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Legend Market Report – November Baltimore Show Report


Mary Counts, David Chrensaw, and Lori Hamrick and staff, put on the best commercial show there is! The only other shows that rank close are FUN and the Summer ANA. No matter what you collect, the Baltimore Show will be exciting for you.

It was a wonderful treat that the show allowed the Liberty Seated Collectors club to set up and show off their collections. There were some awesome coins in those cases! Even we were impressed! Plus, the members were all there to answer any questions.

We do think attendance was slightly low, but its the last show of the year and you all have been reading our continual harping on how the Philadelphia Show does take a little away. Also, we have come to the conclusion that in today’s busy world, the majority of coin buying happens via the Internet.


There has not been a “real” show in about 60 days. The ANA Pittsburgh was very poorly attended (especially by dealers) and should not count for anything. The market was more then ready for this Baltimore Show. Dealers certainly came to buy. We thought dealers had cash flow issues-NOT!


This was totally unexpected. On Wednesday we met our usual “first shot” dealer. They typically spend between $50-$80,000.00. This time, we spent almost 4 hours with them doing nearly $300,000.00 in sales! There were two near six figure coins they bought from us. No way did we think they would spend even $100,000.00 with us this show. Being tired already, we shut down after another decent unexpected sale and called it day (sort of-had dinner w/a long time dealer who apparently has never had a chocolate souffle! Work never ends at shows).

Starting fresh the next day, we had an appointment with a major buyer. He usually spends $10-$20,000.00 with us. When we sat down he warned us he needed to sell and was not really buying. Four hours later (again), we walked away having SOLD him $120,000.00. He bought soup to nuts (a 3 page invoice) at very decent prices.

We were so busy selling we never set up at the table until late Friday morning. We did some more serious business from our table (including the sale of a $2.5 1887 NGC PR66 CAMEO CAC) and other bigger ticket items. Selling Type was not a problem, in fact it too easy. We sold hundreds of Dakota coins both to dealers and to collectors who walked up even to buy ONE coin for $150.00! We sold very few generic gold coins as the price of spot gold came down $75.00 Thursday and took away interest. The dealers we saw wanted better coins. Quality was an issue to most buyers. Having probably one of the biggest CAC inventories also helped us sell many coins.

Just as we were walking out the door on Saturday (late AM), we sold our 1C 1856 PCGS PR65 CAC and the 1C 1796 Lib Cap PCGS AU53 CAC to a collector. It turned out to be that kind of crazy show you just can not predict will happen. After we added it all up, it shocked us that our sales were almost equal to what we do at a 5 day ANA Show!

Almost forgot to mention about our buying at the show. We hardly bought anything-and we did try hard to buy. The highlight was one of the only Colonial coins we have ever owned-a PHENOMENAL Bar cent PCGS AU58. Like the $5 38D from a few weeks ago, this coin just stood out like the holey grail. We were not desperate to find something different, its just this thing was wicked cool. There certainly was not a large selection of coins to buy on the floor. This is bad for us, but good for the long term. We strongly believe that coins WILL rise in value at the FUN show (the FUn show always has a surge of activity).


The Stacks/Bowers auction was hit or miss. If the coins had the ‘right” quality, you could not buy them. Prices were super strong on those. However, if the coins were dreck or widgets, you could buy them very cheaply. Even the fresh Teich deal felt the misery of having marginal coins mixed with a few quality pieces. When a great coin like the 1877 1.00 PCGS PR66+ cameo came up, it brought $37,375.00 all in. Or the 1864 2C Small Motto PCGS PR64RB CAC which sold for $97,750.00. The highlight of that sale wasn’t a dollar or even the 2C, it was the 1902 1C PCGS PR66+ Cameo that SOLD for an insane $14,950.00. We can give numerous examples of how the great “real quality” coins did. There certainly was no lack of buyers ready to do what it took to capture a true prize coin.

From what we could see, the only dealers who had slower shows-were the gold dealers. With the price of gold dropping over $50.00 in a day and one of the leading market makers not attending, made for a serious lack of trading activity of generics at the show.

While not selling much in generics, we did sell a lot of “better” gold coins (like $5 Indians in MS65, PR Gold, etc). In fact, that’s the one area of gold everyone has HUGE Want Lists for. We’re not talking an MS63 $5 Indian, we’re talking any $10 Indian in GEM, any BETTER LIB in MS64 or higher, better Saints, ALL GEM PR GOLD, etc. Even more so with gold QULAITY IS EVERYTHING. No better (or even generic) gold trades hotter and for as much money as CAC stickered pieces-that is an absolute fact (we’re bidding $3,450.00 for ALL the PCGS/NGC NON 1908 MS66 Saints we can buy that are CAC’d. NON CACS wholesale for $2,600.00-and we do not want any of those).

Last, there has been some chatter recently about 2 new rare coins funds trying to enter the coins market. Do not pay attention to the hype. Neither has any money as of this writing and thus their credibility is zero. If either should come to fruition, they are probably going to be nothing more than trading funds. If you feel the coin market really needs these funds, you are wrong. There have been 2-3 MAJOR Wall Street type funds in coins for years. They are totally quiet and are doing nothing to harm the marketplace. If anything we see they have added tremendous stability. They do not need to go out and pound their chests and make noise or create artificial value. In the end, we do not expect either of these two funds to have any real or significant impact on the rare coin market.

Having such a strong Baltimore Show for us was totally unexpected. A few other dealers we know did really well too. We believe the most activity in December will take place the first two weeks. Suggestion: do not wait for FUN to buy something that looks like a decent deal. Coins at FUN probably WILL be a touch more expensive.

Legend Numismatics wishes everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Click here to read the full Market Report

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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