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Saturday December 9, 2023

Big Boy CAC $20 Liberty Gold to Consider!


Delicious Auction Bound Offerings





Big Boy CAC $20 Liberty Gold to Consider!

Priced as Marked

                 1850 PCGS AU53 CAC G$20 - $6750                                1854 RPD Small Date PCGS AU50 CAC G$20 - $3600   


  1862-S NGC AU58 CAC G$20 - $11,250                                           1865 PCGS AU58 CAC G$20 - $7400    


  1900 NGC MS64+ CAC G$20 - $3600                                           1900 PCGS MS64+ CAC G$20 - $3750   



Delicious Auction Bound Offerings

1833 O-105 NGC MS61 50C

              1846 Tall Date PCGS EF45 CAC 50C                                              1876 PCGS MS62 CAC 50C                  


       1889 NGC MS64Star $1                                                               1896 PCGS MS66 $1    


      1898 PCGS MS65 $1                                                                 1898-O PCGS MS65 $1    









Friday December 8, 2023

Auction Bound Gem Barber Dimes via the New Orleans Collection





Greetings on a Friday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for joining me.

I'm afraid that today's edition will be brief as the prepared content is limited to the New Orleans Collection's Barber dime lot. These gem certified dimes will be posting to the January auction catalog this morning. In the background, there is much taking place within the image processing department for both incremental auction listings along with a constant reload of the 30 Day Price List. There has been no time (or energy) to research and create incremental content. One client recently asked why I don't publish in the LSCC's Gobrecht Journal anymore. The response should be self evident that sustaining the GFRC business and Daily Blog is already consuming enough when writing seven days a week and supporting a substantial readership.

Recent Seth Godin blogpost have again become complex and just don't resonant enough with me to be shared as a content source.

Finally, maintaining the Daily Blog becomes much more difficult while living in Florida as there is no opportunity for alternate content such as John Deere tractor activities or the back acreage walking trail construction to share. There are no alternative activities other than working in the GFRC office.

Therefore, it is necessary to back away from the traditional Blog structure today and simply display the New Orleans Collection dime preview followed by signing off. This lot is quite nice including the 1899-O condition census example from the Norweb and Bob Simpson collections.


Auction Bound Gem Barber Dimes via the New Orleans Collection

1899-O PCGS MS66 CAC 10C Ex Norweb/Simpson

       1892-O PCGS MS65 10C                                                                1898-O PCGS MS65 CAC 10C    


 1903-O PCGS MS64 10C                                                                1909-O PCGS MS66 10C    



Please check back on Saturday for a regular edition, of course, sans the Global Financial News segment. I will have many more price list and auction listings to announce and hopefully feel like rambling along with some spontaneous thoughts.

Thank you for checking in. Be well!




Thursday December 7, 2023

Never Forgetting - A Date That Will Live in Infamy

Happy Hanukkah to the Jewish People

Stone Cold Original Trade Dollars to Consider


GFRC-Lite at Annadale VA Show Plus Flash Sunday Sale


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Thursday morning. I'm pleased with the ongoing readership and feedback.

As a nation, we can never forget December 7, 1941. A nation that was attempting to remain neutral, during the growing aggressions by the Empire of Japan and Nazi Germany, was shocked by a surprise attack on the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress and opened his speech with a phrase that came to represent the starting point of the United States involvement during World War II. For those who wish to relive that moment and further understand the phrase, A Date That Will Live in Infamy, simply head to Google or YouTube to listen to FDR's speech. It is quite moving.

Today's Blog edition will be fast paced as there is much to share.


Happy Hanukkah to the Jewish People

December 7, 2023 also marks the start of Hanukkah and the Festival of Light. This year, the October 7 attack on the state of Israel and the Jewish people as a whole was abhorrent. The rise in United States based antisemitism is equally loathsome. Regardless, I hope that each of the eight nights of Hanukkah are filled with light for my many Jewish colleagues and friends. I have a deep respect for Israeli counterparts during years in the semiconductor industry. Brilliant, innovative, and assertive are three characteristics that remain as memories of joint National Semiconductor committee work and negotiating a potential joint venture with Tower Semiconductor when operating at CSMC in Wuxi, China. I hope that the Festival of Light take us one step closer to the end of the Israeli-Hamas war and a long term peace in the Middle East.


Stone Cold Original Trade Dollars to Consider

This past Sunday, GFRC offered 13 Capped Bust halves that showcased strict originality. The client base responded quickly with the purchase of 10 of those lots. What took two months to assemble was sold in just 48 hours at CDN CAC price guide consistent premiums.

Today brings another release of stone cold original early silver coinage that was assembled during the same time frame as the Capped Bust halves. Please note the following four Trade dollars and the consistent deep coin gray patina.

We open the showcase with an incredible gem 1876 Trade dollar that is one of the finest AUs that I've seen in a numismatic career. Yes, the offer price is very strong and I really don't care if this piece sells as owning it provides a solid reference for the state of unquestionable originality and gem preservation. Though the 1877 dollar does not have a CAC green bean, it is also a prime example of natural gray originality. The 1877-CC date is much better in the series and ranks with the 1876-CC in terms of approved CAC population. This VF20 example is freshly graded in a new CACG holder. The display closes with a common date 1877-S that is also perfectly original. All offer prices are as marked.

Stone Cold Original Trade Dollars

Price as Marked

      1876 PCGS AU55 CAC T$1 - $1050                                                     1877 PCGS EF45 T$1 - $435          


       1877-CC CACG VF20 T$1 - $1350                                                 1877-S PCGS VF35 CAC T$1 - $475    



Posting to the Island City Auction Sale Catalog

How I love handling gem coinage and offering to GFRC clients. The following two lots will be posting to the online January 2024 auction catalog today. Little needs to be said as the images speak for themselves. Both lots have garnered a gem quality rating for exceptional preservation and old time eye appeal.

 1868 PCGS MS63 CAC 50C                                                             1893 CACG MS63 50C     



GFRC-Lite at Annadale VA Show Plus Flash Sunday Sale

Rich Hundertmark and the GFRC-Lite franchise continue to gain recognition and momentum in the numismatic market place. Please note that Rich's website has seen some notable performance improvements along with becoming much more efficient in terms of loading inventory items. As GFRC moves up the pricing ladder, I am counting on Rich to support long term clients in the lower priced collecting space.

Rich sent along the following concerning his participation at the Annadale VA show with setup on Friday. He has decided to offer a flash sale on Sunday with the Daily Blog being employed to announce those sale items. Please read on for the details....

Hi Gerry,

My how time flies, it’s already a month post Baltimore show and just 4 weeks until Winter FUN in Orlando.

Lite has been busy post Baltimore show with a focus on improving website performance with a planned move to a different hosting platform. I can now report that site response time has improved dramatically and will be far more responsive to site visitors. Another benefit is that my time in posting new coin additions will be dramatically reduced allowing for increased work efficiency.

I’ve now almost completed preparations for the Annandale Virginia show which is held this Saturday and Sunday at the Northern Virginia Community College.  Lite will be residing in its prime booth location #201, right between Jim Mathews and show anchor Angel Dee’s.

For this show I’ll have 4 cases on my 8’ table, 2 populated with certified coins, 2 with raw coins.

The Annandale show specifics can be found at Annandalecoinshow.com

Annandale is about a 5 hr northeast drive from Winston Salem, much easier than the 6.5 hr. trek to Baltimore as it eliminates the pesky 60 miles between DC and “Charm City”.

This will be Lite’s 3rd consecutive appearance at the Annandale show that is well promoted by Wayne Herndon of Potomac Promotion’s.


I’ve noticed that Saturdays are quite busy with a well-heeled collector base that comes out to support the event, but Sundays can be a bit slow. In Lite of this 
 (pun intended) I’m going to try and involve blog readers by offering a dozen coins with discounted prices for a Sunday Holidays sale. 

Show hours on Sunday are 10am to 4pm EST, but I’ll be on the bourse at 9am. Gerry will publish the 12-coin sale offering as part of the Sunday blog. All coins on the list can be found on the GFRC-Lite website with pics and descriptions. 

If interested in a coin, simply email me at richhunderr1@gmail.com or text me at 973-271-2615

I’ll respond as quickly as possible, 1st come 1st serve. Once availability is confirmed, clients can place an order and note in the order comments section the sale price.

Additionally, if there is coin on the Lite website that is of interest, I’ll take reasonable offers, the intent being that I want this time period to act as a “trading desk”. I’ll do my best to make a deal on listed coins.   ** Disclaimer - Note that the site won’t be updated for Saturday sales, so coin availability will need to be confirmed.

 I’m offering this extra promo as I’m considering the 3-hr. time differential to the west coast and want to be as fair as possible.

Finally, I usually start packing in the 1pm time frame for the ride. I’ll honor any text or email sent before 4pm Eastern time. I may not respond immediately if on the road, so please be patient, all offers will be responded to.

Happy holidays to all the blogamaniacs.



Global Financial News

The primary financial news of the day is that crude oil prices has taken a sudden fall with WTI crude now selling at $70/bbl. The drop from $85/bbl to $70 took place in the matter of several weeks. If we are to believe that oil prices are a leading indicator of a pending global recession, then the signal has arrived. Otherwise, the short sellers could be a work since the Israeli-Hamas war has yet to produce any type of oil shock from the Arab producers. OPEC+ is also attempting to slow member state outputs to support pricing levels, but without an impact.

Spot gold continues to inch upward as the past Friday and Monday volatility, that took us above $2100 mark, is now the new goal post. The current Kitco real time quote is $2032/oz. The World Gold Council reports that net long positions on the COMEX are increasing. Following is that quote with (t) being tons.

Net long positioning on COMEX rose further, totaling 658t at the end of November, a 23% increase m/m and 25% above the 2022 average (527t),” they said. “And money manager net longs also surged, rising by 36% m/m to 449t, reflecting investors’ positive sentiment amid the gold price rally during the month.”

The U.S. dollar continues to hold its ground at 104 even while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield as softened to 4.16%.

As for equity trading, the S&P 500 dropped to 4,549 on Wednesday. Morning market futures are pointing to a flat open when trading restarts at 9:30 AM.


Wrapping Up The Blog

This has been a long composition and the time has come to start another regular day in the GFRC office. Today's top focus is image processing and loading more lots to the Island City auction sale catalog. Yesterday brought the arrival of five Mint State Barber dimes from the New Orleans Collection. Those were immediately photographed yesterday afternoon and will be presented as a new gallery come tomorrow's Blog edition.

In addition to the New Orleans Collection arrival, GFRC has been asked to sell a truly AMAZING 1826 Capped Bust half dollar with Link pedigree. This lot also arrived yesterday and was immediately photographed. All I can say is that this lot is one of the finest early capped halves that I've had the pleasure of handling. "Sick" and Crazy" come to mind as the proper adjectives to describe this piece.

Thanks again for today's visit. Be well!




December 6, 2023

Winter FUN Show - GFRC at Usual Booth 636


January 2024 Auction - City By The Bay Collection Highlights


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog. It is a Wednesday morning with temperatures in the mid 60s here in Venice. As usual, thank you for checking in.

Some readers might be wondering what a coin dealer's typical day encompasses? I can only respond to this question from the GFRC perspective as there is no such thing as a typical coin dealer. As I've learned over the years, each coin dealer approaches their business from different angles. We can start with the coin shop owner who deals with whatever might walk through the door as being offered for sale. After purchasing from the public, the dealer must find an approach to sell these items for a profit. While some of the purchases might end up in his/her shop display cases, bullion typically gets shipped out to a larger buyer if the shop owner does not have ready outlets.

Online dealers are also varied in their approaches. Some maintain a small online inventory and conduct buying and selling behind the scenes aka the wholesaler. There are those dealers who conduct retail sales directly to the collector base. Certain dealers own their entire inventory while others handle mostly consignments. There are multiple approaches for operating a coin business with personal skill sets, relationships, and financial backing being critical parameters that will steer the business model.

At GFRC, we are a retail operation with a sophisticated online presence. Inventory is a combination of consignments and GFRC own items. Close relationships with clients and personal service is what differentiates our business from the larger and more well known competitors.

Yesterday brought a request for help from a long time consignor. This individual has been with GFRC since 2014 and needed financial aid for a matter that I will not discuss in the Blog. He needed to raise cash immediately and ask for my help to wholesale out an expensive coin. When Tuesday started, I thought it would be a quiet day in the office preparing auction lots and writing descriptions for the gold coins that were showcased in the morning Blog edition. Instead, I found myself attempting to locate another dealer that would purchase our client's coin at a fair wholesale price. The first inquiry came up empty but the explanation for the pass was invaluable. Our client was buried in his coin, in other words, he paid super strong money and would need to take a sizable loss. I broke the news to the client and he swallowed hard and asked that I do my best to locate a reasonable offer. By late afternoon, a fair offer was located and the coin was sold. Our client will be receiving much need funds for life's expenses.

Bottom line, there is much more to being a coin dealer than sitting behind a display coin at a coin show or manning emails and the phone when offering coins via an online portal. Every collector has a different background, financial means, and knowledge set. Some are proficient graders and understand surfaces well. There are those that don't especially feel the need to acquire those numismatic skills and trust the TPG labels. Some have large financial means and dabble while others have very limited means and will over extend themselves due to a passion for coins.

Each new day in the GFRC office will often bring surprises or special requests that impact the steady drum beat of image processing and posting coins to a price list or auction catalog.


Winter FUN Show - GFRC at Usual Booth 636

The Orlando Winter FUN show is just one month away! This is a massive event and the largest of the numismatic year. The show takes place again at the Orlando Convention Center South Concourse and is located in Hall NB, the same venue as the 2022 show. The GFRC booth is also the same as 2022 and located well back from the entrance. Our double booth is #636 on the bourse map as shown next. I'm not thrilled with this location but there is little that can be done to improve the situation given GFRC is a newbie dealer in the grand history of the FUN show.

In terms of the FUN educational seminars, I've committed to support the program once again. My presentation is scheduled for Saturday morning at 11:30 AM. The listed topic is "Liberty Seated Dimes" but I'm probably going to deviate and give the "Many Faces of Seated Liberty" presentation that has proven to be popular and well received during years past.


January 2024 Auction - City By The Bay Collection Highlights

As of this morning, the Island City Auction Sale now encompasses 71 lots with many more waiting in the wings to be posted. Along with the in office inventory, there are several more consignments that have been committed and should be arriving this week.

Today brings the City By The Bay Collection lots to the online catalog. Those lots are posted with reserves as the numbers were determined early on with this consignor. Following are four consignments highlights to whet your appetite.

January 2024 Auction - City By The Bay Collection Highlights

                     1838 NGC MS65 H10C                                                       1856 Small Date F-113 NGC MS66 10C    


     1881 Briggs 2-B NGC PF65 25C                                                  1901-S PCGS MS64+ CAC G$10    



Global Financial News

This segment could be easily summed up with a single theme, namely "steady as she goes".

Spot gold pricing has settled in at $2025/oz after a period of sharp volatility. The S&P 500 closed at 4,567 on Tuesday and down just 2 points for the day. The latest presentation by Lena Petrova indicates that U.S. jobs openings (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) are dropping and indicative that the economy is slowing. This data will place further pressure on the Fed to halt interest rate increases and actually reverse coarse earlier in 2024 than expected. What I like about Lena Petrova is that her daily videos are grounded in data rather than the many "infomercials" that are prevalent on YouTube.

Checking in on our daily parameters, the U.S. dollar has increased to 104.10 while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has dropped to 4.19%.

WTI crude is trading at slightly under $71/bbl. My decision to rebalance the portfolio with a slightly higher energy sector exposure was ill timed as oil has been dropping ever since. Crude's weakness is a signal that global economic activity is waning with China leading the pack with a host of economic issues to contend with.

Morning market futures are pointing to some slight buying at the opening bell to the tune of 0.15% for the S&P.


Wrapping Up The Blog

OK, another Daily Blog composition has concluded followed by spell checking and hitting the upload button. I'm ready for that fast paced morning health walk and another day in the GFRC Florida office. Since there is no shipping this morning, my attention will promptly move to loading yesterday's gold lots to the 30 Day Price List. Once those pieces are posted, the balance of the day shifts to image processing and working on the Emerald Collection lots for the upcoming January auction.

Thanks again for checking in and a potential December numismatic order. Be well!




Tuesday December 5, 2023

A CAC Approved U.S. Gold Cavalcade!


Greetings on a Tuesday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Three cheers go out to all the regular readers.....

Life in Florida is certainly comfortable and less challenging versus that of being in Maine. Of course, the weather is the primary factor as the sun does shine on most days with a heavy rain storm being atypical. Second is living in an deeded condo association whereby the grounds and structural buildings are maintained as part of our monthly HOA fees. The down side is spending most of my waking hours in the GFRC office which also doubles as the music room and entertainment center. When first arriving to the condo, after an extended summer in Maine, the feeling of being a "caged animal" appeared but soon dissipated when watching the southern Maine weather updates. We are fortunate to be able to winter in Florida though the longing for the great Maine outdoors and molding rocks and dirt into a walking park does not abate.

There is little prepared for today's Blog other than a substantial U.S. gold gallery that showcases many recent purchases by the Osprey Collection and GFRC. Let's move directly into that topic.


A CAC Approved U.S. Gold Cavalcade!

Though GFRC has built a reputation for stocking a wide ranging $2.5 gold inventory, today's presentation shifts the spot light onto the half eagle and eagle denominations including some challenging branch mint issues. Before I go any further, the 1856-S $10 is a well preserved offering but is NOT CAC approved. When preparing this showcase, a CAC green bean emblem was mistakenly added to the image as this piece is all there and original at the certified. Once realizing my mistake, the image was corrected before evening preview readers gained access to the Blog.

This gallery presents a host of great new offerings, some worthy of specific mention. The 1880-CC $5 is on the lower end of the survival scale when reviewing the CAC population report as 65 piece in total have been approved. The bulk of the distribution will be found between EF45 and AU58 at substantially higher premiums. If wishing to own a piece of early Carson City issued gold, this moderately worn example presents a compelling entry point.

Like any U.S. coinage series, one must take the time to study gold date mintages as there is quite the variance from year to year and by branch mint. Today's presentation is a chance to discuss the mid to late 1880's San Francisco half eagle issues. Rather than citing mintages, my reference is total CAC population as GFRC attempts to deal in only choice examples. Here are the CAC approved totals for the 1884 through 1888 issues.

1884-S - 24

1885-S - 205

1886-S - 237

1887-S - 71

1888-S - 22

When inspecting the gallery, you will note that Dan and I were able to locate high grade Mint State examples of the 1887-S and 1888-S dates. The 1887-S $5 approved population peaks at MS64 with only four better with a CAC green bean. This MS64+ is the last tier of affordability. The 1888-S is even more striking with four pieces approved at the MS63 level and only one finer in MS64. The CDN CAC guide does not even bother to establish a price for the MS64 grade, probably due to lack of relevant sales data. Today offering of the newly CACG graded MS63 is as good as it gets in securing a condition census example.

The 1910 $5 Indian is a wonderful example that is a recent GFRC purchase from a regular U.S. gold client. Then come two different examples of the 1881-CC $10 date. The coloration between the two pieces is quite striking as one offers a rich orange green-gold appearance while the second is more in line with a traditional green-gold shades. Both are perfectly original but with entirely different "paint".

The balance of the showcase presents incremental $5 and $10 gold lots for consideration. The 1853 $5 is an obvious piece of crusty gold that I'm particularly proud of. The 1913-S $5 and 1912-S $10 are both as good as it gets for AU58 graded gold.

Let's hope that a few lovely homes will appear for these wonderful lots. All will be posted to the price list during the afternoon hours followed by another quick Collectors Corner's update to enable fellow dealers to see these lots on their CCE screens.

A CAC Approved U.S. Gold Cavalcade!

Priced as Marked

      1880-CC NGC VF20 CAC G$5 - $2675                                        1887-S PCGS MS64+ CAC G$5 - $2950      


      1888-S CACG MS63 G$5 - $6150                                             1910 PCGS MS64 CAC G$5 - $4350    


      1881-CC NGC AU53 CAC G$10 - $6950                                         1881-CC NGC AU53 CAC G$10 - $6600   


  1853 NGC AU55 CAC G$5 - $1200                 1880 PCGS MS64 CAC G$5 - $1350               1913-S PCGS AU58 CAC G$5 - $1575


    1856-S PCGS AU53 G$10 - $2425               1912-S NGC AU58 CAC G$10 - $2050



Global Financial News

Yes indeed, gold pricing has been on a wild ride during the past few trading sessions. End of week saw the gap up to $2070/oz followed by early Monday trading that peaked at $2138 before a sharp reversal. The morning quote is back down to $2027/oz. I'm of the belief that there are forces that do not wish to see gold climb to new heights. But take a look at Bitcoin where those same governmental forces cannot exert a similar controlling influence. Bitcoin has exploded with a morning quote of $41,832. Such is the reality of gold until the day arrives where eastern influence becomes greater than that of the west.

The equity market rally has flattened out with the S&P 500 dropping fractionally to 4,569 on Monday and morning market futures pointing to more sellers than buyers at the opening bell.

In Asia, Japan -1.4%. Hong Kong -1.9%. China -1.7%. India +0.6%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.6%. Paris +0.2%. Frankfurt +0.2%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.3%. S&P -0.4%. NASDAQ -0.7%.

WTI crude has dropped to $73/bbl as so far, the Israel-Hamas conflict has not had a significant spill over into other Middle East locations. OPEC+ is attempting to hold crude at the $80/bbl level but has been unable to accomplish that goal with limited production cuts.

The U.S. dollar has gain some ground at 103.8 while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bold yield holds at 4.23%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Life is a constant as mentioned into today's preamble. Diane and I will be shipping orders during the morning hours followed by a solo afternoon in the office posting the above gold lots to the 30 Day Price List and adding a City By The Bay Collection consignment to the forthcoming January auction. That auction will be approaching the 75 lot milestone after this posting. Why do I feel like I'm just getting started with this auction event as there are many more lots in the image processing loop along more consignments arriving this week.

Please consider a purchase as balancing the incoming consignments with outgoing shipments is always important.

Thank you so much for visiting on a regular basis. Be well!




Monday December 4, 2023

Premium Capped Bust Half Dollars Well Received


Spot Gold on a Wild Ride


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on an early December Monday. I'm pleased that you could check in.

Yesterday's Capped Bust half dollar display was well received with 8 of the 13 lots selling in the matter of hours. I can ramble on for days on end about the characteristic of original silver surfaces, but one 13 piece display promptly made the point. One of the GFRC clients that sold me a few of the halves in the display sent along the following:

Hi Gerry,

It’s rewarding to see some of my CBHs populate the educational display on your blog today. It helps validate my “eye”, as well as my approach to limiting purchases primarily to CAC’ed coins from a very select group of dealers, including GFRC. This display strikes me as a great service to your clients so that their hard-earned money is allocated to coins that provide maximum enjoyment and (hopefully) maximum return in the future.

And that 1832 sure looks pretty darned special in your photo! 

All of the Capped Bust halves have been posted to the 30 Day Price List, so please click on the link to see which pieces are sold and those that remain.

Also found on the same price list is a lot of discounted U.S. gold that was a client buyout on Saturday evening. Our long term client made a command decision to trade his wonderful type set for a large Liberty Seated dime lot. Seated dimes have once again become popular with nearly all higher grades and better dates heading into new collections in the past 45 days.

All lots are CAC approved with offer prices below the CDN CAC guide. Following is a gallery presentation of those discounted lots for your consideration. This is a super lot that should not last long as the discounted prices have been posted to Collectors Corner and CCE. Once the CCE dealers see these prices pop up on their trading screens, I'm certain that several will be scooped up.

1886 PCGS AU58 CAC G$3 - $6950

 1854 Type 1 NGC MS64 CAC G$1 - $1350                                           1926 NGC MS63 CAC G$2.5 - $785    


                 1909 PCGS MS63+ CAC G$5 - $2475                                  1908 No Motto PCGS MS64 CAC G$20 Rattler - $2850    



Spot Gold on a Wild Ride

The yellow precious metal is securing considerable attention this morning in the financial press as breaking through its all time high late last week.

Sunday evening's trading in Asia saw a wild price jump to $2148/oz before settling back to $2070 as the Blog is being composed. Last evening's initial price jump was probably due to a liquidity issue with potential sellers sitting back as anxious bidders arrived. Bids kept rising until the sellers finally relented. When gold rises to a record level, demand appears with few strong hand holders wishing to sell. I'm in that camp as in no hurry to post $20 Saints to the price list until spot gold prices settles down at a new level.


Global Financial News

Turning our attention to U.S. equities, the S&P 500 starts the week at 4,595 with just a few trading weeks left in the year. The drum beats, warning of a recession in 2024 grow, louder by the day as the average American has exhausted their savings and are maintaining lifestyles with credit cards. Worse, are those who are beginning to dip early into their 401K accounts to secure incremental funds. The higher cost of living, as witnessed during 2023, is here to stay with individuals needing to make decisions concerning their financial security.

The U.S. dollar has steadied of late and continues to quote at the 103.4 level while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield stands at 4.25%.

WTI crude is certainly lagging at this point with a morning quote slightly under $74.00.

Morning market futures are pointing to selling at the market opening.

In Asia, Japan -0.6%. Hong Kong -1.1%. China -0.3%. India +2.1%.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.4%. Paris -0.3%. Frankfurt flat.

Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.3%. NASDAQ -0.4%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Monday mornings are traditionally dedicated to shipping higher value packages and today is no different. Diane and I will be in the shipping department the entire morning.

Come the afternoon hours, I will be preparing another gallery display featuring accumulated smaller denomination U.S. gold that was procured at the Manchester NH and Whitman Baltimore shows.

Otherwise, I am available to discuss potential consignments, and of course, more than willing to entertain purchase orders. My role is to help collectors at multiple levels achieve their numismatic goals.

Thank you as always for visiting with GFRC at the Daily Blog. Be well!




Sunday December 3, 2023

CAC Originality - Premium Capped Bust Half Dollars to Consider


Greetings on a quiet Sunday morning. Welcome to a weekend Daily Blog edition. As always, your patronage is welcomed and appreciated.

Today's edition will be brief as most of Saturday was spent preparing a substantial Capped Bust half dollar offering. What is special about this offering is that all the lots are CAC approved and illustrate the appearance of strictly original early silver coinage. These halves were purchased over a period of two months via one-on-one client deals along with augmenting the group with incremental Whitman Baltimore show new purchases.

The appearance of unmolested silver surfaces is readily apparent in today's gallery. Capped Bust halves that are certified EF45 of better should have residual luster when placed under a bright light. This is certainly the case for these lots, though GFRC photography is unable to capture luster. Rather, my photography captures the in-hand appearance prior to a coin being moved to a light source to explore that aspects of its overall presentation.

The total offer price of the 30 Day Price List bound lots is approximately $7500. The offer prices are consistent with the CDN CAC guide. If I was still a pure collector, the thought of purchasing a 100% original Capped Bust halve dollar set for $7500 could be enticing. These thirteen lots are well matched with respect to surface preservation and toning colors. Armed with this lot in your safe or bank box, there is more than enough visual reference material to quickly turn any inexperienced hobbyist into a selective buyer without having to go through purchasing mistakes and the resulting "tuition" cost of disposing of those mistakes.

Bottom line, today's display has been designed to be educational and indicative of the originality that CAC strives to reward with a green bean. Please go to the CAC website and investigate the population report for these offerings. Of the thousands of Capped Bust halves that have been TPG graded, you might be surprised as to how few have been approve by CAC. There in lies the reason for premium prices as compared to an average coin without CAC approval.

Collecting is a matter of personal preferences. If you like your early silver with a dipped white look, then have fun collecting those as the challenge should be minimal. If you wish to collect only strictly original early silver, then the challenge will be incrementally daunting. Again, it took me several months to assemble this lot via dealer-client purchases along with hand selecting incremental pieces during dealer day buying at the Whitman Baltimore show.

Please note that the 1839 RE half is not CAC approved as it does not have a CAC green bean emblem on the image.


CAC Originality - Premium Capped Bust Half Dollars to Consider

30 Day Price List Bound - Priced as Marked

    1818 O-109a PCGS EF45 CAC 50C - SOLD                                       1821 O-101 PCGS AU55 CAC 50C - $1200    


    1823 Broken 3 O-101 PCGS VF30 CAC 50C - SOLD                           1823 Patched 3 O-102 PCGS VF35 CAC 50C - $750    


1809 III Edge O-107a PCGS VF20 CAC 50C - $450    1812/1 O-102 PCGS VF25 CAC 50C - $465       1820 O-106 PCGS VF25 CAC 50C - $395        


         1822 O-105 PCGS VF35 CAC 50C - $375            1825 O-112 PCGS EF45 CAC 50C - SOLD         1827/6 O-101 PCGS EF40 CAC 50C - $615        


 1829 Sm Let O-117 PCGS EF45 CAC 50C - $335      1834 O-116 PCGS AU53 CAC 50C - $435                    1839 PCGS EF40 50C - $385                  



These four incremental lots are special with two of the four receiving GFRC-Gem quality ratings. I've decided to place these in the upcoming GFRC Online Auctions sale that begins on January 20, 2024. Again the surfaces and toning are totally consistent with those reaching the price list.

January 2024 Island City Auction Bound

            1828 O-112 PCGS AU50 CAC 50C                                          1830 Small 0 O-106 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C    


                1831 O-108 PCGS MS62 CAC 50C                                      1832 Small Letters O-106 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C  



Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings a partial office day during the afternoon hours. The morning hours bring a short jaunt to our local Home Depot for ten bags of pebble stone to further beautify the grilling area outside of our lanai. The physical exercise will be welcomed rather than sitting at the office desk all day (as was done on Saturday).

Thank you so much for the ongoing visits. I hope that today's presentation had an impact as I'm a firm believer in the CAC product.

Be well!




Saturday December 2, 2023

Spot Gold at Record High - Why Now?


Quito Collection - Liberty Seated Quarter Musings


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on an early Saturday morning.

Today's edition will be brief as it is the weekend after all. Friday's office activities were straightforward with a pile of morning shipping followed by an afternoon of image processing. The Island City Auction Sale catalog is starting to be populated with incremental lots. Yet another consignment proposal also arrived featuring five Mint State Barber dimes, most are better dates too.

I'm quietly preparing a substantial Capped Bust half dollar gallery display with a ton of dates and nicer Overton varieties with most being CAC approved. The display is being designed to illustrate the appearance of natural coin gray toning as an educational tool. These will be heading to the price list since the incoming consignment flow will be sufficient to load up the January auction.

Speaking of the first GFRC Online Auction of 2024, I am prescreening lots for originality as the consignments arrive. Those coins that are inferior for the grade, and are certain to disappoint a winning bidder, will move directly to the 30 Day Price List with an accurate description. There comes a point where obviously cleaned coins, that are straight graded in TPG holders, must be called out for what they are. Yes, this will mean some occasional difficult discussions with consignors.


Spot Gold at Record High - Why Now?

Finally, spot gold pricing broke through its prior $2060/oz record yesterday and is resting at $2071/oz as the Blog is being composed.

Upon seeing the price gapping up on the Kitco live chart, my first thought was that the U.S. dollar had weakened again. But that was not the case as the DXY index was quoting at 103.3. The next stop was the 10 Year U.S. bond yield. The longer term bond yield started the morning at 4.32% and fell throughout the day with a closing at 4.20%.

The million dollar question is why is gold now rallying along with U.S. equities? Most analysts will point to the decreasing interest rate scenario as the underpinning for gold's rally. However, I'm not accepting this explanation. My gut tells me there is something else taking place that casual investors are unaware of. For years, it has been common knowledge that major banks have been suppressing gold prices through paper contract trading on the COMEX. COMEX is the Chicago commodities exchange where traders can operate in the gold and silver markets. For the past few years, it has been reported that the COMEX no longer has any physical gold in its warehouse to support contract trading. If a trader does wish to settle a contract in physical delivery, there are rules in place that discourage this action. The net result is the COMEX is a paper trading market and losing pricing credibility against rising gold exchanges like that in Shanghai that does settle trades with physical gold. As gold is at all time highs in nearly all major global currencies, the time had arrived for gold to hit a new high as measure in U.S. dollars.

Another speculation is that gold ownership, by a host of international central banks, is now challenging U.S. Treasury bonds. With the U.S. deficit about to reach $34T dollars and no Washington DC financial controls in sight, global central banks are moving away from U.S. Treasuries and shifting their foreign reserves holdings into physical gold. If this scenario does gain momentum, then gold must be revalued higher given the limited amount of physical metal available on the planet to augment/supplant the value of the U.S. Treasury market.

Could gold break through the $2100 mark during next week's trading? Based on its trajectory, this is entirely possible.


Quito Collection - Liberty Seated Quarter Musings

Friday morning brought a "Morning Tidbit" email from our friend, the Quito Collection. Following are his musings along with illustrations.

Morning Gerry,

I present two Liberty Seated quarters.  One is well circulated and has accumulated in many a cash drawer.  It's jingled in 100’s if not 1000’s a person’s pocket or purse and likely loaded with many frontier stories of life’s struggles and grocery purchases.  The other has been keenly preserved with only a few choice individuals lucky enough to possess in their palms and enjoy firsthand its beauty.

Each provides a unique perspective.  I admire the 1865 but absolutely am astonished at the yore of the 1861-S.

Many thanks for imparting your knowledge of Seated coinage.  It’s always freely given with goodwill and much appreciated!


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today will find me in the GFRC office for most of the day working on a noteworthy Capped Bust half dollar gallery display along with preparing to post the lot to the 30 Day Price List. I hope to have this gallery ready for Sunday's Blog.

Phone calls and emails will be promptly responded to concerning purchases and potential consignments. Not so if sending me emails to comment on other dealer's coins as was the case this week. Please don't do that. There comes a time for certain collectors to step up and make personal purchase decisions based on the ongoing guidance provided at the Daily Blog. My apology, as I will not be responding to requests for evaluation of coins in other dealer inventories.

Thank you for taking the time this morning to visit the Daily Blog. Be well.




Friday December 1, 2023

Black Friday Shipments are Today's Main Act

30 Day Price List Secures Much Needed Love


Sneak Peak - Incremental Island City Auction Sale Lots


Greetings on the first day of December 2023 and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for the ongoing visits.

I've never been so pleased to say goodbye to an intensely busy November while welcoming a slower pace month of December. Don't get me wrong. November brought the highest sales revenues of 2023 and the second largest for the 2022-2023 time frame. It is gratifying to see the correlation between major event efforts and the results. GFRC consignors will also be pleased as substantial consignor checks are being mailed or accumulated trading desk credit are being employed for new purchases. Key to the success of any retail business is inventory turnover, and that we did in November.

I would also like to announce that GFRC is adding a start-up coin show to its 2024 schedule. The Sarasota Florida Coin Club is launching a new three day show that takes place from February 28 through March 2. The show will be held at the Sahib Shriner's Temple in Sarasota with incredible amenities for a smaller sized coin show. A full restaurant will be on site serving breakfast and lunch. The Tiki Bar will also be opened including nightly Happy Hour. There is plenty of free parking too. Since Dan White is well connected to the Sarasota Coin Club, GFRC has been able to secure one of the best table locations on the bourse. We will be located immediately left of the entrance with a full corner plus sized booth.

I'm also pleased to report that daily consignments proposals are appearing. Yesterday brought the commitment of a 20 piece Seated coinage lot from the LaSalle Collection. The Saw Mill Run Collection is preparing another shipment for the forthcoming January auction. Also, the Massachusetts Collection has decided it is time to release his Top 100 Varieties Seated dimes. December will be an exciting month is terms of GFRC Online Auctions preparations along with re-energizing the 30 Day Price List. Let's not forget that I'm still sitting on a tad over 50 new purchases from the Manchester NH and Whitman Baltimore shows that require some much needed attention.


Black Friday Shipments are Today's Main Act

Thursday brought a slew of Black Friday check payments which translates into another substantial shipping day today. Diane and I will be working diligently to package and ship a host of new purchases. Afterwards, my time will be split between processing lots for both the 30 Day Price List and fleshing out the January auction.


30 Day Price List Secures Much Needed Love

That's right! During the past 48 hours, thirteen new lots have been posted to the 30 Day Price List. U.S. gold and Liberty Seated coinage are again arriving to the price list after selling a considerable amount of inventory in November. There are three new Seated No Drapery half dimes from the Crazy Joe Collection to consider. I would like to draw your attention to a gem 1877-S Seated half that is so indicative of the currently tight CACG standards. Here are the images along with my description.

1877-S CACG MS62 50C - $975

Steely Reflective Luster, Absolute Gem at Grade, Very Conservative CACG Grading. Yes, this 1877-S Seated half is an absolutely gem at the CACG certified grade. Steely fields radiate glowing reflective luster when viewed under a bright light. The darker in-hand toning melts away and reveals center rose and peripheral blues on the obverse while the reverse transitions to center blue-gray with peripheral aquamarine-gold. A 10x located a few ancient micro ticks on the lower gown that are totally inconsequential given the magnificent originality and eye appeal. This piece is more than conservatively graded and priced accordingly given that the GFRC purchase price was above the CDN CAC guide. Housed in new CAC Grading (2023) holder and graded consistent with CAC approval standards.


Sneak Peak - Incremental Island City Auction Sale Lots

Now that the Island City Standing Liberty quarters have established a foundation for the January 2024 auction, attention shifts to adding incremental consignments to the online catalog. Following are five solid lots that will be posted today. This lot is from an anonymous consignor.

1800 PCGS VF25 CAC $1

   1864 PCGS Large Motto MS65+RB CAC 2C                                           1845-O WB-1 PCGS EF45 CAC 50C      


  1861-O W-3 PCGS AU50 50C                                                        1875-S WB-2 PCGS AU58 50C



Global Financial News

Though the U.S. mainstream media is not shedding light on global dedollarization efforts, one can locate pertinent news via monitoring certain YouTube channels. One important source of information that I've been taking in during the past 60 days has been Lena Petrova, a U.S. based CPA with auditing firm background. This morning, it was learned that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will not longer conduct new oil deals in U.S. dollars. This announcement comes on the heels of Saudi Arabia and China agreeing to oil sales and other mutual trade to be conducted in local currencies. The BRICS economic alliance is expanding with what appears to be a dedollarization priority.

Gold continues to shine as it is holding the $2040/oz level while silver has gapped up to over $25/oz. For the time being, the U.S. dollar has steadied at 103.3.

The 10 Year U.S. bond yield has crept up to 4.33%. WTI crude oil is trading at $76/bbl regardless of a recent OPEC announcement to hold existing production cuts.

The first trading day of December sees the S&P 500 at 4,567 after Thursday trading where the Dow and the NASDAQ diverged. The Dow was gaining ground while the tech heavy NASDAQ fell. Morning market futures are pointing to a repeat of Thursday's trading.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings another day in the GFRC office. It is that plain and simple.

Thank you again for taking time to visit the Daily Blog towards securing the latest updates. Be well!





Thursday November 30, 2023

Presenting the Island City Standing Liberty Quarter Collection


Responding to Client's CAC Legacy Question


Greetings on an early Thursday morning and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. Thank you for visiting.

This morning brings a strong sense of relief. Why you might ask?

Essentially all of the 3rd CAC-Only auction shipping has been completed along with a fair portion of the Black Friday Sale purchases. Remaining are a few 3rd CAC-Only lots to go out the door once check payments are received. Overall, Diane and I have accomplished all of the November objectives and are now able to focus on the upcoming Christmas holiday which brings the Fortin clan to Venice.

Of course, I will be working relentlessly to build the Island City Collection auction catalog prior to lot viewing at the Winter FUN show that begins in Orlando on January 4th.

Speaking of the Island City Collection, I'm most pleased to be showcasing this CAC approved Standing Liberty quarter set in today's Blog. The set highlight is the iconic 1916 quarter that sports a mintage of only 52,000 pieces. The mintage was struck during the final two weeks of 1916 followed by their release into circulation in early January 1917. Ron Guth provides the background for the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter release within the PCGS Price Guide. He states the following:

The 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter Dollar has one of the lowest mintages of any coin struck for circulation in the Twentieth Century. Technically, this type should not have appeared until 1917, because design changes were impermissible under the law until twenty-five years had elapsed. 1916 was the 25th year of the Barber Quarter, which was given a full mintage of 1,788,000 coins. Despite the legal limitations, the Mint began producing coins with Hermon MacNeil's new design in December of 1916. Production was limited to 52,000 coins, mostly because of time. No notice was given to the public that the Quarter Dollar had been re-designed, so virtually all examples entered circulation, thus accounting for the scarcity of high grade examples today.

Besides the 1916 key date, the Island City Collection highlights include both 1917-S Type 1 and 2 lots with the Type 2 being beautifully toned. The 1919-D and 1919-S are a matched pair and both graded PCGS AU55 with CAC approval. The 1921, 1923-S, and of course, the 1927-S are also well represented. Finally, the 1930-S is a thing of beauty as certified PCGS MS66+ with CAC approval.

Though not in the marquee portion of the gallery, I immediately fell in love with the 1919 quarter and choose that lot as the Island City auction banner plate coin.

I hope that you will take time today to explore the entire Island City Collection, here at the Blog, and also at the online catalog link. All lots are posted, some with prior descriptions as a starting point.


Presenting the Island City Standing Liberty Quarter Collection

1916 PCGS AU53 CAC 25C

 1917-S Type 1 PCGS AU58FH CAC 25C                                             1917-S Type 2 PCGS MS64 CAC 25C 


 1919-D PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                                                            1919-S PCGS AU55 CAC 25C


 1921 PCGS AU58 CAC 25C                                                            1923-S PCGS AU55 CAC 25C 


 1927-S PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                                                            1930-S PCGS MS66+ CAC 25C 


  1917 Type 1 PCGS AU53 CAC 25C             1917-D Type 1 PCGS AU58 CAC 25C               1917 Type 2 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C


 1917-D Type 2 PCGS AU58 CAC 25C                   1918 PCGS AU58FH CAC 25C                       1918-D PCGS AU58 CAC 25C      


1918-S PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                         1919 PCGS MS63 CAC 25C                           1920 PCGS AU58 CAC 25C


  1920-D PCGS AU58 CAC 25C                        1920-S PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                         1923 PCGS AU58 CAC 25C    


1924 PCGS AU58 CAC 25C                        1924-D PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                         1924-S PCGS AU55 CAC 25C


  1925 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                          1926 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                         1926-D PCGS AU55 CAC 25C


1926-S PCGS AU58 CAC 25C                         1927 PCGS MS64 CAC 25C                         1927-D PCGS AU58 CAC 25C


  1928 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                        1928-D PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                         1928-S PCGS AU58 CAC 25C


     1929 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                        1929-D PCGS AU58 CAC 25C                       1929-S PCGS AU58FH CAC 25C


1930 PCGS AU58 CAC 25C


Responding to Client's CAC Legacy Question

The following client questions, concerning CAC Grading, arrived into my Inbox yesterday. It is likely that others in the community might benefit from the response.

I know you are busy, but I have a question. Per your suggestion, I am assembling a type collection only-CAC in the $300-$2000 range assuming they will be easy to sell when the time comes. 

I was looking at the the CAC Certificates and there is mention of Legacy--what does that mean? I looked on-line, but the explanation didn't make sense to me. Of more importance will the market be fragmented even more between stickered Legacy and Non-Legacy CAC coins?

CAC Legacy refers to those coins that have been approved by CAC prior to the launch of CAC Grading. All stickered holders with either a green or gold CAC bean are considered as part of the CAC Legacy group.

Honestly, I don't believe that the market will be fragmented by the arrival of CAC Grading certified coins for a simple reason. The grading and approval standard between CAC Legacy and CAC Grading is the same. When handling either of these CAC approved products, I see them as being equal in terms of quality with the CDN CAC guide being relevant for both. Eventually, a portion of the legacy coins will be crossed into the new CAC Grading holders. Older holder mishandling and wear is one obvious reason. The second is the superior quality of the CAC Grading holder and the plastic's transparency.

Currently, I am of the belief that CAC Grading standards are even more stringent than those of CAC Legacy or stickered coins. I've received several reports from fellow CACG investors, along with my own experiences, that CACG is super tight in terms of enforcing standards.

Bottom line, I do not see a fragmented market place, rather an evolution for the CAC brand and its strict evaluation standards.

Finally, I am pleased that you are taking my advice and building a CAC-Only collection. In the longer term, you will do well as CAC approved coins are clearly differentiated for their premium nature and should (will) continue to trade, on average, at a premium against non-CAC approved counterparts.


Global Financial News

The Israel-Hamas war may have paused with coverage waning by the click-bait addicted U.S. media. However, much is taking place in the Middle East with Israel fighting a multi-front war along with international shipping become precarious in the Red Sea and Gulf of Oman.

Each morning and evening, I am taking in Israeli news channels via YouTube to stay abreast of detailed events in the region. This morning's news indicates that one major shipping company has decided to reroute its cargo vessels away from the Middle East waterways due to attack risks. My immediately reaction was to check the pricing of WTI crude oil and sure enough, oil prices jumped during the overnight. While composing the Blog, WTI crude has settled in at $78.50/bbl after trading a full dollar higher during the early morning hours.

Spot gold is holding at the $2040/oz level for a second day though the U.S dollar has regain some lost ground. The current DXY index quote is 103.3 with the increase tracking the rise in WTI crude.

The current week's equity trading has been essentially flat with the S&P 500 closing at 4,551. European market trading is positive. Morning market futures are pointing to a 0.3% upside for the S&P 500 when trading resumes at 9:30 AM.

Finally, the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is flat at 4.30%.

Looking at Seeking Alpha headlines, this brief discussion of a near term OPEC meeting along with the COP28 summit is worth sharing.

Crude futures continue to rise as OPEC and its allies are reportedly considering new oil production cuts of as much as 1M bbl/day, which could be announced at the start of the cartel's high-stakes policy meeting. Saudi Arabia, which unilaterally cut production by 1M bbl/day in June, favors further cuts, while top African producers Nigeria and Angola reportedly have been resisting a downgrade of their individual quotas. Delegates said the rollover of most existing output curbs is the most likely scenario, but talks are continuing. COP28 climate talks will also kick off today in the United Arab Emirates, a hydrocarbon heavyweight within OPEC that plans to raise its oil production capacity to 5M barrels per day by 2027.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Diane and I are taking a much needed shipping department break today. This will allow extra time to process more Island City Collection auction lot images along with bringing renewed focus on the neglected 30 Day Price List. Bottom line, I will be in the GFRC office the entire day and welcome your consignment proposals and/or purchase requests.

So ends today's Blog. Again, thank you for the ongoing readership. Be well!




Wednesday November 29, 2023

Island City Standing Liberty Quarters Gallery Arrives This Evening


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on an early Wednesday morning. Thanks for checking in.

One of the challenges of continuing the Daily Blog while residing in Venice is the lack of non-numismatic content. When operating out of the Maine office, there is always something going on at the homestead and throughout the back acreage that can be shared with images. This is not the case when living in a condo and community housing association. My life is essentially limited to a small office with the focus being the GFRC business.

Yesterday brought an email from the Venice Coin Club announcing their annual show that takes place in early February. After last year's dismay results, due to GFRC inventory being valued higher than attending collector's goals, I've decided to abandon this event. I thoroughly enjoyed attending this show as the staff is incredibly supportive. However, when operating a business that is migrating to higher value items plus an increasingly active auction calendar, it makes no sense to setup and sit behind museum cases for several days. Our past successes, at this show, were primarily tied to bullion gold.

Tuesday also brought contact with Brenda Wyen and the Coin World art staff to finalize the GFRC Online Auctions full page advertisement that will appear in the January 2024 monthly edition. After designing a well received ad campaign, the core graphics continue to be maintained. Following is that forthcoming ad that will be found in Coin World and also the Winter Gobrecht Journal edition.


Island City Standing Liberty Quarters Gallery Arrives This Evening

Excellent progress was at hand on Tuesday concerning the Island City Standing Liberty Collection graphics. Remaining is about another hour or two of incremental image processing followed by constructing the gallery display for Daily Blog presentation along with placing the gallery at the Auction link.

Much of the Island City collection was sourced from GFRC during early 2020. When the Twin Lakes Collection decided to divest his CAC approved Standing Liberty quarters, Island City was there to scoop up a fair number of those lots as the basis for building his own set. Having old friends returning to GFRC certainly aids with the processing workload as many of the images will be reused. This is the reason for such a fast turnaround on this collection's marketing effort. Island City has further enhanced the collection with some awesome pieces including the 1917-S Type 2 PCGS MS64, the 1919 PCGS MS63 Rattler, and 1930-S PCGS MS66+. If someone in the community wishes to tackle a fun project, purchasing a substantial portion of the this set would lay the foundation for constructing a Mint State alternative, again all CAC approved.

Let's think about that thought for a moment. What would be the difference between starting a Standing Liberty quarter set from scratch versus purchasing a foundation set and upgrading further?

The Island City Collection is composed of mostly AU55 and AU58 pieces given the many common dates. The bulk of the value lies in just several key pieces with the 1916 leading the way. I can think of two immediate benefits for purchasing a foundation set and employing that as a basis for a serious upgrading project.

First is the ability to study the series in detail, with on hand CAC approved pieces, in terms of high point wear and strictly original surfaces. Strike is also an important issue for the Standing Liberty quarter series with Full Head certification bringing strong premiums. Many of the Island City lots are well struck but not to the criteria for the FH certification. Having a foundation set would provide increased insights into striking characteristics towards training one's eyes for potential upgrades.

Second is the immediately resolution of the I need to fill the hole syndrome. After dealing with a wide range of clients over the years, I've learned that some collectors have more numismatic capital than patience. This syndrome can lead to less than optimum purchase decisions towards completing a set. With a foundation set in place, the urge to fill a hole can be transformed into a serious reflection on which are the least desirable pieces and upgrading those first. Shipping back $200-$300 coins to GFRC on consignment after securing Mint State upgrades is certainly straightforward.

I would also like to share one final thought concerning the forthcoming Island City Collection and how GFRC continues to run against the grain as they say.

Major auction houses typically, if not always, will employed a high value collection as their signature lot for an auction event. At GFRC, we have built a collector community with individuals having a broad range of financial means. From a pure business perspective, one would expect that high six figure ranging into seven figure collections would secure top billing including being employed for a named auction. But what about those collectors who build a top quality five figure collection? The financials are just not there for an auction house with a substantial cost structure that includes printing catalogs and renting ballrooms and staff for lots viewing. But at GFRC, we are different and believe that a premium five figure collection deserves the same amount of named publicity as that of a greater valued assemblage. Instead of paper catalogs, GFRC provides a PDF catalog. Auction lot viewing is conducted at a major show at the GFRC booth. The operation scale is notably different but the publicity, with a full page Coin World ad, is the same.

Bottom line, as a passionate collector, my heart is with other serious collectors regardless of the size and value of their collections. The imperative is a top quality set that GFRC is proud to market and sell. Said another way, I would rather handle a premium CAC approved $50,000 collection rather than a six figure collection that is average for the grade and lacks CAC legacy stickers. This is the beauty of operating a retirement business and being free to pick and choose what to handle.


Global Financial News

The news of the day is that spot gold gapped up on Tuesday to $2040/oz and briefly attained the $2050 mark during overnight Asia trading. The reason for the increase is a falling U.S. dollar with the DXY index dropping to as low as 102.5 yesterday before recovering to 102.8 as the Blog is composed. The U.S. dollar continues to weaken as anticipation builds for a reversal of Federal Reserve interest policies. Seeking Alpha discusses this fact today as follows:

Dovish signals from the Federal Reserve are reinforcing what traders have been pricing in since the end of October, when the central bank held rates for the second consecutive meeting and a dot plot - that suggested one more hike - was called into question. Since then, stocks have risen at a rapid clip, with the S&P 500 (SP500) climbing out of correction territory in only 16 trading sessions, marking its fastest comeback since the 1970s. Besides lifting markets and risk assets, the prospect of cheaper money saw the 10-year Treasury yield drop overnight to below 4.30%, after touching 5.00% just prior to the last Fed meeting. The latest: Two of the most hawkish FOMC officials, who led the charge for higher rates last year, are getting comfortable with holding policy steady, backing expectations that the central bank's hiking cycle is done. Fed Governor Christopher Waller said Tuesday that he's "increasingly confident" that monetary policy is now in the right spot to slow the economy and bring inflation back down to the 2% target. Governor Michelle Bowman also stopped short of endorsing an increase next month, conditioning the need for further hikes only on incoming data that "indicate progress on inflation has stalled or is insufficient to bring inflation down to 2% in a timely way." Investors appear to be even more enthusiastic, especially armed with the economic data to support them, including recent soft numbers on inflation and the job market. Odds that the central bank will even cut its target policy rate in the middle of 2024 have been on the rise, and some, like Pershing Square's Bill Ackman, are now even pricing in rate cuts as soon as the first quarter. As the conversation shifts from hikes to cuts, the U.S. dollar is on track to hit its lowest level in months, reflecting the revised rate expectations. Currency considerations: "Fed-driven dollar weakness will be a story for 2024," writes ING Economic and Financial Analysis. "The most likely path to a weaker dollar will probably have to come from softer U.S. macro data. Given our house view that a US slowdown is more likely in the next quarter rather than this one, we therefore expect EUR/USD to end the year around this 1.05/1.06 area and USD/JPY to end the year not far from 150. Into 2024, however, we expect the short end of the U.S. curve to start moving lower ahead of Fed easing next summer and the dollar to turn lower."

Not mentioned in the Seeking Alpha article is that the Fed needs to get interest rates down to avoid a liquidity crisis in the small and regional bank sector along with restarting the housing market.

Morning market futures are pointing to fractional gains at the onset of trading.

In Asia, Japan -0.3%. Hong Kong -2.1%. China -0.6%. India +1.1%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris +0.4%. Frankfurt +0.9%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.3%. NASDAQ +0.5%.

WTI crude is quoting at nearly $78/bbl while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is priced at 4.29%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

I will be in the GFRC office the entire day with continued morning shipping followed by image processing and Daily Blog presentation of the Island City Collection. Once the Island City gallery is done, my attention will shift to preparing the auction links for the forthcoming January sale. If all goes to plan, the Island City lots will be posted to the online catalog tomorrow, but without reserves and finalized descriptions. This will be the starting point for constructing the first GFRC Online Auctions event of 2024.

Thank you for checking in and absorbing another day's ramblings. Be well!




Tuesday November 28, 2023

Island City Standing Liberty Quarters Preview


Winston Zack's Bad Metal Series - Copies Still Available


Greetings on a late November Tuesday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. I'm pleased that you could stop by...

Heavy shipping and image processing best describe what took place in the GFRC office on Monday. None of this work was glamorous, so please remember this point when aspiring to become a coin dealer.

Today's preamble will be brief as there is still more shipping to process along with a host of incoming shipments arriving today. Each shipment must be first loaded into the COIN system followed by consigned items being appropriately tagged. Yes, the GFRC tagging system is simplistic but serves the purpose of quick owner identification without the need for a scanner. Everything about the GFRC business is engineered to be as straightforward as possible and low maintenance. As long as the Dell laptop and the printer work coupled with internet access, we can conduct regular business.


Island City Standing Liberty Quarter Collection Preview

Following the GFRC tradition of providing a desktop preview for major auction collections, today brings a screen capture of the Island City Standing Liberty Quarter Collection. All dates are CAC approved with grades ranging from PCGS AU53 to MS64.

For a little fun, I purposely mixed up the date sequence order and placed the 1916 PCGS AU53 CAC lot images in the middle of the group a la Where's Waldo. Have fun trying to locate this key date! Also note that there are a few incremental Island City Barber quarters that will be placed in the upcoming auction. These could not be offered in the just completed CAC-Only auction since they are not CAC approved.

As usual, clicking on the below image will provide access to a higher resolution version for your viewing enjoyment.


I'm definitely on track for placing this entire Island City Collection lot into yet another GFRC Online Auctions catalog by Friday or Saturday.

Speaking of the forthcoming January auction, the Saw Mill Run Collection called yesterday morning to check in and indicate that he will also be submitting another lot of quality Seated coinage of the sale. This event is shaping up nicely. Please remember that December 17 is the final day for arrival of auction consignments into the GFRC auction. Note the word "arrival" and not ship date. Please plan accordingly as December holiday shipping becomes protracted.


Winston Zack's Bad Metal Series - Copies Still Available

Following is a reminder from Winston Zack, researcher and author of the Bad Metal series of books covering circulating contemporary counterfeit U.S. coinage.

Copies of my latest Bad Metal book, Bad Metal Silver. 3cS to 25c. Circulating Contemporary Counterfeit United States Coins, are still available for purchase. As the title indicates, this book covers mostly struck counterfeits made for circulation spanning the smaller silver denominations of three-cent silver, half-dimes, dimes, twenty-cents, and quarters. The majority of struck counterfeit coins from these denominations were of the Seated type, which should interest many LSCC members. The majority of the varieties documented have never been published before or seen outside of private and sometimes institutional collections. In total, more than 240 die-struck counterfeit coins along with dozens of cast counterfeits are illustrated in this book; only a couple new varieties have been documented since publication in 2022 making this publication fairly exhaustively complete.

All copies of Bad Metal Silver. 3cS to 25c are individually numbered (out of 500) and signed by me, the author. This book is roughly 250 pages long, expertly illustrated with high-quality color images, and hardbound binding.

The price of this book is normally $80. But this book is being offered for $10 less after using COUPON CODE – LSCC – at checkout. This coupon is applicable to any book order on my website (including the first book in this series). This coupon is good through December 31, 2023. https://www.badmetalcoin.com/shop?Category=Books


Winston Zack


Global Financial News

Let's return to the spot gold topic with further exploration. Following are three gold trend charts for three different currencies across the same time frame. Of course, in the United States, our reference for pricing gold is the U.S. dollar. However, when gold is priced in other major global currencies, the trend can appear quite different, especially for those trading in the Japanese Yen. Fiat currency debasement can be easily viewed, on a longer term basis, as is clearly shown with the Japanese Yen graph. For those living in Japan, gold is an obvious safe haven for preserving wealth, as least in the past four years. This analysis should be done on a 10 and 15 year basis. Unfortunately, YCharts, the source of these graphs, limits me to a 2019 starting point unless registering an account as this was a quick adhoc analysis. Bottom line, as currency debasement takes place, gold's value will rise as priced in that currency.

Gold Priced in US Dollar

Gold Priced in Chinese RMB

Gold Priced in Japanese Yen


As of today's Blog composition, spot gold is trading at $2016/oz with the U.S. dollar holding relatively flat at 103.1.

The 10 Year U.S. bond yield has dropped to 4.39%. WTI crude oil is priced at nearly $76/bbl.

Yesterday's equity market trading saw the S&P 500 down ever so slightly at 4,550. Morning market futures are pointing to a flat open at 9:30 AM.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Yet another busy shipping day is upon us as the final round of 3rd CAC-Only auction payments arrive along with the last of the Black Friday ship aheads. Afterwards, I will be working in the office the balance of the day.

Yesterday did bring the photography of at least ten $20 Liberty and St Gaudens gold pieces. These lots will be showcased in the Blog in the upcoming days.

There is nothing else of value to share so let's close down this Blog edition.

Thank you for stopping by. Be well!




Monday November 27, 2023

A Strong Black Friday Sale Outcome


Preparing the Island City Collection Auction Sale


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog. The final week of November 2023 is upon us. Thank you, as always, for visiting with me.

This morning brings a sense of relief and relaxation. The non-stop busy and mentally consuming month of November is finally behind us as the Black Friday sale wrapped up last evening. The Fortins worked through the journey and have arrived on the other side of the equation. GFRC experienced record sales for the month of November with still a few more days to go.

Today brings another arduous session in the shipping department. Diane and I will easily prepare and ship 15 packages today including multiple high value USPS Express lot. After today, true "normalcy" arrives to the Venice office and I'm all for a slower and less exhausting pace.

During the overnight, spot gold maintained its upward momentum and is trading at $2012/oz. Let's be entirely transparent here. I like gold going into 2024 as there are too many uncertainties across the globe. The world order is in a transition with the expansion of the BRICS and the Russia-China alignment. India continues to be the wild card as Modi dances with all major global entities. There are two obvious wars with a third in the background (Iran-U.S.). Many are suggesting a recession is imminent during 2024 along with the Federal Reserve feeling compelled to loosen interest rates. Let's remember that we are in an election year in the matter of a month. Will the Fed stay neutral? It is also becoming evident that the net zero (renewables) movement is struggling with the globe consuming oil for years to come. This fact will undoubtedly increase some social tensions as the green movement finds itself stymied. Finally, and the most insidious, is the western media that is sensationalizing violence and distorting our perceptions of reality. Sadly, for many, life reflects art. Social media is also a cancer that can distort reality and facilitates more aggressive online behaviors. I don't mean to be negative on a Monday morning, just pragmatic based on all that is absorbed from online reading. Gold is the eternal metal and a constant bearer of wealth since the early ages of mankind. The west has moved away from gold (digital/fiat money) while the east still believes in the age old value of gold as wealth.

During the Black Friday sale, a concerted effort was made to free up cash towards increasing GFRC's larger denomination gold inventory. If gold does break its all time high of $2060/oz in the coming months, the ceiling is gone with the opportunity for incremental gains. If my suspicions are inaccurate, the worse outcome is sitting on a strong gold position within the business while increasingly ramping focus on the GFRC Online Auctions segment as the front end for our consignment service .


A Strong Black Friday Sale Outcome

I'm very pleased with the 2023 Black Friday Sale and its outcome. Orders continues to arrive into Sunday evening as the sale approached its 9:00 PM ET closing time. Sales statistics include 42 of the 270 offered lots sold with total discounted sales at $41,188. The average price of a Black Friday sale item was roughly $970, a marked increase from prior years. A host of consignors sold at least one coin in the sale.

For the curious among us, nearly 30% of the Black Friday Sale lots were CAC approved.


Preparing the Island City Collection Auction Sale

The Winter FUN show is just five weeks away. During those five weeks, preparation for the first GFRC auction sale of 2024 will see top priority.

Yesterday afternoon brought the first round of Island City Standing Liberty quarter image processing with the goal of having the entire collection loaded to the online auction catalog by this coming weekend. As a first for the GFRC Online Auctions platform, the online catalog presentation will be changed to feature the anchor collection first followed by the incremental lots. I need to explore the HTML sorting formulas to make this happen and hopefully will be successful with this update.

It is recognized that the consistency of bidding confirmation emails continues to be an ongoing issue. To that end, I challenged Matt Yamatin to consider a code upgrade to address this matter. Since both my email and that of Matt are hard coded into the software, we do not have an issue with receiving all bid confirmations. But when the software reads the bidder's email address from be bid screen (during the bidding process), the follow-on bid confirmation email issuance becomes unpredictable. Hopefully Matt can generate an alternate piece of code that will increase the robustness of this module.

Today brings the shipment of a large Liberty Seated half dollar lot from the Emerald Collection. This halves will further augment the Island City Collection Sale along with a freshly purchased lot of attractively toned type coins. Some of the Whitman Baltimore show new purchases will also be placed into this auction.

If wishing to participate in the Island City Collection Sale, the consignment deadline is December 17 for taking receipt at the Venice office.

The regular GFRC consignment window will stay open going into the FUN show. Again, please note the minimum insured values for consignments moving forward; $300 for non-CAC approved lots and $200 for CAC-approved coins.


Global Financial News

A new week's equity trading begins with the S&P 500 at 4,559 as compared to the record high of 4,796 set during January 2022. One of the reasons for the rapid recovery of equity markets is the technology sector with companies like Nvidia (AI transition) and Microsoft reach record levels. Stocks has stayed aloft as signs of cooling inflation encouraged investors into believing that the Federal Reserve is done with raising interest rates. The sport called "Fed Watch" is now attempting to call the first interest cut with some betting that the first of several reductions to start by March 2024. Again, let's remember that 2024 is an election year and the ruling party will apply pressure on the Fed to stimulate the economy. If the Fed does succumb and injects more liquidity into the economy, inflation may return. Inflation with lower interest rates will be bullish for gold.

The U.S. dollar is trading at 103.3 this morning and consistent with last week. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is reported at 4.47%.

WTI crude has dropped to a tad under $75/bbl.

As mentioned earlier, gold is trading at $2013/oz.

Morning market futures are trending at about -0.15% for the major three market indexes.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Shipping and image processing are the two main priorities today. These will keep me in the GFRC office through the 5:00 PM happy hour followed by incremental office time after dinner. I am quite serious about having the auction link portion of the website overhauled and presenting the Island City Collection lots by this weekend.

That pretty much sums up the GFRC business status on a Monday morning. Please remember that I'm always available to discuss your numismatic divestment needs or working on serious want lists at the FUN show.

Thanks again for sharing your time at the Daily Blog. Be well!




Sunday November 26, 2023

A Run On Better Date Mint State Liberty Seated Dimes

All GFRC Consignments are Photographed


Final Day for the GFRC Black Friday Sale


Greetings on a peaceful Sunday morning and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. Thank you, as always, for visiting and staying abreast of GFRC happenings.

After an incredibly consuming month of November, today brings the final day of the GFRC Black Friday Sale. Come Monday, there will be yet another substantial shipping day followed by a slow easing of the workload into what I call "normalcy". Of course, with three major events in the matter of several weeks, the business has set a fresh sales record for the month of November. Furthermore, our strategy for transitioning the GFRC business to a higher numismatic value level is also being accomplished. Diane and I are grateful for the ongoing support from our broad client and consignor base. Step by step, our customer base and the overall community continues to expand.

I'm certainly looking forward to the slower pace that December will usher in culminating with the entire Fortin family arriving into Venice starting on December 22. Spending time with four grandchildren will be priceless.

Let's jump into the headline topics as there is little else to share in the preamble.


A Run On Better Date Mint State Liberty Seated Dimes

Saturday brought a thoroughly pleasant surprise with the sale of three important Mint State Liberty Seated dimes. In the matter of 24 hours, the 1839-O PCGS MS64 CAC dime, from my reference collection was the first to sell. During the afternoon, a deal was negotiated for the Wisconsin Collection's 1866 PCGS MS64 dime. Just a few hours later, yet another order arrived for the Wisconsin Collection 1863 PCGS MS63 CAC dime. CAC approval is the common theme with the buyers being prudent with their purchases.

Clearly, the market for rare date Seated coinage continues to be robust as GFRC also sold the Sooner 1878-S Seated half immediately after the Baltimore show.


All GFRC Consignments are Photographed

Saturday morning was consumed with shipping incremental CAC-Only auction lots and the opening phase of the Black Friday purchases. One of our most important service attributes is transporting purchases to clients as quickly as possible. Once a collector decides to tender a purchase, the expectations increase for the arrival day of the new collection addition. Our goal is to accelerate the transport of the newly purchased coin.

Once Diane was off to the post office with an overloaded LL Bean canvas bag containing the day's shipments, the next several hours were dedicated to photography as Venice weather was ideal. Since the sun continues to drop in the sky until the December solstice that arrives on the 21st, it was important to secure quality images for all unprocessed coins during this session. The photography event started with the Island City Standing Liberty quarter collection followed by another January auction lot from the City By The Bay Collection. But I was far from done... Next came a freshly purchased 30+ piece lot from a regular supplier that contained a host of attractive toned pieces. The last to be photographed were the remaining Manchester NH and Whitman Baltimore new purchases.

Some readers might be asking what is the big deal about photographing coins. Believe me, I've learned across several decades that coin photography is an art that can be perfected with careful attention to the many steps in the process. I won't bore you with those detailed steps today. There I was shooting images by the pond with no alligators in sight. After filling up the flash card, a desktop review was conducted to ensure that every image is consistent with my quality standard. For larger denomination coins, half dollars, dollars, and $10 and $20 gold, multiple images are taken with the best being saved on the laptop for incremental processing.

Having photographed nearly 150 coins provides for an ample supply of image processing material during the next two weeks. The first lot to be processed will be the Island City Standing quarters towards enabling the construction of the online catalog for the next GFRC Online Auctions event.


Final Day for the GFRC Black Friday Sale

Saturday Black Friday sales continues consistent with expectations. The order paced slowed as compared to Friday but was still gratifying.

As of this morning, 35 coins have been sold with total sales amounting to a tad over $38,000.

Today brings the final hours of the Black Friday Sale. History indicates an uptick in orders as collectors settle down and check on the remaining lots that are available.

Please remember that the sale closes at 9:00 PM ET. At that point, the Black Friday Sale price list will disappear leaving lots to be priced at their prior offer levels.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Another busy day arrives with several client phone calls and working through the more complex Monday shipments today. When operating GFRC, there is always a backlog of tasks to be accomplished whether a weekday or on the weekend. This is the nature of being an entrepreneur with a tiny staff.

Thank you so much for staying current with GFRC activities. Be well!




Saturday November 25, 2023

A Robust GFRC Black Friday Sale Continues


More Manchester NH and Baltimore New Purchases


Greetings from the Venice Florida office and welcome to the Daily Blog, an ongoing GFRC publication. Welcome to a Thanksgiving weekend edition. If this sounds too formal, it certainly is!

Composing a daily diary or blog can become monotonous for reader consumption unless the content strikes a balance between being informative, entertaining, and yes, even personal. During most morning writing sessions, there is some semblance of prepared content rather than just sharing whatever appears relevant at that moment. Today's edition, will be well structured since there is a robust Black Friday Sale underway along with another illustration of recent new purchases.

Before we move into the headline topics, I'd like to a share a few points that appeared on Quora. While enjoying breakfast at 5:00 AM in the same office and desk where I spend much of my winter waking hours, taking in YouTube videos and reading Quora posts provide for early morning mental stimulation. Some of the Quora posts attempt to capture philosophies about basic principals for leading a happy life. A particular post promptly captured my attention due to its powerful simplicity. Extracted from that post are three thoughts for reflection.

- If you don't work to build your own dream, someone will hire you and give you a purpose.

- You need to be smart enough to create your opportunities, don't wait for them to come to you.

- Ensure you take good care of yourself, if anything happens to you, the world will move on.

Little needs to be said other than these three points exemplify my philosophy for living a life.


A Robust GFRC Black Friday Sale Continues

So far, so good concerning the 2023 GFRC Black Friday Sale!

In past Black Friday sales, the majority of the coins sold were low priced items that were the privy of value buyers. With the launch of GFRC-Lite and the transfer of lower priced coins to Rich Hundertmark, the balance of GFRC's inventory has consolidated at a higher value level with the focus being advanced collectors. When loading consignor discounting inputs along with those from my own inventory, this fact became readily apparent. The primary question, going into the sale, was how would the advanced collector community react to this event.

That question was answered yesterday and consistent with the second point made in the preamble. GFRC has created a new opportunity for itself and this Black Friday sale was the test. I'm pleased to report that the results, so far, are quite positive and satisfying.

As of 9:00 PM Friday evening, 30 of the 270 discounted lots had sold with an average sale price of $1149. Total sales revenue during the first day of the sale was $34,457 and a new record for a Black Friday opening sale day. The sales distribution encompassed both consignor coins and those within GFRC inventory. Many were CAC approved and promptly purchased by knowledgeable individuals.

If history repeat itself, Saturday sales will be tepid followed by stronger activity on Sunday. Please remember that the sale closes at 9:00 PM ET tomorrow evening.

As of this morning, we are fairly well caught up with Black Friday invoicing with several already paid for lots shipping today.

A sincere thank you goes out to everyone who took the time to review the 270 lots towards making a purchase.


More Manchester NH and Baltimore New Purchases

Given the higher price point of the Black Friday Sale items, there was time available on Friday afternoon for incremental image processing and the creation of a smaller new purchases gallery.

Following is another round of Manchester NH and Whitman Baltimore show new purchases for your consideration. For the time being, the emphasis shifts to smaller denomination U.S. gold. As usual, strictly originality and eye appeal are the foremost attributes under consideration when making coin show purchases. I've reached a point where visual evaluation skills have been fine tuned allowing for a rapid review of larger lots in double row slabbed boxes and easily picking out the premium pieces at the certified grade. Of course, a quick 10x inspection is necessary to check for hidden marks and other potential surprises before a purchase is tendered.

All of the below offerings are price as marked and will be posted to the price list during the afternoon hours.

More Manchester NH and Baltimore New Purchases

Priced as Marked

      1855 Type 2 PCGS MS62 G$1 - $2100                                           1911 NGC MS64+ CAC G$2.5 - $2600   


    1851 NGC MS61 CAC G$1 - $585               1856 Sl 5 PCGS MS62 CAC G$1 - $825           1854-O NGC EF45 CAC G$2.5 - $1150



Soliciting Timely Winter FUN Consignments or Outright Purchases

When operating a coin business that typically sells between 175 - 225 coins per month, restocking inventory is the ongoing challenging. With the upcoming 2024 Winter FUN show and a January GFRC Online Auctions event, there is a need to source a substantial number of coins as the Manchester NH and Baltimore new purchases will be easily posted to the price list during the next two weeks. A portion of those will sell immediately.

Procrastination among collectors is well known when it comes to divestment. The anticipation of seller's remorse will keep many collectors from taking a step towards trimming down their collections. When that decision is made, it often occurs immediately before a major show. It is predictable that FUN show consignment proposals will appear during the third week in December. Sure, from a collector's perspective, the coins just need to be shipped to GFRC in time for the FUN show, right? What is not considered is the amount effort necessary to insource those coins into the COIN system along with photography and generating pricing proposals.

If wishing to provide consignments for the FUN show, please start those considerations and generating proposals in the next two weeks. Coin shipments that arrive immediately before Christmas will NOT be ready for the FUN show as I'm planning to slow down the GFRC business as the Fortin clan is spending time in Venice between Christmas and New Year.


Wrapping Up The Blog

This morning brings a substantial amount of shipping against a 2:00 PM post office drop off deadline. After Diane heads to the post office, the focus shifts to Black Friday Sale orders, posting today's gallery lots, and maybe, more image processing.

That about does it for another Blog edition. Thank you so much for being regular readers. Be well!




Friday November 24, 2023

A GFRC Black Friday Sale is Underway


GFRC Consignments Being Solicited - Price List and Auction


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Thanksgiving weekend. Yes, it is a the Friday after turkey day and the traditional start to the Christmas shopping season.

The Fortins enjoyed a quiet Thanksgiving Day with the usual morning health walk followed by Diane preparing our early afternoon "dinner". While Diane was cooking, your blogger was in his element. Nope, not a numismatic element, but rather taking large pruning shears and a small saw to the edge of the back pond and clearing out overgrown vegetation. There is something special about working outdoors and clearing overground branches and vines was thoroughly satisfying, especially during late November.

The afternoon brought a nap in the office La-Z-Boy chair, something not enjoyed in a long, long time. The intense November pace and associated stress dissipated on Thursday afternoon as a down day was well overdue. The slow pace continues into the early evening with traditional happy hour and a lovely video call with grandchildren Ivy and Miles in Austin.

So here we are on a Friday morning with the Black Friday sale underway. So far, the sales profile is different than in past years as four figure coins are selling equally with lower priced counterparts. As of the Blog composition, sales are approaching the $15,000 mark with a number of repeat orders on the same coins.

Those who did not stay up until midnight on the east coast to view the potential bargains, will most likely appear this morning to shop the discounted price lists. Consignors are looking forward to moving along their aging lots and hopefully, this sale will move us forward towards some inventory rotation.


GFRC Consignments Being Solicited - Price List and Auction

Can you believe that the Orlando Winter FUN show is less than six weeks away?

The FUN show is early on the calendar in 2024 and takes place from January 3-7 towards kicking off another numismatic year. All eyes will be on this show to determine the strength of the overall market. GFRC will continue to be augmenting its U.S. gold offerings, especially eagles and double eagles given my belief that physical gold will set new highs during the first half of 2024. Gold setting a new high is not that much of a stretch as the record high of $2063/oz is only 3% above current levels. Proceeds from the Black Friday sale will be rechanneled into U.S. gold.

I would like to remind the community that GFRC will have ample operational capacity in December to process consignments. Once the balance of the 3rd CAC-Only auction sales lots are shipped along with Black Friday sale items prior to the end of November, the emphasis shifts to adding new inventory.

The FUN show is always an excellent event for debuting new collections or unwanted duplicates. GFRC's role is to work with clients towards meeting their divestment goals. Whether price list bound or scheduled for the first GFRC Online auction of 2024, your consignments will be carefully processed followed by being marketed in the Daily Blog.


Global Financial News

U.S. equity markets will be open today through 1 PM today. Wednesday's trading saw the S&P 500 increase fractionally to 4,556 and close to setting a new record high.

Seeking Alpha has published their Black Friday edition earlier than expected this morning. Rather than rambling on, let's shift to their Black Friday reporting.

inflation headwinds, higher interest rates, waning savings, and the resumption of student loan payments aren't deterring Americans from going shopping this year. In fact, they might be encouraging them to do so, with everyone trying to spot a good deal in the current environment. An estimated 182M people across the country are planning to shop in-store and online from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation, which is 15.7M more people than last year and the highest estimate since NRF began tracking the data in 2017. Snapshot: Black Friday continues to be the most popular day to scout out deals, with 72% (130.7M people) planning to shop, up from 69% in 2022. The numbers highlight the resilience of the American consumer, who is expected to spend an average of $875 on gifts, decorations, food and other key seasonal items over the winter holidays. To meet the demand of the season, NRF expects retailers will hire between 345,000 and 450,000 seasonal workers, in line with 391,000 seasonal hires of 2022. The investing side of retail has also been a mixed bag this year. The S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary Index has soared 33% YTD, led by names like Amazon, Chipotle, Expedia and Royal Caribbean, while the S&P 500 Consumer Staples Index has declined about 5%, weighed down by Conagra Brands, Dollar General, Tyson Foods and Walgreens. Divergence could also be seen throughout the retail sector last week, with shares of Target soaring about 18% following its Q3 earnings report, while Walmart dove 8% after striking a cautious tone on consumer spending.

Morning market futures are pointing to a flat market open.

In Asia, Japan +0.5%. Hong Kong -2%. China -0.7%. India -0.1%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris +0.2%. Frankfurt +0.2%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.1%. NASDAQ -0.1%.

Spot gold is trading at $1996/oz while WTI crude is priced at close to $77/bbl. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bold yield has ticked up slightly to 4.47%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings an office day with responding to Black Friday Sale orders being the immediate priority. When not responding to orders, I will be processing more Manchester NH and Whitman Baltimore new purchase images. Hopefully, there will be sufficient new images for a gallery display in tomorrow's Blog.

And with that, I wish the entire Blog community a continued peaceful Thanksgiving weekend.

Be well!



Thursday November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving 2023


Black Friday Sale Opens at Midnight Eastern Time


Greetings on an early Thanksgiving morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. The Fortins wish all of our clients, consignors, and fellow dealers a restful holiday, hopefully surrounded by family.

Here is in Venice, it will be a quiet Thanksgiving event as the Yamatin family is celebrating in Virginia, while Renee, Mike, Ivy, and Miles are staying home in Austin. Diane has prepared two types of stuffing in lieu of turkey meat, along with delighting the palate with shrimp. We are looking forward to the upcoming Christmas holiday as the entire clan is traveling to Venice and will be housed in a large villa rented by Diane for that week.

Let's remember that Thanksgiving is that special day to give thanks for our blessings as families and as Americans. We are the most prosperous society on the planet due to American ingenuity and a hard working spirit.

Closer to home and returning back to numismatics, tonight brings the Black Friday Sale and the final GFRC event of 2023. More discounting took place on Wednesday with the lot tally approaching the 300 piece mark. It might be worth your while to check into the sale, when convenient, as I guarantee that there will be some pleasant surprises.

Let's move promptly into that topic, but first, here is a summary of where the sale stands after loading incremental inputs on Wednesday. It should be readily evident that higher priced coins have been discounted in this sales event.

- Number of lots in the Black Friday Sale - 278

- Total Retail Listing Prices for Black Friday Lots - $403,000

- Total Discounted Value for the Sale Lots - $44,100

- Average Discounted Offer Price - $1294


Black Friday Sale Opens at Midnight Eastern Time

The Black Friday Sale is an opportunity to secure quality coins at a discounted price as GFRC and consignors make decisions to rebalance their numismatic holdings. I expect strong demand by knowledgeable collectors as this event is a true wholesale buying opportunity. Current demand for CAC approved coins remains strong and is expected to remain that way in the foreseeable future. Each year, my outlet for aged inventory is the GFRC customer base. Why not reward loyal GFRC customers with great values rather than using other market channels? Regardless of all the price guides and grading services, the numismatic hobby is still a subjective retail environment. Some coins are immediately scooped up by collectors while others will sit in inventory for several years due to a host of reasons. Lack of demand, incorrect pricing, and/or insufficient eye appeal are typical reasons for a coin languishing in GFRC inventory.

In summary, the 2023 Black Friday Weekend Sale is loaded and ready to delight with great values for those who take the time to search through the many product lines and individually discounted lots.

Black Friday Weekend Sale Instructions

Accessing the Black Friday Weekend Sale price list is as simple as clicking on the black banner at the top of each GFRC price list page or the Daily Blog page. Once the countdown clock reaches midnight ET, a separate price list will be available for download and shopping. Many of you have participated in prior GFRC sales event and are old pros with navigating the special price list and its format. For those who are relatively new to the GFRC website and its sales operations, following are detailed usage instructions.

Accessing the Black Friday Weekend Sale List

- Click on the Black Friday Sale white lettering on the black banner and wait for the price list to download. Please have patience when first downloading the Black Friday Sale price list. The entire list and all coin images are downloaded at one time. Download time is much improved and should be less than a few seconds.. Of course, the download time is variable based on internet service provider and your access device bandwidth. With the local Xfinity ISP here in Venice, the Black Friday price list download appeared nearly immediately.

- Once in the price list, click on the product tabs to access individual price lists. DO NOT USE THE BACK BUTTON as this will take you outside the sale list and will require another download. When clicking on an icon image for high resolution photographs, these will open as a separate session in your browser. Once done viewing the high resolution image, please close that session. This will return you to the sale price list tab.

When Does the Black Friday Weekend Sale Go Live?

The Black Friday Weekend Sale price list link will appear automatically at 12:00 PM ET (9:00 PM PT). The link is located at the top of each GFRC website page where the countdown clock is currently marking the time remaining. The sale will continue through Sunday 9:00PM ET (6:00 PM PT).

How Do I Purchase Lots?

Purchasing lots via the Black Friday Weekend Sale price list is no different than making a normal GFRC purchase. Customers can click on the shopping cart to launch a purchase email. Otherwise, simply send me an email and list the desired lots (denomination, date, mintmark and price). All emails will be processed in the order received to determine sale lot allocations. Phone calls are welcomed starting at 8:00 am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. Starting Friday morning, I will be contacting buyers with purchase invoices and immediately preparing shipments. The GFRC Quick Ship program will be used extensively for customers that are well known to me.

Will Lay-A-Ways Be Available for Black Friday Weekend Sale Items?

Unfortunately no....the Black Friday Weekend Sale is a cash and carry event. Regular GFRC payment terms will apply. PayPal usage will require a 3% adder to the combined purchase and shipping total with no exceptions. Credit cards usage is also possible with same 3% adder.

When Will Black Friday Weekend Sale Lots Ship?

Orders paid via PayPal, and those from well known customers on the Quick Ship program, will see their orders shipped starting on Monday. For newer customers paying via check, those orders will ship once checks arrive to the Venice Florida office.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings a much slower paced day as I will be in and out of the office but without strict must get done goals. I'm looking forward to a low key day with image processing being the primary activity.

After the Black Friday sale is in the history books, life's pace will slow down after a fairly intense month of November. Regular Blog readers can expect a continuing flow of new purchases reaching the 30 Day Price Liat and the next GFRC Online Auctions catalog being populated.

Of course, buying and selling will also continue along with the consignment window being wide open for your divestment needs. I'm always here to help and would appreciate your consideration when the time comes to liquidate a few duplicates or an entire collection.

Let's wrap up at this point and again wish the Blog readership a Happy Thanksgiving. I will be back bright and early on Black Friday to discuss how the kick-off buying went.

Be kind, peaceful, and well!




Wednesday November 22, 2023

Black Friday Sale Arrives Tomorrow Midnight


Fresh Quarter Dollars New Purchases to Consider


Greetings on a Wednesday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. It is the day before Thanksgiving 2023 with may traveling to spend time with loved ones.

I'm not quite certain where to go with today's Blog. Always talking about the GFRC business is self serving but there is little else to share when wintering in Florida.

Yesterday's frustrations with undelivered email invoicing have subsided. A work-a-round have been discovered and may be employed for future auctions. Rather than sending invoices as attached PDF files, I will most likely copy/paste the invoice directly into the email body. So far, this approach has been successful in communicating with all who reported not receiving their original invoices. Once again, a problem brings about the potential for a more robust solution. Being able to deal with adversity with a clear mind is key. Seth Godin makes this point is a recent blogpost.

Seth Godin Blogpost - The perfect conditions

Somewhere, there is the ideal soil for growing mangoes. Or the best possible wave for surfing. Or the most romantic sunset for a proposal.

But it’s not right here and it’s not right now.

Our success has a lot to do with how we dance with conditions that aren’t quite perfect.


Black Friday Sale Arrives Tomorrow Midnight

The GFRC Black Friday Sale event arrives at Thanksgiving midnight. For the new clients among us, the Black Friday Sale is a chance for the community to reposition hobby holdings.

Coin pricing is a subjective process regardless of how many price guides are available in today's crowded market. Every coin is unique to itself are as the many collectors. Above average coins with strong eye appeal will sell above the guides while not so nice coins will sell for monies below guide prices. Let's remember that price guides attempt to provide a one size fits all number which, in the real world, is not effective. That is why the price guides are called "guides" and should be employed as a reference. Inexperienced hobbyist most likely don't understand this point when there walk around a bourse with a Greysheet with the belief that eye appealing coins can be purchased at those numbers. Yes, I'm rambling to make a point.

Again, pricing coins is a subjective exercise. Those who price coins for a living are more likely to differentiate pricing based on a coins surfaces and visual quality as the primary attributes followed by wear. At GFRC, I work with clients that bring varying degrees of pricing experience. My operating philosophy is that the consignor is the boss and continues to hold true today as I never overrule a consignor's final pricing decisions. This fact allows consignors to enhance their pricing skills if they have an open mind towards self improvement. Some consignors recognize their lack of skills and simply let GFRC make the pricing decisions. Others are adamant that they will not lose any money of a sale and will stick with prices that produce limited sale results. There are all kinds of consignors with unique pricing approaches.

With time, overpriced coins will accumulate on the price list. During a hot market, as we experienced during the Covid pandemic, the number of overpriced coins was minimal as coin prices rose due to demand and financial inflation. As the market cooled during the latter part of 2023, overpriced coins become less attractive. Yes, I don't need to discuss the other side of the equation as this is a one sided issue. Under priced coins sell immediately...

The Black Friday Sale is a chance for consignors to bring their coins back to current market "values" or at least make an attempt to find the current pricing equilibrium. Pricing discounts will vary by consignor based on their need to raise incremental capital. Those that have a longer term horizon and don't need immediate cash will provide limited discounts. Those that wish to renew their numismatic capital and are not worried about what they paid for a coin have provided larger discounts.

Come Thursday midnight, the GFRC countdown clock on the black banner will arrive at zero. At that point, clicking on the banner will provide access to a special price list exclusive for Black Friday discounted lots. Customers on the east coast must stay up through midnight to secure first shot while those on the west coast can gain access at 9:00 PM.

Placing orders can be accomplished via two methods. The first is clicking on the shopping cart and sending along a purchase email. The second is simply recording the desired lots into the body of a regular email and send to me at wuximems@hotmail.com or gerry@ seateddimevarieties.com. Come Friday morning, I will check the time stamp of every purchase request and allocated the Black Friday lots accordingly. Once clients are done shopping, an invoice for payment will be sent.

The GFRC Black Friday Sale is cash and carry event. There are no lay-a-way options. Coins not sold by Sunday 9:00 PM will revert to their former prices once the sale closes.

Will there be CAC approved coins in the Black Friday Sale? Absolutely yes! If a consignor wishes to discount their CAC approved coins, they will be in the mix. Some consignors have chosen to do so.

Come tomorrow's Blog, I will provide more specific instructions for working through the separate Black Friday Sale price list.


Fresh Quarter Dollars New Purchases to Consider

Diane and I were able to ship a substantial number of 3rd CAC-Only auction lots on Tuesday and by 3:00 PM, my attention shifted to image processing for Manchester NH and Whitman Baltimore new purchases. The following gallery present a nice group of fresh quarters for your consideration. Already, the 1850-O and 1926-S are spoken for based on overnight orders. The balance are free agents as of 7:15 AM.

Please pay close attention to the 1828 B-1 Capped Bust quarter and the 1892 Barber. Both lots are absolutely superior for the certified grade. The 1924-S Standing Liberty quarter has incredible luster and eye appeal when placed under a bright light.

Fresh Quarter Dollars New Purchases to Consider

Price as Marked

      1828 B-1 PCGS EF40 25C - $1395                                                     1892 PCGS MS65 CAC 25C - $975    


1850-O Briggs 1-B PCGS EF45 CAC 25C - $1175                                       1924-S PCGS MS64+ 25C - $1950            


       1926-D NGC MS65+ 25C - $475                 1926-S PCGS AU53 CAC 25C - $375             1929 PCGS MS64FH CAC 25C - $825



Global Financial News

Spot gold is now trading above the $2000/oz price point. As the Blog is written, the ask number is $2004/oz. The U.S. dollar index has increased slightly to 103.7. The substantial news concerning the dedollarization trend is from Saudi Arabia and China. Both countries have signed a deal to conduct trade is each other's currency (a currency exchange). This includes Saudi oil shipments to China that will be paid for in Yuan. Gone is the US dollar as the petrodollar for these transactions. It would not surprise me to wake up one morning to see an announcement that China has amassed a gold reserve equivalent to the United States. It is common knowledge that the PRC is presently understating their gold reserves by a substantial amount. Never "ever" trust the Beijing central government regardless of all the "mutual cooperation and benefit" niceties that are uttered by their officials. As I learned first hand will working at CSMC and with other Chinese vendors, this is standard practice at all levels of business for dealing with foreigners. If the foreigners are dumb enough to believe those words, it is on them and not the Chinese counterparts.

WTI crude pricing is holding steady at $77/bbl while the 10 Year Treasury bond yield continues its slow erosion to 4.38%. Morning market futures are pointing to a slightly positive open but trading volume will be down as everyone prepares to hit the exit early prior to the Thanksgiving weekend.

In Asia, Japan +0.3%. Hong Kong flat. China -0.8%. India +0.1%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris +0.4%. Frankfurt +0.4%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow flat. S&P +0.1%. NASDAQ +0.3%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings another office day. I'm on the fence about continuing to ship ahead this morning versus waiting until Friday. But then, come Friday morning, I will be consume with the initial Black Friday purchases and responding to those orders. It appears that we will be shipping auction lots this morning for those who have responded to their invoicing emails. Those who have not responded will not secure a ship ahead as I'm uncertain about their whereabouts during the upcoming holiday weekend. Of course, those bidders who are new to me must wait until their check payment arrives for lot shipment. Yes, the 3rd CAC-Only auction brought a few unregistered bidders and only time will tell if they follow through on their bids.

Come the afternoon, I will be either in the photography department processing the Island City Standing Liberty quarters or processing incremental images for Manchester NH and Whitman Baltimore new purchases. The afternoon weather and degree of sunshine will be the deciding parameter.

Thank you again for stopping by at the Daily Blog. Be well!




Tuesday November 21, 2023

3rd CAC-Only Shipping & Black Friday Sale


Greetings once again from the Venice office. It is a Tuesday morning with the Thanksgiving holiday being 48 hours away.

Honestly, I feeling mentally tired this morning. Writing another Daily Blog edition feels like a struggle. As a business owner, one should always have a smiley face towards exhibiting invincibility in the public eye. However, even small business owners are human and have limitations. I knew going into the November schedule that it would be challenging. So far, we have worked through closing down the Maine homestead, a Whitman Baltimore show, a Florida transition and office start-up, a CAC-Only auction close, and now finalizing a Black Friday sale. Last evening, Diane and I both went to bed early as we felt quite tired.

So it is a Tuesday morning with the following shipping queue to accomplish.


When executing such a challenging schedule, one hopes that there will be no surprises. I worked hard to anticipate what could go wrong and took proactive steps. So far, the only surprise has been an erratic Internet with random emails not reaching addressees. This is a serious matter when sending auction invoices. Yesterday brought inquiries from five individuals who had not received their auction inquires and wished to promptly send payment. Yes, I arose at 4:00 AM on Monday morning to issue invoices. By 8:00 AM, there were 14 invoices left to be generated. By 10:00, emails started arriving from individuals who were worried that they had not received their invoices. Diane and I were still in the middle of preparing shipping boxes as fast as I could generate invoices. That rhythm was broken up by a trip to the Venice post office to secure more shipping boxes and envelopes as we quickly exhausted our remaining supply left behind during the late March 2023 Florida departure. Once back from the post office, responding to those emails was necessary. It was quite frustrating knowing I had worked from 4:00 AM onward only to find that some of the issued email invoices disappeared into cyberspace. The alternative was using screen captures of the invoice and sending via text message or pasting into the body of an email to address client concerns.

By 2:00 PM, the invoicing was finally completed along with regular price list order shipments and the first five 3rd CAC-Only shipments. Afterwards, the attention shifted to other email correspondences and several phone calls. 5:00 PM arrived much too quickly with Diane pulling me out of the office for some lanai happy hour time and taking a much needed respite from the office workload.

Yes, there is no creative energy available for today's Blog. Once the Black Friday Sale wraps up on Sunday, life will return to a steady state and more of an even flow. Between now and then, I'm not in a position to handle special service requests including potential lay-a-ways for the Black Friday sale. This event will be strictly cash and carry. Lay-a-ways are a great convenience for clients as they can stretch their numismatic dollars across multiple dealers or auctions. That client convince translates into incremental office admin on our part.

So, let's discuss the Black Friday sale....


Continued Evolution of the GFRC Black Friday Sale

Starting in 2022, the GFRC Black Friday saw a shift towards higher priced coins. This evolution continued during 2023 as lower priced coins were shifted to the GFRC-Lite franchise. Coins priced under $300, Details graded coins, and raw coins have moved to Rich Hundertmark and have become the mainstay of the GFRC-Lite business.

The arrival of the 2023 Thanksgiving Black Friday Sale brings an opportunity to quantify the GFRC inventory evolution after loading all of the consignor discounting instructions. As of this morning, I have yet to add discounting for select GFRC inventory items. This task will be done during the afternoon hours or at some point tomorrow.

By sorting the COIN database, I will able to capture the current sale statistics and the average percentage discount that shoppers will find during the early hours of Friday morning. Here are those statistics. Again, these are without the inclusion of GFRC inventory items.

- Number of lots in the Black Friday Sale - 221

- Total Retail Listing Prices for Black Friday Lots - $330,570

- Total Discounted Value for the Sale Lots - $35,000

- Average Discounted Offer Price - $1337

- Average Discount to Regular Retail - $10.7%

The current number of lots in the upcoming Black Friday sale are consistent with that of 2022 along with the average discount price. You must check at Friday midnight to learn of the GFRC inventory items that were added to the list. It is doubtful that I will be discounting CAC approved lots, so please dash those expectations.


Global Financial News

Equity markets are an interesting beast as are traders and investors. On one hand, there are serious long term investors that seek value opportunities and are willing to wait several years to see their returns. Warren Buffet and his Berkshire Hathaway fund is a classic example of value investors. The opposite side of the coin are those who believe that investing is market timing and running with investor sentiment. Carlo, my money manager, falls into that group. As a money manager, his job is to secure a portfolio rate of return that is ahead of the major indices as this justifies his management fee. There are times when Carlo and I will be at odds as I tend to be more strategic and longer term focused while Carlo is monitoring and advocating for sector plays.

U.S. equities continued their rally on Monday with the S&P 500 increasing to 4,547 and approaching record territory. Investor sentiment has shifted from fear to greed based on the Federal Reserve signaling that it is done with interest rate hikes. Inflation is back done to 3+% based on current CPI calculation methods. Checking in at Shadowstats.com suggests that inflation is about four percentage points higher than that currently reported. If one believes the Shadowstats numbers, investors are still seeing a negative rate of return on their savings at current bank interest rates. As a result, more lower income earners are working multiple jobs to make ends meet as inflation consumes household budgets. Those individuals, with substantial accumulated capital, are in rally mode and deploying cash that has been sitting on the sidelines.

I'm carefully watching spot gold prices ($1989/oz today) and the U.S. dollar (103.3 today) as an indication of where the U.S. stands on the global financial stage. World wide central banks are adding physical gold as quickly as it can be mined. Those banks are in the eastern countries and their actions should be considered as a hedge against holding U.S. dollar as foreign reserves. Owning physical gold is the ultimate long term asset play as we are seeing in the east. Here in the U.S., the government continues to conduct deficit spending with a fiat currency that at some point will break down. When is the million dollar question. After living through the late 1970s oil embargo, the 2000 tech crash, the 2008 housing crash, and the Covid pandemic recession, one learns that bad things can happen when greed based bubbles burst and geopolitical events surprise us. The stability of the U.S. dollar moving forward is a fair question.

After much fanfare, autonomous vehicles may have been a fad. This morning's Seeking Alpha report highlights this fact at GM.

Daniel Kan, co-founder and product chief at General Motors' self-driving unit Cruise, has resigned just a day after its CEO Kyle Vogt stepped down. The exits come less than a month after Cruise halted operations, issued recalls and halted production of its autonomous vehicles amid safety concerns. Cruise is under federal investigation because of a hit-and-run incident in San Francisco, after which California promptly suspended its licenses. GM CEO Mary Barra appeared to shrug off these setbacks, leaving many questions unanswered as to Cruise's future. GM already lost $732M on Cruise in Q3 and around $1.9B in the nine months ended Sept. 30.

Morning market futures are pointing to a neutral market open.

In Asia, Japan -0.1%. Hong Kong -0.3%. China flat. India +0.4%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.5%. Paris -0.2%. Frankfurt +0.2%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.1%. NASDAQ -0.2%.

WTI crude is trading at $77.40/bbl while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury yield stands at 4.42%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Of course, today brings another office day with 3rd CAC-Only shipping being the priority.

Thank you for checking in. Be well!




Monday November 20, 2023

14 More CAC-Only Auction Invoices to Go...



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

Scaling a successful business concept takes careful thought, execution, and priority setting. In the case of GFRC, a husband and wife team, the challenge lies in operating smarter and at higher efficiency. Without extra resources, the entire workload must be carefully staged and executed sans mistakes. Mistakes and rework will eat up precious time that could be allocated to a better balance of business and home life.

Today's Blog will be brief for a simple reason. After working all of Sunday on the 3rd CAC-Only post auction admin workload, there are still 14 invoices that are outstanding and must be issued this morning. All unsold lots have been separated from the three double row slabbed boxes that contained 175 auction lots. Diane will be filing these with regular inventory today. The shipment queue continues to expand as invoices are issued. If these tasks were not enough, Monday morning shipping for regular price list orders also kicks in after our mandatory 3 mile health walk. With a compressed holiday week and Black Friday Sale, it seems like every hour in a life is so precious.

I could ramble on with an attempt to entertain or I could get those remaining 14 invoices emailed to our clients. The latter option is the right choice given the circumstances.

The consignment window is wide open with proposals already arriving via email. I'm working closely with those individuals to structure lot shipments to the Florida office.

Tomorrow's Blog will return to normalcy with a discussion of the forthcoming Black Friday Sale.

Be well!




Sunday November 19, 2023

3rd CAC-Only Auction - Another Wild Finale!

All Black Friday Discounting Inputs are Loaded


Soliciting Consignments for the Island City Auction Sale - Late January 2024


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a post auction Sunday morning. The Thanksgiving week has arrived.

In an earlier Blog edition, there was mention that Diane was my hero for suggesting that we perform our Florida transition via the Whitman Baltimore show. In the past, the Fortins would conduct its two day drive during the weekend prior to Thanksgiving arriving into the dreaded northern Virginia I-95 corridor during late Saturday afternoon and in the dark. For 2023, following this prior schedule would have resulted in traveling while the 3rd CAC-Only auction was wrapping up along with delayed invoicing due to not arriving into Venice until late Sunday. Last evening, while enjoying another grilled dinner on the lanai, we wholeheartedly realized the wisdom of transitioning to Florida one week ahead of schedule. The GFRC office is operating smoothly with USPS mail flowing in without issues. It is great to be able to accomplish today's GFRC Online Auctions admin workload in a low stress manner.


3rd CAC-Only Auction - Another Wild Finale!

Yes, it was indeed a wild finish with a number of snipers arriving for the close of the 3rd CAC-Only auction sale. All bidding went smoothly except for the 1871-S PCGS MS63 CAC dime, which I will discuss in detail shortly. There will be a serious conversation with the two bidders who attempted to snipe this coin with 25 seconds remaining in the auction.

It is well recognized that CAC approved coins trade at premiums to the guides. This fact was once again validated based on last evening's winning bids. The Liberty Seated half dollar series continued to exercise premium pricing leadership followed by the quarters and dimes. Sadly, U.S. gold was a notable lagger in this event with no immediate explanation for this phenomenon.

There were multiple highlights for this CAC-Only auction event with the Island City Barber quarters attaining a 64% sell through rate. Leading the Barber lots were the 1893-O, 1899-O, and 1914-D with vigorous bidding. Last minute bidding arrived for two Oregon Beaver consignments. The 1856 PCGS MS65 CAC half sold at its $8000 reserve while the 1873-CC No Arrows NGC AU55 CAC secured $13,000 from two bids.

Overall, the 3rd CAC-Only auction realized a 59% sell through rate with 103 lots heading to new homes. This outcome was quite consistent with yesterday's forecast. Accumulated bids reached the $133,500 mark which is a tad stronger than forecasted and 49% of initial reserves. I'm grateful for the strong bidding support during the final hour.

Now let's move on to the 1871-S dime from my core collection. As often mentioned in the Daily Blog, the employment of snipe bidding, during the final minute, can lead to issues as was the case last evening. Two bids were placed at the same exact time of 8:59:35. Those bids were $7100 and $7007 though the online catalog shows the winning bid at $5000 since the auction software could not see and execute the bids relative to each other prior to the auction close. The issue is straightforward and has been previous explained in the Blog. When a bidder clicks on the shopping bag icon, the bid screen opens and captures the current bid, a logical approach except for when the snipers arrive. Snipers will typically open their bid screen well in advance of executing their bid. When sitting on an open bidding screen, the software does not update that screen with a bid that might have just been executed. Once the snipe bid is placed in the final seconds of the auction, the bid screen will communicate a bid acceptance when it fact, a higher bid may already have been captured for bidders who are not using the sniping method. Of course, this leads to disappointment and some potential ill will since an auction platform like eBay can handle final second snipe bidding. I have repeatedly stressed in the Blog, that a maximum bid strategy should be employed rather than snipe bidding with a few seconds remaining in an auction.

1871-S F-101 PCGS MS63 CAC 10C - Sold for $7100


In the case of both 1871-S dime bids, the current bid was the $5000 reserve as retrieved by the bidding screen. Both bids were accepted against that reserve number as valid at the time of the bidding screen being opened. Since both bids were placed at the same time, the software only recognized one bid as there was no basis for recognizing and executing a higher bid before the auction closed. In all fairness, the winning bidder is the individual who placed the $7100 bid versus the under bidder at $7007. My apologies go out to both individuals who believed that they had won this lot for $5000 after the auction closing time of 9:00 PM.

I would like to close with a sincere thank you to the many consignors and winning bidders that made the 3rd CAC-Only auction a notable success. Many wonderful coins have changed hands via this selling and buying method.


All Black Friday Discounting Inputs are Loaded

Saturday brought the final round of Black Friday Sale discounting instructions with all guidance loaded into the COIN system. Come Wednesday, the separate Black Friday price list will be downloaded and debugged to ensure full compliance to the 8% discounting minimum. More will be shared and discuss via the Blog starting on Tuesday.

A quick peek this morning indicates that the Black Friday lot tally currently stands at 232 based on consignor inputs. I have yet to review and discount lots in GFRC owned inventory, therefore that tally will be higher come Thursday midnight. The typical discount is 10% with cases of 20% and 30% discounts being not uncommon. Several consignors has decided to move out their aging coins at wholesale prices which should present an enticing opportunity for value buyers.


Soliciting Consignments for the Island City Auction Sale - Late January 2024

Now that the 3rd CAC-Only auction is in the history books, my attention immediately shifts to preparing the first GFRC Online Auction of 2024. This auction will be entitled the Island City Collection Sale and marketed accordingly. Our client's Standing Liberty quarter collection, all CAC approved, is already in the office and will be photographed this afternoon. Shortly, the Island City lots will begin to be populated within the online catalog as another construction cycle begins.

The Island City Collection Auction consignment window is open through December 20. Afterwards, preparations for Winter FUN show lot viewing and online catalog preparations are the imperative. For this event, anchor consignors will receive their own personalized auction catalog. So far, the Island City Collection is the sole anchor for this sale but I am more than willing to support a second major collection. Please call or email for details.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Though it is a Sunday, today brings the loading of the 3rd CAC-Only winning bids and bidders into the COIN system followed by preparing many invoices. Once all invoices have been emailed to winning bidders, the unsold lots will be moved to the 30 Day Price List and Collectors Corners at the reserve prices. This step typically brings more sales and some individuals would rather purchase coins via fixed price list rather than by auction.

Thank you for checking in today. I'm off to the shower followed by a long office day. Be well!





Saturday November 18, 2023

3rd CAC-Only Auction Finale Arrives at 9:00 PM


A CAC Showcase - Whitman Baltimore New Purchases Part 1


Greetings on a peaceful Saturday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. I'm pleased that you are maintaining vigilance over GFRC's many events and new postings.

It is difficult to believe that the Thanksgiving weekend is right around the corner along with our annual Black Friday Sale. Time is assuredly relentless in moving forward and soon taking us into 2024. But first, there is an important CAC-Only auction sale to wrap up this evening.

Being diligent and proactive can lead to successful results. Thus is the case on Friday morning which enable a gallery display of multiple Whitman Baltimore new purchases. The Venice weather forecast again called for cloudy conditions with a chance for sunshine during the mid-morning hours. Given the amount of new purchases that need to reach the price list before the middle of December, the photography stand was deployed at 9:30 AM assuming there would be some breaks in the cloud cover. Luck was on my side as the sun appeared long enough to image a bit over ten coins. The smaller sized coins were selected as these are the easiest to photograph without TPG holder lighting reflections. The bright sunshine lasted for only fifteen minutes and then disappeared. Without preparing in advance, today's new purchases display would not have happened.

Yesterday also brought the first installment of forwarded mail from our Maine office along with incremental check payments sent directly to the Venice address. The USPS transition has gone smoothly.

Here is a cellphone image taken last evening while grilling sausage and enjoying my favorite adult beverage. The temperature was comfortable for a pleasant dinner in the lanai as the cloud cover had finally cleared out.


3rd CAC-Only Auction Finale Arrives at 9:00 PM

After several months of preparations and marketing, the final GFRC Online Auctions event of 2023 wraps up this evening. I've not made a big deal about the fact that the 3rd CAC-Only auction is the 25th sale conducted by our humble business. So here we are on an early Saturday morning attempting to define a forecast for how the auction results will stack up at 9:00 PM.

Let's step back for a moment and review the starting point. This is GFRC's largest auction event to date with 175 notable lots and nearly $271,000 in auction reserves. The auction features a popular Barber quarter collection from the Island City consignor along with contributions from nearly twenty clients. Given a subdued numismatic market, expectations were realistic and a bit muted. However, there was a belief that an opportunity to acquire premium CAC stickered and the newly released CAC Grading holdered lots would draw substantial attention. As of the morning, the Liberty Seated coinage leads the way in sell through rates followed by the Island City Barbers. Unfortunately, U.S. gold is lagging in this event including the Island City $1 gold. Will today's bidding change these observations? I'm definitely hoping that the gold buyers appear in force come 8:00 PM.

As of 7:00 AM, 83 of the 175 lots are leaving the office and heading to collector homes. That is nearly a 48% sell through rate. To achieve the 60% goal, another 21 lot must sell before auction close. Total bids amount to $79,500 as compared to $271,000 in initial reserves. We are at the 30% milestone for this parameter with the lack of U.S. gold bidding being reflected here.

The time has come for my traditional forecast concerning where the auction will close at 9:00 PM. The forecast starts with an ending 57% sell through rate as I'm expecting the finale to bring the sale of another 17 lots. Certainly, 100 lots is a nice round number and achievable based on past auction performances. The final bid tally is forecasted to be $125,000. So make note of my forecast of 57% and $125,000 and please check back tomorrow morning to learn if results were consistent or exceeded the this forecast. All unsold lots will post to the price list late Sunday along with Collectors Corner.

Let's showcase ten lots that have yet to secure a bid but warrant such. Stated another way, these are marvelous lots that have yet to secure a bid but are most delightful and secure my recommendation. The winning bidder will not be disappointed with any of these lots.

  1879 NGC PF67CAM CAC 3CN - $1350                                         1871 F-109 PCGS MS65 CAC 10C - $2500    


          1871-S F-101 PCGS MS63 CAC 10C - $5000                              1877-S/S S/Horiz S PCGS MS63 CAC 25C - $2500     


       1895-O PCGS MS64 CAC 25C - $1800                                       1832 O-106 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C - $1000    


            1856 PCGS MS65 CAC 50C - $8000                                      1875-S Unlisted PCGS MS66 CAC 50C - $6500     


1880 Type 3 PCGS MS65 CAC G$1 - $2500                                          1861 NGC AU53 CAC G$10 - $2500      



Good luck to all bidders including those who only appear during the final bidding hour. I'm hoping for a wild finale as are many consignors.


A CAC Showcase - Whitman Baltimore New Purchases Part 1

Today brings the first of many Whitman Baltimore new purchases including some awesome gems that are priced accordingly. Let's start with an amazing 1873 proof 3 cent silver in a new CAC Grading holder. Talk about eye appeal and conservative grading that hopefully becomes apparent with viewing the images. Ditto for the 1829 LM-1 half dime that is securing a GFRC-Gem quality rating. Yes, the offer price is strong, however the luster and overall eye appeal is tremendous.

Let's move on to an 1883/2 Shield nickel with badly cracked obverse die. The 1877 proof dime is an exceptional gem with sharply mirrored fields and bold wire rims. This piece is one of the finer Seated dime proof that I've seen in several years and belongs in an advanced cabinet. Yes, I did add an 1839 Seated quarter to inventory without CAC approval. This piece exhibits the usual partially mirrored obverse and lightly frosted reverse for the Open Claw die pairing. The Osprey Collection added an 1652 Pine Tree shilling to inventory from a European purchase.

The last three lots are freshly graded by CAC Grading and are all premium examples and then some...

A CAC Showcase - Whitman Baltimore New Purchases Part 1

Priced as Marked

                1873 CACG PF64 3CS - $2950                                              1829 LM-1 PCGS MS64 CAC H10C - $1985   


    1883/2 PCGS MS63 CAC 5C - $3300                                                 1877 PCGS PR66 CAC 10C - $1950    


                1839 Open Claws NGC MS62 25C - $2750                           1652 Pine Tree, Sm Planchet PCGS VF25 Shilling - $4400    


1832 LM-3 CACG AU55 H10C - $560               1864-S F-101 CACG VF35 10C - $845             1831 B-5 R3 CACG VF35 25C - $425



Wrapping Up The Blog

Today's top priority is photography based on a clear sky weather forecast. I will be spending several hours in the back yard, adjacent to the pond, photographing a host of new purchases as the sun will continue to drop in the sky until late December.

Afterwards, the focus returns to loading the last of the Black Friday discounting inputs into the COIN system and sending confirmation emails.

The 3rd CAC-Only finale arrives at roughly 8:00 PM with intense bidding through the auction close. Let's hope for a dramatic outcome...

Thank you as always for making the Daily Blog a regular part of a day's reading routine. Be well!




Friday November 17, 2023

Insightful CAC Grading Commentary

Manchester NH New Purchases from the GFRC Venice Office


3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Update


Greetings on a mid-November Friday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Another day brings another edition for contemplation.

A quick note is in order. During Wednesday afternoon, about a half dozen of my Black Friday confirmation emails never reached the consignors. This become apparent yesterday when multiple individuals notified me of not receiving those emails though the emails are logged in my Hotmail Sent folder. I've again responded and hopefully, the second notice has found its way to the consignors.

There is little to report as part of today's preamble other than a partly cloudy day is in the forecast for Venice followed by sunshine on Saturday. My hope is to photograph enough coins this morning to restart populating the 30 Day Price List. Let's move on to a short blogpost from Seth Godin for reflection. He is certainly spot on with this advice.

Seth Godin Blogpost - The second mistake

That’s the avoidable one and the one that usually causes the real trouble.

When the first mistake flusters us, breaks our rhythm or messes with our confidence, we’re far more likely to make the second one.

It’s almost impossible to avoid making a mistake. But avoiding the second mistake (or, just as likely, the cover-up) is a learnable skill.


Insightful CAC Grading Commentary

As expected, yesterday's grading standards and CAC Grading discussion brought email feedback. One email, and its insightful contents, captured my attention since making two important points that I had failed to capture. The first thought reinforces the fact that observed grading standards have loosened over time due to a market place phenomenon; the crack out and upgrade game. There are those among us who see holdered coins as a money making opportunity. The relentless pursuit of upgrades eventually moves most coins to their highest or nearly over graded tomb in a TPG holder. The second point, made by this individual is that CACG holders were designed to be unfriendly to the crack out crowd.

The crack out trade has been another source of revenue and profit for PCGS and NGC. CACG, by design, will not enjoy this revenue stream, as once premium coins are in a CACG holder, they will remain there for years. Of course, this thought can be invalidated if certain individuals locate a method for cracking out CACG holders and moving those lots into the other two grading services at a higher grade. Don't under estimate what the crack out artists will do....

Next is some frank commentary that is food for thought. I may not subscribed to all the points made, however, a mature collector should examine the commentary as one more input concerning the CACG turbulence that the U.S. coin market will be experience in the coming year.

You are absolutely not blowing smoke.

I understand the phenomenon of grade inflation.  Furthermore it would be inevitable (though to a lesser degree) even if PCGS/NGC hadn't loosened standards.  There is always the chance they'd have an off day and over grade a coin (because as you know from your days in producing tangible items, there are slip-ups even with +/- 3 sigma quality assurance). Let's not forget the possibility of the impact of the crack-it-out-and-send-it-in-over-and-over subculture.  Eventually a lot of coins would become sliders when compared with the standards as the better pieces are moved up a grade.

I heard one dealer (whose mind is clearly back in that late 80s/early 90s era) state that CACG would fail, because the CACG slabs were too hard to break open.  Customers, apparently, want to be able to try again and again and it shouldn't be made hard to do that.  I disagree.  As long as the service is consistent, there should be no need or desire to do that.  On the other hand, there might be a desire to mentally evade the issue by not sending the coins to CACG in the first place.

I appreciated your article for another reason:  It gives historical context as to when and how much the grade inflation (that in fact IS largely caused by lowering standards, contrary to my hypothetical above).

I know I've repeated to you some of the smack talk I've heard.  I do it not to denigrate CAC/CACG but rather because I am pretty sure you have an interest in knowing what people are saying about it, because you are an investor in it.  I'm a firm believer in CACG, and will remain so until/unless they start slipping their standards. I see no prospect of that, but I have to state the qualifier for the record.
I took every NGC coin in my type set that was CAC stickered (four of them), and crossed them. The dealer I worked with (who is NOT the one griping about how hard it'd be to crack em out) said it was the smoothest transaction they ever had with CACG; turnaround was just a couple of weeks and nothing got rejected (which apparently did happen at least once in a different submission).  I hope this is a sign that early "teething" problems are being resolved.

At some point I might just decide to send all of my remaining NGC coins to CACG with minimum grades below what is on the holder and let the chips fall where they may.  Especially if it turns out that the CAC premium are at least as much as a grade level.  E.g., if a CACG MS-63 is worth the same as an NGC MS-64, there's no loss in letting an MS-64 cross into an MS-63 holder.  Provided of course that the ONLY issue with the coin is that it's over graded (rather than cleaned, scratched, etc). Even if the inertia proves too much for CACG, what's the worst that happens?  I have a holder that might be a collectible someday.  And the coins are still what they are.

So now CAC has a reputation and people like me are willing to move to their new holders.  There's little risk because their grading is a known quantity.  I suppose there's a slim possibility of a "boycott" of their holders due to disgruntled dealers refusing to touch them,  That would be irrational and the market will eventually kill CACG, but it might take a long time.  In the unlikely event that it develops can CACG outlast it?


Manchester NH New Purchases from the GFRC Venice Office

Since being mostly caught up on the office transition and loading Black Friday Sales inputs, I was able to locate several new purchase images taken in Maine before packing the office. Please note that the low angled sun at the Maine latitude has made the two U.S. gold lot appear a bit more "orange" colored than normal.

All of the following lots can be found on the 30 Day Price List with detailed descriptions. The 1917 Type 1 Standing quarter is a real sweet heart for those that desire a type coin with natural patina and super eye appeal.

Manchester NH New Purchases from the GFRC Venice Office

Priced as Marked

1917 Type 1 NGC 64+FH CAC 25C - $975

       1890 Unlisted PCGS MS64 10C - $445                                            1885-O PCGS MS66+ CAC $1 - $625    


            1910 NGC MS63 G$2.5 CAC - $1750                                            1893-S NGC MS64 CAC G$5 - $2350         



3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Update

Finally, the dreaded auction contemplation period is behind us. Thursday's bidding was light with the sell through rate and accumulated bids barely moving the needle.

Today, brings renewed interest in this CAC-Only auction as lurkers, and current bidders, begin to get serious about acquiring a host of premiums coins. The auction ends tomorrow at 9:00 PM and I'm expecting a wild finale given the quality of the offered lots. Why wouldn't collectors wish to upgrade their collections with CAC holdered coins? The reserves are a reasonable premiums for the overall quality.

Please allow me to get on the soapbox for a moment. Honestly, a don't get the mindset of value buyers where the purchase price trumps the quality. Would you rather own two premium coins as a long term hold or three average coins with less than optimum surfaces? Many would choose the three coin option at lower prices. It is three coins versus two, right? Well, I'm in the camp that believes owning the top tier of examples for a date in the why to go. Yes, there are always exceptions to every rule which are often pointed out to me concerning a CAC stickered coin that may lack eye appeal due to thick crusty toning or a circulate piece having a mark or two that CAC passed upon. Those exceptions are not the norm in this 3rd CAC-Only auction. Taken as a whole, the lots in this auction are superior for the grade. Take for example, the 1871-S F-101 repunched date dime graded PCGS MS63 CAC (from my core collection). It took two decades to locate a finer example as an upgrade. So far, no one has bid on the lot. The next 36 hours will certainly be telling.


Global Financial News

Let's start this segment with a focus on gold. The current quote is $1991/oz. Once again gold is knocking on the $2000 doorstep. While gold is rising, the other easily trade-able hard asset, crude oil, has dropped to $74/bbl. Looking at the U.S. dollar, its value is holding steady at 104.2. I'm at a loss to explain why spot gold is again heading north other than major market players taking a long position in the precious metal. Sure it is easy to cite geopolitical risks given the Israeli-Hamas conflict and the mounting pressure on Bibi to slow the number of Gazan casualties.

Yesterday's U.S. equity market trading was flat with the S&P 500 closing at 4,508. Morning market futures are pointing to some initial buying with the S&P projected to move up 0.2% at the open.

Earlier this morning, I took in a Michelle Makori interview with Peter Shiff. Peter Shiff is well known for his advocation of hard assets in a personal portfolio and preparing for a U.S. dollar rout. The interview can be located on YouTube and is worth the time to watch. His message is that the U.S. government indebtedness will have consequences in the future in terms of a drop in faith in the U.S. dollar within the next few years. The U.S. is the globe's largest indebted nation with no signs that spending will be reigned in. Annual 2 trillion dollar deficits are most likely starting in 2024 with interest on that debt overwhelming U.S. tax revenues. As a reference, the projected 2023 U.S. tax revenue is project at 4.4 trillion dollars. A $35 trillion deficit at 4.0% interest rate leads to a $1.4 trillion expense to fund the national debt. A 30% debt service load is onerous and will only grow higher as we move towards 2025 and beyond. When viewing the numbers and ignoring the political rhetoric, Peter's warning does have merit.


Wrapping Up The Blog

The Island City Standing Liberty quarter collection arrived yesterday along with a lot from the City By The Bay Collection. Both are targets for the first GFRC Online Auctions event of 2024. These will provide plenty to do along with today's photography and hopefully, posting another small new purchases lot by the end of the day.

Your ongoing readership is sincerely appreciated. Be well!




Thursday November 16, 2023

GFRC Sells Sooner Collection 1878-S Seated Half

Third Party Grading Service Standards vs. Profitability

Black Friday Discounting Instructions are Loaded


3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Update


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Thursday morning. Thank you for being a regular reader.

Who would have thought that the Fortins would have dragged wet and cloudy weather from Maine to Florida? So far, our time in Venice has been greeted with rain and thick clouds. The rain abates today while the cloudy conditions will be around for another 24 hours. I'm itching to get some new purchases photography done towards rebuilding the 30 Day Price List. Unfortunately, today will not be the day for fresh photography. Instead, lower level GFRC tasks will be completed along with several health walks.

Let's move directly into the headline topics as there is little value in rambling on about nothing in a Blog preamble.


GFRC Sells Sooner Collection 1878-S Seated Half

The 1878-S half is the unquestionable key date in the Liberty Seated half dollar series and a huge financial challenge for many collectors. The purchase of this date is often a substantial financial stretch and emotional event.

Such is the case for a northern Florida collector who contacted GFRC on Saturday concerning the Sooner 1878-S half graded PCGS VG08. Our new client was caught between the desire to finally own the date and the financial risk of spending nearly $50,000 for a single coin. The first conversation on the 1878-S took place during a rest stop at the Georgia state line. The conversation was mainly an internal battle in the collector's mind towards a challenging decision to finally own the date. GFRC's style for selling is to allow collectors the time to work through their deliberations. Various payments terms were offered to help finalize the sale. There was silence from the potential buyer on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday morning brought the phone call and the purchase decision. All systems were a go after justifying the purchase to a financial advisor and securing funds from a wealth management account.

The appreciation potential of the 1878-S Seated half dollar date is unquestionable, especially in "affordable" lower grades. Purchasing any series key date can be a struggle but will generate rewards on a longer term basis.

Congratulations to this serious Seated half dollar collector who is finally completing his set.


Third Party Grading Service Standards vs. Profitability

I've promised a commentary on the launch of CAC Grading and here it is after several days of reflection. Let's start by disclosing that GFRC is a CAC Grading investor as I'm a staunch supporter of John Albanese and all that his has done for the numismatic hobby. His efforts started with the launch of PCGS and NGC in the mid 1980s following by saving the industry during 2007 when the two major grading services were plagued with gradeflation.

Let's cut right to the key issue in our hobby. PCGS and NGC have been unable to maintain grading standards on a long term basis.

The PCGS and NGC start-up years brought tight grading standards as is so evident today when examining coins in Rattlers/Old Green Holders (PCGS) and Fatty Holders (NGC). Sadly those standards were eroded as time moved along. The core issue is profitability and the need to find ways to generate volume and market share at the expense of consistent standards.

I well remember my personal observations during the mid 1990s when laying out the Seated dime collection on a rug and grouping the PCGS and NGC graded dimes separately. It was immediately evident that the PCGS standards were tighter than those of NGC leading to a decision to only source PCGS certified dimes if at all possible. As the years passed, I learned that NGC has loosened their standards as part of a business strategy to take market share from PCGS. The fallout from that decision is still evident today with the many obviously cleaned coins that just remain as a reminder.

By the early to mid 2000 time frame, both grading services had loosened standards to the point of destroying the market they created. I don't need to go into historical details concerning John Albanese stepping in and launching CAC stickering to differentiate those coins that were graded to the initial late 1980s standards.

Let's stop at this point as I wish to make it clear that trusting any grading service without developing a personal knowledge of surfaces and grading brings financial risks. Buying coins based on the "certified label" without a keen working knowledge of the product is not a good idea. However, many collectors in the hobby have done just that. I well remember the number of collectors who laughed at the idea of a grader (CAC) being necessary to check on the graders (PCGS/NGC). Those individuals believe that the PCGS standard was the end all. Why spend more money to have PCGS grading verified when they were the gold standard? The issue was the slow loosening of standards to sustain business volume and profitability. NGC standards were even worse in that time frame.

So here we are in 2023 with the launch of CAC Grading. Based on my observations in the Baltimore show dealer rooms and conversations with fellow CACG investors, John Albanese has taken grading standards back to the late 1980s and early 1990s. Said in another manner, start-up CACG standards are very tight. If you can purchase coins in new CACG holders, my advice is to do so promptly and use these coins as a surfaces and grading reference for future purchases.

The CAC Grading start-up presents a substantial dilemma for the numismatic industry. At least 70%, and maybe more, of the currently graded PCGS and NGC coins in the marketplace, without CAC approval, will never be crossed/straight graded by CAC Grading. Yes, I just took a huge risk by openly stating this today.

The core issue is the slow loosening of grading standards by PCGS and NGC over the years. The CAC Grading launch has brought us back to the original TPG standards in an abrupt manner. Disruptive may be a better adjective to drive home this point. Now comes the dilemma for the coin industry and lifelong collectors who trusted the PCGS grading standards. Just think of all the PCGS registry sets that have been assembled over several decades based on a slowly eroding grading standards. Huge sums of money have been spent by those who wished to be tops in a Registry set category and winning awards at TPG luncheons. How do these collectors react to a return to original grading standards as is being established by CAC Grading. The natural tendency is denial and silently hoping that CACG fails in the marketplace.

Please step back for a moment and try to digest what you have just read. Don't succumb to the typical reaction that I'm blowing smoke, full of you know what, and/or having a personal agenda. I've been at this game since 1989 as a serious collector recognizing that superior coins were a sound long term wealth diversification strategy. My collecting standards were validated when walking through 200 Liberty Seated dimes through CAC during 2014 and securing an 83% CAC stickering rate with over 20 gold beans. Starting in 2014, GFRC was launched with the same view on tight grading standards as those of CAC.

Currently, CAC Grading faces a significant amount of inertia in the numismatic marketplace due to its principled stand on grading standards. I for one will be supportive of CACG and will continue to expand GFRC's inventory holdings. In the coming two years, the market place must make a decision on grading standards versus value. Sticking with the CAC standards is in my DNA and I will let the chips fall where they may....


Black Friday Discounting Instructions are Loaded

Given the wet Florida weather, much of Wednesday was spent loading the accumulated Black Friday discounting instructions into the COIN system. As of this morning the, the Black Friday Sale is ready for launch with the black countdown banner posted at the top of the GFRC website pages.

I've sent along confirmation emails to every consignor who has submitted discounting instructions. If you have not received that confirmation email, then your instruction were not loaded. I would appreciate you help with a reminder if you've not received that email.

So far, the sale looks good with a number of values for diligent shoppers. More will be written in the Blog once the sales offerings are finalized. Please remember that Friday November 17 (Tomorrow) is the final day for tendering your discounting instructions.


3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Update

Today brings the final day of the contemplation period for the 3rd CAC-Only auction. Bidding continues at a slow pace with the sell through rate at 44% and total accumulated bids at a tad over $73,000. There is still a long way to go with this sale as several of the more fervent buyers are still on the sidelines.

At this point, the Island City Barber quarters are enjoying a 50% sell through rate with more to be bid upon before Saturday's 9:00 PM closing time.

Please remember that lay-a-ways are possible for purchases over $3000 or there abouts.


Global Financial News

U.S. equities closed fractionally higher on Wednesday with the S&P 500 increasing to 4,502. Spot gold is currently trading at $1965/oz. Interestingly, Greenlight Capital holds a record amount of gold in its portfolio as David Einhorn worries about market conditions and growing geopolitical risks,

The U.S. dollar has stabilized at 104.4 for the time being while the 10 Year Treasury yield is consolidating at the 4.5% level.

WTI crude pricing has receded to $76/bbl..

Morning market futures are down about 0.2%. It appears that the huge CPI induced rally has peaked with incremental investor caution moving forward.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Please remember that the GFRC consignment window is wide open for regular price list destined consignments and for the first GFRC Online Auctions event of 2024 that arrives towards the end of January. If wishing to have your auction lots ready for viewing at the Winter FUN show, it is important to ship those coins to me asap.

Today brings another office day. Don't be bashful to contact me on your numismatic needs.

Thanks again for stopping by at the Daily Blog. Be well!




Wednesday November 15, 2023

$14,000,000 Consignor Proceeds Milestone is Reached!

Manchester NH and Baltimore New Purchases in a Snapshot


3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Update


Greetings on a Wednesday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. We are again live from the Venice Florida office. Thanks for stopping by.

I'm feeling quite relaxed this morning as the GFRC office is back to normal operations. Much of Tuesday was spent returning each holdered coin to safe keeping with its protective plastic sleeve while segregating new purchases for photography and subsequent processing. Once the Venice weather cooperates, a long photography session will be in the cards. Coin orders have been staged in their USPS boxes and padded envelopes leading to a restart of the shipping department today.

While working in the office, several emails arrives concerning the hazed TPG holder topic. An individual suggested that I start buffing out holder scratches for a fee while a well known consignor reinforced my guidance that collectors should make an effort to reholder their badly abused holders. There are no plans to turn GFRC into a buffing factory, end of story. However, I would like to share practical commentary from the Island Lake Collection consignor.

Hi Gerry,

Considering your recent blog comments regarding the problems with scratched and hazy holders, I thought the following anecdote might be of interest given that you apparently just sold my proof 1936 Walking Liberty Half Dollar (if I read your Sales Archive correctly).

I found that coin in a Stack's Bowers auction back when I was primarily focused on type collecting.  I nearly passed it over because of what bad shape the holder was in.  However, I decided to stop and study it for a few minutes and realized that there was a very nice coin underneath all those scratches and scuffs.

I put in a conservative bid, won the coin, and eventually shipped it off to NGC along with a couple of other coins for re-holdering in a scratch resistant holder, followed by a trip to CAC for re-stickering.

The result was that I was able to enjoy a fabulous coin in a fresh clean holder for a couple of years before my focus shifted to other areas.  It also resulted in a nice return over a relatively short time, even after transaction costs and the costs of re-holdering and re-stickering, which isn't easy to do on the collector side of things, even in a coin bull market.  I've been able to do this with a couple of other coins as well.  It's harder to pull off with lower priced coins, but the enjoyment is still often worth it from a collector perspective.

My conclusion for collectors is:  Don't throw the coin baby out with the ugly holder bath water!  Take the time to sort out what is a coin flaw and what is a holder flaw, and you might be pleasantly surprised what you end up with.

Island Lake

Let's move forward with today's headline topics....


$14,000,000 Consignor Proceeds Milestone is Reached!

As is tradition, I'm pleased to announce that GFRC efforts to support consignors has resulted in the attainment of yet another milestone. After posting the Whitman Baltimore show sales to the COIN database, the consignment proceeds total reached the $14,000,000 milestone. Yes, GFRC has returned this amount of money back to consignors since its inception during 2014. Once the 3rd CAC-Only auction ends this Saturday, we will be on our way to the next million dollar level.

GFRC's consignor sales results are always available online at the Consignor link. Accumulated consignor proceeds are constantly updated during every website refresh along with the number of sold consignor coins and median time to sale.


Manchester NH and Baltimore New Purchases in a Snapshot

Dan and I were active buyers at both the Manchester NH and Whitman Baltimore shows as is illustrated in the following image.

Some of the "big boy" dealers will purchase coin deals in larger bulk quantities as coins move around the trading rooms or bourse floors in search of the right buyers that can locate retail outlets. I've seen double row slabbed boxes being shopped around at a single price for the lot. Please be assured that GFRC does not insource its coins in this manner. Conversely, our strategy is to carefully purchase individual coins one piece at a time with surfaces, eye appeal, and price being carefully considered before writing a check. Offering the best possible value to clients is our strategy for becoming a preferred or go to dealer in a crowded industry. We understand that "big" does not necessary translate to "best" as there are more average coins circulating in the market place than those that are premium pieces for the certified grade. The larger dealers carry substantial cost overhead and must sell a substantial number of coins to make payroll and office rent. This translates into volume buying. GFRC, on the other hand, is a boutique numismatic entity with a reputation for top quality offerings since I manage costs similar to my days in the semiconductor industry.

For giggles, I just checked the percentage of CAC approved and CACG coins in the below group. Yep, we did well as 91% of the coins are CAC approved. Again, once the Venice weather situation improves, this queued inventory will be photographed and incrementally posted at the Daily Blog. The mix is heavy in U.S. gold and Capped Bust halves for inquisitive minds.


3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Update

Regardless of being in the dreaded contemplation period, the current CAC-Only auction enjoy active bidding on Tuesday. Currently, 73 of the 175 lots have one of more bids. This is a 42% sell through rate with roughly another 20 percentage points to go towards a self imposed 60% minimum sell through rate goal (105 lots) by Saturday evening.

Total bids have climbed to $65,000 versus the $271,000 in initial reserves. So far, the lower priced lots are significantly outperforming coins with four figure reserves. The U.S. gold lots are clearly laggers at this point and hopefully we will see increased bidding for this product line in the near term. CAC approved U.S. gold continues to enjoy price increases and I don't see the trend reversing during a period where spot gold makes another attempt at the $2000/oz level.


Global Financial News

U.S. equities rallied significantly on Tuesday with the S&P 500 briefly moving above the psychologically important 4,500 level before settling in at 4,496. Wall Street “cheered” new Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers that show inflation was flat in October, instantly raising hopes the Federal Reserve is done hiking the overnight bank rate. Already, the 10 Year Treasury has dropped to 4.48%. Please don't confuse the Feds Fund rate with 10 Year bond yields as they are different animals.

Spot gold also joined the party and rose to $1973/oz as the precious metal performs better in a low interest rate environment. Also fueling gold was a U.S. dollar that dropped to 104.2 in anticipating of lower interest rates during 2024.

WTI crude is trading at an even $78/bbl.

Based on the current stock market rally, happy days will be here again in 2024. However, the accumulated price increases, due to 2023 inflation, will be here to stay. This is how the CPI calculation works. Maintaining a lifestyle became more expensive during the past twelve months with those 20% increases in housing and energy costs probably here to stay. Think about this when shopping for premium coins and wondering why retail prices have also moved up...

Morning market futures are pointing to an extension to yesterday's rally as the herd jumps on the bandwagon. S&P 500 futures are up another 0.45%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

During the overnight hours, the City By The Bay Collection consignor stepped forward with a 16 piece lot for the forthcoming January 2024 auction being headlined by the Island City Standing Liberty quarter collection (all CAC approved). I'm quite excited with a nearly exclusive San Francisco mint proposed lot and will be responding to our friend this morning to get ready to ship.

Via text message, a new lot for purchase also appears during the overnight.

The 2024 Winter FUN show is just seven weeks away for auction lot previews. If you would like to participate in the initial GFRC Online Auction of 2024, please contact me asap for making shipping arrangements.

Let's wrap up at this point and get a new office day underway. One of the priorities is loading Black Friday discounting instructions ahead of schedule as early next week brings 3rd CAC-Only auction invoicing and ship aheads.

Again, thank you for stopping by. Be well!



Tuesday November 14, 2023

GFRC Consignment Window in Wide Open!

3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Update


Rich Hundertmark - The Winter 2023 Baltimore Show in His Own Words


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Tuesday morning. Thanks to everyone who makes a habit of checking in.

The Fortins have already settled into their winter home and are ready for the forthcoming holiday season followed by the Winter FUN show that is only seven weeks away. When leading a busy life, event planning stretches ahead by two to three months as time has a habit of flying by.

Today brings the restart of the shipping department while coin photography must be delayed until Friday due to bad weather. There is plenty of behind the scenes work that will keep me occupied during this time frame.

I seem to be struggling this morning with the preamble, so let's move ahead with today's headline topics.


GFRC Consignment Window in Wide Open!

Please bring it on! Yes, the GFRC consignment window is wide open and I'm ready to start helping clients coordinate their shipments to the Florida office. Already, the Island City Standing Liberty quarter collection is packaged and ships today. This lot becomes the anchor collection for our late January GFRC Online Auction sale but needs some incremental offerings to flesh out the forthcoming catalog. Whether having 3-4 pieces to liquidate, or an entire collection, please consider working with GFRC.

As mentioned in Monday's Blog, I'm in the process of updating GFRC's consignment policy. After much soul searching and COIN database analysis, the following consignment policy changes are being announced.

- The minimum insured value of a CAC approved consigned item must be $200 or higher.

- The minimum insured value of a non-CAC approved coin must be $300 or higher. Yes, I will no longer be handling non-CAC approved consigned coins valued under $300 and suggest that those coins be sent to Rich at GFRC-Lite.

- GFRC will no longer be accepting raw coins as part of a consignment. Raw coins have become an atypical item for the current business model and it is suggested that these pieces be sent to GFRC-Lite. GFRC has not exhibited raw coins at coins shows for years since we are structured to sell holdered coins. If raw coins don't sell via the price list, then they accumulate in inventory, many times for years at a time. Again, GFRC-Lite is the best alternative for selling your raw coins.

- Finally, please prescreen your holdered coins and check for those holders that are heavily scratched or hazed. Granted, this is a subjective exercise. My intention here is to raise the awareness of holder storage towards minimizing the number of scratches and edge chipping. Some GFRC customers see the holder and the coin as a combined product. If the holder is a mess and impacts the visual enjoyed of the coin, there is a decent chance that the coin will be returned or I will be asked to pay for the reholdering. My suggestion is that of examining holdered coins in your collection and conduct a batch reholdering submission to your favorite TPG if the event that some a notably hazed.

These consignment policy changes may be seen as too restrictive for certain clients. This I understand and accept the potential consequences. When operating a high volume numismatic business and attempting to delivery premier service, the presence of low priced coins consumes a disproportionate amount of my resources. Yesterday, I did an analysis of 2023 year to day sales as a quantitative verification. The results indicated that 13% of GFRC sales were priced under or at $300 but generate only 1.8% of the realized gross margin dollars. As a generalization but backed by real world experience, buyers of non-CAC approved coins under $300 are more demanding that those of higher cost items. Most of my returns and hold requests are with sub $300 coins. The amount of time consumed to support this business segment is inconsistent with the financial return. Therefore, I am taking a step towards freeing up time for other opportunities.


3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Update

Bidding continued on Monday with the auction tally now standing at 64 lots meeting reserves. There is no need to add up the bids as that needle has hardly moved since yesterday's Blog.

At the Whitman Baltimore show, the 3rd CAC-Only lots were displayed in two showcases for lot viewing. The quality of these CAC approved lots were readily apparent by just glancing into the cases. The lots in the current auction are at a premium level and should be scooped up by knowledgeable collectors.

Following are six lots with above average eye appeal that should garner your attention. All are currently unattached and have my recommendations.

        1859 F-103 PCGS AU55 CAC 10C - $600                                   1889 F-101 PCGS PR65CAM CAC 10C - $1350  


 1880 Briggs 1-A PCGS MS67 CAC 25C - $8000                                        1916 PCGS MS65 CAC 25C - $800        


 1854 PCGS MS62 CAC G$3 - $4300                                                1847 PCGS AU58 CAC G$5 - $1590



Rich Hundertmark - The 2023 Winter Baltimore Show in His Own Words

Following are unedited comments from Rich concerning the just completed Baltimore show and CACG. In the coming days, I will share my in depth perspective on CACG in the Blog.

Hi Gerry,

Well, the Baltimore show for GFRC-Lite is now in the books. How to start?  Maybe with this quickie conversation. An advanced collector friend said that a dealer told him that the Winter Whitman show is considered the kickoff for the coin calendar. My response was “let’s hope not, that might be a foreboding sign for the 2024 calendar year”.

To say that Lite was disappointed with the results would be an understatement. Bourse retail traffic was very light and those that came were not in a buying mood. With that came customers that asked for pricing that was unreasonable and falling in the “low ball” category.

People, markets will fluctuate over time, hopefully with a long-term upward trend bias. Long-term relationships become a win for not just dealers but collectors if properly cultivated. Coin collecting is a hobby that can be enjoyed for the better part of a lifetime, so try to understand the implications of bad show table behavior. Enough said on this topic.

I’ll also weigh in on CAC as it is now uniquely positioned in the market, my thoughts are similar to Gerry’s in some ways, somewhat divergent in others.

My succinct opinion is that legacy CAC sticker PCGS and NGC coins will command a strong premium in the market on a long term. The basic premise is that “two eyes”, the TPG company and subsequently CAC validated the grade. I’ve talked to a decent cross section of dealers and advanced collectors, and few (if any) see the immediate need to cross a legacy green bean sticker holder to a new CACG holder except for a scuffed or damaged holder that impairs the visual enjoyment of the coin.

As to the CACG holder brand, I think that it will take a bit of time before it finds its footing in the marketplace. The holder is going to have to demonstrate to the marketplace that the asked for premium is real. Documented pricing results for the major auction houses will be closely watched and play a key role in determining the premium the CACG brand will garner.

My personal opinion is that CAC provided a valuable service in the marketplace when just calling “balls and strikes” on graded PCGS and NGC coins. The green bean identified coins having superior eye appeal, strike and surface originality and made investment in these coins a less risky proposition. This may well be continued and proven with coins in the CACG holder, but again, it will take some time, a 2–3-year gestation period might be a reasonable guess for broad market acceptance.

There will of course be market resistance to the new holder. For my own collection, I’ll certainly buy coins I like that are graded by CACG if I feel the asking price is warranted. I’ve always “bought the coin, not the holder” and relied on my own judgment to determine the overall attractiveness, desirability, and value proposition of the coin. 

OK, next up for Lite is the Annandale Show, right around the corner Dec 8,9th. It’s a shorter drive for me plus being a shorter show. What’s not to like about that? Lite has a premium table location and an inventory offering that was complimented by many dealers and collectors that have seen the venture grow. After Annandale, the holidays will be quickly followed by my Florida trek to the FUN event.

Happiness to all in your collecting ventures. 



Global Financial News

Today brings an important trading day with the S&P 500 standing at 4,412, an elevated position after a near term rally. The October CPI arrives at 8:30 AM and will drive the direction of today's trading. Seeking Alpha weighs in on this topic with the following report.

The latest indicator on inflation will be published today at 8:30 AM as the Labor Department releases its report on the October CPI. Investors are hoping that there will be signs that inflation continues to dissipate, but if those signs aren't there or there are surprises, it could risk the chance of another interest rate hike in December. Another item to be aware of is new changes to the calculation methodology of health insurance costs. That could result in the category becoming a net contributor to inflation, and will be noted by market watchers and the Federal Reserve. By the numbers: October's CPI is expected to rise only 0.1% M/M, compared with a 0.4% increase in September. On a Y/Y basis, it's expected to rise by 3.3%, down from 3.7% in the previous month. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, is anticipated to increase by 0.3% M/M, the same rate of increase as in September. Y/Y, economists, on average, project a 4.1% rise in October, also unchanged from the September rate of inflation. A downside surprise on CPI "could spark another drop in yields and boost risk asset prices in a way that reignites the year-end rally," according to SA Investing Group Leader Lawrence Fuller. Others, like Mott Capital Management, see a bigger chance that it will surprise to the upside, especially due to the rise in health insurance. "The data and forecasts seem to indicate that healthcare costs will be rising starting with this October report, and if that is the case, the case for inflation sticking around for some time only seems to strengthen." Half full or half empty? There are many ways in which progress has been seen with regard to price pressures, while the economy and labor market remain on solid footing. Headline inflation is down significantly from the 7% seen at the beginning of the year, and it will take additional time to go from the current 3% clip to the Fed's desired 2% target. Others see things as more entrenched, especially when looking at core inflation. The elimination of the pandemic and supply chain disruptions were the low-hanging fruit, and underlying price pressures are proving stickier by showing some recent signs of stalling out.

As expected, U.S. equity futures are flat.

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

WTI crude pricing has increased to $78.42/bbl while spot gold is trading at nearly $1950/oz. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is flat at 4.62%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

The next three days will find me full time in the Florida GFRC office. I will be available for numismatic related phone calls and should be responding to email inquiries on a prompt basis.

The photographed coin queue is pretty lean at the moment as I was hoping for a quick start of new show purchases photography under a bright Florida sun. That expectation has been dashed for a few days. Instead, I will be catching up on other workloads including some website updates.

I'm here to sell coins if you are in a buying mood. Thanks for checking in. Be well!




Monday November 13, 2023

The GFRC Venice Office Is Open!

3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Update


Fair Warning - Forthcoming GFRC Consignment Changes


Greetings from the Venice, Florida office and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. It is great to be back in a warm climate for the winter months.

Diane is my hero for suggesting that we stage our Florida relocation via the Whitman Baltimore show. Heeding her suggestion brought several notable benefits that far outweighed the challenge of moving the entire GFRC office employing extra security cases at on the show floor. Simplifying the task was the fact that Rachel, Diane's sister, was flying to Venice the week before our arrival and volunteered to transport a large clothing suitcase for us.

The first benefit was exhibiting the entire GFRC inventory at the Whitman Baltimore show. That fact plus having a partial list of Black Friday Sale discounting instructions allowed for a substantial wholesale business to two major buyers. Those who provided early discounting instructions scored big, with the New Orleans Collection being the largest benefactor. GFRC clients who had not provided discounting instructions were not included in the wholesale trading. Several consignors provided prompt guidance afterwards but the opportunity had come and gone as the major buyers were only active on Thursday and not a Friday.

The second benefit was the smooth driving through northern Virginia followed by South Carolina thus rendering the trip a much less tiring event. We promptly packed the GFRC booth starting at 10:00 AM on Saturday as it was obvious that a chance at making a sale or two was not worth being caught in the Washington DC I-95 corridor traffic at dusk. Diane and I still have memories of our near collision last year and learned a lesson. We departed Baltimore by noon and enjoy a smooth ride all the way to southern North Carolina. Sunday morning brought a 6:30 AM departure leading to an effortless drive through South Carolina with minimal traffic. Georgia was also quiet leading to a noon time arrival across the Florida state line where many were exiting church services. As usual, the crazies were out in full force on I-75 from Ocala to Sarasota but the situation was manageable as I was much less tired and stressed behind the wheel. Venice touchdown took place at 4:00 PM allowing time for a Cobb salad dinner on the lanai followed by unpacking luggage. That small glass of Hornitos resposado tequila tasted great and took the edge off the day.

Today brings Baltimore show admin which includes loading all sales into the COIN system and conducting uploads to the website and Collectors Corner. Come this evening, consignors will be able to sign into MyAccount and check on their sales. Diane also has a HOA board meeting followed by shopping for groceries to stock our refrigerator and pantry.

GFRC purchased a huge number of new coins between the Manchester NH and Baltimore shows that will begin posting by Wednesday. The usual practice of posting new purchases to the Daily Blog first will be observed this week. Therefore, it is suggested that customers stay close to the Daily Blog during the late evenings or each morning at 8:00 AM ET.

One finally note is in order concerning the Baltimore/Florida trip. Diane and I ate very little this week for several reasons. We decided to stay away from restaurant food and lived on purchases from the Hyatt Hotel marketplace items. A Jimmy John's sub became the main meal of the day if that can be believed. Upon arriving to our Venice condo, I stepped on the scale and discovered that my weight loss goal had been finally achieved. 197 lbs was my college weight (1974-1978) and was registered on the scale. After 1.5 years of adjusting to a much healthier diet and working outdoors, I've lost over 35 pounds and feel absolutely great! My knees are also grateful. Bottom line, if I can secure this achievement, you can too with a lifestyle change and persistence!


3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Update

So far, so good on the preliminary 3rd CAC-Only auction bidding results. Bidding kicked in hard at 9:00 PM on Saturday and continued through Sunday. As usual, Liberty Seated coinage dominated the early bidding followed by the Island City Barber quarters. The U.S. gold portion of the the auction is lagging at the moment and contains a fair number of higher reserved coins. This fact is apparent when tabulating the auction results this morning. After as quick count, 62 of the 175 lots are already heading to new homes. The question of which collector homes will be decided come Saturday November 18. The sell through rate currently stands at a tad over 35% with 60% being the end of auction goal. Total bids amount to $56,379 versus accumulated reserves of $270,795. The lack of U.S. gold bids is apparent here.

If this auction plays out consistent with the many past GFRC Online Auction events, we will see more bidding today followed by the contemplation period on Tuesday through Thursday. The closing two days will bring the majority of the bidding and the usual Saturday evening fireworks.


Fair Warning - Forthcoming GFRC Consignment Changes

In this brief segment, I'd like to provide fair warning that GFRC will be adding minimum insured values for accepting both non-CAC approved and CAC-approved lots. Secondly, GFRC will no longer be accepting any raw coins even if included as part of a large consignment. My days of handling raw coins are done. Thirdly, GFRC will no longer be accepting coins as a pass through to GFRC-Lite. Sure, it is convenient to ship larger consignments to GFRC and having me become responsible for coordinating the GFRC-Lite bound coins. I'm sorry, but the admin and tracking workload is not sustainable. As of today, GFRC coins need to ship to GFRC and ditto for GFRC-Lite consignments.

There will also be a new forthcoming policy concerning consignments with badly hazed holders. I've dealt with two returns recently due to poor holder quality. Sure, with some WD40, I can make those nasty holder scratches and haze disappear during the photography process. However, the buyers are quite displeased to be receiving an inferior TPG holder as part of their coin purchase. Reholdering worn plastic holders is becoming an expensive proposition, especially for coins valued under $300. To/from shipping, reholdering and automatic handling fees lead to negative economics for anyone stuck with a bad holder.

Later this week, I will go into details on the consignment submission value thresholds along with posting those new terms at the Consign link.


Global Financial News

It has been a week since I've paid attention to equity markets due to the Baltimore show workload. During that time, U.S. equity markets have rallied with the S&P 500 opening the day at 4,415. There has been a Moody's downgrade of U.S. debt quality which no one appears to be paying attention too. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is quoting at 4.63% as the Blog is written.

Spot gold has lost some of its luster and is trading at $1938/oz. WTI crude oil is trading at $77.20/bbl this morning. On the latter, my IRA account was tweaked to from 9% to 12% energy exposure when WTI was trading at $81/bbl but this action was a large term trade. Attempting to time markets is a fool's errand. Investing requires a multi-year outlook which is how I view the energy sector.

Regardless of the Moody debt downgrade, the U.S. dollar is nearly back to 106 per the DXY index.

Morning market futures are pointing to marginal selling at the open. The major story line of the week is the October CPI report that drops tomorrow. A surprise on the upside will bring the current rally to a complete halt and course reversal going into end of the year tax related selling. Last week's Treasury auction also did not go well as the U.S. Treasury is struggling to locate buyers for U.S debt.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today's goal are three-fold. First is completing the Baltimore show admin and uploading results to the website and Collectors Corner. Second is removing all the Manchester and Baltimore show new purchases from the inventory boxes in preparation for bright Florida sunshine photography. The last must get done item is a health walk along the Blackburn Canal along with restarting my upper body weight training. I'm most serious about fighting aging as the 68th year milestone arrives during March 2024.

Tomorrow's Daily Blog edition will feature a Baltimore show report from Rich Hundertmark. He was also impacted by the weak Baltimore show bourse floor traffic and will share his perspective on CAC Grading.

On that note, it is time to head to the shower and start a fresh into the GFRC Florida office.

Thank you for starting abreast of GFRC happenings. Be well!




Saturday November 11, 2023

A Little Icing on the Cake and Heading South


3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Opens Tonight at 9:00 PM



Greetings for the final time from Baltimore and welcome to the Daily Blog. What a busy week it has been...

Today brings the final day of the Whitman Baltimore show followed by starting the balance of our southern trek to Florida. After several non-stop busy weeks preparing the homestead for the winter months and exhibiting at the Whitman show, I'm looking forward to settling down in Venice condo and getting back to a healthy diet and loads of exercise.

Let's been straight on what took place at the Whitman show on Friday. There was a lack of collector attendance as the bourse never achieved a hum. After a great day on Thursday, there were reasonable expectations for Friday sales that never materialized. In quantitative terms, GFRC's Friday sales amounted to 6% of Thursday sales. I've never seen such a weak Friday at either a Fall or Spring show. Clearly the issue was lack of collector attendance as the bourse was close to empty by 1:30 PM. Usually, on a Friday, the PCGS and NGC submission booths will be five to ten people deep waiting for a seat to conduct their submission. At this show, there was never a queue. One could walk up to the any of the three booth, including CACG, immediately securing a seat. This is yet more corroboration of the lack of show attendance.

What can be said concerning the anemic attendance? Is this lack of attendance an economic issue or the bad rap that Baltimore city has managed to obtain. I spoke with a few dealers and collectors who walked the streets in the Inner Harbor area. They reported a notable reduction in vagrants which is positive. From an economic perspective, collectors may be deciding to save show attendance costs and spend those monies on their hobby via online vendors.

On a positive note, the 3rd CAC-Only auction lot display cases were busy during the afternoon with several dealers and well known collectors going through the lots.

During the afternoon hours, it was reported that John Albanese on was on the bourse floor though I did not see him personally. A John Albanese sighting would be as rare as a dodo bird on a bourse floor.

The final day of the Whitman show is upon us and my attitude is to get out of Dodge as soon as possible to avoid the well known I-95 late afternoon traffic jam in northern Virginia between the Maryland state line and Dumfries. We will be packing up early as it makes no sense to sit at the booth without customers.


3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Opens Tonight at 9:00 PM

Finally, the time has arrived for the 25th GFRC Online Auctions sale. Bidding opens this evening for a host of wonderful CAC-approved lots including the Island City Barber Quarter Collection, The auction will spring to life at exactly 9:00 PM. We should be settled in at our overnight hotel by 9:00 PM and look forward to monitoring the initial bidding.

During the 3rd CAC-Only bidding week, I plan to compose a Blog edition dedicated to why I feel so strongly about the CAC brand and it differentiation of premium coins in the market. Though many collector for fun, serious collections are a substantial financial undertaking and part of an overall wealth portfolio. Given the years of variability in PCGS and NGC grading standards, collectors should attempt to build their collections with CAC approved coins, if possible. I know this first hand with my own Liberty Seated dime set. There are several dates that do not exist in high grade AU or Mint State with CAC approval. One must settle for the best non-approved examples that came be located.


Wrapping Up The Blog

This is fair warning that there will be NO Blog edition on Sunday morning. We will be up early and hitting I-95 asap for a dinner time arrival at our Venice home. I'm so looking forward to a glass of tequila, a Publix's pre-made salad and the warmth of the lanai. Day time highs in Venice remain in the 80s.

Thank you so much for staying close to GFRC's personal and numismatic adventures. Be well.




Friday November 10, 2023

A Happy GFRC and LSCC Family

Whitman Baltimore - Who Would Have Thought?


3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Opens Tomorrow



Greetings from the Baltimore Hyatt Hotel on a Friday morning. Welcome to another Whitman Baltimore show edition.

There is not much time to compose a long Blog edition though there is much to share. Let's skip the usual preamble and move immediately into today's headlines.


A Happy GFRC and LSCC Family

We open with a great end of day Thursday snapshot taken by John Frost of a happy GFRC and Liberty Seated Collectors Club family. The image speak for itself as there are obvious overlaps between the two organizations. Left to right are Dan, Len, Greg, Gerry, Diane, and Rich.


One of the day's key topics were the appearance of CAC Grading holders on the bourse floor. There are some strong opinions to be shared at a future date.


Whitman Baltimore - Who Would Have Thought?

We walked into the Baltimore show not knowing what to expect. That was a given.....

I'm pleased to report that by the end of Thursday, GFRC sales were well into the six figures. Yes, six figures in a single wild and busy day. Diane looked at me part way through the day and asked, "why have we not brought our entire inventory before."

I'm get to the point. Having the Black Friday discounting instructions in hand, from those who sent their guidance early, paid off for all involved. I was in a position to use the Black Friday numbers as a discounting guide for wholesale dealer sales along with providing courtesy discounts to retail buyers. GFRC sold some key date coins including the 1877/6 PCGS EF45 CAC Seated half and an incredible beautiful 1841-O PCGS MS63+ CAC half (ex. Eliasberg) to a well known client. The rare 1909-O $5 gold lot sold among many pieces.

My goal of moving along a full double row box of coins was achieved by 2:00 PM. Once the post admin show results are loaded into the COIN system, the early bird consignors who got their Black Friday discounting instruction in will be pleased with the results.

GFRC also bought more walk-up deals too. The first deal of the day was a wonderful toner Standing Liberty quarter lot from a well known client. Then individuals coins were taken in trade along with carefully picking through vest pocket dealer boxes.

Finally, I'm very pleased to announce that GFRC will be attending a new start-up Sarasota coin show that takes place from February 28 through March 2. GFRC was able to secure an awesome table location next to the front entrance thanks to the connection made by Dan White.

Today is Friday and a full retail selling day. There are still a host of coins in the display cases for today's visitors.


3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Opens Tomorrow

Let's be clear! CAC approved coins are a superior product. This is blatantly obvious were looking into the two 3rd CAC-Only auction display cases. The quality of these lots outshines non-CAC approved material that is prevalent on the bourse floor. If adding to a collection or starting a new collecting pursuit, wise individuals should focus on coins in either CAC legacy approved holders or the new CAC Grading holdings. Currently the CAC Grading standards are very tight with certified coins being the creme de la creme.


Wrapping Up The Blog

I'd like to write more on the CAC topic in this edition but time does not allow such to take place. But believe me, there will be a future Blog edition dedicated to this topic.

Diane and I are heading to breakfast followed by being on the bourse for another day at the Baltimore show. The Whitman staff does a fantastic job with this event.

Thank you so much for checking in. Be well!





Thursday November 9, 2023

My Apology - Unable to Respond to New Purchases Inquiries

3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Opens of Saturday


It is Whitman Baltimore Show Time


Greetings from the Baltimore Hyatt Hotel again and welcome to a brief Blog edition. How I wish there were more hours an a day to get all done.

Let's start this edition with an apology. Unfortunately, I was not able to respond to most of the Baltimore new purchase inquiries due to just running out of time in a day. The morning dealer to dealer buying season went later than expected. Lunch came at 2PM followed by spending the rest of the time, before 4:30, loading new purchases in the COIN system. That task took the entire time without an opportunity to price the new purchases. Working out of a hotel room with constant IT system tear down and setup is different that simply walking into the office with stable powered up equipment. At 4:30, Diane and I walked back to the convention center, pulled four large luggage bags out of security, and met up with Dan White and Rich Hundertmark.

Given the workload, there was no time for a bourse floor happy hour, rather Diane and I went directly back to the hotel and secured a flatbread pizza for dinner in our room. Afterwards, it was already 9:30 PM and securing some much needed rest.

It is already 7:00 AM, as the Blog is being composed with the bourse opening at 8:00 AM. I will try to price and contact those who made requests for new purchases with offer prices once on the bourse floor and the booth is functional. But don't hold your breathe please as I may be swamped with activity once the booth is opened. Please see the next topic. Everyone will be offered these coins in the order that purchase request arrived even if after the show and working from Florida.


3rd CAC-Only Auction Bidding Opens of Saturday

A quick reminder is in order.... Bidding for the 3rd CAC-Only auction begins on Saturday evening at 9:00 PM. When loading the auction preview cases, the magnitude of the auction became readily apparent. A few roaming dealers stopped by to peak and thought they had hit a gold mine until being informed the case contents were auction lots.


It is Whitman Baltimore Show Time

Yesterday evening brought the setup of an unprecedented 15 cases of coins. There are 11 retail cases, 2 auction viewing cases, and 2 security cases. The booth display is grand and impressive as GFRC's entire inventory is on display. I would wager that we have the largest exhibit on entire Whitman floor and also offering the largest number of CAC approved and CACG holdered coins.

Booth setup was without issues as we were given uneven height tables. There were multiple adjustments of the layout until something worked. More cases and lights required purchased. The electrical wiring was complex but attained after some thought. Once the booth layout and lighting was finalized, I spent an hour loaded 13 cases with coins. The display is incredible and is the pinnacle of our GFRC business career.

Yes, it is Whitman Baltimore show time. I'm going into the show with mixed expectations. There is hope for selling at least a full double row slabbed box of coins to lighten the load when the trip resumes to Florida. For the non-dealers in the Blog readership, a double row slabbed box hold 64 PCGS or NGC coins.

I've noted the many Black Friday discounting inputs and will have those emails ready for access in my sorted email Inbox. If it is necessary to use those discounting instructions to make a show sale, I will act accordingly.


Wrapping Up The Blog

I failed to mention that GFRC purchased a bunch of new coins yesterday, again being very, very selective with CAC approval being the imperative. It takes a lot of searching to find coins that are truly spectacular and priced whereby we can be awarded a finder's fee for our labors.

Thank you to those who sent emails requesting pricing inquiries. I am always amazed at who is still reading the Daily Blog after being published for many years.

The time has arrived to close down the laptop and head to the bourse floor with a quick breakfast at the Hyatt marketplace on the way.

Be well!






Wednesday November 8, 2023

Live Report from Baltimore - New Purchases to Consider


Greetings from the Baltimore Hyatt Hotel and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Wednesday morning. The Fortins are nicely settled into our hotel room and ready for booth setup come 5:00 PM. Dan White is back at the Days Inn as he just loves staying there....

At this point, the homestead is closed down for the winter and I'm actually looking forward to arriving to Venice Florida come late Sunday. But first it is time for the Whitman Baltimore show.

Yesterday brought one of the smoothest drives that I've experienced from Maine to Baltimore. The traffic was notable light throughout the trip, other that I-495 above Boston. We arrived to the hotel at 3:00 PM with only a burning car on I-95 north bound in Baltimore that slowed south bound traffic.

As is tradition, Dan and I arrange an appointment with our favorite wholesaler at 5 PM. The session started with the usual trash talk about his coins and how over priced they were. Our friend is used to this behavior as part of the ongoing sessions. I will be honest here. We spent roughly half of our normal amount at this session not due to the offered coin quality, but rather being cautious with our inventory position. Coins that were selected had to be absolutely choice and priced attractively for the grade. Only CAC approved coins were purchased including several CACG pieces.

Following is a list of the GFRC coins that were purchased and are immediately available for cell phone images and quoting. Please accept my apology in advance for the lack of die variety attributions.

1859 CACG MS63 1C - Fully choice with frosted luster, cartwheels, and orange red coloration. A one year type coin that I can't keep in stock when this nice.

1829 PCGS MS64 CAC H10C - A sparkling gem that warranted a purchase price above the CAC guide. Center rose with peripheral blues

1832 PCGS AU55 CAC H10C - Classic light grade skin and ideal for a date set.

1832 CACG AU55 H10C - Rich frosted luster on this beautifully toned gem.

1835 PCGS AU55 CAC H10C - Frosted Luster with gray-blue patina. As original and pretty as they come.

1892 PCGS MS65 CAC 25C - A beautiful gem for type with potential Stacks New England Museum auction pedigree per the wholesaler. I've not made the verification yet.

1831 NGC EF40 CAC 50C Fatty - A perfect example of the early TPG years and conservative grading. Full EF45+ with luster and light gray patina.

1846 Tall Date PCGS EF45 50C - Original medium gray and most attractive.

1872 PCGS AU53 CAC 50C - Sold by GFRC twice and previously from the Cumberland County and Saw Mill Run Collections. Images available in the Sales Archive.

1876 PCGS MS62 CAC 50C - Yes, a common date in uncommon condition. Beautifully preserved with brownish-gray centers and blue peripheral hues.

1893 CACG MS63 50C - Thick frosted luster with light gold and blues. The reverse is mostly sky blue with embedded rose.

1913-S PCGS AU58 CAC G$5 - Orange gold and rub that takes carefully scrutiny to locate.

For $2.5 U.S. Gold collectors, I can share that Dan White purchased a rare 1842 piece graded PCGS AU50 with CAC approval. The CAC population for this date is terribly low.

Today brings dealer to dealer trading at the Baltimore Convention Center starting at 9:00 AM. Dan and I will be attending the session while Diane stays behind in the hotel room guarding our inventory.

What are my expectations for the Baltimore show? This is an excellent questions without a clear answer.

I'll start the response by indicating that Diane was watching the Inner Harbor area from our hotel room last evening given the bad rap that Baltimore has been receiving. She questioned that belief that the Inner Harbor area is is be avoid after dark as we could see people walking about from our 9th floor window that faces the harbor. There were plenty of people walking around on a solo basis.

The Baltimore show will be a success if collectors attend the event. It really is that simple.

For the first time ever, GFRC will have its entire inventory in the cases. We are talking about 850+ holdered coins from soup to nuts. I am planning 11 cases for retail inventory and 2 cases for the 3rd CAC-Only auction display.

Furthermore, I've made note of the many Black Friday discounting instructions that have arrived and will use those instructions as discounting guide at the show. I'm ready to wheel and deal at this event towards lightening our load for transport to Florida. Can GFRC sell a full double row slabbed box at this show? We will certainly try!


Wrapping Up The Blog

Just fair notice that there may not be a Blog edition tomorrow morning. Why? The setup of 13 cases will take hours starting at 5:00 PM. We will most likely be back in the hotel room by 9:00 PM after a late dinner and frankly exhausted. Thursday brings a bourse opening time of 8:00 AM for potential dealer sales followed by early birds at 10:00 AM. There will be no time to fit in a Daily Blog edition. We are here to sell coins and not type at the laptop.

Today brings one more wholesaler appointment. This individual typically offers key and semi-key date coins. Since being careful with purchases on Tuesday afternoon, there are adequate reserves to go big of the right coins are available.

And with that, I bid everyone a pleasant day in the numismatic neighborhood. Be well!



Monday November 6, 2023

GFRC Packing Up and Heading South

Oregon Beaver Discounting Posted to 30 Day Price List

Checking in on the GFRC Florida Transition Schedule


Whitman Baltimore Show Week Arrives


Greetings and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. Today's ramblings are the final issuance from the Maine office. There are certainly mixed feelings given the forthcoming departure.

One of the pleasantries of the Maine office is sitting in front of an large window that faces the front landscaping. This morning's entertainment is a host of small birds frolicking about into and out of the shrubs. Skies are blue with a trace of thin clouds while the temperature is at the freezing mark.

Yesterday brought another day of clearing leaves that lasted until 3:00 PM. I've done my best to clear all the down leaves but with knowledge that there will be more come our spring time return. The combination of a last foliage season and an early southern departure brings the expectation of consideration leaf raking upon our homestead return.

Closing down the barn for the winter was the final event on Sunday afternoon. The tractor batteries were disconnected along with the solar power system powered down before locking the side door.

Today is a packing day with a long list of items to be accomplished. No coin can be left behind. Composing an entertaining Blog edition is just no in the cards this morning. Rather this will be a nuts and bolts composition.


Oregon Beaver Discounting Posted to 30 Day Price List

Sunday also brought a discounting request from the Oregon Beaver Collection. Our client requested permanent price reductions for eleven Liberty Seated halves and $2.5 gold pieces. The price reductions average 15% or so per coin and should garner some attention. All reductions can be located at the top of the 30 Day Price List. Following are several lots to consider at new pricing levels.


Oregon Beaver Pricing Reduction Highlights

 1843 WB-18 PCGS MS62 CAC 50C - $1500                                      1881 NGC MS65+ CAC 50C - $4500   


 1844-D NGC AU55 G$2.5 - $4250                                                  1872-S PCGS MS61 G$2.5 - $4875



Checking in on the GFRC Florida Transition Schedule

Let's again revisit the GFRC Florida transition and overall events schedule. Today brings the changing of the GFRC office address to Venice Florida on the website and Collectors Corner. Also please note that November 9 is the suggested first day for mailing check payments to Florida location.

Black Friday Sales discounting instructions continue to arrive. I believe this will be a nicely populated sale and a change for consignors to move along aging items.

November 6 - GFRC Changes Mailing Address to Venice Florida Office

November 8 - 11 - GFRC Attends the Whitman Baltimore show

November 9 - First Day for Mailing Check Payments to Venice Office

November 11 - 3rd CAC-Only Auction Opens for Bidding

November 13 - GFRC Office Opens in Venice Florida

November 13 - GFRC Consignment Window Re-opens - Shipment to Florida Office Begins

November 17 - Final Day for Black Friday Discounting Instructions

November 18 - 3rd CAC-Only Auction Closes

November 19 - 20 - 3rd CAC-Only Sale Invoicing

November 24 - 26 - GFRC's Black Friday Sale


Whitman Baltimore Show Arrives - GFRC at Booth #818

Yes, the time had arrived for the Whitman Baltimore show! GFRC and its team will be located at our usual location that we've enjoyed for many years. The booth number is 818.

- GFRC's entire price list inventory will be available for purchase. I'd like to leave Baltimore with one or two double row boxes of coins sold at the event.

- The 3rd CAC-Only auction lot viewing will be hosted by Diane

- GFRC-Lite will have three cases of inventory

- David Perkins Numismatics will be exhibiting his inventory at one of the four corner tables

Locating GFRC is straight forward per the below Whitman bourse floor map. We are easily accessible by turning right at the bourse entrance and taking another right into Ballroom C. Our location is between Stacks and Heritage.

The usual GFRC supporting cast will be located at Booth 818 including Diane, Dan White, Rich Hundertmark, Len Augsburger, and Greg Johnson. Greg is well known for his awesome Jimmy John's sandwich runs.

Whitman Baltimore Show - GFRC at Booth 818


Global Financial News

Last week brought a sizable rally for U.S. equities given the belief that Fed Funds rate increases are now behind us. The S&P 500 opens trading at the 4.358 mark. Key to continuing this rally is continued weakening of the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield. The morning quote is current 4.6% as the U.S. dollar continues to give up ground. The morning quote is 104.9.

Gold is trading at $1986/oz while WTI crude oil is priced at $81.67/bbl.

Morning market futures are pointing to a touch of optimism for U.S, equities at the opening bell.

In Asia, Japan +2.4%. Hong Kong +1.7%. China +0.9%. India +0.9%. 
In Europe, at midday, London flat. Paris -0.5%. Frankfurt -0.3%. 
Futures at 7:00, Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.2%. NASDAQ +0.3%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

This is official notice that there will be no Daily Blog edition on Tuesday morning for obvious reasons. I will do my best to post a brief edition on Wednesday morning as an update. If not on Wednesday, there will be an update on Thursday morning.

Thank you again for checking in. Be well!




Sunday November 5, 2023

Which Would You Rather Own?

95 Coins for GFRC-Lite at the Baltimore Show Plus Lots More...


Final Back Acreage Pond Image of 2023


Greetings on the first day of 2023 without daylight saving time. It is good to be back at the Daily Blog helm. Thanks for checking in.

Why was there an impromptu Blog holiday on Saturday. The long and the short answer is that my head cold has not gone away and returned yesterday morning with a vengeance. Sorry, but there was no time for a 24 hour formal notice for taking a Daily Blog pass as one client suggested that I provide in the future.

The remaining time for our Baltimore show and Florida departure is quickly approaching therefore, there is pressure to get a host of stuff done in a short period of time. Friday afternoon brought trail cleaning with a backpack leaf blower in 45 degree weather and a notable breeze. Saturday morning saw a safe cleaning exercise with 95 coins destined for GFRC-Lite at the Baltimore show. Afterwards, the leaf blower returned into action for the entire afternoon to clear the front and right side of the homestead property. Today brings the same for the left side of the property.

Friday morning also brought the Theriault family sibling breakfast at our home. The breakfast discussion was the Lewiston mass shooting and incredible insights into the Spare Time and Schemengees Bar and Grille event that the media will not report. Diane's young sister, Rachel, is very well connected in the Lewiston community while Roger, an older brother, is a mortician at Fortin's Funeral Home in Lewiston. Roger handled the passing of my mother, father, and recently, my younger sister. At breakfast, we received the details of the two shootings as relayed to Rachel by survivors. Roger's firm is handling the bodies and funerals for eight of the victims. Some of the discussion was incredibly graphic as Roger has viewed the bodies after their return from a state mandated autopsy in Augusta.

Robert Card was clearly mentally disturbed with his family previously seeking help for the individual but the Maine mental health system failed the community. Robert's goal was to shoot certain individuals that he knew. Robert also frequented Schemengees Bar. This was not a random act of violent, rather Robert was eliminating individuals who he believed were spreading rumors that he was a pedophile. At Schemengees, one employee had the sense to shut down the lights in the building via a circuit breaker to minimize the number of victims. At one point at Schemengees, Robert's assault rifle jammed and he was approached by someone with a knife. That individual was then shot in the head by a second smaller caliber weapon being carried by Robert. At Spare Time, a youth bowling league was underway. Rachel reported that two adults stepped in front of the children and took the bullets.

Let's move on to more pleasant topics....


Which Would You Rather Own?

Saturday brought the arrival of two gold lots that have already been posted to the 30 Day Price List since purchased from GFRC. Here are the two gold pieces for your consideration.

     1932 PCGS MS64 G$10 - $1850                                                  1924 NGC MS64 CAC G$20 - $2750



These two gold pieces were sold back to GFRC to help fund the purchase of the following collectible. Which would you rather own? Several U.S. gold pieces or a vintage 1960s Gibson Les Paul electric guitar?


95 Coins for GFRC-Lite at the Baltimore Show Plus Lots More...

I'm pleased to report that Rich Hundertmark will be overwhelmed with consignments at the Whitman Baltimore show. Friday brought a review of coins that had been accumulating in the GFRC safe with 95 pieces selected for transfer to GFRC Lite. The bulk of the material is early silver type including close to 50 raw Liberty Seated half dime die varieties from the Dr. Glenn Peterson collection.

At the Baltimore show, arrangements have been made for the Newtown Collection to transfer, to GFRC-Lite, a number of Dansco album fully loaded with this collector's earlier efforts.

Now that Rich will be buried with consignments after the Baltimore show, he is considering adding Summer Baltimore to his show schedule. I'm all for this and would love to have Rich as part of the GFRC double corner display.


Final Back Acreage Pond Image of 2023

While blowing leaves on the homestead grounds yesterday, Diane and her close friend Lyn enjoyed a three loop health walk on the back acreage trails. The views were outstanding given the contrast between the crushed stone trails bordered by brown, red, and gold leaves and mostly bare trees. One can see much further into the forest when the deciduous tree leaves are on the ground.

Here is the final image of the back acreage pond late Friday afternoon as dusk approached. My lonely side project did not secure any attention during 2023 as completing the walking trails was the top priority along with installing a new driveway.


If all goes to plan, the summer of 2024 will bring Dave Wilkinson and his excavator back to the pond project for at least three days, maybe more. The goal is to expand the pond on the left side and double its size along with a connection to a higher spring that has a much more pronounced flow rate. This will be a substantial undertaking for Dave's excavator as we are working in a tightly packed rock field with little dirt to work with. We also plan to clear a plot for construction of the screened in cabin come late spring.

GFRC clients should understand that profits from the business are being reinvested into the homestead property and constructing a dream park for local friends and the grandchildren to enjoy in the coming years.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings another nearly full day blowing leaves followed by closing down the tractor equipment and barn for the winter months. The summer of 2023 has been gratifying and I'm already looking forward to being back to Maine in late April to kick-off another round of projects.

I hope that you've enjoyed this Blog edition. Again, thank you for the ongoing readership. Tomorrow's Blog will focus on the Whitman Baltimore show. Be well!




Saturday November 4, 2023

A Daily Blog Vacation (Sick) Day


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

It does not happen often, but I'm taking a Daily Blog vacation day.....

I will be back tomorrow morning. See you then.



Friday November 3, 2023

Bare Trees....Except The Hardy White Oaks

GFRC-Lite is Ready for Whitman Baltimore Show


GFRC Online Auctions - Special Catalog Improvements


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

A portion of today's edition is being composed on Thursday evening since Diane is hosting a sibling breakfast at our homestead on Friday morning. Diane has three older brothers (Maurice, Richard, and Roger) and a young sister (Rachel). All will arrive at 8:00 AM which is the Blog publishing time. Somehow, I must be superman and complete the Blog along with securing a shower and shave before our guests arrive.

Yes, the Fortins lead busy lives as we balance family, business, and enjoying the great outdoors. A busy mind with continuous exercise (and healthy diet) is about all we can do to stave off illnesses. This evening, at dinner time, Diane relayed the health struggles of our neighbor Rick Dodson along with their local friends who are the same age as us. Empathy is important but also dangerous to one's psyche. As we age, the unfortunately reality is that some around us, based on lifestyle choices, genes, and/or misfortunes, will develop serious health issues. As news is shared of these sad health battles, it is easy to become worried about one's own health to the point of being a mental detriment. My mindset is that of staying focused on the core principals of a healthy lifestyle, enjoying the 5:00 PM tequila happy hour, and continually counting our family blessings.

Thursday was a productive day in the GFRC office with about 90% of the inventory packing completed. While packing inventory, I manage to conduct two coins deals via phone and email. One client had just purchase a classic 1960's era Gibson Les Paul electric guitar and needed to sell gold to fund the purchase. It took a matter of minutes to buyback two gold pieces that ship today. Afterwards, another client needed to raise cash and wished to sell eight Capped Bust halves and Trade dollars, all CAC approved. After some punching of numbers on the calculator, I made an offer which was accepted. This lot will ship to the Venice Florida office on November 13.

Come this afternoon (after the Theriault family breakfast), I look forward to being in the back acreage trails blowing out the down leaves. With three days to go before the Baltimore departure, I believe all is on schedule.

The final news of the day is that the ladies (Diane and Rose Marie) will be joining GFRC at the Winter FUN show. Their dealer badge requests have been confirmed by Katie Williams who has taken over for Cindy Wibker. GFRC will also be hosting a special guest at the FUN show booth. More on that topic in a future Blog edition.


Bare Trees....Except The Hardy White Oaks

Since heading to Baltimore on Tuesday, I'm afraid that the stubborn mighty oaks will not have dropped their leaves in time for clean-up. This coastal horizon image nicely illustrates my dilemma with the oaks. A careful review will reveal trees with brown and yellow foliage on the horizon. These are the white oaks. The maples, beeches, birches have dropped their leaves but not the oaks.

Bare Trees....Except The Hardy White Oaks


GFRC-Lite is Ready for Whitman Baltimore Show

Rich Hundertmark is primed for the Whitman Baltimore show and sent along the following commentary to be shared today. Booth #818 is a must visit attraction for those who enjoy early silver type and U.S. gold.

Hi Gerry,

I just checked the extended Baltimore weather outlook for next week, and Wednesday through Saturday shows no rain with and the daily high temp averaging a seasonable 54 degrees.

This is perfect “coin show weather”, combining good traveling conditions with temperatures not cold enough to where indoor seasonal hobby activities are now considered.

 In this internet age where face to face social interactions are both fewer and farther between, coin shows offer camaraderie and learning with like-minded collector individuals that share a common passion.

When I attended a coin show as a collector, I always tried to accomplish three main goals, 1- did I make a targeted acquisition for my collection, 2- did I begin to develop a new relationship with a coin dealer, 3- did I meet and make a new contact with a fellow collector. 

As to #2, collectors simply need to follow the golden rule and be courteous at dealer tables.  If just learning, no problems, just approach the dealer when the table is not busy and then ask questions that show a learning interest. Most dealers will take the time to engage and share a bit of knowledge.

For the GFRC-Lite enterprise, I’m excited to once again set up next to GFRC and offer an inventory that complements the brand at lower collector price points.

Lite will have 3 full cases, two with TPG coins and the 3rd case all raw. For table space efficiency, the TPG cases are vertically situated on the table with the raw case horizontally. Each of the TPG cases offers lots of value opportunity. Cases are organized in an ascending manner, 1st by denomination and then by date. Collectors hunting early type in the $100-$600 range will see multiple value opportunities. 

Here’s a good example, early Walkers with original surfaces in collector grade are tough, Lite has both a 1917 and 1917-S Reverse graded XF40 by NGC.  Earlier halves? OK, a 1817 Overton 109 graded PCGS F15 CAC will garner attention as will a 1837 PCGS AU50 Reeded Edge. For Seated halves, total originality is the ticket for a 1876-S graded PCGS AU50 and a 1858-O graded VF30 by PCGS. Looking for Barber halves in collector grade? A 1901-O, 1908-S or 1915 all graded VG10 by PCGS and well matched are available.
All coins mentioned above are currently on the Lite website and available for purchase.

 Let’s now spotlight raw coins as the area has really grown for Lite. It takes much effort to properly grade and price raw coins, it’s about as labor intensive as it gets in coins. 

For inventory display, I’ve utilized 1 1/2” flips for the 1/2 cent through 50cent denominations and 2x2s for the Morgan, Peace and Seated Dollars. Did you say raw Seated dollars Rich? Yup, Lite inventory currently has a 1860-O No Motto $1 graded EF45 and a 1871 With Motto $1 graded F15. Raw Seated Dollars are always in demand as many collectors are seeking a nice collector example for their Dansco 7070 albums.

The Lite raw inventory is now quite eclectic in that it now representatively covers the entire gamut of 19th and early 20th century copper, nickel and silver coinage with a bit of classic gold sprinkled in. Just one year ago, Lite began with a concentration in a few collector series, notably anchored by the Dr Peterson Seated Half Dollar collection. 

As the last word on raw, I’ll also note that the early copper half and large cent inventory is quite strong, I’ve even got a really nice 1723 Woods Hibernia 1/2 Pence graded VF30 that an astute EAC collector would be wise to jump on.. 

Let’s conclude by simply stating that the Baltimore show kicks off an exciting Fall - Winter season for Lite with the December Annandale, January FUN, and February Charlotte shows soon to  follow.

As always, I’m really looking forward to seeing the entire GFRC extended family along with collector and dealer friends while also meeting new collectors and of course, the blogamaniacs. 



GFRC Online Auctions - Personalized Printed Catalogs for Anchor Collections

Continuous improvement is the mantra of the GFRC business model as I'm always questioning how to increase client service levels. Service and low cost/commissions are key for maintaining GFRC's competitive status against the many other options that collectors will find in today's crowdqed market place.

While constructing the 3rd CAC-Only PDF catalog, it dawned on me that the layout of the Word file could be altered towards placing the anchor collections first followed by the balance of the consignments. This layout change will be implemented for the January 2024 auction which will feature the Island City Standing Liberty Collection as the anchor lot.

This layout change then sparked yet another idea that should be well received by the GFRC community.

Moving forward, GFRC Online Auctions will offer personalized printed catalog for those individuals who provide an anchor collection. Since the anchor collection will be placed in the beginning of the catalog, it can be easily extracted and made into a separated catalog with a personalized cover. Imagine that...

To secure a personalized catalog at the major auction houses, the collection value threshold is substantial and out of reach for nearly all collectors. Starting in 2024, GFRC will publish personalized catalogs for clients who consign a collection valued at the $75,000 level or above. There will also be a limit on the number of coins that make up the $75,000 threshold. That number will be thought through in the coming weeks. For now, the Island City consignor will be receiving his specially printed catalog in January by which to remember his collecting achievement.

If this new service sounds appealing to you, please consider consigning your prized collection to GFRC Online Auctions and I will take care of the rest. My commission rates do not change, rather the service components continue to improve.


Global Financial News

Now that the Federal Reserve has hit pause on interest rate hikes for two consecutive months, U.S. equities have enjoyed a substantial two day rally. The S&P 500 rose to 4,317 by the end of Thursday's trading. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield also continued to weaken and is quoting at 4.66% as the Blog is composed.

Spot gold is hanging tough at $1988/oz. For the gold bugs among us, you will be pleased to know that global central banks purchased 78 tons of physical gold in September. China was the lead buyer at 26 tons, followed by Poland at 19 tons. Turkey and India also remains active in the gold market with purchases of 8 and 7 tons respectively.

The U.S. dollar has slipped to 105.9 per the DXY index. WTI crude oil pricing appears to have solidified at the $82/bbl level.

Morning market futures are being extracted from the CNNBusiness website. The S&P 500 is down 0.13% in pre-market trading as there will be some profit taking after the past two day rally.


Wrapping Up the Blog

Time moves along much too quickly when composing a Daily Blog edition. Shortly, I must head to the shower and prepare for the Theriault family sibling breakfast.

Thank you so much for being avid Blog readers. I will be back tomorrow morning for several imager of the back trails and the pond, after the downed leaves have been removed. My poor pond project has been unloved this year due to the many other projects that garnered priority attention.

GFRC remains open for orders, otherwise the entire price list inventory will be for sale at the Whitman Baltimore show.

Be well!



Thursday November 2, 2023

Wow! CDN (John Feighenbaum) Acquires Whitman Publishing

Opening the GFRC Consignment Window - November 13th


Slow Packing of the GFRC Maine Office


Greetings once again from the southern Maine GFRC office and welcome to the Daily Blog. It is all of 27F as the Blog is being composed.

I'll be honest. After growing up in Maine and being used to the cold winter months, this morning's early temperature should be child's play. However, it is not... The seasonal migration to Florida is feeling mightily attractive at the moment and will be executed in a few days.

Closing down the GFRC office this year is an exercise in reverse planning. In the past, the homestead closure preparations were conducted first followed by packing up the office as a final step. However, this year's earlier departure, to attend the Whitman Baltimore, has forced a change in plans. The issue is cleaning up down leaves which are controlled by the pace at which the white oaks drop their leaves. Instead of packing the office on the day before our departure, I will be raking and blowing leaves that day as the last attempt to avoid a wet mess come our spring time return.

Yesterday brought the closing down of the barn and Johnny2 after blocking the service road entrance, off Valley Rd, with boulders. Once the boulders were in place, Johnny2's implements were carefully positioned in the barn for the winter months along with adding diesel fuel additive to a full tank of diesel. Water condensation is a substantial issue for diesel fueled equipment. Ditto for gas power cars. All vehicles should have completely full gas or diesel tanks to mitigate the possibility of water condensation. At this point, our vehicles are ready for the winter with the battery disconnection being the last step before our departure.

Today brings a shift towards preparing GFRC inventory for transport. There are many small details to be managed including pickup orders at the Whitman show and the lay-a-way box. There are coins that will be consigned to GFRC-Lite that must be marked and invoiced too. Simple things like removing all the baseball card sized plastic sleeves are necessary to speed up the setup of the GFRC Baltimore display.


CDN (John Feigenbaum) Acquires Whitman Publishing

Honestly, I did not see this announcement coming. After spending the afternoon in the barn and returning to the office, there was the email announcement. John Feigenbaum (Coin Dealer's Newsletter CEO) announced the purchase of Whitman Publishing. In essence, John has purchased the company known for the Red Book and a host of other numismatic publication, coin supplies, along with bringing us the Whitman Baltimore shows three times per year.

My first question was that of synergy between a traditional book publishing company and CDN which is primarily a numismatic price guide publishing firm along with constructing a dealer trading exchange to compete with Collectors Universe's CCE and Collectors Corner. Let's remember that CDN plays a pivotal role with setting CAC pricing premiums. Following is an excerpt from the announcement.

Combining our company with the Whitman Publishing family of brands was a prospect made in heaven and that will open new doors. Whitman and their associated brands represent the best-in-class for the products in their categories. From the Guide Book of United States Coins (the famous “Red Book”) to their extensive line of supplies and albums and the tri-annual Whitman Expo held in Baltimore, Whitman’s reach is incredibly wide and a perfect fit to our product offerings. Where CDN has its roots in the wholesale trade, Whitman has been a mainstay in the retail space, and we can cover the numismatic hobby from both sides of the coin.

John's press release provides insight into where the Whitman brand will be heading.

The acquisition is expected to bring fast growth to Whitman’s expansion in the digital arena. The combined companies will deliver even more data-driven resources to coin and paper-money collectors, dealers, and researchers.

The entire CDN press release can be viewed here. https://www.greysheet.com/news/story?title=cdn-publishing-acquires-whitman-publishing-from-anderson-press-plans-digital-expansion-and-other-innovations&utm_source=Klaviyo&utm_medium=campaign&_kx=3v1c-z_bqtmw2VKqETpzhwC-OueQrtv6Lx1UKnUi1pPOrWdF42tyfpJgF_wAP-ZB.TrdffQ

My congratulations go out to John Feigenbaum for this bold move that will continue to enhance collector and dealer resources for our cherished hobby.


Opening the GFRC Consignment Window - November 13th

November 13th is the date! Yes, this is the date that the GFRC community can begin shipping consignments to the Florida office for both regular price list sales and the forthcoming January 2024 GFRC Online Auctions event. It is not too early to contact me for arranging shipping arrangements to our Venice Florida office.

Some clients have questions whether their consignments should be destined for the regular price lists or brought to auction first. My response is that of timing and the client's urgency for securing monies for their coins. There is certainly an advantage to placing your coins into our auction sales format for incremental marketing and price upside exposure. However, when selecting the auction route, there is a longer lead time between tendering your coins, the auction sale, and receiving payment. Regular price list consignments will be available for display and sale at the 2024 Orlando FUN show.

So please give some thought to your anticipated financial needs when issuing a consignment to GFRC. I'm more that happy to place coins in either sales channel. That decision is up to the consignor.


Slow Packing of the GFRC Maine Office

As mentioned in today's preamble, my attention shifts to organizing all coins in inventory and preparing those for transport. This is a process that cannot be rush as our goal is that no coin is left behind in Maine upon departure. The housing and presentation of GFRC's entire online price list inventory and the 3rd CAC-Only auction lots at the Whitman Baltimore show will take incremental contemplation and planning.

Come the weekend, I plan to spend two full days with leaf removal surrounding the homestead and throughout the back acreage trails.


Global Financial News

As expected, the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged following its Wednesday monetary policy meeting. Chair Jerome Powell said that it is still unclear if the committee is done raising interest rates. Investors were pleased to see confirmation of a pause for the Feds Fund rates which resulted in a decent rally. The S&P 500 rallied a full point to 4,237. Following is Seeking Alpha's reporting of the Fed announcement, along with their analysis.

"We're not confident that we haven't, but we're not confident that we have." That statement can sum up the entirety of Fed Chair Jay Powell's press conference on Wednesday, which outlined that the central bank is still not sure whether it is done with a hiking cycle to "sufficiently bring down inflation to 2% over time." Stocks still jumped despite a lack of confidence from the Fed about "achieving such a stance," while bond yields fell back despite an FOMC that continues to "proceed carefully." At the time of writing, S&P 500 futures are up another 0.5%, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury is down 1 bp to 4.70%. Between the lines: In its last set of economic projections, the Fed implied one more hike for the remainder of 2023. While Powell tried to distance himself from any conclusions drawn from that dot plot, the fact that it's now being called into question signals a more dovish turn for the central bank, charging up investor hopes that the hiking cycle is over. Wednesday's decision to hold rates in a range of 5.25%-5.50% also resulted in the FOMC skipping a rate hike for two consecutive meetings, marking the longest period without an increase since the Fed began its aggressive hiking cycle in March 2022. There was additional good news for the economy, with Powell explaining why a recession is no longer indicative in the near term and why recent stronger-than-expected data is not problematic. "I think everyone has been very gratified to see that we’ve been able to achieve, you know, pretty significant progress on inflation without seeing the kind of increase in unemployment that has been very typical of rate-hiking cycles like this one. That's a historically unusual and very welcome result, and the same is true of growth." Explainer: "There are really two processes at work here," Powell added. "One of which is the unwinding of the distortions to both supply and demand from the pandemic and the response to the pandemic, and the other is restrictive monetary policy, which is moderating demand and giving the supply side time and space to recover. A significant increase in the size of the labor market now, both from labor-force participation and from immigration, is a big supply-side gain that is really helping the economy. And it's part of why GDP is so high - because we’re getting that supply. So we welcome that. But I think those things will run their course, and we're probably still going to be left with some ground to cover to get back to full-price stability. And that's where monetary policy and what we do with demand are still going to be important."

Interestingly, spot gold dipped on the news after briefly moving as high as $2005 before settling back below the $2000 mark. The current quote is $1989/oz.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has dipped to 4.71% which is certainly welcomed by investors and the banking system. The U.S dollar's strength has weakened even so slightly and is presently quoting at 106.1.

WTI crude oil pricing is flat at $81.52/bbl. Yes, Carlo, my financial manager, conducted a financial portfolio reallocation yesterday with a 12% energy exposure.

Following are global morning market futures with more buying being forecasted at the opening bell for U.S. equities.

In Asia, Japan +1.1%. Hong Kong +0.8%. China -0.5%. India +0.8%.
In Europe, at midday, London +1.3%. Paris +1.8%. Frankfurt +1.7%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow +0.4%. S&P +0.5%. NASDAQ +0.8%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Please check back on Friday as tomorrow's Blog will feature a new announcement concerning the GFRC Online Auctions business and catalog formatting.

Thank you for checking in. Your ongoing readership is truly appreciated. Be well!




Wednesday November 1, 2023

3rd CAC-Only PDF Auction Catalog is Posted!


For Inquisitive Minds - 3rd CAC-Only Auction Statistics


Greetings from the southern Maine GFRC office and welcome to the Daily Blog on the first day of November 2023. Your ongoing visits are appreciated.

I'm feeling much better this morning for two reasons. The first is that the worse of that head cold is behind me. After composing Monday's short Blog edition, I returned to bed for a few hours of rest followed by retiring at 7:30 PM for additional rest. There was no Halloween event for your blogger, rather a determined focused to shake this cold. The second reason is the mental relief in knowing that the 3rd CAC-Only auction catalog is completed. From 9:30 AM through 5:00 PM, the balance of the catalog came together and was posted to the Auction link prior to grilling a Maine scallops dinner.

Actually, I'm amazed that this catalog came together so quickly, but then again, this is the 25th GFRC Online Auction sale and a thing or two has been learned about using Microsoft Word to construct a PDF catalog file. Residual die variety attributions and fixing several erroneous CAC Price Guide quotes in the descriptions also took time away from the core copy/paste effort between the website and Word.

It is with great pleasure, and relief, that the 3rd CAC-Only auction sale PDF catalog is presented for your download and review. Please note that the Island City Barber quarters and U.S. $1 gold pieces are the dominant consignment in this sale. Our Island City client returns in January with his 100% CAC approved Standing Liberty quarter collection as yet another GFRC Online Auctions anchor lot. When preparing this next catalog, my plans are to starting featuring anchor collections at the front of the catalog.

GFRC Online Auctions Proudly Presents

The 3rd CAC-Only PDF Auction Sale Catalog


All GFRC Online Auctions catalogs are presented as a PDF file. When clicking on the topic page, the PDF is downloaded to your computer and can be located in your "Download" folder. If wishing to move this catalog into a special folder, simply do a "right click" and select "Save As" if using a Microsoft operating system. If operating an Apple computer, you are on your own for saving a PDF file as I'm ignorant about the Apple operating system.


For Inquisitive Minds - 3rd CAC-Only Auction Statistics

The 3rd CAC-Only auction is a huge event (in terms of GFRC standards) with 175 offered lots. The COIN database is a powerful system that allows for a quick tabulation of auction statistics. For inquisitive minds, here are two viewpoints concerning the offered grades along with a breakdown of the participating consignors. Let start with the grade distribution.

Auction Lots by TPG grade....

For fans of the coveted AU58 CAC grade, this auction offers 50 lots to consider thanks to the Island City and Twin Lakes Collections. The next prevalent grade range are lots in Mint State 64 through Mint State 67. A diligent review of the catalog will reveal a host of must have lots for the serious collectors in the community.

PR64 - PR67 - 6 Lots

MS64 - MS67 - 40 Lots

MS60 - MS63 - 20 Lots

AU58 - 50 Lots

AU55 - 22 Lots

AU50 - AU53 - 13 Lots

EF - 11 Lots

VG-VF - 13 Lots

Auction Lots by Consignor

Unquestionably, a GFRC Online Auctions sale is a community event. The many consignors among us are also active collectors who are moving in and out of their holdings. As mentioned earlier, the Island City consignor leads the sale with a total of 74 lots being offered. Not only are his Barber quarters noteworthy, but also his Type 1 and Type 3 $1 gold lots. Twin Lakes is back with an important release of 17 PCGS AU58 CAC lots to consider. There are several "anonymous" consignors who have consigned a fair number of lots but wish to stay under the radar screen. Our friend, the Island Lake Collection, returns with another 9 top shelf lots that are certain to please the winning bidders.

Following is a consignor distribution, and their numismatic specialty, for those who wish to understand the depth of the GFRC community.

Island City - 74 Lots (Barber Quarters and $1 Gold)

Twin Lakes - 17 Lots (PCGS AU58 Seated)

Anonymous Consignors - 16 Lots

Island Lake - 9 Lots

Oregon Beaver - 7 Lots (Seated Halves and $2.5 Gold)

Woodlands - 7 Lots (Seated Dimes)

Newtown - 6 Lots (High Grade Seated Halves)

Quito - 6 Lots (High Grade Seated Quarters)

Wisconsin Gold - 6 Lots (Premium U.S. Gold)

Seal Beach - 5 Lots

Massachusetts - 5 Lots (Seated Dimes)

Others - 15 Lots


3rd CAC-Only Auction Lot Viewing - Whitman Baltimore Show - November 9 - 11

Once again, a quick reminder that all of the 3rd CAC-Only auction lots will be available for lot viewing at the Whitman Baltimore show that takes place next week. GFRC will be at its usual Booth #818 with its entire inventory.


Global Financial News

The S&P 500 has managed two up days in a row and is attempting a breech of the 4,200 mark when trading opens. Morning market futures are pointing to selling at the opening bell, therefore the 4,200 mark might be elusive today.

After bouncing between $1995 and $2000/oz for several days, spot gold has moved lower and is trending at the $1985 level. I'm still a buyer at this level as was demonstrated at the NH Coin Expo. There are too many geopolitical risks a foot along with dedollarization efforts to believe that the price of gold will swoon any time soon.

WTI crude is quoting at 82.38/bbl this morning after dropping as low at $81 in the past two trading days. Yep, Carlo my financial manager has still not execute my direction to raise financial portfolio energy exposure from 9% to 12%. I will be pressing him today to get this done.

Yes, the U.S. government is spending like "drunken sailors" as there is a request for another $110B emergency spending for Ukraine and Israel. Did anyone is Washington DC see the memo that Ukraine has lost the war as it lacks manpower to continue the fight? Sending more military equipment into a lost cause brings back memories of Afghanistan.

With all of the geopolitical risks, the U.S dollar remains the best bet in town. This morning's quote is 106.9 while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield stands at 4.91% after being as high as 4.94% during the overnight hours.

Following are the just published morning market futures by Seeking Alpha. The Federal Reserve will announce its November interest rate stance today. The better money is on a pause to rate hikes.

In Asia, Japan +2.4%. Hong Kong -0.1%. China +0.1%. India -0.4%.

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

Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.3%. S&P -0.3%. NASDAQ -0.4%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings another office day with focus on organizing inventory for transport to Baltimore and the subsequent Florida end destination. Some inventory will be transferred to GFRC-Lite at the Baltimore show and will be documented accordingly. Several lots will be shipped along with consignments checks being written and mailed. Finally, there are residual Cleveland Collection Liberty Seated dimes to post to the price list.

All Manchester NH coin expo new purchases are loaded into the COIN system and will be in the Baltimore show cases. Those that don't sell in Baltimore will be loaded to the price list after our Florida transition.

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




Tuesday October 31, 2023

Building the 3rd CAC-Only PDF Catalog

Final Day for Mailing GFRC Checks to Maine


1878-S PCGS VG08 Seated Half Dollar Arrives Today


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on Halloween 2023. Thank you for checking in.

Early morning brings a full fledge frost here in southern Maine as the mercury is reading 30F outside our kitchen window. The wood stove is now in continuous use and will remain that way until our Whitman Baltimore show departure.

Unfortunately, I picked up a head and throat virus at the Manchester NH show and feeling a bit under the weather this morning. Shame on me for not bringing a hand sanitizer to the show as we've let our guard down after the pandemic. However, the workload between now and Tuesday of next week is substantial and must get done. Weighing on me is the construction of the 3rd CAC-Only PDF auction catalog which must be wrapped up by early tomorrow. Afterwards, attention shifts to clearing leaves and closing down the homestead property for the winter months.


Building the 3rd CAC-Only PDF Catalog

The 3rd CAC-Only PDF auction catalog is the largest to date with 175 lots. On Monday, I managed to process the first 60 lots with the usual fine tuning of the auction descriptions and adding die variety attributions where previously omitted. Those updates were loaded to the online catalog before retiring for the day.

My plan, outside of shipping a few lots, is to work the entire day on this catalog towards posting to the website on Wednesday.


Final Day for Mailing GFRC Checks to Maine

The arrival of October 31 not only means it is Halloween, but also the final day for mailing check payments to the Maine GFRC office. USPS 1st class mail continues to be erratic with payments from the west coast taking a full week on average. A letter mailed today from the southern and mid-west states has a reasonable chance of arrived by this coming Monday. Those from California will be dicey and may end up in the forwarding loop. Ship aheads are the priority so that clients receive their coins on a timely basis.


1878-S PCGS VG08 Seated Half Dollar Arrives Today

GFRC is pleased to announce that a key date 1878-S Liberty Seated half dollar will be arriving today via USPS Express Mail. This lot was purchased from a GFRC Online Auctions event during January 2021 with the auction listing available at the Sales Archive. Following is an image of that piece from the auction catalog followed by Len Augsburger's description.

1878-S PCGS VG08 50C Ex. Cumberland County Collection

A number of United States coin series are immediately identified with a single coin. The Barber dime series has the 1894-S, the Liberty nickels the 1913, and so on. For the Liberty Seated half series, the long acknowledged stopper is the 1878-S. A total of 12,000 pieces were coined in this final year of San Francisco Seated half dollar production, of which 51 have been definitively traced by Bill Bugert, with extensive pedigrees online at https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/585799. This study has been carefully compiled over many years, with occasional assistance from collectors who notify Bill as examples are encountered in the marketplace. The grading service reports are remarkably close, 47 pieces total, with 34 at PCGS and 13 at NGC. The present piece is BB-36 in the Bugert census, and has been previously owned by Seated specialists Dick Osburn, Duncan Lee, and Rich Uhrich. Surfaces exhibit medium gray toning, with darker shades at the rim, and hints of evergreen are evident as the piece is tilted under a light source. Lighter central figures contrast with the surrounding fields, more so on the reverse. A couple old obverse marks, at Liberty's left elbow and to the right of the knee, will serve to identify the pedigree. A few obverse lines are noted, consistent with the technical grade. WB-1, the only die pair for this issue, with a small, tilted mintmark and die lumps in the upper portion of the reverse shield. The reverse die is type 2, with the lower bud closed. Many collectors pursue complete sets of Seated halves, but few reach the final rung of the ladder. This collector-grade piece represents an opportunity to fill the last entry in one's registry set, or simply to be the proud owner of an exceptionally challenging coin, the hallmark of the Liberty Seated half dollar series.

The PCGS price guide pricing continuous to move up for this date given its rarity and constant popularity. A VG08 example is an excellent entry point for this key date.

This piece is immediately available at $47,500 and will be presented at the Whitman Baltimore show. If there is potential interest, please email me to discuss your required purchase terms.


Global Financial News

U.S. equities rallied on Monday with the S&P 500 index increasing to 4,166. This morning's market futures is suggesting a 0.25% pullback at the opening bell.

Spot gold is dancing around the $2000/oz mark and quoting at a dollar under that level at 6:15 AM ET.

WTI crude oil pricing has dropped to $83/bbl while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is down slightly to 4.82%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Now that Diane is awake, I'm heading to the shower and in search of a dose of cold and flu remedy. Once the wood bin is restocked for the day, I will be sitting in the office for the next 10 hours and working on the 3rd CAC-Only PDF catalog.

That is it for today's ramblings. Happy Halloween! Be well!



Monday October 30, 2023

Sharing Seasonal Images


Building the 3rd CAC-Only PDF Catalog


Greetings again from the Raymond GFRC office and welcome to the Daily Blog. The countdown to the Florida transition is underway with just one week to go.

There is not a whole lot to ramble about this morning as Sunday brought recovery from the Manchester NH coin show. The show inventory is has been merged with the left behind coins and the new purchases are loaded into the COIN system. New purchases with existing images on file have already been added to the 30 Day Price List. Photography and posting of the remaining new purchases will be delayed until we are in Florida. Those unposted coins will be available in the Whitman Baltimore show cases as part of our overall inventory transport to Florida. There are a host of must get done items that will take precedence this coming week. Closing down the homestead property and ensuring that Johnny2 and its implements are winterized and stored in the barn are examples. The clean-up of downed leaves will be a two full day task.

The late autumn and Halloween season are the theme for today's edition. The following two images nicely portray the seasonality of New England life.

We open with a picture of the Hill Trail taken yesterday morning during my health walk. The bulk of the leaves have dropped onto the trail resulting is a loud crunchy movement down this scenic path. Deer hunting season opens today and sadly, Diane and neighbor Sharon are afraid to walk the back acreage though our property is posted. I'm in the opposite camp (with an orange vest and John Deere cap) and will enjoy noisy walks through the leaves prior to taking a leaf blower into the trails towards the end of the week. If the leaves are not cleared, the trails will be a wet mess upon our return in late April.


The next seasonal image is that of Natsumi dressed as a witch for a Halloween event in the Brookline section of Boston. Our granddaughter is now nine years old and a worldly young lady.


Building the 3rd CAC-Only PDF Auction Catalog

The final business deliverable, before our departure for Baltimore, is the construction of the 3rd CAC-Only PDF with the Island City Barber Quarter collection as the anchor lot for this event. This effort will take roughly two days of office time. Once completed, the emphasis will immediately shift to leaf removal followed by packing up the GFRC business for transport.


Global Financial News

Last week brought a notable pullback in U.S. equities with the S&P 500 dropping to 4,117. An earnings week failed to stimulate buying along with a stronger than expected Q3 GDP report that suggests that interest rates will not be dropping any time soon. U.S. consumers are still spending with credit cards and falling savings rates. Is this a case of monkey see, monkey do? If the federal government can continually run up deficits for its special initiatives, why not the citizenry? The difference is that there are laws on the books for dealing with indebted consumers who find themselves unable to deal with spending beyond their means. At the Federal level, there are no such laws. Rather, we are stuck with a political class emboldened by their constituents and special interests. Blaming the "other party" is much easier than having the guts to make unpopular spending decisions.

Spot gold has been unable to hold the $2000/oz threshold and is currently trading at $1994 per the Kitco real time quotes. The U.S. dollar is firmly entrenched at 106.5 and the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield remains at 4.89%. WTI crude oil pricing has receded to $84.45/bbl.

Morning market futures, per Seeking Alpha, are late. Looking at CNNBusiness website, the major indexes are poised to open 0.6% higher at the opening bell.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Please remember that the Black Friday Sale arrives during Thanksgiving weekend. Discounting inputs can be submitted in the near term with "Black Friday Discounting Instructions" or similar in the email subject line.

So ends today's edition. There is a decent amount of shipping to accomplish this morning.

Thank you again for being regular fans of the Daily Blog. Be well!




Sunday October 29, 2023

Great Saturday Retail at the NH Coin Expo


Checking in on the GFRC Florida Transition Schedule


Greetings from the Raymond GFRC office and welcome to the Daily Blog. It is great to be back at the Maine homestead, at least until the Whitman Baltimore show.

As the lead headline indicates, GFRC enjoyed a surprisingly strong retail sales on Saturday at the Manchester NH show. The day started with low expectations but the momentum quickly shifted as a $6000 Liberty Seated dime sale was made just after the show opened. Then came the attention to our U.S. gold inventory as spot had closed over $2000/oz late Friday. The final price was $2006 to be exact. When dealing with gold, four figure sales are nearly a given since much of the inventory is CAC approved and at the Mint State grade level.

By 1:30 PM, the bourse was sufficiently quiet enough that the decision was made to close down the booth and head home. But prior to closing the booth, a special photograph was taken courtesy of show organizer Ernie Botte. Ernie is a Daily Blog fan and has noted my ongoing commentary about security being one of the high points of his Manchester events. A local security firm, Granite Security Services, has been employed for years with its unmistakable presence on the bourse. There were five well armed (with body armor) security guards at the event. One guard was constantly positioned at the entrance and a second at the rear exit door. Everyone was well aware of the Lewiston mass shooting and the Granite Security Service personal were being most vigilant. Three guards were walking the floor or handling escort duties as was the case for our exit.

Ernie asked if I would be interested in securing a photograph with two of the Granite personnel for the Daily Blog. Of course was the response leading to the following image. These are the good guys who provide incredible peace of mind at an Ernie event. How I wish that other show promoters would be so proactive towards ensuring the safety of participating dealers and the attending public.


Granite Security Service is a well recognized security firm that provides a host of security service needs throughout the state of New Hampshire at a minimum. Their website can be found at https://www.granite-security.com/.

Upon our exit to the parking garage, located one level below the bourse floor, one of the Granite security guards escorted Dan and I to our cars and waited while I anchored the inventory luggage to tied down points in the vehicle with a thick metal cable and heavy lock. GFRC has taken the necessary steps to foil any smash and grab attempts when transporting inventory. I am thoroughly serious about security given the trust received by a hundred plus consignors.


Checking in on the GFRC Florida Transition Schedule

Let's revisit the GFRC Florida transition and overall events schedule now that the Manchester NH coin show is in the history book.

The next key milestone is the final day for mailing check payments to the Maine office. That date is October 31 and arrives on Tuesday. Our goal is to ensure that no customer checks are captured within a long Maine to Florida forwarding loop. Instead, I am asking everyone to hold back mailing payment checks until November 9. The no mailing period is longer than usual this year due to the Whitman Baltimore show being part of our Florida transition.

Following is the detailed schedule as a reminder. Your recognition of the schedule and acting accordingly will save everyone involved the inefficiencies of canceling and reissuing wayward checks.

October 31 - Final Day for Mailing Check Payments to Maine Office

November 6 - GFRC Changes Mailing Address to Venice Florida Office

November 8 - 11 - GFRC Attends the Whitman Baltimore show

November 9 - First Day for Mailing Check Payments to Venice Office

November 11 - 3rd CAC-Only Auction Opens for Bidding

November 13 - GFRC Office Opens in Venice Florida

November 13 - GFRC Consignment Window Re-opens - Shipment to Florida Office Begins

November 17 - Final Day for Black Friday Discounting Instructions

November 18 - 3rd CAC-Only Auction Closes

November 19 - 20 - 3rd CAC-Only Sale Invoicing

November 24 - 26 - GFRC's Black Friday Sale


Wrapping Up The Blog

It is a Sunday after a coin show with a predictable day in the GFRC office. Show sales will be entered into the COIN system followed by a price list update to remove sold coins. Then come the same for Collectors Corner. I'd like to mention that most of the Manchester show sales were consigned coins which will please many of our loyal consignors. The new Lakeland Collection consignment due especially well at the show.

While I am working at the laptop, Diane will be merging the show inventory with the left behind coins. At Whitman Baltimore, the entire GFRC inventory will be in the showcases, a first for our humble business. We will be offering all coins from soup to nuts at Baltimore along with GFRC-Lite also presenting lower priced collector coins.

It is nearly 8:00 AM and time to upload today's Blog edition. I'm longing for a health walk through the downed leaves on the back acreage trails and heading there next before that long day in the office.

Thank you so much for visiting and making the Daily Blog a regular online destination. Be well!




Saturday October 28, 2023

Maine Returns to Normalcy


NH Coin Expo is Stellar Buying and Decent but Not Great Retail


Greetings from the Manchester NH bourse floor and welcome to the Daily Blog.

First, let's start with an apology for the lack of a Friday Daily Blog edition. Attending a coin show entails many responsibilities and work that must get. Dan and I were quite busy during dealer setup on Thursday and spent quite a bit of money on new inventory. Come Friday morning, the imperative was placing the new purchases into the COIN system and moving those coins in the show cases. There was simply no time for composing a Blog edition.

Thankfully, Maine is back to normalcy after 48 hours of fear. Diane reported to me, yesterday afternoon, that much of the state had been shutdown including local schools, UMaine system, and the Hannaford chain of grocery stores. Diane's sister, Rachel, left Lewiston yesterday to spend time in Raymond towards exiting the shelter in place order. Last evening brought the news that the shooter was found dead, much to the relief of the entire state. My sincere thanks to the many in the community who sent supportive emails and text messages.

Now back to Mancheter show....

Coming into this show, a command decision was made to beef up GFRC $20 double eagle gold inventory and that we did. With spot gold crossing back over $2000/oz and the geopolitical risks in the Middle East, the time felt right to plow monies into gold with a strong bullion exposure. Between Dan and I, we purchase twelve $20 gold pieces with many being CAC approved. We also bought a host of smaller denomination CAC gold including a lovely 1880-CC $5 NGC VF20 CAC.

Along with the gold, GFRC purchased a rather nice eight piece Capped Bust half dollar deal with all being CAC approved. For the curious, the contents are as follows but I will not be entertaining any First Rights of Refusal as these may not make the price list before the Baltimore show.

1812 PCCS AU55 CAC, 1813 50c/Uni PCGS VF35 CAC, 1821 PCGS AU55 CAC, 1822 PCGS AU55 CAC OGH, 1823 Patched 3 PCGS VF35 CAC, 1828 PCGS AU58 CAC, 1830 Small 0 PCGS AU58 CAC, 1831 PCGS MS62 CAC, 1832 PCGS AU58 CAC, 1834 PCGS AU53 CAC

On the retail side, this Manchester show was one of GFRC's slower events in years. Attendance was down along with a lower than normal "yields" for those who visited the table and made a purchase. For many purchases, I was required to take coins in trade as cash appeared to be precious. Another important factor was the summer like weather with highs in the mid-70s that kept some attendees away. Other dealers may not make the admission, but at GFRC, we tell it like it is.

Word from the IMEX show in Nashville was that there was no retail as that start-up show was minimally attended by the general public. If anyone has a contrary perspective of the IMEX show, I'd like to hear it.

This pretty well sums up the Manchester situation. Dan and I are hoping for a few more retail sales today to wrap up the event.

Sunday brings post show admin followed by the construction of the 3rd CAC-Only auction catalog that will stretch into Tuesday. A 172 piece catalog is a substantial undertaking.

Thank you for staying closing to GFRC during these unsettled times. As mentioned to several clients in attendance, a position is quality CAC approved coins is probably better than being in equities in the near term. Geopolitics will have a greater impact on the S&P 500 than quality CAC coins. Financial portfolio diversification is the best approach for securing a good night's sleep regardless of the globe's turbulence.

Be well!




Thursday October 26, 2023

Mass Shooting Scourge Hits Much Too Close to Home


Heading to the Manchester NH Show


Greetings on a sad Thursday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog.

Though the plan for today's Blog was to discuss the Manchester NH coin show, last evening's local events have changed this.

I went to bed early on Wednesday, 8:25 PM to be exact. It was not until I awoke at 4:30 AM and checked the email Inbox to learn that there had been a mass shooting with 22 dead in Lewiston. My sincere thanks go out to two clients who sent emails to check on the Fortins.

Some background is in order. Both Diane and I were born and raised in Lewiston. Diane was located close to the Lewiston city center (S. Peters & Paul parish) while I was out towards the edge of Lewiston in Holy Family parish. Diane's family operated the Lewiston Crushed Stone construction business while my father worked at Bates Mill, one of the largest employers in the Lewiston-Auburn area. The walking distance from my childhood home to Diane's was about 30 minutes. In those days, I walked everywhere as my family did not own a car.

Over the years, Lewiston has seen a significant demographics change as there was little opportunity for younger people. I'm a prime example of one who left Lewiston to locate a better future, which I have. The exodus of young people left a concentration of aging Franco-Americans being supported by two hospitals (St. Mary's for the Catholics and Central Maine Medical Center for others) and many nursing homes. As reference, Lewiston's population has been be in the range of 35,000 - 40,000 for years. In the past 20 years or so, there has been an influx of Somali immigrants who have taken over the downtown housing area that was originally populated by the French Canadian mill workers. There have always been some "rough" areas in Lewiston that my parents warned me to never enter. The lower Lisbon St. bar strip was the primary location to avoid after dark along with the tenement area of Lincoln St. Recently, shooting have been reported in the rundown Somali area where Diane grew up.

Lewiston had a popular fairground area, on upper Main St., with professional harness horse racing when growing up there. The roaming circus and carnival troupes would make an annual stop in Lewiston at the fairgrounds. As the years passed, the fairground was closed down and turned into a business development area. Some of the notable establishments that moved into that location included Marco's Restaurant, Sparetime Recreation (bowling alley), and the Woodlands Nursing Home for mentally challenged elders. Marco's is where Diane's family always holds their family events. The Woodlands is where my father spent several years before passing in that facility. One of the targeted mass shooting took place at the Sparetime bowling facility along with a bar on upper Lincoln St. Sparetime is adjacent to Marco's and a few minutes walk to the Woodlands.

Upon making breakfast this morning and deposing of an avocado skin in the garage trash can, I noted that Diane had locked the garage door into the homestead. We never do this before heading to bed, therefore Diane knew of the mass shooting before she retired for the evening.

All of Diane's three brothers and lone sister (Rachel) live in Lewiston and Auburn. The distance from our North Raymond homestead to Lewiston is only 17 miles for those who are curious. I'm certain that Diane and Rachel will be on the phone this morning to learn of who might have been killed or wounded as the Franco-American community descendants remain close.

From what is understood, Lewiston is completely shutdown today along with Auburn (across the Androscoggin River from Lewiston) and Lisbon asking residents to shelter in place until the shooter is apprehended.

I never thought that Lewiston would make global news but it has. Vantage:First Post, my favorite India based news channel on YouTube, was reporting the incident during a breakfast check of the Israel-Hamas war situation.

One never knows what might be around the corner in a life....


Heading to the Manchester NH Show

Today brings dealer setup at the NH Coin Expo event at 3:00 PM. Dan and I will be meeting in Manchester before that time.

GFRC coin inventory is mostly packed and will be finalized in the next several hours.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Frankly, I'm not in a mood to compose a regular Blog edition today. There will be a Manchester show update at some point on Friday, and certainly on Saturday.

Thank you for checking in at the Daily Blog. Be well!




Wednesday October 25, 2023

The NH Coin Expo is Tops!

Two Excellent U.S. Gold Offerings


Cleveland Collection - Duplicate Seated Die Varieties to Consider


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

What can I possibly discuss this morning that would be new and refreshing? Very little at this point as we've explored a host of numismatic and homestead topics on a regular basis.

Let's focus on this week's Manchester NH coin show which is officially entitled the NH Coin Expo. I've been attending this show for several decades, first a collector, and now as GFRC. Over the years, this show has continued to improve. During the early days, about 1/3 of the bourse would be empty allowing space for the food vendor and break tables. Now the bourse floor is entirely populated with dealers and the food service being moved outside of the bourse. The product diversity is also notable as this is a soup to nuts show with something for every collector level. If collecting raw coins, this show is for you. If collecting four figure early type, there will be sufficient examples on the bourse with GFRC being one of the leading dealers with these offerings. Looking for bullion gold and silver, certainly there will be dealers with these products.

The Manchester show is also well noted for club tables including the LSCC and NENA. If a newbie collector, the club tables are a great place for securing free advice and having questions answered.

If comfortable with uniformed and armed security guards, the NH Coin Expo will not disappoint as the guards staff the entrance and rear exit doors and will constantly walk the floor. Ernie Botte makes a point of displaying images of those who were previously apprehended at his shows for theft.

Yes, the NH Coin Expo is one of the best managed shows that I've attended in a long numismatic career.

In tomorrow's Blog, I will discuss what the first 45 minutes of show setup is like for attending dealers along with my expectations for this event.


Two Excellent U.S. Gold New Offerings

One thing I've learned concerning operating as a coin dealer with a substantial consignment component is to expect the unexpected. From day to day, I'm never certain what might be offered in terms of buying opportunities or being approached with a substantial consignment. Key to enjoying this contacts and opportunities is a sterling reputation for honesty and premium service. Let's face it, spending money on coins is so easy as there are countless dealers who will gladly support your hobby. Selling a collection, or accumulation, is a different undertaking and viewed with trepidation by many.

At GFRC, we believe in simplistic and straightforward business dealings. When it comes to making purchases from new faces or clients, the operating mode is play or pass. If I'm approached by someone with coins to sell, my first question is always what do you want for your coins. Seems simple heh? If selling a coin, used car, or whatever, it is incumbent on the seller to determine an offer price. This is no different than GFRC pricing its coins on a price list. It is my inventory and responsibility to price the inventory towards securing sales. Ditto for a collector which places the responsibility on that individual to understand grading, surfaces, and wholesale vs. retail pricing levels. Walking a bourse floor with coins at a play/pass number will be an educational experience. If a collector goes 0/10 when offering coins, they might want to reconsider the offer price and why no one will bite at those levels.

Yes, I'm rambling a bit here and forgot what the segment topic is.

The following two U.S. lots are notable. The 1843-C Small Date $2.5 date is a rarity in the quarter eagle series. Mintage is a tiny 2,988 pieces with the PCGS Price Guide suggesting that 70-80 survivors are known in all grades. The Small Date is easily recognized by its date punch with a crosslet 4 and small mintmark. This issue was produced first in 1843 and has the same date punch and mintmark as Charlotte issues of 1840 through 1842. The 1927 Saint is a marvelous example that is housed in a new CAC Grading service holder. This date is one of the best produced with excellent strikes and luster. CAC has approved over 5000 pieces of this date with the majority being graded MS64 and MS65. The population drops quickly at the MS66 level with only four pieces approved at MS67. Also note that there is a substantial pricing gap between CAC approved examples and those without the CAC green bean or being now located in the new CAC Grading holder. I'm pleased to be offering this lovely example that will be available at Table 607 on the Manchester NH bourse floor.

Oregon Beaver 1843-C G$2.5 and Superb 1927 $20 Saint

Priced as Marked

 1843-C Small Date NGC AU50 G$2.5 - $7900                                           1927 CACG MS66 G$20 - $5250          



Cleveland Collection - Duplicate Seated Die Varieties to Consider

The Cleveland Collection is one of the top two Liberty Seated Dime die variety collectors in the country. GFRC has been working with this individual for years and helping build up his massive holdings. On occasions, this individual will release a group of duplicates as is the case today. Following is a notable lot of die variety duplicates with several being listed in the Top 100 Seated Dime and Top 25 Seated Quarter varieties sets. The 1838 Small Stars and Partial Drapery dime varieties are nicely represented by MS62 and AU58 examples. One of my variety 1856 die varieties is the F-110 with bold obverse die doubling north. For date collectors, the 1856-S is always a stopper. The Cleveland Collection PCGS VF35 example warrants immediately attention and should not last long on the price list.

Cleveland Collection - Duplicate Seated Die Varieties to Consider

Priced as Marked

    1838 Sm Stars F-101a NGC MS62 10C - $1050                                 1838 Partial Drap F-108a NGC AU58 10C - $1000 


 1856 Sm Date F-110 ANACS MS61 10C - $600                                       1856-S F-101 PCGS VF35 10C - $1400      


 1854-O F-103 ANACS AU55 10C - $525            1841-O DDO PCGS VF20 25C - $200           1854-O Huge O ANACS G04 25C - $650



Global Financial News

U.S. equity markets are doing their best to hold the 4,200 level for the S&P 500 as a technical threshold. Yesterday's trading saw the S&P move up to 4,247 though today's morning futures are pointing to nearly a half point drop at the opening bell.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is flat at 4.86% while the U.S. dollar remains elevated at 106.4. In the face of a strong dollar and near 5.0% 10 Year notes, spot gold is holding up well at $1979/oz.

WTI crude has dropped to $83.48/bbl with the reduced pricing welcomed as Carlo rebalances my financial holdings and moves more monies into oil industry ETFs.

In Asia, Japan +0.7%. Hong Kong +0.6%. China +0.4%. India -0.8%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.1%. Paris -0.2%. Frankfurt -0.1%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow flat. S&P -0.4%. Nasdaq -0.6%. Crude -0.3% to $83.48.


Wrapping Up the Blog

Today brings a few shipped lots followed by pulling inventory for the Manchester NH show that starts on Thursday. Also, the Cleveland Collection consignment will be posted to the price list.

New purchases would certainly be welcomed as October has underperformed past years. As of this morning, GFRC has sold 68 coins this month as compared to 148 in 2022 and 215 during 2021. Hopefully, the Manchester show will push the month to date tally closer to 100 pieces. Yes, economic conditions and geopolitical tensions have abated the spending attitudes of many clients. The fact that a robust CAC-Only auction is just around the corner in mid-November is also a factor impacting this month's sales.

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




Tuesday October 24, 2023

Island City Standing Liberty Quarter Collection Highlights First 2024 Auction


Rare 1843-C $2.5 Gold Piece Arrives on Consignment


Greetings once again and welcome to the Daily Blog. Your visits are noted and appreciated.

What would I do with myself every morning if not composing another Blog edition? The same is true for daily readers and there are many of you. The Daily Blog has become part of a life's rhythm and brings predictability to each and every day. The Blog is also a fantastic tool for planning a day's or week's activities. Writing stuff down and committing to a large audience brings accountability.

Changing subjects....

I'm feeling particularly relaxed this morning as the pressures of processing consignments is in the rear view mirror. For the next three weeks, the consignment cupboards will be bare with no compulsion to honor commitments. In the past, this situation would be worrisome. But not now as the lack of consignments allows me to focus on closing down the homestead property in an orderly manner. Today brings the first round of leaf blowing and pine needle raking as an example.

So what has happened at GFRC in the last 24 hours? Please read on...


Island City Standing Liberty Quarter Collection Highlights First 2024 Auction

Monday afternoon brought a phone call with the Island City Collection consignor. Please remember that his lovely Barber quarters are the anchor collection within the 3rd CAC-Only auction sale.

Our long term client is going through the emotional phase of releasing collections commonly known as seller's remorse. Collectors have a difficult time letting go of collection as these assemblages represent a passionate effort to construct something of personal and financial value. Island City has worked through his seller's remorse and is committing his 100% CAC approved Standing Liberty quarter collection to the first GFRC Online Auctions event of 2024. I'm certain that everyone will ask the same question. What is the 1916 like? This opening rare date is graded PCGS AU53 CAC and will most likely be the auction's banner plate coin.

Current plans have the collection shipping to our Venice Florida office the week after arrival. In a way, it is fitting that his Standing Liberty quarter collection ships the week that his Barber quarter collection is being auctioned.


GFRC Soliciting Consignments for January 2024 Auction

Now that the anchor collection has been solidified and announced, GFRC Online Auctions is soliciting consignment for its first auction of 2024. As mentioned previously, the auction opening date will be either January 20 or 27. Already, GFRC has committed a full page advertisement in the January 2024 monthly Coin World magazine in support of this event.

The January auction will be a regular event with both CAC and non-CAC approved lots. To date, I have received a commitment for a seven piece lot.

If you've been considering the sale of duplicates and/or a complete collection, the GFRC January auction sale is positioned at the height of the numismatic demand calendar given that many of us are snowbound and returning to our collections to pass the time.

Please contact me in the near term if wishing to participate in this event.


GFRC Consignment Window Opens on November 13

November 13 is the ideal date to reopen the GFRC consignment window for price list and January 2024 auction shipments. At that point, the Florida migration will have been completed and the GFRC office will be back in action.

If considering a consignment shipment, GFRC has made it easy for transporting your precious coins. Tomorrow I will be posting a printable consignment PDF file that serves as the documentation for GFRC insurance coverage.


Rare 1843-C $2.5 Gold Piece Arrives on Consignment

Yesterday brought the arrival of two important lots from the Oregon Beaver Collection. Yes, I know that the consignment window is currently closed but when one of GFRC's long term clients asks for help, the support is extended.

The two coin shipment included a rare 1843-C $2.5 gold piece graded NGC AU50 and a raw 1856-S Seated dime graded AU Details by me. Both coins will be photographed today and will reach the price list on Wednesday prior to my departure for the Manchester NH coin show. The 1843-C will be priced at $7900 and the 1856-S dime at $2000. The dime has a long ago clean but is 100% fully struck. The $2000 offer price appears more than fair for this date and condition.


Global Financial News

Yesterday's meeting with Carlo, our Merrill Lynch financial manager, was insightful. We took the time to explore the current rise in Treasury bond yields and how the Federal Reserve is navigating the inflation battle with its Fed Funds rate increases. For those who are not actively involved in financial markets, the two interest rates are not the same. The Treasury bonds are sold by the U.S Treasury to secure ongoing funding needs, including the accelerating wave of deficit spending. The sales are accomplished by auction to the highest bidders. If there are few bidders, the Treasury yields must increase to attract incremental buyers. On the other hand, the Fed Funds rate is the rate that the Federal Reserve charges larger banks for borrowing needs.

When the long conversation was completed, we agreed to increase the Fortin's exposure to energy ETF by 4% of the entire portfolio. I'm of the mindset that the downward risk on oil prices in limited while there is upside potential in the short term (Israel-Hamas war expansion) and long term (delays in renewal energy implementation). Of course, if we enter a severe global recession, then oil prices will fall.

Yesterday's equity market trading took place during a Q3 earning week backdrop. The S&P 500 barely moved and closed at 4,217 which is a recovery from the opening selling.

Spot gold is trading at $1964/oz while WTI crude pricing has softened to $85.65/bbl.

The 10 Year Treasury bond yield has pulled back to 4.86%. This chart illustrates the Treasury yield trend dating back to 1980. The low yields during the pandemic can be seen as being an aberration and even a 5.0% rate is more typical of the historical trend prior to the 2008 Financial Crisis.


Seeking Alpha is late with their morning newsletter therefore I checked CNNBusiness. They are showing a 0.5% S&P upside at the market's opening bell.


Wrapping Up The Blog

The skies are clear blue this morning and ideal for one last photography session before the Manchester show. There are a few new additions to catch-up upon including a 1927 $20 Saint that is graded CACG MS66 and the aforementioned Oregon Beaver two piece lot. Afterwards, the balance of the day will be spent outdoors.

Emails will be responded to come late afternoon or after dinner.

A sincere thanks goes out to all the regular Daily Blog readerships and to those who consistently source coins from GFRC. We try our best to maintain top notch service.

Be well!




Monday October 23, 2023

Newest Lakeland Collection Consignment to Consider


Manchester NH Coin Show Week Arrives


Greetings on a late October Monday morning and welcome to another Daily Blog session. Thank you for staying on top of GFRC and homestead activities.

Southern Maine weather has become seasonal with the morning temp being a cool 44F at 4:30 AM. Yes, I was up early and the first order of the day was lighting a fire in the wood stove. Operating the wood stove is tricky this time of year as so easy to overheat the house on a sunny day. The stove is typically burned for a day which heats the middle floor thermal mass. That mass will radiate stored energy for the subsequent 24 hours.

I'm feeling good this morning as the substantial GFRC consignment backlog is just about exhausted. In past times, I would be promptly opening the consignment window to ensure a steady flow of new material. But not this time as the goal is to head into an incredibly busy month of November without the overhang of unprocessed consignments. After the latest Lakeland Collection consignment is posted to the 30 Day Price List, there are a few remaining Cleveland Collection Seated dimes to work through.

Therefore, the GFRC business will be mostly dependent on Manchester NH and Whitman Baltimore show new purchases for sustaining the 30 Day Price List moving into the Thanksgiving time frame. The GFRC consignment window will reopen starting November 13 consistent with our arrival to the Venice Florida office. I will gladly take in consignments at both the Manchester NH and Baltimore shows with the understanding that processing will most likely not begin until after the Black Friday Sale wraps up. If possible to get to these sooner, I certainly will....

The next two weeks, prior to our departure for the Whitman Baltimore show, will be focused on the NH Coin Expo and closing down the homestead for the winter months. Diane and I have a long list of items to get done. My primary task is leaf and pine needle removal that will begin tomorrow. The sugar maple by the driveway has already dropped most of its leaves while the huge pine tree, on the property line with the neighboring Dodson property, has lost nearly all of its pine needles. Cleaning up these deposits is the first step in a long process that will stretch into the weekend prior to the Whitman show.


Newest Lakeland Collection Consignment to Consider

Since the past weekend was a washout, attention shifted to processing yet another consignment from the Lakeland Collection. This mother and son collecting team has become quite active during 2023 with multiple consignments while upgrading their Civil War era themed collection. For example, the 1864 dime was purchased from GFRC and returns as an upgraded duplicate. The other lots are the result of ongoing improvements to their overall collection along with opportunistic purchases.

All lots are immediately available and will be posted to the price list today.

Newest Lakeland Collection Consignment to Consider

Priced as Marked

       1884 NGC MS65RB 1C - $525                                                 1913-S Type 2 PCGS AU53 5C - $600


            1864 F-102a PCGS VF35 10C - $2100                                     1927 Square Base 2 O-117 NGC AU55 50C - $700


    1939-S NGC MS66+ 50C - $650                                                 1945-S NGC MS66+ CAC 50C - $750


 1923-S PCGS AU55 5C - $430                    1840-O F-106 NGC VF30 10C - $375                   1903 ANACS PF64 10C - $625


  1873 NA O3 PCGS F15 25C - $265                        1834 NGC AU55 50C - $625                     1946-D NGC MS66+ CAC 50C - $385



Manchester NH Coin Show Week Arrives

The Manchester NH coin show is one of my favorite events on the annual coin show circuit for a host of reasons. Foremost is the easy access location and the convenience of the Double Tree hotel connected to the bourse floor. Second is Ernie Botte's legacy of operating some mighty fine coin shows in the northern New England area for decades. Ernie operates monthly coin shows in Devins, MA and Nashua, NH along with "dealer day" events. In the early GFRC years, I would attend these monthly shows. However, as the business grew in size and time become so precious, I outgrew these one day weekend shows as inventory prep out and back into the office was too laborious versus the amount of sales. Finally, Ernie operates show with tight security that is most welcomed. Having armed uniformed security guards walking the bourse floor is comforting.

Getting back to this week's Manchester show, GFRC will be in its usual Booth 607 location with eight cases of premium inventory. Setup and dealer trading takes place on Thursday afternoon. Dan White and Gerry will be hosting new and long term clients that frequent this numismatic venue. Whether wishing to view our inventory first hand or having an intent to sell a few coins or an entire collection, the dynamic duo are ready to support your needs. Fair and honest dealings are the hallmark of a GFRC presence on a bourse floor.

Following is the Manchester bourse floor map with the GFRC location clearly mapped out. We have been in this location since the end of the pandemic and are quite easy to locate.


GFRC at NH Coin Expo Booth 607


Global Financial News

Last week brought more investor fear as to where the Israel-Hamas war is headed with the S&P 500 closing Friday's trading at 4,224. Spot gold has settled in at the $1980/oz level for the time being. The U.S. dollar continues to remain strong at 106.3 per the DXY index.

During the early Monday morning hours, the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield was trading above the 5.0% mark. WTI crude is trading at $87.50/bbl.

Today brings a conference call with Carlo at Merrill Lynch to assess where we are with the Fortin portfolio in light of geopolitical events. In preparation, I did some research on U.S. debt and who is holding the underlying Treasury notes that fund our deficit spending. Of the nearly $34T in U.S. debt, about 23% is held internationally. The Federal Reserve holds about 15%. The rest is spread across mutual funds, banks, private pension funds, insurance companies, and local governments. The United States debt is growing at the rate of 6% per year which means that in 12 years the debt would double to $68T. Clearly, this is an unsustainable level of borrowing that will never be paid back. If international debt holders have stopped buying and have turned to sellers, then the pressure builds on U.S. investors to fund the growing deficit. Even the Federal Reserve has been deleveraging its balance sheet. At some point, the amount of money for funding deficits will overwhelm the U.S. economy. The Federal Reserve could again start buying U.S. Treasuries but that leads us back into an inflationary period. I'm interested in hearing Carlo's perspective.

Morning market futures are ugly.

In Asia, Japan -0.8%. Hong Kong closed. China -1.5%. India -1.3%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.5%. Paris -0.2%. Frankfurt -0.8%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.6%. S&P -0.6%. NASDAQ -0.7%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

This ends another morning of numismatic ramblings. I'm pleased that you could check in as part of the regular readership.

I will be in the office through 2:00 PM followed by blowing and raking the downed leaves from the driveway sugar maple to wrap up another day.

Thanks again and be well!




Sunday October 22, 2023

Emotional labor and its consequences...


New Orleans Collection Consignment Pricing - Taking a Short Cut


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a wet southern Maine Sunday.

Today's edition is being composed in a low motivation state of mind, and expressed in a different manner, today's emotional labor is proving to be challenging even for someone who writes every morning after breakfast. However, emotional labor is an important aspect of the GFRC business success as it cannot be copied by others. The Daily Blog is an unique product that originates from a single individual and his perspective on life in general, and the numismatic hobby in particular.

Seth Godin provides a excellent discussion of emotional labor and its importance in the following blog post.

Seth Godin Blog post - Emotional labor and its consequences

Forty years ago, Arlie Russell Hochschild wrote about emotional labor. The work that frontline employees had to do (especially women) in managing and expressing emotions as part of their job. She talked about how exhausting it was for flight attendants to show up with a smile, even when they didn’t feel like it.

Emotional labor is the opposite of the industrial economy’s task-based, measured output. Even if we don’t dig ditches, the offer for a certain kind of work was: Process this pile of papers and we don’t care whether you like (or pretend to like) your job. The labor is the easily measured stuff.

But AI and mechanization have turned this sort of task work into a race to the bottom. If you don’t bring emotional labor to the task, it’s probable that you’re engaged in a race to the bottom. The piecework and easily measured ‘real’ skills are soon automated or outsourced or diminished in value.

Emotional labor has become a competitive advantage. Our commitment to showing up as a human, even (especially) when we don’t feel like it is precisely how we create value. And it’s this human work that helps us feel seen and valued as well.

Just like the airline stewardess who must show up for work with a smile, your blogger must find the energy to compose yet another satisfying Blog edition. So be it as we move forward with other segments.


Homestead Barn has Insulated Solar Power Electronics

The homestead barn is starting to become a favorite hang out destination or put in other words, my personal man cave.

Yesterday brought four hours in the barn with the Samsung Galaxy cellphone demonstrating decent sound quality when streaming a favorite Tidal play list. It took four hours to insulate the solar power electronics, and batteries, for the forthcoming winter months. Two sides of the enclosure, the outside walls were easy to complete. Then came the need for woodworking skills acquired years ago from my father. A small 2x6 removable insulated wall was constructed and is being held in place by two long wood screws. The access door is a 38"x43" section of extra construction plywood with insulation held on the back with strapping and wood screws. When this project was completed, the electronics are now housed in a protective R21 insulated cocoon.

This was the final must get done project within the barn before departing for Florida. There is a sense of relief this morning... The remaining outlets will either be wired before leaving for Florida or after our return. It does not matter at this point.


New Orleans Collection Consignment Pricing

After securing pricing approval from the New Orleans Collection consignor while working in the barn, I was just not in a state of mind to return to the GFRC office after dinner for composing another round of coin descriptions. Rather, the basement sound room was the evening destination for a few relaxed hours.

To best communicate the New Orleans Collection offer prices, I've reposted his gallery and added those prices. Currently, there are requests for the 1844-O and 1849-O half dimes and those emails will be responded to shortly. Yes, this lot will be posted to the 30 Day Price List after the Blog is uploaded.

New Orleans Collection Consignment Pricing

Priced as Marked

              1838-O V-1 PCGS VF25 H10C - $1450                                   1844-O V-2 Rotated Rev PCGS EF45 H10C - $1650  


1850-O WB-5 PCGS MS62 50C - $1425                                                       1894-O PCGS MS63 50C - $1150  


     1842-O PCGS EF40 H10C - $700                 1849-O V-2 PCGS VF35 H10C - $525            1850-O V-1 PCGS EF40 H10C - $225



Wrapping Up The Blog

Raking leaves and pine needles is the next homestead project but today's ongoing rains preclude that activity. This will be an indoor office day with attention to three items:

- Loading the New Orleans lot to the price list

- Completing image processing and pricing for a new Lakeland Collection consignment.

- Ditto for the Cleveland Collection's Seated dimes not already posted to the 3rd CAC-Only catalog

If bored with NFL football and wishing to tender a numismatic purchase, I will be in the office. Only serious inquiries please, as I'm experiencing a rash of tire kickers with low offers. This always happens in a weak market where new faces think they are secure a "deal" on GFRC inventory. Let it be known that GFRC is cash strong and does not need to discount its inventory to sustain a life.

And with that final note, I'm heading to the shower before spending a long day in the office.

Thank you, as always, for visiting and allowing to ramble and vent. Be well!




Saturday October 21, 2023

Another New Orleans Collection Consignment Arrives

GFRC Online Auctions - Soliciting Consignments for the January 2024 Auction


Key GFRC Events and Dates during October and November


Greetings on a rainy southern Maine weekend and welcome to the Daily Blog. I hope that you find these ongoing ramblings to be enjoyable.

Wow! Both the 1863 Restrike dime and the 1887-S F-111a shattered reverse dime sold within an hour of being announced in Friday's Daily Blog. The consignor is pleased that each lot went into the "appropriate" collections.

In additional to selling so quickly, both dimes have been added to The Definitive Resource for Liberty Seated Dime Variety Collectors, more commonly known as the web-book. The 1863 Restrike, with J-333 dies, has been assigned an F-102 label. Please click here to view the new web-book page and assess the notable differences in date punch style between F-101 and F-102. The 1887-S NGC MS64 F-111a lot further enhances that web-book listing.

The upcoming week is huge for the numismatic industry as the IMEX Money & Coin Show debuts in Nashville starting on October 26. The bourse floor map suggest that about 350 individuals booths are present. GFRC was approached several time to attend this show but I declined for two reasons. First is that the Nashville show is the same week as the Manchester NH Coin Expo. Second, is that I was not about to drive down to Tennessee and back within a week of the Whitman Baltimore show. Nope, GFRC has been supporting Ernie Botte's NH Coin Expo for a decade and I'm sticking with this event. Looking at the Manchester, NH show dealer list, it is evident that several of the "national" dealers have opted for IMEX which is fine by me. Being able to attend a coin show only two hours driving time from Raymond is a joy along with being a cost friendly event. GFRC always has a great Manchester show for the simple fact that we offer the most comprehensive inventory on the bourse.

Yes, the Manchester NH show arrives next week. Already, GFRC has agreed to purchase a lovely CAC approved Capped Bust half dollar lot that will be delivery to booth 607 on Friday morning. Dan White and I will be in a buying mood at this event and hopefully there will be premium coins on the bourse worthy of adding to inventory. If you live in northern New England and wish to sell coins, I would appreciate having first shot.

Shifting topics back to the homestead and the barn...

Friday brought the final stage of running 12/2 wiring for the second power circuit. That task has been completed. Most outlets were wired with just four remaining to get done this afternoon along with insulating the space under the stairs which houses the solar electronics and storage batteries. The key issue is not allowing the batteries to drop below 0F for an extended period of time when powered off. When powered on and charging the Simpliphi batteries have a minimum operating temperature of 32F.


Another New Orleans Collection Consignment Arrives

Friday brought image processing for the latest New Orleans Collection consignment. This seven piece lot contains mostly better dates in circulated grade other than the 1850-O and 1894-O Mint State halves.

Time ran away from me on Friday therefore, there was no opportunity to set offer prices along with securing the consignor's approval. A pricing proposal will be prepared this morning after the Blog is published. Following is the newest New Orleans Collection lot for your consideration. Please don't be bashful with a pricing request and securing first shot. Once the offer prices are approved, inquiries will received prompt responses.

Attributions are listed where there is an available guide. For the half dimes, I am using Clint Cummins' partially completed Liberty Seated half dime attribution guide and of course, Bill Bugert's marvelous series for the lone Seated half.

Another New Orleans Collection Consignment Arrives

Please Email for Price Quote and First Shot

              1838-O V-1 PCGS VF25 H10C                                                1844-O V-2 Rotated Rev PCGS EF45 H10C


1850-O WB-5 PCGS MS62 50C                                                        1894-O PCGS MS63 50C    


      1842-O PCGS EF40 H10C                           1849-O V-2 PCGS VF35 H10C                        1850-O V-1 PCGS EF40 H10C



GFRC Online Auctions - Soliciting Consignments for the January 2024 Auction

Believe it or not, the first GFRC Online Auctions event of 2024 will be held towards the end of January. The target dates for this auction are either January 20 or 27 for opening bidding. This auction will be a regular sale including CAC approved and non-CAC approved lots. I will be confirming the anchor collection status today and will share an update in the next 48 hours.

As of today, I am actively soliciting consignments for a late January auction. This is an opportunity for the community to consider their numismatic sales needs when start a new year. GFRC auctions are one of the most efficient selling venues for collectors for several reasons.

- Auctions and price list sales are integrated with the same commission rate. If planning to consign higher value duplicates or a collection to GFRC, then employing the auction route provides an expansive marketing opportunity including advertising in Coin World and numismatic club publications. Lots not sold at auction immediately move to the price list and Collectors Corner.

- GFRC takes the mystery out of setting auction reserves and provides a proposal to every consignor for approval or updates.

- Auction photography, attributions, and lot descriptions are accomplished by well recognized and experienced numismatists.

- Auction lot viewing will take place at the Winter FUN show in Orlando, Florida.

- Ongoing marketing in the Daily Blog

GFRC Online Auctions provides personalize service that is unmatched in the numismatic industry. Consignors simply need to ship their coins to GFRC and we take care of the rest with ongoing communications. At GFRC, clients are dealing directly with the individual that handles all aspects of the operation.


A Reminder for Key GFRC Events and Dates during October and November

The next four weeks bring two coin shows, the 3rd CAC-Only auction, a Black Friday Sale, and a Maine to Florida transition. Schedule management and crisp communications via the Daily Blog will be the imperative to ensure that our service level is maintained. Defining an actionable schedule is necessary to keep me on track while winterizing the homestead and raking a ton of leaves. Here is that schedule that will be republished often in the Blog. Over communicating during this incredible busy time frame is the best approach to ensure that the community is abreast of the events and mailing address change during the winter transition:

October 26 - 28 - GFRC Attends the Manchester NH show

October 31 - Final Day for Mailing Check Payments to Maine Office

November 6 - GFRC Changes Mailing Address to Venice Florida Office

November 8 - 11 - GFRC Attends the Whitman Baltimore show

November 9 - First Day for Mailing Check Payments to Venice Office

November 11 - 3rd CAC-Only Auction Opens for Bidding

November 13 - GFRC Office Opens in Venice Florida

November 17 - Final Day for Black Friday Discounting Instructions

November 18 - 3rd CAC-Only Auction Closes

November 19 - 20 - 3rd CAC-Only Sale Invoicing

November 24 - 26 - GFRC's Black Friday Sale


Wrapping Up The Blog

It is difficult to believe that I've been typing for two solid hours plus loading a new consignment gallery. Let's end today's edition here.

Thank you again for supporting this humble business. Be well!




Friday October 20, 2023

Autumn Peak Foliage But the White Oaks are not Cooperating


Noteworthy Liberty Seated Dime Consignment

1863 J-333 Struck Dies and Finest Known 1887-S F-111a


Greetings on a mid-October Friday morning and welcome to another Blog. For some reason, I find myself at the laptop each morning and am compelled to ramble on. Today's topics are seasonal and numismatically notable.

One of the challenges in composing a Blog edition during October and November is morning darkness. This morning's sunrise now takes place at 7:02 AM, therefore the summer time green landscape and playful birds outside the office window is no more. Yes, the darkness does has an impact on motivation and creativity.

Beyond numismatics, Thursday brought incremental progress with the barn wiring project. Nearly all of the second power circuit wiring has been installed and will be completed today. Hopefully, the 250' roll of 12/2 gauge wire will not be exhausted before connecting the first and second floor circuits together. Afterwards, the process shifts to stripping wires and installing each outlet. Today will bring another three hour session towards that end.


Autumn Peak Foliage But the White Oaks are not Cooperating

Thursday also brought the opportunity to snap a few autumn foliage from the back deck as illustrated next. Nearly all of the back acreage tree species are in a later color transition stage except the mighty white oaks. Those trees remain green and will start turning during early November. In the first image, the last of the green colors are from pines and white oaks.

This presentation captures the autumn 2023 foliage display at near peak. Starting today, rain arrives and will be with us through Sunday noon. The accompanying winds will accelerate the deleafing of this beautiful scenery. Please feel free to click on the below image to gain access to a high resolution version.

Coastal Horizon Gazing into Yarmouth and Falmouth


This second image captures the view across the Dodson's back yard including their brightly colored trees. The Colorado blue spruce appears to be an anomaly in a deciduous tree landscape. Ordered from the Arbor Day Foundation during the late 1980s, this spruce was a tiny one foot tall seedling when planted. At night time, the lights from Freeport (L.L. Bean) and Brunswick (Bowdoin College) can be seen from our bedroom window.

Looking Northeast into Freeport and Brunswick


I hope that you've enjoyed the on the ground reporting of the 2023 autumn foliage. The next installment will be taken prior to our departure for the Whitman Baltimore and Florida. That image will feature a mostly bare landscape.


Noteworthy Liberty Seated Dime Consignment

From day to day, one can never predict the type of coins that will be offered on consignment or for purchase. The 1871 Seated dollar came and went in the matter of 24 hours. Now a 1927 $20 Saint graded CACG MS66 is due to arrive today and will be featured in the Manchester U.S. gold showcase.

Two truly special Liberty Seated dimes arrived about two weeks ago from a new consignor. I've waited until the 3rd CAC-Only auction preparations were completed before bringing these to the market. Both are noteworthy for their numismatic importance. Yes, these lots are immediately available for purchase with my best effort at arriving at a fair offering price. If not promptly sold, these will also be first displayed at the Manchester NH coin show next week.

The 1863 PCGS PR63 dime is a "Midnight Mint" special restrike at some point after 1867 and will be listed as F-102 in the web-book. During that period under the auspices of Mint Director Linderman, many "patterns" or fantasy paces were struck for collectors. We now know that this special 1863 proof dime was struck during that period with the J-333 pattern dies. The reverse die is unique to Seated dime restrikes dated 1863 through 1867 that took place after 1867. The same reverse is seen on patterns struck in different metals.

GFRC proudly presents the new web-book plate coin for immediate purchase.

Special 1863 Dime - The Answer Is..... Extremely Rare Restrike with J-333 Dies

Priced as Marked

1863 PCGS PR63 10C - $3500


If the 1863 restrike was not enough, how about a finest known 1887-S F-111a shattered reverse dime with incredible terminal die state details?

Though not included in the Top 100 Varieties, the 1887-S F-111a shattered reverse is most popular with die variety specialists with few examples known. GFRC has handled an VF25 CAC example (Fortin Collection) and an EF40 that can be viewed in the Sales Archive. The arrival of this NGC MS64 example took me by complete surprise. What a joy it was to finally view the intricate reverse die details on a perfectly original Mint State example. This lot will be add to the web-book as further documentation for the variety. The offer price is consistent with the premiums paid for the prior two sales.


Finest Known (to GFRC) 1887-S F-111a Liberty Seated Dime

Priced as Marked

1887-S F-111a R6 NGC MS64 - $2150


CACG Added to Sale Search Link

The Sale Search link is popular with some customers as it provides a fast approach for scouring the entire GFRC price list. Now that CAC Grading holdered coins are appearing on the price list, the search drop down menu for TPGs has been updated accordingly.


Global Financial News

The gold rally continues with the 7:30 AM Kitco quote standing at $1985/oz. Regardless of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's hawkish interest rate comments, at the Economic Club of New York on Thursday, gold continues to rally. At this pace, and with the growing fears of a wider conflict in West Asia, gold will easy punch through the $2000 level and could soon test the $2100 milestone.

WTI crude oil pricing has also jumped and is now quoting at $91/bbl. The global economic impacts of crude at above $90/bbl on a continuous basis will be substantial.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury yield is quoting at 4.94% after briefly flirting with the 5.0% mark during the overnight hours. Biden requesting another $100B for wars in Ukraine and Israel further exacerbates the U.S. deficit which is currently $33.655 trillion. If having a few extra minutes in a day, the USDebtClock.org website is thoroughly eye opening as to the extent of U.S issues. For example, 43M Americans are living below the poverty line with nearly 12M being unemployed. These are staggering numbers that the politicians never quote. Also check the money creation sector of the clock. The data clearly illustrates 4x increase in the U.S. M2 Money Supply from 2000 to 2023. Currency and credit derivatives have exploded 7x in that same time frame. After viewing the numbers, I can understand why certain maverick Republicans are willing to shutdown government operations towards raising awareness of the current U.S. deficit situation.

This morning's Seeking Alpha headline is indicative that we are fighting an economic war with China with risks to the EV industry and climate change agenda. Here is that article.

After choking exports of chipmaking metals gallium and germanium, China is stepping up its efforts to maintain its manufacturing dominance by restricting exports of graphite, a key material used in electric-vehicle batteries. Beijing's move comes just days after Washington unveiled new restrictions on AI chip exports to China.   Dig deeper: Beijing will require special export permits for three grades of graphite starting December 1, the Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs said. Temporary controls on five less sensitive graphite items used in industries such as steel, metallurgy, and chemicals were dropped. The new curbs are "conducive to ensuring the security and stability of the global supply chain, and conducive to better safeguarding national security and interests," the ministry said. It clarified that it was not targeting any particular country. Top buyers of graphite from China include the U.S., South Korea, Japan, and India.  Bigger picture: The U.S. has been targeting China's access to advanced technologies over national security concerns, with the Biden administration issuing rules in Sept. to regulate U.S. investments in China in semiconductors and microelectronics, quantum information technologies, and AI. Beijing has pushed back by leveraging its dominance over certain materials. To note, China is the world's top graphite producer and exporter. It also refines over 90% of the world's graphite into the anode material used in EV batteries - the largest component by weight in such batteries. 

Morning market futures point to more losses for equities on an international basis.

In Asia, Japan -0.5%. Hong Kong -0.7%. China -0.7%. India -0.4%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.9%. Paris -1.2%. Frankfurt -1.3%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.3%. S&P -0.3%. NASDAQ -0.3%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings a repeat of the past few days. I will be in the office until 1:30 PM followed by returning to the barn wiring project until dinner time. After dinner, I plan to spend a few hours in the office catching up on emails and potential orders......

Price list purchases are always appreciated.

Thanks again for stopping by at the Daily Blog. Be well!