By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics
A CoinWeek Content Partner
THE FUN SHOW STAFF
First we must yet again commend the FUN staff for working overtime to put on what has to be the second greatest show (behind only the summer ANA). They are dedicated to coin collecting, the collector, and they even care a little about us dealers! We absolutely rank the FUN Show as a MUST ATTEND.
LEGEND SPENT $100,000,000.00-NOT!
We are definitely NOT trying to be one firms who seem to having fantasies about creating these über big funds and then doing some imaginary shopping to try and influence the market. Our ONLY problem at the FUN Show-we spent $35,000.00 on the bourse floor (not including a small deal we bought)! That is an all time record LOW. We’ll talk about what we spent at the auction later. To us, not being able to spend on the floor was the most important news from the show.
If you deal in the high end coins we do, you would not have seen much at all for sale. Maybe a coin here and there at way too much money, the nice coins weren’t even behind dealers tables this time. Where were all the coins? For this show, all the nice stuff was in the auction (again, more on the sale later).
Our Want List is $20,000,000.00 with out exaggeration. WE NEED GREAT COINS (examples: anyone have a PCGS AU CAC 1794 $1? A 1914D PCGS MS66 CAC $20, or a $1 1894O PCGS MS65 CAC-ONLY)! Each day we took at least 2 full walks around the convention to see if anything new popped in. NADA. And anyone who did make something, either wanted to put it in auction or bring it home for their customers (can’t blame them).
It was sickening for us to continually walk the bourse floor and see so many tables of “big name” dealers hawking pure dreck (KNOW THE TERM-it is NOT inexpensive or collector coins-it is doctored or OVERgraded crap). Some dealers also just can’t grade. We marvel at how (especially with Morgans) these dealers buy a totally white and flashy coin, they do not check to ever see if it has been thumbed, has lines, or if it is really properly graded. Nothing makes us more angry than to see dealers that are either incompetent or are disgustingly greedy and will sell pure dreck claiming the coins to be OK. Since the market has clearly been stripped of great coins, dreck and tons of average lackluster widgets dominated the show.
Legend did spend just over $3,000,000.00 at the sale. Finally, there were some coins on Want Lists we needed and some we just had to own for stock. For many people though, the auction took business away. It was too darn big and clearly hurt trading on the bourse floor! That’s not good for the masses, but the chances of any auction firm turning down a fee is zilch. The reality is, auctions are becoming hotter trading venues for really rare coins than shows. In our opinion, this is a very bad trend. It can only hurt the average collector down road. Its going to force them to compete for every coin-and possibly lose. Hard to collect in that environment. Anyway, this auction was crazy.
The highlights of the sale were the Dukor Collection of Saints, a collection of Early $5 pieces that was awesome, and a small group of MONSTER Territorials.
Legend did buy the Dukor coins we felt were nice (that we needed). The market showed its gut check respect for the collection by spanking many of the prices realized. This is the kind of collection we keep talking about. When you have a high grade top pop set-it needs to be ALL there. Each coin should be a WOW in EVERY aspect. A real high end set WILL have records breaking with each lot. This collection did not. Remember, in a holder you have high end and low end quality. While a coin may be “pretty”, it may not be all there technically. Also, as with the case of the 1907 HR FE PCGS MS67, collectors are skittish today about copper stains. They should not be. A few coins in the Dukor Collection did have beautiful “old time” copper spotting. We think the misunderstanding about those coins had a few people holding back as well. That HR should have realized OVER $200,000.00 hammer instead of $172,500.00 (we had left a low ball book bid thinking we’d not be close-and turned out to be the underbidders)! In the end, it still was a nearly complete Saint set which is a superior numismatic achievement.
The Early $5 collection was neat coins of neat quality and was well rewarded with record prices. It was a complete collection consisting of coins that have not been to the market in ages. The highlight was the $5 1829 PCGS PR64 that sold to a dealer for his own personal collection for $1,380,000.00! We saw at least one collector on the floor bid about $1,000,000.00 for it. Other coins, like the 1828 $5 PCGS MS64 ($402,500.00) sold for record prices. unfortunately, Early $5 are not something we do a lot with. But it was fun to watch the coins being auctioned. We did manage to buy a coin or two from the set. We had to stock at least one coin-you never ever see the better dates.
Those pesky territorials. Its so nice they are always one of the last coins to be sold in a session that is running late at night. The Slugs were as virgin, orignally colored, and super high end as you will ever see. We knew we’d be out gunned by a ton on the commoner ones. We did represent a major collector who rarely ever gets out bid on the thick rim piece-and even he got blown out of the water (a VERY rare event). We bid up to $120,000.00 hammer with the piece finally selling for $160,000.00 hammer! Territorial collectors are crazy in love with those coins (and who couldn’t be)!
Of course with the sale being so big there were lots of other neat coins to bought. The hottest area in the auction besides the collections was $5 and $10 Indian Gold. What is going on here?? A $5 1916S PCGS MS65 sold for a whopping $34,500.00 while a $10 1908D PCGS MS64 CAC sold for $25,300.00. There were MANY other either really high or record prices being set. Without exception ALL the gold that sold for strong premiums was CAC beaned. Not all crazy prices were brought by the gold coins. A PCGS MS67 CAC Delaware Commen with really pretty color sold for $18,400.00, a killer 5C 1937 PCGS PR68CAC sold for a mind blowing $40,250.00, 25C 1899 PCGS PR67 CAC $8,625.00, and an old friend of ours-the Naples $1 1881S PCGS MS67DMPL sold for a whopping $14,950.00! We could write a huge list of crazy prices. As far as rips (coins that fell thru the cracks) there really were not many. Keep in mind, EVERY major dealer looks at the auction.
At each major show now (FUN, definitely ANA, Long Beach), etc), the auctions are the new bourses. They offer the thrill, the fact you can bid from anywhere, and allow you to be anonymous. While all that is great, its very risky for many collectors who are not able to study up and be experts. Pay too much or buy the wrong coin-your not only on your own, but you are stuck in mud!
Highlights of Legends auction purchases:
- 1C 1793 Liberty Cap PCGS AU50+ $299,000.00
- 2C 1869 PCGS PR65RD $16,675.00
- 3CS 1865 PCGS PR68 CAMEO $24,150.00
- 10C 1906 PCGS PR67+ $5,175.00
- $1 1895 PCGS PR66DC $126,500.00
- G $1 1858 PCGS MS68 $74,750.00
- $20 1911 PCGS MS67 Dukor $184,000.00
These are only a few coins we can mention (all are sold). We may have spent just over $3 million total, but we certainly bid on and or were underbidders on at least $5,000,000.00 worth coins in this sale. Take our word on it, we are as aggressive as anyone when it comes to buying coins we like or never see offered. These days, if you are NOT willing to pay the price, you simply will NOT buy the coin. At an auction like this, you have only one shot!
The market clearly responded to the coins themselves in this sale. Buyers demand REAL quality today-not a coin that is 95% all there. If you go over prices realized, you will clearly see it.
Even though the sale was too darn big-it looked like a success overall.
Legend had a VERY good show. We did not have a record breaking show for a good reason: we did not have the inventory to do so. We’re not cutting back, as we mentioned before, we can NOT find the coins! hopefully a few of you out there will help us find what we need-we did list 3 coins from our Want List and posted what we bought in auction so you can see what we need. We are very thankful for a small old holdered PR Type deal an old customer of ours brought to sell to us. Otherwise, we did not have anything else walk in (we do know a few other dealers did have a dealer or to come to them).
From the minute we arrived, we did business (we actually had our favorite secret buyer waiting at our hotel for us to arrive)! Of course we sold a substantial amount of coins-and even got good money for “old friends” and the occasional “oops we own this coin?” disaster piece. Our super secret stealth team did well. One even had his best show EVER!
Collectors were on the floor, but this year its seemed a little thinner than usual. Selling to them was not hard-so long as you had the coins.
We rank the 2012 FUN Show as a “GOOD” show for Legend. We’d have preferred a blockbuster, but we’re happy with good.
Due to the SEVERE lack of coins, we are hesitant to make a prediction of how Jan/Feb will be in the coin market. No coins means slow to no trading-at least for us. Generics we think will still be very buy-able at the cheaper prices. We hope the geniuses who report prices do so swiftly and correctly. Prices MUST move up to shake out real rare coins. It will be an interesting starting 2012.
LEGEND IMPROVES/COMPLETES THREE MAJOR REGISTRY SETS
We are VERY proud to exclusively have worked on each set. ALL coins are of Legend quality. There is nothing more we love then to build the great collections. A BIG thanks and congrats to each collector.
Three Cent Silvers. The mind boggling 1865 PCGS PR68 Cameo was a coin that slipped away from us once before. Not again! We paid $24,150.00. It is now the centerpiece of the Legend Collection of Proof 3CS pieces-the all time finest-EVER. We now have 11 POP 1 pieces with NONE higher (out of 21 dates in the set)! We’re taking serious major WOW factor here.
$10 Matte Proofs 65-67. Try building one of these in ALL PCGS/CAC. We still can’t believe did it! Many thanks and congrats to our customer who allowed us to build such a world class gorgeous set. We added the 1908 PCGS PR66 CAC piece from the auction. Now he thinks we can build something with even more difficulty!!! This particular collector is very special, he is not from the US. We marvel at how he had the foresight to build and all PCGS/CAC collection and wanted ONLY coins that are BEST for the grade. US rare coins definitely are a world wide marketplace. No matter where you are, you can find information about about coins.
Saints. Last and one of our proudest achievements – we added a coin we always wanted to the Simpson Collection of Saints. We purchased the amazing and hands down finest $20 1926D PCGS MS66+. While his set has been number one all time for a while now, we were waiting for this coin to come to market. 26D Saints in MS64 and higher are really rare (if properly graded). In the world of Saints, this is a true “WONDER GEM”.
We wish to thank everyone who stopped by for helping make our FUN Show successful. Also, we wish to thank our PAC (apparently we have one) for having 500 Vote for Laura buttons (Laura is running for the ANA board) delivered to the show (they are cooler than the hats another firm is giving out)
Our next show is Long Beach. See us at our regular table #723. It will be fully staffed.
NEWPS will be posted starting Sunday evening. Enjoy! We can be reached at [email protected].
LEGEND NUMISMATICS IS A DEALER IN THE FINEST QUALITY COINS. OUR EXPERIENCES AT THE SHOW WILL BE DIFFERENT FROM DEALERS WHO BUY AND SELL IN OTHER AREAS. SO WHAT IS MENTIONED IN THIS MARKET REPORT PERTAINS TO OUR MARKET AND WHAT WE SAW HAPPEN.