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Legend Market Report: You Can Lead a Horse to Water, but…


By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics …….

We’ve all heard that phrase. What does it have to do with Long Beach? The show had decent attendence (even with a majority of East Coast dealers staying home) but had few collectors drinking (buying). We did not have a good show for multiple reasons.  
Yes, the market clearly has slowed and our level has what someone labeled “Pogue on the brain” syndrome. We can tell you several of our bigger customers simply are waiting for the many once-in-a life time coins the Pogue sale has to offer. Its hard for them to get excited about the majority of coins being offered today. So they are waiting unless something mindboggling comes up. We can also confirm many mid level buyers are doing the same-only they are saving up and they seem to passing up cool coins that appear in the hope of snagging a Pogue rarity. This group did the same for Gardner, and immediately after each sale when they got blanked, they spent furiously.  
Adding to the shows frustration, the Long Beach Auction had very few exciting coins and had to rank as one of the smallest auctions in years. We have not spent so little in any major auction in over decade. Legend is coming off the by far the WORST EVER month of January. Typically we sell $5 million+ and are flush. This year, we barely sold $2 million and have just a few coins (we should note we did sell a six figure coin back in the office this past week and numerous five figure coins). Plus at FUN and Long Beach, we could not buy much at all.  
For us, the problem isn’t really the market (although Pogue mania has knocked out several players). We can’t get hardly any neat coins. For the first time in a zillion years, we did not buy anything big at the FUN Sale. We were underbidders on the Chain Cent in MS66BN, but that does not put money in your pocket. It wasn’t so much we kept getting shut out (Legend always is an aggressive buyer/bidder) it was the coins simply were not there. And at the Long Beach Sale, we spent (yawn) only about $100,000.00. Where will we get the “Legend calibre” coins we need for Feb? This is our problem, for us its not a general market issue.  
The collecting public can only for so long keep seeing and buying so many marginal widgets. With out fresh exciting coins the market grinds to a halt (at least for us). What makes it all so frustrating, we have a huge customer base that is hungry for great “right” coins. Our Want List is still over $20 mlillion dollars. We simply can’t find the coins (such a broken record, but we’ll pay a world record price for a $10 1911D PCGS MS65 and no one has one to even offer-its pop 3)! Until this log jam is removed, and prices rebound some, the great coins won’t come out. So the best we can do is take some shots inthe dark and buy coins we think collectors might want. Even that is especially risky, because to buy true quality you really have to pay a significant premium. So if it does not immediately sell or if we need to raise some cash, ugh oh!  
There are still numerous collectors starved for the “right” coins. They are in command of the market . They have proven that when a fresh really nice coin comes along, they will pay up (we were the underbidder on the 25C 1796 PCGS AU55 CAC that sold in Goldberg for $96,937.00). They see huge opportunites right now while the others sit on the side lines. The intense lack of coins forces dealers like us to compete more against collectors for the nice coins-eventually with us losing. That eventually leads to slower sales, tighter margins, and an aweful lot of frustration. It also has greatly affected the whoesale market. Slower sales means the dealers are more backed up with thin margins and smaller cash flows-OUCH!  
For collectors, right now is a terriifc time to buy. Your certainly NOT at or near any peak. Even if your paying a premium for a coin like the 1796 25C, your still paying less then you would have 2 years ago.  
P.S. We did confirm the Birch Cent from the FUN Sale that realized $2,585,000.00 has been resold. Plus, art, cars, and other collectables are still enjoying record prices and sales. The coinmarket has just hit two snags: Pogue (when this incredible collection is sold we know we’ll be crowing about the world record prices the coins brought) and virtually NO supply!  
Legend wishes to congratulate our long time friend and customer Bob Simpson. He has a new set posted on the PCGS Registry which is a now a #1 all time finest: Proof Morgans. Hard to believe that with all the incredible coins he owns, these are one of his favorite groups of coins (he just did not care for MS pieces).          
What makes this set so special: until last week PCGS had only graded ONE PR69 Morgan in its 29 years existence. Simpson already owned that coin. Now, he has the FIVE additonal specimens graded PR69. Incredible! Before you get skpetical, you have to know each coin is beyond insane quality and really are worthy for the grades. 
We’re extremely proud of this set we’ve excusively built with him. Our job has always been to find him the VERY best coins. That means the wildest PR68’s or even PR65’s. He is a stickler for perfection and wild color-hence he now owns 6 PR69 Morgns! http://www.pcgs.com/SETREGISTRY/alltimeset.aspx?s=129601. Our favorite coin-the MONSTER 1896 PR69!!!!! 
Everyone building any kind of set can learn from how Simpson did it. He always bought the best quality and eye appeal. He always paid the premiums for the best. He built this set (like all his others) for the long term (it will all be passed down one day). Even though he is demanding, he always allowed us free reign and he ALWAYS listened to our input and suggestions on what to buy. Its NOT about how much money you have, its about your mindset when you are building a collection and how you go about building it. Have to say, having us on board did the trick too (there is no other dealer today with the abilities to build great collections like Legend can or has).  
One other treat, his famed gold Amazonian set is now posted for all the see (and drool over like we do): http://www.pcgs.com/SETREGISTRY/alltimeset.aspx?s=129607 
As many of you may know, there is no better dealer in the business today who can build the ultimate collection. By ultimate we mean if you want to build an PR65 set of something, it will be the most high end dazzling set ever built. 
For as many big ticket projects as we are working on, we’re not buildng the sets we think people should be doing. So we’re looking for a few people to exclusively build the following sets with:
10C, 25, 50C GEM PR BARBERS. One set or all. PR64-PR67. You can build a complete set in ANY denomenation or grade. It may take a while. Plus, these coisn are just too cheap. Even if they were to spike 10-20% in price, we still recommend these as a set to build. Love the fact most of these coins have mintages BELOW 1,000. 
Colored Commems. We’re not talking pretty, we’re talking jaw dropping colors MS66-68. We have not built a set wild commem set from start to finish exclusvely in the last 4 years. We assure you, the wild commem sets we have built over the years, rival ANY. We just LOVE wildly toned commems. 
Simple 12 piece Gold Type sets. We love when we can pick or suggest which coins to buy. We do some of our best magic in this area. Gold overall is cheap right now. Granted we can’t find things like $5 Indians in MS65 PCGS CAC, but when we do, they are smart values! 
By working exclusvely with Legend you get access to the “best of the best”. We have the best resouces to find coins (although its difficult today to find a lot of coins), we sell you at our BEST prices, we have access to the brightest minds in the biz if we need help, we’re there with you when your done and want your set pedigreed or even regraded like two customers recently did. And we now have Legend Auctions which can showcase your collection to the BEST customer base in the business-at a highly competitive rate. 
If you wish to start building a great collection exclusively with Legend, please contact Laura or George. 
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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