By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek….
Saddle Ridge Gold Hoard: Let the Selling Begin!
Earlier this week, Kagin’s, Inc. began the sale of gold coins from the Saddle Ridge hoard. The discovery of over 1,400 gold coins, including several rarities and top-pops, excited both the numismatic and mainstream worlds. If early sales figures are any indication, then Kagin’s and their marketing partner Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) are seeing the buzz translate into brisk sales. David McCarthy of Kagin’s told CoinWeek that, after the first day, Amazon outsold Kagin’s online store by two to one, with a total take of $3 million. In addition, all of the gold $5’s and coins priced under $3,000 have sold.
Amazon.com couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to roll out its new Collectible Coins department, which is currently in BETA. Previously, Amazon listed coins primarily in their Toys & Games Department. A majority of those items were offered by third party sellers, and most of the sellers weren’t “name brand” dealers.
Amazon’s new store boasts more than 75 of the industry’s leading names, including Stack’s Bowers, David Lawrence Rare Coins, and Liberty Coin, among others.
One curious thing about the Saddle Ridge sale, Amazon sent out a press release on May 28th that listed the 1866-S No Motto $20 in PCGS MS-62 for $1.2 million. The Saddle Ridge coin is the first No Motto to grade MS-62 by Professional Coin Grading Service. In January 2012, the only NGC-graded 1866-S No Motto $20 sold at Heritage for $218,500 (including buyer’s premium). David McCarthy told us that there is no comparison in quality between the two pieces and that Kagin’s believes their example is the “Finest Known”.
Shortly after the coin was listed, it was pulled down. CoinWeek inquired as to what happened to the coin (whether it sold, and if so, at what price). Kagin’s told us that the coin was mistakenly listed as a stand-alone item and that it’s now available as part of a bundle of 14 of the finest coins from the Saddle Ridge Hoard. The bundle’s price is listed at $2.75 million dollars.
PCGS Baseball Hall of Fame Autograph Label Program Grows
Is the Bambino is about to earn his first gold glove?
Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) has been out in front of the marketing surrounding the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coin program. Not only did the Newport Beach-based company instigate a quick sell-out of gold $5 and silver $1 coins at the Spring Whitman Expo in Baltimore with its special limited edition “First Pitch” labels, but it also brought to market specialty labels with authentic signatures of Hall of Fame baseball players.
Earlier this week, in an article posted on the blog Sports Collectors Daily, PCGS Vice President of Business Development and Senior Grader Michael “Miles” Standish told writer Aaron Wasser that PCGS has “inked” contracts with 18 Baseball Hall of Fame players to sign labels for PCGS. CoinWeek’s Louis Golino reported on May 13 that at least half a dozen signature labels had already hit the market.
We can now confirm the following players will join the ranks: Jim Palmer, Johnny Bench, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Tom Glavine, Frank Robinson, Pedro Martinez, Orlando Cepeda, and Billy Williams.
Standish also told Wasser (and confirmed with us) that PCGS is looking at offering a limited edition product with signature cuts from baseball greats from the past: Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, and so on. The limiting factor will be the size of the label, which measures 13/16” by 1 ¾”.
 Telephone conversation with David McCarthy conducted May 28, 2014.
 These listings are still active as of May 30, 2014.
 Telephone conversation with Michael “Miles” Standish conducted May 10, 2014.
©May 2014 CoinWeek, LLC.