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Saturday June 3, 2023

Blooming Rhododendrons and Civil War Hill Trail Repairs



Greetings and welcome to a regular Daily Blog edition on a Saturday morning. Thanks for keeping up with the GFRC business and Raymond homestead events.

Today's Blog will be long on outdoor activities and short on numismatic items, so please be forewarned.

Friday brought an early start with Johnny2 being brought into emergency trail repairs by 6:30 AM. Before going further let's set the stage for the issue that was being addressed. Following is a Google satellite map that dates back to July 2022 and documents the back acreage trail segments.


Friday's attention was on the "Civil War Hill" trail segment that slopes downhill at a strong pitch. This is the northern most trail and illustrated in white, and also forming the upper property line. Since being the last trail segment to be cut in 2022, due to distance and degree of difficulty working in a rock field, the application of gravel and stone was delayed until the summer of 2023. Unfortunately, when living on the side of a hill, ground cover is critical for bare ground erosion mitigation. Upon returning from Florida in April and checking in on the trails, it was readily apparent that the Civil War Hill segment was eroding with gullies forming. The worse section was at the bottom of this trail where it joins "The Connector" segment as rapidly flowing streams carve through whatever soil was available between the rocks. If left unrepaired, the gullies will grow deeper and require substantial amounts of material transport by Johnny2 from the "Material Stage" area.

This was the dilemma that was presented on Thursday when the weather forecast brought a prediction of heavy thunderstorms and torrential rains. I had no choice but to drop everything that was taking place in the GFRC office to start repairing the top half of the Hill trail to slow water flow and downstream erosion.

I was on Johnny2 at 6:30 AM and concluded efforts at 2:00 PM due to the hot weather and exhausting available materials. I'm happy to report that about half of the trail was repaired to the point of being stable and without risk of further washout. The balance of the trail is on its own until after the Baltimore show. The issue is securing more gravel and stone deliveries from Dave Wilkinson as the material piles are depleted.

Let's shift to some images. We open with a lovely cellphone snapshot of the blooming rhododendrons on the left side of the garage. Though colorful, one must approach these mature plants with caution as they harbor a host of honey bees.


These two images illustrate the trail repair strategy and materials employed. The image on the left provide a good view of the three layer approach that starts with rip-rap size rock (top) being placed into the trail gullies and holes followed by being covered with sandy gravel (middle). Once the gravel is in place, it is compacted with the tractor. The final application is 1.5" stone (bottom) that is also compacted by Johnny2. This material sandwich has proven to be robust on downhill slopes with the water flowing on top of the 1.5" stone and not digging into the underlying base.

The image on the right is a close-up of the trail with a load of rip-rap rock just being dumped and before hand placement. Where is the rip-rap rock being secured? From our neighbors huge rock pile that I've been sourcing rock from since last summer.

Trail Repair Strategy and Materials



This image was taken at 2:00 PM before heading back to the office. We are looking uphill at roughly 50% of the trail length being repaired. Much was accomplished, though this section was the least eroded with only five tractor loads of rip-rap rock being employed. Nevertheless, it was an important step in stabilizing the trail.


The remaining challenge is captured with this image. We are looking downhill at balance of the Hill trail that is unrepaired. The erosion is substantial with deepening gullies. The repair technique is straightforward. All that is required is time, Johnny2, and a host of newly delivered materials to continue the stabilization process. Next week brings a series of rain events while we at the Baltimore show and this trail section is on its own as Johnny2 is heading to Hall Implement this morning for minor repairs and preventative maintenance.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Let's wrap up the Blog at this point as Dan Pierce Towing is scheduled to arrive at 8:00 AM to load up and transport Johnny2 to Hall Implement in Windham. Immediately afterwards, I will move into the GFRC shipping department as there are five outgoing packages awaiting my attention. The balance of the day will find me in the GFRC office preparing Len Augsburger's input template for the 2nd CAC-Only auction sale along with a host of other must go done activities before heading to the Baltimore show.

Tomorrow will bring a more numismatic centric Blog. Thanks as always for stopping by and visiting with me. Be well!




Friday June 2, 2023

Short Daily Blog - Emergency Repairs to Back Acreage Hill Trail

Grimjet Collections Lots - 2nd CAC-Only Auction


GFRC at Summer Baltimore Next Week - Booth 730


Short Daily Blog - Emergency Repairs to Back Acreage Hill Trail

Greetings and welcome to another edition of the Daily Blog. This is a Friday edition that is being composed late Thursday afternoon. The reason?

The Raymond weather forecast is calling for Friday afternoon thunderstorms with the potential for torrential rains. Yes, Weather.com used the word "torrential" which has spurred me into action on the badly eroded downhill trail on the northern back acreage property line. I began to work on repairs on Wednesday afternoon and constructed an access path to the spot which deeper erosion begins. Given the alarming weather forecast plus more rain appearing during much of next week, I must make all efforts to mitigate the trail as much of possible. This means utilizing all the remaining gravel and stone in the material pile.

Thunderstorms are due to begin at noon time which leaves me about five hours to get as much trail filling material into the gullies as possible. Therefore, I will be on Johnny2 starting no later than 7:00 AM. Johnny2 is also being transported to Hall Implement come Saturday morning for minor repairs and proactive maintenance leaving Friday morning as a brief window to get this work done. I hope to take a few images for Saturday's Blog edition.

Thanks for your understanding.


Grimjet Collections Lots - 2nd CAC-Only Auction

The Grimject Collection has also decided to join the 2nd CAC-Only auction event with a wonderful two piece Seated half dollar consignment. Both the 1849 and 1866 Motto halves were previously purchased from GFRC and are making a return appearance. Both are graded PCGS AU55 CAC with the 1849 sporting the all important Seal Beach pedigree while the 1866 is from the Dr. Glenn Peterson Collection.

Grimjet Collections Lots - 2nd CAC-Only Auction

 1849 WB-10 PCGS AU55 CAC 50C                                                  1866 Motto PCGS AU55 CAC 50C



GFRC at Summer Baltimore Next Week - Booth 730

The annual Whitman Summer Baltimore show arrives next week with the GFRC staff ready for a busy event. Dan White and I will be conducting our usual pre-show buying activities on Wednesday along with the late afternoon booth setup. Diane will be making a long overdue show appearance now the Covid-19 pandemic is in the history books. As usual, Diane will be handling the receipt writing and conducting lot viewing for the upcoming CAC-Only auction sale. I hope that she is busy with both responsibilities.

GFRC will be located at booth 730 which is immediately right of the entrance along the wall. Most of GFRC's online inventory will be on display and hoping to find new homes.


Wrapping Up The Blog

By the time that regular morning Blog readers arrive, I will have already spent an hour plus on Johnny2 repairing the eroded downhill trail on the northern property line.

You can count on a regular edition on Saturday morning. Thanks for checking in. Be well!




Thursday June 1, 2023

The Cult of Safety

Debut of the Palos Verdes Seated Half Dollar Collection Duplicates


Liberty Seated Halves Experiencing Rapid Pricing Increases


Greetings on a Thursday morning and welcome to another round of ramblings well recognized as the Daily Blog. I'm constantly pleased with the community support.

Rather than speak about southern Maine weather or happenings in the homestead's back acreage, let's shift gears with some food for contemplation. We've all heard the term "snowflake" employed to describe people, mostly young, who struggle with being offended by words and the presence of people unlike them that make then feel uncomfortable. We've seen this play out on college campuses where conservative speakers, if scheduled to appear, are shouted down as the students are offended by the speaker's words.

As usual, I arose at 4:30 AM and had my keto breakfast at the laptop while taking in an edition of Redacted on YouTube. For those who are not familiar, Redacted is a daily YouTube channel written and presented by Natali and Clayton Morris. Since Tucker Carlson was pulled off the air by FOX, I've been searching for that alternative voice as a counterbalance to the traditional media that has transitioned into a infotainment format, and worse, a mouthpiece for the liberal powers. I believe that the Blog readership, since older, can sense some profound changes that are taking place in our country and throughout the western world. The Bud-Light and Target boycotts are an example which would have been unheard of just two decades ago. Attempting to transition a young child's sex by public institutions must make many Blog readers wonder what in the world is taking place in modern society.

I have a sense that more Americans are being taught to become risk adverse, therefore rejecting any thoughts that might make them feel uncomfortable. This cultural change leads to a propensity for constant safety and protection when living a life to the point whereby safety in thoughts and emotions is expected. Unsafe thoughts are those that a person disagrees with and therefore feels the need protection against. The term "snowflake" has been coined to describe those individuals who will have a melt down if confronted with an alternative view point or the inability to secure their emotional desires. An immature three year olds can behave in this manner, but a "mature" 20 something is a different story.

Back to Redacted and Natali and Clayton Morris. In this morning's edition, Natali called out this societal transition as moving towards a cult of safety. If you google cult of safety, the reading is quite enlightening. Following are a few excerpts from Fear Psychosis and the Cult of Safety, a thought provoking video that discusses how fear mongering is being carefully employed by powerful individuals and organizations to achieve their goals. The video can be found here: https://academyofideas.com/2022/04/fear-psychosis-and-the-cult-of-safety/#:~:text=The%20belief%20that%20the%20human,%E2%80%9Cquasi%2Dreligious%20quality%E2%80%9D.

Life is unpredictable and the world is littered with dangers and threats to both our security and well-being, and so fearing is not unique to modern society. However, in some of the most flourishing civilizations of the past, fear was counterbalanced by hope and by an optimistic belief in the human potential. During the Renaissance and Enlightenment the idea that individuals and communities, through bold and creative action, could ward off dangers and shape the uncertain future, flourished. In Ancient Greece and Rome, courage was held in high regard and so individuals were proactive in the face of risks and daring in the presence of the unknown. “Fortune favours the brave”, according to the Latin proverb. Furthermore, in many past civilizations it was acknowledged that uncertainty is not only a source of potential danger but also of opportunity. But as Frank Furedi writes:

“That was then. In the twenty-first century, the optimistic belief in humankind’s ability to subdue the unknown has given way to a belief that it is powerless to deal with the perils that confront it…the flame of hope still flickers on but it is increasingly overshadowed by a dark mood of intangible anxiety.”

Frank Furedi, How Fear Works: Culture of Fear in the Twenty-First Century

The courage, hope, and optimism that in civilizations past kept fear in check is all but lost in the modern world, and so the lives of many of us are consumed by fear. We see everything through the distorted lens of fear, and regarding this perspective Frank Furedi elaborates:

“…this perspective [of fear] has been so thoroughly internalized that many who adopt this outlook are not aware of its influence on their behaviour. For most people, such a perspective comes across as common sense. This does not mean that people are perpetually scared or fearful; rather, the perspective of fear works by sensitizing people to focus on potential threats and dangers while distracting attention from the probable positive outcome of engaging with uncertainty.”

Frank Furedi, How Fear Works: Culture of Fear in the Twenty-First Century

One example of the propagation of fear is the many "prepper" YouTube channels that leverage the audience's fear of nuclear war, substantial natural disasters per global warming, or a lost of the power grid and digital information. The acronym SHTF is employed to describe these potential events followed by attempts to sell survival gear and items along with perpetuating their daily viewership.

Living life in a proactive and risk adverse manner is probably wise for longevity. However, when that approach spills over into a cult of safety at both the physical and emotionally level, alternative thoughts and ideas are blocked. We surrender our lives to those who are powerful and influential (also devious) and guarantee to insulate the masses from all types of stimulus that might trigger fear.

Yes, this segment is a stark contrast from regular ramblings but certainly deserves a few moments of personal contemplation. Are American's becoming consumed by the cult of safety as the woke culture takes hold of our major institutions along with social media? Let's remember that Fear is a very powerful emotion along with Greed.

Let's return to our regularly scheduled numismatic programming....


Debut of the Palo Verdes Seated Half Dollar Collection Duplicates

As mentioned previously in the Blog, the Palo Verdes Liberty Seated Dime collection consignment also arrived with a strong lot of Seated half dollar duplicates. Today brings the debut of the Palo Verdes half dollar duplicates with only two pieces being placed into the 2nd CAC-Only auction at my discretion. That decision was based on the low CAC approved populations for the 1855/54 and 1870-S halves.

Up next are the immediately available Palo Verdes Seated halves for your consideration along with the two lots being moved to the 2nd CAC-Only auction. Offer prices are as marked.

Palos Verdes Seated Half Dollar Collection Duplicates

Immediately Available Except 1855/54 and 1870-S - Priced as Marked

             1851 PCGS AU50 CAC 50C - $3000                                          1855/54 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C - $2950 Reserve


        1859-S WB-8 PCGS AU58 50C - $1650                                        1870-S PCGS AU58 CAC 50C - $3300 Reserve


1877/6 FS-301 PCGS AU50 50C - $4750                                                 1889 PCGS AU55 50C -$1550     


 1845-O WB-10 PCGS AU55 50C - $895                      1859 PCGS AU58 50C - $650                      1859-S WB-4 PCGS EF45 50C - $435


         1860-O WB-7 PCGS AU58 50C - $750                    1861 PCGS AU53 50C - $375              1873 Arrows WB-106 PCGS EF40 50C - $325  


 1877-S WB-26 PCGS EF45 50C - $225



Liberty Seated Halves Experiencing Rapid Pricing Increases

The PCGS price guide is a very powerful tool for those who understand how to use this resource. When pricing the Palos Verdes Seated halves, I note that the PCGS guide numbers continue to increase, and is some cases, substantially. For many collectors of this series, sticker shock may be at work as the auction prices dating back just a few years ago are no longer valid.

Following are two screen captures for the 1859-S Seated half dollar within the PCGS price guide. The first illustrates the 1859-S pricing and auction records for AU53 to MS62. Please note that I've inserted a black box at the $2000 price guide number for the AU58 grade. If clicking on the $2000 number, one can access the PCGS pricing history for that grade.

Here is the price guide history for the 1859-S at the AU58 grade level. After being flat at about $700 through 2020, this grade level has seen a dramatic increase to the current $2000 level. The 1859-S date is not unique by any stretch of the imagination, rather the entire Liberty Seated half dollar series is experiencing acute demand leading to ongoing higher and higher prices.


This brief segment is hopefully enlightening for Seated half dollar collectors since we have the release of the Palo Verdes duplicates and the forthcoming Saw Mill Run collection in the 2nd CAC-Only auction.


Global Financial News

The NASDAQ came under selling pressure on Tuesday as the AI fueled rally is starting to show signs of exhaustion. The tech stock pull back dropped the S&P 500 to 4,179. Seeking Alpha discusses the matter in this short headline article.

What goes up must come down... unless you have diamond hands. Some cracks are beginning to appear in the recent AI stock rally, with C3.ai AI plunging 22% AH on Wednesday after giving a disappointing outlook during its FQ4 results. On an earnings call, CEO Tom Siebel added that the company wasn't "inclined to change expectations" surrounding its guidance, compared to the major boost that Nvidia's stock received following its "jaw-dropping guidance" posted last week.

Snapshot: Other AI players and chipmakers also pulled back yesterday following some impressive runups, but the latest movement might suggest that all companies are not equal when it comes to the "AI supercycle." Investors will have some deep learning to do after being consumed by everything AI this year, especially as they sort through the growing list of companies talking up how they've been AI plays all along. The real thing to consider is how much a firm will successfully capitalize and monetize its artificial intelligence offerings after the meme rallies settle down and huge price swings come to a halt.

"The euphoria is rooted in a very promising underlying technology," noted Robert Schein of Blanke Schein Wealth Management. "Even with the recent market euphoria driven by artificial intelligence, the market is sending a clear signal that artificial intelligence is here to stay, as this technology has the potential to overhaul how companies do business, which has major implications for corporate earnings."

For those old enough to remember, this AI rally is starting to feel like the Dot Com bubble of the late 1990s.... Be careful when everyone rushes into the same market play.

Morning market futures are pointing to essentially a flat open for U.S. equities. The U.S dollar index (DXY) remains at 104, therefore gold and interest rates are flat with yesterday.

In Asia, Japan +0.8%. Hong Kong -0.1%. China flat. India -0.3%.

In Europe, at midday, London +0.5%. Paris +0.8%. Frankfurt +1.1%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.2%. NASDAQ +0.1%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings an office day with emphasis on loading the Lizard King and Palos Verdes non-CAC coins to the 30 Day Price List.

GFRC order rate has slowed as we enter the month of June as the shipping department has the day off due to no shippable orders.

Friday brings time on Johnny2 as the tractor is heading to Hall Implement on Saturday morning for correcting loose bolts on the front loader and greasing three drive train fittings that are stuck close, probably due to be new. Johnny2 will be away from this Saturday through our return from the Whitman Baltimore show. Therefore, I plan to maximum its usage on Friday to gain control of the wash out conditions on the northern hill trail. My plan is to exhaust the available gravel and stone on Friday towards slowing down water flow (and erosion) on the steeply sloping hill trail.

Since rain is in the forecast for the weekend, my plan is to be working in the office both days prior to departing for the Baltimore show on Tuesday.

I hope that you've enjoyed this Blog edition as much as I did with the composition. Please remember that GFRC is hear to help with your numismatic buying and selling needs. The dealer landscape is most competitive with GFRC attempting to differentiate itself with truly personalize service and education.

Be well.






Wednesday May 31, 2023

A Lightning Fast May 2023 Concludes


2nd CAC-Only Auction Sale Anchor Collection - The Saw Mill Run Liberty Seated Halves


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on the final day of May 2023. I'm pleased with the ongoing community visits and strive to provide content that is worth for your precious time.

As the opening headline indicates, the month of May has been fast paced and productive. GFRC closed out the debut CAC-Only auction in early May only to schedule and construct a follow-on event. As of this morning, there are 90 lots available at the on line catalog. In spite of a host of May activities, outside of numismatics, GFRC sales will be close to $300,000 this month. Let's consider the other activities towards placing the GFRC May sale number in the proper perspective.

Since wintering is Florida, the month of May is time for well being checks upon returning home. Physicals, dental cleanings, and my colonoscopy took place in May.

Of course, the homestead landscaping was recovered after a winter with about 30 yards of mulch being installed. Next came the continued progress for beautifying the barn surroundings.

The GFRC IT platform was converted from a Dell Inspirion to a super fast Dell XPS with all software applications porting issues being resolved. The time efficiency improvements have become quite notable.

Here we are on the final day of May with much to be thankful for. The GFRC business remains robust with a strong consignment backlog in the auction space. Two fresh consignments are in the USPS transit loop along with the Bart Chapman and Palos Verdes upcoming auctions. Next week brings the Summer Baltimore show and time with Dan White along with Diane joining us for a coin show. Our usual tequila 5:00 PM end of day beverage will be replace with fine wine...

Yes, the month of May made a lightning fast appearance and we are all one month older. The key to a happy life is to live life to its fullest while pursuing one's passions. There will always be unexpected hurdles, but a positive attitude will overcome the surprises. Oscar Wilde once said, expect the unexpected and have proper preparations in place. Actually, the Oscar Wilde full quote is "To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect." Yes, a modern intellect encompasses the absorption of global news and "information" towards wealth management, sustaining social relationships, and physical well being.

To close out this opening monologue, yesterday brought an email conversation with Pete Theberge concerning the pond cabin construction project. I've made a decision to delay that project until the summer of 2024. Rather, our precious time will be allocated to replacing the asphalt driveway and repairing the northern property line trail section that is rapidly washing out. Electifying the barn with power and lighting circuits will also require research, material procurement, and a hands on effort.

As for my personal Liberty Seated dime core collection, May was a quiet month....


2nd CAC-Only Auction Sale Anchor Collection - The Saw Mill Run Liberty Seated Halves

The Springfield Liberty Seated quarter consignment was the spark that ignited the push for a repeat CAC-Only auction event. Not receiving similar marketing publicity is a huge Liberty Seated half dollar consignment from my dear friend, the Saw Mill Run Collection. Yes, Greg Johnson and I share the same birthday as a piece of trivia.

Once the Springfield Collection lots were announced and posted in the Blog, Greg called with the possibility of consignoring a substantial number of CAC approved Liberty Seated halves that he has enjoyed procuring during the past several years. In the numismatic landscape, many collectors will zig into one collecting direction and then zag into another. When that collecting shift takes place, valuable numismatic assets must be sold to fund the next initiative.

Today brings an overdue marketing statement concerning the importance of the Saw Mill Run Collection's Seated half dollar consignment on the overall size and significance of the 2nd CAC-Only auction sale. It was fitting to construct a display gallery to allow the entire community to assess and appreciate Greg's collecting accomplishment. There are no rarities here, but rather a host of perfectly original and beautifully toned Seated halves that could be the basis for a significant collection upgrading event or, a great starting point for pursuing the Seated half dollar series.

2nd CAC-Only Auction Sale Anchor Collection

The Saw Mill Run Liberty Seated Halves

1854 With Arrows PCGS MS63 CAC 50C                                                   1859-O PCGS MS63 CAC 50C       


1860-O PCGS MS62 CAC 50C                                                             1869 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C


1874 With Arrows PCGS AU50 CAC 50C                                                      1880 PCGS MS64 CAC 50C        


1881 PCGS MS63 CAC 50C OGH                                                          1884 PCGS VF25 CAC 50C    


   1847 PCGS AU55 CAC 50C                        1853 A&R PCGS EF40 CAC 50C                      1855-O PCGS AU58 CAC 50C


 1856 PCGS AU55 CAC 50C                          1856-O PCGS EF45 CAC 50C                          1858 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C


 1859 PCGS AU50 CAC 50C                            1860 PCGS EF45 CAC 50C                            1861 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C


 1868 PCGS EF40 CAC 50C                            1870 PCGS AU55 CAC 50C                          1871 PCGS AU50 CAC 50C


 1872 PCGS AU53 CAC 50C                          1875 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C                          1877 PCGS AU55 CAC 50C



Be Ready, Palos Verdes Liberty Seated Halves Arrive Tomorrow

Included in the Palos Verdes Liberty Seated Dime collection shipment was a group of 13 Liberty Seated half dollar duplicates needing to be converted into numismatic capital. I made a promise to the consignor that these halves would be marketed in the Daily Blog and posted to the price list prior to the Summer Baltimore show. I'm one for keeping promises therefore, tomorrow morning will bring another Liberty Seated half dollar gallery display followed by the coins being loaded onto the price list by the weekend.

So, please check back by end of day for yet another lovely Seated coinage gallery.


Global Financial News

Now that the U.S. debt ceiling crisis is behind us, domestic markets have settled in within a trading range. Yesterday's early optimism faded by end of day with the S&P 500 closing at its opening number of 4,205. Interestingly, the 10 Year U.S Treasury bond yield has dropped to 3.65% in a day's time while the U.S. dollar rally continues. The DXY index is trending at 104.4 while spot gold is trading at $1975/oz.

WTI crude took a hit overnight as the morning quote is down to $67.50/bbl.

Morning market futures are ugly in Asia while being slightly negative for the upcoming trading day on Wall Street. All is not well inside mainland China as the CCP is facing a local government debt crisis along with a 20% unemployment rate among younger workers and college graduates.

In Asia, Japan -1.4%. Hong Kong -1.9%. China -0.6%. India -0.5%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris -0.5%. Frankfurt -0.3%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.3%. NASDAQ -0.1%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings time in the GFRC office until about 2:30 PM. Afterwards, I am jumping on Johnny2 and will be moving the remaining brick gravel and 1.5" stone onto the top portion of the northern trail that is washing out. The amount of fill required is enormous towards bringing that situation under control. In the near term, I need to clear out the material stage area to allow Dave Wilkinson space for dumping yet more loads of gravel and stone.

After dinner, I will be in the office to respond to emails arriving while working in the back trails. So ends of the month of May 2023.

Thank you for visiting at the Daily Blog. Be well!




Tuesday May 30, 2023

The Double Trunk Oak Tree is Gone

2nd CAC-Only Auction - 89 Lots and Counting


Six Surprise Offerings - Can We Achieve 200 Sold Coin in May?


Greetings on a Tuesday morning and welcome to yet another Daily Blog edition. Your ongoing visits are appreciated.

The week before the Summer Baltimore show has arrived. As usual, there are many must get done items before the GFRC team travels to Baltimore on June 6. As much as the wonderful late spring weather is pulling me outdoors, this week will be spent in the GFRC office with two specific goals.

- Finalizing the 2nd CAC-Only auction lots as they will be on display at the Whitman show.

- Adding new consignments into inventory and on the 30 Day Price List before traveling to Baltimore.

The goals are simple and straightforward. Len Augsburger has already begun to write descriptions for the U.S. gold portion of the CAC-Only auction and will continue with the balance while GFRC attends the Baltimore show.


The Double Trunk Oak Tree is Gone

Memorial Day brought another six hours of outdoor work before returning to the office during mid-afternoon. The first priority was digging out the burn pit to make room for more tree clearing. There are no images of this project as a burn pit is downright ugly but necessary.

Next on the priority list was more trail improvement work. Let's just say that managing a walking trail system on a sloping grade brings its challenges. That beautiful sloping trail on the northern property line is starting to suffer water erosion and becomes more difficult to hike after each major rain storm. What little soil is available in a rock field quickly erodes and exposes yet more rocks making passage challenging. Once back from the Baltimore show, one of my top outdoor priorities is fixing this trail segment with layers of packed brick gravel and 1.5" stone to control the surfaces erosion. This is a multi-day effort given the furthest most location from the material delivery piles.

Monday's major accomplishment was the felling of the double trunk oak tree behind the barn in preparation for Dave Wilkinson's excavator visit in June. As expected, the southeastern leaning trunk dropped cleanly and was easily limbed. No so for the southern leaning trunk that fell onto the adjacent maple tree. Johnny2 came to the rescue with a heavy chain at the trunk base to pull the tree down to the ground.

Here is an image taken at 4:30 PM from the back deck illustrating the disappearance of those tall oak tree trunks. The horizon view is much cleaner though the stump remains followed by a multi-trunk maple in the shaded background that will not interfere with the solar array for many years to come. A text message goes out today to Kevin Johnson on the availability of more firewood for the upcoming winter. I'd like to clear out this downed wood before Dave Wilkinson arrives with the excavator.

The Double Trunk Oak Tree is Gone


2nd CAC-Only Auction - 89 Lots and Counting

Construction of the 2nd CAC-Only auction event is approaching the finish line. As of this morning, there are 89 lots posted to the on line catalog. There is one more shipment in the USPS system that was sent registered with an unknown arrival date. Otherwise, all the committed lots have been delivered and have/are being processed.

As of today, the consignment window is closed for this auction.

The good news is that all the 2nd CAC-Only auction lots will be available for lot viewing at the Whitman Baltimore show next week. Diane will be hosting the auction display and lot viewing event. This is an opportunity for show attendees to gain a first hand look at the many fantastic offerings prior to bidding on June 24th.

During the next two days, reserve pricing proposals will be issued to the remaining consignors and will be posted once approved.

Upcoming in the GFRC Online Auction schedule are the Bart Chapman Memorial Auction along with the Palos Verdes Liberty Seated Dime Collection sale. I've yet to decide on how to structure these two events and will have more details once back from the Baltimore show.


Six Surprise Offerings - Let's Hit 200 Sold Coins in May

The month of May has been strong for GFRC sales given that the debut CAC-Only auction closed on May 6. As of this morning, GFRC has sold 197 coins month to date. As May 31 arrives tomorrow, I would love to achieve the 200 sold coin milestone to close out the month.

To enable this goal, following are six top quality offerings that were recently purchased from a New Hampshire client. This is the same client who sold GFRC a substantial CAC approved lots at the Spring Manchester show. We meet for dinner last Wednesday at a secret location and did another deal. These lots are mostly lower priced 20th century pieces but with top shelf eye appeal and overall quality. I'd love to sell three or more of these coins in the next 36 hours. Offer prices are fair and consistent with the client's original purchase prices. When purchasing top end coins, one must stretch a bit on the purchase price. I certainly did to acquire these.

Six Premiun Surprise Offerings

Priced as Marked!

1864 L on Ribbon PCGS MS61BN CAC 1C - $500                                 1909 VBD PCGS MS65RB CAC 1C - $165  


       1943-S PCGS MS67 CAC 1C - $350                                             1913 Type 1 PCGS MS66 CAC 5C - $350


    1938-D/D PCGS MS66 CAC 5C - $200                                          1944-D PCGS MS67FB CAC 10C - $200



Global Financial News

The powers to be in Washington have reach a debt ceiling deal that, on the the surface, looks to be a reasonable compromise. Let's review the Seeking Alpha perspective.

Investors are bracing for a week of political wrangling in Washington after President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy inked a deal on the debt limit. Both sides now have to muster enough votes to win Congressional approval, despite some opposition from the likes of the Republican Freedom Caucus and progressives in the Democratic Party. While enough bipartisan support is expected to be eventually garnered, the measure could still run into some procedural obstacles, as the clock ticks down to avoid a catastrophic default by June 5.

Legislative text: The agreement lifts the current $31.4T deal ceiling into 2025, meaning the limit on government borrowing would be extended until after the next presidential election. Non-defense spending will be capped at current levels for the next fiscal year, and only rise by 1% in 2025. Congress would also need to approve 12 annual spending bills or risk facing a snapback to spending limits from the previous year.

Other changes that were central to the compromise included limiting some food stamp provisions to encourage recipients to find jobs. The agreement also halts some funds to hire new IRS agents, claws back billions of dollars in unspent COVID relief, and would speed up big energy projects through permitting reform. In addition, a pause on student-loan repayments will come to an end in August, though Biden's student loan forgiveness plan will end up being decided by the Supreme Court.

Morning market futures indicate that the NASDAQ rally is alive and well with the S&P 500 standing at 4,205 to start the day.

In Asia, Japan +0.3%. Hong Kong +0.2%. China +0.1%. India +0.2%.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.6%. Paris -0.4%. Frankfurt +0.5%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.6%. NASDAQ +1.1%.

WTI crude stands at $72/bbl though Russia is dumping crude on the market at discounted prices to fund its Ukrainian war effort. The Saudis may need addition production cuts to balance the excess crude on the market from Russian wholesaling efforts.

Gold has moved up to $1974/oz while the U.S. dollar is holding the 104 mark. Bitcoin has moved upward to $27,893 while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is quoting at 3.72%


Wrapping Up The Blog

As mentioned earlier, today brings an office day regardless of the pleasant southern Maine weather. Today's six lower priced CAC lots will be posted to the price list along with the non-CAC gold from the White Pine and Lizard King consignments. Of course, reserve price recommendations must also be prepared and approved. Let's just say that there is sufficient workload to keep me busy until 5:00 PM happy hour.

Thinking of selling a quality 19th century collection on a outright basis or via auction? If so, please consider approaching GFRC with your numismatic items. You will find that I am easy to deal with since believing that collector involvement in the auction process is an important aspect of closure while being a salient educational opportunity. Collectors do not have this opportunity when dealing with the larger auction houses due to their compartmentalized methods for absorbing and processing consignments. GFRC Online Auction clients also have reserve price protection to ensure that their coins are not scooped up at wholesale levels by dealers.

OK, I've rambled enough for a Tuesday morning and need to get moving with another office day. Thank you for visiting. Be well!




Monday May 29, 2023

Happy Memorial Day 2023!

Sunday Progress on Barn Landscaping

Lizard King Dazzles with $2.5 Liberty Gold Consignment


Oregon Beaver CAC-Only Auction Selections


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on Memorial Day 2023. A salute goes out to the many veterans who have sacrificed to preserve American freedoms over the centuries.

One week remains before GFRC heads to Baltimore for the Whitman summer show. In the coming week, the posting of 2nd CAC-Only auction lots will be completed along with their reserves. Come next Saturday, the focus will be on Baltimore show preparations and loading fresh consignments to the price list and having those coins available at the show. While the GFRC team is in the Baltimore, the auction preparation baton moves to Len Augsburger and his description generation. Again, the response and support for this follow-on CAC-Only auction has been appreciated.

Yes, I did take most of Sunday away from the coin business and was out on the land by 6:15 AM. Not being consumed with Blog composition brought two extra hours of time to work outdoors. Much progress was made with the stone landscaping around the barn, but also behind the settlers' stone wall. Also, one of the wet areas in the southern trail was also corrected with seven Johnny2 bucket loads of gravel and stone. By 11:30 AM, I was done for the day as the temperature had climbed into the mid-80s while dressed with head to feet coverings to ward off an intense mosquito population. The afternoon hours were spent in the office processing the upcoming Lizard King $2.5 gold images. Dinner time brought out the 1993 Miata (yes, she is 30 years old this year) with Diane and I heading to Raymond's Fisherman's Catch for seafood chowder and lobster rolls. Afterwards, we took a late after drive into Naples and Poland towns before heading home.


Sunday Progress on Barn Landscaping

Here are two images of the stone landscaping that surrounds the barn along with abutting the stone wall. The first image was taken in front of the barn looking uphill at the homestead. Spring foliage is complete at this point with the house surrounded by maples, oaks, and birches. Two years ago, the area at the stone wall entrance had completely washout and has been reconstructed with drainage ditches and covered with 1.5" stone. One of the golden rules of living on a hillside is that ground cover is an imperative. Any barren ground is subject to erosion during heavy rains. The 1.5" stone solution is ideal in many ways. First is its stability against washout. Second is the beautiful speckled gray/white coloration. Finally, there is little if any maintenance other than an application of Roundup as necessary to control weeds in areas without an underlying weed mat. Johnny2 is also showcased in the image with the green paint gone from most of the front loader. The tractor has accumulated 143 hours as of yesterday and is the ideal tool for the site and back acreage trail work.


The landscaping behind the barn saw an important update as shown in this image. The yellowish stone area was installed and has visually eased the prior sharp slope. Another 8' of weed mat and stone is required to extend the ground covering up to the solar array pole. Unfortunately, I've nearly exhausted the existing stone pile with the remaining material being "dirty" and best used for trail stabilization. An order for more stone goes out to Dave Wilkinson today.

Also note the tall double trunk oak tree behind the barn. This tree will be dropped today or during the coming week as it will shades the solar panel array from 1:00 PM onward. Dropping a tree of this size is not a big deal when experienced with a chain saw. The challenge is limbing the tree and moving all of the small branches onto the burn pile for yet another burning event.


Lizard King Dazzles with $2.5 Liberty Gold Consignment

Fans of U.S. $2.5 gold will immediately recognize the importance of the newest Lizard King consignment. All pieces are the Liberty design with dates ranges from 1841 through 1879 along with the branch mints being well represented. We open the gallery display with an "affordable" 1845-O $2.5 gold piece graded PCGS VF35 with CAC approval. CAC population stands at 24 with the majority approved at the AU55/AU58 level. These examples will cost a collector between $20,000 to $30,000. The Lizard King example will be reserved at $6,500. Next are 1841 and 1842 Charlotte examples with the side-by-side comparison of a CAC approved (1841-C) and non-approved (1842-C). The images speak for themselves. My favorite piece in this lot is the 1846-D/D given its thick original orange-gold patina and pristine surfaces. This one has garnered a GFRC-Gem quality rating. Let me conclude this discussion with a personal point of comfortable with the $2.5 gold series. As of student of the Liberty Seated dime series, I can see the same dime date punches reappearing on early $2.5 gold. The 1851-O repunched date characteristics are essentially identical to the 1851 F-105 dime.

Reserve prices have been approved and will be posted today. Those not CAC-approved are heading to the price list well before the Baltimore show.

Lizard King $2.5 Liberty Gold Consignment

1845-O PCGS VF35 CAC G$2.5

1841-C PCGS AU50 CAC G$2.5                                                       1842-C PCGS EF40 G$2.5


     1846-D/D PCGS EF40 CAC G$2.5                                                 1851-O RPD NGC AU58 CAC G$2.5


      1856 PCGS MS62 CAC G$2.5                                                      1872 PCGS AU58 CAC G$2.5C    


 1859 Type 1 NGC AU58 G$2.5                     1859 Type 2 PCGS MS62 G$2.5                         1879-S PCGS MS61 G$2.5  



Our friend on the West Coast has returned with two premium lots for the CAC-Only sale. The 1873-S F-101 dime was previously sold by GFRC during the Branch Mint Collection sale and returns to the auction slate. The 1896 $2.5 gold piece presents a mintage of only 19,070 piece and is so typical of the $2.5 gold series.

Oregon Beaver CAC-Only Auction Selections

1873-S F-101 PCGS MS64+ CAC 10C                                                   1896 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C


Wrapping Up The Blog

Now that the Blog is completed, I'm heading back to the trails with Johnny2 for the morning hours. One of the trunks of the tall oak will also be dropped and limbed. But before moving the branches to the burn pit, a portion of the ash must be dug out and moved into an area that needs fill. It seems that every project has background work to be accomplished to maintain efficiency.

I should be back in the office by 2:00 PM and will begin posting lots to the 30 Day Price List towards enabing the final sales of May 2023.

As always, thank-you for sharing your precious time with me at the Daily Blog. Be well!




Saturday May 27, 2023

CAC Grading (CACG) Announces Soft Open and Submission Forms


2nd CAC-Only Auction Sale Grows to 74 Lots!


Greetings on Memorial Day weekend 2023 and welcome to the Daily Blog. Summer time has officially arrived in Maine with temperatures responding nicely.

The southern weather forecast is ideal for being outdoors and that will happen starting after lunch time and through Sunday. Given all the recent rain, the lawn needs to be mowed followed by a full court press to update the back acreage walking trails. The only must get done GFRC tasks are responding to overnight orders and photography of newly arrived auction consignments before closing the office. Can you feel my excitement? As much I love numismatics and supporting the GFRC community, taking a break for the great Maine outdoors is long overdue.


CAC Grading (CACG) Announces Soft Open and Submission Forms

Friday afternoon brought the announcement that we have all been waiting for. CAC Grading, via Mike Albanese, has announced that the CAC Grading soft open begins on June 5 for investors. Most important, in that email, is the inclusion of submissions forms (pricing tiers) along with a defined list of United States issues and die varieties that will be graded. I've taken the liberty of conducting a three page screen capture from that email to share of portion of the fresh information.

This slide presents a list of classic coins that will be graded by CAC Grading (CACG). Please note that some lower volume designs will not be encapsulated until August. This is probably due to the availability of plastic holder components for the different size coin openings. CACG has placed emphasis on the high volume design sizes.


In this slide, CACG has defined the modern coin types that will be graded. Again, the encapsulation of certain oddball sized denominations will be delayed until August.


Finally, CACG has announced the initial die varieties that will be attributed and printed on CACG labels. Please note that the Liberty Seated Dime Top 100 Varieties will be attributed based on my efforts to incorporate those in the CACG database. In the future, CACG will also attribute the popular level "01" Cherry Pickers Guide die varieties. Yes, the Logan-McCloskey LM numbers are for half dimes and not dimes. Please forgive the CACG team for this tiny mistake.

I've made a decision NOT TO publish the submission form and grading fee tiers in this Blog edition. I'm quite sensitive to disclosing CACG information early on and behaving accordingly. I'm sure that the fee schedule will be published by others on messages boards.

I've been asked an important question by several individuals, namely how will CACG handle coins that do not grade. Will the coins be returned in raw body bags or will they be returned in Detailed holders? I've submitted this question to Mike and will publish the response once received.

Overall, I'm quite impressed with how the CACG staff has been able to hold their schedule close to prior commitments. The investors were informed of a soft opening come June and the fact that the commitment is being honored for high volume U.S. design issues is important.

My belief is that CACG will be a huge success given their adherence to strict guidelines for originality and accurate grading equivalent to the current CAC stickering standards. I plan to submit a large lot after the Baltimore show and will be critical of the initial grading results once the submission is returned. I hope that CACG remains strict with their standards as this is paramount for the brand. It will take some time for the average collector to realize that CACG is not your routine third party grading service where below average coins are routinely holdered.


2nd CAC-Only Auction Sale Grows to 74 Lots!

I'm pleased to report that the 2nd CAC-Only auction event has grown to 74 lots. You are invited to visit the Auction page to view the ever expanding catalog. The second CAC Only event is becoming a substantial shopping opportunity for our community. A famous Lincoln quote comes to mind here. By the people and for the people certainly applies to the growing GFRC Online Auction events whereby our community is trading premiums coins among the members.

Yesterday's key inclusions were 19 Liberty Seated halves from the Saw Mill Run Collection and 5 lots from the Newtown Collection. The 19 Saw Mill Run pieces were purchased from GFRC, therefore the images and quality ratings were already available in the Sales Archive enabling a quick turnaround. Remaining are 5 lots that were not purchased from GFRC. These will be photographed today and added to the auction catalog on Monday. The non-CAC approved Newtown lots were posted to the 30 Day Price List with two Seated halves selling immediately.

Yesterday also brought more auction consignments with the arrival of shipments from the Oregon Beaver and Cleveland Collections. At this point, there is one remaining consignment in the USPS transport loop that was sent Registered Mail. Once all consignments are in house and posted, I believe the final lot tally will be close to 95 offerings. The support from the GFRC community has been short of amazing with such a rapid turnaround on submissions.

If the 2nd CAC-Only auction results are strong, I might consider making this auction format a regularly scheduled GFRC Online Auctions event! Please feedback if you agree or disagree with this thought process.


Wrapping Up The Blog

The GFRC shipping department is closed today for security reasons. I am vigilant about placing coins into the USPS system during a long holiday weekend and having the packages idle in distribution centers. Come Tuesday morning, GFRC will be shipping a host of queued packages. Thanks for your understanding as a lost or stolen shipment is a royal pain for both GFRC and our clients.

As mentioned earlier, I will be in the office until lunch time only. Afterwards, I am heading outdoors for the next 1.5 days. Life if great!

Thanks as always for supporting this humble business with your ongoing buying and selling collecting needs. If you believe that GFRC service is excellent, please share this fact with numismatic friends and on message boards.

Take care and be well on this important national holiday.




Friday May 26, 2023

Happy Memorial Day Weekend - GFRC Office Closed on Sunday


More CAC-Only Auction Sale Consignments


Greetings on another bright and sunny southern Maine morning. The skies are crystal clear blue and provide a wonderful backdrop for the lush green landscaping outside the office window.

Life is certainly good as we enter the 2023 Memorial Day weekend. Temperatures are rising consistent with the calendar with highs at 79F on Saturday and 87 on Sunday. The summer-like weather will be ideal for those returning to their summer "camps" this weekend and conducting the usual spring clean and home opening chores. As noted in the top headline, GFRC will be closed on Sunday including taking the day off from composing the Daily Blog. I plan to spend the entire morning on Johnny2 towards upgrading the back acreage walking trails as much as possible. Come the month of June, I will be taking early morning walks on the trails to get back into a regular exercise schedule.


More CAC-Only Auction Sale Consignments

The 2nd CAC Only auction sale is being populated at a steady rate. As of this morning, the lot count stands at 46 with another 11 coins being added today. It has become tradition that new additions are first features in the Daily Blog as is the case today.

We open today's gallery display with a five piece Newtown Collection lot. Newtown has been quite focused on his Liberty Seated half dollar collection and proves a constant flow of duplicates including CAC and non-CAC approved lots. The following five CAC approved duplicates should be enticing for fellow Seated half dollar collectors as we open with a near-gem 1873 Arrows half that is unquestionably original and lightly toned. The 1852 half is also a sweetheart and originates from the Eric P. Newman sale back in November 2013. Crusty gray surfaces grace the challenging 1866-S No Motto half while the 1876 half has garnered a GFRC-Gem quality rating for its mirrored fields and superb eye appeal. Who ever wins the 1876 half will be more than pleased as a great value for a common date.

More CAC-Only Auction Sale Consignments

Newtown Collection Consignment - Liberty Seated Halves

1873 Arrows PCGS MS64 CAC 50C

           1852 WB-1 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C                                       1866-S No Motto WB-1 PCGS EF40 CAC 50C


1869 PCGS MS61 CAC 50C                                                        1876 PCGS MS64 CAC 50C



An anonymous consignor and first time contributor to the debut CAC-Only Sale is back with two more wonderful Carson City gold pieces for the 2nd CAC-Only auction. The 1882-CC half eagle is from the Fairmont Collection while the 1884-CC $10 gold was purchased from GFRC during 2021.

          1882-CC PCGS EF45 CAC G$5                                                   1884-CC PCGS VF30 CAC G$10 OGH



One never knows what might be offered for a CAC-Only auction event. Case in point are these two 1925 Norse medals that are perfectly matched. The 1925 Norse-American medal commemorated the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Norwegian ship Restauration in America. Once authorized by Congress, the medals were produced in various metals and sizes. 53 were issued in gold along with those in silver and bronze. The medal is an unmonetized octagonal-shaped piece. 33,750 were struck on a thick planchet while only 6,000 were produced with thin planchets. CAC has approved 260 "thicks" and 122 "thins".

          1925 Norse Thick PCGS MS66 CAC                                                  1925 Norse Thin PCGS MS64 CAC       



Global Financial News

Interestingly, my money manager called this week and suggested that I sell my gold and jump onto the technology rally that has seen the NASDAQ move up to 12,698. A few months back, the same money manager believed that the 10 Year Treasury bond yield would be dropping sparking a bond and gold rally. That prognosis as not happened as the U.S. dollar has rallied instead. This morning, the DXY index is at 104 while gold is languishing at $1955/oz. My money manager is concerned that I am under weight technology stocks and the account under performing. It seems that "investing" has become a game of timing market sectors. Right now, I'm comfortable with how the portfolio is positioned though inflation is certainly eating up the overall value on a long term basis.

After writing the above opening commentary, the daily Seeking Alpha newsletter appeared with an article on inflows into Treasury bond EFT (TLT). Money is pouring in as investors expect some type of recession and a lowering of interest rates are some point in 2023. Maybe, my strategy to stay put with the current portfolio structures is well founded after all.

The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) sits atop the capital flow leaderboard for exchange traded funds in 2023. The ETF has now amassed more investor cash than any other ETF so far this year, taking its total assets under management to $37.30B. TLT has been able to accumulate $10.37B year to date, topping the inflows for the iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF, Vanguard S&P 500 ETF and JPMorgan Equity Premium Income ETF, which have seen the second, third and fourth most significant inflows in 2023. These ETFs have attracted $9.40B, $9.04B and $8.36B, respectively. SA contributor Johnny Zhang believes TLT can still generate positive returns through coupon payments if the U.S. experiences a soft landing. If the U.S. slips into a severe recession, TLT can rally as a hedge against market turmoil. "In all scenarios, a tactical allocation strategy, such as gradually selling TLT during a severe recession, can be attractive."

The S&P 500 opens the day at 4,151 after gains on Thursday. Morning market futures indicate some mild buying at the market's 9:30 AM opening bell.

In Asia, Japan +0.4%. Hong Kong -1.9%. China +0.4%. India +1%.

In Europe, at midday, London +0.2%. Paris +0.2%. Frankfurt +0.1%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.2%. NASDAQ +0.3%.

WTI crude is priced at $72.37/bbl as we move into the traditional summer driving season. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is flat at 3.78%.

The U.S. debt ceiling crisis appears to be moving towards resolution per this Seeking Alpha report.

Debt talks appear to be nearing the end amid reports that a potential deal would raise the U.S. government's $31.4T debt ceiling and limit spending on most items for two years. A deal is expected to be hammered out by today afternoon, U.S. Representative Kevin Hern (R-Oklahoma), who leads the largest Republican caucus, said.

Dig deeper: Republican negotiators have reportedly agreed for a smaller 3% increase in defense spending. Non-defense discretionary spending is expected to be maintained at current levels. The White House is said to be mulling scaling back on increased funding for the Internal Revenue Service, cutting $10B from an $80B budget increase for the agency that was planned under the Inflation Reduction Act to target wealthy individuals. White House and Republican debt limit proposals now differ by around $70B on discretionary spending.

Contingency plan: The Biden administration is looking at a contingency plan that was created after the 2011 debt-ceiling impasse. Under the plan, federal agencies would submit payments to the Treasury no sooner than the day before they're due. By contrast, under the current system payment files may be submitted well before their due dates. If the Treasury doesn't have enough funds to make a full day's worth of payments, it would likely delay paying them until it does. The Treasury has been preparing for possibly delaying some payments after June 1.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings a normal office day but with the shipping department closed. Since Memorial Day weekend is upon us, GFRC will not be shipping today and on Saturday for security reasons. All order shipments will be queued and outgoing on Tuesday.

Overnight emails brought sad news from one of our regular clients. This long term collector has seen his health degrade and has asked me to consider buying several of his early type collections. This communication and evaluation task will be added to the day's activities that include incremental auction lot postings along with adding more new offerings to the 30 Day Price List.

That is about it for now. Thank you as always for visiting the Daily Blog. Be well!




Thursday May 25, 2023

More CAC-Only Auction Sale Consignments


A Important Mint State 1840-O No Drapery Quarter


Greetings a bright sunny but cold southern Maine morning. It is the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend and all is well at the homestead. I'm glad that you could stop by.

The 2nd CAC-Only auction event is beginning to take shape. As of this morning, there are 40 lots posted online for your inspection pleasure. Yesterday brought the arrival of a 24 piece Liberty Seated half dollar lot from the Saw Mill Run Collection that will add incremental significance to the event. Conducting a quick headcount of the remaining CAC auction bound pieces, inclusive of the Saw Mill Run Collection arrival, brings us to a total of 90 lots with another 4-5 lots remaining in transit. As previously mentioned, I thought the auction would approach the 100 lot mark, therefore I was close in that assessment.

More important that the number of lots, is the overall quality of the 2nd CAC-Only offerings. Busy individuals now have an opportunity to shop the finest early type material as released from fellow collectors. Let's dwell on that point for a moment. The best coins in existence are not located in dealer inventories but rather held by collectors. Some collectors have "strong hands" and will hold onto their coins for decades (Fortin Seated Dime Collection as an example) while others will shift collecting goals and convert those holdings into fresh numismatic capital. Sophisticated collectors understand that being highly selective along with patience and market timing wins the day. Returning premium collections into the marketplace is welcomed and healthy for the longevity of our hobby. New collectors entering the hobby have an opportunity to acquire those released coins resulting in another collecting cycle.

I can't stress the fact that patience is required to construct a premium collection. Case in point is a new GFRC client who bid aggressively in the Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime auction sale. This individual has provided GFRC with a want list that includes the usual key dates. When hearing about the forthcoming Palos Verdes Collection sale, he requested information about the grades of those pieces on his want list. Yesterday brought another reminder email along with an image of a key date coin that he has just purchased. I felt like the image was shared to entice me to be more aggressive with his set building needs. Unfortunately, the pictured coin had been obviously cleaned regardless of residing in a modern NGC holder. We all know the NGC dreggs that circulate among dealers with one of those being purchased by this new client. Should I have kept quiet or did I tell the client that his aggressiveness resulted in purchasing a cleaned better date Seated dime? I believe those that know me well understand the path that was taken. Education is always paramount at GFRC....

The motto to this monologue is PATIENCE! When building a collection, there is no one holding a gun to your head indicating that the set must be completed by a certain date. If being a compulsive "hole filler", then the enemy towards building a superior collection is none other than you. I have seen this behavior too many times. Of course, it is your money and you are free to do as you wish. However, when the day comes to sell that collection, the reckoning arrives with no one to blame but yourself if the sales results are below expectations. During a slowly appreciating market, collectors with a longer term horizon and patience will do well for themselves.

Enough said....


More CAC-Only Auction Sale Consignments

Let's return to the 2nd CAC-Only auction sale and the newest lots that have been processed. These will be posted to the online catalog today. We open the display with six wonderful Liberty Seated dime from the Wisconsin and Massachusetts Collections. All are duplicates being released back into the market. The 1871 F-102a, 1872 F-114, and 1884-S F-101 dimes are web-book plate coins. Their return and improved photography will allow me to update those older plate coin images. Please note the 1863 dime that is found at an ideal value Mint State grade. The Civil War Philadelphia strikes, when CAC approved, continue to appreciate quickly.

More CAC-Only Auction Sale Consignments

Wisconsin and Massachusetts Collection Duplicates

1863 F-101a PCGS MS63 CAC 10C                                                   1866 F-102a PCGS MS64 CAC 10C


1850-O F-107 PCGS VF30 CAC 10C                                                   1871 F-102a PCGS AU58+ CAC 10C


1872 F-114 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C                                                   1884-S F-101 PCGS AU58 CAC 10C



The Iowa Collection is back with a single Seated quarter release. This lovely 1849 quarter has been sold by GFRC twice with the last auction sale realizing $1150 during May 2022. Our dear client has instructed me to set the reserve at $700 to enable some brisk bidding. This is so thoughtful of the individual.

An Iowa Collection Release

1849 Briggs 1-A PCGS EF45 Gold CAC 25C


A Important Mint State 1840-O No Drapery Quarter

I'm quite pleased today to announce the arrival of a Mint State 1840-O No Drapery quarter into GFRC inventory. This piece was a privately purchased from a new individual who approached me last week with several freshly graded lots that he wished to sell.

The arrival of this 1840-O No Drap quarter is significant as few appear in the market market at any regular frequency. If checking the le Sales Archive, GFRC has sold a non-CAC approved PCGS MS63 specimen for $6500 during July 2021 and an NGC MS61 during January 2019 for $2100. As a reference, a CAC approved PCGS AU55 example sold for $1750 during October 2021. These lot appearances are quite limited for a dealer who specializes in Liberty Seated coinage.

Why do I like this new PCGS MS62 example? First is the highly detailed strike as we all know how erratic the No Drapery design type was struck with partial heads and weak upper obverse stars. Second are the surfaces and original luster which should be evident from the images. This piece is fairly graded as there are two minor contact marks on the obverse and reverse. To my knowledge, this piece has not been to CAC as it just arrived to the office on Tuesday and was freshly graded. I'm offering this piece at $3000 and if there are no takers, it is heading to CAC once the submission window re-opens. My gut tells me that this piece has a better than average chance of being approved. If approved, this one will be repriced higher as the CAC guide is $3600 with a tiny population in Mint State.


1840-O No Drapery Briggs 1-A PCGS MS62 - $3000


Global Financial News

U.S. equity markets continue to deflate along with the rest of the globe. The threat of a U.S. default on its Treasury notes is being taken seriously by overseas media and financial institutions. Here is the U.S., we become accustomed to the political drama between the two parties. The optics don't look good for the United States in terms of being able to manage it financial house. Seeking Alpha has a short piece with a warning that the sterling U.S. credit rating might be again damaged due to this fight.

The United States is in danger of losing Fitch's top sovereign debt status due to "increased political partisanship that is hindering reaching a resolution to raise or suspend the debt limit." The "AAA" long-term foreign currency issuer default rating was placed on Rating Watch Negative, though Fitch still expects a resolution before the so-called "X-date," which can DXY). Recall that in 2011, the U.S. lost its top rating at S&P, as the government approached default in a similar standoff. S&P has not restored the country to its highest rating, but the last of the Big Three credit rating agencies, Moody's, still has its highest "Aaa" ranking on the U.S.

So where is the DXY index this morning? The dollar continues its rally with a reading of 104.1 to start the day. The rising U.S. dollar continues to place pressure on spot gold which has dropped to $1964/oz. Bitcoin is also feeling the pressure and has dropped to $26,256.

WTI crude is quoting at $73/bbl while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury yield continues to increase with a quote of 3.76%.

Morning market futures are indicating a reversal of investor sentiment with the technology sector leading the way.

In Asia, Japan +0.4%. Hong Kong -1.9%. China -0.1%. India +0.2%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt -0.2%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.2%. S&P +0.6%. NASDAQ +1.9%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Yes, today brings another day in the GFRC office until 3:00 PM. Afterwards, I am heading outdoors to mow the lawn and continue to work on front yard landscaping maintenance.

Please check the 30 Day Price List as I am also adding more listing there along with the 2nd CAC-Only auction catalog. There is never a dull moment when operating a small business.

Thank you again for visiting with me at the Blog. Be well!




Wednesday May 24, 2023

Presenting Multiple CAC-Only Auction Sale Consignments


Greetings and welcome the Daily Blog on a Wednesday morning. Thanks for checking in.

Today's Blog will be short on talk and long on images. Tuesday's emphasis was on incremental photography for newly arrived consignments followed by an afternoon of image processing. I'm happy to report that the second Bart Chapman Memorial Auction shipment arrived safe and sound along with a strong gold lot from the Lizard King Collection. The GFRC office is awash with great coins and we are working diligently to move all into the COIN system as a first step along with stickering each coin with the consignor's database identification.

As the consignments are delivered, it is becoming apparent that the 2nd CAC-Only auction will be quite strong in terms of U.S. gold offerings. This should be evident when viewing the following galleries.

It is with great pleasure (and thanks) that the following consignments are featured next. Let's open with a noteworthy auction lot from the White Pine Collection. This individual has been part of the GFRC team for years and will release a consignment every 1-2 years. This is a case of moving up the ladder as our consignor continues to release his more precious holdings.

"Exceptional" best describes the opening 1877-CC PCGS MS65 CAC dime. Believe me as one who has viewed thousands of dimes in a career, this 1877-CC rivals many of the MS66s that I've seen including the example in my core collection. If seeking an absolutely charming 1877-CC dime, this lot is a must purchase. Next is a wonderfully encrusted key date 1839-O Reeded Edge half that screams originality. The display continues with a gem quality rated 1839 Classic Head quarter eagle that will undoubtedly attract much attention. If the first three lots were not enough excitement, how about a well struck 1847-D $5 gold piece with bold motifs?

Presenting Multiple CAC-Only Auction Consignments

White Pine Collection

1877-CC Type 2 F-102 PCGS MS65 CAC 10C                                      1839-O GR-1 PCGS EF45 CAC 50C      


1839 PCGS AU55 CAC G$2.5                                                       1847-D PCGS EF40 CAC G$5



Our friend, the Island Lake Collection, is back with a two piece consignment that contains and rare and popular 1870-S $1 gold piece graded PCGS MS63 CAC. Mintage is only 3,000 pieces during a year that brought the unique 1870-S half dime, extremely rare 1870-S Seated dollar, and special strike 1870-S $3 gold piece.

Island Lake Collection

1870-S PCGS MS64 CAC G$1                                                             1904-O PCGS MS63 CAC G$10



Another long term GFRC consignor, the Ft Lauderdale Collection, has joined the CAC-Only auction event with three important lots. First is a crusty 1841 Charlotte $5 from a mintage of 21, 467. It is obvious that this piece has been never molested and has aged gracefully. The appearance of an 1861-O USA W-1 Seated half is always an important GFRC news items. This VF35 is so well preserved and a near-gem at grade. Finally, our friend includes a 1799 Draped Bust dollar that will be further attributed when posting to the auction catalog.

Ft Lauderdale Collection

1841-C PCGS VF30 CAC G$5

1861-O USA W1 PCGS VF35 CAC 50C                                                   1799 NGC VF25 CAC $1



Finally, today's Blog gallery display documents the non-CAC portion of the White Pine consignment including 1892-CC and 1893-CC half eagles. Both are solid AU graded examples with the 1893-CC sporting some awesome eye appeal that one expects with a CAC green bean.

Non-CAC Lots for Price List

White Pine Collection

   1839 PCGS EF40 G$5                                  1878-S PCGS AU55 G$5                              1892-CC PCGS AU50 G$5


 1893-CC PCGS AU53 G$5                         1875-CC PCGS AU50 G$20



Today's priority is to set reserve prices for all of the above auction lots and secure consignor approval before adding to the auction catalog. I'll do my best to add more non-CAC lots to the 30 Day Price List to continue bringing incrementally important coins to the market.


Global Financial News

The U.S. Treasury bond yield curve continues to remain inverted since July 5, 2022. This is 222 consecutive days and second only in length to the 446 trading days that ended in May 1980 and predicting the 1980 recession. The S&P 500 fell nearly 20% during that recessionary period. Currently, the 10 Year Treasury bond yield stands at 3.7% while the 2 Year is paying 4.3%. When recession fears build, or the Fed hikes interest rates aggressively, investors become willing to accept a premium to keep their capital locked up in longer-dated Treasurys. Bond yields move inversely to prices.

The S&P 500 dropped on Tuesday to 4145 with morning market futures pointing to incremental selling at the beginning of trading. The U.S. market weakness is minor as compared to losses in Asia and Europe.

In Asia, Japan -0.9%. Hong Kong -1.8%. China -1.3%. India -0.3%.

In Europe, at midday, London -1.8%. Paris -1.8%. Frankfurt -1.7%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.4%. S&P -0.4%. Nasdaq -0.3%.

Notable is that WTI crude oil has moved back up to $74/bbl. Seeking Alpha has a short piece on the topic as follows:

Starting off the month at around $65 a barrel, WTI crude prices have bounced in May by nearly $10/bbl. The latest announcement from Saudi Arabia's top energy official may add to the rally after he told short sellers to "watch out." "Speculators, like in any market they are there to stay, I keep advising them that they will be ouching - they did ouch in April," Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman declared at an economic forum in Doha, referring to the surprise production cuts> posted in early April. However, that rally was short-lived, and some are voicing renewed skepticism before OPEC+ meets in Vienna on June 4 to discuss production policy for the second half of 2023.

Spot gold is trading at $1980/oz as the U.S. dollar index remains a tad above 103.5. Bitcoin is selling at $26,722.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings another long office day followed by meeting a New Hampshire client for dinner in Windham. The occasion is the purchase of yet another portion of this individuals substantial collection and the in person hand-off.

The Whitman Baltimore show is rapidly approaching with a clear deadline for having the 2nd CAC Only auction catalog fully populated and reach for Len's auction description effort. Blog readers should see a steady stream of auction material as the consignments arrive and are processed. This is incredibly exciting with two other auction events waiting in the wings.

There is little else to share at this point. Thanks again for being loyal Daily Blog readers. Be well!




Tuesday May 23, 2023

Processing 2nd CAC-Only Images at Fast as Possible


Several Seated Dime Web-Book Plate Coins to Consider


Greetings on yet another lovely southern Maine morning and welcome to the umpteenth Daily Blog edition. I'm always pleased to know that hundreds of readers will stop by to view these ramblings.

Writing the Daily Blog certainly takes commitment and persistence. There are some mornings where the energy or the will is just not there to compose. However, the knowledge that a host of fans will be checking in brings the realization that a commitment to publish is something not taken lightly. Some days brings well prepared content while others feel like Hail Mary passes into the end zone. During the days with little prepared content, I rely on Seth Godin and his words of wisdom to fill in the "gap". This is one of the those mornings where improvisation is warranted but at the same time, the message is also pertinent.

Composing a daily blog is not a skill that I was born with. Frankly, I was never much of a writer until working at IBM and developed technical writing skills out of necessity. Professional survival might be a better term to described the skill to evaluate experimental data and structure the analysis in a simplistic manner that would capture upper management attention. The same is true for composing the Daily Blog. Drafting a blog is quite different that preparing a technical report. A blog must contain content that appeals to a wide cross section of readers. Some check in specifically for new offering postings while others enjoy reading about someone living their dream job and residing in a rural setting. There are times when actionable advice is provided based on personal experiences.

I found today's Seth Godin blog post to be quite pertinent and worth sharing. Little did I realize that Marvin Gaye initially hated touring and exposing himself to a live audience.

Seth Godin Blogpost - Stevie and Marvin

When Marvin Gaye joined Motown, he went with his strengths. He wanted to work only in the studio. He hated touring and was sure he lacked the charisma and other gifts that made some musicians great onstage. This didn’t really fit the label’s strengths, and he struggled to find his footing.

In 1962, Berry Gordy sent Gaye on tour with other Motown acts. While Gaye wasn’t naturally a performer, he was competitive. The tour managers discovered that if they put Little Stevie Wonder on just before Gaye, something extraordinary happened. Wonder was a crowd pleaser, a magician at getting fans excited. After a few shows, Gaye realized that he had to dramatically raise his on-stage game if he was going to be able to keep his gig.

Two days after the tour ended, Gaye was in the studio recording what became his first Top 40 hit. He became known as much for his live performances as his music.

His charisma was a skill, not something he was born with.

It’s up to us if we want it to be.


Processing 2nd CAC-Only Images at Fast as Possible and other Ramblings

Monday's ideal weather conditions brought much photography of both CAC auction bound lots along with those non-CAC coins that will post directly to the 30 Day Price List. More progress would have been made if not for the need to prepare consignment checks and conducting yet another application port. For the latter task, Bank of America has moved its credit card virtual terminal function from Payeez to Clover payment system. Yesterday morning brought a purchase and request to use credit card payment. Diane and I knew the credit card system transition was forthcoming and were awaiting a Clover instructional email. The Payeez credit card payment attempt failed as the application had already been restricted for small business owners like GFRC. Next came two hours on the phone with BoA and Clover technical support to install the new credit card application. Those two hours consumed my mid-afternoon Johnny2 time as there were must get done task to accomplish before working outdoors. Bottom line, I was in the office throughout the day regardless of the ideal spring weather.

Speaking of activities that unnecessarily consume time, here is a message for new GFRC customers who feel that they must beat me up on offer pricing as a matter of principal. Those long discussions about why I am not discounting prices on quality coins impact my precious time and the ability to get out of the office for some mental wellness time. Yes, I'm rambling this morning and not staying on the segment message but feel the need to speak out. Collectors Corner is the culprit as new customers have been trained by other dealers to request a pricing discount. One person was even brave enough to mention that if a dealer does not provide a discount, he will not purchase a coin as his operating method. He indicated that dealers inflate their offer prices and those must be brought back to a reasonable level. Yeah, right...thank-you to those dealers who inflate their offer prices.

The individual who triggered the credit card application port decided that he really wanted the 1830 CAC approved half dime after requesting a pricing discount and being rejected. He will be paying via check after all, and admitted that the coin was fairly priced and a nice value at the asking price. Again it was principal that made him walk down the path of an asking price discount. This experience further hardens my resolve to be firm on offer prices and cut the discounting discussions short. I'm back to play or pass after trying to be a bit softer on pricing exchanges.


Several Seated Dime Web-Book Plate Coins to Consider

As I dug through the Seated dime reference collection double row boxes for the remaining CAC approved coins, these two quality web-book plate coins were flagged as the next lots to be moved to the regular list. So here they are on a Tuesday morning. First is a lovely frosted 1854 F-110 dime followed by an partially mirrored 1876 Type 1 F-111 example. Both are common dates while being premium pieces in terms of preservation. Neither has been to CAC for review. These will post to the price list at some point today along with updating the web-book images.

Seated Dime Web-Book Plate Coins to Consider

1854 Arrows F-110 PCGS MS61 10C                                                      1876 F-111 NGC MS64 10C      



Global Financial News

The U.S. debt ceiling negotiations are running out of time if one can believe Janet Yellen. After her "inflation is transitory" past statements, I don't believe government talking heads. We are witnessing another political drama that is serious and will have impacts to mainstream folks if not properly managed.

Today's Seeking Alpha headlines remained focus on the debt ceiling crisis while the 10 Year Treasury Bond yield has climbed to 3.74%.The U.S. dollar continues to strengthen (DXY at 103.5) while spot gold moves in the opposite direction ($1958/oz). The S&P 500 closed unchanged on Monday at 4,192. That is all that is worth sharing other than the usual morning market futures.

In Asia, Japan -0.4%. Hong Kong -1.3%. China -1.5%. India flat.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.3%. Paris -0.8%. Frankfurt -0.1%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.1%. NASDAQ -0.1%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

The last wave of consignments for the 2nd CAC-Only auction event are due to arrive today. Once those lots are in house, the full scope of the auction sale will become apparent to me and to you, dear readers, as the display galleries are prepared.

Linda Chapman has also shipped the second installment for a summer time Bart Chapman Memorial auction event. That shipment is also due to arrive today. Doug the Mailman has been busy of late with many GFRC package drop-offs that continue into this week.

OK, I've rambled long enough after sitting down at the laptop with little prepared. There are days where I will write what is on mind without much consideration to the appropriateness of how the day's edition is structured. Call these ramblings the real time view into a coin dealer's life.

I will be in the office until 2:30 PM today. Afterwards, I'm heading outdoors and leaving the cellphone in the office for uninterrupted time mulching the balance of the front landscaping. I have my principals too. One is that life is much too short and time has to be allocated to what one truly loves to do.

Thanks for visiting and be well!




Monday May 22, 2023

A Shout Out to Frank Grund

A Successful Brush Pile Burn


Noteworthy Offerings From an Anonymous Consignor



Greetings on a lovely southern Maine morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Abundant sunshine is the Raymond weather forecast which means a substantial amount of photography will get done.

The final week of May 2023 is upon us with Memorial Day weekend just days away. Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the summer tourist season throughout Maine. Coastal towns thrive on the influx of visitors from southern New England, New York, and even New Jersey. Since a portion of Raymond lies on Sebago Lake, the same occurs here as out of state lake front property owners will begin to arrive. Rt 302 traffic through Windham and Raymond becomes notably heavier, especially on weekends.

Here at the homestead, summer time brings several projects in tandem with operating GFRC and attending coin show. Yesterday's brush burn was a setup for more tree clearing activities. Dave Wilkinson and his excavator will be making a 3 day appearance at some point in June. His project deliverables were outlined yesterday in a long text message.

Unfortunately, the wood ticks are already active. During Sunday's brush burn, I removed one tick from my hair outdoors and two from my body while in the shower. The tick fighting protocol is that outdoor work clothes go immediately into the washer upon returning indoors as the probability of carrying a tick or two is high. Once out of the shower, there is a careful body mirror inspection to ensure that I did not miss any of these unwanted pests. This is part of rural life and the price being paid to manage the risks of tick borne diseases.

Now that I've rambled about Memorial Day traffic density and ticks, let's get to the meat of today's Blog edition.


A Shout Out to Frank Grund

Yesterday brought an email from Frank Grund, a long term GFRC client. He noted my PhotoScape X commentary concerning a background color cropping issue in the Blog and suggested that we speak via phone to resolve the matter. I spoke with Frank during mid-Sunday afternoon while sitting in the office and having the PhotoScape X application open and ready to crop a new image. Frank kindly guided me through the applications screens and noted where the background color pallete was accessible during the cropping process. The location of the pallete should have been recognized earlier but that was not the case. I was looking in all the wrong places like Preference settings and making the issue more complex than necessary.

I'd like to thank Frank for helping resolve this Dell XPS porting issue and providing insights about the PhotoScape X tools.


A Successful Brush Pile Burn

Sunday morning brought more learnings as part of the brush burning exercise. I went to the Raymond fire house at 9:00 PM but found no one there to issue a burning permit. The alternative is using the Maine online permitting process, which I did upon returning home. What a pleasant surprise to see that the website has been completely rebuilt. Gone is the permitting fee along with strict burning restrictions. There are three pages of information inputs and certifications to Maine outdoor burning regulations. Once agreeing to abide by those regulations, the permit is granted and downloaded without a fee.

After the permit was in hand, I proceeded to the burn pit and formulated a strategy to consume those difficult to burn stumps. Key was building a huge pile of hot coals in the middle of the burn pit and constantly pushing material from the edge of the pit into the center. Securing the center hot coals took five gallons of kerosene and the outdoor leaf blower. Once the center coals were established, I was able to push brush into the center with Johnny2 via the pit entrance and with the backhoe for the edges. After five hours of non-stop effort, the majority of the pine logs and various stumps had been consumed.

The following image was taken at 4:00 PM. At this point, the leaf blower had run out of fuel. If looking carefully, you will find that about 30% of the pit is open after pushing all the burnable materials towards the back section. Though it appears that there is still much material remaining, a portion will be gone come Monday morning after a slow overnight burn. What remains will be broken up by Johnny2's backhoe after the coals have been extinguished. The next burning event will eliminate the remaining stumps as another round of brush is piled into the pit. Notable is that the pit depth is becoming shallower with each burn. Ashes and residual dirt on the stumps is continually deposited at the bottom of the pit. Eventually, I will need to dig out the pit floor and move this material into an area that needs fill.



Noteworthy Offerings From an Anonymous Consignor

One would think that after burning brush and stumps for five hours, I would take the balance of the day off to relax. That was not the case on Sunday as Monday's Blog edition required a fresh consignment gallery. With the rate of arriving consignments for the 2nd CAC-Only auction and regular price list, I needed to line up a consignment for Blog marketing and Monday's price list posting. During the overnight, our anonymous consignor gave me the green light to price the consignment as I see fit. Come this afternoon, this lot will be loaded to the 30 Day Price List and ready to find new homes.

We open the display with a mighty fine 1834 O-105 Capped Bust half with attractive orange-gold toning. The images are 100% accurate as to the overall appearance. This is a consignor duplicate along with the balance of the offerings. The 1803 large cent exhibits excellent color and essentially unblemished surfaces. The 1821 JR-8 dime has ample amounts of frosted luster and is awaiting a price quote. The 1812 O-105 and 1829 O-108 Capped Bust halves are at the all important AU58 grade level. None of these lots have been submitted to CAC by the consignor or GFRC.

Noteworthy Offerings From an Anonymous Consignor

1834 O-105 PCGS MS63 50C

1803 Sm Date, Lg Fraction PCGS VF35 1C                                      1821 JR-8 Small Date PCGS AU55 10C


1812 O-105 PCGS AU58 50C                                                       1829 O-108 PCGS AU58 50C


1858 Sm Letters PCGS AU55 1C                      1860-O PCGS MS62 H10C                           1834 Lg 4 PCGS AU53 10C



Global Financial News

As Americans, we have become almost numb to the ongoing debt ceiling political fights between the two rival parties. However, this time around, we should note that time is truly running out for Washington politicians if the June 1 default deadline is factual and not yet another political move by the party in power. Reaching a negotiated resolution and drafting an acceptable bill takes time with June 1 approaching quickly. I suspect that the debt ceiling issue will become center stage in the financial media along with increasing equity market volatility in the coming few days.

Where do we positioned on a Monday morning as a baseline going into a potentially turbulent week? The S&P 500 stands at 4,192 with the 4,200 proving to be a point of strong overhead resistance. The U.S. dollar is solidly at the 103 level (DXY index) while spot gold is trading at $1980/oz. WTI crude pricing stands at $72/bbl. Key is that the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has increased to 3.69% which indicates a weakening demand environment for U.S. debt. With a debt ceiling drama underway, should we be surprised that demand for U.S. debt is softening?

Morning market futures are forecasting a flat U.S. equity market open in less than two hours.

In Asia, Japan +0.9%. Hong Kong +1.2%. China +0.4%. India +0.4%.

In Europe, at midday, London flat. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt -0.3%.

Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.1%. Nasdaq -0.2%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Though today's weather conditions are ideal for working outdoors, I will be in the office the entire day processing the many recent consignments and taking a ton of pictures. Before we know it, Summer Baltimore will arrive. At that point, the majority of the 2nd CAC-Only auctions lots must be published and ready for Len Augsburger's authoritative descriptions. The coming week is key for building the catalog and will be treated accordingly.

Please consider a purchase from the many quality coins on the GFRC price list as who knows which will be left after the Summer Baltimore show.

Thanks again for visiting the Daily Blog. Be well!




Sunday May 21, 2023

Old Time GFRC Office Productivity Returns

Burning the Brush Pile


2nd CAC-Only Auction - Gerry Fortin Reference Collection Dimes


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a wet Sunday morning. Your ongoing visits are cherished along with the many purchases and consignments.

Another day arrives with several must get items to work through before the day wraps up. Before going into the day's project details, let's shift attention to the past 24 hours in the GFRC office.


Old Time GFRC Office Productivity Returns

Saturday brought old time office productivity now that the Dell XPS is fully operational. As a starter, being able to work with two monitors simplifies data transfer between applications. Secondly, the ability to generate a COIN account report for a client while preparing email communication, in parallel, leads to faster correspondence turnaround times. When the cellphone rings with an order inquiry, I can promptly access the COIN system while not disturbing activities in another application.

Some of you might think I'm nuts for saying this, but if feels like a new laptop experiences a break in period and ultimately settles down to certain start-up and usage patterns. Actually, the break in period is a steep learning curve by the user. Once a series of application key strokes lead to a desired outcome, those key strokes become ingrained as the appropriate procedure for accomplishing a certain piece of work. Re-establishing a workable file structure on the laptop and One Drive also brings its challenges. I'm down to just two nagging issues to resolve, one of which is a file structure issue inside Dreamweaver along with the Photoshop X cropping background color that was mentioned yesterday. Neither is a show stopper but still an annoyance that slows productivity.

Much was accomplished yesterday including settling reserve prices for the Springfield and Wisconsin Gold auction lots. My contribution to the 2nd CAC-Only auction event was completed and will be showcased shortly. Those six wonderful Liberty Seated dimes have also been posted to the auction catalog. As of this morning, the catalog has 30 lots and is worth a visit. Believe me, many more awesome lots are waiting in the wings.

Sunshine will be paramount for moving forward as another long photography session is necessary to capture the many great coins that have already been delivered. The weather forecast looks favorable for that photography session on Monday and continued progress. The next substantial auction inclusion will be a Seated half dollar consignment from the Newtown Collection followed by a top notch submission by the White Pine Collection. We've not heard much from this early GFRC client of late, but believe me, this auction consignment is top of the ladder material that will garner much attention including 1839 dated quarter and half eagle gold pieces.


Burning the Brush Pile

Heavy overnight rains and Sunday morning clearing results in ideal conditions for another brush pile burning event. Come 9:00 AM, I will be at the Raymond firehouse securing a burning permit followed by loading up with five gallons of kerosene at a nearby gas station.

Following is an image taken of a full loaded burn pit. When this image was taken at 7:10 AM, there was still a thin amount of fog that had yet to burn off. Please remember that there is 4'-5' of brush and stumps inside the pit that is not readily apparent from the image. The burning event will take at least 4-5 hours. First priority is building a hot center coal area followed by using the Johnny2's backhoe to push the edge brush onto those hot center coals. Clearing out the burn pit is critical for the next round of tree clearing with Dave Wilkinson's excavator. I'm waiting on Dave to specify a two day period when he can return to the job site.


While taking pictures of the burn pile, I also photographed the forthcoming clover field that is starting to take shape. The many dug rocks have been moved to the boulder wall along with tearing up the soil in front of the rightmost apple tree. If looking closely, one will note that the apple tree is starting to flower.


2nd CAC-Only Auction - Gerry Fortin Reference Collection Dimes

The past few days have brought another visit to the safe in search of more CAC approved dimes from the reference collection. As time passes, I continue to hold back those pieces that have a special place in my heart. Eventually, all must be sold as is the case with these six new offerings. Please allow me to explain why this latest release is so difficult to part with and special.

First is a gem 1839-O F-105 dime graded PCGS MS64 with a green bean. This piece is perfectly original with classic frosted eye appeal and remains as the web-book plate coin. How I hate to part with this one after decades of ownership. Next in the display is a beautifully toned example of the 1856 Small Date F-108 with boldly doubled die obverse north. This piece must be in the condition census for the variety as I've not seen a finer example. Letting the 1875-S In Wreath dime go was also a difficult decision. The luster is amazing with full obverse and reverse die crack diagnostics. A doubled die reverse is the highlight of the 1888-S F-103 dime along with its colorful luster. Certainly, an 1891 dime graded MS64 is not a big deal right? Not so as this 1891 F-108 is a high grade example of the repunched date with double tail 9 digit. Lastly, I'm releasing a wonderful 1891-O F-128 example with multiple obverse die clashes. This piece is a near-gem with old time patina.

Reserves will be establish and posted during the coming week. Die variety collectors who seek to own the best should seriously consider these lots.

Gerry Fortin Reference Collection Dimes - Die Varieties Galore

                1839-O F-105 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C                                   1856 Small Date DDO F-110 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C


1875-S In Wreath F-102 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C                                       1888-S DDR F-103 PCGS MS63 CAC 10C       


1891 RPD F-108 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C                                            1891-O F-128 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C



Wrapping Up The Blog

Let's end today's ramblings at this point. I'm off to the shower followed by heading down to Raymond center for that all important burning permit and lots of kerosene. The firehouse staff will not grant the permit until exactly 9:00 AM even if the Maine fire danger map is updated earlier. Policies are policies, right? The plan is to start burning early when the ground is still wet and the northern winds are calm. By afternoon, the winds will increase to 10-15 mph which is typical for the top of Ledge Hill.

Thanks as always for visiting with me at the Daily Blog. Be well!




Saturday May 20, 2023

Friday Was a Good Day - Dell XPS Port is Complete

2nd CAC-Only Auction Consignments Continue to Pour In


CAC Stickering Update


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

My apology goes out for being in a not so pleasant mood on Friday morning. Thursday brought one of those days were most everything that could go wrong did. Let's just say that the ANA Worlds Fair of Money table selection situation pushed me over the edge. Unfortunately, I used the Daily Blog to vent frustration with how the ANA operates and subsequently removed a portion of the commentary. However, my points are still valid if checking the ANA bourse map and how the Ultra Premium space was allocated. Operating a smaller numismatic business with personal client support takes much time and can wear me out on occasions.


Friday Was a Good Day - Dell XPS Port is Complete

As the opening headline indicates, Friday brought a good day in the GFRC office along with finding time to work outdoors during the later afternoon. The day's primary goal was IT based, namely moving the GFRC office platform onto the Dell XPS. That port went well with the COIN database operations back to normal and Dreamweaver also behaving as it should. The only glitch is with Photoscape X and the image cropping step. On the Dell XPS, Photoscape X is inserting a black background after cropping instead of white. I've tried repeated times to change preferences for a white background without any luck with the software honoring my guidance. As a result, a new step must be introduced in the Paint Shop Pro Image processing process to change the black background to white. This is an annoyance until the root cause can be isolated.

On a positive note, I'm now operating with dual monitors again and the associated time efficiency gains that were lost since December 2022.

This IT migration has been months in the making as I slowly worked through and resolved the bugs that appeared when moving from a Dell Inspirion/Windows 10 configuration to the Dell XPS and Windows 11. Porting an entire office system brought a learning curve and new software discoveries. This is the life of a small business owner where many skills across multiple disciplines are required to successfully operate a online portal and business.


2nd CAC-Only Auction Consignments Continue to Pour In

Doug the Mailman arrived on Friday with seven packages since we had GFRC mail held on Thursday due to the well concealed trip to Boston that day. Each package contains mostly smaller consignments so the aggregate amount total about 25 lots. Immediately noted was the premium nature of the consignments as there are some awesome coins heading to the new auction.

Four important consignments are still forthcoming and will ship early next week. Notable is that one consignor is releasing 24 Liberty Seated halves which are entirely CAC approved along with much more U.S gold being transferred from two different individuals.

By the middle of next week, I will most likely close the 2nd CAC-Only auction consignment window early as there is more than enough inventory for a gang buster event.


CAC Stickering Update

Friday brought an email update from Michael Albanese at CAC. CAC will be closing the stickering portion of the business for a brief period to enable the staff to shift attention to the CAC Grading start-up. CAC will also be raising stickering fees to ensure that the stickering business does not conflict with the new grading service.

CAC will be closing stickering submissions for shipment postmarked after May 23rd and anticipates reopening that portion of the business in early June.

CAC is also developing its Grading service submission forms. CAC investors will be the first to issue submissions for the new CAC Grading platform at some point in June. Once CAC works through the investor submission and debugs their start-up operations, the service will be opened to existing CAC members.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Now that the IT port is behind me along with physical wellness checks and family visits, I can bring my undivided attention to the GFRC business during the coming week. You will note progress with 30 Day Price List additions and populating the 2nd CAC-Only online catalog.

Tomorrow will bring some overdue gallery displays to the Blog.

Thank you for being loyal readers and sharing the trials and tribulations of a small business owner who tries his best to do what is right for clients.




Friday May 19, 2023

Porting to the Dell XPS


Summer Baltimore - GRFC at Booth 730


Greetings from the Raymond office and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Friday morning.

Do you ever have one of those days where things just don't go to plan? Thursday brought moderate turbulence for what had been planned to be a smooth day. Let's continue with the story.

Firstly, the Blog readership probably noted that the Daily Blog was not published until after 9:30 AM. This was a result of a power outage that occurred at 7:30 AM. Here I was typing away when the line voltage dropped and we found ourselves without grid power. Off I went to the basement and out the back door to start the generator so Diane could brew her morning coffee. Alas, the basement door would not open due to a protruding screw head on the deadbolt face plate. I've used that door countless time, but the screw head has decided it was time to make its presence felt. A putty knife and a hammer resolved that matter and the generator was fired up.

Central Maine Power advised that the outage would be resolved at 9:30 AM, therefore taking a shower would be wise step towards saving time. Into the shower, i start lathering up with soap only to see the water flow begin to fade. Oh boy, as I quickly tried to remove all the soap with what was left of the shower stream. Now a power outage had become a water supply event. Once dried and dressed, I returned to the basement to check the well pump contact switch. Only one side of the switch was sparking when toggled. After a few minutes of contemplation, I realized that the generator power must be set to 120V as the well pump is wired for 240V. Returning to the generator confirmed the suspicion as there is a toggle switch between 120V and 120V/240V. When the generator was employed by Pete Theberge for the barn construction last summer, his staff must have moved the switch to 120V output mode. Changing the switch to 240V brought the well pump back online.

At 9:15 AM, power returned and the Blog was wrapped up followed by a second shower. Morning plans were shot at this point while early afternoon brought a drive to Boston to visit with the Yamatin family as Chikae's parents (Sungbo and Sarako) were visiting from Japan. Off we went to Boston with Diane driving (a very lucky decision). When approaching downtown Boston, the cellphone rings with a call from the ANA. The ANA was ahead of schedule for the Pittsburgh Worlds Fair of Money table selection process and wished to know if I was ready to make my table selection. I'll stop here to point out that I am NOT a fan of the ANA organization for multiple reasons and attend their shows out of necessity. "Logan" assumed that I was monitoring their table selection process and was ready to make a selection. The response was negative as I'm sitting in a car in downtown Boston traffic. Logan agreed that she would called back first thing on Friday morning per the committed schedule and the call ends. Knowing how the ANA operates its table selection process, I frantically use the cellphone to locate the ANA website and bourse selection map. To my disappointment, all tables in Ultra Premium were sold regardless of booking a corner table in that section. A call back to Logan results in, sorry, we were over booked and none are available. You must find a table in the Premium section with the ANA refunding the difference. The culprit was four large numismatic firms that took half of the Ultra Premium tables. I'm back on the cellphone searching for a table in the Premium section with all the best locations already booked. A decision was made to book Corner Booth 1326 with another call back to Logan. Honestly, the ANA table selection process is unpleasant (mildly stated) and I may not attend another ANA show just on principal.....

The balance of the day went smoothly as we hung out at a restaurant with Sungbo and Sarako while waiting for Matt to return home from his TMO day job. We last enjoyed Sungbo and Sarako's company four years ago during an Alaska family cruise.


Porting to the Dell XPS

I've not made mention in the Blog that Matt and I have been fighting COIN database issues of late, specifically problems with pivot tables and Excel macros not executing smoothly. Along with all else that took place on Thursday morning, the time had come to fire-up the Dell XPS to test out some theories for the Excel macros being problematic. Sure enough, the macros were operating just fine on the Dell XPS while not functioning on the old Dell Inspirion. The time has come to ditch the old Dell and convert the GFRC IT platform to the Dell XPS.

This task will be done this morning after the Daily Blog is uploaded from the old Dell computer. Wish me luck as I believe that all of the Dell XPS start-up bugs (and learning curve) have been resolved.


Summer Baltimore - GRFC at Booth 730

Yesterday also brought a booth confirmation email from the great Whitman Baltimore show staff. I'm pleased to report that GFRC will be located at its usual Summer show location immediately to the right of the entrance. Following is the bourse floor map and the GFRC location along the right wall. The summer show is obviously a smaller event as compared to the Winter and Spring shows based on the bourse map.

The GFRC booth is the equivalent of a double corner along the main aisle heading to the NGC and PCGS grading locations. Gerry, Diane, and Dan will be staffing the booth including GFRC Online Auctions lot viewing for the 2nd CAC-Only auction event that begins on June 24th. More will be discussed concerning the auction and the Summer Baltimore show in the coming weeks.


Global Financial News

Ongoing discussions of a forthcoming U.S. recession are not being substantiated by equity and commodity market indices. The S&P 500 climbed to a tad shy of 4,200 during Monday's trading while the U.S. dollar index has increased to 103.30. Spot gold is moving in the opposite direction to the U.S. dollar with a morning quote of $1967/oz.

WTI crude pricing is further validation of an upbeat prognosis as the black gold has increased to $73/bbl.

With indices pointing to a U.S economy that remains resilient, there is now discussion of yet another Federal Reserve interest rate hike at the next FOMC meeting. Seeking Alpha covers this subject as follows.

The chances of a rate hike at the Federal Reserve's June 13-14 meeting increased yesterday after Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan said she's not yet in favor of pausing rate increases, based on current data. The probability of a 25-basis point rate hike increased to 37.8% today from 10.7% a week ago, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. That would be the Fed's 11th straight rate hike. Fed Governor Philip Jefferson said a "considerable amount of data on economic activity" for April and May have yet to come in before a decision is made. He said he's considering monetary policy's "long and variable lags", uncertainty over tighter lending standards, GDP's slower growth, and the policy's muted effect on the labor market so far. Note that Fed Chair Jerome Powell, Fed Governor Michelle Bowman and New York Fed President John Williams are all slated to address separate events later today.

Morning market futures are pointing to flat market open at 9:30 AM.

In Asia, Japan +0.8%. Hong Kong -1.4%. China -0.4%. India +0.5%.

In Europe, at midday, London +0.4%. Paris +0.7%. Frankfurt +0.7%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.1%. NASDAQ flat.

Finally, the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has jumped to 3.65% as yet another indication that we probably will not see a Federal Reserve pause and completely forgetting about a "pivot". The key question is can the smaller regional banks continue to handle being under water on their longer term Treasury bond holdings along with pressure from the commercial real estate market?


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings a 100% probability that I will be in the GFRC office trying to catch up on invoices, email correspondence, and finalizing the Dell XPS system port. If these go smoothly, I will also be working on another round of auction lots for the upcoming 2nd CAC-Ony auction event.

Thanks, as always, for making the Daily Blog a regular online destination. Be well!




Thursday May 18, 2023

2nd CAC-Only Auction Catalog is Under Construction

A Marvelous Wisconsin Gold Consignment


Buying Back 1807 JR-1 Dime


Greetings on a cold southern Maine morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Life is good....

Bright sunshine and blue skies are readily evident from the office window though the outdoor temperature is a cold 30F to start the day. The overnight brought freeze warnings for those who decided to plant their gardens early. I remember as a child that my parents would never plant the garden until after Memorial Day for this exact reason. For starting seedlings, my father had constructed what were called "frames". Frames were elevated wood paneled boxes (typical 12"-16" tall) with an old full sized wood framed glass door. During the daytime, the door would be opened for natural light followed by being closed on cooler evenings to trap the heat inside the box frame. Tomato plants were a prime tenants inside the "frames" along with green peppers and even cucumbers. We must remember that the growing season in Maine is short, therefore adaptation was necessary.

Shifting to numismatics....

The second day of the tsunami consignment wave did materialize on Wednesday with another 40 or so coins arriving in multiple shipments. Outgoing was a lower priced 20 piece lot to GFRC-Lite in support of Rich's vigorous southern states show schedule. As usual, the GFRC office is a busy place with the pace of buying opportunities appearing to increase since being featured on Coin World's Most Influential People in Numismatic publication.

The month of May retail sales continue to be quite robust across all product lines. Of course, CAC approved coins along with Liberty Seated halves remain as the top sellers. GFRC's client base continues to expand which is thoroughly satisfying. There are times where I will purposely add a few inexpensive coins to the price list at wholesale levels to reward those who check the website every day. Those posting will typically result in multiple orders, within hours, as everyone loves to pick a fresh coin at a discounted price.


2nd CAC-Only Auction Catalog is Under Construction

Wednesday's primary goal was to update the GFRC Online Auctions website pages for the 2nd CAC-Only auction event. This was completed along with the Springfield Collection Seated quarters being posted as an auction anchor lot. Access to the latest GFRC auction catalog is as simple as clicking on the auction banner at the top of the Daily Blog. Whenever GFRC is conducting an auction, there will always be a banner at the top of the Blog for easy access.

The day wrapped up with preparation of a second shipping invoice for the next installment from Linda Chapman. Unfortunately, there was much to get done and no time to work outdoors.


A Marvelous Wisconsin Gold Consignment

Today's primary feature is a wonderful U.S. gold lot that arrived on Tuesday from the Wisconsin Gold Collection. The lot is a combination of CAC and non-CAC approved lots as featured next. The CAC approved pieces will be migrating to the 2nd CAC-Only auction catalog once quality ratings are determined and should appear before noon time today. Auction reserved and regular price list pricing will be proposed today for validation by the consignor. Once this task is completed, I will be posting the non-CAC coins to the price list.

A Marvelous Wisconsin Gold Consignment

CAC Approved to Auction, Non-CAC Approved to Price List

    1894 PCGS MS62 CAC G$10                                                     1910-S PCGS MS63 CAC G$10


  1896 PCGS MS64 CAC G$20                                                   1928 PCGS MS65+ CAC G$20C


 1878 PCGS MS64 G$2.5                             1906 PCGS MS64+ G$2.5                            1907 PCGS MS63 G$2.5


 1897 PCGS MS64 G$5                          1903-S PCGS MS64+ CAC G$5                        1904 PCGS MS64+ G$5


 1850 Lg Date PCGS AU55 CAC G$10                 1894-O PCGS MS62 CAC G$10      



GFRC is Buying Back 1807 JR-1 Dime

Yesterday brought a buyback request for a lovely 1807 JR-1 dime that was sold during January of this year. The client needs to raise cash for other uses and offered this piece back to GFRC. My offer price was fair and promptly accepted. Therefore this lot will be posting to the price list shortly. If interested, please send along an email inquiry. The prior listing and sale price is available in the Sales Archive. I do remember multiple requests for the coin when posted in January.

1807 JR-1 PCGS AU55 10C


Wrapping Up The Blog

Well, we had a power outage from 7:30 AM through 9:30 AM which is the basis for the late Blog edition. I need to move forward with another office day and will skip the Global Financial News segment.

Thanks for stopping by. Be well!





Wednesday May 17, 2023

The Consignment Tsunami Arrives


The Last of the New Orleans Collection Offerings


Greetings on a bright and pleasantly sunny Wednesday morning here in southern Maine. Welcome to another round of Daily Blog news and updates. I'm glad that you are staying current with GFRC events.

Tuesday brought a solid day in the GFRC office until 3:00 PM. Afterwards, the entire lawn was mowed along with removing the supporting 2"x4" for the solar array pole plus backfilling the foundation hole and trench with Johnny2. I also started spreading the 16 yard load of loam tailings behind and to the left of the barn before calling it a day at 5:30 PM.

In yesterday's Blog, I made mention of a consignment wave that would be appearing at the GFRC office. Well, Doug the Mailman came through and saved my credibility! Here is an image of the USPS and FedEx deliveries that appeared throughout the day. Frankly, this is the largest one day consignment tally that GFRC has enjoyed since inception back in 2014. Let's walk through the image for absorbing the magnitude of these collections and lots.

Starting from the left and moving right, the first two double row slabbed boxes contain the Palos Verdes Liberty Seated Dime collection along with some duplicate Seated halves that total 130 pieces. The next box contains the first installment of the forthcoming Bart Chapman Memorial Auction Sale. This shipment was a training exercise for Linda, Bart's widow, with all going smoothly. This double row box contains only a small fraction of the entire Chapman collection. Next, and nicely arranged by Diane, is a PCGS blue box that houses a top end Wisconsin Gold Collection lot for the upcoming 2nd CAC-Only auction sale along with price list items. The last PCGS blue box, on the right, contains a fresh Capped Bust half dollar and other early type duplicates consignments from an individuals who continues to remain anonymous. This lot will be posted the price list.


As substantial as these lots appeared to be, we are expecting more shipments to be delivered during the balance of the week and well into next week. Most of these incremental deliveries will be targeted for the 2nd CAC-Only auction along with the next Bart Chapman collection shipment. When the deliveries are completed, the consignment backlog will rise to well over 350 coins which enables three GFRC Online Auctions events and a steady flow of coins for the 30 Day Price List. For readers who have not been keeping track, the auctions sales will be as follows;

- 2nd CAC-Only Auction Sale - June 24

- Bart Chapman Memorial Auction Sale - Timeframe TBA

- Palos Verdes Liberty Seated Dime Collection Sale - Timeframe TBA

As mentioned to Diane yesterday, GFRC will have sufficient consignment inventory to last us well into August or beyond. This is certainly exciting with the Summer Whitman Baltimore show arriving in just three weeks followed by the ANA World's Fair of Money show in early August.


The Last of the New Orleans Collection Offerings

As a new consignment tsunami crashes upon the GFRC shores, it is critical that the current consigned backlog is cleared out. The lower priced portion of this backlog will be transferred to GFRC-Lite and/or quickly processed here in the Raymond office.

I'm pleased to report that the last of the New Orleans Collection offerings have been entirely processed and will be posted to the price list today. Following are four of the five remaining Barber lots with prices as marked. If in the market for a strictly original 1905-O Micro O dime, GFRC has just posted two examples to the price list at different price points. Did you know that the Micro O is actually an erroneously placed Barber quarter mintmark on a Barber dime reverse die? Yes, the quarter mintmark is smaller than the regular dime mintmark as an important piece of numismatic trivia.

The Last of the New Orleans Collection Offerings

Priced as Marked

1905-O Micro O PCGS AU53 10C - $1250                                      1905-O Micro O PCGS VF25 10C - $300


1896-O PCGS MS64 25C - $3150                                                   1898-O PCGS VF30 25C - $250



Global Financial News

The key financial parameters that I continue to watch are pointing to a moderately strong U.S. economy with inflationary pressure continuing to be with us through 2023. The U.S. dollar continues to rally with the DXY Index approaching 103. As expected, spot gold has moved in the opposite direction with a morning quote of $1989. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has also increased to 3.52%.

Investors are not pleased with this potential outlook as the S&P 500 has lost ground to 4,110 on Tuesday. Bitcoin also continues its slow pull back to $26,850. WTI crude is selling at $71/bbl.

Morning market futures are slightly optimistic but that could change quickly as the retail sector will be reporting earnings during the balance of the week.

In Asia, Japan +0.8%. Hong Kong -2.1%. China -0.2%. India -0.6%.

In Europe, at midday, London flat. Paris -0.2%. Frankfurt +0.3%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.3%. NASDAQ +0.2%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Diane and I have been diligently keeping up with the shipping queue which allows us to idle that business function today. Instead, I plan to use the extra two hours of office time to reconfigure the GFRC Online Auction pages for the upcoming 2nd CAC-Only auction event and post the Springfield Collection lots in the online catalog.

Surely, this is enough news for a Blog edition and I hope that you've enjoyed the visit. Be well!




Tuesday May 16, 2023

Signs of Our Time - Tales From An Annual Physical Exam


2nd CAC-Only Auction - A Consignment Tsunami is Approaching


Greetings on a Tuesday morning and welcome to another round of morning ramblings. I'm pleased that you could stop by at the Daily Blog.


Signs of Our Time - Tales From An Annual Physical Exam

The well known and debatable saying that life imitates art came to mind when experiencing yesterday's annual physical visit. The Windham trip started well with a visit to the Tractor Supply Company for securing some protective leg chaps for the upcoming chain saw work as Dave and I clear another section of trees in the back acreage. Visiting TSC is always enjoyable given a wide tool selection along with farming supplies. Unfortunately, they do not stock clover seed and advised that this purchase must be ordered online for pickup at the store. I walked out of TSC with chaps, a 25' DeWalt measuring tape for the barn, and some star bits for disassembling the support 2"x4" for the solar array pole. Life is good at this point.

The next stop is Maine Health Clinic and a 2:00 PM annual physical. Upon arriving to the building, I found the access doors locked and a large sign indicating that one must ring a buzzer to gain entrance. Wow, is this a medical clinic or a NYC gold shop? I found the button and a voice responded with a check of my name and validated my appointment. At that point, an attendant came to the front door to allow me inside. I soon learned that the building was locked due to fears of a disgruntle patient returning to cause trouble. Next came the pre-visit screening and several questionnaire pages designed to ferret out depression and alcoholism. The fun of shopping at TSC was promptly dampened for sure! After a half hour lobby wait and watching for a lone gunman, I was escorted to the examining room. A young woman arrives with a piece of plastic and an imprinted circle. My task was to draw a clock face with the arms pointing at 2:30 while remembering three words. Frankly, I was taken back by the request and soon realized that someone at 67 years is now considered as a candidate for mental decline. Until that exercise, the thought had not crossed by mind as I'm too busy to even consider this possibility. Next came the request to be examined by an intern before finally sitting down with my regular doctor. The intern appears and asks many questions including those for depression. Hey, I am not depressed! He then checks my heart and lungs and indicates that I have a heart murmur that was news to me. He suggests that I should secure a heart sonogram to verify his findings. OMG, please bring in Dr. Fitzsimmons so I can talk to an experienced doctor at this point rather than being the subject of data collection exercises or the quarry of an inexperienced medical student. The intern leaves and 15 minutes later, Melanie appears. She is a sweetheart of a doctor and the most popular on the staff. The appointment starts in earnest and yes, I do not have a heart murmur..... You will be pleased to know that I'm perfectly fine other than overused fingers due to the demands of the GFRC business.

My take away from this medical appointment is that one must take control of one's health, view doctors as consultants, and always be skeptical of the provided medical guidance. The intern was obviously inexperienced and could have set off fears for a more trusting patient. The locked entrance spoke volumes about the state of mental health (social media induced) and growing risks of individuals playing out their abnormal behavioral fantasies.

Now on to numismatics...


2nd CAC-Only Auction - A Consignment Tsunami is Approaching

There are times when I'm surprised with the size of the Daily Blog readership as is the case for the 2nd CAC-Only Auction. Yesterday brought yet more consignment offers from new individuals and those who have not purchased a coin from GFRC for several years. Collectors are coming out of the woodwork to participate. This is a great problem to have but becoming a tad overwhelming. If this consignment pace continues, it will be necessary to close the consignment window by early next week. Notable was an email from Oregon Beaver, who is traveling in Morocco. He wishes to participate and will send yet another consignment upon his U.S. return.

The next few days will bring a host of CAC shipments and the associated workload. Today is my final day for loading lower priced coins to the 30 Day Price List before I'm hit with a consignment tsunami. Yes, life is good with no time for depression.

As the consignments arrive, I will do my best to execute quick photography and posting those galleries within the Blog. After today's Blog is uploaded, I will be rummaging through the remaining CAC approved Seated dimes in my reference collection and will be deciding which pieces to add to the auction. These will be the best of the best and those that I loathe releasing.


Global Financial News

The Durham report has been finally released and is quite damning for the FBI and DOJ. But does anyone care at this point? As a citizenry, have we given up the belief that Lady Justice remains blind and is not controlled by political parties? If the Durham report is conveniently filed away and ignored by the mainstream media, then there is cause for being depressed with where our country is heading.

Now that this is off my chest, let's look at today's financial news.

U.S. equities continue to range bound. The S&P 500 was up fractionally on Monday to 4,136. The beat up regional banking sector is seeing some buying action per this Seeking Alpha article.

Regional bank stocks got some rare love on Monday as traders gave some confidence to a sector that has been under pressure since March. PacWest rose 18% after falling 21% last week, while other regionals like Zions Bancorporation and Comerica were among the biggest gainers in the S&P 500. Some pressure may be dissipating as market participants shift their focus towards the debt ceiling debate, while a new 13F filing showed that Michael Burry took stakes in bank stocks like PacWest and First Republic. Former Silicon Valley Bank CEO Greg Becker will also apologize before the Senate Banking Committee later today, but will reiterate that any bank could not have "survived a run of that velocity and magnitude."

Spot gold is holding steady at $2014/oz while the U.S. dollar is trading essentially flat at 102.3. WTI crude is down to $71/bbl. Bitcoin is losing some ground and quoting at $27,070. The 10 Year U.S Treasury bond yield is also in a tight trading range with a quote of 3.47%.

Morning market futures indicate mild weakness once the market opens.

In Asia, Japan +0.7%. Hong Kong flat. China -0.6%. India -0.7%.

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

Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.3%. S&P -0.2%. NASDAQ flat.


Wrapping Up The Blog

How I wish that today's edition features some coin images. The lack of coin images should be resolved starting with tomorrow's Blog.

The 8:00 AM publishing time is quickly approaching and best to wrap up here. I will be in the office for most of the day and attempting to load as many new purchases and lower priced consignments to the price list as possible. Come tomorrow, the emphasis will shift to unpacking the 2nd CAC-Only auction consignments along with COIN database insertion and photography.

Thanks again for visiting with me at the Blog. Be well!




Monday May 15, 2023

2nd CAC-Only Auction Event - The Springfield Seated Quarters


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a lovely Monday morning. Life in southern Maine is priceless this time of year. Thanks for stopping by.

Today's Blog commentary will be brief as Matt and I are debugging an Excel pivot table issue in the COIN database. The pivot tables are the reporting mechanism of the COIN system where key business information is calculated every time a new sale is recorded or ditto for a check or trading desk payment. These pivot tables comprise the business "dashboard" which allows me to constantly monitor all GFRC operating parameters. Unfortunately, the pivot tables are sensitive to any subtle and unintended changes that might occur which is the current case. Since not being well versed on pivot table construction and maintenance, I must rely on Matt Yamatin for consulting when I inadvertently break a calculation. All should be back to normal come tomorrow morning based on Matt last feedback.

I'm sure you were not expecting Excel pivot table commentary first thing on a Monday morning. However, this is my life operating GFRC. This sole proprietor business operates like a small corporation in terms of strategies. The IT challenge, however, is ongoing as we are employing a customized Excel database that can easily expand the business into new areas (GFRC Online Auctions for example) rather than a piece of vendor software that prevents user mistakes but is incredibly inflexible.

Mother's Day was yet another busy day with a delightful ending. Immediately after the Blog was uploaded and morning email correspondence was wrapped up, I was off to Home Depot along with grocery shopping. After unloading groceries, the Springfield Seated quarters were photographed. Immediately after lunch, the next two hours were spent spraying four gallons of ant killer and two gallons of Roundup throughout the property. Yes, I was fully covered including using an N95 mask. Afterwards, Springfield image processing began until it was time for an early lobster roll and seafood chowder dinner in Raymond. Upon returning to the homestead, I worked until 8:30 PM preparing today's Springfield auction gallery.

Several of you have sent email comments on how I can accomplish two days of work in a single day. Those observations are correct. As mentioned on numerous occasions, my years in the semiconductor industry along with researching Liberty Seated dime die varieties, during evenings, brought about a structured lifestyle whereby multiple tasks are planned and executed each day. This type of lifestyle takes discipline similar to the eating discipline that now has me at 200 lbs. This approach to life can be seen as atypical for many readers but suits me just fine.

Shifting gears.... here is another brief but thought provoking Seth Godin blogpost that explains what happens to the psyche of a coin collector turned coin dealer. Those expensive key dates, that were the subject of awe as a collector, become routine inventory when operating as a dealer. Godin's analogy can apply to many other facets of life.

Seth Godin Blogpost - The good china

Once you use your plates every day, they cease to be the good china.

Of course, the plates didn’t change. Your story did. The way you treat them did.

The same goes for the red carpet. If you roll it out for every visitor or every customer, it ceases to be red.


2nd CAC-Only Auction Event - The Springfield Seated Quarters

I am thoroughly pleased to be presenting the catalyst that brought about an profoundly quick 2nd CAC-Only auction event. I know that the Springfield Collection Seated quarters would be special. Upon their arrival, I quickly glanced at the coins. However, when photographing and executing image processing yesterday, the importance of this consignment became readily apparent.

This Springfield Collection consignment is irrefutable fresh given that most are housed in PCGS Gen 4.4 (2005-2011) holders with sequential serial numbers. The majority of these quarters have been in a bank box for over 15 years and are finally being released back into the marketplace. We open the gallery with a jaw-dropping 1847-O Briggs 1-A quarter that should blow away the CAC price guide numbers. The toning and surfaces are immaculate along with one heck of a pleasing strike for the date. I could write commentary for each of the lots but time does not allow. Rather, I'm certain that Len Augsburger will enjoy himself when preparing his eloquent auction lot descriptions.

In the meantime, you are invited to click on each image to view the normal high resolution versions. Those in the community, that are passionate about Seated quarters, should start saving their auction monies, or quickly send me duplicates to sell towards raising capital. The Springfield Seated quarters will undoubtedly realized record prices and justifiably so!

Please remember that the Springfield Seated quarters and all other lots in the 2nd CAC-Only auction event will be available for auction lot previewing at the Summer Baltimore show. The GFRC table location should be announced shortly by the Whitman staff.

2nd CAC-Only Auction Event - The Springfield Seated Quarters

1847-O Briggs 1-A PCGS AU58 CAC 25C

1841-O DDO Briggs 2-C PCGS MS62 CAC 25C                                 1843-O Briggs 1-C PCGS EF45 CAC 25C


1857-O Briggs 3-B PCGS AU58 CAC 25C                                       1866 Motto PCGS MS62 CAC 25C     


1870 Briggs 1-A PCGS MS62 CAC 25C                                    1884 Briggs 1-A PCGS MS62 CAC 25C


 1840-O Drap PCGS EF45 CAC 25C              1848 Br 2-B PCGS AU53 CAC 25C                    1854 PCGS AU58 CAC 25C       


         1856 PCGS MS62 CAC 25C                           1857 PCGS MS63 CAC 25C                     1861 II/II PCGS MS63 CAC 25C       


   1875-S PCGS AU58 CAC 25C                         1883 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                         1889 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C       



Global Financial News

Another trading week arrives with the S&P 500 at 4,124 as a reference point. Spot gold is quoting at $2016/oz while the U.S. dollar stands at 102.5 (DXY Index) after trading as high as 102.7 overnight. The US dollar and spot gold correlation continues to hold.

WTI crude oil is priced at $70.50/bbl. The recent drop in crude oil prices has stabilize the pain at the gas pump. Yesterday's diesel fuel purchase, here in Maine, was done at $4.39/gallon and a reprieve from last year's nearly $6.00 price tag.

The U.S. debt ceiling logjam will become more evident in the coming days as the financial media loves drama and raising investor fears. Let's hope that there are adults in the room that can find compromise in the upcoming two weeks.

Morning market futures are slightly positive.

In Asia, Japan +0.8%. Hong Kong +1.8%. China +1.2%. India +0.5%.

In Europe, at midday, London +0.5%. Paris +0.4%. Frankfurt +0.3%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.3%. NASDAQ +0.3%.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is quoting at 3.49%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

It is Monday morning which means a substantial amount of shipping is queued for processing. Diane and I will be in the shipping department for most of the morning. Afterwards, I have my annual physical exam which is anti-climatic at this point. The balance of the day will bring attention to lower priced consignments that must get posted to the price list before the 2nd CAC-Only consignment wave arrives to the office.

My thanks go out to everyone who takes the time to visit the GFRC website every day. Be well!




Sunday May 14, 2023

Announcing 2nd CAC-Only Auction Event - June 24, 2023


Southern Maine Foliage Has Arrived!


Greetings on a gorgeous southern Maine morning and welcome to a Sunday edition of the Daily Blog. I'm glad that you could stop by.

I'm in a particularly great mood as another new day unfolds. The view outside of the office window is motivating as the flowering plums have turned a scarlet red while background maples and oaks are mostly leafed out. Interestingly, I've not seen a chipmunk in the past three week with only a single red squirrel sighting. The Maine chickadees are having a grand old time flocking throughout the landscaping.

Contributing to the elevated mood is the fact that the Top 100 Seated Dime Varieties input into the CAC Grading database was finalized last evening and has been emailed to John Feigenbaum. Completing this project was a relief and allows me to return to the GFRC business and loading incremental lots onto the 30 Day Price List.

Also adding to this morning's sense of well being is the announcement of the 2nd CAC-Only auction event. Yesterday's phone and email consignment commitments were staggering. More on this topic shortly.

Dave Wilkinson came by on Saturday afternoon with his large "wheeler" truck and a 16 yard load of loam tailings. What are loam tailings you might ask? Commercially prepared loam is currently sifted through a large screen with the smaller loam pieces falling through. Rocks and small roots remain on the screen and are discarded as an unwanted by product of the process. I've learned, through Dave, that this unwanted material is an excellent source of inexpensive fill and compacts well. Dave's loam tailing load was dumped behind the barn and will be used to raise the ground level between the solar array pole and the boulder retaining wall before the final layer of weed mat and 1.5" stone is applied.

While Dave was here, we discussed several near term projects including digging out the oak tree stump, once I drop that dual trunk tree, and extending the boulder wall behind the barn. We will also begin clearing the trees and brush on the opposite side of the barn to improve the coast horizon view along with attempt to expose a substantial settlers stone wall that is presently hidden from sight. What can be accomplished with Dave's excavator and Gerry on the chain saw in two days, would take me weeks of effort on a solo basis with Johnny2.

Saturday's outdoor work wrapped up with transporting gravel and 1.5" stone to the southern trail towards fixing some washed out segments. The trail segment that runs to the pond is still too soft and wet for Johnny2's presence. It will take another week of drying before the tractor can access the pond area without rutting the trail.


Announcing 2nd CAC-Only Auction Event - June 24, 2023

It is official! I am thrilled to announce that the 2nd CAC-Only auction sale will take place starting on June 24 and closing on the evening of July 1.

Saturday brought a wave of consignment commitments with the auction lot total standing at 85 coins. Before the dust settles, I have a feeling that we will hit 100 lots. The sale will feature a wonderful balance of Liberty Seated dimes, quarters and halves along with a noteworthy assemblage of U.S. gold from three consignors. Following are consignment highlights including those that materialized in the past 48 hours.

- Springfield Collection - Seated Quarters

- Newtwon and Saw Mill Run Collections - Seated Halves

- Gerry Fortin Reference Collection - Seated Dimes

- Wisconsin Gold, Lizard King, and White Pine Collections - U.S. Gold

Much of the 2nd CAC-Only auction event lots will be at the four figure level and a compelling opportunity for the community to upgrade their existing collections.

GFRC Online Auctions will conduct an auction lot previewing event at the Summer Baltimore show on June 8 through 10. Diane will be joining Dan and I behind the GFRC table and will be in charge of the preview activities. Len Augsburger has committed to write descriptions for the entire auction catalog.

The coming 10 days will bring a host of consignment shipments to the office followed by photography and insourcing into the COIN database. It is truly amazing and gratifying on how quickly this auction event came together. More auction news will be forthcoming along with gallery displays. Please keep checking on a daily basis to remain current on the auction lot roll out.


Southern Maine Foliage Has Arrived!

The middle of May is upon us with the trees at roughly 85% of their leaves now on display. The mighty oaks are always the last to complete the spring leafing process as can seen with the dual trunk oak behind the barn. This image was taken at 6:45 AM and captures the view from the homestead back deck. This view will continue to be enhanced as improvement projects are executed throughout the summer and fall months.


Wrapping Up The Blog

I'm off this morning to Home Depot for ant spray, chain saw bar oil, and diesel fuel for Johnny2. Afterwards, I will be working in the GFRC office with the top priority being the photography of the Springfield Collection's Liberty Seated quarter lot. If time allows, I hope to get to some lower priced consignment images and hopefully posting these lots to the 30 Day Price List.

Much has transpired in just a few days with a sincere thank-you to every community member who promptly enabled the 2nd CAC-Only auction sale. Be well!




Saturday May 13, 2023

Amazing Community Response - 2nd CAC-Only Auction on the Horizon


Preparing Barn Solar Power and Deer Food Plot


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a wonderful Saturday morning. Thank you as always for making this online portal a daily viewing destination.

I'm energized this morning due to multiple factors. First is the impressive response by the community towards enabling a second CAC-Only auction in the near term. Second is that I spent all of Friday afternoon working outdoors. We will cover both topics in today's edition.

But first, let's listen to Seth Godin and his perspective on a typical strategy or basis for hiding from continuous learning and innovation. Many find comfort with a daily routine at the expense of exploring new opportunities that could provide increased physical well being or knowledge expansion. I'll let Godin take it from here...

Seth Godin Blog - Chores

They’re essential. The house begins to stink if we don’t take out the garbage.

But at work, while they might be essential, they may not be important. At least, not important enough for us to spend a lot of focus on.

Chores are:

The bills have to get paid. But they might not have to be paid by you.

Entrepreneurs, artists and freelancers often spend a lot of time on chores. We justify this because outsourcing chores to others costs money, and in this moment, money is tight.

But that’s not the real story.

The truth is that if we stop doing chores, we have to do real work instead. The things that aren’t repeatable or proven. The things that are emotionally difficult, creatively challenging or simply requiring exploration and guts to pursue. If we succeed at this work, there will be plenty of money to pay to get the chores done.

Doing chores cheerfully and with skill is a fine hobby. But it might not be what you need to do right now.


Amazing Community Response - 2nd CAC-Only Auction on the Horizon

The power of the GFRC community become readily apparent Friday starting at 9:00 AM. Once community members visited the Daily Blog and learned of the Springfield Collection consignment and the possibility of a second CAC-Only auction, a fair number of you jumped into action. By the end of day, nine of you had offered to consigned coins for a June CAC-Only auction event. The commitments totaled 19 coins in a single day. As of this morning, the consignment tally stands at 36 coins against a goal of 60 lots. I have some new purchases in the shipping loop along with potential Liberty Seated dimes from my reference collection that amount to another 10 pieces. This brings the tally to 46 coins.

Based on the community response, GFRC will move forward with a second CAC-Only auction towards the end of June. However, I'm still in need of another 15 or so lots towards the 60 coins threshold. For those who have yet to make a consignment commitment, might you look through your numismatic inventory and consider a slight amount of pruning? Please remember that pruning the least desirable coins raises capital for the acquisition of even better pieces. Unless a coin is seen as a gem that is indispensable, even CAC approved coins can grow out of favor and need to be recycled into increasing more pleasing assets. Yes, CAC coins are financial assets while providing numismatic pleasure and should be viewed accordingly.

Can the community find another 15 coins to contribute to a second CAC-Only auction? Sure you can. Please keep checking the Daily Blog for more updates on this topic. In the meantime, I will be working those individuals for shipping their existing commitments. Many thanks to those that have stepped forward!


Preparing Barn Solar Power and Deer Food Plot

Friday brought a great weather day for working outdoors. By 10:30 AM, I was down in the barn conducting important Johnny2 maintenance. All fittings on the front loader and the backhoe were located and greased prior to another busy usage day. Wheel bolts along with the front axle bolts were checked to ensure that none had become loose after 135 hours of operation. By noon time, Maine Solar Solutions arrived for installing the solar array ground mount and running conduit into the barn.

Water becomes an imperative for mixing cement for the pole mount foundation. This is where Johnny2 became important as I hauled water from the homestead to the job site via a large trash can resting in the front loader. It took two trips to provide sufficient water to complete the cement foundation. The solar mounting pole is roughly 7' tall and will be supporting a 15' x 8' quad Qcell 480w array that is rated at 1920 watt/hours during peak sunshine. Following is an image of Phil and Sean mixing cement. Phil is the system designer while Sean is a certified electrician.


This next image captures the pole mount and conduit entrance in the barn after Maine Solar left the job site. The image also illustrates the sloping grade between the barn and the boulder retaining wall. The solar array mount has been positioned to facilitate Johnny2 access to the retaining wall. The barn shadow will not impact the array until 5:00 PM. Please note the double trunk oak that is immediately behind the barn. This tree must be cut down in the coming week prior to my planting a clover food plot for the local deer and wild turkey population.


Raymond has a reputation for its glacial rock deposits and this image certainly makes that point. Rocks are an abundant resource that must be constantly dealt with when clearing land. Note the larger rocks that were dug up by Johnny2's backhoe in the area below the barn retaining wall. I will use the grapple implement to pick up each of these large rocks and add to the wall. Afterwards. the cleared land will be disturbed with an aerator implement prior to spreading clover seed. Clover is the ideal food for deer and turkeys while being low maintenance and fairly drought resistant. If a SHTF event ever occurs, clover is also an alternative food source for humans.


Wrapping Up The Blog

As much as I would love to spend another day working outdoors, today brings a GFRC office day. There is much shipping to accomplish this morning followed by completing the CAC Grading database for the Seated Dime Top 100 Varieties. Come Mother's Day, the area around the homestead must be sprayed for ants as those pests have already started to appear inside our home. There are some chores that are inescapable....

I hope that you've enjoyed today's edition. Thanks again for being part of the GFRC community. Be well!




Friday May 12, 2023

Special Announcement - Springfield Collection CAC-Only Seated Quarters


CAC Grading - Top 100 Seated Dime Varieties Status


Greetings on a lovely southern Maine morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Today brings yet another busy day so let's get right to the important stuff as Maine Solar Solutions arrives in a few hours.


Special Announcement - Springfield Collection CAC-Only Seated Quarters

When operating GFRC, the consignment or new purchase landscape came be quite unpredictable. Case in point is the last week when I was approached by the Palos Verdes Collection to handle his Liberty Seated dime set. By the way, that collection ships to the office early next week. Yesterday brought yet another consignment surprise when opening the email Inbox. The email was entitled "Thinning the Herd" and was issued by the Springfield Collection. For those of you with a long memory, the Springfield Collection's primary focus was Liberty Seated quarters in the past. His "thinning the herd" email was again focused on the same series and is quite timely as GFRC inventory surely needs an influx of premium quality Seated quarters. Most important is the fact that all lots are CAC approved. Here is a breakdown of the forthcoming consignment with many great dates and grades.

1840- O WD PCGS EF45, 1841-O PCGS MS62, 1843-O PCGS EF45, 1847-O PCGS AU58, 1848 PCGS AU53, 1854 PCGS AU58, 1856 PCGS MS62, 1857 PCGS MS62, 1857-O PCGS AU58, 1861 PCGS MS63, 1866 PCGS MS62, 1870 PCGS MS62, 1875-S PCGS AU58, 1883 PCGS AU55, 1884 PCGS MS62, 1889 PCGS AU55, 1890 PCGS AU50

In the past, publishing this type of list would have brought a wave of First Right of Refusal emails. However, with the GFRC Online Auctions platform, those days are gone.

Let me get right to the point! This Springfield lot is an ideal anchor collection for another CAC-Only auction event. This lot will also be arriving to the office early next week.

Does it make sense to offer a second CAC-Only auction immediately after closing the debut event? Looking into my reference collection boxes, there are some remaining (and significant) CAC approved Liberty Seated dimes that could be added to such an event.

Here is the question to the community. Would you be interested in consigning coins for a second CAC-Only auction that would take place in June? If so, please along an email with your ideas or proposed lots. Proposals can be silver early type or U.S. gold. I'm targeting a 50-60 lot auction and need at least another 30 coins to make the event preparations and marketing worthwhile.

You might be asking about the Bart Chapman Memorial Auction scheduling. At this point, I am not certain when those coins will be shipped along with the collection containing 144 coins, many of which are lower priced. The preparation lead time for this auction will be protracted. This fact along with the unknown shipping dates leads me to believe that a July auction time frame may be in the cards. Therefore, this is a window of opportunity in June for a smaller CAC-Only event.

Again, if there are CAC approved duplicates that you might wish to convert to cash in the near term, a GFRC CAC-Only auction event is one of the best opportunities to secure market demand pricing upside while enjoying GFRC's low commission rates.


CAC Grading - Top 100 Seated Dime Varieties Status

Much of Thursday was dedicated to working with John Feigenbaum and adding the Liberty Seated Dime Top 100 Varieties to the CAC Grading database.

When working with another firm's database, the key is understanding the database structure and the inclusion of content into the appropriate Excel columns. To debug the effort, the first fifteen Top 100 Varieties were loaded followed by submitting the effort to John for a quick assessment. This step was indeed prudent as I had not properly interpreted John's instructions. He kindly repositioned my inputs into the correct columns and returned the spreadsheet with his changes nicely highlighted. Let's remember that this definition process is serious as one of the columns contains the text that will be printed on the CAC Grading holder label.

Once the input process was debugged, the data loading process continued into the early evening with 50% of the varieties loaded. The balance will be wrapped up during the coming weekend and ready for submission on Monday morning.

I will be happy to have this project behind me to enable a return to loading more coins to the 30 Day Price List.


GFRC Needs an Inventory Boost: Can You Help?

Regardless of economic uncertainties, the U.S. numismatic market remains vibrant with the PCGS Price Guide once again raising prices for many denominations. In particular, Liberty Seated coinage and U.S. gold are hot with CAC approved items leading the way for pricing increases.

GFRC is once again shipping substantial volumes after an eerily quiet month of February. Each day brings renewed demand across all product lines. The key to success is a robust inventory and this is where I need your help. I'm in a consignment insourcing and buying mood to prepare for the upcoming Summer Baltimore show followed by the ANA World's Fair of Money event that is being held in Pittsburgh this year. Dan and I will be driving to the show and will have a corner table in the Ultra Premium section of the bourse.

Securing top end inventory is paramount and I would love to hear your thought on those unloved coins that are quietly resting in a bank box. If your coins are lower prices, then Rich Hundertmark and GFRC-Lite would gladly handle these.


Global Financial News

Those of us who are watching the U.S. dollar can gain thoughtful insights into the direction of the U.S. economy. For all the talk of a pending recession in the financial media, the U.S. dollar does not appear to be alignment. Overnight, the DXY Index jumped to 102.2 as the dollar is rallying. The impact on spot gold prices was immediate as the yellow precious metal is back down to the $2007 level.

In the banking sector, PacWest has been called out in today's Seeking Alpha commentary. It appears that PacWest is struggling and could be the next regional bank to require Federal regulator control. Here is that commentary.

There are renewed concerns about regional banks following a heavy selloff on Thursday. PacWest continued to plunge after pledging more collateral to allow for additional borrowing under the Fed's discount window, while disclosing that it lost 9.5% of its total deposits last week. "These recent events, and the ongoing news coverage of these events, has increased certain risks and uncertainties related to our business and future prospects," PacWest wrote in a filing. While some have expressed optimism that the worst of the banking crisis is over, others have been contemplating the risks that remain, and if stress in the sector will spill over into the broader economy.

The S&P 500 starts the day at 4,130 after fractional losses on Thursday. Morning market futures are pointing to some buying optimism and a 0.4% gain at the opening bell.

In Asia, Japan +0.9%. Hong Kong -0.6%. China -1.1%. India +0.2%.

In Europe, at midday, London +0.4%. Paris +0.9%. Frankfurt +0.5%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.4%. S&P +0.4%. NASDAQ +0.3%.

WTI crude is trading at $71/bbl while Bitcoin has dropped to $26,388. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has also receded a tad to 3.41%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

It is Friday which means a break from the daily shipping routine. This is timely as Diane is heading off to a Theriault family breakfast meeting in Lewiston and Gerry will be heading to the barn once Maine Solar Solutions arrives at 10:00 AM. There will be images posted of the work within Saturday's Blog edition.

There is little else to share at this point, rather I need a quick shower followed by responding to overnight orders and other correspondence.

Again, please consider my plea for incremental lots for a second CAC-Only event. The positive feedback for the debut was substantial with requests that this auction service be made ongoing. With the Daily Blog readership at the 600+ level, surely there must be at least 30-40 CAC coins that could be offered by the community to facilitate another CAC-Only event. Please understand that I am not too keen on recycling CAC coins from the price list back into an auction. My goal is to offer fresh coins at each auction event.

Thank-you for checking and absorbing the latest GFRC happenings along with homestead projects. Be well.



Thursday May 11, 2023

Digging in the Dirt


Here Come the CAC Grading Emails


Greetings on a Thursday morning and welcome to more Daily Blog ramblings. The ongoing community patronage is greatly appreciated.

Another busy day begins at the homestead as Anderson Windows staff arrives at 9:00 AM to remove our original atrium three panel door/windows followed by installing a modern replacement. The furniture has been moved for the construction work and we are set to go.

Winning bidders for the CAC-Only Sale will be pleased to know that Diane and I have already shipped 85% of the lots with more entering the USPS system today. In reality, we are releasing nearly all the won lots ahead of payment except for first time bidders and several in to the lay-a-way box. The GFRC community has become close knit and deserve this type of service. If I have yet to ship your lots, it is probably due to not hearing back from winning bidders on payment being mailed. That simple response is also a courtesy back to GFRC and validates that the successful bidder will be home to take receipt. There is nothing worse than conducting a Quick Ship only to learn that the addressee is on vacation and not able to take receipt.

Today's Blog edition will cover two topics. First is the barn's solar array installation project and the second is CAC Grading and the various emails that arrived yesterday. So let's get started.


Digging in the Dirt

Johnny2 came out to play on Wednesday and for good reason. Maine Solar Solutions had requested a 3' diameter hole that was between 3" to 4" deep for pouring the solar array pole foundation. Connecting that hole to the barn was an 18" deep trench for running conduit.

Before digging, the first step was deciding the exact placement of the solar array with respect to the barn and stone retaining wall. The array is far from tiny as one sees with the portable or foldable solar panels that generate much less power. The Fortin solar array will be 15' wide and 8' tall, an impressive structure that required careful planning for shading and facilitating access to the back of the barn landscape. Once the location was marked, it was time to dig some dirt. Here are the images that were taken part way during the digging process. These will certainly not win any photography awards, but should convey what I was up to. Luck was on my side as I did not hit ledge or a substantial rock during the one hour digging task.


Here Come the CAC Grading Emails

Returning to numismatics and the CAC Grading topic...

Several emails appeared with questions and what if situations with respect to CAC Grading philosophies. Since I'm only one of many investors and not a full time CAC grader, it is probably wise to not go down a path of responding to specific questions in the Blog. Here is what I will say in terms of my expectations.

First let's remember that the premise for CAC Grading is a service that provides the same differentiation of premium and accurate graded coins as does today's CAC review and stickering process. Let's not over think how CAC Grading will handle submissions. Today's CAC review operates with two fundamental principals, namely

- Approved coins have natural or "original" surfaces

- The submitted coin is accurately graded in its current TPG holder.

Once internalizing these two principals, it is quite straightforward to anticipate how CAC Grading handles raw submissions. If a submitted coin does not exhibit strictly original surfaces, I expect CAC to reject the coin. Yes, for those in the audience that have yet to learn the appearance of strict originality, there may be a host of rejected coins simply for that reason. If surfaces are a reason for not stickering a coin at CAC, then the same applies to a raw coin submitted for grading.

If a coin is deemed original, then determining the numerical grade comes next. John Albanese has indicated that the staff will be using grading sets and will be required to refresh their grading criteria by periodic reviews of those sets. John understands the risks of gradeflation to his brand and must firmly hold to standards. I expect CAC Grading to be conservative and not employing net grading.

In summary, a coin that passes muster at CAC Grading is equivalent to a green stickered coin in either a PCGS or NGC holder. My expectations are that a single price guide will be valid for either CAC approved or CAC Grading coins. Again, let's not over think this situation as an academic exercise, rather allowing CAC Grading to demonstrate how they will handle raw submissions and cross overs.

There will always be those in the hobby that seek to exploit a grading service for their personal gains. Careful enhancements or repairs that fool graders have been an ongoing issue for years. Then there is the crack out and upgrade strategy employed by those with a keen eye. CAC Grading must be stricter than the commercial TPGs if it is to be successful in supporting its brand. Eventually, I believe that some collectors will take their reject CAC Grading coins back to the other TPGs for another attempt against a lower standard that has been in place for decades.


Global Financial News

Yesterday's CPI report was close to expectations which resulted in bullish sentiment for the day as the S&P 500 closed at 4,138. Spot gold jumped to nearly $2050/oz after the announcement but quickly settled back to $2035 where we find it this morning. Here is the Seeking Alpha perspective on the CPI report.

Stocks mostly gained yesterday after April's CPI data, which showed the pace of inflation rising 4.9% Y/Y, a hair under the +5.0% expected, and slightly easing from the March increase of 5.0%. Core inflation also eased slightly, while cooling in the super-core CPI, comprised of core services excluding shelter, may have further encouraged market participants. "It was a decent report, but nothing to write home about. The recent (demand-related) decline in commodity prices helped tremendously," said SA analyst Leo Nelissen. "Although we have passed the peak of inflation and are experiencing disinflation, the momentum of the decline is losing steam. As a result, the Fed has a justification for pausing its hikes, as investors had already predicted due to the ongoing economic weakness."

Following are the usual morning market futures for your enjoyment. Today's market open will see some light buying in the high tech sector.

In Asia, Japan flat. Hong Kong -0.1%. China -0.3%. India -0.1%.

In Europe, at midday, London +0.1%. Paris +0.6%. Frankfurt +0.1%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow flat. S&P +0.2%. NASDAQ +0.3%.

WTI crude is trading at an even $73/bbl while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has moved down to 3.42%. The U.S. dollar index is nearly at 102 (DXY).

Bitcoin has softened to $27,484.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Other than the morning shipping, today's attention moves to the creation of the Top 100 Liberty Seated Dime Varieties in the CAC Grading database. This commitment needs to get done in the near term.

Fresh consignments will start arriving next week along with more information concerning the forthcoming GFRC Online Auctions schedule.

Thanks again for visiting with me at the Daily Blog. Be well.




Wednesday May 10, 2023

Barn Solar Installation Starts on Friday

GFRC Collectors Corner Update is Online


CAC Grading June 2023 Soft Open


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Wednesday morning. Another pleasant southern Maine day is upon us. Thank you for visiting.

The month of May is always a catch-up period for the Fortins, upon returning from Florida, with 2023 being particularly busy. After last week's colonoscopy, this week brought dental cleaning followed by an annual physical early next week. So far, this 67 year old is a fine health and looking forward to the summer and fall homestead projects while continuing to operate GFRC.


Barn Solar Installation Starts on Friday

Speaking of homestead projects, Maine Solar Solutions has confirmed that they will be on site this Friday to pour the concrete foundation for the solar array mounting fixture along with running conduit into the barn. Here is an image of how the four Qcell 480w panels will be installed on the poll with an adjustable angle bracket. Johnny 2 will be busy this afternoon digging a 3' circular foundation hole that will be 3-4' deep along with a conduit trench. Let's pray that I don't hit a large boulder in the digging process. Images will be taken for tomorrow's Blog.

With 90% efficiency at peak noon sunshine, this array will generate 1700 watts per hour as compared to the storage batteries rated at 8000 watts. On a good day, the storage capacity can be nearly recharged, but then again 8000 watts is excessive just for barn lighting, door opener, and upstairs exhaust fan. One of my first priorities is adding a water dispenser/cooler inside the barn for proper hydration on those hot summer days.


Tomorrow brings Anderson Windows to the homestead to replace our 37 year old atrium windows and door that lead to the back deck. The Fortins are certainly looking forward to this homestead update.


GFRC Collectors Corner Update is Online

It took a little longer than expected, but all the unsold CAC-Only auction lots have been posted to Collectors Corner. If having time on your hands, you might visit the GFRC offerings at the Collectors Corner marketplace via this link. I'm quite proud of the 39 positive feedbacks and the current 760 lots being offered. Collectors Corner is one of the most cost efficient marketing opportunities in the numismatic business. An annual presence is less than half the cost of a full page Coin World advertisement in their monthly magazine.


CAC Grading June 2023 Soft Open

One of the benefits of being a CAC Grading investor is the ability to participate in their June 1 soft opening that will be limited to only the founding members. This is a wise step by John Albanese and the CAC Grading operations team. Bringing up a production operation takes careful planning and procedural documentation. The start-up phase will undoubtedly bring a few surprises and difficulties before the full scale operation is debugged. Investors will be the first clients to submit during the debug phase.

GFRC is planning it submission for one simple reason. As a notable CAC supporter, it is paramount that GFRC obtain CAC Grading holdered coins as early stocking inventory. I will be going through the balance of my raw Liberty Seated dime reference collection towards finding "gradeable" examples for the initial submission.


GFRC is Open for Incremental Consignments

I'd like to remind the community that GFRC is actively seeking consignments for the upcoming Summer Baltimore show (June 8-10) and the ANA World's Fair of Money show in early August. GFRC will not be attending Summer FUN this year as I cannot justify four days of driving to/from Orlando for a smaller sized summer event.

The ideal consignments for the GFRC platform include Liberty Seated, Bust, and U.S. gold along with other 19th century denominations. I am working closely with Bart Chapman's widow for the transfer of his collection and establishing the next GFRC Online Auctions event in late June. Your consignments could be added to that auction event. So please email me with your thoughts and/or proposals. I'm open to a several piece duplicates consignment or an entire collection. For consignments that are consistently priced under $250 per coin, I will gladly refer you to Rich Hundertmark and the GFRC-Lite subsidiary.


Global Financial News

Today brings the April 2023 CPI report at 8:30 AM. The CPI report is broken down into many subcategories, but the two main ones components are headline CPI and core CPI. The headline number is the main inflation gauge. Core CPI excludes volatile food and energy prices, and is considered to be a better predictor of future inflation. The data are expressed as percent changes, and are measured both month-to-month and year-over-year. The experts are forecasting 5.2% headline CPI and 5.6% for core CPI as a reference.

U.S. equity markets were fractionally down on Monday while morning market futures are similar. Traders are awaiting the CPI reports before taking new positions. Following are market futures.

In Asia, Japan -0.4%. Hong Kong -0.5%. China -1.2%. India +0.3%.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.2%. Frankfurt -0.3%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.2%. NASDAQ -0.2%.

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil has dropped to $72.79 per barrel while spot gold is trading at $2037/oz. Bitcoin is flat at $27,608.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield stands at an even 3.5%. The U.S. Dollar has strengthen slightly at 101.75 which is consistent with the 10 Year T-Bond yield. Frankly, gold is holding up incredibly well with trading above the $2000/oz mark for the longest period in its history.

Is Tucker Carlson working with Elon Musk to relaunch his show on Twitter? This Seeking Alpha article is indicating this possibility.

Industry rivals are watching as Twitter continues to take steps toward becoming an "everything app." Elon Musk has revealed that new features like "voice and video chat" will be coming to the service, as well as encrypted direct messages, bringing the platform in line with other social media offerings like Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook. In a quest towards becoming a super app, Twitter recently inked a partnership with eToro that'll let users trade stocks and crypto, though the bigger fish range from payments and shopping to financial services and entertainment. Speaking of the latter, ousted Fox News host Tucker Carlson just announced he would relaunch his show on Twitter, which will help boost the platform's content creator community via subscription revenue and advertising. 


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings yet another office day until about 3:00 PM. Much of the remaining CAC-Only auction lot shipments will be packaged and moved into the USPS system today along with writing consignment checks and responding to overnight orders. Between 3:00 to 5:00 PM, I will be on Johnny2 digging the solar array foundation hole and conduit trench and not responding to phone calls.

Let's end the Blog at this point to enable a quick shower and immediately priming the pump for the shipping department. Thanks again for stopping by. Be well!




Tuesday May 9, 2023

Seth Godin's AI Warning

Another GFRC Consignor Proceeds Milestone


GFRC Online Auctions - Palos Verdes Liberty Seated Dime Collection Sale


Greetings on a Tuesday morning and welcome to another bout of daily ramblings. What would I do with myself at 6:00 AM, if not for the Daily Blog? Thanks for visiting.

Some days, there are potential topics floating in my head while others bring a blank sheet of paper. Today is a hybrid with two substantial announcement and not much else.

Well, it is Seth Godin to the rescue on a topic that is garnering much interest of late. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the latest clickbait topic for the news media. There is ChatGPT and other versions of AI, including Microsoft Bing's new search AI, that are popping up. I've tested the Microsoft Bing version and not surprised by the results. Rather than taking personal time to search the internet for specific information, Bing will do the searching for you and provide a response as it interprets your question. There is speculation of AI generated images and videos in the not so distant future. At some point, the average person will have an even heavier challenge of sorting truth vs. manufactured information, and even worse, the deceptive product of scammers. Just imagine the impact of AI on children and young adults who see the Internet as their primary mode of information, entertainment, and communications. They have no basis for separating fact from manipulations.

Let's open today's Blog with an important warning from Seth Godin on this topic.

Seth Godin Blog - What comes after trust?

Walk into a bank with a stocking on your head and you’re probably going to get arrested.

Civil society as we know it is dependent on identity and responsibility. A person does something and owns the consequences. This requirement of identity leads to the dynamic of the free market that we call trust.

Even companies, which aren’t people but lately have been given many of their privileges, occasionally have to pay the price for abusing our trust.

But what happens when the email, the essay, the voice, the interactions–aren’t from a person, but from a swarm of bots? Is that really Donny Osmond singing us Happy Birthday or a clever AI construction?

When the internet began to chip away at our interpersonal relationships, we relied on brand names or clues to figure out what was real. We invented captchas and filters to figure out who or what was truthworthy.

A certain kind of trust is no longer useful. Selfish hustlers are going to be one of the first big winners in the AI race, abusing systems that were built on traditional ideas of identity and responsibility.

Then what?

This is a fine moment to start taking the question seriously.


Another GFRC Consignor Proceeds Milestone

Thanks to a strong CAC-Only auction event along with regular consignments sales, the GFRC Consignor Proceeds tally has easily crossed through the $13,000,000 mark. As of this morning the number is $13,051,094 as reported at the top of the Consign link.

Let's remember that this number captures the total amount of monies returned to consignors as their coins are marketed and sold by GFRC. The retail value of all those sales is roughly $14,500,000 and a reflection of the seriousness by which I take client support.

Though GFRC cannot operationally compete with the top tier auction houses, I believe that the current sales platform is well designed to support the average collector and a specialized market niche.


GFRC Online Auctions - Palos Verdes Liberty Seated Dime Collection Sale

It gives me great pleasure to announce that GFRC Online Auctions will be working with the Palos Verdes consignor towards selling his Liberty Seated Dime collection.

The collection is ideal for the GFRC auction platform as the entire set has been constructed at the high AU grade level for the majority of dates along with the key dates being at the VF-EF range. Yes, the big four Carson City dimes are well represented in the set. More information will be forthcoming once the collection is shipped to the GFRC office and I've had a chance to carefully examine the set.


Global Financial News

U.S. equity markets were down marginally on Monday as the debt ceiling debate rages in Washington DC. One has to ask the question on when the national debt will become economically destructive. Sadly, we will learn the answer to that question when it happens at some point in the futures. In the meantime, excessive government spending for political purposes leads to inflation and takes the form of an onerous tax on those who can least afford it. Reports of U.S citizen employing debt for purchasing groceries should be a clear indication that trouble awaits in the not so distant future. Instead Janet Yellen continues to warn that the debt ceiling must be raised to avoid a default, or lowering of the U.S credit rating.

The U.S. dollar's strength (or weakness) has become my go to metric for correlation with spot gold and the 10 year bond yield. These three parameters are closely tied as of late and a powerful barometer for the fate of the U.S. economy for the balance of 2023. An investor can pretty much ignore all the financial news and simply watch these three numbers.

For what it is worth, Seeking Alpha has announced that the NASDAQ has moved into bull market territory. Following are morning market futures for a Tuesday. It appears that equities will be under selling pressure during the opening hour of trading.

In Asia, Japan +1%. Hong Kong -2.1%. China -1.1%. India flat.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.4%. Paris -0.8%. Frankfurt -0.2%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.3%. S&P -0.4%. NASDAQ -0.4%. Crude -1% to $72.46. Gold +0.2% to $2036.40. Bitcoin -1.1% to $27,646.
Ten-year Treasury Yield -3 bps to 3.49%

Bitcoin has pulled back to $27,646 while spot gold is trading at $2036/oz. WTI crude is about flat at $72.56/bbl. The 10 Year bond is priced at 3.49% while the U.S. dollar index is at 101.50.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Shipping, shipping, and more shipping is the main event on a Tuesday along with a teeth cleaning appointment. There is little else to say at this point.

Thank you for checking in. Be well!




Monday May 8, 2023

Buried with Post CAC-Only Auction Admin

GFRC is Proud to be CAC Grading Founder


GFRC-Lite Midlands, SC Show Report


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog as published on a lovely southern Maine spring morning. The sky is crystal clear blue and so inviting for outdoor activities. Thanks for checking in.

Buried is the operative word to describe the GFRC homestead office as the morning's Blog is composed. The following image should provide an explanation as to why Diane and I did not complete the CAC-Only auction invoicing process on Sunday. We managed to get about 90% of the invoices done and submitted to winning bidders before calling it a day and grilling a scallops dinner.

The invoicing task may appear to be straightforward but in reality, with GFRC service flexibility, it becomes multi-dimensional. Let me explain. First is the consignment and Trading Desk credit program that intersects with auction purchases. Every consignor, who has some credit balance on the books, wishes to see that credit applied to the auction invoice. If I forget to include, it is guaranteed that I will be reminded and required to reissue the invoice which I loathe. Reworks are wasted time. Second are those clients who bought coins in advanced of the auction finale and requested that their price list purchases be merged with auction winnings to save on shipping costs. I hope that the overall complexity can be understood when creating about 40 invoices. Every invoice must be accurate while capturing special instructions. Then... Some clients requested buyout consideration for their unsold lots or wish to trade in some coins. The scope of managing the incoming email requests while generating error proof invoices is quite challenging.


Yes, Diane has filed the outgoing shipments in alphabetical order! We will begin the shipping process today but the majority of Quick Ship packages will be outgoing on Tuesday and Wednesday since Diane has a Florida HOA board meeting at 11:00 AM and I'm still generating invoices this morning.


GFRC is Proud to be a CAC Grading Founder

I'm pleased to formally announce that GFRC is one of the CAC Grading founders. I've held back this announcement as quite keen on maintaining confidentiality after years in the semiconductor industry. Trade secrets in the computer chip industry were consider life or death for smaller firms. Therefore, I've held back sharing this information in the Blog until today.

Below in the full page CAC Grading advertisement within Coin World's Most Influential People in Numismatics magazine that accompanied their regular May 2023 monthly magazine issue. 31 of the top 100 influencers are CAC Grading investors as illustrated next. When John Albanese called during the fall of 2022 with the opportunity to become a CAC Grading founder, I was immediately all in. There is insufficient time to discuss my respect for John and what he has brought to the numismatic hobby as a PCGS and NGC founder along with saving the industry from TPG gradeflation by launching CAC.

My belief is that CAC Grading will be wildly successful for many reasons. Once the public is allowed to start submitting grading submissions, I believe that the CAC Grading staff will be buried. Everyone is sick and tired of excessive PCGS grading lead times along with NGC attempting to forge a 10 point grading scale and their "green" premium coin labels. These grading firms have been absorbed by corporate America and are no longer hobby centric. This is why John Albanese and CAC Grading will be successful as long as the operations and quality control aspects of the new business are robust.


GFRC-Lite Midlands, SC Show Report

Launching GFRC-Lite with Rich Hundertmark during 2022 was another GFRC innovation that is beginning to gain traction in our hobby. Rich is committed to the smaller show circuit within the east coast southern states. This past weekend, GFRC-Lite was at the expanding Midlands SC show. Rich sent along the following report.

Hi Gerry,

Wow, for a coin show, the Midlands, SC event was certainly a cool even to attend.

First, I’d like to thank the Midlands coin club for the outstanding event they hosted. The Embassy Suites ballroom facility was top notch, the club bourse well organized with good security presence, and the club members welcoming with good old southern hospitality.

This was the first time the Midlands event expanded to two days, with a new location and now doubling in size to over 60 tables. Most dealers were located in SC and Georgia. GFRC-Lite, hailing from the great state of North Carolina was given a prime table location and warmly welcomed by club President Will Gragg, bourse chair Mike Smith, and everyone else working the club table and bourse. Morning coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts were provided both days along with sub sandwiches on Friday for lunch. For Saturday, the club took Chick-fil-A lunch orders, all very much appreciated!!

So how did the show go? Well as far as Lite sales are concerned, both days were strong, but quite different, a tale of two cities, so to speak.

Friday sales saw higher priced items sold, and more targeted buying, with all purchased coins being certified. Saturday had more bourse traffic, more parents and young numismatists (great to see), this resulting in more, but lower priced sales, and a good mix of raw and certified.

I would also have to say that the etiquette of the show attendees was off the charts good. Customers knew their stuff and selling negotiations were straightforward, (with one notable exception that I’ll get to in a moment).

Gerry mentioned in the Saturday blog that I’ve taken the next step in buying for both the Lite and GFRC business. I was well prepared for this task after working the bourse for GFRC at major shows, Gerry provided much mentoring and latitude in refining this skill, the end result being that I’m now quite confident in how to conduct dealer to dealer bourse buying for quality coins that fit the GFRC and GFRC-Lite inventory profiles

Let’s conclude with that one exception and retrospectively funny story as to “how not to conduct business”. 

I was approached by a young man that was clearly starting out in his vest pocket coin dealer journey. He asked me if I wanted to look at his box as he had good coins. “OK”, said I, and soon noted that the box was full of high grade Morgans, most of which were CAC stickered. The first thing I saw was that the coins had no price, I advised that in the future please sticker the coins and let the buyer know if prices are firm, negotiable, etc.

Next, when I started to inquire on prices, the young man would pull back coins and say, “oh that’s not for sale, I’m keeping that”. Finally I was quoted a price, and when I came back to buy after reviewing everything, the coin was also pulled back, with “oh I can’t sell it at that price”.  Clearly no money exchanged hands on that one!!! Oh, and to end this story, the young man thanked me on the advice I gave concerning his stickered coins. How can I get upset???

OK, that’s a show wrap. The next event for GFRC-Lite is in about a month at the big 3+ day Raleigh show. In the meantime, I’ll be posting the new purchases and many new consignments to the Lite website. 



Global Financial News

The S&P 500 starts the trading week at 4,136 after a strong Friday rally resulting from an optimistic non-farm jobs report that exceed analysts expectation but was not high enough to scare investors on the Federal Reserve interest rate front. This report was a Goldilocks event that appeared to satisfy everyone. The U.S. Dollar strengthen on the jobs report but gave back those gains by the end of day. Spot gold also dropped a tad and is currently trading at the $2030/oz level.

Following is the usual Seeking Alpha morning market futures that indicate a relatively flat opening at 9:30 AM.

In Asia, Japan -0.7%. Hong Kong +1.2%. China +1.8%. India +1.2%.

In Europe, at midday, London closed. Paris +0.2%. Frankfurt +0.1%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq flat. 

WTI crude continues its price recovery and is quoting at $73.30/bbl. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is relatively flat at 3.47%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

I promise that the last of the CAC-Only auction invoices will be issued today along with attempting to ship at least 5 to 10 packages. As for all the other email requests, it will be on a best effort to get to these. Attempting to trade coins with GFRC during this hectic period will lead to protracted responses. Please be aware that Diane and Gerry can only do so much in a day's time while maintaining transactional accuracy.

Thanks for stopping by at the Blog. Be well!




Sunday May 7, 2023

CAC-Only Auction - A Strong Closing Session


Greetings on a comfortable early morning here in southern Maine. It is the day after yet another GFRC Online Auctions event. Thank you for stopping by.

I hope that the community enjoyed the debut of a CAC centric auction. Already, one of GFRC's regular suppliers has inquired as to when the next iteration will be scheduled. Let's just say that I'm quietly working on a potential opportunity. More will be known by June.

In the meantime, attention will shift to the construction of the Bart Chapman Memorial Auction. Later this week, I will start to share the forthcoming contents in the hope that others will send in a few supporting consignments. For those who are new to GFRC, the Upstate New York Collection has been the branding name for Bart Chapman who began engaging with GFRC during 2015. Bart passed away recently after a multi-year battle with cancer. During his final year on earth, I made a promise that his coins would be properly marketed and sold in support of his widow. Sadly, this is the fourth GFRC client that has passed since launching the business in early 2014.

Back at the homestead, the week long rain has turned the back acreage trails into mud and standing water. On Saturday afternoon, I took Johnny2 down the southern trail with a load of 1.5" stone for what I believed was a passable area that needed a little shoring up. The amount of encountered water made me drop those plans. It will take several days for that portion of the trail to dry out sufficiently for further accessing with Johnny2. Instead, I spent time building another large burn pile with brush from last summer's tree clearing project behind the barn to facilitate a solar power solution



CAC-Only Auction - A Strong Closing Session

The debut CAC-Only auction is now in the history books and was a learning opportunity. The Saturday evening finale was active but not to the level of several prior auctions. The final bidding hour was best described as orderly with very little sniping. Let's review the final statistics.

- 74 of the 140 lots found new homes which is a 53% sell through rate. Some of the lot reserves were set high along with limited interest for high grade 20th century type and the Black Point Barber halves.

- The final bid tally was close to $147,000 after two bidding adjustments. This compares to an initial reserve total that was pegged at $280,000. Frankly, I'm fine with this outcome as the unsold lots will be heading directly into GFRC inventory and will be published on Collectors Corner. If these lots are not sold online by the end of May, they will be available at the Summer Baltimore show which take place during the first full week of June. An infusion of 66 CAC approved lots into inventory is a great thing!

- Several lots experienced intense bidding and brought notable winning bids. Following is a gallery that illustrates those lots. What do this lots have in common? Eye appeal and low CAC populations. Collectors are willing to pay substantial premiums for the best of the best even in circulated grades.

1839-C PCGS VF30 CAC G$2.5 - Realized $9900 vs. $6900 CAC Guide

1853-O PCGS EF40 CAC 10C - Realized $775 vs. $351 Guide     1875-CC BW PCGS AU58 CAC 10C - Realized $1333 vs. $468 Guide


1875-CC BW PCGS AU55 Gold CAC 10C - Realized $1000        1841-O PCGS AU58 CAC 10C - Realized $950 vs. $546 Guide


1860-S PCGS AU55 CAC 50C - Realized $1975 vs. $998 Guide     1867-S PCGS EF40 CAC 10C - Realized $650 vs. $312 Guide



This sale also offered two duplicates from my core Liberty Seated Dime collection after upgrades via the Bender Family auctions by Heritage. The 1870 dime sold for strong monies while the 1872 dime was not appreciated for it low CAC population.

1870 F-105 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C - Realized $2300                1872 F-102 PCGS MS65 CAC 10C - Unsold at $2750



Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings a GFRC office day regardless of the fantastic spring weather. The initial step is to capture the winning bids and bidder information within the COIN database. Once that is accomplished and doubled checked for accuracy, the invoice generation process will be initiated. Invoices will be issued to all winning bidders via email prior to the end of day. Once bidders have their invoices, the unsold lots move to the 30 Day Price List followed by Collectors Corner posting come Monday or Tuesday.

A sincere thanks goes out to everyone who bid in the debut CAC-Only auction sale. This event was an experiment with many lot contributions from the community. I'm certain that winning bidders will be pleased with their acquisitions upon arrival.

Be well!



Saturday May 6, 2023

CAC-Only Auction - The Finale Arrives!


A Call for New Consignments!


Greetings on a beautiful sunny early morning in southern Maine. I'm pleased with your visit. Thank you!

Finally, the weather has turned to spring sunshine and birds frolicking outside the office window. Other than a single chipmunk kill about three weeks ago, those pesky rodents have yet to appear allowing the birds to reign. You can bet that I'm heading outdoors with Johnny2 at some point today to start repairing washed out areas in the back acreage trails.

Yesterday's colonoscopy procedure went smoothly and essentially was a lunch time nap. The staff at Maine Medical in Portland were pleasant and so professional. As they say for this type of health check, the prep is much worse than the procedure. For those in the community who have not subscribed to such proactive wellness activities, please don't delay and take action. There is only one person responsible for one's health. That person is in the mirror each morning....

By the way, GFRC-Lite (Rich Hundertmark) is attending the Midlands, SC coin show this weekend and has reported initial strong sales and buying as of yesterday evening. Rich Hundertmark has taken the next step with the franchised business and is now buying for GFRC and GFRC-Lite. Monday will bring a show report.

Since not having much prepared content, let's jump to the homestead and an image taken last evening of the coastal foliage at 6:00 PM. Though the first week in May is coming to a close, the landscape is just beginning to exhibit early leaf bloom. Most evident are the barren oak tree induced shadow streaks on the lawn. Let's remember this image as an early 2023 baseline as continued progress will be made with the stone pathway and ground clearing. Hidden by the trees to the left of the main trail stone path is a fantastic settler's stone wall that will be eventually uncovered and brought to view. The barn's solar panels and electrification are due to arrive in less than three weeks.


CAC-Only Auction - The Finale Arrives!

Friday's CAC-Only auction bidding was on the quiet side and there is no need to report stats. Today brings the long awaited finale at 9:00 PM where we will learn who gets to take home the many premium lots. I've said my peace at this point without need to conduct another marketing session. The balance of the auction is up to you.

I've not heard back from Matt Yamatin on the bid confirmation email matter and will continue to manually send bid confirmations from my account throughout the day. During the afternoon hours, I will be working on trail repair and will catch-up bid confirmations once back in the homestead. Come 7:00 PM, I will be sitting in the GFRC Online Auction control room and issuing bid confirmation as fast as the bids arrive. After 8:50 PM, the bidding rate increases to a level that even my vantage point will suffer delays. If you are planning to only bid in the last 10 minutes of the auction, then please keep careful track of your bids as I will not be able to issue confirmation emails. With a 140 lot auction, the bidding pace will slow down the system response time.

At this point, I would like to wish everyone good luck in securing your favorite lots.

Sunday morning's Blog will present an auction summary and bidding highlights. The balance of the day will be allocated to updating the COIN database with auction results followed by issuing invoices.


A Call for New Consignments!

After a busy month of April and moving into early May, the GFRC consignment backlog is beginning to grow thin. Next week brings the development of the Top 100 Liberty Seated Dime Varieties database update for CAC Grading. Afterwards, I will be prepared to start insourcing a fresh consignment wave if community members wish to utilize my services. Let's remember that the Summer Baltimore show arrives June 8 - 10 and an opportunity to have your duplicates showcased at this event. Afterwards, GFRC will be attending the ANA World's Fair of Money show in Pittsburgh during early August.

The GFRC Online Auctions platform is planning for the Bart Chapman Memorial Auction at some point in late June or early July. The event would be ideal for those who wish to sell via the auction route rather than the regular price list.

Finally, I'm also open to the outright purchase of collections if the lot price points are consistent with GFRC's current price list offerings. It is becoming well known that GFRC is a strong and fair buyer for coins that are consistent with existing product lines.

If you would like to shift collecting goals or simply raise some numismatic liquidity, please consider working with GFRC and its personalized service approach.


Wrapping Up The Blog

So ends today's ramblings. I'm heading to the shower followed by a morning in the shipping department. Yesterday brought robust sales for the premium lots that were featured in an expansive gallery. Many of those lots will be Quick Shipped today as we need to clear these orders out before the CAC-Only auction lots arrive into the shipping queue on Sunday.

As always, your patronage at the Daily Blog, the price lists, and the auction platform is sincerely appreciated. Be well!




Friday May 5, 2023

CAC-Only Auction - An Assessment with Final Bidding On Saturday


GFRC New Purchases Gallery - Premium Offerings to Consider


Greetings as always and welcome to the Daily Blog on the first Friday in May 2023. I'm glad that you could stop by.

Finally, southern Maine weather arrives at a transition moment. A few more showers are in the forecast for today followed by a substantial clearing trend that brings a full week of sunny conditions. Don't get me wrong as rain is key in rural areas for filling the water table and providing ample well water. But too much rain leaves the ground soft for Johnny2, who wishes to come out to play.

For most of the country, spring is already upon us with trees fully dressed with their new leaves. In Maine, we are about 20% of the way towards enjoying a robust green landscape. The coming week brings a dramatic transition.

Speaking of transitions, our lives also undergo changes from one state to another, though on a longer period that the annual seasons. Just as those of us in four season environments learn how to prepare for the next season, Seth Godin reminds us that the same hold true when humans decide to embark on a life changing transition. Let's hear him out.

Seth Godin Blog - On to the next thing

Vitally important, rarely taught, easily messed up.

In order to go onto the next thing, which we all do (unless you’re still wearing pajamas with feet and taking ballet lessons), we need to walk away from the last thing.

Wrap it up, learn from it, leave it in good hands.

And we also need to have an idea of what the next thing is. But if we spend too much time focusing on the next thing, we’ll neglect the thing we’re currently doing, to ill effect.

Trapeze artists spend all of their time focusing on transitions, as they’re a matter of life and death.

If we begin by acknowledging that there’s going to be a next thing, perhaps we can learn to develop the skills and focus we need to get there.


CAC-Only Auction - An Assessment with Final Bidding On Saturday

The final contemplation day brought a reasonable amount of bidding for our soon to be closed CAC-Only auction event. Eight bids were gladly registered on Thursday after a sleepy Tuesday and Wednesday. Now that the contemplation period is behind us, the excitement returns as the community becomes serious about securing some awesome numismatic items for their collections.

A quick morning tally indicates that 64 lots have found new homes thus far. The sell through rate stands at 46%. A bid summation brings a tally of $121,000 against reserves of $280,000. Progress is being realized as the fireworks will arrive on Saturday.

As I scan the auction catalog, there are still many unloved lots that would thrill a new owner. Yes, I'm in the enviable position of being able to see each coin in hand and under a bright light. The stunning pieces are quite obvious to me. How do I share my insights concerning the finest lots in this auction? All I can do is to continue to repeat myself in the Blog and stress that certain lots are absolutely gorgeous and would be excellent long term tenants in a box of 20 collection.

Here are several unattached lots that deserve to be taken home by a knowledgeable collector.

Guaranteed to Brighten a Box of 20 Collection

            1869 NGC MS65 CAC 3CN                                                   1866 Motto PCGS PR64CAM CAC 25C


1917 Type 1 PCGS MS65FH CAC 25C                                               1862-S PCGS MS63 CAC 50C   


  1936 PCGS PF66 CAC 50C                                                      1881-S PCGS MS67+ CAC $1



For those in the community who wish to own a significantly challenging early type coin at a reasonable price point, there are two candidates to consider. I was thrilled to own my first chain cent when purchased as part of a larger collection at the recent Manchester NH coin show. The planchet is smooth and the reverse chain is 80% visible. In G04, this is a $10,000 coin. The 1794 half is a first year issue and presents deep toning that validates its originality. One can never go wrong owning the earliest of early Americana type.

1793 S-4 (Period) Chain PCGS PO01 CAC 1C                                      1794 O-105 NGC VG10 CAC 50C         



As spot gold teased us yesterday with a brief moment at a new all time high, the gold lots also deserve some attention. CAC approved U.S. gold has been steadily increasing in value during the past few years and there is no reason to believe that this trend will cease. Following are two compelling candidates to consider. The 1868 half eagle is a rare date with a mintage of 5,700 with only four CAC approved. On the other hand, the 1916-S Indian $5 is approaching the condition census as CAC approved MS65 population is only five pieces at a price guide of $46,000.

     1868 PCGS VF35 CAC G$5                                                      1916-S PCGS MS64+ CAC G$5



Please see these insights as sound numismatic advice from a fellow collector....


GFRC New Purchases Gallery - Premium Offerings to Consider

Preparing for a colonoscopy is never any fun. While going through that process yesterday, I remain busy preparing the following new purchases gallery for today's sharing. The collector who assembled these coins had a sharp eye for quality regardless of no CAC green beans on most pieces. Many do not warrant a trip to Far Hills, NJ due to economics, therefore I'm offering these as is and at fair numbers. Several pieces have already sold and are marked with a "Hold". The purchase price can be found in the 30 Day Price List. I'd like for these to be outright sales and not requiring to take trades against coins priced at these levels.

GFRC New Purchases Gallery - Premium Offerings to Consider

Priced as Marked

1862 NGC MS62 3CS - $485                                                      1909 NGC MS65 10C - $425


  1917 Type 1 NGC MS62FH 25C - Hold                                     1807 O-105 PCGS F12 CAC 50C - $625


 1812 O-108 PCGS AU50 CAC 50C - Hold                                     1846 Tall Date PCGS EF45 50C - $475 


   1858-O PCGS AU53 50C - $400                                                   1843 ANACS EF40 $1 OWH - $825


    1862 NGC MS62 $1 - Hold                  1864 Lg Motto ANACS MS62 2C - $130                  1858 NGC AU58 3CS - $225 


 1883 F-103 PCGS PR63 10C - $525                 1854-O PCGS EF45 25C - $265                  1875-S BF-9 NGC AU55 20C - $435


1836 B-3 DS6 PCGS VF35 25C - $250                 1870 PCGS EF45 50C - $235                  1871-S WB-4 PCGS EF45 50C - $265


1858 NGC AU53 50C - $325                         1859 NGC AU55 50C - $400



Global Financial News

As mentioned earlier, spot gold briefly touched the $2067/oz milestone yesterday and then settle back to this morning's $2045 quote. Equities suffered another down day with the S&P 500 wrapping up at 4,061. WTI crude pricing has moved to an even $70/bbl while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield increased to 3.41%.

Today's major announcement is the non-farm payroll number that arrives at 8:30 AM ET. Economist are expecting a 178,000 number with a keen check of wage growth. Wage induced inflation is insidious and difficult to suppress, thus the Fed will be closely watching this reporting event.

Morning market futures are pointing to some relief buying at the market's opening bell.

In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong +0.4%. China -0.5%. India -1.1%.

In Europe, at midday, London +0.4%. Paris +0.5%. Frankfurt +0.8%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.4%. S&P +0.6%. NASDAQ +0.6%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

I will be away from the office for a period of time today for obvious reasons. CAC-Only auction bid confirmations will be issued once I'm back in the office. Ditto for purchase requests and other correspondence. The first priority, after the procedure, will be securing something to eat. I stepped on the scale this morning for giggles and saw a leading "1" digit for the first time since my early 20s.

Thank you for sharing a portion of a day with me at the Daily Blog. Be well!




Thursday May 4, 2023

CAC-Only Auction - Final Day for the Contemplation Period

Substantial New Purchases Gallery Arrives Today


Gold Positioned to Break All Time High


Greetings from a thoroughly soaked southern Maine and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for visiting.

Rain, rain go away
Come again another day.
Rain, rain go away
Little Johnny wants to play.

Yes, Gerry and Johnny2 wish to play in the back acreage and their time will arrive next week. Getting through Friday's colonoscopy followed by the CAC-Only auction sale closing on Saturday evening will wrap up a busy week. Sunday will find me in the GFRC office preparing auction invoices followed by a massive shipping day on Monday. Come Tuesday, I'm most likely heading to the back acreage trails for the entire afternoon as a mental respite. There are multiple gravel and 1.5" stone piles available for transport to the washed out sections of the walking trails.

The 30 Day Price List continues to be populated with consigned items. Yesterday brought another round of San Jose Collection Seated halves with another eleven pieces to be posted during the next 72 hours. The remaining Running Boar lots also need to be showcased today. Once the New Orleans and San Jose Collection consignments are completely listed, this will leave a final round of Steven Vitale Liberty Seated dimes before the consignment queue becomes officially consumed. By mid-June, attention shifts to the Bart Chapman Memorial Auction event along with a call for more consignments. Early June brings the Summer Baltimore show and an opportunity to reload the new purchases portion of regular GFRC inventory. .


CAC-Only Auction - Final Day for the Contemplation Period

Today brings the final day of the CAC-Only auction sale contemplation period. So far, this time frame has brought a notable reduction in bidding as collectors anticipate the auction's closing on Saturday. Where does the auction stand as of this morning?

- 61 of the 140 lots have at least one bid. 18 lots enjoy multiple bids. The sell through rate currently stands at 44% which is a tad disappointing given a broad range of premium CAC approved lots.

- A bid tally indicates $109,375 at this point as compared to an initial reserve totaling $280,000.

The lower than expected sell through rate is the result of less than expected demand for the Black Point Barber half dollar lots and the 20th century type coins from the Island Lake Collection. A review of the auction catalog will quickly render this fact apparent. My hope is that bidders for these lots are holding back until the final auction bidding hours.

The current auction status could shift dramatically come Friday, and certainly on Saturday. Many collectors do not bid until the final hour of a GFRC auction with their arrival bringing a different perspective on matters. Only time will tell what the final auction closing numbers will be. I remain optimistic....


Substantial New Purchases Gallery Arrives Today

One of Wednesday's tasks was to complete image processing for a recently purchased deal. If you remember in past Blog readings, I made mention of paying a client 93% of his purchase price for the lot. Well that lot will appear later today as a substantial gallery of nice early type and Liberty Seated collector material. This offering should not conflict with the CAC-Only auction sale as most are not CAC approved but still desirable coins none the less.


Global Financial News

We are presently moving through a bewildering economic period along with significant cultural changes. Yesterday, the Federal Reserve increased interest rates by another 0.25%. The S&P 500 was trading in positive territory for most of the day and suffered a drop in the final trading hours with a close at 4,090. Conversely, spot gold rallied with a morning quote of $2048/oz and just a few dollars shy of its all time high. Following is how I am seeing the major indicators that are aligning to a forthcoming recession.

First, let's start with Seeking Alpha's story line for the latest Federal Reserve rate increase.

The Federal Reserve hiked rates yesterday by a quarter of a percentage point in a move that surprised almost no one. It was a unanimous decision among policymakers, who seem to feel that the banking crisis is contained, inflation is too high, and labor demand is falling but is still strong. "People did talk about pausing, but not so much at this meeting," Powell said in his post-decision press conference. "We feel like we're getting closer or maybe even there, [but] are prepared to do more if greater monetary policy restraint is warranted."

While the Fed was increasing interest rates, the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield dropped to 3.35% and the U.S. dollar index also lost ground at an even 101 (DXY Index). These indicators demonstrate that financial traders believe that the U.S. economy is poised for a recession with the current Fed Funds rate increase being the last. Not being discussed in the mainstream media is the number of U.S, banks that are in quiet financial distress due to unrealized losses on their balance sheets. The commercial real estate market is suffering increased vacancy rates along with higher borrowing costs. These facts combine to lower property values versus the originating loan valuations.. The regional lending institutions are still not officially reflecting this fact on their mortgage driven balance sheets. Once this issue becomes apparent to depositors, there will be more bank runs and rescue requirements by the FDIC and federal regulators.

Morning market futures are pointing to a soft market open at 9:30 AM.

In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong +1.3%. China +0.8%. India +0.9%.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.8%. Paris -0.9%. Frankfurt -0.8%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.3%. S&P -0.3%. NASDAQ +0.1%.

WTI crude pricing remains depressed at $68.77/bbl, another signal of a pending recession, while Bitcoin is moving upward at $29,236 in line with spot gold.

Lastly, Key Bank has been in the news as one of the smaller regional banks that is next on the banking sector crisis list. Key Bank's stock is dropping on the news. Why do I bring this up today? Well Key Bank is where the Fortins have their personal accounts and the location of my bank boxes. One never knows heh?


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings preparations for tomorrow's colonoscopy, a dreaded and unpleasant time. After Friday's appointment, life will return to normal just in time for the auction's closing. The weather will shift to bright sunshine, warmer temperatures, and the official arrival of Maine's black fly season.

As you might have discerned, composing today's Blog has been a bit taxing given the lack of freshly prepared content. I'm certain that next week will bring a round of upbeat ramblings with images of the back acreage trails and the pond.

Your ongoing patronage is appreciated. Be well!



Wednesday May 3, 2023

The Running Boar Collection and Diane are Back...

More New Purchases to Consider


Loading the 30 Day Price List While It Rains - San Jose Liberty Seated Halves


Greetings from a thoroughly soaked homestead and welcome to the Daily Blog. When will the rain stop?

The southern Maine weather forecast continues to look bleak with rain continuing through Thursday. Come Friday, there are clearing skies along with a colonoscopy appointment. What a wonderful week....

Today Blog edition is being composed with less than normal sleep. Our professional nanny, Diane, is back from Austin via a late night connecting flight from Baltimore. For once, the Fortins flew on Southwest without a system outage or other major issue. As usual, the Portland Maine baggage handlers were slow resulting in a 1:15 AM home arrival time for a few hours of sleep. Please forgive me if today's ramblings are incoherent.

Since there is little prepared other than two nicely illustrated coin galleries, I'd like to shift the discussion to government overreach at the small town level. In particular the story is about the Town of Raymond and our neighbors, Rick and Sharon Dodson, and their new house construction. This construction is moving along slowly with a move in date scheduled for September. On Monday afternoon, I was sitting on the back deck and enjoying a happy hour adult beverage when I see Rick walking around his backyard. I called over Rick to check on the construction progress and learned some amazing news concerning the changes in Raymond building codes driven by our volunteer fire department. As of mid-2022, all rural new construction will be required to have a sprinkler system installed including a pressurized water holding tank to drive the sprinklers and also act as a remote fire hydrant for the fire department. According to Rick, the size of the water holding tank is a function of the distance of the new construction from the fire station. In Rick's case, the holding tank was calculated at 300 gallons, a sizable addition to his home space along with a 200 gallon fuel oil tank.

Poor Rick is the test case for the new ordinance with the Raymond fire department spending three full days inspecting the entire sprinkler system installation. I can't image the additional cost and building complexity when running sprinkler lines throughout three floors of living space.

So here we are in America with large retailers exiting major cities like San Francisco and Chicago due to crime while rural towns push more onerous building codes that raise the price of new home construction. Who would have thought this possible just a few years ago.


The Running Boar Collection is Back....

The Running Boar consignor is a thoroughly systematic collector who has been restructuring his collection over the last five years. A few weeks back brought a phone call indicating the release of a CAC approved type lot and inquiry if GFRC would be interested in handling. Of course was the response as this client's coins are always at the top of the ladder.

It is my pleasure to be offering the following five lots for consideration. Please hurry, if interested, as the 1886 Morgan and the 1837 dime are already spoken for given the fair offer prices.

The Running Boar Collection is Back....

Priced as Marked

1886 NGC MS63Star CAC $1 - Battle Creek Collection - $425

1837 Lg Date F-101b PCGS EF45 CAC 10C - $850                               1912-D PCGS MS63 CAC 50C - $1250         


1929-D PCGS AU55 CAC 10C - $500                                         1899 NGC MS63 CAC G$2.5 - $1000



More New Purchases to Consider

Tuesday brought a long office day with a full court press to beef up the 30 Day Price List. Included in the many new posting are the following new purchases. The 1921-D Mercury dime is a key date in the series with unquestionably original crusty surfaces. How I wish that the 1869-S quarter would be CAC approved but that is not the case. This example was still added to inventory as the date is infrequently seen in general. For collectors not intimate with Liberty Seated quarters, a single die pair was employed to strike the 76,000 mintage. The obverse die degrades quickly with an obverse circular die crack ring on most survivors. This example was struck with interim die state dies as the die cracks are visible mostly with a 10x. Both lots have already been posted to the price list.

More New Purchases to Consider

1921-D PCGS AU58 CAC 10C - $1650                                            1869-S PCGS EF45 25C - $1375   



Loading the 30 Day Price List While It Rains - San Jose Liberty Seated Halves

Since the weather forecast remains bleak, I'm taking the opportunity to load more consignments to the price list. Yesterday's focus was on the remaining New Orleans Collection lots while today brings a host of Liberty Seated halves from the San Jose Collection. All will be San Francisco mint issues in circulated grades ranging from VF30 to AU50. The better pieces, which secured CAC approval via GFRC, are currently featured within the CAC-Only auction sale and doing quite well.


CAC-Only Auction Sale Enters the Contemplation Period

Tuesday brought a notable drop-off in bidding for the CAC-Only auction sale as we entered the traditional contemplation period. A few bids appeared including the 1839-C Classic Head G$2.5 now bidding at $8900. If you have a spare $7500 burning a hole in your pocket, then please consider this marvelous 1893-CC $10 gold piece graded PCGS AU53 with a CAC green bean.

1893-CC PCGS AU53 CAC G$10


Global Financial News

U.S. equity markets took a spill on Tuesday with the S&P 500 dropping to 4,119 in a day's time. Investors are now rattled in terms of regional banking stocks. This Seeking Alpha article discusses the situation.

Regional bank stocks are trading at their lowest level since 2020 as investors debate whether the sector will see broader contagion following the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history. Even market movement is being debated, like the severe losses concentrated at PacWest and Western Alliance, which tumbled 27% and 15%, respectively, on Tuesday (the selloff is continuing premarket). Some say that there has been no change in the fundamentals, and the only reason why the stocks are plunging is because of their venture-focused business models, which mirror those of recently failed lenders like Silicon Valley Bank. Both PacWest and Western Alliance also posted earnings results in April that indicated their deposit bases had stabilized, but others feel that shareholders and depositors running for the exit at the same time is a recipe for disaster.

The Fed is also wrapping up its May FOMC meeting as Wall Street awaits news on the interest rate front. Markets are currently factoring another 0.25% increase to the Fed Funds rate. How much do we want to bet that the Fed over achieves on interest rate increases given the growing regional bank crisis?

Morning market futures are pointing to a calm opening to the trading day.

In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong -1.2%. China closed. India -0.3%.

In Europe, at midday, London +0.3%. Paris +0.8%. Frankfurt +0.8%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.2%. NASDAQ +0.2%.

In the commodity space, WTI crude has tumbled to $69.72/bbl which indicates that traders are anticipating a recession and reduced demand regardless of OPEC+ production cuts. Spot gold, on the other hand, took a step function jump back to $2025/oz in anticipation of a weakening U.S.dollar. Bitcoin is quoting at $28,633.

Most important for gold is the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield dropping to 3.41%.


Wrapping Up the Blog

I'm out of discussion topics, therefore let's end the Blog at this point.

Yes, I will be in the GFRC office the entire day with minimal shipping and much time to load new offerings to the price list. Come Thursday, the unpleasant colonoscopy preparations arrive and I probably will not be in a creative mood towards formulating lot descriptions.

Thank you, as always, for staying current with GFRC and homestead adventures. Be well!




Tuesday May 2, 2023

CAC-Only Auction - Spontaneous Ramblings


Beefing Up the 30 Day Price List - New Orleans Collection Dimes


Greetings on a Tuesday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for visiting.

Today brings one of those low mental energy days with little creativity. Yes, I enjoyed a good night's sleep. Maybe the weather is the reason for a lack of fresh ideas as fog is covering the front landscaping followed by another day of rain. I find a bright sunny landscape to be much more motivating. Or might it be too many consecutive days in the office without a day off or serious down time? A standard routine can age rapidly and dampen fresh insights. Taking time away from numismatics to work on the land with Johnny2 is invigorating. This will not be possible for a number of days as the turf and trails are fully saturated with moisture and unable to support Johnny2's weight without making a mess of things.

The CAC-Only auction event continues to move forward with incremental bidding. Who would have predicted that these two dimes would be the target of a bidding war.

Aggressive Bidding at the CAC-Only Sale

1853-O PCGS EF40 CAC 10C - 8 Bids @$775                         1891-O PCGS MS63 CAC 10C - 6 Bids @$725


But then, there are some incredibly beautiful lots that have yet to garner any attention. In particular, the Island Lake Collection lots are consistently top shelf and should be securing more notoriety. Here are four Island Lake Collection lots that are well above average in terms of preservation and overall eye appeal. Yes, these are 20th century type coins and not mainstream Liberty Seated or U.S. gold. Hopefully, collectors will appreciate the superior quality and take the leap with a bid. The 1917 Standing quarter is one of my favorites out of the entire 140 piece event.

Island Lake Collection - Seriously Nice Coins w/o Bids

1837 PCGS PR67 CAC 5C                                                        1916 PCGS MS67FB CAC 10C


1917 Type 1 PCGS MS65FH CAC 25C                                             1936 NGC PF66 CAC 50C            



There has been no word from Matt concerning the automated bid confirmation email issue so far. However, I'm being very diligent and promptly forwarding copies of the bid confirmation emails so that everyone has the appropriate documentation. This approach will continue through the final minutes of the auction on Saturday evening.

As of this morning 58 of the 140 lots have secured at least one bid as we enter the traditional "contemplation period". That is a 41% sell through rate at this point.

We do have one thrilled U.S. gold consignor as all of his lots have secured initial bids. He sent along an email with his observation and extreme pleasure. My response was that the consignor reduced my proposed reserves by one bidding incremental to attract more attention. His strategy has proven to be success and some advice to others who typically will raise my proposed reserves. Setting reserves is a tricky process and a balance between leaving enough room for two bids while not selling a lot at too low of a price (if only a single bid) as compared to regular price list posting. As a business owner, the decision is between selling higher volumes at lower margins, or selling lower volumes at higher margins. One approach takes patience while the other requires a vigorous supply chain and operations to support the higher volumes. As a collector, the perspective is completely different. Collectors have a limited number of coins and wise to secure the best possible return for each lot as those monies typically get plowed back into other hobbies or well meaning goals.

There is still much time for bidders to contemplate the entire gambit of offered lots prior to the auction close. Certainly, the sell through rate will be higher come Saturday evening.

One final comment. If seeking a special Morgan dollar for a type set or just as a numismatic conversation piece, please consider this magnificent lot. The winning bidder will not be disappointed.

1881-S PCGS MS67+ CAC Morgan $1


Beefing Up the 30 Day Price List - New Orleans Collection Dimes

Yesterday afternoon brought the beginning of the end for the New Orleans Collection consignment. To tidy up the consignment backlog, today brings the posting of all residual New Orleans Collection lots followed by a pivot to the San Jose Collection seated halves. Please keep watching the 30 Day Price List as new offerings are posted.


Global Financial News

The U.S. debt ceiling battle is heating up and will become a heavily discussed topic throughout the month of May. Sadly, the top political class sees government spending as a tool for controlling power. Any new government handout typically becomes an entitlement before long. Fiscal restraint is not popular as it robs politicians the ability to influence others towards their agenda. All I know is that taking on debt for paying today's bills is not a wise idea. Debt should be employed for securing appreciating assets like a home or business equipment that generate cash flow and profit.

So far, the equity markets have been more focused on the Federal Reserve and not the game of chicken that will exhibit brinkmanship between the political parties. Sentiment could shift as the debt ceiling crisis secures endless coverage by the state media; sorry I meant independent broadcasting networks....

The trading day begins with the S&P 500 at 4,167 and barely changed from the prior week's closing. Morning market futures are essentially flat.

In Asia, Japan +0.1%. Hong Kong +0.2%. China closed. India +0.4%.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris -0.5%. Frankfurt -0.3%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.3%. S&P -0.2%. NASDAQ flat.

WTI crude is flat at $75+/bbl along with gold at $1994/oz. Bitcoin is at an even $28,000. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has increased to 3.53%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Let's end today's edition at this point. There is no need for creating more content when uninspired. I'm certain that Blog readers can detect such.

Thanks for stopping by. Be well!




Monday May 1, 2023

CAC-Only Auction - Bidding Continues

CAC-Only Auction - Bid Confirmation Email Software Has an Issue


Charming U.S. Gold for a Rained Out Monday


Greetings on a thoroughly soaked morning here in southern Maine. Welcome to another Daily Blog edition. May 1st is upon us and an especially important workers day throughout the globe.

There are times in a life when a decision is made that proves to be incredibly serendipitous. The decision to transition back to Maine early this year was due to the birth of our fourth grandchild in Boston. Diane's professional nanny services was required at the end of March, therefore we returned to the homestead a full month ahead of schedule.

Upon returning home, asphalt shingles were found in the driveway and on the lawn; not a good sign. Once again, violent southern winds has torn the roof shingles on our top most roof areas. Since not seeing any water damage in the below ceilings, my thought was the roof was not leaking and we had time for roofing replacement. I called Wallace Roofing with Dana commuting the third week in May for the replacement. Then came extended rains last weekend and the staining of the master bedroom ceiling. An emergency call was placed into Wallace Roofing with a plea for help to patch up the areas with missing shingles. Dana decided to squeeze our job into his schedule this past Wednesday morning which was so fortunate.

During Sunday overnight, Maine experienced heavy rain and flash flood warnings. The estimate is that over 3" of rain fell during the overnight with four more days of rain in the forecast. If the Fortins had returned to Maine per their normal schedule, we would have arrived last evening to a serious roof leak in the master bedroom. The overnight rain would have destroyed the ceiling and the new flooring. Thank goodness for the birth of Ayumi Yamatin and our early Maine return. I feel lucky and blessed after experiencing overnight winds and downpours.


CAC-Only Auction - Bidding Continues

Sunday brought increments bidding for the CAC-Only auction sale. After the Daily Blog was published, GFRC received a total of 21 bids leading to 55 of the 180 lots enjoying at least a single bid. The total amount of winning bids has increased to $106,000 or 38% of original reserves. CAC approved Liberty Seated coinage and U.S. gold are in high demand when reviewing the online bid board. Barber lots continue to remain relatively under appreciated.

There are many desirable lots without bids at this point. Following are a few highlights from the small denomination portion of the catalog.

Desirable and In Need of a Bid!

         1869 NGC MS65 CAC 3CN                                                      1857 F-101 NGC PF64 CAC 10C


1875-CC BW F-111 PCGS AU55 Gold CAC 10C                                1866 Motto PCGS PR64CAM CAC 25C    



CAC-Only Auction - Bid Confirmation Email Software Has an Issue

The initial auction bidding results euphoria did not last long. By mid-morning, I started receiving emails from multiple bidders stating that they were not receiving their bid confirmation emails. The number of clients with the issue grow more substantial by the hour with the matter being escalated to Matt Yamatin for identifying potential root causes. The fact that so many bidders were lacking their bid confirmations indicate that the software routine that reads a bidder's email address (on the bidding screen) was not functioning as expected.

On a positive note, I wish to assure the entire community that Gerry and Matt have a complete set of bid confirmation emails. We are not impacted by the issue since our email address are hard coded within the auction application rather than being captured from a bidding screen. Unfortunately, the people that matter the most are the bidders!

Until Matt can find precious time to locate the root cause and resolve the problem with Hostway or a code update, I will be manually forwarding ALL bid confirmation emails directly from my Hotmail Inbox. As bidders issue new bids, I will promptly forward my copy of the bid confirmation email. If bidding after 9:00 PM ET, those confirmation emails will be issued early on the following morning before composing the Blog. Worse case, this manual forwarding may continue through the end of the auction. I'll do my best to stay on top of each and every bid.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience and hope that everyone understands that we will determine the root cause and get this correct asap.

If there are any other auction concerns, please do not hesitate to call upon me via email.

Now on to some charming U.S. for a cold and wet Monday morning....


Charming U.S. Gold for a Rained Out Monday

CAC approved U.S. gold continues to be one of the top GFRC product lines as clients heed my advice to add premium gold to a numismatic portfolio. Over the past four years, CAC approved U.S. gold has continued to appreciate well as has the precious metal.

Following are seven wonderful new purchases and consignments that will be reaching the price list today. The 1868-S $10 gold piece is not only a grade rarity but also brings marvelous eye appeal with its peripheral copper-gold toning. The 1909-S $5 is an orange beauty with monster eye appeal. The 1932 Indian $10, graded PCGS MS65+ CAC, has irresistible multi-color shades and would be a fantastic type coin. I'm sorry, but the 1845-O PCGS EF45+ CAC $10 gold piece has already been spoken for based on a new purchase commentary within last Wednesday's blog edition.

Charming U.S. Gold for a Rained Out Monday

1868-S PCGS AU55 CAC G$10 - $14,750

  1909-S NGC MS62 CAC G$5 - $11,500                                      1932 PCGS MS65+ CAC G$10 - $8,750


1854 PCGS AU55 CAC G$3 - $2,100                                        1909 PCGS MS64 CAC G$5 - $4,150


  1845-O PCGS EF45+ CAC G$10 - HOLD                                       1913 PCGS MS64+ CAC G$10 - $4750   



Global Financial News

U.S. equity markets start the week at a recovery level after gains on Thursday and Friday. This late week rally took place regardless of a simmering banking crisis and the Federal Reserve still being hawkish with respect to interest rates. The S&P 500 stands at 4,170 while spot gold is quoting at $1998/oz. The U.S. Dollar index (DXY) has increased to nearly 102 which is placing pressure on the current gold rally.

The major news of the day is JP Morgan acquiring the assets of First Republic Bank. Following is a Seeking Alpha summary of yet another consolidation in the banking sector.

Regulators have taken possession of First Republic Bank.

This is the third failure of an American regional bank in recent months. Of course, we all know about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in March.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has been appointed as receiver and accepted a bid from JPMorgan to assume all deposits, including all uninsured deposits, and substantially all assets of First Republic Bank. That includes $173B in loans and about $30B of securities, though it will not assume First Republic's corporate debt or preferred stock.

As of April 13, 2023, First Republic Bank had approximately $229.1 billion in total assets and $103.9 billion in total deposits.

First Republic Bank’s 84 offices in eight states will reopen as branches of JPMorgan Chase Bank today during normal business hours. All depositors of First Republic Bank will have full access to all of their deposits.

According to a press release, the FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund will be about $13 billion.

Most of the world's equity markets are closed today for the observance of May Day. Here in the U.S., market futures are perfectly flat.

In Asia, Japan +0.9%. Hong Kong closed. China closed. India closed.

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

Futures at 6:30, Dow flat. S&P flat. NASDAQ flat.

WTI crude has quietly dropped back to $75+/bbl while Bitcoin is trading at $28,531.

The 10 Year U.S Treasury bond yield is unchanged at 3.45%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Another busy day awaits, therefore it is best to get into the shower before camping out in the office for the balance of the day. Beyond posting the above U.S. gold lot to the price list, I will also be adding a fair number of Liberty Seated dimes from the New Orleans Collection. This will keep me out of trouble for the entire day. Tuesday brings Diane's return to the homestead with the office priorities returning back to normal on Wednesday.

Thanks as always for visiting. Be well.





Sunday April 30, 2023

CAC-Only PDF Auction Catalog is Published

CAC-Only Auction - Incredible Initial Bidding


GFRC-Lite Accepts PayPal Payments


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a cold and wet Sunday morning. I'm pleased that you could find time to stop by.

Wet is the operative word for southern Maine through the course of the coming week. The first precipitation wave is already upon us and continues into the evening hours with 3+ inches forecasted. I'm counting my lucky stars concerning the homestead's roofing replacement on Wednesday. Without the roofing job, the outcome would have been a destroyed ceiling in our master bedroom during the coming week.

Saturday was a great day that went to plan. The CAC-Only PDF auction catalog was completed by lunch time followed by uploading the document and updating the GFRC Online Auctions website pages. Mid-afternoon brought the fueling of the Husqvarna chain saw followed by venturing into the burn pit to cut up large logs and stumps that had failed to burn. Next came a walk throughout the southern and northern trails for clearing fallen trees. While walking the trail system, I was also on the lookout for branches that were encroaching into the overhead space. These needed to be removed for a simple reason. Though Johnny2 might not be impacted, Dave Wilkinson's excavator is much taller. My Irish friend is a stickler concerning the paint jobs on his equipment therefore its was best to anticipated those branches that might bring Dave some heartburn.

Also on Saturday, I've made a commitment to FA Wing in Gray, Maine for paving the homestead driveway. The owner, Mike, provided a fair quote and will apply an initial layer of 2' coarse asphalt that will be rolled. Afterwards, he will apply a 1" layer of fine asphalt to complete the job. Mike estimated the job at 50 tons of asphalt. But that is only half of the project. The first half of the job, removing the old heaved and cracked driveway, will be done by Dave Wilkinson and myself. After the asphalt is removed, the base will be reconstructed with gravel and packed. Water flow management will be a prime concern when constructing the new and improved driveway base.


CAC-Only PDF Auction Catalog is Published

As promised, the CAC-Only PDF auction catalog was finalized and uploaded on Saturday afternoon. The preparation of a 140 lot catalog is a substantial undertaking though I did learn much about with Microsoft Word publishing capabilities during the project. One of the benefits of employing Word, is the automatic grammar and spell checking capabilities for lot descriptions. As each lot description was copied from the COIN system into the catalog file, Word pointed out mistakes that were immediately updated for the online presentation.

I hope that the many auction consignors will download this catalog and save it as part of their numismatic memories. Everyone must sell their coins/collections at some point in a long numismatic career. Having a well produced catalog with color images will allow years of enjoyment after those cherished pieces are sold.

GFRC's CAC-Only PDF Auction Catalog

Click on Cover to Download


CAC-Only Auction - Incredible Initial Bidding

After yet another busy day in the GFRC office and chain sawing in the back trails, I was in bed by 8:00 PM and missed the initial CAC-Only auction bidding. I awoke at about 2:00 AM and was curious as to how the initial bidding had played out. A quick check of the many bidding confirmation emails convinced me that all was well and best to go back to sleep.

The initial auction bidding has been simply amazing... I guess this is what happens when GFRC and its consignor community decide to hold a party offering the best of the best in early type and U.S. gold coinage. Clearly, CAC approved coins are in high demand with bidders willing to step up for the pricing premiums. This was immediately evident as the overnight bidding results were tabulated. Of the 140 offered lots, 49 have already seen at least one bid and some with multiple bids. In terms of accumulated auction sales, overnight bidding totaled $96,200. Some quick math indicates that 35% of the lots are sold along with 34% of the overall reserve value being met.

I'm certain that the initial auction results will be an encouragement to those that will begin their review and bidding process today. The overnight results are a true indication of the CAC market and the financial strength of top end coins.

I'm taken back by the number of lots with multiple bids so early in the auction. Here are five of the over achievers.

Notable Multiple Bid Lots

1821 JR10 PCGS AU58 CAC 10C - 3 Bids @ $3850                        1853-O PCGS EF40 CAC 10C - 5 Bids @ $625


1875-CC BW PCGS AU58 CAC 10C - 4 Bids @ $887                     1860-S PCGS AU55 CAC 50C - 3 Bids @ $1555


1839-C PCGS VF30 CAC G$2.5 - 3 Bids @ $8200


So far, the only area of demand weakness is the Black Point Collection Barber halves. Hopefully, some Barber collectors will appear during the coming week to take these beauties home.


GFRC-Lite Accepts PayPal Payments

Friday brought a GFRC-Lite email from Rich Hundertmark. Following is his business update.

Hi Gerry,

I wanted to give you and Daily Bog readers a quick update on an important GFRC-Lite business development. As you know, when I opened the Lite site the only payment option that I offered clients was to pay via check.

I knew this would not be the only payment method available long term but needed to first get the site up and running. Afterwards, as a next step was to determine the best way to add PayPal into the back-end Lite invoicing process.  

As a side note, with the site going live, customers also reinforced the need for PayPal as more than a few comments were made regarding when this payment option would be made available.

So, the good news is that I’ve now linked a PayPal account to the Lite banking account and can offer PayPal as a payment alternative. Same as GFRC, the PayPal transaction fee of 3% on the total purchase price will be passed along to customers wishing to pay this way.

Now that that task is complete, I’ll focusing my attention for the next few days on prepping for the Midlands two-day show event that starts next Friday , Cinco de Mayo in Columbia , SC.



Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings an office day other than heading into Windham for grocery shopping as the pantry and refrigerator are becoming barren. With Friday's forthcoming colonoscopy, I must also purchase the lower track cleaning agents in preparation. It seems like there is always something on the calendar to get done.

Otherwise, I will be responding to the usual business emails and launching image processing for a host of new purchases. If all goes to plan, there will be a new purchases gallery ready for Monday's Blog.

Please remember that there are many great coins on the regular price list that also need new homes.

Thank you for visiting the Blog. Be well!




Saturday April 29, 2023

Happiness is Spreading Mulch


Bidding for CAC-Only Auction Starts at 9:00 PM ET



Greetings on a quiet Saturday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. I'm so pleased that you could drop by.

Yes, I'm been closely monitoring the Tucker Carlson saga after his termination at FOX. The loser in this sad event is FOX as their prime time evening ratings have plunged while Tucker's first Twitter video has amassed 60,000,000 views. I've been a fan for years and was shocked when he was let go but nothing surprises me at this point as we have a President who can't remember where he was two weeks ago. I did not always agree with Tucker viewpoints though they were thought provoking, well prepared, and substantiated. Challenging those in power does come with risks.

Onward to another topic....

Bright Friday sunshine brought about a long photography session including just arrived consignments. In the matter of an hour's time, about 40 new coins were photographed. Those images are queued on the Dell laptop and will keep me busy during the forthcoming rainy week. The Running Boar Collection is back with another release of some mighty fine lots along with a ton of new purchases.

Happiness is Spreading Mulch

As mentioned in Friday's Blog, the GFRC office was closed at 12:30 PM, followed by spending the entire afternoon rejuvenating the front yard landscaping. First came bush and tree pruning to ensure that Johnny2 could freely move about with it front loader mulch loads. Next came the transport and raking of about 16 yards of mulch. It was nearly 5:00 PM when the task was done to my satisfaction. Documenting the improvement was next on the agenda to corroborate the fact that I had been hard at work. We would not want the Blog readership to think that I was lounging around instead of manning my post in the GFRC office.

This snapshot documents the front yard and its visual improvement. When viewed from the GFRC office window, there is a sense of relief as the landscape appears tidy and well groomed. When viewing this image, please remember this is Maine where the spring season arrives quite late. The forsythias, maples, and oaks are just beginning their budding process thus the bare trees and bushes.


Bidding for CAC-Only Auction Starts at 9:00 PM ET

After a month plus of diligent preparation efforts, the community will have the opportunity to start bidding in a noteworthy GFRC Online Auctions innovation. The idea for a CAC-Only auction event arose from being a fierce proponent of the CAC validating service along with being an investor in CAC Grading. The time had come to challenge conventional auction house wisdom whereby CAC approved coins are employed as an audience allurement for a mostly non-CAC approved lot event.

Honestly, the huge consignor response caught me by surprise. Initially, a goal of 70 lots was set including loading incremental Seated dimes from the reference collection to ensure that the sale was successful. Then came the consignor response and timely purchase of a premium collection from a New Hampshire client at the Manchester show. What had been planned as a 70 lot sale doubled in size to 140 pieces. Most important is the vertical and horizontal expansion of the sale. Reserves from $200 to $27,500 exemplify the auction's vertical pricing component that will surely attractive a host of bidders. The horizontal range of product lines is also conducive for a large audience. From early copper and 3 cent nickels through Capped Bust, Seated, and Barber coinage, this auction has something for most collectors to consider.

Of course, the overriding parameter is CAC approval which translates into consistent quality and not needing to hedge one's bids for fear of securing an overgraded lot or worse, an inferior coin that has been doctored. You are invited to simply scroll down through the 140 piece online catalog to enjoy the visual attractiveness of strictly original numismatic items. Please click on the above banner to gain access.

A few reminders are in order before bidding opens this evening at 9:00 PM ET.

- All GFRC Online Auctions events have No Buyer's Premium. What you bid is the actual amount to be paid for a lot. There is no need to do a mental conversion between a traditional hammer price and the subsequent 17.5% or 20% premiums that are now commonplace.

- This is a bid centric auction without the usage of client account numbers. Each bid is a unique event regardless of any earlier bids. My suggestion is to carefully consider a maximum bid and run with that number until the auctions closes next Saturday. The auction software will bid your maximum against other incoming bids until your maximum bid is exceeded or being the highest bidder at the auction close.

- GFRC will honored is three payment lay-a-way policy across 60 days for those that plan to be aggressive and will need time to fund their winnings. The only requirement is that GFRC is notified BEFORE the auction begins and approves the usage of lay-a-way payment.

- Winning bidders for GFRC auctions can expect to receive their won lot invoices within 24 hours of an auction's close. For well known clients, GFRC will use its Ship Ahead courtesy service to immediately start shipping lots on Monday and Tuesday after an auction close. Clients can gain Ship Ahead status by being regular price list clients.

Finally, the CAC-Only PDF catalog is about 80% complete and will be loaded to the auction page before bidding starts at 9:00 PM.

Good luck to all who are planning to participate in this inaugural CAC-Only auction.


Wrapping Up The Blog

A check of the Raymond weather forecast indicates a partially cloudy day with rain arriving during the overnight. Since not being able to get to the downed trees on the southern trail on Friday, this task will be completed today.

I will be in the GFRC office throughout the morning and early afternoon and available for last minute CAC-Only auction lot reviews or other questions.

That does it for a Saturday morning. I will be back on Sunday with an overview of initial auction bidding results.

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




Friday April 28, 2023

CAC-Only Auction Bidding Starts Tomorrow


GFRC Photography and Spreading Mulch


Greetings on a beautiful Friday morning here in southern Maine and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thanks for checking in.

A one day reprieve, that is it! Today's weather forecast is for sunshine throughout the day and a high of 64F. Then the wet funk returns for a week. Given the weather forecast, I'm heading outdoor starting during the late morning hours to catch up on GFRC photography and will be out of the office during the entire afternoon.

I'm pleased to report that 50% of the CAC-Only PDF auction catalog has been completed with incremental progress arriving today. The catalog will be uploaded and published prior to the auction bidding at 9:00 PM on Saturday.

Tequila and nuts time arrived yesterday at 5:30 PM. It was warm enough to hang on the back deck and enjoy the coastal horizon view along with a cleaner presentation of the barn and surrounding area after some incremental clean-up. This image was captured at roughly 5:45 PM and illustrates the fluctuating coastal Maine weather that is visible from the top of Ledge Hill. Our location makes the homestead susceptible to vigorous southern wind events and the loss of roofing shingles. However, that positioning also brings some impressive views. Case in point is this cellphone snapshot. Note the low lying rain cloud that is dropping precipitation across the town of Freeport. In the foreground, the sun is peaking through the clouds and illuminating the trees to the left of the barn.


CAC-Only Auction Bidding Starts Tomorrow

I'm quite pleased with the number of individuals who are registering to bid in the upcoming CAC-Only auction event. Between the existing community members and fresh faces, there is optimism for a well subscribed auction.

Bidding starts at 9:00 PM Saturday with 140 CAC approved lots to consider. This auction features everything from copper through nickel, silver and gold coins. The 1793 S-4 Chain Cent is a really cool lot as most collectors have dreamed about owning an example at some point in a numismatic career. This is obvious true for your blogger as I'm pleased to be handling this iconic issue for the first time. Though well worn, the reverse chain is still visible.

1793 S-4 Chain Cent PCGS PO01 CAC


Buried in this auction are several duplicates from my core Liberty Seated dime set that became available after winning corresponding upgrades from the Tom Bender Collection.

Gerry Fortin - Core Liberty Seated Dime Set Duplicates

1870 F-105 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C                                              1872 F-105 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C



Liberty Seated quarters are nicely represented by choice 1849-O and 1854-O Huge O examples.

Impressive Seated Quarter New Orleans Dates

    1849-O PCGS VG08 CAC 25C                                            1854-O Huge O PCGS VF35 CAC 25C



This 1917 Type 1 Standing Liberty quarter is an amazing gem that should garner aggressive bidding.

1917 Type 1 PCGS MS65FH CAC 25C


I could go on an on but will stop here and resume the commentary in Saturday's Blog.


GFRC Photography and Spreading Mulch

As mentioned in the opening commentary, today brings a long awaited chance at GFRC photography. There are over 30 new purchases from last Sunday's dual purchase deals that will be photographed at 11:00 AM. After a quick lunch, I am closing the office for the balance of the day and will be working on homestead landscaping. 18 yards of mulch will be spread across the front greenery that borders Valley Rd. If time allows, I will be taking the chain saw along the southern trail to remove several downed trees that a presently blocking Johnny2 access.

Call it a half day in the office and some long overdue time off from the coin business. My aching fingers do need a break after days of image processing and description writing.


Global Financial News

U.S. equities enjoyed a bullish day on Thursday with the S&P 500 recovering to 4,135. Big tech Q1 earnings continue to be impressive which is the under pinning for yesterday's across the board gains.

Otherwise, there is little financial commentary for the day as Seeking Alpha is quite late with their morning newsletter. Also, the blue skies outside the office window are impacting my ability to concentrate.


Wrapping Up The Blog

There is nothing else to share at this point, so let's close today's Blog edition with a thought provoking blog post from Seth Godin. We live in a rapidly changing era and taking time to revisit our core values in light of the many cultural transitions is important.

Seth Godin Blogpost - The braid out of balance

There are three strands, present for most everyone:

Power (sometimes seen as status, or the appearance of status)

Safety (survival and peace of mind)

Meaning (hope and the path forward)

The changes in our media structure, public health and economy have pushed some people to overdo one or the other and perhaps ignore a third. When a social network finds your button and presses it over and over, it’s hard to resist.

New cultural forces catch on because they hit on one or more of these. And politics is understood through this lens as well.

See the braid and it’s a lot easier to figure out why we might be stressed.

Thanks again for stopping by. Be well!




Thursday April 27, 2023

There's an Auction Coming Soon...


Random New Purchases and Consignments


Greetings once again and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for visiting.

Upon checking this morning's 10 day weather forecast, I'm incredibly grateful for yesterday's emergency roofing replacement by Wallace Roofing. Southern Maine weather goes down hill again starting on Sunday with rain forecasted for seven consecutive days. Tomorrow brings the only chance for sunshine and an overdue GFRC photography session.

Yes, we had a roof leak as the reason for being overjoyed this morning. Dana Wallace knows Dave Wilkinson well and it appears that relationships still play a huge role in the construction service industry. This firm, per the recommendation of Dave, also installed the barn roofing when Pete Theberge was struggling to locate support through his contractor network. Dana responded to my plea for an emergency roofing job with a 48 hours turnaround.

Now I can rest at ease regardless of a week long wet weather forecast. One of the upstairs bedroom ceiling must be repainted this summer with is minor as compared to the potential damage caused by an extended leak.

This morning brings the arrival of an asphalt driveway paving contractor for quoting the replacement of the well worn and cracked homestead driveway. Our driveway was paved way back in 1986 and has succumbed to countless winter frost heaves and being compressed by heavy fuel oil truck deliveries. Dave Wilkinson and I will tear up the existing asphalt with our equipment and haul it away followed by rebuilding the gravel base to better address water flow matters.

Back to numismatics and the real reason for your visit.

The time for constructing the April 29 CAC-Only PDF catalog grows short, therefore today's primary task is completing the first half of the catalog along with regular GFRC office duties. There is little else planned for the day other gladly responding to purchase orders.


There's an Auction Coming Soon...

Bidding for GFRC's first CAC-Only auction event is just 2.5 days away. With 140 quality lots being offered, I'm hoping for a strong participation rate and new faces. Many of the reserves at set at the CAC Price Guide which is attractive for those who do not regularly deal in CAC coins. As a dealer, the typical "wholesale" range for CAC coins is between 5% back of the guide price, and for better pieces, the CAC guide itself. For top level coins, I may be required to pay even above the guide to gain access. Therefore, please understand that a low population premium coin reserved at the CAC guide is quite fair for bidders.

Today brings a review of the U.S. gold segment of the forthcoming auction. The various gold lots total 28 pieces with 7 being Gold CAC approved. A 25% Gold CAC offer rate is quite exciting as all are within the means of most collectors. As promised, today brings a display of Gerry's favorite U.S. gold pieces in the sale.

I've selected the following six lots based on two criteria; either superior eye appeal or having very low CAC approved populations. The 1853 G$1 is high on the eye appeal scale and was severely undergrad-ed during its early NGC evaluation. Combined rarity and eye appeal are at play for the 1839-C G$2.5. Who would not want this piece in their collection? The 1868 PCGS VF35 G$5 is a CAC approved rarities with tiny population of only four pieces. The 1905 G$5 and 1893-CC G$10 are high on eye appeal as I'm addicted to orange-gold coloration for my U.S. gold.

CAC-Only Auction - Gerry's Favorite U.S. Gold Lots

1853 NGC MS60 Gold CAC G$1 Fatty                                       1839-C PCGS VF30 CAC G$2.5 OGH


1910 NGC MS61 Gold CAC G$2.5 Fatty                                            1868 PCGS VF35 CAC G$5       


  1905 PCGS MS60 Gold CAC G$5                                                 1893-CC PCGS AU53 CAC G$10




Random New Purchases and Consignments

After preparing the New Jersey/Steven Vitale Collection auction sale and now, the CAC-Only auction sale, I've managed to accumulate a substantial number of lower priced coins that were included in the many supporting consignments. Come the next 10 days, I will be moving this material to the price list in a rapid fashion to make room for the forthcoming Bart Chapman Memorial sale lot.

Today's gallery features two new purchases (1823/2 10C and 1881-S $1) along with three lower priced lots from the New Orleans Collection consignment. So far, the 1903-O dime has been spoken for.

Random New Purchases and Consignments

1823/2 Large E's PCGS VF25 CAC 10C - $535                                          1881-S NGC MS66 CAC $1                


 1840-O F-109a PCGS VF35 10C                         1903-O PCGS EF40 10C                                  1900-O PCGS VF20 25C    

 $325                                                                 $100                                                             $150  



Global Financial News

Wednesday brought a mixed trading day on Wall Street as the NASDAQ held its own while the DJIA took it on the chin due to renewed concerns for the banking sector. When the dust settled, the S&P 500 had dropped to 4,056 with the technical charts indicating significant negative momentum.

The U.S. dollar continues to trade flat at 101.38 per the DXY index. Consistent with the USD being range bound, so is spot gold pricing which is trending around the $2000/oz level.

The First Republic Bank saga is bringing about speculation that the Federal Reserve must pause its interest rate hikes as damage is being created in the bank sector. Today's Seeking Alpha analysis, on the topic, is worth the read.

The plunge in shares of First Republic brought out some betting that the Fed could think twice on a rate hike next week. First Republic sank 30% yesterday as it looked to get larger banks to buy long-dated securities above market value to shore up its balance sheet. That took the odds of a Fed pause on May 3, based on Fed Funds futures contracts, above 30% at their peak. The move indicates there is "still concern among market participants that the turmoil we saw last month could flare back up again" and speaks "to the fact that any financial turmoil could stop the Fed in its tracks," said Jim Reid, Deutsche Bank's head of global credit strategy. But FRC looks to have stabilized and is up 5% premarket today, while the iShares U.S. Regional Banks ETF closed higher yesterday, indicating little fear of contagion. The odds of a Fed pause have retreated to 25% and there is a near-90% chance priced in for a cut by the end of the year. "We expect the Fed to walk a tightrope, providing as much money as the banking system needs while increasing or maintaining the price of credit that the system is extending to its customers," said William Blair global strategist Olga Bitel. 

For U.S. equities, morning market futures are pointing to a round of initial buying at the opening bell.

In Asia, Japan +0.1%. Hong Kong +0.4%. China +0.7%. India +0.6%.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris +0.3%. Frankfurt +0.1%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.5%. S&P +0.5%. NASDAQ +0.8%.

WTI crude has dropped to $74.38/bbl while Bitcoin is priced at $28,993. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has increased slighting to 3.46%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

This morning's visit by the first of two local paving contractors will prove to be interesting. During my university years, I worked for GA Peterson in Auburn, Maine on a hot top crew. For three summers, I was wheelbarrowing hot asphalt and eventually moved to raking the material and quoting jobs during the evening. Talk about being is great physical shape when working outdoor in the bright sun with hot asphalt. Getting clean at the end of day was a significant challenge. I digress due to memories.

My point is that I have a keen understanding of how the paving process is conducted including where the potential pitfalls are. One of the key pitfalls to avoid is seams when running out of material. The freshly applied and raked asphalt will cool quickly once off the delivery truck. If requiring to wait for more material, the joint between the cooled asphalt and the fresh material is known as a seam. Seams are unavoidable when paving a wide driveway as multiple passes are required. However, seams resulting for the lack of continuous material flow are unacceptable. The size and number of contractor delivery trucks play an important role in a quality application without seams. Now you know where my questions will be targeted as a quick calculation indicates the need for between 36-40 yard of material for the homestead job.

I've rambled enough today, so let's end the Blog at this point. Yes, I will be in the office through mid-afternoon for those that wish to call in an order. The later afternoon hours will find me on Johnny2.

Thanks again for checking in. Be well.




Wednesday April 26, 2023

CAC-Only Auction - Bidding Begins in Four Days


Loading the 30 Day Price List - Early Capped Bust Halves to Consider


Greetings on another cold and wet southern Maine morning. Welcome to yet another Daily Blog edition.

It is a good thing that Diane is operating her professional "nanny services" in warm Austin as Maine weather continues to be wet and downright cold. Today brings more overcast and a chance for rain. Thursday should clear slightly followed by a return of rain on Friday. Rather than constantly feeding the wood stove, I'm adding more layers and keeping the homestead marginally warm with the oil furnace.

One benefits of the ongoing rain is the greening of the lawns. By the weekend, our lawns should convert to a lovely thick green carpet.

Operating GFRC, on a solo basis, continues to bring challenges. One of the most annoying is check deposits. When Diane is here, she promptly deposits checks with her mobile app. When she is not here, I will accumulate checks followed by driving to Windham to conduct a teller deposit. That I did yesterday only to arrive at the BoA branch and being told that all their systems were down and no transactions were possible. I was invited to drive another 15 miles to the next closest BoA branch office. Instead, I punted and went back to the homestead and will try again today.

GFRC clients should also be aware that USPS 1st class mail lead times are averaging about 5 days at this point. I'm doing my best to employ ship ahead courtesy to repeat clients to ensure a decent purchase turnaround time. It feels like the major institutions are in cohorts to force everyone to use PayPal or other forms of digital payment, of course with fees.

The GFRC application for an Ultra Premium table at the Pittsburgh ANA has been acknowledged by the ANA staff with a table draw date of May 19. As usual, GFRC is at the back of the table selection bus for an ANA event but any Ultra Premium table location will be satisfactory given the bourse layout.

Finally, USPS did promptly execute Sunday's purchase with the lot arriving on Tuesday afternoon. Following are the lots that were acquired in a smooth transaction.

1921-D PCGS AU58 CAC 10c - light crusty gray, key date

1869-S PCGS EF45 25c - light gray with residual luster, early die state without obverse die crack

1854 PCGS AU55 CAC $3 - honey green-gold with frosted luster

1909 PCGS MS64 CAC $5 Indian - wonderful orange-gold eye appeal

1845-O PCGS EF45+ CAC $10 - better date with classic green-gold coloration and steely fields

1868-S PCGS AU55 CAC $10 - a rarity with gem eye appeal consisting of green-gold and peripheral orange-gold at stars and legend


CAC-Only Auction - Bidding Begins in Four Days

One of the observations concerning GFRC Online Auctions events is the quiet sales period prior to the opening bidding. Clients have already decided on their acquisition targets and are holding on to their numismatic cash for the time being. This has been the case for the forthcoming CAC-Only auction that arrives on Saturday. Luckily, the order rate from new clients, that are finding GFRC for the first time, continues to be reasonable with several four figure coins selling.

Starting on Thursday, the PDF auction catalog will become the top priority for completion and should be posted in time for Saturday's Blog edition.

Based on this week's email correspondence, I believe this auction will be well subscribed, and why not given the host of great CAC approved coins.


Loading the 30 Day Price List - Early Capped Bust Halves to Consider

Tuesday's image processing focus was on a lovely lot of early Capped Bust halves, most with CAC approval. These choice pieces have been quietly resting in the inventory boxes while I wrapped up the CAC-Only auction project. Now their time has arrived. Already, the 1814 O-103 PCGS F15 CAC and the 1818 O-111 PCGS AU53 CAC have been spoken for.

Look for these to reach the price list this afternoon. In the meantime, please feel free to tender an order as the prices are as marked.

Early Capped Bust Halves to Consider

Priced as Marked

1809 O-106 PCGS EF40 CAC 50C - $825                                        1810 O-108c PCGS EF40 CAC 50C - $665


1814 O-103 NGC EF45 CAC 50C - $975                                                   1814 E/A O-108a PCGS VF30 CAC 50C - $845


1818 O-111 PCGS AU53 CAC 50C - $1050                                 1818 O-112 PCGS EF40 CAC 50C - $650


 1814 O-103 PCGS F15 CAC 50C                        1825 O-115 PCGS VF30 50C                        1836 O-108a NGC EF40 50C  

 $295                                                                 $245                                                              $445  



Global Financial News

Another U.S. bank is in trouble and is the lead story for this morning's Seeking Alpha newsletter. Here is the article.

The next few days are expected to be crucial for the fate of First Republic Bank, as the White House, Federal Reserve and Treasury are evaluating plans to save the troubled regional lender under an "open bank" rescue. One scenario under consideration is to create a special purpose entity, with the big banks that earlier supported First Republic with $30B in deposits purchasing its underwater loans on its balance sheet above where they would be marked. If this occurs, First Republic may go out and raise new equity.

More restructuring: The lender is also considering divesting $50B-$100B of long-dated securities and mortgages as part of a larger restructuring plan. Any sales would help address the bank's asset-liability mismatch. First Republic may offer warrants or preferred equity as an incentive to buy assets above their market value. The bank is striving to strengthen its balance sheet to avert a takeover by regulators and to allow for a possible capital raise. It has been working on cutting costs, with plans to reduce its workforce by 20%-25% in Q2 and condense corporate office space. First Republic, which has been struggling with customers fleeing the bank, reported net deposit outflows of $72 billion during its first quarter, despite support from 11 of the biggest lenders in the U.S.

The S&P 500 dropped to 4,070 on Tuesday but morning market futures are pointing to a partial recovery after strong earnings reports from the tech sector.

In Asia, Japan -0.7%. Hong Kong +0.7%. China flat. India +0.3%.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris -0.9%. Frankfurt -0.6%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.02%. S&P +0.3%. NASDAQ +1.2%.

WTI crude is holding at $77+/bbl while gold is quoting at $2009/oz. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield continues to drop with a morning starting point of 3.41%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

If I was not already busy enough, the Wallace Roofing company workers have just arrived to replace two sections of the homestead roof. This is an emergency job as fierce winter southern winds have stripped shingles from the left and right sections of the southern facing roof. This is the second time in two years where we've lost shingles and best to replace these roof sections rather than continue patching a 2008 whole house roofing job. The northern roof is holding up much better due to significantly less sun exposure. Not attending CSNS was the right decision!!!

Thanks for staying close to GFRC and Maine homestead happenings. Be well!




Tuesday April 25, 2023

Gerry Fortin Voted to Coin World's 100 Most Influential People in Numismatics


Greetings on a cold, wet, and raw southern Maine morning. Welcome to another Daily Blog edition. I'm glad that you could stop by.

Yes, southern Maine temperatures have moved to below normal levels with heavy clouds and on-and-off rains. With Diane being in Austin, I'm burning a small amount of wood to keep the chill out of the homestead and hanging out in the GFRC office, which stays warm by design. The internal office walls are insulated with lights and computer thermal exhaust being sufficient as a heat source.

Monday brought the posting of 20 new offerings to the 30 Day Price List. If not already visiting the price list, now might be a good time, especially if a circulated Seated half dollar collector.

I've received a few emails from long ago clients in the Chicago area who are asking me to bring certain inventory to the Central States Numismatic Society show. To set the record straight, GFRC is not attending this major event. Larry Shepard has done a marvelous job in revitalizing and expanding the bourse but the timing and resources just don't work. The GFRC retail show brand is a host of cases filled with premium CAC coins. Attending CSNS required solo air travel and carrying a limited amount of inventory for a single 8' table. Scheduling was also an issue as we are typically returning to Maine from Florida during this time frame. Therefore, I will not be in attendance at CSNS and am looking forward to Summer Baltimore.


Gerry Fortin Voted to Coin World's 100 Most Influential People in Numismatics

I'm most pleased and honored to announce that I've been selected by the numismatic community for inclusion into Coin World's 2023 edition of the 100 Most Influential People in Numismatics. Coin World's May monthly magazine arrived yesterday with the 100 Most Influential People in Numismatic publication included. At this point, I can freely discuss this fact though being well aware of the honor since the beginning of March.

A sincere thank you goes out to the GFRC community for taking the time to vote in the Coin World poll. Accordingly to Brenda Wyen, when receiving the phone call, the vote tally was quite substantial and there was no need to wait for the March 15 deadline for sharing the news.

Honestly, this recognition is quite important on a personal basis. Experiencing a substantial career change at the age of 57 and constructing an entirely new business platform in a hobby industry has taken considerable effort. That effort took strategic innovation (natural for me given the time in the semiconductor industry) while being blessed with the support of several individuals who I wish to recognize today. No man is an island and that is certainly the case with this Coin World recognition event.

Matt Yamatin - My son Matt was absolutely instrumental with his software development support and acting as a benchmarking expert during the 2015-2016 period. The COIN database and website application were jointly designed by a father-son team and coded by Matt. Matt also wrote portions of the GFRC supporting website sales pages. Overtime, he developed an Open Set Registry application along with the Sales Archive. The most recent boast to the GFRC platform was Matt's auction software that has proven to be quite robust and enabled a new sales channel for the business.

Diane Fortin - Behind every successful man is a good woman and that is certainly the case with Diane. Accounting, tax preparation, and day to day shipping and admin support were assumed by Diane as the GFRC business expanded. Her support allowed me to focus on building relationships with clients and managing the day to day operations. Living with someone who works nearly seven days a week can be challenging at times and requires sacrifices.

Dan White - Adding Dan White to the GFRC team during 2015 was one of the wisest decisions made during the early GFRC years. Dan became a working investor in the business and brought his keen understanding of U.S. gold to a mostly Liberty Seated centric platform. We have worked closely together for years as tablemates at major shows. I've reached the point that is just does not feel right attending a major show without Dan as a bourse partner.

Len Augsburger - During the early GFRC years, I was also functioning as the Liberty Seated Collectors Club president. Attempting to grow a business while directing a historically significant numismatic hobby institution brought its challenges. Some staff thrived with the freedom to move the club forward with their creativity while other staff may have been resentful that I was not a hands on president. Leading a volunteer organization brings its challenges as everyone donates their time but with certain expectations. Eventually, it became clear that I would focus solely on the GFRC business and let Len Augsburger take over the LSCC helm. That he did without the club skipping a beat and also dealing with role changes including the Gobrecht Journal Editor resourcing issue that developed fairly quickly after my departure. Len has remained engaged with the GFRC business and is now the primary cataloger for GFRC Online Auctions.

Greg Johnson - A strong shutout also goes to Greg Johnson and a friendship that has spanned decades. Greg was my business strategy advisor during the 2014 start-up year and one of the first two significant consignors. My expertise lied with Seated dimes while Greg was focused on Seated quarters along with other denominations. We spoke for hours during the initial year on how to structure GFRC inventory and what market segments should be targeted.

Having said all of the above, one of the most significant decisions for GFRC was launching the Daily Blog during July 2015. The Blog has become a core educational and marketing vehicle that is very difficult for competitors to duplicate, though many have tried.

The GFRC journey, from a tiny hobby business in late 2013 to its current multi-million dollar operation, took never ending persistence and strategic foresight. Along that journey, I've had the pleasure of meeting a multitude of similar hobbyists who share my passion for coins and achieving personal goals. That is why I keep moving forward each day with another Daily Blog edition.

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to vote for this honor.


Global Financial News

Monday's equity market trading continues to display little movement in the major indices. The S&P 500 moved just a few points and starts the day at 4,137. The U.S. dollar has also been trading flat of late with a morning quote 101.55 per the DXY index. Investors believe that the Federal Reserve interest rate hiking cycle is on its last legs but a pivot is not in sight to propel the markets higher.

WTI crude oil prices have eased a tad to $77+/bbl which should be supportive for a coming dimming of the longer term inflation outlook.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has begun to drop again with a morning quote of 3.44% while gold is trading at an even $2000/oz.

Morning futures are forecasting increased volatility as the big tech sector launches its Q1'2023 earnings reports.

In Asia, Japan +0.1%. Hong Kong -1.7%. China -0.3%. India +0.2%.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris -0.7%. Frankfurt -0.1%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.5%. S&P -0.6%. NASDAQ -0.5%. Crude -0.4% to $78.44.

Finally, I am most disheartened with the news that Tucker Carlson and FOX News have parted ways. Though not always agreeing with Tucker, his commentary was honest and consistent with the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Another day of southern Maine rain translate into a full day in the GFRC office. There is morning shipping followed by an afternoon dedicated to expanding offerings on the 30 Day Price List. Little changes here.

Thanks again for stopping by and taking in these ramblings. Be well!




Monday April 24, 2023

Populating the 30 Day Price List Week!

GFRC Buys Two Strong Deals on Sunday


Next GFRC Online Auctions Event - Bart Chapman Memorial Auction


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Monday morning. Thank you for visiting with the GFRC team composed of me, myself, and I.

April rain has arrived to southern Maine and will be with us through Tuesday. Rain is a good thing is terms of mitigating the gravitational pull of the homestead landscape and back trails. The hard fought 18 yards of mulch are still sitting in the driveway waiting to be spread during the latter part of the week. The weather will therefore keep me in the office for the next 72 hours for sure.


Populating the 30 Day Price List Week!

Now that the April 29 CAC-Only online auction catalog is finalized, my attention promptly shifts to restoring the 30 Day Price List to its former greatness. Unfortunately, the GFRC operations department is the bottleneck for parallel loading of a sizable auction event along with maintaining a regular price list. On a good day, with limited shipping, about 10 coins can be prepared in terms of images and descriptions. Why so few? One of the my guiding principals is to sustain GFRC's quality reputation which translates into meticulous image processing along with accurately prepared descriptions. Sacrificing guiding principals to secure more volume (and profit) is just not in my DNA and a likely reason why the client base continually expands year on year.

One of the benefits of the GFRC COIN system and the Sales Archive, is the ability to reuse images and descriptions when a previously sold coin returns via buyback or through consignment. Those cases are like a short of adrenaline for the price list as the previously prepared marketing material can be re-employed. Case in point are the 11 new offerings that were posted to the 30 Day Price List before composing today's Blog edition. I'll discuss their origin in the next segment.

Bottom line, I'm sitting on nearly a full double row slab box of new lots that will be given my utmost emphasis in the next 72 hours. Please keep checking back as there will be a constant flow of quality new Capped Bust, Seated, Barber, and U.S. gold offering for consideration.

For those who are wondering when the CAC-Only PDF catalog will be made available, the response is before the auction bidding starts. This catalog is more of a collectors item, for participating consignors, rather than a key instrument for bidding formulation.


GFRC Buys Two Strong Deals on Sunday

In older days, especially for those of us in the Christian faith, Sunday was consider a day of rest and time to give thanks to God for the goodness in one's life. With modern life and omnipresent communications technology, every day of the week is a work day.

Yes, yesterday brought the purchase of two strong deals totaling a $35,000 outflow that should garner much attention with the GFRC community.

The first deal took place during the morning with one of GFRC's key suppliers of CAC approved coins. His offerings were carefully scrutinized, often called GFRC due diligence, before pulling the trigger on five premium lots. Those lots will ship today and arrive on Tuesday. Among the group is a rare $10 U.S. gold piece that will further enhance the U.S. gold price list.

The second deal wrapped prior to dinner time and grilling a pork loin in the rain. This deal was a 40 piece lot of which 13 had been purchased from GFRC. The client believed that I would be the best person to offer the entire lot to and he was absolutely correct. After three hours of careful evaluation, I made an offer of 93% of his purchase price for all coins. Yes, he had purchased some gem coins from other dealers, well in the past, that has appreciated in the last few years and was rewarded accordingly. Our client accepted my offer with this response...

Thanks Gerry, That is highly acceptable to me!

Treating clients fairly is what GFRC is all about.

11 of the 13 coins, previously purchased from GFRC, have been posted to the 30 Day Price List and are immediately available. The other two require new images before being posted. Sorry, but the 1857 CAC approved Seated quarter has already gone on hold. The balance will be heading into the photography department once the weather improves.


Next GFRC Online Auctions Event - Bart Chapman Memorial Auction

Looking into the June time frame, the next GFRC Online Auctions event will be a special memorial auction for Bart Chapman's collection. Bart was a crusty and tough woodsman with little consignment patience. His passion was the great outdoors and tone typed coins. Before his passing, Bart had spent nearly $100,000 with GFRC and had sold nearly $60,000 on consignment. The consignment figure is a tad low due to Bart's lack of patience when his coins were brought to the price list. He was originally aggressive with asking prices and learned over the years to mitigate his expectations. Bart had one of the higher consigned coin return rates since lacking the patience to slowly reduce prices to garner sales. During the final years of his hard fought bout with multiple cancers, he left the pricing to me and enjoyed a higher sales rate. I'm being quite transparent as every consignor operates differently with respect to their consignments and pricing expectations.

Though he was stubborn, Bart become a close friend and would often share images of his landscaping projects results along with those of his family. There was also regular reports of his hospital visits, surgeries, and how his cancer was progressing. We would talk frankly about his battles, his good days, and his really bad days. I clearly remember his last GFRC coin purchase during the close of January 2023 before his recent passing. It was a 1917-S Type 1 Standing quarter graded PCGS MS62FH from the Mountaineer Collection. His email opened with, "you probably thought that I was dead, but no, I want to buy a coin!". These types of memories are priceless and it is my honor to announce the forthcoming Bart Chapman Memorial Auction.

This auction will be replete with toned silver coins with a fair number being CAC approved. Bart's collection lacks major rarities and I will be searching for incremental lot to flesh out his core holdings. If you might be interested in participating, please send along an email.


Global Financial News

One of my growing investment market concerns is the state of the U.S. commercial real estate market as multiple mall shop retailers are filing for bankruptcy. Bed Bath and Beyond is the latest causality along with other smaller named specialty apparel firms. The continuing expansion of shopping mall vacancies, along with the pandemic induced stay at home work force has placed pressure on commercial real estate market value. The major online retailers like Amazon and Walmart, are also placing pressure on smaller firms. As commercial real estate valuations drop, due to lower demand, that expose shifts to the banks that hold those loans. Loan collateral is the property value. Just as was the case for the SVB default due to under water Treasury bond valuations, the same could be occurring in the commercial real estate space if not properly managed. I'm not optimistic for the banking section during the balance of the year even with higher interest rates generating more credit card profits.

It just so happened that today's Seeking Alpha newsletter has an article on the Bed Bath and Beyond situation.

Long-struggling retailer Bed Bath & Beyond has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but said it intends to keep the chain’s 480 stores open for the moment as it attempts to auction off assets through the restructuring process. That includes 360 Bed Bath shops and 120 buybuy Baby locations. In the meantime, the company has secured a commitment for some $240M in debtor-in-possession financing from Sixth Street Specialty Lending Inc., listing $5.2B of debts and $4.4B of assets in its bankruptcy filing.

Backdrop: The first Bed ‘n Bath store opened in 1971, but the firm went public under the BBBY ticker in 1992 and eventually added buybuy Baby, Cost Plus World Market, Christmas Tree Shops and other chains. At its peak, the company operated more than 1,500 U.S. and Canadian locations. Missing the boat on the internet, the firm began to falter in 2019, posting its first-ever annual loss even as activist investors began a push to remove then-CEO Steven Temares and restructure BBBY’s board. Store closures accelerated in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Bed Bath began scaling back the use of the ubiquitous 20%-off coupons that it had regularly been mailing to millions of U.S. households.

"Customers have trusted us through the most important milestones in their lives - from going to college to getting married, settling into a new home to having a baby," CEO Sue Gove said in a company statement. "We deeply appreciate our associates, customers, partners and the communities we serve, and we remain steadfastly determined to serve them throughout this process. We will continue working diligently to maximize value for the benefit of all stakeholders."

Possible failure: By early this year, the company issued a “going concern” statement, warning that management had “substantial doubt” the firm could remain in business without a restructuring or asset sale. However, Bed Bath & Beyond enjoyed several brief, double-digit percentage rallies since then, as some speculators bet that the firm could survive and several meme rallies took hold. Shares even soared in percentage terms as recently as this past week after BBBY sold $48.5M of new stock.

The week starts with the S&P 500 at 4,133 and spot gold trading at $1995/oz. Following are the regular morning market futures indicating some selling at the market's opening bell.

In Asia, Japan +0.1%. Hong Kong -0.6%. China -0.8%. India +0.7%.

In Europe, at midday, London flat. Paris -0.1%. Frankfurt flat.

Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.2%. NASDAQ -0.2%.

WTI crude is priced at close to $78/bbl while Bitcoin is experiencing a pull back at $27,340. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is quoting at 3.54%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

This edition has certainly been much spontaneous rambling including the announcement of the forthcoming Bart Chapman Memorial Auction event and commentary.

A busy office day awaits me so let's run the Dreamweaver spell checker and upload today's edition.

Thanks again for visiting. Be well!




Sunday April 23, 2023

CAC-Only Auction Catalog is Finalized


Two New Purchase Deals on a Sunday


Greetings on a cold and cloudy Sunday morning here in southern Maine. Welcome to yet another Daily Blog edition.

I'll cut right to the chase to start today's ramblings. The days are flying by with little time to structure long blogposts. Each day brings GFRC admin and must get done commitments while meeting the forthcoming CAC-Only auction readiness schedule. When working in the back acreage with Johnny2, I'm so focused on executing specific tasks, in a short time frame, that the cellphone/camera simply remains in my pocket.


CAC-Only Auction Catalog is Finalized

As of 6:30 AM, the CAC-Only auction catalog has been finalized with a sigh of relief. The official lot count is 140 and a total reserve of $280,050. There are a host of fantastic lots to consider prior to the 9:00 PM ET opening bidding this coming Saturday.

A few comments are warranted.

- The regular GFRC three payment lay-a-way plan will be available for those who wish to spend big at the event. My only requirement is being notified before the start of the auction that a client wishes to go the lay-a-way route if winning planned lots.

- If planning to bid, it would be helpful to go into your email browser settings and make the "auctions@seateddimevarieties.com" email address an allowed entity. Each auction brings notices from bidders not receiving their bid confirmation emails. I can assure you that the auction application is issuing the bidder confirmation emails as I consistently received then and store until the auction is closed. Therefore, please take the time to visit your email browser settings. For Hotmail, as an example, there is a browser setting called "Junk Mail". If clicking on Junk Mail, you will be given options to defined Blocked Senders and Safe Senders. Please add "auctions@seateddimevarieties.com" into the Safe Senders list to ensure that your bid confirmation emails are properly handled and displayed.

- Winning bidders will be notified and invoiced on May 7 followed by Quick Ship shipments beginning on May 8 and 9 to those clients that are well known to GFRC.

- Shipment security is constantly on my mind after the closing of a major auction event. We carefully stage high value shipments in conjunction with winning bidders to ensure that they will be available at the ship to address to take receipt. If you are traveling or away from home, please let us know immediately to enable a low risk shipment date.

Thank you for reading through this list and taking notes.


Two New Purchase Deals on a Sunday

Now that the CAC-Only auction is finalized, you might think that I could take a Sunday away from the office and relax a bit. Well, that is not the case but for positive reasons.

Today brings a full day's attention on the purchase of two large lots. The first lot has over 60 pieces of CAC approved coinage from one of GFRC regular wholesale suppliers. This deal is being enable with technology and a teleconference in just a few hours.

The second lot is roughly 30 pieces of lower priced Liberty Seated coinage across all denominations, but heavy in Seated halves. This lot has been quietly waiting its evaluation turn in the office safe once the CAC-Only auction catalog was completed. I promised the client that the evaluation would be done today.

Bottom line, GFRC will have a ton of new purchases to post to the price list during the coming weeks. While these are posting, the transport of the Bart Chapman Collection will be also taking place towards enabling the next GFRC Online Auctions event.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Little needs to be said at this point. Rainy conditions arrive this afternoon and will continue through Tuesday. The weather will keep me in the office for three full days working on a host of task including the ANA World's Fair of Money show application, posting a host of queued new purchases, and constructing the Liberty Seated Dime Top 100 Varieties database for CAC Grading.

Come mid-week, I'm planning on a nearly full day for spring landscaping duties including spreading those hard fought 18 yards of mulch from Dave Wilkinson. Kevin Johnson, Diane's former Windham Paint and Framing business partner, will be returning to continue chain sawing downed trees in the back acreage as we attempt to clear as much fire wood as possible before the vegetation begins to shoot up. Without vegetation, I can easily see rocks and build access paths for Johnny2 to get at tree logs.

Thanks as always for checking in at the Blog. Be well!




Saturday April 22, 2023

Bidding for CAC-Only Auction Begins in One Week!


18 Yards of Mulch


Greetings and welcome the GFRC Daily Blog on a lovely Saturday morning. Your ongoing visits are most appreciated.

Please forgive the lack of insightful numismatic content in today's Blog edition as Friday was a recovery day. It is so unlike me to lay on a couch and simple do nothing. But that I did for most of the day other than loading the Mountain View Collection lots to the auction catalog. The bathroom scale indicates a weight loss of 5 lbs in just 36 hours. As my body was reacting to the poisoning, a thought was that the timing was terrible as I have a colonoscopy appointment on May 6.

Oh, Dave Wilkinson did come by with an 18 yard load of mulch and was wound up like a top. More on this shortly.


Bidding for CAC-Only Auction Begins in One Week!

Yes, the finish line for the CAC-Only GFRC auction is in sight! In just one week, bidding opens for about 145 premium lots with those important green or gold bean. What started as yet another fresh idea has grown into a well subscribed event with many consignors. How many you might ask? Following is the list of those individuals who have sent in fresh coins and become participants in this inaugural event. The list is in no special order.

New Orleans Collection

Island Lake Collection

Oregon Beaver Collection

Black Point Collection

Gerry Fortin Reference Collection

Osprey Collection

Saw Mill Run Collection

Mountain View Collection

Port Matilda Collection

Watch Hill Collection

San Jose Collection

Copper Harbor Collection

There are a few other consignors who wished to remain anonymous along with several who asked that their current price list items be added to the auction. For the latter, my goal is to always feature fresh lots in a GFRC auction but then again, I can't say no to consignors who have supported this business for many years.

As of this morning, there are still four more lots to be added to the catalog. At that point, the catalog is frozen with one final task remaining; the construction of a PDF catalog to document this most special event.

Following are ten small denomination highlights, among a multitude of great coins, for the forthcoming auction. Let's just say that these are my favorite lots. The U.S. gold favorites will be featured during the coming week.

CAC-Only Auction - Gerry's Favorite Small Denomination Lots

            1869 NGC MS65 CAC 3CN                                                   1821 JR-10 PCGS AU58 CAC 10C


      1857 F-101 NGC PF64 CAC 10C                                              1866 Motto PCGS PR64CAM 25C


1917 Type 1 PCGS MS65FH CAC 25C                                       1855-S WB-3 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C


1912 PCGS MS63 CAC 10C                                                         1936 NGC PF66 CAC 50C


   1871 PCGS AU58 CAC $1                                                         1881-S PCGS MS67+ CAC $1



18 Yards of Mulch

On Friday morning, Dave Wilkinson arrived with an 18 yard mulch delivery. He was several hours late and had one heck of a story to tell.


Shorting is a common problem here in Maine with some unscrupulous vendors. The classic case is during a firewood delivery. The delivery truck, per its dump bed physical measurements, will be advertised as being 2 or 3 cords. A firewood cord is 128 cubic feet or 4'x4'x8' as stacked. The issue is that the firewood vendor will use a tractor loader to fill the truck's dump bed without stacking. The result is being shorted a portion of the paid for load.

In Dave's case on Friday, he was shorted by the mulch mill vendor in Poland, Maine and took a stand. Here is the story...

Dave arrives to the mill and must first have his truck weighed. He then walks up three flights of stairs to the overhead tower for securing the order paperwork. Afterwards, he is directed to the proper mill location to be loaded. This mill is large with out of state 70 yard trucks being constant customers. The type of mulch that I use is located at the far end of the compound. Dave arrives with his 18 yard truck to be loaded. The loader operator is sloppy and places a partial load mostly on one side of the truck bed. Dave immediately knows that the load is far from 18 yards but does not pick a fight with the operator, a 30 year old with ear rings and tattoos. He returns to the weighing station, is weighed, and hikes back up to the top of the tower to pay for the 18 yard load. He reaches the top and lodges a complaint that his truck probably has only 14 yards and is short. The admin person calls the supervisor into the disagreement. The supervisor stresses that the loader operator is professional and knows what he is doing. Dave vehemently disagrees and refuses to leave with this short load. To settle the dispute, the supervisor tells Dave to go back to the loading area and dump the mulch into the storage pile and return to have his truck scanned to ensure the dimensions of his dump bed. You must remember that Dave has been a well respected contractor for 45 years and knows 18 yards when he sees it. So Dave positions his truck in a large scanner to verify the dimensions and is told to go back to the far end of the compound to be reloaded. The supervisor also heads out to that area of the operation. Dave is reloaded and this time the loader operator dumps a portion of the mulch load on top of Dave's windshield. I wish to have been there to see the look on my Irish contractor's face when that took place. The loader operator sad sorry and offered to clean Dave windshield. Dave was so pissed as he is well known for having pristinely maintained equipment and told the loader operator to not go near his truck. Dave cleans the mulch off the windshield and front hood and heads back to the weighing station. He is weighed and walks up three flights of stairs to secure the paperwork and paid for a true 18 yard load.

This story explains why I trust Dave Wilkinson for all aspects of the homestead's and back acreage improvement projects. His honesty and forthrightness is well respected as a friend. There is no one better than Dave. Unfortunately for Dave, I will need a third load of mulch....


Wrapping Up The Blog

I hope that you've enjoyed this Blog edition as I certainly had fun with the composition. Let's just say that life is never boring when operating GFRC on mostly a solo basis and coordinating and executing homestead projects.

Today finds me in the office through 2PM at which time I will be moving some mulch with Johnny2. The next three days will be rained out with plenty of time to work in the office.

Thanks again for visiting. Be well!




Friday April 21, 2023

Overnight Food Poisoning in No Fun


Greetings on a Friday morning a welcome to a very short Blog edition.

As the headline indicates, I was hit with classic food poisoning during the overnight hours with little sleep. We've all been there before and each time is still unpleasant to say the least.

Yesterday brought grocery shopping at the Windham Hanna ford's supermarket. I treat myself to deli buffalo chicken wing, a crunch vegetable salad, some avocado salsa, and Kombucha for lunch. It was a great lunch until 6:00 PM when something went wrong. Exhaustion set in at 7:00 PM followed by the chills and your know the rest. Thank goodness for still having Imodium AD in my computer bag for such emergencies. One never travels in Asia without a medicine kit. I finally feel asleep at 3:30 AM and lost a few pounds during the overnight.

In order to not have a repeat performance, I'm disposing of the four foods that were consumed during Thursday's lunch. This is life.

Thanks for checking in. Be well!