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Show Report: SLNA (St. Louis), February 17 - 19

12 posts in this topic

I had hoped to be able to contribute show-reports after each day of the show, but I was so darned busy, and so darned swamped from the opening bell each day right up to the close, that by the time I got home each night, I was pretty much wiped out. Sorry that this is a hindsight overview, and therefore a long read, but the lack of sleep just wouldn't allow more timely updates.


Instead of making broad comments about this segment of the coin market being "hot", or some other segment being "undervalued" or whatever, I will simply state what I bought and sold and for how much, and allow you to draw your own conclusions. Not being a high-powered, Legendary "real coin dealer", I don't feel confident in painting the market picture with broad strokes, and would rather let you see the details of what goes on from the other side of the table. My purpose is not to spam the boards, but merely to give a true snapshot of my little segment of the market.


Although attendance at this show is always very strong, the last time I remember it being as crowded, we were still at the Henry VIII hotel, probably five years ago. Thursday evening was dealer set-up, and when I left my house at 3:15pm, it was so warm that I had all four car windows rolled down. By the time I got to the bourse 75 minutes later (I ran some other errands as well), I had the windows up and the heater turned on - a cold front had dropped the outside temperature by 30 degrees! The reason I make this point is because the next morning, at 9:00, it was literally FIVE FRIGID DEGREES outside, while the bourse felt only a few degrees above freezing. Yet by 10:30, when the room was absolutely jam-packed with warm-bodied collectors, the heat inside the bourse was so stifling, they had to turn on the AC. That gives some indication of how strong attendance was.


I have such a low inventory right now that I only had enough coins to fill two cases. Therefore, I allowed three good friends (Doug S, Dave L and Tim B) from the coin club to offer some of their wares in a third case, and it was my pleasure to have my old Jade Rare Coin business partner, Dennis Tarrant, agree to drive down and maximize table usage with the presence of a fourth case. Dennis filled his case with an enormous hoard of Jules Reiver coins which he and Andy Reiber (his business partner now) purchased at the auction. If I remember correctly, they spent something like $60,000, which dwarfs my $4000 contribution to the Heritage coffers for that same sale. It was thrilling to be able to review a large number of these coins in hand, as I was unable to attend the auction, and I thank Dennis and Andy for the privilege. We were of the consensus opinion that NGC was pretty tough on the copper, liberally sticking coins into NCS slabs, while there were occasional minor problems with some of the silver coins that were allowed to pass. Overall, the grading seemed consistent and on par. Incidentally, I met "Tassa" from the "other" coin forum, and I believe her name is Danica (not sure of spelling). She works for Jade Coin now. I purchased an 1891 Liberty nickel from Dennis (PCGS MS-64, $250), and reserved an uncertified 1809 Capped bust half (AU, $800). Dennis purchased a pair of uncertified AU bust halves from Doug S for some $900.


Of forum members, I met SageRad, JayWalker, CopperCoins, Tassa, JadeCoin, a couple of lurkers who never post, and one other member whose handle I can't recall at the moment. Robert (SageRad) was kind enough to purchase a couple of coins, as well as to consign two coins to me, one of which is already sold. He stopped by on Friday with his son, though as mentioned, that was the busiest day of the whole show, and I wasn't able to manage much more than a handshake and a quick "hello". Sunday was slower, and when he rematerialized, we were able to have a good conversation. Eventually, the topic came around to that $15,000 Peace dollar that "anaconda" was involved in, and as a result of our conversation, I think I came to the conclusion that it really doesn't matter whether the coin has been artifically toned or not. It is what it is, as coin dealers say, and it is beautiful enough to someone to be worth five digits. Robert did show me his current type set, and I must say it is coming along really amazing well. I'm quite envious of it, but it is a pleasure to recognize a couple of coins in his album for which I have been a previous caretaker.


CopperCoins (Charles Daughtery - hope the spelling is correct) brought by some of his artwork. I had no idea whatsoever that he's an artist, and was stunned by the fine quality of his work, in particular portraits of various mint sculptors (Gasparro, Saint Gaudens, etc). He is very modest about his ability, but the guy is a regular Renaissance man! I had him look through my inventory of Lincolns, but apparently, there was nothing worth his time. He did pick up a couple of non-Lincolns for himself though.


There was one particularly interesting incident that I would like to relate. ANACS was supposed to be present, but for reasons unknown, they never showed up. (Curiously, SEGS took over their booth, for what that's worth....) A gentleman was drifting by my table carrying a bag of coins, and as I'll often do, I asked whether he was buying or selling. As it turned out, he had brought several coins for which he wanted a "professional grader's opinion" (ie. an ANACS verbal). I informed him that ANACS was absent, but that I'd be glad to take a shot. As it turned out, all his coins were in third-world slabs. He handed the first to me, a 1926-S Peace dollar labeled MS-65. Within a split second, and without use of a loupe, I noticed that the coin had about a dozen deep horizontal slidemarks across the cheek, and I related to him that at best, ANACS would call it MS-60, and it might even get a net-grade. I mean, the slide marks were deep! The guy got disgusted and snatched the coin out of my hand, practically screeching at me, "What the he!@ are you talking about? MS-60 my !@#, you don't know what you're talking about!" I commented to my buddies there at the table that this guy probably now thinks I'm just another scam-artist coin dealer trying to rip his coins, and we all agreed that he'd soon be in for a rude awakening as he tried to sell it.


Oh well, some people still think there's a Santa Claus in third-party grading.


The only other weird numismatic incident I can relate is a gentleman who brought over a set of Liberty nickels that he'd owned for quite some time. I had the unfortunate duty to inform him that the 1885 was a cast counterfeit, and the 1912-S was actually a 1912-D that had an altered mintmark. The rest of the coins were actually decent though, and amazingly he got $200 for the complete set, fakes and all.




Right out the gate, I made a nice sale of my only 1801 Draped bust half (VF, $2500). One always sells 1801s and 2s with regret, as they are so darned difficult to come by. The person who bought it from me actually thinks I undergraded it slightly, but I don't think so.



5 1909-VDB cents, all ANACS MS-64 RB ($175)

1938-D Buffalo, PCGS-66 rattler ($75)

1938-D Buffalo, NGC-65 ($60)

1937-S Buffalo, PCGS-64 rattler ($45)

1945-S Lincoln, PCGS-66 RD ogh ($40)

1941 Merc, NGC-65 ($20)

2x 1943 Jefferson, NGC-67 ($55 each)

1943-S Steel cent, ANACS-65 with beautiful blue toning ($20)

1853 no-arrows half-dime, Fine ($105)

1853 no-arrows half-dime, Fine+ ($125)

1835 Bust dime, Fine ($27)

1875-CC dime, EF, $85


I sold the following coin to a dealer. I had owned it for only about six months, and have taken it to only a couple of coin shows:

1875 20-cent, NGC MS-63 ($1350)


1806 B-3 Bust quarter, EF ($1600)

1821 Bust half, VF-30 ($95)


I sold the next Bust half to a NATIONAL dealer; wonder what his grade will be....

1821 Bust half, AU-50 ($450)


I sold this to a vest-pocket wholesaler.

1915-D Barber half, Fine+ ($65)

Funny thing is, a couple of days later, he forgot who he'd bought it from, and offered it to me at XF bid....


1962-D Franklin half, MS-66/62 ($10)

Columbian half, MS-62 toned ($125)


This is a lot I've imaged on the boards before:

lot of five South Africa coins ($25)


I bought from Coleman Foster an 1894 Liberty nickel in AU-55 for $260 and flipped it to by buddy Dave L for $280, as I remembered he needed one for his AU set. I happened to see it while thumbing through Coleman's stuff, and knew it matched his coins perfectly, so I didn't hesitate to pull the trigger even at a few bucks over bid. The funny part is, right after I made $20 off of Dave, I immediately offered to buy lunch for everyone 27_laughing.gif (and naturally, Dave grudgingly accepted).


1836 Bust half, ANACS-45 ($135)

1836 Bust half, ANACS-45 ($150)

4x Canadian box dollars, toned ($175)


There are other coins that I don't have receipts for in front of me, but all in all, I sold something like $9000 of inventory. I started the show with an inventory retail value of $51,832 (about $34,000 at bid), so I turned over some 17% of my whole inventory. In terms of number of coins, I would estimate that it represents close to 25% of my inventory.




I purchased the following over the table from a client:


1856 half-cent, MS-60 ($265)

1873 cent, VF ($85)

1887 cent, AU ($25)

1909-S VDB cent, EF ($950)

1942 cent, NGC PR-65 RD ($140)

1964 half, NGC PR-66 ($25)


I reserved the 1856 half-cent for another client at $300, and the rest of the five coins now reside happily in my personal collection.


From another elderly client, I purchased over the table the following:


2 rolls IHCs ($125)

1 roll common proof Roosevelts ($35)

1 roll common proof Washingtons ($115)

1920 Pilgrim half, BU/rainbow toning ($100)

1872 IHC ($70)

1920 SLQ, AU ($35)


Honestly, I didn't really want to buy these coins, but the client and I have been working together a long time, and I thought other dealers might try to rip these coins.


Next up, I had a meeting with yet another older client wanting to consign some medals to me. You would know him as "Henry Tyler" from my eBay listings. He's the same client that I listed the KKK tokens for. You'll learn more about this later.


In another transaction, I purchased the following:


1921 dime, AG ($25)

1805 cent, G-4 ($40)

1857 half-dime, VF ($30)

1858 quarter, VF ($40)

1923 quarter, AU ($40)

Lexington commem, MS-64+ ($175)

Another Lexington (MS-65) ($400)

Monroe half, faintly wiped UNC ($40)


The MS-64+ grade on the Lexington is my grade - it isn't certified. However, I plan to get an ANACS verbal opinion as soon as possible.


In the Scotsman auction, I won:


1851 half-cent, AU ($160)

1826 half-cent, AU-55 ($300)

1937-S Washington, ANACS MS-64 ($345)

lot of Buffalo nickels ($322)

1937-D 3-leg Buffalo, XF-45 +++ ($1322.50)


Although it appears I got hammered on the 1937-S quarter, it's in a new ANACS slab, and to be blunt, ANACS completely undergraded the coin by a point. It's a no-brainer MS-65, and the fact that the coin flipped to another dealer within a matter of minutes of being in my case bears this out. I guarantee it'll be in a 65 slab soon.


Scotsman graded the 3-leg "XF-45 ++++". Amazingly, I agree that it is an AU, and am pleased to own the coin. It COMPLETES my set! There were a couple of other uncertified lots that were actually quite undergraded, which surprised me, but did not surprise other dealers, who promptly drove them up to premium levels. Actually, the entire auction was once again strong, though not "extremely" strong as their last auction was. Dave L. took a shot at several other coins that I'd looked at, but he was skunked on everything.


Finally, rounding out my purchases, I sought out the following for various want lists and such:


1835 bust dime, AU ($250)

1861-S dime, VF ($325, above Trends, but super choice)

1893 dime, Fine ($22)

1909 dime, VF ($24)

1897-O quarter, Fine ($85)

1935-D Walker, EF ($24)

low grade IHCs, 1864 cn, 1867, 1868, 1869, 1872, 1908-S ($130)


I know there were other purchases and trades, but some coins changed so hands that I don't remember what they were. If and when I get a chance, I'll provide images.



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About giving the guy bad news on the 1926 s Peace dollar. I was talking to my dealer friend last week about those situations. He hates it because he has to give someone bad news, they usually get really mad and he loses a potential customer!

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Very cool report.

Did you buy or sell these?

1836 Bust half, ANACS-45 ($135)

1836 Bust half, ANACS-45 ($150)

Seems like a reasonable price either way - depending on the varieties.

If you bought them, how about some pics?

If you sold them - oh well, I guess I can't see them!!

thx, GAB

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Nice looking coins. I believe an O-117 and and O-112 (both of which I could use!) frown.gif



I would say the buyer made out on these, and hopefully you made a buck or 2 in the process !


thx, GAB

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I paid another dealer $200 for the pair about 5 months ago! They were certified by ANACS, which is probably why I got them at a bit of a reduction in price, but each is a nice coin.



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