1849-O G$1 Open Wreath MS65+ PCGS Secure. Gold CAC

By Laura SperberLegend Numismatics….

As many of you read, the PRE ANA PNG Show was a BOMB. Why they insist on having these is anyone’s guess (why we are dumb enough to go, only our shrinks know–even though we go to buy). The PRE is just a drag on the ANA Show.

After enduring a week and day a in Chicago, we are pleased to say that overall we had a good show. We certainly set no records, and we certainly were not any where near a bad show. Every day we had strong activity in the mornings, then it would taper off, and be back to full strength around 3-4 PM after everyone did their hunting all over. In total we DID break $1 million in sales. We were pleasantly surprised at how many coins (especially five figure coins) we sold to collectors. Our wholesale activity was moderate, however many “old friends” were sold for strong money.

One thing we were very disappointed in-the collecting public seemed to have had a weaker turn out. We never heard any real buzz develop. The isles were NOT empty, but they were not totally full. We believe the reason for this is diminished availability of coins for collectors to see. Why keep coming to these big shows when the best coins are now appearing in auctions? Chicago/Rosemont certainly is a easy location for everyone to come in and out of. Sadly, the greatest coin show of all-the ANA Show needs some freshening up. Moving it to Anaheim is not the answer either (we’ll give our views on that in a “Hot Topics” soon).

Legend does wish to thank all of our friends who did stop by to say hi or do business. We also thank the loyal customers who emailed us and did biz during the show (and the 3 who bought our emailed daily show specials).


At the PRE Show we figured the extreme lack of great coins was just a typical PRE Show happening. As set up for ANA rolled around we started to worry. We had walked the bourse floor MULTIPLE times and saw very little new and exciting coins. Then we figured ok, we’ll wait until people are settled in-NADA. Even on Tuesday when the show opened to the public, no deals came in (that we know of) and we had gotten offered a single GEM 25C 1916 PCGS MS65FH CAC piece (that of course we bought). After Tuesday, we were just exercising our legs. No matter how many times we’d look in dealers cases, no new coins were appearing. The stuff we were being offered by dealers during the later part of the show was not just dreck, most of it was pure puke!

On Wednesday we were chatting with a few major market maker dealers. They too were moaning there was little on the floor to buy.

Our buying at an ANA Show hit an all time low. We spent at most $400,000.00 on the bourse floor–of which $225,000.00 was another 50C 1795 PCGS MS64 (a variety where only one other MS is known) we flipped to a collector instantly. Out of 4 graded, we have bought and sold 3 of them in the past 45 days! You won’t be seeing any more of those for many years!

Why are prices not going up if there are no coins? They have for the better coins-many people just don’t see it. Look at what the BETTER and NICER coins sell for in auctions. There are NO reliable pricing guides for better coins other then auction prices realized. Thats why nice widgets sell for 20% over what you’d think they should bring on the bourse floor in auction (lack of nice supply). The average or marginal coins are what we call “stuck in mud” on their values as the services seem to be making more and more of them.

One thing that was completely nonexistent better gold. Maybe a piece or two was around because the dealers were asking too much (every show its the same pieces). We saw NO new GEM 20th Century gold at all. Did not even hear of any being made at the services. Of course we did not find the 27S $20 or the 11D $10 we have needed for 3 years now! We didn’t even think in our wildest dreams we’d ever see any early gold-and that theory proved ever so true. Ditto silver Bust coins.

On Tuesday a long time customer of ours decided he wanted to buy MS66 Saints as the premiums seemed highly attractive. He asked us to get 500-1,000 W/M NO SPOTS Saints (non CAC). Not only did we clean the floor out, we approached all the big market makers and took every coin they had back in their offices too. The result: a mere 73 coins. We’ve been telling you the demand for generic gold far exceeds the supply. None of the big market makers would short us any either.

When EVERYONE finally does get on the same page and realizes that properly graded coins are not around, only then you’ll see EVERYTHING (including some dreck) rise in price. Until then the dreck will rule the pricing as that is what is commonly traded. Only if you have wild and fresh coins will you obtain ‘moon money”. Gradeflation has seriously hurt the average $1 1922S Dollar, commoner Type coin, etc. value.


The star of the show (and of the auctions) for us was the remarkable Akers/Duckor G $1 collection.

The Akers/Duckor Collection of G $1 was one of the FINEST EVER built. It was one of the few times in recent memory that we viewed a top pop. top grade set and it really was just that. There was no such thing as even a “weak” coin in that collection. We considered EVERY coin to be of “MONSTER” quality and MONSTER eye appeal. The late David Akers really knew his coins. His friendship w/Dr Duckor allowed him to pass on this magnificent set to a custodian who cherished it as much as he did and made sure every addition was well deserved. We had been offered the set by Akers years ago and deeply regretted not buying it. We knew we’d be the people to beat on most of the coins.

1849-O_G1_haana20115_holderLegend for itself and customers bought 22 of the coins. We paid world record prices:

  • G $1 1849O PCGS MS65+ GOLD CAC**$32,900.00
  • G $1 1851 PCGS MS68+ ************$94,000.00
  • G $1 1856 SLANTED PCGS MS68 *****$42,300.00
  • G $1 1862 PCGS MS67 *************$25,850.00
  • G $1 1873 CL PCGS MS68 **********$35,250.00
  • G $1 1876 PCGS MS66+ ************$30,550.00
  • G $1 1886 PCGS MS67 *************$14,100.00 (of course we had immediate inquiries and sold ours listed for $7,250.00 off the web site in hours)

We had to fight numerous floor and internet bidders to acquire every coin that we did. Collectors did pop up heavily for this sale! The G $1 1863 PCGS MS68 sold for a staggering $193,875.00. Need to mention one more: the G $1 1864 PCGS MS68+ sold for a remarkable $70,500.00. We did not need either (we actually have a MS69 1864 and a MS66 1863). Those coins would have ended up at “beyond solar system” money had we been in the fray.

There was also a SUPERB GEM Walker set being sold. Pent up demand lead to some seriously “beyond moon money” prices. Our favorite two coins-the 1921D PCGS MS66 (which we think is the best ever) brought a staggering $94,000.00 while the 1921S PCGS MS 65 (which we used to own) brought a crazy $117,500.00. We bought the 50C 1917S OBV PCGS MS67 for $152,750.00 (its a gorgeous pop 1). We got blown out on all the other Walkers we bid on as we underestimated the demand. This was a gorgeous set that had been off the market for a while. The prices realized clearly proved the coins were of real top quality.

A new trend has clearly developed. Collectors seem to shy away from single pieces on the floor or at auction (unless they are incredibly special) and really want to buy out of collections. We can tell you, the bourse floor prices for the same Walkers are less (have to now to say were less).

With the Walkers there were multiple players battling it out on each piece.

Anyone who was wondering how the coin market is, would have felt great after that sale!

In Stacks, there was gods gift to Draped Bust Cents. An 1807/6 PCGS MS66 RD CAC. This coin really did look like it was made yesterday. It was as original and GEM Mint Red as you will ever see. We were the underbidders as that sold for $470,000.00. Pardon the pun, but the piece was worth every cent! You can NEVER overpay for a coin like that. We were trying to buy the coin just for stock.

To sum up, all the really better, fresh, and nice coins were in auction. The prices realized more then proved that!

To read the full report, visit Legend Numismatics


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