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The CSNS Show: Jekyll and Hyde

By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics….


This was certainly not the booming CSNS Shows we remember attending years ago in Indy or St Louis. It’s definitely NOT a “must attend” show for dealers anymore (we know several that stayed home). Mid-day Thursday, the aisles were so empty you could drive a street cleaner down them and never be touched! That doesn’t mean collectors didn’t attend, they just weren’t there in quantity. 
Wholesale was weak. With a minimal number of dealers there, few seemed to have much cash to spend. We did some biz (and even some retail) while our stealth team also did just a little biz. Attitudes overall on the wholesale level seemed poor. We came in with a so-so attitude. In fact, Legend only attended the show because of the auction. Sales back in the office (especially from the Simpson $10 Lib Collection) are as strong as ever and on pace for a record April. 
The CSNS Show is NOT a show to use as a market indicator anymore (actually, few shows really are). In fact, CSNS now firmly has a track record of being held at the wrong time (right after taxes) and dealers always having their “worst shows of the year”. Other then have it at a different time, we do not know what it would take to make the show a winner again. We see the internet as killing the need for many people to ever attend a show more then once a year. 
While we paint a grim picture of the show, the auction was a mega-monster bash! No one ever would have guessed it would’ve been such a runaway success with activity at the show so weak. We’re convinced there was huge, pent-up demand by collectors. Mix that with really fresh and cool coins you don’t see too often and you have the stunning results that are posted. We call the sale “a perfect storm of quality, freshness, and demand”. Very few regular major sales are like that anymore (name sales like Pogue always will be their own typhoons!). 
All the real activity at the CSNS Show took place at the auction. In fact, this CSNS auction was so powerful we call it the “FUN Sale” (FUN was weak and did not have a lot of fresh coins). Platinum Night alone did a staggering $35 million in sales! 
Legend spent $2 million in the sale but was still barely able to buy what we needed. Because the auction had so many fresh and really wicked cool coins, we thought for sure we’d hurt ourselves while totally blowing through our credit lines. NOT! It was 2008 all over again. We saw a tremendous amount of record prices–there were dozens of times we thought we had really strong bids, only our price was actually where other bidders started bidding! Shesh! 
The highlight of our purchases was the $10 1933 PCGS MS65 CAC. We paid $822,000.00. We also bought the wicked cool Ft. Vancover Proof PCGS PR65 for $188,000.00. 
As the sale started, we were outbid only by a little (1C 1887 PCGS PR67 CAC our bid $4,817.50. Sold: $6,462.50). By the time the bigger coins came around it was total insanity. Our biggest regret, however, was a coin we missed because we fell asleep early (the Platinum Night session ran until 12:30 AM the night before)–it was the Pan-Pac PCGS MS66 that looked like Picasso spray painted it. That coin sold for only $11,750.00. Had we been awake, that would not have been the price!
179910dollarHere are a few of the coins we lost on:
5C   1914 PCGS PR67 CAC ************************************$6,642.00   
25C  1905 PCGS PR66 CAC ************************************$3,760.00
50C  1831 PCGS MS65 CAC ***********************************$11,162.50
2C   1866 PCGS PR66 CAMEO CAC******************************$15,275.00
20C  1875CC PCGS MS66 CAC *********************************$51,700.00
25C  1839 PCGSMS66+ CAC **********************************$64,625.00
50C  1919 PCGS MS67 CAC ***********************************$47,000.00
$1    1796 NGC AU58 ****************************************$44,650.00
$1   1892O PCGS MS64+ DMPL*********************************$30,550.00
$1    1895S PCGS MS65PL CAC ********************************$37,600.00
$1    1934 NGC MS66 CAC ************************************$37,600.00
G$1  1874 PCGS MS68 CAC ***********************************$19,975.00
$5    1909 NGC PR66 CAC ************************************$82,250.00
$10  1799 PCGS MS64 **************************************$141,000.00
$20   1907 HR FE PCGSMS66 CAC ******************************$99,875.00
$50   PAN PAC PCGSMS64 CAC********************************$129,250.00
Those are a just a few of the $4 million worth of coins we tried to buy. The auction company should give us the “biggest loser” award for all the underbidding we did!
These incredible results prove two things:
*The market seeks fresh, neat, and accurately-graded coins. 
*Collectors are alive and well. Auction is clearly their preferred method of buying (we have a killer $1 1925 posted on our web site for $5,350.00 while the one in the sale brought $5,875.00!). One dealer said to us: “Collectors can smell the fresh coins.” It’s true. Since there was so little nice and really fresh coins to come to auction since the end of last year, collectors came out for this sale in droves.  
We expected this sale to be a dud. We thought there was too much nice stuff and that some of it would drown. NOT! The ONLY things that were soft in the sale? DRECK (we’re talking about fugly, overgraded coins). 
Last: many people ask us what our favorite coin was that we bought out of as huge sale like this. This time we had two. The $10 1933 was the first. We were gunning for that coin since we saw it a few weeks ago. The second fav, the 10C 1838O NO STARS PCGS MS65+ CAC-the finest graded at PCGS. Besides being a high end GEM, we can’t stress enough how rare and grossly undervalued that date is in MS65 and higher. This coin was bought by a customer on our recommendation for a killer Type Set we’re helping build. 
With the purchase of what very likely is the finest $10 1933 (PCGS MS65 CAC) at the sale for $822,000.00 Legend Numismatics has now exclusively completed a major $10 Indian Collection in MS64 and higher. The set is also ALL PCGS ALL CAC! 
What is special to us about the set is that the owner is young and only started collecting a few years ago (everyone asks will there be new blood? Yes!). He also just obtained the $20 1927D PCGS MS66 to cap off his remarkable Saint-Gaudens collection only last month!
We mention him not just because we want some credit, but because of how he built his sets and his love of coins.  
The collector is mentored by his father, a longtime, extremely passionate coin collector (we’re highly jealous of the raw coins he bought years ago that now slab out at high grades). They both collect solely for the sheer joy of it and sharing their sets with their friends and families. What we find especially enlightening is that they’re not Registry Set hounds. While both are totally qualityconscious, they do NOT need to be #1 or have their name in lights.
Building this collector’s $10 Indian and Saints sets, the issues were always about quality and eye appeal, not who can he beat on a registry. He fully understood that you CAN complete a collection and have dreck in it just to be on top (not saying that happens in every set but there are many times when you have to accept an undesirable coin to finish a set). He wanted no part of that. He’s content watching the registry and then looking at his “key” coins and being fully satisfied knowing he has coins like the $10 1933 (a super-high-end piece and universally acknowledged to be the best) that are ALL very high-end and have great eye appeal. For his 1920S, we took a marginal NGC MS65 and downgraded it to a PCGS MS64 CAC (which we thought should have +). Plus, by staying under the radar, he was not held hostage (we highly recommend not posting a set until finished) and he fully enjoyed the fun of the chase. 
Again, congrats from all of us at Legend and we can’t wait to see what area you choose next to collect! 
We have a smaller but stunning group of NEWPS this week. Highlights include:
1C  1810 PCGS MS64BN CAC *********************************$45,000.00
H.10  1850O PCGS MS67CAC   POP 1 **************************$13,950.00
25C  1885 PCGS PR68 CAMEO CAC ****************************$21,500.00
$2.5  1914 PCGS MS65 CAC **********************************$29,500.00
$10  1912 PCGS MS65+ CAC *********************************$17,500.00
Of course we have many other really great NEWPS in high-end condition that will please most levels of collectors! 
Don’t forget to check out our regular listings. Heck, had those coins been in the CSNS Sale, we’d have sold most and banked a ton of coin! 
WOW! Have been been swamped with consignments from our June 25th Sale. Between that and being at the CSNS show we are behind on processing them. A few WORLD class highlights we’ll mention:
1C  1846 PCGS PR64BN CAC less then 25 minted! 
25C 1870CC PCGS VG 10 CAC Just even light wear.
$1  1881 PCGS MS67  A stunning white coin! 
$1  1892 PCGS PR68 CAMEO CAC  INCREDIBLE colors! WOW!!!!! This coin is numismatic nirvana! 
A complete PCGS/NGC Peace Dollar MS63-65 that was assembled in 1990’s. Will be sold as a set. 
$3  1877 PCGS AU58  A terrific example of a “stopper” date for the series
$4  1879 PCGS PR65 DCAMEO CAC This completely blows away ALL others! The term ULTRA DEEP MIRRORS is light for how monster looks! Possible price record to be set here. 
$10  1869 PCGS PR66+ DCAMEO CAC OMG!!! Only 25 minted!!!!A mind boggling coin! 
We’ll have more highlights posted towards the end of this week. We’re hoping to have an advance list prepared towards the end of the week as well.
Due to the strong consignments we already have, unless we recieve your coins by this Tuesday in our offices, we have cut off the deadline early. While other firms want those phone book size sales, we do not. Thats why an 1880S $1 PCGS MS68+ CAC in our sale brought $32,000.00 and the one is CSNS brought $22,000.00. Plus, we also ferret out the coins that simply don’t meet our standards (you can’t imagine how many toned Morgans we rejected for this sale). 
To see full information about the auction and highlights, visit www.legendauctions.com
If you have any questions, please  contact Julie Abrams: [email protected]


Laura Sperber
Laura Sperberhttps://www.legendnumismatics.com/
Laura Sperber is one of the owners of Legend Numismatics. She is a passionate and outspoken dealer who says what she believes and is a strong proponent of numismatic standards. Since 1987, Legend Numismatics has built an unequaled reputation among casual collectors and avid investors alike by locating and procuring top-quality rare coins.

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