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Coming Soon from the Seal Beach Collection
Type Date Grade TPG Variety
Seated 50C 1839 No Drapery AU53
PCGS WB-2
Seated 50C 1839 With Drapery AU58
PCGS WB-5
Seated 50C 1840 Rev of 1839 AU55
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1840-(O) Rev of 1838 AU50 PCGS WB-4
Seated 50C 1840-O Large Mintmark AU58
PCGS WB-8
Seated 50C 1841-O AU58
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1841 AU58
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1841-O VF30
PCGS WB-2R
Seated 50C 1842-O Small Date, Rev of 1839 AU58 PCGS WB-2
Seated 50C 1842-O Med Date, Rev of 1842 AU58
PCGS WB-8
Seated 50C 1842 Medium Date AU58
PCGS WB-14
Seated 50C 1842 Small Date AU58
PCGS OGH WB-7
Seated 50C 1843 AU58
PCGS WB-7
Seated 50C 1843-O AU55
PCGS WB-18
Seated 50C 1844-O Double Date AU55
PCGS WB-22 WB-103 FS-301
Seated 50C 1844-O AU58
PCGS WB-21
Seated 50C 1845 AU58
PCGS WB-3
Seated 50C 1845-O AU58
PCGS WB-10
Seated 50C 1845-O No Drapery AU50 PCGS WB-12
Seated 50C 1846 6/Horizontal 6 AU55
PCGS WB-7
Seated 50C 1846-O Medium Date AU58
PCGS WB-12
Seated 50C 1846-O Tall Date AU55
PCGS WB-27
Seated 50C 1846 Tall Date AU58
PCGS WB-15
Seated 50C 1846 Medium Date AU58
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1847 AU58
PCGS WB-5
Seated 50C 1847-O MS61 PCGS WB-21
Seated 50C 1847-O AU50
PCGS WB-17
Seated 50C 1848-O AU58
PCGS OGH WB-12
Seated 50C 1848 AU55
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1849 AU58
PCGS WB-9
Seated 50C 1849 Dramatically Doubled Date AU50 PCGS WB-6
Seated 50C 1850-O AU55
PCGS WB-7
Seated 50C 1850 AU53
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1851-O AU58 PCGS OGH WB-3
Seated 50C 1851 AU53
PCGS WB-6
Seated 50C 1852-O AU50
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1852 AU58
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1853-O AU55
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1854-O AU58
PCGS WB-7
Seated 50C 1855-O AU58
PCGS Unlisted
Seated 50C 1855 AU55
PCGS
Seated 50C 1855-S AU58
PCGS WB-3
Seated 50C 1855/54 AU58
PCGS
Seated 50C 1856-S AU50
PCGS WB-5
Seated 50C 1856-O AU58
PCGS WB-9
Seated 50C 1856 AU55
PCGS
Seated 50C 1857 AU58
PCGS
Seated 50C 1857-O AU55
PCGS WB-6
Seated 50C 1857-S AU55
PCGS WB-4
Seated 50C 1858 AU58
PCGS
Seated 50C 1858-O AU58
PCGS WB-32
Seated 50C 1858-S AU55 PCGS WB-10
Seated 50C 1859-O AU55
PCGS WB-10
Seated 50C 1859-S AU58
PCGS WB-3
Seated 50C 1859-O AU55 PCGS WB-2
Seated 50C 1859 AU58
PCGS
Seated 50C 1860-O AU58
PCGS WB-9
Seated 50C 1860-S AU55
PCGS WB-2
Seated 50C 1860 AU58
PCGS
Seated 50C 1861-S AU58
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1861-O AU58
PCGS WB-7
Seated 50C 1862 AU58
PCGS
Seated 50C 1862-S AU53
PCGS WB-5
Seated 50C 1863-S AU58
PCGS WB-3
Seated 50C 1863 AU55
PCGS
Seated 50C 1864-S AU58
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1864 AU55
PCGS
Seated 50C 1865 AU55 PCGS
Seated 50C 1865 AU50
PCGS
Seated 50C 1865-S AU55 PCGS WB-7c
Seated 50C 1866-S No Motto AU58 PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1866-S Motto AU58 PCGS WB-5
Seated 50C 1866 Motto AU55
PCGS
Seated 50C 1867-S AU58
PCGS WB-8
Seated 50C 1867 AU58
PCGS
Seated 50C 1868-S AU58
PCGS WB-5
Seated 50C 1868 AU58
PCGS WB-102
Seated 50C 1869 MS61
PCGS
Seated 50C 1869-S AU55
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1870-CC AU55 PCGS WB-2
Seated 50C 1870-S AU55
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1870 AU55
PCGS WB-102
Seated 50C 1871-S AU58
PCGS WB-3
Seated 50C 1871 AU55 PCGS
Seated 50C 1871-CC AU55
PCGS WB-3
Seated 50C 1872 AU53
PCGS
Seated 50C 1872-CC AU55
PCGS WB-5
Seated 50C 1872-S AU55
PCGS WB-2
Seated 50C 1873-CC With Arrows AU58 PCGS WB-7
Seated 50C 1873 With Arrows AU58
PCGS
Seated 50C 1873-S With Arrows AU58
PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1873 No Arrows, Closed 3 AU58
PCGS
Seated 50C 1874-CC With Arrows AU55
PCGS WB-3
Seated 50C 1874 With Arrows AU53
PCGS
Seated 50C 1874-S With Arrows AU58 PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1875 AU58
PCGS OGH
Seated 50C 1875-CC AU58
PCGS WB-10
Seated 50C 1876-S AU53
PCGS WB-33
Seated 50C 1876 AU53 PCGS
Seated 50C 1876 MS62 PCGS
Seated 50C 1876-CC AU55
PCGS WB-15
Seated 50C 1876-S MS62
PCGS WB-18
Seated 50C 1877-S AU58
PCGS WB-29
Seated 50C 1877-CC MS62
PCGS WB-12
Seated 50C 1877 AU58 PCGS
Seated 50C 1877 MS61
PCGS
Seated 50C 1878 AU53
PCGS
Seated 50C 1878-CC AU50 PCGS WB-1
Seated 50C 1879 AU55
PCGS
Seated 50C 1880 VF20
PCGS
Seated 50C 1881 AU58 PCGS
Seated 50C 1882 AU58 PCGS
Seated 50C 1883 AU55
PCGS
Seated 50C 1884 AU55 PCGS
Seated 50C 1884 VF25
PCGS
Seated 50C 1885 AU55
PCGS
Seated 50C 1886 AU55
PCGS
Seated 50C 1887 MS63
PCGS
Seated 50C 1888 AU53
PCGS
Seated 50C 1888 AU55 PCGS
Seated 50C 1889 AU50
PCGS
Seated 50C 1890 AU53 PCGS
Seated 50C 1891 AU55
PCGS

Gerry's Daily Blog

Featured Coins of the Day

1866-S WB-1 PCGS VF30 CAC 50C
$1600


1856-O PCGS EF45 CAC 50C
Peterson $245


1855-/54 WB-102 FS-301 PCGS VF35 CAC 50C
Peterson $625


1939 PCGS AU53 CAC 50C
$775


1876 PCGS MS62 CAC 50C
Seal Beach $950


1854-O PCGS AU55 CAC 50C
$425


 

 

April 10, 2020

Newtown Collection Acquires Seal Beach 1870-CC Liberty Seated Half!

Greetings and welcome to the Blog on a Friday morning.

This morning's Blog is being written with a huge sense of relief. Why you might ask? After diligently preparing the amazing Seal Beach Liberty Seated half dollar collection for GFRC price list debut over a several week period, the project's formulation and execution culminates this evening.

Taking the Seal Beach collection to market has been a huge personal responsibility. I've been working closely with Bill Davenport for years as a friend and GFRC client. When partnering with a collector towards assembling a truly great set, bonding takes place. That bonding is enabled by mutual respect and a shared numismatic passion. Those of us who attempt and construct substantial numismatic collections understand the level of difficulty and challenges. Assembling a superior collection with restrictive quality requirements takes years of constant searching, supportive relationships, and a fair amount of luck. On occasions, timing is everything.

The GFRC business model and approach for selling a substantial collection may seem a bit unorthodox. The traditional model for taking a major collection to auction typically has a long lead time. The sale comes with publicity and market timing risks, bidding upsides and downsides, and selling fees. At GFRC, a community centric approach is taken for marketing and selling a major collection. A major collection can be prepared and sold within a matter of several weeks rather than months. Instead of selling to the highest bidders that will hopefully appear, the process focuses on three goals;

- Securing a market competitive price for every piece in a collection.

- Carefully placing the individual coins into other sets under construction within the community.

- Having the consignor closely integrated within the sale process.

The unorthodox GFRC sale methodology is based on fairness and a win-win philosophy for all involved. The consignor wins with fair sale prices and a low commission rate. The buyers win with fair acquisition prices, meticulous prepared images and descriptions. Buyers have comfort in knowing they are not overpaying which can occur during the passion of auction bidding.

Yes, I'm rambling again.... But this unorthodox sales method is being recognized by the community with an increasing number of important collections being sold in an unconventional manner. Is there a movement underway?

 

Newtown Collection Acquires Seal Beach 1870-CC Liberty Seated Half!

I spent most of Thursday building the First Right of Refusal matrix for the Seal Beach Collection and selectively notifying certain individuals that their requests were available.

Foremost was determing the sale of the Seal Beach Collection highlight; the amazing 1870-CC Seated half graded PCGS AU55.

I am incredibly pleased to announce that the Newtown Collection has agreed to purchase the Seal Beach 1870-CC half at a $55,000 purchase price. Congratulations go out to this individual for his monumental acquisition.

The Amazing 1870-CC PCGS AU55 Half Provides Access to the Seal Beach Collection Image Gallery

 

Len Augsburger's Final Seal Beach Collection Cataloging Update

Cataloging is in the home stretch with 103 coins done and 20 left to go. ETA is Friday afternoon, and Gerry will take it from there. Highlights in today’s batch include the fabulously toned 1876 in MS62, and the 1874-CC in AU55/CAC, an ultra-PQ example of a rare Carson City date. The 1869 is another favorite, with multi-colored rings around brilliant centers, and this piece will sell quickly. The 1870-CC in AU55 is also a great piece with the coveted CC mintmark, close to condition census with only five Mint state pieces graded by PCGS. Toning is always a matter of taste, but I really like the two-tone appearance of this rare CC issue. Tomorrow I’ll work through the low-mintage late dates and finish off the descriptions of this remarkable collection.

 

Seal Beach Collection Price List Debut This Evening!

Today brings two final activities leading to the Seal Beach Collection debut on the GFRC price list at some point this evening.

First is merging Len's description file back into the COIN system and conducting one final quality check. Once I am comfortable with the sale preparations, the COIN database will be uploaded to the server. All 123 pieces will simultaneously arrive to the price list.

Second is wrapping up First Right of Refusal assignments and notifying individuals of available selections. That process will take place throughout today. Once individuals commit to purchase offerings, those pieces will be marked on hold during the price list debut.

If all goes to plan, I will push the upload button at 9:00 pm ET with the Seal Beach Collection going live. Please make a point to check in at that time.

 

Global Financial News

As of 8:30 am ET, Seeking Alpha has yet to publish their daily Wall Street Breakfast report. Once that report is available, this Blog segment will be updated.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

There is little else to say at this point...

I will be in the office during the entire day working through the Seal Beach Collection matrix and notifying those with FRoR access.

Thank-you for checking in at the Blog!

 

 

April 9, 2020

Seal Beach Collection Cataloging Update

and

1865 Seal Beach Half Dollar CAC Approval Insights

Greetings and welcome to the Blog! Thank-you for stopping by on a Thursday.

It goes without saying that my focus has been entirely Seal Beach Collection centric during the current week. Meticulously preparing 123 Liberty Seated half dollar images while conducting regular client communications and Blog composition has been challenging. My day starts with only the low mintage 1884 through 1891 dates remaining. These will be completed during morning hours after some light shipping. Yes, a few coin orders arrived on Wednesday and I'm grateful to those who are supporting the GFRC business. Currently, United States gold is selling and not much else.

Over in the Chicago area, Len Augburger is galantly working through his Seal Beach Collection assignment. Beyond researching each listing and generating descriptions, Len is also a quality manager and checking all aspects of Seal Beach collection preparations. Just yesterday, he captured an Excel copy/paste error and several typos during the construction of the client gallery.

By 10:30 pm ET, I was mentally exhausted and called it a day. Len kept on chugging since in the central time zone and filed this late day report.

 

Seal Beach Collection Cataloging Update - Len Augsburger 12:42 am ET

Cataloging continues apace and is at the halfway point with forecast completion on Friday.

Building a Seated half dollar set is a multi-year pursuit with most collectors adding only a coin or two at a time. The Seal Beach sale is a rare opportunity to acquire several or more pieces all at once, and collectors will do well to stretch for the right coins. There is something here for all tastes, from brilliant to more heavily toned pieces, but the constant throughout is originality and superb quality. While the scarce dates capture the initial attention, I’d encourage buyers to look at some of the more common pieces, which, as it turns out, are not so common when considering the eye appeal and CAC approvals. Think more in terms of availability than absolute rarity.

The image gallery is posted, so now the fun begins – carefully examine your current set, compare the Seal Beach coins, and contemplate where you might fill in holes or make upgrades. Flexibility is key, as this collection will see significant interest. I recommend making a target list of your top selections and working downward from there. Gerry will have a hard job of matching coins to clients, but he’ll do his best to make sure everyone gets a taste of the action. The Seal Beach consignor hopes his coins will be placed with collectors who enjoy them as much as he did, and who carry forward his legacy of building challenging sets with a high standard of quality. Yes, of course money will change hands, but at the same time all parties take part in a tradition of discriminating collecting that stands apart from commercial concerns. Enjoy the sale!

 

With Len's forecast for wrapping up descriptions on Friday, all looks to be in place for posting the entire Seal Beach Liberty Seated half dollar collection to the price list on Saturday morning. Please mark the event on your calendar, but don't worry. I will highlight the posting within Saturday's Blog edition.

What is on Gerry's to do list today? After posting the last nine Seated halves to the Seal Beach client gallery, my attention shifts to the collection's huge First Right of Refusal response. A listing of individual collection contents will be printed as a tally or score card. Afterwards, my email Inbox will be carefully checked for FRoR emails leading to a tabulation of requests for all collection offerings. Hopefully, the matrix will be completed by end of day barring a wave of regular GFRC customers orders. Ok, that is wishful thinking at this time...

On Friday, I will begin sharing FRoR allocations with GFRC clients along with offer prices. I am expecting to see strong demand for certain dates in the Seal Beach set. Already, there are two requests for the magnificent 1870-CC PCGS AU55 half with its mirrored fields and monster strike. This key date is being offered at $55,000. The 1874-CC half is also in strong demand as I remember seeing at least three requests. That piece will be offered at $13,750.

Once again, following is the access link for the magnificent Seal Beach Collection and GFRC client gallery presentation.

GFRC Presents the Seal Beach Collection Client Gallery

Click on the Amazing 1870-CC PCGS AU55 Half to Access the Seal Beach Collection Image Gallery

 

1865 Seal Beach Half Dollar CAC Approval Insights

Yesterday's Blog brought a challenge to readers. The Seal Beach Collection contains two AU graded 1865 halves; one with CAC approval and one without. Carrying two high quality specimens of the same date is becoming a common occurrence in today's CAC approval centric collecting environment. I am guilty of the same behavior within my core Liberty Seated dime set. For example, the set contains two 1846 dimes (PCGS AU58 and PCGS AU50 CAC), and just recently through a Stacks purchase, two 1850 dimes (PCGS MS64 Pittman and PCGS MS64 CAC). Fundamentally, advanced collectors cherish certain pieces in their collection regardless of lacking CAC approval. To play in CAC only registry sets, one must also locate a quality CAC approved example.

Once again, following are the two Seal Beach 1865 halves. I received multiple responses speculating why the PCGS AU55 example was not approved by John Albanese. It is my pleasure to publish those responses immediately after the images along with your author's insight.

Seal Beach Collection - Case Study in CAC Approval

 1865 PCGS AU50 CAC Approval                                                  1865 PCGS AU55 - Without CAC Approval

    

 

We open with commentary from the Iowa Collection consignor.

Hi Gerry,


Here are my thoughts on the two 1865 liberty seated half dollars. First, let me say that CAC approval is subjective and not 100% consistent. John Albanese is considered to be one of the greats in numismatics, and rightly so. But he makes inconsistent decisions like any human does. It’s just that his consistency is at a much lower rate that most of us. In my current Liberty Seated quarter collection that I’m assembling, nine of my coins lack CAC approval. I agree that seven of those nine coins are probably unworthy of a green bean. But, two of my coins without a sticker are very solid coins that in my opinion deserve CAC approval.

As to the 1865 half without CAC approval, my guess is that John didn’t like the color of some of the peripheral toning, possibly considering it secondary toning after a light old cleaning. But this is just a guess, as I’ve seen plenty of coins with that look that are CAC approved. And as we’ve discussed, CAC’s current standards appear to be more strict, which further points out slight inconsistencies across time. Thanks for continuing to discuss important issues.

 

Another individual provided this simple assessment.

Hi Gerry,

My opinion is that the AU55 coin has too much rub on Liberty’s breast and leg for CAC’s liking.

 

More commentary from an individual in Texas.

Hi Gerry

In this morning’s blog you questioned why one coin was CAC’d and the other wasn’t.  I don’t understand why they are not both CAC’d either but I will hazard a guess.  I think maybe it was because there is too much wear on the eagle’s left facing wing on the reverse for a 58 or it was lightly struck.  We’ll never know for sure why no sticker was awarded.

 

A passionate Seated half dollar collection from California simply states...

Gerry: On the 1865 half dollars, I would surmise the line on Liberty's right thigh is preventing CAC.

 

The Tenafly Collection consignor opined the following from the southern CA desert.

Hi Gerry, Waking up to a stormy Wednesday here in the desert.

Both of those 1865 half dollars have excellent eye appeal and are gems. Apparently (at least according to CAC) the AU50 CAC half is "solid for the grade" and the AU55 no CAC isn't. The AU55 is a full (hammered) strike, especially the reverse leaves, claws, etc. The AU50 is not quite as well struck and this "may" have influenced the PCGS graders which opened the door for a CAC bean. Also, the AU grades are so close; maybe the luster or cartwheel effect influenced the grade?  

 

Gerry Fortin commentary...

I'm in a unique position as having both 1865 coins in hand to formulate a theory. Let's walk through the highs/lows of each piece.

1865 PCGS AU50 CAC - Natural gray-gold patina that is consistent with strict originality. Overall strike is well exeuted allowing high point wear to be easily discerned. I would suggest that the assigned AU50 grade is conservative. Surfaces are essentially unabraded with steely luster.

I would place the AU50 into an instant CAC category as all the necessary attributes are present.

1865 PCGS AU55 - Another strictly original example with lightly mirrored fields. The center rose and peripheral blues lead to a pleasing bright light viewing experience. This is a piece that one could enjoy under a light source for an extended period of time. However, the obverse center strike is weak with the reverse better struck. The left breast, lower leg, and especially the scroll edges are partially formed. The original patina is worn through on the left breast and lower leg. On the lower leg, the wear has exposed the underlying silver metal. There is a hidden line on the upper thigh.

I believe this lovely piece must be downgraded to an AU50/AU53 holder to have a chance at CAC approval.


Global Financial News

World wide equity markets continue to be in an upbeat mood concerning the Covid-19 pandemic. Newly reported cases in Europe and the United States are flattening out as predicted. Death rates will soon begin to recede. Asia and European futures indicate continued gains while the U.S. markets are flat for the morning open. Here is a summary courtesy of Seeking Alpha.

In Asia, Japan -0.05%. Hong Kong +1.38%. China +0.37%. India +3.71%.

In Europe, at midday, London +1.64%. Paris +0.09%. Frankfurt +1%.

Futures at 6:00, Dow +0.30%. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq -0.09%.

Crude oil is quoting at $26.32/bbl with a critical supplier call taking plaee today. The high stakes are captured by this Seeking Alpha headline. The key question is Russian willingness to slow down output.

Things are pretty tense in the oil markets ahead of a virtual meeting of the alliance of OPEC and non-OPEC producers today at 4:00 p.m. Vienna time (10 a.m. ET). The spotlight will be on whether Russia, Saudi Arabia and non-participant U.S. will agree to cut crude production amid plunging prices and a lack of storage capacity. "Stalemate is not an option for any of the parties involved," warns Nansen Saleri, CEO of Quantum Reservoir Impact and Saudi Aramco's former head of reservoir management. Even an OPEC+ combined cut of 10M to 15M barrels per day of output won't match the estimated drop in Q2 demand of 16.4M barrels a day. Crude oil is seen swinging to as low as $20 per barrel or as high as $40 per barrel based on how the meeting goes. In today's early action, WTI crude oil futures +4.9% to $26.32/bbl and Brent crude +3.8% to $34.08/bbl on indications that the Russians will play ball.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

What else is there to say at this point? Yes, I will be in the office the entire day... but you know that!

How I would love to sell a few non U.S. gold coins towards generating some GFRC cash flow and also on behalf of consignors' cash needs.

Several clients have asked if I would be willing to purchase their Liberty Seated half dollar duplicates to enable funding of Seal Beach Collection purchases. My response is that I will consider their needs but realistically, I can't continue to stockpile inventory at GFRC's risk plus working capital consumption. Like every other business that is seeing limited or a complete shutdown, GFRC cannot continually purchase inventory to help collectors with immediate liquidity. If purchasing coins owned by GFRC, I can be flexibile with a corresponding client purchase as my inventory positioning remains neutral.

The time has come to close the Blog and get to work! Thank-you for checking in.

 

 

April 8, 2020

Cataloging The Seal Beach Collection

and

Seal Beach Collection - Case Study in CAC Approval

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

Crunch time has arrived with respect to the Seal Beach Collection being posted to the GFRC price list by this coming weekend. Tuesday brought a late evening in the GFRC office as incremental images were processed towards populating the Seal Beach client gallery display. Finalizing 123 Seated half dollar images takes a considerable amount of time and meticulous attention to subtle details!

Once again, following is the access link for the magnificent Seal Beach Collection and GFRC client gallery presentation.

GFRC Presents the Seal Beach Collection Client Gallery

Click on the Amazing 1870-CC PCGS AU55 Half to Access the Seal Beach Collection Image Gallery

(Under Construction Through Wednesday April 8)

 

 

Seal Beach Collection Client Gallery is Well Subscribed

There is no question that the Seal Beach Collection is attracting substantial interest within our community. This morning's review of Google Analytics and the hit rate for the Seal Beach Collection client gallery revealed 243 unique page views in just 24 hours. Emails continue to arrive with accolades for the collection along with more First Rights of Refusals. This late evening email was typical of the feedback being received.

Good evening Gerry. I just couldn’t resist commenting on this Seal Beach Half collection. It’s everything you hyped it up to be because it’s all eye candy. Maybe I missed it in an earlier blog but how long did it take this individual to assemble this magnificent collection? Great job on capturing the beauty of each piece. It would be an honor to own one of these pieces!

Thank you again for your blog! I’ve now been an avid reader for over a year. Please keep this gallery of halves from Seal Beach in the archives. It’s like going to the museum.

Cataloging The Seal Beach Collection

With the weekend Seal Beach Collection debut approaching quickly, Len Augsburger is on the scene and preparing individual listing descriptions. The input template file was forwarded to Len during the Tuesday mid afternoon hours. He responded with a quick snapshot of his workspace featuring the numerous resources being employed for insightful discussions of each offering.

Len's Cataloging Workspace

 

Close to midnight, the following status email arrived from Len.

Gerry forwarded the collection spreadsheet this afternoon, and 20 pieces of the 123 piece consignment have been catalogued so far. The next few days will be busy. Most of the coin images are now online, and there is a lot of eye candy here. I’m surrounded by the Bill Bugert volumes on Seated halves, along with the PCGS and CAC census data. Ever-present is the Guide Book of U.S. Coins, a handy reference to mintage figures and major varieties.

This collection is exclusively PCGS-graded, with the great majority of pieces CAC-certified as well. It’s clear that the Seal Beach consignor was a discriminating collector, and I’m guessing his “batting average” at CAC was well above normal. Moreover he was obviously a student of the series, as I’ve already learned by writing up the 1843 WB-7, a variety not verified by Bill Bugert as recently as 2016. A handful have since been reported, including this piece cherrypicked from a Heritage Auctions sale.

Gerry has stolen a bit of my thunder by supplying descriptions for a few pieces – I was prepared with all sorts of clever sports allusions for the 1841-O WB-2R, the so-called “baseball crack” variety. Alas, you’ll will have to wait until the next coin shows up. Gerry further forwarded comments on the luster and visual “pop” of each piece, which is not always completely evident from two-dimensional images.

I already have a new found appreciation for Bill Bugert and Randy Wiley’s work on Seated half dollars. Apart from the computer graphics work, a massive undertaking by itself, the amount of study invested to decode the die variety progressions of each issue is extraordinary. Combined with Bill’s photography you have one of the premier works on die varieties within U.S. coinage. If you can’t attribute a coin with Bill’s books, the coin is probably not attributable.

I’ll remain holed up the next few days, like everyone else, interrupted only by the occasional delivery. I can’t remember what date Gerry wanted these done by (probably it was yesterday), and, in truth, the epidemic tends to make the days blend together anyway. In any case, I’ll be cranking, and the whole package will be available in due course.

 

Seal Beach Collection - Case Study in CAC Approval

The Seal Beach Collection contains not one but two Almost Uncirculated 1865 Philadelphia strikes. The reason being is CAC approval and Seal Beach's goal to construct a 100% CAC approved set at the AU grade level. But along the journey, the reality of CAC approval challenges became evident and difficult to overcome. Many collectors with advanced CAC approved Liberty Seated collections face a similar hurdle. A piece in one's collection is absolutely original and a wonderful piece of eye candy. Disappointment, and a fair amount of head scratching, occurs when a superb piece fails to be CAC approved. Seal Beach has struggled with the CAC approval challenge and resorted to including two examples of the same date in several cases.

After carefully studying these two beautiful 1865 Seated halves in hand and under a bright light, I had a theory for why one is approved while the second is without a green bean sticker. Both pieces are perfectly original with superior eye appeal.

Rather than disclosing my perspective, I'll take inputs from the Blog readership on why the second 1865 PCGS AU55 half dollar was not approved. This exercise will be a learning experience for many of us. Your inputs will be shared in Thursday's Blog.

Seal Beach Collection - Case Study in CAC Approval

 1865 PCGS AU50 CAC Approval                                                  1865 PCGS AU55 - Without CAC Approval

    

 

LSCC Publishes the April 2020 E-Gobrecht Edition

Tuesday evening brought the arrival of the April 2020 E-Gobrecht publication from the Liberty Seated Collectors Club. The new editor, Paul Kluth, has been plagued with recent health issues but still managed to prepare a comprehensive edition. In Thurday's Blog edition, I will provide a link for downloading the April edition along with some commentary and feedback. There is just no enough time this morning to properly prepare thoughts.

 

Global Financial News

After two days of positive equity market gains, this morning's futures are beginning to comprehend the potential difficulties with re-starting sovereign nation economies. Nearly all global market futures are flat or down with the exception of Japan. Unfortunately, Japan has just announced a Covid-19 outbreak in Tokyo and is requesting citizens to observe caution.

In Asia, Japan +2.1%. Hong Kong -1.2%. China -0.2%. India -0.6%.

In Europe, at midday, London -1.2%. Paris -1.6%. Frankfurt -0.9%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.1%. S&P flat. Nasdaq +0.1%.

Crude oil prices continue their volatility with the current quote at $24.49 per barrel. The following Seeking Alpha provides insight into the amount of excessive petroleum stockpiles being amassed.

Crude supply data amid price war. The American Petroleum Institute reportedly showed a build of 11.9M barrels of oil for the week ended April 3, its second consecutive increase after two straight declines. Gasoline inventories increased by 9.45M barrels, distillate inventories showed a draw of 177K barrels and Cushing inventories displayed a build of 6.8M barrels. Data from the Energy Information Administration to be released this morning is expected to show that crude inventories rose by 8.4M barrels last week, according to analysts polled by S&P Global Platts.

Spot gold prices start the day at $1640/oz and remain in a new elevated trading range. Where gold prices are heading is a function of the stability of the global financial system. This Seeking Alpha headline might bring about some concerns as Europe heads into a deep recession.

Historic recessions. The French economy shrank the most since World War II in the first quarter, according to the Bank of France, and the outlook for the rest of the year is souring significantly. The central bank estimates a 6% slump, hurt by a coronavirus-induced collapse in supply and demand. Things are also looking grim in Germany. According to a joint forecast from 5 leading German institutes, Europe's largest economy probably shrank by 9.8% in the second quarter, its biggest decline since records began in 1970.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

How is GFRC business you might ask? Well, the past two days have been crickets in the office. Actually, the quiet time has been a blessing for focusing entirely on Seal Beach Collection preparations.

A special single piece United States gold consignment arrived via FedEx on Tuesday and will be opened this morning (24 hour quarantine period). I'm expecting a large lot of Liberty Seated quarters and halves from the Southern Texas Collection to arrive on Thursday. Lastly, the Newtown Collection has wisely utilized the sheltering in place time to review his numismatic holdings with some duplicate and non core set pruning. A new broad based consignment will be arriving once he can access his bank box.

Today's goal is to wrap up the Seal Beach Collection images and have a completed client gallery file before heading to bed. Thursday brings a careful scrutiny of all First Right of Refusals requests along with developing an allocation strategy. By Friday, I hope to be notifying those individuals with FRoRs prior to the entire Seal Beach Collection being posted to the price list during the weekend.

Please stay tuned and keep checking the Blog for Seal Beach Collection updates. The next few days are guaranteed to be numismatically exciting.

 

 

 

April 7, 2020

GFRC Presents the Seal Beach Collection Client Gallery

and

GFRC Adds More U.S. Gold to Price List

Greetings and welcome to another edition of the Daily Blog. A Tuesday morning arrives!

I'm blessed to be operating the GFRC business during the Covid-19 event! There is no idle time or a chance to be mesmerized by the national politics being spewn on the major "news" outlet. Yes, I broke my news media fasting on Monday evening after a long day of preparing Seal Beach Collection images and other GFRC activities. Let's just say that the polarized reportings and "glass half empty" headlines were disgusting for a nation in crisis.

As new Covid19 cases numbers show signs of flattening throughout the country and the global, equity markets are quickly responding. This news should be uplifting to long term investors and our hobby. On a short term basis, the lack of disposable income will be a challenge for the overall numismatic market through the third quarter.

 

Seal Beach Collection Update

What a joy, and again a blessing, to be preparing the Seal Beach Liberty Seated half dollar collection for its price list debut this coming weekend. Handling a collection of this magnitude is a role that many in the numismatic field aspired to. Studying CAC approved AU55 and AU58 Seated coinage, for days on end, leads to a heighten understanding of CAC originality, grading and eye appeal requirements.

I'm pleased to report that offer pricing has been finalized with the Seal Beach consignor. His role in the project is completed after working through a gut wrenching decision to divest his lifetime collection.

Today brings a template transfer to Len Augsburger that will faciliate and capture his descriptions for each Seal Beach Collection offering. As Len reports, this will be a fun and memorable project while sheltering in place.

I am particularly pleased to be be presenting a partial Seal Beach Collection client gallery display in this morning's Blog. This display is the culmination of days of meticulous image processing efforts that will continue into Thursday before all 123 Seated halves are captured. I thought it fitting to use Seal Beach's magnificent 1870-CC PCGS AU55 Seated half as the pictorial icon for accessing the client gallery. The 1870-CC images are a 100% accurate representation of the coin in hand and under bright light. There is little left to say at this point. So please click on the 1870-CC half dollar images and plan to spend an hour or more enjoying each of the Seal Beach Collection offerings. Clicking on any image in the client gallery will download the high resolution version....but you knew that!

GFRC Presents the Seal Beach Collection Client Gallery

Click on the Amazing 1870-CC PCGS AU55 Half to Access the Seal Beach Collection Image Gallery

(Under Construction Through Thursday April 9)

 

Quality U.S. Gold New Purchases

Spot gold prices are trending at the $1650 - $1660 level as we start a new day. I was fortunate to purchase a small U.S. gold lot on Sunday evening and immediately posted the individual pieces to the price list on Monday. All offerings are priced below revised PCGS price guide levels and partially capture current premiums due to European sourcing issues. The 1876-S $20 double eagle was previously from the Mark Mattox collection. The 1884-CC double eagle is a real sweetheart with rich rose-gold patina overlaid on a base of green-gold. If searching for a Carson City double eagle type coin, this offering could be a compelling candidate. Hopefully, someone in the community will find it to be irresistable.

Quality U.S. Gold New Purchases

1910-D PCGS MS62 G$10                                                         1914-D PCGS MS62 G$10

    

1876-S PCGS AU55 CAC G$20                                                          1884-CC NGC AU58 G$20

    

 

Global Financial News

Equity market futures are pointing to a continuation of Monday's substantial gains. Let's remember that equity markets are a forward looking assessment of future company earnings. The fact that daily Covid-19 cases and deaths are flattening throughout Europe and the United States brings renewed optimism for investors. Progress between Saudi Arabia and Russia on oil production cuts adds incremental hope for a return to "normal" crude oil prices.

Following are market futures courtesy of Seeking Alpha.

In Asia, Japan +2%. Hong Kong +2.1%. China +2.1%. India +9%.

In Europe, at midday, London +3.9%. Paris +3.3%. Frankfurt +4.2%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow +4.1%. S&P +3.6%. Nasdaq +3.2%.

Crude oil is currently quoting at $27.05/bbl. American crude producers are planning production cuts due to running out of storage space.

Slashing crude production. Plunging oil demand and dwindling storage options not a coordinated supply cut with the Saudis and Russia, will force U.S. producers to voluntarily cut production 30%-35%, Continental Resources Executive Chairman Harold Hamm told S&P Global Platts. President Trump suggested last week that American producers might agree to curtailments to help break the oil price war between Riyadh and Moscow, but "U.S. producers don't need to coordinate between themselves," Hamm said. "That's unnecessary. Each one of them will have his own situation to deal with."

Japan is preparing the mother of all stimulas packages. I'm afraid that Covid-19 will bring about some level of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) implementation throughout the globe. Japan appears to be taking the lead.

Mega stimulus. Japan is finalizing plans for a massive stimulus package worth ¥108T ($990B) - equal to 20% of its economic output - to counter the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. That exceeds 11% of output for the U.S. stimulus package laid out by President Trump and 5% for that of Germany. "I think the coronavirus has given a final blow to Japan's economy," said Jun Saito of the Japan Center for Economic Research. GDP already started to slow down since late 2018, and the impact of Sino-U.S. trade tensions was further exacerbated by a consumption tax rate hike in Oct. 2019 (the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics also didn't help the situation).

Another "fake" NASDAQ listed Chinese company implodes. When will Wall Street and U.S. banks get serious about due diligence on Chinese companies?

Luckin scandal. Banks stand to lose more than $100M from a loan they made to the chairman of Luckin Coffee, whose share price plunged more than 80% last week after the Chinese coffee chain said much of its 2019 sales were fabricated. A margin call earlier against Chairman Charles Zhengyao Lu and Chief Executive Jenny Zhiya Qian led to the loss of control of 515,355,752 class B shares and 95,445,000 class A shares. "In hindsight, Wall Street probably shouldn't have let Luckin Coffee's chairman have more or less unfettered access to half a billion dollars with now-plunging Luckin shares as collateral," tweeted WSJ's Jonathan Cheng.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Another day in the GFRC office arrives. Today brings the last day entirely committed to Seal Beach Collection preparations. Starting Wednesday, there will be better balance on overall offerings to ensure that all GFRC community members have new coins to consider.

A new Southern Texas consignment should be arriving by Thurday based on conversations with that individual on Monday.

How I would enjoy selling a few coins today! If considering a purchase, I will respond quickly towards making a deal happen.

Finally, new consignments are the GFRC life blood. If you are enjoying the transparency of the Seal Beach Collection preparations and roll-out, just imagine what could be done for your collection? GFRC is essentially a cook in an open restaurant kitchen. Everyone is free to watch how large consignments are carefully prepared and brought to market. No other dealer or auction house provides this level of transparency to its clients! All major consignments are captured at the Gallery Link to be enjoyed for years to come. Furthermore, sale prices realized are captured in the Sales Archive.

Thank-you for checking in at the Blog!

 

 

April 6, 2020

Accelerating the Seal Beach Collection Debut!

Greetings on a Monday morning and welcome to the Blog.

A sincere thank-you goes out to the community and your ongoing readership. I've done my best to compose longer Blog edition with as much numismatic content as reasonably possible. The Covid-19 outbreak and orders to stay home have weighed on many of us. Diane and I are currently planning our return trip to Maine. The usual 2 day journey with an overnight stop in Virginia is being reconsidered. We might drive straight through to Maine and must plan accordingly.

 

Accelerating the Seal Beach Collection Debut!

During the weekend, I made a command decision to prioritize preparations of the Seal Beach Liberty Seated half dollar collection debut. Not surprising, the normal GFRC order rate has dropped to essentially zero as our community continues to prepare for the worst and hopes for the best concerning the Covid-19 event. Given the quiet office time, I've been working non-stop on the Seal Beach collection project towards accelerating its debut to this coming weekend. The Seal Beach Collection is an amazing accomplishment and will be an exceptional visual gift during its roll-out.

Following is the current preparation status along with target dates for bringing the Seal Beach Collection to market.

- All die variety attributions are complete and posted to the Seal Beach Collection preview table in the upper right hand corner of the Blog.

- Recommended pricing is complete with submission to the consignor for his review and final adjustments.

- Image processing saw substantial progress with the first 50 dates (of the 123 Seated halves) completed. This laptop screen capture illustrates the progress. The first 50 images in the screen display are done and capture the individual beauty of each offering.

Seal Beach Collection Image Processing Status

Initial 50 Dates are Ready to Publish

 

- I spoke with Len Augsburger on Sunday. He is queued up and looking forward to preparing individual Seal Beach descriptions. My initial goal was to start that process on April 8th. It looks like we will be one day ahead of schedule.

- Today brings two Seal Beach activities. First is the construction of a special Seal Beach client gallery display file. This file will be employed by Len to view each Liberty Seated half and prepare commentary. I'm also passing my individual coin insights on luster and surfaces to augment the images. Second is finalizing more of the dates and uploading images to the Hostway server. My target is another 20 finalized coins by end of day.

- In Tuesday's Blog edition, I will showcase a link for the special Seal Beach client gallery display file. This display will continue to be under construction during the balance of the week.

- The GFRC fixed price list sale debut for the Seal Beach Liberty Seated half dollar collection has been pulled in to Sunday April 12! Get ready for the sale of the finest AU55/AU58 CAC approved Seated halves assembled by an incredibly passionate numismatist. Many are CAC approved top pop pieces. Key dates and major varieties are some of the finest extant.

How will First Rights of Refusals be allocated?

During the Thursday timeframe (or once all the images are prepared), I will go back through my email Inbox and retrieve all FRoR email requests. A large matrix will be prepared that captures the individual requests for each Seated half in the Seal Beach Collection. At that point, I will establish who will be given first access to the individual offerings. In the spirit of complete transparency, my decision making will be done against two parameters.

- GFRC status of the individual rendering the request. What does this mean? Clients who have been long term GFRC business supporters via purchases and consignments will be given first access. It seems only fair to re-position the Seal Beach Collection offerings into other collections within the GFRC community rather than selling to new individuals who only wish to capitalize on the sales event.

- Timing of when the request was received.

I hope that the community will trust my goodwill during the decision making process. My goal is to ensure that everyone who made a request can participant in the sale. Be prepared for strong asking prices as this is an exceptional collection. Many of the CAC approved AU58 graded pieces will be offered at MS62 pricing levels. There will be no bargains in this sale; there should not be given the highly competitive CAC approved AU58 market.

 

Global Financial News

Covid-19 data from Europe (Italy and Spain) suggests that the virus has peaked with a reduction in daily infections and deaths. There are initial suggestions that New York State may have also peaked during the weekend. As a result, global equity markets are flashing upbeat futures. Following is a summary of global futures courtesy of Seeking Alpha.

In Asia, Japan +4.2%. Hong Kong +2.2%. China closed. India closed.

In Europe, at midday, London +2%. Paris +3.6%. Frankfurt +4.3%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow +3.7%. S&P +3.7%. Nasdaq +4%. 

These opening Seeking Alpha headlines well capture much needed optimism.

In the latest bout of volatility, U.S. stock futures were nearly 'limit-up' at one point overnight after indexes slipped lower on Friday following the end of a record U.S. job growth streak. The latest? President Trump expressed hope the country was seeing a "leveling off" of the crisis, while VP Mike Pence said the coronavirus task force was seeing signs of virus cases "stabilizing." Equities aren't the only asset class experiencing wild swings. The energy sector has seen a chaotic last few days on reports of an oil production cut deal.

Hope of rate peak. Italy posted its lowest daily coronavirus death toll in two and a half weeks, Spain's number fell for a third straight day, while fatalities dropped in the U.K. and France. In the U.S., New York reported its first decline in daily deaths, though Governor Andrew Cuomo said it was too early to tell if it's a plateau or just a blip. "Case growth deceleration in that group can help put further downward pressure on implied equity volatility and blunt the nature of a retest of the March equity price low," according to JPMorgan. "We suspected that markets could anchor to those statistics given the enormous uncertainties associated with a pandemic. So far, that has proved to be the case."

Crude oil pricing volatility continues as Russia and Saudia Arabia strive to reach agreement on production cuts. The current crude oil quote is $27.21/bbl though pricing remains unstable.

Oil news. Crude futures opened the session Sunday night by falling 9.2% to $25.72 per barrel after a delayed OPEC+ meeting signaled that a production agreement between Saudi Arabia and Russia may not be as imminent as President Trump suggested last week. Moscow and Riyadh are still "very, very close" to a deal on production cuts, according to Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund RDIF. The meeting is now likely to be held on Thursday, while Trump has suggested he could put crude import tariffs in place to "protect our tens of thousands of energy workers."

Spot gold prices have increased to $1664/oz as there are new suggestions that Wuhan City is seeing a small resurgence of Covid-19 cases with certain apartment complexes being cordoned off.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

As one would expect, it was crickets in the GFRC office during the past weekend. There are no Quick Ship packages going out this morning, rather two paid for orders via check. The limited shipping will allow me to again focus on Seal Beach Collection preparations.

I will be in the office the entire day and look forward to a potential order.

Thank-you for making the Daily Blog a regular part of a day's reading. Please check back on Tuesday morning for access to the first edition of the Seal Beach Collection client gallery.

 

 

 

April 5, 2020

Upgrading the Gerry Fortin Core Liberty Seated Dime Set

and

Seal Beach Collection Eye Candy and More!

Greetings on a peaceful Sunday morning and welcome to another edition of the Blog.

Since being a Sunday, your blogger could use a bit of a break from lengthy ramblings. Today's edition will therefore be a combination of visual numismatic treats and reader feedback. Regular ramblings will return on Monday.

Let's open with a thoughtful client email that arrived on April 2. This individual purchased the 1926 PCGS AU55 CAC Standing Liberty quarter from the Twin Lakes Collection and shares the joys of a new numismatic arrival.

Morning Gerry, 

Your thoughts expressed in today’s blog as well as those of Seth Godin’s fit my way of thinking precisely. Even here in deep East Texas, Covid19 has everyone under a ‘Stay Home’ advisement. Unfortunately that recommendation can lead to way too much exposure to all the ‘statistics’.

Thankfully this ‘stay home’ mandate doesn’t mean a person can’t hop in the car and go for a stress relieving drive through the countryside to enjoy the spring wildflowers. My wife and I did that for a couple hours mainly to relieve her stress. Before we left for the drive our mail arrived and my package from you containing the 1926 Standing Liberty quarter was included. My wife asked me if I wanted to open it before we left but I told her no, I’ll open it upon return from our drive. Well, the short drive had the desired effect on my wife. The Crimson Clover and Indian Paint Brush are beautiful. Very calming indeed!  Social distancing at its very best.

Upon returning home there lay my package on the den table. I had a few things to do so it lay unmolested for a few hours until late evening. Finally about 9:30pm I attacked it. Couldn’t stand it anymore. Anticipation mounted as I tore into the well packaged box. The wait was well worth it. All the cares of the day evaporated as I removed the beautiful 25 cent piece from the envelope and the protective sleeve. In my hands was exactly what I hoped for: a gorgeous addition to my collection and just what I’ve come to expect from you. It’s not an expensive coin but it doesn’t have to be to bring joy and that calming effect I need. It’s part of the ‘emotional posture’ I choose to embrace!

Thanks again for an excellent blog and oh how I would love to be viewing all those lovely Seated Liberty halves from the Seal Beach collection!!

Have a great day!


Gerry Fortin Core Liberty Seated Dime Set Upgrades

On Saturday afternoon, I posted the following images of two auction purchases from a recent Stacks sale. The 1850 and 1859-O dates have been on my watch list for years as targeted upgrades. My strict acquisition criteria precludes most candidates that arrive to market. As a reminder, those criteria including a complete strike, strict originality, and pleasing eye appeal. Complete strikes are most difficult to locate and often disqualify potential candidates.

The AuburnNY Accordian Collection consignor just happened to view the new aquisitions and was compelled to write the following email. His ending comments about my efforts to sustain the Blog during these difficult time is sincerely appreciated.

Hi Gerry,

Congratulations on the upgrades, especially the 59-o. With the 50, I love the eye appeal but it’s tough to go wrong with the Pittman pedigree piece, though the 64 CAC upgrade does pop more...to be honest, it has the look of a 65.  These two 64 upgrades for me illustrate why seated dimes should have a full-head designation just like SLQ. The extra indent deep punch above the brow in the head knot along with full vertical flowing swirl lines into the curl is a thing of beauty and something that should be specifically designated and recognized as “full head”.

*Its pretty cool that even though your business has grown to upper level national stage, you’re still a collector at heart.

Nice work and thank you for distracting all of us from the morbid daily onslaught of the idea of news. The press has been so destructive for our country and it’s sad that so many in that business will sell their soul for the almighty  dollar.

Gerry Fortin Core Liberty Seated Dime Set Upgrades

1850 F-103 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C                                                1859-O F-103 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C

    

 

Seal Beach Collection Image Processing Progress

Of the many steps during the generation of finalized GFRC coin images, the most rewarding is color matching images with a coin in hand. This last segment has multiple small steps that are meticulously executed. First, TPG holder defects are edited followed by RGB (red, green, blue) shifting for exact color matching. Applying a final round of sharpening and brightness/contrast leads to a completed image. At this point, the obverse and reverse images are merged. Images are renamed to the TPG serial number prior to being uploaded to the Hostway server.

Following are the 1846-O Medium and Tall Date offerings in the Seal Beach Collection. Both sets of images turn out quite well and are exact portrayals of the coins in hand.

Seal Beach Collection Eye Candy

1846-O Med Date WB-12 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C                            1846-O Tall Date WB-27 PCGS AU55 CAC 50C

    

 

Wonderful 1876-CC F-101 Seated Dime Arrives to Price List

When researching Liberty Seated dimes for the eventual The Definitive Resource for Liberty Seated Dime Variety Collectors thome, I was intrigued with the 1876 Carson City date and the many rusted dies. Since having a limited budget during the research years, EF and AU examples were targeted. Now that I'm operating GFRC, adding higher grade Mint State examples to inventory is possible. These acquisitions can also be employed as improved plate coins for the web-book. Case in point is this fantastic F-101 MS64 example that illustrates every major and minor die rust pit along with elevated rim cuds. This 1876-CC dime is being offered on the GFRC price list at a fair price and should not last long.

Near-Gem 1876-CC F-101 Heavily Rusted Obverse Seated Dime Offering

1876-CC F-101 PCGS MS64 10C 

 

Arriving to the Price List Today: Raw Better Date Liberty Seated Quarters

I've been posting a host of four figure coins this week. The time has come to dial down the new offerings for mainstream collectors. In particular, some of the following raw better date Liberty Seated quarters are not perfect but will nicely fill those empty holes in a Dansco or Whitman bookshelf album. One never sees a raw 1849-O quarter offered; this is an important event for collectors on a budget. I will gladly entertain a lay-a-way. The 1867-S quarter has strictly original surfaces but is bent. I've thrown in a lovely 1818 B-7 R4+ Capped Bust quarter to round out the lot.

Look for these new offerings to reach the price list by early afternoon.

Raw Better Date Liberty Seated Quarters and More!

1842-O Small Date Raw VF30 Details 25C                                             1849-O Raw F12 Details 25C       

    

 1818 B-7 R4+ Raw VG08 25C                           1843-O Raw VF30 25C                           1867-S Raw F15 Details 25C

            

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Yes, I will be in the GFRC office the entire day processing Seal Beach Collection images towards the April 8th hand-off deadline to Len Augsburger for description writing. By Tuesday, a separate Seal Beach Collection client gallery file will be constructed with link access in the Blog. Please keep checking back for the forthcoming eye candy!

GFRC order rates has slowed significantly. Every order is precious to me and to consignors who look forward to spending Trading Desk monies on upgrades. You will find that my responses to email orders will be lightning fast. I'm also immediately available by phone call or text message. Orders from vetted customers will ship on Monday morning. If a coin fix is necessary while sheltering in place, I would enjoy helping service your hobby.

A sincere thanks to everyone who returns to the Blog each day. The coronavirus is even taking a toll on Blog readership. These are surreal times but will pass.

 

 

 

April 4, 2020

Rare CAC Approved 1842-O Small Date Seated Half Immediately Sells

Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog as a shelter in place weekend is upon us.

At this point, life has become a continuum. Each day is part of a continuous sequence of basic activities towards keeping mentally engaged. Client phone calls and the 5:30 pm pre-dinner tequila time on the lanai are daily highlights. The infrequent grocery run to our local Publix supermarket is the extent of external activity.

Friday brought a Venice area customer purchase that would have made a great comedy skit in the context of life just several months ago. In the past, DD would arrive to the Auburn Lakes condo association club house for a GFRC visit. There would be a purchase hand-off, some eye candy show and tell, and friendly numismatic conversation in the comfort of the clubhouse lounge. Yesterday's transaction hand-off was conducted across DD's car hood. He brought Clorox wipes to clean his hands before passing bagged monies and subsequently cleaned the PCGS blue box that contained his purchase. I had previously used an alcohol wipe to clean the holdered coin and the PCGS blue box while staging the transfer in the office. Who could have predicted yesterday's behaviors?

 

Numismatic Market Status

How is the numismatic market fairing at this point? With all coin shows canceled through May, and probably into July, collectors must shift their attention to online markets. eBay and Collectors Corner are two well stocked marketplaces for sourcing coins along with individual dealer websites.

From the GFRC vantage point, I can report two trends.

First is the softening of Collectors Corner orders and offers. During the past week, Collectors Corner orders have disappeared. I'm not surprised by this development given that many collectors have lost their disposable income. Economic recovery fears are weighing on the minds of many collectors. A conservative response is to take a wait and see approach and prepare for the worst.

Second is the downward hit rate trend for coin dealers with large online businesses; GFRC being in that group. There is an observable downward trend in global website rankings when checking Alexa.com. I constantly monitor Alexa.com as a benchmarking and feedback tool for guiding GFRC website improvements and Blog content. Regardless of collectors spending more time at home, their attention is shifting away from numismatics. We can only speculate on where that attention has migrated to; likely the fear and panic media groups that are competing for ratings.

What is my crystal ball forecast for the numismatic market?

The April through June timeframe, the second quarter of 2020, will be a difficult period for coin dealers. Those who's business models rely on coin shows and coin shop buying will have wholesale selling and sourcing issues. The level of overhead expenses and leveraging (borrowed monies for inventory) will dictate actions. Some dealers will move into bullion buying and selling as an alternate income source.

Here at GFRC, years of semiconductor industry experience are guiding my second quarter and balance of 2020 strategies. The semiconductor industry operated with annual demand cycles along with serious recessions during period of disruptive technology arrivals. Planning for cyclic demand patterns meant building strategic inventories during slow demand periods and running factories as fast as possible during peak demand months. Maintaining trained operating staff was paramount; lay-offs were the last thing the operations staff wished to do even when CFO's began to panic. The CFO's would panic during each annual cycle and were predictable...

GFRC operates without leverage and is well capitalized. Dan White is in a similar position with respect to our United States gold inventory. I'm very confident that the market will begin to recover during the third quarter and will be on fire to close out the year. Patience and foresight are key at this time. The GFRC strategy is simple; continue insourcing consignments as rapidly as possible and secondly, providing liquidity to clients who need some financial help. Building the GFRC community of suppliers, clients and customers has been a multi-year effort. Nuturing that community during the current quarter will be my priority as we are collectively striving to overcome the Covid-19 event.

Blog readers can expect an ongoing flow of new offerings including the Seal Beach Collection that arrives in less than two weeks to the price list. A portion of the Murphys Liberty Seated half dollars are stuck at CAC. Once CAC re-opens, I will bring this large consignment to the price list. Yesterday brought a new consignment proposal from the Southern Texas Collection. More Liberty Seated quarters and halves will ship this coming week. The Cleveland Collection has promised more Seated dime duplicates. I have yet to tape into my own reference collection for incremental Liberty Seated dime offerings. Bottomline, I am already preparing for a strong recovery during Q3 and a robust Q4. There is nothing wrong with establishing a large broad based inventory during the next 3-5 months. Some dealers believe that inventory grows stale if not immediately sold within 30-60 days. I'm of a different mindset and will continue to execute accordingly.

If GFRC clients have coins sitting in bank boxes and believe the time has come to start pairing down holdings, I would be more than pleased to work with you. Practically speaking, coins sitting in bank boxes have no chance of being sold. Coin being offered on GFRC's price lists and on Collectors Corner are in a position to sell. Moving coins from a bank box to a position of being sold takes planning and execution time. Please don't let an ego (my coins must sell immediately at strong prices for personal validation) get in the way of more strategic or long term thinking. Again, coins are not subject to physical degradation; there is no Used By Date labeling. If your coins don't sell within 30-60 days due to a weak market, they are positioned to sell when the market comes roaring back....and it will.

 

Rare CAC Approved 1842-O Small Date Seated Half Immediately Sells

Part of the fun with operating GFRC is the unpredictability and surprises related to consignment arrivals. Case in point is this marvelous 1842-O Small Date, Reverse of 1839 Seated half that arrived early in the week. This is a very rare date that is usually found in average circulated grades. It is very rare in Mint State and rare in choice condition. CAC has approved all of 12 example with 33% of those being at the Good 4 through Very Good 8 grade levels.

Yesterday afternoon brought the posting of this perfectly original EF45 example with CAC approval. There are only two finer with CAC approval as noted above the images. Within an hour, this offering was on hold at $5500 as two collectors could not call me quickly enough to secure access.

1842-O Small Date, Rev 1839 PCGS EF45 CAC 50C

Scarce CAC Population EF45 (1), AU53(1), and AU55(1)

 

Consignments Wanted for May and June Timeframe

Once again, a brief reminder that GFRC is already looking ahead to the months of May and June. Once the Seal Beach Collection sale is launched, my attention shifts to follow-on consignments. Now is the time to consider a divestment consistent with the anticipated numismatic market recovery during the second half of 2020. The Trump administration will pump substantial monies into the United States economy for a rapid revival. In particular, I am expecting United States gold to be a strong demand item for the psychological comfort of owning gold bullion via collectables. Liberty Seated coinage will also remain strong pricing wise since the supply is so limited as compared to 20th Century coinage.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

It goes without saying that I will be in the GFRC office the entire day. Preparing the Seal Beach Liberty Seated half dollar collection for its upcoming sales event remains a top priorty. I do plan to sneak in a few raw Seated and Capped Bust coins to the price list for Dansco and Whitman album collectors.

Thank-you for checking in at the Blog!

 

 

 

April 3, 2020

CAC Approved United States Gold New Purchases

and

Seal Beach Image Processing Moving Along!

Greetings on a Friday morning and welcome to yet another edition of the Daily Blog.

In yesterday's Blog, a public commitment was made to stay away from the online news media. Well, I did it! Sure, there were urges throughout the day to have just one click to check the latest "news". Making a public commitment was a big deal which provided the willpower to restrain myself from those random impulses. Circle cropping hundreds of images is a monotonous activity and remaining focused can be difficult. Who would know if I did click on an online media link?

The upside of staying focused on GFRC tasks should become evident to Blog readers. My productivity shot up! More image processing was accomplished than normal along with photography and engaging with customers via text and email. Today's Blog features a fantastic United States gold lot that arrived around noon time. Within minutes, I was on the phone with Dan White describing each piece towards consensus purchasing decisions. Once that activity was completed, I was out by the back pond conducting a photography session. Images processing promptly followed resulting in an awesome gallery for your viewing enjoyment.

After posting the United States gold gallery, it was back to the Seal Beach Collection for a day of image processing activities.

 

CAC Approved United States Gold New Purchases

Fundamentally, the coin industry is numismatics centric with personal relationship being paramount. There are times when I see relationships being the true outcome of our hobby with physical coins being the facilitator of those relationships. Yesterday brought support to that premise.

The following United States gold lot arrived on approval from a large wholesale dealer. GFRC's working relationship with that firm has been nurtured for years and continues to expand. If not able to source coins directly from Europe or collectors, GFRC works through its channels to locate the best possible offerings for clients.

One could view the U.S. coin market as an ocean replete with fish. The fish (coins) are hidden from surface view but it is well known they are under the waterline. The same for coins! Large historical mintages are privately held by collectors, investors, and hoarders. Major coin dealers are the fisherman seeking to locate a school of whatever type of fish towards extracting them from the waters. Once extracted, they are brought to market for consumption and business profit. This analogy applies to coins. Once coins are extracted from hidden collections, they will gravitate to those who have the ability to place coins into fresh collections being formed. Today brings an example of a market channel at work. GFRC works with a "large fisherman" and manages the placement relationship within its own client base. Yes, I am definitely rambling on a Friday morning....

The following new GFRC U.S. gold offerings are terrific by my own critical standards. The 1813 Capped Bust $5 eagle screams originality and could easily be a museum piece. The 1881 Type 3 Indian Princess is close to perfection with dripping satiny luster. The 1916-S $5 Indian half ealge offers rich orange-gold coloring and old time eye appeal.

Look for this lot to post to the price list during the afternoon hours. First Rights of Refusals are suggested as there has already been a call on the 1813 Capped Bust $5 piece.

CAC Approved United States Gold New Purchases

1813 PCGS AU50 CAC G$5

1881 NGC MS67+ CAC G$1                                                         1916-S PCGS MS63 CAC G$5

    

 1912 NGC MS64+ CAC G$2.5                      1900-S NGC MS64+ CAC G$5                      1907 NGC MS65+ CAC G$5

            

 1909-D NGC MS64 CAC G$5                     1901-S PCGS MS64+ CAC G$10 

      

 

Seal Beach Image Processing Moving Along!

Since not wasting valuable office time distracted by the online "news" media, much progress was made with Seal Beach Collection image processing. Below is another screen capture of the same core images featured in Thursday's Blog. In one day, GFRC was able to process nearly 240 images through two steps; contrast and brightness application followed by circular cropping. Images are moving closer to completion at this point.

Seal Beach Collection Image Processing Status

Contrast + Brightness Additions and Circular Cropping

 

Seal Beach image processing has arrived to the final and most important stage in the overall process. This weekend brings a slow meticulous analysis of each image for coloring matching with the coin in hand and under a bright light. TPG holder blemishes will be removed from images through careful editing. A final layer of brightness and contrast enhancement will be applied to emphasize luster. Finally, the obverse and reverse images are merged with the TPG serial number employed as the file name. The saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is most applicable at GFRC. This is so true for numismatic sales as top quality images are necessary for selling top quality coins.

 

Global Financial News

Friday arrives with a significant jump in crude oil prices and slowing global equity market volatility. Major players in the oil market (Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States) have recognized that no one wins with $20/bbl oil prices. It appears that President Trump has been working the issue with his counterparts leading to a potential announcement today. Seeking Alpha captures the latest with these two headlines. Crude oil is currently quoting at $26.58/bbl.

If it wasn't for the coronavirus, the news cycle would most likely be exclusively focused on the oil market, where demand has dropped by as much as 30M barrels per day (roughly equivalent to the combined output of the Saudis, Russia and the U.S.). The latest? WTI crude prices soared 25% on Thursday for its largest single-day percentage gain in history after President Trump said he expects Russia and Saudi Arabia to announce a major output cut deal. Despite swirling skepticism over how relevant that will be due to depressed demand, crude tacked on another 5% overnight. A virtual OPEC+ meeting is also scheduled for Monday that will be open to producers even outside the group.

More on oil. Storage is a problem with the market awash in crude, while the U.S. is prohibited by antitrust law to join output cuts (those discussions are taking place at the state level in Texas). Today, President Trump meets with U.S. oil industry executives at the White House, and there's some speculation he could ask the industry to chip in with their own cuts (at the corporate level). The agenda is also expected to include discussions on government support, tariffs on foreign oil, as well as other waivers to ease the pain.

Government suveillance has always been a worry of a free citizenry. The coronavirus may be a harbinger of change whereby government surveillance via information technology devices becomes commonplace. Yes, we are approaching the era of Big Brother watching our movements and capitalizing on that data for enforcement.

Big Brother or necessary surveillance? In an effort to assist in "unprecedented times," Google is helping public health officials use its vast storage of data to track people's movements due to the coronavirus pandemic. The "mobility reports" go down to the county level to see if locals are abiding by social distancing measures, but will use anonymized historical data, with a lag of two or three days. Google is also reportedly exploring individual location tracking with a White House task force, as well as running a handful of testing sites in Northern California in a private-public partnership with the government.

Looking at Seeking Alpha global market futures, volatility is waning but the trend is downward due to the recognition of unprecedented numbers of Americans being unemployed.

In Asia, Japan flat. Hong Kong -0.2%. China -0.6%. India -2.4%.

In Europe, at midday, London -1.3%. Paris -0.9%. Frankfurt -0.3%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow -1.3%. S&P -1.2%. Nasdaq -1.2%. Crude +5% to $26.58.

Spot "paper" gold prices are currently quoting at $1628/oz while Bitcoin is priced at $6956/coin. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is down to 0.6%.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Unquestionalby, I will be in the GFRC office the entire day other than meeting the postal carrier at our cluster mailboxes for transferring the day's shipping. We even have a social distancing protocol with our postal carrier! I leave the 2 Day USPS Priority boxes on top of our cluster mailbox stand and wait for his/her arrival. Once he/she arrives in their vehicle, and acknowledges the shipment, I am to leave the area to allow the boxes to be insoured.

Thank-you to all who make the Daily Blog a regular part of your day's activities. Please be cautious and safe!

I look forward to your return visit on Saturday for more Blog ramblings.

 

 

 

April 2, 2020

Seal Beach Photography Completed - Image Processing Underway

Greetings and welcome to the Blog on a Thursday morning.

My day started early, 5:00 am to be exact. Breakfast was a bowl of strawberries and cereal along with reading overnight emails and checking in briefly with online media "news". My advice is to avoid the online media if wishing to maintain a happy disposition after scanning the headlines. To add to the morning's unpleasant news, Stack's Bowers also managed to mess up the shipping address for recent auction purchases. Checking Google found that "Raymond, Florida" does not exist but that is where my Stack's package is heading....

The next 30 days will be a difficult mental challenge. Breaking the addiction with our favorite online news portals will bring withdrawal symptons but is well worth the attempt towards a more positive daily outlook and mental health. I well remember an addiction to diet sodas and that faithful decision to remove them from my diet during 2015. The results were short of amazing; weight loss and significantly improved dental health. There will be similar benefits for walking away from online media. Just delete those quick access links and try to go for 24 hours without checking the "news". You will not die, rather a source of negative energy and fear will be eliminated leading to less mental stress. Lower mental stress provides opportunties for happiness.

Composing the Daily Blog brings a responsibility as 500-600 individuals stop by for numismatic news and an distraction from what is unfolding around us. Just as I shook the diet soda addiction, I'm walking away from the unrelenting gravitional forces of the lurking "news" media on my laptop. Wish me luck!

 

Seth Godin - How would you like things to be?

I marvel at Seth Godin's ability to capture current events and their impact on human pysche. He often stares through the online chaos and presents an uplifting alternative for positive thinking and behaviors. We should listen....

How would you like things to be?

We know how things are. How could we not?

And we see the emotional rut that so many have fallen into as well.

The question is: Will you embrace an emotional posture that models how you’d like it to feel instead? Today, this day, we only get it once. How do you want today to feel on an emotional level?

It takes effort.

But it’s a choice.

We can’t change how things are, but we can change how we will approach today.

And yes, an attitude can spread. Begin with us.

 

Seal Beach Collection - Image Processing Momentum

As mentioned in prior Blog's, the GFRC office is replete with consignments for keeping me occupied throughout April. Foremost is the exceptional Seal Beach Liberty Seated half dollar collection. Already, there have been numerous "wow" moments during photography and pricing sessions.

Wednesday brought significant progress. The entire Seal Beach offering of 123 Liberty Seated halves has been successfully photographed. "Successfully" means that every obverse and reverse image is free of TPG holder lighting reflections and is acceptable for moving to the next processing step. I worked throughout the afternoon and evening hours aligning nearly all of the 246 images followed by adding the proprietary GFRC color balancing algorithm to each image. Below is screen capture of how the collection appears on the Paint Shop Pro application after color balancing.

Today brings brightness and contrast application followed by PhotoScape X circular cropping as the next two steps.

My goal is to have the entire Seal Beach Collection client gallery prepared and published on April 8 in the Blog. Len Augsburger will then take the baton and compose the long descriptions for each offering. I hope to bring the entire collection to market, on a fixed price list basis, between April 15 and April 18. Daily progress updates will be provided in the Blog.

Seal Beach Collection Image Processing

Cropped and Color Balancing

 

Consignments Wanted for May and June Timeframe

Just a brief reminder that GFRC is already looking ahead to the months of May and June. The probability that coin shows will be returning during the second quarter is slim. Our hobby will be an online activity throughout the second quarter and to some extend, for the balance of the year. I will be working towards adding new offerings to the price list on a daily basis but product line diversity is important. There are boxes of Liberty Seated dimes from my own collection that could be processed for months leading to a saturated market. Instead, I need Liberty Seated half dimes, double dimes, Seated and Trade dollars, and fresh consignments of Capped Bust coinage. Barber coinage in all three denominations would also be most welcomed plus United States collector gold.

Working with GFRC on consignment transfers is straightforward. The consignor's primary role is deciding what to consign followed by preparing an itemize invoice for insured shipment. GFRC will supply the shipping insurance coverage.

 

Global Financial News

Global equity market volatity will be the norm during the month of April. After Wednesday's market losses, morning futures appear positive for United States markets. Following is our daily report of global market futures courtesy of Seeking Alpha.

In Asia, Japan -1.4%. Hong Kong +0.8%. China +1.7%. India closed.

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

Futures at 6:20, Dow +2%. S&P +2%. Nasdaq +1.8%

With much of the United States on some type of shelter at home order, the unemployment rate will skyrocket. Analyzing the numbers will keep the financial media talking heads busy.

Volatility is returning to the markets as U.S. stock futures climbed 2% overnight following Wall Street's rocky start to the second quarter. It comes ahead of this morning's closely-watched jobless claims report, which is likely to reinforce views that the longest employment boom in U.S. history ended in March. More than 80% of Americans are now under some form of lockdown, up from less than 50% a couple of weeks ago, leaving state employment offices overwhelmed by an avalanche of applications.

Crude oil is quoting at $22.25/bbl while an ounce of paper gold is valued at $1604. The United States shale oil industry is in turmoil as the globe is awash in crude oil stock piles.

Shale turmoil. There are a lot of headlines coming out of the energy sector after Whiting Petroleum (NYSE:WLL) became the first U.S. shale producer to file for bankruptcy amid an oil price war. The coronavirus epidemic is also weighing heavily on prices, triggering President Trump to summon oil CEOs to the White House tomorrow. Under discussion is potential aid to the industry, including tariffs on oil imports from Saudi Arabia, and a waiver of the Jones Act, which requires American vessels be used to transport goods including oil between U.S. ports.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

You guessed it! I will be in the GFRC office the entire day processing Seal Beach Collection images and attempting to bring a nice group of raw Capped Bust and Seated coins to the price list.

Understanding how chaotic and emotional the upcoming 30 day will be, any purchase orders will be gratefully accepted and quickly shipped. I'm willing to be flexible with purchase terms, especially for clients who have consigned coins within GFRC inventory. Maintaining the flow of Trading Desk sales and purchases will be a priority since transaction can be accomplished without out of pocket cash. I'm here to help with your numismatic "fix" as coin collecting withdrawal is unacceptable.

Thank-you for checking in at the Blog.

 

 

April 1, 2020

Special Osprey Gold for April!

Greetings on the first day of April and welcome to more Blog ramblings.

Please don't worry, there will not be April Fools Day jokes or attempts in this edition. April 2020 will be remembered as a cruel month looking back in time.

Little changes in the GFRC Venice office on a day to day basis. Actually, the business routine and daily client contacts are a blessing. Tuesday brought a busy day with Dan White and I working on a new United States gold deal purchase. Dan reached out to our industry contacts to ensure that GFRC maintains a steady flow of CAC approved gold new purchases. Dealer to dealer business is now being conducted via phone calls, emails and approval shipments. I'm expecting an expedited United States gold shipment to arrive on Thursday for review and acceptance.

Speaking of gold, I'm now of the belief that gold bullion has topped out in the near term and will trade in the $1575 to $1650/oz range. There are two factors that bring about this conclusion. First is gold's technical chart and recent volatity. There could be a parallel to the late 2011 peaking of gold prices. Second is the fact that Asian "investors" drive gold prices and not those in the United States. Since mainland China and Japan are already on the downside curve of Covid-19, fear and panic driven buying has abated. Following is the Kitco 10 year chart with my notations. On a longer term basis, longer term being 2 to 4 years, I am most bullish on gold. The globe's central bankers will print money at an unprecedented rate once the Covid-19 crisis passes along with applying negative interest rates to force spending and consumption. Global sovereign debt levels will explode. For many, physical gold will remain as a financial hedge and personal storage of wealth. "Digital" money brings no protection against inflation or forced actions by governments.

Kitco 10 Year Gold Technical Chart

 

Special Osprey Gold for April!

GFRC welcomes the month of April with two special United States gold offerings. For readers who are not dialed into the United States collector gold market, the appearance of an 1883-S $10 eagle is most noteworthy. I would equate today's announcement to GFRC offering a key date Carson City dime at the VF level with CAC approval. Mintage for the 1883-S date is only 38,000. PCGS population report shows only eight at the MS63 grade level with one finer, the Harry W. Bass Jr. piece graded MS66.

The offering of an 1896-S $20 double eagle at the MS64+ grade level is also most significant. PCGS population is seven at the MS64+ grade with only three finer; two at MS65 and one at MS67. This example is just a tad shy of the MS65 grade level due to faint obverse field chatter. Outside of that, the luster is that of a gem at a fraction of the price.

Better Date United States Gold for April

1883-S PCGS MS63 G$10                                                               1896-S PCGS MS64+ G$20

    

 

CAC Office Closes Until April 15

Tuesday brought an email notice from CAC's Michele Kumpf that the Far Hills, New Jersey office is closing on a temporary basis until April 15. This closure will bring about some delay to auction house schedules and others who specialize in CAC approved coinage.

GFRC has one shipment, from the Murphys Collection, that is caught up in the closure.

 

PCGS Price Guide Raise $20 Gold Premiums

Being in the gold coin business, I was well aware that physical gold premiums had increased substantially in the past few weeks. Ongoing supplies of physical $20 gold from European banks have come to a halt while the physical asset is being hoarded by some United States collectors and investors. Heritage is trying to sell generic MS63 Libs and Saints for $1825 while a large gold dealer in Miami has offered MS64 Saints at $2025 each. I believed those prices to be high with respect to premiums over spot gold. But I must be wrong. PCGS has just raised their $20 gold price guide values with $1900 being the target retail price for any piece of certified 0.967% double eagle gold. This screen capture says it all.....

PCGS Price Guide - $20 Liberty Gold Pricing Increases

 

Global Financial News

Global investors and traders are in a risk-off mood to start the second quarter of 2020. Today's equity market futures are flashing red throughout the world. Following is a summary courtesy of Seeking Alpha. How times have changed in the online media. Just a few months ago, a 3% drop in United States equity markets would have resulted in "crash" headlines. Today, a 3% price movement is "normal" volatility.

In Asia, Japan -4.5%. Hong Kong -2.2%. China -0.6%. India -4.1%.

In Europe, at midday, London -3.6%. Paris -3.6%. Frankfurt -3.2%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow -3%. S&P -3%. Nasdaq -2.6%.

Crude oil prices remain stuck at $20/bbl leading to new actions by the Trump administration per this Seeking Alpha headlines.

Oil glut decisions. With U.S. crude experiencing its worst month and quarter in history, President Trump called Vladimir Putin for a "constructive" and lengthy conversation, agreeing that their energy ministers should begin consultations. The U.S. Department of Energy also appears ready to lease space to oil companies in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. That would help drillers running out of space to stash their product as demand evaporates due to the coronavirus and Saudi-Russia price war.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

No surprise again.... I will be in the Venice office the entire day with a considerable workload.

The Golden Harvest Collection lot is 50% posted to the price list with the balance to be completed this morning. Tuesday brought photography of the entire Murphys Liberty Seated half dollar collection. Image processing for this forthcoming offering will keep me busy for several days. The Seal Beach Collection sees slow and steady preparation progress.

GFRC experienced a record breaking Q1'2020 sale quarter thanks to lots of hard work and great client support. We sold 709 coins during the first quarter, including 255 pieces during March. GFRC revenues grow by nearly 13% year on year for the first quarter. Liberty Seated coinage and United States gold dominated our sales profile. Who knows how Q2'2020 will turn out as there will be no coin shows during this period. Dealer with a robust online sales platform and supply chain will be ok as the numismatic market shifts to an online basis.

Thank-you for visiting with me and taking in these early morning ramblings. These are just ramblings and insights from one individual who is attempting to make a difference during these challenging times.

Purchase orders via phone, email and text will be gladly accepted to kick off the month of April.

See you tomorrow at the Blog.

 

 

March 31, 2020

Seal Beach Collection Photography in Progress!

and

New Golden Harvest Collection Consignment

Greetings and welcome to the Blog on a Tuesday morning.

A shout out goes to Matt Yamatin for rapid technical support yesterday evening. Matt, Chikae, and Natsumi are safely sheltering in Japan in a region that is Covid-19 free. Since China has stopped the inflow of foreigners, the Yamatins are unable to return to their Beijing home. Their choices are limited to remaining in Japan, at Chikae's parents home, or returning to the United States. Given the world wide Covid-19 situation, attempting to fly back to the United States via larger cities with connecting airports is not advisable. Therefore, the Yamatins will remain in Japan for the foreseeable future.

Here in the GFRC Venice office, days are passing by quickly. Orders continue at a brisk pace resulting in daily shipments. We are limiting our post office visits to once per week and kitting non-flat rate Express shipments for that day. Otherwise, GFRC is shipping regular 2 day USPS Priority boxes and dropping off directly with our postal carrier when arriving at the condo association mailboxes.

 

Seal Beach Collection Progress

March has been a extremely dry month here in Venice. We've not experienced rain the entire month. Rather, each day is predictable; morning clouds lead to bright sunny skies by early afternoon. I took advantage of those conditions to photograph 60% of the Seal Beach Collection on Monday and will wrap up that task today. Regardless of having earlier images for many of the coins sold into the collection, I am generating new images using the best practices acquired during the past 3-4 years of processing coin images. Some of the earliest sales into the Seal Beach Collection lack images in the Sales Archive. This is an opportunity to upgrade current Archive status and I'm working accordingly.

Seal Beach and I are collaborating on price setting. We've finalized asking prices for the 1839 through 1855 dates. By end of week, I will have the entire collection attributed and priced out for a final verification by the consignor. Image processing will be ongoing. Once I've reached critical mass with the image portfolio, Len Augsburger will step in to prepare descriptions.

Progress can be monitored in the tabular Seal Beach Collection preview box at the upper right corner of the Blog. Those entries with listed die varieties are in the final pricing stage.

Following is a bit of a teaser client gallery and a preview of the overall Seal Beach Collection quality. I can safely say that this Liberty Seated half dollar collection is the finest AU55/AU58 CAC grade level set to reach the market. Requests continue to arrive on a daily basis. But fair warning to all who desire access. These offerings will be priced consistent with the current state of the CAC approved auction market. When gems and near-gems AU58s with CAC approval arrive to market, bidding is intense.

Seal Beach Collection - Exceptional Seated Halves

A Teaser Preview!

1842 Small Date WB-7 PCGS AU58 CAC OGH 50C                    1842 Medium Date WB-14 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C   

    

        1842-O Small Date WB-2 PCGS AU58 50C                           1842-O Medium Date WB-8 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C

    

 

Golden Harvest Liberty Seated Collection Consignment

I don't often mention the Golden Harvest Collection consignor in the Blog, but be assured that this individual is yet another passionate collector of Liberty Seated coinage. Last week brought the arrival of a "duplicates" lot that include some important pieces. Foremost is a strictly original 1849-O quarter graded PCGS VF20 that should not last long on the price list. Yes, the reverse holder has plastic haze that impacts image quality. The 1868 quarter already has a FRoR. The 1859 Seated half (NGC MS61 new holder) is a nicely toned example that should sell quickly.

It is my pleasure to present the following Golden Harvest Collection offerings for your First Right of Refusal consideration.

New Golden Harvest Collection Consignment

1849-O PCGS VF20 25C

1868 ANACS MS61 25C                                                                1859 NGC MS61 50C    

    

 1861 Type 2 F-101 PCGS PF64 OGH 10C                  1850 PCGS EF40 25C                                  1872-S NGC AU50 50C              

            

 

Global Financial News

When viewing equity markets, we must remember that investors are forward looking. Though the current situation may appear dismal, anticipation of positive medical developments and economic recovery will guide the markets higher. Current market levels are still 25-30% below recent highs.

Monday brought continued equity market gains that built upon last week's recovery efforts. This morning's futures continue that trend. The following futures report is courtesy of Seeking Alpha.

In Asia, Japan -0.9%. Hong Kong +1.9%. China +0.1%. India +3.5%.

In Europe, at midday, London +1.7%. Paris +1.1%. Frankfurt +2.3%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.7%. S&P +0.7%. Nasdaq +1.1%.

Crude oil stands at $21.30 per barrel while spot gold is quoting at $1618/oz. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury yield is hovering at 0.7%.

Anticipations are rising for a huge increase in the United States unemployment rate while China is slowly bringing factories back to life. The following two Seeking Alpha headlines provide a contrast in the timeline of the Covid-19 virus march from Eastern to Western civilizations.

Unemployment rate may top 32%. The coronavirus economic freeze could cost 47M jobs and send the unemployment rate past 32%, according to the latest projections from the St. Louis Fed. They reflect the high nature of at-risk jobs that ultimately could be lost to a government-induced economic freeze aimed at halting the spread of COVID-19. A record 3.3M Americans filed initial jobless claims for the week ended March 21 and economists expect another 2.65M or more to join them this week.

Signs of life for China's factories. China's official manufacturing PMI bounced to 52.0 in March, up from a record-low 35.7 in February, signaling a revival in activity even as much of the rest of the world is shut down. "This does not mean that output is now back to its pre-virus trend. Instead, it simply suggests that economic activity improved modestly relative to February's dismal showing, but remains well below pre-virus levels," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics. Economists are already forecasting a steep contraction in China's Q1 GDP, with some expecting a Y/Y slump of 9% or more, marking the first such contraction in three decades.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Life in Venice FL is most predictable! I will be in the office the entire day working on Golden Harvest and Seal Beach Collection consignments.

The new 1852 F-119 Liberty Seated dime die variety has already found a new home and will be posted to the price list today. I must find time to update The Definitive Resource for Liberty Seated Dime Variety Collectors with the new 1852 F-119 listing.

Speaking of die varieties, the entire GFRC WikiVarieties project is on a long term hold due to Covid-19. The future remains unclear as to when GFRC will be able to launch new website development efforts.

Please consider a numismatic purchase as the GFRC price lists are replete with excellent offerings. Again, I am shipping numismatic care packages on a daily basis.

Consignments are most welcomed and will be quickly processed.

Thank-you for spending part of your day reading the Blog. I promised to return tomorrow morning at the usual time. Please remember to be safe!

 

 

 

March 30, 2020

Atlanta ANA U.S. Gold Purchases and More!

and

New Liberty Seated Dime Die Variety Discovery

Greetings and welcome to the Blog. Another Monday arrives along with March 2020 closing out tomorrow.

April will be an arduous month for most Americans. Today's edition is a letter to myself and the other 500+ individuals who drop by each day to read the Daily Blog.

Covid-19 infection rates and deaths will peak in the next 30 days. I pray that everyone in the GFRC community is prepared for the forthcoming challenge. Each of us must remain constantly vigilant when leaving the safety of our homes. While sheltering in place, there are several pieces of advice for the community, and again, for myself.

- Live safely and carefully. Now is not the time to have an accident and require an emergency room visit.

- Focus on a healthy lifestyle with exercise each day and a sound diet.

- To protect mental health, avoid the online media. Five minutes a day is all one needs to assess the United States situation and that of your local region. The media can either be an instrument of calm or panic. Panic is useful tactic for those seeking heightened ratings and increased advertising dollars. Don't succumb...

The number of regional Covid-19 cases will peak and drop. Ignorance during this period will mitigate stress. Life will return to normal during 2020. Use the sheltering in place time to focus on the calming effects of a new learning area. Whether numismatics, history, the sciences, or even the grand glory of the cosmos, there is much to explore and learn.

Here at GFRC, I plan to remain busy during April with processing consignments, foremost being the incredible Seal Beach Liberty Seated half dollar collection. There is the Murphys Liberty Seated half dollar that also will be attended to this week. Sitting quietly in the office safe are two double row slabbed boxes of Liberty Seated dimes from my own reference collection. There are multiple Dansco albums full of raw coins to process. Staying engaged will not be an issue as long as I can avoid the magnetic force of the online media and the fears that they strive to create among us.

Good luck!

 

Atlanta ANA U.S. Gold Purchases and More!

Operating a volume numismatic business requires a robust inventory management system. There is nothing more frustrating that having a coin listed on the price list but not easily located when ordered. Conversely, there can be new coin show purchases that promptly go into the showcases and dwell in the inventory boxes without being loaded to the price list. This was the case for three lovely United States gold pieces that were processed and loaded on Sunday. A super nice 1887 3 cent nickel from the Poor Man's Collection augments the gold lot in the following gallery.

Atlanta ANA U.S. Gold New Purchases and More!

          1887 PCGS EF45 3CN                                                        1909-D PCGS MS63 CAC G$5

    

1898 PCGS MS64+ G$10                                                   1906 PCGS MS63+ G$10

    

 

New Liberty Seated Dime Die Variety Discovery

Several weeks ago, a consignor sent along this special 1852 Seated dime graded PCGS MS62 with CAC approval. The reverse has an obvious cud that captured the consignor's attention.

Upon its arrival, the obverse and reverse die characteristics were examined. This piece was certainly an unlisted die pairing and will be listed as F-119 in the web-book.

On Sunday morning, the following images were posted to the Blog as a preview and with an invitation to attribute the variety. Several Liberty Seated dime sleuths took the challenge.

Can you attribute this 1852 Seated Dime die variety?

1852 PCGS MS62 CAC 10C

 

Upon reviewing emails during the afternoon hours, I found this input from Dale Miller (Cleveland Collection) that matched my initial assessment.

Hi Gerry,

My theory is that this is a new pairing of Obv 12, the one with date farthest left and Rev. P, the one with the crack through the letter U.

It could be that the obverse or reverse are new and simply similar to these known dies, but I'm going with the two known die, not seen together previously.

There is not question that this piece was struck by Obverse 12 (F-114) as the date punch is furthest left. There is a horizontal die crack starting at Liberty's right lower leg that proceeds right through the field below Star 13 and then exits to the rim on the F-114 plate coin and the newly consigned dime. One might jump to the conclusion that the reverse could be Reverse L (F-112b) but the cud positioning is different. My own assessent is that of Reverse P (F-116). Below are current images for Obverse 12 and Reverse P from the web-book. For now, I am listing this discovery piece as F-119 as a late die state pairing of Obverse 12 and Reverse 9.

1852 Obverse 12                                                1852 Reverse P    

    

 

Global Financial News

Equity markets start the week with lower volatility. After small percentage losses in Asia, U.S. market futures are mostly flat. Following is a quick summary courtesy of Seeking Alpha.

In Asia, Japan -1.6%. Hong Kong -1.3%. China -0.9%. India -4.6%.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.7%. Paris -0.9%. Frankfurt -0.4%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.4%. S&P -0.2%. Nasdaq flat. 

This Seeking Alpha headline acknowledges the relative calm in this morning's S&P 500 futures.

It's the first Monday in nearly a month that S&P 500 futures haven't gone limit-down in reaction to alarming weekend news, though traders are still starting the week with caution. Losses were seen at the start of the session as President Trump did away with the idea of the economy opening back up by Easter and extended social distancing guidelines until April 30. Futures then wavered between gains and losses throughout the night, suggesting another rocky ride for the week ahead. A severe recession is starting to get priced in, yet this will be set against unprecedented stimulus.

We start the week with crude oil priced at $20.45/bbl and spot gold at $1646/oz. The world is awash in crude oil with production cuts coming due to lack of storage capacity.

Market drowns in crude. Traders are now betting on production shutdowns to cope with the collapse in demand, triggering WTI crude prices to drop under $20/bbl overnight to levels not seen since 2002. A price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia has only compounded price problems with growing lockdown measures from the coronavirus pandemic. "Since the 1930s, U.S. states have had the authority to limit oil and gas production in order to support oil prices," said Morgan Stanley analyst Devin McDermott. "Though this practice is not widely used today, both federal and state regulators still have the ability to place restrictions on production levels."

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

This morning will be especially busy in the packaging and shipping department. Twin Lake Collection sales and other weekend orders will be processed and immediately shipped.

Unquestionably, I will be in the GFRC office the entire day processing the Seal Beach and Murphys Collection consignments. April will bring a bonanza of Liberty Seated half dollars to the price lists. In between those major collections, I will be adding more raw type coins from the West Texas Collection including a low circulated grade 1849-O quarter that will attract attention. The Golden Harvest Collection has also sent in a new consignment with a gorgeous 1849-O PCGS VF20 quarter among other quality duplicates.

Thank-you for checking in at the Blog!

 

 

 

March 29, 2020

Outstanding Twin Lakes Standing Liberty Quarter Sale Debut

and

Cataloging the Seal Beach Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection

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

There is no question that traditional life will change for most Americans as a result of Covid-19. The distancing among people, rarely going to public places, and the hoarding of toilet paper were not on anyone's radar screen when we rang in 2020. Would we have found this cartoon relevant just a few months ago?

My exercise time continues to become later as daytime Florida temperatures are already in the mid to high 80s. Last evening brought an 8:30 pm health walk that was eerie quiet. A few people, in our housing association, were outside on lawn chairs chatting but a safe distance apart. Once busy roads were empty with an occasional car breaking the evening silence.

Yes, near term adjustments to traditional life are critical for survival. Regardless, I will continue to write blogposts each day as we overcome a new chapter in recorded human history.

 

Outstanding Twin Lakes Standing Liberty Quarter Sale Debut

The Twin Lakes Standing Liberty quarter collection debut on Saturday went extremely well. I found myself responding to emailed orders and questions into the mid afternoon hours. When the dust settled, 72% of the offerings were on hold including a robust number of the key and semi-key dates.

Quality collections consistently do well when offered by GFRC. Daily Blog marketing to an audience of over 500 collectors sets the stage. Careful pricing analysis and competitive offer prices allow buyers to jump in without the fear of over paying for a numismatic item. All sold coins are recorded in the Sales Archive. The Sales Archive has become a powerful tool for establishing value during subsequent divestments.

Many of the Twin Lakes quarters will be shipped out to clients on Monday. This is another GFRC important service parameter for the community. Our community is based on trust; I leverage this fact as much as possible.

Congratulations go out to the Twin Lakes Collection consignor. Your beautiful Standing Liberty quarter set has found new homes among passionate collectors.

 

Cataloging the Seal Beach Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection

On Saturday evening, my attention pivoted to the Seal Beach Liberty Seated half dollar collection. The process of systematically cataloging each piece in the collection has begun. What is involved during the cataloging?

- Die vartiety attribution is carefully performed to gain further insights about each coin and die conditions during the striking process. I am using Bill Bugert's A Register of Liberty Seated Half Dollar Varieties for attributions and rarity assessments.

- GFRC Quality Ratings are established based on luster, surface anomalies, and overall eye appeal against the TPG holdered grade.

- Most important is the setting of a fair and competitive asking price. CAC premiums continue to increase at auctions. With the Seal Beach collection being a CAC approved sales event, the current market for CAC approved AU58 graded coins must be understood and captured. For those who believe that the Seal Beach collection will be priced against the PCGS price guide and typical CoinFacts auction records, you will be disappointed. I am pricing the halves consistent with GFRC Sales Archive and competitively with the present demand level for CAC approved AU58 coins. Don't expect to find bargains when the Seal Beach Collection is posted to the price list. Great coins deserve to be rewarded with premiums that capture their rarity and exceptional beauty.

- Finally, special notations are added in the COIN system for Len Augsburger based on my visual inspections. Len will be writing individual descriptions in a week or two. My goal is to share special insights with Len to aid his portion of the cataloging effort.

The cataloging process is slow, methodical, and of course, time consuming. If the coming week's Daily Blogs lack the usual amount of new offering galleries, the explanation is the time involved with preparing the Seal Beach collection for a huge debut in the not too distance future.

Yes, I am collecting a significant amount of requests for coins in the Seal Beach Collection. Shortly, I will be tabulating those requests to determine the subscription rate for all offerings.

 

Major Collection Consignments Wanted

As Covid-19 moves through the United States, it is doubtful that a major coin show event will take place until August. I'm certain that the Summer Baltimore show will not be scheduled as the convention center is being used for additional medical capacity. I've already paid for a booth at the Summer FUN show and in a wait and see mode for that show. Will the August ANA World's Fair of Money show take place on schedule? Given the amount of domestic and international travel necessary for this event, I am skeptical at this point.

In anticipation of no major coin shows taking place during the next 3-5 months, the numismatic market will be primarily an online business.

GFRC is one of the leading dealers for online sales given my well developed website, services and trust.

I am currently seeking several larger collection consignments along with the normal flow of collection divestments to continue providing clients with ongoing fresh offerings. We cannot let the Covid-19 malaise impact our hobby. Numismatics will be an important hobby diversion during the coming months for those in the community. If you have been considering a collection thinning process, let GFRC help you turn those duplicates or unwanted collections into cash.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

OK, I've rambling enough for one morning. Time arrives for a quick shower followed by a day split between the Seal Beach Collection and more new price list offerings.

Unquestionably, I will be in the office the entire day and look forward to your purchase order or consignment inquiry.

Thanks for checking in at the Blog!

 

 

 

March 28, 2020

NNP Publishing - Coins that Revealed a Crime Ring

and

Twin Lakes' Standing Liberty Quarter Collection Posting to Price List

Greetings and welcome to another edition of the Daily Blog.

I feel energized this morning after a long night's sleep. Friday evening brought an attempt to post the Twin Lakes' Standing Liberty Quarter Collection to the price list. After posting descriptions for about six pieces, mental capacity was waning. A command decision was made to hit the sack at 8:30 pm. I was back in the office by 4:30 am and restarted the posting process. There will be no shipping workload today which will allow the balance of the collection to be uploaded after the Blog is published.

 

Newman Numismatic Portal Publishing: Coins that Revealed a Crime Ring

Friday morning brought an email from Len Augsburger informing me that NNP has completed a video concerning the Silver Springs MD post office theft of two GFRC coins shipped at the end of 2019. With everything that was going on in the GFRC office, I decided to save the announcement until this morning. Already, the video link has been posted to the PCGS forum.

During late January 2020, I was interviewed by Lianna Spurrier for a special video documentary concerning the cooperation between GFRC, Julian Leidman, and the Silver Spring police to break up a crime ring that was operating in the Silver Spring MD post office. The following link provides access to the completed video on the Newman Numismatic Portal. Lianna did a fantastic job with merging my interview with the security camera video footage from Julian's coin shop, Bonanza Coins. I hope that all Blog readers will take the time to review this excellent documentary.

https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/581061

 

Twin Lakes' Standing Liberty Quarter Collection Posting to Price List

Just a quick reminder that I will be posting the balance of the Twin Lakes' Standing Liberty quarter collection offerings to the price list this morning. This is an awesome collection with nearly all pieces being at the affordable AU grade level but with unabraded surfaces, old time originality, and superior visual appeal. Please continue checking the 30 day price list as the morning progresses.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Today's Blog is brief as I've made certain commitments concerning Seal Beach Collection pricing analysis. Determining the asking prices for the individual offerings in the amazing Seal Beach Collection will take a significant amount of research and time. After the Twin Lakes Collection quarters are posted, I will be immediately jumping into the Seal Beach analysis.

Thank-you for stopping by the Blog on a Saturday morning. Obviously, I will be working in the GFRC office the entire day and look forward to potential purchase orders.

Please be serious about staying home and sheltering in place. As Americans, we must do our small part to stop the spread of Covid-19. The last thing I wish to publish in the Blog is a report of a community member being diagnosed with this sickness.

See you Sunday morning at the Blog.

 

 

March 27, 2020

Twin Lakes' Standing Liberty Quarter Collection Gallery

Greetings and welcome to the Blog. Another Friday has arrived.

Today's ramblings will be brief as the morning coffee has yet to have its desired effect along with being generally worn out. Since much of the GFRC community is sheltering in place and probably bored, I've done my best to prepare lengthy and insightful Blog editions this week. Constructing the Twin Lakes' Standing Liberty quarter collection client gallery took a sizable amount of time and energy on Thursday. The gallery was completed during the late evening hours.

Instead of attempting less than stellar commentary in today's edition, I'm turning the floor over to Blog readers who shared comments on various Blog topics of the week.

 

A West Coast clients writes the following concerning the Seal Beach collection as displayed in the Open Set Registry.

Gerry,

I took some time looking through the Seal Beach Collection in your Open Set Registry. An impressive collection, but what also caught my attention was the wide variety of "looks" that CAC deemed original. We often hear about the "CAC look". As in "The coin was submitted but didn't CAC. It didn't have the CAC look". I realize the stickers were likely awarded over a number of years and perhaps there is a more recent trend for what they sticker, that gives credence to the phrase. But this collection seems to clearly demonstrate the wide range of original conditions that exist. And that originality has been recognized by CAC. I really enjoyed the tour.

GF comment: The "CAC Look" is more prevalent on circulated silver coinage than Mint State approved pieces. Please check the Poor Man's Collection to capture this point.

 

The sheltering in place Massachusetts Collection consignor shares his thoughts on my Details Graded Coins commentary...

Your blog today was excellent about the detailed TPG coinage.

Once upon a time .....I used to collect an occasional "raw"......'detailed' like coin (and they were various draped and bust items)  as I used to revel in the concept that those items had been used and valued in commerce and in the hands by the earliest Americans. I thought it was truly neat to own antique coins that had built the American economy. And these coins were not cheap!

In my opinion, the advent of the TPG deliberately stigmatized these 'ancestral pieces' of "transactional" technology to advance the appeal and prices of 'modern coinage'. In the 1980's this was also the flawed, self serving approach of shop dealers to mark up the prices of the rarely encountered high-quality, original 1800's coinage. The deliberately 'dipped' coinage seen in the 1960 and 1970 era was 'designated' as in vogue and collectible as the TPG companies willfully encapsulated and dealers then overpriced them to whatever the market would pay. My mindset has changed over time for a multiplicity of reasons. I think for most collectors, the true hobbyists. ....it is seldom wise to overthink or to over-analyze the rationale one formulates for being a collector of coins. However, if you are dabbling in coins, in part, as an investor you must develop and hone skills constantly to understand the nuances of the market place. The bedeviling concept of 'buyer's remorse' oftentimes lies within the realm of 'details' coinage. Fortunately, I stumbled across GFRC to educate me and to help me handle (and to sort out) these 'marketing' concepts. It is all about life long learning.

Only the individual can decide if he or she is a hobbyist, an investor, a dabbler or some kind of a hybrid before enjoying this avocation.

It is personally best to sort this factoid out about oneself before dealing with the consummate numismatists either on-line or at a coin show.

Alternately, I just explore and review the entire GFRC website and get the complete tutorial for free.

Sorry about the mini-rant......thinking during the pandemic made me want to perform excessive keystrokes........

GF comment: Well said with nothing to add.

 

A regular GFRC client from Colorado writes the following concerning CAC approved coins.

Back to CAC - I have enjoyed your  thoughts on CAC coins lately. I’ve joined the herd and pretty much only collect CAC for US coins now. I like the consistency they bring and the easier future resale when it comes time to dispose of one’s collection. That doesn’t mean of course that I like every CAC’d coin. I’ve always felt that they put too much emphasis on originality and not enough on eye appeal. What I mean by that is that there are some darkly toned coins out there that I just can’t get behind no matter how original. I read a lot about coins while growing up and one thing definitely ingrained in me was the advice to stay away from darkly toned coins. This is a lot like your discussion of detail graded coins, where it is  a mater of personal preference but perhaps those coins, even if CAC’d, might not fetch as much as more attractive coins. Maybe something you might share your thoughts on in a blog someday.   

GF comment: There is no question that John Albansese favors all types of strictly original coins for CAC approval. Some are indeed so heavily toned to be dark and unattractive but still receiving a green bean. I make a point of not stocking heavily toned CAC appproved coins as they are very difficult to photograph. Coins with excellent eye appeal are the easiest to photograph; amazing how that works out.

 

Len Augsburger briefly writes....

I appreciate your trying to keep the blog coin-oriented. Plenty of COVID-19 coverage elsewhere.

GF comment: Yes, I've made an extra effort to provide numismatic commentary this week as we all need a break from excessive Covid-19 coverage and clickbait links.

 

Twin Lakes' Standing Liberty Quarter Collection Gallery

I'm most pleased to be presenting a wonderful Standing Liberty quarter collection from the Twin Lakes consignor. This set is very well balanced in terms of grade, strikes, and overall eye appeal. One can easily recognize a "superior" collection by the consistency of the coins in any display. A consignor cannot hide inferior coins in a GFRC client gallery. In the case of this Twin Lakes collection, the opposite is true. Overall set originality and eye appeal is perfectly consistent throughout the display.

Look for these pieces to start reaching the price list later today. In the meantime, FRoRs are being accepted. Already, several FRoR emails arrived during the overnight hours. If interested in sourcing some great quarters from this collection, I suggest that you move quickly with a decision process.

Twin Lakes Collection - Well Matched Standing Liberty Quarters

Posting to Price List on Friday and Saturday - Immediate FRoRs Accepted

1927-S PCGS AU55 CAC 25C

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

    

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

    

 1917-S Type 1 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C             1917 Type 2 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C             1917-S Type 2 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C  

            

 1918 PCGS AU58 25C                             1918-D PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                           1918-D PCGS MS62 25C  

            

 1918-S PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                          1919 PCGS MS62 25C                        1920-D PCGS AU55 CAC 25C  

            

1920-S PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                          1924 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                       1924-D PCGS AU55 CAC 25C  

            

1924-S PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                       1925 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                       1926 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C     

            

1926 PCGS MS62 25C                          1926-D PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                       1928 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C  

            

1928 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                          1929 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                       1929-S PCGS AU55 CAC 25C  

            

1929-S PCGS MS62 25C                          1930 PCGS AU55 CAC 25C                          1930-S PCGS MS62 25C  

            

 

Global Financial News

Friday arrives with global equity markets being mixed. Here is America, futures are pointing to a weak open with some near term selling after three rally days. Following is a look at global equity market futures courtesy of Seeking Alpha.

In Asia, Japan +3.9%. Hong Kong +0.6%. China +0.3%. India -0.4%.

In Europe, at midday, London -3.8%. Paris -3.2%. Frankfurt -2.%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow -2.6%. S&P -2.5%. Nasdaq -2.5%. 

Seeking Alpha headlines are essentially all Covid-19 related and will take a pass for the morning. Rather, let's look at commodity prices and the long bond interest rate.

Crude Oil +0.3% to $22.67. Gold -1.5% to $1626.90. Bitcoin +0.8% to $6677.

Ten-year Treasury Yield -4 to 0.77%

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

One thing is a certainty! I will be in the office the entire day as I have been for the past several weeks. Sheltering in place means that the GFRC office continues to augment the price list with a constant flow of new offerings. Customers have become use to rapid responses to email purchase inquiries as I see real time order arrivals into my Inbox.

If you are thoroughly bored at home, GFRC can quickly launch a numismatic "care package" in your direction. Nearly all of this week's order shipments have been sent to Quick Ship customers.

That is all she wrote on a Friday. Thank-you for checking in at the Blog!

 

 

 

March 26, 2020

The Poor Man's Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection is Posted to Price List

and

Twin Lakes' Standing Liberty Quarter Gallery Display

Greetings and welcome to the Blog on a Thursday morning.

Each morning' routine is the same prior to composing a Blog edition. I'm out of bed by 6:00 am followed by brewing coffee and assembling something for breakfast. Breakfast takes place in front of the laptop; reading overnight emails, checking Google Analytics, and viewing the latest on FOX News. With coronavirus cases quickly surging, I've added two monitoring websites. The first link is an excellent monitor for United States and global Covid-19 cases and deaths. The second link provides a detailed review of Florida cases by county. GFRC is located in Sarasota country. We are about four hours away (driving time) from the growing crisis in Miami.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

https://fdoh.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/8d0de33f260d444c852a615dc7837c86

Obviously, New York City is the current United States Covid-19 epicenter. The rise in cases in New Orleans and Miami areas is most disturbing.

For those of us who are sheltering at home, life continues but with restrictions. The question of how will America be impacted on a long basis is fair game at that point. Major economic events or natural disasters always bring changes to society. Humans are adaptable. We will adapt to a new reality once the Covid-19 crisis has passed and a vaccine is developed. Seth Godin weighs in this morning with his pragmatic perspective.

 

Seth Godin: Is everything going to be okay?

That depends.

If we mean, “Is everything going to be the way it was and the way I expected it to be?” then the answer is no. The answer to that question is always no, it always has been.

If we mean, “Is everything going to be the way it is going to be?” then the answer is yes. Of course. If we define whatever happens as okay, then everything will be.

Given that everything is going to be the way it’s going to be, we’re left with an actually useful and productive question instead: “What are you going to do about it?

 

The Poor Man's Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection is Posted to Price List

The following Blog update was posted at 5:00 pm ET on Wednesday. If in the market for top shelf Liberty Seated halves, the Poor Man's Collection brings an important opportunity. His offerings are priced strong and consistent with the consignor's purchase prices. He recognized above average quality along the set building journey and paid accordingly.

It is nearly tequila break time on the lanai! I'm pleased to report that the Liberty Seated halves from the Poor Man's Collection are posted to the price list.

I am thoroughly impressed with the overall quality of the Poor Man's halves. Believe me, this is not marketing hype.

Rather, I'm providing a shout out for a collector who has assembled one of the finest circulated sets that I've had the pleasure of handling. Consistency is the rule with all halves being completely unabraded and with natural surfaces. Coloring match is also superb with either thick crusty gray patinas or lighter steely gray appearance. Lastly, every piece in this offering is CAC green bean worthy. Please do not ask me why such and such non CAC half approved half was passed over. I believe all are worthy and you should be purchasing accordingly.

If someone has a spare $8,500 kicking around, this would be a memorable purchase as a starter set to build upon.

As a memory refresher, here is the Poor Man's Collection gallery. Have fun considering these offerings.

Poor Man's Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection

Old Time Quality Hits the Market

           1871-CC PCGS VF25 50C                                             1873-CC No Arrows PCGS VG10 CAC 50C

    

1839 Drapery PCGS AU53 CAC 50C                                                   1841-O PCGS EF45 50C           

    

 1842 MD PCGS EF40 50C                           1846 TD PCGS VF35 50C                           1853 A&R PCGS AU50 50C

            

        1854-O PCGS EF40 CAC 50C                         1855-O PCGS EF45 50C                               1857-O PCGS EF45 50C          

            

 1859-O PCGS EF45 CAC 50C                      1860-O PCGS EF45 50C                           1869 PCGS EF45 CAC 50C

            

     1870 PCGS VF35 50C                          1873 NA C3 PCGS VF35 CAC 50C                  1874 PCGS EF45 CAC 50C

            

 

Seal Beach Collection Preparation Update

Progress is being made with Seal Beach Collection activities. I'm pleased to report that the entire collection is loaded into the COIN system and is viewable at the upper right hand display table. An initial round of GFRC quality ratings has been captured along with the consignor's suggested offer prices.

Next comes photography and die variety attribution. During the die variety attribution process, I will conduct a second quality rating evaluation followed by finalizing the asking prices. This process should be completed by early next week. Processing images for 123 coins will take time and consume most evenings during the coming ten days. A special client gallery display and link will be enable Len Augsburger's description writing along with a preview for potential buyers. Please keep checking the Blog for updates.

How will GFRC bring this collection to market?

Like the Labelman87 Collection sale, I am receiving many unsolicited requests for certain pieces in the Seal Beach collection. The fact that the Seal Beach Collection can be viewed in the GFRC Open Set Registry means that astute collectors have already studied the set and have selected their potential candidates for acquisition. Emails from these individuals keep arriving on a daily basis and are being filed for the time being.

The overriding goal for the Seal Beach Collection sale is to ensure that the majority of the collection is sold quickly at competitive market prices. If someone emailed me today with a request to buy the entire collection outright, it would be sold in that manner. If three individuals work together towards purchasing the entire collection followed by dividing up their desired pieces, I would be amiable to that type of sale. Again, the overriding goal is a near term sale at competitive prices. Barring the realization of these unlikely examples, the set will be broken up and first sold to those who have a desire to purchase a substantial subset of the collection. Those individuals must have the appropriate financial resources. If there is interest in certain pieces in the Seal Beach Collection, I would suggest that your selections are sent to me in the near term. Please do not wait for a formal First Right of Refusal event.

 

Twin Lakes Collection - Standing Liberty Quarters Gallery

Today's primary goal is building the Twin Lakes Standing Liberty quarter client gallery for Blog posting by end of day. This task should keep me occupied for most of the day, after morning shipping is concluded.

 

Global Financial News

World-wide equity markets are preparing for a sharp rise in U.S. jobless claims due to Covid-19 related business closures. Following is a look at global equity market futures courtesy of Seeking Alpha. U.S. markets are forecasted to open with a 1.0-1.5% drop which is at the lower end of last week's volatity.

In Asia, Japan -4.5%. Hong Kong -0.7%. China -0.6%. India +4.9%.

In Europe, at midday, London -1.6%. Paris -1.4%. Frankfurt -1.7%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow -1.1%. S&P -1.5%. Nasdaq -1.4%. 

This morning's crude oil price quote stands at $23.87/bbl. Oil glut forecasts are suggesting that we may see sub $20/bbl prices for West Texas crude during 2020.

Unprecedented oil glut. The collapse in oil demand will lead to a massive oil glut that not even a supply production freeze or cut from OPEC can rectify, according to Goldman Sachs, which predicts a 14M b/d surplus in Q2. "Any potential agreement between the U.S., Saudi and Russia to freeze or reduce output is too little too late. It would take months to impact inventories globally and would be dwarfed by the current demand losses." The firm sees Brent crude remaining near $20 a barrel next quarter, while West Texas Intermediate oil will likely fall well below that level as storage swells.

Short term Treasury bond negative interest rates have arrived. The 10 Year long bond yield stands at 0.81% this morning.

Negative rates in the U.S. Yields on both the 1-month and 3-month Treasury bills fell below zero yesterday, marking the first time that happened since 2015, when both bills briefly flashed red and yields fell to minus 0.002%. However, the readings on Wednesday were well below those, with the one-month traded at minus 0.053% and the three-month at minus 0.033%. Japan and large swaths of Europe have had negative-yielding debt for some time now (in Germany all government fixed income instruments except the 30-year bond carry rates below zero).

Spot gold prices are attempting to establish a new trading range at the $1600-$1650 level. Premiums for physical gold have accelerated and are well ahead of paper (spot) gold prices. Yesterday brought an email from a larger gold dealer offering MS64 Saints for $2025. How long will these premiums last? My guess is that the accelerating amount of Covid-19 deaths will continue to be leveraged by the media for incremental panic headlines. This panic will sustain or enhance current premiums.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Thank-you for checking in daily and taking in these ramblings. I'm doing my best for providing continued reading enjoyment outside of the omnipresent Covid-19 headlines. The numismatic market will sustain itself during 2020 but may be reshaped by the coronavirus. I'm postulating that those dealers who have a well established online present and trusted reputation will continue to be the primary sourcing alternative for collectors.

Please check back this evening for Twin Lakes' Standing Liberty quarter client gallery.

I promised to be back tomorrow morning with more ramblings. In the meantime, I hope that everyone is most serious about sheltering in place and striving to not be a Covid-19 pandemic statistic.

 

 

 

March 25, 2020

Thoughts on Details Graded Coins

Greetings on a Wednesday morning and welcome to another Blog edition.

Days are flying by in the GFRC office as we are experiencing heightened business levels. March 2020 sales revenue and volume are already at new records for the month. The shipping department is churning out a host of USPS Priority boxes each morning. Checks arrive during the early afternoon hours while I'm either processing images or writing descriptions. Diane promptly deposits checks to prepare for the following day's shipping.

After several 15-16 hours days, mental energy was waning last evening. My body was signaling that securing a long night's sleep had become a priority. That I did on Tuesday! Unfortunately, being away from the office meant no preview gallery for today's Blog. Instead, today edition deals with a client question submitted via email on Saturday.

 

Thoughts on Details Graded Coins

The following coin grading question arrived by email from a well established GFRC client. Given the lack of prepared items for this edition, the timing is ideal to delve into the topic of Details Graded Coins.

Good Morning Gerry,

I enjoyed hearing your advice on upgrades the other day.  Another related topic that might be interesting for consideration has to do with detail graded coins.

As a collector, I appreciate that the grading services have quality standards that they try to adhere to.  The more consistent the standards of a grading service the more confident customers can be that a knowledgeable and experienced team of graders have confirmed a coin to be genuine and original (or 'market acceptable').  

There have been times, though, that I have received a coin back from grading submission or have come across a coin already graded at a show that I believe to be worthy of owning.  

How does a collector overcome the stigma associated with owning a 'details' graded coin?  A coin can fall short of a full grade but appear every bit as attractive and appealing (even under magnification) as so many coins that the grading services have deemed worthy of a full grade. 

If our focus is on the coin, not the holder, then how comfortable should we be having what appears to be a collectable coin that didn't make the 'grade'? 

If you have time to consider this, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

 

Gerry's Response

There are many coins in the numismatic market that do not belong in a "certified" or straight graded TPG holder. Those are designated as either "Genuine" or "Details". For the latter, the major TPGs will indicate the rejection category that includes Cleaned, Scratched, Environment Damage, Filing, Questionable Color along with many more. During the early TPG years of operation, the services would not place the coin in a holder and simply returned it in a flip with Details label. The term "body bag" appeared for those coins and is still in use today as a "coin being bagged" when placed in a Details holder.

Secondly, there are many coins in TPG holders that do not warrant a straight grade. Walking a bourse floor and looking into dealer cases will reveal coins that are problematic but still straight graded. Rarely will a TPG wish to "buy-back" a coin to remove it from the market. Instead these overgraded or problematic coins accumulate over longer periods of time and are discounted; often heavily discounted.

Thirdly, there are occasional "undergraded" coins that can be located with skill and patience. These are very scarce as self correcting by individuals seeking a profit derived from their hobby. The "crack out players" will crack out undergraded coins towards securing a higher grade (and associated financial gains).

The above three points reinforces the fact that TPG evaluation and grading are subjective exercises. The numismatic industry gives too much credence to the TPG companies. That credence is a function of major TPG companies convincing collectors in believing in their products and buy-backs guarantees. Online registries and other "services" further addict collectors to one or the other TPG. I can't believe the amount of cross over business that PCGS enjoys due to their status as the leading TPG for United States coins.

I make mention of these points so that collectors step up and learn to evaluate surfaces and grade wear for themselves. TPG certification or Details grade assignment is not the end all. It is just an opinion that is fee based.

At GFRC, I make a point to not add Details graded coins to inventory! Yes, there is a stigma associated with Details labeled coins among most knowledgeable collectors. The exception is rare early date coinage that is essentially unavailable with problem free surfaces.

If adding a Details graded coin to inventory, the outcome is predictable. Value buyers appear striving for deep discounts as they leverage the Details designation. Questions arise on how bad is the xxxx surface condition? What is your opinion on the chance to crack out for a straight grade? type questions often place me in an uncomfortable position. I've heard these questions all too often; these detract from regular business. Therefore, I don't handle Details graded coins unless consigned. Concerning consigned coins with Details designations, regular clients quickly recognize that GFRC does not wish to handle problematic coins since I recommend deep discounts. Client typically take those coins to eBay or to another disposal channel.

My response to GFRC clients is to not own Details graded coins unless rarity trumps the problematic surface condition. For common through scarce dates, why would you own a Details designated coin if a straight graded coin is available with patient searching? Details graded coins typically sell for 50% back of a straight graded coin. Frankly, Details graded coins can never be too inexpensive to purchase as they will detract from your collecting enjoyment. Yes, they become a "black sheep" in a collection and will always bother knowledgeable numismatists. They certainly bother me as a collector as do problem coins in straight graded holders.

My advice is firm. Don't purchase a Details graded coin unless you are convinced that it will straight grade with another TPG submission.

If you own Details graded coins, crack them out and sell raw at an attractive discount. At this point in time, most raw coins are not holdered for two reasons. They are either not graded due to low value (economics of grading costs), or they have some type of technical issue that precludes a TPG straight grade. Sure, there are always exceptions to this rule as in the case of a fresh Dansco or Whitman album collection reaching the market. It does not take long for those coins to be absorbed with the better dates being immediately TPG certified.

Finally, if you are love with a Details grade coin for its beauty, that is ok and a collector's prerogative. But be prepared for a discussion if sharing that coin with a fellow collector. The Details grade is a magnet for questions since being atypical. This is human nature as we are attracted to exceptions.

 

Today's Activities in the GFRC Office

Wednesday brings three goals. First is loading the Poor Man's Liberty Seated halves to the price list. Completing COIN system loading of the entire Seal Beach Collection is the second priority. If time remains, I will begin image processing for the balance of the new Twin Lakes Collection consignment. Already, there are purchase requests for certain pieces in that new consignment.

 

Global Financial News

Tuesday brought a historic rally for United States equities. This morning's futures are pointing to some weakness when markets open. Following is a look at global futures and commodities plus the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield courtesy of Seeking Alpha.

In Asia, Japan +8.1%. Hong Kong +3.8%. China +2.2%. India +7%.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.7%. Paris +2.3%. Frankfurt -0.1%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.8%. S&P -1.1%. Nasdaq -1.1%. Crude -1.4% to $23.67. Gold -0.3% to $1656.60. Bitcoin -1.3% to $6634.

Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 0.82%

Seeking Alpha headlines are replete with Covid-19 related topics. We are being bombarded with this topic across all other media platforms. There is no sense for me to add more of the same to the Blog.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

You guessed it! I will be in the GFRC office the entire day and probably working until 11:00 pm towards achieving the day's stated goals.

Your purchase inquiries are most appreciated via email, phone or text. Ditto for consignment proposals!

Wishing the GFRC community another safe day as we work through the coronavirus event. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow at the Blog.

 

 

 

March 24, 2020

Important 1865 PCGS AU55 CAC Seated Half Dollar

and

New Twin Lakes Barber Offerings

Greetings and welcome to the Blog on a Tuesday morning. I hope that most readers are able to shelter in place and continue with their lives.

After taking a substantial drop last week, spot gold prices are accelerating. Gold is already up $127/oz to $1680 and looks poised for more gains. Physical gold is under huge demand with rising premiums. What remains of GFRC lower priced gold will probably be gone today.

Fellow coin dealers are issuing email updates with two general themes. First is they are unable to leave their offices to buy and restock inventory. Secondly, individual state mandates for closure of non essential services leads to offices being vacated.

GFRC is most fortunate at this time. The supply of fantastic new inventory continues to arrive on a daily basis via USPS delivery. Monday brought a new Twin Lakes Collection consignment along with a small lot from a Massachusetts collector. Today brings a small collector gold consignment. Others are contacting me and offering additional consignments which I continue to accept. Your busy GFRC staff is shipping on a daily basis as our local UPS Store is several minutes drive away with few patrons waiting for service. Each trip is conducted with alcohol wipes in hand while touching door handles. If we touch our faces, it is with an alcohol cloth.

I'm working incredibly long hours as Blog composition starts at 6:00 am while enjoying breakfast. Days typically end between 11:00 to 12:00 pm. The GFRC business is keeping me away from news media websites; this is a good thing. Instead, wonderful new coins are being processed and added to the price list on a continuous basis. Once today's large shipment is securely transferred, the Poor Man's Collection (Seated halves) and Twin Lakes (Barber quarters) will reach the price list.

 

GFRC Buys Out Client Consignment

If reviewing the 30 day price list, you will note a lot of Liberty Seated dimes that has been purchased from a consignor and repriced at lower levels. Look carefully as there are a few immediate bargains to be had. One of my favorites in this buy-out lot is the Pittman 1842-O F-103 PCGS AU55 CAC dime. This offering combines a full strike and gorgeous toning towards significant eye appeal. Checking the GFRC Sales Archive, this piece last sold for $2150 during August 2017. Today's offer price is $1850. Few 1842-O dimes ever arrive to market with these characteristics in a single package. Yes, lay-a-ways are always available on GFRC offerings other than large denomination gold.

1842-O F-103 PCGS AU55 CAC 10C Ex. Pittman

 

Important 1865 PCGS AU55 CAC Seated Half Dollar

Each day brings incremental inventory surprises as more great coins continue to arrive at the Venice office. Case in point is this important 1865 PCGS AU55 CAC Seated half. I've listed the CAC populations in AU to showcase this offering's significance. This is the only CAC approved AU55 in the population report. The Seal Beach Collection will be offering one of the two AU50s along with a non CAC approved AU55.

This offering last about one hour on the Blog before being quoted and sold. At GFRC, more coins are finding homes via the Blog and prior to the formality of price list posting.

1865 PCGS AU55 CAC Seated Half Dollar Offering

CAC Pop - AU50 (2), AU53 (0), AU55 (1), AU58 (0)

 

New Twin Lakes Barber Offerings

The latest Twin Lakes Collection consignment, as itemized in Sunday's Blog, arrived as schedule to the office and was immediately photographed. Evening time brought image processing for the Barber pieces. It is becoming apparent that Twin Lakes Collection consignments are "moving up the ladder." Each consignment brings higher quality offerings. The large Standing Liberty lot is stunning as are these Barber quarters. Yes, there is a single 1910 Barber dime in the client gallery that also seeks a new home.

Twin Lakes Collections - New Barber Coinage Offerings

1911-S PCGS AU58 CAC 25C                                                   1915-S PCGS AU58 CAC 25C

    

       1910  PCGS AU58 CAC 10C                          1893 PCGS AU58 25C                            1908-D PCGS AU58 CAC 25C    

            

   1908-O PCGS AU58 CAC 25C                        1909-D PCGS AU58 25C      

      

 

Global Financial News

Wild equity market swings are becoming the norm. This morning's futures are flashing green with substantial gains being forecasted. Commodity prices are also moving up, especially spot gold. Following is a complete picture of global equity market futures and commodities courtesy of Seeking Alpha.

In Asia, Japan +7%. Hong Kong +4.5%. China +2.3%. India +2.7%.

In Europe, at midday, London +4.2%. Paris +5.7%. Frankfurt +6.7%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow +5%. S&P +5.1%. Nasdaq +5.4%. Crude +7.2% to $25.03. Gold +4.5% to $1638. Bitcoin +16.4% to $6802.

Checking a few Seeking Alpha headlines.....

Italy appears to have reached its Covid-19 apex as containment measures are taking hold. The United States hot spots are projected to be several weeks behind Italy.

The rollercoaster on Wall Street continued overnight as U.S. stock index futures climbed 5% to hit 'limit up' levels. A day late? Equities plunged Monday despite unprecedented efforts by the Fed to expand purchases of U.S. Treasurys and MBSs "as needed," and implement measures to backstop credit for households, small businesses and major employers. While the U.S. Senate is still at odds over a coronavirus stimulus package, there is some hopeful news as both new cases and deaths dropped for two days running in Italy. "43 days was exactly the same amount of time as it took South Korea to reach its apex. And if such is the case, the U.S. would be 14 days behind Italy," said Thomas Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors.

Both President Trump and New York Governor Cuomo are already looking ahead to restarting national and state economies.

American business may reopen soon. The White House is discussing easing social distancing guidelines as early as next week as advisers and business leaders push President Trump to boost an economy beset by deepening job losses nationwide, WSJ reports. "We're not going to let the cure be worse than the problem," Trump said at a press briefing late Monday, echoing an earlier tweet. "America will again and soon be open for business. It won't be that long."

The United States air transport system will probably shut down due to lack of demand and lack of air traffic controllers.

U.S. airlines could ground themselves. Major U.S. carriers are prepping plans for a potential voluntary shutdown of passenger flights across the U.S. if air traffic controller staffing emergencies continue to crop up or demand falls much further, Dow Jones reports. Also on the table... the federal government could at some point halt all U.S. flights in an effort to deal with the pandemic. Air traffic is already at a minimal level, with the TSA reporting a drop of 80% on Sunday compared to the same day a year ago. 

After huge thunderstorm, sunny skies always return. So is the case in China's Hubei province.

Easing the coronavirus lockdown. Chinese authorities are planning to lift the mass quarantine on the central province of Hubei, where the coronavirus first emerged last December. The news comes days after Hubei reported that new infections dropped to zero (if you can believe the statistics). Only locals deemed free from contagion risk will be allowed to leave, while restrictions on the capital city of Wuhan will last two more weeks.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Of course, I will be in the office the entire day! Please don't hesitate to call with a purchase inquiry or to discuss a potential consignment.

In Wednesday's Blog, I will be responding to a client question concerning Detail graded coins. Please check back frequently to stay abreast of all the latest new GFRC offerings.

Thank-you for checking in and please be safe!

 

 

 

March 23, 2020

Poor Man's Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection

Greetings on a Monday morning and welcome to another Blog edition.

Sunday brought a delightful day with FaceTime calls from Matt (and Natsumi) in Japan followed by Renee (and Ivy) in Austin. I was serenaded with a Happy Birthday song from three kind ladies in a diagonal condo at noon time. With social distancing in place, they sang from their lanai while I stood in our lanai. They also sent along some awesome homemade cookies.

Florida weather continues to be warm and sunny with no rain in sight. Retention pond water levels are receding as is often the case during this time of year. Clear skies facilitated another photography sessions that captured the Poor Man's Collection of Liberty Seated halves. More on this topic shortly.

The reported Covid-19 infection rate in Sarasota county is slowly increasing but still minimal at 17 cases. The Miami/Ft Lauderdale area up through West Palm Beach is a different story with about 500 cases. I am closely watching developments in South-East Florida and whether an elevated infection rate will spread to the West coast area along I-75 corridor. We have yet to contemplate the idea of returning to Maine home early.

 

Presenting the Poor Man's Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection

I've known the Poor Man's Collection consignor for many years. Our paths have crossed at many Florida shows since he is a full time resident and works in the education field. This individual has a passion for Capped Bust and Liberty Seated coinage along with a superb eye for natural gray surfaces on his early silver type coins. In the past, I found selling this individual a coin to be challenging due to his selective requirements. Today brings a client gallery display that showcases the fruits of his numismatic labors.

The following consignment was transferred at the Sarasota coin show in February. Since immediately rushing off to Altanta for the Spring ANA show, the Poor Man's Collection went into the office safe for security storage. Yesterday, the consignment reached the top of the processing queue with photography and image processing wrapping up about 10:30 pm.

I am thoroughly pleased to be sharing a wonderful lot of Liberty Seated halves from the Poor Man's Collection to start another numismatic week. Please note the individual preservation states and natural patina. This lot is a case study in strict originality and the appearance of unmolested silver coinage. This lot has not been submitted to CAC. All pieces are being offered as purchased by the consignor. Those with CAC approval were purchased with the CAC green bean. Frankly, CAC green bean or not, this entire lot is worthy of approval but economics on lower priced coins must be considered.

Usually, I will highlight my favorite pieces in an offering. For the Poor Man's Collection, I'm unable to do this. Why? The response is simple, I like each of the pieces for their originality and so difficult to single out individual coins. If someone in the community has some extra spending money, this lot would be a wise purchase as foundation for a longer term Liberty Seated half dollar collection pursuit.

Look for the Poor Man's Collection to reach the price list by dinner time today. There will be a number of JUST BUY IT NOW recommendations.

John.... Congratulations on an outstanding assemblage of early United States coinage!

 

Poor Man's Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection

Old Time Quality Hits the Market

           1871-CC PCGS VF25 50C                                             1873-CC No Arrows PCGS VG10 CAC 50C

    

1839 Drapery PCGS AU53 CAC 50C                                                   1841-O PCGS EF45 50C           

    

 1842 MD PCGS EF40 50C                           1846 TD PCGS VF35 50C                           1853 A&R PCGS AU50 50C

            

        1854-O PCGS EF40 CAC 50C                         1855-O PCGS EF45 50C                               1857-O PCGS EF45 50C          

            

 1859-O PCGS EF45 CAC 50C                      1860-O PCGS EF45 50C                           1869 PCGS EF45 CAC 50C

            

     1870 PCGS VF35 50C                          1873 NA C3 PCGS VF35 CAC 50C                  1874 PCGS EF45 CAC 50C

            

 

CAC Submission Services: A Clarification

As more clients strive to own CAC approved coins, their demands for special GFRC courtesy services increases. Additionally, some customers attempt to tie the purchase of a non CAC approved coin to CAC approval.

Effective immediately, GFRC will be limiting its CAC submissions to those of incoming consignments and our new purchases inventory.

As GFRC volume continues to grow, the business is migrating from a "mom and pop" customized numismatic shop to a volume consignment enterprise. The logistics of managing individal client coins for special services becomes cumbersome and error prone when processing a steady flow of large consignments. Purchased coins end up in CAC submission loops and typically hold back shipments of associated coins as everyone wishes to minimize shipping charges. A simple customer directive to please send to CAC for me translates into additional tracking on my part along with GFRC insurance risks during to/from CAC coin transfers.

Given the low GFRC consignment commissions rates and lack of staffing, I must slowly scale back the amount of courtesy services. Early on, I terminated PCGS courtesy grading submissions as that activity proved to be a logistics nightmare. Now the time comes to halt courtesy CAC submissons. I hope that clients can see the ongoing GFRC business expansion with a fixed staff. Along the expansion journey, some services must be curtailed as the opportunity for errors during specialized processing increases. Naturally, GFRC is always accountable for the financial value of potential errors.

 

Global Financial News

Volatity abounds in all financial markets as we start another trading week. The Covid-19 financial impact to global markets appears to be more severe than the number of world-wide deaths to date. Workers along with national economies are being impacted. Following are a few disturbing headlines as published in this morning's Seeking Alpha Wall Street Breakfast. But first a look at global market futures and commodities.

In Asia, Japan +2%. Hong Kong -4.9%. China -3.1%. India -13.2%.

In Europe, at midday, London -3.8%. Paris -2.6%. Frankfurt -2.9%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow -2.8%. S&P -2.8%. Nasdaq -2.4%.

Panic appears to be driving these types of statements. They are in print, therefore I'm sharing with the community. Do I believe this stuff? Only time will tell...

U.S. unemployment may surge to 30%. As the U.S. grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard expects an unprecedented 50% plunge in GDP and sees the unemployment rate hitting 30% in the coming months. If the projection proves to be true, unemployment would be worse than it was during the Great Depression and three times worse than the global financial crisis. "Everything is on the table," he said, referring to additional lending programs from the Fed. "There is probably much more in the months ahead depending on where Congress wants to go."

One has to carefully read this headline several times to make sense of what is happening in the mortgage bond market. A lack of available capital is becoming appearance for firms who were leveraged going into the Covid-19 event.

Dire warning. "The market for commercial real estate mortgage loans in the U.S. stands on the brink of collapse," according to Colony Capital Chairman Tom Barrack, with banks, mortgage REITs and other non-bank lenders now "at a precarious juncture." A meltdown of this magnitude "would have catastrophic follow-on effects across the American economy" if lenders and the government don't take prompt action. Echoes of '08? Mortgage bond sales on Sunday included at least $1.25B of securities by (Morningstar's five-star rated) AlphaCentric Income Opportunities Fund, which lost more than 30% of its value last week.

Crude oil prices continue to trade in the low $20s/bbl while spot gold prices are holding at the $1500/oz level. Try finding bullion gold at these levels! There is none to be located without paying a substantial premium. We are seeing a disconnect between "paper gold" pricing and physical gold. If another wishes to sell me bullion gold at $1500 per oz, I'm in.

Finally, the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has dropped to 0.82% as another round of flight to safety being underway.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

I will be in the office the entire day! What a surprise....

The morning brings more shipping that can be quickly dropped off at the local UPS Store. I am delaying shipment of low valued packages (under $100 insured) and USPS Express shipments to once per week to minimize the number of times we must stand in the Venice Post Office line.

We will continue to conduct UPS Store transfers DAILY for our popular 2 Day USPS flat rate Priority boxes.

If wishing to send GFRC new consignments, please do! We will be in the office on a consistent basis to take personal receipt.

Thank-you for checking in at the Blog.

 

 

 

March 22, 2020

When I'm Sixty-Four

and

Initial Seal Beach Collection Commentary

Greetings and welcome to another edition of the Daily Blog.

Yep, today brings the 64th milestone in a life. As I often say to friends, much water has flowed under this bridge with worldly experiences, learnings, insights, and of course memories.

This milestone will unquestionably be remembered for sheltering in place and is on par with being inconvenienced in Shanghai during 9-11. Rather than going out this evening for a special dinner with Diane, the time will be quietly spent in the lanai and enjoying the back lake fountain plus a large glass of Casamigos Reposado. What happened to scotch, might be asked? The response is my restless and exploring nature. Sitting still or remaining with the same liquior brand for years is not in my DNA. There is much to explore in life even when 64....

 

Loading the Seal Beach Collection into COIN System

Last evening brought the first uninterrupted inspection of the Seal Beach Liberty Seated half dollar collection. Sure, I could use a host of superlatives to describe Bill's collection. But you've heard those before. Superlatives lose their effect when overused. Rather, I would like to share my unfiltered impressions of the collection's initial review.

What struck me immediately was the consistency within the collecton. Consistency of accurate grading, followed by strikes, toning and luster. For those of us who have acquired a visual understanding of strike characteristics (and die surfaces) by date, the Seal Beach Collection is a case study and absolutely representative of Seated half dollar production from 1839 through 1891.

Assigning GFRC quality ratings is always a subjective process. The Seal Beach Collection garnered ratings from choice to gem with many being near-gems.

Inspecting this collection also brought insights about the relentless pursuit of CAC green beans by many of us. For certain dates, Bill has both a CAC and non CAC approved specimen. The non CAC approved example typically has more eye appeal and luster than the CAC'ed counterpart. The CAC approved example offers strict originality at the expense of eye appeal. As a collecting community, we must consider this fact and not go heads over heal for CAC approval. Bill's 1870-CC PCGS AU55 half is a monster for the grade but not CAC approved. The luster is reflective vs. steely as seen on the 1871-CC and 1872-CC pieces (that are approved). Do I care? Not in the least and would be so proud to own the 1870-CC specimen if a student of the Seated half dollar series. As a side note, I inspected an 1878-CC PCGS MS66 CAC dime at the Atlanta ANA show as a potential upgrade for my own Liberty Seated dime set. It was a perfectly original and well struck coin other than an offensive scratch below the ONE in the denomination. How this piece slipped through PCGS and CAC is beyond me. CAC is not the end all in terms of quality. Collectors must still use their knowledge and experiences when rummaging through the numismatic marketplace as Bill has so well done.

One realization that came to light during the COIN system loading was the fact that GFRC has placed many dates into the Seal Beach Collection. Several noteworthy placements date back to the 2015-2016 timeframe and originated from the fabulous Grey Soldier Collection. Processing the Seal Beach Collection will allow me to update the Sales Archive with missing images and descriptions for high end pieces that currently only display a grade and selling price. For giggles, I counted the number of GFRC placements into the Seal Beach Collection for the 1839 through 1870 dates. The total is 22/80 or slightly above 25%.

Currently, Seal Beach Collection dates from 1839 through 1870 are loaded into the COIN system and viewable in the special collection preview table in the upper right hand corner of the Daily Blog. The balance will be loaded this morning. Die variety attributions and photography will take place at some point this week.

 

Another Twin Lakes Collection Consignment Arrives on Monday

No one does it better than the Twin Lakes Collection consignor for aggressive divesting towards raising new acquisition capital. Those GFRC clients who struggle with letting go of a few duplicates should benchmark how Twin Lakes operates and views his hobby. Foremost is the fact that what was paid for a coin has little if any bearing on what a coin should sell for years later. I work with several clients who are slaves to purchase prices and refuse to take a loss, other than my commission, on a coin when divestment time comes. Twin Lakes understands that the market place is dynamic along with the fact that he made some mistakes along the journey. A wise philosophy is divesting coins at current market levels (raising capital) towards rcchanneling monies into superior acquisitions.

Following is a list of newly consigned coins from the Twin Lakes Collection that will arrive tomorrow. Please excuse the tabular Excel format presentation. This is a long list and I'm saving time by doing a simple copy/paste.

The new Twin Lakes Collection consignment consists of a lovely Standing Liberty quarter set with the majority of the pieces consistently graded PCGS AU55 with CAC approval. The balance of the non CAC approved dates are at the bottom of the table. Twin Lakes struggled with this divestment but made the command decision to sell. May I suggest that someone in the GFRC community consider buying this set outright? First Rights of Refusal are being accepted immediately on all Twin Lakes new offerings.

Also look carefully at the balance of the offerings for other great coins. The 1861-O PCGS AU58 CAC Seated half is a Louisiana W-4 strike and was sold into the Twin Lakes collection during April 2019. Please go to the Sales Archives to review this piece if there is an interest.

Date Variety Denomination Grade Comments
1917 Type 2 25C AU-55 CAC
1917-S Type 1 25C AU-55 CAC
1917-S Type 2 25C AU-55 CAC
1918-D   25C AU-55 CAC
1918-S   25C AU-55 CAC
1919-D   25C AU-55 CAC
1919-S   25C AU-55 CAC
1920-D   25C AU-55 CAC
1920-S   25C AU-55 CAC
1921   25C AU-55 CAC
1923-S   25C AU-55 CAC
1924   25C AU-55 CAC
1924-D   25C AU-55 CAC
1924-S   25C AU-55 CAC
1925   25C AU-55 CAC
1926   25C AU-55 CAC
1926-D   25C AU-55 CAC
1927-S   25C AU-55 CAC
1928   25C AU-55 CAC
1928-D   25C AU-55 CAC
1929   25C AU-55 CAC
1929-S   25C AU-55 CAC
1930   25C AU-55 CAC
1855 Arrows H10C AU58 CAC
1838 No Drapery 10C AU58 CAC
1858 10C AU-58
1910 10C AU-58 CAC
1893 25C AU-58
1908-D 25C AU-58 CAC
1908-O 25C AU-58 CAC
1909-D 25C AU-58
1911-S 25C AU-58 CAC
1915-S 25C AU-58 CAC
1918 25C AU-58
1918-D 25C MS-62
1919 25C MS-62
1926 25C MS-62
1929-S 25C MS-62
1930-S 25C MS-62
1861-O 50C AU-58 CAC

 

Attention Shifts to Murphys Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection

Once the Seal Beach Collection is fully loaded into the COIN system, my attention shifts to the Murphys Liberty Seated half dollar collection. This is a lovely circulated set that has been previously discussed in the Blog. I will be loading that entire collection into the COIN system today along with getting photography done.

 

GFRC Shipment Scheduling

So far, and knock on wood, the Covid-19 virus outbreak in Sarasota County Florida ( Sarasota down to Venice) area has been minimal. This morning's report shows 14 cases with 5 people hospitalized. Unfortunately, the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas are indicating a rapid increase in cases.

GFRC is planning a large shipment on Monday. Afterwards, we will be cutting back and delaying order shipments to only several times per week. Diane and I are serious about self containment in our Venice home. Please keep monitoring the Blog for any changes to our shipping schedule.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Completion of the Blog was a bit delayed as Matt, Chikae and Natsumi called in via FaceTime to wish me a happy birthday. They are sheltering in a Japan region that is already back to normal life. Chikae is attempting to secure a spot in local Japanese school for Natusumi as there are no plans to return to Beijing. When they can return safely to the United States is also a huge question mark at this point.

As usual, I will be working in the Venice office the entire day as there is little else to do. Since we are planning a large Venice post office run on Monday, today's orders can be sent out tomorrow for those who have Quick Ship arrangements.

Thanks for checking in at the Blog.

 

 

 

March 21, 2020

GFRC Sales Archive Update

and

Southern Texas Liberty Seated Coinage Duplicates

Greetings and welcome to more ramblings at the Blog.

The weekend has arrived for many. For residents of California, New York, and now New Jersey, some of you may not be heading back to work on Monday. Covid-19 continues to bring economic impacts to areas hardest hit by the virus' outbreaks.

Come the end of March, I am usually itching to return back to Maine country home. The Naim/Focal sound system sits idle in the basement soundroom with the call growing louder each passing day. After months of working seven days per week in the Venice office, shorter office days in Maine will be a much deserved reward. How I enjoy being outdoors with the annual spring clean-up. The growing question is the impact of Covid-19 on the northern migration schedule. Let's pray that the spreading virus has been contained by the end of April.

Little is mentally prepared for today's Blog edition other than a new client gallery from the Southern Texas Collection. The past week has been a blur due to an above average order rate from customers sheltering in place. Sales that were lost due to the Whitman Baltimore show cancellation have been recovered via online sales. The good people at Whitman have committed to send a bourse fee refund check in the next ten days. GFRC does not lack new inventory given the Murphys Collection, the Seal Beach Collection (both Liberty Seated halves), and a new shipment from the Twin Lakes Collection that should arrive the middle of next week.

 

GFRC Sales Archive Update

It has been months since mentioning the Sales Archive in the Blog. For new GFRC customer and Blog readers, the Sales Archive is an important application that captures all GFRC sales since 2014 inception. Unquestionably, GFRC's sales niche is Liberty Seated coinage along with a reasonable amount of Capped Bust coinage. United States gold sales are rapidly expanding. The Archive is the ultimate market transparency tool for collectors.

As each month passes, 200+ sales records are added to the Sales Archive with today's total population being roughly 11,000 records. Each record is presented in the familiar price list tabulation format. The only presentation difference is that the "sale price" is the amount that the coin sold for.

Obviously, I have a long term view for constructing the GFRC business and nurturing an ever expanding GFRC community. Once collectors locate GFRC via Collectors Corner, they quickly migrate to direct GFRC website access. This growing community now has to opportunity to research GFRC past sales as an additional tool that brings buying and selling confidence. The Sales Archive has become one of my primary pricing research tools along with CoinFacts. Many previously sold coins are beginning to return to GFRC for second and third offerings. It is straightforward to check the Archive for past sale prices towards establishing a competitive new offer price.

For those who are sheltering in place and have extra time to kill, might I suggest a visit to the GFRC Sales Archive for reviewing and absorbing the substantial amount of prices realized information. This exercise is recommended for those individuals who are considering consignments. The prices realized in the Sales Archive should provide confidence on what your coins could likely sell for via posting on the GFRC price list.

Following is a Google Analytics trendgraph that illustrates the present Sales Archive popularity among GFRC customers. During the first quarter of 2020, the Sales Archive enjoyed nearly 200 hits per week. I'm sure with a bit of publicity, that number could easily grow by 50%-100% during the next few quarters.

GFRC Weekly Sales Archive Hit Rate

April 1, 2019 - March 20, 2020

 

For those new to GFRC and the Blog, here is a screen capture of the Sales Archive menu page. It is an intuitive application and fun to use as response times are super fast. Immediately afterwards is a display of a typical search output.

Sales Archive Application Menu

 

Typical Sales Archive Search Output

 

Southern Texas Seated Coinage Duplicates

The Southern Texas Collection is actively constructing Liberty Seated quarter and half dollar sets. This individual is quite passionate about his collecting pursuits and is upgrading at a consistent pace. Like all collectors, he faced the challenge of liquidating duplicates towards recycling cash into new purchases. Once establishing a relationship with GFRC, this new consignor has been a source for quality holdered and raw duplicates.

Following is newly consigned lot that was transferred at the Atlanta ANA show. This lot is ideal for those collecting raw coins and housing in Dansco or Whitman bookshelf albums. The top featured coins (1870 EF45 Seated quarter and 1883 EF45 Seated half) should not last long once reaching the price list today. Please pay special attention to the 1840-O No Drapery Seated quarter as it brings well above average eye appeal for the grade.

All of the Southern Texas Collection duplicates will be attractively priced for quick sale.

Quality Southern Texas Seated Coinage Duplicates

1870 Raw EF45 25C                                                   1883 Raw EF45 50C

    

 1840-O ND  Raw VF30 25C                            1856-O Raw VF30 25C                                1877-CC Raw EF40 25C    

            

 1855-O Raw EF40 50C                                1858-O Raw AU55 50C                              1868 Raw EF45 50C 

            

 1877 Raw EF45 50C                                     1889 Raw F12 50C     

            

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

The 8:00 am ET publishing time has arrived and best to get an early start to another day in the GFRC office. There is some morning shipping to get into the USPS system followed by loading the Southern Texas coins to the price list. The balance of the Long Distance Whitman Baltimore new purchases descriptions will also be completed. Afterwards, my attention shifts to loading the Seal Beach Collection into the COIN databases and begin image processing for the Murphys Liberty Seated half dollar collection.

Yes, I will be in the office the entire day as we are also sheltering in place here in Venice. It is best to stay home and allow time for the Covid-19 event to dissipate. Your purchase orders will be quickly responded to. I can be reached by email, text message, or the old fashion way, by phone.

Thank-you for checking in at the Blog. Please be safe!

 

 

 

March 20, 2020

A Powerful Message from Seth Godin

and

Amazing Seal Beach Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection!

Greetings on a Friday morning and welcome to another Daily Blog edition. A sincere welcome to new readers. Our numbers continue to climb with nearly 1000 visits on Thurday.

Life continues for the Fortins with the GFRC Venice office being a beehive of activity. Our external "excursions" are limited to grocery shopping at a nearby Publix supermarket and/or order shipment drop-offs at a UPS Store in the same plaza. The balance of the time is spent in our HOA condo working in the office.

The numismatic market remains robust during the Covid-19 event. GFRC sales are well ahead of March 2019 levels. Last evening brought a ten piece $20 double eagle lot sale to cap off initials sales of the Long Distance Whitman Baltimore purchase. Another twelve or so packages are heading to the USP Store later this morning to kept customers engaged with their hobby.

Today's Blog edition is very special indeed! I am announcing the forthcoming sale of an exceptional collection from a true gentleman and passionate numismatist. But before bringing forth this announcement, I wish to share powerful words from Seth Godin concerning the cable media and our Covid-19 challenges. In my years of enjoying Godin's blogposts, I have never seen him be so direct and clear with messaging.

 

Seth Godin - Calm also has a coeffient

Panic loves company.

And yet calm is our practical, efficient, rational alternative.

If you’re on a crowded plane and one person is freaking out about turbulence, the panic will eventually peter out. If, on the other hand, six people are freaking out, it’s entirely possible that it will spread and overtake the rest of the plane. Panic needs multiple nodes to spread.

The same is true with a cabin of 10-year-olds at summer camp. One homesick kid usually comes around and ends up enjoying the summer, because being surrounded by others who are okay makes us okay. But three or four homesick kids can change the entire dynamic.

While calm is a damping agent, it’s not nearly as effective at spreading itself as panic is.

The library is usually a quiet place because the dominant cultural narrative in the library is to be quiet. Because it’s dominant, the coefficient of its spread is sufficient to keep it that way. We have to expend effort to create environments of calm, because calm has a coefficient that can’t compete with panic when it comes to spreading.

And Twitter? Twitter has been engineered to maximize panic. Calm is penalized, panic is amplified. And if you are hanging out in real life with people who spend a lot of time on social media and news sites, you’ve invited all of those people into your circle as well.

We can find lots of reasons why fifty years of watching just three dominant TV networks wasn’t ideal. But the combination of oligopoly and the FCC meant that none of them spread panic. They weren’t built for it. When cable “news” showed up, they discovered that panic was a great way to make a profit. Not to make things better, simply to spread anger and fear.

If panic is helpful, of course you should bring it on. But it rarely is.

Instead:

Curate your incoming.

Stay off Twitter.

Do the work instead. Whatever needs doing most is better than panic.

Being up-to-date on the news is a trap and a scam. Five minutes a day is all you need.

 

At GFRC, we are striving to maintain calm by providing an online platform for those who seek an alternative from the panic inducing cable media. How I wish to offer more but struggle with the limitation of being a sole proprietor business. Guest articles concerning numismatic topics are most welcomed. I could sure use the help.

 

The Amazing Seal Beach Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection!

Words escape me as I try to compose an appropriate introduction for the Seal Beach Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection that arrived on Tuesday. I'm sure that every superlative in the dictonary will be located during the marketing journey of this amazing collection.

GFRC is incredibly honored to have been chosen to market and sell the finest Liberty Seated half dollar collection assembled in the modern day AU58 CAC collecting era. Much more will be published in the coming days as I fully absorb and appreciate the magnitude of this collecting achievement.

William Davenport is one of those numismatic clients that every dealer dreams of working with. Passionate, extremely knowledgeable, focused, and the finest of gentlemens accurate capture my relationsip with Bill.

About ten days ago, a email arrived from Bill indicating the desire to divest his exceptional lifetime collecting achievement. I was initially taken back but recovered quickly. Both individuals immediately went to work to accomplish this numismatic property transfer in an efficient manner.

The below image is becoming a GFRC tradition; photographing a major collection in its arriving raw state. I've pulled a few highlights from individual PCGS blue boxes. Those can be seen by clicking on the image and downloading a high resolution version. My apology for keeping Bill's coins in plastic sleeves for this image. GFRC's policy is to maintain TPG holder protection throughout the consignment and sale process with plastic sleeves.

Please continue monitoring the Daily Blog for Seal Beach Collection news. Once the entire collection is loaded into COIN system, the scrollable collection table insert will be enable at the upper right corner of the Daily Blog webpage. Sales strategy and First Right of Refusal sessions will be announced at some point next week. In the meantime, Blog readers can view the entire collection on the GFRC Open Set Registery. Just click on the following link.

Seal Beach Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection

 

Seal Beach Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection

William Davenport's Spectacular Lifetime Achievement

 

Global Financial News

Global equity markets may have found their footing in the near term. Based on the morning futures, all world-wide markets will be posting gains and much needed recoveries. Following are global market futures courtesy of Seeking Alpha.

In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong +5.1%. China +1.6%. India +5.8%.

In Europe, at midday, London +2.7%. Paris +6.1%. Frankfurt +4.8%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow +3.6%. S&P +3.2%. Nasdaq +4.7%. 

 

This opening Seeking Alpha headline sufficiently captures the efforts of global bankers and policy makers to mitigate the economic impacts of Covid-19.

Big gains were seen across every asset class overnight as policymakers pulled out all the stops and adopted a "whatever it takes" approach to mitigate economic fallout from COVID-19. The latest moves will see the Fed increase the access to dollars to global central banks grappling with liquidity shortages, while governments around the world pledged or are considering as much as $3T in fiscal support. Nasdaq futures jumped nearly 5% to hit a 'limit up' level on the news, while oil is ahead by 6% and gold is 2% higher. Don't forget that it's also quad witching day, which can lead to higher volatility and more trading volume.

China retail sales have plunged 20% to start the 2020 year leading to speculation of business closures and consolidations.

In what could be a harbinger of things to come in the U.S., almost half of China's listed retailers don't have enough cash to survive the next six months. "We expect smaller players to be more vulnerable due to tight working cash flow, and some players will exit the market, leading to a higher level of consolidation," said Jefferies analyst Mark Yuan. Data released Monday already showed that retail sales in the world's second largest economy plunged 20.5% in the first two months of the year, while China is also on guard for a second wave of infections.

I have a feeling that Nikki Haley will become a huge figure in United States politics in the not too distance future. One must applaud her conviction based action at Boeing.

Haley resigns from Boeing board. Citing her disagreement with any move to seek a federal bailout, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley is leaving Boeing's board. "I cannot support a move to lean on the federal government for a stimulus or bailout that prioritizes our company over others and relies on taxpayers to guarantee our financial position," said Haley, who has been in the role since Feb. 2019. "I have long held strong convictions that this is not the role of government."

Crude oil prices are showing some recovery but still remain very "fluid" at this time. Gold continues to hold its value as a safe haven asset. Bitcoin sees a huge overnight pricing increase. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury yield at quoting at 1.0%

Crude +7% to $27.72. Gold +2.1% to $1510.80. Bitcoin +22.2% to $6857.

Ten-year Treasury Yield -14 bps to 0.99%

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

As mentioned earlier in the Blog, I will be packing and shipping orders throughout the morning hours. Afternoon brings incremental description generation for the Long Distance Whitman Baltimore new purchases along with more image processing of a raw Seated lot from the Southern Texas collection. At GFRC, my goal is to provide new offerings that will support the collecting needs of a broad customer base.

During the coming weekend, attention shifts to the Murphys Liberty Seated half dollar collection as an opening act for the not too distance offering of the Seal Beach Liberty Seated half dollar collection. Please check the Blog frequently for the latest updates.

Thanks for checking in and please be safe by sheltering in place as much as possible.

 

 

 

March 19, 2020

To Upgrade or Not Upgrade

and

Rolling Out Great New Purchases!

Greetings again and welcome to more numismatic ramblings on a Thursday morning.

The day starts with considerable optimism. The rapid mobilization of United States public, private, and military assets to combat the Covid-19 pandemic reflects upon our country's entrepreneurial spirit and can do attitude. Financial markets hate uncertainty and are behaving as to be expected. Previously, they were priced to perfection in a hot economy. The ravaging of 401Ks will be a short event with one of the greatest market rallies arriving within months. Most important will be learnings concerning global supply chains across many industries. CEOs will have no choice but to bring back large components of their supply chains to the United States. Leading the way will be pharmaceutical companies towards a new high technology industrial boom.

Yes, I am most positive for the future of our great country.

 

To Upgrade or Not Upgrade - A Client Question

Tuesday brought a question from a fairly new GFRC consignor. I've been working with this individual for the past several years as his San Francisco focused collection continues to progress. His "to upgrade or not upgrade question" is spot on in terms of one of the key struggles that most collectors will face with their numismatic hobby.

Hi Gerry,

I am increasing facing a new puzzle in my collecting and I'm sure you have come across with other collectors (or maybe you've experienced this yourself).  My effort over the past year or two has been to upgrade coins in my collection.  On occasion I am faced with a difficult decision.  The decision revolves around keeping a really nice lower grade coin or trading up to a coin that is graded higher, and may exhibit some better characteristics than the lower grade coin, but maybe not have the appeal or beautiful toning that the lower grade coin has.

As an example, I have a Seated quarter graded by PCGS as AU58.  I consider it to be an exceptional piece.  The toning is truly beautiful.  It has almost mirrored field surfaces and a very good strike.  It must be graded AU58 because it has very slight wear on the chest, although Liberty's hairline seems passable for uncirculated.  

Now comes along an MS63 as a possible upgrade.  It may have nice toning and a great strike and greater design details (that are perceptible under magnification) but it is no more beautiful a coin than the 58.  Maybe even a little less so.

What kind of reasoning would you recommend be used in to making a decision for this upgrade?

For me, I do like the idea of having a higher grade coin - assuming, of course, that it deserves that higher grade.  I hate, though, to let go of the AU58 beauty.

What is a collector to do?  Any suggestions would be welcomed.

 

Many collecting journeys move from the assemblage of a circulated date and mintmark set to Mint State coins. This transition can be most challenging for several reasons.

A collector has spent years focused on circulated coins up through the AU58 grade level, probably due to affordability. The eyes are tuned for selecting nice original pieces with moderate amounts of wear. Luster is a consideration on AU level pieces but not the overriding purchase parameter. Original toning, mark free surfaces, and some amount of color consistency are primary selection criteria.

When transitioning one's collecting goal from AU to Mint State, have a serious discussion with yourself as to the core reason for that transition. Are you migrating to Mint State grades for Set Registry participation and ranking? Is luster and vibrant cartwheels becoming an important visual appreciation criteria? Are unabraded surfaces a critical collecting criteria? Is collecting at the Mint State level a natural progression of your hobby?

Following are a few points to consider.

- Firstly, moving into the Mint State realm requires an enhancement of grading skills. Mint State coins are graded based on luster, lack of rub, and the amount of surfaces abrasions and their location. Judging eye appeal between AU55/AU58 graded coins and those at the Mint State level should not change other than incorporating the impact of luster and cartwheel action under a bright light.

- Secondly, remember that just because a TPG designates a coin as being Mint States does not necessarily guarantee that the coin is truly uncirculated. I have seen many MS62 graded coins that have rub. After years of grade inflation, many MS62 graded coins are essentially AU58s with a bit more luster to justify the Mint State designation. Cracking out MS62 graded coins can be a dangerous game as some will come back as AU58s.

- Learning Mint State eye appeal is critical as many coins designated as Mint State are not overly pleasing. Mint State is a technical term which implies that a coin lacks circulation wear. Just as there are many ugly circulated coins, there are many not so attractive Mint State coins. Why pay a Mint State premier for a not so attractive coin?

- Use luster and cartwheel action as a primary evaluation parameter as they go hand in hand. Learn the different die preparation finishes that result in the varying types of luster; frosty, satiny, steely and mirrored.

- Strike becomes a more important evaluation criteria at the Mint State grade level. Typical frosty or mirrored surfaces provide unfeathered viewing access to the devices and their inherent beauty. Conversely, field marks are a negative especially in the primary viewing areas.

My advice is to assess Mint State coins against three evaluation criteria; strict originality, full strikes, and eye appeal. Toning patterns and the absence of abrasions come to play in the eye appeal component. Purchasing a Mint State coin, at a premium over comparable AUs, must bring enhanced visual benefits. It is no different than drinking a bar's house wine/liquor or moving to a specially aged or formulated offering. One is paying extra monies for perceived incremental pleasure.

When purchasing Mint State coins, follow my evaluation criteria plus your gut! If you have questions or a reluctance on a coin, just walk away. Never try to talk yourself into a purchase. Issues that create hesitance will be there to haunt you after the coin is acquired.

Don't be afraid to spend a premium for a coin that just blows you away. A purchase price is quickly forgotten as the esthetics provides years of viewing pleasure. I can't stress this last point enough!!!! When building my own Liberty Seated dime set, I purchased the finest pieces that arrived to market and paid premiums to secure those coins. If pricing is always a primary issue, you should not be collecting at the Mint State level. A reluctance to spend strongly on a premium coin will leave you with mediocre coins.

 

Rolling Out Great New Purchases!

I'm also most pleased to be sharing what is possible in terms of operational efficiencies at GFRC. Tuesday brought the arrival and purchase of a wonderful lot of new coins. Prior plans had been to review these offerings at the Whitman Baltimore show. Instead, selections were made via a phone call during the past weekend and an outgoing USPS Express shipment on Monday. Wednesday noon brought a photography session under cloudless Florida skies followed by a rapid image processing session during the afternoon hours. After dinner and the usual evening exercise session, Tuesday's new purchases were posted to the Blog as a preview gallery. By 11:00 pm ET, expected FRoR emails started to arrive.

What was the driving force behind GFRC's fast paced image processing capabilities? Honestly, the death of my backup Dell laptop! This laptop was being used as a crutch to support inefficient work processes. Once the laptop died, all image and website processing was consolidated on a single Dell laptop with modern applications; Dreamweaver 2019 and Photoscape X. The work process was also streamlined towards the minimization of wasted key strokes and time.

It gives me great pleasure to present a wonderful silver type coin lot for GFRC clients to enjoy and consider purchasing. I'm calling this gallery the Long Distance Whitman Baltimore New Purchases. Look for these lots to reach the price list starting this afternoon. In the meantime, First Rights of Refusals are advised.

 

Long Distance Whitman Baltimore New Purchases

1850 WB-4 NGC AU58 CAC 50C

                1862 PCGS MS67 CAC 5C                                           1837 Sm Date F-104 PCGS AU55 CAC 10C   

    

1840(O) Rev 1838 NGC AU53 50C - So Rare!                                  1873-CC Arrow PCGS EF45 CAC 50C        

    

1831 LM-5 PCGS AU53 H10C                      1837 Lg Date PCGS AU58 H10C                      1841 PCGS MS62 H10C   

            

            1842  PCGS AU58 CAC H10C                 1855-O PCGS AU53 CAC H10C           1837 Sm Date F-103 PCGS VF35 CAC 10C

            

1871 F-102a NGC MS62 CAC 10C                    1894 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C                     1856-S PCGS VG08 CAC 25C   

            

1858 PCGS AU58 CAC 25C                      1890 PCGS MS64 CAC 25C                      1914-D NGC MS63 CAC 25C

            

1838 RE PCGS EF45 CAC 50C                      1861-O W-15 PCGS EF45 50C

      

 

Global Financial News

Markets and commodities are swingly wildly each day. There is no use for commentary or analysis at this point. Let's limit this segment to a sharing of global equity market futures and the latest on commodity prices and interest rates.

In Asia, Japan -1%. Hong Kong -2.6%. China -1%. India -2%.

In Europe, at midday, London -1.4%. Paris +0.3%. Frankfurt -0.9%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow -1.5%. S&P -1.5%. Nasdaq -0.5%. Crude +13% to $23.53. Gold +0.3% to $1481.70. Bitcoin +8.5% to $5598.

Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps to 1.15%

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

I will be in the Venice office the entire day loading the balance of the Saw Mill Run Collection coins to the price list along with today's new purchases.

Due to the potential for disruptions in United States shipping systems, I will be slowing down the use of Quick Ship for the time being. These are not normal times and expecting USPS staff to operate flawlessly is becoming less tenable as the Covid-19 event expands into all industries. GFRC is ultimately responsible for the financial value of its shipments. Becoming proactive is probably a wise step at this point as I would hate to see expensive coins tied up in a remote post office location due to staffing issues.

Thank-you for visiting with me at the Blog.

 

 

March 18, 2020

Insourcing an Absolutely Exceptional Collection

and

New Purchases - Better Dates Liberty Seated Quarters

Greetings and welcome to the Blog on a Wednesday morning.

Tuesday brought a long day in the GFRC office but with productive results. Positive feedback from a few ardent readers arrived concerning recent Blog content. I'm doing my best to provide an alternative communication platform to maintain spirits as the Covid-19 event passes. Staying focused on our numismatic hobby is an opportunity. I will definitely continue to write as much as possible while sustaining the GFRC business.

 

A Lifetime Collection Arrives to the GFRC Office

Divesting a lifetime collection is a very serious and gut renching matter. For some of us, the decision may be equivalent to a divorce. A passionate numismatist spends a portion of a life searching out and constructing one of the finest collections on the planet. Finances, broad based searching, and peer networks must be established and sustained as part of the journey. That journey is a constant endeavour rather than a casual undertaking. The journey becomes much more challenging as time passes. The "common dates" are secured while the "rare" dates are buried in lifelong collections or quietly residing unknown in bank boxes.

Patience and persistence are mandatory for building a truly exceptional collection. I know this fact first hand as months leading to years can pass between upgrading events for my Liberty Seated dime set.

Tuesday brought the arrival of a lifetime collection to the GFRC office. The owner will be announced in Thursday's Blog after shipment contents are reviewed. Opening six USPS boxes and reviewing this collection is an absolute honor as a fellow numismatist. I wish to savor the moment and enjoy this lifetime collection in its entirety before shifting attention to the practical matter of insourcing into the COIN system.

Insourcing an Absolutely Exceptional Collection

Six USPS Express Box Shipment

 

GFRC Makes Substantial New Purchase

Astute readers will check the above image and note that there are seven USPS boxes rather than six. That is a correct observation. The seventh box contained an approval shipment from my favorite wholesale dealer. This shipment was opened during pre-dinner tequila time (Casamigos Reposado) and carefully reviewed with late afternoon sunlight in the lanai. What a pleasure as my favorite wholesaler has developed a keen sense for locating choice and gem early type coins consistent with my requirements. Our business relationship continues to grow along with an ever closer friendship.

The shipment contained 28 pieces including two most special consignments. After a post dinner health walk, we scheduled a late evening phone call to go over the coins and settle on a purchase price. GFRC purchased nearly 75% of the offering with about half the pieces being CAC approved. The two consigned pieces are truly special finds and will thrill Liberty Seated dime and half dollar collectors. Get ready for an awesome new Liberty Seated dime variety announcement in the coming days.

I will announce these new purchases in Thursday's Blog. Please check in early to ensure your chance at a potential FRoR.

 

Constant Flow of Quality Coins to GFRC Price List

I've set a personal goal of loading and sustaining at least 200 coin on the 30 day price list during our Covid-19 sheltering in place. Between composing the Daily Blog and maintaining a constant flow of new offerings, the GFRC community will have something to look forward to during each day's visit.

The Under Construction Collection consignment of Liberty Seated dimes is fully loaded to the price list. I'm still moving forward with the balance of the Saw Mill Run Collection quarters; those will be completed today.

Also reaching the price list last evening were two fine Liberty Seated purchases as illustrated next. The 1869-S is a special offering for its grade, but also being a very early die state with reflective surfaces and no traces of the typical obverse radial die crack. The 1878-S quarter date has my respect as few come to market and rarely last for more than a week on the price list. The example is crusty original and so close to a Choice quality rating. The 1869-S offering is already on hold.

Two Better Date San Francisco Seated Quarters

1869-S PCGS EF45 25C                                                             1878-S PCGS VF35 25C

    

 

Global Financial News

Another ugly trading day awaits global equity markets after a brief recovery on Tuesday. Following are the morning futures with substantial losses forecasted on all continents. Commodity prices and the long bond interest rate are also seeing wide gyrations. Predicting the future of the United States economy, and that of Europe, has become impossible. Investors are moving to cash to ride out the Covid-19 hurricane. We can expect continued volality in the equity markets for another month.

In Asia, Japan -1.7%. Hong Kong -4.2%. China -1.8%. India -6.1%.

In Europe, at midday, London -4.9%. Paris -4.7%. Frankfurt -4.8%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow -3.9%. S&P -3.7%. Nasdaq -4.4%. Crude -5% to $25.61. Gold -1.5% to $1503.30. Bitcoin flat at $5234.

Ten-year Treasury Yield +1 bps to 1.12%

Yes, crude oil prices are down to $25.61/bbl. Spot gold prices are back above the $1500/oz mark and will probably move higher in the coming days as margin coverage selling runs its course. Demand for U.S. 10 Year Treasury bonds is waning as the yield has climbed to 1.12%.

The following Seeking Alpha headline captures today's ongoing roller-coaster ride.

Wall Street is continuing its unprecedented roller-coaster ride amid the coronavirus turmoil, with stock index futures plunging about 4% overnight to enter "limit down" territory once again. In fact, the S&P 500 has swung 4% or more in either direction for the last seven consecutive sessions, topping the previous record of six days from November 1929. The latest? Traders are having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the government response to COVID-19 fallout still unfolding, while crude just dropped another 5% to $25/bbl amid an oil price war.

Emergency stimulus to the United States economy is being championed by Steven Mnuchin. This amount of stimulus would have been unimaginable just one month ago.

Markets rebounded from their deepest rout since 1987 on Tuesday as the White House weighed a fiscal package of more than $1T that includes helicopter cash for Americans and financial relief to small businesses and the airline industry. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said corporations will be able to defer tax payments of up to $10M, while individuals could defer up to $1M in payments to the IRS. Adding to the sentiment, the Fed announced it would reopen the so-called Commercial Paper Funding Facility, a key market backstop first set up during the last financial crisis.

The Covid-19 pandemic is that black swan event that will take the globe into recession.

Global recession is here. Economists at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have joined the chorus of other Wall Street prognosticators to declare that COVID-19 has pushed the global economy into recession. It won't be as steep as the 0.8% contraction of 2009, according to the IMF's measure, but would be worse than the 2001 and early 1990s recessions. In related news, Mnuchin warned of 20% American unemployment without federal action, while today's Fed meeting was canceled following the central bank's emergency actions.

Now that China has survived Covid-19, the Communist Party is attempting to re-write history and lay blame on others for the virus' origination. The current posturing by the Chinese Communist Party (and Xi JinPing as defacto emperor) is a wake-up call to American industries who have relocated entire supply chains into mainland China.

China moves to expel American journalists. Echoing the NBA-China controversy that blew up last October, Beijing said it would expel American journalists working in the country for The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. It continues a tit-for-tat fight that began in February after the Journal ran an opinion article entitled, China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia. In response, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo imposed a cap on the number of employees permitted to work for Chinese government-controlled media organizations in the U.S. (down to 100, from 160).

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Wednesday brings another long day in the GFRC office. Morning hours bring ongoing shipments followed by a host of activities throughout the day and evening hours. Please keep checking the Blog and price list for new offerings. Forthcoming are yesterday's new purchases and the launching of the Murphys Collection Liberty Seated half dollar sale.

In between major sales, I will also be adding lower priced coins to the price list to ensure that the entire GFRC customer spectrum can find something for their collections.

Thank-you for checking in at the Blog. Please be safe! Together, we will get through the next 45-60 challenging days.

 

 

 

March 17, 2020

Stay Sane - Focus on Coins, Not the Evening News!

and

Saw Mill Run Collection - Wonderful Liberty Seated Quarter Offerings

Greetings on a Tuesday morning and welcome to another edition of the Daily Blog.

Frankly, the GFRC business is a blessing at this time. Why? The business allows me to stay busy and extremely focused while sheltering in place. Diane and I are following our usual routine in the office along with evening drinks on the lanai prior to dinner. We take turns with enjoying health walks and quick no nonsense trips to purchase groceries or getting the daily GFRC shipping into the USPS system.

What I am NOT DOING is spending time on online media websites or watching the evening network news. Diane is not so disciplined resulting in my listening to last evening's NBC News reporting while stuffing the dish washer. "Alarmist snipets" is the best term I can conjure to describe the "reporting".

All in life must be absorbed and considered in some type of context. Context is a function of the time taken for self education. Without basic knowledge of trending and statistics, a datapoint can be manipulated into any type of messaging that the provider chooses. News outlets are businesses that survive on ratings. Higher ratings = higher advertising revenues.

Len Augsburger sent along the following link that he is using to track the Covid-19 outbreak in the United States and to compare with that in other countries. I suggest that Blog readers adopt this online information source to monitor our health emergency and to shelter in place if retired or in the higher at risk groups. Keep information in context. Remember, that on average, about 100 Americans die in car accidents each day.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

Using the glass half full analogy, there are positive aspects to consider.

First is that the United States is on the tail end of the Covid-19 outbreak. We've had time to study the flu's contagious nature and how it spread in China, then South Korea, followed by the European Union countries. Japan has done an outstanding job is controlling the outbreak given a compliant culture. China screwed up badly by hiding the outbreak for at least a month in the city of Wuhan followed by cases and deaths being under reported. The United States governments, federal and local, are reacting quickly and taking the right actions. We should take comfort in this fact and be highly supportive.

Second is the arrival of spring and the traditional waning of the typical flu season. Here in West Coast Florida, daily temperatures are already in the mid 80s. There have only been four cases reported in two counties that span Sarasota down to Port Charlotte. We are blessed considering the elderly populations within this area.

The news media operates in the glass half empty mode.

Stoking fear drives people to be glued to their television sets or desktop computers as if the event is one massive reality show. Snipets taking out of context, questioning worst case scenarios, and securing emotional testimonies are hallmarks of certain media outlets. Don't fall prey to their techniques. Focus on activities that provide positive reinforcements and a sense of well being. Life will be back to normal shortly. I'm expecting to be exhibiting at the Summer Baltimore show followed by the Summer FUN show in Orlando.

 

Saw Mill Run Collection - Wonderful Liberty Seated Quarter Offerings

As promised, I will be adding a continous flow of new offerings to the Blog followed by price list posting.

Today brings a wonderful selection of Liberty Seated duplicates from the Saw Mill Run Collection. The 1849-O and 1864-S pieces were showcased in Monday's Blog edition with current FRoRs on both. The balance of the consignment is now illustrated for review and purchase. I've already loaded a portion of the offerings to the price list and should have the entire lot posted by end of day.

When experienced collectors divest duplicates, the Liberty Seated collecting community should take notice. I'm expecting a reasonable sales rate during the balance of this week.

Saw Mill Run Collection - New Liberty Seated Quarter Offerings

1849-O PCGS EF40 25C                                                            1864-S PCGS EF40 25C

    

1841-O  PCGS VF25 25C                            1843-O PCGS VF35 25C                            1844-O PCGS EF40 25C

            

1847 DDR  PCGS AU53 25C                            1853-O NGC EF40 CAC 25C                            1855-O PCGS EF40 25C    

            

1861 II/II  PCGS AU50 25C                            1866-S PCGS VG10 CAC 25C                       1868-S PCGS VF20 25C    

            

1869-S PCGS VF35 25C                                1871 PCGS AU55 25C                                1877-S PCGS MS65 25C

            

1890  PCGS VF35 CAC 25C                         1891-S PCGS AU55 CAC 25C

       

 

Arriving to the GFRC Venice Office Today

Today brings a massive USPS Express box delivery to the GFRC office. I am expecting seven boxes total $350,000 in insured value to appear before 3:00 pm. The shipments include one collector's magnificent lifetime collection that will be formally announced on Wednesday or Thursday. Also included in today's delivery is an approval lot from my favorite wholesaler. If we can't meet face to face in Baltimore, there are other approaches towards maintaining a steady flow of great new coins into GFRC inventory.

 

Global Financial News

We are now in a period of extreme market volatility and best to ignore one's portfolio until excessive fear/greed trading ramps down. Following is where we stand with respect to global market futures, commodities, and the long bond interest rate. Gold prices tanked yesterday as the safe haven is being sold to raise cash to cover other losses. Crude oil is trading under $30/bbl.

In Asia, Japan +0.1%. Hong Kong +0.9%. China -0.3%. India -2.6%.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.9%. Paris -0.7%. Frankfurt -1%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow +1%. S&P +1%. Nasdaq +2.2%. Crude +1.6% to $29.16. Gold -1% to $1472.30. Bitcoin +16.4% to $5295.

Ten-year Treasury Yield +9 bps to 0.82%

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

I will be in the Venice office the entire day. Morning hours brings the balance of St. Patrick's Day sale Quick Ships along with regular orders. The afternoon brings the arrival of previously mentioned USPS Express shipments. In between those events are the usual price list loadings and photography sessions.

Next in the GFRC consignment queue is the Murphys Collection. Blog readers can expect to see highlights in a few days.

Thank-you for checking in and please be safe. I will be back tomorrow with the usual ramblings and a new purchase announcement.

 

 

 

 

March 16, 2020

St. Patrick's Day Sale Wrap-up

and

Saw Mill Run Collection - Key Date Highlights

Greetings and welcome to the Blog on a Monday morning.

Where do I start with today's edition given that most readers are probably overwhelmed with Covid-19 links on their favorite news outlets?

If reader's don't mind, I will stay focused on numismatics as a diversion and/or vehicle for anxiety relief. Staying mentally balanced with anxiety reduction activities is warranted during a "crisis". We are where we are with little in our control at this point. Everyone understands to constantly wash their hands if venturing outside of a home. Social distancing is the newly coined buzz phrase that will enter our culture on a permanent basis. My humble goal is to continue providing numismatic comfort within each Blog edition. Please forgive me if you believe that my ramblings should be more Covid-19 centric.

 

St. Patrick's Day Sale Wrap-up

It was a great sale! Interestingly, the 2020 St. Patrick's Day participation rate was inverted as compared to prior events. Usually, there is an initial rush of orders during the first 12-24 hours (Friday early morning hours and daytime) followed by a quiet Saturday. Sunday brings a final sales uptick as the event comes to a close.

The reality of the 2020 St. Patrick's Day was exactly opposite. The early hours of Friday morning brought two orders with that slow pace continuing through the day. Saturday's order rate was consistent with past events. I was resigned to sponsoring the weakest GFRC sales event ever once Saturday evening arrived. How I was surprised when Sunday brought a huge surge in orders that was sustained into the late afternoon hours.

When the dust settled, the 2020 St. Patrick's Day weekend sale turned out to be nearly record breaking. Many consignors will be pleased with results when disclosed via COIN account reports. Following are a few statistics;

- Three day sales totaled nearly $35,000

- 64 coins were sold including 9 contemporary counterfeits

- 25 consignors had at least one coin sold

- The prize for most popular consignor is shared between the New Jersy Collection consignor (Seated halves) and the Coney Collection (contemporary counterfeits)

The next annual GFRC sale will be the Christmas in August Sale but much water must flow under the bridge before we get to that point in time.

A sincere thank-you goes out to consignors for your price reduction planning efforts and communicating those reductions exactly as requested. A thank-you also goes out to the broad number of clients who took advantage of reduced prices and made purchases.

Monday and Tuesday bring a substantial amount of Quick Ship packages. I'm so relieved to not be driving 14 hours from Venice Florida to Baltimore tomorrow morning. St. Patrick's Day sale shipping can take place across several days.

 

Under Construction Collection - Liberty Seated Dimes Loading to Price List

Sunday also brought another pleasant event; an email from the Under Construction consignor with his feedback on pricing recommendations. After a quick back and forth, offer prices were finalized. I took the liberty to start posting a few Under Construction dimes to the price list late in the day on Sunday. Clients noted this and brought more First Rights of Refusal to my attention during the evening hours.

Look for the entire Under Construction Collection offering to post to the price list by end of today.

 

An Exceptional Lifetime Collection Ships to GFRC Today

Get ready for a substantial consigned collection announcement in a few days. This collection will dwarf all that have been handled by GFRC since its inception in early 2014. Yes, that includes the memorable Iowa Collection, Sunset Point Collection, Dr. Glenn Peterson Collection, Labelman87 Collection, and recently, the Lenny Rizzo Collection.

Today's shipment requires six USPS Express boxes for transport. Once the collection has arrived to the Venice office, I will make a grand announcement in the Blog.

 

Here Comes Another Saw Mill Run Collection Installment

If not busy enough with the St. Patrick's Day sale, Sunday also brought image processing for the latest Saw Mill Run Collection consignment. I'm pleased to be sharing the following consignment highlights. The Saw Mill Run consignor has been a close friend and key GFRC advisor. His insights were important during the GFRC business model definition. We also share the same birthday that arrives in less than a week.

The latest Saw Mill Run consignment was partially transferred at the Atlanta ANA show followed by the balance arriving last week via USPS. The divestment totals sixteen Liberty Seated quarters spanning the entire series. All have been photographed with image processing partially completed. I made a point last evening of wrapping up processing for the two key date offerings in the lot. These are featured below to kick-off this sale.

The arrival of any 1849-O Seated quarter to market is noteworthy. This EF40 example is absolutely original and deserved serious attention. To further increase the importance of this sale, how about adding in an 1864-S specimen that is also graded EF40 and a nice match to the 1849-O. During the overnight hours, a FRoR arrived on the 1864-S and rightly so!

Look for the entire Saw Mill Run Collection client gallery to post to the Blog on Tuesday evening on a preview basis for Wednesday's edition.

Saw Mill Run Collection - Liberty Seated Quarter Key Dates

1849-O PCGS EF40 25C                                                            1864-S PCGS EF40 25C

    

 

Global Financial News

Ugly and chaotic are the operative words for global financial markets. The large Federal Reserve interest rate cut has spooked traders. Investors must face the combination of the United States entering into the world of zero interest rates, unpredictable corporate earnings, and crude oil prices at $30/bbl.

Here is a look at global market futures and commodity prices as of 6:20 am per Seeking Alpha newsletter. Little needs to be said at this point as we are in for another rough day in the markets. Already, the S&P 500 futures has triggered another circuit breaker to limit opening trading.

In Asia, Japan -2.5%. Hong Kong -4%. China -3.4%. India -8%.

In Europe, at midday, London -6.7%. Paris -9%. Frankfurt -8.1%.

Futures at 6:20, Dow -4.6%. S&P -4.8%. Nasdaq -4.6%. Crude -5.4% to $29.98. Gold +0.6% to $1525.80. Bitcoin -12.6% to $4555.

Ten-year Treasury Yield -17 bps to 0.78%

Here are several Seeking Alpha headlines that capture financial market developments.

S&P 500 futures triggered another 'limit down' trading halt overnight after tumbling 5%, even after the Fed embarked on a massive monetary stimulus campaign to cushion the U.S. economy from the coronavirus pandemic. Interest rates were slashed to near zero, while the central bank said it would buy $700B in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities. It's also letting banks borrow from the discount window for as long as 90 days and reducing reserve requirement ratios to zero percent.

Investors are spooked by the Federal Reserve rate cut.

Why the selloff? "It's basically using up all [the Fed's] ammunition within a three-week span. And there’s nothing left,” said Terence Wong, CEO of Azure Capital. "The policy response is so strong, it's likely to spook investors," added Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading. Many investors also want to see coronavirus cases peaking and falling in the U.S. before it is safe to take on risk and buy equities again, while there's concern about earnings for 2020 and a potential recession.

Economic numbers out of China provide an insight into coronavirus mitigation impacts to the world's second largest economy.

Will COVID-19 hurt more than the financial crisis? Data from China overnight provided a first glimpse of what the coronavirus can do to an economy amid a prolonged quarantine of millions of people. Industrial output tumbled by 13.5% and total retail sales plunged by 20.5% Y/Y in January and February, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The urban unemployment rate surged to 6.2% in February, the highest level ever reported, and fixed asset investment slumped by 24.5% (down from 5.4% in the prior period).

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

If I step back and view what is happening in the United States media and in financial markets, it is apparent that modern society is on information overload with excessive amplification. Can you imagine the Pearl Harbor attack if taking place in today's juiced up information environment?

My advice to Blog readers? Just look the other way when approaching a bad car wreck on a highway. The chaos will pass within 30-45 days.

Today brings a quiet day in the GRFC office shipping St. Patrick's Day sale orders following by loading the Under Construction Collection consignment to the price list.

Thanks for checking in at the Blog. I promise to return tomorrow with more ramblings.

 

 

 

March 15, 2020

Final Day of the St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale

and

Great CAC Approved Port Matilda Offerings

Greetings and welcome to the Blog on the final day of the St. Patrick's Day Weekend sale.

I'm sitting in the GFRC office and wondering what I might say to comfort readers given the madness that the online media has become. Every major news outlet has become the who's who of Covid-19 contractions. It appears that plain folks just want to know if their favorite personalities have contracted the coronavirus flu and clicking on links.

My advice to readers? Stay away from your favorite "news" website and focus on hobbies or that book you've been meaning to read for several years. Since nearly all Blog readers are passionate about their numismatic hobby (else you would not be reading the Blog), consider spending time with collection(s) and planning hypothetical acquisition or sale strategies. Rank your coins in terms of the most desirable down to the least appreciated. Determine the characteristics of those that you thoroughly enjoy owning and the negatives of those that you dislike. What might you do with the least appreciated? Consider selling those to raise capital for adding incremental "favorite" pieces during the coming year!

My point is that events like a multi-day snowstorm or self quarantine due to a virus have a silver lining. The events enable a slowing of modern life and appreciating quiet activities that we never seem to have enough time for. If old enough to recall life prior to the computer and internet age, try to remember how we passed time and found gratification. Personally, my coin collection and reading mystery books (how I enjoyed Sr. Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie) consumed endless hours. As I grew older with sufficient finances, critical music listening became another passion with evenings spent with 33 rpm album covcr graphics.

The Covid-19 event will quickly pass. Consider that 30-45 days in a lifetime is brief. Each of us controls the personal anxiety knob; so let's devise strategies to dial that knob back to a low level. Find comfort with family and just stay home if possible. This one action is probably the best gift to society. As people to people interactions decrease, so does the probabilty of sharing the virus. People quickly understood what NOT TO DO during the AIDS epidemic and the same applies during this flu type event.

With the Whitman Baltimore coin show and now, the Central States show canceled, I will be working in the Venice Florida office for the next six weeks. The GFRC office will become the classic "electronic cottage". The Blog will be written daily including a constant flow of new offerings. Already, I have made arrangements with my favorite wholesaler for a buying event via USPS Express shipment rather than a face to face meeting in Baltimore. The GFRC consignment window is wide open for those who wish to divest duplicates or an entire collection. On the buying side, GFRC will be posting new offerings on a continuous basis and shipping daily. As long as our local UPS Store and the USPS Venice Island office remains open, GFRC will be shipping orders.

 

Final Day of the St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale

If planning to participate in the St. Patrick's Day weekend sale, today is your last chance. The sale closes at 9:00 pm ET with offer prices returning to pre-sale levels.

Saturday sales were as expected and I'm looking forward to increased purchases today. Your purchases are thoroughly appreciated by myself and the host of participating consignors.

 

Great CAC Approved Port Matilda Offerings

Following is a newly consigned lot from the Port Matilda Collection. These pieces arrived the day before leaving for the Atlanta ANA show. Saturday brought photography and image processing towards an evening client gallery display in the Blog.

You must agree that this Port Matilda Collection offering is high on the eye appeal scale. The U.S. gold is particularly attractive with perfectly original coloring and surfaces. My favorite piece in the lot is the 1854 PCGS AU50 CAC $10 eagle with crusty green-gold coloring. The 1878-S $5 half eagle is obviously undegraded at the assigned EF45 grade level and worthy of a CAC gold bean. The 1881, 1891, and 1896 Indian cents are a wonderful matched set and could be the nucleus of a new collection for not a lot of money.

New Port Matilda Collection Consignment - CAC is the Rule!

1866-S PCGS VF30 CAC G$2.5                                                   1847 PCGS AU55 CAC OGH G$5

    

1878-S PCGS EF45 GOLD CAC OGH G$5                                             1854 PCGS AU50 CAC G$10          

    

 1881 PCGS MS64BN CAC 1C                      1891 PCGS MS64BN CAC 1C                      1896 PCGS MS64BN CAC 1C

            

 1900 PCGS AU58 CAC 25C                      1841-O PCGS VF30 CAC 50C

      

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Guess what? I will be in the GFRC office during the entire day.

My response time to the last of the St. Patrick's Day sale orders will be prompt. The Port Matilda Collection offerings will be posted to the price list. Image processing will be initiated for a great Liberty Seated quarter lot from the Saw Mill Run Collection along with photographing the Murphys Collection Seated halves.

Thank-you for checking in at the Blog on a peaceful Sunday morning. Be well!

 

 

 

March 14, 2020

Hey Mister! There's a St. Patrick's Day Sale Going On!

and

Bringing More Consignments to the Price Lists

Greetings and welcome to the Blog on a Saturday morning. The past week has been a dramatic roller coaster ride given stock market losses, the panic surrounding coronavirus, along with the Saudis and Russia crushing oil prices.

Friday's St. Patrick's Day sale results were initially anemic but ramped throughout the day. Overall Day 1 sales were respectable given the social and financial distractions. If GFRC sales history repeats itself, Saturday will be a quiet sale day since most targeted coins were purchased on Friday. Sunday usually brings an uptick in sales as those who procrastinated finally make purchase decisions.

 

Have CAC Standards Changed?

Before I go further with this topic, some readers will probably cry "sour grapes" on my part. That is fine but someone has to call out situations in the numismatic market as they are observed. By now, readers are use to my outspoken nature.

CAC results for the Lenny Rizzo Collection and now, the Murphy's Collection have me scratching my head. The Murphy Collection results arrived late Friday afternoon. GFRC went 4/36 after carefully screening a submission on the basis of accurate grading, strict originality and eye appeal. This is not my first rodeo with respect to CAC submissions. I'm sensing a change in standards as most disappointed by the Murphy Collection submission outcome. CAC was also too tough on several of the Rizzo collection pieces, especially the 1859-O quarter that should have been an instant approval.

Dan and I have also submitted some awesome gold recently and find ourselves bewildered with the results.

CAC is going through an obvious business upgrade with CDN partnership and now, a remodeled website. Have standards been tightened in advance of additional steps to capitalize the CAC business? Is CAC undergoing a shift in standards as a result of increasing reviewing staff and erring on the side of caution? The CAC website has become a revenue source after initiating advertising by the largest numismatic dealers. Is the CAC business being positioned for potential sale, thus a tightening of standards to limit populations?I believe these are fair question worth asking given CAC's market impact.

There is no question that the numismatic market is shifting demand attention to CAC approved coins. I face this challenge each day when conducting retail sales. More and more collectors are demanding only CAC approved coins. By default, those coins without CAC approval, are seen as being "inferior" by many. The CDN alliance has cemented CAC premiums in The CAC Rare Coin Market Review. Those premiums must be managed.

No, this is not "sour grapes", but rather observations by someone who is constantly benchmarking those in the numismatic market. I believe these questions are fair game at this point in time.

 

Bringing More Consignments to the Price Lists

Many smaller dealers count on the three annual Baltimore shows for generating revenues and operating gross margins. The cancellation of the Whitman Baltimore has left many of us with a challenge; recovering Spring Baltimore sales via our online platforms. In the coming week, GFRC customers will see a substantial amount of new offerings reaching the Blog and online price lists. How I wish to locate the Under Construction consignor towards loading his coins to the price list.....

Following is a nice lot of offerings from three separate consignors. Look for these to post to the price list after completing morning shipping.

Quality Consigned Offerings to Consider!

1835 JR-6 PCGS AU53 10C - Ex. Gorman                                             1873-CC F-101 PCGS VG08 10C       

    

1856 LD F-101  PCGS AU53 10C                      1873 WA PCGS EF40 CAC 10C                      1886  F-101 PCGS MS62 10C

            

1852 Briggs 1-A PCGS F12 CAC 25C                      1853 A&R PCGS EF45 25C                      1853 A&R PCGS EF40 25C     

            

1864  PCGS VG10 CAC 25C                           1869-S PCGS F12 25C                              1870 PCGS VG08 25C   

            

 

Murphys Liberty Seated Half Dollar Collection - Upcoming Sale

With 34 Liberty Seated halves from the Murphys Collection arriving back to the Venice office today, the time has come to plan the sale.

As mentioned previously, the Murphys Liberty Seated half dollar collection includes all San Francisco dates, less the 1878-S, all Carson City dates, and the low mintage Philadelphia dates from 1879 through 1891. Grades range from VG08 to AU58 with the typical grade being VF35-EF45.

Sunday will bring a long photography session to capture the entire Murphys Collection. Secondly, I will load the collection into the COIN system and turn-on the special Daily Blog feature that itemizes forthcoming collections. That scrollable table can be found in the upper right corner of the Blog when enabled. Look for that table to appear early next week.

Another First Right of Refusal event will be scheduled in the near term for the Murphy's Collection. The FRoR approach employed for the Lenny Rizzo Collection worked quite well and will again be used, probably towards the end of the coming week. Scheduling the event at noon ET allowed a broader participation rate including those on the West Coast.

Once the St. Patrick's Day Sale is wrapped up and Murphys Collection photography is completed, I will be in a position to forecast available time and a targeted FRoR event date.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

This morning brings several Quick Ship packages for initial St. Patrick's Day Sale purchases along with a few regular orders. Afterwards, today's featured offerings will be posted.

Besides the Murphy's Collection, GFRC has just received important consignments from the Saw Mill Run and Port Matilda Collections. Predictably, the Saw Mill Run Collection offerings are Liberty Seated quarters while the Port Matilda Collection lot is all CAC approved type. I will do my best to get these photographed and posted to the price list starting on Monday.

Thanks for checking in at the Blog and wishing everyone a safe and healthy day. The Covid-19 panic will be over in less than a month as testing ramps and most businesses and individuals take steps for social distancing. This pandemic has received unprecedented media coverage with some biased reporting. Clickbait links are rampant. Blog readers should keep this in mind.

I look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday morning.

 

 

 

March 13, 2020

GFRC St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale Underway

and

Whitman Baltimore Show is Cancelled!

Greetings on a Friday morning and welcome to the St. Patrick's Day weekend sale. I just realized that today is Friday the 13th.

A sincere thank-you goes out to the steady readership that checks in each day. Hopefully, those visits are worthwhile and promptly you to share the Daily Blog link (or URL) with a friend. Of course, the Blog is a GFRC marketing tool but also much more. Community building, numismatic education, and common sense commentary on current events can be expected as I ramble through each edition.

 

GFRC St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale Underway

Honestly, the St. Pat's Day sale is off to a slow start due to the many social and financial distractions that are upon us. Thursday's equity market sell-off was staggering. The spreading Covid-19 virus and lack of doctor office testing results in mass cancellations of public, sporting, and private events. Numismatics is a hobby for those with time to study and appreciate new purchases along with having sufficient financial resources to absorb those acquisitions. Large drops in retirement accounts and uncertain disposable incomes will lead to cautious spending. This is to be expected during a period of substantial anxiety.

 

Whitman Baltimore Show is Cancelled!

On Thursday afternoon, the Whitman staff announced the cancellation of the Baltimore show that was scheduled for next week. The Stacks Pogue Sales are moving to California. The cancellation resulted from a state of emergency declaration by Maryland governor Larry Hogan. The Baltimore Convention Center must be closed to limit people gatherings towards thwarting Covid-19 community spread.

GFRC, and its Spring Show staff, are relieved with the Whitman decision. Len and Ken are staying put in Chicago and Houston. As a result of not traveling to Baltimore next week, GFRC will enjoy an unexpected extra week in the Venice office. This office time will be used to process and post a substantial amount of newly consigned offerings that have accumulated as backlog.

 

Forthcoming Major Collection Divestment Announcement

Please keep monitoring the Blog for a special consignment announcement in the coming weeks! I have been in communication with an extraordinary gentleman on handling the divestment of an exceptional collection. Yes, his collection warrants every superlative that I can locate in the dictionary. GFRC has worked closely with this individual for years towards building a superb assemblage of Liberty Seated coinage. If current plans are executed to schedule, the GFRC community can expect a formal announcement in about two week's time.

 

Where oh Where is the Under Construction Collection Consignor?

Unfortunately, the Under Construction Collection consignor is not responding to my emails concerning consignment pricing approval. For those who have First Rights of Refusals on this individual's Liberty Seated dime offerings, I seek your patience. The FRoRs are recorded and will be responded to once contact is made with the consignor. It has been one of those weeks...

 

Important San Francisco Struck Dates to Consider!

Since re-opening the GFRC consignment window in February, consignments have been arriving on a steady basis.

The following gallery captures San Francisco mint issues within consignments from three different individuals. Presenting offerings by a common theme might match the collecting goals of certain customers and might just bring more attention. Therfore, let's give it a try!

This gallery is replete with difficult San Francisco dates at attractive collector grades. We open the display with a most important 1896-S Barber quarter at a desirable EF45 grade level. This offering is housed in a PCGS Gen 6.0 holder with the serial number indicating fresh grading. The remaining device details and overall eye appeal are consistent with conservative grading; there is value here! Up next are important Liberty Seated dime offerings; 1859-S PCGS VF30 CAC and an 1872-S graded AU55. Both are noteworthy opportunities.

Important San Francisco Struck Dates to Consider!

1896-S PCGS EF45 25C - Key Date

1859-S F-101 PCGS VF30 CAC 10C                                                  1872-S F-101 PCGS AU55 10C    

    

1910-S PCGS AU55 10C                                                               1860-S NGC G06 25C     

    

        1867-S PCGS VF35 25C                                                               1917-S Type 2 PCGS AU58 25C     

    

 

Global Financial News

The situation across global equity markets is just plain ugly after yesterday's huge losses. Even spot gold and Bitcoin could not avoid the carnage as investors needed to sell safe haven gold to balance growing losses in equities. Following are a series of Seeking Alpha headlines that brings the volatility into proper focus. The Baby Boomers have been through these market events in the past and recognize that the financial storms will clear in the coming months. The current market may be an extraordinary buying opportunity for those who are sitting on cash.

Volatility is returning to Wall Street after the major averages suffered their worst sessions since the "Black Monday" market crash in 1987. Dow futures started the night indicating an opening loss of 700 points at the lows, but are now pointing to gains of 900 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures are ahead by 4.3% and 4.7%, respectively. Coronavirus uncertainty quickly morphed into panic on Thursday as the S&P 500 plummeted 9.5%, joining the Dow (which fell 2,300 points) in a bear market. The plunge also highlighted the diminishing ability of stimulus to dampen shockwaves as the Fed announced over $1T in repo operations, while the ECB expanded its asset purchase program by €120B.

Following are global market futures as of 6:20 am ET. U.S traders may be signaling that markets are presently oversold due to Covid-19 disruption fears.

In Asia, Japan -6%. Hong Kong -1.1%. China -1.2%. India +4%.
In Europe, at midday, London +4.7%. Paris +4.5%. Frankfurt +3.8%.
Futures at 6:20, Dow +4.3%. S&P +4.3%. Nasdaq +4.7%.

Irrational Saudi and Russian behaviors are crushing the crude oil market.

Despite a 5% rise this morning to $33/barrel, crude oil is set to record a nearly 21% drop this week, marking the worst week since the financial crisis (it's down almost 50% YTD). Just as travel bans, canceled events and other coronavirus disruptions eat into demand, Russia and the Saudis are also digging in deeper in their oil price war. Even safe-haven assets such as gold and bonds were ditched to cover losses in yesterday's wipeout, while Bitcoin fell as much as 50% in two days.

The global airline industry is in crisis mode.

"Without a lifeline from governments we will have a sectoral financial crisis," according to the International Air Transport Association, which called for extending lines of credit to airlines, reducing infrastructure costs and cutting taxes. IATA last week estimated that the crisis could wipe out some $113B of industry revenue, in a forecast that did not include the U.S. clampdown on European travel. "There is a heightened concern there will be increased airline bankruptcies in 2020 given the fallout from the coronavirus," added Cowen analyst Helane Becker. "We expect some governments to step in to help some airlines, but ultimately we expect more airlines to fail this year than last year."

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Anxieties and fear are presently the rule for many. Here in the GFRC office, it is just another day supporting clients and adding consignments to the price list. I'm hoping for a reasonable St. Patrick's Day weekend sale but initial response has been limited. GFRC is very well capitalized and will continue to operate per normal. There is sufficient consignment backlog to keep me busy for weeks!

Please do consider a purchase during the sales event or from the regular price list. Consignments continue to be solicited. I'm just an email or phone call away.

Thanks for checking in on Friday 13th!

 

 

 

March 12, 2020

Whitman Baltimore Show Attendance Update

and

St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale Arrives at Midnight

Greetings and welcome to the Blog on a Thursday morning.

 

Whitman Baltimore Show Attendance Update

The past 24 hours have brought serious contemplation concerning the Whitman Baltimore show. In between loading St. Patrick's Day sale pricing discounts, I was on the phone or conducting email discussions with the extended GFRC staff along with David Perkins. The subject was the Whitman Baltimore show and whether the show should/will be cancelled. If not cancelled, what should be the GFRC and DPN attendance decision since we have a prominent booth footprint on the bourse floor?

As of this morning, GFRC is waiting for a Whitman statement given that Washington DC is now under a state of emergency. Covid-19 cases are being diagnosed in Maryland and Virginia as testing ramps. The Whitman show is still one week away. In one week's time, a broader picture of the virus' community spread will become apparent. It is doubtful that retail customers will be risking travels to Baltimore to attend a large gathering coin show. If there will be no anticipated retail demand, the need for retail dealers is negated. GFRC falls into that category.

Since my top concern is for the health and safety of GFRC staff and close friends, planning is underway to conduct pre-planned Whitman Baltimore show transactions on a remote basis. I will be most surprised if the show is held per schedule and currently working under the assumption that it will be cancelled.

 

GFRC St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sales Event is Ready

I'm pleased to report that the GFRC St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale event is ready to launch at midnight. There are approximately 430 lots available at discounts ranging from 8% to 50% off.

The St. Patrick's Day sale is an important opportunity for the GFRC community including consignors and collectors. It is well known that GFRC does little if any wholesale trade with other dealers. Given this fact, my outlet for aged inventory is the GFRC customer base. Why not reward loyal GFRC customers with great values several times per year? Regardless of all the pricing guides and grading services, the numismatic hobby is still a subjective retail environment. GFRC inventory spans offerings that are promptly acquired by collectors while others will sit in inventory for several years due to a host of reasons. Lack of demand, incorrect pricing, and/or insufficient eye appeal are typical reasons for a coin languishing in GFRC inventory. The GFRC sales events are an opportunity to readjust pricing points towards locating the appropriate buyers.

I spent most of Wednesday (when not contemplating Whitman Baltimore attendance) loading consignor discounting instructions into the COIN system followed by debugging the sale offerings. The number of St. Patrick's Day offerings is down from the Black Friday sale, however the quality and grade levels of the discounted coins are improved. This is to be expected as GFRC's inventory evolves from lower priced raw coins to higher priced holdered items. It should be noted that the United States gold inventory has little discounting during this sale.

In summary, the 2020 St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale is ready to launch with fresh pricing values for those who take the time to search through the many product lines and individually discounted lots.

 

St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale Instructions

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

Accessing the St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale List

- Click on the St. Patrick's Day Sale white lettering on the black banner and wait for the price list to download. Please have patience when first downloading the St. Patrick's Day Sale price list. The entire list and all coin images are downloaded at one time. Download time should be less than 5 seconds. Of course, the download time is variable based on internet service providers and your access device bandwidth. With local Comcast ISP, the GFRC download took under 5 seconds.

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

All GFRC Consignors Notified of St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale Participation

To ensure that no consignor has been left out of the sale, I've sent a confirmation email to each consignor indicating that their price reductions are loaded. If not receiving a confirmation email by end of day yesterday, discounting instructions have not be loaded. If this is the case, there is still an opportunity to capture last minute reductions, and any oversights on my part, throughout today. Please contact me immediately if you have not received a confirmation email and wished to participate in the sale. There will be no additions to the sale list after 6:00 pm ET today.

When Does the St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale Go Live?

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

How Do I Purchase Lots?

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

Will Lay-A-Ways Be Available for St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale Items?

Unfortunately no. The St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale is a cash and carry event. Regular GFRC payment terms will apply. Paypal usage will require a 3% adder to the combined purchase and shipping cost total with no exceptions. Credit cards usage is also possible with same 3% adder. For customers who wish to make a larger number of purchases and require 30 day terms, I'm sure we can work out a payment approach. My only requirement is that St. Patrick's Day Sale lots be completely paid for by April 15, 2020. Orders requiring 30 day terms will not be eligible for Quick Ship.

When Will St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale Lots Ship?

Orders paid via Paypal, and those from well known customers on the Quick Ship program, will ship promptly on Saturday and Monday. For newer customers paying via check, those orders will ship once checks arrive to the Venice Florida office.

 

Under Construction Seated Dime Price List Posting Status

For customers with FRoRs on the recently posted Under Construction Liberty Seated dime offerings, my apology is extended for the delay in price list posting. I've been unable to reach the consignor for approval of recommended prices. GFRC's policy is to not move forward with the sale of a consignor's offerings until is there is formal approval of proposed prices. Please keep checking in a the Blog for updates.

 

Global Financial News

S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures are once again flashing deep red as United States equity markets have entered into a serious correction phase. Following are global futures are published by Seeking Alpha. The situation is downright ugly with everyone attempting to move into cash.

In Asia, Japan -4.4%. Hong Kong -3.7%. China -1.5%. India -8.2%.
In Europe, at midday, London -5.4%. Paris -5.4%. Frankfurt -5.6%.
U.S. futures at 6:20, Dow -5%. S&P -5%. Nasdaq -5%.

Let's review the many Seeking Alpha headlines to gauge the amount of volatility and fear in global equity markets.

S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures fell another 5% in overnight action, hitting the so-called limit down threshold, as the two indexes look to join the Dow Jones Industrial Average in bear market territory. The latter, which tumbled another 1,200 points in recent hours, crashed on Wednesday after the WHO classified the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic for the first time. Threatening more disruptions to the world economy, President Trump said all travel from Europe to the U.S. would be suspended for 30 days. Efforts were also announced on deferred tax payments, payroll tax relief and low interest business loans, but investors seemed to have been looking for more.

According to Dr. Brian Monahan, there is a reasonable chance that many of us with contract Covid-19 at some point. The NBA suspending the regular season is an example of serious measures being take to stop large gatherings.

Around 70M to 150M people in the U.S. will become infected with COVID-19, according to Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician of Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court. The Fed is raising the maximum offering of its daily operations in the repo market to $175B (from $150B) through mid-April, while the NBA announced it will suspend the season until further notice. Italy has also tightened its nationwide lockdown - after the nation's coronavirus death toll jumped 30% in 24 hours - ordering all non-essential shops and services to close (supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open).

The airline industry will suffer substantial loses as most international travel is placed on hold.

This is "probably worse" than the demand experienced after 9/11, said JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes. An unprecedented 30-day ban on foreigners arriving from most of Europe is set to further roil the travel industry, especially ahead of the peak spring and summer travel season. The State Department has further issued a Level 3 warning that recommends U.S. citizens to reconsider all travel abroad, "even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice."

How are our tracked commodities and the long bond interest fairing?

Spot gold prices have receded slightly to $1638/oz. The selling pressure is of no surprise given global equity market volatility. Some investors must raise cash to fund margin calls or pay off short term debt. Gold holdings are always a reliable source of near term cash.

Crude oil prices continue to fall with this morning's quote at slightly above $31/bbl.

Bitcoin is also falling for probably the same reasons as gold. The current quote is $6781, a nasty drop from yesterday.

As flight to safety continues, the U.S. 10 Year Treasury bond yield remains at a historically low 0.68%.

 

Wrapping Up The Blog

Please remember that sunny skies always return after nasty thunderstorms. Fear and panic are human emotions on full display at this time. Just a few months ago, greed was on full display as equity markets recorded new highs like clockwork.

GFRC is taking current events in stride and focusing on the St. Patrick's Day Weekend sale during the next 72 hours or so. Afterwards, I will be working from the Venice office towards adding a large amount of fresh consignor offerings to the price list. The world is not coming to an end and I expect that collectors will continue to purchase quality coins.

Please check back on Friday morning for a quick overview on how the opening hours of the St. Patrick's Day sale went.

Yes, I will be in the GFRC office the entire day conducting final debug of the St. Patrick's Day sale lists and processing new consignemnts.

Thank-you for checking in at the Blog.

 

 

March 11, 2020

Upcoming GFRC/DPN Whitman Baltimore Show Status

and

Catching Up on Atlanta ANA U.S. Gold Purchases

Greetings and welcome to the Blog on a Wednesday morning.

In today's edition, we will cover a host of topics as life is never boring as a small business owner and entrepreneur. We open with commentary on the upcoming Whitman Baltimore show.

David Perkins emailed on Tuesday wondering if there was a news update from Whitman concerning the status of the Spring Baltimore show that takes place on March 19-21. So far, my Whitman contacts have not indicated a cancellation of the show. I'm sure that possibility is a gut renching decision for Whitman management given the Stacks' Pogue auction and potential financial impacts resulting from a cancellation.

At this time, Dan and I are still planning to attend the show and will be located at our familiar four corner booth (#818) along with David Perkins Numismatics. We plan to arrive to Baltimore on late Tuesday and will attend the Wednesday morning pre-show along with booth setup at 5:00 pm. Following is the Whitman bourse map and the location of Booth 818. If the show attendance is weak, we will not be present for the Saturday session.

GFRC and DPN - Booth 818 Location at Whitman Baltimore Show

 

Dan and I are driving to the show and bringing hand cleaning agents with us. A large Purell bottle will be available to all who visit the GFRC booth and handle GFRC coins. For this show, we will avoid handshakes after completed transactions and practice safe hygiene throughout the time on the bourse and during evening dinners.

Covid-19 Input from Dr. Tim Cook

Dr. Tim Cook has been a personal friend for years since we share the same passion for Liberty Seated dimes and die variety collecting. Tim is an active GFRC client (The Indiana Collection). Last evening, Tim sent along the following commentary as feedback to Tuesday's Covid-19 Blog commentary.

I have been a Physician for many years, now 36. My undergraduate training was in microbiology with work in virology.

In my field dealing with Moms and babies, I am very aware of infectious agents that may cause potiential harm. I tend to be on the cautious side but even I think the country is over reacting causing more harm than good.

Some people do need to be wary ie older people and those with pre-existing lung problems. Reassuring is that children, if infected, so far seem to get mild cases.

The worst reactions cause intense lung inflammation leading to ARDS or adult respiratory distress syndrome. This appears to be mediated by immune system reactions producing formulations like Interleukin 6 and others. If this is true, anti-inflammatory medications ie plain old Motrin or ASA may help a little. Anti-inflammatory vitamins such as Coq 10 and other may also be of benefit.

People with asthma need to be tuned up, while smokers and vapors must limit their actions as much as possible. This is my two cents. I'm also wondering if upper European background is helpful as despite over 1000 cases, no deaths have been recorded in Germany. (Editor note: Germany has announced its first death on Wednesday).

Thank-you Tim for taking the time to write this opinion. I'm sure the Blog readership appreciates your insight.

 

GFRC Bitten by PCGS Mechanical Error

The segment is written as a learning opportunity for the entire GFRC community. Even your well experiencd Dan and Gerry team can be mistaken when buying United States gold. The issue is PCGS mechanical labeling errors that find their way into the numismatic marketplace.

During the Atlanta ANA pre-show, GFRC purchased a wonderful 1908-D PCGS MS64+ No Motto $20 Saint. If checking the serial number on PCGS website, the serial number corresponds with a No Motto type designation. Here are images of the coin which confirm it is a With Motto followed by a screen capture of the PCGS website when checking the serial number.

1908-D No Motto PCGS MS64+ G$20 (Actually With Motto) 

PCGS Serial Number Check Shows No Motto Designation

This 1908-D "No Motto" was posted to the price list last evening and immediately flagged by a GFRC customer who was interested in the coin but at a price consistent with the accurate "Motto" reality of the piece. There was also a requirement to have the labeling error corrected. My assumption was that PCGS was responsible for the mechanical error and would provide compensation for the pricing gap between a No Motto and Motto 1908-D $20. From the PCGS Price Guide, 1908-D PCGS MS64+ No Motto is listed at $2950 while the Motto type is listed at $2600. The financial impact is roughly $350.

I consulted with another dealer who deals repeatedly with PCGS for advice on next steps. Following is his response.

Hi Gerry:
 
1. This is a “mechanical error”.  PCGS labeled the coin, that has a motto, as a no motto.
 
2. PCGS fixes mechanical errors for free.  If you mail the coin to them, they will pay for the return postage.  If you have it corrected at a coin show, the total charge is $0.00.
 
3. If you sent the coin in to PCGS to be graded, there is no compensation for the difference in value.  For example, PCGS would not compensate you if you sent in an 1803 Bust Dollar and the coin came back with a label date of 1804.
 
4, If you purchased or were consigned the coin, it was on you to make sure that the label was correct; which it is not.  Whoever sold you or consigned you the coin should take it back, with no loss to you... otherwise it is fraud on their part.

Based on this advice, the subject coin will be returned to the dealer whom we purchased the coin from at the Atlanta ANA show for refund or agreed to compensation. GFRC does substantial business with this company.

The lesson for the entire GFRC community is to not trust a PCGS label and its description. The prevalence of PCGS mechanical labeling errors suggests that assigned grades are also subject to mechanical errors. One must buy the coin and not the label! Unfortunately, until PCGS has to compensate for mechanical errors, they will not solve this quality problem.

 

Catching Up on Atlanta ANA U.S. Gold Purchases

Believe it or now, GFRC still has a number of United States gold new purchase from the Atlanta ANA show that remained in the price list posting queue until yesterday. During the afternoon hours, eight U.S. gold pieces were posted including the erroneous labeled 1908-D "No Motto" G$20 that has since been removed. Following are two visually exceptional highlights for your consideration.

Atlanta ANA - Visually Exceptional U.S. Gold

            1907 PCGS MS63 OGH $20                                                  1908-D No Motto PCGS MS64 CAC G$20 

    

 

St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale Arrives at Thursday Midnight

GFRC's special sales are an opportunity for consignors to discount their offerings by a minimum of 8% to participate in each of the three annual sales events. This week brings the traditional St. Patrick's Day Weekend sale with the other two events being the Christmas in August and Black Friday Weekend sales. Consignors are free to discount as much as they wish but 8% is the minimum threshold for having coins listed within the St. Patrick's Day sale price list.

The St. Patrick's Day Sale banner can be found at the top of the GFRC For Sale price list page and the Daily Blog. The banner features a countdown clock to remind everyone as to when the sale starts. Once the clock reaches 0:00, the banner becomes a link to a special price list that is entirely separate from regular GFRC price lists. Clicking on the link initiates the download of the St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale price list with tabs for individual product lines. Customers can scroll the various tabs searching for that special coin that is now bargain priced. Shopping cart icons will be enabled and available for triggering an email towards purchases.

The St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale starts on March 12 midnight and ends on Sunday March 15 at 9:00 pm. Each sale typically has 500+ coins being offered at various discounted prices. Once the sale closes on March 15, the special banner and link disappear with unsold coins being available at regular offer prices prior to the sale.

GFRC sales events are cash and carry with no lay-a-way provisions. If purchasing multiple coins and needing 30 days to pay off the entire purchased lot, I'm sure mutually agreeable terms can be worked out.

Today's attention shifts from processing new purchases and consignments towards loading the COIN database with sale discounting instructions. Yesterday brought the typical amount of last minute discounting instructions prior to the noon deadline. Consignors will receive a St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale participation email as confirmation once discounting instruction have been loaded into the COIN system. If not hearing back from me by 9:00 pm EST today, please don't be bashful for checking in on your discounting status.

In Thursday's Blog, I will share detailed instructions for shopping the St. Patrick's Day Weekend Sale.

 

Global Financial News

Extreme market volatity has become the rule and may last for several more weeks as Covid-19 cases/deaths continues to ramp in Europe and the United States. I won't get on my soapbox about the U.S. media again. After a late session ending rally on Tuesday, U.S. equity markets are flashing another down day. The following Seeking Alpha headline summaries where we stand at 7:00 am.

Following Monday's plunge and Tuesday's rally, U.S. futures fell another 2% overnight as traders sized up fiscal and monetary policy responses. While President Trump suggested a 0% payroll tax rate that could last until the end of the year, and said cruise and airline industries would be getting aid, the details remained unclear. U.S. coronavirus cases have also topped 1,000 nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University data, and at least 28 people have died from the disease.

Speaking with Dan White, we both smell a ruse with Saudi Arabia's plans to ramp crude oil production. I'm sure that Treasury Secretary Mnuchin also sees the problematic intentions behind Saudi Arabia and Russia actions. Both appear to be colluding to drive oil prices down to the point of injuring the U.S. oil industry along with severely impacting Iran's revenue source.

Saudis boosting output even further

While it didn't say when the capacity increase would take place, Saudi Aramco has received a directive from the kingdom's energy ministry to up its output capacity to 13M barrels a day. On Tuesday, the company said it would raise its crude supply to 12.3M barrels per day starting April 1, only days after it slashed most of its official selling prices. Crude futures slipped 2.4% on the news to $33.54/bbl, following a 24% plunge on Monday and 10% rebound on Tuesday.

United States oil companies have been through this low crude oil pricing senario before and are taking swift actions to operate in a $30+/bbl pricing environment.

Laden with debt following its $38B acquisition of rival Anadarko Petroleum last year, Occidental Petroleum is slashing its quarterly dividend to $0.11/share from $0.79/share. The company also plans to cut FY 2020 capex to $3.5B-$3.7B from its previous plan for $5.2B-$5.4B, and to implement additional operating and corporate cost reductions. "These actions lower our cash flow breakeven level to the low $30s WTI, excluding the benefit of our hedges, positioning us to succeed in a low commodity price environment," Occidental said in a statement.

Let's take a close look at our favorite commodities and the long bond interest rate to close out this segment.

Spot gold prices have solidified into a new $1650-$1680/oz trading range for the time being. Crude oil is currently quoting at $33.34/bbl and will soon result in sub $2.00 gasoline prices in the Northeast and Florida. Bitcoin has also suffered a significant drop and is priced at $7814 per coin. The 10 Year U.S Treasury yield has rebounded a bit to 0.70%.

 

Wrapping Up the Blog

This has been a particularly long edition and please don't get too spoiled as unsustainable.

I will be in the GFRC office the entire day loading St. Patrick's Day price discounting instructions into the COIN system. This is a fairly mundane exercise and would love to be interrupted with a purchase order.

Once again, if you do not receive a St. Patrick's Day sale confirmation email by 9:00 pm EDT today, I would appreciate your reminder.

Thank-you for visiting the Blog.