only the second example that I have seen in hand while collecting the Seated dime series. The first was Brian Greer's plate coin which I subsequently sold to Dale Miller so that he might complete his Top 100 set. At the time, I though another example would surface in a reasonable amount of time but that assumption proved to be incorrect. The 1861 T2 F-105 is a major Seated dime rarity and current web-book rarity ratings and price guides estimates are too low. The asking price may appear excessive when compared to my Top 100 guide prices but in reality, one may not see another example for years to come let alone that this piece is TPG graded and choice.
November 13, 2014
Today's major project is Anderson window replacement on third story bedroom. This means leasing a power lift to enable the contractor to remove the clapboard siding, then the old window frame, install the new window and replace the clapboard...all in one day with the sun setting at 4:00pm here in Maine. I'm out the door at 6:30am to the local rental shop to pick up the power lift so the Daily Blog is being written on Wednesday evening.
The important news this morning is the Express consignment arrived yesterday and separately, was able to settle down the asking price for the very rare 1861 Type II Obverse F-105 dime graded PCGS EF45 (Top 100).
The new consignment is only seven coins but a strong offering. The group includes; 1818 PCGS VF20 CAC 25c, 1822 PCGS VG10 CAC 25c, 1825/4/(2) PCGS EF40 CAC Browning 2, 1876-CC PCGS AU55 CAC 25c choice, 1840-O PCGS VF35 50c, 1846-O AU53 WB-102 50c and a 1903 PCGS MS66 CAC OGH Morgan $. Photography will be done on Friday for all new inventory.
Also purchased yesterday was a nice lot of PCGS CAC Seated dimes including 1868, 1886-S,1887-S and 1888-S. All are strictly original and attractive.
Today's featured coin is an 1864 Philadelphia dime graded MS66 by NGC. It is presently one of the 3 or 4 graded by the TPGs. At the Baltimore and Denver shows, customers were attracted to this piece due to the booming luster and strong die clashing along the low mintage.
November 12, 2014
Good morning to Gerry Fortin Rare Coin customers who visit daily along with new individuals from our GFRC-Coins eBay store. As with any business that is in expansion mode, balancing and tuning inventory between the home and subsidiary location is an important task. Jim and I currently working through this challenge. Already several Gerry Fortin RC consignors requested that their lower priced items be moved to the eBay store and I'm also preparing incremental items for a large shipment by end of week.
Today's news is the purchase of complete 2 Cent copper (no 1873) and Liberty V Nickel collections in Wayte Raymond holders from the Maine Collection. The former owner starting collecting during 1955 and presently has serious health issues. I am working closely with his loving wife to disposition each set and ensure his prized pieces find great homes among Gerry Fortin RC customers.
Highlights from the ten piece 2 Cent set include 1864 Small Motto original F12 and 1872 choice original EF+ with the balance being mostly choice VF-AU.
Highlights from the Liberty V Nickel collection include 1885 original AU, 1886 original EF, 1901 proof and a G/VG 1912-S. The earlier dates (1883 through 1901) are all original problem free with grades ranging from VF+ through AU.
The Baltimore show consignment is priced (including 1836 Gobrecht Dollar) and presently waiting for consignor to approve before loading these to price list.
Believe it or not.....there are still numerous pieces from Denver/Baltimore shows that are in queue for price list loading and I am delinquent on completing descriptions for a number of coins already online. Therefore today will be very busy including a run to post office to catch up on shipments and I am expecting another Seated consignment via express mail later today.
Inquiries for yesterday's Coin of the Day (1861 PCGS PF61 quarter) were considerable and I will post to price list this morning. Today's featured coin of the day was purchased from an advanced collector at Baltimore show. During the show, I purchased an 1857-S PCGS EF45 50c and sold it within a few hours and then purchased this PCGS VF35 example. One can go for long periods without stocking certain better date halves and other times, multiple examples will appear on the same day.....
November 11, 2014
Yesterday was busy with multiple coins orders, loading Newps, photography coupled with another consignment on top of those already in queue. After watching The Voice (the only television show watched other than nightly news), I was up until midnight reviewing All in One PC options for the rare coin business. The realization that Windows 8.1 is now the standard operating system on all shipped PC was disturbing as I'm still using the ancient XP platform and enjoy its simplicity. Gaining personal efficiency improvements requires learning a combination tablet/PC operating system and the associated lag time before concrete time savings will occur.
My plan had been to ship orders today but the Post Office may be closed for Veterans Day so all orders will definitely ship tomorrow morning.
I do wish to say a few words about one coin in yesterday's new consignment. A long term and well advanced Seated dime specialist consigned an 1861 Type II F-105 dime graded PCGS EF45 and is choice for the grade. The F-105 variety features a badly rusted reverse die and up until its arrival, I had only seen one example; this was the Greer plate coin which I sold into Dale Miller's Top 100 set. So a second example has come to market and is exciting news for those building Top 100 sets. Establishing fair pricing for this rarity will be challenging as the web-book presently under rates F-105 rarity while the Top 100 pricing guide needs consideration on what fair market value might be. Stay tuned on this topic as more will be forthcoming.
Starting today, Maine home will have several Anderson windows replaced as building was constructed in 1985. The challenge is the windows are on the 3rd floor since we have a daylight basement and I must lease and transport largest available power lift for the contractor to accomplish the project. Just another day in a life....
Today's featured coin is yet another Baltimore show acquistion that was forgotten during earlier photography sessions. Eye appeal is substantial even thought the images where taken under partial clouds leaving the contrast a bit muted. This proof Seated quarter is eye candy and not yet loaded on price list. Email me for asking price.
November 10, 2014
After mentioning several times on the Daily Blog, I am most proud to announce that GFRC-Coins, the Gerry Fortin Rare Coins eBay subsidiary in online. Jim Poston along with his sister Kim Dade will be managing the eBay store. The online store graphics are well executed and I'm confident that the service will be second to none. GFRC-Coins was formerly known as DrJ Coins and eventually eBay will change all references to the former name. I been working closely with Jim for the past year and the idea to merge our complementary strengths and different geographical locations towards a larger market presence evolved during multiple discussions. Jim and Kim are hard working individuals and we have consensus on shared quality and service values. With over 7,600 positive eBay feedbacks, Jim's track record is well proven. Inventory management process between Maine and Kansas will take some fine tuning; some GFRC-Coins eBay orders will ship from Maine while some Gerry Fortin Rare Coins orders may ship from Kansas. In all cases, the shipping will be quick and well executed. Congratulations Jim and Kim!
GFRC-Coins eBay store link is; http://stores.ebay.com/drjcoins/
After spending a good part of the day in Boston yesterday, I worked until midnight preparing more images for posting Newps today. Many Denver/Baltimore new purchases still need to be loaded and today's goal is to get this done without too many distractions....usually wishful thinking on my part.
The featured Coin for the Day is a toned beauty acquired at the Baltimore show. The 1861 date for half dimes is common but the Wayte Raymond bulleye toning on this PCGS MS63 graded piece is unique! Base surfaces have ample luster then rainbow colored rings are layered on to the obverse while reverse has similar coloring but not in distinct rings. Seated coins like beautifully toned Morgans bring strong premiums and my cost basis was considerable but believe Gerry Fortin Rare Coins should be offering this level of eye appealing coins to its astute customer base. If you like the images, then the coin in hand will blow you away as my images are unable to capture all of the colors and bold luster.
November 9, 2014
I'm still working through the balance of Maine Collection type set pieces as a few coins were set aside for incremental research. Since researching only 19th century coins during collecting career, the peculiar appearance of this 1917 Type I Standing Liberty quarter left me scratching my head. I've seen well struck full head Type I quarters before but nothing approaching the strike characteristics of the following piece. Look carefully at the head/hair design, the gown details under the horizontal cloth wrap and the amount of horizontal lines contained with the rectangular blocks under IN GOD, WE TRUST. This piece has been weighed and is genuine at 6.3 grams. Feedback and comments from GFRC customers and readers would be welcomed. The only potential explanation is a proof strike which is simply a guess on my part.
I made some progress yesterday loading the balance of Denver and Baltimore show Newps on price lists. Remaining are a few Seated half dimes and dimes along with a lovely 1867 NGC EF45 quarter. Next up today are open registry updates followed by processing the Baltimore show and Seated dime consignments that remain in queue. All pieces are photographed so just a matter of setting asking prices and then loading on price lists.
Today's featured coin is a single item consignment from Baltimore. The owner is a well recognized numismatist and requested help selling one of the few Seated dimes in his collection. This is indeed a special dime due to its state of preservation. One would be hard pressed to locate a more original piece of silver coinage than this 1854-O dime. Obverse is covered with crusty patina that is also present on the reverse to a lesser extent. The toning on this piece is similar to my 1838 NGC MS65 Top 100 holdered dime (on price list). Please email or call if there is potential interest for this lovely 1854-O dime.
November 8, 2014
Feedback on the redesigned LSCC Gobrecht Journal is rolling in via email and is overwhelmingly positive as the new issue arrived in California yesterday. At this time, all club members should have GJ #121. Securing a strong backlog of articles from existing and new LSCC authors is the club's next challenge. I'm confidence that club members will find the all color capabilities enticing for displaying some of their favorite Liberty Seated coins with supporting articles on historical research, rarity or just comments about purchase background.
Maine is enjoying sunny weather today and that means time for coin photography.....the backlog is significant and I've still not posted all of the Denver/Baltimore Newps and consignments. GFRC customers can expect numerous price list updates in the next 72 hours across all denominations. I also plan to start price reductions on inventory that has been inactive.
Today's blog will be short as I lack inspiration this morning. Actually, I am looking forward to working with coins as the past few days were taken up by GFRC administrative tasks and other commitments mentioned in yesterday's blog. When one steps back and studies a small coin business, the value added tasks are buying and selling coins. But the administrative efforts surrounding these basic tasks are considerable and time consuming.
The featured coin of the day is an 1876 seated quarter graded PCGS MS61. It is the Briggs 6-F variety with bold repunching in the loop of the 6 digit. This piece was purchased over the table at Baltimore for one simple reason...eye appeal. Note the old album toning across the obverse while the reverse retains is natural luster with gold patina at the rims. I'm sure that those individuals who collector nicely toned seated pieces would find this quarter to be pleasing.
November 7, 2014
Yesterday was yet another busy day; dentist visit for a permanent cap, coin shop visit for new inventory and working on Venice, Florida condominium website updates. Yes, I don't have enough going on with GFRC business and the LSCC that I volunteered as board member at our Venice condo association (Auburn Lakes Condominiums). Association governance and communications were lagging in the technology arena, therefore I've constructed an Association website to organize forms, contracts and major maintenance projects. Prior to the website, communications were done with paper mailings. Website link is www.auburnlakescircle.com.
Back to coins.....I spoke with Jim Poston yesterday and he indicates that GFRC eBay store will be launched late Sunday evening. Jim is wrapping up the store page artwork and populating with over 100 listings as a kick off milestone. I will post the eBay store link on Monday's upcoming Blog and pleased to see this business expansion.
Bill Bugert, LSCC Publications Editor, reported that Coin World published a story on major numismatic clubs and their "journal" offerings and strategies. You can read the article here. The LSCC was featured first and Coin World mentioned our transition to the large format all color design this month.
At yesterday's coin shop visit, a few nice coins were located consistent with my standards. Recently, Morgan sales have picked up and all quality raw pieces were sold, therefore time to enhance product line with new offerings. Criteria for Morgans is the same as Seated and Bust; just nice original gray better date pieces. So in the photography queue are 1889-S EF45, 1894-O EF45, 1894-O EF40, 1897-O EF45 and 1903-S VF20. Also aquired was an EF45+ 1875-S 20cent piece with misplaced date and $ mintmark variety.
Today brings more LSCC tasks and GFRC price list Newps updates along with processing two previously mentioned consignments. Saturday is forecasted to be sunny and will be a photography day for the consignments along with the Two cent and Liberty V Nickel Maine Collection sets. So lots more new inventory will be loaded onto price lists starting early next week.
The featured "coin" of the day is a really cool contemporary counterfeit acquired at the Baltimore show. This 1861 3 cent bogo walked up to the table in a small lot. The 3 cent silver counterfeit features handcut dies and a weight of 0.65 grams. What captured my attention was the late die state and severe obverse die cracks along with the brass color. I've found 3 cent silver contemporary counterfeits to be most scarce since it was much for lucrative for counterfeiters to produce larger denomination products rather than a tiny 3 cent silver piece.
November 6, 2014
Last evening, I worked until midnight trying to attribute a Wayte Raymond toned 1819 Bust half graded PCGS EF40 CAC. Using the Parsley thome and Glenn Peterson's short cut attribution book, I was able to match the reverse (Reverse K) based on Peterson's vertical shield line extension while the obverse date position appears to be different than the Overton plate coin. This brought about an awareness concerning the use of obverse denticles as a ruler for date digit position measurements. Nearly all Seated and Bust variety attribution references have over looked date position above denticles as an important diagnostic. For Seated dimes, the denticle ruler is the primary diagnostic and most attributions start with date position followed with other supporting die anomalies. Given the years of studying Seated dimes and using date position above denticles, I have the same habit for other Bust and Seated denominations as an attribution starting point or confirming diagnostic. For Obverse 12 on the following 1819 Bust half, the date/denticle positioning appears inconsistent with Overton. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated via email as I've listed the piece as O-113? until confirmation can be achieved.
The new Seated dime consignment mentioned in yesterday's blog arrived ahead of schedule. This consignment is perfect for those collectors desiring CAC approved circulated Seated dimes and is an study in how CAC views original and above average dimes in the VF30-EF40 grade range. Included in the consignment are 1838 F-106 P10, 1853WA P30 CAC, 1854 P30 CAC, 1855WA P30 CAC, 1856-O F-104 P15 CAC, 1857 P20 CAC, 1873 O3 P40, 1873WA P30 CAC, 1876-CC F-107 P6, 1876-CC F-106 P8 (with DDO FS-101 label) and 1877-CC P8 RPD FS-301.....P means PCGS for the casual reader.
I also corresponded with the owner of the Maine Collection yesterday and we've planned the middle of next week to complete purchase of the 2 cent copper, 5 cent Liberty V nickel and Flying Eagle/Indian Head 1c sets. Like the Bust halves, these sets are stored in pristine Wayte Raymond double slide pages. The owner has discovered incremental 20th century sets of all denominations in another storage locations and I will be viewing those during our get together. My plan is to break up the mentioned sets given the quality using this opportunity to expand GFRC product lines into new territory....
Also in backlog is a significant consignment taken in at Baltimore including a well circulated Gobrecht Dollar. These coins are photographed but require consignment sheet updating and retail price setting before adding to price list.
Today's featured coin of the day is a strictly original 1806 Bust half and a better variety (O-106 R4). Handling quality early large denomination pieces is truly enjoyable after looking at Seated dimes for approximately half of my life. This piece needs a good home and I'm sure the potential new owner would be pleased with the acquistion.
November 5, 2014
Mid term elections are behind us. Maine re-elected its outspoken governor Paul LePage and added Republican seat in the House (Maine 2nd District). Bruce Poliquin was my son's high school baseball coach and is an intense individual. Within a week, news media coverage will shift to 2016 elections and the Hillary watch.
Let's move on to the reason that GFRC customers and friends visit each day....coins and the LSCC.
Bill Bugert and I are working with Tony Barreca to launch a new E-Gobrecht column that will interview a club member each month. It is a brilliant idea by Tony and well supports my goal to increase the social interaction among the membership. What better way than to introduce a club member each month in the E-Gobrecht?
Today, LSCC members in eastern United States will receive the new large size color format Gobrecht Journal and by end of week, all members should have their copy in the mail. I am unable to thank Editor Bill Bugert enough for developing the new format, locating a reputable printer and delivering a quality product to our club. If you ever considered writing for the Gobrecht Journal, now is the time to explore that possibility given our ability to publish large tables and high resolution images in support of your article.
As for GFRC news......I'm pleased to announce another large Liberty Seated dime consignment is in transit from the West Coast. This consignment arrives in conjunction with two others taken in at the Baltimore show. I am honored with your trust in marketing and selling fine collection duplicates and promise to give it my best effort to match collectors with top quality Seated and Bust coinage.
On tap for today is overdue shipping of orders, distribution of several new consignor spreadsheets and of course, loading more offerings on price list. As for the Maine Collection Part 2, my target is to purchase complete and high grade 2 Cent copper, 5 Cent V Nickel and Flying Eagle/Indian Cent sets before Thanksgiving. These sets will be broken up as was done with the Bust Half set and will add a new dimension to GFRC product lines. Also sitting quietly in bank security box is the Eric Streiner Love Token hoard totaling over 350 pieces for evaluation, a Gobrecht Journal article and then purchase and release.
I acquired today's featured coin at Baltimore and proud to offer here. This 1877-CC quarter, graded NGC MS61, has proof like surfaces and lovely original gold/brown patina; it explodes with color under bright light. The variety is unlisted with the obverse having what appears to be a misplaced digit between gown and base above the last 7 digit in the date. Trust me, this is a quality peice and the new owner will be pleased with the purchase.
November 4, 2014
Thank goodness it is election day for one simple reason....the negative campaign ads will stop and will be replaced by more big pharma advertising for an aging and over weight population....my apology for the early morning cynicism!
Negative and sometimes even brutal campaign attacks are nothing new in our country. President Andrew Jackson was the victim of horrendous negative campaigning and lost his wife Rachel to a heart attack before taking office. One can read more at following link. Here is a brief summary for those who have not read Andrew Jackson biographies, "Andrew Jackson triumphed in the 1828 presidential election, but before he could claim his place in the White House, his victory was tainted by sorrow. His wife Rachel died of a heart attack after surviving a brutal campaign that ripped her reputation to shreds. Jackson swore he'd never forgive those who attacked the woman who had been the center of his world since they fell in love nearly four decades before. Historian Patricia Brady, author of the newly published A Being so Gentle: the Frontier Love Story of Rachel and Andrew Jackson, recently talked to U.S. News about the Jacksons' epic love story and its tragic end.
Back to coins....I must apologize to GFRC customers who are also active on the Open Registry and to others who submitted dimes for variety analysis and web-book inclusion (Dr. Tim Cook and Lynn Ourso as examples). The recent Denver/Baltimore show schedule and growing sales volumes coupled with LSCC President and Webmaster responsibilities leaves little time for these collector support activities. Once again, new approaches for running GFRC business are necessary to increase personal efficiencies.
All of the Denver and Baltimore show purchases are photographed and posting to price list is in progress. Some pieces are selling quickly including the 1861-S PCGS VF30 quarter (a gem for the grade) and the 1857-O ANACS AU 55 half dime that is heading to a long term customer and friend in Shanghai. Recent Newps are a combination of original gray pieces along with colorful eye appeal examples.
There will be ample candidates for the daily featured coin over the next few weeks. Today's coin is an 1858-O Seated dime that is on consignment from the Baltimore show. Being completely honest, this piece would have gone directly into my PCGS Set Registry collection and replaced the existing specimen in the past. But with the transition to being a full time dealer, superior Seated and Bust coins are for customer collections rather than mine. This 1858-O dime has everything that I would traditionally seek....a full strike, original surfaces and eye appeal toning. For GFRC customers who know Seated dimes well, the 1858 New Orleans date is typically found with weak strikes therefore a fully struck Mint State specimen is an anomaly for the date. Some customers will state that the asking price is a bit on the high side against the "guides". It took some effort to convince the current owner to consign this piece along with other selections that are infrequently seen. When premium coins are in strong hands, then asking prices will typically be above the "guides".
November 3, 2014
Maine made the national news yesterday evening due to our early northeaster with northern Maine and Downeast receiving a foot or more of snow. Here in Raymond, we have maybe 1-2 inches but the winds were howling all day and it felt like late December. I've still not dealt with the Autumn leaves due to back to back Denver and Baltimore shows and hope we have a warming trend later this week to get this job done.
I've read on the PCGS message board that Baltimore show was a "bust" and terrible show for most dealers. There is truth to these comments as floor traffic on Thursday was very light and only slightly better on Friday. GFRC was an exception on Friday due to the LSCC regional meeting and large number of Liberty Seated collectors who are still active with set building. Saturday was a strong retail day. I find it almost humorous to read the comments on PCGS forum. Some individuals blamed dealers for not stocking new inventory or being too disengaged at the show. Some blame Whitman for scheduling a show on Halloween weekend. Others were complaining that the Baltimore show is losing its relevance. The numismatic market is a complex system and not a two or three variable equation. There are forces at work including ongoing major auctions (Newman and Gardner) that are extracting serious monies out of the market along with precious metal prices in near freefall. Then add in unpredictable grading by PCGS as seen at the Stack's auction and the result is all but the most astute collectors pulling back on major purchases.
One of my issues with the TPGs (currently PCGS as NGC is tight) is overgrading as very unhealthy for the overall numismatic market. Today's trend guides are based on holdered grades and if overgrading becomes commonplace, then dealers will pay less for a coin at the certified grade at auction or on the bourse. Once auction prices start to drop, then the price guides pick up the trend and start adjusting prices downward. What about older coins that are conservatively graded in TPG holders? The owners of these coins refuse to sell at lower prices and the result is no fresh coins hitting the market. It is an imperative that the TPG services maintain consistent grading standard else the hobby is impacted. At GFRC, I will buy properly graded Seated and Bust coins at strong prices as this is what these coins are worth regardless of the price guides. This philosophy could explain why my Baltimore show was strong on the buying side and also strong for show/internet sales.
My conclusion and advice to GFRC customers is to have patience and stay the course with your set building efforts. Don't worry about the coin hobby entering a "bust" period as many market factors are at work. Strictly original coins with eye appeal will always be in demand. Having them in properly graded holders is helpful for general marketability but astute dealers and collectors will always recognize premium coins regardless of the holdered grade.
I'm happy to report that the 1858-O PCGS MS62 Eliasberg dime went on hold yesterday and pleased that a consistent GFRC customer made the acquisition.
Today's focus is on photography with about 50+ coins needing to be processed and loaded on price lists.
The featured coin of the day is an 1875 NGC MS63 F-107 seated dime. This is a Top 100 dime with misplaced 1 digit in the denticles below the final 8 digit. Surfaces are choice and obviously mint state with light gold patina that appears more rose/gold on the images. Strike is well above average with full head and foot details along with sharp rims.
November 2, 2014
The Fall Whitman Baltimore is now history and I enjoyed a safe drive back to Maine. Thank goodness for Day Light Saving time change as the extra hour of sleep was most helpful.
GFRC had a great show with a substantial amount of sales, purchases and new consignments conducted over the table. It was so busy that that I never once visited the bourse floor to buy from other dealers during the three days. My goal while at Denver and Baltimore was to rotate inventory in preparation for the FUN show. This goal was accomplished and I will be loading new offerings throughout the coming week. Looking forward to FUN, W. David Perkins and I will be sharing incremental space (corner + standard tables) and we've also booked same for March 2015 Baltimore show.
You may read on message boards that Baltimore floor traffic was slow. This was not the case for GFRC due to our niche market segment of premium bust and seated coins. Collectors were selling duplicates and giving GFRC first consideration; I was able to purchase some superior pieces. Retail sales were strong on Friday and especially Saturday.
Friday morning's LSCC regional meeting saw a huge attendance of about 40 people while the new Gobrecht Journal format was well received by the membership. Once you receive your Gobrecht Journal this week, pleased review my full page ad on page 24.
It will take a few days to sort through all the Denver and Baltimore Newps and consignments coupled with mailing online orders booked while in Baltimore. Monday is forecasted to be sunny so photography will be the priority followed by price list updates starting Tuesday. There will be many coins worthy of Daily Blog "featured coin" publicity as customers and consignors are enjoying seeing what I believe to be top pieces that deserve consideration. I received postive feedback at Baltimore show concerning this part of my blog.
The 1837 PCGS50 and 1867 PCGS62 half dimes purchased on October 30 were sold yesterday at the show while I did manage to buy a nice 1838-O PCGS EF40 CAC seated dime.
Today's featured coin is an 1852-O quarter graded PCGS VF20 and approved by CAC. This is a choice semi key date piece with old album toning and strictly original surfaces. One would be hard pressed to locate a nicer example at this grade level.
November 1, 2014
Yesterday was a wild and crazy day at the Whitman Baltimore show! My day started with LSCC regional meeting and the historic first release of new large format color Gobrecht Journal to club members attending the meeting. I had printed limited addition "privy labels" and those were handed out with the Journals. LSCC meeting attendance was ~ 40 people which is simply outstanding for a regional meeting. Len Augburger provide insightful presentation on Gardner II sale results and a module on Gobrecht Dollars tied back to President Andrew Jackson and Christian Gobrecht.
Immediately after the LSCC meeting, I rushed to open booth and then sold a substantial amount of the Bust halves in the Maine Collection to one customer. He walked away with halves and the original Wayte Raymond pages given the purchase size. Then the action was non stop with LSCC members visiting, selling and buying throughout the morning and early afternoon. Once again I was able to buy some nice original coins over the table with some selling with 1-2 hours of purchase. Towards the end of the day, GFRC took in a large consignment that included a Gobrecht dollar.
Also during the day, the 1858-O PCGS MS63 10c, 1861-S PCGS VF30 CAC and 1842-O Small Date 50c pieces were placed on initial hold by existing GFRC customers.
Tomorrow brings a Saturday morning breakfast with the LSCC regional directors, more bourse floor time, PCGS and NGC submissions for GFRC customers, and then packing up and driving back to Maine.
Here is a sampling of the new inventory acquired on Friday, Whitman Day 2....
Seated 5c: 1840-O ND NGC EF40, 1843 PCGS EF45 cracked reverse, 1854 PCGS AU58 old album toning, 1861 PCGS MS63 Wayte Raymond bullseye toning, 1873 NGC AU58
Seated 10c: 1840 ND NGC MS63 F-103 Top 100 Holder, 1854-O PCGS MS64 choice original with even gray patina
Seated 25c: 1861 PCGS PF61 amazing toning, 1877-CC NGC MS61 proof like fields covered with gold patina
Seated 50c: 1846-O Medium Date PCGS VF35, 1853-O PCGS VF35, 1857-S PCGS VF35...all original gray patina and matched
Seated $1: 1874 PCGS PF50 with minimal wear and nice color
Gobrecht $1: 1836 Proof J-60 NGC VG Details, Cleaned