The Philadelphia Mint kept a list of major coin dealers.
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22 posts in this topic

This is the list for July 1895. Coins were bought and sold to these dealers for the Mint Cabinet of Coins. Coins were also bought at auction and by private purchase from collectors (very rarely after about 1887).

795259661_18950719Leadingcoindealers_Page_1.thumb.jpg.29b013a29461713b6156befe957fb67c.jpg

Evidently, if a collector pestered the mint enough, they would provide the names of dealers who might be interested in buying a coin from its owner. (Note the address typo for H E Morey.)

Edited by RWB
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By about 1923, the Treasurer's office had taken over sales of coins to collectors, so the Mints no longer had to deal with coin requests from collectors. I suspect, but have not seen, that Treasury had a list of repeat purchasers.

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On 3/24/2022 at 10:14 PM, RWB said:

By about 1923, the Treasurer's office had taken over sales of coins to collectors, so the Mints no longer had to deal with coin requests from collectors. I suspect, but have not seen, that Treasury had a list of repeat purchasers.

Strange that The Treasury would deal with retail clients.  No wonder we had a banking crisis a few years later !! xD

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You've got to love the good ole days:

Dr. George W. Massamore, Jr., is a fascinating personality : Confederate soldier, politician, musician, dentist, optician, fish and game warden, dog breeder, baseball team owner, philatelist, numismatist, coin and stamp auction cataloger, coin and stamp dealer, autograph, and Indian relic collector, and author. In his fifty-six years he accomplished much as an active citizen and hobbyist.

You've got to love that "butcher, baker, and candlestick maker" mentality!

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The Treasury Cash Room photo, above, shows from left to right --- Cash and bond account clerks, counter clerks (tellers) who waited on public customers, and members of the public who were there to receive cash, make government payments, redeem bond coupons, exchange currency types.

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On 3/24/2022 at 10:14 PM, RWB said:

I suspect, but have not seen, that Treasury had a list of repeat purchasers.

I think they probably did, because they did send out lists of what coins were available.

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On 3/26/2022 at 9:18 AM, Conder101 said:

I think they probably did, because they did send out lists of what coins were available.

For gold coins, the list couldn't have been too long....not many people could afford $20 Double Eagles (or even smaller denomination coins), especially after 1929.  Based on what I saw in RWB's Saints book, maybe 100 collectors/dealers/names, give-or-take ?

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 3/26/2022 at 3:50 PM, RWB said:

More like 25 to 35 actual collectors and dealers in gold....occasional others for special purposes or possible speculation.

I'm surprised there weren't more of the Philly, NYC, and Boston gold dealers and antique players (like Switt) on those lists.  Even the Midwest had to have some active dealers who dealt with heavy-hitters.

They had the $$$ to buy and I thought they had a steady stream of collectors who could easily afford to pay $30 for a fresh-off-the-press scratch-free Double Eagle.

I would think -- guesstimate -- that there had to be a few hundred (?) gold coin/Double Eagle collectors, wealthy individuals (stamp and coin collecting was big in the 1920's, right ?) who would either be on the list OR would have their reps (the dealers) on it for them so they got first dibs.

I know the masses couldn't afford these coins, but I thought the Top 1% could, and certainly the Top 1% of 1%.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Goldfinger, 

I would assume that there were at least 50 double eagle collectors in 1909 due to the purchase of the proof double eagle. There were 67 reported minted, and I took out 17 to account for collectors purchasing multiple, but I doubt many did due to how unpopular these were in the early 20th century.

Of course, it's all speculation.

Edited by FlyingAl
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On 3/26/2022 at 6:20 PM, FlyingAl said:

Goldfinger, I would assume that there were at least 50 double eagle collectors in 1909 due to the purchase of the proof double eagle. There were 67 reported minted, and I took out 17 to account for collectors purchasing multiple, but I doubt many did due to how unpopular these were in the early 20th century.  Of course, it's all speculation.

That's a reasonable assumption.  The proofs weren't anything special so if you assume it represents a portion of the serious collectors, figure there were others who were more interested in the regular business strikes.

The Proof Saints were never all that popular with collectors and they kept going back-and-forth on finishes to appeal to that crowd.  Finally, they said "bleep-it" and got rid of the proofs. xD

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On 3/26/2022 at 4:41 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

That's a reasonable assumption.  The proofs weren't anything special so if you assume it represents a portion of the serious collectors, figure there were others who were more interested in the regular business strikes.

The Proof Saints were never all that popular with collectors and they kept going back-and-forth on finishes to appeal to that crowd.  Finally, they said "bleep-it" and got rid of the proofs. xD

Exactly. If there were that many that liked the proofs enough to buy them, there have to be more interested in the regular circulation coins. 

Personally, I love the Satin proof double eagles of '09 and '10. If I could have any coin, it would be one of those. I have no idea why the collectors of the time hated the coins so much, but I think many collectors today wish more of those coins existed. Too bad the mint switched to the Sandblast proofs in '11 because I do agree with the collectors of the time in that those were just horrid. Too much detail was washed out during the post strike sandblast IMO.

It does seem like there would be more collectors listed, particularly those that purchased the gold proofs anyways.

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On 3/26/2022 at 7:02 PM, FlyingAl said:

Personally, I love the Satin proof double eagles of '09 and '10. If I could have any coin, it would be one of those.

How much are they in AU condition ?  They might be low-5 figure but I'm not sure.

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On 3/26/2022 at 5:16 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

How much are they in AU condition ?  They might be low-5 figure but I'm not sure.

None are known in AU condition. The price guides state around $16,000 for the low 60s (60-61), but there's no way I can even get close to that on a YN budget :roflmao:.

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Proof gold sales included dealers, some of whom had purchased a couple of sets each year in the past. The proof sold for only a little more than face value for a long time. If we look at ANA membership for 1900 there were as many members in Ohio as NYC -- in fact Ohio was the center of US coin collecting for a long time.

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On 3/26/2022 at 8:24 PM, RWB said:

If we look at ANA membership for 1900 there were as many members in Ohio as NYC -- in fact Ohio was the center of US coin collecting for a long time.

Businessmen who owned manufacturing plants and companies in that state with some money ?

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On 3/28/2022 at 3:03 PM, DWLange said:

in fact Ohio was the center of US coin collecting for a long time

That seems a bit odd....I know you'd have a good enough number of collectors there from all the manufacturing businesses, but you could also say that of Upstate New York or Western PA.

I also would think just based on the finance-money connection, that you'd have alot more coin/bill collectors in Boston/NYC/Philly.

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On 3/28/2022 at 3:57 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

That seems a bit odd....I know you'd have a good enough number of collectors there from all the manufacturing businesses, but you could also say that of Upstate New York or Western PA.

I also would think just based on the finance-money connection, that you'd have alot more coin/bill collectors in Boston/NYC/Philly.

...one could think that, but many of the earlier coin, currency collectors  n numismatic publishing companies were located in the mid-west specifically ohio in this instance n even a few of the early numismatic authors.....some of the first national numismatic clubs originated from this area as well....mr lange is right on in his assessment....

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