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Friday May 24, 2024

Memorial Day Weekend 2024 Arrives

GFRC Chicago ANA Table Draw - UltraPremiun #431

and

Progress with June 15 Specialty Sets Auction

 

 

Greetings on a Memorial Day weekend and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you so much for the visit.

Yes, it is already the Friday prior to the long 2024 Memorial Day weekend. Southern Maine weather has been delightful for the past 48 hours and that trend will continue through Saturday. We are being treated to a taste of the summer months with sunshine and a beautiful green landscape. How I enjoy living in Maine and our homestead.

Today is also our 44th wedding anniversary. Where does the time go during busy lives? Now that Dan White has retired as a full time partner for the coin show circuit, you will be seeing Diane and Gerry as the GFRC operating team starting at the Summer Baltimore show and the Chicago Summer ANA.

Let's move directly into today's primary topics. The first is the GFRC booth location at the ANA World's Fair of Money event. Yesterday brought a noon time call from Logan Curtis for the GFRC table selection. This year, there were still corner tables available in the UltraPremium section of the bourse when our time came to pick. GFRC will be located at booth #431 and at a reasonable location given the depth of the Chicago bourse floor and the walking distance to reach the Premium, Select, and Economy sections.

Diane and I particular excited about attending the Chicago ANA as a husband and wife team. The GFRC Online Auctions portion of the business will be issuing a huge auction announcement at some point in June. These major Liberty Seated coinage collections will be on display at the ANA show as a first step in a long marketing and lot viewing campaign that will extend into early 2025.

Here is a screen capture of the Chicago ANA bourse floor and where you will find the GFRC booth.

GFRC Chicago ANA Booth - UltraPremiun #431

 

 

Progress with June 15 Specialty Sets Auction

Speaking of upcoming coin shows, the Whitman Expo staff has yet to announce the bourse map and dealer table locations for the Summer Baltimore show that arrives in just 2.5 weeks. As soon as the information is posted, you will be the first to know.

Since the GFRC Online Auctions Specialty Sets event begins on June 15, my top most priority is completing the online auction catalog in the upcoming week. Much progress was made on Thursday with the addition of more Cumberland County Collection Walker lots and adding opening introductions to both the auctionguide.com landing page and the auction.com catalog page. Today brings incremental emphasis on image processing towards posting all the "CCC" Walker lots.

The Spring Branch Collection consignment, that I mentioned yesterday, will be shipping immediately after the Memorial Day weekend. Our long time consignor has requested that his lots be added to the forthcoming auction. Since all the lots were purchased from GFRC with existing images and descriptions, the inclusion will be straightforward.

The June 15 Specialty Set auction will now feature over 100 lots. If having spare time this weekend, please visit the online catalog at the Auction link or simply click on the top auction banners for direct access.

 

Global Financial News

Spot gold has been a hot topic here at the Daily Blog as the yellow precious metal continues to rally. The morning quote presently stands at $2,340/oz.

The following Kitco article, by Ernest Hoffman, brings together gold buying research analysis by Gainesville Coins' Jan Nieuwenhuijis. Since having keen insights into the China landscape after living in Wuxi and Shanghai between 2006 to 2013 and being a China watchers afterwards, I believe the following analysis is quite solid. China is indeed in the driver's seat concerning the current gold price rally.

China remains firmly in control of price action in the global gold market, and the latest data indicates that this is likely to continue, while Western investors will likely join the precious metals party soon, according to the latest analysis by Gainesville Coins’ Jan Nieuwenhuijs published on Wednesday.

Nieuwenhuijs pointed out that China’s private sector imported 543 tonnes of gold in Q1 2024, and the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) added another 189 tonnes to its reserves during the same period. However, “Most of the PBoC’s purchases are ‘unreported,’” he warned.

“China continues to be the marginal buyer in the gold market, driving up the price. I expect that China will remain a robust buyer of gold going forward in support of the price.

In his previous analysis published in March, Nieuwenhuijs explained how China had broken the longstanding correlation between the dollar-denominated gold price and real yields to become “a driving force of the gold price” beginning in 2022.

“The data at my disposal ran until December 2023 which made me hesitant to conclude the sharp increase in the gold price since late February was also caused by the Chinese,” he said. “However, as new data has been released, I can confidently say that China initiated the current bull market.”

“The media is aware that since 2022 central banks mostly buy gold covertly (often referred to as “unreported” purchases),” he said. “By now, it’s widely known that the World Gold Council (WGC) publishes a single statistic on aggregate central bank buying each quarter, which is markedly higher than what all monetary authorities combined report to have bought.”

The problem, Nieuwenhuijs said, is that it remains unclear which central banks are accounting for that discrepancy, which has widened significantly since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Field research from the World Gold Council indicates that central banks bought 290 tonnes of gold in the first quarter of 2024. “Most of the difference—I use eighty percent—between the WGC’s estimate and total purchases as disclosed by the IMF is 162 tonnes,” he wrote. “When we add what the PBoC has reported to have bought during this period, total purchases come in at 189 tonnes, 38% more than the previous quarter. Possibly, the PBoC had a stake in boosting the price since late February.”

Nieuwenhuijs provided the following chart showing his own estimates of reported plus unreported PBoC gold purchases by quarter.

Taking into account unreported purchases, the Chinese central bank now holds gold reserves weighing 5,542 tonnes, according to my research,” he said.

Turning to private demand, Nieuwenhuijs said the Chinese private sector’s net gold imports have been extremely strong. “From January through March imports accounted for a mammoth 543 tonnes, up 74% from Q4 2023,” he said. “This is definitely what pushed up the gold price. Import in April decreased somewhat to 125 tonnes.”

Nieuwenhuijs noted that Hong Kong saw significant net inflows of gold in recent months, which “mainly reflects strong demand in China,” he believes.

“In Q1, the UK and Switzerland both were net exporters, and Western ETF inventories declined,” he said. “At the time of writing the West has not yet joined the bull market, which primarily has its roots in China.”

Nieuwenhuijs referenced the recent report that Beijing sold a record $53 billion in U.S. Treasuries and agency bonds in the first quarter of this year, which he said “illustrates the PBoC is selling dollars for gold,” and with China’s foreign exchange reserves totaling $3.2 trillion, “there is plenty of firepower left for gold.”

He also expects Chinese private-sector gold demand to remain strong given the ongoing real estate slump on the mainland which has seen home prices fall in 30 of the last 33 months.

“The State Council is floating a plan to buy unsold houses through local governments, but these are already drowning in debt,” he said. “The Chinese public, which doesn’t have many investment options due to capital controls, will continue to invest in gold and support the price.”

Nieuwenhuijs predicts that the West will finally join the gold bull market in short order. “ETF outflows appear to have stopped, and it would only be logical for Western investors to rotate into gold at some point because of high asset valuations and an overconfidence in credit instruments,” he said.

Equity markets fell on Thursday with the S&P 500 ending the day at 5,267. The DJIA fell by more than 600 points attributed to a stronger than expected Purchasing Managers Index for May. Rather than indicating a slow down, the index moved up by 3.5% indicating that the U.S. economy is not being held back by inflation.

Morning market futures are pointing to a quarter point gain at today's opening bell.

Unfortunate for long term bond holders, the 10 Year Treasury yield is climbing again with a morning quote of 4.48%. The U.S. dollar is trending at 105 as compared to a basket of overseas currencies.

WTI crude oil has fallen to $76.50/bbl.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today

Well, our internet outage issue was repaired by Noah, a very capable Spectrum technician, during the Thursday noon time hours. One of the Wallace Roofing trucks had run over the cable location and crushed the line. The cable is located at the end of the new driveway extension and easily crushed if a heavy truck turns onto the driveway from our crushed stone construction road. I will be adding several larger rocks to prevent trucks from passing over the buried cable location.

I will be in the GFRC office for most of the day working on the "CCC" Walker images and responding to new purchase orders.

So ends today's Daily Blog edition. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Thank again for stopping by.

Be well!

 

 

 

Thursday May 23, 2024

GFRC Online Auctions

Presents JBN Collection's Premium Liberty Seated Dimes

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Thursday morning. Thank you for the visit.

Southern Maine weather has shifted to summer-like conditions which will last through the weekend. The gravitational pull from the outdoors is quite powerful, but there is a host of GFRC business needs to also service as the forthcoming June Baltimore Show and associated auction are approaching much too quickly.

Wednesday brought Wallace Roofing to the homestead. That job was executed in the matter of hours given the 12 person Ecuadorean crew that first stripped the existing shingles followed by adding edging and then the new Morie Black shingles. Rot was discovered by our chimney requiring the replacement of two 3/4" plywood sections. Water seepage along the tall chimney has been an issue for years. This time around, I am most impressed with our the Wallace crew installed incremental flashing and sealing the edges properly.

The Wallace team was gone by 2:30 PM but leaving yet another issue to deal with, an internet outage. How, where, and why the Wallace team would come in contact with our buried internet coax cable is a mystery. We are currently operating with my Samsung cellphone hotspot until a Spectrum technician arrives at 11:00 AM to trouble shoot the outage. All I can say is that life is never boring when tackling substantial projects.

Today bring Summer ANA table selection day for the GFRC staff. Much of the bourse has already been taken with six corner tables remaining in the UltraPremium section. I'm praying and hope to secure one of the those tables as the alternatives are worse than grim if those are occupy when being called by Logan Curtis. GFRC would need to take a table in the Ancients section or situated way back in the Select area of the bourse. You will be the first to hear of the outcome in Friday's Blog edition.

These is no update on the Maine Solar situation which is fine by me at this point. I need to get through the internet outage issue and the ANA table selection process as the day's priorities.

The overnight brought an important consignment proposal from the Spring Branch Collection in Texas. The proposed lots are six quality Seated quarter and half dollar lots previously purchased from GFRC with the majority being CAC approved. I will be in a position to share more details come the Memorial Day weekend.

 

GFRC Online Auctions Presents a Lot of Premium JBN Collection Liberty Seated Dimes

As promised in Wednesday's Blog edition, GFRC Online Auctions is thoroughly pleased to be presenting a 30 piece Liberty Seated dime lot from the JBN Collection.

The JBN consignor has been a GFRC client for years and noted for his pursuit of CAC approved Liberty Seated coinage across all denominations. Our friend has been active in the many online auctions as he targeted lots with strictly original toning and above average eye appeal within the circulated grades. The time has come for our client to streamline his collecting goals with the decision to return his Seated dimes back to the market place.

Contrary to the approach taking by most auction consignors, the reserves for the following lots are notably below his purchase prices and the current CAC pricing guide. This reserve setting approach was selected towards enabling more bidding action when the auction opens on June 15. Please remember that these lots will be on display at the Summer Baltimore show along with the Cumberland County Walker collection.

It is with great pleasure that GFRC present the following JBN Collection showcase.

JBN Collection - Premium Liberty Seated Dimes at Auction

 1844 F-102 PCGS AU50 CAC 10C OGH                                           1845-O F-101 PCGS EF40 CAC 10C 

        

   1846 F-101 PCGS EF45 CAC 10C                                                1858-S F-103 PCGS EF45 CAC H10C

        

 1863-S F-101 PCGS AU53 CAC 10C                                              1865-S F-103 PCGS EF45 CAC H10C 

        

 1870-S F-101a PCGS AU58 10C                                                      1871-S PCGS AU58 CAC H10C 

        

1838 F-106 PCGS AU55 CAC 10C                1839 F-101 PCGS AU55 CAC 10C                1841-O F-103 PCGS AU55 CAC 10C

                

       1847 F-101 PCGS AU53 CAC 10C                  1851 F-103 PCGS AU55 CAC 10C             1856 Lg Date F-101 PCGS AU58 CAC 10C

                

1856-O F-101 PCGS AU55 CAC 10C                1860-S F-102 PCGS EF45 CAC 10C                  1864-S F-101 PCGS VF30 10C      

                

 1866-S F-101 PCGS EF40 CAC 10C                1868 F-108 PCGS AU55 CAC 10C                1869-S F-101 PCGS EF40 CAC 10C

                

   1870 F-101 PCGS AU58 CAC 10C                1873 Arr F-114 PCGS AU50 CAC 10C           1874 Arr F-108 PCGS AU58 CAC 10C

                

 1874-S F-102 PCGS EF40 CAC 10C             1877-CC Unlisted PCGS AU50 CAC 10C              1879 F-10x PCGS EF45 CAC 10C  

                

 1884-S F-102 PCGS AU58 CAC 10C                  1886 F-120 PCGS AU53 CAC 10C                1890-S F-117 PCGS EF45 CAC 10C  

                

 

Global Financial News

The commodities complex ran into selling pressure on Wednesday after the release of the April Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes. Those minutes revealed an elevated concern among Federal Reserve officials over the persistence of inflation during the first quarter of 2024. Some members express the possibility of yet more interest rate increases to slay this persistent inflation. The FOMC minutes were seen as significantly more hawkish leading to a pullback in gold and silver prices along with a down day on Wall Street.

As of this morning, spot gold is trading at $2368/oz while silver is priced at $30.50.

The S&P 500 starts the day at 5,307 with morning market futures indicating renewed buying optimism. S&P 500 futures are pointing to a 0.55% rise when trading opens at 9:30 AM.

The 10 Year U.S. bond yield has increased even so slightly to 4.42% as the U.S. national debt will soon reach $35 Trillion dollars. Most concerning is the Federal debt to GDP ratio now stands at 122%.

WTI crude is priced at $78.20/bbl this morning.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

As much as I would like to be working outdoors, the forthcoming GFRC Online Auctions event requires a full day in the office processing Cumberland County images along with updating the auction page introductions. If wishing to purchase a coin or discuss a consignment, I should be in the office for the most of the day.

Thanks again for making the Daily Blog are regular part of your online reading.

Be well!

 

 

 

 

Wednesday May 22, 2024

Do We Have a Maine Solar and Town of Raymond Agreement for Fortin Install?

Barred Owl - Guardian of the Back Acreage Pond

and

All JBN Collection Seated Dimes Posted for June 15 Auction

 

Greetings on a summer like southern Maine morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for the ongoing visits.

Living life in the fast lane is an excellent description of the past 24 hours and I'm not referencing the 1993 Miata drive to that secret U.S. gold deal location... Today's events will also be fast paced as Wallace Roofing arrives at 7:00 AM to complete the homestead re-roofing project that was launched during 2023. Therefore, this edition will be much shorter than anticipated.

Let's start today's reporting with an update of the Maine Solar Solutions' blacklisting of the town of Raymond status. I'm most pleased to confirm that the Raymond Town Manager did speak with a Maine Solar principal in the past 48 hours. Last evening brought a text message from Joe Bruno, Chair of the Board of Selectmen, that Maine Solar had agreed to move forward with quoting the Fortin solar installation project. It appears that Maine Solar was able to express their grievances with the Raymond code enforcement situation to a positive outcome. Phil Walter confirmed, via email, that he believes that the green light has been given and will confirm with his boss this morning towards issuing a formal quotation. To quote Phil, "I know that your enthusiasm and personal angle on this was a major factor with the staff I talked to today."

More updates on this project will be forthcoming.

 

Barred Owl - Guardian of the Back Acreage Pond

I'd like to introduce the Barred Owl that has been keeping watch over the pond area and our walking trails. In a prior Blog edition, I spoke of being down at the pond at dusk and being "hooted" by a pair of large owls and dive bombed by an accompanying crow. During yesterday's health walk, the "guardian" made his/her presence on the trail which facilitated an excellent photography opportunity. Let's just say that this is a formidable bird who is guarding the northeastern end of the property.

The allaboutbirds.org online website presents the following Barred Owl description that is certainly consistent with our situation.

Barred Owls are easiest to find when they are active at night—they’re a lot easier to hear than to see. Visit forests near water (big bottomland forest along a river is prime Barred Owl habitat) and listen carefully, paying attention for the species’ barking “Who cooks for you?” call. At great distance, this can sound like a large dog. Try imitating the call with your own voice and then wait quietly. If you’re lucky, a territorial Barred Owl will fly in to investigate you. During the daytime, a quiet walk through mature forest might reveal a roosting Barred Owl if you are lucky.

 

Barred Owl - Guardian of the Back Acreage Pond

 

All JBN Collection Seated Dimes Posted for June 15 Auction

For today's Blog edition, the original intention was to showcase the 30-piece JBN Seated dime lot as these pieces have been loaded to the online auction catalog. However, with Wallace Roofing arriving in a few minutes, that display will be postponed until tomorrow. If having a few extra minutes, you are invited to view all of the JBN Collection lots at the Auction link.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

I had planned for a much longer Blog edition, but the arrival of Wallace Roofing take precedence.

Financial markets, along with gold and silver, are trading flat. Therefore, there is not much to discuss for those topics.

Along with processing the Cumberland County Collection auction lot images, GFRC will also be working on a 10-piece $10 Indian gold consignment that was insourced yesterday.

GFRC sales have notably improved during the past seven days which is also adding to my workload. Please check back tomorrow morning for an update on homestead events, the Maine Solar situation, and a JBN Seated dime showcase.

Thanks again for visiting. Be well!

 

 

 

 

Tuesday May 21, 2024

Progress on the Maine Solar Project - Confronting Town of Raymond Challenge

and

The Miata has New Rubber for a U.S. Gold Deal

 

Greetings and welcome to more Daily Blog ramblings on an early Tuesday morning. Thank you for the visit.

I'm pleased to report that southern Maine enjoyed a lovely spring day on Monday with bright sunshine. The weather was ideal for the many tasks that were concluded during the daytime hours.

Shipping a substantial Estes K-Kit model rocket order was the initial priority with a large box of vintage kits currently being transported to a client in Plano, Texas. UPS is our carrier of choice for these types of shipments.

Once back home, the balance of the JBN Seated dimes were photographed while a dryer vent cleaning firm arrived to the homestead. Our dryer venting loop had not been cleaned for years. The service person climbed onto the roof and blew out the line with a host of accumulated lint and several hornet nests being removed.

Upon the service person's departure, it was the 1993 Miata's turn for maintenance attention. The drive into Raymond center was downright fantastic on a sunny day. In the matter of a hour, my little red sports car received a new set of Uniroyal Tiger Paws tires at 88,000 miles. There is nothing like fresh tires on a sports car as the ride home felt like driving on air.

While morning tasks were taking place, I was on the phone with the chair of the Raymond Board of Selectmen to discuss my Maine Solar Solutions challenge ie. Raymond being blacklisted due to onerous permitting and code enforcement requirements. . "Joe" and I served together years ago on the Raymond School Board, with Joe being quite active in town hall politics since that time. The call was productive as the Fortins were not the only individuals struggling with a local fire department that has been over extending its mission into code enforcement. In the matter of an hour's time, the town manager personally called to learn of the Maine Solar issue and promised to take actions towards removing the Town of Raymond from the Maine Solar blacklist. There was also a call into Maine Solar to inform them of the progress at the town level. It was further reinforced that I am waiting for a final quotation and initial project scheduling date. Let's see where this all goes by the end of week.

The balance of the afternoon brought image processing before our hard stop 5:00 PM happy hour time. One of my favorite parts of each day is hanging out on the back deck while grilling dinner. Yes, it was a great day on the project front along with a fair number of GFRC coin orders to round out a successful day.

As the second headline topic indicates, today brings a Miata drive to a secret meeting location for conducting an 18 piece U.S $10 Indian gold deal. GFRC will be meeting a client for a consignment transfer along with an outright purchase of the more common dates in the lot. Those dates are heading into my physical gold stash.

Let's end today's Blog edition at this point. The extra 1.5 hours will be used to wrap up the JBN Collection's Seated dime image processing. Every hour is precious here at GFRC and at the homestead.

Thanks again for the visit. Be well!

 

 

 

Monday May 20, 2024

Two CAC Approved Specialty Sets Auction Sale Announcement

The Cumberland County Collection "CCC" Walkers

The JBN Seated Dimes

and

Spot Gold Climbs to Record Levels

 

Greetings on a Monday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Your ongoing patronage is appreciated.

Southern Maine weather has been predominately cloudy with off-and-on showers. Sunday was a classic example leading to an indoor office day. I took the opportunity to focus on the next GFRC Online Auctions event that is being announced today.

I'm pleased to make known that the next auction will feature an essentially complete Walking Liberty half dollar collection that is entirely CAC approved. This Mint State centric set is only missing the key date 1921-S. Along with the Mint State pieces are the proof dates along with major varieties including the 1916-D Repunched Mintmark and the 1946 Doubled Die Reverse. This divestment also includes several Gold CAC approved lots, one being in a PCGS Gen 2.0 Doily holder.

The second specialty set is from the JBN Collection, formerly branded as the Grimject Collection. Our long time consignor has decided to release a 30-piece lot of CAC approved Liberty Seated dimes. Yes, the 1870-S is not CAC approved for accuracy. Many of these offerings were purchased directly from GFRC via price list or auction. This individual has decided to set auction reserve prices well below his acquisition points to stimulate bidding. We commend our consignor for this decision.

This forthcoming auction will be held on June 15 with bidding opening on the closing day of the Summer Baltimore show. The number of lots is roughly 110 pieces and will require my diligent attention to bring these offerings online in the next few weeks. Already, there are 22 lots posted to the Auction catalog link as of this morning with more on the way today as image processing continues. The reserve prices for the JBN Collection Seated dimes have already been set.

The Summer Baltimore show brings an auction lot viewing opportunity on June 13 and 14 at the GFRC booth. Our booth number will be announced shortly.

Unfortunately, there is not sufficient time to open up this auction event to incremental consignments. Between operating the regular GFRC business, this auction, and our home activities in Maine, the next few weeks will be fully consumed. The last thing I wish to do is over commit and not delivery on those promises.

Please stay close to the GFRC Online Auctions page as these two noteworthy collections are processed and loading onto the online catalog.

 

Spot Gold Climbs to Record Levels

During overnight trading in Asia, spot gold pricing climbed to $2447/oz and is currently quoting at $2426. There is no question in my mind that gold pricing leadership has moved to China as years of U.S. Treasury efforts at price suppression on the COMEX have come to an end. The Chinese government is incentivizing its citizenry to seek gold as an investment asset and is managing prices to ensure that its gold holders are seeing a fair rate of return on their investments. The result is that both the Chinese central government and its massive population are absorbing physical gold at an unprecedented rate.

What we are currently experiencing is the movement of physical gold from the Western alliance to China and Russia. Most Americans are not paying attention to this phenomenon as we have become dependent on fiat currencies that are being debased. The U.S. media is downplaying the situation or not even providing coverage of the fact that gold is now in a revaluation phase outside of U.S. control.

Silver has broken out in an even grander fashion than gold and is currently trading at $31.43/oz.

The fact that both precious metals are moving up so quickly should bring pause to the U.S. citizenry that all is not well with the state of U.S. politics and economic management. The current level of global sanctions and tariffs is a signal that the United States is now on the downside of its long term economic cycle (global hegemony) and no different than the collapse of the British Empire. The major difference is the speed at which the collapse is occurring. For example, the latest Biden admin 100% tariffs on Chinese made electric vehicles (EV) is a signal that China has won the EV development and manufacturing war since U.S. automotive industry is no longer cost competitive. Those tariffs are inflationary as the cost of a U.S. purchased EV will be double that of those purchasing outside of the United States. The U.S. automotive industry is being "rewarded" for failing to develop competitive technologies and dealing with the high cost of union labor manufacturing within existing facilities. Of course, the political class will claim that China is not playing fairly. In the end, those claims do not matter as Chinese citizens will be owning EVs at $20,000 as compared to U.S. citizens seeing a $40,000 cost of ownership. Where do the tariff monies go? Of course, to the federal government.

 

Global Financial News

Another trading week is upon us with the S&P 500 at 5,303. Morning market futures are trending slightly positive at 0.15%. The 10 Year U.S bond yield is again trending upward with a morning quote of 4.42%. With the United States operating at $1 Trillion deficit spending every 100 days, one has to wonder if the cost of borrowing will ever decrease. Have you realized that deficit spending is a boom for the elite population and major corporations? Those are the parties that are in a financial position to purchase Treasury bonds and are rewarded with government issued interest payments. The U.S. government makes those payments by extracting taxes from the overall population including social security taxes on every working soul.

WTI crude was trading above $80/bbl during the overnight and has settled down to $79.78/bbl.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today

Today's priorities are straightforward; shipping, a tire replacement appointment for the 1993 Miata, and continuing to work on the forthcoming GFRC Online Auctions event.

I will be in an out of the office today but always monitoring emails and text messages for potential orders.

Thanks again for today's Daily Blog visit.

Be well!

 

 

 

Sunday May 19, 2024

A Sunday Daily Blog Break

 

Greetings and thank you for checking in on a Sunday morning.

I've decided to take a pass at composing a Daily Blog edition today. Instead, the time will be shifted to other priorities as there are many between the GFRC business and regular homestead maintenance items.

Honestly, there is no prepared content and trying to force some commentary is just not in the cards today.

I will be back on Monday morning with a regular edition.

Be well!

 

 

 

Saturday May 18, 2024

Silver Breaks Out!

and

Nature remains...

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a mid-May weekend.

There are two themes for this edition given little to share concerning the GFRC business. Yes, pricing for the three Running Boar $5 gold pieces has been solidified and these will be posting to the 30 Day Price List today. Otherwise, my attention has been focused on the aftermath of the barn shelving project and secondly, repairing several moderately eroded areas on the back acreage walking trails.

Here is a late afternoon image from the back deck while grilling a pork tenderloin for Friday evening dinner. The spring tree leaves are about 85% present as of May 17 with the maples and oaks still another full week away from their complete summertime foliage.

 

Silver Breaks Out!

There is no question that the precious metal sector had been heating up during the past few months. Most of the attention has been focused on gold as it takes a stair step revaluation journey driven by major owners in the east. Gold closed at $2415/oz on the week.

Lying in the background has been silver which exhibited a huge breakout on Friday, closing at $31.48/oz. Kitco's Neil Christensen provides a mid-Friday afternoon update as follows:

After a relatively slow start in the first quarter, silver is making its move, significantly outpacing gold as it trades at an 11-year high.

Just ahead of the weekend, silver prices have broken above $30 an ounce. July silver futures last traded at $30.74 an ounce, up nearly 3% on the day. By comparison, gold is trading at $2,406.20, up 0.88% on the day.

Soaring silver prices have pushed the gold-silver ratio below 80 points, and it has been trading at its lowest level since August.

According to some analysts, silver is just getting started as the precious metal has solid momentum.

“Silver does not look overheated, as it is only now entering overbought territory on the RSI on the daily timeframes,” said Alex Kuptsikevich, FxPro senior market analyst, in a note on Friday. “Last month, silver was actively added for another three weeks after the RSI entered levels above 70. A two-week pullback in the second half of April later removed that overbought area. Technically, this clears the way up.”

Kuptsikevich added that his near-term target for silver is $33 an ounce; however, he added that the precious metal could make a serious move to its all-time high of $50.

“Long-term trends are also on the bulls' side. In the last two years, they have been able to quickly turn the price to the upside after dips under the 200-week moving average. This year, the price is successfully pulling away from that line, but the most furious part of the rally may be ahead,” he said. “Silver could be ready to repeat the growth spurt it showed in 2010-2011.”

In a recent interview with Kitco News, Michele Schneider, Director of Trading Education and Research at MarketGauge, said that silver’s value play makes it more attractive than gold.

She added that silver tends to outperform in a higher inflationary environment. Although April’s core Consumer Price Index, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, saw its first decline in six months, Schneider said it remains elevated at 3.6%.

While some economists have celebrated the drop in consumer price pressures, Schneider said they are still looking at inflation in all the wrong places.

She explained that rising geopolitical uncertainty and renewed pressure to onshore manufacturing in the U.S. will drive prices higher and weaken the U.S. dollar.

“This move in silver is telling us that we have fractures in the economy, but we don’t know how these fractures are going to manifest,” she said. “Is it going to lead to a debt crisis? Is the Fed going to have to lower rates? Either way, we should expect to see higher inflation.”

Schneider said that the $30 level represents an important resistance point for silver.

“If silver is going to hold 29 and get through 30, I don't see any reason why we can't get to 35 eventually and 40,” she said.

However, not all analysts are convinced that silver is thriving as a monetary metal. In a comment to Kitco News, Julia Khandoshko, CEO at the European broker Mind Money, said that she sees this move in silver as a reflection of the broader bullish momentum in commodity markets.

Silver’s rally comes as copper prices have pushed to all-time highs above $5 per pound.

“Today, all metals, including silver, are growing for a simple reason—cautious sentiment on global economic growth,” said Khandoshko. “If we look at commodities charts, we can see they have a cyclical price trend: when there is an economic downturn, they are cheap; when the economy is recovering, they rise in price.”

Khandoshko added that she prefers gold over silver as a monetary and safe-haven hedge.

I'd like to remind readers that the rise in gold and silver prices correlates to weakening fiat currencies. Though the DXY index indicates that the dollar is at 104.50, its overall value continues to degrade due to insidious inflation. The DXY index is simply a comparison of the U.S dollar's value against six foreign currencies. Those currencies and index weights are as follows.

Bottom line, the rise in precious metal values is a warning sign that the U.S. dollar continues to lose its buying power and eventually, its relevance. A trip to your local grocery store will make this fact quickly apparent.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Let's close today's edition with a Walt Whitman quote that was sent along by Greg Johnson. How true are the following words.

“After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, love, and so on—have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear—what remains? Nature remains; to bring out from their torpid recesses, the affinities of a man or woman with the open air, the trees, fields, the changes of seasons—the sun by day and the stars of heaven by night.”

I could not imagine being a urban dweller on a continuing basis. The gravitational pull of rural life and the back acreage grows stronger by the year...

Thank you for visiting. Be well!

 

 

 

Friday May 17, 2024

Newtown 1850-O PCGS MS64 CAC Half Heads into a Major Collection

and

Running Boar $5 Gold to Consider

 

Greetings on a warm southern Maine Friday morning and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. We appreciate the ongoing visits.

I'm in a particularly good mood after yesterday's annual physical (wellness) check. The appointment conclusion was that I'm in great physical and mental shape for my age with stellar blood pressure, weight, and all blood work parameters being "in spec". This outcome has taken several years to accomplish via the Keto eating lifestyle, daily exercise, and staying mentally focused on geopolitics, investing strategies, and of course, numismatics. Yes, I know essentially know nothing about modern contemporary culture, movies, and the sports world as the focus is elsewhere. I'm quite comfortable with this fact as the intrigues of global politics are much more stimulating to contemplate.

As a reward for the super check-up, the balance of the day was not spent in the GFRC office, but rather outdoors mowing the lawn and cleaning up after the barn shelving project. It was a beautiful spring day and the chance to spend time outdoors was priceless. The Raymond homestead landscaping is ready for summer visitors.

Onward to numismatics....

 

Newtown 1850-O PCGS MS64 CAC Half Heads into a Major Collection

Astute collectors are quickly absorbing the many premium Seated halves in the recent Newtown Collection release. Thursday brought the sale of the 1850-O PCGS MS64 CAC half to a well known GFRC client leaving a few remaining pieces.

I'm surprised that the GFRC-Gem rated 1846 6/Horizontal 6 PCGS AU55 CAC half as yet to find a new home. Frankly, I thought this would be one of the first lots to sell given its status as a major series variety and the sterling preservation and strike. Yes, the asking price is strong, but consistent with the overall quality and scarcity. Here are the images for that lot.

1846 6/Horizontal 6 PCGS AU55 CAC 50C - $5750

 

Running Boar $5 Gold to Consider

Thursday's Blog brought the mention of a newly arrived Running Boar $5 gold consignment. It did not take long for two First Right of Refusals to appear for the 1850 and 1906-D lots. Following is a quick office desktop image of the three lots. These will be loaded into the COIN database today and priced towards quick sales. For those who asked for first shot, your requests will be honored. Contact will be made once the offer prices are approved.

 

New For Purchase Lot Arrives

Early Thursday afternoon brought the arrival of a new "for purchase" lot. After screening the shipment contents, the following pieces will be heading to GFRC inventory if the client accepts my offer prices. In the past, we have always been able to reach terms therefore moving forward with some early marketing.

 

Global Financial News

Now that the S&P 500 has set a new all time record along with the Dow Jones break through the 40,000 mark, on an intra-day basis, traders took some light profits on Thursday. The S&P 500 closed at 5,297 and fractionally down a tad. It has been a great week for investors.

Spot gold and silver continue to drawn considerable attention as some hedge fund managers are now taking ETF positions. Gold is currently trading at $2389/oz and silver is at $29.68. If gold can break through the $2400 level and establish a foothold above that mark, then $2500 spot gold is certainly a possibility. This type of move would also propel silver above $30/oz.

The 10 Year bond yield continues to remain resilient at 4.40% along with the U.S. dollar strengthening to 104.8.

Morning market futures are dead flat at 7:45 AM ET.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Today brings a balancing act between GFRC office time and the outdoors. There is little else to say.

Thanks again for the visit.

Be well!

 

 

 

Thursday May 16, 2024

Newtown Seated Half Dollar Release Continues to Find Traction

and

GFRC Does a Substantial Estes K-Kit Model Rocket Deal

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Thursday morning. Thank you so much for the visit.

Unfortunately, today's ramblings must be brief as I have a 9:00 AM annual wellness (physical) appointment. This leaves little time to casually ramble along as was the case on Wednesday. Let's go with some brief topics of the day.

We open with the fact that my back acreage excavation buddy, Dave Wilkinson, is already on his way to a Portland hospital for his second knee replacement. This is an early morning operation with a one month recovery period. The Fortins sent well wishes last evening as Dave has become a great friend during the many years of developing the back acreage into what is presently enjoyed today.

Secondly, Wednesday brought the final posting of the Newtown Seated half dollar collection release to the 30 Day Price List along with incremental descriptions being added. During the afternoon hours, two of the Newtown halves were sold. The first was the Dick Osborn 1857-S half graded NGC MS61 followed by the 1873 No Arrows Closed 3 PCGS MS63 also being scooped up by a regular GFRC client.

Lastly, and under the numismatic radar screen, I've been working on a large Estes K-Kit model rocket deal with a Texas collector. The Estes K-Kits were produced starting in the early to mid 1960s and are prized collectibles for model rocket enthusiasts. These kits are rare if located in choice to gem unopened condition. Last evening brought the closing of the deal for the cream of my K-Kit collection with a sale value of slightly over $4000. Yes, we are dealing with a very thinly traded market, therefore the prices are minuscule as compared to rare coins. The proceeds will most likely fund a zero-turn mower replacement for the aging John Deer D140 lawn tractor. That machine has served me well for years and is now burning oil at an accelerating pace.

Speaking of Estes model rocket kits, I have at least 10 large plastic totes of Estes vintage kits ranging from 1965 through 2012 issue dates. These are all for sale with the only condition being a minimum sale of $500 per purchase due to the workload of plying the totes to locate individual kits along with pricing and shipping requirements. For those who might be interested, the kits are listed at the following link. Please look inside the Estes Kit Databases for a well defined history of Estes model rocket kits and the many production varieties.

https://www.seateddimevarieties.com/BAR/home.htm

Consignments continue to arrive. Wednesday brought a three piece $5 gold lot from the Running Boar Collection. All are CAC approved with the following dates and grades; 1850 PCGS EF45 CAC, 1895-S NGC AU58 CAC, and 1906-D PCGS MS63 CAC OGH. These lots will be promptly placed on the price list once there is sun for photography.

Coming next week is a Miata trip to the Augusta Maine area to pick up an 18 piece $10 Indian gold consignment. This is an AU55/AU58 lot with a number of better dates.

 

Global Financial News

April's CPI report came in cool at 0.3% and launched a rally day on Wall Street. Finally, investors believed that the light at the end of the tunnel for the U.S. inflation fight was clearly visible. Many believed that the meek inflation report would provide room for several Federal Reserve rate cuts before the end of 2024. The S&P 500 rose to a record 5,308 by end of day.

Most important is the fact that the 10 Year Treasury bond yield dropped to 4.34% along with the U.S. dollar decreasing to 104.4.

Gold and silver also rallied on the news with gold climbing to $2392 before cooling off to $2380/oz as the Blog is being composed. Silver gains were more impressive with a gain to $29.62/oz.

Morning market futures are forecasting a flat open which is also bullish after yesterday's substantial gains. Often times, the day after a strong rally will bring profit taking.

The wild card for the U.S. economy is energy costs. So far, WTI crude oil continues to trade within a tight $78-79/bbl range.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Upon my return from the annual wellness check, the balance of the day will be spent in the GFRC office. There are a host of items to get done including Cumberland County image processing, loading the Grimjet Seated dimes into the COIN database, and continuing to clean up the 30 Day Price List by adding descriptions for unsold lots. Now that the barn shelving project along with dentist and doctor appointments are behind me, I can return to the GFRC business in a serious way.

Once gain, your ongoing patronage is sincerely appreciate. Thanks again for the ongoing visits.

Be well!

 

 

 

Wednesday May 15, 2024

Back in the GFRC Office

and

GFRC-Lite's Midlands Coin Club Show Report

 

Greetings on a mid-May Wednesday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. As always, thank-you for visiting.

It really is difficult to believe that half of the month of May is already gone. Between sustaining the GFRC business, homestead projects, family visits, and health appointments, the days are flying by. Each day brings decision concerning personal and business priorities. Those that seek pro bono consulting or wishing to take me into the weeds on common date Seated dime die varieties are having a difficult time as there is no bandwidth for these requests.

As the top headline indicates, I am back working in the office today with only an annual physical to deal with tomorrow.

Let's recap the barn shelving project with two images. The past two days have been a classic case of the master and the apprentice. Pete Theberge is the unquestionable master as he has been building houses and working for LL Bean as their primary construction contractor for three decades. He retired late last years and was the first external contractor to be given a going away party at a local restaurant. Pete is a long time Lewiston resident and a friend of the Theriault family. Relationships are huge in smaller communities.

Pete had estimated 2+ days of work under the assumption that he would be working alone. With Gerry as the apprentice, we did the job in nine hours including lunch time. Yes, we hustled as time is precious for both of us. The end product speaks for itself. I will be able to easily add more shelving in the future as the building techniques are straightforward. Key is having the right power tools to cut material to size along with two bodies to pin heavy shelving units on the walls.

 

I'm most proud of the outcome as the extra storage space and work bench will be invaluable in the coming years. The Maine Solar power system operated like a charm with the 7.5KW/H batteries remaining full charged regardless of the power tool consumption. This solar system is a beast and could easily support an electric UTV in the coming months. Boys need their toys, right?

 

GFRC-Lite's Midlands Coin Club Show Report

HI Gerry,

I'm back from last week's Midlands Coin Club show that's held in Columbia SC. It's been pouring rain here in Winston Salem all day. If I check the radar on the Weather app I'm seeing blues, purples and yellows all moving from west to east.  Hmm, maybe my next super Morgan toner will be described as '"extreme storm weather radar toning?" 

To recap the show, Lite enjoyed a fast paced two days of bourse activity and travel. I left for the show early Friday morning, a quick 3 hr drive down I-85 and I-77 and I arrived at the Embassy Suites venue at the planned 90 minutes before the show doors opened to the public at 10AM.

Lite's table was situated immediately to the right of the show entrance, the 8' table accommodating two cases of certified coins and one case raw that 1 populate with 1 1/2" flips for 1C-25C and 2" flips for half dollars and dollars. 

I had made an estimate on the blog of 45-50 coins sold, the actual sales number came in at 36 coins. The good news is that my ASP was higher than expected, so total sales worked out quite well. I guess Nostradamus need not worry. I'll have to work on my show forecasting skills.

Ok, so what were the selling highlights? First, let's start with a very strong sales mix of 17 Certified vs 19 raw coin sales & then drill down. This breakout mostly explains the higher-than-expected ASP, as I previously saw a higher % of raw sales, which are typically lower priced. One particularly satisfying stat of note, 16 different consignors registered sales,10 of which with more than 1 coin sold.

Both of the certified cases received a good bit of attention but especially so the higher denomination case that housed the half dollars. Bust Halves and Classic 50C Commemoratives led the way this go round. I'm especially pleased with this showing as Lite loves the Classic Silver Commemorative category and believes collectors can still find good value in this series. Bust Halves were also a pleasant surprise coming off a sleepy Whitman showing.

On the raw side of the fence, Seated Dimes led the way with Early Copper chipping in to help the cause.

Let's now move on, as the Columbia show is in the books, and we drive towards the big Raleigh Money Expo which is held at the NC State fairgrounds June 20-23. 

To sustain the current sales momentum, the Lite inventory has been supplemented by a few new consignments highlighted by additions to the Classic commemoratives category. Additionally, I was able to hit the bourse for a few selective purchases at Midlands. I'll highlight just two coins that will soon be listed on the Lite website with more to soon follow.

1st, how about a 1924 PCGS MS64 Huguenot Commem? This coin shows a totally original skin, great luster and strong strike. One of my favorite commems, the reverse sail detail on the tall ship image is awesome. This Choice coin is offered at $200, 

Next, maybe my favorite show "get " is a 1926 Standing Liberty Quarter housed in an old, small ANACS soapbox holder. Men were men, and graders were graders back in the day, and I selected this coin for originality and sharpness of strike features, the shield rivets especially strong. This Choice Standing Liberty Quarter is offered at $225.

 Finally, and before I forget, Lite is well positioned with inventory heading into Raleigh, but the moment surely will not last. If considering divestment of coins that would fit the Lite portfolio in the $150-$350 range, please give me a call to discuss potential consignment. A few areas that TPG inventory is currently needed for include pre 1940 Walkers, Barbers of all denominations, 2CP, 3CS and Indian Cents.

Ok, I covered a lot of ground both recapping the Midlands show and looking forward.  Hoping all the blogamaniacs find continued collecting success!

Rich

 

Global Financial News

Where are we in terms of equity prices and the commodity sector?

Regardless of Federal Reserve inaction on interest rates, the S&P 500 has increased to 5,247 which is close to its all-time record high of 5,254 set on March 28.

Tuesday brought a U.S. producers price index (PPI) April report which came in hot at 0.5% on a month-on-month basis. Core PPI (without food and energy) was also up 0.5% in April. The expectation was 0.2%. Today brings the April CPI report at 8:30 AM which will undoubtedly influence the day's equity trading and the bond market.

The commodity sector remains strong with spot gold trending at $2366/oz while silver is quoting at $28.79/oz. The following Kitco article, by Neils Christensen, highlights the fact that gold price setting leadership has moved to the Shanghai Gold Exchange, a huge development in the gold market.

The gold market has been holding significant gains since the start of the year, but the momentum behind the bullish drive has dried up as investors once again focus on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.

The gold market has been consolidating around $2,350 an ounce for the last three weeks as the Federal Reserve signals a reluctance to start a new easing cycle with inflation stubbornly elevated.

However, one bank analyst said that U.S. monetary policy is becoming a secondary factor as Asian markets evolve from price-taking to price-setting.

In his latest commentary on the gold market, Bernard Dahdah, precious metals analyst at Natixis, said that Asian markets have seen a significant evolution since 2008.

Dahdah said that in 2001, the Chinese gold market became deregulated; however, it wasn’t until the Great Financial Crisis and concerns over U.S. debt that the central bank and Chinese consumers started looking at gold as an attractive asset.

Dahdah added that 2013 was an important year for Chinese gold demand.

“That year, China cemented itself as the market of last resort: whilst prices tumbled by 29% in the first six months of the year (on the back of a Western investor selloff of physically backed gold), Chinese consumers opportunistically bought a record 1,400 tonnes of the metal, setting a floor at $1,200/oz,” he said.

Since then, China’s influence has only grown. Other important milestones include 2014, when The Shanghai Gold Exchange International opened up for global investors, becoming the country’s international benchmark.

In 2016, the SGEI started pricing gold in renminbi and competing with New York and London as a price setter. Dahdah said the SGEI has now become the largest physical spot exchange in the world.

“We would argue that the Chinese gold market is now capable of not just being a market of last resort that purchases opportunistically at price dips but is now also capable of imposing broader price discovery on the entire market. We believe this was the case during this April’s price rally,” Dahdah said.

China’s growing influence in the global gold market isn’t surprising, as Dahdah noted the nation’s insatiable appetite for the precious metal. He explained that China is the world’s largest gold producer, accounting for more than 10% of global production.

Despite this production, he pointed out that the nation imported 1,480 tonnes of gold last year, a five-year high.

Looking at prices, Dahdah noted that at the start of April, gold premiums on the SHGEI reached a high of $85 above prices set in London.

The 10 Year U.S. bond yield has decreased slightly to 4.41% while the U.S. dollar has slipped to 104.9.

WTI crude oil is trading at $78/bbl.

Morning market futures are dead flat as traders await the April CPI report.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today

The first task of the day is firing up the shipping department. Afterwards, I will be posting a few more Newtown Seated halves and augmenting currently unsold lot with descriptions. Afterwards, the Grimjet Liberty Seated dime consignment needs to be photographed and loaded into the COIN system. Another for purchase lot, from a regular supplier, is also due to arrive today.

On the home front, the black ants are making their spring appearance in the sun room and in the GFRC office. The annual ritual of loading a back mounted 5 gallon sprayer with ant killer will be the day's outdoor task.

Oh, I must also quote a large early Estes K-Kit model rocket order as I'd like to turn these collectibles into cash.

Thank you so much for the daily visits and taking in the ongoing activities in a life. Be well!

 

 

 

 

Tuesday May 14, 2024

Wrapping Up Barn Shelving and Work Bench

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a wet Tuesday early morning. Thank you for checking in.

Today Blog edition will be very brief as Pete Theberge returns at 7:30 AM sharp to wrap up the barn shelving and work bench construction project.

Much was accomplished on Monday as both Pete and Gerry spent the day constructing rugged back shelving for the Johnny2 implements along with overhead shelving on the left wall. Today brings the completion of a work bench and addition overhead shelving on the right wall. Complicating matters is a dentist appointment during the afternoon hours. How I wish for a few boring days in a life where my time is not scheduled so tightly.

Here is an image taken of the progress at 5:00 last evening. Already, model rocket collection totes have been moved onto the left wall shelving.

 

On the numismatic front, there is a new gold $10 Indian consignment that has been committed. This is an 18 piece lot that is Maine based. Come early next week, I will be taking a drive in the Miata to retrieve this consignment.

Otherwise, orders continue to arrive and the shipping department remains active. Wednesday brings a full office day.

Thank you for checking in at the Daily Blog. I need to get in a shower and head down to the barn for Pete's arrival.

Be well!

 

 

 

Monday May 13, 2024

Barn Shelving Install on Monday and Tuesday

 

Greetings on a sunny Monday morning here in southern Maine. Welcome back to the Daily Blog.

Today's edition will be quite brief as Pete Theberge arrives at 7:30 AM to start the construction of the barn shelving project. Since the barn's completion, I've been looking forward to the addition of overhead shelving and a long work bench along with robust storage for Johnny2's implements. The next 48 hours brings this goal to reality.

For new Blog readers, Pete is the individual who built the barn just two years ago. Since that time, Pete has retired and is doing small jobs to supplement his social security payments. Luckily, we were able to schedule Pete during May for this job.

My role is that of Pete's helper during the next two days. Therefore, I will be out of the office during that time. Emails will be responded to after dinner time on both days. I've already staged much of the Newtown Seated half dollar ship aheads this morning and Diane will be taking over to ensure that the packages are ready for Doug the Mailman's pick-up this afternoon.

Spot gold is trading at $2345/oz during the early morning hours. Silver is at $28.10. U.S. equity markets are poised to open flat to slightly up by 0.2%.

The 10 Year U.S. bond yield is 4.48%.

This is all that can be shared as I much jump into the shower and get down to the barn for Pete's arrival.

Thank you for checking in at the Daily Blog.

Be well!

 

 

 

Sunday May 12, 2024

More Newtown Seated Half Dollar Releases Posted

and

Barn Shelving Install on Monday and Tuesday

 

Greetings on Mother's Day 20024 and welcome to the Daily Blog.

Today edition is quite brief as I need a day off from the many activities that are underway.

Saturday brought the posting of more Newtown Liberty Seated half dollar releases to the 30 Day Price List with incremental sales. In terms of outdoor work, we are slowly cleaning up the back acreage trails and repairing erosion points. Diane and I religiously walking to loops each day. The steep inclines provide a different walking experience as compared to the flat cement sidewalks in Venice. Climbing up the side of a hill at a brisk walking speed does bring a cardio workout. Unfortunately, the mild Maine winter has resulted in the wood ticks being out already. One tick did manage to go unattended on my back with a bite spot that was noted late yesterday. Welcome to living in the country and working in the woods.

The upcoming week is very busy with Pete Theberge arriving Monday for the barn shelving and work bench project. Today brings the complete emptying of the barn contents along with wrapping up the outlet wiring for the second barn power circuit. Please don't expect much in terms of Daily Blog content on both Monday and Tuesday as I will be working as Pete's assistant on the construction efforts. The early morning priority will be staging the shipping department prior to heading down to support Pete.

Adding to the week's activities are dental and annual "wellness" physical appointments. In today's information intensive world, a "wellness" check comes with a host of questionnaires about your personal life including depression, dementia, physical violence, alcohol and drug use screening. In the past, these matters were private with your doctor. Today, the powers to be wish to collect all this information that is outside of the core 20 minutes with the doctor.

At this point, I'd like to get a head start on outdoor activities rather than trying to create content. My fingers will appreciate the minimal typing across the next few days.

Thank you for stopping by. Be well!

 

 

 

Saturday May 11, 2024

Newtown Seated Half Dollar Release Currently Bats 0.920!

and

Congratulations to the Emerald Collection

 

Greetings on a cold but sunny southern Maine morning. Welcome to yet another Daily Blog edition.

Yes, the current Raymond temperature is a cool 40F. Those who farm in Maine have a well known rule of thumb for our northern weather. There is always a chance of frost until Memorial Day weekend so plant accordingly....

The past two days have been busy given the Newtown Collection's Seated half dollar release. What a fantastic lot with something for everyone. The decision to use the First Right of Refusal process has been challenging to properly administer towards ensuring that I don't double commit any coins. To ensure that did not happen, I've been working slowly and methodically through the FRoR emails in my Inbox while processing and posting images. My thanks go out to everyone for their patience as the process is executed. Having "Newtown FRoR" is the email subject lines was most helpful.

So far, thirteen Newtown lots have been posted to the 30 Day Price List with twelve of those sold. That is a 0.920 batting average for our top consignor. Remaining is the Dick Osburn 1857-S half graded NGC MS61 that needs a new home.

The beauty of the First Right of Refusal selling method, versus auction, is that loyal Daily Blog readers are rewarded with first shots at coins that they might not be able to secure at auction. At a GFRC Online Auctions, there are always those that appear in the last two minutes of bidding with their nuclear bids on popular lots. In the current Newtown situation, the high demand coins have gone to individuals who are steadfast Blog fans rather than having the deepest pockets. Newtown was agreeable to the First Right of Refusal approach and trusted my judgment to price his coins at what I believed they were competitively worth. Rather than waiting for several months for a GFRC auction, the Newtown coins are being turned into cash immediately.

As of this morning, the buyers of the twelve sold Newtown lots have been notified. If you were in the FRoR queue and find that your requested coin is on hold without my contact, then that coin has been sold to an earlier requester. I'm doing my best to respond to everyone who made a request but again, I will probably miss an email or two due to the volume and workload.

The Newtown release is far from over as there are still another thirteen coins to go! Those images are in process and will debut later today along with offer prices. Some have FRoRs too. We are moving forward as quickly as possible but in a controlled manner. So please stay tuned!

 

Congratulations to the Emerald Collection

Our special congratulations go out to the Emerald Collection as this individual truly stepped-up and acquired some marvelous Newtown lots. Following is a gallery display of his acquisitions.

Newtown Collection Sale - Emerald Collection Purchases!

1847/6 WB-9 CACG AU55 50C - The Finest Known - $22,000

   1855/54 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C - $3150                                           1860-S WB-1 PCGS MS62 CAC 50C - $5500

        

   1861-O W-8 PCGS MS62 CAC 50C - $3500                                           1877/6 PCGS EF45 CAC 50C - $5200          

        

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Hey, its the weekend right?

Today brings a balance between being on Johnny2 and repairing winter erosion on the back acreage trails along with more emphasis on the Newtown release. There will be continued responses to the final group of First Right of Refusals.

Please remember that GFRC is open for quality consignments. I would be pleased to hear your proposals.

And on that note, I'd like to wish everyone in the community a pleasant spring weekend. Let's not forget that tomorrow is Mother's Day.

Be well!

 

 

 

Friday May 10, 2024

Newtown Seated Half Dollar Collection Release is Priced

GFRC Coin Show Schedule Reminder

and

A Grimjet Collection Tease...

 

Greetings from southern Maine and welcome back to the Daily Blog on a Friday morning. Thank you for the visit.

The response to yesterday's Newtown Collection release was quite substantial with a host of First Right of Refusal (FRoR) emails pouring in during the morning hours. I've done my best to acknowledge every request and hope that I did not miss anyone. If I did, please accept my apology.

Thursday, in its entirety, was spent loading the Newtown lots into the COIN system followed by constructing a pricing proposal by mid-afternoon. Once that proposal was submitted to Newtown, his approval response arrived in the matter of an hour. At this point, I am ready to quote offer prices. However, regular images and descriptions must still be assembled. The challenge is with the imaging given the Maine weather conditions. On a positive note, a portion of the lot was purchased from GFRC which means the images are on file and in the Sales Archive along with prior descriptions.

At this point, I have everyone's FRoR emails in my Inbox and will begin to offer these lots when there are images available. This may take 24 hours or 72 hours depending on available sunshine.

By far, the most popular lots where the 1856 PCGS AU55 CAC OGH and the 1873-S PCGS VF35 CAC halves. I received at least six requests for each piece, maybe more as I lost count. For those who believe that you will be able to purchase these lots at the CAC guide, there will be disappointment. Newtown's cost basis is well about the guide given the low CAC approved populations. Secondly, when there is huge demand for a coin, on a FRoR basis, I judge this as being equivalent to active bidding for a lot at a GFRC Online Auction event. These considerations were employed when determining offer prices. Let's be clear on this point. There will be no bargains or easy "picks" on this Newtown release given the decision to go directly to the price list. Every coin has been priced on what I believe fair value is. Those that agree with my assessment will be the buyers.

 

GFRC Coin Show Schedule Reminder

The GFRC 2024 show schedule has been finalized and is ready to be published today. Following are the coin shows that GFRC has committed to attend through the January 2025 Winter FUN show.

Summer Baltimore Show, Baltimore, MD - June 13 - 15, 2024 - Booth TBA

Summer ANA, Chicago, IL - August 6 - 8, 2024 - Booth TBA

New Hampshire Coin Expo, Manchester, NH - October 24 - 26, 2024 - Booth 630

Fall Baltimore Show, Baltimore, MD - November 14 - 16, 2024 - Booth 818

Sarasota Coin Show, Sarasota, FL - December 4 - 7, 2024 - Booth by Entrance

Winter FUN Show, Orlando, FL - January 9 - 12, 2024 - Booth TBA

Each of these shows, other than the Manchester, and Sarasota events, will feature a combination of retail sales and auction lot previewing. Please stay close to the Blog during the June time frame as there will be a major auction lot consignment announcement. I have been working for years with certain clients to be the auction company of choice when their substantial Liberty Seated coinage sets are to released. Two huge sets have been committed and will be rolling out during the balance of 2024 with a targeted auction during early 2025. Of course, economic conditions, for the the balance of 2024, will also play a role for the release of these lifelong collections. The beauty of working with GFRC Online Auctions is the flexibility and low commission rates.

 

A Grimjet Collection Tease...

Tease is the operative word for the following Grimjet Collection display that is essentially 100% CAC approved and is truly noteworthy. Since being fully consumed with processing the Cumberland County Walking Liberty half dollar collection along with the new Newtown Liberty Seated half dollar release, this just arrived Grimjet Collection Seated dime release is quietly sitting in the insourcing queue. No decision has been made on whether we are taking this lot directly to the price list or will add to the Cumberland County walkers as an auction event. I'm currently leaning towards adding these to the next GFRC Online Auctions as such a great collector grade lot.

Again, there is a visual tease at the Daily Blog. Please do not make any First Right of Refusal requests as I must ignore these given the unknown sales and marketing campaign direction. Please feel free to click on the image to access a higher resolution version.

 

Global Financial News

Watch out overhead as gold and silver pricing has recovered its mojo as pricing levels pushed higher on Thursday and during the overnight hours. Spot gold is currently trading at $2373/oz with silver priced at $28.57. The 10 Year U.S. treasury bond yield has dropped slightly to 4.46% as a potential explanation but I'm not convinced of any correlation. The U.S. dollar is holding steady at 105.3.

The S&P 500 was also up by 0.50% on Thursday and starts today's trading at 5,214. Morning market futures are pointing to a 0.30% increase when trading resumes.

WTII crude oil pricing is trading at the $80/bbl level.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

The weather forecast is calling for overcast skies by 11:00 AM, with no chance for coin photography at that point, I'm planning to spend the afternoon working on the back acreage trails. Diane and I are walking the trails on daily basis with some overhead tree pruning and winter erosion corrections being necessary to better enjoy those daily jaunts across a fairly steep hillside.

The morning hours will find me in the GFRC office responding to the earlier Newtown FRoR emails.

It should be evident from the past few days of Blog posting that GFRC is being blessed with a host of premium consignments. I believe that clients continue to enjoy working with GFRC due to the personalized service and special marketing that only the Daily Blog can provide.

I'm currently soliciting incremental consignments that fall into the "premium" class of numismatics. Don't be bashful with a phone call or emai inquiry.

So ends a Friday Blog edition. Thank you so much for the ongoing readership and those potential purchases.

Be well!

 

 

 

Thursday May 9, 2024

Newtown Says "Let's Discount!"

and

A Consignment Wave is Underway...

 

Greetings and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. It is yet another cool and cloudy day here is southern Maine.

Yes, spring like temperatures appear to be elusive this early May as the daily highs are in the mid 50s through Sunday. Overnight, the wood stove saw some action. I'm currently looking at the 10 Day Weather Channel forecast and it is downright depressing, especially for the GFRC business. From Tuesday May 14 through Monday May 20, the forecast is consistently indicating clouds and showers. On a positive note, the cloudy conditions will be ideal for working outdoors on the back acreage trails as there is no chance of over heating.

Yesterday brought a disappointment is dealing with a fellow dealer in the Long Island New Year area. The sales person for this long time firm was aggressive about securing two gold coins from GFRC and pushed for a courtesy discount. That I did with a promise, from the buyer, that the company owner would follow-up with payment. That was last Friday. As of this morning, and after sending an invoice and multiple text message contacts to the sale person, it has been crickets. Therefore the coins are coming off hold and are free agents again. What is so difficult about being professional in this hobby and either responding with a pass or play on a deal? It seems that some individuals don't understand or believe that there is a need for professional courtesies with other dealers.

Moving on with other more pleasant thoughts of the day, let's remind everyone that Mother's Day is this coming Sunday. For those of you who still have your mothers, please take the time to do something special for Mom as she was there for you for a substantial portion of your life.

This next commentary falls under the category of when in the world will certain dealers ever learn to not leave their inventory unattended in a parked outside a restaurant immediately after leaving a coin show? Yesterday brought yet another report from Doug Davies and his Numismatic Crime Information Center. The title of the email was "Vehicle Burglary-Dealer-Major Currency Loss-After CSNS". The opening paragraph reads as follows:

The owner of Emporium Coin & Currency traveling home from the Central States Numismatic Society coin show was the victim of a vehicle burglary in Des Plaines, IL. The victim stopped at a restaurant and while inside suspects broke out the window to his vehicle and removed several bags containing a large inventory of currency.

For those familiar with the Rosemont IL area, Des Plaines is close by and a terrible idea to stop at a restaurant while leaving unattended inventory in a park vehicle. Whether a dealer or a collector, never, never stop at a restaurant to have a meal leaving your collectibles unattended in a car after a coin show. These smash and grab events are becoming commonplace as more dealers are being tailed after coins shows. Always carry your coins with you into the restaurant or rest area as inconvenient as it might be. There is a major difference in the law for smash and grab versus armed robbery.

 

Newtown Says "Let's Discount!"

Today's primary feature is a discounting event by the Newtown Collection. Our top consignor indicated that it is time to drop prices towards moving these ten coins to new homes. Please have a close look at the following display and hopefully, one or more pieces will strike someone's fancy. If interested, please email or call me to get a deal done.

 

Newtown Says "Let's Discount!"

      1828 O-106 R4+ PCGS AU53 50C - $1750                                       1844-O DD WB-22 PCGS VF35 50C - $2350   

        

        1858 PCGS MS64 50C - $1550                                                   1877-S PCGS MS65 CAC 50C - $2900    

        

1864-L S-6 PCGS MS64RB 1C - $975            1840-O F-108 PCGS AU50 10C - $1200            1890-S F-103 PCGS MS65 10C - $895

                

 1858-O WB-6 PCGS EF45 50C - $625              1858-O WB-7 PCGS AU53 50C - $400

         

 

A Consignment Wave is Underway...

Yesterday brought the arrival of the Grimjet Liberty Seated dime shipment along with a lightning fast one day transport of a fantastic release of Newtown Seated half dollar duplicates and special die varieties. Currently, the GFRC office went from having little if any consigned material to a wave of fresh arrivals.

Let's start the marketing campaign with a display of the Newtown Seated half dollar release. Please drop what you are doing and take a close look at the following 24 lots as there are serious offerings for the most advanced collectors in the community. What is the GFRC strategy for offering this Newtown release? After careful thought, I've decided to take these directly to the price list and have already provided three collectors of the series with first shot at the group. If made little sense to hold these back for two months as we move into the slower numismatic summer months. The imperative from Newtown is to work towards placing these lots into the "appropriate collections". Please note the importance of the 1847/6 CACG AU55 lot as the FINEST either with CAC Green bean or CACG holder.

A Superb Newtown Seated Half Dollar Collection Release - Click on Image for Higher Resolution Access

 

My job, at this point, is to promptly load this lot into the COIN system and settling the offer prices with Newtown. Individual coin photography, for price list loading, is an unknown giving the terrible Maine weather forecast.

Your job, as a passionate Seated half dollar collector, is to study this group and send in your First Right of Refusal requests. They will be honored, in the order received, if using "Newtown FRoR" in the email subject line. If not taking the time to properly entitled the email, there is a chance that I will not see your requests.

To be clear, there are three collectors who will have first shot at the above coins, followed by those who send their FRoR emails with a proper email subject line.

 

Global Financial News

We appear to be in a time frame where equities and commodities are trading flat. This was the case yesterday when the S&P 500 traded absolutely flat on the day while gold is also moving sideways. The only bright spot is silver which climbed to $27.65/oz.

Speaking of gold, it does appear that the yellow precious metal has been repriced to $2300 by those dark forces that common people do not understand. Interestingly, China is slowing down its gold bullion imports now that the price has reached $2300+. However, private Chinese citizen gold buying continues to increase. This Kitco article by Ernest Hoffman provides the details.

The People's Bank of China (PBoC) added to their bullion reserves for the 18th month in a row, but April also marked the second month in a row of dramatically lower quantities, suggesting that record-high prices may finally be souring the central bank on gold.

The PBOC bought 60,000 troy ounces of gold last month, far lower than the 160,000 ounces it purchased in March, and a far cry from February’s 390,000 ounces. March’s figure was the smallest since the central bank began its record run of purchases in November 2022, and April’s amount was 63% lower than that.

While market participants speculated that the low February numbers could have been impacted by the Lunar New Year holidays, which shuttered markets and stopped most business activities between Feb. 10-17, the March figures confirmed the downward trend in China’s sovereign purchases, and April’s decline was even more dramatic.

Still, many experts believe that the last 18 months represent a fundamental shift in the gold market away from the West and to the East, and to China in particular, and they don’t expect that overall trend to reverse any time soon.

Central bank buying has been a significant driver of gold’s price gains since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and China has led the sovereign buying during that period.

The World Gold Council noted that central banks bought more gold in Q1 2024 than during any other first quarter on record. “Q1 saw no let-up in the pace of central bank gold buying,” the WGC wrote in their newly released Gold Demand Trends Q1 2024 report. “290t (net) was added to official holdings, only part of which is currently reflected in IMF data.”

China’s consumer market has also shown robust gold demand even as prices set new highs. According to the China Gold Association (CGA), the country’s gold consumption was 5.94% higher in the first quarter of 2024 than during the same period in 2023, which they attributed to surging demand among the citizenry for safe haven assets.

Chinese buyers purchased 308.91 metric tons of the precious metal in the first three months of the year. The CGA said gold bars and coins represented 34% of the total, as demand for these products increased by 26.77% percent to 106.32 tons in Q1.


Saying good bye to the venerable Chevy Malibu brand is the topic of this Seeking Alpha article.

After a 60-year run, General Motors is saying goodbye to the Chevy Malibu> to make room for more electric vehicles and hybrids. The company will end production of the vehicle in November, and invest $390M to retool its Kansas City plant to build the next generation of the Chevy Bolt EV and resume manufacturing of the Cadillac XT4. With the Malibu and Camaro gone, the Corvette will be the last remaining Chevy ICE left. Despite the Malibu's former glory as a NASCAR darling and 10M car sales worldwide since 1964, sales have tapered off in recent years, dropping 12.5% in Q1 2024.

For once, Seeking Alpha's morning market futures are published early and can be added to this segment.

In Asia, Japan -0.3%. Hong Kong +1.2%. China +0.8%. India -1.5%.

In Europe, at midday, London +0.4%. Paris +0.1%. Frankfurt +0.5%.

Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.2%. NASDAQ -0.3%.

The 10 Year Treasury bond yield has increased to 4.51% while the U.S. is priced at 105.7.

WTI crude oil is a tad under $80/bbl.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

I will be working in the office for most of the day. Between loading the balance of the Cumberland County Walkers into the COIN system along with Newtown and Grimjet newly arrival consignments, there is plenty to keep me busy.

New purchase orders would be cherished and responded to quickly.

Thanks again for checking in at the Daily Blog. Missing a day could mean missing important opportunities....

Be well!

 

 

 

Wednesday May 8, 2024

When a Small Town Hall Becomes Onerous

and

GFRC-Lite Attending Columbia SC Show and More...

 

 

Greetings on a Wednesday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. We are glad that you could find the time to visit.

Let's open this edition and discuss the first headline as many as wondering what precipitated this statement. Yesterday saw Phil Walter, from Maine Solar Solutions, visiting the homestead to discuss our planned Powerwall3 centric solar installation. Phil's visit was delayed due to several company morning meetings. Upon arrival, he sadly informed me that Maine Solar has decided to no longer conduct work in the town of Raymond as the permitting and oversight workload dictated by town management had become onerous. He went on further to state that Raymond is the only town in southern Maine to garner this reputation.

Talk about a let down to start Phil's visit....

My personality is to not surrender easily especially when faced with an out of control small town hall staff. Our neighbors, Rick and Sharon, have shared their stories of the burdensome (ridiculous) regulations and requirements emanating from Raymond town hall during their new home construction. I've made mention in the Blog of the new regulation mandating all residential construction to have a 300 gallon water tank as home fire hydrant along with sprinkler systems. Please remember that Raymond is mostly rural with no underground services. I also just learned, from Rick, that the long delay in the installation of their solar panels was due to the Raymond Fire Department mandating that one of their few officers must provide oversight for the installation. Scheduling issues between Maine Solar and the Fire Department were responsible for a protracted installation delay.

On a positive note, Phil and I proceeded with the appointment under the assumption that he will be able to convince his management team to support our installation. I promised to be the Maine Solar boots on the ground towards personally dealing with permitting matters since only a five minute drive to town hall.

My mental view of the solar system installation was consistent with Phil's proposal. The core is two Powerwall3 batteries and a Gateway controller installed in the basement utility room. There is sufficient room on the wall adjacent to the circuit breaker box and exactly opposite the outdoor Central Maine Power meter. The only issue was the number of solar panels that could fit on the southeastern facing roof. Phil recommended the new Silfab 500 watt panel with 11 easily fitting on the roof. With some extra effort to move one venting pipe, we could get to 12 panels or 6000 watts of peak generation on a sunny day. The two Powerwall3 batteries can store 27,000 watt/hours

The quoted price was below my budget by 16% which does not include tax rebates. When considering the tax rebates, the installation is a no-brainer and quite competitive with a larger Generic generator system. The core issue with a Generic, in a rural setting, is the placement of a large propane tank. The last thing I want near the homestead is an ugly above ground propane tank.

The long and the short is that Phil is returning to the office and promised to convince his management team to move forward with this project given that the client is a repeat customer and secondly, motivated to work with Maine Solar to deal with Raymond town hall matters. Furthermore, the installation is quite straightforward.

Moving onto GFRC numismatics....

The Grimjet Liberty Seated dime consignment is due to arrive today. Newtown is also ready to ship his 24 piece Seated half dollar lot valued at roughly $100,000. Top quality consignment reinforcements are on the way!

 

GFRC-Lite Attending Columbia SC Show and More...

Hi Gerry,

Greetings from North Carolina. I’ve been following your annual spring migration from Florida to Maine while now preparing for the upcoming Columbia, SC show that the Midlands Club hosts this Friday and Saturday May 10,11.

For the Columbia show, Lite will display 3 cases, 2 populated with certified coins and one raw. Lite's inventory will be quite strong with new inventory consignments received in many categories, but especially so for early copper and Liberty Seated material. I'll just briefly mention the Early Copper category, in which Lite has dramatically improved its current inventory, especially so in the Indian Cent series. How about key dates 1877 in an NGC AU58 holder or a 1908-S graded PCGS XF40? At smaller show venues it might be tough finding either coin in higher grades, Lite is pleased to have both in inventory this go round.

Last year was the 1st time that the Midlands show was attended, and I was very happy to expand Lite's southeast presence into the Palmetto state. A brief look back at last year's results showed 30 coins sold, a benchmark that should be exceeded. I'm predicting overall sales between 45-50 coins, although I'm not ready to predict the 
average price, product line or Graded/Raw sales mix.

The Midlands Coin Club show will be held at a Embassy Suites, the address and show hours can be found on the "Additional Info" page on the GFRC-Lite website. I plan on leaving about 4:30 AM on Friday, it's about a 3 hrs drive, that will give me 1 1/2 hrs to set up before doors open to the public. The venue had strong security with about 35-40 dealers. I also remember morning Krispy Kreme donuts and coffee served and dealers having a lunch takeout delivery option for Chick Fil A.

On a personal collecting note, I'd like to mention my interest in the 3 Cent Silver Series (3CS) and that I was finally able to add a suitable, well struck 1856 graded PCGS MS64 CAC to my collection. This acquisition completes a short but targeted date run from 1851-1862 including the 1862/1 major variety for the series. The 3CS series was issued from 1851-1872 with mintages dropping off precipitously beginning in 1863. I would like to add the low mintage 1863 (only 21,000 business strikes were minted) because of the Civil War date, but I'm quite happy with my collection as it currently stands. Of the 14 dates, my collection shows grades of MS62 (2), MS63 (2), MS64 (9), MS65(1). Eight are CAC stickered, with a collecting focus on strike, surface originality and eye appeal.

Within the 3CS series, the Type 2 with 3 Star lines was issued from 1854-1858. In 1854 2 outlines were added to the star, presumably to indicate a composition change from 75% to 90% silver and a weight change from .8 grams to .75 grams. Interestingly the lower weight change kept the amount of silver used the same while now matching the silver % of other silver coins in circulation. Seated Half Dime collectors will easily relate to how small the 3CS is, as the weight is about 50 grams or 40% less, now that's tiny!

So, with all that said, 1856 was the final date needed to complete my "short set". It's a fairly tough, but not impossible coin to find, the PCGS pop being 98 with CAC showing 16 in MS64. Yet, this coin had eluded me for years due to the weak obverse strike on the lower left portion of the star, and my quest to find a strongly struck example. My image shows a very strong strike for the date, but not quite full. Note the slight weakness in the lower left outer lines of the star. In hand, the strike is a bit fuller than the image, but not 100% so. As I had hunted for this coin for years, weak strike after weak strike was seen and subsequently passed on. When I finally had the opportunity to obtain this coin I immediately knew the strike was way above average, the CAC sticker helping me validate my opinion which manifested in my strong and successful bid. 

If I have one theme that I would like readers to take away, it's that of gaining knowledge and applying patience. Knowing that strike can widely vary by date is not something that can be easily gained without specialization in a series. If the collector gains this knowledge, he/she will have a great leg up in building a superior collection.

After I return from the show, I'll write a quick recap and list any new purchases and consignments that might be of interest.

Wishing all the blogamaniacs continued collecting success!

Rich

 

Global Financial News

Is the United States economy already in a recession? While having breakfast, I took in the following YouTube video from Danielle DiMartino Booth. Danielle previously worked for the Federal Reserve and is a data centric analyst. Her firm is ITM Trading. The following video is well worth the time if you enjoy viewing detailed graphs concerning the current state of unemployment and other important indices employed by ITM Trading for its ongoing economic research. Danielle is a frequent guest on the cable business channels. Her conclusion, based on the many monitored indices, is that the Federal Reserve will be late with interest rate cuts similar to the 2006-2007 period prior to the Great Recession. She believe that Jerome Powell will issue the first rate cut in September as the Federal Reserve must also service its second mandate of managing unemployment levels. The first mandate, of course, is inflation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQfUoA9mTdQ

Another equity and commodities trading day is upon us. The S&P 500 was up marginally on Tuesday to 5,188. Morning market futures are pointing to some opening selling at 0.15% down.

Spot gold is trading at $2315/oz while silver can be had at $27.19.

The 10 Year bond yield stands at 4.49% along with the U.S. dollar quoting at 105.5.

WTI crude oil as fallen to $77.50/bbl.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Today brings and office day along with a quick drive into Windham to secure several Seated dimes from the bank box.

The entire Cumberland County Walking Liberty half dollar collection was photographed yesterday and moves into the the image processing department.

Shipping is light along with a few invoices to generate.

Other than the "CCC", Grimjet, and Newtown larger consignments, the regular flow of smaller consignments is minimal.

That is all she wrote on a Wednesday morning. Thank you for the ongoing visits.

Be well!

 

 

 

Tuesday May 7, 2024

A Sunny Maine Day, Then More Rain

and

A Small But Noteworthy Consignment Arrives

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Tuesday morning. We are certainly pleased with the ongoing patronage of so many collectors and regular visitors.

Finally, southern Maine will enjoy an uninterrupted day of full sunshine. Yes, there will be a complete day of blue skies before the weather shifts back to ongoing clouds and on-and-off rains through the rest of the week. Welcome to spring time in Maine...

Following is a baseline image of the coastal horizon view from our back deck. The birches and populars are leading the way with light green budding while the maples are just beginning to exhibit early leafing colors. The mighty oaks are lagging the maples by about a week's time. Given the ongoing rains, the lawns have turned deep green. Yes, I will be on the small JD tractor mowing the lawn this afternoon.

Maine Spring Foliage Begins to Appear

 

Much occurred on Monday concerning the GFRC business and the homestead. Therefore a brief recap is in order.

First is the fact that GFRC will be attending the Summer ANA in Chicago with a monumental announcement forthcoming in the late June time frame. Our goal for the Chicago ANA is two-fold. First is the display of several huge collections that will be auctioned in early 2025. Second is regular GFRC retail selling and insourcing consignments. While I was completing the ANA bourse application, Diane was booking flights and deciding which hotel we would select for the stay. Moving forward, Diane and I will be the primary staffing for GFRC's presence at coin shows. Dan White has indicated his desire to phase out of the coin show circuit due to escalating age.

On the home front, Pete Theberge visited during the morning hours to review the barn shelving project. For longer term Blog readers, Pete is the builder of the barn. At this point, Pete is mostly retired and taking on smaller jobs. Come next Monday and Tuesday, Pete and Gerry will be working together to dress up the barn with several types of shelving and a long work bench. The required building materials were assessed on Monday morning with Pete placing the order into Hammond Lumber. We are on a tight schedule for securing material delivery. If we miss next week's Monday and Tuesday window, Pete is not available until the last week of May. Everyone should expect the GFRC office to be closed next Monday and Tuesday as I will be working as Pete's helper. On a separate note, this shelving construction project will be the first major test of the barn's solar power and battery capacity.

The consignment stream also restarted on Monday with the arrival of a two piece lot from a long term consignor. These are featured next. Today brings the shipment of the 30 piece Liberty Seated dime lot to the Maine office followed by the Newtown Seated halves in the next 48 hours or so.

Sadly, no one placed a bid on the gem 1902-O Barber quarter that was offered as a one day auction. This lot moves to the 30 Day Price List today. Whomever does purchase this piece will understand why it was placed at auction as a first offering step. This is a beautifully toned example and the only MS63+ certified at PCGS.

Today brings another busy day for sure. Phil Walter (Maine Solar Solutions) arrives late morning with a Powerwall3 battery centric solar system proposal that will take the homestead to a "net metering" status, and in the worse case, fully off-grid during an extended power loss event. I've already designed the system in my head and looking forward to seeing Phil's proposal. Solar system integration has improved significantly in the past two years leaving the number of roof mounted solar panels as the debatable question.

Outside of the Maine Solar visit, I'm planning to photograph the entire Cumberland County Collection (CCC) Walking Liberty half dollar set and will mow the lawn for the first time in 2024. Already, half of the CCC set has been loaded into the COIN system. Many of the lots were purchased from the Twin Lakes consignor during 2018 as a partial set of PCGS MS64 CAC dates. Once I have images to work with, the forthcoming auction will be announced along with a solicitation for supporting consignments.

 

A Noteworthy Consignment Arrives

Following are two lovely lots delivered by Doug the Mailman on Saturday. The 1825 O-111 Capped Bust half is unquestionably original with the perfect patina for CAC Grading. This piece reminds me of the beautifully toned silver crowns seen on display at the Shanghai Museum during my time in China. The offer price is above the CAC price guide but please check the GFRC Sales Archive for a realistic market assessment of fair value. This is clearly a $950 coin.

The second lot is a orange-gold toned 1835 HM-1 Capped Bust half with CAC approval. This visually pleasing early $5 gold piece should not last long on the price list as this series is always in demand for type.

A Noteworthy Consignment Arrives

        1825 O-111 CACG AU55 50C - $950                                          1835 HM-1 PCGS AU50 CAC G$5 - $2595  

        

 

An Early Estes Model Rocket Deal Underway

If I was not busy enough, a Texas collector of the early generation Estes K-kit model rockets contacted me last week with a want list. Since I was moving a huge model rocket kit inventory from the basement utility room to the barn, the timing was good to paw through several plastic totes towards filling this gentleman's want list. Following is an image of the kits being quoted today or tomorrow.

 

Global Financial News

Equity markets enjoyed a strong start to the week with the S&P 500 gaining 1.0% to 5,181. Jerome Powell's scripted news conference has pacified investors that no further interest rate increases are planned regardless of fiscal policies contributing to "sticky inflation". If Powell can't cut rates in an election year, at least he can assure everyone that rates will remains at current levels. Also supporting equity markets are the Magnificent 7 (Apple, Amazon, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Telsa) Q1 earnings that continue to increase for these behemoth companies.

After yesterday's gains, morning market futures are dead flat.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield continues to soften with a morning quote of 4.46%. The U.S dollar is flat at 105.1.

Spot gold is trading at $2316/oz while silver spot is at $27.27. Speaking of the precious metal, Kitco has published an article by Ernest Hoffman that announces a Goldman Sachs settlement of a 2014 lawsuit over platinum and palladium price fixing. What a surprise that a major U.S. bank is involved in the precious metal pricing complex. Here is the Kitco article.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs announced on Friday that it has reached an in-principle settlement agreement to resolve an outstanding class action lawsuit filed in 2014 related to the firm’s platinum and palladium trading.

Goldman was one of several defendants named in the lawsuit, which alleged they had conspired to manipulate a market benchmark for physical platinum and palladium prices.

The agreement is subject to final documentation and court approval, and the bank said that it had set aside reserves for its part of the settlement amount.

The price fixing lawsuit was initially filed nearly 10 years ago by Modern Settings LLC, a Florida-based manufacturer of jewelry and police badges. The filing accused units of Goldman, BASF, HSBC Holdings Plc and South Africa's Standard Bank Group Ltd of conspiring since 2007 to rig the twice-daily platinum and palladium benchmark ‘fixings’ and the prices of futures and options based on those rates.

The plaintiff's law firm, Labaton Sucharow, called it the first nationwide class action over alleged price-fixing of the metals and said that their client and other metals purchasers lost millions of dollars as a result of the scheme.

They accused the defendants of illegally sharing customer data, which they used to engage in ‘front-running’ of expected price moves, and also of manufacturing phantom ‘spoof’ orders.

Platinum and palladium are used in catalytic converters to curb vehicle emissions, and are also used in dentistry and jewelry.

When the allegations surfaced, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing unit of the London Metal Exchange (LME) announced that they would take charge of platinum and palladium price benchmarking going forward, and would use a new electronic platform. The lawsuit claimed these changes came too late for Modern Settings and other class members.

The benchmark system run by Goldman, BASF, HSBC and Standard was established in 1989.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

I hope that you've enjoyed this long Blog edition. There is much on my plate for today, therefore let's wrap up here.

Thanks again for the visit. Be well!

 

 

 

Monday May 6, 2024

A One Day GFRC Auction Sale

and

Grimjet Liberty Seated Dime Consignment Preview

 

Greetings from a cloud covered southern Maine and welcome to the Daily Blog. Your ongoing readership is much appreciated.

Why are there no early spring images from the back deck is a question being asked by several readers. The answer is quite straightforward in that the weather has not been supportive. The coastal images are taken on sunny days with a clear view of the horizon. Maine weather has been essentially cloudy since our return, and if there is a brief period of sunshine, I'm too focused on outdoor clean-up efforts to think of securing an image.

At the moment, the flowering plums are exhibiting their early crimson leaves and the forsythias are bright yellow. The heartier maples and oaks are still in their early stages of budding and releasing the summer of 2024 leaves. In another week, the current barren landscape will be much improved. Yes, I will secure an image of the coastal horizon this afternoon and the sun is predicted to make an appearance by early afternoon.

Much was accomplished this weekend in terms of property clean-up along with the utility (rocket) room being prepared for a battery centric solar system.

Station break... The chipmunks are already active in the front yard which means more early morning hunting with the Gamo air rifle. The first culprit of the season is hustling acorns into Diane's flower bed and needs to be dealt with. Some aspects of country living don't change.

 

A One Day GFRC Auction Sale

A gem and CAC approved 1902-O Barber quarter is currently available for bidding in the first GFRC one day auction sale. The auction opened last evening at 9:00 PM and closes today at the same time.

CAC population for the date stands at 46 total with 3 approved at the offered grade. Let's not forget that this lot is the sole MS63+ certified. CAC price guide is $1250 in MS63 and $1760 in MS64. Therefore, the reserve is realistic and fair.

As a reminder, following is this gem lot.

1902-O PCGS MS63+ CAC 25C - Reserved at $1225

 

If this one day auction format works, I will probably conduct more of these events for premiums coins that are due to start arriving shortly. The Florida to Maine transition has brought a consignment supply gap that will rectify itself in the coming days.

 

Grimjet Liberty Seated Dime Consignment Preview

Speaking of new consignments heading to the GFRC Maine office, the following Grimjet Collection lot is on its way. This is a marvelous circulated Liberty Seated dime lot with nearly all being CAC approved. A portion of these dime were purchased from GFRC and can be researched in the Sales Archive. The 1846 dime and the Civil War San Francisco dates will bring attention given their CAC green beans. Upon this lot's arrival, a decision will be made to take directly to the price list or hold back for a near term auction event. My initial thinking is to construct a near term auction specifically for these lots as the quantity is manageable.

Please keep checking the Blog for the latest on this noteworthy consignment and the forthcoming marketing and selling strategy.

Date Mint TPG Grade CAC Denom TPGCert
1838 P PCGS AU55 CAC 10C 537652.55/84121726
1839 P PCGS AU55 CAC 10C 4571.55/19068755
1841 O PCGS AU55 CAC 10C 4580.55/15750610
1844 P PCGS AU50 CAC 10C 4585.50/2289809
1845 O PCGS XF40 CAC 10C 4587.40/11144729
1846 P PCGS XF45 CAC 10C 4588.45/32980159
1847 P PCGS AU53 CAC 10C 4589.53/30447872
1850 P PCGS AU53 CAC 10C 4593.53/32211299
1851 P PCGS AU55 CAC 10C 4595.55/32750018
1856 P PCGS XF40 CAC 10C 4610.40/42088677
1856 O PCGS AU55 CAC 10C 4612.55/20333206
1858 S PCGS XF45 CAC 10C 4618.45/13133558
1860 S PCGS XF45 CAC 10C 4622.45/39469710
1863 S PCGS AU53 CAC 10C 4638.53/14536289
1864 S PCGS VF30   10C 4640.30/28637183
1865 S PCGS XF40 CAC 10C 4705.40/35694159
1866 S PCGS XF40 CAC 10C 4705.40/32014851
1868 P PCGS AU55 CAC 10C 4647.55/36240349
1869 S PCGS XF40 CAC 10C 4650.40/27416528
1870 P PCGS AU58 CAC 10C 4651.58/42113774
1870 S PCGS AU58   10C 4652.58/36484122
1871 S PCGS AU50 CAC 10C 4655.50/27364021
1873 P PCGS AU50 CAC 10C 4665.50/29550954
1874 P PCGS AU58 CAC 10C 4668.58/30433837
1874 S PCGS XF40 CAC 10C 4670.40/38405588
1877 CC PCGS AU50 CAC 10C 4683.50/39898012
1879 P PCGS XF45 CAC 10C 4687.45/18540831
1884 S PCGS AU58 CAC 10C 4693.58/16063581
1886 P PCGS AU53 CAC 10C 4696.53/30531932
1890 S PCGS XF45 CAC 10C 4705.45/38743944

 

Global Financial News

Another financial week is upon us with the S&P 500 having recovered to 5,128 at the end of Friday's trading. Jerome Powell has told the markets that there will be no interest rate increases during his FOMC report out. This calmed investors and traders with the 10 U.S. Treasury bond yield dropping to 4.48%, a significant step in calming fears that bond yields would climb to 5.0%. The problem remains that of the Treasury department and their need to constantly refinance the U.S. deficit. The Federal Reserve has the monetary control mandate but does not directly control what our debt holders are demanding for T-bill yields.

The U.S. dollar is trending at 105 to start the day after peaking at 106+ on April 30th.

Spot gold and silver are starting the week on an upbeat note. The current gold quote is $2321/oz with silver also climbing to $27.11. There is no question that we are in a consolidation phase for both metals after recent substantial gains. The following summary by Kitco's Neils Christensen is a an excellent of recent economic news and how investors are reacting to higher gold prices.

The U.S. labor market has defied all expectations in 2024, but sentiment has started to shift as five months of consecutive out performance come to an end.

Heading into the weekend, markets continue to digest the disappointing nonfarm payrolls numbers. The U.S. economy created 175,000 jobs last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The monthly figure missed expectations as economists were looking for job gains of 238,000.

At the same time, the unemployment rate increased, and wages didn’t rise as much as expected.

This was initially good news for the gold market, and prices briefly popped; however, in a fatigued market, many traders used the rally to sell. The gold market has managed to hold support above $2,300 an ounce, but it is ending the week with a roughly 1% loss.

After its massive $400+ rally, the gold market continues to consolidate and trend lower as sentiment normalizes. The focus again turns to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy and interest rates.

Ahead of Friday’s employment number, the Federal Reserve poured cold water on expectations that it would start its easing cycle this summer. The central bank left interest rates unchanged and noted a lack of progress in bringing inflation down to its 2% target.

The latest employment data will provide the Federal Reserve with a sense that the labor market is cooling, easing inflation pressures, but it won’t prompt them to act anytime soon. This will limit gold’s gains in the near term.

However, this consolidation period is not bad; a reset in the market will allow investors to establish tactical positions without having to chase the market.

While gold prices have room to fall lower as the Fed maintains its restrictive monetary policy, the market won’t completely collapse. The U.S. central bank may not be dovish, but it certainly isn’t hawkish.

After the decision, Powell made it very clear multiple times during his press conference that the Federal Reserve is not looking to raise interest rates.

"I think it's unlikely that the next policy rate move will be a hike. I'd say it's unlikely," Powell said during his press conference.

Analysts note that this puts a cap on bond yields and a floor under gold.

At the same time, the factors that drove gold prices to record highs despite the Federal Reserve’s current stance still remain in play. In particular, central banks are expected to maintain their voracious appetite for gold.

The World Gold Council released its first-quarter Gold Demand Trends report and said the central bank bought 290 tonnes of gold in the first three months of the year, the strongest start on record.

“Gold has proven to be a very powerful diversifier, and that is one of the key reasons that central banks themselves cite us as the reason for holding it,” WGC Director of Global Research Juan Carlos Artigas told Kitco News in an interview.

Many major banks have dismissed gold’s current correction and continue to see higher prices this year. Goldman Sachs has dismissed a higher Fed funds rate as they see prices rallying to $2,700 by the end of the year.

“We're seeing a surge in demand from emerging market central banks and from Asian retail investors,” said Nicholas Snowdon, Head of Metals Research at Goldman, in a commentary published ahead of the U.S. central bank’s decision. “We think these are long-term dynamics that will keep a firm bid under gold. So even if rates do stay high, we expect to see continued bullish momentum in the gold price.”

Surging U.S. inventories are cited as being responsible for crude oil dropping below $80/bbl. The morning quote stands at close to $79.

Morning market futures are pointing to a 0.35% gain for equities once trading opens.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today

Pete Theberge has pulled in his Tuesday appointment to this morning at 9:00 AM. We will be down at the barn and planning the shelving construction strategy during the current month. Afterwards, the shipping department will kick in.

The balance of the day's activities will be pending the arrival of Mr. Sunshine and the ability to secure numismatic images.

I wish there was more to share at this point, but there is a need to secure a shower and prepare for Pete's arrival.

Thanks again for dropping in at the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

 

Sunday May 5, 2024

Let's Try a One Day GFRC Auction - Gem 1902-O Barber Quarter

 

Greeting from the Maine homestead and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Sunday morning. Thank you for checking in.

Whether it is a gem numismatic item or the homestead's front landscaping, eye appeal is the name of the game. Being back in the GFRC office and overlooking a freshly cleaned landscape is quite rewarding on a Sunday morning.

Let's set the stage for yesterday's workload. Since the Fall 2023 Baltimore show was scheduled for a week before the Fortin's Florida transition, a decision was made to attend the Baltimore show and leave directly to Florida after the event. The earlier than normal Maine departure resulted in the mighty oaks dropping their leaves after our departure. You guess it... As part of yesterday's front yard cleaning, those oak leaves were everywhere to be found and having collected mostly within and under shrubs, throughout the new rip-rap spillway, and along the homestead foundation. As the day moved along, I lost count of the number of cart loads of leaves that were transported to the new composting area. The numerous smaller broken branches were also collected and broken into sizes ideal as wood stove kindling. After Gerry's general clean-up, Diane became involved and meticulously removed the remaining oak leaves that has amassed deep within the shrubs. I must say that the front landscaping looks pristine this morning with my mind being at ease.

As much as was accomplished on Saturday, there is still more to do today. The side lawn between the Fortin and Dodson properties is covered with pine needles and cones that will need to be cleared. Afterwards, the emphasis shifts to the basement utility room (the model rocket room) with another round of carefully packing complete rockets and kits in newly acquired plastic totes from Lowes. This room must be sufficiently cleared out for a realistic conversation with Maine Solar Solutions, on Tuesday, for the placement of the Powerwall3 batteries along with other system components.

Our neighbors Rick and Sharon invited us over for a tour of their finished new home. It is indeed an impressive structure with three levels of living space that have been nicely decorated. The difference between 1985 and 2023 construction techniques and code requirements were quite notable when Rick provide a tour of the utilities section of the home. Since their new drilled well is performing no better than the existing in terms of recovery rate, their water supply system has been duplicated for each well along with a controller that supports two pressurized holding tanks. Their 300 gallon water reserve tank (an internal fire hydrant) is the latest code mandate from an over zealous Raymond fire department. This band is also requiring that solar panel roof installation can only be done with a Raymond fire department representative onsite during the installation. The scheduling requirements were onerous for the Dodsons and I'm probably looking at the same for the Fortin project.

 

Let's Try a One Day GFRC Auction - Gem 1902-O Barber Quarter

During the past ten days, GFRC has conducted a trade with a client that is actively upgrading his Barber quarter collection. As part of the deal, the following gem 1902-O quarter was taken in trade. This is a luscious example with steely-frosted radiance that showcases creamy aquamarine and golden toning hues. The icing on the cake is that MS63+ certified grade along with CAC approved. This lot is pop 1 at the MS63+ level.

Let's take advantage of the GFRC auction application and try a one day auction to allow everyone a fair chance at securing this gem quarter. The auction is scheduled to open at 9:00 PM this evening and will close on Monday at 9:00 PM. The usual GFRC bidding rules apply to this one day event.

1902-O PCGS MS63+ CAC 25C - Reserved at $1225

 

Gem Eye Appeal, Steely-Frosted Luster, Vibrant Cartwheels, Fully Struck A gem original 1902-O Barber quarter that presents superb eye appeal along with being the sole MS63+ example certified by PCGS. GFRC images accurately illustrate the light aquamarine and copper-gold hues that float over the underlying steely-frosted luster. Under a bright light, the radiance is consistent with the assigned grade along with vibrant cartwheels being enjoyed. Overall strike is also complete. Let's try a one day GFRC auction to enable a fair chance of the community to access this special offering. The auction opens on Sunday May 5 at 9:00 PM and will close 24 hours later on Monday. Good luck to those who wish to add a superb Barber quarter to their holdings. The reserve has been set at the PCGS price guide. Housed in PCGS Gen 6.1 (2020-2024) holder with CAC approval.

 

What is Gerry Up to Today?

Since being a Sunday, my attention will be aimed at homestead matters while occasionally monitoring emails and text message for potential orders.

The clean-up of the basement utility room is today's imperative.

Thank you again for the ongoing patronage. Blog content will be improving during the coming week with a special GFRC-Lite edition on Thursday.

Be well!

 

 

 

 

Saturday May 4, 2024

A Yard Work Choice.....

 

Greeting on a Saturday morning. Today's Daily Blog edition will be brief as I'm planning to head outdoors early to continue yard work that was started on Friday afternoon.

Clouds and rain continue to dominate the Maine weather landscape. The first full day of sunshine is forecasted for Tuesday, therefore a large scale photography session is planned for that day. In the meantime, the focus for the next 48 hours is clearing the landscape of leaves and broken branches and moving the model rocket collection from the basement to the barn attic.

So that readers don't walk away empty handed for today's visit, following is a Seth Godin piece on the topic of choices. It seems like today brings a person choice to downplay the GFRC business in lieu of working outdoors. Presenting a tidy property to those who visit, and for my personal piece of mind, is more important "choice" than an extending rambling session in the Blog or loading the price list with yet more coins.

 

Seth Godin Blogpost - The other choices

The intentional, noticed choices are obvious. “Vanilla or chocolate?”

But most of the choices we live with are unseen. They’re expensive, challenging and invisible.

When we plan an event with an outdoor component, we’re choosing to be anxious about the weather in the week leading up to the big day.

When we buy something with a credit card, we’re choosing the long-term cost of paying the ongoing debt.

When we stick with a deadend job instead of quitting today, tomorrow’s angst was a choice.

These invisible choices are all around us, often hidden by forces that would rather we didn’t think about them. And it’s usually easier to simply look the other way.

But they’re still choices.

 

Thank you for the visit. Be well!

 

 

 

Friday May 3, 2024

Stolen Liberty Seated Quarter Collection Has Been Recovered

"CCC" Walking Liberty Halves Preview - Part 1

and

Preview of Hallet Racing School - The SRF Racers

 

Greeting and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Friday morning. Thank-you so much for stopping by.

Finally, sunshine has returned to southern Maine though clouds are still making their best attempt to linger. One of today's first tasks is photographing a gem 1902-O PCGS MS63+ CAC Barber quarter that was recently taken in trade. The lot will be posted during the afternoon hour if I can secure several minutes of sun. Next will be the Cumberland County Collection's (CCC) Walking Liberty half dollars to enable the start of image processing.

Thursday brought a blood extraction appointment followed by a shopping spree at Lowe's for storage totes, premixed chain saw fuel, and ant spray. We are talking quantity purchases here to stock up the barn. The totes were placed into immediately use as the afternoon was spent clearing the basement "rocket room" in preparations for the Tesla Powerwall3 based solar system installation. Phil Walter, from Maine Solar, arrives next Tuesday with a system configuration proposal and I'd like to have the basement installation area cleared sufficient for a productive assessment of how/where the batteries will be mounted.

On the numismatic front, GFRC did a three piece Liberty Seated dollar deal with a new client and secondly, is making progress on a larger deal involving CAC approved $2.5 gold. The regular retail business has been quiet during and after our Maine transition. Hopefully, this business angle will pick up come the weekend. Yes, GFRC is not attending the Central States show as the timing is bad given our just completed Maine transition and the workload associated with kicking off multiple contractor projects.

 

Stolen Liberty Seated Quarter Collection Has Been Recovered

During the overnight hours, our Mountain View Collection consignor sent along a positive update concerning the theft of his San Francisco Seated quarter collection. Following is the announcement that nearly all of his coins have been recovered.

You may have already seen some news, but I wanted to provide a happier update.

All but two of the Seated Liberty quarters have been recovered thanks to the efforts of a dealer contacted via the network. I had also made a mistake in my original list, since I sent it while traveling and could not check my inventory at the time; the 1856-S F15 and 1873-S F15 were not actually among the lot that was stolen.

Amazingly, the thieves did not crack out the coins, and they did not seem to have a sense of their value. The two unrecovered Seated coins are the 1855-S and 1875-S. They are low-value and replaceable enough; I am so lucky to have recovered the others.

I would have never dreamed that this was possible, and I sincerely thank everyone involved.

All I can say is that this is great news and we are pleased to know of the positive outcome.

 

"CCC" Walking Liberty Halves Preview - Part 1

Today brings the first "teaser" for the forthcoming Cumberland County Collection's Walking Liberty half dollar set auction sale. When viewing the following image, please remember that this set has been under construction for years with overall eye appeal and choice surfaces being the imperative. The heart of the "CCC" set are the initial dates from 1916 through 1920 along with the 1921-D. The entire set is CAC approved which is a wise decision on the part of our clients. Please look carefully as nearly 40% of the lots, in this image, are graded AU58. The current demand for CAC approved AU58 is quite intense in all series due to set registries.

 

Preview of Hallet Racing School - The SRF Racers

Though October 1 and 2 may be months away, the idea of attending racing school is still as exciting as when first proposed by the Sooner Collection (Blake Gibb).

Blake visited the Hallet Racing Shop yesterday to purchase several tires for his race car and sent along several images of the Hallet SRF training racers being prepared for another racing class session. If looking carefully at the image, you will note that each student's name is labeled on the side of their training racer. My application has been submitted and accepted for the October 1 and 2 sessions. The new and great news is that Blake will also be attending the Hallet racing school with me. Yes, I will be on the track with a seasoned pro like Blake. This should be a wild time. Isn't it amazing how the comradarie of numismatics leads to other notable pursuits? For those who are just catching up with the Blog, the SFR racers are equipped with a 1.9L Ford engine. The driver's cage must be adjusted to fit the size of each student, especially in my case of being 6'2".

 

 

Global Financial News

The S&P 500 saw volatility on Thursday but did manage to close up by 0.9% to 5,064. One of the main drivers was Apple. Seeking Alpha shares the following commentary for a notable jump in Apple's valuation.

Apple shares jumped 6% AH to $183.46/share on Thursday as the tech giant's Q2 results were better than expected despite iPhone fears in China. Sales weakness was also seen in categories including the iPad, Mac, and Wearables, but investors cheered its updated capital return plan that added a record $110B to its buyback program and raised its quarterly dividend by 4% to $0.25 per share. "We view Apple’s continued employment of generous share buybacks as a critical tool for the stock in weathering the near-term headwinds facing its underlying fundamental outlook," said Investing Group Leader Livy Investment Research.

Today brings April's nonfarm payroll report with more speculation on where the Federal Reserve is heading with interest rates. Let's again check in with Seeking Alpha for their coverage of this topic.

The domestic labor market remains tight, with April's nonfarm payrolls report expected to show that more than 200K jobs were added to the U.S. economy for the fourth straight month. The unemployment rate is also forecast to remain at 3.8%, resulting in the 27th consecutive month that joblessness has stayed under 4% and marking the longest such stretch since the 1960s. It's a peculiar dynamic, as interest rates have remained relatively high over much of the past two years, and conventional thinking has suggested that this would have made some dent in the job market by now.

Are rates high enough? Jay Powell says they are and has telegraphed that the Fed's next move will be down and not up. That's despite inflation remaining sticky around the 3% level and persistent price pressures in the first quarter of the year. Those forces have also led many investors to consider wage growth to be the most important indicator in today's NFP report, which will be released at 8:30 AM ET.

Average hourly earnings likely rose 0.3% M/M in April, unchanged from March. On a Y/Y basis, a 4.0% increase is expected (compared with 4.1% in the previous month), but higher-than-expected wage increases may fan the fears of resurgent inflation. The labor force participation rate, which measures the share of the working-age population employed or seeking employment, is also anticipated to stay unchanged at 62.7%.

Morning market futures are suggesting incremental buying in the equities market when trading resumes in a few hours.

In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong +1.5%. China closed. India -1%.

In Europe, at midday, London +0.4%. Paris +0.6%. Frankfurt +0.4%.

Futures at 7:00, Dow +0.8%. S&P +0.4%. NASDAQ +0.6%.

Most important is the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield receding to 4.58% along with the U.S. dollar moving down slightly to 105.2.

Spot gold is working hard to hold the $2300/oz level. The Kitco tracking of real time quotes indicates a price of $2298 while silver is selling at $26.48/oz.

WTI crude oil has dropped to $79.25/bbl.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

The response to this segment's headline is that of watching for the sun and staying busy otherwise on a host of other homestead project. As the Blog is being composed, the cloud cover has returned. Our local WCSH weatherman has promised partial sunshine this afternoon and I will certainly be ready for numismatic photography. While waiting for the sun to appear, the front landscaping needs special attention to clear out all the smaller broken branches as a first step. This wood will be cut down to size and stockpiled as kindling for the late 2024 heating season. Afterwards, left over oak leaves must be raked to beautify the property entrance. Once dried, the winter road sand must also be brushed and removed. Welcome to traditional Maine spring clean-up.

Thank you so much for the ongoing patronage, whether checking in at the Daily Blog, or making a numismatic purchase.

Be well!

 

 

 

 

Thursday May 2, 2024

An Amazing Walking Liberty Half Dollar Collection Arrives

and

Quito Collection - Price Reduction Showcase

 

Greeting from the land of rain and clouds! Welcome to the Daily Blog on a Thursday morning.

The past 24 hours were fully consumed with both GFRC business activities and cleaning the homestead. Dave Wallace rescheduled his 8:30 AM appointment to 3:00 PM and brought me up to date on the latest software app for quoting roofing jobs. He now uses a "roof scan" app that employs a Google overhead satellite image of our homestead which then automatically calculates the dimensions and total roofing area. Dave charges a flat fee per square foot of roofing area for the replacement. Diane chose a Moire Black roofing shingle design which is in stock at our local supply company. Life is good on the homestead project front.

Wallace Roofing has grown substantially in size during the past several years as he has a monopoly on the local Gray, Raymond, Windham area and is extending work to the Maine coastal communities of Yarmouth, Cumberland Foreside, and Cape Elizabeth. Though he currently has a backlog of 100+ jobs, he promised to fit us in in the near term since we are a repeat client. From an extended conversation with Dave Wallace, I learned that he is friends with Dave Wilkinson. We are so fortunate to have established strong relationships with top local contractors.

 

An Amazing Walking Liberty Half Dollar Collection Arrives

The other news of the day is the arrival of a truly special Walking Liberty half dollar collection courtesy of the husband and wife collecting team known as the Cumberland County Collection. It is one thing to review a set on paper (or Excel spreadsheet) but another thing to view the individual coins upon arrival. Such was the case yesterday afternoon. Let me be clear here. The "CCC" Walker set is downright awesome with tons of eye appeal. There are several gold CAC lots including an early Doily holder along with many PCGS old green holders. This collection is entirely CAC approved and will draw considerable attention once featured as the primary anchor collection for the next GFRC Online Auction event.

Here is a quick snapshot of the four PCGS blue boxes and a few samplings of the great forthcoming auction lots. More images will follow in the coming days.

 

Quito Collection - Price Reduction Showcase

As mentioned in Wednesday's Blog, our Quito friend has decided it is time to liquidate his remaining Liberty Seated quarter holdings along with a few other premium lots. Yesterday brought the relisting of the Quito lots to the 30 Day Price List with 10% reductions. Already, the 1861 II/II quarter and the 1893 Columbian half are on the hold. The balance, as showcased next, are immediately available for purchase. I'm running out of time this morning due to an 8:30 AM blood work appointment in Windham, therefore the discussion of these marvelous quarters must be concluded at this point. I'm certain that there will be subsequent discussions concerning their limited CAC approval populations. My suggestion is to not delay a purchase decision as the group has been posted to Collectors Corner at reduced levels. Lay-a-ways are fine.

 

Great Quito Collection Offerings - Price Reduction Showcase

1852 Briggs 1-A PCGS MS66 CAC 25C - $22,500

  1840 Drapery Briggs 1-A PCGS MS63 25C - $4950                                1849-O Briggs 1-A PCGS F15 CAC 25C - $5125    

        

        1854-O Briggs 1-B PCGS MS64 25C - $3150                                1875-CC Briggs 1-A PCGS MS63 CAC 25C - $8875   

        

                1877 PCGS MS66 CAC 25C - $2925                                    1877-CC Briggs 3-C PCGS MS65 CAC 25C - $3015    

        

          1877-S PCGS MS65 CAC 25C - $2250                                       1880 Briggs 1-A PCGS MS67 CAC 25C - $7200   

        

  1888-S PCGS MS66+ CAC 25C - $8550                                           1893 PCGS MS66+ CAC 50C - HOLD    

        

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Please accept my apology for the lack of a Global Financial News segment today, again due to an early blood work appointment. This is a "fasting" blood extraction and I don't do well without a hearty breakfast, thus the early morning scheduling.

I will be back in the office by 10:00 AM and will be loading the balance of the Scenic Lakeview Peace dollars to the 30 Day Price List along with placing the Cumberland County Walkers into the COIN system. Your purchase orders and consignment proposals are most welcomed. Over the next few weeks, a date will be decided upon for the next GFRC Online Auctions and a formal call for incremental consignments. During the next few days, I am expecting the delivery of the Grimjet Liberty Seated dime lot that will certainly enhance this event.

Thank you so much for visiting with me at the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

Wednesday May 1, 2024

Ain't No Sunshine in Maine

and

Announcing Quito Collection Sale - Immediate 10% Reduction

 

Greeting and welcome to the Daily Blog on the first day of May 2024. Thank you so much for returning for another round of GFRC ramblings.

Unfortunately, today's edition must be brief as Dave Wallace (Wallace Roofing) arrives at 8:30 AM to quote our roofing replacement project. I'd like to get a shower in before this important meeting.

Let's recap what happened on Tuesday in and out of the GFRC office.

First is the fact that we are caught up on GFRC shipping after working diligently throughout the morning hours. Second is coordinating with multiple consignors to enable their substantial Maine office shipments. The amazing Cumberland County Collection Walking Liberty half dollar in now in transit and arrives to the office today. Shipping instructions have been provided to Grimjet for his CAC approved 30 piece Liberty Seated dime lot and to Newtown for his duplicate Seated half dollars. There are also smaller shipments that are being coordinated.

Concerning the homestead projects, my buddy Dave Wilkinson was incredibly prompt and brought six truckloads of material throughout the day. He appeared at 9:00 AM with the first load of crushed stone and spent 20 minutes catching up on our lives and my plans for the back acreage "park". Dave's left knee is bone on bone and will be replace in just two week. After the meeting, Dave spent the balance of the day transporting sufficient 1.5" crushed stone, rip-rap stone, and fill for several days of Johnny2 effort in burying the burn pit and fixing minor washouts within the back acreage trails. Pete Theberge, who built our barn, has scheduled next Tuesday morning to scope out the shelving construction project. Months of planning, while in Florida, are reaping immediate benefits as our stable of contractors are gravitating to the homestead promptly upon our return.

Let's close today's preamble with a really cool event at the pond. After Tuesday's grilled dinner, I took a walk down to the pond with the goal of scooping off all of the green slime from the water's surface. The overhead clouds were thick leading to an early dusk. As I'm clearing the remaining algae, two large owls appeared in the overhead trees and started hooting up a storm as if warning other birds in the area that a foreign being was located in their habitat. The strength of their calls seem to reverberate through the leafless landscape. Then came another surprise. A large crow appears and swoops over my head with a shrill call. The moment was PRICELESS for someone who enjoys the solitude of the woods and being so close to nature.

 

Ain't No Sunshine in Maine

When living in Florida, the Sunshine State, one forgets how precious sunshine can be. This fact became immediately apparent once back in Maine as the weather forecast is predicting cloudy conditions for today along with rain on Thursday followed by more overcast through Sunday. GFRC numismatic photography will be delayed until early next week for incoming lots.

 

Announcing Quito Collection Sale - Immediate 10% Reduction

The past 48 hours brought several discussion with the Quito Collection consignor. Our friend has a passion for a host of collectibles and wishes to liquidate his current numismatic holdings towards moving monies into a different collectible genre. In respect to our client, I will not disclose where his capital is being relocated. Bottom line, I've been asked to structure a sale of his existing GFRC consigned inventory. All Quito lots are immediately available at a 10% discount with certain lots seeing a 15% reduction.

Up next is a quick copy/paste of the Quito Collection inventory in the COIN system with TPG serial numbers in the rightmost column. Please feel free to review these table listings and then match with those on the price list. Again, all lots are immediately discounted 10% on a first come, first serve basis. This is a important opportunity for passionate collectors of the Liberty Seated quarter series as there are a host of Mint State dates with CAC approval. Come tomorrow's Blog edition, I will present a showcase gallery of unsold lots with their revised prices.

Date Mint HL_Var Agency Grade CAC Denom Type TPGCert Variety
1840   With Drapery PCGS 63   25C Seated 82907272 Briggs 1-A
1841 O   PCGS 62   25C Seated 4655847 Briggs 3-D
1849 O   PCGS 15 CAC 25C Seated 30006308  
1852     PCGS 66 CAC 25C Seated 9462318 Briggs 1-A
1854 O With Arrows PCGS 64   25C Seated 43203617 Briggs 1-B
1861     NGC 64 CAC 25C Seated 365653004 II/II
1875 CC   PCGS 63 CAC 25C Seated 24931074 Briggs 1-A
1877 CC   PCGS 65 CAC 25C Seated 81248269 Briggs 3-C
1877 S S/Horizontal S PCGS 63 CAC 25C Seated 25591429 Briggs 4-D
1877     PCGS 66 CAC 25C Seated 43502582  
1880     PCGS 67 CAC 25C Seated 25281856 Briggs 1-A
1888 S   PCGS MS66+ CAC 25C Seated 43160480  
1844     PCGS 61   50C Seated 43000313 WB-12
1893     PCGS MS66+ CAC 50C Early Commems 34371442  
1893     PCGS 61 CAC 50C Early Commems 6316700  

 

Global Financial News

Tuesday brought a miserable day for every investment class. There is a growing concern that inflation is not being tamed and that the Federal Reserve may change course and move towards another interest rate increase. Adding to the negativity was the liquidation of First Republic Bank, the first major bank failure of 2024. Following is the Seeking Alpha perspective on what drove yesterday's sell-off. Note the speculation that the Fed will terminate its Quantitative Tightening (QT) efforts as a first step.

Federal Reserve officials have been saying that the path to achieving 2% inflation would be a bumpy one. Indeed. Inflation has come in hotter than desired for the first three months of 2024, meaning that "higher for longer" will continue to be priced in by investors. As such, don't expect any change when the FOMC announces its monetary policy decision later today, and the expectation for a June rate cut, once the predominant view among market participants, also looks out of reach.

What it means: Policy will likely remain steady for the sixth and seventh straight Fed meeting - with the central bank holding the federal funds rate target range at 5.25% to 5.5%. In fact, over half of WSB subscribers don't see any rate cuts in 2024, according to the most recent Survey Monday. The sentiment follows comments from Fed Chair Jay Powell earlier this month, which outlined that the Fed's restrictive policy needed more time to work as the labor market remains strong and disinflationary dynamics have stalled.

U.S. stocks ended lower on the last day of April, dragged down by some disappointing earnings reports and economic data. Market participants were also being cautious a day ahead of the FOMC's latest monetary policy decision. Since January, Fed officials have said they want to see more evidence that inflation is on a sustainable path to reach the central bank's goal of 2% before they reduce rates, and so far, they haven't received that evidence.

The balance sheet: There will also be a focus on the Federal Reserve's plans to slow quantitative tightening during Powell's afternoon presser. After the last FOMC meeting, Powell said the policymakers expected to reduce the rate of its balance sheet runoff "fairly soon," which was backed up in the FOMC minutes released three weeks later. On average, securities have runoff at a rate of around $75B per month, less than its current cap of $95B per month, with the Fed's total asset portfolio recently declining to $7.4T from about $9T in June 2022.

Spot gold has fallen to $2290/oz while silver is well down to $26.44.

The 10 Year bond yield has increased slightly to 4.68% and the U.S. dollar is back up to 106.3.

For once, I can publish the Seeking Alpha morning market futures. Please note that May Day is celebrated in many part of the globe outside of the U.S. Domestic futures are pointing to more losses in the equity markets.

In Asia, Japan -0.3%. Hong Kong closed. China closed. India closed.

In Europe, at midday, London flat. Paris closed. Frankfurt closed.

Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.3%. S&P -0.5%. NASDAQ -0.8%.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Yes, I will be in/out of the office the entire day and will be motoring emails for orders and other client correspondences.

Thank you so much for visiting with me daily. Be well!

 

 

 

Tuesday April 30, 2024

Shades of Ghost Busters - Green Slime in the Pond

and

Restarting the GFRC Shipping Department

 

Greeting on the final day of April 2024 and welcome to the Daily Blog.

One of the benefits of aging is acquiring a host of life skills. Case in point is managing the homestead and the GFRC business. Monday brought an amazingly productive day with the GFRC office being fully settled down by noon time. Careful packing of in process inventory, while in Florida, allowed me to quickly rebuild the shipping queue for today's outgoing parcels. The office electronics are operating smoothly along with Diane restoring our paper documentation in a prompt manner. There was time to respond to weekend orders including the sale of the Oregon Beaver 1840 PCGS MS65 CAC Seated half. Payment arrived immediately via wire transfer. Doug the Mailman returned with accumulated check payments and several incoming packages. He has already informed the Raymond postmaster that we are back in operation with daily pickups requirements.

After lunch, I changed into work clothes and began the process of firing up the 1993 Miata, our 2008 Rav4, the JD lawn tractor, and of course Johnny2. Tire pressure is one important item that must be checked and addressed after a car sits idle in cold temperatures through the winter months. All start ups went smoothly, after connecting batteries, with Johnny2 jumping into action toward unpacking stored implements. I had carefully planned the storage sequence in the barn so that the forks were first to be placed on the tractor and then used to lift and relocated the land plane outdoors. Afterwards the grapple was placed on Johnny2 with my first task being the clearing of larger downed branches and transporting to a site where Tip Line Tree Service will be chipping tree cutting at some point in May. Next came the removal of larger boulders blocking the top of our construction entrance to allow Dave Wilkinson access for crushed stone and rip deliveries. Dave arrives at 9:00 AM with the first of several loads of material.

The barn solar power system also sprung into operation without issue by simply closing three sets of circuit breakers on the LiFePO4 F batteries, the main electronics panel, and finally, at the pole mounted solar panel beaker. The batteries held their charge throughout the winter months and sprung into action for the barn door opener and lighting.

Diane and I also walked the back acreage trails to check on winter damage. Other than a few hanging branches and several minor washout spots, the trails are ready for regular health walks. Repairing those minor washouts will take several afternoons of effort with Johnny2 but I'm certainly not complaining....

Then there is the sad looking pond covered with green slime algae. Here is an image of what we found.

 

Water flow is one issue along with an accumulation of leaves at the bottom of the pond. This facet of the property will see a major improvement during the mid-summer months once Dave is back from knee replacement surgery. I believe that the algae issue will not be solved until water flow is increased and an aeration pump in installed. Of course, this implies the use of a 120v battery (with solar charging) to drive the pump along with cleaning more trees to minimize the amount of leaves that settle at the bottom of the pond during the autumn season.

Finally, it is worth noting that living at the homestead brings much more physical exercise that than of Florida. Walking down and up the trails is much more demanding on the body than flat concrete sidewalks in Venice. Of course, moving branches, rocks, and other construction efforts (the forthcoming shrub and rock garden) will keep me physically fit.

 

Restarting the GFRC Shipping Department

Once today's Blog is uploaded, the first order of business is launching the shipping department and catching up with weekend purchases and ship aheads. Since rain is forecasted for a portion of the day, I will be working in the office until dinner time. our primary focus is coordinating the shipment of new consignments including those lots that will become anchor collections for our next GFRC Online Auctions event.

 

Global Financial News

Moving on to the financial markets, all eyes will be on yet another Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting that begins today and wraps up tomorrow. The fate of U.S. interest rates hangs in the balance with the outcome probably being that of holding interest rates at current levels. Recent CPI and PPI inflation data has been too strong to warrant a rate cut in the near term.

Tesla has staged a significant market cap recovery in recent days as the stock bottomed at $149 and has increased to $191 as the Blog is composed. What is behind the sharp turnaround? The following Seeking Alpha article provides insights.

Tesla is steadily moving ahead with its plan to roll out its self-driving technology in China, reportedly reaching a deal with Baidu to access the local search giant's mapping license for data collection on Chinese roads. Baidu is expected to also provide its lane-level navigation system to Tesla. The news sent shares of Tesla jumping around 8% before the bell on Monday, while Baidu's ADRs soared close to 6%. To note, both companies already have a partnership, under which the automaker's vehicles use the Chinese company's navigation map in China.

Musk in China: The latest agreement was a result of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's trip to China, where he met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang and other officials, just over a week after the billionaire cancelled his planned India visit citing "very heavy Tesla obligations." Musk also reportedly sought approvals for the launch of Tesla's driver assistance system - Full Self Driving - in China and permissions to transfer local data abroad. Transferring data is an important part of training Tesla's algorithms for self-driving. Since 2021, Tesla has kept data collected in China on servers in Beijing and hasn't sent it to the U.S. to comply with Chinese regulation.

Dig deeper: China requires that all driving assistance systems get a mapping service license before operating on public roads in the country. For this, foreign companies need to partner with any of the dozen local firms that are licensed. Baidu is among the Chinese companies that have this license. The license would legally allow Tesla to operate its FSD software on Chinese roads, and gather data on road layouts and nearby buildings. It is not immediately clear if the collected data will belong to Tesla or Baidu.

The trading day starts with the S&P 500 at 5,116 with morning market futures close to flat.

Spot gold pricing has dropped to $2312/oz during overnight trading along with silver being down to $26.58. I don't know about you, but gold at $2300 or under appears to be a buying opportunity.

The 10 Year U.S. bond yield comes to be resilient at 4.63% while the U.S. dollar is flat at 105.8.

WTI crude is trading at $83/bbl.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Thank you for checking in and staying current with GFRC adventures and new product offerings. I'm starting to see an uptick in older Liberty gold $2.5 and $5 sales which is positive as we've been through a sleepy period.

At this point, there is little else to comment upon as I am being distracted by blue jays in the front landscaping. It is so nice to be back in the Maine office with a view of wildlife.....

Please consider a numismatic purchase or consignment. I would enjoy working with you on either end of your hobby needs.

Be well!

 

 

 

Monday April 29, 2024

The GFRC Maine Office is Open!

Theft of Mountain View Seated Quarter Collection

and

Major Auction Consignments Committed While Traveling

 

Greeting from our Maine homestead and welcome to the Daily Blog. It is great to be back in the Pine Tree state. Thank you for checking in.

After several long days of driving the I-95 corridor, the Fortins safely arrived at our ancestral destination on Sunday evening. The Raymond homestead faired well during the winter months with no start-up issues. After unloading the MDX, dinner was a quick pizza and salad along with wine and tequila. My reward for two long driving days was time in the basement sound room and enjoying a Sting concert at the Olympia Theatre in Paris.

Saturday's drive from Florida into Virginia went smoothly. This was not the case on Sunday upon reaching New Jersey onward. Traffic density was terrible along with a host of reckless young drivers. The New Jersey Garden State Parkway was jammed as usual on a Sunday afternoon. The merge onto I-287 across the Marion Cuomo Bridge was typical with long delays and drivers cutting lines. Rather than risk taking the Merritt Parkway north, we decide to go the I-684 route to merge with I-84 into Connecticut. This is where the traffic density was miserable along with the roadways feeling like the Wild West. Young drivers appear to have no patience and recklessly shifted across lanes or bullied other drivers. The situation continued into Massachusetts with I-90 being a parking lot. I looked at Diane and stated that Northeast population growth has overwhelmed the major traffic arteries. If this was a late April Sunday afternoon, I could not imagine what July and August would bring. Rather than spending another $90 billion on overseas wars, the United States needs to focus on its internal infrastructure. If the Fortins are planning any road trip this summer, the targets will be Maine, New Hampshire, and into Canada.

Moving back to the GFRC business, the Maine office is now open though today brings unpacking and heading into Windham to restock the homestead with food. The vehicles and tractor will be started after nearly six months of quiet storage, hopefully without issues. The impact of the early April snowstorm was immediately noted with a host of broken branches that need to be cleared once the barn is opened and Johnny2 is operational.

Already, the first of many appointments has been confirmed. Dave Wallace (Wallace Roofing) visits on Wednesday at 8:30 AM to quote the completion of the roofing project that was started during 2023. Today brings contact with other contractors to confirm their appointments.

 

Theft of Mountain View Seated Quarter Collection

It pains me to report that one of our long term clients, the Mountain View Collection, has reported that his Liberty Seated quarter collection was stolen via a home break-in. Our client has an affinity for lower grade coins with PCGS grading and CAC approval. He is located in the state of California.

I'd like to task our community with remaining vigilant during online travels, and if seeing any lower grade CAC approved Seated quarters, to please check against the following list of stolen coins. Please feel free to contact me asap if locating any of the following:

1855-S VG10 PCGS/CAC 19124799
1856-S F15 PCGS/CAC 34513168
1856-S/sm S G6 PCGS/CAC 06759943
1857-S VG8 PCGS/CAC 14831156
1858-S VG10 PCGS/CAC 27236067
1859-S VG10 PCGS/CAC 81787058
1861-S (shield die scr, Obv. 1) F12 PCGS/CAC 41345795
1862-S F15 PCGS/CAC 81763829
1864-S G6 PCGS/CAC 30998707
1865-S VG8 PCGS/CAC 38446373
1866-S VG10 PCGS/CAC 81734995
1867-S F12 PCGS/CAC 43255406
1868-S F12 PCGS/CAC 29100374
1869-S VG10 PCGS/CAC 46376375
1871-S VG10 PCGS/CAC 33194287
1872-S F15 PCGS/CAC 80670233
1873-S (small left S Rev. A) VG10 PCGS/CAC 45682459
1873-S (squat ctr S, Rev. B) F15 PCGS/CAC 82928936
1874-S F12 PCGS/CAC 83631828
1875-S Type II Rev. VG8 PCGS/CAC 43255716
1875-S 20c VG10 PCGS/CAC 43255708
1877-S/S F12 PCGS/CAC 14969222
1878-S F12 PCGS/CAC 26878168
1883 Hawaii 25c VG10 NGC/CAC 4159865-097
1888-S VG8 PCGS/CAC 33771866

 

Major Auction Consignments Committed While Traveling

After what appeared to be a quiet consignment period during April, the floodgates opened during the last 72 hours. I am pleased to announce that three substantial consignments have been committed which warrant the construction of the next GFRC Online Auction event.

First came the Cumberland County collecting husband and wife team with an announcement that the time had come to sell their Walking Liberty half dollar collection. Let's be clear here. This is a serious all CAC approved set ranged from AU55 through MS67. The highlights are the high grade pre-1933 dates that will garner considerable attention. This is an 80 piece lot including all proofs, the 1916-D/D repunched mintmark and the 1936 Double Die Obverse. The set is only missing the 1921-S with the 1921-D grading PCGS AU55 CAC.

Next came a planned release from the Newtown Collection. Our dear friend has decided to release his accumulated Liberty Seated half dollar duplicates and most of his major half dollar variety pieces.

Finally, Sunday brought an email from the Grimjet Collection asking if I would be interested in handling the sale of the Liberty Seated dime portion of his Seated type set located on the PCGS Set Registry. Our client is releasing 30 dimes, of which 28 are CAC approved. This is a circulated grade lot that will be appealing to a host of Seated dime fans in the community. Many have been purchased from GFRC in the past and will be returning shortly to the Maine office.

The forthcoming auction will be targeted for the July time frame.

Please keep checking in at the Daily Blog as there will be other major collection auction announcements in the next several months. 2024 will be an amazing year for the GFRC business as the auction platform continues to grow in popularity.

 

Global Financial News

Since driving for several days, no attention has been paid to financial markets or global news. I am just starting to catch-up this morning with a few YouTube videos concerning economic and political news. Let's take a look at where commodities, bonds and equities are positioned for today's trading.

Little has changed in the U.S. Treasury bond market with the 10 Year quoting at 4.63%.

The U.S. dollar is steady at 105.6.

Spot gold remains in its trading range with a morning quote at $2341. Yes, I will be adding physical gold to my holdings this week now that we are back in Maine. There are several gold shops within a 30-45 minute drive. If wishing to liquidate some bullion gold holdings, please reach out to me.

Silver is trending at $27.23 per ounce.

The S&P 500 opens the week at an even 5,100 with morning market futures pointing to a 0.20% rise once trading starts in a few hours.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today

The list of items to get done today is huge and will not be itemized. Rebuilding the office is the top priority. Once the Blog is uploaded, I'm heading down to the back acreage trails to assess the winter damage.

Thank you so much for returning to the Daily Blog. My fingers are feeling much better after a three day break.

Be well!

 

 

 

Thursday April 25, 2024

New Seated Quarters on the Price List

and

Packaging the GFRC Office

 

Greetings on a Thursday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for checking in.

I'm pleased to report that yesterday's Liberty Seated quarter gallery showcase has been loaded to the 30 Day Price List with offer prices. So far, the 1859 CACG holdered lot has been sold with the balance being available for review and potential acquisition.

Today's second headline says is all as our winter getaway in Florida is coming to an end. Yesterday brought the office address change back to the Raymond, Maine location on this website and Collectors Corner. At this point all correspondence, shipments, and payments should be sent to the Maine office.

Though the GFRC office will be closed from Friday to Sunday, the online portal is still operating along with our presence on the Collectors Corner market place. Once on the road, I make a habit of checking for incoming emails during rest stop breaks and will respond to orders when possible.

As a reminder, the Daily Blog will not be published for the next three days. Said a different way, there will be no Blog editions on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings. My fingers are thanking me in advance for the extended break from repetitive keyboard and mouse motions.

Since there is little to discuss from a numismatic perspective, let's shift to gold and silver.

Spot gold is trading at nearly $2340/oz as 7:00 AM while silver is quoting at $27.33.

The 10 Year Treasury bond is stuck at 4.65%. The U.S. dollar has given some ground as the index is 105.6 this morning.

The S&P 500 closed out Wednesday trading at 5,072 but morning market futures are pointing to a 0.60% drop when trading resumes.

Food and housing inflation remains an ongoing issue with those under 30 years of age being the most impacted. Young people who are attempting to start a professional career or simply make it on their own, are facing the harsh reality of escalating prices for basic needs.

Thank you for visiting. I will see you on Monday morning with a few tales from the road. Be well!

 

 

 

 

Wednesday April 24, 2024

USPS Drops Off Some Noteworthy Mint State Liberty Seated Quarters

and

Final Round of Liberty Seated Dime Web-Book Plate Coins to Consider

 

 

Greetings and welcome to the last full GFRC operation day in the Venice office. Thank you for the ongoing visits.

Today's edition will be brief since oversleeping this morning. Yes, that is a rare occurrence but nevertheless welcomed.

Tuesday brought a full day in the office with the below galleries to show for the effort. The first showcase is a lovely group of Mint State Seated quarters that were delivered at 2:00 PM and promptly photographed. Image processing for six coins has become a quick exercise as was demonstrated yesterday. Our consignor sent his offer prices during the overnight hours, therefore I will be able to start quoting numbers once the First Shot emails are received. These lots will be posted to the price list during the afternoon hours. Please note the 1845 Briggs 4-D PCGS MS64+PL quarter in this lot. This piece does possess atypically strong mirrored fields that are consistent on both sides. With a 10x, and under the desk lamp, vertical die polish lines are readily evident also on both sides. Also a favorite is the 1871 Briggs 4-C quarter with rich granular frosted luster and intense coloration. This piece is very attractive example from a mintage of 118.200 pieces. Few were preserved in Mint State based on the single digit populations and occasional appearances at auction throughout the numismatic spectrum.

Again, I have offer prices in hand and now in a position to start quoting. Your role is to take a liking to any of these lots followed by emailing me for a price quote. This exercise will be on a first come, first serve basis.

An Important Mint State Liberty Seated Quarter Consignment

Please Email for First Shot - Offer Prices Shortly

          1843 Briggs 3-D NGC MS63 25C                                                   1845 Briggs 4-D PCGS MS64+PL 25C 

        

 1845 Briggs 3-C PCGS MS62 25C                                                         1859 I/I CACG MS64 25C      

        

       1871 Briggs 4-C NGC MS64 25C                                           1873 NA Open 3 Briggs 1-A NGC NS63 25C

        

 

The second gallery brings the final release of reference collection Seated dimes from my personal holdings. Last November, about 50 holdered Seated dimes were transported to the Venice office with the goal of selling the entire lot before returning to Maine in the spring. It appears that I did not fully meet that goal, but will be able to have all dimes loaded to the price list prior to our Maine return.

These lots are typical of what I was buying during the 1990s and 2000s for common dates towards populating the die variety centric web-book. These need to find a new home and have been priced at a midpoint between Coin Dealers Newsletter's (CDN) full retail and wholesale bid. These lots will be added to the 30 Day Price List during the late morning and afternoon hours followed by being packed into the inventory boxes. Finally, the Seated dime web-book images will be updated to capture a dramatic improvement in photography outcomes.

Final Round of Liberty Seated Dime Web-Book Plate Coins to Consider

Inexpensively Priced as Marked

1853-O F-104a ANACS VF30 10C - $215                1883 F-110 NGC MS62 10C - $195                1883 F-113 NGC MS63 10C - $250      

                

1887 F-105 PCGS MS63 10C - $265                1890 Unlisted NGC MS62 10C - $195              1891-S F-107 NGC MS62 10C - $225

                

 

Global Financial News

Americans are bombarded with endless amounts of online content on a daily basis. I hesitate to use the term "information" as much of the content falls into the noise category. Shifting through the noise to locate true actionable content is an ongoing challenge.

This morning brought a Kitco article headline that captured my attention as it accurately summed up where the U.S. government lies with its fiscal policies. Following is that headline and the initial few paragraphs.

U.S. response to geopolitical flare-up is 'extremely inflationary,' record deficits already a massive problem for the Fed, Treasury – James Lavish

Any U.S. response to a sudden geopolitical flare-up will be "extremely inflationary," posing a massive problem for the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury, which are already facing 'monumentally irresponsible' record deficits, says James Lavish, Managing Partner at Bitcoin Opportunity Fund.

The U.S. government has been printing and spending money at a time when the Federal Reserve has been battling sticky inflation, Lavish told Michelle Makori, Lead Anchor and Editor-in-Chief at Kitco News. "The government [is] spending $2.2 trillion more every year than we're taking in in tax receipts," Lavish said. "We're running deficits that are record-size at a time when we're not even in a recession."

On top of that, heightened geopolitical tensions are defining this election-packed year – whether it is in the Middle East, Russia-Ukraine, China-Taiwan, or North Korea.

If the U.S. were to respond to any geopolitical event, it would be "extremely inflationary," warned Lavish. "If we do have a geopolitical event, it would be catastrophic," he said. "The central bank response [would] be tremendously liquid. They will be dumping massive amounts of liquidity into the markets, which would benefit things like Bitcoin, stocks, and gold. It will be extremely inflationary."

Yes, the U.S. leadership is currently spending $2.2 trillion annually beyond its tax receipts. Worse, this is during a period of economic stability as the nation has not descended into a recession. We can only imagine how large the deficits might be once a recession or major war arrives.

My number one economic and personal wealth management indicator has become the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield given the growing deficits. There reaches a point where U.S. creditors will no longer wish to hold long dated Treasury due to capital loss risks. We are seeing this fact playing out within the current banking system as regional banks are unable to liquidate their Treasury holdings without suffering substantial losses. The concept of U.S Treasuries being one of the safest holdings possible is being strained. This results in a shift to gold as the last option for preserving financial wealth outside of housing and farm land, both fairly illiquid assets.

Let's take a look at where the markets and commodities are positioned.

The 10 Year bond yields remains range bound at 4.64% while the U.S. dollar is trading at 105.9, little changes from last week.

Spot gold starts the day at $2315/oz and appears to be a buying opportunity IMHO. Silver continues to track gold with a morning quote of $27.10/oz.

The S&P 500 enjoyed a rally day on Tuesday and increased to 5,070 at the closing bell. Morning market futures are suggesting more gains with the NASDAQ taking a leadership role. Tesla is moving up off its 52 week lows.

WTI crude oil is hovering at $83/bbl.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Today brings a combination GFRC office day along with starting to pack the office. As usual, the guiding principal is that no coin can be left behind by mistake. Once the Fortins drive away from the condo, we are committed to a 6+ month absence.

Therefore, I will be available the entire day to take your purchase orders. Shipments will occur from Maine after our return home. At this point, it is safe to start mailing checks to our Maine address as Doug the Mailman will be holding our mail for pickup this coming Monday.

Looking ahead, there will be no Daily Blog editions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as I am taking a holiday from the laptop and living a life consistent with how the readership going about its daily activities. My fingers will certainly enjoy a three day holiday from typing and image processing.

Of course, I will be always monitoring emails via cellphone for potential orders.

This concludes today's Blog edition. Thanks again for the visit. Please be well!

 

 

 

Tuesday April 23, 2024

Maine Homestead Projects to Kick-Off Next Week

 

Greetings on a Tuesday morning and welcome to one of the final Daily Blog editions as composed from the Venice office. As always, thank you for checking in.

As the headline indicates, my mind has already transitioned from Florida to Maine though the body must catch up in a few days. After 5+ months of working in a small condo office, the exhilaration of being able to work across a large piece of land is undeniable. Yesterday brought yet another successful contractor conversation as all of the spring and early summer projects are lining up nicely. The topic of conversation was a coastal horizon tree clearing project with Tip Line Tree Service located in New Gloucester. The job estimator is Terry Traver who we often socialize with. Terry's wife, Lyn, is Diane's frequent walking partner. This is the beauty of rural living as small community folks stick together and support one another.

So the stage has been set with every contractor that will be descending on the Maine homestead with their special skills. The month of May, and probably June, will be a blur as the following projects now have committed contractors.

- Dave Wallace (Wallace Roofing) will be completing the homestead roof replacement that was started during April 2023. Our quotation appointment is scheduled for May 1.

- Phil Walters (Maine Solar Solution) arrives on May 7 with a proposed off-grid solar design and quote.

- Pete Theberge will be adding storage shelving to the barn towards cleaning out the basement model rocket room for the Powerwall3 battery installation. Our first meeting is TBD.

- Dave Wilkinson will be front loading multiple deliveries of 1.5" crushed stone and rip-rap rock prior to his May 16 knee replacement. He will also fill in the burn pit with material for conversion to a rock and shrub garden. We are hoping that Dave has a smooth recovery towards bringing his excavator on site in late June/early July for the pond expansion project.

- Lastly, Terry Traver (Tip Line Tree Service) will arrive at some point in May for several days of tree cutting and professional wood chipping towards clearing a larger section of the coastal horizon. The wood chips will be employed as landscaping material.

If all of these projects were not enough, Diane and I have a 50th high school reunion on May 25 at St. Dominic's Regional High School in Auburn followed by the Summer Baltimore show a few weeks later. There are also wellness checks and teeth cleaning appointments in May.

One of my initial projects, if we can call it that, is fixing a hydraulic leak on Johnny2's 370B backhoe. I'm expecting a substantial amount of backhoe work during the next three months and cannot continue to operate with a slow hydraulic leak.

There you have it, months of planning have jelled into a cohesive execution plan.

 

Global Financial News

The financial news of the day is that the U.S. Congress has passed a bill to access frozen Russian assets (foreign currency reserves) and providing a portion to Ukraine. The frozen Russian assets amount to $300bn. This bill was part of the foreign add package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan that I spoke of yesterday. Confiscation of another country's reserves, as located in G7 banks, is a terrible move and will further accelerate the BRICS alliance against the G7 nations. One has to wonder if U.S. politicians have ever studied the concept of 2nd and 3rd order effects during a decision making process. At some point, logic must win over the ongoing emotional state of affairs we are witnessing throughout our country.

Additionally, the drop in gold and silver prices continued during the overnight hours. Spot gold is currently trending at $2300/oz while silver is fallen to a tad under $27.

On a positive note, Monday brought an up day for the S&P 500 with the index closing at 5,011. Morning market futures are pointing to another 0.25% upside at the opening bell.

The 10 Year Treasury bond yield continues to hold with a morning quote at 4.64%. The U.S. dollar is an even 106 per the DXY index.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Yesterday brought the photography of the balance of the Scenic Lakeview Morgan and Peace dollars. Those images will be processed today with the potential for some lots reaching the price list. A six piece Liberty Seated quarter consignment is due to arrive during the afternoon hours.

I will be keeping myself busy with the posting of more Liberty Seated dime from the reference collection. You are invited to check the 30 Day Price List this evening for new offerings.

That is it for another Blog edition. Thanks again for the ongoing readership. Be well!

 

 

Monday April 22, 2024

A Wise Gentleman Purchases Three Gold CAC Seated Dimes

Really Nice New Orleans Collection Barber Quarters...

and

GFRC-Lite Lists a Fully Struck 1856-S Dime

 

Greetings and welcome to the final week of GFRC's residency at our Florida home. The official countdown is now underway.

There is much to wrap up before we close the office and pack up for the northern trek. Therefore, the next three days will be quite busy. Once arriving back in Maine, the daytime highs will be in the low 60s with a mixture of cloudy conditions and rain possibilities for the initial few days back. I'm looking forward to drinking our "sweet" well water as compared to filtered water here in Venice.

Let's move quickly through today's headline topics as there is a substantial amount of shipping to process. But first, please remember that no checks should be mailed to our Florida address at this point. Come Thursday, check payments can be sent to our Maine location. I've already shifted our address to Maine on GFRC invoices and my email signature line. Tomorrow will bring the website updates along with Collectors Corner.

 

A Wise Gentleman Purchases Three Gold CAC Seated Dimes

The past week brought the sale of my last three Gold CAC Liberty Seated dimes as a package deal. I made a command decision that these three lots should stay together and sold them in that manner. Yes, there will be some disappointment that these were not offered separately on the price list. These three lots are going to a great home and fellow CACG investor. For those who wish to know the sale prices, these three lots are now posted in the Sales Archive. The web-book images have also been updated to capture GFRC's much improved photography and the final rendition of these superb dimes.

By the way, the proceeds from this three piece sale have been allocated to the homestead pond expansion project. Their sale easily funds a full week of excavator work towards constructing a two natural spring fed pond that can be stocked with trout during 2025. The pond expansion has already been mentally designed. The key question is whether Dave Wilkinson and I can implement the design in a dense rock field. The community will need to keep checking the Daily Blog throughout the summer months to learn of progress after Dave recovers from knee replacement surgery on May 16th.

Three Gold CAC Liberty Seated Dimes - Fortin Collection Release

A Wise Gentleman made a Great Purchase

Details in the Sales Archive

1840 No Drapery F-102 PCGS MS63 Gold CAC 10C

   1839 No Drapery F-105a PCGS EF45 CAC 10C                                    1841 F-110a PCGS MS62 Gold CAC 10C         

        

 

Really Nice New Orleans Collection Barber Quarters...

The following two New Orleans Collection lots have just returned from a CAC submission without stickering. The 1892-O quarter was the second lot that had me scratching my head as to why not.... It really did not matter as this piece sold immediately after being posted here during Sunday afternoon. A wise client recognized this lot's beauty even without a green bean. The 1902-O quarter is very scare at the certified gem level and remains available with 30 Day Price List posting on Sunday.

Really Nice New Orleans Collection Barber Quarters...

Priced as Marked

      1892-O PCGS MS64 25C - $925                                                         1902-O PCGS MS65 25C - $3650    

        

 

GFRC-Lite Lists a Fully Struck 1856-S Dime

Rich Hundertmark sent along a GFRC-Lite update including the announcement that an Oregon Beaver 1856-S dime has been posted to his website. Rich did a nice job capturing the full strike and highly detailed devices.

Lots of Value with this 1856-S 10C Offering - $1550

Hi Gerry,

My how quickly the days have passed post Whitman show. After completing the bookkeeping work I've been busy posting new offerings to the Lite website.

I'd like to spotlight one coin that I just listed last night, a key date 1856-S Seated Dime that will be sure to draw the attention of Seated Dime specialists.

This example is listed as AU Details-Raw, an old improper wipe that dulled the mint luster accounting for the grade. Under 10X I'm not seeing hairlines or any other distracting marks. Seated Dime specialists will be quick to recognize the rarity of this date in such a high state of preservation. The coin has been priced at $1,550 which equates to the current Grey Sheet XF40 pricing. In researching the GFRC sales archive, the best technical grade comparison (without consideration to surface originality) would be the AU55 that sold June 2022 for $5,000. 

I believe that this coin will draw considerable interest from collectors that are seeking a high-grade example at the offered price level. Interested collectors might submit this coin for 3rd party grading if AU Details is acceptable, or simply add it to their raw album collection, it's sure to be a highlight! 

Rich

 

Global Financial News

Honestly, I believe that those who voted for the foreign war funding bill, including $61bn for Ukraine are fiscally ignorant or worse, irresponsible. The U.S. deficit continues to expand at an unsustainable rate and now we have added another $95bn to that deficit. Politicians are masters of spending other people's hard earned monies towards their political goals while ignoring the fiscal realities that will grow in significance in the next few years. This is the perfect moment to republish Davy Crockett's famous speech to Congress that has become known as "Not Yours to Give". In response to a proposal for an appropriation to benefit the widow of a naval officer, Rep. Crockett said:

I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money.

We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.

Now let's move on to the regular financial content...

Watch out as both spot gold and silver have taken a tumble during overnight trading. Spot gold has dropped back to $2344/oz which is not a big deal but silver has been hammered back to $27.50 which is a large percentage drop. The key question is what are the large state actors doing at the metal exchanges to cause such volatility?

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yields continues to be stuck at 4.65% and hopefully, it will not rise higher. The U.S. dollar index now stands at 106.3.

The S&P 500 starts another trading week at 4,967 with morning market futures pointing to a 0.60% increase when trading resumes. Looking at individual stocks, Tesla continues to get crushed with another 3.5% pre-market drop to $142.

Finally, WTI crude is currently priced at $83/bbl.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

As mentioned earlier, Diane and I will be in the shipping department for the entire morning. The afternoon brings focus on yet another lot of Seated dime web-book plate coins plus the posting of Port Matilda Collection's newly consigned lots. Offer prices were confirmed late last evening.

Otherwise, the time has come to tidy up the business inventory, the lay-a-way box, and other items that will be transported to Maine in a few days.

Of course, the office is always open for new purchase orders and consignment proposals.

Your ongoing visits are truly appreciated. Thanks again. Be well!

 

 

 

Sunday April 21, 2024

200M oz Silver Production Deficit?

Port Matilda Collection - Top of the Ladder Offerings

and

A Gem 1827 O-115 Capped Bust Half

 

Greetings on a Sunday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog.

Yes, this is the final Sunday Daily Blog edition from the Venice office until the Thanksgiving time frame. The countdown for our Maine return is now underway. I could not be more excited with the thought of 60 degree daytime temperatures upon our arrival rather than high 80s being experienced in Florida.

Again, as a reminder, no check payments should be mailed to the Venice office at this point. Please hold payments until Wednesday with Thursday mailing to our Maine address. The Maine address will be posted online starting on Tuesday

Today Blog edition opens with a macro view at the global silver market given this week's silver closing at $28.65/oz. Though that number is impressive, silver is still lagging gold as the yellow precious metal closed at an all time high of $2392/oz. Let's have a closer look at global silver demand and the current supply deficit that is being experienced.

 

200M oz Silver Production Deficit?

The following two graphs, courtesy of Bloomberg, provide an excellent macro view of the global silver market in light of current price increases.

Let's start with the global demand trend. Silver industrial demand has been increasing for four years straight from about 500Moz during 2020 to 650Moz during 2023. Reports of further demand increases during 20024 are being circulated due to ramping India demand for solar panels and jewelry. Jewelry manufacturing and investment are the next two largest silver demand categories. Jewelry demand appears to be flat during the last ten years while investment demand is erratic and tied to price and geopolitical issues. This left graph paints the picture for the demand side of the equation.

In terms of supplies, silver is a mined metal and often a byproduct of gold mining. The expansion of silver supply is currently constrained by mining production as the miners are struggling with elevated break even costs due to inflation and energy demands. The right graph illustrates the amount of deficit silver supply that was recorded during the 2022-2023 time frame (negative blue bars). Industrial demand is beginning to overwhelm the supply side of the equation to the tune of 150-200Moz per year. As a result, silver shortages are placing upward pressure on silver prices at the metal exchanges. This trend has continued into 2024 with the "green energy" revolution driving more silver consumption. You might be asking about all the above ground silver that is stored on an investment basis. At what price would investors start selling their silver bars and coins? My current online research indicate an approximate $35/oz price would be necessary to see physical stores being sold back into the global market.

   

Bottom line, I don't believe that we will see a retrenchment of silver prices during 2024. Rather, the solar panel and electronics industry demands will continue to be a tailwind for silver prices as the available physical supply within metal exchanges and large silver ETF warehouses are consumed. As supply deficits increase, prices must rise to begin tapping into the above ground silver that is being held by investors. Could we see $35 silver by the end of 2024? I believe it is entirely possible as silver deficits continue to grow.

 

Port Matilda Collection - Top of the Ladder Offerings\

Like many GFRC clients, the Port Matilda Collection has been slowly releasing his numismatic holdings during the past five years. Seller's remorse is an ongoing issue for this individual as he continues to move up the ladder to the top pieces in his collection. This past week brought the arrive of two more released lots to the GFRC office. These are illustrated next for your consideration. Our friend is traveling this weekend, therefore price setting will take place later today. I've marked both lots as POR (Price on Request) until the offer number are solidified. Please feel free to make a first shot price request if interest in inquiring either lot. These lots are fully choice with the 1838 Classic Head $5 securing a GFRC-Gem quality rating.

Port Matilda Collection - Top of the Ladder Offerings

         1905 PCGS PR63 CAC 25C OGH - POR                                            1838 PCGS EF45 CAC G$5 - POR          

        

 

A Gem 1827 O-115 Capped Bust Half

Yes, this is one of the lots that I spoke of in yesterday's Blog concerning a recent CAC submission. I believe this lot would be easily approved, however it was not. Upon the return of the coin, I've studied the piece closely with a 10x and under a lamp for traces of hairlines, wear, or any other issues that would explain the CAC failure. Frankly, I can't find a reason for the rejection. This is a beautiful Capped Bust half that is conservatively graded with superb eye appeal. This is the final lot that originated from a Texas bank box and has been off the market for at least 15 years. If you like the coin in the images, then just wait for its arrival as that much better in-hand. In all fairness to the consignor, we have priced this lot at slightly above the CAC AU55 guide number with a JUST BUY IT NOW recommendation upon today's listing.

A Gem 1827 O-115 Capped Bust Half

1827 Square 2 O-115 NGC AU55 50C - $625

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Today brings another day in the GFRC office as it is too hot outdoors for this Yankee. I will be focused on image processing and loading more Fortin reference collection Liberty Seated dimes to the price list along with those lots that have returned from CAC. Please check the 30 Day Price List during the afternoon hours to view incremental offerings.

Thank you for visiting with me at the Daily Blog. I hope that your Sunday is peaceful and relaxing. Be well!

 

 

 

Saturday April 20, 2024

GFRC Has Great Coins!

 

Greetings on a Saturday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for the visit.

Yes, today's headline is a bit lame but the best I can do for the moment. I've been sitting in front of the laptop for ten minutes wondering what today's content might be. A Seth Godin blogpost check was futile as he is promoting a new approach for non-profit fund raising entitled GOODBIDS. The essence is that you must pay for every auction bid tendered whether being the high bidder or not. This concept would be a non-starter in the coin business....

Friday brought a catch-up office day with only one headache. Bank of America (BoA) returned a client's check as non-payable, but after checking with the client, BoA never attempted to draw funds from the client's bank account as there was sufficient balance to pay for the purchase. Poor Diane now has the hassle of calling BoA customer service to understand the issue behind a $190 check. However, when looking at the check, the client used a large signature that went into the account numbering at the bottom of the check. Please, please when writing a check, do not extend your signature below the signature line. I can't stress this enough concerning a signature line on the check. Please keep the signature above the signature line and not into the checking account printed number.

Friday also brought a new Liberty Seated quarter consignment proposal which was promptly accepted. So far, the proposed lot includes six Mint State pieces including an 1845 PCGS MS64+PL quarter, a CACG MS64 1859 certified lot, and 1873 Open 3 NGC MS63 offering. Our consignor may add a few more pieces before shipping on Monday.

The latest Port Matilda consignment has been photographed. The two lots include an 1838 PCGS EF45 CAC Classic Head G$5 and a 1905 PCGS PR63 CAC Barber quarter. We continue to move up the ladder with this individual as he is slowly releases his top lots back to the marketplace.

Results for the latest CAC submission have also arrived. We went 3/11 concerning the submission. The two lots that I believe were slam-dunks did not sticker while one of the three that I had originally rejected for inclusion did sticker. This is a great case study for responding to the often asked question concerning the CAC approval potential of a non-CAC coin on the GFRC price list. I'm to the point of losing confidence in my personal judgment based on recent submissions. When a GFRC-Gem quality rating is assigned to a non-CAC approved coin, this means that I believe it is easily worthy of a CAC green bean but the powers to be do not. Since the inception of CACG, clients (and GFRC) must pay for the evaluation fee for every examined coin. The economics become quickly prohibitive if considering a resubmission for another stickering attempt.

Bottom line, GFRC has great coins with my best effort quality ratings. Along with the quality ratings, the long descriptions will point out any defects that could induce a return. A GFRC return is viewed as a communication failure on my part. My goal is to continue to work towards 100% customer satisfaction via accurate descriptions.

In the financial and commodity realm, spot gold closed the week at $2391 while silver managed to attain the $28.65/oz level. Equities suffered a terrible week with the S&P 500 closing down at 4,967. So far, the S&P has fallen 4.6% in April. The Q1 gains have nearly vanished as investors are coming to grips with the fact that interest rates are not heading down any time soon. The 10 Year Treasury yield closed at 4.62% on Friday. Tesla has lost nearly 50% of its value in the past 52 weeks as the government fueled U.S. EV transition is securing a dose of consumer reality.

This is the extent of today's Blog as there is no previously prepared content given our brief Amelia Island visit and Friday's office catchup duties along with a late afternoon HOA block party hosted by the Fortins.

Thank you again for the visit. Be well!

 

 

 

Friday April 19, 2024

Back from a Brief Amelia Island Holiday

1st Class Mail Without Postage is a Reality

and

Last Day for Mailing Payments to Venice Office

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Friday morning. Yes, we are back in the Venice office through our Maine departure.

As the Blog is being composed, reports are emerging of Israeli airstrike in Iran. The Middle East has become a tinderbox with everyone wondering where the escalation is headed.

Closer to home, Diane and Gerry enjoy a two day holiday in the Amelia Island area on Wednesday and Thursday. The destination was a nearly constructed home by our long term IBM friends, Dan and Patti. We departed for their home immediately after the Blog was uploaded on Wednesday and returned yesterday during the early evening hours. The visit was active as we had not seen our friends for several years. Dan has sold his Tesla Model S as he found it to be impractical for long distance driving. Those funds were converted to a new Mercedes SUV. He also celebrated the completion of their new home with the purchase of a 2024 black Corvette. Yes, I was pleased to sit in the Corvette, but there was not enough time to take the car out for a drive. For those who are not familiar with Florida, it is a 4.5 hour road trip from Venice to Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island.

Here is an image taken of the Amelia Island bridge on Thursday morning as Dan rented a pontoon boat and took us for an water tour of the area. Fort Clinch was particularly interesting along with the Amelia Island shore line.

 

Back in Maine, our neighbors Rick and Sharon have been actively clearing the back acreage walking trail of broken branches from the early April snowstorm. They sent pictures of the trail and reported that only one downed tree will need to be cut with a chain saw. This is great news as we will be back home in ten days.

Let's move on to the GFRC portion of the Blog....

 

1st Class Mail Without Postage is a Reality

It is official! USPS is not checking 1st class mail for postage stamps. Upon our arrival to Venice, we checked our mail and found two check payments letters from a third client who mailed the first envelope without postage. At this point, we are 3/3 for letters being delivered without postage. This is a significant finding as the three letters were mailed from California, Virginia, and Missouri.

The learning is that if making a mistake and mailing check payment to GFRC without postage, simply want for us to confirm its arrival before mailing a second check.

 

Last Day for Mailing Payments to Venice Office

The Fortin's Maine transition schedule is officially underway! Today brings the final day for mailing check payments to the Venice, Florida address. April 20 through 24 brings a five day quiet period. Please refrain for mailing GFRC check payments until Thursday April 25. The new destination is:

GFRC, 225 Valley Rd, Raymond ME 04071-6163

Thank you for the support on this matter. Come this Wednesday, I will be updating our mailing address on the GFRC website, Collectors Corner, and my email signature line.

 

Need GFRC Images or Descriptions for a Purchased Coin?

One of the frequent email service requests is for the transfer of images or written descriptions for purchased coins. To streamline my workload, please consider visiting the Sales Archive to secure this information. Clients are free to use GFRC images for their purchased coins when illustrating on a message board or registry set. If using images in a published article, common courtesy is for providing photography credit to GFRC. Ditto for our product descriptions.

 

Global Financial News

It appears that the Israeli strike in Iran was intented as a message to the Tehran regime that their air defense systems are not able to stop Israeli fighter jets from picking targets. There will be much news coverage today and more threats from Iran.

Looking at the financial markets, the S&P 500 continues its losing streak and is trying to hold the 5,000 level. Morning market futures are pointing to another down day with initial 0.3% loss. Tesla continues to take it on the chin and is down to $145/share.

Gold is in consolidation mode between $2370-$2390/oz while silver is trading at the $28/oz level. There is a school of thought that gold is not rising in price, but rather other assets are beginning a deflationary cycle due to excessive debt.

The 10 Year Treasury bond yield continues to hold at 4.6% while the U.S dollar is trading at 106.1.

WTI crude has moved down sharply to $82/bbl.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Unfortunately, a GFRC client expressed ships a two piece consignment to us without notification. That consignment saw attempted delivery yesterday and will be retrieved from the Venice post office during working hours. The consignment highlight is an super nice 1838 PCGS EF45 CAC $5 Classic Head gold piece. The cert number is 46672238 for those who wish to check on the image. Classic Head gold is always in demand for type. Here is a PCGS Trueview of the coin.

Today brings a catch-up day within the GFRC office. There are a host of checks to be deposited along with posting the unsold Liberty Seated dimes (from my reference collection) that appeared in Wednesday's Blog.

Come dinner time, we are hosting a small block party to say good-bye to our Auburn Lakes HOA friends as snowbirds is packing up and heading to their summer homes up north.

Thank for staying current with the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

Wednesday April 17, 2024

Another Release of Liberty Seated Dime Reference Collection Lots

A Massive Cud and Old Holders

 

Greetings on a Wednesday and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for the visit.

Today's edition will be brief due to the ongoing issue of tired fingers. With just a week plus before returning to Maine and a fully depleted consignment queue, this could be the opportunity to take a well deserved break and slow the business down during the next 3-4 weeks. I remember the days when Dick Osburn would close down Dick Osburn Rare Coins during the month of June to enable an extended vacation period where Dick and Ruth would jump into their RV and take an extended trip across the U.S. and Canada.

I may be looking at something similar during the next four week period, with the emphasis on supporting sales of existing inventory but not spending long hours processing images and writing descriptions. Instead of jumping into an RV, the GFRC version will be accomplishing homestead projects that have been on the drawing board for months. The Daily Blog emphasis would shift from posting gallery showcases, to an image centric personal diary on what is taking place at the homestead.

 

Another Release of Liberty Seated Dime Reference Collection Lots

Following is another release of incremental Liberty Seated dimes from my reference collection for review and potential purchase.

Let's remember that my Seated dime collection peaked at 1560 pieces during the 1990 through 2003 research time frame before publishing the web-book during 2004. It does take time to slowly return this massive holding back to the market place. This release is special in that I am letting go lots that fall into the eclectic holder category. Embedded in the following display are dimes that were purchased in PCI, ICG, and SEGS holders along with the usual PCGS and NGC certified pieces. Roughly half are web-book plate coins with new and improved images serving as updates to the older versions.

Already, three lots are spoken for and marked with a HOLD status. The balance are free agents.

 

Another Release of Liberty Seated Dime Reference Collection Lots

A Massive Cud and Old Holders

Priced as Marked

1891-O F-123b Raw EF45 10C - ON HOLD

            1875 Unlisted PCI MS64 10C - $325                                                 1877-CC F-114 ICG MS63 10C - HOLD        

        

1853 Arr Unlisted NGC AU58 10C - $375            1854 F-106a PCGS AU50 10C - HOLD            1856 SD F-114a PCGS AU53 10C - $225

                

1856 SD F-122 PCGS AU53 10C - $225            1888 Unlisted SEGS MS66 10C - $595            1891-S F-101a NGC MS62 10C - $285

                

 

Global Financial News

The S&P 500 dropped further on Tuesday to 5,051 with morning market futures pointing to a relief rally and an opening at 0.40% positive.

The 10 Year Treasury yield is unchanged at 4.65%. The U.S. dollar is trading at 106.2.

Spot gold is quoting at $2387 while silver is priced at $28.41 per the Kitco website.

WTI crude is at a tad under $85/bbl.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

There is little else to share at this point. Thank you again for visiting and wishing everyone a pleasant day.

Be well!

 

 

 

Tuesday April 16, 2024

A Numismatic Disease Afflicting GFRC Clients

and

Another Release of Seated Dime Reference Collection Lots

 

Greeting on a mid-April Tuesday morning and welcome back to the Daily Blog. We are pleased that you could stop by.

During the past several days, part of my time has been allocated to lining up the Fortin's stable of highly reliable contractors for May homestead activities. All was moving along nicely, with Maine Solar Solutions, Wallace Roofing, and Pete Therberge having committed initial appointments to quote on various projects. We are on track for taking the homestead to an off-grind configurations, replacing roofing that was not completed during the spring of 2023, and adding shelving storage space within the barn.

Remaining and a key contractor is my buddy Dave Wilkinson. Dave provides all the stone and gravel material for the back acreage trails along with his excavator for expansion projects. I sent along a text message confirming four full days of excavator work to expand the pond this year. Sadly, it was learned that Dave will require a second knee replacement that takes place on May 16. Us older gentlemen do have our issues.... With this knowledge, Dave and I will work through a material stockpiling plan during the coming weeks to ensure that there is enough crushed stone and rip-rap sized rock on site to keep me going through mid-June. Dave's planned recovery period is four weeks before he can resume his material delivery and excavator services. Let's hope for Dave that it is only four weeks and not longer.

Let's shift topics....

My interactions with CACG concerning their definition of "Major Variety Sets" is in progress. In particular, the Liberty Seated dime set definition has added three varieties that are outside of the traditional definition by PCGS and NGC. Since inception by PCGS, the Major Variety Set includes listings like the 1838 Partial Drapery, 1856 Small and Large Dates, and the Below and In Wreath mint marks for 1875 but has not moved further into double die obverse etc. CACG has chosen to add the 1872 DDR, 1873 DDO, and 1891-O O/Horizontal O into the mix.

It is now apparent that the CACG set builder is using the 2024 Redbook for the Major Variety set rather than checking legacy definitions by PCGS and NGC. I believe this is a trap for CACG as the Whitman contributors have shifted major variety inclusions over years of the Redbook's existence. This was explained to Aly at CACG and hopefully she can convince the right parties to make this correction for Seated dimes and also check the Seated quarters and halves for the same building approach. Defining Major Variety sets based on a Redbook snapshot could bring a difficult justification if the Redbook contributions decide to redefine their view of major varieties outside of the traditional approach.

 

A Numismatic Disease Afflicting GFRC Clients

OK, you are probably wondering what this headline is all about?

In the past ten days, three clients has mailed check payment letters without postage. Each of the individuals remembered their mistake once the letter was deposited in a mail box. Phone calls and emails ensued apologizing for the mistake followed by issuing second checks.

What is more amazing is that USPS is not stopping letters without postage. Rather, these mailings are moving through their system without postage stamp checks and arriving to the office. So far, we are 2/2 with a third letter on its way. Unfortunately, for the first individual who started this trend, the letter without postage arrived to the GFRC office with a stop payment on the check. Diane and I were unaware and deposited this "dead" check. For the second and third individuals, we have Post It notes on Diane's monitor to not deposit checks from these individuals before confirming that they good.

Bottom line, please pay attention to your mailed payment checks and ensue that you have placed the proper postage on the letter before depositing in a mail box. This will save both parties some minor hassles.

 

Another Release of Seated Dime Reference Collection Lots

Monday brought more image processing concerning eight incremental Seated dime lots from my reference collection. Those images are uploaded and will lead to a gallery showcase that will be assembled this afternoon. The theme for this display will be off-brand holders as there are PCI, ICG, and SEGS offerings. When conducting die variety research, one must purchase a new die variety when found including if encapsulated in off-brand holders.

This release will also include a raw, but strictly original, 1891-O dime with a massive reverse cud. I never felt compel to have this piece graded since it speaks for itself in or outside of a TPG holder.

So please check during the later afternoon hours as the release will be published in the Daily Blog.

 

Global Financial News

U.S. equity markets continue to drop as the reality of high interest rates for longer is setting in. Further fueling the immediate S&P 500 weakness is Apple's struggle with its iPhone product line. This brief Seeking Alpha article explains the Apple situation.

Android popularity is growing, with Samsung reclaiming the crown as the top smartphone maker from Apple amid a slump in iPhone shipments. That's according to the International Data Corporation, which also showed that Chinese brands are gaining ground, with Xiaomi taking the third global spot. Recall that iPhone sales in China have already taken a hit as Huawei regains its foothold in the market. Briefly entering correction territory, Apple shares have fallen 8.3% YTD, with its market cap shrinking from nearly $3T to $2.73T. 

The U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve have a substantial issue on their hands as the 10 year bond yield has increased to 4.64% as of this morning. Sadly, the United States much sell roughly $500 billion of Treasury bonds per quarter to fund the rollover of existing deficit induced debt along with the current excess spending above tax revenues. Lenders are demanding higher interest rates for the risk of owning U.S. Treasuries in an environment where they are falling out of favor in the overseas markets.

Spot gold is quoting at $2372/oz while silver is at $28.25.

Bitcoin is taking it on the chin after dropping $8000/coin in the last three trading sessions.

The S&P 500 is now down to 5,061 after Monday incremental losses. Thank goodness that I made a decision to lighten up on stocks once learning that Israel had bombed the Iranian consulate in Syria. I had a sense where this geopolitical conflict could be headed and took some monies off the table. The question now become how low will the S&P 500 drop before stabilizing. Morning market futures are pointing to a minor opening gains that could shift to negativity in a heartbeat as we are in the middle of earnings season.

WTI crude is holding steady between $85 to $86 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar is up to 106.2.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

The answer is pretty much the same as any other day in the GFRC office. So far, there are no new consignment proposals, therefore I will continue to release more Liberty Seated dimes from my die variety reference collection. This afternoon brings another 8 pieces for consideration along with a few other random lots.

Thanks again for visiting today. Be well!

 

 

 

Monday April 15, 2024

Time to Discuss the GFRC Maine Transition Schedule

 

Greeting and welcome to the Daily Blog as we've reached the April 2024 midway point. Spring is in the air for much of the U.S. as everyone is looking forward to the warm summer months.

Yes, the Fortins are closely watching southern Maine weather to gain a sense of weather conditions upon our arrival in just two weeks. The extended monthly forecast indicates high temperatures at the 60 degree mark with overnight dips close to 40F. Spring foliage should appear with a week after our arrival.

Let's shift attention to the GFRC office transition schedule next.

 

GFRC Office Transition Schedule

The GFRC office moves through its operating location transition twice per year. Late autumn bring the move to Florida before the Thanksgiving Day weekend while spring see a return transition at the end of April. Sheltering in Florida is ideal for Diane as she does not like cold temperatures at this point in life. Conversely, Gerry working outdoors on crisp Maine mornings and finds Florida's high humidity and temperatures to be stifling. Seasonally relocating to opposite ends of the country allows both is us to enjoy a balanced lifestyle.

Following is the GFRC spring 2024 transition schedule including a Quiet Period where clients should not mail check payments. Our goal is to ensure that no check payments are captured in the USPS forwarding loop. We will continue to use Ship Aheads as an approach for transporting purchased coins to our clients on an expedited basis.

April 19 - Final Day for mailing check payments to GFRC Florida office

April 20 - 24 - Quiet Period - Please hold mailing checks to GFRC during this five day time frame.

April 24 - GFRC website and Collectors Corner mailing address changed to 225 Valley Rd., Raymond, ME 04071-6163.

April 25 - First day for mailing check payments to the Maine office.

April 26 - 28 - The GFRC office is closed

April 29 - GFRC Maine office opens for regular business

GFRC will be taking delivery of new consignments at the Venice office until this Friday. Afterwards, I would ask that consignments be shipped to the Maine office after our arrival on April 28.

 

Global Financial News

I'm certain that Saturday's Iranian rocket attack on Israel is still fresh on everyone's mind. The key question on a Monday is how will this Middle East escalation impact the price of commodities, especially crude oil and gold. Therefore, let's have a look at the key indices that are monitored on an ongoing basis.

We start with the oil market where WTI crude has dropped slightly to an even $85/bbl. Traders are waiting for Israel's next step but there are currently no alarm bells going off.

Gold, the yellow precious metal is next. After breaking through the $2400/oz mark on Friday, gold saw a retreat and closed at $2338 on the day. Current Kitco pricing indicates that gold is back on the hunt for the $2400 level with morning trades at or around $2360.

Silver also experienced a push through the $30 level on Friday and subsequently retreated with gold. As the Blog is being composed, silver is quoting at $28.43/oz.

Last week also brought the realization that U.S. inflation will continue to be an issue moving forward. The new government term is that "inflation is sticky" implies that the Federal Reserve has the situation under control with just some policy fine tuning being necessary. There is another school of thought that believes current Washington fiscal policies and deficit spending will continue to feed the money supply and work counter to the Federal Reserve goals. The "experts" are arguing among themselves as to whether the Fed has engineered an economic soft landing or if a recession is forthcoming as U.S. Treasury bond yields continue to rise.

From my perspective, the most important economic metric is the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield. This yield represents the cost of U.S government borrowing for its unprecedented non-war time deficit spending levels. Unfortunately, the 10 year bond continues to inch up as investors are demanding higher payouts for loaning monies to the U.S. government. This morning's quote is 4.58% and moving in the wrong direct for the equity market. Gold pricing resilience should be noted at current Treasury bond yields.

The U.S. dollar also continues to strengthen given high interest rates. The morning DXY index quote is 105.9.

The S&P 500 starts the day at 5,123 after a 1.5% drop on Friday. Morning market futures are point to a 0.5% recovery at the opening of trading in a few hours.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

I could not be more pleased with the GFRC order rate through the first two weeks of April. Our business is back to operating at historical levels during that time frame. Sustaining that order rate is the next challenge through the end of the month.

Monday morning brings a substantial amount of shipping followed by an afternoon of image processing. As mentioned this past weekend, GFRC has exhausted its consignment queue with the posting of the Scenic Lakeview Morgan and Peace dollars. There is a 10 piece lot at CAC Stickering that will return by end of week otherwise, I am back to releasing more Liberty Seated dimes from my reference collection to keep the 30 Day Price List fresh and populated. New consignments would be most welcomed. Let's remember that Maine spring weather is typically wet leading to spending time in the GFRC office during rainy days processing consignments.

So ends another Daily Blog edition. Thank you for stopping by and for the ongoing visits. Be well!

 

 

 

Sunday April 14, 2024

Taking a Daily Blog Vacation Day

 

Greetings on a Sunday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. There are only eleven days remaining in Florida before the northern migration to our southern Maine home.

I've decided to use one of my allocated GFRC vacation days this morning as there is no prepared content to share. As a historian, the evening was spent watching online coverage of Iran's missile attack on Israel. What is notable is the fact that not only did the US, UK, and France support the downing of Iranian missiles, but also reports of Jordan and Saudi Arabia helping out.

The precious market markets are close for the weekend, therefore there is no information on how those markets, and those for crude oil, will react once trading begins in Asia during our overnight hours.

The GFRC business continues to operate throughout the weekend with quick responses to incoming orders. Every order is precious as it helps consignors exit their duplicate coins and/or helps fund the forthcoming summer homestead projects.

And on that note, I hope that the community enjoys a restful Sunday. The Daily Blog will be back on Monday.

Be well!

 

 

 

Saturday April 13, 2024

A Connoisseur's Private Collection Posted on CACG Registry

and

Another Tranche of Scenic Lakeview Dollars to Consider

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a mid-April Saturday morning. Your visits are noted and appreciated.

Yesterday brought a wild day in the precious metal markets and on Wall Street. Gold and silver prices finally reached a point of hard resistance and have settled in at $2350 and $27.85 respectively. The S&P 500 dropped to 5,123 as investors are realizing that interest rates cuts for the balance of 2024 are now close to wishful thinking. In my mind, there are two notable Fedspeak lines that will go down in history. First there was the infamous U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve statements that "inflation is transitory". Now we have been fed a new line that "inflation is sticky". I'm afraid that inflation is here to stay consistent with current government policies of deficit spending, green energy initiatives, and ongoing global militarization. When JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon says that the fiscal policies are problematic, then we should be paying attention as occurred on Friday. Invest wisely, dear readers.

Thursday and Friday's GFRC office crisis was a broken lock on our USPS community mail box stand. On Thursday, we were unable to retrieve our mail and the lock was jammed. We posted a note on the mail box for the carrier to call us upon arrival. This was fortunately done allowing me to remove the lock from the door and retrieving two days of check payments. Diane was busy last evening depositing a host of checks that will enable a substantial amount of shipping today.

Let's move on to today's headline topics.

 

A Connoisseur's Private Collection Posted on CACG Registry

I just could not resist taking an hour out of Friday's office day to load the core Liberty Seated Dime collection into the new CACG set registry. Finally, there was a registry that leveled the playing field with both "Universal" and "CAC-Only" set posting options. "Universal" is the option for including non-CAC approved coins into the registry set. Below is a screen capture of the Connoisseur's universal set (Without 1873-CC No Arrows dime) with 100% set completion and score of 63.01. The same set in the CAC-Only realm tallied at close to 95% completion with a set score of 59.09.

 

When reviewing all of the different Liberty Seated dime sets, I did notice an error in the definition of the Major Varieties Set which included three Top 100 Varieties that have nothing to do with major design types. A note was sent to Aly at CACG and hopefully this will be corrected. The three extraneous varieties are the 1872 DRR, the 1873 DDO, and the 1891-O O/Horizontal O.

Overall, the CACG registry is straightforward to use for inventory management along with automatic placement of coins into every conceivable set where there is a match. At this point, I have yet to upload images and will deal with this task in the coming weeks.

 

Another Tranche of Scenic Lakeview Dollars to Consider

As promised, today brings another gallery showcase featuring incremental dollar offerings from the Scenic Lakeview Collection. Our friend has been slowing divesting his Morgan dollar collection via GFRC including Peace dollars that make their debut today. I believe that the images are accurate in terms of the overall appearance of each lot. It has taken years of image processing to finally master the art of portraying luster on untoned silver dollars.

If my day goes as planned, these lots will begin posting to the 30 Day Price List come the afternoon hours. In the meantime, the offer prices as listed as marked in each title line.

 

Another Tranche of Scenic Lakeview Dollars to Consider

Priced as Marked

   1878 7/8TF Strong PCGS MS64 $1 - $715                                            1881-O PCGS MS64+ DMPL $1- $1585   

        

   1881-CC PCGS MS63 $1 - $750                                                       1889-O PCGS MS64 $1 - $900  

        

      1921-S PCGS MS65 10C - $875                                                   1927 PCGS MS64+ CAC $1 - $925    

        

 1880 PCGS MS65 $1 - $485                          1884-S NGC AU53 $1 - $395                            1889-S NGC MS61 $1 - $375

                

1891-O NGC MS63 $1 - $610                        1923-S PCGS MS64 $1 - $375                          1927 PCGS MS64 $1 - $550

                

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

As mentioned earlier, today brings a busy morning in the shipping department followed by a slower paced afternoon writing Morgan dollar descriptions.

If you are so inclined, consignment proposals would be welcomed along with purchases. Both allow the GFRC business to remain on a steady footing.

Thanks again for checking in at the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

Friday April 12, 2024

Gold Futures Punch Through $2400

and

CACG Releases An Inclusive Set Registry

 

 

Greetings on a Friday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. As always, thank you for being part of the Blog and GFRC community.

There is no need for a preamble today as sufficient breaking news has appeared in the last 24 hours. Let's get going....

 

Gold Futures Punch Through $2400

Gold and silver are starting to feel like a train that is gaining speed on a downward sloping track. Both metals have broken out with price increases accelerating.

During the overnight, gold futures touched $2412 per ounce. Kitco is reporting that spot gold is currently priced at an even $2400/oz. Not to be left behind, silver pricing has also begun its ramp with a $29.13/oz value as of 6:35 AM.

There is little new to discuss, at this point, after yesterday's commentary on inflation. Gold is is a new space and being driving by forces that traditional analysis cannot explain. The inverse relationship between interest rates and gold prices was valid when the status quo was in effect. We are beyond that point.

Fueling global tensions is the Israeli and Iran conflict that has moved from an Iranian proxy war to a direct confrontation between the two Middle East powers. The scary part is the size of the two parties when considering Iran along with its Hezbollah, Houthi, and other Iranian proxy forces in Iraq and Syria. Israel is a small country when both population and land area are considered. The leveling factor is that Israeli possesses nuclear weapons and Iran does not. An open conflict between these two powers would provide the Israeli government an opportunity at destroying Iran's nuclear weapons program. This might be Bibi's end game. Who knows at this point?

What is known is that commodity prices will surge if a serious war breaks out. Are gold and silver in the early stages of a much larger breakout? What about crude oil as Iran has the capability to close the Strait of Hormuz to pressure its Arab neighbors for support?

The next few days and the coming week could be quite interesting....

 

CACG Releases An Inclusive Set Registry

Thursday brought the long awaited announcement that the CACG Set Registry is available to members. After logging in, I immediately went to the Registry Rules section section to check on the inclusive natural of the registry along with the scoring rules. Let's just say that the new CACG Registry is what I would have like the GFRC Open Set Registry to evolve into if Matt would have been able to continue software development.

The CACG has two sections. The first is CAC-Only sets which accepts CACG and CAC stickered coins. The second section allows for the construction of universal sets that include CACG, PCGS and NGC coins. For the latter two services, the entries can be for CAC approved or non-CAC approved coins. There is even a provision for accepting CAC Details graded coins with a predefined registry values.

CACG has defined for major set categories that include Date Sets, Traditional Sets (date/mint mark), Major Variety Sets, and Complete Variety Sets. These definitions are broad based and will certainly attract a huge amount of attention from the numismatic community.

Finally, there is a comprehensive listing of scoring rules. What I found truly interesting is the application of scoring values which provide a quantitative measurement for current CACG grading standard with respect to CAC stickered coins. There was much discussion that CACG graded coins were reviewed to tighter standards than even CAC stickered coins. The following screen capture finally acknowledges this fact on a numerical basis.

 

Let's close this segment with two points. The first is that I am truly excited about the possibility of posting my Liberty Seated Dime collection into a competitive registry that provides scoring for green and gold CAC approved coins. This will level the playing field with those that pursue the highest label grades but without CAC approval.

Second is that I do not want commentary on this topic arriving into my email Inbox. My role is that of an investor and communicating CAC development news. If you feel strongly about some aspect of the the new CACG Registry Set program, please visit the CAC message boards and voice your opinion there.

 

GFRC Is Open For Consignments

I'd like to remind everyone that GFRC remains open for consignments. By Monday, the newest Scenic Lakeview Collection consignment will be done its pricing, Blog marketing, and price list posting process. Afterwards, the consignment queue is empty. The timing is fortuitous given the forthcoming Maine transition and office start-up. I do plan to take some business downtime in May to focus energies on homestead projects.

However, there will still be time (rainy days and evenings) to continue moving new consignments through the GFRC system.

Let's remember that the Summer Baltimore show is only two months away with GFRC needing a constant flow of incoming coins for keeping the 30 Day Price List vibrant and fresh.

Please call or email me if wishing to divest a portion of a collection. The GFRC Online Auctions platform has not set a date for its next auction event. That date will be a function of sets or major collections being offered.

 

Global Financial News

For once, Seeking Alpha publishes its morning newsletter at 7:30 AM. The main topic is another earnings season preview which follows. Please note JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon's pessimism for a soft landing and lower interest rates.

Get ready for the coming flood of corporate earnings, with the big banks ready to kick off the festivities. For investors in the sector, guidance may be almost as important as the results, with markets now factoring in fewer rate cuts if any) for 2024. "Higher for longer" would support the net interest income of the big banks, but may keep a lid on their businesses tied to mergers & acquisitions and capital markets activity.

Mark your calendar: Coming up this morning are Q1 earnings from JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. Goldman Sachs will follow on Monday, with Morgan Stanley and Bank of America releasing quarterly numbers on Tuesday. There's also a whole host of regional players, asset managers, credit card companies and other financial institutions reporting over the next week. 

Many items will also be on watch in the coming sessions even for those not invested in the banking industry. Provisions for credit losses can provide a window into how well banks expect the economy to hold up and will shed light on the viability of commercial real estate. Consumer spending will also be in the spotlight, and don't forget comments on the macro situation from some of the biggest CEOs on Wall Street.

Ahead of the show: "These markets seem to be pricing in at a 70% to 80% chance of a soft landing - modest growth along with declining inflation and interest rates," JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon said in his annual letter to shareholders on Monday. "I believe the odds are a lot lower than that." Dimon also pointed to "huge fiscal spending, the trillions needed each year for the green economy, the remilitarization of the world, and the restructuring of global trade" as contributors to inflation. "Therefore, we are prepared for a very broad range of interest rates, from 2% to 8% or even more, with equally wide-ranging economic outcomes."

Following are morning market futures which are pointing to selling at the opening bell.

In Asia, Japan +0.2%. Hong Kong -2.2%. China -0.5%. India -1.1%. 

In Europe, at midday, London +1.1%. Paris +0.8%. Frankfurt +0.8%.

Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.3%. S&P -0.5%. NASDAQ -0.6%.

WTI crude is steady at $86+/bbl.

The 10 Year Treasury bond yield is holding at 4.54% while the U.S dollar has moved up to 105.9.

We've already discussed gold spot pricing.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

All of the Scenic Lakeview Collection images have been completed as of last evening. Today brings a pricing proposal for our client's approval. Once that approval is granted, yet another GFRC gallery showcase will be posted to the Blog. Who knows, this showcase could be ready for Saturday's Blog edition.

Again, please consider a purchase or a consignment proposal. The key to the GFRC business is a constant flow of incoming and outgoing items. If the consignment cupboards are empty, I will be using the free time to process the remaining Liberty Seated dimes in my reference collection.

So ends another Blog edition. Your ongoing patronage is truly appreciated. Thank you and be well!

 

 

 

Thursday April 11, 2024

Preparing for the Maine Transition

and

Let's Talk About Inflation....

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Thursday morning. Your ongoing visits, and GFRC business relationships, are appreciated.

Two weeks....

That is the remaining time for sheltering in Florida before transitioning back to our Maine roots and homestead. Honestly, I'm already starting to check out of the Florida scene and focusing on the upcoming spring and summer projects. Two days ago, payment for the Summer Baltimore show booth was mailed with the comfort of only an 8.5 hour road trip rather than the grueling 15 hours that Dan and I endured in March.

Let's move on to other topics.

Wednesday's CPI report was a stinker with a large miss to analysts expectations. Equity's dropped a full percentage point along with the 10 year bond yield jumping to 4.55% during the day's trading. Gold and silver also reacted but fared the best among tier 1 assets. We will cover more in the Global Financial News segment.

It was a slow day in the GFRC office as resting my fingers was the imperative. For the many of you who are suggesting that I use voice-typing via Windows 11, thank you. Let's remember that I am dyslexic with a thought process that works in spurts as compared to a free flowing recital. The final composition might appear to be smooth and coherent, but the construction is far from that.

Late afternoon brought the usual health walk along a stretch of the Blackburn Canal. I could not resist snapping the following image and sharing as the sky was clear blue and provided a nice contrasted background to the oaks and palms that line the opposite bank of the canal. For new readers, the Blackburn Canal is man-made and drains rainfall from our immediately area back to the Gulf of Mexico.

 

GFRC sales continue to be strong with the New Orleans Collection 1860-O dime selling with extended payment terms. Other lower priced coins also sold throughout the day as I did manage to post nearly all new purchased to the 30 Day Price List. At that point, it was decided to hold back Scenic Lakeview Morgan and Peace dollar image processing for the obvious reason.

 

Global Financial News

As a student of history, global geopolitical developments, and financial markets, my free time continues to be allocated to research towards fine tuning a personal wealth portfolio. YouTube is a powerful medium for accessing interviews with a host of individuals who have spent entire careers in the financial markets. The beauty of these videos is the opportunity to listen to extended podcasts where topics are explored in depth rather than one minute scripted interviews on mainstream cable business news.

Of course, one must separate the true deep thinkers from those who use YouTube for personal marketing. If listening to enough deep thinkers and financial historians, a common theme emerges along with understanding how little the average citizen understands the financial markets. If your primary source of information are the major networks and cable business news, then you are poorly served.

Earlier this week, Carlo (my Merrill Lynch money manager) and I had an extended conversation on restructuring our portfolio, and by extension, using the same strategies to restructured the balance of his clientele's managed monies. Carlo is looking to me as his advisor on commodities since I've been making some timely calls on oil, gold and silver. Carlo's challenge is that he is so busy with interfacing with clients that he is struggling to conduct in depth research on his own. He reads many Merrill Lynch reports along with other well known advisors but has not has an opportunity to seek contrarian viewpoints.

Yesterday's CPI stinker report was eye opening for both Carlo and myself. The well known "report" advisors were wrong about inflation while the YouTube "experts" that I follow were correct.

The U.S. economy is a complex engine that requires management at a level that most American's cannot comprehend. The role of the Federal Reserve is somewhat understood but not that of the U.S. Treasury. Listening to someone like Lyn Alden, a very technical analyst of how financial markets and the economy are managed, is incredible important in becoming a much more sophisticated investor as even hired money managers have their limitations.

Since resting my fingers during the afternoon hours and watching the markets react to the 0.4% CPI report, I started viewing several of Lyn Alden's interviews across multiple podcasts. The several hours spent were priceless in my understanding of the current state of the U.S. financial system and who is actually pulling the strings. Following are several key points to stimulate your thought process.

- Inflation has not been sufficiently tamed by the Federal Reserve, why?

- Managing the U.S. economy is a battle between fiscal and monetary policies. Currently the fiscal side of the balance is overwhelming the monetary. In other words, Washington's deficit spending is exceeding the Fed Reserve ability to keep things under control with monetary policies.

- Behind the curtain, the U.S. Treasury and Fed are working to keep banks solvent through stealth interventions as we deal with an unprecedented increase in interest rates. Prior to 2023, deficits were supported by ever decreasing interest rates, the reversal of rates and inflation is now upon us.

- Gold, oil, and mineral commodities are the BRICS new currency. Forget the idea of a new reserve currency from the BRICS. What the BRICS are trying to achieve is a settlement currency among themselves that excludes the use of U.S. dollar. That settlement currency will be back by a fractional amount of gold as the writing is on the wall and we need to acknowledge this fact. When this new system is launched, those sitting at the table with the most gold will be leading the decision making and policies. Of course, China is heads and shoulders over other members in terms of gold ownership.

- Finally, the most important learning from yesterday.... Increasing Treasury bond interest expenses are inflationary as those payments are moving back into the money supply. If the U.S. is spending 1+ Trillion on interest expense, where does that money go? It moves back into the U.S economy and foreign reserves. Our ongoing deficit spending is an ongoing quantitative easing that will continually drive inflation.

Yes, I know that there is much to unpack here. My conclusion is that long term bonds are a risky asset currently, while gold brings appreciation opportunities given that the majority of the world's population is now or will soon be part of the BRICS. The U.S. hegemony is facing a challenge that is equivalent to death by a thousands cuts. One can feel that something is not right, but there is no direct cause and effect that can be easily rationalized unless carefully conducting one's own research. The fact that gold is rallying without a major geopolitical event or nature disaster is a warning light on life's dashboard..

Let's close this segment with the usual financial monitors.

The 10 Year bond yield is up to 4.55% while the U.S. dollar has increased to 105.3.

WTI crude is trading at $85.60/bbl. Yes, the recent price increases have appeared at the Venice gas pumps.

Gold is quoting at $2335/oz while silver is trading at $28 give or take a few cents.

Morning market futures are pointing to a 0.4% drop in the S&P 500 after yesterday's 1.1% fall.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Pretty much the same as always. Attention shifts to the Scenic Lakeview Collection consignment.

Thank you again for stopping by. Be well!

 

 

 

Wednesday April 10, 2024

GFRC Surpasses $15,000,000 Consignment Proceeds Milestone

and

A Look at India Silver Imports

 

Greetings on a Wednesday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you so much for visiting.

Today edition will be brief as my fingers continue to be problematic. The time is approach whereby the left hand's middle finger will need surgery after receiving two cortisone shots in the past two years. Luckily, my right hand has responded to those same shots and is in better shape. If I am unable to change out hydraulic couplers on Johnny2 due to weak fingers, then something must give within the current lifestyle. Typing long Daily Blog editions along with composing coin descriptions will be the first to be reconsidered.

Let's get into the meat of today's edition.

 

GFRC Surpasses $15,000,000 Consignment Proceeds Milestone

What seemed like a far off goal when ramping the GFRC business has become a reality. During the past week, this humble business crossed through the $15,000,000 consignor proceeds milestone. For new Blog readers, the GFRC consignor proceeds number is fully transparent and real time at the top of the Consignor page. Today's tally currently stands at $15,058,259.

There were two events that brought us through this substantial milestone.

The first was the sale of the Eugene Gardner 1805 PCGS AU58 CAC Draped Bust half dime into the St. Jude Collection. The St. Jude set is an 1794 - 1807 collection for all silver, copper, and gold issues and can be viewed on the PCGS Registry.

The second enabler was the sale of the Quito Collection's magnificent 1840-O Briggs 1-A With Draper Large O PCGS MS64 CAC quarter into yet another New Orleans type set that is under formation.

Yes, there is a sense of personal accomplishment, but more important is the fact that GFRC has been able to guide and execute the numismatic divestment for a host of collectors with favorable outcomes.

 

Global Financial News

Within an hour's time, the March CPI will be published. The analyst are being pessimistic for the report with an expected top line price increase of 3.4%. If there is a "beat" on that number, then the Federal Reserve will have cover for starting their interest rate reduction cycle as early as June.

If there is a beat, I don't expect a substantial equity market rally as stocks have already priced in expected rate cuts. A miss would dampen the party both stocks and bonds as we would be subjected to higher rates for longer.

Gold and silver continue to rally, though yesterday brought flat trading for both metals. A bit of consolidation is a good thing...

Following is an interesting Kitco article that validates what I had learned from other sources on the topic of increasing silver demand. One of the demand factors is India as explained by Ernest Hoffman.

India imported a record amount of silver in February, with silver imports surging 260% during the month, according to government and industry sources.  

The country imported a record 2,295 metric tons of silver during the month, more than tripling the 637 tons recorded in January. India is the world's biggest silver consumer, and with imports of the gray metal now on pace for a 66% year-over-year increase, the demand could help catalyze the nascent silver breakout.

The outsized imports were supported in part by lower duties which spurred larger purchases from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). India imported 939 tons from UAE in February, representing 41% of the monthly total, as traders bought large volumes to benefit from a lower duty, the official said.

According to provisional data from India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, silver imports rose to 2,932 tons in the first two months of 2024 compared to 3,625 tons for the entire year of 2023.

"Indian imports are cyclical in nature. In one year, imports may be very high, and then the following year they may fall," said Chirag Thakkar, CEO of Amrapali Group Gujarat. “Since imports fell in 2023 after record buying in 2022, we can expect imports to pick up in 2024.”

Thakkar said India's imports could rise as high as 6,000 tons in 2024, up from 3,625 tons in 2023, driven by robust demand from the fabrication and solar industries.

He added that people were also buying silver as an investment, believing it will outperform gold.

India’s jewelry sector has seen upward revisions throughout the new year amid higher prices for precious metals. ICRA Limited, a Moody’s affiliated investment information and credit rating agency, said in February that rising gold prices are boosting India’s jewelry consumption, which could be as much as 50% higher than the initial projections for 2024.

“ICRA has revised upward its forecast of the year-on-year (YoY) domestic jewelery consumption growth (in value terms) for FY2024 to 10-12% from 8-10% estimated earlier, primarily driven by the rise in gold prices,” wrote ICRA Vice President Sujoy Saha and Senior Analyst Raunak Modi in the report.

The authors project jewelry consumption to rise by “more than 15% YoY in H1 FY2024, aided by stable demand during Akshaya Tritiya and higher gold prices.” They then predict the growth rate will moderate to 6-8% in the second half of the year due to ongoing weakness in rural demand due to persistent high inflation.

In January, India raised the import duties on gold and silver findings, coins, and ⁠spent catalysts containing precious metals to 15%, up from 10% previously. A Finance Ministry official said at the time that the move was made to prevent importers from circumventing the higher duty on gold and silver bars after they noted a surge in imports of gold findings over the last two months. ‘Findings’ are small components such as hooks, clasps, clamps, pins, catches, and other fasteners used to assemble jewelry.

Let's quickly review our daily financial indicators.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has inched down to 4.35% while the U.S. dollar is quoting at 104.05 per the DXY index.

WTI crude is down slightly at $85.76/bbl.

Spot gold is trading at $2347/oz while silver is holding the $28 mark.

The S&P 500 closed Tuesday's trading with a small fractional gain and is at 5,209. Morning market futures are current pointing to a 0.11% increase when trading opens in several hours. However, the 8:30 AM CPI report drop will control the day's narrative and price action.

 

What Is Gerry Up To Today?

Honestly, I should be taking the day off and resting my fingers. That thought will be delayed for another several weeks as the Maine transition is quickly approaching. Closing the office for three solid days on April 26-28 along with shifting attention to Maine landscaping clean-up, after arriving home, will help keep me away from the repetitive motion of a keypad and mouse for a number of days.

So today is pretty much the same old work. The balance of the new purchases, as illustrated on Tuesday, will be loaded to the 30 Day Price List. The Scenic Lakeview Collection's Morgan and Peace dollars have been photographed with image processing next.

Thanks again for sharing your time with me at the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

Tuesday April 9, 2024

An Eye Appealing New Purchases Cavalcade

and

Toner Morgans as an Encore!

 

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Tuesday morning. As always, thank you for visiting and staying abreast of current GFRC happenings.

Today's edition is chocked full of imagery and new offerings. The entire Monday afternoon was dedicated to preparing this presentation after posting the New Orleans Collection lots during the morning hours. As a result, I took the evening off from the coin business, to rest my fingers, and will address the subsequent emailed purchase requests this morning.

Following is a substantial lot that was recently taken in trade against a large Capped Bust half dime purchase . Our client loves the smaller Capped Bust denomination and provided a notable amount of trade material to conduct the transaction. This client is primarily focused on overall eye appeal with or without CAC approval. We must admit that this individual does have a good eye concerning his acquisitions.

I've broken the group into two sections. The first is a eye appealing group that consists of primarily type coins with Seated dimes being in the majority. The second gallery is exclusively toned Morgan dollars. The decision is now up to the community to decide if these lots are worthy of acquisition. Come this afternoon, these lots will be posted to the 30 Day Price List including those that sold immediately during the overnight hours.

Have fun perusing this lots and hopefully one or more will be desirable enough for inclusion in your numismatic cabinet.

 

An Eye Appealing New Purchases Cavalcade

Priced as Marked

      1853 NGC MS65BN 1C - $825                                                   1857 FE NGC MS64 1C - $1550    

        

    1891 PCGS MS64 CAC 25C - $1150                                               1875 PCGS MS64+ 50C - $1550    

        

      1906 NGC PF65RB 1C - $735               1872 F-102 MPD PCGS MS62 10C - $225             1883 F-118 PCGS MS65 10C - $595

                

1883 Unlisted ANACS MS64 OWH 10C - $435          1886 F-111 PCGS MS63 10C - $325                1887 Unlisted PCGS MS66 10C - $895      

                

1891 F-128 EDS PCGS MS65 10C - $585                   1898 NGC MS64 10C - $345                      1824 O-117 PCGS AU53 50C - $425  

                

 

Toner Morgans as an Encore!

Priced as Marked

   1884-O NGC MS65Star $1 - $325                    1885-O PCGS MS63 $1 - $275                       1887 PCGS MS65 CAC $1 - $350

                

    1898-O PCGS MS63 $1 - $285                        1899-O PCGS MS64 $1 - $295                    1902-O NGC MS65 $1 CAC - $350

                

 

Global Financial News

The gold and silver rally continued on Monday and remains intact as the Blog is being composed. Spot gold peaked at $2363/oz during late Monday afternoon trading and is hovering at $2355 currently. The silver price fix is currently a few cents shy of $28/oz.

Unquestionably, China demand is driving the current gold rally though their current buying has slowed due to rising prices. Following is an article from Ernest Hoffman (Kitco) that explains how China has wrestled gold price setting from the West. Note the last line belong when it is suggested that the Chinese government and citizens are absorbing two-thirds of the global gold supply.

The People’s Bank of China announced that they increased their gold holdings by 0.2% to 72.74 million troy ounces last month, with record-high prices likely discouraging them from heftier purchases. Spot gold went on quite a run during the month, climbing from $2,040 per ounce on March 1 to a new all-time high above $2,265 by March 31.

Central bank buying has been a significant driver of gold’s price gains since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and China has led the sovereign buying during that period. High prices have dampened demand in recent months, however, with sovereign gold purchases declining 58% month-over-month in February.

China’s net gold imports from Hong Kong fell 48% in February, with net imports from the Special Administrative Region coming in at 39.826 metric tons, data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department showed, far lower than the 76.248 tons imported in January and the lowest level since November 2023.

While the low February numbers could also have been impacted by the Lunar New Year holidays, which shuttered markets and stopped most business activities between Feb. 10-17, the March figures confirm the downward trend in China’s sovereign purchases.

But many experts still believe that the last 17 months represent a fundamental shift in the gold market away from the West and to the East, and to China in particular, and that trend is not expected to reverse any time soon.

Canadian mining legends Frank Giustra, CEO of Fiore Group, and Pierre Lassonde, Chairman Emeritus at Franco-Nevada, said in a recent panel with Kitco News that the West has lost its power to set the price of gold, and warned of a new geopolitical reality dominated by resource nationalism.

 “The world hasn't woken up yet,” Lassonde told Michelle Makori, Lead Anchor and Editor-in-Chief at Kitco News, during Kitco Insights Interactive Mining Titans' Power Panel. “The marginal buyer of gold is no longer the U.S. It's no longer Europe. It's China. Between the country's central bank and the Chinese public, China takes up over two-thirds of all the annual production.”

Tomorrow brings an all important CPI report that drops at 8:30 AM. Later in April, the PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures) inflation report will be released on April 26.

Federal Reserve policymakers are expected to be paying attention to the underlying components of inflation, especially in the detailed pricing tables of the CPI report. Key is "sheltering costs". These costs make up a large component of most household budgets, and hence they carry a large weight in the CPI index.

Expectations are for a monthly inflation of 0.3% or lower for March. If this target is met, there are expectations that the Federal Reserve will have the green light to start reducing interest rates during the summer months. The spoiler could be the job markets as a counter balance. Continued strong job growth may convince the Fed to hold back rates cuts.

Looking at the all-important daily financial metrics....

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield stands at 4.4% while the U.S. dollar is down a tad to an even 104.0.

WTI crude oil pricing is holding at $86.50/bbl.

The S&P 500 index barely moved on Monday and starts another trading day at 5,202. Morning market futures are pointing to another flat open as traders and investors are holding tight until the CPI arrives in a little over 24 hours.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

After the usual morning shipping activities, my attention shifts to a recent Scenic Lakeview Collection consign that is exclusively Morgan and Peace dollars with a lone $20 Liberty gold piece in the mix. Secondly, a GFRC client called on Monday and asked if I would be interested in purchasing a portion of a collection to enable a home expansion project. The offered lots are mostly CAC approved which is a definite plus. Therefore, a portion of my day will be allocated to pricing out this proposal.

Please keep those purchase orders and consignment coming as you don't wish for me to become bored before returning to Maine. As mentioned yesterday, I will gladly accept consignments at the Venice Florida office through April 19. After that date, let's hold consignments and ship those directly to the Maine office starting in May.

Thank you so much for visiting the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

Monday April 8, 2024

A Storied 1861-O CSA Obverse Half

and

A New Orleans Collection "Solar Eclipse" Consignment

 

Greetings and welcome to a Monday where many will be focused on today's solar eclipse. Thank you so much for visiting.

The important news of the day is that the Maine homestead has electrical power which re-appeared during Sunday afternoon. In less than three weeks, the Fortins will be back home in their native state and ready for another spring through late autumn residency. One of the joys of returning to Maine in late April is the opportunity to view the initial stage of a full foliage cycle. Upon our arrival, the landscape will be barren until the second week of May. At that point the deciduous trees will have sprouted their leaves. A back acreage image will be posted, in the Blog, upon our arrival as a visual baseline.

Little will be said about today's solar eclipse as the cable and online media have this topic well covered.

Instead, let's check in with Seth Godin on an insightful blog post. Many have predicted the destruction of jobs due to the growth of AI in all facets of life. Seth Godin presents a different perspective based on the writings of English economist William Jevons in his 1865 book The Coal Question.

Seth Godin Blogpost - Jevons paradox is not surprising

When a resource can be used more efficiently, we end up using more of the thing, not less.

So, when cars get better gas mileage, people drive more, and consumption can actually go up.

When AI learns to write computer code, the demand for programmers goes up, because more efficient code is more attractive, and we want more of it.

Household appliances that are designed to save time and trouble end up being used for more than simply maintaining the previous level of tidiness. Because it’s easier, we raise our standards for tidy and use them more as they get easier to use.

We rarely consider the fact that human beings have invented 6 billion jobs in my lifetime.

My hunch is that AI is going to produce far more opportunities than it destroys.

 

A Storied 1861-O CSA Obverse Half

The New Orleans Collection's newest consignment takes center stage today. We open with a well preserved 1861-O CSA Obverse half that needs little of an introduction. Our consignor presents the historical background associated with this piece as an opening for his most recent consignment.

A Storied 1861-O CSA Obverse Half

W-11 formerly WB-102. Now this half has a real story.  The New Orleans area purchaser acquired the half at an estate sale in the late 1990s as a "set of 4 old coins." It didn't matter to him that he paid too much for the coins because they had a remarkable story...even better he was able to attribute one coin as a CSA half some time later making his investment golden. The original coins' owner had lived in his family's Garden District mansion for most of the 20th century and was having to sell off some personal items to make ends meet in an initial sale around 1992. The mansion had fallen into great disrepair and had been in continual renovation since World War II. It finally went through a second estate sale in the late 90s. In the first sale, the owner let on that his family had lost all of their valuables during the Civil War when a Union General confiscated them. It was General Benjamin “Spoons” Butler who had become known in the history books for just this. Butler had acquired the infamous nickname ‘Spoons’ from his reputation for stealing silverware among other valuables from area homes in which he resided. It was told that the '4 coins' were squirreled away as some of the only possessions not found and pilfered by Spoons. They actually were unknown to the owner until renovations revealed them and just before the final estate sale in 98-99. This CSA half was found hidden on the 3rd floor along with a 60-o dollar, 58-o half and 61 half. All 4 of the coins have the same super-original patina and all are just barely circulated.

Let's move on to the contents of this consignment. Our New Orleans based consignor is traveling today to view the solar eclipse, thus a memorable day for the release of the following lots to the community.

I'm sorry, but the 1861-O CSA Obverse half is already on hold. A request for the coin arrived late Sunday evening followed by other requests at 4:30 and 7:00 AM. given these requests, I can assure everyone that this piece is already sold. However, there are still other important lots to consider including a perfectly original 1841-O F-108 lot along with a scarce 1860-O dime. The 1853-O A&R Seated quarter is a real sweetheart at the certified grade and should be promptly purchased. We close with a beautifully toned 1900-O Barber quarter.

A New Orleans Collection "Solar Eclipse" Consignment

1861-O W-11 CSA Obverse PCGS AU50 50C - $4000

     1841-O F-108 PCGS MS63 10C - $1750                                           1860-O F-101 PCGS EF40 10C - $5500    

        

 1853-O A&R Br 2-C PCGS EF45 CAC 25C - $750                                         1900-O PCGS MS65 25C - $3000              

        

 

Final Ten Days for Shipping Consignments to GFRC Florida Office

With a little less than three weeks remaining before the northern transition to Maine, I'd like to advise the community that I will be accepting Florida bound consignments for another 10 days. Let's set April 19th as the final day for taking receipt of consignments as we attempt to manage the numismatic "load" that will be transported across the I-95 journey to Maine.

Come April 29th, I will be gladly accepting consignments shipped to the Maine office though the processing rate will be slower than normal during the month of May. As discussed previously, May will be consumed with multiple contractor visits/projects along with spring cleaning of the homestead landscaping and re-opening the back acreage walking trail.

 

Global Financial News

The gold and silver rallies continue to be the primary topics within this financial segment.

Spot gold opened trading at $2342 during the overnight hours and is bouncing around at a few dollars below that level. The gold rally is catching many by surprise with the average retail buyer still holding back. Silver has also spiked with a morning quote of $27.72/oz. I would not be surprised to see silver trading at $30 by the end of the week with more upside potential as the supply/demand equation is tilted to the demand side due to huge requirements for silver from the Chinese solar panel manufacturing sector.

Fundamentally, the current gold rally could be interpreted as a warning that all is not well with global economies, especially the United States which continues to be leading the pack in terms of innovation. However, debt is a key issue that government officials do not wish to discuss. This morning's 10 Year Treasury bond yield has increased to 4.46% which places ongoing pressure on Federal debt refinancing needs. At the short end of the yield curve (1 through 6 months), the bond yield has moved up to 5.35%. There is no place for the U.S. Treasury to secure inexpensive debt financing. A 34 Trillion dollar deficit financed at 4.2% leads to 1.43 Trillion dollars in annual interest payments alone. Just consider this fact for a moment as gold and silver rally.

The U.S. dollar is holding flat at 104.4 to start the day.

WTI crude is quoting at $86.20/bbl though I am not seeing much of an impact (yet) at the gas pump here in Venice.

Morning market futures are suggesting a flat open for the S&P 500 when trading opens. The key question that I'm being to ask if whether there will be interest rate cut in the third quarter of this year and when does the investor community come to this realization. When it finally does, I see potential downside for the S&P 500 at current levels. Actually, I am front running this possibility with Carlo as we took profits on multiple sectors on Friday and went into short term Treasury bonds that are paying 5.35%.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Monday finds me again in the GFRC office. The New Orleans Collection lot will be loaded to the price list as a first step. Next is the preparation of a 20 piece showcase gallery for Tuesday's Daily Blog edition. The showcase illustrate the trade deal lot that was taken in last week. All images have been processed as of Sunday evening. Remaining is the pricing of each lot towards presenting a lovely gallery for community consideration.

If that was not enough, the latest Scenic Lakeview Collection consignment (Morgan and Peace dollars) will be photographed.

As always, your purchase orders and consignments proposals are being solicited. GFRC is constantly on the job with super fast response time to email and text message inquiries.

Thank you again for visiting the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

 

Sunday April 7, 2024

Taking a Daily Blog Holiday

 

Greetings on a Sunday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for checking in.

As today's headline indicates, I'm taking a Daily Blog holiday primarily to rest my fingers. Saturday brought a busy office day with much image processing along with pricing the latest New Orleans Collection consignment. The results of those efforts will post later today.

Back in Maine, the power restoration situation is challenging with Central Maine Power moving their power restoration target to Monday evening. Thank goodness the temperatures are above freezing. Hopefully, this will be the final major power outage before the Fortins take the homestead to an off-grid solar/battery configuration.

Therefore, please check back after dinner time or on Monday morning for a GFRC update and more new offerings.

Be well!

 

 

 

Saturday April 6, 2024

Top of the Ladder Seated Dime Web-Book Plate Coins

CACG Detailed Web-Book Plate Coins Too!

and

Let's Talk About Gold and Silver

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a spring Saturday morning. We are so fortunate to be in Florida rather than living at the Maine homestead. If the latter, there would be no Blog edition.

The Maine spring nor'easter was a nasty one with 16'-18' of heavy wet snow that has done widespread tree damage. Roads are closed due to down trees and power lines. Even telephone poles have snapped due to the number of broken trees placing pressure on power lines. The current estimate for power restoration is late Sunday. Luckily, it is spring with temperatures staying close to or above freezing. Therefore concerns with water pile freeze-up is minimal. I'm expecting the worse for the back acreage trail upon our arriving home in a few weeks. There will be a substantial amount of downed tree clean-up work to accomplish and hopefully that work will be able to be accomplished without hiring a tree service company.

Back in Venice, the weather is ideal with bright sunny days and westerly winds that keep the temperatures down.

There is little prepared content for today's edition other than the following four Liberty Seated dimes to consider. Actually, the top two CAC approval dimes are already on hold as I was quite fair with the pricing.

 

Top of the Ladder Seated Dime Web-Book Plate Coins

1839 No Drap F-103 PCGS MS61 Gold CAC 10C - HOLD                           1887-S F-122 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C - HOLD           

        

 

Here are two additional web-book plate coins that were submitted to CACG with Detailed outcomes. Since being a CAC investor, I try not to call ball and strikes on their grading. Everyone has their particular biases and limitations. What you see below is the official CAC grade followed by my grade. These two lots have been in the reference collection for years and need to find a new home.

CACG Detailed Web-Book Plate Coins Too!

      1860 F-107 CACG MS Details (MS63) 10C - $295                             1862 F-102 CACG MS Details (PF62) 10C - $395    

        

 

Let's Talk About Gold and Silver

Does the readership find it odd that gold continues to move upward in a stair step manner?

Friday brought another new price record after spot pricing jumped from $2295 to $2330 at 10:00 AM. Silver has also followed gold with a move up to $27.44.

Based on my personal research, I've come to learn of Basel III regulations for the banking industry and how gold is being treated as a financial asset. The following article from Megha Tandon (Linkedin) summaries the new Basel III regulations for banks and their gold trading on the major commodity exchanges. Please read the following carefully and note the references to "allocated" and "unallocated" gold holdings. Allocated gold is physically held gold by banks while "unallocated" is paper gold as traded via contracts on the exchanges. The difference between the two forms of ownership is dramatic. From what is being gleaned from my research, prior to Basel III, banks could hold "unallocated" gold with limited regulations that control systemic risks aka a trading casino. With Basel III, banks are now constrained with an RSF factor for the amount of unallocated gold being held. The conclusion of experts is that the Basel III regulations have changed trading behaviors at the major exchanges. Banks were trading gold on nearly a 100:1 leverage. In other words, banks could write contracts worth 100 times the amour of physical gold that was present at that exchange. Basel III has forced a deleveraging resulting in the ability of major banks, tied to the U.S. Treasury, in their ability to suppress the price of gold with heavy shorting. I've even seen a suggestion that the banks have moved away from trading gold and towards Bitcoin as the Basel III requirements are not as stringent.

Basel III regulations eliminate tier 3 capital and place new liquidity ratios on banks, specifically the Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR). NSFR is aimed at managing liquidity risk over a longer time horizon. It requires banks to fund their activities from sufficiently stable sources. The implementation is due January 2022 for UK. 

NSFR is computed as the ratio of available stable funds (ASF) to required stable funds (RSF). To determine total ASF and RSF amounts, factors reflecting supervisory assumptions are assigned to the bank's sources of funding and to its exposures. These factors reflect the liquidity characteristics of each category of instruments.

As per the regulations, 85% is assigned as the RSF factor for gold held on a bank’s balance sheet. The rules treat physically traded gold like any other commodity, requiring banks to hold more cash to match their gold exposure as a buffer against adverse price moves.

Gold held in own vaults or on an allocated basis has always been a tier 1 asset under the Basel Accords. Whilst Basel III does not materially change the treatment of allocated gold, it does increase the costs of holding unallocated gold.

Unallocated gold is an essential source of market liquidity. Gold’s performance during COVID-19 has further demonstrated its extremely liquid nature.

London is the world's biggest physical precious metals trading hub. Its clearing system, operated by a handful of large banks with access to metal in vaults - JP Morgan, HSBC, ICBC Standard and UBS - settles gold transactions worth around $30 billion a day.

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), an industry body, lobbied against increased cost of holding unallocated gold, through a joint LBMA-WGC letter to the Bank of England's Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA). The potential risks and proposed solutions were covered in the submission. The risks included liquidity concerns and rise in financing costs that could impact clearing and settlement system, central banks and commercial banks. The proposed solutions included exempting the clearing and settlement regime from the NSFR. 

Following a consultation, the PRA "decided to amend its approach to precious metal holdings related to deposit-taking and clearing activities”. As a result, banks clearing gold trades in London can apply for an exemption from tighter capital rules due in January 2022.

Now that the major banks have been restricted with their "unallocated" gold trading, true price discovery is taking place as Eastern central bank demand is placing pressure on the price physical gold. Gone are the years of pricing suppression. In other words, gold is finally being revalued in a control manner by those who are purchasing large quantities of physical gold as these forces are driving prices based on economic supply and demand.

There are suggestions that gold will reach $2500/oz by the end of Q2 and $3000/oz by the end of year. In no way does this statement constitute investment advice. Rather, please take the time to conduct your own research. The information is available online if knowing where to look. No one is the main stream media is discussing this information else there would be a run on physical gold.

Silver remains undervalued and is forecasted to follow gold's rally. Silver is an industrial metal employed in the electronics, EV, and solar industry. It is also a metal employed with the jewelry industry. We must remember that citizens in certain eastern countries, India as an example, are fond of wearing their wealth. As gold prices continues to raise, silver will be come more popular as an affordable precious metal. From a supply side, there are few pure silver mines. Silver is a by product of gold mining.

Again, I am sharing what is being discovered during hours of personal research outside of the GFRC business. Since GFRC does not deal in gold and silver bullion, there are no hidden agendas for personal profit. I will continue to increase my exposures to their precious metals as a long term protection of a life's time accumulation of wealth.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

I will be in the GFRC office nearly the entire day. Morning brings shipping followed by loading more new offerings to the price during the afternoon hours.

Please consider a price list purchase as the numismatic collecting circles are predicated on collectors absorbing the duplicates releases of others in the community. If everyone is actively upgrading, then there is a constraint supply of new coins arriving to the market. Those individuals that release old time holdings are helping fuel a new generation of collectors.

Thanks again for visiting. Be well!

 

 

 

 

Friday April 5, 2024

The Shipping Department Gets the Day Off

and

Doing Deals on a Thursday

 

Greetings on an early Friday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. I'm pleased that many in the community return on a constant basis to enjoy the tales of a numismatic retirement business.

Today's headlines may seem a bit simplistic. Yes, that is by design as my aching fingers are tired this morning after a non-stop week at the laptop.

The GFRC shipping department has done it again. Essentially all of The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sales lots have been shipped to clients with most being ship aheads. Those that remain in the office have special shipping instructions as some clients are travelings. I'm thoroughly pleased with how our clients are becoming increasingly sensitive to managing their numismatic shipments to ensure that packages are not languishing in Post Offices waiting for delayed retrieval.

As the headline indicates, the shipping department is taking a much need break today. We will be operating again come Saturday with a CAC submission and other regular shipments.

Back in southern Maine, an early spring nor'easter has pretty much taken down the power grid. Our Raymond homestead lost power during late morning and might be without power for another 48 hours based on the reports of downed trees on power lines and even broken telephone poles due to heavy wet snow and high winds. Snow accumulations for Raymond are roughly 18" or more.

Shifting subjects to consignments....

The New Orleans Collection consignment, as illustrated yesterday, has been photographed along with a CAC submission plan being approved by our client.

Along with the New Orleans Collection consignment, yet another 20 piece lot of better date and grade Morgan and Peace dollars has arrived from the Scenic Lakeview Collection. This consignment will be processed today along with selecting those lots that are heading to CAC on Saturday.

 

Doing Deals on a Thursday

Two important deals were wrapped up yesterday. The first deal to be concluded is the trade lot that was showcased in yesterday's Blog. A trade offer was made to our friend who purchased a substantial number of Mint State Capped Bust half dimes from our price list. As with all GFRC dealings, we pride ourselves in making a fair initial offer towards quickly closing deals and moving coins to the price list. Such was the case on Thursday where GFRC made a very fair offer which was immediately accepted. Therefore, all of yesterday's illustrated trade coins are currently available for purchase.

The second deal is huge and will be discussed in detail once payment is finalized. All that can be shared is that a stellar Draped Bust half dime grading PCGS AU58 CAC, from a long term GFRC consignor, has been sold into an exceptional PCGS registry set that is nearing completion. The deal is at the mid to high five figure level and is the highest value transaction that I've had the pleasure of brokering since launching GFRC. Conversations concerning the deal were initiated at the Whitman Baltimore show and continued quietly thereafter. Yesterday evening brought an agreement on the purchase price and transfer terms with the buyer's agent.

 

Global Financial News

Thursday appeared to be business as usual for U.S. equities as the S&P 500 opened strong and was trading in positive territory at 0.4% to 0.7% up for most of the day. However, by the closing bell, the S&P had fallen by 1.2% due to pullbacks in technology stocks, and particularly the high flying Nvidia AI stock along with Advanced Micro Devices.

Gold continues to consolidate between $2275 and $2295/oz after briefly testing the $2300 mark.

How high can crude oil go in during the current rally? This morning's WTI quote has reached $86.70/bbl.

We find the 10 Year U.S Treasury bond yield at 4.33% while the U.S dollar is hovering at 104.3.

Morning market futures are pointing to a 0.30% S&P recovery after Thursday's late sell-off. Key will be the morning Non-Farm Payroll jobs report that drops at 8:30 AM.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

I'm looking forward to a slower pace today with much of my attention being concentrated on image processing along with post auction administrative workload. Saturday's Blog edition should have more prepared content.

Thank you for rendering the Daily Blog as one of your regular numismatic readings. Be well.

 

 

 

 

Thursday April 4, 2024

New Jersey Collection Trade Dollars - 10% Off Auction Reserve Prices

New Orleans Collection Consignment Preview

and

A Trade Deal in Progress

 

Greetings and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. It is really Thursday? I'm afraid so.

The GFRC office is humming like the good old Covid pandemic days. I doubt that anyone has referred to the "good old Covid days" before, but let's be clear. Covid was a boom time for the numismatic hobby. Everyone was sheltering at home with the internet and hobbies being the source of comfort. The numismatic market soared during Covid as many among us rediscovered our collecting passions.

Getting back to my point...

Since the close of The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale, GFRC price list sales have jumped consistent with pandemic levels. Don't ask me for an explanation as we are too busy shipping auction lots and responding to a host of fresh orders on unsold auction lots plus recent consignments. We are working hard to sustain this renewed market momentum and hope that you will jump in and purchase a coin or two.

To sustain the GFRC momentum, today brings the announcement that the unsold New Jersey Collection Trade dollars will be posting to the 30 Day Price List with a 10% discount from the reserve prices. Honestly, I could not understand why the Trade dollars did not secure bids during the auction sale. Having said that, the New Jersey consignor has instructed me to drop the prices 10% towards stimulating sales. This posting will be accomplished come the early afternoon hours so please check back at the 30 Day Price List if seeking some attractively priced items.

 

New Orleans Collection Consignment Preview

Changing subject to incoming consignments and a brand new trade deal, the GFRC office currently has over 50 new coins that have arrived since Monday. That is nearly a double row box of fresh material to process. The first shipment was from the New Orleans Collection which is featured next. I'm sorry, but there are no First Rights of Refusal for these lots so please don't even try. The reason is that several of these are heading to CAC stickering for review along with other lots from another insourced consignment that I will discuss tomorrow. Please note that nearly all of these lots are in PCGS Gen 4.0 to 4.4 holders which should provide an assessment of how long these coins have been off the market. The final usage of Gen 4.4 holders was 2011.

Please note that this lot includes an 1861-O W-11 CSA Obverse graded PCGS AU50. Yes, the New Orleans collection was the buyer of the recently offered Dick Osburn PCGS AU58 specimen and is releasing his duplicate. The AU50 example has a bold die crack down to Liberty's nose and beyond. It is certainly a crusty original example that is heading to CAC for a shot.

 

A Trade Deal in Progress

Tuesday also brought the arrival of a wide ranging trade deal that I'm currently evaluating. The deal will get done with the only question being at what price. Discussions with the client will wrap up today with a high probability of success as we have done enough deals together in the past to get this done. Given GFRC's broad number of product lines, this trade lot would nicely populate a host of separate price lists.

 

Global Financial News

The major financial story continues to be the gold and now, the silver rally.

During the overnight hours, spot gold briefly set a new record high of $2302/oz while silver traded over $27/oz. The current gold ask number stands at $2295 and I would not be surprised to see a close over $2300 today. Clearly, the U.S. pricing suppression of gold has come to an end as western powers have lost their price-setting powers. Gold is now in the hands of the eastern countries with China, Russia, India, and Turkey being the "players". We've been discussing pricing suppression for years with those thoughts being cast aside as conspiracy theories...

Silver, the poor man's gold, is also joining the movement with plenty of room to run to $30/oz.

WTI crude pricing has fallen a tad to $85.40/bbl. The news of the day is that the Biden admin is not planning to refill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve any time soon after draining it for political reasons.

The S&P 500 closed Wednesday's trading at 5,211, a slight fractional gain on the day. Morning market futures, as of 7:30 AM, indicate a 0.35% increase when trading opens.

The U.S. dollar's rally may have shifted as the morning quote is down to 104.1. However, the 10 Year Treasury bond yield remains stubbornly high at 4.37%. Fed Chair Jerome Powell, on Wednesday, gave a speech at the Stanford Business, Government, and Society Forum. Following is an excerpt from that speech that indicates that the Fed is being very cautious in cutting interest rates too soon.

Tight monetary policy continues to weigh on demand, particularly in interest-sensitive spending categories. Nonetheless, growth in economic activity and employment was strong in 2023, as real gross domestic product expanded more than 3 percent and 3 million jobs were created, even as inflation fell substantially. This combination of outcomes reflects significant improvements in supply that offset to some extent the effects on demand of tighter financial conditions. The healing of global supply chains helped address pent-up demand for goods, particularly in sectors that had faced considerable shortages, such as autos. In addition, labor supply increased significantly, thanks to rising participation among 25-to-54-year-olds, as well as a strong pace of immigration.

Recent readings on both job gains and inflation have come in higher than expected. The economy added an average of 265,000 jobs per month in the three months through February, a faster pace than we have seen since last June. And the higher inflation data over January and February were above the low readings in the second half of last year.

The recent data do not, however, materially change the overall picture, which continues to be one of solid growth, a strong but rebalancing labor market, and inflation moving down toward 2 percent on a sometimes bumpy path. Labor market rebalancing is evident in data on quits, job openings, surveys of employers and workers, and the continued gradual decline in wage growth. On inflation, it is too soon to say whether the recent readings represent more than just a bump. We do not expect that it will be appropriate to lower our policy rate until we have greater confidence that inflation is moving sustainably down toward 2 percent. Given the strength of the economy and progress on inflation so far, we have time to let the incoming data guide our decisions on policy.

We have held our policy rate at its current level since last July. As shown in the individual projections the FOMC released two weeks ago, my colleagues and I continue to believe that the policy rate is likely at its peak for this tightening cycle. If the economy evolves broadly as we expect, most FOMC participants see it as likely to be appropriate to begin lowering the policy rate at some point this year.

Of course, the outlook is still quite uncertain, and we face risks on both sides. Reducing rates too soon or too much could result in a reversal of the progress we have seen on inflation and ultimately require even tighter policy to get inflation back to 2 percent. But easing policy too late or too little could unduly weaken economic activity and employment. As progress on inflation continues and labor market tightness eases, these risks continue to move into better balance.

Powell has a difficult job, especially in an election year where the incumbent is not polling well. I'm certain that he will be pressured to cut rates well before the November election.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Like any other day in the GFRC office, the day kicks off with a Daily Blog edition followed by time in the shipping department. Afterwards, the New Jersey Collection Trade dollars will be posted to the price list at 10% back of the auction reserve prices. Next on the agenda is photographing the New Orleans Collection consignment along with tendering CAC submission recommendations to the consignor. After that task is completed, I will be attempting to wrap up pricing for the trade deal that was just showcased. Those coins will be photographed on Friday once I know that the deal is cemented.

This concludes another Daily Blog edition. It is time to move forward with another day.

Thanks for stopping by. Be well!

 

 

 

Wednesday April 3, 2024

New Jersey Collection Seated Dollars - 20% Off Reserve Prices

GFRC Office Transition Schedule

and

Moving Up The Ladder with the Lakeland Collection

 

Greetings on a Wednesday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. As always, thank you for checking in.

Today's preamble will be brief as there is little to share. Tuesday brought a heavy shipping day followed by the arrival of the New Orleans Collection consignment along with another substantial lot of fresh coins. The day wrapped up with the posting of the Lakeland Collection's latest consignment as a Blog preview.

Southern Maine will be dealing with an early spring season nor'easter starting later today and lasting well into Friday. Our homestead is forecasted to receive between 12-18 inches of snow before the storm heads into the Canadian Maritimes. At this time last year, we were already back in Maine. Lucky for us, our Florida stay extends into late April this year.

Let's move forward with today's content.

 

New Jersey Collection Seated Dollars - 20% Off Reserve Prices

Tuesday brought a phone call with the New Jersey Collection consignor and a discussion on how to move forward with posting his Seated dollars to the 30 Day Price List. We reached an agreement that these lots would be posted with a 20% discount to The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale reserve prices. The posting, with substantially discounted prices, has been accomplished. A Collectors Corner update will also be conducted later today.

 

GFRC Office Transition Schedule

Time moves along quickly with the GFRC office being relocated back to Maine in just three weeks. I'll avoid the temptation of explaining why I'm so looking forward to being back home. The many reasons should be well known to those that check the Daily Blog on a regular basis.

Following is the GFRC transition schedule including the quiet period when no check payments should be mailed.

April 19 - Final Day for mailing check payments to GFRC Florida office

April 20 - 24 - Quiet Period - Please hold mailing checks to the Maine address until April 25

April 24 - GFRC website and Collectors Corner mailing address changed to 225 Valley Rd., Raymond, ME 04071-6163

April 26 - 28 - The GFRC office is closed

April 29 - GFRC Maine office opens for regular business

 

Moving Up The Ladder with the Lakeland Collection

The term moving up the ladder is used to describe those collectors who have worked with GFRC, on a long term basis, and have demonstrated the ability to improve this collecting skills. During many initial consignment relationships, GFRC must deal with the fact that new clients will divest their least desirable coins first as a confidence building exercise. With time, the consignor feels move comfortable with GFRC for handling their higher priced and better quality coins. As confidence is cemented, consignors will release better inventory until we reach the top of the ladder whereby the stellar material is let go.

This entire process has been noted often in the Daily Blog as moving up the ladder with a client. The Lakeland Collection is yet another example of this process unfolding in front of our eyes. Today's gallery showcases a lot of premium quality offerings for your consideration. The display opens with a lovely 1838 Small Stars half dime with choice original surfaces and accurate grading. This is one of my favorite die varieties in the Liberty Seated half dime series given the eroded obverse die that has been lapped resulting in much smaller stars than normal. The key diagnostic is the bold die crack through star 13. Also from the Seated half dime series is an important 1866-S half dime housed in an old NGC Fatty holder.

I was pleasantly surprise to find not one but two 1872 F-109 proof strike dimes with a misplaced 2 digit in the base. This variety remains difficult to locate and is included in the Top 100 Varieties set. Please note the NGC PF66 example which has been freshly graded without a CAC attempt. This piece is in the condition census with the variety and Top 100 inclusion being listed on the holder label.

Also quite notable is an important 1865 Seated quarter that is being offered at an affordable PCGS MS62 grade with satisfying patina. The CAC approved population for 1938-D walkers drops off dramatically at the MS67 grade level along with a steep jump in pricing. This gem MS66+ example is well worth the offer price.

Look for the following lots to begin posting to the 30 Day Price List during the afternoon hours.

Moving Up The Ladder with the Lakeland Collection

Priced as Marked

      1838 Small Stars PCGS MS64 H10C - $1795                                         1866-S NGC MS64 H10C Fatty - $1700       

        

  1872 MPD F-109 NGC PF66 10C - $2450                                          1872 MPD F-109 PCGS PF63 10C - $1225 

        

           1834 B-5 NGC AU55 25C - $2350                                           1917-S Type 1 NGC MS64FH 25C - $1650    

        

           1865 PCGS MS62 25C - $1850                                                 1938-D NGC MS66+ CAC 50C - $2850    

        

1835 LM-3 NGC AU58 H10C - $500                1881 F-103 PCGS PR63 10C - $750                1891 F-103 PCGS MS65 10C - $650

                

    1835 B-8 PCGS EF40 25C - $500                   1845 Br 3-C NGC MS61 25C - $850

        

 

Global Financial News

The fact that spot gold continues to set new record highs is starting to feel commonplace. The yellow precious metal peaked at $2286 during the overnight hours and has declined to $2273 as the Blog is composed.

Silver has also started it rally as I suspect it would when taking an SLV position last week. The morning quote is up to $26.24/oz.

Not receiving any attention in the mainstream media is the fact that crude oil prices have reached a 6 month high as geopolitical issues continue to escalate. The Ukraine is striking deeper into Russia with its long range drones while the Israel government has destroyed the Iranian consultant in Damascus killing two top IRCG generals in the process. Small regional conflicts, if not contained, have a habit of becoming broader conflicts. Crude oil pricing is sensitive to the fact that Russia and the Middle East are key producers. Today's quote is nearly $86/bbl. The potential impact on U.S. inflation during the balance of 2024 cannot be understated.

Applying further pressure to the S&P 500, which suffered a 3/4 point drop on Tuesday, is the 10 Year Treasury bond yields that continues to slowly increase. This morning's yield is 4.36% while the U.S. dollar is trading strong at 104.7.

Therefore, it should be no surprise that investors are feeling worried as morning market futures are pointing to more selling when trading resumes at 9:30 AM. The S&P 500 is currently down another 0.15%. Once stock I would be avoiding is Tesla. The Chinese EV industry is being subsidized by the Beijing Central government and is overbuilding domestic capacity in preparations for an attack on the United States and European markets. It is the old Chinese playbook of selling export products at a loss to destroy or badly damage overseas competitors. I'm certain that Tesla is in the Chinese cross hairs including an eventual access to Tesla's Shanghai facility. The Chinese are famous for playing a devious long game.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Auction ship aheads, along with regular orders, will continue to be the primary office task of the day. The afternoon brings photography of the newest New Orleans Collection consignment followed by a short drive to the Venice Police Department parking lot, on Venice Ave, to close a purchase deal with a local client. Afterwards, my attention shifts to posting the Lakeland Collection to the price list.

Yes, it is just another regular day in the office.

Please consider a purchase from the price list towards decreasing the number of coins that must be transported to Maine come the end of the month.

Thanks again for stopping by at the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

Tuesday April 2, 2024

Another Quick Office Recovery

and

Q&A Time....

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Tuesday morning. Thank you so much for visiting.

As the lead headline indicates, the GFRC office has fully recovered from the post auction administration workload. Both Diane and Gerry spent the entire day in the office wrapping up the invoicing process, kitting auction lot shipments, and placing the unsold lots into the regular inventory boxes. All unsold lots are tagged with their reserve prices and ready for display at the Summer Whitman Baltimore show, if not sooner online. Furthermore, the unsold auction lots have been posted to the 30 Day Price List along with Collectors Corner. I'm quite pleased with the post auction sales level from the price list in just 24 hours.

Bottom line, the GFRC office is positioned for regular sales operations though the shipping workload will be heavy for the next few days.

Finally, I'd like to remind the community that there are three productive weeks remaining before the Maine transition. If wishing to consign coins and enjoy fantastic Florida sunshine during the photography process, then please consider tendering those consignments in the next term. Come Wednesday's Blog, I will be presenting the Maine transition schedule.

 

Q&A Time....

Today's primary discussion centers on a series of questions that were submitted by a client. The individuals values the GFRC insights on topics that are important to hobby enjoyment and the wise allocation of numismatic capital. Let's get going....

This is a difficult question to respond to but will take a shot. The increasing price of spot gold is primarily impacting $10 and $20 gold denominations with Mint State premiums shrinking versus the base price of the bullion content. Since $2.5 and $5 gold is much less sensitive to bullion values, the situation here is a supply/demand issue. Stacks continues to release more of the "Fairmont Collection" which is a huge gold coin release. When supplies to the market overwhelm demand, prices must come down. My guess is that we have at least another six months or more of heightened quarter and half eagle supply to contend with before prices stabilize and collectors feel comfortable in making purchases.

This is an excellent question. My advice is to use the CDN online price guide for its convenience. Many collectors subscribe to the CDN Greysheet, so please explore the possibility of accessing their online price guide. This guide provides both retail and wholesale prices for grade levels including separate lines for CAC approved and non-CAC approved coins. Given the current market weakness, CAC coins are selling at or slightly above the CAC guide numbers. Dealers therefore must purchase CAC coins below the CDN guide. Having both retail and wholesale numbers in front of you allows for an offer price assessment given the premium quality, or lack there of. Collectors who believe that dealers will buy their coins at the CDN CAC retail guide will be in for a disappointment as the overall numismatic market has softened due to inflation and many collectors feeling the pressure on their discretionary income.

That is a correct assessment. GFRC typically buys back CAC approved coins at 85% of purchase price and somewhere between 15 - 20% for non-CAC approved coins. GFRC no longer handles raw coins. In a slower numismatic market, dealers need to carefully manage cash flow else they end up with a pile of inventory that limits their ability to make incremental purchases. Therefore, offer prices are lowered to protect themselves from incremental wholesale price drops. Dealers with substantial capital can be more aggressive with offer prices as compared to smaller dealers who must quickly turn coins back into cash flow.

In this type of market and if not in a hurry to sell coins, collectors should go the consignment route and take advantage of lower dealer commissions rather than an outright sale. However, these same consignors must temper their expectations on how quickly their coins will sell.

GFRC uses two primary price guides. The CDN CAC guide and the PCGS price guide, both being the online versions. The PCGS guide also provides auction sale records which is invaluable for checking individual lots (nice vs. ugly coins) that really helps with grounding the guide numbers. Think of assessing numismatic prices as being no different that the real estate industry that uses "comps" to assess the value of the next property to hit the market. The same is true for coins with substantial subjectivity for those that do not take the time to carefully study the "comps".

The PCGS guide is updated more frequently than the CDN guide based on my observations. Many times, the headline CAC pricing numbers for both PCGS and CDN are similar. Given this observation, non-CAC approved coins must sell below the PCGS guide number unless truly premium lots.

Again, I can't stress enough for collectors to take the time to check the PCGS price guide auction records (2023-2024) and view the individual images towards assessing what their coins are worth on a retail basis. Lower auction or retail prices typically correlate with unattractive eye appeal or problematic surfaces. Let's remember that many coin in PCGS and NGC holders are over graded or problematic. CACG coins are strictly graded on both original surfaces and wear.

Finally, I don't use the NGC price guide.

 

Global Financial News

In Monday's Blog, I made mention of the Dali cargo ship losing a portion of it voyage recordings prior to hitting the Key Bridge. I was able to locate the following data timeline from an online article published at https://www.kcra.com/article/baltimore-key-bridge-collapse-updates/60317590. We now have documentation that the voyage data recorder was down for at least a full minute during the lost power event with missing critical information. This fact is playing into the hands of those claiming a cyber attack by a foreign entity.

Data timeline shows pilot warned ship was powerless and headed toward bridge

According to a timeline provided Wednesday by the NTSB, alarms on the ship blared just before 1:25 a.m. ET Tuesday as the ship moved through the channel as it left the port. About that time, the voyage data recorder ceased documenting things like audio, GPS positions and speed. (Video available before the NTSB released its timeline shows the ship’s lights going out at 1:24 a.m., before turning back on, and then flickering off and on again between 1:26 a.m. and 1:27 a.m.)

The data recording resumed at 1:26:02 a.m. – about 63 seconds after the alarms started – and the pilot could be heard issuing steering commands to the crew, according to the NTSB timeline.

At 1:26:39 a.m., the pilot sent out a radio call for help from tugboats, which typically help ships in earlier stages of leaving port. About the same time, a pilot association dispatcher phoned the Maryland Transportation Authority duty officer regarding the ship’s lights blacking out, according to the NTSB.

At 1:27:04 a.m., the pilot ordered for one anchor to be dropped and gave additional steering commands.

The pilot radioed just a short time later that the ship had lost power and was closing in on the bridge. A duty officer for the transportation authority, using radio, ordered other transportation authority officers to shut down traffic to the bridge – those officers were already on site because construction work was happening there, the NTSB said.

At 1:29:33 a.m., the ship’s recorder captured sounds consistent with the vessel striking the bridge, the NTSB said. Six seconds later, the pilot reported to the Coast Guard by radio that the bridge was down, the NTSB said.

 

Looking at Wall Street and the primary parameters that are monitored daily...

The S&P 500 was down fractionally on Monday and closed at 5,244. Morning market futures are negative 0.30% for this indice.

Spot gold is trading at $2260 while silver had moved up to $25.42/oz.

The U.S. dollar rally continues with the DXY index now at 105. The 10 Year Treasury bond yield has also climbed to 4.36%. As long term yields remain high, the U.S. Treasury refinancing of U.S. debt becomes more challenging by the day.

WTI crude oil pricing has jumped to $85/bbl. It looks like the 2024 summer driving season will be expensive along with ongoing pressure on inflation.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

The shipping department has its usual post auction challenge. Diane and I will be fullu consumed in the shipping department throughout the morning and into early afternoon prior to a USPS drop-off. Afterwards, I will be wrapping up the Lakeland Collection image processing and will attempt to have a gallery display in Wednesday's Blog edition.

Thanks again for being regular visitors at the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

Monday April 1, 2024

No Time for an April Fools Stunt...

and

Spot Gold at $2250

 

Greetings on another Monday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for checking in.

As the header suggests, today brings April Fools Day immediately after Easter Sunday. Honestly, I'm still about six invoices shy from completing The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale invoicing task as have no time to consider an April Fools Day prank within the Blog. With yesterday being Easter Sunday and enjoying a lovely dinner with three ladies, the office time was compressed leading to yet another 4:30 AM start to this day. Redemption arrives during May where the GFRC business will be scaled back (without apologies) in lieu of time on homestead and back acreage projects along with enjoying being back Johnny2.

There are sufficient jokes being played on Americans by the current White House tenants to last us for a few years of April Fools Day. Mexico holding us up for a $20 billion ransom is simply unbelievable. Who would have ever imagined it would come to this.

Anyways, today's Blog edition needs to be brief as the balance of the invoicing must get done along with kick starting the auction shipments. The office days just flow together at this point.

 

Spot Gold at $2250

Over the weekend, spot gold peaked at $2262/oz and has since pulled back to $2250 as the Blog is composed.

I'm starting to sense that geopolitical risks are becoming a larger factor in gold's ascent as some global events simply don't add up. The "terrorist" attack on a Moscow theatre and the DALI collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge occurred within days of each other. These are extraordinary events that those with conspiracy mindsets use as opportunities to fan the flames as I just witnessed on YouTube this morning. Redacted is indicating that the CIA and MI6 are shadowy figures behind the Moscow attack. Secondly, the DALI container ship is missing two minutes of control deck operational recordings (like a flight recorder on an airline) during the time of lost power. A complete loss of power for a cargo ship of that size does seem odd as one would expect backup generators to kick in, especially if in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I've not had time to do more research on this topic but the power loss event immediately in front of the Key Bridge is hard to believe as a coincidence.

 

Global Financial News

The S&P 500 starts another trading week at a lofty 5,254 with yet another U.S. jobs report arriving on Friday.

The U.S. dollar inched up further to 104.6 and is close to matching its 105 peak during early March. The 10 Year bond yield is flat at 4.21%

Watch out as WTI crude has moved back up to $83 even for a barrel of oil.

Morning market futures indicate a 0.3% increase in the S&P 500 when trading resumes in a few hours.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

For starters, the unsold auction lots have been moved to the 30 Day Price List towards securing incremental purchases. Those who have not received their auction invoices should plan to see those by 2:00 PM today.

Please note that I've reduced the offer price of the 1877-S PCGS MS65 CAC and 1878-S PCGS AU58 CAC Trade dollars to my purchase price. This is an opportunity to snag these unquestionably original Trade dollars at GFRC's cost basis.

Wrapping up auction invoicing and launching the shipping department will consume a fair part of the day.

The Lakeland Collection consignment is roughly 70% through the image processing cycle with approved offer prices. I may be able to bring together a gallery display for Tuesday's Blog if the stars are aligned correctly during the next 12 hours.

Finally, there are two incoming shipments due to arrive today and tomorrow.

Thanks again for visiting with me at the Daily Blog. Be well!