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Wednesday February 21, 2024

Me, Myself, and I

 

 

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

Today's edition is going to be brief, really brief....

As mentioned in Tuesday's Blog, Diane is in Austin enjoying time with the grandchildren. This leaves me, myself, and I to operate the GFRC business. Without Diane handling the incoming check payments and shipments along with the daily shipping, the workload moves to me. This is on top of all that I am attempting to do including providing quick email responses and services. The workload is taking its toll on my fingers again. Something has to give and that give is today's Daily Blog edition.

My apology on not meeting daily publishing expectations but there are times when rationing my time and fingers becomes necessary.

I will see you tomorrow morning. Be well!

 

 

 

Tuesday February 20, 2024

CAC Approved Beauties from the Osprey Collection

 

Greetings on a Tuesday morning and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. Your never ending patronage is appreciated.

Response to yesterday's Liberty Seated dime gallery was well received with two of the four lots being on hold. Actually, there were double orders for the proof like 1840 No Drapery F-104 dime. Believe me, there is another 15 or so lots to post in the coming days as we work to thin down the remaining die variety research coins. During this disposition and sale process, the web-book plate coin images are updated.

Otherwise, there is not a whole lot of news to report. The communication of CAC stickering results has been delayed and hopefully, these lots will be returned in the next few days towards sustaining the flow of new purchases into the 30 Day Price List. Speaking of that price list, the total number of new offerings stands at 127 with more being posted today.

Let's move forward with a piece from Seth Godin that is a reflection of our times. His blogpost would not have been relevant say 30 years ago. However, the influx of MBA graduates into business organizations has brought about a profound focus on the "numbers." Many business today are solely managed on cost vs. profitability trade-offs with a delighted customer experience being the casualty. At GFRC, you can be assured that the same person picks up the phone, responds to emails orders, offers, or complaints. I'm an advocate of Godin's path #2 which is to care more than anyone else in the numismatic space.

Seth Godin Blogpost - The illusion of concern

When organizations reach scale, digital interactions belie our expectation that someone in charge actually gives a damn.

Once there’s math to do, the CFO does the math.

It quickly reveals that no, the search engine shouldn’t bother having a customer support team.

That UPS or Fedex should simply hang up on you if your package is only a few hours late.

They probably never cared, but now it becomes obvious to the customer that they don’t.

Two paths are available if you want to compete with someone who is doing the numbers:

  1. Care less than they do. Much less.
  2. Care more than they do. An unreasonable amount.

Either method can pay for itself.

 

CAC Approved Beauties from the Osprey Collection

It has been a while since we've featured an Osprey Collection showcase. Dan has been working diligently to locate premium lots at competitive prices. The search continues to become increasingly difficult, thanks to the online numismatic market, as there are now some many eyes on any fresh lot that appears.

Here are four beauties to consider on a Tuesday morning. The 1884 Morgan presents gorgeous colors and eye appeal. Any gold coin with an NGC Star rating warrants careful scrutiny. This 1907-S $5 lot is exceptionally pretty and would please the more selective collector. Look for these lots to post to the price list today. In the meantime, they are 100% free agents and can be purchased via email request.

 

CAC Approved Beauties from the Osprey Collection

        1884 PCGS MS66+ CAC $1 - $1795                                           1907-D NGC MS65Star CAC G$5 - $3750    

        

              1832 PCGS MS63 CAC G$10 - $1875                                     1873-S Closed 3 PCGS MS60 CAC G$20 - $4000    

        

 

Global Financial News

Traders return to work today after an extended weekend. The S&P 500 currently stands at 5,005 with investor optimism waning due to two issues. First is the fact that inflation has not been fully "tamed" for the Fed to shift to an accommodative policy. Second is the ongoing debt crisis at the personal through local government to the federal level. Debt does not matter until it does. The million dollar question is when does debt matter for a personal lifestyle or for the value of the U.S. dollar?

Morning market futures are pessimistic this morning with the major indices predicted to open down 0.25-0.30%.

Spot gold has recovered its mojo and is trading at $2027/oz. The U.S. dollar index has pulled back slightly to 104.1 in conjunction with the 10 Year Treasury bond yield slipping to 4.28%. The gold and 10 year bond yield correlation continues to hold.

WTI crude is priced at a tad under $78/bbl.

One headline topic from Seeking Alpha is worth sharing. The Chinese airliner industry has arrived at the Singapore Airshow with the debut of its Comac C919. Following is a brief article on the topic.

Airbus isn't too worried about China's first homegrown airliner, which some say could eventually threaten the Western aerospace duopoly between the European firm and Boeing. Comac's C919 is "not going to rock the boat," Christian Scherer, CEO of Airbus' commercial aircraft business, said on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow, adding that it "looks a bit like an Airbus narrowbody." The C919 - similar to Boeing's 737 and the Airbus 320 - made its international air show debut in Singapore, where Tibet Airlines finalized an order for 40 jets. Scherer's comments come amid continued safety concerns at Boeing, while the aviation industry grapples with supply-chain constraints.    

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

As sales have picked up during the President's Day weekend, there is a decent shipping queue that awaits this morning. Diane is now in Austin for a two week winter visit with Renee, Mike, Ivy, and Miles which leaves me in charge of the shipping department.

After the shipping is out the door, attention moves back to The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale and preparing the reserve price proposal for the Sooner Collection lots among other tasks.

I will be in the office for the entire day and can be easily reached towards your numismatic needs.

Thanks again for stopping by. Be well!

 

 

 

Monday February 19, 2024

President's Day 2024

and

Four Special Liberty Seated Dimes

 

Greetings on a President's Day early morning and welcome to yet another Daily Blog edition. Thank you, as always, for the ongoing visits.

Sunday brought heavy rains to the Venice area which translated into a long office day. The primary focus was The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale catalog preparations. Much progress was made with both descriptions and reserve prices.

I'm also pleased to report that Sunday brought the most active sales day of the month including a few Collectors Corner low ball offers that did not pan out. Speaking of Collectors Corner, this marketplace is starting to feel like a hunting ground for cherry pickers and those wishing to test dealers will low ball offers. Infrequently, do I received a regular purchase order from this platform. The day also included an individual who walk away from a purchase after being on hold for two weeks. Such is life in the coin business.

Moving forward with image processing for another round of Liberty Seated dime web-book plate coins was also Sunday's priority. I was able to finalize images and pricing for four cool dimes that should be popular with die variety specialists.

 

Four Special Liberty Seated Dimes

Relocating the contents of the Liberty Seated dime die variety reference collection has been going on for many years. Slowly, the large quantity of web-book plates coins at The Definitive Resource for Liberty Seated Dime Variety Collectors online reference are being disbursed back to other collectors.

Today brings the release of four special lots. We start with an 1840 No Drapery dime that is the F-104 plate coin. What makes this lot special are the Proof Like surfaces that are so atypical for the date. I've search for years for another PL example without much luck, therefore holding back on the releases of this piece as so unique. Yes, it is housed in an old SEGS holder which was a grading company started by Larry Briggs during the 1990s. This piece is unique from a surface finish and TPG grading perspective.

The next two lots are 1849-O F-103 dimes in different die states and with separate reverse alignments. The first is the 1849-O F-103 plate coin which captures the die pairing before the dies were lapped. Note the strong obverse device details on this piece along with a reverse that is rotated counter clockwise by 25 degrees. Next is the same die pairing with a lapped obverse with a reverse alignment of 85 degrees clockwise. This lot is also a web-book plate coin.

The final lot is an 1877 Type 2 F-113 dime with reverse cud on the left wreath. This lot is not the web-book plate coin and is housed in an ANACS old white holder. This lot dates back to the Dr. Tim Cook auction sale conducted by Heritage at the 2005 Central States show where it was purchased by me as part of an eight piece lot.

All are immediately available and will post to the 30 Day Price List today. Hopefully, they will find new homes with die variety specialists as fairly priced for their rarities.

 

Liberty Seated Dime Varieties/Web-book Plate Coins

Price as Marked

        1840 No Drapery F-104 SEGS MS62PL 10C - $650                                    1849-O F-103 PCGS VF35 10C - $315                  

        

               1849-O F-103ab PCGS VF25 10C - $325                                 1877 Type 2 F-113 ANACS Net VF20 10C OWH - $225    

        

 

GFRC Consignment Window Remains Open for the Spring Whitman Baltimore Show

Though the consignment window for The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale has closed, GFRC continues to accept consignments in advance of the Spring Whitman Baltimore show.

If wishing to divest a few duplicates or an entire collection, please give me a call or send along an email to initiate a dialogue. For those that would like to be part of the next GFRC Online Auctions sale, we are targeting the mid to late June time frame for the next auction event. Based on proposed consignments, this sale could be configured as a CAC-Only event or a regular sale.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

The long and the short is that a new Osprey Collection lot was dropped off on Friday and will be processed today along with a four piece Liberty Seated dime lot from the Massachusetts Collection. There are also several more lots from the New Jersey Collection's FUN2024 consignment that will be photographed and processed. Included in that group is an important 1878-CC half graded PCGS VF30 OGH that is destined for the March 23 auction.

Let's just say that there is never a dull day in the office as the operational demands are ongoing.

Thank you so much for visiting with me on President's Day.

Be well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday February 18, 2024

Saved by the Bell - Twin Lakes Joins The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale

and

Items from the Email Inbox

 

Greetings and welcome to a Sunday Daily Blog edition as we stroll through the President's Day weekend. Thank you so much for stopping by.

After yet another long day in the GFRC office, the Fortins thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the annual Auburn Lakes HOA margarita party on Saturday evening. It was just plan fun to be on the less than serious side of life.

Venice weather has again shifted to rain for the entire day which means no health walks and another long day working in the GFRC office. That is OK as an opportunity to continue updating the March 23 online auction catalog with reserve prices and descriptions. This is a good lead in to the first headline topic.

 

Saved by the Bell - Twin Lakes Joins The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale

The Twin Lakes phone call arrived quickly after our long term client saw Saturday's Blog whereby The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale consignment window was closed.

I knew that Twin Lakes was contemplating a consignment but operate with a personal philosophy of not soliciting or pushing consignors into that decision. If consignors would like to avail themselves of GFRC services, I'm always here to support their requests. Bottom line, our friend will be submitting a 20 piece consignment for the auction. This commitment, that ships on Tuesday, will have a substantial impact on an already huge event. Why? The majority of the lots will be PCGS AU58 CAC early type pieces. Currently, the rage for AU58 Everyman PCGS registry sets continues unabated. Being able to integrate a slew of these pieces into the auction will take the lot count close to 150 pieces and the largest GFRC event to date.

Please stay connected to the Daily Blog as I will provide an illustrated update of the consignment upon its arrival.

 

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale Construction Continues

Progress is being made with the construction of the March 23 auction sale catalog. Yesterday brought the posting of the Classic Silver lots along with other anonymous consignment.

USPS delivered a four piece Liberty Seated dime lot from the Massachusetts Collection with two pieces heading into the catalog once photography can be accomplished.

Len Augsburger has completed descriptions for the Barber dimes, therefore those updates should appear by tomorrow.

A portion of today will be set aside for generating reserve pricing proposals for the Mirror Collection Seated half dimes and the Sheffield Walking Liberty halves.

All I can say is that this auction will be massive (for a GFRC scale business). We are on track to create a huge PDF catalog by March 15.

 

Items from the Email Inbox

Every day brings email notices and correspondence with members of our community. Saturday brought a special announcement from a passionate Seated Dime Top 100 Varieties collector that is worthy of publicity in the Daily Blog.

Tony Alberts has been working on his Top 100 set since 2013 via the challenging route of cherry picking nearly all the pieces in his collection. Yes, he did purchase an 1839 Pie Shattered Obverse specimen form GFRC during the early days of the start-up business but otherwise has worked diligently on eBay and at coin shows to build his set.

Yesterday brought the announcement that Tony had cherry picked an 1861 Type 2 F-105 with the badly rusted reverse die. This pick brings his set completed to 99 of the 100 entries. Can you guess the final missing piece? Of course, it is the 1874 "No Arrows" dime with less than five example known to be extant. The 1861 F-105 variety has been a much more challenging Top 100 entry than I expected.

When defining the Top 100 Varieties Set back in 2004, there were three specific goals or numismatic outcomes in mind. Following is a reprint of those outcomes from the Top 100 Varieties page(https://www.seateddimevarieties.com/major_100_table2.htm).

Expand the size of the Liberty Seated collecting community by raising awareness of an alternate collecting approach for Liberty Seated Dime varieties. This objective would require that future collectors be aware of not only date and mintmark rarities within the Liberty Seated Dime series, but also build an understanding of the die preparation process, die wear and minting conditions in the mid 1800’s. I believe that collectors will become more dedicated to a long term relationship with a particular series if time is taken to acquire in depth knowledge about that series.

Top 100 Seated Dime varieties to be an important cross section of die variety types universally accepted and popular with collectors of all United States coinage. Important die variety types include repunched dates and mintmarks, misplaced date punches, excessive die wear and shattering of dies, die doubling during the die hubbing process and other important reasons that renders a variety as a highly collectible item. Attempting the Top 100 Liberty Seated Dime varieties should increase a collector’s working knowledge of the die preparation and minting process.

There must be a competitive challenge, comradeship and excitement while assembling a Top 100 Liberty Seated Dime variety set. The set may be achievable in circulated or Mint State grades but at the same time, it must be a challenging long term project that brings about enthusiasm and sense of accomplishment when the set is fully assembled. I believe that the completion of the Top 100 Liberty Seated Dime varieties set should be a major numismatic event and should be announced within Liberty Seated Collectors Club via the E-Gobrecht. To date, only two collectors have completed the Top 100 Varieties set; Gerry Fortin and Dale Miller.

Since publishing the above, Dr. Tim Cook has also completed the Top 100 Varieties set opon selling Tim my 1874 "No Arrows" dime.

Let's move on to another email Inbox item. Tom Coulombe (Massachusetts Collection) shared how his numismatic hobby has become a refuge from the constant onslaught of negativity concerning our fine country. Many of us patriotic Americans have a feeling in our gut that something is wrong with the direction of the country. Tom says it so well.

Hi Gerry:

Thank you very much for your fast action on these consignment items and for the updated COIN report.

I appreciate and concur to your proposed prices and allocation to the list and to the auction which was exactly along the lines of what I was anticipating in my mind. 

I am hoping our national economy and our government start functioning more normally as "DC" is seemingly more dysfunctional than I can ever remember it being ......... and the discord it is creating here and abroad makes our form of governing 'appear' as not sustainable despite all the 'smart' people that are elected. Our 'sense of 'well-being' is getting undermined from many directions. Delving into 'hobby time' seems more like a refuge for my mind than it used to be. The present times are getting overrun with events with guns everywhere, protesters popping up everywhere and getting too much media encouragement, and too many legal, bogus trials and proceedings, etc......  I hope our country keeps creating jobs, but biotech may be starting to shrink up here in NE. Even Moderna is laying off employees now as their RNA technology has suddenly many competitors.

Anyway, I marvel at GFRC forging ahead. I wonder what my next upgrade may be .......

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

As usual, I make a habit of processing everyone else's consignments before moving another round of Liberty Seated dime web-book plate coins to the price list. I might treat myself better today and start the image processing for another 15 lots that need to be sold to help raise funds for more crushed stone for the Maine homestead's back acreage walking trails and spring pond expansion.

Otherwise, there are a few more lots to be added to the 30 Price List along with generating reserve pricing proposals as previously mentioned. That should be enough to keep me busy through the 5:00 PM Happy Hour hard stop.

Again, thank you for visiting the Daily Blog and please do consider a numismatic purchase for your collection.

Be well!

 

 

Saturday February 17, 2024

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale Consignment Window is Closed

and

Sarasota Coin Show Bourse Floor Map Arrives

 

Greetings on a Presidents Day weekend and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for checking.

After some long days in the GFRC office, I'm just not up to preparing a long Blog edition today as a mental break is needed. Therefore, we will cover two points and call it a day.

But first, let's discuss one side note. Several clients have asked why I no longer discuss health walks or exercise routines in the Blog. This is a fair question with a simply response. Diane and I continue our active lifestyle with Gerry walking at least 30 miles per week along with working out with some light weights. Security concerns is the main reason for not sharing how or when those walks and exercise routines are being conducted. There have been times where to much personal information is shared in this publication leading me to scale back on certain topics.

Let me reassure all readers that Diane and I are in excellent health and just as active as ever. Personally, I can't wait to get back to the Maine homestead followed by firing up Johnny2 and starting another summer season of outdoor work in the back acreage.

 

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale Consignment Window is Closed

The time has arrived to closed the consignment window for The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale that opens on March 23. Presently, there is one remaining (and wayward) shipment of four Liberty Seated dimes that will be delivered at some point next week. Otherwise, this auction is very well subscribed with over 130 lots.

The emphasis now shifts to completing descriptions and working through the reserve pricing proposals with consignors.

Just last evening, I had an opportunity to read the Sooner Collection Liberty Seated half dime descriptions as prepared by Len Augsburger. I would invite you to take some time to review his numismatic prose for lots that will have reserves in the $300 to $400 range. Those descriptions are incredibly well researched and written and consistent with the GFRC philosophy of bringing a major auction experience to regular collectors like you and me.

So the March 23 auction window is closed for consignments. However, the consignment window for regular price list posting remains wide open. If wishing to have your consignments available for the Spring Whitman Baltimore show, now is the time to contact me with potential proposals.

 

Sarasota Coin Show Bourse Floor Map Arrives

Thanks to Dan White, who has been interfacing with Ben Todd at Sarasota Rare Coin Gallery, I was provided with a Word file drawing of the forthcoming Sarasota Coin Show bourse layout on Thursday. After some manipulation of that file into a JPEG image, the following bourse layout was created with the labeling of nationally known attending dealers and their table locations. This is not the most sophisticated bourse map but does do the job of communicating the show size and the floor layout.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Unfortunately, CAC Stickering did not process a recent GFRC submission with their usual one week turnaround time. Hopefully, the approval results will be provided early next week so that more lots can be added to the 30 Day Price List prior to going into the Sarasota Coin Show.

Today brings yet another office day and the posting the balance of the Sooner Collection Capped Bust and Seated half dollar lots to the price list. Afterwards, attention shifts to two tasks. The first is loading this past week's fresh consignment into the COIN system followed by beginning to work through the auction reserve setting process.

This morning brings shipping with most lots being ship aheads based on yesterday's orders.

Thank you so much for the daily readership. Be well!

 

 

 

Friday February 16, 2024

First Shot at Sooner Collection Capped Bust and Seated Halves!

and

Classic Silver Consignor Lots Added to March 23 Auction

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a mid-February Friday morning. The winter of 2024 is moving along quickly with just another six weeks before warming spring conditions appear in Maine.

A special shout out goes to the many GFRC repeat customers who have sourced their numismatic items from our small business. We do appreciate those relationships and fundamentally, a key reason for continuing to work so diligently at this endeavor. Trust is a critically important parameter that must be earned during every transaction or engagement. My belief is that of helping those who have helped us become a long term and trusted numismatic entity.

Speaking of trust, the Brooking Institute has conducted two American Institutional Confidence polls during 2018 and again in 2021. One of the poll goals was assessing whether the pandemic-era increase in technological reliance (Internet based companies and social media) has affected the public's view of technology itself. Here is the opening statement to the 2023 report that can be found at https://www.brookings.edu/articles/how-americans-confidence-in-technology-firms-has-dropped-evidence-from-the-second-wave-of-the-american-institutional-confidence-poll/.

Over the past 5 years, we have conducted a study on public confidence in American institutions in part to answer questions like this. The American Institutional Confidence poll (“AIC”) is a nationally representative panel survey asking respondents about their confidence in different institutions, as well as their general support for democracy and various democratic norms. Over this time, we have had the opportunity to ask individuals how they feel broadly about technology’s role in their life and their confidence in particular tech companies. In doing so, we discovered a marked decrease in the confidence Americans profess for technology and, specifically, tech companies—greater and more widespread than for any other type of institution. In the remainder of this piece, we document this precipitous drop in faith between 2018 and 2021, illustrate where it came from and was most heavily concentrated, and discuss why it matters.

The key graphic that summaries the 2018 and 2021 poll findings is illustrated next. The scale on the x-axis is trust from a 1 (low) to 4 (high). The graph provides two important perspectives. First is the range of trust from Congress and political parties (low end of scale) to the military and police (high end of the scale). During the 2018 poll, technology companies such as Amazon and Google were also highly trusted entities. However, the 2021 poll indicates an across the board increase in American skepticism with its institutions and major companies with Amazon, Google, Facebook, colleges, and the FBI losing the most trust. Readers who wish to delved deeper into the survey findings are encouraged to copy the Brooking's link into their browser for access to the entire report.

 

Sooner Collection Capped Bust and Seated Halves Arrive!

GFRC is pleased to be showcasing yet another substantial consignment from the Sooner Collection. Our long term client, who will be a table assistant at the Spring Whitman Baltimore show, made yet another decision to release duplicate numismatics items. We are all aware of the Sooner Liberty Seated half dimes that are one of the two anchor collections in The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale. Today brings the release of a host of Capped Bust and Liberty Seated halves for your consideration. In collaboration with the consignor, the offer prices have been made competitive for kick starting February sales.

Please take a close look at the following showcase with accompanying offer prices. Already, the 1853-O half has been sold along with an overnight inquiry on the 1817 O-103a half. If wishing to gain first shot on any of these lots, email or text message would be ideal as time stamps will document the order received. If my office day goes as planned, these lots will be be posted to the 30 Day Price List with quality ratings and full descriptions.

First Shot at Sooner Collection Capped Bust and Seated Halves!

      1811 Small 8 O-110 NGC AU53 50C - $950                                         1817 O-103a R3 ANACS AU53 50C - $1000    

        

   1820 Curled 2 O-102 NGC AU50 50C - $1095                                           1826 O-112a NGC AU58 50C - $815       

        

   1840-O WB-7 NGC AU58 50C - $950                                                    1841-O NGC AU58 50C - $1260    

        

           1844-O WB-5 NGC AU58 50C - $1050                                         1853-O A&R WB-8 PCGS AU58 50C - $2050    

        

   1860-S WB-1 PCGS AU55 50C - $900                                               1876-CC WB-7 NGC AU53 50C - $1100    

        

1809 O-106 R3 PCGS VF35 50C - $430              1810 O-101a PCGS VF30 50C - $310             1814 E/A O-102 PCGS VF35 50C - $700

                

  1818 O-108 PCGS VF35 50C - $695              1818/7 O-101 PCGS VF25 50C - $240             1819 O-108 R3 NGC EF45 50C - $470

                

1824 OVD O-103 PCGS EF40 50C - $470         1827 Sq 2 O-115 PCGS VF35 50C - $215         1828 O-112 R3 NGC AU53 50C - $475    

                

     1836 LE O-112 PCGS EF45 50C - $280         1838/1836 O-108a PCGS EF45 50C - $560       1842 RPD WB-12 PCGS AU55 50C - $695    

                

    1843 WB-12 PCGS EF40 50C - $335                    1843-O NGC VF30 50C - $215                 1846 TD WB-12 PCGS AU55 50C - $620

                

 1848-O WB-9 NGC EF45 50C - $355              1854-O WB-4 NGC AU58 50C - $595

        

 

Classic Silver Consignor Lots Added to March 23 Auction

We've not heard much from the Classic Silver Collection during the past few years. Our ongoing friend has decided, like so many other clients, to begin dispositioning contents in a bank box. Following are four Liberty Seated quarters and an 1858-S Seated dime that add another dimension to The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale.

  1872 PCGS MS63 25C

                1858-S F-102 PCGS F12 CAC 10C                                       1840-O No Drap Briggs 1-A PCGS EF40 CAC 25C    

        

      1858-O PCGS AU50 CAC 25C                                                         1878 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C        

        

 

Saturday Brings a Sarasota Coin Show Bourse Floor Layout

Progress is being made with the construction of a bourse floor layout for the upcoming Sarasota Coin Show that starts on February 29. Dan White sent along a bourse template jpeg file yesterday as created by Ben Todd, the principal at Sarasota Rare Coins. I've committed to dress up the jpeg image and add the names of the major dealers to this document. The results will be posted tomorrow in the Blog. I've been assured that a dealer list is also under preparation. Let's remember that this is a new show with Ben Todd leading the effort. Ben is already consumed with operating SRCG on an ongoing basis along with being the primary sponsor for the Sarasota coin club.

 

Global Financial News

When realigning my investment portfolio earlier this month, Carlo warned that the first half of 2024 would bring interest rate and equity market volatility. I must admit that he was correct in that assertion given market swings this week. After dropping nearly 1.4% on Tuesday, the S&P 500 has rallied back to 5,030 as Thursday's close. The reason was a downbeat January U.S. retail sales report indicating a 0.8% contraction as compared to December. The decline was widespread across many sectors and was well below consensus forecast. This report become a catalyst for those hoping the Federal Reserve will hasten the time to the first interest rate cut.

Spot gold is also stagging a comeback with the yellow precious metal trading at $2008/oz per the Kitco website. The correlation with the U.S. dollar continues to hold as the DXY index has retreated a tad to 104.3. However, the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield remains elevated at 4.27%.

WTI crude is trading at $77.52/bbl this morning with increasing prices at the gas pump being noted here in Venice.

Morning market futures are pointing to a 0.5% increase for the high tech sector though the Dow will be opening negative 0.1%. It is a Friday before a long weekend as Presidents Day falls on Monday February 19th.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Yes, today brings another office day. How I would love to hear from you concerning a numismatic purchase. My day will be focused on description generation and loading the Sooner halves to the price list. Getting this entire lot posted to the 30 Price List will be a sufficient effort during a single day.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by at the Daily Blog. We are not the largest numismatic dealer, but rest assured that we try our hardest to secure your trust and confidence.

Be well!

 

 

 

Thursday February 15, 2024

Consignments Just Keep Rolling In....

 

Greetings on a Thursday morning and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. The Daily Blog is a product of Gerry Fortin Rare Coins as we attempt to keep collectors in the loop on the numismatic market and a host of other topics.

Before moving forward with today's limited ramblings, I'd like to point out that GFRC-Lite's Charlotte Coin Show report was erroneously truncated yesterday until about noon time. I won't go into the details of how this happened. Rather, Rich's report has been corrected and can be viewed in its entirety by scrolling down to Wednesday's Blog edition.

There is not a whole lot to discuss this morning. GFRC orders are so slow that there is nothing in the shipping queue, not even ship aheads. Therefore Diane will be able to enjoy the morning hours pursuing other activities.

In terms of the end of month Sarasota Coin Show, Dan White forwards another newly prepared advertisement that now states that the show will have 50 attending dealers. There is still no word on a bourse map or dealer list.

On the other side of the coin, incoming consignments continue at a brisk pace. The past 48 hours has brought four consignments including a substantial lot from yet another customer turned consignor. This lovely consignment will be previewed next after a quick Sooner Collection status report.

I am pleased to report that the Sooner Collection's Capped Bust and Seated half dollar lot is ready to be posted to the Blog as a huge gallery display come tomorrow morning. A pricing proposal has been submitted to our dear friend and I'm waiting for the GO signal to post this substantial lot in the Blog and on the 30 Day Price List. The key question at this point is the reaction to this forthcoming posting.

 

Consignments Just Keep Rolling In....

OK, here is a sneak peak of an eclectic bank box clearing lot that arrived yesterday. The first image captures the Barber coinage portion of the consignment. A close look will reveal a host of PCGS old green holders along with a single NGC Fatty among the lot. Based on the holder generations, this Barber grouping is absolutely fresh to the market and includes nice "collector grades". I've checked all the coins with a 10x and quite impressed with the quality, especially for the proof strikes that are hairline free. A subset of these are heading to CAC Stickering on Monday.

 

The balance of the consignment is featured next. Again, please have a close look at the contents as there are a host of old holders and quality pieces to consider. One of the highlights is a 1920-D Mercury dime in ANACS OWH that is 10-15% off center. How cool is that? Also note the 1909-S S/Horizontal S Lincoln graded MS66RD in an ANACS OWH for starters. I won't call out all the notable varieties in this group, rather letting you explore the contents within this photograph.

 

Since Wednesday brought a pleasant sunny day, the above consignment contents have already been photographed and will be loaded into the COIN database today. Several of these will probably be passed along to GFRC-Lite if I don't receive near term requests. The two Jefferson nickel varieties are an example along with the early silver commemoratives.

 

Global Financial News

On Wednesday, equity market investors decided that Tuesday's inflation report driven downturn was overblown and stepped in with a buying spree. The S&P 500 recovered to an even 5,000 at the closing bell, a 1.0% increase for the day.

As the Blog is being composed, Kitco reports gold trading at $1997/oz. The U.S. dollar has given up some ground and is quoting at 104.6 along with the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield at 4.22%.

WTI crude pricing has fallen to a tad under $76/bbl. Bitcoin is now quoting at $52,406.

Following are Seeking Alpha morning market futures indicating a flat open for equity markets in a few hours.

In Asia, Japan +1.2%. Hong Kong +0.4%. China closed. India +0.3%.
In Europe, at midday, London flat. Paris +0.8%. Frankfurt +0.7%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.1%. NASDAQ +0.1%.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Gerry's focus shifts back to The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sales preparations while waiting for the GO signal on the Sooner consignment. A five piece Liberty Seated quarter lot also arrived on Tuesday and is in the image processing loop.

I'm expecting CAC Stickering results today for a subset of a new purchases lot that arrives several weeks back including MS64/MS65 Capped Bust half dimes. Once the results are known, the images will be finalized leading to more price list postings and maybe a few inclusions in the March 23 auction.

A kind remember that February 19th the final day for March 23 auction consignments. Time is running out to become part of this important GFRC Online Auctions event.

Thank you so much for visiting. Be well!

 

 

Wednesday February 14, 2024

GFRC-Lite Enjoys Successful Charlotte Show

and

GFRC Attending Sarasota Coin Show - February 29 - March 2

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on Valentine's Day. Please remember that special person in your life.

Today is a GFRC in-between day as progress continues on a recent Sooner Collection consignment that consists of Capped Bust and Liberty Seated halves. There are 26 lots in total with roughly 70% having finalized images and recommended offer prices. The balance will be completed today.

Also on today's schedule is the arrival of a bank box clearing exercise by yet another customer turning to GFRC to help raise numismatic capital. This client's passion is Liberty Seated coinage. Our friend has decided to sell all that is not Liberty Seated with the shipment totaling 29 coins. Roughly 5 of those coins will be heading to GFRC-Lite at the Whitman Baltimore show.

The GFRC shipping department has the day off since there is nothing to ship. Yes, the February sales rate continues to be quite slow therefore consignors patience is sincerely appreciated. February might just be the calm before a very busy month of March. Tomorrow, I will again publish the GFRC March schedule.

Let's move forward with today's featured event, a report out from Rich Hundertmark at GFRC-Lite concerning the Charlotte Coin Club two day show held this past weekend.

 

GFRC-Lite Enjoys Successful Charlotte Show

Hi Gerry,

The recently concluded Charlotte Coin Show was Lite’s second go round at this event and the return engagement certainly did not disappoint.

How can I best describe the show? Let’s go back in time and answer the question in multiple choice test format.

GFRC-Lite’s Charlotte show could best be described as:

A) Productive - with strong sales results
B) Intense - with back-to-back 14 hr commuter days 
C) Fun - with great customer interaction
D) Satisfying - with Lite’s market position clearly growing 
E) All of the above 

Yup, clearly “E- all of the above” as Charlotte show results were satisfying on so many layers. 

Let’s begin by first thanking the Charlotte Coin club for putting on a well-run event. As a newer dealer with little standing, Lite’s table location was again in the last aisle with generally lower traffic to contend with, but my sales “hit rate” (yes, I’m definitely from Jersey) for table visitors had to be extraordinarily high.

However, I’m always trying for improvement, and after speaking with bourse chairman Greg Field, I’m very hopeful for a better table location next year.

I mentioned last week going into the show that Lite would have the best Seated Inventory on the floor (unless of course GFRC showed up), and this had to be the case. I had no time to walk the bourse but customer comments and feedback on Lite’s inventory certainly validated my prediction.

I also took note that customers (both collectors and dealers) that purchased from me last year returned, many of which repeated sales. This is quite rewarding as I do strive to accurately price and grade coins so that value is delivered to both buyer and seller. 

The Lite business is purposefully positioned below the GFRC product line, but good, quality, collector grade coins that are generally graded VF-AU and under $500 certainly have a role to play in the marketplace.

Before I forget, let me now mention that this may have been Lite’s best table setup. In keeping with the quality theme, Lite displayed 2 cases of certified coins and 1 case fully populated with raw. The 2 certified cases, Case #1 (1/2 cent to 25C) and Case #2 (50C and $1) contained no details coins, were almost all PCGS and NGC and had a few interspersed CAC stickered coins.

The inventory was highly skewed to 19th century Bust and Seated material, but well complemented by 20 century classic issues (mostly Walkers, older 50C commems, Lincoln’s, Morgan’s, Peace dollars, etc.).

OK, so with all of that said, I’ll also mention that I “bookended” this show, 1st kicking off with a very nice dealer sale on Friday before the public came in at 10AM, and then concluding with a Seated dime sale to a LSCC member at show’s closing at 4pm Saturday. In between, the table was busy and when it did slow, I unpacked and started to eat my lunch and of course it picked up again (the tried-and-true Gerry show trick).

Here are a few quickie metrics as to 1- how Lite sold across all product lines and 2- where the coins found new homes.

Category Breakout
                                              Raw.      TPG.   Total
Seated.                                     19          9        28
Bust.                                         1            2          3
Early copper, 5C, 2CP,3C.      10           2        12
Morgans $ Peace $.                 -          3           3
Other 20th Century.                  6        10         16

Total:                                      36           26        62     

Customer Mix ($ Pct.)

Dealer.          27%
Collector.      73%

Finally, Lite’s inventory is now in need of some serious replenishment, particularly wanted are straight graded TPG Liberty Seated and Bust coins across all denominations, but particularly for both Quarters and Half Dollars. 

 Additionally, graded Barber 10C,25C,50C, Indian cents, early Unc Wheat Lincoln’s, and Standing Liberty quarters (EF40 and above) are needed. 

If you are looking to sell any numismatic holdings that fit the above criteria please contact me via either phone, email or text to discuss.

At this point in Lite’s business maturity, I will still take on graded details coins on a case-by-case basis, but these will not be actively marketed at the show table cases.

The rest of the week involves cleaning up my website to remove sold coins, adding new coins to the gfrclite.com web site , complete banking chores, and begin working on consignor payments. 

I would like to again reiterate my thanks to all the Lite consignors that have actively supported this startup venture, and of course much thanks to all the blogamaniacs for reading.

Rich

 

Consignment Deadline Approaches for the Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale

February 19 is approaching quickly as in the final date for insourcing consignments for the Two Fine Gentlemen Auctions Sale. Any incremental consignments need to arrive to the GFRC office during Monday or Tuesday of next week.

The auction catalog presently has 122 lots posted with another 5 lots due to arrive today via USPS Express. Depending on CAC submission results, due today or Thursday, a few more newly purchased lots will be added to the event. Finally, the Massachusetts Collection consignor has just shipped four Liberty Seated dimes that will also be included. As the preparation dust begins to settle, I believe that the final lot tally will ring in at 135 pieces.

Please take time to check on the online auction catalog as the descriptions for the Sooner Collection Liberty Seated half dimes have been completed by Len and posted.

 

GFRC Attending Sarasota Coin Show - February 29 - March 2

The new Sarasota Coin Show arrives in just two weeks! Following is the flyer that is circulating locally here in Florida for the event. The new venue will be collector friendly with a restaurant and bar. Breakfast and lunch will be available on site. NGC will be accepting submissions at the show since Sarasota is NGC's center of operations.

GFRC will have eight cases spread across a corner+ table layout that is positioned immediately to the left of the bourse entrance. Dan White and his nephew from Pennsylvania will be the table assistants. I'm still waiting for a copy of the bourse map to share in the Blog.

The Sarasota Coin Club has constructed a single page website which contains the same information as on the flyer. Hopefully, a dealer list will be published in the near term. At the moment, I am only aware that Sarasota Rare Coins and GFRC will be the two "national level" dealers in attendance.

 

Global Financial News

What a difference a day makes in the equity markets! The January 2024 inflation report was a stinker when looking under the hood and realizing that the top line CPI number of 3.1% annual inflation does not tell the true story. CNBC has published a single chart that breakdown inflation into important line items that regular consumers will recognize. The annualized numbers are staggering in my humble opinion for what had been previously communicated by the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, and financial media. I'm to the point of not believing much of anything spoken by Janet Yellen.

 

Investors were quite unhappy with the January CPI report and sold on Tuesday with the S&P 500 dropping 1.37% to 4,953. This report was a wake-up call to the many that believed that inflation had been tamed with interest rate cuts starting as early as March.

Now that the interest rate reality has been acknowleged, the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield jumped to 4.31%. Ouch!

Spot gold took the news on the chin and is trading at $1990/oz. The U.S. dollar has also climbed to nearly 105 based on Tuesday's report.

WTI crude also rose to $78/bbl.

Morning market futures are pointing to a 0.4% S&P 500 rebound as some investors will see this retreat as a buying opportunity.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Wrapping up the Sooner Collection Capped Bust and Liberty Seated half dollar lots for 30 Day Price List posting is today's imperative. Afterwards, the plan is to release yet more Liberty Seated dime web-book plate coins to the price list as the overall consignment queue is starting to run dry.

GFRC presently has a substantial amount of inventory to offer. For example the Barber coinage price list now stands at 81 lots while the Morgan dollars total 46 offerings. For those who only wish to purchase CAC approved lots, that price list is long with 315 approved coins to consider including a magnificent 1875 PCGS MS66 CAC double dime and the Eugene Gardner 1865 PCGS MS66+ CAC Seated quarter at the upper end of the quality spectrum. I probably need to start building inventory showcases in the Blog to remind the readership of the many quality lots that reside in inventory. All this good stuff will be on display at the Sarasota Coin Club show.

That is all for another Blog edition. Be well!

 

 

 

Tuesday February 13, 2024

Hiding in the GFRC inventory boxes...

and

The Pricing Continuum

 

Greetings on a Tuesday morning and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. Your ongoing patronage is appreciated.

OK, let's get down to business as this edition is being composed within a limited time budget prior to the typical 8:00 AM publishing time.

 

Hiding in the GFRC inventory boxes....

Monday brought some extra time to focus on COIN database maintenance. Let's everything else in life, one has to occasionally stop to grease the mechanical joints on Johnny2, or clean out a closet to remove no longer needed items.

COIN database maintenance includes deleting entries that are no longer relevant or checking entries that are flagged as still being in the "insourced" state. "Insourced" is a flag for coins that have been loaded into the database but not published to the price list or auction catalog. Those "insourced" lots could still be waiting for images or descriptions.

At a busy coin show, one of my buying priorities is loading new addtions into the COIN database with basic information including TPG scanned barcode, purchase price, and ownership ID (GFRC or consignor). As part of this process, the GFRC coins are quickly priced and immediately placed in the showcases for potential sale. Upon returning back to the office, the unsold new purchases are removed from the show inventory boxes and placed into the photography queue. Unfortunately, there always seems to be a few coins that are left behind in the inventory boxes for whatever reason.

During yesterday's COIN database maintenance, I specifically checked all the "insourced" flag entries and discovered four lots that were purchased in later 2023 or at FUN2024. These were promptly photographed and placed on the 30 Day Price List. Those lots are showcased next. All four lots are very choice for their certified grades. In particular, the 1892 Barber quarter is a partially mirrored example with superb bright light performance. One could never discern this fact from the images. Please be aware that a purchase request for the 1867 quarter arrived during the overnight hours.

Hiding in the GFRC inventory boxes....

      1835 LM-10 PCGS AU55 CAC H10C - $525                                           1849 F-101a PCGS AU50 10C - $285             

        

 1867 PCGS VF35 CAC 25C - $1800                                                    1892 PCGS MS64 25C - $450    

        

 

The Pricing Continuum

I've been mulling this topics for several days after receiving some feedback from a client concerning the lack of GFRC sales during the month of February. The feedback was well thought out and appreciated. The following line stuck with me in terms of a Blog topic.

You have beat the drum on CAC and the implication is that most anything not CAC is junk or harder to sell, reduces supply and increases cost, resulting in reduced demand.

The point being made is that GFRC is a strong advocate of CAC approved coins. Agreed, as I enjoy original and pretty things in a life. Whether it is my mint 1993 Mazda Miata or the Liberty Seated dime core set, I enjoy owning items that are beautiful and offer appreciation potential. For example, I could sell the Miata today for more than the 1996 used purchase price. The jury is out on the Seated dime collection whenever I decide to sell that lot.

However, this does not mean that non-CAC approved coins are "junk". There are a host of wonderful borderline coins that will not secure a green bean for many reasons. Lack of strict originality and/or conservative grading are typical issues for not securing a green bean.

Many collectors are unable to afford the top end of the numismatic realm. Others may not be able to understand the difference between a CAC approved original coin and those that are market graded. This takes time and experience, like securing a college degree. I often joke about numismatic mistakes as being "tuition costs" which is so true. If not making real world mistakes, one does not learn. It is like watching 100 John Deere YouTube tractor videos but until in the driver's seat or attempting to get difficult work done, that is where the true learning takes place.

After thinking long and hard towards dispelling the perception that I believe that non-CAC coins are junk and not worth collecting, the following communication strategy was arrived at. Let's face it, coin quality is a continuum from the absolutely gorgeous original gems down to the scrubbed up dregs that are seen in straight graded TPG holders. The word "continuum" is defined as a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct.

The continuum definition is ideal for explaining the pricing challenges in today's numismatic market. At one end of the continuum, we have the gems which are typically CAC approved. At the other end are the coins with quite notable issues but still are straight graded on a "market grading" basis. In the middle is a wide range of preservation states. Pricing the ends of the continuum is easy as the CDN CAC guide provides guidance for that level of quality. The other end of the continuum is best priced by CDN Greysheet wholesale numbers. Below is a screen capture of the online CDN price guide which I subscribe to and find myself using more frequently these day to price coins in the middle of the continuum. The below prices are for an 1853 Arrows & Rays quarter at grades ranging from AU50 to MS62.

Look carefully at my notations for several grades and the pricing range between CDN wholesale and CAC retail. Those ranges are 50% to 56% for the same date and grade as there lies the challenge for an inexperienced collector. How many times have I seen a coin show customer walk around with a CDN Greysheet expecting to purchase CAC approved coins at the bottom end of the pricing continuum. Their behavior is a function of blatant inexperience.

So what is my point with these ramblings? The challenge facing collectors in today's bifurcated market place is determining a coin's perceived preservation state plus eye appeal and deciding where on the pricing continuum that coin lies. The range is substantial are as the different preservations states. At GFRC, I do my best to match preservation with offer prices and secondly, purchase coins using the same decision process. Time is running out on me to explore this topic further.

However, I want to assure everyone that non-CAC approved coins are not JUNK! All coins fall on the pricing continuum and I'm doing my best, on behalf of consignors and collectors, to match the preservation state with a reasonable point on the pricing continuum. What to collect on that continuum is up to you as there is an insufficient amount of CAC approved coins to support the entire numismatic hobby.

 

Global Financial News

The major financial story of the day is that Bitcoin broke above the $50,000 mark since 2021. Seeking Alpha covers the event with the following:

Bitcoin has topped the $50K level for the first time since late 2021 as spot BTC ETFs continue to attract investment after their historic approval. Spot BTC ETFs saw net inflows of $1.1B last week, bringing inflows since their Jan. 11 launch to $2.8B. Wall Street firms are now increasingly filing for spot ethereum ETFs, the latest being Franklin Templeton. "Bitcoin has upside potential due to the upcoming halving cycle and strong fundamentals," noted SA Investing Group Leader James Foord. While the top cryptocurrency has gained about 18% this year, it remains well below its $69,000 peak reached in November 2021.

Morning market futures are pointing to selling when equity trading opens at 9:30 AM with the S&P 500 projected to be down 0.4%

In Asia, Japan +2.9%. Hong Kong closed. China closed. India +0.7%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris -0.5%. Frankfurt -0.6%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.4%. NASDAQ -0.7%.

WTI crude pricing has increased to $77.43/bbl.

Spot gold is quoting at $2028/oz per the Kitco website. The U.S. dollar is holding at 104.1 while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is unchanged at 4.17%.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

The usual....

Actually, I will be wrapping up image processing for a nice Sooner Collection lot of Capped Bust and Liberty Seated halves along with working up the suggested offer prices based on the pricing continuum. Once those prices are approved, the next step is a Blog display of those lots with pricing.

In the background, more consignments are being tendered for the March 23 auction and the price list.

Thanks for stopping by at the Daily Blog. A numismatic purchase would be greatly appreciated.

Be well!

 

 

 

Monday February 12, 2024

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale

Presenting the Sheffield Walking Liberty Halves

The Fairmont gorilla in the room...

and

GFRC-Lite Enjoys a Strong Charlotte Coin Club Show

 

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

Sure, the Fortins did watch the first half of the Super Bowl with Rachel (Diane's sister) and Mike here in Venice. The second half of the game was played while we were asleep as our lifestyle consists of a fixed time to bed and ongoing 7-8 hours of sleep each night. We are not fans of the Chiefs or the 49ers, therefore the game's outcome was not a priority viewing event. As usual, some of the commercials were just off the wall while a few were traditional such as the Pro Bass Shop. We did note RFK Jr's political ad now that he is running as an Independent.

Concerning numismatics and the GFRC business, Sunday brought a busy day in the office. The finish line for the March 23 Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale is now apparent. Len Augsburger has completed the lot descriptions for the Sooner Collection Liberty Seated half dimes. These will be posted to the online catalog today. In parallel, Gerry has finalized the inclusion of the Sheffield Walking Liberty halves into the catalog. I was also active in posting more lots to the 30 Day Price List during Sunday. As of this morning, the 30 Day Price List contains 125 unsold lots for your consideration. In terms of non-auction CAC approved lots, the price lists contain 312 offerings which dispels some feedback that slow GFRC sales are due to the lack of CAC coins being loaded to the price list. If seeking to collect early silver type but with CAC approval, there is sufficient inventory to entice any collector. How many other dealers have over 300 CAC approved lots in inventory?

It is with great pleasure that GFRC presents the Sheffield Walkers next as a gallery display for readers to enjoy. After an effort towards building a complete set, our client has decided to re-channel those monies towards his first passion which is Liberty Seated coinage.

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale

Presenting the Sheffield Walking Liberty Halves

     1933-S PCGS MS64 CAC 50C                                                            1934-S PCGS MS63 CAC 50C 

        

  1936-D PCGS MS66+ CAC 50C                                                            1939-S NGC MS67 CAC 50C 

        

    1943-D PCGS MS67+ CAC 50C                                                        1946 DDR PCGS MS65 CAC 50C 

        

  1934 PCGS MS65 CAC 50C                         1934-D PCGS MS64 CAC 50C                       1937-D PCGS MS65 CAC 50C

                

 1938 NGC MS66+ CAC 50C                               1938 CACG MS65 50C                                     1939 CACG MS66 50C 

                

  1941-D NGC MS65 CAC 50C                         1946-D PCGS MS66+ CAC 50C

        

 

Now that the online catalog is close to be fully populated, the emphasis will shift to preparing reserve pricing proposals for clients. If all goes to plan, the Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale catalog will be close to wrapped up by the end of February. Afterwards, there will be an incremental call for regular consignments for the Spring Whitman Baltimore show.

 

The Fairmont gorilla in the room...

GFRC has been communicating that the current U.S. gold market is very slow. The slowdown in sales took place in the fourth quarter of 2023 and continues through today. One of my suspicions as to the root cause has been the ongoing release of Fairmont Collection coins into the market by Stacks. The U.S. market can only absorb so much new material before collectors run out of disposable income. The same holds for smaller dealers, like GFRC, where we can only allocated a fixed portion of our inventory capital to a product line. If that product line does not turnover, then we have no capital to absorb more releases.

GFRC's Island Lake consignor share his thoughts on the Fairmont situation on Sunday. Following are his insights.

Hi Gerry,

An observation about how slow the gold coin market has become.  Stack's Bowers has announced yet another batch of Fairmont coins (the Mont-Blanc Set) to be auctioned in March.  It's another 344 lots, with about half of them CAC approved, indicating that the quality is still there, at least for the auction coins.  Who knows how many lower quality common dates they might be dumping directly into the market from this seemingly endless hoard.  It would certainly help explain the collapse in premiums for generics.

While the Fairmont auction coins have, for the most part, been wonderfully original (as evidenced by the high CAC rates), I have to wonder if the market is simply exhausted by them.  They seem to be mostly done with the rarities, but the nicer common dates and even many better dates have continued unabated.  People have to be wondering how many more are left.  There have clearly been far more of these hanging out in European vaults than anyone expected.

Although the auction coins have produced many quality APR's, I think the market is growing weary of how Stack's Bowers is milking this for all it's worth (and doing a masterful job of it).  While there are definite signs that they are winding down, I can see why people are wary of larger denomination gold right now, even with the bullion price holding above the 2K mark.

Island Lake

 

GFRC-Lite Enjoys a Strong Charlotte Coin Club Show

Rich Hundertmark has wrapped up the Charlotte show and reported that GFRC-Lite enjoyed a strong event with 60 coins sold in two days. The average price per coin sold was roughly $150.

Going into the show, I had provided Rich with discounting instructions on certain GFRC consigned coins including some lower priced GFRC inventory that had been moved to GFRC-Lite. It is much easier to sell those types of coins via Rich, than utilizing my precious time for photography and GFRC price list postings. In this manner, GFRC acts as a conduit for GFRC-Lite allowing Rich to sell this type of material at between wholesale and retail levels.

Rich has promised a full show report by Tuesday or Wednesday.

 

Global Financial News

It has been a few days since taking a close look at the equity markets along with interest rates and the precious metals.

While not paying attention, the S&P 500 has moved through the 5,000 mark and closed at 5,027 on Friday. Technology stocks are driving the S&P 500 at this point while the DJIA is flat or down slightly.

Spot gold continues to operate within a tight trading range with the morning quote at $2023/oz. There is presently a struggle for pricing relevance between the U.S. Comex, the London Gold Xchange and the Shanghai Gold Exchange. Gold demand is China is accelerating at the citizenry level as China's equity and real estate markets are no longer safe investment bets. The following Kitco article by Ernest Hoffman is worth reading to understand the state of the Chinese economy and its impact on gold demand.

The sharp downturn in China’s equity markets and real estate sector is contributing to strong gold sales ahead of the Lunar New Year, and other currencies provide clues about when gold will hit new highs in USD, according to Phil Carr, cofounder of GSC Commodity Intelligence.

Gold traders and investors are closely watching consumer purchases in China as the world’s largest precious metals market gears up for the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations. CNY will fall on Saturday, Feb. 10 this year, beginning the year of the Wood Dragon, with Chinese workers enjoying a holiday week off from Feb. 10-17.

Carr said the firm sees Chinese investors, households, and financial institutions “piling into Gold at one of the fastest paces seen since the Global Financial Crisis as the country’s stock market and real-estate sector continues to sink deeper into economic meltdown,” with equities experiencing one of the worst starts to the year on record.

“China’s market mayhem has dragged the country’s benchmark CSI 300 equity index down more 30% YTD – wiping out a staggering $6 trillion in market value from its peak reached in 2021,” he said. “But that’s just one symptom of a much bigger problem. The lack of alternatives and the fact that it’s become a lot more difficult than it was a few years ago to get your money out of China and invest elsewhere – has supercharged Gold’s appeal as the ‘go-to’ safe haven and store of value in times of uncertainty.”

Carr said China’s insatiable appetite for the precious metal, along with consistently strong demand from central banks, “helped push the price of Gold to all-time record highs in December and has kept prices firmly above $2,000 an ounce this year – ultimately setting a new floor for the market.”

He pointed out that gold continues to trade at or near all-time highs in many global currencies, and said “the big question now is will Gold priced in US dollars be next to hit fresh all-time highs?”

Carr believes that gold’s price performance across currencies in 2023 can provide clues as to when new USD highs may happen.

“Last year, Gold priced in multiple currencies set new all-time highs by an average of 100 days prior to Gold price denominated in US dollars,” he wrote. “If this is a leading barometer for predicting the performance of Gold prices as a whole, then this ultimately means one thing. Higher Gold prices are coming!”

Gold hit all-time highs in many of the world’s major currencies, including the Chinese yuan, the Indian rupee, and the Japanese yen, on Dec. 27. If the 100 days trend proves correct, new U.S dollar highs would occur on or near April 5, which would also be very close to the upcoming Bitcoin halving.

Little has changed in terms of the U.S. dollar which stands at 104.2 per the DXY Index. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has recently firmed and is holding at 4.16%.

WTI crude oil is trading at $76.30/bbl.

Morning market futures are pointing to a flat open come 9:30 AM trading.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

The office day starts with composing a Blog edition followed by the usual Monday morning shipping. The afternoon hours brings more image processing. The focus shifts to a Sooner Collection lot comprised of Capped Bust and Liberty Seated halves. These are nice circulated pieces that should reach the price list on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Otherwise, I'm looking forward to some active collectors placing orders or contacting me about consignments. Thanks again for stopping by. Be well!

 

 

Sunday February 11, 2024

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale at 125 Lots

and

Stocking the 30 Day Price List

 

Greetings on Super Bowl Sunday and welcome to the Daily Blog. Out of habit, I'm here again composing another edition. I bet that out of habit, you are dropping by to see what I write out of habit....

As you might sense from the opening line, this will not be a deep or serious Blog edition.

After working seven days a week since migrating to the southern GFRC office, I've pretty much hit a wall with respect to creating daily numismatic content. Sure there are content ideas that will require some research and graphic preparations. But why do all this work as February orders are close to crickets? If the community is not active with their hobby, then why create content for those who are not active? A good question indeed!

Therefore, let's simply do a quick update on what is happening in the office.

 

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale at 125 Lots

Much of Saturday was spent on expanding The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale to its current state of 125 lots. Yesterday's showcased Liberty Seated and Walking Liberty halves were processed and loaded to the online catalog prior to retiring to bed.

This auction has morphed into an absolutely wide ranging event with something for everyone in the community. As I scan through the catalog, there is a strong offering of Liberty Seated half dimes followed by a few Seated dimes. Then comes a large lot of CAC approved Barber dimes including proof strikes. More Liberty Seated halves are being added as was done on Saturday. Next is a fresh lot of CAC approved Walking Liberty halves that leads us into the New Jersey Collection's Seated and Trade dollars. It appears, at this point, that the March 23 auction event will not have any U.S. gold.

Please remember that February 19th is the last day for insourcing consignments for this auction sale. That deadline is only eight days away, therefore if planning to consign, one should be contacting me during the next few days to make shipping arrangements. Come the middle to end of this week, the consignment window will be closed as submission must arrive by the weekend of February 17-18.

 

Stocking the 30 Day Price List

Saturday also brought another round of posting to the 30 Day Price List. As of this morning, there are 125 new lots posted for your consideration. Capped Bust and Liberty Seated half dimes along with a perfectly original 1821 O-101 Capped Bust half were posted. Usually there is some initial response to the daily postings, but not on Saturday. Actually, February 2024 is shaping up to be the slowest sales month in the past four years unless something dramatically shifts in the next two weeks.

What is remarkable about the current sales environment is that U.S. gold is dead. I've not seen this phenomenon before where a substantial product line simply stops selling. One would have expected that with gold stabilizing over $2000/oz, that collectors would be confident in the long term value of the yellow precious metal and would continue accumulations. However, the opposite is taking place with gold being out of favor. If someone has a good explanation, I would certainly like to hear it. My only thesis is that collectors are being impacted by the overall U.S. economic conditions though the equity market continues to roar ahead. Something just does not make sense at the moment.

 

GFRC at the New Sarasota Coin Show - February 29 - March 2

A revamped Sarasota Coin Show arrives at the end of February. This new show is a three day event and is being held at the Sahib Shriners Temple on North Beneva Road in Sarasota. A three day coin show is equivalent to that of the Whitman Baltimore shows. However, this local event is roughly a 40 table show based on my memory of a paper table layout that was used to select GFRC's location while at the Winter Baltimore show in November. There were heightened expectations for this revamped event. GFRC agreed to attend the show (paid the table fees and case rentals) and will have a prime table location to the left of the entrance.

The organizer of the show is the Sarasota Coin Club, which has posted a basic single page website at https://sarasotacoinshow.com/. There is no other content including an attending dealer list and a bourse floor layout that I could use to market the show here in the Blog.

So far, I'm disappointed with the lack of online marketing as compared to a well operated event like Ernie Botte's Manchester NH shows. If holding a three day coin show and expecting dealers to hang in there for the entire show length, then collectors need to be convinced that this is a worthwhile event for driving several hours to attend. Florida is a huge state with a host of competing weekend shows including a Tampa event the weekend prior to this new Sarasota show.

Only time will tell if the show sponsors become more aggressive with the show promotion. Once I have usable content, it will be published here. Yes, I am presently underwhelmed with the show promotion and hope that the marketing effort improves.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

My top priority for the day is watching the Super Bowl game as this will be my first football game of the season. Yes, I've not taken any time off from the GFRC business during the autumn and early winter months to view even a snippet of a football game. All at know is that Taylor Swift is a huge Chiefs fan and that the San Francisco 49ers are favored.

Otherwise, I will be loading yet more new offerings to the 30 Day Price List with the hope of making a sale or two.

I'm glad that your daily habit has brought your back to the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

Saturday February 10, 2024

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale Continues to Expand

 

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

A Saturday morning arrives with my fingers feeling better. The decision to throttle back their constant usage for Daily Blog preparations along with the ongoing demands of customer email interfacing and price list loading was well founded. As a result, I'm ready to move forward with a regular Blog edition.

The GFRC office remains active as the 30 Day Price List continues to be updated with incremental offerings while the construction of The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale catalog appears to have no bounds. Friday brought the posting of more Sooner Collection Liberty Seated half dimes and multiple CAC approved lots to the price list along with GFRC's newly showcased Capped Bust half dimes. The Capped Bust half dimes are consistently strong offerings given their role as duplicates from a top end collection whereby the client does not care if his coins are CAC approved or not. His focus is on attractive toning and overall eye appeal.

After working through the first ten day of February 2024, it appears that we might be seeing a repeat of the tepid sales experienced during February 2023. I hope that I'm incorrect on this point but so far the parallels are falling into place. Demand has softened with Collectors Corner being crickets.

On a positive note, the slow February sales are providing extra time to fatten up the 30 Day List and absorb and process a constant incoming flow of auction consignment for the March 23 event. Following are two snapshots of recent arrivals that were photographed during Friday early afternoon. Leading the presentation is a 14 piece Walking Liberty half dollar partial set with all pieces being CAC approved. The dates range from 1933-S to 1946-D while the certified grades are from MS63 to MS67+. This lot was a collecting attempt by a client who decided that his passion lies more in the Liberty Seated realm and will redirect numismatic capital from the March 23 auction into incremental Seated coinage.

A Partial Walking Liberty Half Dollar Collection

 

These five Liberty Seated halves also arrived during the past few days and are duplicates from a top level collection that is under construction. The 1842 and 1873-CC were previously purchased from GFRC while the other three halves came from other dealers. Luckily, GFRC is well recognized for its ability to market and sell all Liberty Seated coinage series resulting in more and more duplicates being placed into GFRC Online Auctions sales.

More Premium Liberty Seated Halves

 

A reminder is in order that The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale consignment window closes on February 19. If planning to consign to this auction event, please contact me asap with your planned submissions.

The March 23 online catalog presently stands at 103 lots. Today's showcased half dollar lots brings the total to 122 lots. Come this afternoon or Sunday morning, a teleconference will take place with a New York City client concerning his planned auction consignment after visiting his bank box on Friday. As of this morning, I've not heard from the Twin Lakes consignor though he has promised a submission. The possibility of a 140-150 auction is becoming very real and exciting.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

The answer to that question is a combination of incremental price list posting along with working toward posting the above Walking Liberty half dollar lot into the auction catalog as a first step. Reserve prices will be posted in the near future.

Please consider a purchase from the price lists as GFRC has a broad range of quality coins.

Thanks again for stopping by. Be well!

 

 

 

 

Friday February 9, 2024

GFRC-Lite at Charlotte Coin Club Show on Friday and Saturday

and

GFRC Friday's New Purchases Bonanza

 

Greetings on a Friday morning and welcome to another brief Daily Blog edition.

My right hand is feeling better but today's typing will be reserved for creating description for coins arriving to the 30 Day Price List. Instead, the day started with viewing Tucker Carlson's conversation with Putin. It was fascinating and worth the several hours for absorbing an alternate geopolitical opinion on the state of the globe.

There have been a few orders for the following lots. Those requests will be responded to this morning after a health walk.

Please take the time for a serious review of the many new purchases. Though they are not CAC approved, they are strong lots and worthy of inclusion in a collection.

Oh, I just remembered that Rich Hundertmark has provided a Charlotte Club Coin Show update as follows:

Hi Gerry,

Just a quick GFRC-Lite update, I’ll be attending the annual 2-day Charlotte Coin club show this Friday and Saturday.

This will be Lite’s 2nd time attending this event. As I recall, the show was well run with good dealer buying in addition to a strong public turnout.

Show hours and venue address can be found in the Lite website at the bottom of the Additional Info page.

Last year Lite only displayed 2 cases, this time I’ll have 3 cases, 2 fully populated with certified, the 3rd with raw coins.

The inventory for Lite is quite well represented for 19th and early century type. I do believe the Seated Liberty inventory will easily be tops for the floor with all denominations represented in both certified and raw.

NC has three large show events plus numerous monthly shows. Lite attends all 3 major shows, Charlotte, the Raleigh state show, and the fall NCNA show in Concord. 

One of the best features of the events is that I can commute, no motel night stays except for night 1 of the long 4-day Raleigh event.

Each North Carolina show has its own feel, the common denominator is that all are well run and display the southern hospitality that I so enjoy as a recent northern retiree transplant.

If any of the blogamaniacs are attending please stop by to chat. I’m looking forward to a good show, the weather seems cooperative with Friday expected low 60’s, Sat. High 60’s. I’ll also write a follow up show report blog next week, hopefully with some good stuff to share.

Rich

Thank you for stopping by and please be well. I should be back to normal blogging on Saturday.

 

GFRC Friday's New Purchases Bonanza

Priced as Marked

          1834 LM-2 NGC MS63 H10C - $1050                                             1836 LM-7 R4 NGC MS63 H10C - $1100    

        

 1835 B-2 PCGS AU58 25C - $2750                                                         1893 PCGS MS64 25C - $850    

        

        1829 LM-2 NGC MS61 H10C - $635                1830 LM-3 NGC AU58 H10C - $525             1831 LM-1.1 NGC AU55 H10C - $450        

                

          1832 LM-3 NGC AU58 H10C - $525               1833 LM-9 PCGS AU58 H10C - $525             1836 LM-5 PCGS AU58 H10C - $525        

                

1837 LM-5 PCGS EF45 H10C - $275            1837 Lg Date PCGS AU58 H10C - $650                 1939 PCGS PR67 10C - $425        

                

 

 

 

Thursday February 8, 2024

Daily Blog Image Display Update

and

Taking a Typing/Mouse Day Off

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Thursday. Thank you for circling back each day.

Seriously, today's edition will be brief for several reasons. First is that my fingers need a beak from the constat typing and and mouse usage. Second is a visit from a high school classmate that we have not seen in decades.

For the first issue, yesterday brought soreness to my right hand as the ongoing hours of image processing and typing are taking their toll. I awoke this morning with pain in my middle finger, a signal that a break from the laptop is required. Yes, I've had cortisone shots in several fingers in both hands during the past two years which has brought about a dramatic improvement. Not losing that progress is an imperative.

 

Daily Blog Image Display Update

With consulting help from Clint Cummins, the Daily Blog image display code has been updated to open images in a separate tab. This code was already in place for price lists and auction catalogs. However, when constructing the template for image displays in the Daily Blog, that code was not carried over. As of this morning, it has been installed and tested for Wednesday's images. The same code has been inserted into my Blog template.

 

Wrapping Up The Daily Blog

My apology for a very brief edition today but the fingers need a break and much needed rest. The office remains open for your purchase orders and consignment proposals. I will spend time looking at The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale lots and will build reserve pricing proposals for our consignors.

Thank you for stopping by. Be well!

 

 

 

Wednesday February 7, 2024

Premium New Purchases to Consider

and

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale - First Halves Being Posted

 

Greetings on a Wednesday morning and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. I continue to be amazed with the accumulated number of individuals who often check in on these ramblings.

Yesterday's edition with a flow chart that attempted to simplify and explain the CACG process did meet its objective. The client who submitted the questions responded that he is no longer confused and understands the decision process.

I'm pleased that we could make some progress on this topic since there were most likely a few other collectors who also came to an improved understanding of how/why CACG goes about grading as compared to the market grading employed by PCGS and NGC. The reality is that the latter has been around for decades with shifting standards leading to a wide range of "graded" coins in today's market. The under graded coins have a high probability of being cracked out until being entombed at the highest possible grade. The crack out artist, who profit from this trade, surely take care of this situation. The over graded coins remain in their holders for years and move about the market as dregs. Eventually, the incoming flow of new collectors will absorb those dregs until those collectors become sophisticated enough to realize what they have purchased. Then the dregs are released back into the market for other round of dealer to dealer movements until the next round of inexperienced collectors take those dregs home as offer prices are too compelling to pass up.

Several emails arrived to my Inbox as a response to the flowchart, and CAC topic is general, but went off topic and will not be published. When I see words like "conundrum" while I'm trying to provide a simplified response to a confused client, I will avoid going into the weeds with these "what if" types of emails. One of the most important learnings of my semiconductor career was simplification of complex issues. Complex problems must be distilled into simplified and actionable components towards resolution. The other learning comes from statistics and the Bell curve or better stated, the Gaussian distribution. While the majority of data points, for example, the output of a TPG grading process, will overlay each other, there will be outliers. When attempting to solve a substantial issue, one wishes to move the center point of a distribution (public opinion or establish knowledge as an example) while having to deal with those "advocates" who live at the far ends of the Gaussian distributions and represent a diminutive number of data points. Moving into those outliers is in the realm of academic debate and beyond my time to coordinate.

Let's move forward with GFRC news as most of you check in each day to learn of new offerings.

 

Premium New Purchases to Consider

Yesterday brought a shift to the newly purchased Capped Bust half dime lot and other accompanied type pieces. The first step was a CAC Stickering submission of the MS64/MS65 graded Capped Bust half dimes and several other lots. Honestly, I am not an expert on MS64/MS65 bust coinage with CAC submission being an inexpensive evaluation tool for what I had just purchased. Most were in freshly graded NGC holders with a low probability of being previously submitted to CAC. Therefore those lots will secure a John Albanese opinion which is a worthy piece of feedback for training my eyes at these grade levels.

The following four offerings were part of the newly purchased lot and will post to the 30 Day Price List today. If needing a superb gem Braided Hair large cent for type, this 1853 specimen is a real sweetheart and is guaranteed to please. The iconic 1883 No Cents V nickel is beautifully toned and inexpensive for the visual eye appeal.

Following the two CAC approved lots, are two unstickered Capped Bust half dimes. The 1833 LM-1 offers steely fields with considerable reflectance along with a notable strike through error on the obverse. The 1835 LM-6 is an absolutely visually pleasing piece for those that enjoy lightly mirrored surfaces overlaid with attractive coloration.

Premium New Purchases to Consider

Priced as Marked

        1853 PCGS MS66BN CAC 1C - $1835                                          1883 No Cents PCGS MS64 CAC 5C - $275    

        

   1833 LM-1 R3 Mint Error NGC MS61 H10C - $600                                       1835 LM-6 NGC MS61 H10C - $650            

        

 

First Halves Posting into The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale

So far Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale lacked the inclusion of Capped Bust or Liberty Seated half dollar lots. These two half dollar series are very popular GFRC sales items and will become a portion of the auction. It just took time to secure the attention of the community towards motivating a few individuals to submit consignments. The 1826 O-116a is a fresh lustrous piece and was submitted to CAC and did not pass. I can't find a reason for the piece not stickering and almost added a CAC green emblem onto the below images, in error, as it seemed fitting. However, we must on. Little needs to be said about the 1846 6/Horizontal 6 Seated half as this piece is all there for the grade and a fantastic example of the variety.

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale - First Halves Being Posted

      1826 O-116a PCGS AU58 CAC 50C                                               1846 6/Horiz 6 PCGS AU53 CAC 50C   

        

 

Global Financial News

Tuesday brought smaller fractional gains for the S&P 500 which closed at 4,954 but this time the gains were driven by the industrials in the Dow Jones and not the high tech sector in the NASDAQ.

Spot gold is trading in the low to mid $2030/oz range, therefore there is nothing to discuss here. Checking on the U.S. dollar revealed that the DXY index is quoting at 104.1 and the 10 Year Treasury bond yield remains elevated at 4.13%.

WTI crude is trading at a tad under $74/bbl.

Morning market futures are again trending flat to start the day. There is little to discuss here.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

This morning's shipping queue is limited which is a good thing in terms of morning price list loading followed by an afternoon of image processing of the newly purchased lots and those of another substantial circulated lot of Capped Bust and Seated halves from the Sooner Collection.

So far, February orders have been steady but below the January pace. I'm going to do my best to kick start February sales by loading a host of new coins to the 30 Day Price List to hopefully stimulate sales. I'm not worried about March sales as there is the St. Patrick's Day weekend sale, the Spring Whitman Baltimore show, and The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale that closes on the 30th of the month.

Thank you so much for visiting with me today and please watch the 30 Day Price List as not all new offerings will be first showcased in the Blog.

Be well!

 

 

 

Tuesday February 6, 2024

The CAC Grading Standard and Process

(Unlearning PCGS/NGC Market Grading is a Challenge)

and

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale Catalog is Filling In!

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Tuesday morning. Thank so much for stopping by.

Today's Blog edition and its primary content has been percolating in my brain for weeks. There was a need to illustrate the CACG "grading" process given all the confusion among the collecting community. Yesterday's arrival of a client's email that typifies the ongoing confusion produced today's content.

Many collectors are confused with respect to CACG standards as compared to the PCGS and NGC standards. Since collecting for decades with PCGS and NGC grading standards, the arrival of CACG required a recalibration of what TPG grading is. As the headline subtitle indicates, collectors need to UNLEARN everything they have experienced via PCGS/NGC "market grading."

Following is a typical email that exemplifies collector confusion.

Gerry

I really hate to bug when your blog says how busy you are. I don’t understand CACG grading standards at all. I just wanted to offer food for thought on questions I can’t find answers to after reading a recent blog. You might think about addressing some in future blogs.

I am a firm believer in the CAC sticker system. I bought stickered coins and had some of my own stickered. I understood the CAC process because it was explained on the CAC website. I have favored CACs in purchasing.

I believe in your original, choice, gem quality ratings because I trust you and your reputation, and you explain the rating on your website. I have been buying Choice quality coins from you, except for one key date.

Unlike the CAC prior website, the CAC grading website is opaque. It says only that it has the best graders and that many coins are over graded, which I do agree with. There is nothing about how the grading is done. At this point I would not submit a coin for crossover to CACG for fear of downgrading and potentially significant lost value. This especially worries me for “borderline ” grades like AU50 and MS60-63 which could end up being dropped to XF or AU. There are AU50s on your price list rated original quality which I wonder are actually XF as their true grades if CACG graded, with value drops over $1,000.

Only being a collector seven years, I researched the crack out issue and was shocked to find how huge a problem it was. I personally believe the TPGs were acting corruptly, and it might have led to further FTC examination without John Albanese.

I would buy a CACG graded coin in a minute, however.

 

The CAC Grading Standards and Process

In response to our client's questions and hopefully to help clear up the CACG confusion, I've prepared a flow chart of how I believe CAC Grading is accomplished. This chart HAS NOT been verified, approved, or sanctioned by the CACG staff. Rather, it is my assessment of the CACG grading process flow. Frankly, this process flow is quite simplistic. But the challenge to a generation of collectors is to unlearn our understanding of the PCGS and NGC grading standards. Warren Mills said it so well in yesterday's RCNH newsletter. Coins with surface issues need to be PUNISHED and not NET GRADED. This is exactly what the CACG process flow does.

Therefore, please stop everything that you are doing and study this process flow chart carefully. I've made the "Surface Originality" box larger than the "Wear" box for a reason. Evaluating surfaces for past molestations is more difficult than assessing wear. Actually, assessing wear is the easier of the two evaluations once surfaces are deemed to be fully original.

 

The CAC Grading Standard and Process

Crossover Attempts

 

Bottom line, collectors must come to grips with two completely different "grading" standards. CACG requires Originality as a starting point to grade Wear. PCGS/NGC, on the other hand, will merge the lack of Originality into the Wear designation. The PCGS/NGC approach has been developed to generate company revenues and not for clarity for the collectors. This is why collectors are so confused with PCGS/NGC net or market grading. It is a subjective mess that John Albanese is again attempting to correct!

It is expected that this flowchart will generate many questions by individuals that do not work with coins every day like I do. However, I am too busy to start entertaining a host of "what if" emails on a personal basis. If there are further questions, or you think my flowchart is flawed, please share your thoughts via email and I will kit those questions/responses for another Daily Blog edition.

 

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale Catalog is Filling In!

We are seeing daily progress with the growing Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale online catalog.

Firstly, a tremendous shout out is due for Clint Cummins and his immediate support with attributing all the Liberty Seated half dimes from the Sooner and Mirror Collections. Clint is the premier researcher of Liberty Seated half dime die varieties. His ongoing work can be viewed on the LSCC website at this link. https://sites.google.com/view/clintcummins/half-dime-attribution-guide

Second is the fact that Len Augsburger has completed the Seated and Trade dollar descriptions. These have been posted.

 

Global Financial News

The S&P 500 dropped to 4,943 on Monday which is not a big deal. Following are Seeking Alpha morning market futures for a change. Markets will open flat today.

In Asia, Japan -0.5%. Hong Kong +4%. China +3.2%. India +0.6%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.5%. Paris +0.3%. Frankfurt -0.1%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.1%. NASDAQ -0.1%.

Spot gold pricing remains steady at $2025/oz as the U.S. dollar continues to strengthen to 104.6. The 10 Year Treasury bond yield is steady at 4.16%.

The fact that gold continues to hold the $2000/oz level in the face of a strong U.S. dollar and 4.0%+ Treasury yields is very bullish for this precious metal.

WTI crude is trading at $73.23/bbl regardless of a hot war in the Middle East.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Yes, today brings another office day. The primary tasks are a CAC submission and loading incremental New Jersey Collection Seated half dollar lots to the auction catalog. If time allows, I will be processing certain images for the new purchases and will begin the process of pricing the Sooner Liberty Seated half dimes that are posting directly to the price list.

The above should keep me busy for another day along with the usual morning shipping tasks.

Thank you, as always, for visiting. Be well!

 

 

 

Monday February 5, 2024

GFRC Closes Deal on Capped Bust Half Dime Lot Plus More Great Coins!

and

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale - Another Consignment is Committed

 

Greetings on an early February Monday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. We are glad that you chose to stop by.

Sunday was one of those whirlwind busy days in the GFRC office. It is certainly a plus when enjoying your profession and working through a host of must get done tasks. One of the day's highlights was a new system established between Len and Gerry for generating more accurate auction lot description. While Len is the master of numismatic prose, the downside is that he does not have the opportunity to view coins first hand. Rather than Len traveling from Key West to Venice to view The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale lots, we decided to use phone sessions whereby I will described the coins under a bright light and Len takes notes. Yesterday's session was a lot of fun for me as each coin was carefully described in terms of surfaces, luster, and overall eye appeal. For certain coins, I had a key marketing phrase in mind and ask Len to write the description around that theme.

Len indicates that the New Jersey Collection Seated and Trade dollar descriptions are completed, therefore an input template was immediately provided. Fans of the online auction catalog should expect to see Len's work published in the next few days.

Also, all of the Sooner Collection Liberty Seated half dime lots have been posted to the catalog. During the overnight hours, the following email arrived from the Indiana Collection in recognition of the overall quality of this fine gentleman's half dimes.

Dear Gerry,

Being a huge fan of Seated type coins I loved seeing the Sooner Collection. I commend that gentleman on his wonderful set. It took considerable patience to put together such an eye appealing set. It is very well matched. He obviously took his time and just didn't go into the market with a fist full of cash and buy what was available. I enjoyed seeing it and hope to be a successful bidder.

The recognition is well deserved and seconded!

 

GFRC Closes Deal on Capped Bust Half Dime Lot Plus More Great Coins!

As mentioned earlier, yesterday was non-stop busy with several hours spent pricing out the latest new purchase lot from a consistent supplier. Previously, I had showcased the Capped Bust half dime portion of the lot. Today brings another quick image of the remaining pieces.

After a quick round of back and forth emails, a purchase price was agreed with a check being Express Mail today. Finally, GFRC's Capped Bust half dime product line will see a substantial influx of choice eye appealing lots.

The Balance of the Capped Bust Half Dime Deal

 

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale - Another Consignment is Committed

The Sunday news continues with respect to The Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale as yet another quality consignment was committed during the late evening. An anonymous consignor, who is constructing a notable Liberty Seated half dollar date and mint mark set, proposed the following lots for the sale.

Date Mint Variety TPG Grade CAC Denom Design Type TPGCert
1842 P WB-8 Med Date PCGS AU58 CAC 50c SLH 27573678
1854 O WB-101, WB-10 PCGS AU58 CAC 50c SLH 18684870
1855 O WB-101, WB-6 NGC AU58 50c SLH 6105762-011
1873 CC Arrows - WB-4 NGC AU58 50c SLH 582267-003
1875 CC WB-4 Whiskers PCGS MS62 50c SLH 45436025

If all goes to plan, these five Liberty Seated halves will arrive to the office this week.

As an FYI, sitting in the queue is the New Jersey Collection's 1878-CC Seated half graded PCGS AU55 that will enjoy the company of this new lot.

 

An Excerpt From RCNH's The Rare Coin Enthusiast

Warren Mills has been in the numismatic hobby for years and certainly precedes my tenure by a lot. Occasionally, Warren will speak his mind on the state of the coin market as was done this past week. If there is someone who is a stricter numismatist on grading and surfaces than John Albanese, it is Warren Mills. Following is a brief excerpt from his latest RCNH newsletter. He is spot on....

Commercial Grading a Sham and Shame

Call it what you want, the words are interchangeable, commercial or market grading.  Those of us with snow on the roof or a shine on the top of our heads call it “grade-flation.” Commercial grading relaxes strict grading standards to the point that it increases the supply so much that prices drop and continue to slide downward.  A coin may have the look of an XF and you may grade it XF without punishing the coin for a wipe, nick, cleaning or scratches, however, that coin should be punished.  Those of us that grew up buying wholesome original coins for the grade are appalled at the over-graded pieces that distort populations to make great coins look common.  Apply the same process to Mint State coins.  A lustrous nice AU-58 with obvious rub ends up in a MS-61 or MS-62 holder.  A nice MS-63 with noticeable naked eye abrasion ends up in a MS-64 or MS-64+ holder.  Hence market grading. You may not like it, but in my opinion CAC has the potential to save the coin market by delivering to the knowledgeable collector the strict standards that they deserve not only to preserve value but hopefully to increase in value.  I’d love to know how many collectors are submitting coins for cross-over to CACG and will even take a lower grade based on true technical merit!  I’m not saying that all CAC or CACG coins are fine, far from it and I will state examples later, but at least these services give the collector a better-quality product that may actually increase in value.  Distorted high populations only lead to lower prices.

To summarize, CAC and CACG provide a much stricter graded product with their populations reports being truly indicative of the premium material in the market place and collector hands.

 

Global Financial News

When not focused on GFRC and numismatic in general, my time is spent taking in YouTube videos on the financial markets along with the unfolding events in the Middle East. What I continue to learn is that there are diverse opinions on economics and geopolitics if one takes the time to locate alternative sources of information other than the mainstream U.S. media that typically sings from the same hymnal.

One noted item that is misleading the U.S. public is the monthly U.S. jobs report. For example the headlines were flashing positive when the U.S. economy added 353,000 jobs in January 2024. However, I've learned that there is a pattern with the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics issuing a steady flow of positive monthly job creation reports but quietly adjusting those numbers downward afterwards. This revision pattern has been noted by several astute economists and brings into question the political neutrality of this government entity. The mainstream media runs with the ongoing beats but fails to discuss the subsequent downward revisions.

Today's equity market trading opens with the S&P 500 at 4,958 as the early 2024 market rally continues. Morning market futures are essentially flat.

Spot gold is trading at $2026/oz in response to the U.S. dollar strengthening to 104.3 and the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond increasing to 4.11%.

WTI crude has fallen to $72/bbl as more economists are starting to warn that a recession is eminent given rising credit care delinquencies and other measures indicating that Americans are using debt to maintain their current lifestyles. One firm is monitoring Google search engine search topics as a sign of consumer distress as individuals are running out of income to pay for life's expenses. Only time will tell but again, the mainstream media will toe the government's messaging to the citizenry in an election year.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

It is a Monday which means that high value Express shipments will be heading to the Venice Post Office as a first priority. I'm receiving feedback that USPS Priority shipments are moving at extended times with some customers worried about their lots sitting in distributions centers during the weekend. Therefore, at GFRC, we are scheduling the most valuable shipments for Monday and Tuesday.

Otherwise, it is another office day with time split between loading more coins to the 30 Day Price List and preparing the next lot for inclusion into The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale. If consignments continue to roll in as committed, we might be looking at a 150 lot auction!

That does it for today's ramblings. Be well!

 

 

 

Sunday February 4, 2024

Notable Lots Arriving to the 30 Day Price List

and

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale

Sooner Collection - Liberty Seated Half Dimes

 

Greetings and welcome to a special Daily Blog edition as today brings a substantial GFRC Online Auctions showcase. We are pleased with your visit.

The assemblage of a GFRC Online Auctions sale is no different that most other major projects. There is a starting point whereby GFRC must locate anchor collections to "ground" a new auction event. Once those anchor collections are committed and insourced, the priority shifts to photography and image processing towards assembling a noteworthy online catalog. This step is an imperative for convincing other potential consignors to move forward and send their numismatic items to GFRC for inclusion in that sale. In parallel, Gerry and Len are in the midst of determining auction lot reserves and preparing descriptions worthy of the tendered lots.

Today brings a significant milestone with the arrival of the Sooner Collection's Liberty Seated half dime lots to The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale. But first, let's use this moment for a commercial break and announcement of two cool lots that were newly delivered to the office on Friday and Saturday.

 

Notable Lots Arriving to the 30 Day Price List

Our first arrival is a wonderful 1860 J-267 Transitional Liberty Seated half dime graded PCGS MS63. The 1859 and 1860 time frame brought a major design change for the traditional Christian Gobrecht Liberty Seated half dime and dime designs whereby Lady Liberty was surrounded by stars on the obverse and matched with a reverse that contained the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, a wreath, and a center denomination. During 1859, Chief Engraver James Longacre and his assistant Anthony Paquet generated new designs that move the reverse legend to the obverse with the expansion of a cereal wreath reverse. It appears that Anthony Paquet was given the half dime engraving assignment as is noted by the weakly engraved obverse motifs of the 1859 half dime along with the 1860 Transitional pattern half dime. Frankly, I see Paquet's work as one of the low artistic points in the Liberty Seated coinage era other than William Barber's rushed engraving of the Liberty motif for the short lived double dime denomination. The Paquet engraving are low relief and brings simplistic design elements that are a stark contrast to the beautiful artistry of Gobrecht. Note the hollow stars on the 1859 and 1860 Transitional half dime strikes with are so out of character with all other Liberty Seated with stars obverse presentations.

Our second new arrival is a lovely 1899 proof Barber half from yet another client turned consignor. This lot brings watery mirrored fields and classic peripheral blue and copper-gold toning.

Both lots are fresh and presently not priced. Rather this display is simply a quick marketing of two wonderful lots that will reach the price list during the next 48 hours. Email inquiries are welcomed by those wishing to secure first shot.

Notable Lots Arriving to the 30 Day Price List

      1860 J-267 Transitional PCGS MS63 H10C                                                       1899 NGC PF65 50C                         

        

 

Sooner Collection - Liberty Seated Half Dimes

It is with great pride, and a sense of relief, that GFRC Online Auctions presents the Sooner Collection's Liberty Seated half dimes that are one of the two anchor collections for our March 23 auction sale.

Rather than write a long introduction for the individual lots, I'd like to shift attention to the fact that our consignor, Blake Gibb, will be traveling to Baltimore for the Whitman show and has agreed to help out with the auction lot viewing for his marvelous collection and other lots being offered as part of The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale. The Sooner Collection half dimes lots are consistently strong and at a grade range/price point that is affordable for nearly all collectors of the series. Thought there are not a plethora of CAC sticker lots, please rest assured that many are borderline coins for CAC approval else they would not have been submitted to CAC Stickering during the past two weeks.

Serious collectors of the Liberty Seated half dime series owe it to themselves to sit back and carefully examine the individual pieces in the Sooner Collection display. Better yet, please consider traveling to Baltimore and conducting a private lot viewing session with Blake Gibb. I'm certain that everyone involved will have a great time, which is what this hobby is suppose to be about!

Enough said, please sit back and enjoy a marvelous presentation of the Sooner Seated half dimes that will be auctioned starting on March 23.

 

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale

Sooner Collection - Liberty Seated Half Dimes

1860 J-267 Transitional PCGS MS65 H10C

      1837 Small Date NGC MS62 CAC H10C                                                      1839-O NGC MS61 H10C              

        

   1841-O NGC MS61 CAC H10C                                                             1846 PCGS VF35 H10C     

        

   1848 Large Date ANACS AU50 H10C OWH                                             1853-O No Arrows PCGS EF40 H10C       

        

   1855-O PCGS MS62 CAC H10C                                                          1859 PCGS MS64 CAC H10C    

        

   1858-O NGC MS61 Gold CAC H10C Fatty                                                1863 NGC MS66 CAC H10C               

        

      1867 PCGS MS64 H10C                                                                1870 PCGS PR65 CAC H10C 

        

1837 Lg Date PCGS MS62 H10C           1838 No Drap PCGS MS62 CAC H10C OGH              1839 NGC MS63 H10C Fatty   

                

1840 No Drap NGC AU58 H10C             1840-O No Drap PCGS AU53 CAC H10C                      1842 NGC MS63 H10C      

                

1843 NGC AU58 CAC H10C Fatty               1843 PCGS AU50 CAC H10C Rattler                       1845 PCGS MS62 H10C       

                

1847 PCGS MS63 H10C Fatty                         1850 PCGS MS62 H10C OGH                           1851 NGC MS63 H10C       

                

               1852 NGC MS61 CAC H10C                            1852-O PCGS MS62 H10C             1853 Arrows NGC MS63 H10C Inverted Holder

                

    1854-O Arrows PCGS AU55 H10C                     1855 Arrows PCGS MS62 H10C                            1856 NGC MS61 H10C             

                

            1857-O NGC MS64 H10C Fatty                            1858 PCGS MS63 H10C                  1858 Over Inverted Date ANACS EF40 H10C

                

         1858 PCGS PR63 H10C                                  1859 PCGS PR62 H10C                              1859-O PCGS MS63 H10C       

                

  1860 ANACS MS62 H10C OWH                             1860 NGC PF63 H10C                                 1860-O NGC MS65 H10C       

                

 1861 PCGS MS62 CAC H10C                              1862 PCGS MS62 H10C                                 1862 NGC PF63 H10C         

                

                1868 NGC PF64 H10C                              1869 NGC MS61 H10C Fatty                        1871 PCGS MS64+ CAC H10C         

                

    1871-S ANACS MS61 H10C                                1872 PCGS MS62 H10C                                1872 PCGS PR64 H10C         

                

        1872-S BW PCGS MS64 H10C                           1873-S PCGS MS64 H10C         

        

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Now that the Sooner Collection gallery is published, one would think that I might take a break to relax for a few hours. Well, I hate to disappoint everyone as these lovely half dimes must be posted to the online auction catalog as a next step. Once posted, noted Liberty Seated half dime die variety researcher, Clint Cummins, has agreed to attribute the Sooner half dimes for GFRC. I would like to accomplish this task in the near term as this series is a popular target for die variety enthusiasts.

Immediately after posting the Sooner half dimes to the catalog, my attention shifts to pricing a new arrived for purchase lot with a substantial number of Capped Bust half dimes among a host of other quality items.

The community's ongoing patronage and support is what motivates me to work seven days per week on this humble business. Not being a golfer, beach or pool person, also is a factor for my love for hanging out in the GFRC office and working up a constant flow of incoming coins while supporting the collecting objective of a broad client range.

That is about it for today's edition. Please consider a purchase, otherwise it is time to say Be Well!

 

 

 

Saturday February 3, 2024

Updated GFRC Events Calendar

Announcing Early St. Patrick's Day Sale Weekend

and

One of the Two Fine Gentlemen Joining GFRC as Auction Lot Table Assistant

 

Greetings on the first Saturday in February 2024 and welcome to the Daily Blog. We appreciate the ongoing patronage.

Though we find ourselves in early February and Punxsutawney Phil announcing an early spring, mental gyrations are already underway for the coming homestead summer projects. Just last evening, a vision was shared with Diane for turning the ugly back acreage burn pit into a rock garden with decorative shrubs. The transformation will start with 32 yards of fill, from Dave Wilkinson, followed by an afternoon on Johnny2 filling in the pit and shaping the landscape. Afterwards, a 16 yard load of loam tailings will be secured to overlay the future garden with reasonable quality soil. I will be soliciting the help of our neighbor Sharon for the shrub selections and design as this is her forte. Sharon heads a Raymond town committee that is responsible for downtown beautification along Route 302. Both the Dodsons and the Fortins will be able to enjoy the new rock garden from their back decks rather than viewing a hole in the ground with partially burned stumps.

It just came to mind that I'm selling coins during the winter months to buy dirt and crushed stone during the summer months.... What a great life!

Yes, it is an early Saturday morning with all being well at GFRC. I'm in a relaxed mood as much was accomplished on Friday. The Sooner Collection Liberty Seated half dime images, all 65 of them, have been uploaded to the Hostway server. The large for purchase lot, with a host of Capped Bust half dimes, has been loaded into the COIN database and photographed. Up next is the pricing exercise and finalizing the purchase with our supplier. Today's must get done item is the separation of the Sooner half dimes into two groups; those that will be placed into The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale with the balance moving directly to the 30 Day Price List. The auction lots will be kitted into a grand gallery display for tomorrow's Blog edition.

Otherwise, early February price list sales are steady and ahead of last year's weak sales month.

 

Updated GFRC Events Calendar

The next 60 days bring a host of GFRC events that will require tight coordinate for a flawless execution. Please note the final dates for St. Patrick's Day discounting inputs and consignment submissions for The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale.

Sarasota Florida Coin Show - February 20 - March 2

St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale

- Weekend Discounting Sale - March 8-10

- Final Day for Discounting Inputs - March 4 (St. Pats Discounting Instructions in the email Subject Line please)

Spring Whitman Baltimore Show - March 21 - March 23

- GFRC Buying on March 20 (dealer trading room and special appointments)

- Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale lot viewing on Thursday and Friday (March 21-22)

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale

- Auction opens March 23, closes March 30

- Final Day for Auction Consignments is February 19

- Ship Aheads April 1-2

 

Announcing Early St. Patrick's Day Sale Weekend

Though a decent portion of the GFRC inventory is turning over quickly, some coins are aging and need special attention to bring about sales. To that end, GFRC will be holding an early St. Patrick's Day Sale weekend from March 8 through the 10th. This will be the typical Thursday midnight through Sunday 9:00 PM sales period.

Of course, I recognize that St. Patrick's Day is on March 17, but the Whitman Baltimore show the following week, and its packing/travel requirements, leaves no time that weekend for a sales event. Therefore the sale is being moved up one week earlier.

For long time GFRC consignors, the parameters for a St. Patrick's Day Sale (or Black Friday Sale) are the same. Let's review those key points briefly:

- A minimum 8% consignment discount is required for participation in the sale. Larger discounts bring a higher probability of consignor lots finding new homes.

- A special sale price list will be available for download starting March 8 at 12:00 AM containing the discounted lots.

- The sale closes on March 10 at 9:00 PM with prices returning to pre-sale levels.

- This is a cash and carry event with no lay-a-way options.

- Discounting inputs are due to me by no later than March 4. Please put St. Pats Discounting Instructions in the email subject line when tendering those instructions.

 

One of the Two Fine Gentlemen Joining GFRC as Auction Lot Table Assistant

I'm thoroughly pleased and excited to announce that Blake Gibb will be joining the GFRC team for the Whitman Baltimore show. Blake is a well known GFRC friend and consignor (Sooner Collection). After enjoying each other's company at FUN2024, Blake was invited to join Dan and Gerry inside the Whitman Baltimore booth as a table assistant. Blake will be primarily handling the auction lot viewing segment of Booth #818.

This is an opportunity for bidders to meet one of the Two Fine Gentlemen consignors and enjoy one on one conversations with this outstanding numismatist while viewing his and other consignor auction lots.

Honestly, I could not be more pleased with Blake accepting the invitation and taking time out of a busy life back in Oklahoma to be part of his first Whitman Baltimore show.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

As mentioned earlier, in today's edition, the primary task of the day is separating Blake Gibb's 65 Liberty Seated half dimes into auction lots with the balance heading to the price list come early next week. Once that task is completed, the auction gallery display will be constructed and posted in Sunday's Blog.

The second key task is pricing out the newly arrived for purchase lot. This task includes a careful review of each lot, determining a quality rating and deciding on a price list offer number. Once the price list numbers are established, the minimum profit requirement is deducted to arrive at an offer price proposal to our supplier.

I don't know what your mid-winter Saturday looks like, but mine will be heavily focused on two significant numismatic projects. Yes, life is indeed great!

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

 

 

Friday February 2, 2024

Is It Already Groundhog Day?

Capped Bust Half Dimes Arrive in Force

and

Scenic Lakeview Collection - Dollar Denomination Offerings

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Friday morning. Another week as flown by in the GFRC office. Thank you so much for taking time from a busy day to visit these ramblings.

It is hard to believe that Groundhog Day 2024 is upon us. But then again, from the perspective of someone longing to return to the Maine homestead, the annual arrival of Punxsutawney Phil and his shadow viewing event indicates that springtime is not that far away. According to folklore, if Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he does not, then spring will come early. Groundhog Day is an economic boon to the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania as the regular population of 6,000 swells to between 20,000 to 30,000 for the event.

Whether or not Phil sees his shadow is immaterial for the Fortins as our return to Maine is calendar based along with my ability to convince Diane to head north during the second half of April. Since we packed up and left the homestead early during November 2023, for the Whitman Baltimore show, much of the autumn leaves are still on the ground and will require clean-up as a first step after our return. I would love to secure a head start on property maintenance chores before the real summer projects kick in for another year.

Let's move on to GFRC and numismatics....

 

Capped Bust Half Dimes Arrive in Force

I'm thrilled to announce that one of GFRC's regular suppliers has come through with a huge influx of Capped Bust half dimes. Yes, this group arrived on Thursday along with another 21 lots across other denominations. This is a for purchase lot which means that I will be evaluating the contents this weekend and tending a purchase offer by Monday. The following image captures the extent of the Capped Bust half dime lots with nearly all being Mint State with a smattering of AU and a lone 1837 Large 5C in EF45. I've purposely structured this presentation without a a high resolution version being accessible for a simple reason. This presentation is for information only at this point and not intended to draw inquiries or First Right of Refusal Requests. Please view the image contents as a notice of forthcoming inventory during the next two weeks. Of course, I must reach terms with the supplier to purchase this deal.

Capped Bust Half Dimes Arrive in Force

 

Scenic Lakeview Collection - Dollar Denomination Offerings

The incoming consignment flow continues unabated, which is a great situation for the GFRC business. The ongoing supply of fresh inventory allows me the flexibility to mold or shape marketing strategies in the Daily Blog based on the coins at hand.

Today brings a dollar lot from the Scenic Lakeview Collection. I've been actively selling his better date Morgan dollars, and given the recent successes, our friend has sent along another installation of unwanted coins. Leading the display is a wonderful 1875-CC Trade dollar graded PCGS MS62 CAC that is mirrored. The following GFRC images accurately present this piece which is heading directly into the March 23 auction at a reserve of $4950. When viewing the images, please understand that the holder is a bit hazed on the upper obverse and reverse.

The balance of the Seated, Trade, and Morgan dollars are heading directly to the 30 Day Price List today and are already marked with their offer prices. All that remains are potential purchase decisions on your part.

Scenic Lakeview Collection - Dollar Denomination Offerings

Priced as Marked

1875-CC PCGS MS62 CAC T$1 - Auction Reserve $4950

         1846 NGC AU55 $1 - $1350                                                           1895-O PCGS EF45 10C - $900    

        

1859-O PCGS EF40 $1 - $625                   1877-S PCGS VF30 CAC T$1 - $465                      1892-S NGC EF45 $1 - $675

                

1893-O NGC F12 $1 - $320

 

Sooner Collection Seated Half Dime Presentation Arrives on Sunday

All is moving to schedule for the completion of Sooner Seated half dime image processing during the next 48 hours with a massive presentation in Sunday's Blog edition. I am down to 5 half dimes requiring image processing for the "stay behind" lots with the CAC submitted pieces arriving back to the office today.

How large is the Sooner Collection consignment? A few kick keystrokes in the COIN database confirmed that the tally is 65 lots with all being either AUs or Mint State lots. When constructing the Sunday display, The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale lots will be separated from the price list bound lots for easier viewing.

 

Global Financial News

Wednesday's hissy fit by equity investors certainly did not last long. Buying was the rule on Thursday as the S&P recovered to 4,906 at the market's close. Morning market futures are once again positive with the S&P forecasted to climb by 0.7% upon marketings opening in a few hours. If the buying does materialize, the S&P will be positioned to stage an attack on the 5,000 mark.

One of the surprises that fueled the renewed optimism was a huge beat by Meta and the announcement of a first ever dividend for the company. Seeking Alpha covers this story well.

Meta Platforms soared 15.2% AH on Thursday to a record $454.81/share as Q4 earnings smashed expectations. An announcement of the company's first-ever dividend also stunned investors, while the social media giant increased its stock buyback authorization by $50B and guided to the upside for Q1 revenues. "We had a good quarter as our community and business continue to grow," CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared. "We've made a lot of progress on our vision for advancing AI and the metaverse." SA analyst Steven Fiorillo followed up on the results by saying that "Meta is setting up for a record-breaking year" and he "wouldn't be surprised if it follows Amazon and Alphabet in splitting its shares sometime in 2024."

Amazon continues to do well too!

AI was also a theme at Amazon, with a new shopping assistant called Rufus that uses generative artificial intelligence to help search for products. Meanwhile, Q4 operating income came in above expectations, while the firm set strong Q1 guidance, sending AMZN shares up 7.1% to $170.60. "AWS’ continued long-term focus on customers and feature delivery, coupled with new Gen AI capabilities like Bedrock, Q, and Trainium, are starting to be reflected in our overall results," said CEO Andy Jassy. CFO Brian Olsavsky noted that revenues are accelerating rapidly across all three layers in the Gen AI stack, despite being in relatively early days.

Spot gold is also up to $2060/oz as the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has quickly dropped to 3.88%. The U.S. dollar has slipped slightly to an even 103.

WTI crude is down to $74.20/bbl.

 

What Is Gerry Up To Today?

Finally, the post auction shipping queue has been consumed with the office returning to a regular daily shipment rate that average five packages per day. For giggles, I did a quick tally of the value of the ship ahead lots last evening with the number being approximately $40,000. There was only one hiccup as a ship ahead lot was sent to a client and his address on file. Unfortunately, the client has moved to another state and the USPS forwarding is expired. Diane came to the rescue with a USPS intercept and return request at the cost of $17.50. USPS indicates that we will only be charged if they execute the intercept properly. Let's hope they do as the auction lot is valued at multiples of the USPS return fee.

Today brings another long office day that starts early since the shipping department is being given the day off. Sooner image processing and working up a purchase offer for yesterday's for purchase lot arrival are the priorities along with loading the Scenic Lakeview dollars to the price list.

Yes, there is a Venice Coin Club coin show underway here in Venice. During past years, GFRC would be exhibiting but not this year simply due to the fact that our inventory is not longer congruent with the patrons of this event. At the 2023 show, Dan and I sat there for two full days with $1,000,000 of inventory and sold a single coin for $200. Everyone enjoyed viewing our display and chatting but serious buyers were non existent as our coins were too high end.

So ends another Blog edition. Thank you again for being regular readers. Be well!

 

 

 

Thursday February 1, 2024

An Amazing 1850-O Seated Half Placed into the Newtown Collection

and

Scarce Date Offerings from a New York City Cabinet

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on the first day of February 2024. Thank you for checking in.

Let's start today's edition with a brief review of how GFRC fared in January as an indication of the health of the U.S. numismatic market.

Though GFRC is a niche entity mostly serving those collecting Liberty Seated, Bust, and U.S. gold, we have enough breath in those sectors to assess collector sentiment. The long and the short of January sales results is that GFRC experienced a tad over $400,000 in sales during the past 30 days. The combination of a strong FUN2024 show, a decent Island City auction sale, and a substantial influx of consignments allowed for monthly sales that were down by 5% from that of January 2022 and 2023. Looking at the details, all of the Liberty Seated denominations saw robust demand along with Capped Bust series. Frankly, the issue was not demand but rather our inability to continually stock premium inventory with CAC approval. On the other side of the coin, the weakness in U.S. gold sales, that started in Q4'2023, continued during January. In past years, U.S. gold was a substantial revenue component but has taken a back seat to early silver type during the past four months or so. Therefore, our first month of 2024 sales results were very robust when considering the weak U.S. gold component. I could not be more pleased.

Now GFRC enters February which has been historically a slower sales month. The first reason is that GFRC does not attend the Long Beach show or any other coin show during this time frame. Yes, in past years, we did the tiny Venice, Florida coin show which is no longer worth our time. Also, there are no GFRC Online Auction events during February. Our auctions are becoming a growing component of annual revenues and when a calendar month does not feature an auction, those monthly numbers will dip. The true next test of the health of the numismatic market comes in March when GFRC will hold an early St. Patrick's Day weekend sale, followed by the Spring Baltimore show, and The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale.

One could view February as simply a price list sales period while the staff focuses on constructing the multiple sales events that arrive during March. Hopefully, demand for U.S. gold will reignite during February but I'm not holding my breath. Yesterday's comments by Fed Chair Jerome Powell concerning an anticipated Fed Funds interest rate cut March now being off the table will not help gold prices in the near term. We are still bullish on collector gold and will have patience with current inventory as that demand recovery should appear towards the middle to end of 2024.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the GFRC performance and overall client demand. Our primary constraint continues to be operations whereby both price list postings and major auction preparations are supported by a tiny staff. Customer and consignor loyalty is also a huge success parameter as I continue to develop close relationships with a host of emerging clients.

To close this segment, I wish to thank the many, many clients who believe in the GFRC business mission and provide their continued support. These individuals have multiple options for selling (and buying coins) but choose to give GFRC their attention as a first priority.

As a reminder, the GFRC consignment window is wide open for regular price list postings and through February 19th for the March 23 auction event. Please contact me asap if planning to ship a consignment for inclusion in The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale. Len Augsburger and Gerry are working hard to finalize the auction preparations on schedule and the influx of new consignments must be properly captured.

 

An Amazing 1850-O Seated Half Placed into the Newtown Collection

One of the less publicized services provided by GFRC is helping our top clients with their set building projects. Case in point is the Newtown Collection and his effort to build a top end Liberty Seated half dollar set. During January, GFRC placed the finest CAC approved 1847/6 Seated half into that collection along with the following 1850-O half. Locating these type of coins is a function of relationships and reputation.

After a lengthy effort, GFRC was able to secure the following 1850-O WB-3 PCGS MS65 CAC half that still remains in its early Rattler holder. There are an insufficient amount of superlatives to describe this utterly amazing piece. Extraordinary, amazing, marvelous, and magnificent are all worthy descriptors for this perfectly original piece of New Orleans production during the gold rush period. By now, Blog readers are well aware of the United States usage of gold and silver as its monetary instruments during the 19th century. Starting in 1850, as California gold entered the U.S. monetary system, the price of silver bullion rose to the point where the value of the silver bullion in 90% silver coinage was worth more than face value. This resulted in silver arbitrage whereby freshly minted silver coinage was exported to Europe, melted, and returned to the U.S. as bullion. The scarcity of 1850-O, 1851-O, and especially 1852-O Seated halves is attributed to this phenomenon.

This new Newtown Collection addition will be highly prized given the piece is essentially perfect and warrants at least a (+) grade upgrade if submitted for reconsideration. I certainly would not recommend this action as the piece is ideally graded and preserved in a PCGS Gen 1.2 Rattler. How I wish this piece were a Liberty Seated dime as I've struggled for nearly half a lifetime to locate a Seated dime with this level of preservation and old time eye appeal.

Our congratulations go out to the Newtown client for this amazing inclusion into his superb collection.

An Amazing 1850-O Seated Half Placed into the Newtown Collection

1850-O WB-3 PCGS MS65 CAC 50C Rattler

 

Scarce Date Offerings from a New York City Cabinet

In a recent Blog edition, I made brief mention of a new consignment that consisted of premiums lots that were previously sold into a special New York City cabinet. This collector has decided that it was time to return these pieces to the market place via consignment with GFRC. Following are those four lots for your review. Already, the 1874-CC half and the 1848-D G$2.5 have been spoken for leaving the two $5 gold pieces as still available.

Scarce Date Offerings from a New York City Cabinet

Price as Marked

      1874-CC Arrows WB-3 PCGS VG08 CAC 50C - $2300                                 1848-D PCGS AU50 CAC G$2.5 - $4000              

        

  1843-D Small D PCGS EF45 CAC G$5 - $4500                                           1845-O PCGS EF40 CAC G$5 - $2400       

        

 

Do Wishes Come True?

One of the many popular product lines on the GFRC price list are those little Capped Bust half dimes. In recent months, I've been lamenting the inability to keep this product line sufficiently stocked as demand is outstripping whatever choice pieces that can be located. At the FUN2024 show, Dan and I worked hard to locate fresh inventory without much success.

Maybe wishes do come true after all as a long term GFRC client, who specializes in Capped Bust half dimes, has decided to sell his accumulated duplicates. Tuesday brought a text message with a USPS Registered Mail tracking number for a timely shipment. He has hinted that the shipment will contain a "few" Capped Bust half dimes along with other nicely toned silver pieces. This is a for purchase lot rather than consignment and will arrive to the office today per USPS tracking.

Let's just say that I'm thrilled with the opportunity and that the reinforcements are timely and welcomed.

 

Global Financial News

As mentioned earlier in today's Blog, Jerome Powell dashes the hopes of investors on Wednesday by making it clear that the anticipated first Fed Funds rate cut for March is no longer expected. Equity markets immediately dropped with high tech and financial leadings the way down. By day's end, the S&P 500 dropped 1.6% and closed at 4,846.

Spot gold, which had been trending up to $2059/oz on Wednesday, prior to the Federal Reserve Chairperson statement, finished the day down and is currently trading at $2030/oz.

Now that interest rates will reaming high for longer, the U.S. dollar held fast with a morning quote of 103.6 while the 10 Year Treasury bond yield has receded to 3.94%.

WTI crude oil pricing is holding steady at $76.20/bbl.

Morning equity market futures are pointing to a nearly 0.5% gain for the S&P 500 when trading opens shortly. Some investors are seeing yesterday's 1.6% drop as a buying opportunity as Wednesday's sell-off was lightly an emotional over reaction.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Thank goodness that the Island City auction sale related shipping is nearly behind us. Diane has been particularly consumed for three days with packaging roughly 40 shipments that include regular sales and auction ship aheads. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Diane drove off to our satellite USPS office with two LL Bean canvas bags packed with Priority and Express shipments. Today's shipping will be much lighter as we have turned the corner on the post auction workload.

Wednesday brought excellent progress with Sooner Collection Liberty Seated half dime image processing and a favorable CAC Stickering submission including one Gold CAC approval. Come the weekend, Blog readers can expect a substantial Sooner Collection Seated half dime gallery display as we ramp efforts to populate the upcoming Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale offerings.

As a further preview, I am anticipating the consignments of a large CAC approved Walking Liberty half dollar lots (yes, better early dates) along with a promised submission from the Twin Lakes Collection. Let's just say that The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale will be a huge event with auction lot previewing available at the Spring Whitman Baltimore show.

Therefore, today brings more Sooner Collection half dime image processing and regular GFRC office operations.

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

 

 

 

Wednesday January 31, 2024

A Bustling GFRC Office and How Not to Sell Me Coins

 

 

Greetings as we have arrived to the last day of January 2024. Thank you so much for checking in.

Well, the day starts with no internet service here in Venice. Fortunately, the Samsung cell phone comes with an AT&T hotspot capability which will keep the office moving forward.

The GFRC office is bustling along as the month of February arrives tomorrow. When fully consumed with shipping, responding to orders, and image processing, there is little news worthy items for the Blog. Progress is being made with the Sooner Collection Seated half dimes as the first 18 lots (out of 60) have images ready for uploading. This consignment will be posted both to The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale and the 30 Day Price List. That decision will take place once CAC Stickering results are known.

A note about image processing is in order. It might be intuitive, but images of quality coins are more straight forward to process than those of average and inferior coins. Why? Coloration is the primary issue as seen by the Nikon CoolPix995 camera. Circulated coins with glossy surfaces, due to old cleanings, produce odd colorations as compared to original surfaces with natural coin gray patina. I'm to the point of easily identifying cleaned coins from the images alone due to the altered colors.

Changing topics (yes, I am rambling as not much to share), an occasional client emailed yesterday with a downloadable Google drive file of images and requested a purchase quote for the entire lot. He indicated that the file was being sent to multiple dealers as he was looking for the best offer. None of his coins were CAC approved and on the low end of the pricing spectrum. This individual was surprised when receiving a pass response on the opportunity since we've done business together in the past. Next came the schooling. If wishing to sell coins to GFRC, please put numbers on your coins (play/pass) and don't try to force me to buy the entire lot that includes inferior coins or those not consistent with GFRC product lines.

 

Global Financial News

Let's return to the physical gold theme this morning. Kitco News is an excellent source of information for those with an affinity for the yellow precious metal. Today brings another article by Neils Christensen concerning global central bank demand for physical gold. I won't publish the entire article today, rather just two graphs that illustrate the core point being made. Mainland China is leading the globe in physical gold accumulation. The following two graphs are self explanatory.

 

So why is China buying so much gold? The Beijing central government is executing a multi-year process of swapping gold for U.S. dollars as its core foreign reserve holding. It is that simple. The distrust of the U.S. dollar continues to grow.

The S&P 500 closed Tuesday's trading essential flat with morning market futures point to a 0.5% drop at the opening bell. The NASDAQ is the culprit with high technology seeing disfavor.

The U.S. dollar is holding at 103.5 and the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has decreased to 4.03%.

WTI crude oil is currently selling at an even $77/bbl.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

The Island City auction shipping and image processing are the primary activities of a new day. Yes, I will be in the office during the waking hours and look forward to purchase orders and consignment proposals. If wishing to sell GFRC coins, simply put your bottom line number on these lots. You will find that I can make super fast decisions as the numbers work or they don't.

Thank you for checking in at the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

Tuesday January 30, 2024

A Super Fast GFRC Office Recovery!

 

Greetings on a Tuesday morning and welcome to a regular Daily Blog edition. We are pleased with your ongoing visits.

As the headline indicates, the humble GFRC office has recovered from the Island City auction sale and is operating on a normal basis. A 48 hour recovery, including a Sunday, is about as good as it gets with our tiny staff. Monday brought roughly 15 outgoing shipments including paid for price list and auction purchases and the return of the 1871-CC, 1873-CC, and 1874-CC dimes to the consignor. Diane and I did our best to move along auction ship aheads for those bidders who responded to invoices with a "check is in the mail" commitment. This has to be the most efficient auction close and office recovery on record.

Consignments continue to arrive at a steady pace, though they are one to three piece sized lots. Today brings a CAC approved four piece consignment including three branch mint gold pieces and an 1874-CC half dollar. The branch mint lots are 1848-D G$2.5, 1843-D G$5, and 1845-O G$5 with all being previously purchased from GFRC. Also arriving later this week is an 1860 Transitional Pattern half dime with the Paquet obverse of 1859. This new acquisition is graded PCGS MS63 and will join the Sooner Collection's PCGS MS65 example that is heading into The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale catalog. Imagine that, GFRC has never handled an 1860 Transitional half dime and now two pieces will be in inventory.

Speaking of The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale, the auction link was updated on Monday to reflect the forthcoming March 23 auction event. This week brings the posting of the Sooner Collection Seated half dimes along with a few other surprises.

Please remember that there are only three weeks left to consign to The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale with the deadline being February 19th.

Since there is no prepared content for today's Blog edition, let's check in with Seth Godin for his perspective on power versus leadership. In life, you will undoubtedly run into some command and control individuals who relish their power. Leadership, on the other hand, is focused on aligning individuals towards a common goal and providing the resources towards attainment. GFRC is managed per the latter philosophy as the Daily Blog is ultimately a reporting vehicle for the benefit of our community. Rarely do coin dealer provide 100% transparent on how business is conducted.

Seth Godin Blogpost - Coercion

One way to look at power is “you get to tell people what to do.”

But an alternative is that the most powerful institutions, brands and people are the ones who are in alignment with their audience.

Trust and the benefit of the doubt are more powerful and resilient than command and control.

It’s more difficult to earn this leadership role, and more valuable once you have it.

 

GFRC Accepts Zelle Payments

The past week has made clear that Zelle is becoming a noteworthy payment alternative to PayPal as we took in three Zelle payment in the matter of 48 hours.

What is Zelle?

Zelle is a United States–based digital payments network run by a private financial services company owned by the banks Bank of America, Truist, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.

Collectors can use Zelle as an easy alternative to transfer monies between bank accounts without those onerous transaction fees that PayPal charges. The GFRC Zelle ID is Diane's email address which is "fgerard1@maine.rr.com". She continues to employ our old Maine Roadrunner email address.

Given the growing popularity of Zelle payments, I will be adding this address to our email signature line today. Honestly, I would like to decrease the usage of PayPal as this company is starting to encroach on users. Just last week, PayPal notified me that there would be a maximum amount of monthly dollar transactions allowed before verification and payment delays would be initiated. What in the world was this all about?

 

USPS Raises Shipping Rates Again

If there is one thing in life that is certain, other than death and taxes, it is USPS continually increasing their shipping rates. Last week brought yet another unannounced increase with the cost of a Express Padded envelope shipment now at $31.20. In the past, the cost was $29.85 with GFRC charging clients an even $30. We will continue to charge $30 for the time being but once USPS moves forward with another increase, we have no choice but to up our shipping charges.

 

Global Financial News

Let's open the financial segment with a well written article by Neils Christensen (Kitco) concerning spot gold pricing and the potential for further appreciation during the balance of 2024. Regardless of instability in the Middle East, and the possibility of Israel invading Lebanon and the U.S. response to Iran-lead militias, gold continues to remain in a tight trading range. Mr. Christensen points out that interest rates will be the primary driver of gold prices during 2024. Both myself and Carlo are in full agreement here.

A rising disinflationary environment provides the Federal Reserve room to ease its monetary policy within the first quarter of this year; however, solid economic activity does not give the central bank any incentive to act.

This uncertainty has a firm grip on the gold market as prices consolidate within a narrow range, holding critical support above $2,000 an ounce. Gold prices are looking to end their second week in negative territory. February gold futures last traded at $2,015.80 an ounce, down 0.7% from last week.

According to some analysts, new momentum in the gold market hinges on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy as markets see a 50/50 chance of a rate cut coming as soon as March.

“With the U.S. growth outlook improving, the FOMC is in no hurry. With that in mind, the current number of projected rate cuts can not go any higher until the cat is out of the bag (cuts begin) or economic data suddenly takes a turn for the worse,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

Although gold is capped on the upside as the U.S. central bank drags its feet on potential rate cuts, Hansen added that the fact that rates will be coming down this year creates limited selling pressure.

Friday’s economic data highlights the volatility and uncertainty in the economy. The U.S. Department of Commerce said its core Personal Consumption Expenditures price index in the last 12 months rose 2.9%, its lowest pace since February 2021. The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge has been running at an annualized pace in line with its 2% target for seven months now.

At the same time, the report also noted that personal consumption rose 0.7% in December, following a 0.4% increase in November.

Looking to Wednesday’s monetary policy meeting, analysts have said that it is unlikely the Federal Reserve will strike an overly dovish tone next week as it makes its first decision of 2024.

The trading day starts with spot gold at $2035/oz. The U.S. dollar continues to be strong at 103.5 while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has slipped to 4.07%

WTI crude is trading at $76.40/bbl with a built in Middle East risk premium. Seeking Alpha brings us this short article concerning Saudi Arabia output plans.

Saudi Arabia has ordered state-owned Aramco to maintain its oil production capacity, marking a major reversal from the energy giant's plan to boost capacity. Maximum Sustainable Capacity of the world's largest crude producer will be maintained at 12M bbl/day, instead of a planned capacity expansion to 13M bbl/day by 2027. The directive comes amid growing oil demand concerns, as well as countries steadily shifting from oil to natural gas and renewables. The International Energy Agency had previously forecast that fossil fuel demand will likely peak before 2030, a prediction that many in the industry - including Aramco head Amin Nasser - have rejected.

Monday brought more equity market gains with the S&P 500 climbing to 4928. I've not had a chance to research the reason for the substantial gain. Morning market futures are pointing to minor selling at the opening bell with a 0.15% drop in the index.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Island City auction shipping continues this morning as Diane and I work down the ship ahead queue. Otherwise, today bring a full court press on Sooner Collection Liberty Seated half dime image processing in anticipation of CAC submission results in the next 48 hours. The posting of the Sooner lots to the The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale catalog will be quite notable, and hopefully incentivize others in the community to join this sale.

The 30 Day Price List presently features 115 lots including the unsold pieces from the Island City auction sale. Follow-on sales activity for these lots has been brisk and I could not be more pleased. Hopefully, someone will decide to purchase the 1916 PCGS AU53 CAC Standing Liberty quarter. This would certainly make my day!

Thank you so much for allocating time in day to visit these ongoing ramblings. Be well.

 

 

 

Monday January 29, 2024

A Brief Daily Blog Due to Workload

 

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

Unfortunately, today's Blog edition must be limited for a simple reason. I am still issuing invoices for the just closed Island City Auction Sale along with facing a huge shipping workload that will consume the small GFRC team for the entire day. Not only are there auction ships aheads but paid for orders, consignment returns, and other combination price list and auction orders that require careful processing to avoid mistakes. Each shipment must be doubled checked to ensure its proper contents. Yes, our individualized service does come at a price for the GFRC staff.

On a positive note, January ending orders continue to arrive which is a good thing but also requires incremental attention and responses. An extra 1.5 hours of time in a workday is a big deal at the moment.

I will be back on Tuesday morning with a regular Daily Blog edition. Thank you for the understanding.

Be well!

 

 

 

Sunday January 28, 2024

A Picturesque Venice Sunset

and

Island City Auction Sale Summary

 

Greetings on a peaceful Sunday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. We appreciate your ongoing visits and staying close to GFRC news.

I'm positive that the many Island City Auction Sale bidders are checking in this morning for a summary of the last evening's auction close and the final results. Before we move into that topic, let's take a brief moment to enjoy a picturesque view from our lanai on Friday late afternoon. Sometimes, we must be in the right place at the perfect time to capture a truly memorable image. This was the situation on Friday as I sat in the lanai while Diane was attempting a complex recipe for air fried chicken. All of a sudden, the clouds and setting sun in the western sky evolved into the most beautiful sunset I had seen in years. I ran for the cellphone in the GFRC office and returned in time to snap this image. The color intensity only lasted for about 5-10 minutes before dissipating back into gray lined clouds.

 

Let's move forward with several GFRC news items. We start with a quick announcement that the 1838 Small Stars F-101b Seated dime, that was showcased yesterday, did find a new home in a client's collection. The individual acted quickly and offered a trade proposal that could not be refused. More will be forthcoming in the Daily Blog once the trade coin arrives to the office.

USPS brought two consignments ships on Saturday with one of the boxes containing an 1853-O No Arrows Liberty Seated half dime graded PCGS VF20. As a result of this consignment, the March 23 auction sale will now have two examples of this rare date (PCGS EF45 and PCGS VF20).

And lastly, today bring the final day for the Palos Verdes 1871-CC, 1873-CC, and 1874-CC Liberty Seated dime on the GFRC price list. We gave it our best but somethings in life are not meant to be. These three key date dimes will ship back to the consignor on Monday.

Let's move on to today's primary topic, namely the Island City Auction Sales results....

 

Island City Auction Sale Summary

If these is one thing I learned while working in the semiconductor industry, it is that one must attain forecasts to stay in senior management's favor. This is how the GFRC business is managed at a high level.

Yesterday brought a forecast of a 54% sell through rate and total sales of $80,000 for the closing Island City sale. So how did we do against the forecast? One out of two is not bad and I'm pleased to report that my role as GFRC Online Auctions' owner/manager remains safe.

Last evening's auction finale was active with a host of bidding on select Island City Standing Liberty quarters and several CAC approved Seated dimes and quarters. The bidding for the 1869 and 1886-S dime was relentless during the final minutes. Unfortunately, the "big boy" bidders did not appear on the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter otherwise, I would have hit both forecasted parameters spot on.

Total auction sales amounted to $65,311 as there were no takers for the 1916 quarter. Two individuals were emphatic about bidding on this lot during the FUN2024 auction lot previewing but failed to follow through on their words. As a reminder, Saturday's forecast was $80,000 with that assessment including the 1916 quarter being sold.

When the auction closed, 67 of the 124 lots were spoken for resulting in a 54% sell through rate, consistent with the forecast.

I wish to thank everyone who took the time to review the many auction lots followed by placing their bids at this event. Overall, the Standing Liberty quarter lots did very well along with CAC approved lots in other denominations and series. Of the 70 CAC stickered or CACG graded lots in this sale, 80% were scooped up by bidders.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Today brings the typical post auction closing administration workload. The first step is loading winning bids and bidder names into the COIN system. Once that task is completed, invoice generations moves into high gear. I believe it will be straight forward to have all invoices generated and emailed to winning bidders by the end of the day. Once the invoice are prepared and printed, Diane steps in with two tasks. Her first task is to place pricing stickers on those lots that did not sell and file those within the regular GFRC inventory boxes. Afterwards, she will merged the printed invoices with won lots into shipping boxes. Diane is quite particular about organizing those shipping containers in alphabetic order for easy access once check payments start arriving. Of course, a fair number of won lots will be eligible for ship ahead status and will be placed into the USPS system on Monday and Tuesday.

For my part, once the invoices are printed and emailed to winning bidders, the unsold lots will be immediately posted to the 30 Day Price List and Collectors Corner.

This coming week brings continued efforts towards building up the Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale that takes place in late March. I will continue to solicit consignment for both this auction and the regular price list. The deadline for auction consignments is February 19, therefore please consider the potential unloved portions of a collection and the option of consigning those lots to GFRC for raising incremental numismatic capital.

Our appreciation goes out to everyone who bid in the latest auction and to those who are regular Daily Blog readers. Be well!

 

 

 

Saturday January 27, 2024

Island City Auction Sale - Positioned for the Evening Finale

and

Extremely Rare 1838 Small Stars F-101b on the Price List

 

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on an early Saturday morning. Thank you, as always, for the visit.

The major story of the day is the final 12 hours of bidding for the Island City Auction Sale. By the way, I picked up the printed catalog yesterday and very pleased with the professional work done by Staples. His catalog mails today as a memory of a special collecting achievement in a numismatic career.

Let's first focus on the Island City Standing Liberty Quarter collection and the auction stats as of 6:30 AM.

There are 37 Standing Liberty lots in this auction with 30 already spoken for. This is great news for our consignor. Key is that someone steps forward on the 1916 quarter. I'm expecting this lot to sell based on prior conversations at FUN2024 auction lot viewing. So please bid accordingly. The remaining Standing Liberty lots are highlights next. Hopefully, someone will step up at bid on the amazing 1930-S as this is such an exceptional lot.

Unattached Island City Standing Liberty Quarters

1916 PCGS AU53 CAC 50C

       1917 Type 2 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                                              1917-S Type 2 PCGS MS64 CAC 25C

        

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

        

     1927 PCGS MS64 CAC 25C                                                       1930-S PCGS MS66+ CAC 25C  

        

 

Taken as a whole, tonight's ending auction presently has a 47% sell through rate. There are 58 lots, out of 124, that are heading into new collections. To achieve the ongoing goal of a 60% sell through rate, 17 more lots need to be loved and realize corresponding bids. In terms of auction sales, the current tally stands at $55,000 versus $162,000 in reserves. What can I say about this metric other than prayers and hope. As mentioned many times, let's trust the process and let the chips fall where they may come the closing hour.

This auction, in particular, brings difficulties with preparing a closing forecast. As we know, there are always bidding surprises during the final hour. Given the quality of many of the lots, might there be a host of bidders who have decided to wait during the final minutes to place their bids? Currently, these four lots seem like no-brainers, from my perspective, given their eye appeal, or in the case of the 1869 Short Flag 1 F-103 dime, CAC rarity.

             1865 NGC PF64BN 2C - $650                                               1869 F-103 PCGS EF40 CAC 10C - $475    

        

1828 O-112 PCGS AU50 CAC 50C - $500                                              1893 CACG MS63 50C - $1300        

        

 

Drum roll please....

The GFRC forecast has arrived. Come 9:00 PM, I believe that another 9 lots will find new homes leading to a sell through rate of 54%. Yes, I hope to be proven wrong on the upside. As for total auction sales, the forecasted number is $80,000 or about half of the initial reserves. Please check on Sunday morning to learn the final outcome versus this forecast.

 

Extremely Rare 1838 Small Stars F-101b on the Price List

In other GFRC news, yesterday brought the buyback of a truly special Liberty Seated dime. There are a host of collecting styles in the GFRC community. Some individuals are buy and hold on a longer term basis while there are others that enjoy "renting" coins for less than a year. For the latter type of collectors, once the thrill of acquisition wears off, they will move on to a new target and need to sell existing holdings to pay for the next purchase. Such is the case for the 1838 F-101b Small Stars dime that is the web-book plate coin. During the past few days, I've committed to purchase this lot back from the client and have returned the piece to the 30 Day Price List. Following is this special lot with its revised description. The original sale price is listed in the Sales Archive.

Extremely Rare 1838 Small Stars F-101b on the Price List

1838 Small Stars F-101b NGC MS 64 - $3850

 

Small Stars, Proof-Like Surfaces, Brilliant Reflectance, Two Known, Former Gerry Fortin Reference Collection. GFRC has just completed the buyback of an truly important 1838 No Drapery Liberty Seated dime. Since the sale of this lot during March 2023, one other proof like F-101b example has surfaces and was handled by GFRC. Therefore, two are presently known to me. Let's return to the original description which follows... The time has come to sell one of the truly important pieces in the Fortin Seated Dime reference collection. I believe this is a special strike 1838 Small Stars dime that is truly distinctive and warrants inclusion into the web-book with a listing of F-101(b). Why do I consider this piece to be a special strike? This piece was struck by heavily striated dies with a proof-like appearance under bright light. The obverse and reverse die cracks are consistent with the F-101(a) die state, however, the dies have been heavily polished. On the obverse, bold die lines run from north to south while the die metal adjacent to the denticles is crumbling. This die steel pitting is moving into the fields. The reverse die condition is more bizarre with heavy north-south die lines inside the wreath while there are other die lines running from 10:00 to 4:00 behind the legend. The die also has a bulge between O(NE) down to DI(M)E that remains frosted. A remarkable example that has been "put away" since being purchased in late 2006. Housed in new NGC holder with edge view insert.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Today's primary focus, after the usual morning shipping, is processing Liberty Seated half dime images for the new Sooner Collection consignment. A sizable portion of that consignment will be added to the Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale once CAC stickering results become available by the middle of this coming week. Therefore, the images are being prepared in advance leaving only the placement of CAC green bean emblems on lot images that are CAC approved.

Yes, I will be sitting in the GFRC Online Auctions cockpit between 8:00 and 9:00 PM to enjoy the final hour of Island City Auction Sale bidding. Your participation would be most appreciated towards proving that my auction closing forecast was too conservative.

Let's wrap up at this point as another day arrives with much to get done. Be well!

 

 

 

Friday January 26, 2024

Island City Auction Sale - Getting Closer to the Finale

and

"Fresh" Circulated New Orleans Collection Releases To Consider

 

Greetings on the final Friday of January 2024 and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for visiting for another edition.

Honestly, I'm not in a blogging mood this morning and would rather spend the next two hours relaxing with Tucker Carlson Network videos and listening to alternative opinions on the state of the state.

Think about it for a moment. Each day brings two hours at the laptop composing a Blog edition. That is 24 hours in a week and 60 hours in a month and roughly 700+ hours in a year. Some simple math indicates that I'm spending a total of 30 days a year composing the Daily Blog and this does not include image preparations times and other content creation research.

So why I am still blogging going on nine years?

Well, the obvious reason is to support the GFRC business. This humble business is a David and Goliath situation given the giants in our industry. The Blog is a method for leveling the playing field with the Goliaths. But there are other reasons...

Building a community that takes care of its own is a powerful reason as we demonstrated with the Bart Chapman Auction sale. Who else would have brought the collective power of a community to support a widow that knew little of his husband's numismatic holdings? I could not be more proud of what was accomplished for Linda.

There are secondary reasons for composing the Blog. Self improvement is a substantial motivation. Personal writing skills have seen a step function improvement in recent times along with vocabulary expansion. Then there is the structure that composing a Blog provides. Once living a life in the public domain, one must execute commitments for credibility and trust. Speaking of trust, numismatics is a hobby with a reputation for actors with less than sterling ethics, therefore trust building is paramount for relationship building. Relationships then facilitate the potential to grow a business as fundamentally, numismatics used to be a relationship business in the old days before the Internet. That of course is now under pressure as consolidation takes place with business scaling and the personalized Davids quietly fading away due to their inability to scale.

Yes, so far the printed words in today's Blog have been entirely spontaneous as probably the result of listening to too much Tucker Carlson, good or bad. But man, do I admire his candor and unwavering approach for speaking his mind.

So, I'm not in a structured Blog composing mood this morning with cookie cutter segments that all have grown to expect, including yours truly.

Let's move forward with the day's important GFRC content as there is a GFRC business to manage and consignor's trust that is critical to honor.

 

Island City Auction Sale - Getting Closer to the Finale

Yes, the Island City auction has finally emerged from the contemplation period. Today brings bidders back to the auction catalog for their assessment of current bids and how to handle the Saturday finale.

Auction statistics are not necessary this morning as the needle has hardly moved during the contemplation period. I'll go over the statistics tomorrow morning and provide the usual forecast on where I believe the auction will close.

Oh, speaking of the auction, the Island City printed auction catalogs are done and will be retrieved from Staples today along with being mailed to our dear consignor on Saturday.

Therefore, please take time to review the Island City Auction Sale and consider potential additions for a collection. Nearly all of the lots are from consignors who hope to sell duplicates towards purchasing upgrades or using the monies for other noble causes.

 

Circulated New Orleans Collection Releases To Consider

The New Orleans Collection consignor continues to consolidate his numismatic holdings with today's release. Based on his inputs, and the fact that nearly all the holders are PCGS Gen 4.4 and 2005 through 2011 vintage, these lots were purchased during the 2008 - 2010 time frame from Dick Osburn, DLRC, and Teletrade. Therefore, "fresh" is an appropriate description for the following lots.

Please have a look and email me if interested in making a purchase. These lots will be posted to the 30 Day Price List during the afternoon hours.

"Fresh" Circulated New Orleans Collection Releases To Consider

Priced as Marked

1853-O A&R WB-5 NGC AU55 - $1850

      1851-O WB-3 PCGS EF40 50C - $550                                                      1896-O PCGS VF25 50C - $600          

        

1894-O PCGS EF45 10C - $525                       1896-O PCGS VF35 10C - $475                    1844-O PCGS EF45 50C - $395  

                

1846-O MD WB-2 PCGS EF40 50C - $375            1854-O Arr PCGS EF45 50C - $225                  1858-O PCGS EF45 50C - $225          

                

 1897-O PCGS F12 50C - $450                    1898-O PCGS VG10 50C - $195

        

 

Global Financial News

Onward to the financial portion of the Daily Blog....

Spot gold is quoting at $2023 as of 7:30 AM and continues to hold the $2000 level, which I believe is a significant milestone for the precious metal. Carlo and I are holding a gold ETF in my account as an alternative to bonds. Bonds and gold are presently well aligned in their behaviors with respect to the U.S. dollar and long term interest rates

Yesterday brought a 4Q23 GDP report with our tracked financial indicators barely responding. The U.S. dollar is flat at 103.3 and the 10 Year Treasury bond yield is ranging between 4.10% and 4.16%.

Seeking Alpha opens the day with the following optimism concerning equity markets and a parallel to "The Roaring Twenties".

Economic reports are continuing to pour in with a stellar GDP print on Thursday that energized the markets. The benchmark S&P 500 notched its fifth consecutive record following the reading, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached another all-time high. The NASDAQ also tacked on gains, but some tech sentiment was hurt after-hours on weak guidance from Intel. Quote: "People are getting ahead," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in remarks at the Economic Club of Chicago. "Instead of contracting, the economy has continued to grow. They're seeing their fortunes improve, and I believe that if inflation stays low, they'll begin to regain their confidence in the economy. It's a good thing, reflective of strong, healthy spending and productivity improvements, and most likely not creating an inflationary challenge." Speaking of inflation, the Fed's favorite inflation gauge, known as the core personal consumption expenditures price index, will be published Friday at 8:30 AM ET. The measure is expected to have risen 0.2% in December from November, representing an increase of 3.0% Y/Y. That would mark another success for the central bank, which continues to get closer to its 2% goal despite fears of last-mile challenges. Any incoming data will also help guide monetary policymaking, with things looking bright for the economy on the horizon. Know your onions: Ed Yardeni, founder of Yardeni Research, sees a "Roaring 2020s" scenario as a base case, drawing parallels between the Spanish flu pandemic and COVID-19, while projecting the S&P 500 will reach 5,400 in 2024. "Our basic premise is that a chronic shortage of labor is forcing companies to use technological innovations to boost their productivity growth, which started to improve last year, according to the government's quarterly data. As a result, inflation remains subdued, while real GDP growth, real wage growth, and profit margins all get boosted. The Fed is likely to ease, but won't have to cut the federal funds rate by much. Stock investors do very well."

Morning market futures are pointing to some initial selling tied to a weak Q1 revenue forecast by Intel.

In Asia, Japan -1.3%. Hong Kong -1.6%. China +0.1%. India closed. In Europe, at midday, London +1.2%. Paris +2.1%. Frankfurt +0.2%. Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.2%. NASDAQ -0.5%.

WTI crude is trading at $76.79/bbl. The Chinese are not pleased with the Houthis and have asked the Iranian to bring them under control per this Seeking Alpha article.

Chinese officials have reportedly called on their Iranian counterparts to help end Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea or risk harming business ties between the two countries. Note that China is the biggest trading partner of Iran, which has been the biggest backer of the Houthis and the so-called "Axis of Resistance." U.S. and U.K. retaliatory military strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen have so far failed to deter the group from targeting commercial ships in the Red Sea, which have been ongoing since mid-November. The Houthis had originally said they would target Israeli-linked ships to show solidarity with Hamas, but that extended to all ships en route to Israel, and then widened to other vessels regardless of its destination

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

I'm giving the shipping department a day off today. We will catch up on Saturday followed by Monday bringing the usual massive ship ahead day after the end of a GFRC Online Auctions event. Also, this weekend brings the packing up of the Palos Verdes 1871-CC, 1873-CC, and 1874-CC dimes for shipment to the consignor on Monday. Thankfully, the 1872-CC dime did find a new home.

In the background, I'm presently processing the Sooner Collection Liberty Seated half dime images as we awaiting CAC stickering results that should be announced by Wednesday.

That is it...

Thank you again for visiting and sharing your precious time with GFRC and its daily ramblings. Be well!

 

 

 

Thursday January 25, 2024

Island City Auction Sale - Heading to the Finale

and

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale - New Jersey Collection's Seated Dollars

 

Greetings and welcome to another Daily Blog edition as we continue to head towards spring time.

Yes, I know that spring is still several months away but there is nothing wrong about dreaming of diesel fumes and wood ticks, right?

Have you seen the launch of a competitor's new logo? It seems that GFRC started a trend with the use of numismatic silhouettes. The logo artwork indicates that Morgan and Peace dollars along with U.S. gold are the primary product offerings in contrast to GFRC where the silhouettes are directly representative of Seated, Bust, and U.S. gold offerings. There is artistry and there is relevance...

Barbara Gregory from CSNS checked in yesterday for the upcoming full page ad for the Winter/Spring 2024 CENTINEL edition. The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale advertisement will be featured on Page 1 of this publication.

Yesterday brought yet another consignment opportunity during the evening hours. This possibility is very heavy in CAC approved lots and would be a fantastic addition to the March 23 event. Hopefully, the opportunity can be transitioned into reality during the next 24 hours. You will be the first to know if this consignment deal is finalized.

Finally, your GFRC Online Auctions staff is holding a conference call meeting at 10:00 AM to review the New Jersey Collection's Seated and Trade dollar lots. Len and I will be going through these lots one coin at a time as I share with Len the luster and surface characteristics. In particular, Seated dollars have been liberally graded by the "PCGS Standard" since early dollars are more susceptible to abrasions and mistreatment. The legacy TPGs have not apply a uniform grading standard for Seated and Morgan dollars since their historical backgrounds are quite different. I will be Len's eyes with respect to the New Jersey lots to insure that the auction descriptions are accurate.

 

Island City Auction Sale - Heading to the Finale

Yet another contemplation period wraps up today. There is no need to regurgitate the Island City bidding statistics as the needle has barely moved. Don't get me wrong here as every bid is cherished and welcomed. The contemplation period is mostly an idle time in the middle of a week long auction as everyone prepares for the Saturday evening finale.

As promised, I went through the Island City catalog and identified those unattached lots that deserve some serious love. Here are the findings as potential bidding guidance with a touch of humor.

Waiting for a Big Boy Bid

1916 PCGS AU53 CAC 25C

 

Would You Love Me More with a CAC Green Bean?

      1841 NGC MS64 H10C                                                                     1857 NGC MS66+ H10C    

        

 1875-CC NGC AU58 25C                                                                     1881 NGC PF65 25C    

        

      1807 O-105 PCGS AU55 50C                                                            1845-O WB-9 PCGS MS63 50C    

        

 

Important Pedigrees!

      1862 F-103 PCGS MS63 10C                                                          1899-O PCGS MS66 CAC 10C    

        

 

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale - New Jersey Collection's Seated Dollars

As promised in Wednesday's Blog, today brings the gallery display of the New Jersey Collection's Liberty Seated dollars. Leading the pack is a wonderful 1872-S Seated dollar with a ton of steely luster and minimal abrasions at the certified grade. The balance of the lots speak for themselves.

Before viewing these images, a quick course is reading GFRC images is warranted. Most of the New Jersey Seated dollars are untoned with steely silver-gray surfaces. My camera reads these surfaces and captures are combination of red and green shades to form the gray color. For some coins, the reds are amplified and for others the greens are dominant. I've done my best, during image processing, to balance these two colors as is the case for the 1872-S through the 1849 lots that follow. The 1860-O dollar was a problem child as the surfaces on this GFRC-Gem rated lot are creamy golden white while the camera saw greenish blue and gold. When surfaces present difference shades of gray, olive, and gold, the presentation is 100% indicative of the coin in hand.

These lots have already posted to the online catalog with their quality ratings. Those quality ratings are stringent.

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale

New Jersey Collection's Liberty Seated Dollars

1872-S PCGS AU55 $1

    1843 NGC MS61 $1                                                                          1846 NGC MS62 $1    

        

  1846-O NGC AU53 $1                                                                          1849 NGC AU58 $1  

        

   1860-O NGC MS62 $1                                                                          1868 NGC AU53 $1  

        

  1845 NGC AU55 $1                                         1846 PCGS VF30 $1                                        1849 NGC AU55 $1

                

 1860 PCGS Genuine AU58 $1                                 1870 PCGS AU55 $1                                      1871 PCGS AU50 $1       

                

 

Global Financial News

Wednesday brought a nearly hour long portfolio review with Carlo, our Merrill Lynch money manager. It was a pleasant event as the Fortin accounts have seen considerable appreciation under this individual's stewardship.

2024 brings a rebalancing of the accounts towards anticipated challenges. Foremost is we eliminated several Invesco "balanced" ETF that have done poorly in the past two years along with trimming our exposure to the oil field support sector. Those monies are being relocated into small caps, homebuilders, and infrastructure construction plays. We are staying the course with financials and technology investments. Some monies will remain in cash as a buying opportunity as Carlo anticipates increased volatility during the first half due to the tug of war between residual inflation and a potential recession on the horizon. Markets will be attempting to predict when the first Fed Funds rate cut will take place during 1H2024 with the associated gyrations. Come the second half of 2024, rate cuts should be underway with mortgage rates and the cost of capital being lower. We are betting on small financial and construction institutions for the second half of the year. Let's also remember that there are millions of immigrants that have poured across the border and will require housing. Some of the housing must be green field construction. Finally, for all the business media reporting on a commercial real estate melt down at current interest rates, that issue is mostly confined to the larger coastal cities such as LA, SF, and NYC. The major banks are well aware of the risks and have taken appropriate steps to hedge these risks.

Seeking Alpha has published their morning newsletter earlier than expected today, therefore here is an short article on recession risks.

While U.S. economic growth is expected to have moderated towards the end of last year, strong consumer spending and hiring are likely to keep quelling any fears of a recession. Economists forecast that GDP grew 2.0% in Q4 sequentially, moderating from Q3's 4.9% pace. The latest report from the Department of Commerce will come today at 8:30 AM ET, but if GDP growth comes in stronger than expected, analysts believe it could further cool hopes for a March rate cut. Note that consumers remain resilient, with better-than-expected retail sales in December and consumer sentiment now at its highest level since mid-2021. 

The trading day starts with the S&P 500 at 4,868 after a tiny gain on Wednesday. Morning market futures are flat in anticipation of the GDP report at 8:30.

In Asia, Japan flat. Hong Kong +2%. China +3%. India -0.5%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.5%. Frankfurt -0.4%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.1%. S&P +0.1%. NASDAQ +0.1%.

Spot gold is trading at $2017/oz as the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has climbed to 4.16% and the U.S. dollar continues to hold at 103.3

WTI crude pricing has increased to $76/bbl.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

As mentioned earlier, today brings a 10:00 AM conference call with Len to discuss the New Jersey Seated and Trade dollars. Afterwards, my attention shifts to a circulated Seated and Barber lot from the New Orleans Collection that was insourced at FUN2024. The image processing should be completed today along with pricing proposal generation.

Finally, I'm hopeful to close on that CAC heavy consignment for the March 23 auction.

Life is never boring in the GFRC office, which is a good thing. Please consider sourcing a purchase or two from the price lists as consignors need to sell their coins towards enjoying incremental upgrades. The numismatic gears at GFRC must turn in harmony towards keeping everyone's hobby participation as a rewarding endeavor.

Thank you so much for checking in at the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

Wednesday January 24, 2024

A GFRC Online Auctions Edition

and

Numismatic Bits & Pieces

 

Greetings on a Wednesday morning and welcome to yet another Daily Blog edition. The winter of 2024 is moving along quickly with only one week left in January.

Today's edition will be bits and pieces with a GFRC Online Auctions theme. I'm quite excited by the ongoing auction platform growth as the astute in the audience should be able to recognize.

Before moving along into the numismatic content, let's hear from Seth Godin about life in general, but more importantly, the potential application of his point to a numismatic journey. Self accountability and introspection are importance aspects of a successful numismatic hobby. Blaming the grading services for inferior coins in a collection may be a convenient villain for washing our hands of mistakes. True introspection and change in buying habit will lead to an improved outcome.

Seth Godin Blogpost - Out to get you

It’s easy to believe that in some moments, the world is out to get you.

This is unlikely. The world hardly knows you exist.

There is injustice and trauma and systems of caste. There are tiny pockets of humanity that hold a grudge.

But most of the time, in most situations, what happened happened and our story about it is up to us and us alone.

It’s not personal, it’s the system. The system is unaware of where we are, and the system is often visible to us before we begin our journey if we pay attention.

When things don’t go the way we hope, one alternative is to look hard at the system that caused the problem. And another productive strategy is to figure out what to do with what we get, instead of seeking to find the villain that’s causing our problem.

 

Island City Auction Sale - A Contemplation Period Update

Every GFRC auction follows the same bidder behavior cycle. The first 24 hours of a fresh auction brings out a host of bidders staking their positions on targeted lots. The next day brings incremental bidding before the contemplation period arrives. Tuesday through Thursday brings a time for reflection on existing bids and the determination of a final round of bidding leads many to their Saturday strategy. Once Friday arrives, the bidding pace increases prior to the free-for-all finale on Saturday evening.

So here we are on a Wednesday morning. Presently, there are 55 lots with bids. Thank you so much to the brave souls who have placed early bids and have brought us to a 44% sell through rate. As a reminder, to achieve the 60% sell through rate goal, another 20 lots must locate new homes. I'm certain that the 1916 Standing quarter will sell, therefore that leaves 19 more lots to attract someone's attention. Come tomorrow, I will highlight those lots without bids that should be pursued.

On a dollar sales basis, we have a long way to go as total bids amount to $53,000 versus $162,000 in reserves. Again, the 1916 quarter will make a substantial difference in this tally once someone steps up to the plate. Also, don't ignore the 1930-S Standing quarter graded PCGS MS66+ CAC. This lot would make an outstanding type coin.

 

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale Additions

I really like the Two Fine Gentlemen auction title given the two anchor collections. Both the New Jersey and Sooner Collections have been long term GFRC clients, but more important, each are truly fine individuals to share a hobby with.

Following are five incremental lots, from the Sooner Collection, that will be posting to the online catalog today. Once these are added, the March 23 event tally will stand at 33 lots though we are still in the early stages of auction catalog construction. The New Jersey Collection Seated dollars are next to be posted followed by the Sooner Seated half dimes. For the curious in the community, the Liberty Seated half dimes will include two 1853-O No Arrows lots (PCGS VF20 and EF40) and a 1860 Transitional example graded PCGS MS65.

Yesterday brought a shipment from the Scenic Lakeview Collection and a superb 1875-CC PCGS MS62 CAC Trade dollar that will garner a host of attention at the Baltimore auction lot viewing.

Please be aware that GFRC is soliciting incremental consignment for the March 23 sale. The ideal lots would be CAC approved and valued over $500 along with being 19th century coinage. The rest is up to you to contemplate as I would enjoy working with multiple consignors.

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale Additions

1871 PCGS AU58 CAC $1

       1841 F-104 NGC MS64 CAC 10C                                              1853 Arrows PCGS MS63 CAC 10C    

        

 

Monday's 30 Day Price List Additions

Little needs to be said for the following lots. The 1849-O quarter is the key New Orleans date with CAC approved examples being few and far between. The 1868 Philadelphia issue is a sleeper when CAC approved. This new lot lasted only two hours on the price list before being purchased.

   1849-O PCGS F15 CAC 25C - $5700                                                1868 NGC EF40 CAC 25C - HOLD    

        

 

Global Financial News

As a gold bug, one of the first actions in a new day is checking the overnight gold trading in Asia. As of 7:20 AM, gold is quoting at $2034/oz in U.S. dollars. Shifting interest rate expectations surrounding the timing of the Federal Reserve’s first rate cut for its hinted easing cycle are taking their toll on investors. The early 2024 enthusiasm is beginning to wane as the U.S. dollar has strengthened along with the 10 year bond yield. However, let's not forget that gold is primarily a multi-year holding instrument for portfolio diversification and not a day trading vehicle.

Speaking of the 10 Year Treasury bond yield, that number is 4.11% while the U.S. dollar stands at 103.1 per the DXY index. The tight correlation between gold, the USD, and long term interest rates continues to hold.

As I review the morning articles on several financial websites, investor plight with the Federal Reserve is becoming apparent. More articles are biased towards continuing inflation that leaves the Fed in a position to hold rates at current levels well into 2024. Frankly, I'm fine with this as there must be a reasonable cost for capital in terms of sound business investments. When rates were down at 1.0%, essentially free money resulted in poorly crafted business cases for borrowing and capital spending.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude is trading at $74.1/bbl as the U.S. led air strikes on Houthi rockets continues.

Another equity market trading day begins with the S&P 500 at 4,864. Morning market futures are pointing to a 0.4% gain at the opening bell.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Other than an annual review conference call with Carlo, our Merrill Lynch money manager, the day brings more attention to the New Jersey Collection's Seated dollars with a goal for a lovely gallery display on Thursday morning. Afterwards, the attention shifts to a Seated and Barber lot from the New Orleans Collection. This group is circulated material that will head directly to the price list.

Demand for U.S. gold continues to be anemic with more selling proposals than purchase requests. I'm not in a mood to place more money in collector U.S. gold until an uptick in sales is realized. Of course, I will honor the standard 15% buyback for any CAC approved coin sold by GFRC including gold.

Well, I've managed to ramble along for another early morning. Your ongoing visits are sincerely appreciated, and of course, purchases and consignments.

Be well!

 

 

 

Tuesday January 23, 2024

The Hobby Needs More Straight Shooters....

Encrusted New Purchases to Consider!

and

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale - New Jersey Collection Trade Dollars

 

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog. It is a Tuesday morning with all eyes focused on New Hampshire and the Republican primary. That is the extent of today's political messaging....

Our USPS carrier delivered two great Liberty Seated quarters yesterday. I'm pleased to report that GFRC will be offering 1849-O PCGS F15 CAC and 1868 NGC EF40 CAC quarters once the Venice weather is conducive for photography.

Also in transit is another important consignment from the Scenic Lakeview collection. Our client was delighted with the sale of his 1893-S Morgan at FUN2024 and is rewarding GFRC with another collection installment. Leading the consignment is an absolutely stunning proof like 1875-CC PCGS MS62 CAC Trade dollar along with another assemblage of high grade Morgan dollars. The 1875-CC Trade dollar will fit in perfectly into the Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale event.

Speaking of the Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale, the auction banner was created yesterday. Here is the debut of the newest banner for the March 23 auction. Once the Island City Auction Sale closes on Saturday, there will be an immediate shift of the auction portal to the upcoming March 23 event as I am aggressively soliciting consignments.

Quality Consignments Being Solicited

 

The Hobby Needs More Straight Shooters....

In the newest CAC Rare Coin Market Review edition, published by CDN Greysheet Publications, we are treated to an brief article from John Albanese addressing the criticism of the tight CAC Grading standards. How I enjoy being aligned with a hobby giant who is foremost a straight shooter and not another business politician. Following is an excerpt from John's article entitled Old Fashion Grading for Circulated Coins. Here goes...

It is no surprise that we receive coins daily from submitters willing to accept a downgrade on such coins. Experienced collectors would much prefer a lower grade, problem-free example, than a higher-grade piece with problems.

I am somewhat on the defensive here as I have answered several complaints about our circulated coins not being straight-graded. Some crack-out dealers have even threatened to boycott us if we didn't relax out standards. We will remain stringent here; CAC's mission is to serve the collector, not the submitter shopping for grades.

Over time, we expect the no-grade percentage to decline as submitters become accustomed to our standards. CAC has over 150 founding shareholders, and they are all in agreement that CAC's mission is to be the most elite grading service, not the largest.

This brief excerpt suggests that John Albanese is employing CAC Grading as a vehicle for educating a generation of collectors on true originality regards of the negativity by those in the numismatic hobby that are primarily focused on profit. In my humble opinion, CACG will continue to secure heightened demand as the hobby realizes the visual characteristics of truly unmolested coins. This will take time as collectors who trusted in the "PCGS Standard" now understand that most of their PCGS slabbed coins will not be straight crossed into an elite CACG service holder. Eventually, a pricing divergence will appear between the "PCGS Standard" and the "CACG Standard". I believe we are still in the earlier stages of that divergence with more appreciation for the elite holdered coins in the next several years.

 

Encrusted New Purchases to Consider!

Today brings the following two lots to the price list. The first is a crusty 1825 O-104 Capped Bust half that has never been mishandled and is exactly what John Albanese was referencing. The Osprey Collection is back with yet another find from Europe. This time, his pick is a high grade 1840(O) WB-4 Liberty Seated half with late die state reverse cracks. Yes, this lot was submitted to CAC in Bedminster, NJ and was not approved.

Encrusted New Purchases to Consider!

      1825 O-104 PCGS EF45 CAC 50C - $385                                              1840(O) WB-4 NGC AU55 50C - $5500          

        

 

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale - New Jersey Collection Trade Dollars

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale catalog saw the posting of the following Trade dollars from the New Jersey Collection along with a few friends. Though most are not CAC approved, there visual presentation is notably consistent as part of an old time collection that is consistent with the PCGS grading standards.

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale

New Jersey Collection Trade Dollars and Friends

1877-S PCGS MS65 CAC T$1

   1873 PCGS AU55 T$1                                                                   1873-S PCGS AU55 T$1   

        

           1874 NGC MS62 T$1                                                                   1874-S PCGS MS62 OGH T$1     

        

               1876 PCGS MS62 T$1                                                            1876-S PCGS MS62 CAC OGH T$1   

        

    1877 NGC MS62 T$1                                                                        1877 PCGS AU55 T$1   

        

     1877-S PCGS MS62 OGH T$1                                                            1878-S NGC AU58 CAC T$1   

        

 

Global Financial News

Equity markets continue their slow ascent with the S&P 500 increasing to 4,850 on Monday. Some in the financial world are warning of the "everything bubble", but in the meantime, equity prices continue to move upward regardless of the amount of governmental and personal debt that is burdening the citizenry.

Spot gold is trending flat with a morning quote of $2024/oz per Kitco. The U.S. dollar has strengthened further to 103.5 while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has increased to 4.13%.

WTI crude traded briefly at $75/bbl during the overnight hours and is current quoting at $74.20.

Morning market are absolutely flat as the Blog is being composed.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

You can probably guess the content of this segment. Yes, I will be in the GFRC office the entire day. Since Diane has a morning appointment, I will be single handedly operating the shipping department with the usual terribly hand written receipts. The afternoon hours brings a shift in office responsibilities to image processing for the New Jersey Collection's Liberty Seated dollars.

Little was mentioned about the Island City Auction Sale as bidding was limited on Monday. We will pick up that topic in earnest on Thursday morning.

As always, thank-you for visiting the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

Monday January 22, 2024

Island City Auction Sale - Bidding Action Continues

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale Being Populated

Palos Verdes Carson City Dimes - Soliciting Offers

and

GFRC Event Schedule Through April 2024

 

Greetings on a winter Monday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for gracing GFRC with your presence.

Today's edition brings a host of topics, therefore let's move directly into the latest GFRC news.

 

Island City Auction Sale - Bidding Action Continues

After furious opening bidding, that pace slowed on Sunday. The Island City Standing Liberty quarters continue to be the primary auction target along with CAC approved coins in general. Collectors just can't get enough of those green beans into their personal holdings.

As of this morning, the auction statistics have moved forward a tad with 51 of the 124 lots being desirable to bidders. That is a 41% sell through rate against a regular auction target of 60%. Another 24 lots must find bidders towards achieving that goal.

For a dollar perspective, winning bids presently amount to $50,000 against total reserves of $162,000. Once the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter receives a bid, the winning bids total will see a sizable increase. Yes, I am waiting for someone to step forward on this coin as several individuals have expressed interest at the FUN2024 lot viewing or via email.

The next 24 hours should bring incremental bidding before we settle into the contemplation period that last through end of day Thursday.

 

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale Being Populated

Lot preparations are already underway for the next GFRC Online Auctions event, the Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale.

When viewing the online auction catalog, simply scroll down to the end of the Island City auction sale lots to enjoy a peek at the forthcoming lots being added for the March 23 auction. Already, there are 20 lots posted with the majority being CAC approved. The opening lot, an 1838 Small Stars half dime graded NGC MS64 CAC is beautifully toned and will become the auction banner plate coins during the next 48 hours. So far, the next auction offers 7 Seated half dimes, 11 business and proof strike Barber dimes, and two perfectly original Trade dollars.

Today brings the first Trade dollar posting from the New Jersey Collection.

The Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale is open for consignments through February 19. That window is a tad less than a month, therefore if interested in employing the auction platform as a first step in your consignment process, please contact me asap to make shipping arrangement.

 

Palos Verdes Carson City Dimes - Soliciting Offers

I've often made mention, here in the Daily Blog, that the numismatic market operates is a thinly traded environment when collecting outside of the omnipresent Morgan dollars and other 20th century issues.

19th century silver coinage falls into that category, especially for the rarer dates that command substantial premiums. Case in point are the Carson City issues within the Seated dime through dollar series. Few examples has managed to survive fully choice to the CAC approval or grading standards, therefore most Carson City specimens that arrive to market will be carefully inspected individuals that require these issues for filling those challenging spots in a collection. Though the market demand is low at present pricing levels, the appreciation potential has been validated across decades of price guide value analysis. For example, in a recent Blog edition, the pricing appreciation of the 1874-CC dime was discussed with substantial value increases from the 1970 to the present.

Unfortunately, none of the Palos Verdes big four Carson City dimes have sold via GFRC auction or while posted on the price lists. Our client has been generous with his patience up to this point. Now that nearly all of his Liberty Seated dime collection has been sold, he wishes to close out this chapter in a numismatic career. Key is finding new homes for his 1871-CC, 1872-CC, 1873-CC, 1874-CC dimes. To move the process forward, before the consignor repossesses these lots, we have agreed to market the entire group one final time towards soliciting offers.

Effectively immediately, the Palos Verdes consignor is open to offers for the following four Carson City dates. This is an opportunity for the GFRC community to carefully consider these four historical dimes and what they might be worth to you. Offers can be tendered via email or simply picking up the phone and calling me to discuss a number that is acceptable to both the buyer and the seller. As you can imagine, I am motivated to selling these lots while in GFRC inventory.

Following are the four Palos Verdes Seated dime Carson City issues ordered in terms of the current offer price. I've also included the descriptions to aid with your considerations.

1874-CC With Arrows F-101 PCGS EF45 10C - $45,000

Choice Original, Palos Verdes Collection.. Early Carson City dimes are well recognized as the stopper coins of the Liberty Seated type, and among these the 1874-CC is the most challenging, and indeed the key to the entire series. The GFRC sales archive records six sales since inception, indicating a market velocity of less than one coin per year. At higher grades the situation is even more restrictive, with only a single coin above VF25 in the group, a Market Acceptable AU50 piece that sold in 2017. Clearly, the opportunity to acquire a GFRC-rated Choice EF45 example represents an important moment. This piece exhibits obverse rose-tan patina framed by an aqua crescent, while the reverse is more lightly toned with russet-maroon color at the rim. Handling marks in the lower right obverse field are consistent with the technical grade. More importantly, the originality is strong, and the fields are free of related hairlines. Every collector has to decide for them self when to push for a coin, and even for the most advanced collectors this piece would not represent a trivial purchase. However, after this piece is sold, there is no telling when an equal example will come to market, and potential bidders will do well to carefully consider this infrequent opportunity. F-101, the only die pair, with the all-important identifying die crack through the mint mark. PCGS notes 68 coins total, including five pieces in AU and five examples in Mint State. NGC notes 16 pieces overall, with six coins in AU and a single example in Mint State. The PCGS price guide value is $50,000 in EF45, advancing to $75,000 in AU50. Housed in a PCGS Gen 6.1 (2020-2023) holder.

1871-CC F-101 PCGS VF35 10C - $15,000

Original, Palos Verdes Collection. Rose-gray fields admit lighter patina in the protected areas of this evenly toned Carson City rarity. The uniform color suggests retoning after an old cleaning, but the originality remains within the PCGS standard. Some micro-chatter is evident in the fields. F-101, the only die pair, with mint mark punched to the left. This reverse is reused on Carson City dimes through 1874. The PCGS population is 77 coins, and PCGS price guide value is $15,000, advancing to $25,000 in EF40. The four early Carson City pieces (1871-1874) in the Liberty Seated dime series are well-known as the series keys. Among circulated pieces, the 1874-CC stands atop the group in terms of rarity, while the 1871-CC and 1873-CC are roughly tied for the next highest honors. The present coin is superior to most of the examples one will see on a bourse floor, straight-graded and free of the typical surface porosity seen on early CC dimes. Note, the holder is well worn and reveals some haze. Housed in a PCGS Gen 4.4 (2005-2011) holder. Previously from the Newtown collection, sold by GFRC in November 2022 at $16,500.

1873-CC F-101 With Arrows PCGS VF30 10C - $15,000

Choice Original, Palos Verdes Collection.. All of the early Carson City dimes are desirable, simply as a matter of rarity, but many survivors exhibit roughness or other surface issues, byproducts of planchets that were often overweight in silver. This example presents a coin gray palette, overlaid by tannish brown and blue-green patina. Wispy traces of crust reside in the protected areas, most heavily at the date, and serve to outline the design elements. A couple marks within the reverse lettering are noted, in addition to field disturbances to the left of Liberty. Still, the surfaces are above average for an 1873-CC dime, and this remains a pleasing example for the grade. F-101, the only die pair, with a high date that slopes downward slightly. PCGS has certified 97 coins in all grades, and assigns a value of $15,000 in VF30. With the value advancing to $35,000 in EF40, the present offering represents an ideal collector grade. Housed in a PCGS Gen 4.4 (2005-2011) holder.

1872-CC F-101 PCGS VF35 10C - HOLD

Choice Original, Palos Verdes Collection.. The Palos Verdes offering includes a full set of the early Carson City dimes, a rare feat in the sphere of Liberty Seated collecting. Moreover, the average grade of the set is near-EF, whereas most collectors would be more than satisfied with lower-graded pieces. Deep gray patina covers the obverse fields of this GFRC Choice-rated example, complemented by rose-maroon patina in the protected areas. Reverse silver color outlines the slate-covered wreath, surrounding russet-plum hue in the center. Surfaces are smooth for the grade and free of the usual roughness encountered on Carson City silver pieces. F-101, the only die pair, with a level date. The first C in the mint mark is lower than the second, an important diagnostic for all 1871-1874 Carson City dimes, which share a common reverse die. The PCGS population is 107 coins, and the PCGS guide value is $10,000 in VF35, advancing to $15,000 in EF40. Opportunities to acquire an 1872-CC Liberty Seated dime are infrequent, and GFRC has handled only seven pieces since 2015. Housed in a PCGS Gen 5.0 (2015) Dupont hologram holder.

This soliciting period is in effect through Sunday January 28. Afterwards, unsold lots will be returned to the consignor.

 

GFRC Event Schedule Through April 2024

The anticipation continue to build for returning home to the Maine homestead. But first, a busy three months await the GFRC staff along with Diane heading to Austin for several weeks. Getting through the multiple GFRC events unscathed and maintaining service levels definitely warrants a concise operating plan which was assembled on Sunday afternoon.

The months of February and March brings the Sarasota and Baltimore coin shows, a St. Pat's Day weekend sale, and a quick follow-on auction, namely the Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale that opens on March 23! Following is a compressed schedule for this time frame. Please note that the Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale consignment deadline is February 19th! And yes, the St. Pat's Weekend Sale take place one week before the actual St. Pats weekend as the holiday falls on March 17. GFRC heads to Baltimore on March 19 leaving no time to close down a sales event before driving those long 14 hours to the Inner Harbor/Convention Center area. Therefore, I've scheduled the sale one week earlier as a chance for consignors to discount and move along aging inventory.

Please note the following events schedule which will see regular updates in the Blog.

Island City Auction Sale

- Auction closes January 27

- Ship Ahead January 29-30

Sarasota Florida Coin Show - February 20 - March 2

St. Pat's Weekend Sale

- Weekend Discounting Sale - March 8-10

- Final Day for Discounting Inputs - March 4 (St. Pats Discounting Instructions in the email Subject Line please)

Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale

- Auction opens March 23, closes March 30

- Final Day for Auction Consignments is February 19

- Ship Aheads April 1-2

 

Global Financial News

Now let's shift attention to precious metals and the equity/bond markets.

Another trading week begins in a few hours with the S&P 500 at 4,840 after a substantial increase on Friday. Major investors continue to pour money into the high technology sector which has a direct impact on the S&P 500.

Bitcoin, on the other hand, continues its volatility and has dropped from $46K to a tad under $41K after the Bitcoin ETF approval announcement. Talk about a case of buying on the rumor and selling on the news.

Spot gold pricing continues to hold about the $2000 mark with a morning quote of $2028/oz per Kitco. Personally, I'm not concerned why gold trades above $2000 as long as it remains above that level. As we have mentioned repeatedly, the key to further gold increases remains with the U.S. dollar and long term interest rates. The U.S. dollar is flat at 103.2 while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has receded to 4.09%.

WTI crude is currently trading at $73.71/bbl with traders not being spooked by the attacks on Red Sea shipping.

A check of morning market futures suggest another positive trading day with the S&P 500 looking at a nearly a 0.5% gain at the open.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Since most of today's shipping and a CAC Stickering submission were staged on Sunday, my office time will be focused on the New Jersey Collection Trade dollars and featuring those lots in Tuesday's Blog along with posting to the online auction catalog. Secondly, the Sooner Liberty Seated half dime consignment will be separated into auction lots and those that will heading directly to the 30 Day Price List. Those images will also see attention during the working hours.

Finally, consignments continue to be solicited for the price list or the March 23 auction sale. It may appeared that I'm buried with FUN2024 consignments, however, that backlog is being quickly processed and posted.

After operating the GFRC office for ten years, efficiency improvements continue to be made that lead to quicker processing of incoming lots. As the older saying goes, practice makes perfect with all aspects of this humble business

Thanks again for your ongoing patronage. I'm always here to help on the buying and selling side of the equation. Be well!

 

 

 

Sunday January 21, 2024

Island City Auction Sale - A Kickoff Bidding Flurry

A Premium FUN2024 Consignment

Palos Verdes 1874-CC Dime is Free Agent After a Walk-a-Way

and

U.S. Gold Price Reductions

 

Greetings on a cold Venice early morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. We are pleased that you could stop by.

Yes, it is a balmy 40F here in Venice Florida as of 6:00 AM. When considering the wind chill, the temperate is close to freezing. For Floridians, this is indeed quite cold but all is relevant. Back at the Maine homestead, the temperature is 13 degrees and typical for late January. There are no worries as the Venice area will be back to 80F by mid-week.

Much is happening in the GFRC office as this living space is essentially my primary location other than sleeping in the bedroom and walking the Blackburn Canal trail once per day. With extended hours committed to the numismatic business, there is always something to discuss in the Blog. This edition certainly has its share of content. Let's get to it....

 

Island City Auction Sale - A Kickoff Bidding Flurry

The Island City Auction Sale opened on schedule last evening with a kickoff bidding flurry ensuing. This substantial outpouring is certainly gratifying and reminds me of Thanksgiving Black Friday videos were shoppers rush through the store doors at midnight. The initial bidding was furious with the Island City Standing Liberty quarters garnering much attention. Thankfully, other denominations were also in demand, especially if CAC approved.

As of 6:00 AM, 48 of the 124 lots have already found new homes. Quick math indicates a 39% sell through rate in just the matter of nine hours. Of course, the final homes for the auction lots will not be known until next Saturday evening.

On a dollar value basis, the accumulated bids currently stand at $47,000 against the initial reserves of $162,000, give or take a few dollars on both figures. I'm a big proponent of rounding numbers when communicating.

The key question for the Island City auction is who will take home the 1916 Standing Liberty quarter. So far, that person is being coy and remains on the sidelines.

Bottom line, the Island City Collection is off to a great start. Let's hope that this momentum holds through the coming week.

 

A Premium FUN2024 Consignment

FUN2024 was a truly memorable event in terms of consignment arrivals. Today brings yet another premium consignment from a classy gentleman. At this point, we have not assigned a branding name for this individual.

Following are five CAC approved lots for your consideration. We open the display with two choice early copper pieces that exhibit natural toning. The GFRC images accurately capture the colorations of both lots. Next is a GFRC-Gem rated 1846 Seated dime certified VG10 with CAC approval. How can you go wrong with an 1846 dime with perfect surfaces and essentially a full LIBERY for under $1000? Next is a lovely 1836 B-3 Capped Bust quarter that is popular due to its progressive die cracking through its terminal die state. On this lot, the obverse is at Die State 5 while the reverse is at Die State 3 per the Thompkins reference on the series. The display closes with an old friend that makes its third appearance on the GFRC price list. I'm constantly surprise with how many previously handled coins manage to find their way back to GFRC.

All lots are immediately available and will post to the 30 Day Price List today.

A Premium FUN2024 Consignment

Priced as Marked

      1804 Cross 4 No Stems PCGS AU58 CAC 1/2C - $1550                                     1820 NGC MS64 CAC 1C - $1500                      

        

1846 F-101 PCGS VG10 CAC 10C - $875          1836 B-3 PCGS EF45 CAC 25C - $650                1857 NGC AU53 CAC 25C - $350      

                

 

Palos Verdes 1874-CC Dime is Free Agent After an Order Walk-a-Way

Yes, you've processed this headline correctly. The choice original Palos Verdes 1874-CC dime that went on hold eight days ago has become a "walk-a-way" casualty. After initial email exchanges with the perspective buyer on payment terms, the person had decided to disappear on the coin. This is disappointing to say the least for the consignor and quite frustrating for me as the seller.

Therefore, as of yesterday afternoon, this 1874-CC dime is once again available.

1874-CC F-101 PCGS EF45 10C - $45,000

 

U.S. Gold Price Reductions

It is now common knowledge that demand for U.S. gold has softened in the past few months. Several individuals have offered price reductions to help stimulate demand after an extended period of pricing appreciation during the past several years.

The 1851-O gold dollar is a sweet example that is now priced below the CDN CAC price guide ($780). Please take the time to visit the CAC population report for this date as you might become motivated to take this piece home once internalizing the low AU grade populations. Mint State prices range from $1150 (MS62) to $8500 (MS65) leading me to believe that this AU58 is a compelling value.

Secondly is a 1909/8 overdate $20 gold lot that has seen a substantial pricing reduction to $4100. This reduction takes the lot well below the current CDN Greysheet number.

U.S. Gold Price Reductions

Priced as Marked

      1851-O PCGS AU58 CAC G$1 - $725                                               1909/8 PCGS MS63 G$20 - $4100      

        

 

Announcing an Early St. Patrick's Sales Event - March 8-10, 2024

That is correct! GFRC will be holding a St. Patrick's Day sales event in March with the usual 8% discounting requirement for participation.

St. Patrick's Day is Sunday March 17. However, due to leaving for the Spring Whitman Baltimore show on March 19 (a 14 hours drive from Venice to Baltimore), the sale will take place one week earlier. The 2024 GFRC St. Patrick's Day sale arrives on March 8 through 10 with the usual launch at Thursday midnight. Come early February, I will begin soliciting the usual discounting instructions for the sale.

A GFRC sales event is an opportunity to discount aging inventory towards raising numismatic capital. Pricing discovery is an imperfect science and more of an art, to be frank. These sales events allow GFRC and consignors to adjust prices to current market realities.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

With the cold weather at hand, I will be spending nearly the entire day in the GFRC office.

Monday's shipping is quite extensive including a CAC submission. Come the afternoon hours, USPS labels will be issued and shipments staged for Diane's receipt writing and packaging.

Work has already begun on the March 23 Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale as all the New Jersey and Sooner Collection lots have been photographed. Yesterday brought image processing for a strong proof and business strike Barber dime lot that was purchased at the tail end of the FUN show. These 10 dimes will be posted to the online auction catalog today. New Jersey Collection trade dollar image processing is next in the queue.

That about wraps up items worth sharing on a cold mid-winter Sunday morning. Thank you so much for visiting. Be well!

 

 

 

Saturday January 20, 2024

Island City Auction Sale - Bidding Opens at 9:00 PM

and

Incremental FUN2024 New Purchases to Consider

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Saturday morning. Thank you so much for staying close to these daily numismatic ramblings.

Friday finally brought a respite from the ongoing rain and overcast conditions here in Venice. A much needed photography session was conducted along with the return of a CAC Stickering submission. Let's just say that CAC approval standards are remaining tough. John Albanese and staff continue to be applauded for maintaining strict approval requirements, as are the CAC Grading standards.

The past several days have brought brisk sales after a few quiet days. The market is nowhere near the robustness seen during the Covid 19 pandemic but is still active. Consignors should be aware of these market conditions and have patience with the sales process. There will most likely be a St. Patrick's Day sale event in March though the timing will be adjusted earlier due to the Whitman Baltimore show arriving the following week after the St. Patrick's Day weekend. It will be near impossible to conduct a St. Patrick's Day weekend sale (and the subsequent shipping) while preparing inventory for transport to Baltimore.

Lastly, there are only three months remaining before GFRC transitions back to the Raymond homestead. I am so looking forward to being back on Johnny2 and tackling some new projects in the back acreage. The Venice condo is a great refuge from the cold Maine winters and we are thank-you for this. However, living in Maine brings a much better work vs. play balance to a life.

 

Island City Auction Sale - Bidding Opens at 9:00 PM

Finally, the Island City Auction Sale goes live at 9:00 PM this evening. After what feels like month's of preparations and marketing, collectors will have the opportunity to bid on their targeted acquisitions. At this point, we have discussed many of the lots and leave this auction in the hands of community members.

Let's revisit a few points concerning GFRC Online Auctions as important reminders.

First, the auction application is a bid centric system with no tie back to a bidder number. Each bid is a unique event onto itself. This seems simple enough but leads to the risk of bidding against yourself if not paying attention to prior bids. If a new bid is placed above an existing bid, the first bid will be triggered. No one wants this to happen as bidders are unhappy and will ask for me to fix their mistake. Placing higher bids on an existing bid is also an effective strategy for scaring away other bidders while petitioning me to honor their first bid only. Bottom line, I have tried repeated times to explain how the bidding platform operates and the risk of bidding against yourself if not paying attention to prior bids. During the Island City auction sale, everyone is responsible for their bids as I will not entertain bid corrections or reductions.

Secondly, GFRC offers its regular three payment lay-a-way terms for won auction lots if the total is over $3000. To use this option, I must be contacted prior to the auction opening at 9:00 PM this evening. It is my sole judgment on whether the lay-a-way privilege will be extended to those who issue a request. It is rare that anyone is refused.

Thirdly, GFRC auctions are designed to be fun events for a broad range of collectors. Lot reserves range from $150 to $13,800 for the 1916 PCGS AU53 CAC Standing Liberty quarter. The many lots with reserves under $250 should bring about some active bidding.

And lastly, for any new bidders, GFRC Online Auctions sales have no buyer's fee. Your purchase price will be the actual bid without the need for calculating a buyer's fee offset. Of course, the auction software will competitively bid your maximum bid against other incoming bids until exceeded or outlasting the competition.

Good luck to everyone who has targeted lots within the Island City auction sale! I will be back on Sunday morning to discuss how the opening bidding went.

 

Incremental FUN2024 New Purchases to Consider

Today brings another round of FUN2024 new purchase with nearly all lots being CAC approved. Those lots are displayed next with offer prices.

Originality and old time eye appeal should be readily evident within this strong lot. The 1869 3 Cent nickel makes its second appearance on the GFRC price list and is a superb gem example with exceptional luster and presentation. A second appearance also takes place for the 1839 F-108 Liberty Seated dime that is the web-book plate coin (Definitive Resource for Liberty Seated Dime Variety Collectors). I could not resist bringing this old friend back home for a another sales list offering.

Though not CAC approved, the 1875 Seated quarter is a pretty lot with undisturbed fields and would be a great type coin. Then there is the 1822 O-105 Capped Bust half with remarkable toning colors and overall eye appeal. Under a bright light, this half reveals brilliant steely luster that is as impressive as the toning. Yes, the asking price is strong but then again, top shelf coins are priced at premiums.

The final group of three lower priced lots are all solid for their certified grades and strictly original.

Look for this group to post to the price list during the last morning hours. However, the offer prices are already listed below to help facilitate quick decision making.

 

Incremental FUN2024 New Purchases to Consider

Priced as Marked

            1869 NGC MS65 CAC 3CN - $985                                                1839 F-108 NGC AU58 CAC 10C - $725    

        

                  1875 PCGS MS63 25C - $675                                                1822 O-105 R3 NGC AU58 CAC 50C - $1750

        

1829 LM-13.1 PCGS EF40 CAC H10C - $255    1829 Sm 10C JR-7 PCGS VF35 CAC 10C - $295      1926-D PCGS MS64 CAC 25C -$475        

                    

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Today brings yet another office day with the focus being the March 23, 2024 Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale with an initial round of on-hand lots being posted to the online catalog.

I believe that this is the extent of today's Blog content.

Again, good luck this evening when the Island City Auction Sale bidding opens at 9:00 PM. Be well!

 

 

 

Friday January 19, 2024

Island City Auction Event - Bidding Opens Tomorrow

and

Lakeland Collection - FUN2024 Consignment Arrives!

 

Greetings on a Friday morning and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. Thank you so much for the time.

Yesterday's Gene Gardner centric edition was well received with a fair number of readers sending along positive feedback. A sincere thank you goes out to those that took the time to comment.

The GFRC office has been a busy place as yet another week has flown by. On Thursday, GFRC finalized its full page advertisement for the upcoming late March auction event. The second GFRC Online Auctions event of 2024 will be entitled the Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale as recognition to the two primary consignors; the New Jersey Collection and the Sooner Collection. Both gentlemen have been long term GFRC clients and their contributions for this upcoming auction are quite noteworthy. The following ad will appear in COIN WORLD's March monthly magazine on page 32.

 

Island City Auction Event - Bidding Opens Tomorrow

After much anticipation, the next GFRC Online Auction event begin tomorrow evening at 9:00 PM. The Island City Standing Liberty quarter anchor collection is obviously the main event that will garner substantial attention.

As promised in Wednesday's Blog edition, I'm back with a second group of standout lots beyond the Standing Liberty quarters. The Liberty Seated and earlier Bust lots are also worthy of close scrutiny. Following is the second installment of six hand picked lots as recommendations for careful inspection and competitive bidding. Just imagine having the auction firm staff sitting next to you during an auction lot viewing event and providing personalized insights. Here we go...

The recommendations open with a attractively toned 1807 Draped Bust half with rose-gold and gray patina along with a bold strike. This piece would be an excellent type coin addition as the underlying steely-frosted luster erupts under a bright light.. GFRC images only hint at the beauty of the 1830 Small 0 Capped Bust half. The golden-gray coloration is magnified by underlying frosted luster and spinning cartwheels. This lot is a no-brainer GFRC-Gem rated item and will delight the winning bidder..

Any appearance of an 1839 No Drapery Seated half will garner attention as this date is necessary for both type and date and mint mark enthusiasts. Lucky for collectors, the Emerald Collection has released an exceptional example with steely luster and orange-gold as the primary coloration. The well preserved 1849-O half is a testament to the less that stellar New Orleans mint quality condition of its production dies. The nicely frosted example documents a heavily rusted obverse die with pitting throughout the center motif.

Assigning a GFRC-Gem quality rating to the 1868 half, in this sale, was an unquestionably easy decision. The steely reflective fields provide a lovely cameo effect when viewed under a bright light. One could argue that this lot would be incredibly difficult to upgrade as the eye appeal is that of a higher grade. Finally, we arrive to the 1800 Draped Bust dollar that is perfect for the grade. GFRC images are 100% accurate as to the coloration and surface preservation. Just this week, I've sold two 1800 Draped Bust dollars as this date and series is now under demand.

There you have it. Winning any of the flagged lots on this recommended list should be a pleasing experience once the lots are delivered. Good luck to everyone as I do expect some competitive bidding.

 

Gerry's Auction Picks - Part 2

    1807 O-105 NGC PCGS AU55 50C                                                  1830 O-106 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C    

        

1839 No Drapery WB-3 PCGS AU53 CAC 50C                                            1845-O WB-9 PCGS MS63 50C            

        

       1868 PCGS MS63 CAC 50C                                                    1800 B-8 BB-188 PCGS VF25 CAC $1

        

 

Lakeland Collection - FUN2024 Consignment Arrives!

Thanks to a rapid pricing proposal approval, the newest Lakeland Collection consignment was posted to the Blog during the late morning hours on Thursday. I might add that this grouping is the finest to date from the mother and son collecting team. The overall quality and desirability brought a swift ordering response. Already, the 1886-S dime, the 1864-S Seated half, the 1839-S Walker, and the 1868 Seated dollar are on hold. A portion of these lots were posted to the price list last evening with the balance arriving today.

Lakeland Collection - FUN2024 Consignment Arrives!

Priced as Marked

         1886-S F-101 NGC MS62 10C - $1000                                          1878-S Briggs 1-A PCGS EF45 25C - $2850    

        

    1864-S WB-1 PCGS AU55 50C - $1650                                               1939-S NGC MS67 CAC 50C - $1600    

        

            1943-D NGC MS67+ CAC 50C - $1500                                            1868 MPD FS-301 PCGS VF30 $1 - $985          

        

1869 RPD PCGS MS64BN 2C - $475            1833 LM-10 ANACS AU50 H10C - $295                  1863 PCGS EF45 25C - $585      

                

              1908-D PCGS MS64 25C - $425              1807 O-102 ANACS F15 50C OWH - $595        1826 O-116a PCGS AU55 CAC 50C - $800     

                

          1826 O-104 AU55 50C - $575                          1863 PCGS VF35 50C - $365                   1869-S WB-2 ANACS EF45 50C - $375 

                

 

Global Financial News

As mentioned this week, the increasing strengthening of the U.S. dollar (103.4 this morning) and a 10 Year Bond yield now at 4.14% has impacted spot gold pricing though the precious metal is still trading at $2033/oz. Gold resilience should be noted at this point and a strong bullish indicator for when the Federal Reserve is forced to lower interest rates. Following is an article from the Kitco website published by a Sweden based investment firm. Here is an excerpt from that article.

We believe that central banks will shift away from rate hikes and adopt a more accommodative policy stance in 2024, which will catalyze a substantial upswing in gold prices for the foreseeable future,” the analysts said in the report.

The firm said that as the Fed leads the world in rate cuts this year, the U.S. dollar will weaken, creating another tailwind for gold.

However, gold has struggled in recent days, with prices testing support just above $2,000 an ounce as markets start to lower their expectations for a potential rate cut in March. So far gold prices have dropped about 3% since the start of the new year.

As bullish as the fund is on gold, they expect to see silver outperform this year.

“In this emerging bull market, expected to last many years, we predict the gold-to-silver ratio will drop below 30:1, setting an initial goal for 2024 at 70:1,” the analysts said. “Should gold appreciate by 20%, it would end the year at USD 2,475, and with a gold-to-silver ratio of 70:1, silver would close at USD 35, equating to a 48% return.”

U.S. equity markets enjoyed upbeat trading on Thursday with the S&P 500 climbing back to 4,781. The buying optimism is carrying into today based on the following Seeking Alpha generated morning market futures.

In Asia, Japan +1.4%. Hong Kong -0.5%. China -0.5%. India +0.7%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.4%. Paris +0.1%. Frankfurt +0.2%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.5%. NASDAQ +0.8%.

With the host of air strikes and missiles being launched in the Middle East (Hamas, Lebanon's Hezbollah, Israel, Iran, Pakistan, Yemen Houthis, and the United States), at some point oil traders will become worried about these minor conflicts turning into a larger regional war. As of this morning, WTI crude has gapped up to nearly $74/bbl.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Today brings light shipping during the morning hours along with posting the balance of the Lakeland Collection lots to the 30 Day Price List. Image processing will be the operative task during the afternoon hours as there are two goals. The first is preparing yet another FUN2024 show consignment for a gallery display on Saturday if the pricing proposal and approval can be wrapped up in time. Secondly, I wish to start population the Two Fine Gentlemen Auction Sale lots to the online catalog during the Island City Collection sale week. In that manner, those who spend time reviewing auction lots and bidding will also be able to enjoy a preview of the forthcoming late March auction lots. Believe me, the March 23 auction event will be significant.

That is all she wrote for a Friday morning. I'm so glad that you could find the time to visit. Be well!

 

 

 

Thursday January 18, 2024

Memories of Gene Gardner - Manchester NH October 2013 - Seated Dime Fest

 

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

Today's edition will be different as there are no prepared gallery displays. Late on Wednesday, a pricing proposal was issued to the Lakeland Collection. I'm certain that today will bring a response and finalized offer prices for a 20 piece consignment lot. Once that approval is received, a gallery will be prepared most likely during the afternoon hours. Offers prices will be included, so please make a point to check back later today for the latest duplicates and finds by the mother and son collecting team in Lakeland, Florida.

Instead, today brings back cherished memories of a weekend during October 2013. The recent consignment of Eugene Gardner's 1865 Liberty Seated quarter graded PCGS MS66+ CAC, per the Quito Collection, triggered the idea to locate and share images from that special weekend.

Let's set the stage...

Gerry has just become the new Liberty Seated Collectors Club president while the GFRC business was still in the early formulation stage. A decision was made to showcase my Liberty Seated dime collection at the October 2013 NH Coin Expo (The Manchester Show). An announcement was made to the LSCC New England members of the forthcoming display. A few days later, I received a phone call from Gene Gardner suggesting that we unite forces and conduct a joint display of our Liberty Seated dime collections. Of course, I could not pass up such an offer and immediately called show coordinator Ernie Botte for his concurrence for a huge Liberty Seated Dime Fest at the October show. Overnight security was the key issue as the combined displays were valued into the millions.

At this point in 2013, Gene is fighting a courageous battle with cancer and has limited stamina. We should be well aware of this fact when viewing the images. However, the passionate collector that he was brought him to Manchester NH via a chartered private jet from Pennsylvania via New Jersey to pick up Bill Nagel. Bill was Gene's right hand agent at all auctions where Gene planned to make acquisitions. Gene arrives to the Double Tree Hotel with his entire Liberty Seated dime collection (business strikes and proofs) being carried in an LL Bean bag. Eearly that day, he had just gone to the bank vault and loaded the dime double row boxes into an available canvas bag. Yes, $6-$7 million dollars of dimes in a canvas bag. Sorry, I don't have an image of that priceless moment upon seeing Gene's arrival.

At this point in time, Gene Gardner was very close to Heritage Auction President, Greg Rohan, as plans were being made for the sale of his collection in the not so distant future. However, Gene did not tell Greg Rohan of his plan to take the Liberty Seated dime portion of his $60 million collection to Manchester NH for a coin show display. Greg did finally learn of Gene's decision on the morning of show setup. A panicked Greg Rohan called me to discuss the security situation on the bourse that morning. Once hearing of the environment, Greg immediately called a local safe company and order a floor standing safe to be delivered to the bourse floor to house Gene's collection during the overnight hours. There were multiple check-in call from Greg that day to ensure that the safe had been delivered.

There are a host of other stories that could be share from that event including my one-on-one breakfast with Gene to discuss what was necessary for his inclusion in the Liberty Seated Collectors Club Hall of Fame. My frank advice was given to a generational collector and a plan was structured as time was of the essence.

I hope that you enjoy these images of a much younger Gerry Fortin and the well known cast members of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club during the 2013 club meeting image. May the gentleman, Eugene Gardner rest in peace. He legacy is indeed generational....

 

 

Global Financial News

As mentioned yesterday, the reality of "delayed" Federal Reserve interest rate cuts is now weighing on Wall Street. The S&P 500 dropped by nearly 0.6% to 4,739 as a better than expected retail sales report. For all the doom and gloom predictions of a Q1'2024 recession by many financial pudents, the U.S. economy is still holding up though the debt burden for households cannot be ignored.

Conversely, if U.S. interest rates are remaining higher for longer, then the U.S. dollar will continue to strengthen as is the case today. The DXY index indicates that the dollar is now trading at 103.3. Also, the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has climbed to 4.09%.

How is spot gold holding up given these headwinds? Of course, the yellow precious is feeling the impact and struggling to stay above the $2000/oz mark. Currently, the Kitco real time quote is $2016.

Morning market futures are upbeat with the S&P forecasted to open up by 0.4% at the opening bell.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

The Lakeland Collection consignment is ready to post to the Blog and 30 Day Price List once proposed offer prices are approved. I expect to hear back from our clients shortly.

The entire 100+ piece Sooner Collection consignment is now loaded into the COIN system and is photographed. Whew! Next is a careful review of the Liberty Seated half dime portion of the consignment for CAC submission recommendations. That step will be done this afternoon with the results tendered to our dear friend for his review and approval.

I believe these tasks will keep me busy for most of the day.

Please consider a numismatic purchase, if you could, as consignors would love to see their coins heading into new collections. Thanks again for visiting the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

Wednesday January 17, 2024

Island City Auction Event - Just Three Days Away!

and

A Unique NGC Gen 6 Holder?

 

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

Providing daily numismatic entertainment does bring its challenges when working through a huge consignment backlog. One can either focus on the consignments to ensure that consignors are satisfied with the turnaround time or alternately work to develop Blog content. This has been an ongoing struggle for years. Some days, like today, bring a ready made piece of content that is worth sharing. Other days not so much with readers probably detecting the lack of new content. All we can do is out best...

Today's Blog will be on the brief side due to office workload. I'd like to prepare the outgoing packages early for Diane to allow more time for wrapping up the loading of FUN show consignments into the COIN system and beginning the task of deciding which coins are heading to the March 23 auction and those that will head directly to the price list. Once those decisions are tendered, consignors will informed of the recommendations. In particular, the Sooner Collection will be most impacted by the auction versus price list recommendation process as his FUN2024 drop-off was over 100 lots.

Let's move forward with today's content.

 

Island City Auction Event - Just Three Days Away!

As a reminder, the next GFRC Online Auction event begin this Saturday, January 20 at 9:00 PM. I'm certain that there is anticipation by those collectors that wish to gain access to the individual lots in the Island City Standing Liberty quarter anchor collection. These lots are entirely CAC approved and affordable to a broad range of collectors given the AU grades.

Also included in this auction are some standout lots beyond the Standing Liberty quarters. The Liberty Seated and earlier Bust lots are also worthy of close scrutiny. Following is the first installment of six hand picked lots as my recommendation for careful inspection and competitive bidding. A second installment will be published on Friday. Just imagine having me sitting next to you during an auction lot viewing event and providing my insights. Here we go....

The first lot on the recommended list is a colorful 1872 half dime with brilliant frosted luster. This piece is in the CAC condition census with only two MS67s finer and would be a great addition to a high end type set without breaking the bank. Next is an AU58 1847 Seated dime. This date continues to be under appreciated for its rarity in Mint State. The auction description delves into the rarity details for the date. The 1862 F-103 Gouged Reverse Die dime is a numismatically historic lot as the Monfort Johnson discovery piece and plate coin when the variety was announced and published in the Gobrecht Journal. This piece was purchased from Brian Greer and then sold into the Massachusetts Collection many years later.

The sleeper in this auction event is the 1869 F-103 Short Flag 1 dime with CAC approval. CAC has approved only 17 pieces for this date. I'm guessing that less than half will be the Short Flag 1 examples as the Long Flag 1 dies generated more coinage with higher quality since the dies also struck proofs. The CAC guide is a mindless $273 at grade. I've half seriously joked to a few auction lot viewers that this piece should be a four figure coin based on its incredible originality and rarity. The 1899-O Barber dime brings the coveted Norweb pedigree and is worthy of its MS66 CAC certification. Finally, the Saw Mill Run Collection has released a gem 1845 Briggs 3-C Seated quarter that would delight the most critical fan of the series.

Gerry's Auction Picks - Part 1

1872 NGC MS66 CAC H10C                                                      1847 F-102 PCGS AU58 10C    

        

1862 F-103 PCGS MS63 10C                                                          1869 PCGS EF40 CAC 10C    

        

       1899-O PCGS MS66 CAC 10C                                                1845 Briggs 3-C PCGS AU55 CAC 25C    

        

 

 

A Unique NGC Gen 6 Holder?

Yesterday afternoon, while loading the Sooner Seated half dimes into the COIN database, an 1853 With Arrows Mint State lot was discovered in a strange looking NGC holder. Following are cellphone images for your review. The most obvious issue is that the label and coin are mounted opposite of the normal TPG convention whereby the label is at the top of the holder and the coin immediately below. However, there is more to the story if one looks closely. Do you see the "Fatty" reverse hologram on the backside of the holder? How about the "keyed" insert with a brown label and bar code?

Dear readers, what we have here is an NGC Gen 6 holder that was a very brief transitional variety. It has the full width hologram that was used on NGC 4 and 5 Fatty holders but it is used with the "keyed" insert. This holder type saw a short production during 1996 and is the first time I've handled one. It is possible that this is an R7 level holder given the limited production along with the opposite label mounting? Yes, I keep preaching to buy the coin and not the holder, but this situation is entirely different. I suspect that the holder is worth more than the coin. Addition information from the community would be welcomed.

 

Global Financial News

Another day and another dollar as some wise person said long ago. Actually, the phrase origins from a song written by country artist Wynn Stewart during 1962. You can find this song on YouTube with ease.

With all the talk of the U.S. dollar being shredded by alternate currencies, the greenback still continues its dominance in international trading as there is no other obvious replacement with the supporting global financial infrastructure. After dipping close to 100 in 4Q2023, the dollar is back up to 103.3 this morning. A strong U.S. dollar is placing pressure on spot gold pricing which has dropped a tad to $2028/oz. What is behind the dollar's new rebound? Reality is beginning to set in for investors that were overly optimistic about multiple Federal Reserve rate cuts during 2024. Frankly, I found it difficult to believe in the first place when the financial media were tripping over themselves to forecast when the first rate cut would take place. Now the hard reality has arrived that current interest rate levels will be around until the U.S. economy openly starts to sputter during an election year.

Yesterday's equity market trading was lack luster as earning season arrives with the big banks going first to report their year ending results. The time has come for the banks to disclose and reserve for a potion of their bad loans on the books. The S&P 500 dropped to 4,766 or about -0.4%.

Morning market futures continue the negativity for equities.

In Asia, Japan -0.4%. Hong Kong -3.7%. China -2.1%. India -2.2%.
In Europe, at midday, London -1.7%. Paris -1.2%. Frankfurt -1%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.5%. S&P -0.5%. NASDAQ -0.6%.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has increased to 4.06% and WTI crude is trending at $71/bbl.

Yes, the Fed Funds rate cut euphoria appears to have a flat tire for the moment.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

On a day to day basis, the GFRC office is not an exciting place. Yes, it is cool to be handling so many great coins that many collectors dream of owning. Unfortunately, that magic does wear off with time as GFRC is a business that buys and sells coins along with a substantial consignment operation. The key to success is the operations and marketing departments. Coins need to flow quickly, but accurately from the point of being insourced to the final stage; posting on the price list or auction catalog.

Today brings yet another day of loading FUN2024 consignments into the COIN system along with completing the Lakeland Collection image processing. If both of these tasks can be completed before heading to bed, then the day has been a success for the operations department. The marketing and sales folks need to step up their game as post FUN show sales have been soft. A visit to the 30 Day Price List will make this fact apparent to the Sales staff....

Thank you for visiting as we've managed to ramble through yet another Blog edition. Be well!

 

 

 

Tuesday January 16, 2024

The Island City Collection Auction Sale PDF Catalog Arrives!

Announcing GFRC Online Auctions' March 23, 2024 Event

New Jersey Collection Seated Dollars Preview

and

The Consistency of CACG Holdered Early Type

 

Greetings on a wintry mid-January morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. We are delighted with your ongoing visits.

Busy is the operative word for the GFRC office as we move through the month of January. Back in Maine, winter has established its grip with sub-freezing temperatures with more snow on the way today. Here is Florida, more rain is on the way with chilly temperatures. The Fortins have never seen the backyard pond this full since purchasing during 2010. The inclement weather is a boon for the GFRC business as I'm free to work very long hours in the office.

Let's move directly into today's important content.

 

The Island City Collection Auction Sale PDF Catalog Arrives!

One of the most important trust building aspects of life is keeping commitments. Several months ago, I committed to having the Island City Collection auction catalog published on January 15, 2024. Yesterday brought the delivery of that commitment as the newest GFRC Online Auctions PDF catalog was uploaded during the early afternoon hours. For GFRC fans who are collecting these PDF documents on their computer's hard drive, the Island City Collection catalog is available and ready to be downloaded. Simply click on the below auction catalog cover to gain access.

Bidding for the Island City auction event opens in just a fews days. So please mark January 20 at 9:00 PM on your calendar to become involved in yet another fun auction event. I'm certain that the Island City's Standing Liberty quarters will be in strong demand based on the number of individuals who conducted auction lot previews at FUN2024. But don't forget the many Liberty Seated and Capped Bust lots in this auction.

The Island City Collection Auction Sale PDF Catalog Arrives!

 

Now that the Island City auction is close to launch, my attention instantly shifts to the next GFRC Online Auctions event.

We are pleased to announce that the next auction event will take place from March 23 to March 30, 2024 with auction lot preview occurring at the Spring Whitman Baltimore show.

Monday brought the loading of the first of two anchor collections into the COIN system. Yes, the New Jersey Collection is back with another release of his massive collection that has been assembled over many decades of collecting. It is with great honor that today brings a preview of this gentleman's Liberty Seated dollar collection. Please feel free to click on the below image to gain access to a high resolution version towards studying the forthcoming lots.

Announcing GFRC Online Auctions' March 23, 2024 Event

New Jersey Collection Seated Dollars Preview

 

Please stay close to the Daily Blog as I will be soon showcasing the second March 23 auction anchor collection. The Sooner Collection, yet another fine gentleman, has tendered a nearly complete Liberty Seated half dime collection in higher grades. During the upcoming 48 hours, these lots will be loaded into the COIN system along with a similar Daily Blog preview forthcoming. For those who carefully follow the Daily Blog, the Sooner Collection was GFRC's guest at FUN2024 as a sincere appreciation to his contributions to our business success.

Let's close this segment with a call for incremental auction lots for the March 23, 2024 GFRC Online Auction. The deadline for consignment arrivals is February 12 so please don't delay the participation decisions process. Let's discuss what might be on your mind as a potential consignment for this next event.

 

The Consistency of CACG Holdered Early Type

As we begin our 2024 numismatic journey, one of the key developments within the industry is the roll out of CAC Grading's online presence including a Set Registry. The coming year will bring an increasing amount of CACG holdered coins into the market as collectors begin to learn the physical and visual characteristics of true originality. Yes, CACG standards are strict, actually very strict. However, when assembling a group of early silver type coins in CACG holders in one display, their certification standard become immediately apparent.

In hindsight, I believe that John Albanese made a mistake when naming the new company CAC Grading. Rather, it should have been CAC Certification for a reason that has become readily evident. We need to acknowledge that the CAC certification threshold is primary driven by original surfaces. If a submitted coin can attain the originality threshold, then the second step is grade assignment based on wear, for circulated coins, and luster/marks for Mint State specimens. The glaring difference between CACG and its competitors, is the fact that PCGS and NGC have much looser standards for originality and will let minor surface imperfections and past treatments slide into their holders. CACG will not.

Following are four FUN2024 new purchases in CACG holders. Please stop for a moment and pay special attention to these four lots. Silver is a reactive metal and will typically oxidize with a gray patina if left unattended. Other natural toning colors will appear but the fundamental chemistry of the "tarnishing" leads to a coin gray appearance. In my eyes, there is nothing more numismatically beautiful than early type coins with unmolested surfaces covered with natural gray patina. Under a bright light, strict original coins will expose their underlying luster as is the case with these four AU and Mint State graded lots.

Are coins with this type of preservation worth the CAC premium? Only time will tell in terms of market acceptance. From my perspective, I would much rather collection naturally toned gray silver Americana that those pieces that have been dipped or processed in some manner to improve brilliance. Let's remember that many coins, during the early PCGS startup years, were purposely dipped bright white to secure a higher grade. Now with CACG, natural preservation is being recognized and rewarded.

Currently, the 1857-O dime is already spoken for while the other three lots are free agents.

Four New CACG Holdered Early Type Offerings

Price as Marked

               1858 CACG MS62 3CS - $795                                                   1831 LM-6 CACG MS62 H10C - $950    

        

         1857-O F-104 CACG AU55 10C - $425                                         1830 Large 9 O-123 CACG AU58 50C - $1000   

        

 

Global Financial News

Another equity market trading week opens today with the S&P 500 at 4,784 with morning market futures appearing gloomy. Seeking Alpha has captured this mood in the following opening article. The "peace dividend" is no more as a host of countries are ramping defense spending to counter China's aggressive actions in the South China Ocean along with Europe worried about Putin's plans for Eastern Europe. Of course, the Middle East remains a powder key with Iranian influence in the region.

There are more warnings that the world is entering a new era of collective defense, and 2024 may mark that inflexion point. One of the world's most important trade arteries in the Red Sea is becoming too risky to navigate, with fresh attacks hitting American-owned ships despite retaliatory airstrikes by U.S. and U.K. military forces. Overnight, Iran's Revolutionary Guards also launched ballistic missiles and armed drones at the Erbil airport in northern Iraq, where U.S. and other international forces are stationed. Quote: "Now is the time for all allied and democratic nations across the world to ensure their defense spending is growing," U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps declared at the Lancaster House in London. "Because, as discussed, the era of the peace dividend is over. In five years' time, we could be looking at multiple theaters involving Russia, China, Iran and North Korea." As a result, Britain will be sending some 20,000 personnel to lead NATO's latest Exercise Steadfast Defender, marking one of military alliance's largest deployments since the end of the Cold War. "We find ourselves at the dawn of a new era," Shapps continued. "The Berlin Wall a distant memory and we have come full circle, moving from a post-war to a pre-war world. An age of idealism has been replaced by a period of hard-headed realism. Today, our adversaries are busily rebuilding their barriers. Old enemies are reanimated. New foes are taking shape. Battle lines are being redrawn. The tanks are literally on Europe's Ukrainian lawn. And the foundations of the world order are being shaken to their core." "We stand at this crossroads - whether to surrender to a sea of troubles, or do everything we can to deter the danger. I believe that, in reality, it's no choice at all. To guarantee our freedoms, we must be prepared." What to watch: The call for increases in defense spending comes at a time when many Western economies are being pressured by giant debt loads and higher interest rates. Over the past few decades, European countries have cut back even further due to budget deficit rules and a reliance on the U.S. security umbrella, and rechanneling funds away from areas like health, education and infrastructure - or implementing higher taxes and spending cuts - won't be popular. While Donald Trump just inked a decisive win in Iowa as the 2024 presidential race begins, American military spending is likely to rise at an exponential rate no matter who is in office, with the defense budget increasing every year since 2016. 

Spot gold is quoting at $2044/oz while the U.S. dollar continues to strengthen with a 103.2 reading this morning. Actually gold is holding up quite well in the face of a strong dollar and a 10 Year U.S. Treasury yield that is back over 4.0%.

WTI crude is priced at $73.20 to start the day. Following are Seeking Alpha's global market futures.

In Asia, Japan -0.8%. Hong Kong -2.2%. China +0.3%. India -0.3%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.5%. Paris -0.6%. Frankfurt -0.6%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.5%. S&P -0.5%. NASDAQ -0.7%.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

The shipping department restarts operations this morning after a well deserved two day break. Once morning shipping is accomplished, I will be back in the office for the balance of the day.

Today's top priorities are loading the Sooner Collection's FUN2024 consignment into the COIN system along with image processing for the latest Lakeland Collection consignor. In the background, I am working on a large trade/purchase deal and an opportunity to purchase a substantial U.S. gold lot.

Purchases would be sincerely appreciated along with consignment proposals for the price list or the forthcoming March 23, 2024 auction event.

And on that note, I bid everyone a fine day in whatever numismatic neighborhood that you might operate in. Be well!

 

 

 

 

 

Monday January 15, 2024

MLK Holiday and Matt Yamatin's 40th

Eugene Gardner 1865 25c and More from the Quito Collection

and

Two JUST BUY IT NOW! Proof Seated Quarters

 

Greetings on the Martin Luther King holiday and welcome to the Daily. We appreciate the ongoing visits and of course, the support for the GFRC business.

January 15, 2024 brings the 40th birthday for Matt Yamatin. Yes, the young boy who I coached in candle pin bowling alleys and on baseball diamonds turns 40. Diane and I are thoroughly proud of his family and career. Matt's IT support for the GFRC business is one of the key reasons for its current success. Here is a image of Matt, the All-American athlete, while attending Tufts University in Boston.

 

Let's move forward with today's GFRC news...

 

Eugene Gardner 1865 25c and More from the Quito Collection

It is with great pride that GFRC offers the Eugene Gardner 1865 Liberty Seated quarter today courtesy of the Quito Collection, along with two other notable lots. Please note that the 1891-O quarter is already on hold.

Gene's 1865 Seated quarter sold during June 2014 and realized $41,125 during one of four Heritage auction sales employed for selling the entire Gardner collection. At that time, this piece was located in a PCGS old green holder and certified MS66 CAC. Previously, the same lot sold during July 2010 (Orlando Summer FUN show) for a record setting price of $48,875 and was the Eugene Gardner acquisition point. Following is the Heritage Auctions description during the June 2014 sale.

1865 25C MS66 PCGS. CAC. Briggs 1-A. This sharply struck and lustrous Premium Gem displays original cobalt-blue and golden-russet toning that is more prominent on the obverse. Both sides are remarkably devoid of abrasions, in concert with the singular grade. The strike is remarkably sharp on the obverse; only stars 12 and 13 show minor softness in their centers. The reverse is similarly well-detailed, and both sides show splendid eye appeal.

Variety: Briggs 1-A. The date shows a large 1 repunched over a small 1. The flag of the underdigit 1 shows on the left, the base and upright of the underdigit on the right. Die chips clog the inside loop of the 5, and a round ball connects the 5 and 6 in the date. QUAR DOL shows recutting on the reverse.

Population Data (5/14): For the date (not the variety), PCGS shows the present piece in MS66 with one MS67 finer. The finest at NGC are four in MS65.

Heritage Commentary: The Seated quarters dated 1865 were struck in the meager quantity of only 58,800 pieces for circulation. During this last year of the Civil War, silver and gold coinage was hoarded (even copper coinage was hoarded), and fractional currency was abundant. Gresham's Law, that "bad money drives out good," tells us that examples of this issue would not have circulated in any case. This piece is an exceptional example and an important opportunity for Seated quarter specialists. Encapsulated in an old green label holder with the added CAC green label, "green on green," a collecting style that is gaining increasing numbers of adherents.

Consignor Commentary: For a coin with a modest R.5 rating, this 1865 coin from Philadelphia proved quite difficult to locate. It took more than 10 years of searching before this coin turned up in a Heritage auction. But it was worth the wait for this beautiful specimen. Technically strong for the grade with eye-catching toning, a true Gem.

Here is the PCGS TruView image for reference and a comparison to the recently taken GFRC image.

 

 

Eugene Gardner 1865 25c and More from the Quito Collection

Priced as Marked

1865 PCGS MS66+ CAC 25C - $38,000

 1818 B-4 PCGS AU50 CAC 25C - $3150                                              1891-O PCGS F15 CAC 25C - $1700   

        

 

Two JUST BUY IT NOW! Proof Seated Quarters

This is the first time that GFRC has issued a JUST BUY IY NOW recommendation in the Daily Blog as these two newly consigned proof Seated quarters should be immediately acquired by a collector with discriminating taste. Both lots are freshly graded with consecutive NGC serial numbers from yet another customer turned consignor.

Overall eye appeal for the lot is compelling with the 1879 specimen offering deep mirrors and just a slight amount of wispy hairlines that take a careful 10x review to locate. The 1881 proof quarter is an undoubted gem with brilliant mirrors and gorgeous toning. Whomever steps forward on these two lots will be thoroughly pleased upon arrival. Looks for these lots to post to the price list today.

Two JUST BUY IT NOW! Proof Seated Quarters

Freshly Graded, Consecutive Serial Numbers

Price as Marked

         1879 NGC PF63 CAC 25C - $1100                                           1881 NGC PF64 CAMEO CAC 25C - $1850    

        

 

Island City Auction Catalog Will Post This Afternoon

I'm pleased to report that the Island City PDF Auction catalog will be posted to the Auction link during the afternoon hours. Much progress was realized on Sunday with about 80% of the catalog current completed.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

The Venice Florida weather has been unseasonably cold and wet. We will be lucky to break 70F for today's high. Yes, I know that living in a climate with January temperatures in the 50-60s would be heaven for the many Americans fighting frigid temps in the plains states and New England. Once in Florida, the body acclimates to temperatures in the 80-90s thus the difficulty with feeling warm at current temperatures.

Today brings another day in the GFRC office as I complete the Island City catalog and post today's new lots to the 30 Day Price List. Once those tasks are completed, image process begins for the Lakeland Collection consignment that was insourced at FUN2024 along with loading more consignments into the COIN system. Specially, there are three consignments that still have not been loaded. Those are lots from the Sooner Collection, the New Jersey Collection, and the New Orleans Collection.

As you can see, there is much to accomplish in the office during the balance of the week.

Thank you as always for checking in at the Blog. Be well!

 

 

Sunday January 14, 2024

Palos Verdes 1874-CC Dime is on Hold!

Next GFRC Online Auctions Event Preview - March 23-30, 2024

and

More Choice Consignments Arrive

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog during the 2024 Martin Luther King holiday weekend. Thank you so much for stopping by.

Today's Blog edition will be brief as it is difficult to maintain a constant flow of new offerings and their corresponding gallery displays given the limited number of hours in a day. Rather, this edition will provide GFRC updates. Before we get started, it is time for another choice nugget from Seth Godin concerning how true leaders operate. Leadership is the process of setting a direction and constructing a productive environment that harnesses the creativity and energy of participants towards that goal. John F. Kennedy's September 12, 1962 challenge to the American people to be the first to place a man on the moon is a classic example of setting a lofty goal and providing the futile ground for its attainment during July 1969.

Seth Godin Blogpost - Kash's garden

She doesn’t grow plants.

The plants grow themselves.

Her job is to create conditions for the plants to grow.

The soil, the water, the light, the weeds… these are the conditions.

But none of it happens if the plants don’t do the thing they want to do in the first place.

This is always true, anywhere a leader succeeds.

Creating the conditions is the hard part.

 

Palos Verdes 1874-CC Dime is on Hold!

GFRC is pleased to announce that the Palos Verdes 1874-CC dime, certified PCGS EF45, has been placed on hold effective Saturday morning. The buyer is an existing GFRC client and will be tendering payment on Tuesday since Monday is a Federal holiday as USPS and banks closed for the day.

My sincere congratulations go out to the new owner given the significance of this acquisition. Few choice 1874-CC dimes are extant at this grade level. The appearance to market of the Palos Verdes specimen was an important opportunity for this astute collector.

 

Next GFRC Online Auctions Event Preview - March 23-30, 2024

When operating a combination retail numismatic business and an auction platform, one must keep an eye on both sales channels. To that end, the follow-on GFRC Online Auctions event is now being planned for March 23 through March 30. The time frame has been selected to facilitate auction lot viewing at the Spring Whitman Baltimore show that is scheduled for March 21 - 23.

This second GFRC 2024 auction is already well subscribed with three distinctive numismatic areas being showcased. Following is a preview of the anchor consignments for this event.

- New Jersey Collection Liberty Seated and Trade dollars

- Sooner Collection Liberty Seated Half dimes

- GFRC's Proof and Business Strike Barber dimes

Of course, this next auction will be open to other consignments as the more, the merrier! I've purposely made this early announcement towards keeping the community informed of the primary numismatic collectibles that will be offered. Armed with that knowledge, collectors may wish to consider their participation in this sale with incremental consignments. Please realize that this announcement is an early forecast with the ability to augment the anchor collection offerings with other 19th century denominations and series.

Please contact me in the near term if wishing to participate in the second GFRC Online Auctions event of 2024.

 

More Choice Consignments Arrive

Though I am literally buried with new consignments from FUN2024, clients continue to ship incremental lots to the GFRC office. The past several days have brought three important Capped Bust and Seated quarters from the Quito Collection and two magnificent CAC approved proof Liberty Seated quarters from yet another customer turned consignor. Yesterday brought photography and pricing proposal approvals. Therefore, I am in a position today to move forward with image processing and posting their lots within Monday's Daily Blog edition with offer prices. You will not want to miss this display and purchasing opportunity.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

Today's overwhelming priority is the construction of the Island City's Standing Liberty Quarter Collection sale catalog. This PDF and printed catalog will be specially designed to feature the Island City lots first followed by the balance of the auction lots in denominational order.

The goal is to have the catalog completed by end of day Monday with an online posting on Tuesday. A paper version will be printed specifically for the Island City consignor as documentation of his collecting achievement.

In parallel with the auction catalog preparation, I will be processing images for the Quito and newly consigned proof Seated quarter lots.

Being proactive towards the next 48 hours' must get done items, GFRC administrative workload has been brought up to date. The online price lists and Sales Archive are now current in terms of coins on Hold and those that have been confirmed as being sold and therefore moved into the Sales Archive. The Collectors Corner marketplace has also been made current for existing GFRC inventory.

Let's end this Blog edition as the morning health walk is forthcoming followed by the balance of the day in the Venice office. Your purchase orders would be sincerely appreciated.

Be well!

 

 

 

Saturday January 13, 2024

Gerry's Big Boy Coins to Consider!

Yet Another New Consignor's Fresh Offerings

and

A Well Matched 1807 Large Stars 50/20C Pair and More!

 

Greetings on a mid-January 2024 early morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. We sincerely hope that you are not being impacted by the crazy weather that is prevalent in many parts of the country.

Here in Venice Florida, the weather conditions are exact opposite of seasonal expectations. Winter should be the dry time of the year here, but we are experiencing daily rain and very high humidity levels. The humidity is so bad that water is condensing on concrete surfaces including the floor in our lanai and at the condo entry. Yesterday, Diane was shocked to find a pool of water at the condo entrance that had accumulated due to condensation. As the Blog is composed, thunderstorms and heavy downpours are underway.

Let's promptly move forward with today's GFRC new offerings as office operations are churning out a host of images for FUN2024 new purchases and arriving consignments.

 

Gerry's Big Boy Coins to Consider

Since entering the coin business and learning the ropes, the term "Big Boy" has taken on a special meaning. When attempting to purchase coins from larger dealers, Dan and I will review a host of double row slabbed boxes of coins. Some are regular dealer inventory with price points that are consistent with most collector budgets. Then there are the "Big Boy" boxes with coins typically priced from $10,000 to $250,000 that are always fun to look through for the learning opportunities.

Recently, GFRC has made a concerted effort to move up its inventory in terms of pricing levels. As with other endeavors in my business career, I become easily bored with handling the same tasks on a repeated basis across an extended time frame. Such was the reason for launching GFRC-Lite with Rich Hundertmark at the helm. This franchise step has allowed me to focus on higher value coins since now being comfortable with diagnosing original surfaces and accurate grading. Working consistently with CAC approved coins has accelerate this personal growth in the numismatic field.

Moving forward, Blog readers will see the usage of the "Big Boy" term when GFRC offers rare coins that are truly special along with corresponding offer prices. Today brings two wonderful lots for your consideration. Well, really one as this marvelous 1800 BB-20 NGC EF45 CAC Draped Bust dollar sold prior to being posted to the Blog as a preview. A long term client caught my mention, in yesterday's Blog edition, on the pending offering of a special 1800 dollar. That individual called his collector friend, who then called me for images and immediately made the purchase. This magnificent dollar sold for $7750 on Friday.

Gerry's Big Boy Coins to Consider

1800 BB-20 BB-185, NGC EF45 CAC $1 - HOLD

 

Still available is a key date 1893-CC Morgan dollar graded CACG AU58 and so worthy of being placed in its CAC Grading service holder. This unquestionably original specimen is covered with a faint golden patina with a touch of rub on the cheek. This date ranks as the second or third most important key date behind the 1893-S and the 1895-S. In circulated grades, the 1893-CC is a better date than the 1895-S, but this shifts in Mint State where the 1895-S is a much sought after rarity. The following 1893-CC dollar was added to GFRC inventory without trepidation as the surfaces are absolutely pristine.

1893-CC CACG AU58 - $6500

 

Yet Another New Consignor's Fresh Offerings

The GFRC customer life cycle story is well known. Collectors become aware of GFRC and are enamored by the premium nature of our offerings. With time, the purchases mount and duplicates must be disposed of. Those customers then become consignors as is the case today. Yet another customer has decided to start thinning the herd and shipped along two lovely lots for price list inclusion. The first is a brilliant frosted 1921 High Relief Peace dollar with quality surfaces. The second is a popular Type 2 Liberty $20 gold date from the Carson City mint. 1876 brought the final year of the Type 2 design with 138,441 struck.

Both consigned lots are immediately available and will load to the price list today.

Yet Another New Consignor's Fresh Offerings

      1921 PCGS MS63+ $1 - $1175                                                      1876-CC NGC AU53 G$20 - $5600    

        

 

A Well Matched 1807 Large Stars 50/20C Pair and More....

The FUN2024 new purchases presentation continues with the following six lots. We open this segment with two nicely matched 1807 Capped Bust O-112 halves, both graded by PCGS at the VF30/VF35 level. These were purchased separately and I could not resist the urge to showcase then together. Might the VF30 be under graded with respect to the VF35? Both coins sport original patina.

As for the "....More" component of this display, these are incremental new purchases that I was pleased to add to inventory. The 1921 Buffalo is a very scarce date in full gem with this example being stunning under a bright light. The 1892-O is a truly sweet example that will please the most selective buyer. During the overnight, a buyer has appeared for the eye appealing 1877-S half, therefore that one is now spoken for. Finally, GFRC is offerings an entry level 1847 Seated dollar with coin gray surfaces and CAC approval for its strict originality.

 

A Well Matched 1807 Large Stars 50/20C Pair and More....

Priced as Marked

      1807 Lg Stars 50/20C PCGS VF35 50C - $1025                              1807 Lg Stars 50/20C PCGS VF30 50C - $935 

        

and More....

      1921 PCGS MS65 CAC 5C - $1100                                               1892-O PCGS MS64 CAC 25C - $950    

        

    1877-S PCGS MS62 25C - $600                                                     1847 NGC VF30 CAC $1 - $825   

        

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

The Island City Collection auction event is just one week away!

As much as I would like to continue the posting of new purchases and consignments, my attention must shift to the construction of the Island City PDF auction catalog. This task will consume most of today's time and will stretch into Sunday for completion and posting. Therefore, I will be working in the office the entire day with careful copy/paste activities into Microsoft Word.

Please don't be bashful about calling in a purchase order or a consignment proposal!

Thank you so much for the daily visits to these ongoing ramblings. Be well!

 

 

 

Friday January 12, 2024

Eugene Gardner 1865 PCGS MS66+ CAC 25C Arrives per Quito Collection

FUN2024 - Capped Bust Small Denomination New Purchases

and

On the Lite Side!

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Friday morning. Where in the world did this week go? I really can't believe it is already Friday with so much still to get done.

Today's preamble will be brief as there is much to share and little time to accomplish. Therefore, let's get started!

 

Eugene Gardner 1865 PCGS MS66+ CAC 25C Arrives per Quito Collection

The most important announcement of the day is the arrival of the Eugene Gardner 1865 Liberty Seated quarter graded PCGS MS66+ CAC. This piece is totally amazing and will be worthy of an extended personal examination prior to composing the description. As a passionate Liberty Seated collector, I'm in awe of this arrival as the luster and cartwheels are truly exceptional.

Following is a quick cellphone image of the piece in its special presentation box. The Quito Collection has set an offer price which is lower than that realized during Gardner's 2015 Heritage Auction sale. If curious, please give me a call. Unquestionably, this piece belongs in the finest Liberty Seated quarter collections under construction and will certainly be a collection highlight.

 

FUN2024 - Capped Bust Small Denomination New Purchases

Today brings the first "tiny" installation of FUN2024 new purchases. Before going much further, I'd like to share that Dan and Gerry were on a mission at the FUN show to restock the Capped Bust half dime price list. Dan worked the entire bourse floor and brought many lots for my consideration. Sadly, we did not purchase a single Capped Bust half dime via this approach. The issues confronting us were as expected, namely quality and asking prices. Most of the bourse lots had inferior quality while the few that met my standard were priced at a level that left no room for a finder's fee. By Saturday, I had managed to purchase only three Capped half dimes with two being in the following gallery.

Let's move on to the new offerings in this display.

The top marquee lots are an 1836 LM-5 half dime and a superb gem 1814 Large Date JR-3 dime. Please take the time to click on the 1814 image to examine the higher resolution version. This piece is one of the finest 1814 dimes that I've had the pleasure of handling. Some readers may believe the asking price is strong. Frankly, I believe the number is more than fair given the incredible originality and strike.

Now take a close look at the 1829 LM-7.3 half dime that resides in an NGC PCGS MS63 holder. The reverse is a wonderful example of the terminal die state with a small internal cud between A(ME)RICA and the rim. But.... Also note the fill upper loop of the second S in STATES that is synonymous with the LM-8 die pairing that is an R7 variety per Logan-McCloskey. In their brilliant reference, the LM-7.3 plate coin does not show the filled upper loop in STATE(S), nor is there any mention of this marker.

Finally, the 1821 and 1827 Capped Bust dimes are absolutely choice for their certified grades and are affordable too!

FUN2024 - Capped Bust New Purchases

            1836 LM-5 PCGS MS64 CAC H10C - $1725                             1814 Large Date JR-3 PCGS AU58 CAC 10C - $1875     

        

  1829 LM-7.3 R4 NGC MS63 H10C - $1075        1821 JR-5 PCGS F15 CAC 10C - $315        1827 JR-5 R3 NGC VF25 CAC 10C - $360  

                

 

On the Lite Side!

As mentioned in an earlier Blog edition, Rich Hundertmark and GFRC-Lite enjoyed an outstanding FUN2024 show. One of the reasons for the success is that Rich worked his butt off on behalf of consignors to move their coins to new homes at market competitive prices. Rich sent along the following show summary.

Hi Gerry,

It’s certainly good to be back home in North Carolina after last weeks’ FUN show.

It was great seeing you, Dan, Diane and Rose Marie, the GFRC team certainly worked hard throughout the show, while having a good time doing so.

As a precursor, the FUN show presented both challenge and opportunity for Lite. As table space was limited in the GFRC booth, I would be working out of one display case and would work the floor while trying to develop a dealer-dealer wholesale market for selected coins in Lite’s inventory.

I arrived at FUN late Wednesday afternoon after a long 10-hour drive from Winston Salem. The immediate plan was to get Lite’s inventory secured in the show case and then to “hit the bourse” and try to sell a few coins dealer-dealer before the show closed for the evening.

For this task I had specifically brought 2 targeted boxes of certified coins that had a good mix of coins for both types and denominations that were mostly priced below $200. All of the coins were priced to sell, “pass or play” so that dealers would be able to make quick decisions. This worked quite well, with 16 coins already sold by the end of day.

This strategy continued with good success on Thursday as I worked to sell and establish new relations with dealers. I’m very excited for the potential of establishing a wholesale segment to the Lite business, as it’s much needed to move certain coins in inventory at appropriate market price levels.

On both Friday and Saturday my focus switched to selling out of the display case. My case was situated on the booth’s side table, my inventory was stacked, but wow !!, customers found me and I had very active retail sales.

In total, show sales were active for most product lines, but most notably Half dollars (Bust, Seated, Walkers, Franklins and Kennedy’s all sold) and Morgan’s which was good to see as this segment was a bit slow the last couple of shows.

I should also mention that I took in some great consignments (thank you consignors!) that I will begin posting on the Lite website shortly. The Lite website’s response time is now quite good and poised to handle new customer orders. I’ll follow up next week with a quickie article that highlights a few new offerings. 

I would also like to mention that the customers that visited Lite were exceptional as to etiquette, they were very patient as they worked through my inventory, my kudos to all.

The next show for Lite in just one month’s time is Charlotte, it’s a really cool 2-day show, it’s well attended, plus many dealers that don’t setup make this a buying trip. It’s now my second time at the show and Lite will have 3 full cases of inventory.

Finally, I wish all the blogamaniacs continued success in 2024. The world is changing quite rapidly, our hobby an island sanctuary in a turbulent ocean.

Rich

 

Global Financial News

Finally, the U.S. and U.K. have said enough is enough with the Houthis and took military action during the overnight hours. Seeking Alpha covers the situation and an upward movement in crude oil pricing.

Oil prices are responding to the U.S. and British airstrikes in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen, with West Texas Intermediate climbing 2.4% to $73.71/bbl early Friday. Shipping stocks also rose during the premarket session. "These strikes are in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks [that] have endangered U.S. personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardized trade, and threatened freedom of navigation," President Biden declared, adding that he would "not hesitate to direct further measures" if necessary. Reacting to 16 airstrikes that hit radar installations, storage sites and missile launchers, the Houthis pledged to continue targeting ships around the Red Sea, saying that "any American attack won't go unpunished" and would elicit a "big" response.

EV makers, other than Tesla, are in trouble. There is a growing indication that most Americans do not want EVs due to their range limitations. Toyota is pretty much walking away from EVs and is instead investing in Hydrogen and Hybrids. Personally, I believe that hybrids are the way to go as they solve the traveling range issue. Following is another Seeking Alpha article on this topic.

Electric vehicle stocks are still under pressure after Hertz Global said it would cut its EV adoption losses by offloading a third of its global fleet to buy gasoline-powered cars. That'll put 20,000 EVs up for sale, including those from Tesla, in response to weak take-up and elevated repair costs. The decision adds to growing EV demand worries, which were already amplified by pullbacks on production targets. What about the rest of the fleet? Hertz plans to improve profitability by providing more charging stations and making it easier for customers to acclimate to an EV rental.

The S&P 500 stands at 4,780 to start the day while spot gold has jumped to $2050/oz on the U.S./U.K. air strikes in Yemen.

The U.S. dollar is back to 102.5 after a no so good CPI report on Thursday while the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is quoting at 3.99%.

Following are regular Seeking Alpha morning market futures with U.S. markets opening flat on the day.

In Asia, Japan +1.5%. Hong Kong -0.4%. China -0.2%. India +1.2%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.8%. Paris +1.1%. Frankfurt +0.9%.
Futures at 6:00, Dow +0.1%. S&P -0.1%. NASDAQ -0.3%. 

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

This segment may sound repetitious as the office situation is unchanged. I'm buried with consignments and image processing to say the least.

On Thursday, about twenty images were process for FUN new purchases. Five of those are posted today with the balance arriving on Saturday. Get ready for the roll out of some noteworthy new purchases including a superb gem 1800 Draped Bust dollar that was purchased from a true numismatic connoisseur. This lot is the finest 1800 EF45 Draped dollar that I've handled to date.

Today brings more consignment loading into the COIN database and the submission of COIN account reports to consignors to document their numismatic asset transfers. I'm working as fast as I can to balance the background administrative workload while still working towards rebuilding the 30 Day Price List back to the 100 coin mark.

Come Saturday, the emphasis must shift to preparing the Island City Collection auction PDF catalog as that sale is now just a week away.

I hope that your visit was worthwhile and enjoyable. Thanks so much for share time with GFRC at the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

Thursday January 11, 2024

Top 100 Varieties News - Finest Known 1854-O F-103 Appears at FUN2024

The Appreciation Potential of the Key Date 1874-CC Dime

and

The RiP FUN Consignment Arrives!

 

Greetings on a Thursday morning and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. Thank you so much for the ongoing visits.

Today's Blog edition features a generous amount of content thanks to sunshine returning to the mid-Florida west coast. By Wednesday noon time, the morning cloudy conditions had dissipated and gave way to bright sunshine. I was able to conduct a two hour photography session while capturing a host of FUN consignments and new purchases. There are now enough stored images to enable new offerings well into next week.

We open the GFRC numismatic ramblings with an important Liberty Seated dime lot that appeared at our FUN table. The 1854-O F-103 die pairing, with a boldly Cracked Obverse die paired with the Large Oblique O mint mark reverse, has been over shadowed from years by the F-102 Shattered Obverse. The latter features a massive arcing (shelf metal) die break on the lower obverse and has been assigned an R6 rarity rating in grades of VF30 or better. The 1854-O F-103 is also very scarce with an R5 rarity rating, again in VF30 or better. Both are included in the Top 100 Varieties Set.

Currently, the two leading Top 100 collectors in the GFRC Open Set Registry, have listed PCGS MS64 and PCGS MS62 examples. Since both of these individuals have been assembling their Top 100 collections for over 15 years, it is safe to say that the FUN2024 arrival is probably the finest known, certainly a condition census example.

This piece was photographed and posted to the 30 Day Price List yesterday with the following description.

At major coin shows, GFRC never knows what might walk up to the table. Case in point is the FUN2024 Orlando show and this gem 1854-O F-103 dime that is listed in the Top 100 Varieties set as defined by Gerry Fortin during the 2005-2006 time frame. My images are woefully inadequate in portraying the brilliant frosted luster that is consistent on both sides. Under a bright light, the upper obverse is frosty while the lower segment is toned a bluish-gray. The reverse is toned a variegated aquamarine gold that is mostly transparent to the underlying luster. Surfaces are pristine and worthy of the gem certification. The F-103 die variety presents a heavily cracked obverse with a bold die cracks through the bottom of the date digits and an internal cud to the left of the 1 digit. I have no idea if this piece has been to CAC but if not sold immediately, it is heading to CAC Stickering during the next GFRC shipment. Top 100 Variety Collection should take careful note of this offering as it is an upgraded for the two leading collection in the GFRC Open Set Registry. Housed in PCGS Gen 4.4 (2005-2011) holder.

 

Finest Known 1854-O F-103 Appears at FUN2024

1854-O Arrows F-103 PCGS MS65 10C - $4950

 

The Appreciation Potential of the Key Date 1874-CC Dime

The 1874-CC Liberty Seated dime is the unquestionable key date of the series with a mintage of 10,817. This date is rare in all grades and consistently encountered with surface issues. In his massive Encyclopedia, Breen estimated that 10-12 pieces are extant which was an error on his part. My estimate is that maybe 100-150 piece exist, however the majority are too corroded or problematic to be straight graded.

During 2003, I purchased an ANACS EF45 OWH example at auction for the lofty sum of $28,175. That piece was subsequently crossed to a PCGS holder during 2005 and received CAC approved during 2014. The CAC approved population now stands at 14 with 3 Mint State examples that are valued between $230K to $320K. My EF45 is value at $52K per the CDN CAC price guide, but realistically is a $60K+ coin.

The appreciation potential of the 1874-CC date is well known to many Liberty Seated collectors, but a visual refresher may be warranted for those who are not so well versed with the series. Following is a table that captures the 1874-CC date's value appreciation per the COIN WORLD price guide. This guide has been around for decades and a fair basis for checking on long term appreciation. In lower grades of G04 through F12, the value appreciation has been roughly 10x from 1993 to the present day. In EF40, the appreciation has been 4x, a substantial increase for those who hold on to their coins for a collecting lifetime.

                                            1874-CC Dime - COIN WORLD Price Guide Values (1963 - 2023)

Grade

1963

1973

1983

1993

2003

2012

2023

G04

75

85

775

1650

2500

7500

12500

F12

200

200

1400

3850

6500

15000

25000

EF40

-

600

2650

9500

20000

30000

40000

MS60

-

-

-

32500

40000

 

-

MS63

-

-

-

-

-

 

265000

 

On a more near term basis, the PCGS Price Guide trend graph for the 1874-CC dime, in EF40, reveals some pricing variability when the numismatic market (2016-2020) struggled with inferior straight graded examples realizing weak auction prices. Purchasing a higher circulated grade example can be challenging not only from a financial perspective, but also from a quality angle. Many of the straight graded pieces have been professionally restored given the profit potential. Locating a truly original specimen, with natural eye appeal, can be daunting in itself.

Since 2022, the EF40 PCGS price guide number has increased to $45,000. That same guide, at the EF45 level is now listed at $50,000 which is consistent with the CDN CAC price guide.

 

This 1874-CC Seated dime valuation discussion leads us to the Palos Verdes PCGS EF45 example that currently resides in GFRC inventory. At the FUN2024 show, this piece was marketed in our "big boy" coin frame and captured the attention of several booth visitors. Those individuals dreamed of owning an example but the current valuation is unreachable for most. As of today, the Palos Verdes specimen has not sold at its regular offer price or the 2023 Black Friday discounted price. I would like to go on the record that this example is 100% original and has seen a visit to CAC but without securing a green bean approval. If it had stickered, I would have added another $10K to $15K to the offer price.

Palos Verdes Collection Example

1874-CC PCGS EF45 10C - $45000

 

There reaches a point in time when consignors want to see their coins sold and that time is approaching for this piece. Since this example is clearly a premium piece, the issue then lies on the demand side of the equation since the pricing level is out of reach for most collectors.

On principal and since being well recognized for Liberty Seated dime research and sales, I want this piece to be sold from GFRC inventory and not some other dealer or auction house. As you should surmise from this long discussion, I am motivated to find a new home of this lot and will do what it takes in terms of sales/payment terms. Call it bragging rights to have sold a very solid EF45 example at a fair offer price.

Bottom line, if there is interest in acquiring this piece, please let me know what kind of deal would be appropriate to register a sale. I have no problems with a long term lay-a-way and will pay-off the consignor in advance while the buyer makes payments. If the purchase approach must include a trade of unwanted coins, I'm all ears to the possibility as long as the coins are quality pieces and not overgraded dregs.

Please let me know what it might take to acquire this lot and let's work together towards a happy ending for all parties to the deal.

 

The RiP FUN2024 Consignment Arrives!

We kick off the FUN2024 new inventory release with an eclectic lot from the RiP Collection. This consignor visited the GFRC booth and dropped out the following eight piece lot.

Leading the group are two notable lots. The first is an 1841-O Briggs 1-A quarter in Mint State that probably originated from the New Orleans Hoard. The background for that hoard will be discussion when this quarter is posted to the 30 Day Price List today. If searching for a cool Draped Bust dollar for a type collection, this 1800 AMERICAI offers circulated cameo eye appeal and is the rarity of the two AMERICAI die pairings. I'm sure that many will be scratching their heads on the AMERICA(I) designation. The final (I) is a substantial die scratch that appears as an incremental (I) at the end of AMERICA.

Embedded in the balance of the RiP Collection offerings are several Bart Chapman Collection lots. Our consignors would like to release these back into the market place.

Please check the 30 Day Price List as all but the 1841-O have been posted. I must conduct some New Orleans Hoard research before posting that piece.

 

The RiP FUN2024 Consignment Arrives!

Priced as Marked

            1841-O Briggs 1-A NGC MS63 25C - $2650                             1800 AMERICAI BB-191, B11 PCGS VF30 $1 - $3750    

        

1824/2 JR-1 PCGS VF20 10C - $525                   1889 F-111 NGC MS64 10C - $485                     1905 NGC MS63 10C - $285        

                

          1930 NGC MS65FH 25C - $625            1841-O WB-9 PCGS EF40 CAC 50C - $785         1841-O WB-3 NGC EF40 50C - $485      

                

 

Global Financial News

Wednesday brought a robust buying session as the S&P 500 jumped over a half percentage point to 4,783. This indice is now at it prior record level set in early 2022. In other news, the SEC has granted approval for nearly a dozen Bitcoin ETFs.

Spot gold is trading at $2034/oz to start the day while the U.S. dollar is quoting at 102.2. Both are caught in tight trading ranges for the time being.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is quoting at 3.99%.

Morning market futures are pointing to incremental buying at today's opening bell. The S&P 500 is forecasted to gain another 0.2% based on morning fair value.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

You will be able to find me in the office the entire day as the focus is on image processing and bringing FUN2024 new purchases to the price list. Since nearly all GFRC new purchases are CAC approved or housed in CAC holders, please get ready for premium lots to be posted.

Thank you again for visiting today. Be well!

 

 

 

Wednesday January 10, 2024

Island City Auction Event - 10 Days Away

and

Seth Godin's Consequences

 

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

One of the challenges of operating a high volume coin business is the administrative component that can feel overwhelming at times. Tasks such as depositing and recording check payments/shipment receipts, after a day's shipments, take time away from the core work of processing images and posting coins to the price list. Another long task is loading new inventory items into the COIN system including die variety attributions for Capped Bust and Liberty Seated coinage. When Matt and I designed the COIN database, decisions were made to ensure that the database structure provided maximum flexibility for expanding the GFRC website and its services. That design has proven to be well founded as the auction platform was easily "bolted" onto the website with the supporting COIN data extractions being enabled by the custom design. Many other dealers, with websites, employ a commercially designed database that has simplified input requirements at the expense of being rigid and inflexible on the services side of things.

Tuesday brought a combination of catching up on GFRC shipping along with loading the many consignments into the COIN system. Three long term lay-a-ways closed during the FUN show time frame along with some buyback deals that arrived to the office yesterday. Those shipments took place yesterday and continue into today. How I would love if all GFRC purchases were solely transactional in nature. What do I mean by transactional? Simply stated, a coin is ordered, a check or PayPal payment is made, and that coin is shipped. However, as a full service dealer to the community, lay-a-ways are offered to help collectors move into more expensive coins while being on a tight budget or to enable larger purchases at GFRC Online Auctions events. Buybacks are offered during purchases to help collectors quickly move out of an existing coin and utilizing its wholesale value against a subsequent purchase. Finally, there are trades proposals that require research to assess fair wholesale value. Trades are my least favorite activity, especially when I must buy a coin to facilitate the sale of a consignor's coin. At the FUN show, a fair number of individuals walked up with trade coins against consignor lots in the showcases. Of course, the trade coin is nearly always inferior to the targeted purchase. I was able to make some trades work while asking two individuals to sell their 20th century coins to other dealers, who specializes in those areas, and return with the cash to make the GFRC purchase.

Yes, I'm rambling this morning but hopefully this transparency helps the community understand the scope of being a coin dealer and why there is no prepared content for today's edition. The admin workload coming out of the FUN show is substantial for this husband and wife team.

 

Island City Auction Event - 10 Days Away

It feels like the month of January is racing along as we are already 1/3 of the way through this calendar period that is associated with short days and wintry weather. In just ten days, the first GFRC Online Auctions event of 2024 will open for bidding.

Based on discussions with clients at the FUN show, I am expecting the Island City's Standing Liberty quarter collection to be well subscribed. At FUN, one individual asked if I would sell the 1916 quarter outright as he really wanted this piece. Other clients were checking the AU55-AU58 graded lots with close scrutiny as few auction houses will take the time to offer lower priced coins in an auction setting that is equated to higher value lots.

Bidding for the Island City auction lots opens on Saturday January 20. I'm expecting a gang buster of a sale as the typical lot reserve is within the budget of most collectors.

 

Seth Godin's Consequences

Societal change continues to accelerate as enabled by advanced microprocessing technology. There are beneficial opportunities for mom and pop business start-up though social media provides opportunities to those who have dark sides. This morning's Seth Godin blogpost takes us back to 1925 and the work of Frederick Lewis Donaldson (Seven Social Sins) that was subsequently employed by Mohandas Gandhi. Little needs to be said as these "sins" remain rampant in today's modern world.

Frederick Lewis Donaldson created a list of seven social sins that was soon popularized by Gandhi. One hundred years later, it’s more relevant and more urgent than ever.

Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Religion without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.

When we create these imbalances, we pay for them.

Just food for thought.....

 

Global Financial News

I've not made mention of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the Blog during the second half of 2023 as I continue to see this "asset" as too speculative for my conservative investing goals. While ignoring Bitcoin, it has rallied for $16,000 to $47,000 with this type of price movement being extraordinary and typical of a gambling house. The current Bitcoin rage is whether the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will approve the first Bitcoin ETF which provides legitimacy to this digital asset. This morning, I've just read that the SEC (X) account was hacked to announce that the Bitcoin ETF was approved. As I turn 68 in March, a stash of physical gold is much more appealing as a store of wealth than an entry on someone's financial ledger.

Seeking Alpha discusses Bitcoin today as its opening article including the SEC (X) account hack.

How will Bitcoin trade following the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF? The market got a glimpse of that on Tuesday after the SEC's account on X made such an announcement, with Bitcoin spiking to as high as $47,900. The only thing was - the account had been compromised and the tweet turned out to be fake. Confusion ensued as SEC officials tried to get the message out to the media, and it wasn't before long that Bitcoin took a turn south, sliding to as low as $45,145 in volatile trade. Buy the rumor: The truth is, Bitcoin has been climbing for months in hopes of approval for a spot ETF, extending the gains of the cryptocurrency, which has more than doubled since last January. The thinking here is that a simple-to-understand and well-structured ETF can bring crypto more mainstream and, in turn, result in many institutional investors and retail portfolios allocating percentages to Bitcoin. Buying and reporting would be easier due to liquidity and transparency; it can offer investors another opportunity for diversification; and the product would track the performance of Bitcoin as an underlying asset. On the flip side, Bitcoin exposure has already been available for years. There are closed-end funds like the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, as well as ETFs that track Bitcoin futures, such as the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF. There are also publicly traded companies whose balance sheets are mostly made up of Bitcoin, like MicroStrategy, mining firms that include Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital, and crypto exchanges like Coinbase. Retail traders have found additional ways to directly own Bitcoin through trustworthy custodians and often don't report profits on their tax returns, which would be a lot harder if they owned shares in a spot Bitcoin ETF.
Physically gold is an asset that is loved in Asia and shunned in Europe and the States. This morning's spot price is $2033 as gold continues to trade above the $2000 level since mid-December. Let's not forget that during the fall of 2022, gold was trading at under $1700oz. Yes, gold is a volatile asset but nowhere near that of Bitcoin.

WTI crude pricing is hold steady of late between the $72-$74 level. The U.S. dollar is steady at 102.5 and the 10 Year Treasury bond yield is quoting at an even 4.0%.

Morning market futures are point to a flat open.

In Asia, Japan +2%. Hong Kong -0.6%. China -0.5%. India +0.4%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris -0.1%. Frankfurt flat. 
Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.1%. S&P -0.1%. NASDAQ +0.1%.

 

What is Gerry Up To Today?

After many years of closing the Daily Blog with the "Wrapping Up The Blog" segment, I've decided to change the title line to "What is Gerry Up To Today?' since the closing commentary is typically a statement of my goals for the next twelve hours.

Yes, today brings a long office day with one eye on the weather and a second on loading consignments into the COIN database. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and allow me to start photographing the many FUN2024 new purchases and also the smaller consignments that can be quickly process and posted to the price list. If a new consignor gallery appears in the next 48 hours, or a new purchases display, then the Florida weather was sufficient for photography.

This is the extent of my ramblings on an early Wednesday morning. Thanks again for your ongoing patronage and numismatic orders. Be well!

 

 

 

Tuesday January 9, 2024

More Consignments in the GFRC Pipeline

and

Another Round of Seated Dime Web-Book Plate Coins

 

Greetings on a post FUN2024 Tuesday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Your ongoing patronage is sincerely appreciated along with numismatic purchases.

What was that about sunny Florida? With a huge backlog of FUN consignments and new purchases, I was looking forward to several extended outdoors photography sessions this week. Disappointment is the operative word after checking the Venice Florida weather forecast. Today brings severe weather with high winds and the possibility of tornadoes across the state. Wednesday will be partly cloudy followed by a stretch of clouds and on-and-off rain through the 20th. What a bummer as there are so many great coins to process and load to the price list. It appears that tomorrow is the only viable day for securing images, therefore I will be busy today sorting consignments and newps for a marathon imaging session in a bit over 24 hours.

Changing topics....

While at the FUN show, I was able to spend time at the CACG submission booth towards getting to know the staff. In particular, John Butler and I discussed die varieties including inviting John to the GFRC booth for demonstrating access to online Liberty Seated coinage die variety information. Obviously, Liberty Seated dime, double dimes and halves are in great shape with well researched references by Fortin, Brunner-Frost, and Bugert efforts. However, the half dimes and quarters remain in need of a serious effort for an updated reference that can be employed by passionate collectors and the CACG staff as their set registry is configured. The Clint Cummin project for half dimes remains incomplete while the Larry Brigg's Seated quarter guide needs an upgrade to be current and more collector friendly. I did point out to John Butler the Top 25 Seated Quarter varieties as assembled by Greg Johnson/LSCC and easily accessible at www.seatedddimevarieties.com. My recommendation was to make this variety set a priority for the forthcoming CACG set registry initiative along with the Top 100 Seated Dime Varieties set.

After returning back to the office, an idea has been percolating in my brain for placing CACG in a leadership role with respect to the legacy grading services. I won't discuss this idea in the Blog until a conversation is initiated with the CACG staff.

 

More Consignments in the GFRC Pipeline

Yes, the GFRC consignment window is still open with more notable consignments due to arrive this week. The Eugene Gardner 1865 PCGS MS66+ CAC quarter will be appearing today along with other treats from the the Quito Collection. Yet another customer turned consignor shipped his first consignment yesterday with a scheduled arrival for today.

As if this morning, the GFRC consignor list stands at 249 individuals. Of course, during a period of ten years of operation, many of these individuals have come and gone including several now being deceased.

I can say with certainty that there are 72 individuals who presently have consigned coins at GFRC. The Top 15 consignors, in turns of inventory value, include well known names such as the Osprey Collection, Newtown, Oregon Beaver, Twin Lakes, Sooner, New Jersey, Island City, Quito, Wisconsin Gold, Lakeland, Massachusetts, and City By The Bay clients.

If wishing to become part of the GFRC consignment community towards enjoying personalized service, I'm just a phone call or email away. At GFRC, we strive to make moving into and out of coins as straightforward as possible. Consignors have only three tasks to accomplished when partnering with GFRC. The first is making that difficult decision to sell followed by a shipment to the GFRC office. Afterwards, the final task is approving the GFRC pricing proposal or making adjustments. Once a consignors coins are posted, the sales process begins with consignment check to follow or Trading Desk credit accumulating for subsequent purchases.

Bottom line, I'm always here to help including directing some clients to GFRC-Lite for lower priced lots and raw coins. Rich Hundertmark is definitively gaining traction in this market space and is a much needed incremental service for GFRC clients.

 

Another Round of Seated Dime Web-Book Plate Coins

Many Blog readers may be surprised to see an incremental release of Liberty Seated dime web-book plate coins as the first offering after the FUN2024 show. Actually, I have been preparing this offering as a background activity during the late December time frame. Since anticipating a huge influx of consignor coins at the FUN show, it was necessary to prepare these in advance.

Releasing web-book plate coins is a lengthy process as newly prepared images are also posted into The Definitive Resource for Liberty Seated Dime Variety Collectors online reference as an ongoing improvement strategy. When updating the plate coin images, I will also review each die variety's description and make improvements if warranted. This was the case on Monday as the following gallery was prepared. Already, the first four marquee lots have been posted to the web-book and placed on the 30 Day Price List. The balance will be dealt with today.

Already, four of the following lots have been spoken for during the overnight (1856 SD F-106a, 1856 Unlisted, 1890 F-102, and 1891-O F-107). Please consider the balance if interest in adding plate coins to a Seated dime collection.

More Seated Dime Web-Book Plate Coins from the Fortin Reference Collection

Price as Marked

      1852 F-105a PCGS VF35 10C - $425                                                 1884-S F-101 NGC MS61 10C - $825    

        

   1889-S F-104 PCGS MS62 10C - $700                                                 1891-O F-116 NGC MS64 10C - $525    

        

   1854-O F-111 PCGS VF35 10C - $165            1856 SD F-105 PCGS AU53 10C - $185        1856 SD F-106a PCGS MS62 10C - $450 

                

 1856 SD Unlisted PCGS AU53 10C - $185            1882 F-109 NGC MS64 10C - $435                 1890 F-102 PCGS PR62 10C - $395       

                

 1890 F-105 PCGS MS62 10C - $295               1891-O F-107 NGC MS63 10C - $350

        

 

Global Financial News

The S&P 500 saw a substantial rally on Monday with the index climbing 1.41% to 4,763 as tech stocks led the way higher. Nvidia jumped 6.2% to a record high as one example of what is fueling the sharp gains.

Spot gold continues to trade above the $2000 mark with a morning quote of $2036/oz. China continues to add gold to its foreign reserves at a record pace. The important question is why?

After briefly dipping to 101, the U.S. dollar is trading at the 102.4 level for the past week. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield stands at 4.04% as the Blog is composed.

Morning market futures are pointing to selling at today's market open. The major indices are currently down about 0.4%.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Since today is a weather washout, I will be working in the office throughout the day loading yet more new purchases and consignments into the COIN database. Once a consignor's coins are loaded, a COIN account report will be promptly issued to document the transfer of coins to GFRC and their coverage by our Hugh-Woods business insurance. Given the magnitude of the FUN2024 consignments, it is an imperative that all coin are properly accounted for and documented.

Once the consignments are posted into the COIN system, my attention shifts to constructing the Island City Collection auction PDF catalog.

That about covers the current and planned GFRC happenings for the balance of this week. As always, numismatic purchases are important for placing consignor coins into new collections. This is an ongoing cycle whereby collectors conduct upgrades and release their duplicates back into the market place. If you have never released duplicates and continue to let them pile up do to seller's remorse, then please heed by advice and start letting a few go back to other collectors. Half of the joy of coin collecting is the hunt and acquiring new pieces that can be studied for their beauty and historical significant. Once the infatuation wears off, it might be time to cycle these coins back to GFRC towards raising capital for new purchases. This has been my approach since 1989 and look where it has taken the core Liberty Seated Dime Collection since that time....

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

 

 

 

Monday January 8, 2024

GFRC Office is Back to Regular Operations

How Does GFRC Judge if a Coin Show is a Success?

and

Better to be Buried in Coins than Snow!

 

Greetings once again from the GFRC Venice office and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Monday morning. Thank you so much for staying current with GFRC happenings.

Believe it or not, the GFRC office is back to normal operations as today's Blog edition is composed. How is it possible that the office was restored in the matter of a single day's time?

The response is straight forward. The owners are in the store!

Sunday brought an early start to the office recovery day with Diane and I being well trained after operating GFRC for ten years. Diane focused on the financial admin tasks while Gerry attended to the physical inventory and loading all sales into the COIN system. There were a host of smaller tasks to accomplish which are not worthy of a Blog discussion but are key to operating an efficient office. We were so efficient that even today's shipping is staged with shipping labels printed.

I hope that the readership is impressed as we take the operation of GFRC seriously. Now that the office is back to normal, morning shipping will get done quickly followed by several days of loading the FUN show consignments and new purchases into the COIN database. Issuing consignment reports to those clients who trust us to sell their numismatic items is an imperative.

 

How Does GFRC Judge if a Coin Show is a Success?

So how does GFRC assess if attending a coin show was a successful venture?

There are multiple levels to that assessment. Let's use a bullet point format to share my insights on how a coin show is viewed in terms of success or failure.

- Foremost is the sale of consignor coins and overall sales/profit. This should be obvious as the highest level need to stay in business. If we don't sell consignor coins, then consignors will find someone else to conduct that task. Making a fair profit for our efforts is also an imperative to remain in business.

- Second is relationship building with existing and new clients. Only at coin shows can GFRC meet and have productive face to face discussions with clients. In the case of FUN2024, we were able to spend quality time with the Sooner consignor as our special guest within the booth and also enjoying a lovely dinner at the English Pub. Also memorable was the face time with the New Orleans Collection consignor on several occasions including his attendance at the Saturday education presentation. I have a feeling that we will be working more closely together in the future. There were many other consignor contacts throughout the show along with regular clients who continue to praise the Daily Blog as their primary source of numismatic news.

- Thirdly, buying for GFRC inventory is an imperative as I have no control on what consignors will be handing over to GFRC. Since GFRC is well known for its steady offering of CAC stickered, and now CACG holdered coins, I must ensure that this inventory is located and purchases to offset the variability that is inherent with a consignment business model.

- Providing a simple physical transfer transfer process for consignments is yet another process that is accomplished at a coin show. GFRC now provides a consignment input form whereby consignors can print their consignment invoices and have me sign and date upon receipt. This dramatically speeds up the transfer task at a busy coin show.

- Lastly, is the educational component where I will take time to answer questions on specific coins with special emphasis given to younger numismatist who should be guided to the "right" road at the onset of the collecting journey. Please understand that I don't do well with those collectors who need an audience for personal story telling at the GFRC booth. This dealer is unable to act as an audience for recitals as my time is much too consumed with a host of tasks.

There you have it. The Winter FUN2024 checked all of the above boxes and was a clear success.

 

Better to be Buried in Coins than Snow!

Sunday brought 13" of snow to the Raymond homestead thus a fitting reminder of why the Fortins head to the Venice condo for the winter months.

Yes, we are officially buried in consignments and new purchases as a result of the FUN show. My guess is the FUN show "haul" is about 220 pieces across all denominations. Following is evidence to support that claim. First up is an image of most of the insourced consignments and new purchases that were pulled from show inventory during Sunday's office organizing feat. The new purchases are in the green PCGS box. Of course, all of these storage boxes are full and not stage props.

 

Up next is a preview of the Barber dime deal that was purchased on Saturday. This is an awesome CAC approved business strike and proof lot with every piece purchased based on overall eye appeal. Clicking on the below image will provide access to a higher resolution version. I'm sorry, but these are not immediately for sale as uncertain if heading to the price list or the next March 2024 GFRC Online Auction event.

 

How about a preview of a wonderful Liberty Seated half dime consignment that also was tendered on Saturday by the Mirror Collection. There are some great coins in this lot, for sure! Again, I am not taking any First Rights of Refusal as uncertain if these will be included in the March auction or heading to the price list. Clicking on the below image will provide access to a higher resolution version for your inspection.

 

Global Financial News

Now that I will be back in the office for the next seven weeks, some attention can be applied to the financial market along with precious metals. Of course, the volatility in the Middle East will garner much of my attention as a war escalation will undoubtedly have an impact on crude oil and gold prices.

The other topic that I will be watching is the arrival of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) with the EU leading the way during 2024. The EU bureaucrats along with the International Bank of Settlements are close to releasing a massive system that will "tokenize" all forms of assets. As global citizens, we will be asked to trade asset privacy for the efficiency of selling and purchasing of those assets.

The week starts with the S&P 500 at 4,697 after a rough first trading week of the year. Janet Yellen indicates that the Federal Reserve has engineered a soft landing for the U.S. economy. This is the same person that stated that 2022-2023 inflation was "transitory" after the Biden admin spent 5.8 Trillion on new programs during its three years in office.

Spot gold has softened during weekend trading and currently stands at $2020/oz. The culprit is the U.S. dollar which has again strengthened to 102.5 per the DXY index.

If I was Janet Yellen, I will be displeased that the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has climbed back over 4% with a morning quote of 4.06%. Refinancing U.S deficit spending at this level will be problematic for the overall U.S. deficit.

WTI crude oil is quoting at $72/bbl after trading at $74/bbl during the weekend. Will the U.S. and the UK follow through on its threats to finally deal with the Houthis' mischief against Red Sea shipping? Seeking Alpha covers the crude oil topic with this brief commentary.

While oil prices ended last week on a high note, they turned red on Monday as Saudi Arabia cut the February selling price of its flagship Arab Light crude to Asian customers amid rising supply, growing competition from rival suppliers and demand concerns. Meanwhile, U.S. oil production is now near record levels, with weekly exports at a fresh high as the Red Sea crisis and the resulting run-up in costs for diverting tankers have driven up demand for cheaper American crude. Traders are also closely watching the U.S. government's oil purchases to replenish the strategic petroleum reserve, which may help in capping oil’s slide.

Morning market futures are pointing to loses in Asia while U.S. markets will open mostly flat.

In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong -1.9%. China -1.4%. India -0.9%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris flat. Frankfurt +0.2%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.4%. S&P -0.1%. NASDAQ flat.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Today will find me in the office the entire day with the top priority being the loading of consigned coins into the COIN database. Traceability is an imperative as with so many new coins in the office, each must be properly accounted for. Secondly, is staging all of this material for photography. With 200+ coins to process, I will be at this task for several days.

So ends today's Blog edition. I hope that astute readers noted a mention that this is the 10th year of GFRC operation. At some point, we need to stage a 10th Anniversary party and sale!

Thanks again for being part of the GFRC community and regular readers. Be well!

 

 

Sunday January 7, 2024

Winter FUN 2023 - One for the GFRC History Book!

 

Greetings from the GFRC Venice office and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Sunday morning. Diane and I are just beginning our recovery from a wild FUN show.

The 2024 Winter FUN show is one for the numismatic history books! In speaking with other dealers, everyone enjoyed a strong show as the collecting community turned out in droves.

Thursday was a mob scene with the bourse being saturated by collectors who were in a buying mood. Aisles were packed with attendees which made moving about the bourse to conduct dealer to dealer deals that more challenging as I could ill afford to be away from the GFRC booth for long. Of course, GFRC had a stellar day with a host of consignments being dropped off.. Leading the way was the Sooner Collection, our show guest, who brought seven PCGS blue boxes of coins with five for GFRC and two for GFRC Lite. Next came the New Jersey Collection with his release of Liberty Seated and Trade dollars. We finally met the New Orleans Collection consignor in person along with his beautiful wife. Yet another client brought both a consignment and some amazing show n' tell items including proof gold. While the consignments were pouring in, the GFRC table was overwhelmed with visitors as we did our best to promptly wait upon all those who appeared. Dan, Rose Marie were showing coins while I was at the computer helm and quoting prices. Diane was also non-stop writing purchase invoices and and consignment receipts. It will be difficult to forget this day as we were still showing coins at 4:00 PM with an active bourse. Can you believe that Happy Hour was delayed until 6:00 PM due to the table volume?

Also notable was a visit by Larry Jewitt and Brenda Wyen to report that GFRC had been included in COIN WORLD's 100 Most Influential Companies along with providing me with an copy of the special publication. Larry strongly suggested that I consider writing for COIN WORLD as a regular contributor. We discussed the possibility of employing Daily Blog extracts with the caveat that Larry needs to be ready for my straight talk on collecting and educations topics. If that was not enough, the day closed with a top tier dealer approaching GFRC to sell the finest CAC approved 1847/6 Liberty Seated half dollar. It did not take long to find a home for that piece.

Friday brought a slower day for bourse traffic as the staff had an opportunity to recover from a wild Thursday. Sales continues but at a slower pace as many collectors had already left or were spent out. On a most positive note, GFRC-Lite sales momentum gained steam that day as we were able to configure the booth such that Rich Hundertmark received a single 8' table and two cases to operate from. Those cases were jammed pack with lower priced coins that brought attention from other dealers in that market space. Here is a staff image taken on Friday during a 5:30 PM Happy Hour that lasted nearly to the bourse floor being closed for the day.

 

Heavy rains appeared on Saturday morning as we packed up and checked out of the Rosen Centre hotel and made our way back to the Orange County Convention Center. Everyone was anticipating a slow Saturday as the weather was just too wet for strong attendance, right? Guess again!

The FUN show delivered on Saturday with another busy day and a crowded bourse floor. Our sales were above expectations as we did not begin the booth closing down process until 3:00 PM. My day was again non-stop with CAC submissions, an educational presentation at 11:30 AM, followed by doing a special deal with a long time Massachusetts dealer friend. He had just purchased a nearly complete set of Mint State and Proof Barber dimes and provided first shot at all the CAC approved lots. Diane wrote a five figure check and we took home an awesome eye appealing lot of Barber dimes. But that was not all... We received a surprise visit from the Mirror Collection consignor along with another top quality lot of Mint State Seated half dimes including an exceptional 1838 Small Stars graded NGC MS64 CAC with bold luster and banded blue-gray patina. Wow!

As we closed down on Saturday, Rich Hundertmark reported that this FUN show was the breakout event for GFRC-Lite with a step function in sales to a bold record level. Though Rich started out as a retailer, an emerging volume wholesale component is becoming apparent. I am so pleased that the GFRC-Lite franchise business model had gained significant traction and is becoming well known in the the lower priced market space.

Finally, the Island City auction lot preview event was very well attended leading to me to believe that this FUN show was also a breakout moment for the GFRC Online Auctions platform. Many new faces appeared at the auction table and took the time to review individual lots.

Frankly, I have no idea what the finally sales tally is for this FUN show as we were too busy to consider conducting a final tally yesterday. All I can say is that it was significant with a good number of consigned coins selling. Unfortunately, U.S. gold still remains weak.

The drive back to Osprey and Venice went smoothly as we deposited Dan and Rose Marie at their home at 6:10 PM followed by arriving back to Venice a tad before 7:00 PM. After a quick oven pizza, we called it a day and sent to bed for a much deserved rest.

Will I be kicking back and relaxing today? Are you kidding me?

Today bring the unpacking of show inventory including a guess of at least 200 new coins to organize while merging unsold coins back into the office safe. All show sales must be recorded in the COIN system with a website update to remove those items. Of course, Collectors Corner must also be updated too.

Thank you for checking in! Monday will bring a "regular" edition of the Daily Blog. Be well!

 

 

 

Friday January 5, 2024

FUN Show - Daily Blog Silence is Golden

 

Greetings on a Friday morning from the Orange County Convention Center.

As the headline indicates, GFRC has been non-stop busy at the 2024 FUN show without time to compose a Blog or take a staff photo. Thursday's bourse floor attendance resembled a mob scene. We at the GFRC booth were constantly waiting on customers, taking in a huge amount of consignments, and also buying CAC approved coins as they walked up to the booth. The business level was such that we never stopped for lunch. Even at 4:00 PM, the bourse continued to be crowded with Happy Hour delayed until 5:30 PM.

Yes, GFRC sold in the six figure on Thursday, therefore we are pleased with the show.

My apologies, but this is the extent of today's Blog. The staff is healthy and ready for another exciting day.

 

 

Tuesday January 2, 2024

Preparing for Winter FUN 2024 - See Us at Booths #636/638

and

The Eugene Gardner 1865 Seated Quarter is Consigned!

 

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on the first Tuesday of 2024. Thank you so much for being here.

If in the numismatic hobby or business, another new year immediately brings the arrival of the Winter FUN show. The largest bourse floor of the year arrives early this year with dealer setup tomorrow at 2:00 PM in Hall NB in the North-South Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center. Get ready for cash being obsoleted at this event as my FUN dealer package includes that no cash will be accepted in the convention center for food or parking. What a bummer and ironical given that the convention is about money as a physical circulating currency. So have your credit card, debit card, or prepaid money card ready as paper bills have been outlawed for smaller expense. Again, this is what is stated in my dealer package. Please don't worry as GFRC will be accepting cash at Booth #636!

Let's move on to the GFRC booth location and configuration.

The GFRC booth is in the same location as 2023 and is double booth #636 on the bourse map as shown next. We will have ten cases of coins to exhibit including two cases housing the Island City auction sale lots. Lot viewing will be handled by either Diane or Rose Marie. This year (without Covid), we are well staffed with Gerry, Diane, Dan, Rose Marie, and Rich Hundertmark. Rich will be floating around the bourse on Thursday and Friday following by GFRC-Lite taking over the booth on Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

Come Saturday 11:30 AM, I will be sharing an education presentation for my umpteenth year in a row. This year brings the "The Many Faces of Seated Liberty" presentation that dates back to the 2017 time frame. This presentation has been popular in the past given its focus on the artistry of the 19th century mint engravers along with the design evolution of Seated Liberty across all denominations. As pre-work, please sit down and try to determine how many different renditions of Lady Liberty as found on Liberty Seated coinage from half dimes through dollars.

GFRC at Booths #636/638

 

Yes, the GFRC location is well back from the entrance with many other dealer booths being tempting distractions before reaching our location. Unfortunately, as a newbie dealer in this show's long tenure, we have been unable to move closer to the entrance. My hope is that clients will remember that we are located at booths #636/638. #636 is so easy to remember as 6 is a multiple of 3 and there are 3 digits in our booth number. Close your eyes and repeat after me.....#636, #636, #636, #636, #636. That should do it.

Coin shows are the best solution for dropping off consignments and we are ready and willing to take unloved coins off your hands towards raising numismatic capital. With GFRC-Lite on site, please feel free to bring any unloved coins as either GFRC or GFRC-Lite will be there with open arms to relieve you of this burden.

If needing instant cash, I will also be in a buying mood for coins that are consistent with GFRC product lines and quality requirements. Of course, if having CAC approved coins, you owe it to yourself to visit GFRC first as we are a top buyer for CAC approved and CACG type coins. All that I ask is that you take the time to determine a number for the coins being sold. Those individuals that walk the bourse seeking bids for their coins are opportunistic and not relationship centric. At GFRC, we are the opposite and believe in paying strong numbers to clients that work with us on a steady basis.

Today brings inventory selection as we can only fit roughly 700 coins in eight display cases along with 110 auction lots in the two cases located at the GFRC Online Auctions table.

Here is what we currently know about announced consignments.....

- The Sooner Collection has shared that a six figure consignment totaling 110 lots will be transferred tomorrow. The highlight is a nearly complete set of Liberty Seated half dimes at the AU-MS grade level. This consignment is also heavy in Capped Bust and Seated halves, both on GFRC's want list.

- The New Jersey Collection is dropping off a higher grade Trade Dollar collection along with other numismatic properties. The quantity and mix will be a surprise!

- The Lakeland Collection will be consigning a 17 piece lot with many Civil War era duplicates

- The New Orleans Collection has committed an 11 piece lot of better date Seated halves along with Barber dimes and halves. Of course, all will have an "O" mint mark!

I don't wish to sound greedy, but we could certainly use more consigned coins. If some coins in your collection are no longer visually stimulating or appreciated, GFRC would be pleased to locate new homes for these via our Daily Blog marketing channel. I love walk-up consignments so don't be bashful to approach myself or Rich Hundertmark.

 

The Eugene Gardner 1865 Seated Quarter is Consigned!

Yes, this is "Breaking News" as the mainstream media loves to say.

I am now in a position to announce that the magnificent Eugene Gardner 1865 PCGS MS66+ Liberty Seated quarter has been committed as a fresh consignment. Unfortunately, the timing did not work for the transfer to take place before the FUN show as this piece will arrive to the Venice office next week. If interested, please contact me via email or at the FUN show to discuss the offer price.

 

Global Financial News

2024 will be the year of global elections per Seeking Alpha. I thought it fitting to share their headline article.

2024 is being called the biggest election year in history, with half of the world participating in regional, legislative and presidential elections. Geopolitical tensions were already some of the biggest investing risks going into the new year and many of the coming results will determine how those pressures will be exacerbated or resolved. Complicating the situation is growing mistrust in the integrity of elections themselves, as well as the potential for online misinformation and algorithm manipulation during the campaign trail. In some countries, there is also a widespread risk of doctored results or mass protests in response to them. Asia: The first big presidential election will take place in Taiwan on Jan. 13. U.S. policymakers will be closely watching the results for the tone on relations with China, which again pledged "reunification" with the self-governing island during Xi Jinping's year-end address. Elsewhere in Asia, Indians will go to the polls in April and May to decide whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party will secure a third term. The country is rapidly becoming a global manufacturing powerhouse, helping investors turn bullish on the world's most populous nation. Europe: European Russia is the most populated part of Russia, which has been in direct conflict with Ukraine over the last two years. Everything from energy to commodities has been impacted by the war with its neighbor, but neither side has shown any signs of achieving victory or motivation to compromise. No surprises are in store, but Russians will go to the polls on March 17, while Ukraine's planned presidential vote on March 31 is likely to be postponed with the nation currently under martial law. Establishment parties are also bracing for some disruption during the European Parliament election slated for June, while the U.K. economy will be on watch with Rishi Sunak promising to call a general election at some point in 2024. Americas: The presidential election cycle in the U.S. begins in earnest this month with the first caucuses in Iowa and primaries in New Hampshire. The campaign season will get lots of airtime, with debates and soundbites covering the economy, immigration, infrastructure and foreign policy. The vote on Nov. 5. will not only decide the next president of the United States, but also features Senate and House races, as well as gubernatorial elections. South of the border, Mexico will hold a presidential vote in June that could impact cooperation on trade and border security with its northern neighbor, while Venezuela heads to the polls in December for a predictable election outcome as the country gears up for battle with energy-rich Guyana.

The S&P 500 opens the first day of 2024 trading at 4,769 with morning market futures points to a bout of selling at the market open. Following are those morning market futures.

In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong -1.5%. China -0.4%. India -0.5%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris -0.4%. Frankfurt -0.2%.
Futures at 7:00, Dow -0.4%. S&P -0.6%. NASDAQ -0.9%.

Spot gold pricing is bouncing around between $2066 to $2078/oz to start the new year while the U.S. dollar index has recovered to 102.1 as of the Blog composition.

WTI crude is trading a tad over $73/bbl as the Iranians are sending an old warship to the Red Sea to deal with the Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier after three Houthi speedboats were sunk by U.S. helicopters from the Eisenhower.

Wow! The 10 year U.S. Treasury bond yield as popped back to nearly 4.0% which will bring U.S. deficit refinancing challenges early in 2024 if this level continues to hold.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Yes, today will find me in the GFRC office packing for the FUN show. There is a huge amount of outgoing packages that were prepared yesterday, therefore I can ease into the FUN show preparations throughout the day.

I'm uncertain if there will be a Blog edition on Wednesday given our early start towards Orlando. If a Blog is prepared, it will be this evening. Who knows what might appear in the next twelve hours in terms of news worthy items?

Thanks again for being part of the GFRC community and being Daily Blog readers. Be well!

 

 

 

Monday January 1, 2024

Happy New Year 2024

An "Illegal" New Year's Eve?

and

GFRC 2023 Stakeholder's Report

 

Greetings and Happy New Year 2024 to the Daily Blog readership! Thank you as always for sharing your precious time with the ongoing visit to this numismatic online publication.

New Year's eve was a reserved but enjoyable affair at the Fortin's Venice condo. Diane had spent the day packing up the Christmas decorations and returning the condo to its regular appearance. We enjoyed a grilled scallops dinner along with Diane's signature spinach salad layered with strawberries, walnuts, and a special dressing that makes this salad a stable food. Afterwards, there was an early end to the day knowing that the coming week will again be quite busy with FUN coin preparations followed by driving to Orlando on Wednesday morning.

 

An "Illegal" New Year's Eve?

Our December emphasis, other than the GFRC business, was preparing for the week long visit by the adult children and their families to a rented villa in Venice. There was much planning involved including stocking the villa's frig given that three of the four adults were vegetarians. Cribs were necessary for Miles and Ayumi along with a host of other items that included toys for the indoor pool.

On December 24th, it was recognized that neither of us had made any Christmas gift purchases for each other as the focus had been elsewhere. To remedy this issue, I drove to Total Wines in south Sarasota on a Sunday morning and purchased a case of assorted red zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon wines as a treat for Diane while she bought me a special bottle of Illegal mezcal reposado tequila. New Year's eve happy hour and dinner brought the opportunity to open a bottle of red for Diane and to finally crack open the waxed cork on the Illegal bottle. The below image was taken of the Illegal tequila on the lanai table while looking back into the condo. This was a spur of the moment action that resulted in a pretty awesome image given the evening's sky being reflected by the lanai's glassed doors.

How was the tequila? Short of amazing and quite fitting for its brand name. For the smoky scotch drinkers in the readership, this mezcal reposado brought the best of both worlds into one taste. The smoky flavoring was powerful and nicely complimented the rich reposado smack. The alcohol level is a high 46%, therefore this is an unquestionable sipping tequila given the powerful palate.

 

GFRC 2023 Stakeholder Report

Starting for the 2019 fiscal year, GFRC issued its first "Stakeholders Report" via the Daily Blog and has continued to share year end results since that time. Let's take a look at the 2023 operating year results on a New Year's day.

GFRC enjoyed another strong sales year during 2023 with a robust January FUN show and auction event. February brought the weakest operating month of 2023 with the root cause for that low performance never being understood. Sales rebounded in March and continued to expectations along with being consistent with prior 2022 and 2021 comparison years. November 2023 brought the highest revenue month for the fiscal year due to three major events in a four week period. Those included the Whitman Baltimore show, the 3rd CAC-Only auction, and a better than expected Black Friday Sale. December sales revenue was managed lower towards managing 2023 tax liabilities.

For those of us who own stock in publicly traded cooperations, the receipt of an annual report takes place after the end of each fiscal year once the company's financial are closed and audited. The company president presents a summary of financial performance and the usual outlook for the coming year.

GFRC is far from a public cooperation, rather a basic Limited Liability Company (LLC). However, GFRC does serve the numismatic public and enjoys a large stakeholder community. I believe that the same larger corporation accountability is warranted regardless of being a small LLC. The GFRC community continued to expand during 2023 with nearly 250 past and present consignors and countless customers. Accountability is important as a growing number of clients are counting on GFRC's ongoing business prosperity for handling collection duplicates, larger divestment, and sadly, the liquidation of a client's coin collection upon their passing. During 2023, GFRC sold the Bart Chapman numismatic estate. From an overall market perspective, GFRC has become well known as a leading dealer for CAC approved premium quality coins with an emphasis on both Liberty Seated coinage and United States gold.

Private coin dealers don't place their financial or business strategies in the public domain. But then again, GFRC is a far cry from a traditional coin dealer and seeks to work with complete transparency. I believe that transparency builds trust. Trust enables ongoing goodwill among its client base and increasing word of mouth reputation. Based on my prior years of semiconductor corporate experience, GFRC is tactically and strategically managed as a large cooperation thought the staffing is diminutive.

It is my pleasure to share the following GFRC 2023 highlights along with comparisons for the prior 2022 and 2021 years in this Blog edition.

Overall, GFRC's 2023 sales revenue declined by 5% as compared to 2022. That decline can be attributed to an abnormally weak February 2023 sales period, and a managed slow down of sales in December 2023, along with reduced overall retail demand during the second half of the year. Volatility in securing major collections for the GFRC Online Auctions platform must also be acknowledged as a parameter that could impact year on year revenue and product performance comparisons.

GFRC consignment sales, including those realized via the GFRC Online Auctions platform, accounted for 69% of 2023 revenues as compared to 73% for 2022 and 75% for 2021. During the past three years, GFRC has made a concerted effort to increase its owned inventory position with more aggressive buying at major shows along with an increased buyback program for previously sold coins.

GFRC's average priced per coin sold, during 2023, maintained at the $1600+ level consistent with the 2022 fiscal period.

Next, let's review sales revenue by major product lines.

 

GFRC 2023 Sales Revenue Breakdown

Product Lines

2023 % Revenue

2022 % Revenue

2021 % Revenue

     

Liberty Seated

59%
56%
56%

U.S. Gold

23%
25%
24%

Draped/Capped Bust

8%
8%
10%

Barber

3%
2%
3%

Others

7%
9%
7%

The breakout of GFRC's 2023 sales by major product lines indicates an ongoing leading presence for the Liberty Seated coinage market. U.S. gold sales have been hovering between 23 and 25 percentage of overall revenue during the past three years.

During 2023, GFRC continued its attempt to make headway in the Capped Bust coinage market segment. The primary challenge is locating and stocking premium quality inventory as the demand side of the equation remains robust.

Barber coinage sales revenues remained relatively flat on a percentage basis during the past three years. Stocking quality Barber coinage is an ongoing challenge though some progress is being made as GFRC's supplier base continues to broaden.

Finally, the "Others" category captures all other product lines in the GFRC portfolio including 20th century coinage and Morgan dollars. Sales revenues dropped slightly during 2023 as compared to 2022.

 

GFRC 2023 CAC Sales Continue Growth Trend

2023 % Revenue

2022 % Revenue

2021 % Revenue

     

CAC Approved

63%
55%
54%

Non CAC Approved

37%
45%
46%

GFRC's CAC approved sales revenue grow significantly during 2023 and increased to 63% of sales. CAC approved coins are a key element in the GFRC business model given a commitment to offering the highest quality coins possible to clients. The introduction of CAC-Only auction events at the GFRC Online Auctions platform has had an impact on this metric.

During 2023, GFRC became a investor and founding member of CAC Grading as a commitment to the overall CAC brand. The sourcing of CAC approved coins at competitive prices remains an ongoing challenge as prices continue to increase at the wholesale and retail levels due to relative scarcity in the market place. Consignments to the GFRC Online Auctions platform were key to CAC approved growth as most auction events brought a high percentage of CAC coins. Securing CAC approved consignments is conducted by marketing GFRC as a leading retailer of CAC approved coins.

 

GFRC PCGS 2023 Sales Decreased Slightly

PCGS is clearly the market leader for grading United States coins. However, 2023 brought excessive PCGS grading lead times which resulted in dealers and collectors shifting their submissions to NGC. As a result, GFRC received a heightened amount of NGC holdered consignments.

During 2023, GFRC continued its exit of the raw coin market and shifted that inventory to its GFRC-Lite franchisee. Starting in 2024, GFRC will no longer be accepting raw coin consignments.

TPG

2023 % Revenue

2022 % Revenue

2021 % Revenue

     

PCGS

80%
82%
82%

NGC/ANACS

20%
17%
16%

Raw

0%
1%
2%

 

Summary

In summary, the GFRC business is being strategically managed with distinct product lines and marketing efforts. 2023 brought a continuing efforts to increased GFRC's own inventory levels as a counter balance to the volatility of the consignment portion of the business. The GFRC Online Auctions platform continued to gain credibility during 2023 as a niche auction service for clients with collections ranging up to $500,000. A full page marketing campaign was launched with Coin World during 2023. The continued availability of larger consignments, during 2024, will have a material impact on forthcoming year sales results.

Footnote

The GFRC 2023 business results also need to be considered in the context of the multiple homestead projects that were accomplished during the summer and fall months of 2023. The three year back acreage trail project was completed in October, while the barn stone wall and crushed stone landscaping was a four month effort. The replacement of the homestead driveway was also an intense two weeks of late August effort. We were certainly busy during the 2023 calendar year.

If existing clients believe that GFRC is provides excellent services, your aid with incremental duplicates divestments or referrals (for larger collections) would be most appreciated.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Though today is a holiday, I will be working in the office the entire day preparing for the Winter FUN show that arrives on Wednesday with a 2:00 PM bourse table setup at the Orlando Orange County Convention Center.

Thank you so much for visiting with me on the first day of 2024. Be well!