Legend Numismatics Market Report – THE CHICAGO ANA SHOW 2011
By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics
A BLOCKBUSTER SHOW?
We think it was pretty close. So far we have only heard ONE single complaint about someone not doing well biz wise at the show from any dealer we know. From our point of view, the activity was super strong and we know we did extremely well. In fact, this may very well have been our ALL Time busiest ANA Show EVER. We were able to score big BOTH buying and selling. That combo is something we have not done in the past 5 years! It will take us at least two days to add everything up.
We’re not discussing the pre show or its auction here. However, we MUST add the pre show certainly helped momentum. It was our strong opinion the ANA Show could have been in some trouble with out the pre show this time on a WHOLESALE basis ONLY. There definitely was an immediate “buzz” on the floor vs having to wait a day. No other show has attendance like the ANA Summer Show. Buying from collectors turned out to be surprisingly strong and we were thrilled with our acquisitions.
In our opinion, after we add up everything we did, this could possibly be called a blockbuster show. We might be too tired to make the declaration.
Since the PNG had its show prior, set up was very short. Activity was strong and had what we call a strong rhythm. As you can imagine GOLD was nuclear hot and was easy to sell. Most dealers came in with good attitudes and wanted to do business. Want Lists are still long and better coins to fill them are still scarce. It was definitely one of the more active SET UPS we have seen.
We started our ANA Show doing a six figure transaction (this is after the PRE show where we started by selling a $450,000.00 coin)! Activity never slowed from then on. In fact we did substantial selling at SET UP. The only negative: we could not find the coins we wanted to buy anywhere on the floor.
Many coins that were “old friends” to us, were sold either at the PRE SHOW or at SET UP of ANA. Some even sold for profits! Thats when you know a market is really strong.
THE ANA SHOW
We were thrilled so many collectors stopped by our table and the exhibits we sponsored that the ANA displayed. We thank you (especially our good friend from Malaysia who took a special trip to see us and the show-and our friend from SF who brought us wonderful gifts)! Sorry though if you saw us Thursday or later, we were totally wiped out. Take our word on this, we were running around hard for 7 days straight from 7 AM until midnight doing business. It was both physical and mental hell from Thursday on for all of us. Its so nice to be home!
As we mentioned, we had very little “down time” at the show. The collecting public definitely turned out strong. 10 foot wide isles may have made the show seem a little slower, however, we can assure you, it was not.
Unlike last years Boston ANA, there was no mad rush by collectors. The crowd was constant and only once (on Wed) did we have too many people at our table. Collectors wanted coins for sure! They came with long lists and open check books. Surprisingly, what we bought from collectors was great stuff-none of it was the result of anyone dumping. In fact, people seemed more focused on buying rare coins (especially gold coins of any kind) than what was happening with the stock market.
Unlike past ANA Shows, going table to table searching for neat coins was boring. There just was not many great coins for sale on the bourse floor. In fact the new trend (which we are guilty of) was to display a customers best that is NOT for sale (we had multiple serious offers on our customers 1832 Eliasberg 50C NGC PR68).
THE STACKS SALE
We told you so! Records were smashed at this this gigantic $25 million plus auction! If it was fresh and of high quality, it brought record money. You didn’t think we were hinting about the 1975 NO S 10C that brought a record shattering $304,000.00 HAMMER, or the FINEST graded $10 1875 PCGS AU53+ that sold for $345,000.00!!!! No question, GREAT FRESH COINS BROUGHT RECORD MONEY.
In our PRE ANA Show report, we told you there would be a coin that would sell for extreme multiples. We were grossly wrong,. There were several!
The coin we initially were referring too was the Alabama PCGS MS65 Commem that had INCREDIBLE color. In our entire career, we have NEVER seen one so spectacular. Sadly, we were the under bidders. The coin sold for $28,750.00. Not bad for a coin that has a BID of $1,650.00. We promise you, the new owner (a dealer) will NOT lose money on that coin nor will the collector who buys it! Legend was very aggressive on the other colored Commems and did buy several for inventory. On coins like these, we know we have only one shot to buy them and paying record prices does not scare us.
Another coin we lost out on, was the gorgeous 1851 Humbert Slug. It sold for a jaw dropping $250,000.00+. The coin was a stunning PCGS AU55+ CAC. These generally are worth $150,000.00 or so.
We spent at least $1 million dollars buying some of the best coins from the sale. Of course we bought almost all the Amazonian Patterns. We also bought the 25C 1804 PCGS MS63 (the best we had ever seen) for $184,000.00 and the 25C 1815 PCGS MS65 $46,000.00, also the BEST colored Bust Quarter we had ever seen. Natch both coins were CAC stickered.
ALL the pent up unsatisfied demand for great coins the market had experienced for the past 2-3 years was able to be released at the Heritage and Stacks sales. The results speak clear cut volume about how healthy and strong the rare coin market is. The Stacks auction was beyond packed for the first several hundred lots and bidding was furious at times. We suspect that strength will grow as people start to seek out hard assets again for stability in their portfolios (not a bad thing). We also believe there will be a huge amount of new collectors into the coin market-many of them also seeking financial shelter, but many who become involved now because of gold.
ALL THAT GLITTERS IS GOLD! You better believe it! Every kind of gold coin were and are hot. It did not matter whether it was a low grade widget or a high grade classic rarity.
The big wholesalers who supply the telemarketers had massive orders to fill (we are taking thousands of coins per order). They just could not buy enough. At this show, there was no such thing as being “buried” in a gold coin (or really over paying). After SET UP, we looked at our gold inventory and saw we had only 5 coins left! It took a mighty effort to hit the floor and buy gold coins at the “right” levels.
No one can predict how much higher gold will go. It certainly is running. We did sit down with one of the biggest wholesalers of gold who believes there will be some sort of serious correction within the next month-but that is all speculation (which to us does seem sensible).
There are practically NO better gold coins to buy on the bourse floor. And of course the prices for gold coins in BOTH auctions was super strong. We think if gold does NOT crash or correct within the next 2 weeks, you will see substantial price increases in rare gold coins (many generics are regaining their premiums rapidly).
Our recommendation for gold buying is still the same: build a spectacular Type set. Then YOU are in control. There are a few series that are affordable still: $2.5 Indians in MS64 or $3 1880-1889 in GEM AU to name two.
WHAT HOT AND WHAT IS NOT
We were too busy to say anything was not hot! ALL areas seemed to sell well. Of course gold is nuclear and is the exception to mention as such (that it is beyond hot).
One other area we do know that is RED HOT: coins OVER $250,000.00. We just did a transaction on a SINGLE coin worth over $1 million. As you witnessed in the Heritage PRE ANA Auction, the $3 1855S NGC PR64 sold for $1,322,000.00 with three bidders over $1 million. There was an amazing $2,800,000.00 coin that sold TWICE at the show (we got sleezed out of it). The more rarer and expensive the coin, the easier it seems to sell right now. There are boat loads of hanging around cash that want to buy only the rarest and best pieces. Three coins selling does not make the market hot. Its all the real Want Lists we are aware of that do!
NOTE: WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THIS REPORT IS BASED ON THE OBSERVATIONS AND ACTIONS WITHIN THE MARKETPLACE THAT LEGEND NUMISMATICS DEALS IN-THE TOP 5% OF QUALITY AND RARITY. OTHER DEALERS WILL HAVE DIFFERENT COMMENTS.
To view the full report – Visit Legend Numismatics