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Legend Numismatics Market Report – The ANA Coin Show

By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics ……


We’ll be blunt: Anaheim for sure was a VERY poor choice to hold a major coin show. California’s nexus on taxes kept dozens of dealers away. Also, many East Coast dealers decided NOT to attend. The hotels at BEST were POOR. Add all that together and we know it is safe to say the majority of dealers had a bad show (although as usual the budget areas were crowded). We yearn for a return to Chicago. We also are glad the show directors finally realize you can’t have a protracted 10 day event. Next years PNG event will be only one day. Cutting the length of the show and holding it in a better place (Denver) should boost attitudes and attendance.

ANA Coin ShowLegends show started out DEAD at PNG and had ever so slowly picked up activity through Friday. We had such a low expectation we had to do well-and we did end up doing so by a wide margin. Our total sales were in excess of $1 million dollars, however we felt NO buzz in the room at all. Our ANA show was made selling one coin at a time. Our big sales all happened on Wed and included a 50C 1815/2 PCGS MS64 CAC  and a G $1 1858 PCGS MS69 (both six figures and both to collectors). We did also assist our partner in buying the finest $1 1795 PCGS MS66 CAC  Draped Bust  (over $750G). The average ticket we wrote was $10-$20G. We did very little WHOLESALE.

Public attendance was extremely light. Only the locals and die hard coin junkies attended.  The 2016 ANA Show was NOT fully representative of the current coin market.

The proof that that market was still okay, came from the strength of the auctions.


The Hamilton Collection was a 200+ pieces of choice Bust Halves. While Bull Run was a mix of Proof and MS better gold coins. We mention these collections because they prove yet again, if you buy right and HOLD, you CAN make money in coins.

halilton_collection_bust_50cJust about every coin in the Hamilton Collection was either PQ or was simply under graded. Pieces the collector bought in 1995 for $1,000.00 were selling for $5-$10,000.00 or more. Just about EVERY coin sold for “beyond moon money” record prices. Legend was fortunate to buy a few of the earlier dates.

The Bull Run Collection had some magnificent Proof Gold pieces. We bid $50,000.00 on the 1886 $10 PCGS PR65 CAC. We thought we were geniuses. The coin sold for a really strong $88,125.00. ALL Bull Run coins were purchased within the last 20 years. They ALL brought next grade up money!

There also was a small group of GEM Proof Eliasberg Gold in the sale. The coins were apparently purchased in 1982 at the original Eliasberg Sale. One coin to mention, the $20 1898 PCGS PR65+ CAC brought $276,000.00. That price is beyond INSANE money!!!!!!!

It is important to note that ALL three of these collectors never participated in any registry rat race. They simply bought the BEST quality they could afford and obviously they-held their coins. That is all it took to obtain MONSTER returns. In the case of the Hamilton Collection, many of the coins cost LESS them $1,000.00 when originally purchased. This s why we can never say enough “BUY THE BEST QUALITY FOR THE GRADE YOU CAN AFFORD AND HOLD LONG TERM”. 

Collectors do not seem to understand that if you build an okay registry set that they will NOT get these types of returns. In fact, in MOST cases, they will LOSE money. When building a set or buying to put away, always keep in mind you MUST hold LONG TERM, not 2-3 years.

As we said, the auctions more then proved that collectors are alive and well. They just won’t waste their time at the shows where they can be bored by the same old dreck and retreads. For a fresh deal or auction, collectors come out of no where!


While we tell you the market is alive and well, we would be WRONG to say all areas are good. MS and PR Seated and Barber coins are soft. Does not seem to matter how rare or great. And most Nickel coins (3CN, Shield and Libs) are weak too  There are still so many opportunities out there.

Also, on the upper end of the market, TWO HUGE MEGA players have now appeared for Saints, $10 Indians, and a monster gold Type sets in SUPERB GEM. While one or two players won’t totally change the market, they have certainly brought life back to the rarities-including million dollar gold coins! Between the two, they spent at least $3 million at the show and auctions. We know of a few other newbies (smaller of course) who are now building collections because they see coins as cheap relative to other collectables.


Sorry, this coin is NOT for sale. When we saw it at auction lot viewing in late July this coin just tugged at our hearts. In our 35+ years of being full time dealers, save for the PR 67, EVERY circ 1838 we have ever seen was cleaned or messed with in some way. In fact, like a genius, we had bought a PCGS AU50 late last year in an OGH that had been lightly cleaned. We thought it was a shot 55. Needless to say, we never got the coin back in any but a genuine holder-and we LOST $10,000.00 on it. Stupid us.

1838_10_AU58_PCGS_CAC_legendSo we were determined not to miss out on this coin in the ANA Auction. This coin was high end, gorgeous, and was totally original. It was also the ONLY and highest graded CAC piece. Its a pop 7 at PCGS with possibly 2 finer. Here is where it gets interesting: Collectors Universe shows a value of $47,000.00. The CDN (which is supposed to be WHOLESALE ONLY) shows a value of $40,000.00. The last one to sell in auction (a NON CAC) brought $41,125.00 in 08/2014. We originally figured the coin at $57,500.00 all in. We HAPPILY paid $64,625.00 and now have it placed in a major Type set we are exclusively building. We know we did NOT over pay. If we had too, we would have stretched to $75,000.00 total. How can we not for the ONLY CAC AU 58, a coin that has less then 10 graded, and is a coin type that we have never seen at this level original? Plus, we are NOT at the any market peak. The moral of this story is not to show off, it is to try and impress some logic into people who are afraid they might be over paying for a coin. The majority of today’s published prices are WRONG.  You really have to look at all the facts about a coin. These days you really only have one chance to secure great coins on their first appearances.

When buying true QUALITY RARE coins you really have to use your mind and gut thinking. Our customer who bought his coin has no plans on selling his collection for many years. We predict the next time this coin is sold-it will be for around $100,000.00 (that won’t happen in a 2-3 years tho). We also strongly believe this coin added extra value to an already strong Type set. This lesson does NOT just apply to coins over $10,000.00. It happens in ALL values of coins.

– Read more at: http://www.legendnumismatics.com/market-reports/2016-ana-show/


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