Typical for the Las Vegas PCGS Invitational for us, we did really well on the bourse floor-and crapped out on 8’s on the casino floor (happens every time too)! PCGS really does run a first class little show. We highly suggest you attend in December as there will be a small crowd of dealers there, plus Legend Rare Coin Auctions has a terrific sale.
Forgetting the unlucky experience on the other floor, we were not surprised at the overall negativity exhibited by at least half the dealers in the room. If you were a cash buyer at the show, you were better off then any winner of the big jackpot in the casino. Interestingly WHOLESALE dealers and “crack out” dealers still have little to no cash and too much dreck in stock. They needed to sell. Our absolute best buys came at the very end of the show. We made several what we consider “low ball” offers on some really nice coins (example paying $1,200.00 for a coin that was just $1,700.00 in auction) only one offer was rejected! WOW! Its clear to us these guys are feeling the pinch of the cycle and the results of gold being on the decline for the past few months. Plus, about 1/3 of the “regular” dealers who normally attend did not this time.
We’d be lying if we told you were doing record sales. We are doing strong sales-much to our surprise. When we began posting coins on the web last Saturday, we had been hit on at least 6 coins immediately (values between $1,000.00-$6,000.00). When Monday came around, we had several calls and sold well. Interestingly we had mentioned the 3 Early $2.5 Newman Gold coins we had purchased (1796, 1798, 1804) in our Market Report. We had THREE different real buyers contact us with hours of the comments being posted. Later in the week we also sold a remarkable $1 1795 FH PCGS MS64 CAC Eliasberg. In between other coins like a fabulous 1C 1916 PCGS PR67RB CAC or the killer COLORED $1 1923D PCGS MS66 CAC sold off our web site as well. Activity is there IF you have the “right” coins. Its part of this “selective” market.
Prices have become softer, however, from our point of view we do see a stabilization. The “on” switch for collector activity seemed to happen right after the Gardner Sale. Collectors clearly have been shopping and buying coins again. Every year for a few weeks, dealers like our selves (or any who do true retail) get the benefit of the market. We see things firming up before the wholesalers ever feel any hint. Opportunities with pricing and finding some really desirable coins have and are happening right now.
The risk of buying great coins is not as great as you think today. There is no major dumping of coins. The best coins are proven to be really strong hands. All that we are witnessing is the end of a cycle. With Gardner, Pogue, and Patrick all selling, its end of their stewardship. Not one of them is selling because they need the money or fear their coins will go down in value. Its not different then when Norweb, Eliasberg and Pittman all sold within a year of each other (1986-1989). No one complained, and buyers fell all over themselves seeking to capitalize on the great opportunities available.
Take our word on it, even with all these great sales coming at us, there is NO glut of great coins lingering. Plus, collectors are still hungry for great coins. Look at the 3 Newman $2.5 we recently purchased, when was the last time you remember seeing ANY 1796 W/Stars in AU58? And this coin was what we call “superb GEM AU” too! We were locked on that coin the second we heard about it-regardless if gold was plummeting or there were dealers who badly needed to dump dreck. Remember, those coins were not mentioned as being for sale and we had THREE totally unsolicited offers for each coin!