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Show Report: Central State, St. Louis, MO

16 posts in this topic


Actually, more like a "pre show" report... I attended the Scotsman auction, hoping that the Heritage sale might draw away potential bidders and leave a vacuum for bottom-feeders such as myself to find good deals. Boy was I WRONG. Prices were ridiculously strong overall, and out of some twenty-five lots of interest I highlighted, I managed to get bids in on only FOUR. For those of you who think the large auction houses are the only way to get top dollar for your coins, think again. I am amazed at prices paid tonight.


The pace of the auction was fast, so I didn't bother recording high bids, but as an example of the only two items I won, they included an "1806/5 F-15" (my grade F-12) Bust quarter at $665 and an "1830 Capped Bust half PCGS MS-60" at .... $1300!!!!!!!


Get this, a pair of electortype 1793 cents sold for $500 - against a low estimate of $100! That's for FAKE coins!


And without question, the NON-certified coins are the ones that reached stratospheric heights. We're not talking about foolish bidders, either. This auction was attended by rep's of several of the largest national dealers. I guess they must be much better graders than I am, because they sure seemed like speculative offers being made! I wonder if the certified-coin market has matured to the point that the "raw coin market" lagged behind and is now catching up, because there's just no question that the speculators were cranking up the bids on these un-encapsulated coins!


Here's an interesting anecdote I forgot to post last night. At one point, a couple of guys in front of me laid out their auction catalogs such that I could easily read their notes. One note that caught my eye was on an raw Barber that Scotsman graded "AU+". The bidder had scrawled beside the listing "dipper MS-61/2". I thought this was somewhat humorous....


Anyhow, sorry I can't provide more specific price examples, but when I get the prices-realized list, I'll give better details. Basically, I got slaughtered tonight.


More reports to follow.....



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Nice report James.


Were is the softening of the market that all the doom and gloomers have been predicting?


I am in the buying mode right now and would love to see the prices drop a bit.


If you are selling right now, it must be great.


The TNA in Fort Worth is coming up shortly and I was hoping to score. It just might turn out to be a slow day for me there.





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5/6/2005 morning: I picked up my lots from the Scotsman sale at exactly 12:00 noon Thursday, got to my table at 3:00, and guess what? The bust half SOLD at 6:00. That's right, this coin which I paid THREE TIMES sheet for SOLD within six hours .... and I made a $100 profit! The lesson here is obvious: there are coins for which the "grade" does not matter. In fact, I bet I could have made an even better profit had I cracked the coin out.


I also sold a nicely toned 1877-S half in MS-62, a 1931-S Lincoln in dipped MS-60, several cheap IHCs and Buffalos, my only gold coin (1927 Saint in MS-63 PCGS OGH), and one of the Morgans that were posted earlier on the BST board.


In trying to walk the floor, I believe that other dealers are not really in a buying mode right now. One dealer who plastered the bourse with flyers stating in HUGE text "PAYING OVER BID" and "PAYING WAY OVER ASK for rolls", etc., would not even make an offer on the better-date coins I showed him - and I would have been happy just getting bid!


More later...



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Some of you may remember Mr. "Chad Riggins" from my past eBay listings. Chad consigned nine bust halves to me this morning at 10:00. They were earlier dates, including 1807, 1808/7, a trio of 1808s, 1809, 1812, 1814, and 1819. They were all nice coins, most with the kind of color that draws a 100% premium (doubling of value). None were certified, though two had been removed from slabs.


FIVE coins had sold by 3:00PM. That's at double "trends"!


Do you think the market is still strong? I do. Besides that, I sold three large cents, including a really nice-for-the-date 1821 that had beautiful surfaces, but a repair at the rim. I also sold my 1878-CC quarter in PCGS F-15 for .... $110 - which is over double bid! Once again, it proves that some coins are just not followed properly on the grey-sheet. I have now sold a handful of the Morgans I listed earlier on the BST boards, my Columbian half in NGC MS-65 (to a major dealer), and a smattering of cheaper non-inventoried coins, especially nicer Indian head cents.


I have purchased so far six bust halves, thirteen (!) tough-date Seated half-dimes from a long-time customer, two Buffalos (for my album), six Mercuries (for my album), an 1890 Liberty nickel in MS-64 (already cracked out for my album), 1881 and 1864 IHC's (for a customer's album), a nice, original 1827 Capped bust half-dime, and one Conder token.


I had time to speak with five members of the PCGS forum, but zero from NGC so far... where is everybody 893scratchchin-thumb.gif ? Finally, after a long and somewhat grueling day sweating at the bourse, I had dinner with Dennis Tarrant and Andy Reiber, the owners of Jade Rare Coin (my former companuy).


All in all, a satisfying day of coin activity!



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Thanks for the report James ! I really wanted to attend this show and had made plans to do so for several months, but alas, even the most well laid plans do have a way of changing. I am looking forward to reading any and all reports related to this show. It really sounds exciting ! 893applaud-thumb.gif Oh well, maybe I can make the Whitman in Atlanta ?

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The way I look at pricing guides is exactly that, a guide. With a finite quantity of coins in the market, you only need to have one more person wanting the coins than you have coins available. Or patience to wait for the right situation. If I find a coin I like or may not find anywhere else for a while I will buy it regardless of price in relation to the guide as long as it is not way out of line.

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I have purchased so far six bust halves, thirteen (!) tough-date Seated half-dimes from a long-time customer


So when do these hit ebay starting at $.01 and no reserve?


a nice, original 1827 Capped bust half-dime


Now, THAT is a rare coin! hail.gif


Thanks for the report.

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I stopped by to say "Hey" to James, but he was busy.


Here are my show reports from Day #1 and Day #2 as posted across the street:


Day #1 (yesterday):


Today was PNG Day at the Central States show (and also my ninth anniversary ). I dropped my son off at school and headed downtown to the convention center for the show.


First stop, Heritage auction lot viewing. In one word: I viewed the $3's, the New Orleans and Dahlonega $5's, and the New Orleans $10's. Not one of the Dahlonega coins was worth looking at with a loupe. Of the New Orleans coins, there were two that were worthy of further action (results later). I spoke with trusted dealers, and they concurred. As a whole, the Heritage auction coins were not very good.


To the bourse. This was my first PNG Day. Only PNG members are set up and the rest of the attendees are "guests" of PNG members. It is small, less hectic, more relaxed bourse, with primarily high-profile dealers and auction companies set up. My first stop was to check in with Doug Winter at Pinnacle. We discussed auction lots of interest, and I showed him a few coins, and he showed me some coins. A coin that has been inventory for a bit was the ex-Reece 45-O $5 PCGS AU-58. It was phenomenal! I am considering trading my coin up for it. It is unusual to see any NO gold coin with such pristine surfaces. DW showed me a few newps and we chatted a bit.


Next, I ran right into Mark Feld, who might be the nicest guy in coins (and as far as I am concerned, there are some very nice people in coins). We sat and talked and completed a very small deal. If ever you have the chance to meet Mark and he is not harried, it is well worth the time spent. He is such a super nice guy. I could go on and on gushing about Mark... We were chatting at the ANR table, where he was "consulting"--whatever that is. Two tables over was the Legend table...


I walked over and said "Hello" to Laura and George. Both of them, as usual, were quite friendly, and we chatted some about coins, St. Louis, air travel, and tackling ferrets. While we were talking, a dealer came over to ask Laura something, and she chased him away, in order to not interrupt our conversation (he must have been a "wannabe" wink.gif ). We did a small trade which resulted in me getting two nice, very original choice AU $3's. I tried to help her sell the 55-S $3 in their inventory to a potential buyer, by namedropping that it was from the Dallas Bank Collection, and she gave me a hard time about it by comparing me to TDN--the ultimate collector compliment .


I stopped by to meet Andy (MrEureka) and to thank him for the book he gave me--the Akers book on gold patterns. I wandered back over to the ANR table to look at SS Republic gold coins in their upcoming auction--wow, do they look nice! I had an opportunity to at least glance at all of the tables set up. There was a lot of rare date, proof, early, territorial, and generic gold around, though less generic than I typically see at a show, probably because of the nature of the dealers present. There was about a 4:1 ratio of Charlotte: Dahlonega gold on the floor, and fewer New Orleans $5's than either Dahlonega or Charlotte. Most of the branch mint coins were processed--unattractively shiny. Someday, maybe soon, there really will be a premium for original gold that supercedes the number on the holder.


One of the cool things about going to a show like this, particularly where the dealers are active, is that you hear a lot of snippets of conversations that give you an idea about what goes on behind the scenes in the coin biz. I met one dealer, who knows me from here because he is a lurker (kinda spooky) who has 1200 or so coins in for grading. I heard another dealer talkig about a four coin submission strategy, with some very expensive coins, to make sure all received the highest possible grades. You hear a lot of interesting stuff, and a lot of things you would rather not know.


As for whether the show was hot or cold, I think it was hard to tell. The PNG Day format is somewhat artificial, as not all potential buyers and sellers are present. I got the sense that business was being done, but it seemed slow to me. A lot of coins were apparently still being graded, which tends to dampen activity some.


Day #2 (today):


I arrived at the show just before it opened to the general public and went right to the Heritage lots to look at the two coins that I was interested in bidding.


When the bourse opened, I made a direct line to the Gold Rush Gallery table to see my friends, "Dahlonega" and Al Adams, both terrific and astute coin guys and wonderful people. After some greetings I scoured the floor to find coins that I like. I did not see any. I stopped by to say, "Hi" to Laura and we chatted for a few minutes, and I looked at a coin. I stopped by tables of board members, Jaderarecoins, Foodude, Julian, and a few others and just exchanged greetings. They were all reasonably busy. I never got to meet Goldguy because whenever I came close to their table, he seemed busy. One of the keys to getting the attention of dealers, especially when they know and you know that you are unlikely to make a purchase, is to approach the table when no one else is there.


I met Coinosaurus, and we went for lunch. He is a great guy, and he taught me a bit about seated quarters and his interests and projects. When we went back to the bourse, he took me to the table of a dealer who had a coin he was thinking of buying. This dealer also had a unique, valuable, and not-for-sale darkside set that he was justifiably very proud of. He encouraged us to take a look at the coins. Klutz that I am, while I was examining this unique coin, I dropped on the floor. I have never been so happy that slabbing existed, nor have I been so embarrassed at a coin show in all my life. The dealer was pretty cool about it, and the coin (Proof-67 or so) and slab both appeared unharmed. Coinosaurus ditched me moments later-I cannot say that I blame him.


I wandered the bourse again for a bit, said au revoir to "Dahlonega" and decided to head home.


Coin shows have a mixed effect on my interest in coins. They are great for getting to know the dealers and fellow collectors and developing a rapport with both. They tend to make me realize, however, how many coins are out there and how few are really special. While I enjoy and appreciate the coins that I have, and like most collectors probably do, I feel mine really are special, I get the sense of the vastness of the market, and it makes me somewhat depressed about the hobby.

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Excellent, excellent post! Very well written, great info, friendly format and you even had a summary at the end. I agree about Mark Feld! I'll pass on many coins to give him the opportunity to meet my want list. He is a true professional with loads and loads of integrity. He is a refreshing presence in the coin industry.


My worse nightmare: having michael type a similar, long post with his grammar and typing errors...



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Yeah, there's nothing like experiencing the sheer terror of dropping a $10,000 coin!

I've done it a couple of times, it's a great feeling of humility to the bare soul! Those slabs have a way of jumping right out of your hands! 27_laughing.gif



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Yes, as Robert points out, I was swamped from the opening bell until the armed guard began his security sweep today. In fact, I'm just about falling asleep as I write this, so hope I'm coherent. Sorry I didn't have a chance to chat, Robert! I had spent a couple of minutes with your buddy yesterday, but gosh, I was just bombarded today.


First, what I bought for me: four more Mercs, a 1919-S Buffalo, an 1863 IHC, an 1896 Liberty nickel from Mike Orlando (local dealer), a 1912-S Lincoln cent, which upgrades the weakest coin in my set from VF to AU-55 BN, and a 1930-S SLQ, which upgrades from my EF-40 to AU+. In addition, for inventory, I picked up a couple of cheap, cleaned Bust halves, an 1911 Liberty nickel in an attractive MS-63, three more bust dimes, a nice 1807 Draped Bust half whose only detraction is a faint, partial obverse wipe, a phenomenal-looking 1919 Lincoln cent which, while grading only MS-64 BN, has sensational luster, and an 1819 Large cent.


Finally, for customers, I picked up a 1917-S OBV Walker in VF-20, and a 1916-D Walker in a PCI Gold VF-35 that, amazingly, grades a very nice VF-30!


I did pick up a very interesting consignment of mostly medals, but also some miscellaneous foreign coins and a few US coins. The consignor is a pretty well-known numismatist, so I was a bit surprised that he approached me about doing a consignment deal, but he knew that I do a lot on eBay, and that is the route he wants me to take with the medals. I'll probably also get another consignment from a gentleman who has some very early US coins in his collection.


Sales were much slower than yesterday. I sold two more of the Morgans I had placed on the BST forum first thing this morning, but things leveled off quite a bit from there. Although swamped with folks interested in conversation and just discussing coin collecting possiblities, most people were just browsing. Normally, I'd be happy just to sit and chat, but unfortunately, I've had an upper respiratory infection the past few days, and haven't been able to talk much.


If there's time after the show (and I haven't sold them all), I'll take some images of the stuff I've picked up, including the medals.



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I'm not sure I should feel sorry for them, but those dealers who left last night (or first thing this morning) really missed out. I sold nearly $3000 worth of coins in the first two hours this morning! They included a couple of high-grade SLQs, a couple more of my BST Morgans, a couple of high-grade Franklins, and a large cent - about 1/4 of my gross sales!


I discovered today that for the entire show, I've been set up right next to none other than FOODUDE of the PCGS forum. He's an expert in the Franklin half series, and provided me with invaluable knowledge, and so out of gratitude, I sold him the Frankies at sheet. Greg is a SHARP guy when it comes to the series, and I'd swear he has the pop reports for both services memorized! Greg, thanks for the good advice.


MadMarty, also of the PCGS forum, called sometime this morning to report that he'd been run out of a coin show at gunpoint (I think I heard shooting in the background), been skunked in his quest for virgin proof sets, and had been run over by a heard of rabid ground squirrels. Or at least one of those statements is true... Marty is of course another member of the PCGS forum.


Where are the NGC members?? popcorn.gif


I only purchased a couple of coins today, including a 1932-S Washington quarter that is a TRUE 100% AU-58 slider. It has completely intact field luster, and only the slightest breath of friction on the high points. I also purchased a 1918-D Buffalo nickel in a - get this - PCI GOLD VF-25 holder - the coin has original cartwheel luster! It doesn't have a full horn, as might be expected, but it's a problem-free coin, and amazingly, was undergraded in my opinion.


Speaking with other dealers, the folks right next to me stated flatly that they had a "terrible" show, and I also noticed that the dealer across, who was a paper dealer, never appeared to have much traffic. I'd be surprised if he sold anything! Dennis of Jade Rare Coin seemed to have a decent show, and I would have to characterize my experience as being very good, though not fantastic. Overall, I nearly doubled my expected sales, and I definitely purchased many more coins than I could have hoped (the half-dimes made the difference).


THANKS to anyone who might have stopped by without me recognizing him or her as a board member. Tomorrow, if I get time - PICTURES! yay.gif




I did end up leaving early due to carrying on the effects of this head cold, but I would chara

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I am sorry that I did not catch up with you at the show, James. I am always interested in seeing your additions to your collection, newps, etc. I will catch up with you at the summer show in St. Louis, no doubt.


Take care and feel better!

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