Gerry's Daily Blog Archives - October 2014
October 31, 2014
Happy Halloween as tonight the ghost and goblins will be making their way through Baltimore and a neighborhood near you.....
The first day of the Whitman show was simply incredible for adding new inventory. The GFRC brand name has gain traction in the numismatic industry with wholesalers and even retail dealers visiting my table and offering coins. I was able to carefully pick and choose the best possible material across Bust and Seated denominations with some purchases selling within hours after the retail customers arrived in the afternoon. I also took on a significant consignment at the show; this is a new individual wishing to slowly sell pieces from his Seated dime collection.
Following are Whitman Day 1 Newsp and Consignments that remain unsold;
Bust 5c: 1832 PCGS EF45 CAC choice original with color
Seated 5c: 1837 PCGS AU50 Small Date choice original (Sold); 1857-O ANACS55 Old White Holder with incredible ring toning; 1867 PCGS MS62 choice for grade (Sold)
Bust 10c: 1828 PCGS AU50 Small Date choice gun metal gray/blue; 1834 PCGS AU55 Large 4 stunning gem for grade
Seated 10c: 1858-O PCGS MS63 fully struck and choice, 1889-S NGC AU58 even light gold and nice
Seated 25c: 1861-S PCGS VF30 CAC and the finest seen at this grade level; 1862 PCGS AU50 luster and light tone; 1876 PCGS MS61 luster and pretty rim toning, 1877-CC NGC MS61 luster and rich gold patina
Seated 50c: 1842-O Small Date (Rev of 1839) PCGS VF25 and choice original; 1844 NGC EF45 choice original, 1858 PCGS EF 45 choice original
Trade $1: 1873-CC NGC AU55 original even gray
Morgan $1: 1889-S NGC MS63 CAC old fatty holder and so undergraded....a wow coin with incredible luster and eye appeal.
Contemporary Counterfeits: 1861 3 Cent Silver from hand cut dies with heavy die cracks....AU grade.
Please email or call me on Friday if one of these pieces might be of interest to you. All are in my cases and subject to be sold on Friday/Saturday. I will be working on tight margins on these pieces since paying strong for quality coins.
Friday's featured coin of the day is a very special offering. On Thursday, I sold the 1860-O PCGS EF40 dime on price list while acquiring an incremental 1860-O PCGS VF25 CAC at the Denver show. The VF25 example is close to gem original with perfect surfaces and even gray patina that is rarely seen on New Orleans 1860 dimes. If you need a nice 1860-O dime, then please consider this new offering. White spot on obverse in upper shield and white lines on reverse denomination are all on the PCGS holder rather than the coin.
October 30, 2014
Greetings from Baltimore! I arrived fairly early yesterday and after checking GFRC inventory into Whitman security, took in the Stack's auction preview. Focus was on bust and seated offerings during lot viewing. I don't know how to say this in a manner that is political correct....I was completely disgusted with many of the Seated coins in PCGS holder. I'm not speaking about 1-2 random coins but rather the majority of the Seated quarter and and some of the Seated half dollars. These were not marginal coins but obviously cleaned bright pieces that had no reason to be certified by PCGS. All were in new holders. Rich Uhrich was sitting next to me at the Stack's preview and had the same opinion. We went to dinner and wondered who submitted these piece to PCGS as obviously if GFRC submitted them, they would be returned in Details, Cleaned holders.....
Today's observations reinforces my decision to move away from PCGS and towards NGC. Current PCGS grading on circulated seated material is all over the place and the Stack's lot viewing took their variance to a new level. This can be so confusing to new collectors entering the marketing and reinforces the need to work with a trusted dealer. Today, I am submitting several pieces from the Maine Collection to NGC for show grading.
It is important that collectors learn to grade each Seated denomination coupled with judging eye appeal to ensure that purchases will be a long term store of value. Having said that, it is time to start another day, have breakfast and head to the Whitman show. Please check back tomorrow for a show report and listing of Newps. I will be checking emails throughout the day or you may call me <207-329-9957> to reserve coins that are on sale at the Baltimore show.
Today's featured coin an the 1844 dime that arrived this past Saturday. It is a consigned piece and resides in an older blue label PCGS holder. Contrary to yesterday's Stack's obversations, this piece is accurately graded and choice original. The piece comes from an advanced collection and all of the coins from this individual are worth close inspection.
October 29, 2014
It is late on Tuesday evening and I'm still loading more Newps on price lists. One of the more interesting acquisitions at the Denver show was the following 1867 half dime. A quick review of CoinFacts revealed how rare this date is in circulated grades. PCGS has only certified 6 piece between G4 and EF40 which is amazing. I bought this piece as part of a partial half dime set including 1844-O small O medal turn reverse, 1853 No Arrows and 1863 along with others in the lot. Many of the pieces will be offered at Baltimore show including this 1867 example. Surfaces show an old cleaning and have retoned. It is likely that most Dansco album half dime sets are missing this date; now is a good time to fill that hole.
October 28, 2014
This is the last day for website updates and order shipments before driving to Baltimore early tomorrow morning. I'm trying to load as many Denver Newps and consigned pieces as possible but will fall short. The balance of new acquisitions will be loaded after the Baltimore show. Yesterday was such a busy day that I failed to pay attention to The Eugene Gardner Part II sale and have no idea what the Seated dimes sold for. It has been that crazy here and today will be no different given an Auburn Lakes Association board meeting at 10:15am (our Florida condo home).
I'm loading some really nice early type pieces across all denominations and please check back by end of day to see if something strikes your fancy before it is displayed at the Baltimore show. The new Seated dime consignment is particularly special given these pieces are fresh to market from an advanced collection. Please pay attention to the 1837 F-101a, the 1844 and the 1865-S F-102; the latter being one of the most original pieces I've seen in a long time. Yes, it has a flat head but this is the characteristic of F-101 and F-102 1865 San Francisco strikes. Also posted is the new 1860-O PCGS VF25 CAC that is really special and belongs in an advanced collection. For Seated quarters, the 1848 PCGS AU50 OGH is already sold and please check other new offerings.
Gerry Fortin Rare Coins will be at Table 1505 at the Whitman Baltimore show. I proud to have substantially improved inventory quality and hope existing customers and LSCC members will stop by to say hello. Greg Johnson will be my table assistant and during the slower moments, we will be discussing how to make progress on the www.seatedquartervarieties.com website. The hobby needs incremental online numismatic resources to aid new collectors. We are in the Wikipedia age and the transition from hardbound books to online digital information is upon us.
A reminder that the Baltimore LSCC regional meeting will be held Friday at 9:00am in Room 301. This will be a historic event as the LSCC releases the new large format color Gobrecht Journal to those members in attendance. There will be a specially printed privy label available at the meeting to commemorate the event and those copies released at the meeting. You don't want to miss the LSCC meeting if attending the Baltimore show. Trust me on this point.
My laptop is traveling to Baltimore to enable daily show reports as done in Denver. However, there will be no Daily Blog on Wednesday morning due to a 10 hour drive and wish to avoid the morning Boston rush hour traffic on I-495.
Today's featured coin is the 1865-S F-102 Seated dime that arrived on Saturday and is consigned from an advanced collection. You are invited to view the large images by clicking on the below picture. Also check my F-102 web-book plate coin as a comparing. F-102 strikes are consistently flat and please do not rule out this piece due to striking characteristics as this would be a regrettable mistake......I have never seen an F-102 specimen with a full head!
October 27, 2014
Greetings from Maine! Returned to wonderfully cooked dinner and watched the KC-SF game on Sunday evening. I really enjoyed seeing Bumgarner pitch a shutout against KC; this guy was so dominant and made the task look effortless. I'm supporting the San Francisco Gaints in this series. While on the MLB topic, there are rumours afloat that the Boston Red Sox will be after Shields in the off season. Boston must purchase or trade for #1 and #2 starting pitchers to rebuild their 2014-2015 rotation. Maybe Lester will find his way back to the East Coast?
In between KC-SF innings, I went through the mail. The two promised consignments had arrived and proud to be offering these pieces to GFRC customers online and at the Baltimore show. Maine weather is cooperating today so will be able to photograph the Denver show Newps, Jim Poston's consigned inventory and these two consignments. Following are new consigned pieces;
3 Cent Silver: 1865 PCGS MS63 CAC...this is the CoinFacts plate coin.
Seated Dimes: 1837 F-101a PCGS AU50 OGH choice original; 1844 PCGS EF40 choice original; 1858-O PCGS MS62 OGH Eliasberg; 1858-S F-102 PCGS VF20 OGH; 1865-S F-102 PCGS EF40 choice and undergraded.
Draped Bust: 1806 VF25 O-106 R4 choice
Seated Dollar: 1865 PCGS VG08 choice, only one VG8 certified at PCGS
I'm going to do my best to get all orders out the door tomorrow while loading as many new Newps, consignments and the balance of the Maine Collection bust halves by the end of today.
Today's featured coin is 1818/17 O-102 bust half from the Maine Collection. This is an incredible piece and will be graded at Baltimore show. I'm expecting either AU55 or AU58 grade; please contact me if there is interest on this piece. Pricing will be adjusted once I have the "official" grade from NGC.
October 26, 2014
The 2nd Denver Coin Expo show is in the history books. It was a decent show for GFRC as I manage to sell some pieces from the Maine Collection and raise cash going into Baltimore next week. Jim Poston's slabbed consignment totals 22 pieces; all are Seated and Bust and consistent with the quality coins I strive to offer.
The major news from Saturday was the additional of a near gem circulated 1860-O 10c PCGS VF25 CAC to inventory and an 1867 VG8 5c. The latter is part of a larger lot purchased yesterday including 1838-O, 1844-O 180 degree rotation, 1853 NA, 1863 and a few other better dates... These are raw pieces and of reasonable quality for Dansco set collectors. Finally, I took in an 1806 draped bust 25c VG8 Accugrade that is accurately graded as part of a transaction. I don't know which is the rarer item these days, the 1806 draped bust piece or the Accugrade holder.
I'm traveling back to Maine today and have just two days to post Newps, package and ship orders, prepare TPG submissions and then pack up the coins for a drive to Baltimore on Wednesday. The Baltimore Whitman show has one of the best managed bourse floors in the country. I'm looking forward to the LSCC club dinner on Thursday evening, then the regional meeting on Friday morning at 9:00am. The large size color Gobrecht Journal release at the meeting will be a historical event. Each club member in attendance will receive his Gobrecht Journal with the option to have Editor Bill Bugert or the authors to inscribe their copy.
My laptop is traveling with me to Baltimore so that the Daily Blog can continue during the Whitman show.
October 25, 2014
Friday's retail crowd was mostly focused on 20th century coins, Morgans and gold as I experienced at the spring Denver show. Jim spent a good part of the day working wholesale deals while I did some retail sales and careful buying. The 1839 PCGS EF45 and 1872 PCGS EF40 halves mentioned in yesterday's blog sold today as just too nice to sit in a case for long.
Today's Newps include 1832 5c EF40, 1821 Sm Date 10c PCGS AU50 and choice original, 1861 10c Type I Obv ANACS 62 (can you believe a new die pair with heavy polish lines?), 1848 25c PCGS50 OGH and 1884-O $1 PCGS63 dual sided toner with beautiful obverse rainbow arc.
Also today, online retail brought a customer who wishes to purchase the majority of the Maine Collection bust halves. You will note that most pieces with prices and attributions are on hold and I must find time to finish pricing the balance of the set.
I'm pleased to announce another consignment is in transit and will be available for Baltimore show. The three pieces include 1865 3C Silver PCGS MS63 CAC, 1806 50c O-106 VF30 original and 1865 $1 PCGS VG8.
Today's LSCC regional meeting was weakly attended with four individuals including myself. Attending were W. David Perkins, Jim Poston and Steve Gupta. They received a preview of Gobrecht Journal issue #121 in its new large size color format via Bill Bugert's print ready PDF file. We also went through Len's Augburger's Liberty Seated denomination guessing game based on macro images. This fun exercise proved to be a useful teaching aid for learning the subtle design characteristics of each denomination or special varieties.
Jim and I took a break for this table photo; note the new Gerry Fortin Rare Coins backdrop developed by Jim Poston.
October 24, 2014
Dealer day at Denver show was generally quiet but I did manage to secure several retail sales including the pretty 1890 PCGS64 quarter purchased at Chicago ANA. Bourse floor size was reduced from two rooms (main and back rooms) to just the main room. I believe this was a positive step by Chuck Hayes as no dealer wished to be placed in the expo center's back room with most of the retail traffic happening in the front room. The bourse floor has a good cross section of local and national dealers and free dinner and beers were a nice close to setup day.
As usual, I searched the floor seeking the best available Seated and Bust material that was competitively priced and did well considering my fussy standards. Newps are as follows;
Seated 25c..1852-O PCGS VF20 CAC old album tone and 1878-CC PCGS25 choice original
Bust 50c..1838 NGC AU55 GR-4 luster with light tone
Seated 50c..1839 WD PCGS45 toned gem (SOLD), 1842 Med Date NGC MS63 CAC choice and 1872 PCGS40 also choice original (SOLD).
After the Denver show, we will add select pieces from Jim's inventory to GFRC price lists. Following is quick peek into potential new offerings;
Seated 10c..1845-O NGC35 choice toning, 1864-S NGC58 even gray, 1871-S PCGS15 nice example....all three are above average in terms of strike and blemish free surface quality
Bust/Seated 25c..1819 PCGS30 Sm 9 CAC choice toning, 1835 PCGS VF30 med gray, 1842 PCGS AU50 OGH light gray, 1867 NGC EF40 gem original....the latter piece is well above average and just back from NGC with no CAC attempt.
Bust/Seated 50c..1810 NGC AU50 luster and color, 1826 NGC EF45 choice, 1861 PCGS45 CAC original gray, 1864 PCGS VF35 light gray and 1876-CC PCGS45 CAC choice original.....again strong offerings by Jim Poston
Today bring retail customers and an LSCC regional meeting at 1:00pm in the combination restaurant/seminar room. I'm looking forward to meeting western region club members and providing an LSCC club update along with "Name the Liberty Seated denomination" game.
The featured coin of the day is an 1872-CC Seated half dollar graded PCGS VF35 and the WB-7 die pairing. This is a choice example with the rich original toning that I strive to locate.
October 23, 2014
Greetings from Denver and looking forward to a great Coin Expo. I enjoyed a strategy session dinner with Jim Poston late night and we are positioned to announce and launch GFRC eBay store subsidiary at the Denver Coin Expo. So what does this mean to existing Gerry Fortin Rare Coins and Dr J Coins (eBay) customers? First the combined forces provide a broader inventory selection of quality bust and seated material as Jim and I are buying in two different geographical regions and, as a result, enjoy complimentary sources of new material. Our quality standards for original problem free coins are well aligned. Second, the eBay outlet will provide an incremental sale outlet for Gerry Fortin Rare Coins consignors who wish to quickly convert duplicates into cash. I will continue to manage all online sales and customer interfacing at the SeatedDimeVarieties.com and GerryFortinRareCoins web links while Jim is handling eBay sales channel and customer service.
Jim and I spent several hours working through his Newps and after the Denver/Baltimore Coin Expos, you will see these added to my online price lists. In reality, the partnership brings Jim Poston to Gerry Fortin Rare Coins as a top consignor. There will be some operational details to smooth out during November but I am confident that the end results will a substantial improvement in the amount and range of coins offered while maintaining my fussy quality standards.
A reminder that we are at Table 210 and please stop by to say hello and view an expectional offerring of early type coins.
Today's featured coin is a choice 1838 Small Stars seated dime residing in PCGS AU53 holder. This piece was struck with late die state dies as the obverse die crack is well established and the reverse die crack at STATE(S OF AM)ERICA is evident. Most Small Star dimes are seen with lightly toned silver gray surfaces and this piece is typical.
October 22, 2014
Heading to Portland airport in a few hours so this morning's blog will be brief. Nearly all Bust halves from the Maine Collection are online and worked late last evening to complete a portion of the attributions and asking prices. My apology for taking so long and trying my best to balance GFRC admin and numismatic tasks along with Seated dime website and LSCC responsibilities. Open registry and new variety listings are on hold again.
I'm pleased to announce another important Seated dime consignment will arrive this weekend. The consignor is an advanced collector and decided to offer several duplicates to raise cash and pursue incremental upgrades. Following are the forecasted consigned dimes;
1837 PCGS AU50 OGH, 1844 PCGS EF40, 1858-S PCGS VF20 OGH, 1865-S PCGS EF40 F-102, 1858-O PCGS MS62 Eliasberg.
While on the consignor subject, I've lost hope that the previously mentioned Seated dime consignment from Ohio collector (1863 PCGS MS63, 1867 PCGS MS64 and 1866-S) will be shipped any time soon.
Denver Coin Expo kicks off tomorrow with dealer setup and wholesale trading. I'm looking forward to the event and will be able to update the price list each day on sold items and announce Newps here in the Daily Blog.
Today's featured coin is from the Maine Collection Bust half set (which is traveling to Denver with me). This 1819/8 Overton-101 is a nice example of the original pieces found in this set. Surfaces are choice with light to medium gray patina. I will try to complete the price list updates for this set while in Denver.
October 21, 2014
This is one of those morning where I sit at the laptop and seek inspiration for another Daily Blog edition. Today's tasks are mostly geared towards Denver Coin Expo preparations and ensuring that customer's packages are in the mail and coins not traveling with me are in the bank vault.
Yesterday saw the sale of the 1806 O-110 R6 bust half and the posting of nearly all Bust halves from the Maine Collection. Three inquiries on the 1806 half were received within one hour's time and one individual made a command decision to purchase the piece at my asking price. Having Steve Hermann's AMBPR44 document was essential for establishing fair valuation along with discussion with my good friend W.David Perkins. The Maine Collection bust halves are a mixed bag with combination of pretty original pieces and some that have seen old time cleanings and then retoned. If time allows today, I will try to have attributions and some descriptions online and yes, asking prices. All depends on how quickly the Denver show preparations can be wrapped up and then packing for tomorrow's flights. Speaking of flying, I simply hate to fly these day with the TSA screening of GFRC coins, cramped conditions on UA regional jets and ongoing potential for flight delays. After racking up 2.5 million lifetime miles on UA alone, it is no wonder that car and train transport seems so attractive; much slower but provides a higher degree of freedom and independence if one is not geared to fast paced business meeting schedules.
Also squeezed in yesterday were evaluations of the Two Cent and Liberty V Nickel set in the Maine Collection. Both have a substantial number of choice pieces including the key dates. Working through the copper 1/2 cent and 1 cent sets will take time and is targeted for after Baltimore show. Finally, the Eric Streiner love token hoard is on the back burner and hopefully I can get to these coins by middle or late November. Once December arrives, then focus shifts to migrating GFRC business to our Venice Florida home for the winter and immediately afterwards, the FUN show.
Several GFRC customers emailed last night and reported their intentions to mail new consignments later this week.
My laptop is coming along with me to Denver so Daily Blog reports will be published from the show.
Today's featured coin was acquired at the Manchester NH show and is about as original as possible for an early Liberty Seated dime. This 1838-O F-102 piece is covered with deep original patina and well represents the late die state nature of the dies employed to strike it. It is graded NGC AU58 and approved by CAC. Again this is a no question strictly original dime for the advanced collector.
October 20, 2014
GFRC is entering a busy period as the Denver Coin Expo is this week followed by the Baltimore show next week. I will be at table 210 in Denver Thursday through Saturday and table 1505 in Baltimore. If you are attending either show, please make a point of stopping by to say hello.
Based on the feedback from yesterday's blog, I've decided to break up the Maine Collection Bust half dollar set and offer pieces individually via price list. Selling these halves is important towards funding the purchase of the copper portion of this collection. To that end, I was up very late last night loading images onto a new price list specifically for this set. Goal is to feature the set in its entirety to allow appreciation of the consistent old time toning. Some pieces have been wiped and will be noted as such. Images are in larger 500x500 format for close inspection. The next 48 hours will be incredibly busy and will attempt to have the entire set listed and properly described before flying to Denver on Wednesday morning. The collection can be viewed at the following link and same on the For Sale page.
Besides the Bust half dollar collection, today's goals are to package and ship more orders and determine which portion of GFRC inventory will be brought to Denver. If there are coins on the price list that may interest you, then this is the time to placed them on hold before two signficant shows. I will ship new orders on October 27 and then the following Tuesday after the Baltimore show.
Speaking of the Baltimore show, the LSCC announced that the all new color and large format Gobrecht Journal will be available to club members at the LSCC regional meeting on Friday October 31. Meeeting is at 9:00am in Room 301. This will be a historical club meeting and LSCC members are encouraged to have their freshly printed GJs inscribed by Editor Bill Bugert and authors in attendance. Non members can secure a Journal copy with a $20 membership payment at the regional meeting or on the Baltimore bourse floor at club table 1612.
Today's featured coin is from the Maine collection. This 1807 bust quarter sports nice remaining details regardless of an old time cleaning and having retoned. There are several reverse lines. If not placed on hold in the next few days, it will probably be sold to a wholesale dealer at Denver. Offers are welcomed.
October 19, 2014
Attributing Draped and Capped Bust halves can be lots of fun but is also tedious. I mentioned to Diane at dinner that the past week has felt like graduate school as learning bust silver and early half cent and large cent surface conditions and die varieties is a substantial undertaking in a short period of time. The Maine Collection provides the coins by which to practice attribution methods. Currently my desk features the great variety thomes including Parsley, Cohen, Noyes and Grellman; the latter three is pristine condition borrowed from Eddie on Thursday.
Yesterday brought an important finding in the Maine Collection; the type set 1806 bust half was attributed as O-110 and with R6 rarity. This is the featured coin of the day at the end of the Blog. Attributing this piece was straightforward as Rev H has stemless berries and weakness at (OF) while the star alignment on Obverse 6 is easily verified. A review of Steve Hermann's AMBPR44 indicates this variety is most challenging and warrants a substantial premium.
Maine experienced cloud cover for most of the day but there was a break for about a hour at noon time. I took this opportunity to photograph the entire Capped bust set pieces. Then between 9:00 to 12:00pm, I started the attribution process with Parsley and the Peterson books; the latter purchased from Glenn at Chicago ANA. Ok, 1807, 1808, 1809 and 1810 pieces was easily attributed but once hitting 1811, then the confusion occurred. Maybe I was just tired. The Peterson book indicates that a crossbar die line extends into the right wing for O-102/O-103 and my 1811 had this marker. But when looking at the obverse, it was not the 1811/10 as the dot between 81 and the spike above Liberty's cap were no where to be found. Then using Parsley, I checked all the small 8 obverses and matched date/denticle positions confirming Obverse 4. I went to bed thinking maybe, just maybe lightning had struck twice in one day. But this morning, I confirmed that my 1811 is O-105 due to the dot in the reverse upper crossbar lines. Feedback for Glenn Peterson is that Reverse B and D both have the same top crossbar extension into the right wing and should not be employed as a key marker for O-102/O-103.
Today will bring more attention to the Bust halves in the Maine Collection and whether to wholesale the set or breaking it up and offering individual pieces to GFRC customers. I'm leaning towards breaking the set up and using these items to enhance offerings on the GFRC Bust half dollar price list. Many of the pieces have pretty old album toning as one would expect after residing in Wayte Raymond holders.
The featured coin of the day is the O-110 1806 Draped Bust half from the Maine Collection. As mentioned in the price list description, this piece has uniform light gray patina and is blemish free. I grade the piece F12 and if not sold by Baltimore, it will be submitted to NGC for holdering and variety attribution at the show. I'm presently indicating the asking price as POR (Price On Request) and please email or call if there is serious interest.
October 18, 2014
Today's blog will be a series of short thoughts or updates; some GFRC related along with world news sourcing comments. But before I launch into the blog, expressing thanks to daily readers is warranted. The blog popularity has grown with an average of 130 downloads per day and keeps me motivated to deliver a new edition each day. Again thank-you to GFRC visitors, readers and customers.
Yesterday was a very long day starting at 6:30am and not finishing until 11:30pm with breaks for daily 30 minute walk, cooking dinner and watching evening news and the Big Bang Theory on local FOX channel. All paid orders were packaged and will be mailed this morning. More selections from Maine Collection Part 1 were photographed and are online; the 1795 Flowing Hair dollar is already sold. I also spent time reconciling consignment accounts with checks going into the mail before leaving for Denver.
Today's priority is preparing Baltimore show PCGS and NGC submissions for customers and loading more Maine Collection pieces on price list. I don't explicitly advertise this point, but I do provide submission service for GFRC coins purchased by customers and also for customer's personal coins. Managing these orders take time and requires detailed tracking to ensure error free service.
Changing the subject to world news.....traveling and living abroad has been one of my life's highlights since spending extended time in Malaysia, Singapore and of course, mainland China. I find reading United States news websites (MSNBC for example) to be underwhelming as the reporting is so parochial and one needs to suffer through constant advertising videos. I highly recommend BBC.com for the most informative and thorough world news reporting. While living in Asia, I relied on the BBC coupled with CNN as the primary information sources for United States events. A visit to BBC.com may well be worth the time invested as the British have not succumbed to the blatant online advertising that Americans are forced to endure. Collecting world event perspectives from outside the United States provides balance to the communications from our own government.
Today's featured coin is from my collection and was slabbed by NGC in the August timeframe. I bought this piece believing it was lower grade mint state but NGC graded it AU55 and yes, there is some faint rub that I missed. Asking price is well below my purchase price; there are times when grading mistakes are made and learning from these judgment errors brings about improved skills. This piece needs to sell since being a duplicate and has a hammered strike and original patina. NGC was tough at AU55 and AU58 is probably the correct grade. Offers welcomed.
October 17, 2014
This morning I received an email from a GFRC customer and long time LSCC member. MV states in his opening paragraph, "I try to read your blog every day, and it's likely that many others are doing the same. Your September 26 observations concerning grade inflation were especially instructive, and the analysis provided of the business model was very persuasive. There is a general wariness and disappointment expressed by experienced collectors that standards have slipped considerably and things are not what they used to be. But the evidence provided by three dimes used in Brian Greer's grading guide and their current encapsulated grades adds a specificity that is usually lacking. This is getting down to cases." The individual then shares his own experiences with 1794 large cents including his research indicating grade inflation for these venerable copper pieces.
I spent yesterday afternoon at the home of my earliest numismatic mentor and thoroughly enjoyed the time with Eddie. We had not seen each other for at least ten years as I was traveling the world and he had moved to Georgia. Six months ago, I met Eddie at a small Maine coin show (he'd moved back to Portland area) and immediately we renewed our friendship but in a completely different manner. The inexperienced coin collector of the late 1980s with his little boy at local coin club meetings had matured and was now a national dealer. Eddie, on the otherhand, was still as sharp as a needle with his wit and knowledge of United States and foreign coins along with tokens. We sat at his dining room table and did a show and tell for 3 hours. Eddie reviewed the Maine Collection Part 2 copper coins and advised what he believed to be original pieces and those that were cleaned/retoned. He advised that the 1794 1/2 cent was known for contemporary counterfeits while we both recognized that the 1804 large cent had a well done altered date. Then Eddie shared a sampling of his bank vault boxes. There were some special highlights including a 15 piece CA fractional gold collection in mint state, Chinese pattern counterfeits and most memorable, a 1797 British copper 2 pence worked into a Trade Dollar like opium box. Then there was Eddie's complete set of Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corp Tokens of 1935 that were all original and graded by NGC. Indeed it was a touching and special afternoon and more of these sessions are planned.
Today's focus is adding more Maine Collection Part 1 pieces to the price list including half dollars and dollars from the types sets. Get ready for some great offerings.
The featured coin of the day is also from the Maine Collection though not a high grade piece. This 1875-CC 20cent piece sports rich gray patina that is typical of the Maine Collection silvers along with blemish free surfaces. It is the Brunner-Frost 2 variety which accounts for the majority of the 1875 Carson City mintage.
October 16, 2014
My daily life is a series of habits. Up at 6:00am, take Buddy out for his morning needs and then prepare breakfast and coffee for consumption while reading world news. Then inspiration for the Daily Blog usually appears. This morning's news and email from a West Coast friend brought flashbacks to the movie Contagion. I won't go into details but we should realize that government agency officials are required to be internet/television actors while they attempt to lead change throughout their organizations. Leading change is never as straightforward as people believe it to be. During my past life as a semiconductor executive, I would often refer to changing an organization as trying to turn a super tanker. One knows where the vessel needs to go but shifting course requires dealing with the existing momentum that is huge and difficult to overcome. Will leave this topic here.....
World markets are getting slammed as oil prices continues to fall and the Ebola reality starts to take hold. Owning oil and airlines stocks is not a pretty situation. Onward to happier GFRC topics!
Part 1 of the Maine Collection is purchased and took receipt of Part 2 for evaluation and quotation. Part 2 is indeed special with 23 pristine Wayte Raymond double slide pages including complete 2c set (1864 Sm Motto F+ and 1872 EF), 5c Liberty set (1885/1886 Gem AU) and Flying Eagle/Indian Cent collection (no 1856 but 1877 original EF). Then there are the 1/2 cent and 1 cent collections both starting with 1794 examples along with the previously mentioned Fugio cent in original VF30 and some neat hard time tokens. I'm targeting the Part 2 purchase by mid November as need to sell portions of Part 1 to balance cash flow. Will continue to provide updates on this topic in the Blog.
Posted the consigned 1875 F-107 and 1889 F-103 dimes yesterday afternoon with the 1889 selling within 2 hours; it is going to an advanced collection. Then started to load selections from Maine Collection Part 1 with the very cool 1836 B-3d late die state bust quarter selling immediately and heading to NGC grading at Baltimore for the customer. More Part 1 coins will be posted today and please check back often. Part 1 is mostly types sets and a near complete Capped Bust half dollar collection.
Next week is the Denver Coin Expo. Will be leaving for Denver on Wednesday and sharing booth 210 with Jim Poston. Jim is working hard on GFRC marketing materials and eBay store launch. Our cooperation will become apparent starting after the November Baltimore show.
Today's featured coin is from the Maine Collection. While not rare, this 1860-O half dime has incredibly original toning consistent with the 1833 bust dime posted in yesterday's blog. I only wish the collection held complete or even partial Liberty Seated sets when seeing the condition of these type coins.
October 15, 2014
Yesterday brought a Top 100 Seated dime consignment including 1875 F-107 Misplaced Date (NGC MS63) and 1889 F-103 RPD (PCGS AU55). Both are original pieces with the 1889/1889 being an R6 variety and worthy of an advanced Top 100 Varieties set. I've already photographed both and they will be online by end of day.
Once Maine Collection Part 1 is purchased this afternoon, initial offerings from this important Wayte Raymond holdered collection will reach the price lists by end of day. I worked late last night attributing bust coinage pieces and located a really cool 1836 B-3d (original VF30) with LDS obverse as illustrated in Early Quarter Dollars of the United States Mint. The obverse die is buckled with shelf metal on Liberty's chest. Working through each bust type coin attribution does take some time while quickly learning the respective references.
Orders received during the latter part of last week will be shipped this morning. Monday was a bank holiday and unable to secure coins in the vault until yesterday morning. I appreciate the many orders and also the record number of Daily Blog downloads on Monday.
In Tuesday's blog, dropping oil prices were briefly mentioned along with Saudi reaction. The Oil Cartel has a significant issue on its hands since the United States is once again the largest oil producing nation. Since U.S. oil imports will decrease, the Saudis must find an alternate market for their oil which will be Asia. If this is the case, then let's consider the impact to the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency. The global oil trade is conducted in US dollars and easily guarantees its reserve currency status. Will there be consequences if the Saudis negotiate separate oil agreements with Asian countries? Obviously China will demand that the RMB be the trade currency as Beijing attempts to position its currency as an alternative to the US dollar. China's imported oil demand will increase unless it suffers a significant recession which is unlikely due to Beijing central control of the economy and ongoing concerns with internal situations that would challenge the Communist Party's control over the masses. Where I am going with these thoughts? Towards the potential value of the US dollar and gold over a 10 year horizon. Will cheap oil help or depress the US dollar exchange rate in global markets and conversely, what will happen to gold prices? These are simple questions but the analysis involves multiple parameters. Here are a few thoughts to consider;
- Less U.S. imported oil means less US dollars leaving the country to circulate as a global reserve currency and probably a higher value for the US dollar with respect to other currencies (supply and demand).
- A stronger US dollar will make United States exports less competitive as the Europe, Yen and RMB weaken.
- A stronger US dollar is deflationary for US economy as major global exporters will once again target the U.S. market for their cheap goods.
- Deflation is feared by central bankers and the response is ZIRP and more QE. Both of these have been instrumental in growing stock market valuations. A strong US dollar also drives foreign investment in US assets.
As one would expect from lower oil prices, global inflation will be non existent as the price of commodities will also decrease since oil plays such an important role in mining, for example. One could then expect that gold and silver prices will not recover during a cheap oil timeframe.
This discussion is just food for thought and based on current readings. It is important to stay abreast of global financial changes as the United States is dependent on the behavior of its trading partners and other countries. Please remember that many United States corporations are also international companies.
The featured coins of the day is a wonderful 1833 JR-6 capped bust dime from the Maine Collection. The old time original surfaces and toning are obvious. One could easily become addicted to the intricate details of these early type coins.
October 14, 2014
Amazing how the days quickly move along when working as sole business proprietor. Some days are focused on strategic activities while others are mostly administrative. Monday was a strategic day....I registered the domain name GerryFortinRareCoins.com and installed forwarding capability back to SeatedDimeVarieties.com. Now customers can access my website via either domain name. Jim Poston and I spent considerable time on the phone discussing preparations for next week's Denver Coin Expo. Jim is working on our advertising including color booth backdrop and polo shirts. At the end of the day, I was studying website's SEO score and how to improve its visibility with Google search engine. The point? Yesterday was a busy day but not heavily tied to coins themselves.
I spoke with the new consignor who had planned to send 1863, 1867 and 1866-S dimes in high grade. These three pieces were discussed in an earlier blog and raised expectations. I'm sorry to report that those coins still reside with the consignor and the individual is cautious about placing them in the mail. Please accept for apology for raising hopes on these Seated dimes. I will continue discussions with this individual towards securing these pieces but the timing is uncertain.
Today will be an administrative day as retrieving GFRC inventory and the Maine Collection from the bank, then packaging and shipping orders along with starting to load some Maine Collection newps on price lists.
Throughout a business day, I read several news letters to maintain awareness of financial markets and economic conditions. Agora Financial, Mauldin Economics and Seeking Alpha are my financial information sources and would recommend those to customers. Yesterday's major news was indication that the Saudis will not defend the price of oil and will rather continue to pump large volumes at reduced prices. This is a dramatic shift by the largest entity in the Oil Cartel and could bring about a profound change to global economic conditions. One might immediately rejoice with the thought of lower oil prices as heating homes this winter and fueling our cars will be become less expensive. But why will the Saudis not defend the price of a barrel of oil? The answer lies with massive amounts of United States shale oil being pumped at economically viable prices. But what happens if oil drops to $75 per barrel or lower? Will the domestic shale oil producers have a sound business case for drilling more wells and employing expensive fracking techniques? This is a key question facing the United States oil industry. Then there are global implications for Russia, Africa and South America countries that are heavily dependent on oil exports to fund their economies. What will happen to these countries in an era of cheap oil? How about the efforts to slow global warming in an era of cheap oil? Lots to think about here and I will continue this discussion in tomorrow's blog.
Today's featured coin was purchased at the NH Coin Expo and though a common date, screams originality. Seated coinage in this preservation state is difficult to locate and when found, is added to GFRC inventory. I'm most proud of offering as many strictly original coins as possible on price lists.
October 13, 2014
Welcome to a new week! This morning's important Blog news is that I've reached purchase agreement for the major type sets and Bust half dollar portion of the Maine Collection. Formal transaction will take place this Wednesday along with consignment of Half Cent, Large Cent and Indian Cent portion for evaluation and quotation. Following are highlights of the Type Sets in the Maine Collection with my grade estimates. All have been stored in pristine Wayte Raymond thick cardboard/double slide pages for many decades. The majority of pieces are original but some have old cleanings and have retoned. Portions of the collection will be submitted to TPG at Baltimore show.
1c through 10c Type Set Selections
1864 1c choice AU: 1865 2c BU; 3CN 1867 EF45; 3CS 1864 Proof 63 beautiful tone; 1829 5c VF30, 1837 5c Choice VF30; 1838 5c EF45; 1854 5c EF, 1860-O 5c Choice AU+; 1833 10c AU58 dark tone; 1853WA 10c choice AU55
25c Type Set Selections
1807 VG+ with reverse lines; 1821 25c VG; 1836 EF40 toned; 1853WA AU; 1856 Choice AU;1908-D AU; 1917 T2 VF
50c Type Set Selections
1795 F old clean, marks; 1806 F; 1823 Choice F; 1838 VF old clean; 1853WA EF, 1875-CC Choice AU58; 1917 Choice AU
$1 Type Set Selections
1795 VG/F light old clean otherwise problem free, 1803 Toned F, 1846 EF/AU old clean, 1877-S original VF30, 1903 Morgan AU+
Pilgrim, Maine, Lexington, Sesquicentennial and York....BU
The Capped Bust half dollar collection will probably be sold outright before the Baltimore show as I do not plan to break up this set.
No progress yet on the Eric Streiner Love Token hoard....will try to work on this project later today after some LSCC duties.
Today's featured coin is an 1862 PCGS AU50 Seated quarter purchased at Manchester (NH Coin Expo). Variety is Briggs 2-B which comes with a heavily polished reverse die that nearly effaces QUAR DOL and leaves lots of die polish lines behind the eagle. Surfaces are lustrous with some light toning at the rims. 1862 is a better date in the series though typically grouped with common dates.
October 12, 2014
A local Maine town made MSNBC national news this morning and not for a good reason. Mechanic Falls is 11 miles north of my home and experienced a Halloween hayride accident with 20 injuries and 1 fatality. Hayrides are a core part of the Fall season and a main attraction at local fruit orchards. Some orchards will go to great lengths to create the spooky haunted Halloween hayrides with hired hands as ghosts and zombies.
I don't often go to the movies these days but Diane recommended that we see "The Judge" yesterday afternoon. It is a terrific movie with Robert Downey Jr. being the consummate bad boy but brilliant lawyer and Robert Duvall as the cancer striken controlling father and small town judge. The critics have been tough on this film spending too much time on Robert Downey's character and not focusing on the intricate script and multi level plots. This is one of those films where you sit in the theater chart for 5-10 minutes for reflection and emotional recovery before returning to everyday life.
Back to numismatics......
The 1833 PCGS40 capped bust and 1867 dimes acquired at Manchester are already sold. The balance will be photographed today and posted to their respective price lists. Hopefully, some progress will be made Monday/Tuesday towards purchasing the silver portion of the Maine Collection this week. There are some fantastic type coins in this collection and many will need to be submitted to the TPGs at Baltimore show.
If all goes as planned today, I will spend the evening with the Eric Streiner Love Token hoard and start to examine and catalog the contents. This hoard is an excellent sampling of seated coinage used by Victorian era jewelry makers. We know that Seated dimes are by far the most common denomination as well sized for necklaces and bracelets. Seated quarters and half dollars are typically seen with single or double initial brochures with mounted clasp hardware. More on this topic later....It is the intention of Eric and myself that the hoard will be sold to GFRC and allow me to be one of the largest online love token dealers in the country.
Thank you to everyone who visits this blog on a regular basis as I received lots of positive feedback at the Manchester show concerning these daily ramblings.
Today's featured coin is a choice original 1844 Seated quarter graded PCGS VF30 and approved by CAC. I believe the images well represent the quality and strictly original surfaces.
October 11, 2014
Back from Manchester Coin Expo; the event was a success for the LSCC and GFRC.
First Ernie Botte needs to be recognized for staging an excellent show. EBW Promotions currently manages 5 different local shows in northern New England with Manchester being the largest. Bourse preparations, dealer communications, and club support were all top notch including a large security force.
Public attendence on Friday was strong through most of the day with the LSCC club table and GFRC having continuous visitors and customers. John Frost and Dennis Fortier did one heck of a job with club table exhibits and reaching out to everyone who visited. The LSCC/BCCS regional meeting featured the LSCC's second webcasting attempt and John Frost's preparations and meeting execution were rock solid. Though attendance was about 10 people, the recorded portion of the webcast will allow posting the event on the LSCC website once John determines a method for video capture transfer to me. As the new club president, I could not be more proud of the LSCC Regional Meeting staff and their commitment to our club mission.
GFRC also enjoyed a strong show from both sales and Newps perspective. Several customers provided feedback including the following quote from an email received this morning, "Gerry..... your inventory was far and away the best array of quality, vintage coins at the Expo.....although I cannot rule out the gold offerings as they looked quite impressive, too. I am not much into gold, but there were a few dealers on-site with ample graded gold pieces. To my eyes and from my POV, most of the material looks so generic, so over-worked and so non-historical (even the gold)." Feedback like this reinforces the GFRC mission to locate and offer Investment Grade coins while mentoring collector/customers who appeared at the table seeking advice on whether to have their raw early type coins graded and submit to CAC.
The Newps...I was most selective at the show and purchasing only those coins that featured choice surfaces and eye appeal at a fair price.
Dimes: 1833 PCGS EF40 hammered strike and looks EF45; 1838-O NGC58 CAC F-102 choice original with thick crusty patina; 1843 EF40 choice original, 1867 original G4 and problem free
Quarters: 1854WA PCGS50 CAC choice original, 1856 AU53 choice original; 1856-O VF30 choice gray; 1862 PCGS AU50 luster, light gray; 1876-S EF40 choice, eye appeal; 1878 VF25 choice, eye appeal.
Breaking News......The Eric Streiner Love Token Hoard...350+ love tokens across all Liberty Seated denominations
I met Eric Streiner at last year's Manchester show via Bill Nagel. At the time, Eric mentioned owning a huge love token hoard accumulated from years of coin lots purchases and asked if I was interested in potential purchase. A year went by and Eric brought the hoard to Manchester. On Friday morning, we spent over an hour inspecting this huge pile of love tokens and wondering about the history surrounding notable pieces and how to handle the hoard. My first thought was from a research perspective and documenting the contents for a Gobrecht Journal article before breaking up the hoard and selling online. The hoard is now in Maine and yet another project to be added to growing backlog.
Today's featured coin is an 1860 New Orleans dime graded PCGS EF40. Last week, I sold the PCGS F12 example leaving just two pieces of this date in inventory; this piece and a VF35 Details specimen. Two individuals inspection this EF40 dime at the Manchester show and commented on the nice problem free surfaces and residual details. GFRC customers are sophisticated and realize the challenge in locating an original 1860-O dime with porosity free original surfaces.
October 9 , 2014
Manchester NH show is upon us and looking forward to dealer trading session this afternoon and retail on Friday. Worked until 11:00pm yesterday to prepare display case layouts and most proud of GFRC quality inventory growth during past six months. If in the market for nice Liberty Seated and Bust coins (or just window shopping), please stop by my table to view the latest acquistions and consignments.
I received an offer on yesterday's featured coin and the 1844-O seated quarter is sold. Please don't hesitate to make reasonable offers on GFRC inventory. Consignors are collectors and the opportunity to exchange a duplicate for cash or credit against other GFRC items is strong motivation to reach a deal.
An email arrived this morning indicating another small Seated dime variety consignment is in transit. I'll publish details early next week. There will be no Daily Blog on Friday due to the Manchester show but check back on Saturday morning for a show report.
Today's featured coin is a Seated dime that could take years to locate at this ideal collector grade level. The collecting community has a reasonable understanding of the 1876-CC Type II Reverse variety and its scarcity due to publicity in Cherrypickers Guide, my Top 100 Varieties and NGC and PCGS listings in their Set Registries. All examples I've seen fall into two groups; circulated G-F and Mint State. One rarely sees a strictly original example in EF or AU. This grade level is typically where most collectors build a nice uniform set. Featured here is the only fully original AU specimen that I've seen and is for sale since my personal collection has frosty and proof like Mint State examples. If not sold by Baltimore, then will be submitted to NGC for grading and Top 100 labeling!
October 8 , 2014
Tuesday was an all around busy day. I'm nearly done evaluating the silver portion of the Maine Collection. The Wayte Raymond holders behaved to their reputation with some of the bust halves having nice ring toning patterns. The heavier toned pieces acquired some subtle blue shading from the storage. The type sets contain many original pieces and a Baltimore submission plan is in order. After the Manchester show, the attention will shift to the copper portion of the collection.
Two small consignments were retrieved yesterday and I'm still waiting for a new consignor to follow through on shipping the Mint State 1864 and 1867 dimes in PCGS holders. One consignment is posted without images and features 1843, 1843-O and 1844 Seated quarters in PCGS VF CAC holders. The three pieces are uniform medium gray and problem free; these will probably sell quickly so please consider once the images are posted. The second consignment is a single but important coin; 1865-S F-104 PCGS VF20 dime. This piece is nice even gray with no question original surfaces and completely problem free. The asking price will be finalized today so dime will be in Manchester inventory. One rarely sees an F-104 die pair specimen in original problem free condition.
The LSCC will hold a regional meeting Friday 2:30pm at the Manchester show. John Frost will be hosting the session along with another webcasting attempt. I'm most proud of the webcasting development effort by Paul Kluth and John Frost. Once the hardware issues can be resolved (effective microphones and video capture), then major LSCC meetings could be recorded and later streamed on demand to club members. Live webcasting many also be possible with adequate Internet bandwidth at major show venue.
Today's feature coin is an 1844-O PCGS EF45 Briggs 3-E Large O quarter. The darker gray patina validates its originality and the eye appeal is quite good with remaining contrast between the lighter devices and gray fields. Interesting in that 1844-O pricing is moderately flat between EF and AU grades but jumps 3x in AU58 (CW Values). This offering has been in inventory for awhile and reasonable offers would be welcomed. This is a piece that I would own in an original EF/AU collection if still actively collecting.
October 7 , 2014
There is significant news for today's Daily Blog. Monday morning was spent in my birth town of Lewiston reviewing an old time collection and negotiating terms for taking it to market. The Maine Collection (an obvious name) was assembled in the late 1950s through 1970s and is housed in pristine Wayte Raymond cardboard/double slide album pages. The collections is substantial with nearly complete 1/2 cent and 1 cent sets (large cents through Indians) per the Wayte Raymond definitions along with Bust half dollar set and multiple early type sets. High on the cool scale were choice Fugio cent, 1795 Flowing hair $, 1818/17 Bust half and gem 1875-CC Seated half among the many pieces reviewed across several hours. I will be conducting a detailed evaluation of the silver portion of the Maine Collection before heading to Manchester show on Thursday followed by the copper sets next week.
While in Lewiston, two Seated dime and quarter consignments arrived as previously mentioned and will to be retrieved from the PO today and described in tomorrow's blog. So lots of new inventory is in the wings at GFRC. Sales are important to balance the incoming Maine Collection and if there is a special coin under consideration in my inventory, this may be a good time to make an offer or discuss extended payment terms. My goal is to place nice early silver into strong collections or help the emerging collectors with well thought out acquisitions that they will be proud to own for years to come.
Today's feature coin is the last of the three pieces from an advanced collector's consignment. We've seen the 1840(O) Reverse of 1838 half dollar and the 1838 Bust quarter. Following are images of the 1839 dime graded PCGS AU55 CAC and definitely choice at this grade level. If building a Seated dime date/mintmark set, this is a piece you will want to own and use as a quality baseline when making additional purchases.
October 6 , 2014
Fall has definitely arrived as this morning's temperature was a cool 39F at 6:00am. Yes, 6:00am is when I arise and first duty is taking the dog outside. If not fully awake prior to the outdoor excursion, then the chilled air worked its magic and prepared me for another Daily Blog.
I loaded most of yesterday's Newps on the price list and excited about locating the 1862 3 cent silver contemporary counterfeit. By 11:00pm it was time to call it a day and decided to read Legend Numismatic's market reports for some good feelings about the coin market. As usual, the top end of the market is plowing forward with common date Morgans at ultra high grades selling for some incredible numbers; 1880-S PCGS68 CAC @$35,200 and 1881-S PCGS68+ CAC @45,825 as examples. Then the general market was referred to as a "buyer's market" as prices are sluggish and dealers have too many Drecks and Marginal Widgets. Drecks is not a word that I use as part of everyday vocabulary so I looked up the definition....merchandise that is shoddy or inferior, worthless, unwanted, rubbishly. Interesting, I said to myself as this view about inferior coins is a matter of perspective but still has certain validity given my observations at the small Maine coin show. Nice problem free original early type coins (bust/seated) were no where to be found. Yes, there were bust and seated coins available but they fell into two categories; obviously cleaned or with significant problems and then the subtle group where the coin looks nice and probably original but a close inspection revealed surfaces scratches or other issues that would not allow the piece to be graded at TPG. So all these coins must be Drecks if seeking Investment Grade selections....I get Legend's point from my own perspective. This is the typical coin show landscape for early type collectors seeking Investment Grade coins; superior coins are not available unless a collector works with a speciality dealer who has the knowledge and network to source this type of inventory and is a go to person for selling advanced collector duplicates.
Case in point are three coins consigned from an advanced collector last week and now on the price list; 1839 PCGS55 CAC 10c, 1838 PCGS45 CAC Bust 25c and 1840(O) Rev of 1838 PCGS53 50c. The 1840(O) Rev of 1838 was featured in yesterday's blog and today the 1838 PCGS45 CAC 25c is shown. In my humble opinion, these are coins that should be immediately claimed by individuals building choice type collections or date/mintmark sets. Asking prices may appear to be strong as compared to the guides but superior Investment Grade coins will sell for above the price guides until those published prices catch up. In a tiered market with Investment Grade coins and Drecks, how does one establish a fair price for a coin? The mainstream dealer will try to secure price guide levels for Drecks as a starting point and then provide discounts. My advice is to trust GFRC as I hate the feeling of being buried in a coin (paying too much on long term perspective) and have empathy for collectors in general and GFRC customers. I push my consignors towards what I believe are fair retail asking prices as if I would be purchasing the coin for my collection. There are no large price buffers at GFRC for negotiating or discounting, rather an attempt at fair prices for all parties.
Here is today's featured coin; the 1838 PCGS PCGS45 CAC Bust 25c. Lay-a-ways are an option to acquire this lovely piece.
October 5 , 2014
Today's blog is late since attending a small Maine show and visiting with old dealer friends. I've just returned and first priority was to photograph yesterday's consignment pieces and also the Newps from the show. Maine weather was ideal for photography as the foul weather is gone and sunny skies have returned for peak foilage this weekend.
The list of Newps is short but worth communicating; 1862 3 cent silver contemporary counterfeit VF/EF with 180 deg rotated reverse; 1845 RPD VF35 original 5c, 1833 JR-10 R3 PCGS35 10c and fully original, 1875-CC IW F-109 VF30 10c, 1825 VF30+ original gray 50c; two 1878 7F double sided Morgan rainbow toners. The 1862 3 cent counterfeit is high on the cool scale as the rims are thicker than normal and well raised along with an incused obverse shield.
By end of day, the consignment images will be online along with most of the Newps. There are several chores to be accomplished this afternoon and will be back to coins in the evening. A sincere thank you to everyone who visits the GFRC website on a daily basis, reads the blog and checks the price list. I'm trying to continually offer new selections for customers and friends but being a picky buyer means the inflow of new inventory will be limited. Locating problem free original early type coins is always a challenge but also fun as one never knows what might turn up at local shows.
Today's featured coin of the day is an 1840(O) half dollar graded PCGS AU53. Many times this New Orleans struck half dollar listed as 1840(O) Reverse of 1838 since the reverse die (without an O mintmark) was due to be paired with an 1838 capped bust obverse, which carried the New Orleans mintmark. This variety is an important type coin since struck at New Orleans mint but does not carry the appropriate mintmark. Surfaces are perfect original with the reverse exhibiting all known die cracks.
October 4 , 2014
Today will be a washout in Maine as we are overdue for serious rainfall. The rain is a blessing. Maine has been under a class 3 forest fire alert and I've been unable to burn a large accumulation of brush and branches in the backyard. Living in the countryside on 22 acres means ongoing efforts to control tree growth and harvesting fuel for the woodstove. Our primary source of winter heat remains the woodstove with oil as backup. Though burning wood is considerable effort, the steady heat from a wood stove is unsurpassed during cold winter months. If one feels a tad chilled, then standing by the wood stove warms the body down to the bones.
Switching to coins, this will be a very busy week. Sunday is local coin show then on Monday I will be reviewing an estate coin collection. Consignments are due to arrive early in the week and will be posted before heading to Manchester on Thursday for the New Hampshire Coin Expo. Hopefully in a week's time, GFRC customers will have ample new selections to consider.
Today's blog will be short as the day's focus is on more web-book variety updates and overall upgrading of older scanned images. I would not mind servicing a few order and willing to entertain offers on coins that might fit in your collections.
Yesterday's coin of the day sold quickly as so choice for the grade. The featured coin of the day is an 1853 With Arrows Hubbed Date/Arrows F-115 dime and is a great value and underrated. As numismatic research continues, one of the most recent study areas is rotated dies. Obverse and reverse die alignment can provide important insight into individual production setups at the various mints and this will likely become an additional research topic during the upcoming years. Each time obverse and reverse dies are paired in a striking press, their alignment becomes a signature to characterize that specific production setup. Multiple pairings of the same dies could be identified by differences in reverse rotation. Consider for example, the 1891-O F-102a variety with its double obverse die clashing marks. Those offset die clash marks result from the obverse being paired with two different reverse dies and both setups having clashing events. The small offset in obverse clash marks indicates the setup variance with respect to obverse and reverse die alignment.
October 3 , 2014
There are mornings where no Daily Blog topic is obvious; I will stare at my laptop while drinking coffee and hope for inspiration.....This is one of those mornings. I have a considerable shipping day in front of me and several hours in the bank vault to reorganized my personal collection after the August NGC grading event and the CAC September visit. Then the idea arrived. Why not share the web-book update process for a new variety submission? Many of my customers and colleagues wonder why it takes months to have their new variety discovery posted in the web-book and an explanation may be in order.
Just last night, I posted the new 1873 No Arrows Open 3 F-106 variety with fourth known obverse die. So please allow me to explain the tasks behind the posting; they are presented in logical sequence since I'm an engineer and all aspects of my life must have order and be logical...;)
1. A potential new variety or significant die state is located by yours truly or received as a submission.
2. Validation is necessary and can be straightforward or complex depending on the number of existing varieties for the date and mintmark and the accuracy of my web-book documentation. When the web-book was initially constructed during 2002-2003, the assumption was a reference collection would be always available for validating new varieties. Initially, this seemed feasible but as the scope of the project grew, the amount of dimes in the collection meant storage in bank vault. Therefore I needed to go to the bank and retrieve portions of the reference collection to validate a new submission. With time this approach become too tedious as the bank is 9 miles from my home. So the alternative, was to improve the individual webpage varieties descriptions so the web-book could be the basis for validation and support advanced collectors in their quest to find new varieties. Today, many dates can be well attributed just with the web-book but there are times when I still need to go to the bank for confirmation.
3. Next is photography which is not a big deal as I'm imaging coins almost daily in support of GFRC. But for new varieties, macro imaging on the stereo microscope is necessary. Some collectors report that my macro images are the best in the business. I take about 10 digitial images for the one published in the web-book. Catching the die defect or misplaced date punch at the best lighting angle takes many trials. I will shoot a series of images, load onto the computer and then pick the best candidate.
4. Editting the web-book has become complex due to the amount of inter-connected links. For one new variety, I must update the Date/Mintmark chapter table, build the new webpage, add the variety to its proper Pictorial page and if significant, announce within the New Discoveries page and also mention on the homepage under What's New topic.
Many times there is a sense of relief when I mail back a submission but then I see the growing usage rate as more collectors realize that the web-book can now be used as attribution guide on their smart phones. Tablets and smart phones are omnipresent at coin shows with access to CoinFacts being a popular online destination. Access to my online web-book is similar to CoinFacts and I'm starting to also see collectors and certain dealers using this resource. I continue to update and develop web-book improvements all at no cost to the users. Hopefully Greg Johnson and I can ramp efforts on the Liberty Seated Quarter web-book within the next year as available time is the only barrier.
Today's feature coin is a new purchase and is an 1859 Transitional seated quarter with Type I obverse and Type II reverse. PCGS was conservative with the EF45 grade assignment as this quarter still has ample luster and no blemishes. It is an above average example of the Type I/Type II variety.
October 2 , 2014
I proud to announce that two more consignments were negotiated yesterday. These are small lots but coins are all nice original pieces and consistent with GFRC sales mission. The first is a mint state 1865 3 cent silver graded by PCGS coupled with a nice original gray 1865-S PCGS20 F-104 dime. The latter variety is quite scarce as most 1865-S dimes seen are F-101 and F-102. The second consignmen involved three early date PCGS CAC Seated quarters.
Additional news is that I will have a table at the Manchester show (NH Coin Expo) next week and will be attending a small Maine show this weekend and hope to add some inventory beyond Seated dimes. My goal for the balance of 2014 is to begin expanding 3 cent silver, Bust and Seated half dimes, Seated half dollar inventories, and all denominations in CAC approved holders. This is a sizable goal and your consignments would be sincerely appreciated.
Photography has been on hold this week as Maine has not seen sunny skies since Sunday. Presently it is raining so doubtful I will have any imaging work done today.
Greg Johnson will once again be my table assistant at Baltimore show and Whitman people confirmed Table 1505 for GRFC. Though W.David Perkins and I attempted to secure a corner table for the Fall show, we were unsuccessful but David will be directly behind me at Table 1455. Come FUN and subsequent 2015 major shows, W. David Perkins and I will be sharing tables as much as possible.
Today's feature coin is an 1843/1843 Seated dime residing in ANACS old white holder and graded AU58. I always pay close attention to coins in old ANACS holders as many were conservatively graded and easily cross to major TPG today. The offer piece is in an F-102/F-102a die state with bold date digit repunching and several reverse die cracks present. The toning is gold, rose and blues and typical of old album storage. Overall, this dime would be ideal for Top 100 set, a date and mintmark set or a toned coin collection.
October 1, 2014
Welcome to October! Bill Bugert did another marvelous job assembling the October E-Gobrecht issue and publishing yesterday evening. Readers will immediately note the transition of certain Liberty Seated Collector Club responsibilities and also attempts to embrace new communications technology for club regional meetings. I will discuss this topic further during the President's message in the upcoming Gobrecht Journal due to be published in early November.
As for GFRC news, I received notice from a strong consignor that three nice coins are in transit and should arrive shortly. There are 1839 10c PCGS55 CAC, 1838 Bust 25c PCGS45 CAC and 1840 Medium Letters 50c PCGS53. Also, the arrival of the previously mentioned 1863 PCGS MS63, 1866-S F-102 PCGS45, 1867 PCGS MS64 CAC dimes is anticipated. Registered mail can be slow and unpredictable. So please check back daily for the latest updates.
As promised in the past two blogs, I do wish to share a few thoughts about Kevin Flynn's efforts to write "Authoritative" books on all Liberty Seated series within several year's time. The internet has transformed the world with instant available information. Len Augsburger made this point in his October E-Gobrecht article entitled, "Leaky Faucets and Rare Coin Dealers" and definitely worth reading. Len points out that home repair guidance is omnipresent on the Internet and YouTube videos are common source of information. Quoting directly from Len's article which are always written with dry humor, "The problem with these videos, is that they all lie. They take the repair job, edit it down to about 3 minutes of doing actual work, and everything looks like a slam dunk." Len goes on to discuss multiple visits to the hardware stores to finally locate a solution to his leaky faucet. I concur with Len as plumbing repairs is one of those areas that I do not excel at due to inexperience. One of the take aways from Len's article is that plumbing knowledge results from trial and error and years of experience dealing with multiple hardware vendors and installation solutions. This experience can not be effectively replaced by watching a YouTube video. The same applies to Liberty Seated coinage research that has taken partial lifetimes on the part of myself and Bill Bugert. A thorough research of a Liberty Seated series requires the construction of a massive reference collection when there is no prior information available via published books or the internet. For Liberty Seated dimes, my web-book/website was constructed with Kam Ahwash's encyclopedia and Brian Greer's guidebook as the foundation and both books are well cross referenced and properly listed with deep respect for prior author's pioneering labors. The same is true for Bill Bugert's effort with Liberty Seated Half Dollar Registers whereby the foundation was the initial pioneering work by Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert and resulting guidebook published by DLRC Press. Bill Bugert amassed a huge collection to ensure new variety discoveries are accurately attributed against those previously listed and residing in his reference collection. Both Liberty Seated dime and half dollar projects remain ongoing as I continually update the Seated dime web-book with variety discoveries (the 1881 third proof obverse die as example in October E-Gobrecht) while Bill is assembling data for potential Philadelpha Mint Registers. "Authoritative" books on all United States coinage series may be useful for the non specialist collector. But advanced collectors seeking detailed attributions that are recognized by the numismatic industry and under copyright protection may still find the Fortin and Bugert thomes to be the optimum reference vehicle for their collecting pursuits. For my LSCC colleagues and friends, I have no plans to participate with the construction of an "Authoritative" Liberty Seated Dime book when a deeply researched die variety thome already exists.
Today's featured GFRC coin is a strictly original 1889 Seated dime that is the F-129 die pairing discovery piece and web-book plate coin. I purchased this lovely dime back in 2013 from a small New Hampshire hoard and finally found the time to list the new die pair last week. At $85, I doubt there is much downside risk.