By David W. Lange – www.coincollectingboards.net
MARKET ACTIVITY There were relatively few listings of coin boards on eBay during the past quarter, and those that did appear provided mixed results. For the most part, prices were disappointing for anything not truly scarce. Several boards went unsold at fairly reasonable minimum bids, and this seems to be a reflection of the dreary world economy. No one wants to spend money impulsively these days, and only really special items are bringing bids commensurate with their actual value. This is true of both coin boards and albums. I spent all summer buying up bargains in both areas. The return of fall will refocus many collectors on their hobbies once again, so prices should recover a bit.
I made some good purchases of coin boards in recent months, including a nice pair of Kent Card Company boards that seemed to fly under everyone’s radar on eBay. These are both listed in the accompanying Coin Boards for Sale #120. Also acquired recently was an unusually clean selection of Whitman Fourth Edition and Y Edition boards, ones that are not rare overall but are notorious for nearly always being damaged. Several lesser batches of boards have come my way through coin dealers who know that I’m the go-to person in this field. While these included nothing spectacular, the condition of the boards was higher than average. That’s important, as most buyers won’t accept lesser condition boards for anything but very rare issues.
This brings up a point that trouble me. Many collectors are passing up rare titles and varieties in the misguided notion that they will eventually surface in VF or better condition. For the scarcer items, this is simply not true. My own collection includes quite a number of boards grading only F or lower, and in most cases these represent the finest known examples or, in a few instances, the only known pieces. When I mention in the description of a board for sale that it is rare in such condition, it should be assumed that it simply doesn’t exist in higher grades. Holding out for a pristine example of a rare coin board may reflect the traditional investment advice given to coin collectors, but it can also result in frustration and an eventual loss of interest in collecting boards.
BOOK UPDATES Once again, reader Chris Buck turned up another minor variety of Oberwise board. Buffalo Nickel board O5¢Br is a new listing for its back variety. Chris also reports that variety O10¢Be, reported in Coin Board News a few months ago, has a strip of paper dated “1916” pasted over another date in the title as on Liberty Head Dime board O10¢Ae. This escaped notice previously, and it’s almost a certainty that these were the very first printings of both titles. A couple minor corrections to my book are also noted: In the table for Oberwise Back Paper Varieties (page 189), revise ‘a’ to read “West 29th Street” in place of “W. 29th Street,” and revise ‘g’ and ‘o’ to read “South Vermont Ave.” in place of “S. Vermont Avenue.”
AND IN OTHER NEWS… Progress continues on my coin album book, which I now anticipate publishing in several volumes due to its growing size. Volume One will include the products of the Beistle Company, Wayte Raymond, Inc. and M. Meghrig & Sons. These three companies marketed essentially the same coin album over a period of 35 years, best known to collectors as the National Coin Album. The complete history and catalog of this series will be included, along with all other coin albums and folders to come from these companies.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN I have just one coin show scheduled for the remainder of 2011. I’ll be at the ANA’s inaugural Pittsburgh National Money Show October 13-15. This brings fond memories, as it was at the Pittsburgh ANA World’s Fair of Money in 2004 that my exhibit on coin boards won First Place in its class. I only wish that I had the freedom to display my collections more often, but that will have to wait awhile.