THE Coin Show
First, we must comment how the coin show has shrunk to the size of a regular Baltimore or Long Beach Coin Show. ….[We] are happy they … put nice carpeting down in the premium section. Our hunch as that this show had a chance to be better [than] Denver…. Surprisingly, we were right! The 2018 WFOM was a decent show! Clearly the show was no where near as crowded as it was 10 years ago. Times have changed-the ANA has not in many ways -including drawing in new people. We’ll save that discussion for another day.
The displays certainly did NOT disappoint. Finally the ANA had more than the 1913 5C. This year Legend Numismatics and our customer Black Cat, added the finest known Confederate Half and Cent, while the ONLY GEM Pacquet $20 was on display a few feet away (pretty cool). On the far side of the room was the Treasuries display of the 1933 $20 (yeah we cried we could not buy any). You know that was a draw. Our friends at David Lawrence proudly displayed our old MS Seated Dollar collection-which is best ever (the 1870S is an MS62). Plus, many dealers had fabulous displays at their tables well (we had the incredible 1793 Copper Set). Just to see all the displays this year made it worth attending.
We really started doing business at the coin show long before the majority of people arrived. We got super lucky and hit some of our buds up really early enough to get first shot. We spent about $50,000.00 with the first person and were quite happy. However, we heard people after us spent $500,000.00 in the next 24 hours! We are still scratching our heads on that.
The first “secret” dealers we showed spent well into six figures between them. They both knew we had coins few others had. The first bigger coins we sold was a $5 1802/1 PCGS MS64+CAC. Until PNG day, we sold soup to nuts with no one out spending the 2 original buyers. PNG day was a sight surprise as it actually had a few people pop in.
Tuesday AM we were selling to dealers far more easily then were buying. Since the grading services are spanking the crack out genuises, they were not aggressive at all unless you gave them a long time to pay. On the flip side, a few dealers really needed money. But they can’t help themselves and we did sell a lot of coins. Of course by the time the coin show had opened, our super secret “stealth seller” was sizzling. He was selling $500.00 coins next to $50,000.00 pieces with ease (we are jealous). His usual end of day text to us simply said exhausted. We were too.
Wednesday the public arrived. It was a good coin show crowd-but in our opinion, not a great crowd. Surprising to many, activity slowed in all areas. However that is the day people typically walk around and make their notes. But with two gigantic auctions, many collectors were down stairs lot viewing.
As every one now knows, Wednesday night was special to us. We were spooked to death we would not buy the ultimate prize of the entire show-the 5C 1913 Liberty Nickel, the finest known. All day long we heard the “fog of war”. This guy was flying in, these brothers from down south were bidding, so and so had a customer who was approved to bid etc. Even Jay Parrino-the dealer who bought this coin in Eliasberg sale in 1996 showed up. Since the Nickel was only 96 lots in, it was standing room only. All the partners had texted each other and were prepared to go even higher then originally planned. This time (not like in Pogue with the 5.00 1822 or $1 1804 which did not sell), we knew this coin would sell. The week leading up to the sale, we hit the reserve immediately got bumped up (hmm) and settled on leaving a $3.8 million dollar bid. Our good friend Melissa Karstadt opened the lot at $3.8 million hammer and in less then a minute-we owned it again! The main concern of the late Dr Morton Smith who owned the coin had been to give it a good home. Our partner Bruce Morelan and a long time Legend customer bought it together. We are so happy and proud to say to the world the FINEST 1913 Liberty Nickel now has a great home.
Thursday was interesting. Out of no where, activity picked up. We started our day with a small and nice deal walking up to the table. Bought all if it. Then we sold coins to collectors for most of the day. While no more deals popped up to us, many single coins-make that awesome single coins made their way to our safe! The coolest coin we bought never made it home with us. It was a wicked cool J-1594 1877 Morgan Pattern PCGS PR66 RD CAC. OMG was the coin awesome. Right after we put our inventory sticker on it, a collector standing right next to us said he had to have it (talk about right place right time). Same thing with a thick rimed $50 PCGS AU58 slug. We made sure not to sell any more NEWPS. By late Thursday, Legend Numismatics had done OVER $1,000,000.00 each way buying and selling just at the coin show. Considering we hardly had any expectations for the coin show, we were amazed. It will actually take us until Tuesday to figure out our paper work. Thursday also had a major auction. Our mision was to buy virtually all of the Half Cents in the incredible Red Head (Stewart Blay Collection). Yet again, we bought all but the crazy coin we really wanted: the 1856 which we under bid to a staggering $48,000.00 (all in). Then we had to stay until 12:15 AM to buy the School Girl Pattern for our Black Cat for $312,000.00. We were stunned others stayed up too and bid! That is when you know you need to change jobs if you sat in the room all night and did not get your expensive coin by a cut bid-thank god that did not happen. Ugh! In the Heritage sale alone, Legend spent $1,943,000.00. Our guess is we spent at least $6,000,000.00+ total all over. Hopefully we will have some great coins to offer over the next few weeks (our coins sell fast)!
We started mentally packing up (and settling up) with every one around noon Friday. The show was exhausting. But there was still some business to be done. We rank the show as moderate (for an ANA). Next up, Long Beach Sept 6-7 and yes, the principals of Legend will be there!
NOTE: There was little to NO better gold or Bust coins on the floor. And where are all the real DMPL’s? The floor was super dry of coins as expected.
THE $5 1854S DISCOVERY COIN
Legend Numismatics wishes to congratulate our friend John Albanese on his purchase of the 1854S $5 for $2,160,000.00. As typical these days, it did not take long for the coin to see action. Having left what he felt was a low bid for sport, John was surprised when he found out he bought the coin. The next morning he partnered it with John Brush of DLRC. Within hours the coin was privately sold again!
You better believe (being the gold bugs we are) that we’re telling everyone to buy gold now. There is zero change in the value of BETTER gold coins. Generic gold coins have dropped their premiums slightly. Since rare coin are supply vs demand, we see no downside coming for any BETTER gold coins.
You still can not go to a show and see any better PCGS CAC gold on the floor. We can’t even find many Saints in MS66. There certainly are no MS67’s.
Legend witnessed several six figure gold coins trade hands as fast as they were bought. We also know of a private one million dollar gold coin sale. We our ourselves sold a killer $50 Slug and a rare Type gold coin almost instantly after we bought them. Hedgies $10 1933 PCGS MS65+ CAC piece which we had on display also would have been sold for OVER $1 million if it had been for sale. WOW!
We stand by our suggestion even more that we think building a Type set is something to do now (it canbe a basic set or a complex grand set). That is not the only thing, collect a set of $5 Libs 1900-1908 in MS65/66, or just buy better date gold in AU and higher. Also, we absolutely like generics where they are priced. Remember, we are talking all PCGS CAC pieces here. Today we see so many opportunities.
Spot gold might be down, and the masses might be a little spooked, but numismatic gold still glitters big time. Buy while the premiums are low!