By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics …….
THE HOUSTON SHOW
This can be a very “hit or miss” type of coin show. We classify this show as a smaller state type of affair. It is very well run. There usually is a small group of “national level” dealers who do attend because its the only game in town at the time. Plus, Heritage having a coin auction is another good draw. Last, of all the shows we travel too, the Hilton Americas across the street is our favorite hotel to stay at.
We have seen years where there were just a few collectors who have attended and spent money. This year, for whatever reason attendance was larger then we had ever seen it. Plus, the coin show organizers told us all the tables had been sold. We felt a better “buzz” at this Houston Coin Show then our experience at the last Baltimore Show. Collectors actually came to spend money this time! We we were totally surprised. Our biggest sale was just under $15,000.00 to a new customer. In the past, we did very little to NO retail at this show.
No question, we’ll be back in 2016!
THE COIN MARKET
Still very choppy. If you don’t have dreck or retreads, you can easily sell coins. We are seeing the typical small year end dumping from collectors happening. We were able to pick and choose really wicked cool coins-at today’s LOWER prices as it was clear, cash is king. Only one person was dumping to raise cash, the others seemed more to be moving assets around. No one was fully cashing out and all will still be regular buyers in a month or so.
Right now we would be lying to you if we told you prices have not come down. We think in the past 30 days the overall market for anything but the rarest or nicest coins has dropped 10%. It shouldn’t be so shocking. Look at what stocks and oil are doing. The only thing frustrating-art, diamonds, and even baseball cards are still strong.
You can buy coins like $1 1883CC MS66 Morgans and all Commems much cheaper today then a month ago. Both areas are loaded with dreck. BUT, you can’t buy an 1823 MS64 $5 for any price and where did all the bigger PR Gold go? Have not even seen any GEM Bust Halves. We’re actually selling lots of bigger coins like PR Morgans 66-68 for strong money. All Proof Barbers are a mystery as to why they slumping and remain a “must buy” in our eyes. So its not like every area of the market is hurting.
Then there is gold. You have three types of gold, generics, semi rare, and then really rare gold. Generics have fallen to levels where there are virtually no premiums. Collectors are now well aware of the pricing and are starting to buy heavily when they can find pieces. Semi rare is the most dangerous area. It has the most abuse from doctoring and gradeflation. Still, when nice, fresh coins appear, they are eagerly purchased. Last the rare stuff. Real simple, if a rare gold coin appears, and it is of true quality and eye appeal, it sells IMMEDIATELY for a strong premium. When is the last time you remember seeing a GEM PR $20 Lib being offered?
Gold looks like its ready to break out. We make no bones about that we are forever “gold bugs” and have a more positive attitude about gold and gold coins than most other might. We also think collectors need to focus on buying for tomorrow and open their eyes wide to the huge opportunities in front of them today-in all areas.
A NOTE ON $5 INDIANS
We’d like to discuss $5 Indians. In the auction there was a very nice collection-highlighted by a really rare 1915S PCGS MS64 CAC (we were the under bidders as it sold for $94,000.00). The last nice set of $5 Indians appeared in auction maybe 4 years ago. Apparently this collection had been assembled 2006-2012. Many coins sold for LOWER then what the consignor paid-which is a shame because these are legit really rare coins. We see HUGE opportunities for future price growth in $5 Indians which is why we wanted to discuss them.
The reason why the collector suffered the loss: most collectors do not know this was an area controlled by one, maybe two major telemarketers. For years they heavily promoted these coins. We’ll guess that at one point they had 40-50 people actually trying to build sets. Heck, if you have 5 people at one time trying to build sets that would raise the market. Of course that demand dried up supply and prices shot up. As the story goes, something happened and one of the telemarketers ran into trouble. So they had to buy back a bunch of their customers coins vs going on the open market to buy. So over the past few years prices of coins like a $5 1914 MS65 have come down from $21,000.00 to $14,000.00 today (Legend bought the $5 1914 PCGS MS65 CAC for $14,100.00 out of the auction). The abstract inflation of their pricing has ended and now these coins have come down beyond where they really should be-and in many cases BELOW the right levels. Even if we offered $15,000.00 the chances of us buying another 1914 PCGS MS65 CAC are extremely slim. We put our money where our thoughts are and we bought most of the PCGS CAC $5 pieces in GEM from the auction. It is our very strong opinion this series is no longer one to be afraid of. We also bought an outstanding group of MS63-MS64’s in deals. WE NEVER buy this many because we can’t find them as nice as these. We’re not just self promoting here. If you think about it, how many NICE PCGS CAC $5 1913 MS64+ do you ever see offered?
Today, if you can find them, you can buy these coins for a big % LESS then where they were at 5 years ago. They are every bit the great deal they should be. Now, you have a far more “pure”market for them. There are NO quanitites available. Here too (like in all gold issues) dreck and gradeflation is a huge problem. So once you pick through all that, know that buying a really nice properly graded GEM WILL have significant yields down the road. We wanted to clarify why the majority of the coins from the auction sold for LESS then the collector paid since they are so rare. It was external market forces-not regular supply and demand that hurt the series. Of course, NOW is the time to buy these coins! We like all MS64 and higher PCGS CAC (ONLY).
To read the full Market Report – Click Here…