At the 2011 American Numismatic Association (ANA) National Money Show, held in Sacramento, California, CoinWeek caught up with Greg Roberts, CEO of Spectrum Group International, to conduct a brief interview on Spectrum’s ongoing operations, the formation of Stack’s Bowers (following the 2010 merger of Bowers and Merena and Stack’s), and bullion sales activity at A-Mark Precious Metals.
David Lisot: Recently, Spectrum has expanded into the auction realm with acquisitions. Can you tell me what took place and how it came about?
Greg Roberts: In the middle of January, we entered into a joint venture with Stack’s, LLC, and formed a new company… Bowers Stack’s LLC [Editor’s Note: Roberts likely transposed the name by mistake. —CoinWeek], reuniting Dave Bowers and his people in New Hampshire with Bowers and Merena, our company that we’ve had for the last seven or eight years and we feel that we’ve created a major force. Even better than we have been in the coin auction business.
Lisot: Are there areas of the market in which you will specialize? Or, where will you direct your energies?
Roberts: I think U.S., world, and ancient coins is where we are looking as well as paper money and other numismatic related materials.
Lisot: Some of the Spectrum companies, I understand, are involved in bullion and precious metals. How has the market been effecting those companies?
Roberts: Spectrum Group International, one of our subsidiaries, A-Mark Precious Metals is one of the largest wholesale dealers of physical metals in the United States and around the world. Our activity has increased substantially the last three to four months with the volatility in the world events. And the price of gold has been fluctuating quite a bit as well as silver, which is up to $34… one of its highest points in history. So we’ve been very busy there, too.
Lisot: How about some of the other market areas? Spectrum seems to be all over the place with collectibles.
Roberts: We had a very successful wine sale last weekend in Hong Kong and Orange County, California. We sold a little over $5 million worth of wine. 1,700 lots. We are very successful. We have a stamp auction in Germany next weekend, in Wiesbaden. Our company there is Köhler Stamp Auctions. They’ve been around since the 1930s and they are looking to doing about $7 million stamp sale in Germany next weekend.
Lisot: And what more may we look forward to?
Roberts: We are just trying to digest our acquisitions that we’ve done with Stack’s and we’re just trying to stay ahead of everything. So, no other plans on the horizon, right now.
Lisot: Best of luck, Mr. Roberts.
Roberts: Thank you.