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Saturday-Sunday March 25-26, 2023

The Passing of Bart Chapman - Upstate New York Collection

New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Auction Ends Saturday 9:00 PM ET


What is Fair Value for the New Jersey Collection 1855-S NGC AU58 CAC Seated Half?



Though the GFRC Venice office is closed, there is sufficient time to compose a Daily Blog edition that will cover Saturday and Sunday online reading by community members. The condo and numismatic office packing has gone smoothly leaving extra time for this blogpost. Let's face it, after moving the office from opposite ends of the East Coast multiple times, Diane and I have become quite efficient.

I have a very sad announcement to share based on an email that just arrived to the Inbox....

Linda Chapman has informed me that Bart Chapman passed on February 19 after a multi-year battle with cancer. Bart's GFRC branding name was the Upstate New York Collection. He was a regular GFRC client since August 2014. It feels like I've lost a long time friend as we have been doing business and exchanging emails for a decade.

Bart and I shared two passions; coins and the great outdoors. Colorfully toned Capped Bust and Liberty Seated coins were his forte as he constantly purchased and consigned coins with me. In terms of the outdoors, he loved to be working in the woods and handling a commerical chain saw into his mid-70s while working with younger peers. Unfortunately, his multiple cancers took a terrible toll on his body, but Bart never gave up and enjoyed his time on earth. His last email to me was several months ago and joking that he was still alive.

This news is personally emotional as the GFRC business grow with Bart as one of the founding members of the community. He was an avid Daily Blog reader and one of those who would write to check on me if I missed an edition.

Bart's coins can be viewed at the Gallery link. To make things easier, simply click here to view Bart's consigned coins. Here is one of Bart's favorite pieces among many in his personal gallery.


New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Auction Ends Saturday 9:00 PM ET

I could not be more pleased with how bidding has taken place for this auction. One of the obvious lessons learned is that a successful auction requires quality coins along with price diversity. Staging a top end circulated grade Seated half dollar offering with a complete set of circulated Liberty Seated dimes has attracted a broader spectrum of collectors to a single event.

Bidding continues on Friday with lots with multiple bids continuing to grow. Of course, CAC approved lots are the prime targets for many collectors with incremental bidding expected on Saturday. The gap between CAC approved and non-approved gap continues to grow. What about those borderline coins that are perfect original but not having sufficient conservative grading to be approved? My advice is to look at the CDN price guide and determine what a CAC approved piece is marked as fair value at the next lower grade.

Within a few months, CAC Grading will be opening its doors for regular grading. I could not be more pleased with the possibility of a one stop solution for both grading and CAC review. This integrated solution will save dealers and collectors much time and shipping costs. Let's not forget that the miserable PCGS turnaround times and their lack of effort to solve the issue. Bottom line, PCGS believes they have an monopoly and can force their extended turnaround times on the hobby. NGC volumes have increased as an alternative to PCGS but many collectors still don't want NGC holdered coins due to set registry considerations.

I digress here...


What is Fair Value for the New Jersey Collection 1855-S NGC AU58 CAC Seated Half?

As of Friday afternoon, the New Jersey Collection 1855-S half as yet to secure a bid.

1855-S Arrows NGC AU58 CAC 50C

There have been multiple calls and emails on the 1855-S and its reserve of $29,500. If course, the common theme is that the reserve was set too high. My business philosophy is to never push a client to purchase a coin. The purchase of rare dates in top end grades is a very personal decision along with having the numismatic capital for the acquisition.

To help those who are still on the fence, here is a screen capture of the CAC Price/Population guide for the 1854 and 1855 With Arrows halves.

The CAC population stands a only three pieces approved at the AU58 grade with a single MS61 (MS62) finer. This fact is highlighted above with a black outline. Where did the $18,700 price guide come from you might ask, as valuing this rarity is most challenging?

The likely source is a May 2018 Legend auction for a PCGS example with streaky toning that brought $17,625 and subsequently sold again in September 2019 and January 2020. The auction sequence indicates that the lone AU58 CAC example to ever hit the auction market has struggled to find a long term home. A check of the PCGS TruView images might provide an explanation.

The New Jersey Collection example has never been offered at auction and is fresh to the market from a multi-decade collection. Carl Feldman is one of the longest surviving initial LSCC members and knows his Seated coinage well. After a long discussion for reserve price setting, we agreed on the $29,500 number.

My advice to potential bidders is from my own experiences when acquiring the rare Liberty Seated dime Civil War San Francisco dates. These were purchased in the late 1990s and early 2000s. My philosophy was to pay whatever it took to secure these top end pieces as the collection was a lifelong initiative. In hindsight, those purchase prices look cheap today after all were CAC approved. Yes, I was buying top end rarities without a CAC sticker and trusting my own judgment.

Actually, there is a mistake on the CAC population report as the lone finer example is graded MS62 and not MS61. This piece resides in the DL Hansen Collection and will most likely be off the market for years after selling for $58,750 back in August 2017. Here are the images of that piece.


Advanced Liberty Seated half dollar collectors who wish to own a condition census 1855-S have few options. The Legend example is not overly attractive while the whereabouts of the remaining PCGS AU58 CAC piece are unknown. Carl has provide a Coin World cutout of an advertisement dating back to the late 2000 era. This one is a white piece and was being offered for $24,500.

During several discussions in the past 36 hours, the $25,000 number was bantered about as fair value. The gap between $25,000 and $29,500 is not huge and insurmountable. If needing payment terms, those can be easily arranged. On a positive note, the first bidder to take the plunge at the reserve will likely win the coin as the next increment takes us to $32,000.

I've said my piece and hope that a community member will give this rarity a long term home. We need to keep these type of coins within the LSCC membership.

Good luck....




Friday March 24, 2023

New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Auction Ends Saturday 9:00 PM ET

GFRC-CAC Only April 29 Auction Update

GFRC-Lite Update After Breakout Baltimore Show


New Purchases Reaching 30 Day Price List


Greetings on a Friday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. I'm always pleased that you could find the time to visit.

My time for composing this Blog edition is limited today therefore let's move promptly into the headline topics. Here we go...


New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Auction Ends Saturday 9:00 PM ET

What a joy to be conducting a substantial GFRC Online Auctions event with no contemplation period! Thursday's bidding continued at a reasonable rate with both the New Jersey and Steven Vitale lots seeing continued interest. As of this morning, there are 65 lots finding new homes with a total winning bid value of nearly $120,000. Though these results are impressive, the aggressive bidding arrives today, and during Saturday's closing finale.

This auction features 170 lots with all reserves amounting to $260,000. Since the GFRC formally closes at noon today, there will be no Blog editions on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Yes, I know that readers will be bummed to not have an auction closing tally and summary comments immediately after the auction close. Rather, my commentary will appear on Monday morning followed by invoicing beginning later in the day.

It is tradition that a auction ending forecast is provided in Saturday's Blog. Well, that forecast must be pulled in a day and here goes. Based on special tea leaves and client conversations, my forecast is that 85 lots will sell for a grand total of $175,000. That is a 50% sell through rate with the key Liberty Seated dime and half dollar lots being well subscribed.

At this point, everyone should have identified their acquisition targets. From my perspective as the photographer and Seated dime cataloger, there are several lots that warrant attention. For Liberty Seated halves, the 1860-O WB-7 Eagle Laying Egg and the 1861-O W-8 should garner bids. The 1878-CC PCGS AU53 half is a rare date at a fair price. This lot is all there for the grade and then some. The 1888 PCGS AU55 CAC OGH half will go higher as one of the sale highlights.

Concerning the Steven Vitale dimes, the 1846 PCGS VF25 is very choice and was submitted to CAC without approval. I use this piece as the banner plate coin given the wonderful eye appeal. Someone needs to buy the 1847 dime at $300 as the date remains so underrated. The 1853 No Arrows dime is typically on many collector want lists and deserves a new home. You will not be disappointed. The 1855 PCGS AU58 CAC dime certainly needs more attention. Don't ignore the 1858-S PCGS AU50 dime as a stone cold gray beauty that is fully choice. Pay close attention to the 1860-O as quite choice to the point that it was sent to CAC for evaluation. I thought it would be approved but this date is so unpredictable and difficult to grade due to the delicate Type 1 obverse design. The 1867 PCGS F12 dime is ideal for filling that hole in a mid-circulated grade set. The 1870-S PCGS AU58 dime should go higher as this piece is very strong and atypically nice! For passionate die variety collectors, the 1873 Doubled Die Obverse PCGS VF35 dime has some of the best shield doubling details that I have seen while being fully original. Finally, I hope that someone takes the 8 piece bulk lots home.

Good luck to everyone during the final hour of bidding. Again, the GFRC office will open early on Monday morning with a raging wood stove fire. I'll get the summary tally done quickly along with publishing a Daily Blog edition by no later than 9:00 AM.


GFRC-CAC Only April 29 Auction Update

For those who have seen the full page GFRC Online Auctions advertisement in Coin World, the LSCC's Gobrecht Journal, and the CSNS Centinel, the concept of numismatic innovation is stressed. That innovation takes an additional in April with a GFRC-CAC Only auction attempt. If well subscribed, there will be more of the same during the balance of 2023. A portion of the GFRC community has made a decision to collect only CAC approval coins, therefore this auction format will be targeted for those individuals.

I'm pleased to report that the April 29 already has about 60 lots committed as of this morning. Yesterday brought another nine pieces from the Island Lake Collection. The cut-off date for April 29 auction submissions is April 9.

Below are four more lots that reached the auction catalog last evening. The 1937-D 3 Legged Buffalo is such an iconic coin and courtesy of the Osprey Collection as is the 1827 JR-11 Capped Bust dime. The 1890 quarter and marvelous 1878 half are from the Saw Mill Run Collection.

Incremental GFRC-CAC Only Auction Lots

      1937-D NGC AU58 CAC 5C                                                     1827 JR-11 PCGS AU50 CAC 10C


    1890 PCGS AU50 CAC 25C                                                     1878 PCGS MS63 CAC 50C OGH



GFRC-Lite Update After Breakout Baltimore Show

Rich Hundertmark enjoyed his GFRC-Lite breakout at the Whitman Baltimore show with 74 coins being sold. The show sales tally was a tad under $18,000 and a confidence boast after months of hard work developing his website and learning how to operate with the COIN database.

Rich called last evening to confirm that the post Baltimore show admin was completed with checks being sent to GFRC (and its consignors) along with those individuals who consigned directly with Rich. Now that the admin effort is completed, Rich will be loading new coins to the website across all product lines. He has sufficient consignments to keep busy for several months based on Baltimore insourcing and more GFRC transfers.

Rich sent along this Baltimore show summary for the Blog.

Hi Gerry,

I got home to Winston-Salem after a reasonable and uneventful six hour trek on Saturday thus ending a four day whirlwind adventure.

For me, a successful show is always comprised of a triad of variables; 1- Selling , 2-Consignments/ Buying, and 3-Customer Development. The Baltimore show was a winner on all accounts.

To this end, all three variables were checked off. Sales were strong across the three Lite cases. Next, Lite took in four additional consignments to fuel future growth. And lastly, I made sure to connect with customers that visited the Lite booth and passed out many business cards while emphasizing the new Lite website.

As I now work to complete the  typical post show accounting work , I’ll be posting many new coins to the Lite website across most categories over the next few weeks. Looking forward, the next show event for Lite is the four day June Raleigh Show which is the largest coin show in North Carolina. 

My thanks again to all Lite consignors and customers .


New Purchases Reaching 30 Day Price List

The Baltimore show was also an excellent buying event as I'm looking at about 40 new purchases that require image processing before reaching the 30 Day Price List. I was able to process a few pieces yesterday as shown next. OK, the 1871-S F-102 dime is not a new purchase but rather an important release from my Seated dime reference collection and web-book plate coin. Few Mint State 1871-S dimes ever reach the market with this one being partially mirrored. Yes, it was sent to CAC and not approved, probably due to the proof-like surfaces that resulted from aggressive die polishing.

The 1811/09 dime is one of those cases where clients must learn to read the CAC population reports. Two-third of the 1811/09 population is located in the G04 through VF30 grades. At VF35 or better, this date becomes very scarce to rare. I could not pass up this perfectly original and crusty example and paid above the CAC guide to secure. Several clients asked for an initial price quote and passed. My advice is to look carefully at the CAC population report and consider what the next higher grade approved example will cost you.

We close the new offering with two sweet proof Seated quarters that are gems for the grade along with having pristine surfaces. Bright light viewing is all there for these lovely examples. The GFRC images are quite accurate in terms of overall eye appeal and then some.

New Baltimore Show Purchases Reaching 30 Day Price List

1811/09 JR-1 PCGS VF35 CAC 10C                                             1871-S F-102 NGC MS64 10C      


        1859 NGC PF65 25C                                                         1873 No Arrows PCGS PR65 25C



Global Financial News

Thursday saw spot gold prices crossing into the $2000+/oz territory for two hours or so based on Kitco quoting system. As the Blog is being composed, gold is quoting at $1995 while the U.S. dollar is at 103.2 per the DXY index.

U.S. equities were up fractionally on Thursday with the S&P 500 closing at 3,948. Morning market futures are pointing to selling at the opening bell with financial stocks being under pressure.

In Asia, Japan -0.1%. Hong Kong -0.7%. China -0.6%. India -0.7%.
In Europe, at midday, London -2%. Paris -2.3%. Frankfurt -2.4%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.8%. S&P -0.7%. Nasdaq -0.3%.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield as dropped to 3.30% which is notable. Bitcoin is back over $28,000.


Wrapping Up The Blog

As mentioned earlier in today's Blog, the GFRC office is closing at 12:00 noon today and will re-open in Maine come Monday morning. The next few days will be all consuming. Responses to emails will be sporadic during the Maine transition period, so please note this fact.

Let's close today's Blog with a good luck wish to all who have yet to place their bids in the New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection auctions. I am well aware of many clients who do not place bids until the final hour. Please limit your usage of snipe bidding to simplify everyone's life. Placing maximum bids during the final hour of bidding will be just as effective given that 170 lots are all closing at the same time.

Thank you for being a great numismatic community. I will see you on Monday morning. Be well!




Thursday March 23, 2023

GFRC at NH Coin Expo April 6-8 - See Us at Booth 607


New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Auction - Bidding Continues


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Thursday morning. We appreciate the ongoing visits and staying close to an action packed GFRC lifestyle.

Did I really just drive to and from Baltimore in the past week or so? I keep asking myself this question as the Maine transition is rapidly approaching. Yes, we are returning to the Maine homestead about five weeks ahead of regular schedule. The early arrival allows GFRC to attend the spring NH Coin Expo, more commonly known as "the Manchester show" in the coin business. Of course, attending the Manchester show is an opportunity rather than the primary reason for the early northern transition. In less than 10 days, Nanny Diane will be settled in at Matt and Chikae's newly purchased 2.5 bedroom condo in the Coolidge Corners neighborhood within the Brookline section of Boston. Much is taking place in the near term....


GFRC at NH Coin Expo April 6-8 - See Us at Booth 607

In just two weeks, the GFRC business travels to Manchester, New Hampshire for a two day coin show. I really enjoy doing this coin show for several reasons. First is the close proximity with only a two hour drive requirement. Second is Ernie Botte as show promoter. Ernie operates some of the best coin shows in the country with top notch preparations and security. Finally, the chocolate chip cookies at the Double Tree Hotel check-in are fantastic. The NH Coin Expo is one of those enjoyable events with excellent evening dining in downtown Manchester.

GFRC will have eight cases of premium inventory spread across a corner booth. We will be at the usual Booth 607 location and a must visit attraction for collectors of early type and U.S. gold. I will also be buying on the floor during Thursday setup and will eagerly entertain walk-up deals throughout the event. Since Dan White is still in Florida through mid May, the table assistants will be Tom Coulombe and Karl Othmer.

The Manchester show will also be an ideal opportunity for regular GFRC consignment transfers or passing along lots for the forthcoming April 29, 2023 GFRC-CAC Only auction. If attending the show and planning to bring a consignment, please let me know in advance to allow adequate storage box planning. Conversely, if wishing to view certain coins in GFRC inventory, it might be wise to email me with those requests to ensure the coins are brought to the show.

Here is the Manchester bourse floor map from the October 2022 show. I believe that the table layout will be the same for the Spring 2023 show.

GFRC at NH Coin Expo Booth 607


New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Auction - Bidding Continues

The current GFRC Online Auctions event continues to garner active bidding as was witnessed on Wednesday. The New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection offerings are substantial to the point where the quiet contemplation period, from Tuesday through Thursday, has been circumvented by the huge amount of offerings. As predicted in yesterday's Blog, the Vitale 1874-CC dime has secured an initial bid leaving the 1872-CC as the final of the big four Carson City date to be unattached. Currently, 58 lots are heading to new home with a total bid value of $113,683. There is still a long way to go in the upcoming 3 days....

1872-CC PCGS VF30 10C


The New Jersey Collection lots are well subscribed at this point with a key question. Will the rare 1855-S NGC AU58 half sell at this event? Yes, the $29,500 reserve price is substantial but proper context must be established when considering this piece. Let's visit the CAC population report for this first year San Francisco issue.

The CAC approved AU58 population stands at three pieces with a CDN guide price of $18,700. If you believe that this piece is worth under $20,000, I feel sorry for you. This date is brutally difficult to locate choice as the entire mintage went into western frontier circulation and was used and abused. CAC has approved a lone example at the MS61 level with a guide price of $54,000. Let's face it, I would much rather own a beautiful AU58 specimen of any Seated date rather than an MS61. The MS61 grade is synonymous with surface marks on a coin that exhibits no wear. When viewing the CAC population report and the corresponding CDN price guide, the current reserve makes a lot of sense as fair value.

1855-S Arrows NGC AU58 CAC 50C


Other auction event lots that needs a shout out are two Newtown Collection duplicates that need a new home. The 1839 Drapery and 1877 Seated halves are ideal type coins at near condition census grades. Both pieces offer uncompromising luster and eye appeal.

1839 Drapery WB-5 PCGS MS64 CAC 50C                                      1877 PCGS MS65+ CAC 50C  



Returning to the Steven Vitale Collection offerings, I really hope that the four 8 piece bulk lots find new homes. Think about this opportunity for a moment as a new collector could start a circulated grade Liberty Seated Dime collection with 32 dates for only $3475. The time taken and shipping cost would be substantial to acquire these 32 dimes! Here are two of the bulk lot images to consider.

1875 - 1882 Dated Liberty Seated Dimes

1883 - 1888 Dated Liberty Seated Dimes


The New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection auction comes to its closing finale on Saturday at 9:00 PM. Please remember that all 170 lots will close at the same time! Therefore, it is best that you employ a maximum bid strategy to acquire your targeted lots as the bidding in the final 15 minutes will be unpredictable along with the online catalog display lagging the bidding. I really hope that those who have that uncontrollable urge to snipe in the final minute will not send emails asking if their targeted lot was won or if the bidding counter is correct. Diane and I are on the road this weekend and will not be responding to auction emails until Monday. Invoice will start on Monday afternoon and well into Tuesday given the size of the auction.


GFRC at NH Coin Expo April 6-8

The Federal Reserve had to do it on Wednesday. Yes, they raised the Feds fund rate by another 0.25% to an even 5.0%. Investors were not pleased and dropped the major U.S. equity indexes by about 1.5%.

Today's trading starts with the S&P 500 at 3,937 with favorable morning market futures going into the 9:30 AM opening bell. Let's look further into other important indices.

In Asia, Japan -0.2%. Hong Kong +2.3%. China +0.6%. India -0.5%.

In Europe, at midday, London -1.1%. Paris -0.6%. Frankfurt -0.8%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.4%. NASDAQ +0.9%.

Interestingly, the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has dropped to 3.47% while gold has popped up to $1980/oz. These two actions indicate that investors are betting that the Federal Reserve interest rate hiking cycle is done as the U.S. dollar has decreased quickly to 102.4 per the DXY index.

WTI crude is in the same camp with pricing at $70/bbl. This is indicative of many believing that a severe recession will be avoided as the Fed must now hold rates steady for the balance of 2023.

Bitcoin dropped to $27,710 as there is more trouble in the crypto market space per this Seeking Alpha article.

The SEC's crypto crackdown looks set to continue after Coinbase revealed it had received a Wells Notice from the agency. Potential charges were not specified, but an enforcement action alleging violations of securities laws is expected, which may relate to the exchange's spot market, staking service Coinbase Earn, Coinbase Prime and Coinbase Wallet. Shares of Coinbase slid 14% AH on Wednesday following the news, but with the stock doubling this year, does it represent a buying opportunity?


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings a full day of organizing the entire coin office and preparing for transport. I could certainly use a slow day, or as they say, the calm before the storm.

Thanks for sharing your morning schedule with these GFRC ramblings. We are unique in the coin industry and work our hardest to provide a full service numismatic experience. There will be a regular Blog edition on Friday so please check back on the status of the New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection auction.

Be well!




Wednesday March 22, 2023

New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Auction - What Contemplation Period?

Coins and Racing, My Two Real Passions!


Liberty Seated Dimes for GFRC-CAC Only Auction - April 29, 2023


Greetings on a Wednesday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for stopping by.

The clock is ticking on the remaining hours in Florida. Soon, shorts, sandals, and t-shirts will be replaced by winter clothing as southern Maine weather remains nasty and wet. Three late winter storms will be crossing through New England in the upcoming days bringing rain and snow. Evenings will still be at or below freezing. Being proactive, I contacted our snow plowing contractor last evening and asked that he insure that the homestead driveway will be cleared upon our late Sunday arrival.

Tuesday brought another truly productive day. The office is fully recovered from the Whitman Baltimore show including all new purchases being photographed. Today brings another photography session of a recent San Jose Collection Liberty Seated half dollar lot that is exclusively San Francisco dates. There will be sufficient images in the GFRC processing queue to last a week or more once in the Raymond office.

Yesterday afternoon brought a surprise visit by our lovely neighbors, Jan and Pam (the southern belles), upon my return from an afternoon health walk along the Blackburn Canal. They arrived with a small cake and their wine glasses to celebrate someone's birthday. A good time was had by all during our regular happy hour time.

Today brings the last regular GFRC office day here in Venice. The first priority is changing mailing addresses throughout the GFRC website and on Collectors Corner. The revised mailing address, as of Thursday, is GFRC, 225 Valley Rd., Raymond, Maine 04071-6163.

Up in Boston, Chikae is reporting that our pending 4th grandchild is kicking away in the womb. The delivery date has been revised to March 29 and the obvious reason why the Fortins are returning to Maine a full five weeks ahead of schedule.


New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Auction - What Contemplation Period?

In the past, GFRC Online Auction events have been predictable. Saturday evening through Monday bring initial bidding followed by a quiet Tuesday to Thursday segment that I've labeled as the Contemplation Period. The New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection auction event has broken tradition with strong bidding throughout the Tuesday daytime hours. I could not be more please to report that 55 of the 170 lots have met their reserve bids. Total bids have increased to nearly $88,000.

The star of the day is the Steven Vitale 1871-CC dime that now has a high bid of $17,850. The 1873-CC dime also has an initial bid of $9500. This leaves the key date 1874-CC dime unattached but my gut feel is this piece will also sell before the auction is completed.

In terms of the New Jersey Collection, a wise individual has bid on the 1835 and 1836 Capped Bust halves. The Gem 1839 Draped PCGS AU58 CAC Rattler half also received its initial bid. One of the intriguing questions is the final bid price for this Gem 1888 PCGS AU55 CAC OGH Seated half. This lot was one of the "stars" during Baltimore auction lot viewing.

1888 PCGS AU55 CAC 50C - Gem Eye Appeal!


Coins and Racing, My Two Real Passions!

The Sooner Collection consignor has become a close friend including hanging out with the GFRC team at the Winter FUN show. Blake has been excited about moving back into stock car racing after being away from the sport for several years. Yes, a host of business projects has kept our client busy until early 2023. After Winter FUN, his attention shifted back to his racing passion, while still finding time to stay connected with his numismatic hobby.

Here is Blake living life to the fullest!


Liberty Seated Dimes for GFRC-CAC Only Auction - April 29, 2023

The forthcoming GFRC-CAC Only auction is beginning to gain traction as several lots were committed on Tuesday. These will be arriving to the Maine office next week.

Following are six rather nice Liberty Seated dimes that will posted to the April 29 auction catalog today. All are choice or gem die varieties with several of the six being web-book plate coins that were recently submitted to CAC.

Liberty Seated Dimes for GFRC-CAC Only Auction

  1859 MPD F-103 PCGS MS62+ CAC 10C                                  1875-CC BW F-104 PCGS AU58 CAC 10C


1875-CC BW F-111 PCGS AU55 Gold CAC 10C                               1876-CC F-119 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C         


  1889 DDR F-122 PCGS MS63 CAC 10C                                    1890 MPD F-106 PCGS MS64 CAC 10C



Global Financial News

U.S. equity markets and volatility have settled down rather quickly after last week's banking mini-crisis. Investors are not falling for the ongoing negative hype and media clickbait with respect to this topic. Tuesday's trading saw the S&P 500 climb to 4,002 while spot gold pricing has moved down to $1940/oz. The panic is over for the time being and hopefully, there will be no further surprises in the coming weeks.

The Federal Reserve presidents are currently in a two day session to determine the course of interest rates. I'll let Seeking Alpha cover this topic. Personally, I'd like to see the Fed pause on the interest rate front allowing recent rate hikes to permeate through the economy. But then again, my pay grade is much too low to understand these things.

Leading up to the Federal Reserve's March 21-22 monetary policy meeting, traders had been expecting the FOMC to ratchet up its key interest rate by 50 basis points because the economy appeared to be surprisingly robust. But then three U.S. banks failed - Silvergate Capital, SVB and Signature Bank  - and a fourth is teetering (check out the latest headlines related to First Republic. That may have Fed policymakers rethinking their expectation for a rate hike today and their upcoming rate path, while the whole episode came during the Fed's blackout period, creating even more uncertainty about what may lie ahead.

Backdrop: As a reminder, the Fed has increased its key rate for eight straight meetings, bringing the federal funds rate target range to 4.50%-4.75%, from 0.0%-0.25% in the past year, in its drive to push down inflation. Meanwhile, the core PCE price index, the central bank's preferred inflation gauge, showed a jump of 4.7% Y/Y in February, up from 4.6% in January, but easing from 5.2% in March 2022. Don't forget that efforts to shrink the bank's balance sheet were upended last week, as financial institutions borrowed a whopping $153B from the Fed's discount window (and $12B from the newly created Bank Term Funding Program), though assets from emergency lending tend to fall as soon as a crisis subsides, compared to holdings added under quantitative easing.

With regards to whether to hike or not, the decision won't be easy. Inflation still remains very high and a pause now could signal there are deeper problems within the banking system. On the other hand, there are fears that the Fed is moving too far, too fast with its aggressive rate increases, and some see the current banking crisis as a direct result of tighter monetary policy. Ultimately, things will boil down to whether the financial stability problem has been limited to a handful of regional banks that has been successfully contained, or if something systematic has broken - with the possibility of the crisis morphing into something larger.

By the numbers: According to the latest Wall Street Breakfast survey, around 70% of the 1,740 respondents expect the central bank to go for a smaller 25 basis point hike, though 20% believe that the Fed will pause its hiking cycle (and about 10% still see the possibility of a 50 bps increase). Any surprises will surely jolt markets, so pay attention to the Fed's dot plot - which will be published alongside its policy decision at 2 PM ET - as well as Jerome Powell's press conference a half hour later. SA contributor James Baker expects the central bank chair to "emphasize the continuing strength in the employment, the Fed's intention to make money available to any bank needing funds to meet deposit withdrawals, and the Fed's continuing commitment to bring inflation down."

Morning market futures are flat on the open after slight gains in Europe.

In Asia, Japan +1.9%. Hong Kong +1.7%. China +0.3%. India +0.2%.

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

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

WTI crude is holding at $69+/bbl with the possibility of being back in the $70s if recession fears are abated. Bitcoin is holding on to its recent gains at $28.205.

The 10 Year U.S Treasury bond yield has risen to 3.6%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

As mentioned earlier, today brings the final day of regular GFRC Venice office operations. Come Thursday, my attention shifts to slowly packing all inventory along with the numismatic library, and a host of accessories that make the GFRC business work. Friday brings regular condo packing including cleaning the outdoor grill and placing in storage for the summer.

Your ongoing visits are truly appreciated along with purchases and consignments. GFRC is so fortunate to have a broad based community that interacts and supports this humble business.

Be well!




Tuesday March 21, 2023

New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Auction Bidding Continues


Gold CAC U.S. Gold for GFRC-CAC Only Auction - April 29, 2023


Greetings once again from the GFRC Venice office and welcome to the Daily Blog. Sadly, our Florida days are numbered!

I'm usually a huge proponent of returning to the Maine homestead early but next week's southern Maine weather forecast is depressing. Our first week back can be characterized as gloomy with nothing but rain and snow showers. On a positive note, there will be a reason to burn the older firewood in the garage.

Recognizing the lack of Maine sunshine during early April, Baltimore new purchases photography will be the imperative during the final days in the Venice office.

For the occasional Blog reader, you might be wondering why the Fortins are moving back to Maine a month early. The reason is the birth of our fourth grandchild in Boston and positioning Diane to be ready for nanny support when that day arrives.

Yes, I've recovered from the long Whitman Baltimore show trip and already planning GFRC's attendance at the Summer Baltimore show that takes place June 8 - 10. Driving from Maine to Baltimore is a different animal that from Venice Florida to Baltimore.

As a reminder to those in the New England area and needing an early spring coin show fix, GFRC will be attending the NH Coin Expo on April 6 - 8 and will be located at our usual corner booth. Tom Coulombe and Karl Othmer will be table assistants. If New England weather is getting you down, then attending the "Manchester show" could be an uplifting event.

I'm pleased to report that the GFRC office is in good working order after Monday's focused efforts to wrap up all the post Baltimore show administrative tasks. Shipments were executed smoothly with more coins shipping to clients today.

The major story of the day is the New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection auction that is underway....


New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Auction Bidding Continues

Active bidding continued on Monday for the New Jersey Collection halves and the Steven Vitale Liberty Seated dimes. During the overnight, I received a substantial number of bids from a long term client who asked that those be executed on his behalf since his computer skills are limited. His seven bids will be posted during the morning hours.

So where does the auction stands as we enter the dreaded contemplation period?

Lots meeting reserve now total 47 with a total bid value of close to $67,000. Once I post the aforementioned seven bids, that number will be exceeding $80,000.

Of course, many clients are holding back their bids until the closing day of the auction which happens to be March 25th. The many who conducted lot auction previewing at the Baltimore show are still on the sidelines.

Several marquee lots remain available including the following fantastic lots that should find new homes when the dust settles on Saturday evening.

                    1835 O-108 NGC AU58 50C                                     1839 Drapery WB-5 PCGS MS64 CAC 50C Rattler


1839 No Drapery WB-4 NGC AU58 CAC 50C                              1839 Drapery WB-7 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C


1855-S WB-3 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C                                              1874-CC F-101 PCGS VF25 10C    



Gold CAC U.S. Gold for GFRC-CAC Only Auction - April 29, 2023

The next GFRC Online Auctions event takes place on April 29. Consistent with GFRC's ongoing innovation in the numismatic market, this will be a CAC Only auction event and promises to be notable and exciting.

The submission deadline for the GFRC-CAC Only auction is April 9th, therefore please contact me asap with your consignment proposals. I'm certain that you might wish to be part of this event.

Currently, there are an initial nine lots posted at the bottom of the online auction page with more lots being added today. As a teaser, here are some of the lots that will be appearing in the auction. First is a group of Barber halves from the Black Point Collection in southern Maine.

1892 NGC AU-58 CAC 1898 PCGS AU-55 CAC 1898-S NGC XF-45 CAC 1901 PCGS MS-65 CAC 1904-O AU-58 CAC 1908 PCGS AU-55 CAC 1908-O PCGS MS-65 CAC 1911 PCGS AU-58 CAC 1913-D PCGS MS-64 CAC 1914 PCGS AU-58 CAC

Next is a four piece Gold CAC U.S. lot that was purchased at the Whitman show. These will be posted to the auction catalog today. The three $2.5 gold pieces are housed in pristine NGC Gen 4 no line brown label Fatty holders.

Gold CAC Approved U.S. Gold - April 29 Auction

1910 NGC MS61 Gold CAC G$2.5 Fatty                                 1926 NGC MS62 Gold CAC G$2.5 Fatty


1929 NGC MS61 Gold CAC G$2.5 Fatty                                1905 PCGS MS60 Gold CAC G$5



I'm also planning to raid the Windham Maine bank box towards adding a host of top shelf Liberty Seated dimes from my web-book reference collection plus several core set duplicates that are available due to recent upgrading.

The Saw Mill Run Collection also consignment two lots at the Baltimore show that will post to the catalog this week.

Again, if you would like to be part of a debut GFRC-CAC Only auction event, please contact me soon with your lot proposals so that we can plan the shipment to the Maine office.


Global Financial News

The banking crisis appears to be taking a pause as market forces are working as they should. Stronger banks are absorbing or supporting weaker banks with the globe's central banks working behind the scenes to ensure adequate liquidity.

Monday's U.S. equity market trading was upbeat with the S&P 500 closing at 3,952. Early morning trading results from Europe are also in the green with markets up about 0.75%. Further signs of calmness include spot gold prices dropping to the $1972/oz level.

Morning market futures indicate a 0.5% favorable open for U.S. equities in just a few hours.

In Asia, Japan closed. Hong Kong +1.4%. China +0.6%. India +0.8%.

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

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.6%. S&P +0.5%. NASDAQ +0.2%.

WTI crude is also beginning its recovery process with pricing moving up to nearly $69/bbl. The Bitcoin rally has stalled at $28,000. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield stands at 3.54%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today and Wednesday bring continued attention to Whitman Baltimore show new purchases with an attempt to post a nice round of new purchases to the price list.

Come Thursday, attention shifts to packing the GFRC office for the Maine transition and ensuring that no coin is left behind in the Venice office.

So ends today's Blog edition. Your ongoing patronage is always appreciated. Be well!





Monday March 20, 2023

Acura MDX Key Fob Issues on Florida Return Trip

Strong Start for New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Auction Bidding


Please Hold Check Payments Until Thursday March 23



Greetings from the GFRC Venice office and welcome to a regular edition of the Daily Blog. It is certainly great to be back in the office after a successful Whitman Baltimore show.

Many collectors believe that being a coin dealer is a "glamorous" career as we have the opportunity to handled a host a great coins. Yes, that might be is a perspective from someone who has never been a small business owner. That view is from the perspective of a hobbyist given their passion for acquiring and researching their coins. Let me assure every collector that working as a coin dealer is a grueling effort, especially when traveling long distances to a major coin show. Case in point was the now completed Spring Whitman Baltimore show where I "hit the wall" on Friday afternoon in terms of being mentally exhausted.

What could cause a coin dealer to be mentally exhausted when they are handling so many great coins? Why doesn't GFRC attend club dinners you might ask?

The long and the short is that operating as a coin dealer with a seven figure inventory brings risks, especially when attending a major show in a large city with a reputation for crime. Risk management along with attempting to provide the best possible customer service while making a small business profit takes a substantial amount of energy. Following is a quick summary of the past six days for those who might be inclined to transition their passion for the hobby into a business.

- Tuesday March 14 brought a 15 hours drive from Florida to Baltimore. Insurance coverage mandates that two people must be in physical possession of the insured inventory at all times.

- Wednesday was spent conducting dealer wholesale buying and ensuring that key supplier relationships are sustained. Great coins don't magically appear out of thin air and fall into dealer laps. They must be acquired through hard work and with competitive pricing to allow an operating profit. The afternoon hours were spent loading new purchases into the COIN database followed by setting up the Whitman booth from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Dan and I had a late dinner at the hotel and immediately went to bed. Rest is important for individuals who are 67 and 78 years old.

- Dan and I were back on the bourse floor at 8:00 AM on Thursday to be ready for dealer traffic and early birds. The lack of Daily Blog editions was indicative of how busy I was simply manning the booth and working with customers including attempting to shop want lists on the bourse floor. Sadly, I was unable to place a single want list coin and came up empty for the energies expended. GFRC enjoyed a wild Thursday afternoon with operating margins paying the bills. We closed the booth at 6:00 PM, and went back to the Hyatt for a quiet dinner followed by a long rest for the day's recovery.

- Friday brought an extra hour of sleep since the bourse opened to dealers at 9:00 AM. I was able to write a brief Blog edition before the bourse opened at 10:00 AM followed by servicing customer needs. This day brought several trade deals with more buying and selling. I was finally able to say hello to Brenda Wyen at Coin World and discuss printed marketing strategy for the next few months. Late Friday afternoon brought a 45 minute booth break to conduct Stacks lot viewing for the Millholland Seated dimes. The lot viewing findings are a subject for a separate Blog edition. Upon returning to the booth at 4:30 PM, this was the point that I hit "the wall" in terms of being mentally exhausted.

- On Saturday, we did not sell a single coin though entertaining several regular clients. By 1:00 PM, the decision came to close the booth and conduct our exit. We were told by several dealers of one dealer being tailed on the way to the airport with an attempt to force his Uber ride off the road. A collector had been jumped near the Hilton and has to fight off three locals to hold on to his coins. Armed with this information, Dan and I decided that our usual exit plans must be altered to disguise our Baltimore departure. That we did and drove south to an undisclosed overnight hotel location.

- Sunday brought a surprise with the MDX and is the subject of today's first headline. Upon loading the MDX with coins and personal items, I attempted to start the car. The car would not start initially but did indicate that the coin fob should be placed near the start button. That I did followed by the car starting. Yes, I recently changed the battery in the fob. Once the car was started, the MDX display indicated that it could not longer sense the key fob. Now came the critical decision. Should I stop the MDX with an attempt to clear the key fob error message or should we not stop the engine in the event that the MDX had an electrical key fob sensor issue? Dan and I looked at each other and made the decision that we would not shutdown the MDX engine throughout the 11 hour trip to be on the safe side . If the MDX had a sensor malfunction and would not start, we would be stuck on the road for several days attempting to find a tow truck and an Acura dealer. Leaving the engine on during gas refills and bathroom runs was possible with two people. That we did and arrived home at 5:00 PM. After dropping Dan off in Osprey, I arrived to our Venice condo, parked the MDX and shutdown the engine. There was relief when the car started, but again requiring that the key fob be placed by the starter button. On Monday, we will test Diane's key fob to determine if the fob is the issue or the MDX's wireless sensing circuit becoming erratic. This is paramount given the forthcoming Maine transition trip.

It is now Monday morning and here I am composing a regular Blog edition followed by spending a full day in the office with post show administrative work along with placing plastic sleeves on the Baltimore inventory and filing with stay-behind coins in the office safe.

I hope this brief monologue might bring insights into the life of a coin dealer.....


Strong Start for New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Auction Bidding

I'm most pleased to report that initial bidding for the newest GFRC Online Auctions event has been strong. Lot viewing at the Baltimore show was active on Friday along with favorable comments about the broad range of coins being offered.

As of this morning, 43 lots have secure bids totaling a tad over $65,000. One must keep these initial results in perspective as there are 170 lots in the auction with reserves of $288,000. Initial bidding stands at 25% in terms of number of lots and 23% in terms of opening reserves. Of course, CAC approved coins continue to see most of the bidding action along with important Liberty Seated dime die varieties.

So far, the five figure 1857-S NGC AU58 Seated half and the 1871-CC PCGS VF25 Seated dime have found new homes as the auction's initial highlights. Many other great coins are available and will most likely see bidding action in the coming days.

In Tuesday's Blog, I will spend more time reminding the community on those coins that should be carefully considered.


Please Hold Check Payments Until Thursday March 23

Whitman Baltimore show recovery and Maine office transition packing are the themes for the coming five days. It will be a busy time frame with shipping restarting this morning.

We have entered the time period where check payments must be withheld to ensure that no checks are captured in the USPS mail forwarding system. Please hold mailing payments until Thursday March 23 and send those payments to the Maine address afterwards.

Following is the balance of the Maine office transition schedule as a reminder.

March 22 - GFRC website and Collectors Corner mailing address converted to Raymond, Maine

March 23 - Mailed check payments can resume and should be addressed to GFRC, 225 Valley Rd, Raymond, Maine 04071-6163

March 23 - Last shipping day from the Venice Florida office

March 25 - New Jersey/Steven Vitale Collection auction event closes

March 27 - GFRC Maine office opens for business

March 27/28 - Auction invoices issued for New Jersey/Steven Vitale Collection successful bidder

March 28/29 - GFRC shipping restarts from Maine office


GFRC Consulting Request - An Etiquette Reminder

On a regular basis, I receive emails with gratis consulting requests. Individuals need help with die variety attributions or wish to have my expertise on a host of issues. Typically, individuals are baffled on why a coin will not be CAC approved or grade as expected. Unfortunately, some of those request only provide a TPG serial number or eBay lot number, with the expectation that I will take time from my busy day to look up their coins and render an opinion. I'm sorry, but this is not my job.....

If wishing to secure gratis consulting, please provide a direct link to the coin in question. Otherwise, the request will be filed into the get to it folder which is always the last to secure attention.


Global Financial News

These are unsettled times in the financial markets and in terms of geopolitical events and, of course, U.S. politics. I'm staying away from the latter topics but you all know my political leanings.

The initial morning financial news has UBS acquiring Credit Issues and the U.S. government is asking Warren Buffet for help with the banking crisis. I'm in the camp that the Federal Reserve cannot raise interest rates further until the banking crisis settles down. As usual, the Federal Reserve is a key factor in the current crisis after declaring that inflation was transitory to a rapid increase of interest rates from near 0% to 5.0%. Let's not forget that the Federal Reserve is also executing quantitative tightening in parallel.

As the Blog is being composed, spot gold had initially moved to $2003/oz before settling back to $1983/oz as of 7:45 AM ET. European trading is slightly favorable and hopefully U.S. trading will settle down and follow the same path.

Seeking Alpha morning market futures are now published as follows with U.S equities flat on the open.

In Asia, Japan -1.4%. Hong Kong -2.7%. China -0.5%. India -0.6%.

In Europe, at midday, London +0.3%. Paris +0.8%. Frankfurt +0.5%.

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

WTI crude is down to $66/bbl while Bitcoin is quoting at $28,346 as traders rush to gold and Bitcoin and away from equities during these troubled times.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has dropped to 3.37%. The U.S. dollar continues to remain soft with a DXY Index reading of 103.5.


Wrapping Up The Blog

I'm glad to be back in the office and composing a regular Blog edition. Today's lengthy discussion of the Baltimore show experience was not an attempt at whining but rather a statement of the reality of a small business owner. There are only so many hours in a day to allocate to the hobby and clients. I'm doing by best to support everyone but also need your help with understandings of the workload and why I will occasionally make a service mistake or need your attention to communication details.

The next five days will be incredibly busy as there are three days to recover from the Baltimore show and two days to pack the office for the Maine transition. I'm praying that all goes smoothly and the MDX behaves.

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




Saturday March 18, 2023

GFRC Enjoys a Strong Whitman Baltimore Show

New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Bidding Opens at 9:00 PM!


Final Day for Mailing Check Payments to Venice Office


Greetings from the Whitman Baltimore bourse floor and welcome to the final show Blog edition.

The Whitman show has been a strong event to the point of being thoroughly busy and not being able to keep a regular Blog writing schedule. It is current 9:45 AM on Saturday morning with the bourse opening in just 15 minutes. Therefore the commentary will be brief.

The GFRC team has enjoy an excellent show both from a buying and selling perspective. There is ample fresh inventory to keep me busy posting newps throughout the coming week along with many pieces for the GFRC-CAC Only auction that takes place on April 29. For example, GFRC purchased four Gold CAC U.S. gold pieces to sweeten the auction along with other silver type that should be well received.

On top of the retail operation, Len Augsburger was also busy for much of Friday with the New Jersey and Steven Vitale auction lot viewing. Many regular clients took the time to view both collections towards determining their bidding targets. I'm expecting a strong sale based on the number of email inquiries and those that came for lot viewing.

The GFRC-Lite franchise had it coming of age at the Baltimore show with sales totaling $16,000 as of this morning. I could not be more pleased with Rich Hundertmark and how diligent he has been in growing this business platform and selling lower priced and details coins on behalf of GFRC consignors.


New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Bidding Opens at 9:00 PM!

After months of preparation, the New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection auction sale opens for bidding this evening at 9:00 PM. The sale will last one week and close on March 25 at 9:00 PM.

By 9:00 PM this evening, Dan White and I will be at our overnight hotel before driving the balance of the distance to Florida on Sunday. I'm looking forward to checking into the hotel and watching the initial bidding results on the cellphone before calling it another numismatic day.

Please remember that the coming week bring the final days in the GFRC Venice office before starting the long transition back to Maine.


Final Day for Mailing Check Payments to Venice Office

A kind reminder to all GFRC clients is in order! Today brings the final day for mailing check payments to the GFRC Venice office. Come Monday through Wednesday, let's hold back mailing check payments to ensure that nothing is caught in the USPS email forwarding loop.

Come Thursday March 23, the mailing address shifts to the Maine office as follows;


225 Valley Rd

Raymond, Maine 04071-6163


Wrapping Up The Blog

OK, the bourse is open therefore time to sign-off. Be well!



Friday March 17, 2023

Whitman Baltimore Opening Day - Surprising Results!

Dreamweaver is Operational on New Dell XPS


Wednesday's Dealer to Dealer Buying Results


Greetings from the Whitman Baltimore bourse floor and welcome to a Thursday afternoon Blog edition.

As the headline indicates, the GFRC team came into the Whitman show with moderate expectations. The show started slow with limited early bird traffic at 10:00 AM. Come 12:00 noon, the bourse opened to the public and for the first hour, the traffic was slow with no floor "buzz". It was like someone flipped at switch with growing momentum throughout the afternoon. By 5:00 PM, GFRC and GFRC-Lite has sold close to six figures. Talk about a lot of action in just a few hours...

The new Dell XPS continues to be a challenging beast to tame, but finally, I was able to fire up the Dreamweaver application towards composing this Blog update. This fact was a good omen for the first day of the Whitman Baltimore show as I'm more than pleased with the afternoon floor traffic and sales activity. As mentioned to several individuals, the fact that I could not eat my Jimmy John's sub until 2:30 PM was consistent with the sale momentum.

Wednesday brought an excellent buying day that continued into Thursday. Following is a partial list of the CAC approved new purchases for your consideration. Please email for a price quote before these sell on Friday. This list is only 40% of new purchases as there was limited time to create this listing given the booth traffic.

1839 PCGS AU55 CAC H10c crusty original

1844-O NGC VF30 CAC H10c Medal Turn Reverse

1811/09 PCGS VF35 CAC 10c Near gem crusty original

1837 PCGS AU50 CAC Small Date 10c

1837 PCGS EF40 CAC Large Date 10c

1859-S PCGS VF30 CAC 10c - stone cold original and very low CAC population

1875-CC NGC AU55 CAC 20c

1818 PCGS EF40 CAC 25c crusty original

1850-O NGC EF45 CAC 25c back to GFRC inventory

1814 NGC EF45 CAC 50c

1881 PCGS MS63 CAC 50c exceptional gem with colors

1916-D PCGS MS65 CAC 50c

1798 Pointed 9 Wide Date NGC VF30 CAC $1 crusty original

1874 PCGS MS63 CAC T$1 - Gem original

1845-O NGC EF40 CAC G$5

1868 PCGS VF35 CAC G$5 - CAC population 4 in all grades!!!


Thanks for checking in. I will write more on Friday morning.

Be well!



Tuesday March 14, 2023

Steven Vitale Collection Auction - 4x8 Bulk Liberty Seated Dime Posted


China Brokers Diplomatic Relations Between Iran - Saudi Arabia


Greetings on a Monday afternoon as the Baltimore show luggage is packed and I'm relaxing before tomorrow 14 hour drive to Baltimore.

Monday brought the release of three new Liberty Seated dimes from the Gerry Fortin Reference Collection with two selling immediately. A sincere thank you goes out to the buyers as the monies will support the homestead's spring pond expansion project. Daily Blog readers should be ready for another year of Maine trail and pond projects and reporting progress reporting via the Blog. We will be back in in Maine in less than two weeks!


Steven Vitale Collection Auction - 4x8 Bulk Liberty Seated Dime Posted

I'm pleased to report that four auction lots containing eight lower price Liberty Seated dimes each have been posted to the Steven Vitale Collection portion of the online catalog. Dear fellow collectors, this is a 32 coin segment of an important collection with reserves totaling $3475 for the entire group. Let's remember that the Liberty Seated Dime Business Strike set, with Major Varieties, has a completion goal of 121 pieces. A successful bidder could acquire 25% of the set at a number under or close to $4000.

This is an opportunity for clients to acquire several bulk lots as the basis for starting a complete date and mintmark set. Let's remember that grading fees are not inexpensive for common date coins. Attempting to purchase all of these Vitale dimes on a singular basis would be most time consuming and more expensive, when shipping cost are considered, instead of winning these bulk lots. What a great launching pad for a new collecting goal!


China Brokers Diplomatic Relations Between Iran - Saudi Arabia

Whlle the media outlets were focused on, and leveraged the SVB collapse for ratings, another geopolitical event took place with equivalent importance The problem is that the U.S. media will not report this event and connect the dots.

Yes, Xi Jinping has brokered a deal between arch enemies Iran and Saudi Arabia. The significance of diplomatic relations being established between the two Middle East powers is huge with respect to the U.S dollar acting as the petro-dollar and world reserve currency.

What did we learn today from the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank? The Federal Reserve's strategy to fight inflation, due to excessive deficit spending and fighting inflation by raising interest rates from close to 0% to 5%, has dropped the value of U.S. Treasury bonds by a not so insignicant amount on private sector balance sheets. Banks that have parked depositor's cash into the safety of U.S Treasury bonds have seen a notable decline in the value of those assets as interest rates rise. If a bank finds itself in a liquidaty crisis, the value of the U.S. Treasury bonds is unable to cover deposits.

Let's stop and think about this for a moment. Rising U.S. interest rates are a risk for U.S bond holders as the value of their asset drops. Monday's drop in the U.S. dollar and the jump in spot gold price brings the realization that the Federal Reserve is now in a difficult box without escape. If the Federal Reserve raises interest rates further, there will be incremental bank failure risks as the public and regulators bring more oversight scrutiny. If the Fed drops rates, the U.S. dollar will become much weaker with few global players wishing to purchase U.S. Treasuries.

Now let's connect the dots between the SVB collapse and the Iran-Saudia Arabia deal.

It is clear to me that China is moving its pieces on the global chess board to detroned the U.S dollar as the world's reserve currency. Today's Middle East step was a masterful move as now China, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are aligning towards a common geopolitical goal. That is the replacement of the U.S. dollar with another international reserve currency.

If China secures its oil supply lines from Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, this is a closed loop system that DOES NOT require the U.S. dollar for trade. Conversely, the U.S. is neglecting its oil industry due to an administation that is hell bent on solving global warming on its own. As the U.S delves deepen in renewables, a mistake the Europeans have made, we are handing control of global oil pricing to a unified OPEC+ with China acting as a protective military power in the coming years.

What happens when the U.S. dollar loses influence on a global trade basis. Every country that has experienced a weakened currency must raise interest rates to support their currency to attract buyers for their debt (bonds). Can you imagine the consequences of the Federal Reserve requiring to support the U.S. dollar on a global basis? Rising interest rates would have a damaging impact on domestic consumption and worse, the value of U.S denominated Treasury bonds. Holders of U.S. bonds will rush for the exit sparking a collapse at a scale much larger than SVB.

Spot gold prices rose nearly $50 in 24 hours due to the SBV crisis and the realization that the Federal Reserve can no longer raise interest rates, else it may face more banking crises.

My advice to Blog readers is to hold on to your physical gold and silver and consider adding more. Physical assets will always trump digital assets during periods of geopolitical or economic uncertainty.


Wrapping Up The Blog

So ends a last minute Blog edition to hold readers over until a new composition can be published from the Whitman Baltimore show. There will be a host of new purchases to share in the coming days.

Be well!




Monday March 13, 2023

Steven Vitale Collection Auction - 8 Piece Bulk Lots are Posted


Packing for the Whitman Baltimore Show


Greetings on a Whitman Baltimore show week Monday and welcome to the Daily Blog. Fair warning as Blog editions will become unpredictable during the upcoming show days.

Let's open today's Blog with a food for thought Seth Godin blogpost that addresses my journey from First Right of Refusal selling to that of auctions. His suggestion of a lottery is indeed wise if the item is consistently applicable to individuals, like a concert ticket. Rare coins are collected on a client specific basis, therefore a lottery approach is a non-starter.

Seth Godin Blogpost - Allocating Scarcity

If we’re lucky, we invent something that’s going to be in high demand. Reservations at a hot restaurant. Limited edition trading cards. Concert tickets…

How to decide who gets them?

One attractive option is “first-come-first-served.” It feels fair, after all. The theory is that people who really want what you have will spend time (waste time) in line to show their commitment. But of course, this is a tax, and an uneven one at that, since some people value their time more than others.

Another is to simply auction off the scarce items. The good news is that the value of the scarce item won’t be squandered on time wasting, but will go to the company. But this might feel unfair, as it rewards people with more assets, as so many things do. On the other hand, it’s pretty clear that people allocate resources differently than we might expect.

The third method, the fairest of all, is to have a lottery. Invite your best customers, or charge a commitment fee, and then randomly allocate the loot. The good news is that you won’t alienate customers who feel as though it’s their fault that they didn’t wait in line long enough, or spend enough.

Each decision has effects. And it’s up to the producer to decide which emotions they want to be responsible for creating.


Steven Vitale Collection Auction - 8 Piece Bulk Lots are Posted

Sunday brought a new twist to the GFRC Online Auctions platform with the inclusion of bulk lots from the Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Collection.

Every auction house faces the same dilemma when low values lots are mixed in with higher value items. The time and cost to support the low value lots become prohibitive. Some auctions will group these lower priced lots into bulk lots or place at the end of a catalog with no images.

The Steven Vitale Collection brought this type of challenge as circulated grade common dates did not warrant time for image processing and description writing. Instead, it was decided to implement an 8 piece bulk lot approach for the March 18 auction. As of this morning, there are two lots posting to the auction catalog with a third lot waiting for an image before being uploaded. The lot description contains an itemized list of bulk lot contents including the identification of die varieties where relevant.

Following are the two posted auction lots with images.

1875 - 1882 Lower Price Lots

1883 - 1888 Lower Price Lots


A third lot with dates ranging from 1857 through 1878 has been prepared and will be posted to the catalog once there is sufficient sunlight for image capture.


Packing for the Whitman Baltimore Show

Planning is a terribly important activity for enjoying a smooth experience at a major coin show. Living behind the simplest of items can make the event more difficult to manage.

The next twelve hours brings Baltimore show preparations. Of course, inventory selection is the main event as there is only so much room in the showcases and auction display cases. Next comes the display accessories that include extension cords and power strips along with felt liners for the bottom of the display cases. I've already asked Rich Hundertmark to bring two extra extension cords to aid in powering up the GFRC-Lite table. Table covers are paramount since they double as locked body bags for the display cases.

Part of operating at a coin show is establishing an on the road office presence. Collectors will often see larger dealers with a full time admin person sitting at a computer and handling invoice generation. A small dealer, like GFRC, does not have the luxury of a dedicated office staff person. Rather, I am that person along with wearing a host of other hats during the event. Therefore, a reliable computer with the most recent COIN database is critical along with a cellphone with hotspot internet access. A bar code scanner is also paramount for insourcing purchased lots into the database or for a quick pricing scan. Let's not forget the wireless mouse, keyboard and docking station too! How about receipt pads and a change purse?

Probably the most important item is my 10x loupe. Once growing accustomed to a single loupe, the tool become that second set of eyes for assessing new purchases. Let's not forget small labels for pricing those new purchase prior to placing in the database and show cases.

Finally, there is the human support element which includes V-8 juice, bottled water, and low sugar snack bars. How can I forget a bottle of quality respond tequila and cups for the traditional 5PM happy hour?

All of the above items must fit into several pieces of rolling luggage and a computer bag. After years of attending coins show, there is an ability to pack a huge amount of items in a small space when carefully organized.


Global Financial News

The financial press was ablaze this weekend after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank on Friday. Bank runs are one of the scariest and most disruptive events for citizens of any country. When a bank goes under and depositors are unable to access their monies, confidence in a financial system wanes. Markets were down on Thursday and Friday as a result of the SVB closure by the Feds. Deposits under the $250,000 maximum FDIC insured amount are protected but not those with substantial more monies at this bank.

Rising interest rates had a substantial impact on SVB due to a substantial amount of investing in Treasury bond. Yes, those bonds are safe but their value will increase or decrease depending on the movement of interest rates. Since the Federal Reserve has been aggressively raising rate from near 0% and approaching the 5% mark, the value of Treasury bonds has been impacted leaving the bank's balance sheet in distress. SVB made a fundamental mistake by trying to raise capital in the equity markets which triggered awareness of their balance sheet crisis. Good old Jim Kramer recommended SVB stock as an investment just two weeks ago.

Eclipsed by SVB is the failure of another bank, Signature Bank, which was taken over by New York Department of Financial Services late last week.

The failure of banks consistent with shrinking Treasury bond assets will place pressure on the Federal Reserve to reconsider more interest rate hikes. We are experiencing the second order effects of current Federal Reserve monetary policies.

Morning market futures are in decent shape this morning given the SVB and Signature bank failures. The Federal Reserve will step in to protect depositors. We find the S&P 500 at 3,861 to start the week but with some strong gains forecasted as investors expect the SVB situation to force the Federal Reserve's interest rate plans.

In Asia, Japan -1.1%. Hong Kong +2%. China +1.2%. India -1.5%.

In Europe, at midday, London -1.8%. Paris -2%. Frankfurt -2.3%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +1.1%. S&P +1.6%. Nasdaq +2.3%.

Spot gold has jumped to $1892/oz starting with overnight trading in Asia. Is this price movement tied to SVB, then there is pressure on the Fed to stop raising rates, leading to the resulting drop in the U.S. dollar? That appears to be the situation as the DXY Index dropped to below 104 during the early morning hours. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury Bond has dropped to 3.58% which is consistent with the drop in DXY and rising gold prices.


Wrapping Up The Blog

There is little else to share at this point. After a brief health walk and shower, the balance of the day will be spent in the office as I've outlined earlier in today's Blog.

Since Tuesday is a travel day, the Daily Blog will not be published. Ditto for Wednesday as Dan and I have an early buying appointment at our hotel.

Thank you for stopping by. Be well!





Sunday March 12, 2023

New Jersey Collection Half Dollar Auction Sale Catalog Arrives!

Guest Article - Why Collect Coins? - WanYu, Haikou China


Spring Baltimore Show - GFRC at Booth 818 - Great Coins & Auction Lot Viewing


Greetings on a Daylight Saving Time morning and welcome to the Daily Blog.

Losing a hour of sleep should not be a big deal. Actually, I did not lose that sleep as I arose at the same time as yesterday. The issue is that the hands on the clock where moved by a government entity.....

Today's Blog will lack numismatic visuals as Saturday was spent constructing the New Jersey Seated Half Dollar Collection catalog along with organizing Baltimore show pickup lots. Honestly, I'm dreading the 14 hour drive to Baltimore on Tuesday considering the return drive to Florida on Sunday along with the transition road trip from Venice to Raymond just eleven days later.

Let's move forward with today's show as I'm complaining.....


New Jersey Collection Half Dollar Auction Sale Catalog Arrives!

The newest GFRC Online Auctions PDF catalog is now available for download. Just click on the catalog's cover to download and open the document followed by doing a "right click" and "Save As" with your mouse.

While building this catalog, I was once again reminded of the importance of this sale. The New Jersey Collection (Carl Feldman) along with Newtown, Oregon Beaver, and a new collector with the Emerald Collection name, have combined for a tantalizing auction event this coming Saturday. There are three Seated halves with huge CAC population gaps that warrant serious attention. Of course, the 1855-S and 1857-S are drawing most of the attention. However, please consider the 1869-S PCGS AU55 CAC half with a population of 5 at grade but the next finer is a lone MS65 for nearly nine times the reserve price. Is this 1869-S lot worth 50% more than the reserve? One might think about that for a moment.

New Jersey Collection Half Dollar Auction Sale Catalog


Guest Article - Why Collect Coins? - WanYu, Haikou China

The past week brought an email contact from an individual in China who has become a fan of the GFRC website and the Daily Blog. WanYu is all of 19 year old and is congratulated for his self confidence for reaching out to an American coin dealer and proposing that his "coin collecting" article be published in the Daily Blog. Wan provides a brief background explanation as follows;

I originally wanted to go to Shanghai Lixin Financial College to study actuarial science there, but my score of the college entrance examination last year was not enough, my chemistry is better compared with other subject, so I am now studying pharmacy in Hainan. Hainan is hot now, and there are many mosquitoes. Thank you very much for publishing my article! I hope that there are more people in our country willing to become an educator of numismatics like you. I will continue to learn on your website. I will introduce early American coins on Chinese social platforms, because I find that there are not many people in China who major in Liberty Seated coins.  I would like to take the lead!  

I believe this experience will also be a milestone in my journey of coin collecting!

Given Wan's age, it was not possible for our paths to have crossed when I was spending weekends at Shanghai's Yunzhou coin market during 2009-2012 time frame. Now onto his guest article, which is simply magnificent as English is not his native language. His appreciation for Liberty Seated design types and the formulation of evaluation techniques is certainly noteworthy.

Why Collect Coins?

People can have many hobbies.  But how should we objectively find out our greatest hobbies? My point of view is that it should be the first thing you think of when you wake up every morning besides work, and the last thing you think before you fall asleep.

For me, I can definitely say that it is coin collecting.  This hobby accompanied me through my childhood, leaving too many beautiful memories. 

In the process of collecting coins, I often wonder whether there are any phenomena that indicate that I am a natural coin lover.  I found that they do exist.

I found that when I first started playing computer games, the coins in my favorite game must have a classic and beautiful design.  And I also like playing Monopoly very much.  There were so many Monopoly coordinates in the store, I will definitely buy the one who has the best design of game token.  These were all before I collect U.S. coins.

My aunt, who lived in Vancouver, brought me a hundred one dollar bill.  That was the first time I saw U.S. currency.  But can you believe it?  My first two U.S. coins were a Roosevelt dime and a president one dollar coin that my desk mate gave me when I was in primary school, which she exchanged from her teacher in the weekend class.

About one year after that, I saw the early U.S. coin for the first time, and that was a 1875 Philadelphia Seated half dollar.  Let me tell you this story: That was a normal school day, I went to school after lunch break. Just as I walked to my seat, The guy sitting behind me called me and took out a Mickey Mouse magazine from his desk drawer, (He was a Mickey Mouse fan) he turned to the page of the raffle and handed the magazine to me, and said: “ This activity can draw coin, have a look.” I was immediately interested in it, as I saw the picture of the coin, yes, I was very impressed by my feelings at that time. I am completely immersed in the Seated Liberty’s beautiful streamlined design.  Indeed, the most important reason why I collect Seated coins is the design that is extremely in line with my aesthetics.  I still remember at that time I thought it was impossible to get this coin by lottery, but I would definitely get the Seated coin by other means.

The fat guy who often bullies me also generously gave me the magazine. Since then, I have taken the bus to the coin market by myself almost every weekend, and told my parents that I would go to play with my classmates. Since I didn’t know the name of the coin (seated) and don’t know how to describe it, I would take the magazine with me. I can say it was sure tough to find.  I went there for many times before I got my first Seated coin, an 1853 seated dime.  It was in the counter of a small coin shop, lying with other foreign coins.  I was like finding a treasure. It was difficult for others to understand my excitement. It was just like you know you got what you wanted most. I would take this dime with me to school, and put it on the sofa when watching TV in the evening...

But after a few days, I found the Seated Liberty on the dime was a little bit different from the one on the half dollar.  I can say this is the first time I have noticed the different types of one coin series.  The Seated Liberty on the half dollar has broad shoulder and small head, which on dime is just the opposite.  

With the increasing use of the Internet, I gradually found some foreign websites that was about numismatic.  And I can say the fastest growing period of my knowledge of coins had arrived.  Learning coins is different from studying math.  It requires you to spend more time to know different types of series, the different designs and different values... It requires passion. For sure.

Not long after that, I knew that the Seated dime from 1837 to 1839, including some of 1840s, also has broad shoulder.  In my brain, I can form a tree diagram.  I can divided them into several types in several ways.  For example, whether it has arrows;  what is its weight; what is the design of the Liberty etc. Of course, they are just some basic classification. As I learned more, I knew the size of date, the nuances of wreath, the location of mint mark... are also different.  Looking back at the process, you can see the increase of your knowledge and gain a sense of achievement from it.  This is also the reason for collecting coins.  With these knowledge, you can always get good coins at lower price.  To me, I have got an 1873 cc arrows quarter, 1838 Seated half dime, 1837 Seated dime, 1839 Seated quarter... They are all bought with my little pocket money.

I often wonder why I spend money to buy coins.  One day I will leave the world, but it is obvious that I can’t take my coins with me.  But this hobby let me volunteer to play the role of a coin protector in the long history.  I think my thoughts will change constantly, after all, I am only a 19-year-old youth.  

As far as now, I think that nothing really belongs to us, except our own experiences and memories.  And these two things are exactly what coin collection can bring us.


March 11th, 2023


Spring Baltimore Show - GFRC at Booth 818 - Great Coins & Auction Lot Viewing

This is a kind reminder that GFRC can be easily located on the Whitman bourse floor this coming Thursday through Saturday.

Gerry and staff are not far from the entrance with just two right turns being necessary for accessing some of the best Liberty Seated and U.S. gold coinage on the bourse floor. We look forward to spending time with our favorite clients and also meeting new friends.

The New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection auction lots will also be on display and available for lot viewing. Friday would be the best day as GFRC's staff cataloger, Len Augsburger, will be handling the lot viewing portion of the booth on a full time basis. This is your chance to meet Len, who is also the Liberty Seated Collectors Club president, and securing his opinions of the auction lots.

Spring Whitman Baltimore Show - GFRC at Booth 818

Wrapping Up The Blog

Of course, today brings another long GFRC office day as Whitman Baltimore preparations move into high gear. Monday morning shipping will be staged for Diane along with the first steps in pulling show inventories. There will be trip to Publix for food bars and V-8 along with a nice bottle of Tequila to share at the daily 5:00 PM Happy Hour before the show closing time.

Saturday sales were brisk and I hope that this trend continues today. It is best to grab your targeted coins before they are on display at Baltimore.

I hope that this Blog edition was worth the visit. Be well!




Saturday March 11, 2023

New Orleans Collection - Liberty Seated Quarters to Consider


GFRC Baltimore and Maine Transition Schedule Reminder



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

Get ready to lose an hour of sleep this evening as Daylight Saving Time begins during the overnight hours. When will we finally eliminate this practice?

I've begin monitoring Raymond, Maine weather as we will be back in the Pine Tree state in a little over two weeks. Temperatures are starting to move back to seasonal levels with day time highs reaching the mid-40s and overnights hovering around the freezing mark. I'm hoping that the snow pack will be mostly gone come our arrival and looking forward to meeting Maine Solar Solutions on March 31 to kick-off the installation of off-grid solar power for the barn.

Today begins the Whitman Baltimore show preparations in earnest. For the past few days, I've been wholly focused on placing the New Orleans Collection lots on the price list to provide community members with first shot for these coins. Liberty Seated quarters are the last installment to be published in the Blog with the balance of the collection going directly into the show inventory boxes. Simply stated, I've run out of time and must focus on Baltimore show preparations items as a priority.


New Orleans Collection - Liberty Seated Quarters to Consider

Liberty Seated quarters are always in demand due to a large following and a diminutive supply. Luckily, the New Orleans Collection contained fourteen pieces that will aid the GFRC inventory position. As per prior denominations, the CAC approved pieces are moving to the April 29 GFRC-CAC only auction. The balance are immediately available other than the 1840-O No Drapery PCGS F15. The circulated cameo eye appeal promptly captured the attention of several collectors and is on hold.

The top four marquee quarters are worthy of attention with the 1854-O Huge receiving a GFRC-Gem quality rating. Once morning shipping is completed, these lots will be posted to the price list or the online auction catalog with offer prices. I've quoted a few pieces already and waiting for the hard purchase commits to appear. Unloved lots will be seen in the Baltimore show cases.

New Orleans Collection - Liberty Seated Quarters to Consider

Posting to Price List or Online Auction Catalog

1840-O Drapery PCGS EF45 25C                                                   1843-O PCGS AU55 25C


1854-O Huge O PCGS VF35 CAC 25C                                                  1891-O PCGS VF35 50C       


 1840-O ND PCGS VF35 CAC 25C                        1840-O ND PCGS F15 25C                           1843-O PCGS VF25 25C        


 1847-O PCGS VF20 25C                              1855-O PCGS VG10 25C                              1856-O PCGS EF45 25C


 1858-O PCGS VF35 25C                             1859-O PCGS EF45 25C                               1891-O PCGS AG03 25C



GFRC Baltimore and Maine Transition Schedule

The next two weeks bring non-stop action as three important events take place. Attention to schedule details is paramount as I will not be generating comprehensive Daily Blog communications while in Baltimore. Actually, publishing the Daily Blog will take an erratic turn while on the road.

As a reminder to myself and GFRC clients, following is the schedule for the next two weeks. Key is the shifting of check payments from the Venice, Florida address to the Raymond, Maine address. To ensure that check payments are not caught up in the USPS forwarding loop, there will be mailing blackout from March 19 through March 22. I will be using ship aheads as much as possible to keep orders flowing to clients.

Following is the schedule for shifting payment mailings from Venice, Florida to Raymond, Maine along with the closure of the upcoming GFRC Online Auctions event.

March 14 - GFRC travels to Baltimore

March 15/18 - GFRC exhibits at the Whitman Baltimore show. See Gerry, Dan, Rich and Len at Booth 818.

March 18 - Final day for mailing check payments to Venice Florida address

March 18 - New Jersey/Steven Vitale Collection auction bidding opens

March 22 - GFRC website and Collectors Corner mailing address converted to Raymond, Maine

March 23 - Mailed check payments can resume and should be addressed to GFRC, 225 Valley Rd, Raymond, Maine 04071-6163

March 23 - Last shipping day from the Venice Florida office

March 25 - New Jersey/Steven Vitale Collection auction event closes

March 27 - GFRC Maine office opens for business

March 27/28 - Auction invoices issued for New Jersey/Steven Vitale Collection successful bidder

March 28/29 - GFRC shipping restarts from Maine office


Wrapping Up The Blog

There is little else to share at this point. I'm heading into the shower and will be working in the office the entire day after the morning shipping is accomplished.

Thanks again for checking in. Be well!




Friday March 10, 2023

New Orleans Collection - Seated and Barber Halves

GFRC Online Auctions - New Jersey/Steven Vitale Collection Bidding Opens Soon!


GFRC-CAC Auction Date Announcement


Greetings on a peaceful Friday morning and welcome to a visually pleasing Daily Blog edition. I'm glad that you could stop by....thank you!

Your host has been quite busy preparing the New Orleans Collection coins for the price list to ensure that everyone in the community has a shot before these are displayed at the Whitman Baltimore show. The decision to take the non-CAC component to the price list without description has allowed me to focus exclusively on image processing. The priority shift has resulted in today's galleries.

In this edition, I will also announce the date for the upcoming GFRC-CAC only auction. The consignment window for that auction is immediately open and closes on April 7.

Let's open the New Orleans Collection display with a lovely Barber half dollar gallery. The two 1895-O halves can be found at the bottom of the GFRC auction catalog, already with reserves posted. The 1905-O is a near-gem with creamy frosted luster. Proof-like best describes a choice 1899-O example as the reflectance is quite sharp and eye catching under angled lighting. The crusty 1909-O is inexpensive. All are posted to the 30 Day Price List or the auction catalog.

New Orleans Collection - Barber Halves

Posted to Price List or Online Auction Catalog

1895-O PCGS MS64 CAC 50C                                                       1905-O PCGS MS64 50C   


1895-O PCGS VF35 CAC 50C                          1899-O PCGS AU55 50C                                1909-O PCGS F15 50C      



Next is the New Orleans Collection display featuring a lone 1839-O Reeded Edge half along with a wonderful lot of circulated Seated halves. By mid morning, all lots will be posted to the price list or the auction catalog. This is your opportunity to secure naturally toned circulated silver halves at fair offer prices. My mandate from the consignor is to get these sold towards raising numismatic capital.

New Orleans Collection - Bust and Seated Halves

Posted to Price List or Online Auction Catalog

1839-O GR-1 PCGS EF40 50C

  1840(O) WB-4 PCGS MS66 10C                                                   1852-O WB-1 PCGS EF40 50C


 1841-O WB-9 PCGS EF40 50C                    1842-O WB-11 PCGS EF45 50C                  1843-O WB-3 PCGS VF35 50C


 1845-O WB-20 PCGS EF45 50C                         1847-O PCGS EF40 50C                         1848-O WB-13 PCGS VF30 50C


       1857-O PCGS VF25 50C                         1859-O WB-15 PCGS EF40 50C                      1860-O WB-9 PCGS EF45 50C



GFRC Online Auctions - New Jersey/Steven Vitale Collection Bidding Opens Soon!

The month of March is moving along quickly which means that the New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection auction is just eight days away.

For those attending the Whitman Baltimore show, the auction lot preview brings an opportunity to see these collections first hand. Of course, there will be vigorous bidding for the San Francisco halves and the Carson City dimes as the headline lots.

For those who have been hibernating, the next GFRC Online Auctions event opens for bidding on March 18 and will conclude on March 25.

If requirement lay-a-way payment terms, NOW is the time to contact me for arrangements. Come next Tuesday, my head will be focused on the Whitman Baltimore show including the dealer to dealer trading event on Wednesday. Email inquires during Whitman will have protracted response times. Please don't procrastinate and make your auction payment arrangements while I'm still in the office.


GFRC-CAC Auction Date Announcement - April 29, 2023

I'm pleased to announce that the third 2023 GFRC Online Auction will be a CAC only event. This will be an opportunity for consignors to place their coins into a session that will draw the attention of advanced collectors in our community. There are currently three anchor consignments. First are the CAC approved lots from the New Orleans Collection. Second is a spectacular lot of Barber halves from the Black Point Collection in southern Maine. Finally, I will be heading to the bank box and adding an important lot of Liberty Seated dimes, many of which are duplicates from the core collection or those that I've been unable to part with up until this point.

The GFRC-CAC auction will open on April 29 and close on May 6. Already, lots are being loaded to the online auction catalog and can be found below the New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection lots. The number of lots will grow progressively larger in the coming weeks.

Now is the time to consider your consignments and shipping those to the GFRC Venice office. Diane will be here to take receipt. The consignment window will close on April 7. Lots received after April 7 will not be included in this sale, rather heading directly to the 30 Day Price List.


Global Financial News

Markets threw a fit on Thursday as the S&P 500 dropped to 3,918. The cause is mounting concerns in the banking sector after the collapse of Silver Capital (another high tech and crypto market victim) along with Silicon Valley Bank Financial requiring to restructure its finances. I'll let Seeking Alpha explain the situation;

The investing world is still trying to determine whether there is another banking crisis on the horizon following the collapse of Silvergate Capital and the shoring up of Silicon Valley Bank. Shares of the latter's parent company, SVB Financial, tumbled 60% on Thursday and fell another 20% in the AH session to $82.90. Panic quickly spread to the broader market as bank shares across Wall Street reacted to the developments, and pushed the S&P 500 Financial Index Sector down 4% by the close, marking its worst drop since June 2020.

What happened? Stirring up fear among investors, SVB Financial Group announced it would raise $2.25B in new capital through two offerings and a private placement. The money would go to shore up its balance sheet, which was dented by the sale of a loss-making bond portfolio consisting mostly of U.S. Treasuries. The bank apparently lost $1.8B on the trade as it rushed to sell off its low-interest bonds, with an inverted yield curve creating headwinds for those that are borrowing short-term and lending long.

Compounding the situation: If too many customers tap their deposits at once, a bank run can ensure or trigger sector contagion. On Thursday, SVB Financial CEO Greg Becker held a conference call with clients and urged them to "stay calm" as tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel's Founders Fund reportedly asked its companies to move their funds. Silicon Valley Bank was known for its bets on what has now been deemed frothy tech, and as the Fed continues its aggressive monetary policy path, much of the capital and liquidity that was there is leaving the system. SIVB also revised its outlook to reflect a sharper decline in net interest income, expecting rates to stay higher for longer.

Today brings the February jobs growth report that will galvanize investor attention. A weak report would be helpful at this point to calm interest rate jitters.

Morning market futures point to more follow-on selling at the opening bell.

In Asia, Japan -1.7%. Hong Kong -3%. China -1.4%. India -1.1%.

In Europe, at midday, London -1.7%. Paris -1.3%. Frankfurt -1.4%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.6%. S&P -0.4%. NASDAQ -0.2%.

Bitcoin took a sizable hit on Thursday and is down to $19,664. Spot gold has held up nicely, during this market pullback, and is quoting at $1839. WTI crude is priced at $75/bbl.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has dropped to 3.85% while the U.S. dollar index (DXY) is flat at 105+.


Wrapping Up The Blog

How I love Fridays as there is no shipping for security reasons. Instead, the extra two hours provides an opportunity to post all of the New Orleans Collection Liberty Seated halves to the price list prior to many reading today's Blog edition.

Yes, I will be in the GFRC auction the entire day processing yet more New Orleans Collection images. The next lot will be the Liberty Seated quarters.

So ends another Blog edition. I hope this visit was worthwhile. Thanks again and be well!




Thursday March 9, 2023

New Orleans Collection - Liberty Seated Half Dimes


There is No Santa Claus in Numismatics....


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Thursday morning as another day arrives in the GFRC office. I'm glad that you could stop by.

It is 6:00 AM at the keyboard while Renee, Mike, and the kids are preparing for their Sarasota airport transfer. Diane will be transporting them as there is just enough space in the MDX for three adults, a youngster, and a baby in a car seat. Honestly, I do not envy Renee and Mike given their challenge of checking in luggage, moving through the TSA checkpoint, and waiting for the flight to board along with managing Ivy and Miles. Come mid-April, Diane will be heading to Austin for her nanny role once Renee returns to the veterinarian clinic.

Wednesday brought the usual office day with progress on a host of projects. The March 18th GFRC Online Auctions introduction was finalized. The New Orleans Collection offer prices were approved along with image processing beginning in earnest. Finally, I was approached by a client concerning a purchase of the 1838 Small Stars F-101(b) dime. An offer price was tendered and accepted. As a result, today brings a web-book update to include the still mysterious proof-like die state. The monies will help pay for Dave Wilkinson's excavator time as we expand the spring pond and attempt to connect to the second and larger spring. After a winter in Florida, I'm pumped for the smell of diesel and chain saw work.

Dan and I are gearing up for the Whitman show and a 14 hour drive to Baltimore next Tuesday. Monday brings a long day of packing inventory, ensuring order pickups are accounted for, and validating that the IT equipment will be functional.


New Orleans Collection - Liberty Seated Half Dimes

It is official! The New Orleans Collection is ready to be sold after a pleasant phone call with our new consignor. A commitment was extended that all the non-CAC coins would be brought to Baltimore and made available for purchase at the show. The CAC approved lots will be held back for a growing May auction event.

Thinking about this offering a bit more, would it make sense to move forward with images on the non-CAC coins and post them to the price list without descriptions? In that manner, the GFRC community could gain access before offering these at the Baltimore show. Writing descriptions is a time consuming process. Therefore, my precious time would be better spent processing images towards a quick 30 Day Price List roll out.

Today brings the first of many daily New Orleans Collection galleries. The galleries will present each design and denomination in its entirety with both CAC and non-CAC coins to document the collector's achievement. Following are the Liberty Seated half dimes for your consideration. All I can say is that this is a wonderful lot!

New Orleans Collection - Liberty Seated Half Dimes

CAC Lots Are a May 2023 Auction Preview

Non-CAC Lots Immediately Available

              1838-O V-1 PCGS F15 H10C                                          1840-O Drapery V-5 PCGS EF45 CAC H10C


1852-O V-1 PCGS AU58 CAC H10C                                              1859-O V-1 PCGS MS65 CAC H10C


 1839-O V-2 PCGS VF20 H10C                   1840-O ND V-2 PCGS VF35 H10C                  1853-O V-3 PCGS AU58 H10C



There is No Santa Claus in Numismatics....

A long time Liberty Seated dime die variety collector contacted me on Tuesday via email to report that a new 1853 Unhubbed Arrows and Date dime, with small arrows, had just appeared on the market. Where? The dime was posted on eBay and brought 22 bids! This individual did not provide images but rather pointed me to the eBay lot number. I was consumed with office duties and forgot to check this major finding.... Yesterday brought another email and a phone call. Below is the obverse image from the eBay listing.

Honestly, I challenged this long time die variety collector when he called as he should know better than to fall for a modern Chinese counterfeit. The date punch and arrows are all wrong and typical of the output of the Chinese FuJian "mint" that fabricates these types of counterfeits by the thousands. Note how the stars on the left obverse are poorly defined too. From what I gathered, the winning bidder paid a substantial amount for the lot after those 22 bids.

As I've often mentioned in the Blog, there is no Santa Claus in numismatics, especially on eBay which is replete with problem coins and counterfeits.


Global Financial News

U.S. equity markets barely moved on Wednesday which is a positive development. Tuesday's Jerome Powell gut punch was absorbed in one trading session. However, morning market futures are pointing to another down day, especially for the tech sector as the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has risen to an even 4.0%.

U.S.-Sino tensions continue to elevate with a war of words underway after China will be restricted from acquiring new generation ASML steppers for microelectronics production. Here is the Seeking Alpha perspective.

Sino-U.S. tensions are on full display this week. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has warned Washington of "conflict and confrontation" if it failed to change course in relations with Beijing, while paramount leader Xi Jinping accused the U.S. of "all-round containment, encirclement and suppression that has brought unprecedented grave challenges to our nation's development." Firing back at the remarks, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said that China remains our and could "leverage its dominant positions in key global supply chains to threaten and cut off foreign countries during a crisis." It comes after the Netherlands agreed to a U.S. request to impose export restrictions on China - limiting the powerful chips and deep lithography tools of Dutch company ASML - as a battle over silicon determines the technologies of the future

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

In Europe, at midday, London -0.8%. Paris -0.6%. Frankfurt -0.5%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.4%. NASDAQ -0.7%.

WTI crude has pull back to $77/bbl will gold is hanging tough at $1821/oz. The $1800 mark is a key support level for the precious metal. Bitcoin is also weak at $21,644.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Diane will be back from the Sarasota airport soon and best to move forward with cleaning the condo and conducting regular morning shipping.

I will definitely be in the office throughout the day working on two projects. First is loading today's New Orleans coins to the price list plus image processing. Second is building the New Jersey Collection auction catalog PDF file.

If wishing to make a purchase, I am certainly all ears.

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



Wednesday March 8, 2023

Ivy & Miles


A Special Strike 1838 Small Stars F-101(b) Dime?


Greetings on a Wednesday morning and welcome to the another Daily Blog edition. I hope that this issue is worthwhile.

Days are flying by in Venice as a family visit coincides with Whitman Baltimore and GFRC Online Auctions preparations. With Renee and family at the condo, I'm handling all office duties including shipping. Tuesday brought time at the pool for Ivy, Mike, and Diane while Renee stayed behind with Miles. My day focused on adding more Liberty Seated dime lots to the Steven Vitale Collection auction and wrapping up the New Orleans Collection's quality assessment and pricing proposals. The latter exercise was enlightening with respect to those lots that were submitted to CAC and were not approved. In all but one case, the reasons for not securing a green bean became evident while assessing GFRC quality ratings.

Late afternoon brought a daily health walk followed by Renee and Mike enjoying an adult (without children) dinner on Venice Island. In other words, Meme and Tractor Grandpa were babysitters for several hours. Diane's role was to keep Ivy entertained and fed while my role, during our traditional wine time, was to rock Miles in his stroller to ensure that he slept while his parents were away. All worked out well with Diane and I alternating times at the dinner table to ensure our grandchildren were well kept.

Here is a snapshot of 3.5 year old Ivy and 2+ month old Miles during the babysitting event.


A Special Strike 1838 Small Stars F-101(b) Dime?

Tuesday also brought a photography session of about 25 holdered Liberty Seated dimes that currently served as web-book plate coins. Yes, I am going to place this lot on the price list prior to returning to Maine for fund raising reasons. Ongoing barn and trail projects consume money and this lot will help provide the funds to continue what I truly enjoy doing once back at the homestead.

In this 25 piece lot is the following 1838 Small Stars dime that was purchased during November 2006 from Dr. Gene Bruder. This dime has never been listed in The Definitive Resource for Liberty Seated Dime Variety Collectors reference as unique and without explanation for its striking. The time has come to publish what I believe is a special strike 1838 Small Stars dime with a web-book listing of F-101(b).

Why do I consider this piece to be a special strike? This piece was struck by heavily striated dies with a proof-like appearance under bright light. The obverse and reverse die cracks are consistent with the F-101(a) die state, however, the dies have been heavily polished. On the obverse, bold die lines run from north to south while the die metal adjacent to the denticles is crumbling. This die steel pitting is moving into the fields. The reverse die condition is more bizarre with heavy north-south die lines inside the wreath while there are other die lines running from 10:00 to 4:00 behind the legend. The die also has a bulge between O(NE) down to DI(M)E that remains frosted.

Adding to the mystery is that the reverse die was also employed, with its F-101(a) die cracks, to strike addition Large Stars coinage during a single remarriage. Those strike do not exhibit the heavy die striations.

So where do this leave us? Why was the original Small Stars die pair extensively polished to produce proof-like coinage. Why has no other example been located in nearly two decades. Yes, a next step is to examine the Heritage Auctions archives as a research opportunity. Remember that all 1838 Small Stars dimes are seen with granular frosted luster and not with reflective proof-like surfaces.

Yes, this dime will be for sale like all other dimes in the reference collection. Before it is sold, I hope to have answers for the question posed in this Blog edition.

1838 Small Stars F-101(b) "Special Strike" NGC MS64 10C


Global Financial News

On Tuesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell provided a gut punch to the equity market stomach as he warned of higher interest rates to tame stubborn inflation. Here is Seeking Alpha's reporting of the event.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will be back in the hot seat on Wednesday, delivering his second day of semi-annual monetary policy testimony before the House Financial Services Committee. Markets were already jolted in the previous session following comments that suggested the central bank could put an end to its recent shift towards more gradual tightening. The dollar surged and the benchmark S&P 500 Index closed out Tuesday with a loss of 1.5%, while the key 2-year and 10-year Treasury yield curve hit its deepest inversion since 1981.

From the transcript: "The process of getting inflation back down to 2% has a long way to go and is likely to be bumpy," Powell told the Senate Banking Committee. "As I mentioned, the latest economic data have come in stronger than expected, which suggests that the ultimate level of interest rates is likely to be higher than previously anticipated. If the totality of the data were to indicate that faster tightening is warranted, we would be prepared to increase the pace of rate hikes."

The speech shows just how dependent the Fed will be on incoming data ahead of its upcoming policy meeting scheduled for March 21-22. Over the next two weeks, investors will be able to size up their positions on how hard the central bank will go, with a flurry of releases scheduled on the economic calendar. Data points include the JOLTS report today, the non-farm payrolls on Friday, as well as retail sales, the producer price index and figures on industrial production next week.

A new trading day starts with the S&P 500 at 3,986, spot gold down to $1820/oz and the U.S. dollar (DXY) index at 105.7. Morning market futures are pointing to buying on the dip sentiment.

In Asia, Japan +0.5%. Hong Kong -2.4%. China -0.1%. India +0.2%.

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

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.3%. NASDAQ +0.4%.

WTI crude has fallen to $77+/bbl on the Powell fedspeak along with Bitcoin down to $22,080. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is back up to 3.97%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings another office day as Ivy is going to a local park this morning followed by being in the HOA pool this afternoon. Our guests will be flying back to Austin on Thursday.

For those who have time, I suggest that you take in Tucker Carlson's recent segments on the just released January 6 video footage that has been held back by Nancy and now released by speaker McCarthy. There is a loud cry of foul by the establishment as the public can see what actually happened on January 6 versus what we have been fed by the media and a politically one sided January 6 committee.

And with that thought, I bid you farewell for another day. A purchase would be most appreciated.....

Take care and be well!



Tuesday March 7, 2023

Nuts & Bolts Execution in the GFRC Office


GFRC Online Auction Announces May 2023 CAC Only Auction


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Tuesday morning. I'm so pleased with the ongoing visits.

I believe today's headlines fairly well summarizes the situation in the GFRC office on Tuesday. It was a "nuts & bolts" day as some projects were wrapped up while others remained in progress. Of course, having grand daughter Ivy running about the condo made for some exciting moments. Ivy loves her large building block and spend a fair amount of her free time constructing pretty landscapes that appeared quite advanced for her age. Miles is a quiet baby who loves to hang out in his stroller when not being fed. Late afternoon brought an alligator alert as one of the local back pond residents were easily seen from our lanai.

One of the important accomplishments of the day was a Collectors Corner update. All newly posted coins as of yesterday have also been listed on Collectors Corner. Hopefully the update will brings about a few new orders as this marketing platform has been quiet of late.

For readers who might be newer to the Blog, the Newman Numismatic Portal is hosting the GFRC Daily Blog archives with years 2017 through 2022 available. The location of the Daily Blog archives is listed as a search string Home/Library/Periodicals/Daily Blog [Gerry Fortin Rare Coins]. The January and February 2023 Daily Blog archive files with just transferred to Len Augsburger for uploading.


The City By The Bay Collection consignment has been fully posted and is selling well. So far, six of the eleven offerings are on hold. Hopefully, a few more will find new homes today.

Towards the end of the day, Rich Hundertmark sent along a email and is most excited about the forthcoming Whitman Baltimore show. With his email came a photography of two newly arrived magazine images with a Liberty Seated coinage theme.

Hi Gerry,

GFRC-Lite is busy prepping inventory for the big Whitman Show in just over a week. I’ll have two packed cases of both raw and certified inventory ready for sale that covers everything from Early Copper to Peace Dollars. 

Over just the last couple of days I received the two publications pictured below. 

It’s gotta be a good sign that Liberty Seated imagery is front and center on the current covers for both the PCGS Market Report and the Greysheet, right ??



GFRC Online Auction Announces May 2023 CAC Only Auction

I'm pleased to report that another GFRC Online Auctions event is in the planning stage and will be immediately opened for consignments. This will be a CAC approved early type coin event with three anchor collections to kick things off. The three anchor lots will total nearly 40 pieces and are as follows:

- New Orleans Collection - Liberty Seated and Barber Coinage

- Black Point Collection - Barber Halves

- Gerry Fortin Core Set - Liberty Seated Dime Duplicates

Since CAC approved collectibles continue to see high demand, why not establish a CAC themed auction event with better grade inventory? Given the high demand for CAC stickered coins, price discovery is best accomplished via the auction platform rather than the fixed price list. In this manner, everyone has a shot at securing premium coins for their collections in a controlled manner.

Might the GFRC community members be interested in participating in this event?

If you are a regular GFRC consignor, I would be pleased to host your consignments, whether a single coin or a PCGS Blue Box of 20. The only requirement is that consigned lots must be CAC approved and consistent with major GFRC product lines. The cut-off for submissions will be April 7! This will allow sufficient time for photography and Len Augsburger's cataloging. The Whitman Baltimore and Manchester NH coin shows would be excellent opportunities to drop off coins for the event.

So please give this announcement some serious thought as to a new venue for fair price discovery for your premium coins.


Global Financial News

U.S. equities meandered along on Monday with little change. Investors are again in a Fed watch mode as Jerome Powell is due to provide testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee later today. You can bet that every word will be analyzed as the financial media lives for this drama.

Morning market futures are again flat, but could swing one way or the other based on interpretation of Powell's interest rate messaging.

In Asia, Japan +0.3%. Hong Kong -0.3%. China -1.1%. India +0.7%.

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

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

Meanwhile in the commodity space, WTI crude pricing has increased to $80/bbl with spot gold pricing hanging tough at $1847/oz. Bitcoin is flat with a quote of $22,371.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is reported at 3.93%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

The 8:00 AM publishing time is rapidly approaching and best to terminate these ramblings and move forward with another day.

This evening, Meme and Tractor Grandpa will be baby sitting Ivy and Miles to allow Renee and Mike time for a private dinner date on Venice Island. They will be taking the MDX into town and we wish them a peaceful meal.

If you would like to conduct a purchase from the price list, I am certainly all ears. If wishing to consign coins, I'm also pleased to listen to proposals and needs. The GFRC brand is built on service and we try our best to help every client in a truly professional manner.

Thank you as always for making the Blog a daily destination. Be well!




Monday March 6, 2023

New Orleans Collection - Demand Findings


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

Today's edition will be brief given an important family visit that is underway. Renee, Mike, Ivy, and Miles arrived safely on Sunday afternoon after a slightly delayed flight from Austin. "Tractor Grandpa" as I am known by Ivy, rocked Miles for a extended period of time to provide Renee with a break and also facilitating a quiet dinner for the balance of the family. After a solo dinner, I was in bed early towards initiating a busy office week prior to the Whitman Baltimore show.

Nearly all of the City By The Bay Collection consignment has been loaded to the price list with a few pieces selling upon being posted. There are four more to go with the 1889 dime being spoken for during the overnight hours.

Otherwise, Collectors Corner and regular price list demand is crickets. The Whitman Baltimore show will be an important test of the state of the numismatic market. Will collectors take the time to travel to downtown Baltimore to attend a coin event? The answer to that question will be known in just ten days.


New Orleans Collection - Demand Findings

Posting the New Orleans Collection contents, as seen in the upper right table, was an insightful and worthwhile exercise. Demand for the CAC approved lots dwarfed the non-CAC coins. If one considers economics and a demand vs. supply curve, CAC coin prices must continue to move up due to vigorous demand while non-CAC coin pricing needs to be set on a conservative basis.

Based on Sunday's demand inputs, I will be advising the New Orleans Collection consignor that we hold back his CAC approved coins and stage a mini-auction. His non-CAC approved coins can be posted to the price list and displayed at the Baltimore show. Locating an appropriate pricing level for the non-CAC coins will be challenging for our new friend. Now that the multi-year numismatic bull market has topped out, the PCGS Price Guide numbers are more consistent with CAC approved examples while non-CAC coins must sell at discounted numbers to the price guide.


Global Financial News

Another Monday arrives along with a fresh trading week. The benchmark S&P 500 Index is up 5.8% so far in 2023, after falling nearly 20% in 2022 to mark its worst performance since the financial crisis. Last week brought the S&P 500 back to the 4,045 mark with improving optimism for the coming months. There is an emerging belief that the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield rate rate has topped out at 4.0% and will be dropping during the balance of the year. A reduction in this benchmark rate will have a positive demand on the housing market. Many Millennials are renting and eventually wish to own their own homes.

Morning market futures are flat to the start the week.

In Asia, Japan +1.1%. Hong Kong +0.2%. China -0.2%. India +0.7%.

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

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

Seeking Alpha presents a new update on the latest Chinese budget and spending priorities via this brief article.

China's National People's Congress convened its annual parliamentary gathering over the weekend, setting a GDP growth goal of "around 5%" for 2023 to mark its lowest target in over three decades. Perhaps unsurprisingly, China's defense spending will rise by 7.2% - or by nearly $230B - which is greater than its economic growth objective, and ahead of its 5.7% increase in general public expenditure. The figures will be on the radar of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, with U.S. defense spending in focus amid budget cut talks on the debt ceiling. Tensions are also continuing to escalate between the world's largest economies as the Biden administration reportedly prepares a new program that could prohibit American investment in certain sectors in China.

WTI crude is quoting at $78.50/bbl, a level that has been consistent for the past several weeks. Spot gold is holding at the $1855/oz mark as the U.S. dollar has steadied (DXY Index at 104.5). Bitcoin is trading at $22,390.

Most important is the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield dropping to 3.91%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

There is little else to share this morning. I will be in and out of the office for most of the day and spending time with Ivy and Miles when they are available. Morning shipping will be a solo effort since Diane is the primary host for our guests.

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




Sunday March 5, 2023

New Orleans Collection Preview

City By The Bay Collection - A Duplicates Cavalcade


CAC Approved U.S. Gold Purchases


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Sunday morning. We are pleased with your ongoing visits.

Speaking of ongoing Daily Blog visits, my day started with a check of Google Analytics for a quantitative look at the current readership rate and how its compares to that of a year ago. The results were fascinating or boring depending on your perspective.

The most accurate measure of a web-page popularity is the Unique Page Views metric. This metric counts the number of unique individuals that viewed a website link. This metric is a much better measurement that Page Views whereby one person can click on the page multiple times and skewed the results.

During the past 12 months, the Daily Blog's unique number of readers typical averages between 480 to 550 on a daily basis. That trend has been consistent for several years and is motivational for keeping at it each morning.

Let's change topics. This afternoon brings the arrival of Renee, Mike, Ivy, and Miles for a three day holiday at our condo. We are certainly looking forward to their arrival with the GFRC office closing down at 3:30 PM for the day. Monday morning's Blog edition will be a tad lean as there will be no pre-work this evening.


New Orleans Collection Preview

Several numismatic hound dogs sent along emails requesting insights into the forthcoming New Orleans Collection offerings. I can understand their desire to gain first shot to this exciting lot. To that end, I've enable the Daily Blog preview box at the upper right corner of the screen. Please feel free to scroll the table and review all New Orleans Collection lots. Given this week's visit by Renee and family, and the forthcoming Whitman Baltimore show preparations, my ability to bring the entire New Orleans Collection lot to the price list before next week is questionable.

If you are interested in certain lots, please send along this fact via email. Your inputs will guide the image processing and price list roll-out.


I Thought I Had Seen It All....

After operating as a coin dealer going on ten years, one sees and hears a host of reasons why a premium coin is unsuitable for purchase. There are times when I just feel bad for collectors who create impediments for themselves as they select to operate in very tight collecting boxes.

Yesterday brought one for the record books. A potential customer was interested in a gem Cameo Proof No Cents V nickel and asked for a photo of the coin in the holder. After receiving the images, the coin was rejected as not perfectly aligned in its PCGS holder. Yes, this individual will only purchase a coin if that piece has no obverse rotation as placed in its TPG holder. What can a poor coin dealer do to satisfy customers?

Please don't send along emails advising me to tap the holder a 100 times in an attempt to perfectly align the coin. Life is to short for this type of behavior.


City By The Bay Collection - A Duplicates Cavalcade

Our dear San Francisco based client is back with a substantial duplicates release for the Whitman Baltimore show. This individual has been aggressively upgrading his collection and must recharge his numismatic budget via selling duplicates. Pulling together this gallery was accomplished on Saturday along with starting the office day at 4:30 AM to upload image files and to construct the below gallery.

This morning and early afternoon brings a pricing proposal and hopefully, price approval even though this being a Sunday. Once I have the green light on offer prices, these lots will post to the price list during the next 48 hours along with being showcased on Collectors Corners. Yes, I am way overdue for a Collectors Corner refresh. The usual first shot opportunity is now available. The 1867-S and 1871-S dimes along with the 1867-s half dollar have been sourced from GFRC and are available in the Sales Archive.

City By The Bay Collection - A Duplicates Cavalcade

Please Email for Pricing Quote and First Shot

    1867-S F-102 PCGS MS62 10C                                                    1868-S F-101 PCGS MS63 10C


1869-S F-102 PCGS MS63 10C                                                          1872-S NGC EF45 $1         


       1858-O NGC MS65 H10C                          1861-S F-101 PCGS EF40 10C                      1863-S F-101 PCGS EF45 10C 


 1871-S F-101 PCGS AU55 10C                1889-S F-101 PCGS MS63 CAC 10C                  1857-S WB-1 PCGS EF40 50C


 1867-S WB-7 PCGS AU58 50C                      1868-S WB-4 NGC AU58 50C



CAC Approved U.S. Gold Purchases

The U.S. gold product line has been quiet of late with respect to new additions. Today brings two new offerings that were taken in trade and as priced as marked. Both pieces are thoroughly choice for their certified grades.

CAC Approved U.S. Gold Purchases

Price as Marked

1850-C PCGS VF30 CAC G$2.5 - $2975                                   1909-D PCGS MS63+ CAC G$5 - $1685



Wrapping Up The Blog

That is all she wrote for a Sunday morning. I'm off for a quick health walk and shower before spending the morning and early afternoon hours in the GFRC office. The office will be officially closed at 3:30 PM.

Thanks for checking in. Be well!




Saturday March 4, 2023

Responding to Another CAC Question


Greetings on a Saturday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. I hope that this edition is enjoyed.

There are no galleries or other items prepared for today's ramblings as I was fully consumed with photographing and loading the New Orleans Collection consignment into the COIN system on Friday. This collection fills an entire double row slabbed box as a view into the magnitude of the processing and time requirements. Next is assigning quality ratings and formulating price recommendations before moving to the image processing phase. Needless to say, this is a substantial undertaking.

Therefore today's Blog will responded to another question posed about the recent CAC submission of the New Orleans Collection and my subsequent commentary. Following is that question.

Let's carefully review this question concerning dipping. There is an immediate assumption that untoned 19th century coins have been (nearly all) dipped. Second is that dipping produces bright white luster based on a YouTube video. A single dip is OK while multiple dips are not. I hope this captures the question properly.


In life, there are many shades of gray. Those shades are not seen by the inexperienced. Only with building experience comes the awareness that there might be different shades of gray. More experience brings the ability to resolve finer shades of gray. Those spending a lifetime enhancing their visual skills will be able to differentiate subtleties that others cannot. I hope that my point is captured.

Dipping is an overriding term used to describe the placement of a coin is a diluted sulfuric acid solution. The result is a chemical reaction that removes oxidation from a coin's surface. What is oxidation? It is the chemical reaction of Ag-Cu base metal with another element(s). When placed in a sulfuric acid bath, the oxidized molecules will be stripped from the surface along with attacking the base metal. The solution concentration and the time in the bath play an important role in the amount of surface metal that is removed. Rinsing the sulfuric acid from the surface is also critical to stop the chemical reaction.

Luster is a function of a coin's surface at the molecular level. Luster can range from deeply frosted to crisp reflectance from mirrored surfaces. Luster is nothing more than light being reflected back from a coin's surface. If able to view a coin's surface with an electron microscope, a frosted coin will appear to have jagged mountainous surfaces while a proof would be mostly flat. A mountainous surface reflects light in all directions while a flat surface reflects light at a corresponding angle to its arrival. There is a continuum between mountainous surfaces to entirely flat thus the GFRC usage of terms like frosted, steely-frosted, steely, partially mirrored, and mirrored within descriptions.

Now, let's merge dipping with its impact on luster.

But first, let's address the assumption that nearly all 19th century coins have been dipped. This is not accurate. I have personally seen full rolls of nicely preserved Liberty Seated dimes that were frosty brilliant. These coins were not dipped with their originality being obvious. The arrival of this type of material is infrequent and typically takes place behind the scenes to maximum profitability by those bringing the coins to market. The arrival of any 19th century date into the market in large quantities must be quietly accomplished to secure competitive pricing.

Now let's go back to the shades of gray and experience in discerning those subtleties. Most dipped coin are easily recognized by a dealer based on luster characteristics. This is especially true for 19th century silver since a bright white coin is immediately suspected of being dipped. A close inspection of a white frosted coin with angled lighting will reveal much about the reflectivity and cartwheels. Perfectly original or those with the slightest of dips will exhibit a certain visual signature. Those with more time in a sulfuric bath or having been exposed to a higher sulfuric acid concentration will provide a different visual signature. Attempting to described the difference in visual signatures in this response is not possible as much too subjective of an explanation.

How can a part time hobbyist tell the difference? Frankly, they can detect the most egregious case but not those that have been professionally accomplished. "Washed out" is a common term to describe a dull lifeless white coin that has been overdipped.

How about experience dealers who work with Mint State coins on a routine basis? Their eyes are much more trained or sophisticated in detecting subtle shifts in luster (for example the amount of "sparkle" that a certain issue should possess based on die preparation and known striking characteristics). Does a part time hobbyist possess this knowledge? Doubtful...

How about CAC graders who have been viewing coins for nearly a lifetime on a professional basis? These individuals are able to detect luster subtleties, for the issue and production era, with the highest probability of correctly identifying a coin that has seen time in a sulfuric acid solution.

Bottom line, if a brilliant white 19th century coin has been approved by CAC, it is highly probable that the coin is strictly original, or if dipped, the outcome is nearly undetectable as compared to a fully original coin. At the end of the day, is that difference important other than being a topic for message board discussions?

My message to collectors is to be humble and recognize your limited evaluation skills as compared to life long professionals like John Albanese and Bill Shamhart. Every collector has an ego and wishes to be correct concerning their numismatic assessments. The problem is that the ego is a barrier to self improvement. "I'm right and the grader is wrong" is a common theme that is a barrier for continuous learning.

One of the most important learning opportunities that I've enjoyed as a collector and dealer is reviewing the outcome of a CAC submission, with a completely open mind. The personal feedback is priceless. Of course, there will be an occasional issue, but don't harp on the issue, rather look at the entirety for self improvement. For those occasional issues, I've resubmitted coins with a personal note and have enjoyed reasonable success in securing a sticker on the second attempt. Those cases are well thought through with multiple assessment of the coin under different lighting conditions.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Yes, today brings another GFRC office day as time grows short before departing for the Whitman Baltimore show.

Your numismatic purchases are very much appreciated as the beginning of March is starting to feel like a replay of the month of February.

Thank you for stopping by. Be well!




Friday March 3, 2023

Big Boy Miles Coming to Venice on Sunday


More New GFRC Offerings to Consider


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Friday. Thank you for stopping by and staying current with GFRC events.

Yesterday's CAC commentary was well received and generated yet more email follow-up questions. Those will be addressed at a late date as I'm not in a mood to do another behind the scenes CAC deep dive today. Our new consignor sent along a text message as follows:

Gerry, I read your blog today. Your thoughts on CAC are much appreciated and very insightful. That sums up why I trust you (and John Albanese et al)....even though we haven't met yet!

if my day goes as planned, I will be loading the entire 60+ piece New Orleans Collection consignment into the COIN system along with securing photography. This consignment will certainly be well received at the Whitman Baltimore show as the market is devoid of beautifully original New Orleans struck Liberty Seated and Barber coinage.


Big Boy Miles Coming to Venice on Sunday

I could not pass up the opportunity to post a photo of our grandson Miles after Diane shared images while enjoying last evening's wine time on the lanai. Renee sent along a host of Ivy and Miles images with this photo capturing my attention. Big Boy Miles is officially two months old and went in for his milestone check-up. Miles weighed in at nearly 15lbs with a length of 24.5". Those measurements place Miles in the 95th-97th percentile range for his age.

Renee, Mike, Ivy, and Miles will be flying from Austin to Sarasota on Sunday for a three day holiday at our home. I'm excited as this is the first opportunity to see the Big Bruiser in person after the Southwest induced Christmas Eve travel mishap. Naturally, the GFRC office activities will be slowing down during this family get together.


New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection Auction Update

The Whitman Baltimore show and the latest GFRC Online Auctions event are rapidly approaching!

Several emails have arrived in the past few days concerning bidding mechanics and the opportunity for lay-a-way terms. Responding both privately and again in the Daily Blog is probably a wise step as there is a chance that others may have the same concerns.

First, the GFRC Online Auctions bidding application is a bid centric system without any buyer's premium. This means that every bid is a unique event, therefore maximum bids should be carefully considered. The GFRC software will bid on your behalf once a maximum bid is registered. The system manages the bidding process against your maximum bid until your bid is exceeded or that you've won the lot at one bidding increment over the next highest bid. Please do not worry about GFRC taking your maximum bid as the final bid if there is no competition for a lot. I remember bidding in Stack's mail bids during the 1990s and their terrible practice of taking your maximum bids on a regular basis.

Second, the auction has a hard close at 9:00 PM. All lots will close at the same time, therefore the usage of maximum bids rather than sniping is advised. The March 18 event presently stands at a whopping 160 lots with more Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime lots being inserted each day. If you decide to snipe a lot in the final minute, with the bid screen held open for an extended period of time, I cannot guarantee that the closing bid counter will be 100% accurate. Our software has this limitation.

Third, GFRC is willing to extend its standard three payment lay-a-way terms to collectors who need help with financing their auction purchases. Those that need this service must check in with me prior to the auction for approval on the extended payment amount.

Finally, the GFRC office will be transitioning from Florida to Maine during the March 25 auction close. We will be somewhere on I-95 or at a hotel which means that I will NOT be available for last minute bidding questions. Please ask those bidding questions no later than March 23. Once the auction closes on March 25, there will be a quiet period on Sunday followed by invoicing beginning on Monday March 27 and wrapping up on March 28.


More New GFRC Offerings to Consider

Today brings yet another lot of quality new offerings to to the price list. This time, I've had a chance to finalize offer prices as posted next. There are several strong highlights in this gallery. First is the 1868 F-101 dime that was previously mentioned in the Daily Blog. This lot is yet another Dan White find in Europe that was subsequently approved by CAC. You are invited to check the CAC population report which is the basis for the offer price. The next marquee lot, the 1921 Peace dollar, is so cool with its crusted surfaces and strict originality. The balance are attractively priced as I wish to move these along and not carry to the Whitman Baltimore show.

More New GFRC Offerings to Consider

Priced as Marked - Hurry for First Shot

   1868 F-101 PCGS MS62 CAC 10C - $1150                              1921 High Relief PCGS AU55 CAC $1 - $495


 1836 NGC VF35BN CAC 1C                          1821 JR-6 PCGS VF20 10C                         1831 B-5 R3 NGC EF45 25C

 $195                                                               $235                                                              $415  


        1835 B-2 PCGS EF40                           1900-S PCGS AU53 CAC 25C

 $385                                                              $395



Global Financial News

Fed Watch has become the investor's sport of choice. Every utterance by a Federal Reserve President can sway markets. U.S. equities moved upward on Thursday with the S&P 500 closing at 3,981. This Seeking Alpha headlines attempts to explain the shift in sentiment.

Equities gained traction in the middle of session on Thursday following comments from Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, who said the central bank could be in a position to pause rate hikes this summer. Major U.S. equity averages finished higher, allowing the S&P 500 and NASDAQ to halt a two-session slide. The job market “continues to run unsustainably hot, and that inflation is not coming down as fast as I had thought," countered Fed Governor Christopher Waller, who added that "wishful thinking is not a substitute for hard evidence in the form of economic data." Rising interest rates have seen mortgage prices climb this week above their 52-week average, while recent reports suggest that Blackstone just defaulted on a €531M mortgage-backed bond

Morning market futures are slightly positive.

In Asia, Japan +1.5%. Hong Kong +0.7%. China +0.5%. India +1.5%.

In Europe, at midday, London +0.2%. Paris +0.7%. Frankfurt +1.1%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.3%. NASDAQ +0.4%.

WTI crude pricing remains flat at $78/bbl. Spot gold has increased to $1853/oz while Bitcoin dropped to $22,347. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is an even 4.0%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

OK, I've been composing this Blog edition for nearly 2.5 hours and best to get started with another office day. Other than a quick haircut, I will be in the office the entire day working on the usual price list postings, adding the New Orleans Collection to the COIN system and its photograph.

Thanks again for visiting. Be well




Thursday March 2, 2023

Responding to a Community Question Concerning New Orleans CAC Submission


Liberty Seated Half Dimes in the Daily Blog Spotlight


Greetings on a Thursday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for visiting these daily musing along with GFRC's new offerings.

The flow of new inventory into the GFRC office has changed over the past several years. The most recent trend is that of larger consignments needing to be organized in double row slabbed boxes rather than being processed within PCGS blue boxes. Smaller lots have grown into larger lots. This may beg the question, from the community, on how does the office manage consignments and assign priorities. Therefore, let's explore that topic briefly.

Consignments are typically processed on a FIFO (First In, First Out) basis. The operative word is typically as I may group a smaller incoming consignment, or new purchase, with another consignment to showcase a certain denomination or series. This is where marketing judgment enters the equation. I've come to realize that there are certain gallery presentation approaches that draw more attention than others. Illustrating a single denomination with similar graded coins (plus CAC approval) draws attention from those that are partial to that series. They will look more carefully at the offerings rather than if I post a lot of random grades and denominations.

Next is the fact that many of those in the community only collect CAC approved coins. Presenting a gallery without a single CAC coin means that a portion of the readership will probably glance over a well prepared gallery of nice collector coins since lacking green beans. As a result, I work hard to secure CAC approvals on consignment submissions to ensure that some of the coins are found attractive by the most selective buyers.

As the consignment sizes continue to grow, it is impossible to post a 20 to 30 piece gallery in a single Blog edition simply due to workload. Rather, those consignments are broken up into parts using my best marketing judgment.

Bottom line, I wish for every consignor to know that your coins are ordered in a priority queue and will be processed accordingly.

Let's move on to a question that arrived to my email Inbox yesterday.


Responding to a Community Question Concerning Recent New Orleans CAC Submission

Hi Gerry In today's blog you mentioned: "We start today's positive reporting with results from last week's CAC submission that was New Orleans Liberty Seated coinage centric. Our new consignor went 12/36 which was probably personally disappointing but consistent with CAC results I've seen over the years. " Can you share with us readers your estimate as to why these coins did not pass?

Luckily, the CAC consignment in question was shipped promptly by the great folks at CAC and arrived yesterday afternoon. I was able to review the 36 submitted coins towards formulating a response. But first, let's start at the beginning of the CAC submission process and how GFRC screens a consignment for CAC review.

When reviewing a larger consignment, my first screening parameter is surfaces and originality. Circulated coins must be dull gray with no surface gloss that is synonymous with a past cleaning. For Mint State coins, the surfaces must strictly original and undipped. Dipped coins will have reduced luster that is quite easy to see with experience. Marks and ugly toning are also disqualifiers. For MS62/MS63 graded early silver type coins, original luster along with light crusty toning are the best candidates. Colorful and/or bold toning is infrequently rewarded with a green bean.

Accurate grading also enters into the submission equation. Those lots that are obviously overgraded are immediately discarded.

In the case of the recent New Orleans submission, I screened the group based on strict originality and surfaces and let John Albanese and staff decide on the grading parameter for their final approval decisions. This became readily apparent during yesterday afternoon's review of the lots that were not approved. Some of the EF45s were not strong for the certified grade but would have stickered if in an EF40 holder. Other non-approved circulated pieces had surfaces that were not "dull"enough to be seen as unquestionably original. The visual skill and knowledge to tender these types of determinations requires years of viewing CAC and non-CAC approved coins to see the difference. Most collectors, who read the Blog, do not have these skills simply due to inexperience. For example, if a collector spends a lifetime collecting non-CAC coins, their eyes are tuned accordingly. This New Orleans consignment was put away over a decade ago with no CAC stickers. Expressing disappointment with CAC results is natural and expected. However, the expectations may be too high as the purchase criteria of years past, is not consistent with current CAC standards. This is why CAC approved coins will sell at substantial premiums as compared to non-CAC approved coins.

Is the review process perfect? Of course not! There were several Seated quarters in the submission that I believe should have been stickered but were not. You can bet that these coins will receive a very favorable GFRC quality rating or a JUST BUY IT NOW recommendation, and will be priced strong at near CAC level. I'm in a position to make these assessments due to years of experience. However, most collectors are not in this position.

Let's close this response with an important point. The 12 coins in the submission, that were approved, are the cream of the New Orleans collection consignment and will be priced quite strong. Then comes the issue of dealing with collectors who don't believe that CAC coins are worth their strong premiums. Of course, these individuals are seeking bargains or again, do not have the visual experience for determining strict originality and conservative grading. Each collector (and dealer) has his/her personal strengths and weaknesses. Recognizng those weakness is paramount for improving one skills as a collector. Conducting a critical review of a returned CAC submission is one of the best learning opportunities towards becoming a more sophisticated hobbyist. I do this often, thus my ability to screen consignments for CAC review continually improves. Yes, there are cases where I disagree with the results and will make note during the selling process.


Fresh Liberty Seated Half Dimes to Consider

Today brings the posting of a lovely Liberty Seated half dime consignment from a new GFRC consignor. This lot was insourced at the Winter FUN and has been on my radar screen for processing once the March 18 online auction catalog was completed. Yesterday brought an afternoon of image processing. Unfortunately, the work day came to an end before the coins could be priced and a COIN report sent to the consignor for his approval. This part of the consignment process will be achieved today after morning shipping.

For those who have already requested a price quote, you own the first shot on the coin and will be contacted once offer prices are settled.

This lot certainly has a number of eye appealing pieces including challenging 1865 and 1867 Philadelphia dates.

Fresh Liberty Seated Half Dimes to Consider

Please Email for Pricing and First Shot

1837 Large Date NGC MS64 H10C                                                   1865 NGC MS63 H10C Fatty  


  1867 PCGS MS62 H10C                                                                1868 NGC MS63 H10C


 1840 No Drap NGC MS62 H10C                         1850 NGC MS64 H10C                                 1852 NGC MS63 H10C        


 1853 Arrows PCGS MS64 H10C                        1854 NGC MS62 H10C                              1856 PCGS MS64 CAC H10C   


 1872-S BW PCGS MS63 H10C                  1873-S PCGS MS64 CAC H10C



Global Financial News

The NASDAQ and the S&P 500 continue their slow retreat. Wednesday's losses were again fractional but a string of fractionally down days does take its toll on a market index. The S&P opens a new trading day at 3,951.

This Seeking Alpha article is painting a higher interest rate environment which will further impact equities and spot gold pricing.

Headlines from the fixed income world are rattling equity investors as the yield on the 10-year Treasury topped 4.00% for the first time since November. The 2-year yield also rose 2 basis points to 4.91% on Wednesday, hitting a new post-2007 high. Looking at the latest comments from policymakers, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic advocated for rates to rise above 5%, while Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari expressed concerns about incoming economic data.

Morning market futures suggest another day of loses for the NASDAQ.

In Asia, Japan -0.1%. Hong Kong -0.9%. China -0.1%. India -0.8%.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.1%. Frankfurt -0.5%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.3%. S&P -0.3%. NASDAQ -0.5%.

WTI crude stands at $78/bbl while gold is holding its own at $1842/oz. Bitcoin is trading at $23,365.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings another regular office day. Most of the morning will be consumed with time in the shipping department. Afterwards, I will be pricing today's Seated half dime offering and waiting for the consignor's approval before posting these to the price list.

As a teaser, Wednesday brought a fantastic Barber half dollar consignment proposal from the Black Point consignor who lives in southern Maine. We have plans to meet at our usual secret location in early April for the transfer. This is a 13-piece lot with nearly all CAC approved. Grades range from AU55 to MS65. I'm certainly excited about this opportunity as the demand for CAC Barber halves will be enormous.

Thanks again for stopping by. Be well!




Wednesday March 1, 2023

Homestead Barn Solar Power, The First Step


GFRC Does Another Deal - Old Friends Returning Home


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on the first of March 2023. Spring is right around the corner...

Tuesday brought several positive events that I'd like to share. Actually, there is little else to share this morning as I've descended into the solar world during spare time. This topic is probably way too technical for readers but is personally critical given the solar powered barn project that needs to be completed by May. There are a host of ways for building and installing a solar solution. The challenge is locating a competent vendor as a DIY project will undoubtedly bring learning mistakes, delays, and cost overruns.

We start today's positive reporting with results from last week's CAC submission that was New Orleans Liberty Seated coinage centric. Our new consignor went 12/36 which was probably personally disappointing but consistent with CAC results I've seen over the years. The most substantial approved lot was an 1854-O Huge O PCGS VF35 quarter which now stands at three at the grade with only four finer. GFRC also added two of its coins (1843 PCGS MS63 and 1868 PCGS MS62) with the latter coin being approved. A CAC approved Mint State 1868 is a big deal as the population in all grades is only 16.

The second positive of the day was shipping off a new round of inventory to GFRC-Lite to enable Rich's Whitman Baltimore show display. The USPS Medium Flat Rate box contained about 30 BU Morgans in an old Whitman album that dates to my startup collecting during 1989 along with consignor coins and some lower priced new purchases that I will never be able to get to.

The last positive topic deserves its own segment.


Homestead Barn Solar Power, The First Step

Tuesday brought an email conversation with Philip Walter at Maine Solar Solutions in Freeport (home of LL Bean). The discussion centered on the job scope which includes 1200w of solar generation on a pole mounted array, separate inverter and battery solutions along with wiring the barn for 120v outlets and the usual lighting. The barn project will become a test (and learning) bed for adding a battery backup solution for the homestead.

Philip was excited by the opportunity with March 31 set at our first on site meeting to review the barn and the designated area for installing the solar array. Hopefully, there will be limited snow by the end of March to better facilitate a grounds reviews and moving Johnny2 out of the barn.

So the first step into an off grid solar power solution takes place in 30 days. I'm thoroughly excited with the prospect of another learning opportunity, and of course, having electrical power in the barn. The battery center will be used to charge power tool batteries along with a smaller portable power station that will be targeted for the forthcoming screened in cabin at the spring pond.

Speaking of the spring pond, Dave Wilkinson is lined up for yet another pond expansion along with site preparations for cabin construction. Pete Theberge has committed to building the cabin along with Hammond Lumber already quoting the project materials. Frankly, I'm better prepared this year than at the same time as last year for the barn construction project.


GFRC Does Another Deal - Old Friends Returning Home

Tuesday also brought the evaluation of another buyout deal totaling 21 coins. This lot was previously mentioned in the Blog due to its larger Barber quarter content. A fair offer was made to our GFRC client which was promptly accepted. Seven coins in the deal were previously purchased from GFRC, therefore the images are available for a quick gallery display. As the end of Tuesday arrived too quickly, the posting of offer price for these seven coins was deferred until today.

Below are the seven coins for your consideration. Already, there is an inquiry for the 1907-D quarter. I will have these seven pieces posted to the price list by early afternoon along with some other coins that are waiting in the processing queue.

GFRC Does Another Deal - Old Friends Returning Home

Please Email for First Shot and Pricing!

1907-D NGC MS62 CAC 25C

 1857 PCGS EF45 CAC 25C                        1909-D PCGS AU53 CAC 25C                          1913-D PCGS AU55 50C    


 1873 Arrows PCGS EF40 50C                            1894-S PCGS EF45 50C                                1898 PCGS VF25 50C        



Exciting City By The Bay Collection Consignment for Whitman Baltimore

Yet another positive outcome on Tuesday was the arrival of a consignment proposal from the City By The Bay Collection. Our dear friend has decided to release a twelve piece lot that is San Francisco mintmark centric. The lot includes seven dimes from 1861-S - 1889-S, three halves (1857-S, 1868-S, 1869-S) and an all important 1872-S Seated dollar. Grades range from EF40 through MS63 with a strong mix of Mint State pieces.

This lot should arrive in the next 48 hours and will be loaded into the COIN system followed by being priced and first offered at the Whitman Baltimore show. Those that don't sell at Baltimore and Manchester shows will reach the price list in mid-April.


Global Financial News

Tuesday's equity markets were in the green for most of the day but closed fractionally down. We start another trading day with the S&P 500 at 3,970.

Today's morning market futures are pretty much consistent with those of yesterday. The same holds true for commodities and interest rates other than gold. In the past 24 hours, gold has moved back up to $1843/oz as the dollar has lost some ground to 104 per the DXY Index.

In Asia, Japan +0.3%. Hong Kong +4.2%. China +1%. India +0.8%.
In Europe, at midday, London +0.8%. Paris +0.7%. Frankfurt +0.6%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.2%. S&P +0.3%. NASDAQ +0.5%.

WTI crude oil is holding at $76/bbl while Bitcoin is priced at $23,784. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield dropped slightly to 3.92%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today brings a typical office day with the usual morning shipping and afternoon image processing and price list postings. I'm also adding more Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Collection lots to the online auction catalog page. Yesterday brought the inclusion of seven more lower price dimes for consideration.

Now that the month of February is over, I'm in a position to discuss one of the strangest business months that I've experienced in several years. February sales were best described as non-existent to anemic for the first two weeks followed by returning to normal during the second half of the month. It felt like a switch had been flipped on February 15 as sales roared back. There is no explanation for what might have damaged collector sentiment during early February. It was downright spooky to go for four days without a single sale given the size of GFRC's inventory.

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




Tuesday February 28, 2023

Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Auction - Reserve Prices are Posted


GFRC at Booth 818 at the Spring Whitman Baltimore Show


Greetings on on the final day of February 2023 and welcome to the Daily Blog. I'm pleased that you could stop by.

With one month left before returning to Maine, daily YouTube video viewing has shifted to developing an economical solar power solution for the new homestead barn. Spending $3700 plus shipping for a Ecoflow Delta Pro unit with limited input solar voltage and wattage charging capability does not make much sense when rack or wall mounted battery and inverter components can be purchased from SignatureSolar for about 70% of the price of an Ecoflow. The SignatureSolar operating specifications are much more favorable for a dedicated 1200w solar panel installation.

So what does operating specifications mean? Solar panels have fixed voltage and current output ratings. Those panels are typically wired in series for small installations and in parallel for larger arrays. A solar panel will have a typical output voltage of 12-15 volts regardless of output wattage. Wiring these in series increases the output voltage into the inverter box by the number of panels in the array. Making sure that the inverter circuits are matched with the solar panel configuration's output voltage and current flow (copper wire sizing) is a fundamental step for a Maine installation as the voltage output will also increase as temperatures drop below freezing.

I won't take this discussion further as too technical. However, I'm now focused on a rack or wall mounted power station installation rather than spending more money for a portable solution with less capacity and lower operating specs.

Back to numismatics....


Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Auction - Reserve Prices are Posted

Talk about a sense of relief this morning! After spending all of Monday afternoon researching a host of price guides for the Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Collection, the reserve prices have been determined and approved. Please visit the online auction catalog at the Auction link to view the results.

How does GFRC go about setting reserve prices? I'm glad that you asked...

Since the Steven Vitale Seated dime lots contained a host of Top 100 Varieties, the task was more complex than most other auction events. The pricing guides included:

- PCGS CoinFacts

- CDN CAC Guide

- GFRC Sales Archive

- GFRC Top 100 Varieties Pricing Guide

Depending on the lot, several or all of the price guides were employed to arrive at a market competitive reserve price. Let's remember that GFRC sets reserves at close to or at a retail level. If there is intense demand for a lot, bidding will take that number higher and allow the individual with the strongest desire to procure that coin. If there is limited or no immediate demand for a lot, that lot will not sell at auction, and instead migrate to the 30 Day Price List and Collectors Corner. By using this approach, the consignor is always protected from selling a coin at a distressed or discounted level.

Those that troll auctions and secure bargains due to bidder inactivity will find GFRC Online Auctions to be a low yield situation due to how the consignor is protected with carefully set reserve prices.

Again, you are invited to take a break from your morning activities and instead view the 100+ Liberty Seated dime lots from the Vitale Collection. There are some cool die varieties and key dates to be found.


GFRC at Booth 818 at the Spring Whitman Baltimore Show

The Whitman Baltimore show is just two weeks away. Dan White and I will be driving from Florida to Baltimore (14 hours) on Tuesday, prior to the show, and will be tired but primed for the dealer wholesale buying event that takes place on Wednesday morning. Already, we have an appointment with our favorite wholesaler.

Booth 818 is a quad corner layout with GFRC and David Perkins Numismatics as the primary exhibitors. GFRC-Lite (Rich Hundertmark) will also have two cases and is ready to take in your lower priced consignments. Rich will also be helping out with servicing regular GFRC customers given the huge twelve case display.

If attending the show and wishing to view certain inventory items, it might be best to send along an email to ensure that those coins are transported. The same is true if dropping off a consignments please. I must make certain that there are sufficient double row slabbed boxes and transporting luggage to handle the incoming coins.

Now that the Whitman staff provides for Wednesday afternoon setup, the GFRC operation will be open for business come 8:00 AM on Thursday. Early birds will have the privilege of gaining first shot to the current GFRC inventory. The New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection lot viewing will also be available on Thursday starting at 10:00 AM and also on Friday from 10:00 AM through show closing time. On Friday, Len Augsburger will be your full time assistant.

Below is the Whitman bourse floor map and the GFRC booth 818 location. We are a short walk from the entrance and located between the Stacks and Heritage operations. I'm looking forward to meeting old numismatic friends at the show along with hanging out with the staff. Greg Johnson, the Liberty Seated quarter authority, will also be present and supporting the GFRC staff when possible. He will be available for die variety questions.

Spring Whitman Baltimore Show - GFRC at Booth 818


Global Financial News

There is little to report from the financial world as stocks closed fractionally higher on Monday. Morning market futures are flat as are commodities and the 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield which stands at 3.95%.

In Asia, Japan +0.1%. Hong Kong -0.8%. China +0.7%. India -0.6%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris flat. Frankfurt flat.
Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.1%. NASDAQ +0.1%.

WTI crude is priced at a tad under $77/bbl while gold continues to languish at $1816/oz. Bitcoin is quoting at $23,350.

Currently, I believe that physical gold is cheap and will be adding more $10 and $20 pieces to my gold stash at the Baltimore show.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today finds me in the GFRC office once again. There is a for purchase lot to price out/quote followed by working on a large Liberty Seated half dime consignment that has been in backlog way too long.

I'm always available for consulting and purchase orders.

Let's wrap it up here and wish everyone a pleasant day in their numismatic neighborhoods. Be well!




Monday February 27, 2023

GFRC Maine Transition Schedule

Notable Additions to the 30 Day Price List


Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Auction Catalog is Complete, Now the Reserve Prices


Greetings on a Monday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Thank you for staying current with these regular ramblings.

A sincere thanks goes out to everyone who has been checking on me after Friday's Carduva event. I'm feeling great after walking four miles on Saturday and Sunday along with some weight training.


GFRC Maine Transition Schedule

It is official that the Fortins are moving back to Maine in one month's time. Therefore, today's Blog is an appropriate forum for announcing a rather hectic GFRC schedule for the month of March. Though I am looking forward to being back home a month earlier than normal, the scheduling complexities will need to be carefully managed.

Along with the Fortins' northern transition, there will be a Venice visit by Renee, Mike, Ivy, and Miles (this coming weekend) followed by traveling to/from the Whitman Baltimore show, packing the office, and wrapping up a GFRC Online Auctions event the day after returning to Maine. Diane will be heading to Boston within a few days of our resettlement to help with the arrival of our fourth grandchild

There are a host of items to be scheduled and properly coordinated while GFRC attends the Whitman Baltimore. Employing the Blog to document March's schedule feels like a prudent step this morning.

Of course, coordinating the mailing address change for check payments will be paramount to ensure that the transitions goes smoothly without long USPS forwarding delays. USPS is doing a great job, on its own, with mailing delays and best to not increase the degree of difficulty.

Following is the schedule for shifting payment mailings from Venice, Florida to Raymond, Maine along with the closure of the upcoming GFRC Online Auctions event.

March 14 - GFRC travels to Baltimore

March 15/18 - GFRC exhibits at the Whitman Baltimore show. See Gerry, Dan, Rich and Len at Booth 818.

March 18 - Final day for mailing check payments to Venice Florida address

March 18 - New Jersey/Steven Vitale Collection auction bidding opens

March 22 - GFRC website and Collectors Corner mailing address converted to Raymond, Maine

March 23 - Mailed check payments can resume and should be addressed to GFRC, 225 Valley Rd, Raymond, Maine 04071-6163

March 23 - Last shipping day from the Venice Florida office

March 25 - New Jersey/Steven Vitale Collection auction event closes

March 27 - GFRC Maine office opens for business

March 27/28 - Auction invoices issued for New Jersey/Steven Vitale Collection successful bidder

March 28/29 - GFRC shipping restarts from Maine office

If feeling a tad overwhelmed with this GFRC schedule (which I am), be grateful that you are not the person who must execute this transition while maintaining regular services to our important clients. If I appear to be a bit absent minded or preoccupied during the second half of March, there is a reasonable explanation. Once back in Maine, I'm looking forward to some early time on Johnny2 and visiting the spring pond if the snow is gone.


Notable Additions to the 30 Day Price List

These are always new purchases and consignments flowing through the GFRC office, which is a good thing. Today brings a smaller gallery that notes new arrivals with several lots already posted to the price list. Those that are not will be added today.

We open the display with an important 1889-CC double eagle from the Osprey Collection. Mintage is 30,945 with a survival rate that leads to a Carson City type coin status. The balance of the lots are choice and eye appealing with the 1878 PCGS AU58 CAC $3 gold piece securing a JUST BUY IT NOW recommendation for its super nice luster.

Notable Additions to the 30 Day Price List

Priced as Marked

1889-CC PCGS AU53 G$20 - $7300

 1853 A&R PCGS AU53 CAC 25C - $585                                     1893 Isabella PCGS MS62 25C - $495


1878 PCGS AU58 CAC G$3 - $2650                                             1912 NGC MS62 CAC G$5 - $1200



Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Auction Catalog is Complete, Now the Reserve Prices

I'm most relieved this morning to report that the Steven Vitale Collection portion of the March 18 auction event has been completed. Presently, the lot count stands at 101 dimes with a few more potential additions this coming week. The Vitale Collection offerings are replete with Top 100 Varieties and the four key Carson City dates. If a Liberty Seated dime collector at the circulated grades, this auction is ideal for filling in better date holes in a date and mintmark set.

Today brings the setting of reserve prices for Steven's approval. Once those prices are finalized, they will be promptly posted.


Global Financial News

Another U.S. equities trading week arrives after bears retook the financial narrative during the past week. Friday's PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures) report indicates that inflation, as measured by changes in the prices of goods and services purchased by consumers in the United States, rose 4.7% year on year. This number was above the forecasts by economists and brought another selling session. The S&P 500 has dropped to 3970 in a single week. The U.S dollar continues to strenghten with this morning's DXY index at 105.2 while spot gold takes it on the chin at $1818/oz.

Morning market futures are pointing to a 0.5% gain at the opening bell. Hopefully, the bulls can regain control of the market this week.

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

In Europe, at midday, London +0.8%. Paris +1.6%. Frankfurt +1.5%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.5%. S&P +0.5%. NASDAQ +0.6%.

WTI crude oil is priced at $76/bbl and Bitcoin is quoting at $23,434. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield is just shy of the 4.0% level at 3.96%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

This morning brings a substantial amount of packing and shipping followed by another day in the GFRC office.

February 2023 will be remembered as a strange month in terms of order volatility. The month ran hot and cold with extended quiet periods. I'm certain that March will be exciting given Whitman Baltimore show new purchases and the New Jersey/Steven Vitale Collection auctions.

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




Sunday February 26, 2023

San Jose S-Mint Seated Half Dollar Consignment Arrives


Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Auction Prep - Finish Line in Sight


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on the final Sunday of February 2023. A sincere thanks to the countless readers that make a habit of stopping by.

It is difficult to believe that the Spring Whitman Baltimore show is just 2.5 weeks away for collectors. For GFRC, the show is basically two weeks away given inventory preparations and the long 14 hour drive from the Sarasota area. For giggles, I checked the long range Baltimore weather forecast and found daytime temperatures will be in the mid-50s while nights will drop down into the upper 30s. Obviously, Florida shorts and sandals will be replaced with cold weather attire once the trip is underway. From my intelligence gathering, most dealers are fleeing the rundown and poorly managed Days Inn for comfortable lodging at the Hyatt and Sheraton. Both are also safer options as overhead walkways connect directly to the Baltimore convention center. Gone is the need to walk the streets of Baltimore unless wishing to locate special dining.

Yes, I am feeling back to normal after Friday's Carduva reaction event. Saturday brought two health walks totaling over 4 miles. There was fantastic online support from the community and even a personal phone call from Dr. Frank, a client in Minnesota, with his advice for natural BPH remedies along with a follow-up email. Other members also emailed with their natural remedies that were consistent with those of Dr. Frank.

Saturday also brought the repair of our malfunctioning four year old GE washer. The electronics had become erratic, therefore I suggested to Diane that we replace the control board. Diane is a shopping professional and located a replacement solution online along with a YouTube video for executing the repair. The new multilayer control board arrived on Thursday via USPS and was swapped out prior to yesterday's lunch. I may not be able to get plumbing repairs right, but a board change was one of the easier repair tasks that I've tackled in some time. Here is an image of the former washer control board prior to the connectors being removed. Once the new board was installed, the "personality" programming, specific to our GE model, was also straightforward.


San Jose S-Mint Seated Half Dollar Consignment Arrives

Early afternoon brought the arrival of an excellent San Francisco Mint Seated half dollar consignment from the San Jose Collection. Our friend has been consigning Seated halves since 2016 and managed to locate yet more coins deep in his safety deposit box.

The consignments starts with a 1859-S half and runs through 1877-S with a six piece 1871-S hoard. Grades ranges from F12 to AU55. These are consistently original coin gray pieces that will be ideal for the Seated half dollar collectors in our community. When will I be able to get to this consignment? Hopefully prior to leaving for the Baltimore show as these will be great online and coin show inventory. But first, there is a final Winter FUN show Seated half dime consignment that must be processed this week!


Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Auction Prep - Finish Line in Sight

Saturday afternoon was entirely dedicated to writing Steven Vitale Seated dime descriptions and that I did. Writing Seated dime descriptions is certainly tedious by a lot of fun as I was able to return to my die variety research roots and quoting extensively from the web-book. The Vitale lots are a Top 100 die varieties treasure trove. Those in the community that might be considering taking on this collecting objective will benefit from a quality head start as there are many wonderful lots in moderately priced collector grades.

Once 5:00 PM arrived with the mandatory tequila time on the lanai, there were only ten remaining lots to describe. These will be wrapped up this morning followed by developing the reserve pricing proposal for Steven's approval or update. Hopefully by end of today, the GFRC Online Auctions catalog has crossed the preparations finish line. This will allow me to return to loading new purchases and consignments to the price list during the coming week.

Finally on this topic, there are still another 45 Seated dimes in the Vitale Collection that are not being posting to the auction for several reasons. It made no sense to include lower priced lots (less than $150) in an auction. Rather, Steven would like to sell these pieces en masse to move them along. He is willing to provide favorable lot pricing for those who might be interested. We've broken up the 45 pieces into three or four different lots and will move forward to locate potential buyers via Daily Blog marketing. Some will probably head to GFRC-Lite for the Baltimore show.


Wrapping Up the Blog

Yes, Venice life is a continuum. I will be in the GFRC office throughout the day wrapping up the Steven Vitale auction segment along with loading the previously mentioned for purchase lot and the fresh San Jose consignment into the COIN system. Afterwards, my attention shifts to image processing for the long delayed Liberty Seated half dime consignment taken in at FUN.

Numismatics has been a blessing in many ways including continuous learning and working with a huge community of like minded individuals. Little did I understand that a January 1989 decision to return back to coin collecting would lead to a lifelong die variety research endeavor culminating with the GFRC business platform.

Thanks again for visiting on a Sunday morning. Be well!




Saturday February 25, 2023

Why Was I Missing in Action on Friday?

Steven Vitale Seated Dime Auction Lot Progress


22 Piece Purchase Deal Arrived on Thursday


Greetings on a Saturday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Yes, I'm alive and well and ready for another busy day in the GFRC office.

Why was there no Blog edition on Friday you might be asking?

The short response is a bad reaction to a prescription refill that left me in bed until 9:00 AM on Friday. Following is the long story....

Growing old has its challenges and in my case, there are progressive BPH symptoms. My Maine doctor suggested that I try a treatment called Carduva. It is a 1mg pill taken daily at bedtime since it lowers blood pressure and makes you sleepy. I went with a 30 day trial and the results were positive until yesterday. Thursday brought a second prescription with a most unpleasant outcome. I awoke at 1:00 AM with a tightness in my chest and fears of a cardiac event. Once falling back asleep, the dream cycle was incredibly intense before rising at 5:00 AM. Upon awaking and attempting to get out of bed, there was weakness and the need to head straight back to bed. The lightheadedness slowly subsided and by 9:00 AM, I was able to make breakfast and slowly move forward with another day's activities. A call with my doctor's assistant was held to report the issue. There was speculation that the second batch could have had a slightly different formulation that resulted in the event. A slightly different formulation was an understatement based on my body's reaction. A suggestion was made to purchase a home blood pressure monitor which Diane kindly did. Afternoon measurements indicated that my blood pressure was normal.

Today, I feel like my regular self and will be placing the new Carduva pills into the trash. I've worked hard my entire life to stay away from Big Pharma meds and now understand why. Friday early morning was a scary time with fears of growing chest discomfort. I will not bring this risk on myself again. Rather, a natural solution will be found.


Steven Vitale Seated Dime Auction Lot Progress

Progress continues to be made with the Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime auction lot descriptions. I worked throughout the afternoon and have completed lots up through 1865. This weekend will bring one final push to wrap up descriptions followed by a reserve pricing session. March 1 arrives on Wednesday with a goal of having the entire New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection lots ready for online review. GFRC Online Auction will have a full page advertisement in Coin World's March monthly magazine therefore the auction must be ready for inspection by those with interest.


22 Piece Purchase Deal Arrived on Thursday

The shift from being primarily a consignment based coin dealer to that of a hybrid situation with both consignments and collection purchases is gaining speed.

Thursday brought the arrival of a 22 piece lot with about half being previously sourced from GFRC. Barber quarters fans will be pleased as the new lot contains 12 examples, many with CAC approval. The balance of the deal is an early type set.

For those new to GFRC, you might be wondering how I price out a purchase deal. Most dealers will pick up the GreySheet and check the bid number for each coin and work accordingly. The GFRC process is different as the coins are first loaded into the COIN system followed by determining their retail selling price. Once the real prices are set, I will discount the coins with my operating profit and provide that tally as the lot offer price. So far, every client that has sold me coins has been pleased with the offer.

Let's remember that many other dealers will sell coins at dealer wholesale and retail prices. They must manage two prices for each coin in inventory. Furthermore, these dealers can only offer a purchase price below their dealer wholesale prices leaving a wide gap to their retail prices. GFRC, on the other hand, does not conduct dealer wholesale business. As a result, we can pay more as all coins are offered at a retail level. If I must sell a coin at dealer wholesale, that trade takes place at essentially my purchase price resulting in little if any profit.


Wrapping Up The Blog

There is little else to share at this point. Today brings a long day in the GFRC office along with replacing a control board within Diane's four year old GE washing machine. That might prove to be an adventure...

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




Thursday February 23, 2023

Steven Vitale Seated Dime Auction Descriptions Are Arriving


Substantial New Offerings - First Shot Available


Greetings on a Thursday and welcome to yet another Daily Blog edition. We strive to make your visits worthwhile!

One of the challenges of being a small business owner is multi-tasking while wearing a host of hats. Wednesday was one of those days where I was rapidly shifting from one role to another towards sustaining the GFRC business and client needs. Diane continues to deal with an inept U.S. Postal Service while I was consumed with pricing out a new purchase opportunity. There was noon time photography, customer interfacing, and auction description composition during the afternoon hours followed by image processing after dinner. My day started quite early this morning to bring together today's substantial new offerings gallery. Luckily, the skills required to execute all of these roles have been developed and refined across a lifetime. Therefore stuff gets done in an efficient manner.

Let's shift to a Seth Godin Blogpost that is both insightful but also quite depressing about our coming world. The AI revolution has a truly dark side and if Godin is raising the red flag, then we must all pay attention. Let's hear Godin's thoughts on this topic.

Seth Godin Blogpost - Checking the date

After 2022, it’s hard to tell for sure.

And going forward, public life is going to be even more rumor-driven than it is now.

Any video, any voiceover, any photograph–we can’t be sure. If YouTube or the Wayback Machine shows us that it happened after 2022, bring some doubt. AI and digital tools can produce a perfect voiceover, edit a video, forge a document…

There have always been forces at work that prize disrupting our civic systems. But thanks to AI and digital deep-fakes, it’s significantly easier to create and spread a story that simply didn’t happen. A speech that was never given, an interview that never occurred.

Before mass media, every citizen only had the experiences they saw firsthand–and the rumors. Sometimes they were true, often, not so much.

The ease with which someone can invent and spread lies is going to take most of us by surprise. It’s going to require an entirely new posture for understanding the world around us.

Every day is April Fools from now on, let’s not get fooled.


Steven Vitale Seated Dime Auction Descriptions Are Arriving

I'm pleased to report that the first installment of Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime auction descriptions are posted. Today brings a second round followed by initiating the reserve pricing process.

Since Steven's collection was die variety centric, it was logical to write the descriptions from that perspective. Of course, eye appeal, luster, and surface conditions are also covered to ensure that bidders will have a complete picture for their desired auction lots.

Please remember that the New Jersey Collection Seated Halves and the Steven Vitale Dimes will be available for lot viewing at the Spring Whitman Baltimore show. That show takes place on March 16 through the 18th with bidding opening the evening of the 18th.


Substantial New Offerings to Consider

Today's featured gallery showcases a wide range of premium offerings for your consideration. I'm sorry but there was no time to settle the offer prices as the priority was completing the imaging segment in time for today's 8:00 AM publishing time.

The group includes a newly purchased lot along with a Quito Collection consignment that is exclusively Seated quarters. All of the offerings will garner a GFRC-Choice quality rating as a minimum. The 1852-O, 1853 Arrows, 1865-S dimes and the 1847-O quarter are old friends that return to the price list. I'm quite excited about offering an 1839 Booby Head cent in AU58 as this is a desirable type coin with images being quite accurate in terms of coloration and surfaces. The 1866 half dime is a real sweetheart that should not last long on the price list. Equally important is the 1901-S Barber dime which screams originality.

If my day goes as planned, a pricing proposal will be issued to the Quito Collection consignor for his approval. The other pieces are up to me to price and quote. If interested in securing a first shot, please send along an email. I will respond during the afternoon hours in the order that the emails were received.

Substantial New Offerings - First Shot Available

Pricing to Be Settled Today - Please Email for First Shot

1839 Booby Head NGC AU58BN 1C                                                 1866 PCGS VF35 CAC H10C  


1865-S F-103 PCGS VF30 CAC 10C                                               1901-S PCGS EF45 CAC 10C  


 1857 PCGS MS62BN CAC 1/2C OGH                1852-O F-101 PCGS VF30 10C                     1853 Arr F-106 PCGS AU58 10C   


 1846 Br 2-D PCGS EF45 25C                1847-O Br 1-A PCGS VF30 CAC 25C                 1848 Br 1-A PCGS EF40 25C


1853 A&R PCGS EF40 CAC 25C                         1858 PCGS EF45+ 25C                                 1926-S NGC AU58 25C        



Global Financial News

The trading day starts with the S&P 500 at 3991 after a fractional loss on Wednesday. Fed watching is becoming a national sport for investors. I'll turn it over to Seeking Alpha to describe the backdrop for what is driving market sentiment these days.

How slow can you go? That was the question at last month's FOMC meeting, with monetary policymakers debating how much tightening would be needed to rein in inflation without shocking the economy. The minutes showed that "almost all" officials agreed it was appropriate to raise rates by 25 basis points, but there were "a few" that could have supported a larger 50 basis-point hike. As investors debated the hawkish/dovish signals, stocks rose and then fell, with equity futures climbing again overnight. Several other topics that were also discussed included financial stability, the labor market and even crypto, while Fed Chair Jerome Powell warned against complacency following the meeting

Morning market futures are positive to start the day and hopefully that optimism will hold.

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

In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris +0.5%. Frankfurt +0.6%.

Futures at 6:30, Dow +0.3%. S&P +0.5%. NASDAQ +0.9%.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield continues to climb with a morning quote of 3.95%. As a result, the U.S. dollar continues to strengthen as the DXY Index has increased to 104.5. This is bad news for spot gold which is struggling at $1833/oz. Frankly, gold is in a buying opportunity and I plan to add some $20 bullion priced Libs to my gold stash at the Baltimore show.

WTI crude is trading at $75/bbl while Bitcoin has moved up to $24,243.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Believe it or not, with all that is going on, I am still able to walk four miles per day along with some weight training. I've managed to lose a few more pounds with the China gut soon becoming a chapter in a lifetime's history book.

At this point, there is little else to share. Please keep those purchase orders coming as I'm thrilled with the order rate during the last four days. Consignment proposals for the regular price list and the GFRC Online Auctions platform are truly appreciated. At GFRC, clients receive differentiated and personalized service as compared to larger competitors. I treat every client as I wish to be treated. Honest transactions are simple to execute.....

Thank you as always for allocating a portion of your day for a Daily Blog visit. Be well.




Wednesday February 22, 2023

Extremely Rare 1877 WB-102 Seated Half to Consider Plus More


American vs. German Engineering Insights


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on a Wednesday morning. I hope that you find this edition to be an interesting read.

Busy is the operative word here in the Venice GFRC office. I'm doing my darnedest to keep multiple balls in the air as the March 18th Seated auction approaches. Yesterday's attention shifted to a small but impactful consignment from the Fort Lauderdale Collection that transferred at Winter FUN. Once this three piece consignment is loaded to the price list, there is only one remaining lot left from the FUN show, a sizable grouping of Liberty Seated half dimes.

I'm pleased to report that sales have begun to increase a tad which is positive news. The overnight order rate was the highest seen this month. Yesterday also brought the arrival of a strong "for purchase" lot that will be assessed and hopefully quoted today.

On the geopolitical front, the Ukraine war has pounded a stake through the heart of globalism. The ultimate victim could be the U.S dollar as the world's reserve currency. The growing bond between Putin and Xi Jinping against the west is becoming profound and will have long term consequences. Smaller countries are moving towards picking sides as the global divide continues to worsen. South African has now aligned with Russia and China. Key is which way will India go? India has historically had good relations with Russia but not China. I could write several paragraphs on this topic but today is not the day for this.

Let's move on to numismatics...


Extremely Rare 1877 WB-102 Seated Half to Consider Plus More

As mentioned in the preamble, the Fort Lauderdale Collection consignment is only three pieces but two of the three required careful research for determining reasonable offer prices. We open this showcase with a truly important offering for the hardcore Liberty Seated half dollar die variety collector.

1876 brought the introduction of new reverse die hubs, by Charles Barber, for Seated dimes, quarters, and halves. During the 1876 through 1878 time frame, these denominations experienced a transition from the earlier Type 1 hub to the revised Type 2 hub. Numismatic researchers have carefully studied these transitions at the Philadelphia, Carson City, and San Francisco mints though all the dies were prepared at the mother Philadelphia mint.

For Liberty Seated halves struck during 1877 at the Philadelphia mint, nearly all will be found with the Type 2 reverse which has a closed lower olive bud. Wiley-Bugert have identified a single Type 1 open bud reverse (WB-101) and a combination Type 1/2 partially open bud reverse (WB-102) for that year. These two occurrences were assigned an R7+ rarity rating in all grades. Therefore, when an example surfaces, it is a big deal as is the case today.

GFRC is pleased to be offering the finest PCGS certified WB-102 example via the Fort Lauderdale Collection. This specimen is freshly graded and is the CoinFacts die variety plate coin. Wiley-Bugert list an occurrence in F/VF as R8-. Little is available on this rare die variety as I learned yesterday afternoon when searching the Newman Numismatic Portal archives and the world wide web. This example is incredibly wholesome with strict originality and overall eye appeal. If one is adding a very rare die variety to a numismatic cabinet, one would want the piece to have a stellar appearance. The offer price is reasonably priced at $1800. Hurry on this one to avoid disappointment.

1877 Transitional 1/2 Reverse WB-102 50C - PCGS VF25 - $1800


The next important Fort Lauderdale offering is a really sweet 1878 $10 gold piece graded PCGS MS64. This lot is absolutely eye catching as the fields are partially mirrored with gorgeous orange reflective luster that is consistent on both sides. Mintage is only 73,780 with 8 certified at the MS64 grade and only 1 finer. Though the eye appeal is superb, there is a faint hairline from the chin to star 3 that most likely precluded CAC approval. Yes, I did submit this one. CAC population is two at MS64 and one at MS65 as a reference point. Our offer price is quite fair as PCGS Guide is $15,000 while the CDN CAC guide is $14,500.

1878 PCGS MS64 G$10 - $11,000


The final Fort Lauderdale offering is a lovely 1853 With Arrows dime grade PCGS MS66. This piece was struck from a Hubbed Arrows & Date obverse die and is covered with original mint frost. Strike is needle sharp from lightly clashed dies.

1853 Arrows PCGS MS66 10C - $3350


These lots will load to the price list today. If any of these are for you, please email me asap to reserve.


American vs. German Engineering Insights

Another source of daily reading is Quora. Quora is best described as a Question and Answer information feed that arrives via email on a daily basis. The topics can be varied with the Quora system adjusting their feed based on your reading preferences.

This morning brought a Q&A that I found enlightening and felt compel to share. I've often spoken of my German boss and mentor Laurenz Schmidt in the Blog. Laurenz was instrumental, during my years at National and Fairchild Semiconductor, in molding me into a proactive problem solver. He was passionate about anticipating problems before they took place and installing preventative actions before the sh&t hit the fan. Laurenz had a complete disdain for American engineers who caused issues, due to poor planning, and then launch fire drills to resolve their unanticipated mistakes. I believe Laurenz's approach to engineering and business is evident in how the GFRC business is operated.

Following is the Quora Q&A.

Why are there so few car wrecks on the German autobahn?

I once asked this question of a civil engineer I knew who had worked on American civil engineering projects after having studied in Europe. Her answer was enlightening:

In Germany, if the authorities notice a significant number of accidents on a certain portion of roadway, they call in an engineer to fix the problem. They redesign the curve, they re-grade the road, whatever it takes.

In the US, if the authorities notice a significant number of accidents on a certain portion of roadway, they start issuing lots of traffic tickets on that portion of the road, and it becomes a steady source of revenue for the city.

That answer is a bit pat, of course, but there is a kernel of truth to it: Americans and Germans have different attitudes. That includes different attitudes about driving, but it also includes different attitudes about design and engineering. The US has a culture of the Rugged Individualist: we make the road however we make it, and as the driver it’s your responsibility to drive safely. It’s your fault if there’s a crash. Germany has a culture that it is the responsibility of the engineer to think carefully about the project, anticipate how things can go wrong, and create a design that is logical, consistent, and makes sense in everyday use.


Global Financial News

U.S. equity markets swooned on Tuesday after a long weekend. The S&P 500 dropped a full 2% to 3997. Uncertainty reigns among investors and traders as sentiment has clearly shifted. This brief Seeking Alpha commentary covers the situation.

Another key to defining the current economic landscape is on display this week, with earnings from retail heavyweights Walmart and Home Depot. But like most economic indicators these days, they came with a mixed bag full of solid trends and worrying stats, as well as vague commentary about consumer resilience. It's also making it difficult to predict shopping behavior for the remainder of 2023, resulting in some muted and uncertain outlooks.

On the move: Walmart  fell as much as 4% after setting cautious profit guidance for the year ahead, but shares ended the session in the green, as investors focused on its earnings topper, dividend boost in the current macro environment. Home Depot (stayed depressed, and eventually closed out Tuesday down 7%. 

Morning markets futures are flat to start a new trading day.

In Asia, Japan -1.3%. Hong Kong -0.5%. China -0.5%. India -1.5%.

In Europe, at midday, London -0.9%. Paris -0.6%. Frankfurt -0.4%.

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

Crude oil has dropped to $76/bbl while spot gold is quoting at $1849/oz. Bitcoin is down slightly at $24,190.

The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has increased to 3.93%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today finds me in the GFRC office conducting morning shipping and responding to overnight orders before shifting to price list posting of the Fort Lauderdale lots. The afternoon brings Steven Vitale Seated dime description writing.

Thanks again for visiting and the strong overnight orders. Be well!




Tuesday February 21, 2023

March 18th Auction - New Jersey Collection Reserve Prices are Posted

Coin World's 2023 Most Influential People in Numismatics Voting is Underway


PCGS Set Registry - The Shortcomings...


Greetings on a Tuesday morning and welcome to the Daily Blog. Transparency concerning a coin dealer's life is the objective for these ongoing ramblings.

The GFRC Online Auctions Liberty Seated coinage extravaganza attains another preparation milestone as of this morning. The Liberty Seated half dollar lots have been finalized with reserve prices posted. Yesterday's client discussion highlight took place with Carl Feldman during the afternoon hours. Carl and I have developed a fun process for settling price list offer prices, and now auction reserve prices. GFRC will prepare its proposed numbers along with Carl arriving at his numbers. During the call, we visited each lot and compared numbers. In 90% or so of the lots, we were consistently within $50-$100 of each other. The remaining 10% took some discussion and contemplation towards settling on a fair number. The outcome is a well thought through set of reserves that the community will find to be realistic and fair.

There are two standout lots in the New Jersey Collection segment that bring very low CAC populations and a pricing challenge. Carl and I discussed these two lots extensively with some head scratching before settling on a final number. As Carl mentioned, it might be decades before another example of these two coins arrive to the market with AU58 CAC credentials.

1855-S WB-3 NGC AU58 CAC 50C - Reserved at $29,500

1857-S WB-4 NGC AU58 CAC 50C Fatty - Reserved at $13,500


Both lots present an opportunity to acquire one of the finest survivors from the initial days of the San Francisco mint launch. The 1857-S is particularly compelling with a CAC population of only two at the AU58 grade along with a single example at MS66 that resides in the DL Hansen Collection. The pricing gap between AU58 and MS66 is roughly 25x. After much discussion, we agreed to set the reserve at MS63 CAC guide level but expect this piece to rise to a higher winning bid.

My favorite New Jersey Collection offering, in terms of gem eye appeal at the AU58 level, is this exceptional 1839 Drapery lot due to overall presentation and a highly detailed strike. This gem is a bargain at the current reserve. As a noted old time coin dealer named Jim O'Donnell would say, go find another that looks this nice!

1839 Drapery WB-7 PCGS AU58 CAC 50C - Reserved at $2,500


Monday also brought email conversations with the Newtown and Oregon Beaver consignors to settle their reserve prices. Those brief dialogue wrapped up the reserve setting process.

Today brings attention to the Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Collection offerings and description generation. Though your blogger is not as skilled as Len Augsburger with numismatic prose, my focus will be on the significant die varieties, their scarcity, and the overall surface conditions of each lot. The numismatic audience for the Seated dime portion of the auction will be different than the halves with descriptions adjusted accordingly.


Coin World's 2023 Most Influential People in Numismatics Voting is Underway

It is that time again for the numismatic community to select their favorite coin dealer or numismatist in the annual Coin World voting process. The voting process closes on March 15 to enable the Coin World staff's preparation of a special issue dedicated to this topic.

The ballot is the who's who of numismatics with over 350 names, and can be found at this link.

Coin World 2023 Influential People in Numismatic Ballot

If there is spare time in your day, please considering visiting the ballot and voting for your favorite individuals in the numismatic hobby and industry who have made positive contributions. Yes, Gerry Fortin and Len Augsburger would appreciate your considerations given our years of service to the Liberty Seated community along with Len's guidance of the Newman Numismatic Portal.


PCGS Set Registry - The Shortcomings...

Last evening brought me to the PCGS Set Registry towards updating my core Liberty Seated Dime Collection postings. PCGS has made it simple to participant with one screen whereby PCGS holder serial numbers can be loaded en mass. The application does all the work and automatically posts new coins into your existing sets and sends notices to those who have yet to remove their sold coins from registry sets.

For those of us who believe that CAC approved coins are superior in quality and value to those without CAC approval, PCGS Set Registry is not an even playing field. Sets with minimally CAC approved coins can dominate over those with 90% CAC approval rates simply based on the PCGS certified grade. Those of us that handle Mint State coins on a daily basis can easily detect the differences in grading standards. Worse, is the situation for Gold CAC approved coins as is the case for my core dime set. Those coins are afforded no special considerations and are scored at the same level as a non-CAC approved piece. Sure, someone will say that I should crack out these coins and secure a higher grade in a fresh holder if set registry is that important. Well, it is not and those dimes are staying their Gold CAC stickered holders.

PCGS does offer a CAC only Set Registry for certain sets. However, there is minimal participation. For example, the Liberty Seated dime set has only two participants; myself and Dell Loy Hansen. Though Dell Loy may have a top rated set, now that the Bender Collection is retired, his CAC centric set is a different story.

This short commentary is not sour grapes but rather validates that collectors should be focused on adding coins to a collection that have superior in eye appeal, originality, and strike. If employing those three parameters as a screening criteria and patiently making acquisitions accordingly, your long term collection will stand out among its peers regardless of a set registry ranking.


Global Financial News

Traders are returning from a three day weekend with a bit of gloom over the markets. Recent optimism appears to be waning as inflation might not be on its last legs after all and forcing yet more Federal Reserve interest rate hikes. Wage inflation, to cover ongoing cost of living increases, is becoming an issue that might drive this inflation cycle longer than expected. Also, Walmart, a proxy for the U.S. economy, is reporting earnings today which could lead to market volatility.

Morning market futures are pointing to a 1% drop at the opening bell.

In Asia, Japan -0.2%. Hong Kong -1.7%. China +0.5%. India flat.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.3%. Paris -0.5%. Frankfurt -0.5%.
Futures at 6:30, Dow -0.8%. S&P -0.9%. NASDAQ -1%. Crude +1.4% to $77.59. Gold -0.4% to $1842.20. Bitcoin -0.6% to $24,711. Ten-year Treasury Yield +5 bps to 3.88%

WTI crude is hanging tough at close to $78/bbl while gold pricing is quoting at $1842/oz. Bitcoin has recovered to $24,711.

The 10 Year Treasury bond yield has risen to 3.88%.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Yes, today brings another office day with attention in two areas. There are two consignments remaining from Winter FUN that will garner my attention along with beginning the descriptions for the Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Collection. These two projects will keep me busy for the balance of the week.

Do you wish to consign coins to GFRC? If so, please give me a call (207-329-9957) or send along an email. Come the April and May time frame, I will be seeking another large collection for the GFRC Online Auctions platform along with the usual collector material that continues to fuel the 30 Day Price List.

I'm also grateful for any and all purchases too as consignors wish to convert their coins into numismatic capital.

Thanks for visiting on a Tuesday. Be well!




Monday February 20, 2023

Continuing Progress on March 18th GFRC Online Auctions Event


Greetings and welcome to the Daily Blog on Presidents Day. Your ongoing visits are appreciated.

I was just as surprised as you when learning that Joe Biden was in Kyiv during the early morning hours. There I was taking in a Wion video on the growing Russia+China+Iran alliance when a FOX video appeared announcing that President Joe Biden had taken a slight detour from his planned Poland trip to drop into Kyiv. With modern day satellite tracking, there were risks but at the same time, it would have been a grave error for a Russian missile to strike Air Force One. The world would have been immediately plunged into WWIII.

Today's Blog edition will be brief as much of Sunday was allocated to the March 18th GFRC Online Auctions event. All of the Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Collection lots and images have been processed an uploaded to the server. Matt Yamatin has sorted the online auction catalog to present the New Jersey Collection Seated halves first followed by the Steven Vitale dimes second. This week brings a full court press on wrapping up auction preparations. Reserve prices will be assessed and shared with consignors for their approval. Next comes the writing of the Steven Vitale Seated dime descriptions by an authority on the series.

Sunday also brought a CAC submission evaluation of the recently arrived New Orleans Seated and Barber consignment from a new client. The evaluation parameters were original surfaces, accurate grading, and economics. The latter point is factoring in the $35 cost per coin for a green bean sticker. All coins with a retail value of under $300 were promptly ruled out. It was fun to carefully check surfaces and assess grades without first reviewing the PCGS label and certified grades. When the process was complete, GFRC contacted the consignor and recommended that 32 of the 65 coins be sent to CAC. His consignment has been off the market for over a decade as most are housed in PCGS Gen 4.4 (2005-2011) holders. The consignor was first impressed that GFRC was operating on a Sunday (he will get use to that) followed by authorized the submission as defined.

The day also brought a email from a long term GFRC client, Karl Othmer, who volunteered to be a GFRC table assistant at the Spring Manchester show. Karl will be joining Tom Coulombe behind the GFRC table and looks forward to being an apprentice at the two day event. Now that I am fully staffed with table assistants, I've increased my display case count to the max and will be exhibiting most of GFRC's regular inventory.

Finally, I'm pleased to report that sales have begun to materialize during the past few days. Believe me, it is not a ground swell of buying, but rather an nice up-tick that is encouraging. U.S. gold and Liberty Seated dimes (the two largest inventories) are enjoying renewed attention.

Let's wrap up today's preamble with a motivational blogpost from Seth Godin. His blogpost is entitled "Pleasant" and the message captured my attention for a simple reason. When writing coin descriptions, it is so easy to fall in the superlatives trap. Differentiating words like exceptional, superb, remarkable, and gem should be used appropriately to describe those coins that are truly heads and shoulders above the pleasant and popular offerings.

Seth Godin Blogpost - Pleasant

We often use words like “beautiful” or “stunning” or “perfect” when we actually mean “popular” or “pleasant.”

Every day is beautiful in its own way. But the weather yesterday was pleasant.

Hit songs are hits. But they’re rarely perfect.

I’m a big fan of pleasant. And I often like things that are popular. Pleasant and popular are convenient, easy and risk less.

The extraordinary, on the other hand, is often difficult. It can create change, challenge our perceptions and feel risky, all at once. Creating things that are beautiful is a choice and a quest, and most of the time, we’re simply seeking pleasant on our way to being popular.

If we care enough to make it beautiful, we shouldn’t be willing to settle for pleasant.


Global Financial News

Since today is the Presidents Day holiday, the stock exchanges are closed along with USPS and banks.

Real time Kitco spot gold reporting indicates that the yellow precious metal is quoting at $1846/oz. WTI crude is quoting at $77/bbl. The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield stands at 3.86%.

I will be back tomorrow with regular morning market futures along with sharing pertinent Seeking Alpha content.


Wrapping Up The Blog

So ends today's edition. I will be in the office throughout the day. Be well!




Sunday February 19, 2023

Lower Priced New Purchases on the Price List

Could 1873 NA Open 3 Dies Have Been Re-used for 1873 With Arrows Coinage?


Finalizing the Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Collection Auction Lots


Greetings on a Sunday morning and welcome to another GFRC update. Thank you for returning frequently to these ramblings.

I arose at the usual 4:00 AM, assembled a healthy Keto breakfast, and proceeded to take in a Kitco News video. Michelle Makori was interviewing Andy Schectman, a noted expert on geopolitical economics and a proponent for precious metals. The interview can be found at this link.


The primary interview conclusion is that the BRICS continue to expand their alliance and now include the majority of the world's population. The possibility of an alternate global reserve currency (vs. the U.S. dollar) continues to grow given the alignment of China, Russia, and the Middle East, along with segments of South America and Africa. The China Belts and Roads initiative is just one aspect of how smaller countries are being drawn into the Chinese circle of influence, which by default brings them into the BRICS alliance.

There was one moment in the video that solidified the argument that the U.S. dollar will lose it monopoly over global transactions. The U.S. dollar is often referenced as the "petrodollar". Petrodollars are oil export revenues denominated in U.S. dollars or in other words, U.S. dollars accepted as payment by an oil exporter. The U.S dollar became the global reserve currency after WWII along with the elimination of the gold standard in 1945. During the 1970s, the United States and Saudi Arabia reached an agreement that oil sales would be standardized with the use of the U.S. dollar thus the name petrodollar.

Now the United States has announced its plans for a conversion to renewable forms of energy and lowering its dependence on OPEC oil. If that is the case, then why should the U.S. dollar continue enjoy its status as the petrodollar? Once that domino falls, then there is no longer an overriding reason for the U.S. dollar to be the world's reserve currency. Is the United States hastening the end of the U.S dollar dominance via energy policies along with continuing to stoke inflation with deficit spending? The interview is about 30 minutes long and is thought provoking.

If (when) the U.S. dollar loses its hegemony over global transaction, its value or usefulness will be reduced. A falling dollar will lead to a reduction in value of assets dominated in U.S. dollars including Treasuries and stocks. To protect the dollar, the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise interest rates to levels that would crash the housing market and many households that survive on credit. Precious metal prices would climb as the dollar fell thus the ongoing recommendation for holding 10% of one assets in gold as a financial insurance policy.

Again, the interview is thought provoking and worth viewing. Much is taking place on the global stage that is not being reported by the U.S. media. We appear to be consumed with social justice as a priority rather than monitoring global developments that could have a profound impact on the American way of life in the coming years.


Lower Priced New Purchases on the Price List

Saturday brought the arrival of a lower priced lot that was immediately purchased and reposted to the 30 Day Price List. There are some eye appealing and strictly original Barber offerings to consider along with a 1847 Seated quarter.

Also on Saturday, GFRC agreed to buyout another lot from a long term client. That lot shipped yesterday and should arrive early next week.


Could 1873 NA Open 3 Seated Dime Dies Have Been Re-used for 1873 With Arrows Coinage?

This question just dawned on me after purchasing the 1873 No Arrows Open 3 dime graded NGC 65 with CAC approval. The reported mintage for Open 3 strikes is only 60,000 though I have identified four separate obverse dies. The rule of thumb for die life is typically 250,000 strikes.

All 1873 With Arrows dies were prepared with the Open 3 date punch. Since arrows were hand punched into dies for 1873 With Arrows coinage, is it possible that those four dies were reworked by adding arrows? When I have some available time, there is a plan to check the known 1873 With Arrows obverse dies and their date positions against that of the four Open 3 dies.

Blog readers with considerably more time on their hands than I do might want to jump on this question and conduct their own research.


Finalizing the Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Collection Auction Lots

Saturday brought another round of Liberty Seated dime auction lots from the Steven Vitale Collection. Lots up through 1877 are now posted including the big four Carson City dates. Here is a quick gallery of the 1871-CC through 1874-CC lots that will undoubtedly drawn substantial attention. In particular, the 1871-CC and 1874-CC lots have received a GFRC-Choice quality rating due to their strictly original surfaces with no traces of porosity and natural coin gray coloration.

Steven Vitale Collection - 1871-CC Through 1874-CC Lots

1871-CC PCGS VF25 10C                                                            1872-CC PCGS VF30 10C


   1873-CC Arrows PCGS VF25 10C                                                1874-CC Arrows PCGS VF25 10C


Wrapping Up The Blog

Though it is a Sunday, much of the day will be spent in the GFRC office as work continues on the March 18 auction event. I will be available for incoming purchase orders now that the football season is behind us.

Once again, thank-you for visiting the Daily Blog. Be well!




Saturday February 18, 2023

New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collections - An Auction Update


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

Five weeks! Yes, that is the remaining time for the GFRC office in Florida. The reason is that our family continues to expand with a fourth grandchild due to arrive at the end of March. The GFRC office will be relocated back to Maine earlier than normal to position Diane close to Boston. She will be able to drive into Boston promptly when Chikae's delivery date arrives.

In the next five weeks, GFRC will be traveling to the Spring Whitman Baltimore show and finalizing its March 18th Liberty Seated Coinage Extravaganza auction. There will be office packing and the long drive from Florida to Maine. Renee, Mike, Ivy, and now big boy Miles will also be visiting during early March.

With all that is planned during the next five weeks, I've decide to transition the St. Patrick's Day Sales event into an April Spring Fling Sale. Updates for the Spring Fling Sale will be provided once the office is operating smoothly in Maine.

Finally, GFRC is set to go for the April NH Coin Expo Show (the Manchester show). Tom Coulombe will be joining GFRC as a table assistant for the event. His presence will enable a regular corner booth exhibit with seven cases of premium numismatic offerings. Yes, I will miss having my numismatic partner, Dan White, at this show. Unfortunately, our April schedules do not align this spring.


New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collections - An Auction Update

The Liberty Seated Coinage Extravaganza auction preparations are moving along nicely. Friday brought the addition of Len Augsburger's authoritative descriptions for the New Jersey Collection's Liberty Seated halves module. As usual, Len has hit a grand slam with his commentary as I thoroughly enjoyed reading them last evening. Please take time today to visit the Auction link and review the Seated half dollar offerings. The coming week will bring reserve pricing proposals for the consignors. Once those reserves are posted, Liberty Seated half dollar collectors will be able to formulate their bidding strategies and acquisition targets.

Progress with the Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Collection lot postings continued on Friday. Steven's offerings are now complete through the 1872-CC date with the balance being posted today. Remaining will be setting reserve prices and writing descriptions.

For those planning on attending the Whitman Baltimore show, the New Jersey and Steven Vitale Collection lots will be available for lot viewing at booth 818.

March will certainly be a busy GFRC month!


Wrapping Up The Blog

Today's ramblings will be limited as there is little else to share.

Monday brings the Presidents Day holiday which means that USPS will be closed. Therefore, there will be no shipping today as package security is paramount. Having GFRC shipments sitting in distribution centers during a holiday weekend brings too much risk. Regular shipping will resume on Tuesday. Your patience is appreciated as we attempt to navigate an erratic USPS delivery system.

As always, your ongoing readership is appreciate. Soon, the content will shift back to the Maine homestead with solar panel installation for the barn, further expansion of the spring pond, and the construction of a pond side screened in cabin. I'm so looking forward to being back on Johnny 2 and walking the back acreage trail every morning.

Be well!



Friday February 17, 2023

A Mighty Fine 1873 No Arrows Open 3 Liberty Seated Dime


Liberty Seated Quarters Arriving Today



Greetings on a Friday morning and welcome to yet one more Daily Blog edition. We are so blessed with an amazing readership that returns every day.

Yes, it is a challenge to arise from the overnight rest period and jump into composing another Blog edition. I'm typically up between 4:00 - 4:30 AM with the first task of the day being breakfast preparation. We are not talking a bagel with cream cheese. Rather, breakfast has evolved into an inflammation and cancer suppression meal coupled with taking a daily regiment of Turmeric, fish oil, and glucosomine. The breakfast is two hardboiled eggs, a small portion of lean meat, a tomato, raw kale or broccoli, olives, a whole avocado, along with a covering of black pepper. The morning beverage is V-8 juice. It has taken months to design this breakfast based on studying the health enhancing properties of natural foods. Turmeric is an orange colored spice traditionally found in Indian curries. Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory foods that one can consume. However, turmeric is only fat soluble and must be accompanied with black pepper to increase absorption. This is where the avocado comes in with its fat and potassium. Two eggs add more fat but also a host of nutrients and choline for brain health. A whole tomato provides lycopen while olives need no introduction. Raw kale or broccoli provide sulforaphane which is a top ingredient for preventing or mitigating cancer.

Let's remember that I spend most days sitting at the laptop typing or conducting image processing with a mouse. Until a year ago, I was worried that the GFRC business would be short lived due to the stress on my fingers and the onset of arthritis. After experimenting with daily supplements, mobility improved. Then came the Keto diet, weight loss, and now, an anti-inflammatory tuned diet. My fingers are feeling much better. The down side is needing to stay consistent with the diet as I will note degradation with a few days when traveling and not staying current with the regiment.

So now you know the whole story of a life prior to sitting down and composing the Blog. It certainly takes discipline each morning but the results are well worth the effort. I'm feeling better today than during my 50s which is not surprising. When in the latter stages of my semiconductor career, the constant international travels and poor diet were taking a toll on body and health.


A Mighty Fine 1873 No Arrows Open 3 Liberty Seated Dime

There are multiple approaches for constructing a superior numismatic collection. Individuals blessed with deep pockets can hire a consultant and scour the market place (and auctions) towards building a famous collection within the matter of five to ten years. Since finances are not an issue, only availability is the barrier. Then there is the slow multi-decade approach that relies on constantly setting aside monies for upgrades when they might appear. Upgraded coins must be quickly sold to replenish available capital. Luck plays a huge role since limited funds do not allow for walking into a major auction and buying up top pop specimens at will.

This week brought the purchase of a mighty fine 1873 No Arrows Open 3 dime that appeared out of nowhere during January as part of a consignment. Other upgrades to the core Seated dime collection have taken place in a similar manner. With incredible patience, a top rated collection can be assembled. Key is the ability to remain focused while other collectors arrive on the scene and eventually leave. In my case, the collection has remained steadfast while names like Eugene Garner, and Tom Bender have come and gone. Now D.L. Hansen dominates all U.S. coinage series due to his infinite budget and utilizing DLRC as his consultant.

Yes, I am so thrilled with the 1873 No Arrows Open 3 dime acquisition. It is yet another step in a long, long journey. Here is the coin with traditional GFRC photography. Isn't she so magnificent with a complete strike and gorgeous natural toning?

A Mighty Fine 1873 No Arrows Open 3 Liberty Seated Dime

F-106 NGC MS65 CAC 10C


The core set duplicate 1873 NA Open 3 dime has been posted to the price list and is already on hold. It will be retrieved and shipped to the new owner once we return to Maine at the end of March.


Liberty Seated Quarters Arriving Today

Believe it or not, I'm still working through the last of Winter FUN show consignments. Yesterday brought a break from the Steven Vitale Liberty Seated Dime Collection processing to enable time with one of the remaining FUN show consignments.

I'm please to report that this six piece Seated quarter consignment was priced followed by consignor approval last evening. The consignment highlight is an 1869 PCGS EF45 CAC quarter that will garner tons of attention once collectors visit the CAC population and price guide. Little else needs to be said....

These six quarters will be posted later today pending weather conditions as photography and image processing are the last two steps.


Global Financial News

There are emerging signs that the recent investor optimism concerning waning inflation might have been premature. The S&P 500 has dropped this week to 4,090 while gold is getting hammered at $1833/oz. The gold nemesis is the rising U.S. dollar which now stands at 104.7 (DXY Index). The 10 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield has jumped to 3.9%. Once again, geopolitical risks and tough talk by the Federal Reserve has brought about a stronger dollar.

This brief Seeking Alpha commentary sums up the situation.

Market volatility is making a comeback as traders eye any mention of the word "inflation" like a deer in the headlights. Stocks fell on Thursday following the release of January’s producer price index, with wholesale costs coming in hotter than expected. It wasn't the only thing causing jitters. "My overall judgment is it will be a long battle against inflation," St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told reporters, while the Cleveland Fed's Loretta Mester for a 50-basis-point increase at the central bank's meeting two weeks ago. Elsewhere, initial jobless claims continued to point to a tight labor market, further evidence that higher interest rates have yet to significantly dent the economy. Taking all of the developments together, stocks aren't pointing to a better open this morning, with further losses expected on Wall Street. 

That is correct, morning market futures are pointing to more selling come the 9:30 opening bell.

In Asia, Japan -0.7%. Hong Kong -1.3%. China -0.8%. India -0.5%.
In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.6%. Frankfurt -0.7%.
Futures at 6:00, Dow -0.5%. S&P -0.7%. NASDAQ -0.9%.

WTI crude oil pricing has dropped slightly to $77/bbl. The Bitcoin rally has taken a pause at $23,754.

Let's close this segment with another piece of bad news for U.S. consumers. More individuals are piling on credit card debt which is the worse thing possible for long term wealth accumulation. This article helps to explain the recent drop in GFRC orders as disposable income for hobbies continues to impacted by rising costs for life's sustainment.

The sum of money owed by U.S. households climbed considerably during the fourth quarter, rising by $394B to $16.9T. That's the largest Q/Q increase in household debt in two decades, taking balances $2.75T higher than before the pandemic at the end of 2019, according to the New York Fed's Household Debt and Credit Report. Not helping the situation was the U.S. central bank's rate hiking cycle, which has raised the borrowing costs on everything from credit cards to mortgages and auto loans. Serious delinquency rates of 90 days or more are creeping up too, and while the metric is not near dangerous levels yet, it will be an item to watch as the year progresses.


Wrapping Up The Blog

Little changes in the GFRC office other than the day and the coins being processed.

Yesterday brought an agreement to buyback a nine piece Seated and Barber lot from a long term GFRC client. These are inexpensive coins ranging from $150 to $300 and will be promptly reloaded onto the price list. As numismatic demand slows, I'm ready to go back to selling some lower priced coins if that is what it takes to generate sales. There was a phone call inquiry from yet another client proposing to sell back GFRC acquired coins. As you can see, a portion of our community is feeling cost of living pressures and using their numismatic holdings as a source of capital.

Well, I've rambled enough for a day with the usual straight talk even if impacting client psyche and my sales. We are in an economic cycle that will play itself out as 2024 elections are not that far off. Come early 2024, the political party in power will place pressure on the Fed to stimulate the economy.

Thank you for visiting today. Be well!