The Spring Baltimore Show Market Report by Legend Numismatics
Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics
Of course we have a complaint! Why can’t ALL the shows be like Baltimore? Yet again we lavish praise on the hardest working show manager (and his staff) in the biz: David Chrenshaw (and the Whitman people). This Baltimore show definitely ranked among the best! We told David a comment about something and within 5 minutes, 2 top people from the convention center people were at our table. David and his crew want feedback and suggestions to make the show better. There really isn’t much more they need to do! Baltimore and FUN are the most welcoming shows for collectors (they have many secure areas to sit and chat among other things). Thank goodness its not a 3/4 empty PNG run show where you get harassed for sitting to take a break or for doing business if you are not a member.
We expected the show to be good. It was. What blew us away was TWO days of crowds. Typically, the eager beavers show up Thursday and Friday slows dramatically. NOT! This time it was two steady days of REAL activity. Besides a wonderful show, the crowds came because the coin market is very healthy.
The show was not a record breaker for us, however we believe it was one of our top 5 ever at Baltimore. If we get to the paperwork to the paperwork by Wed we’re lucky. We did that much business. We did sell MULITPLE five figure coins and lots of coins under $5,000.00 (and we mean lots). Selling coins to collectors (and dealers) was not hard. Many had long Want Lists. More important, we saw MANY collectors that we have not seen in years. We can not explain the sudden interest, but we can confirm its real.
Its not just making the sales at shows that matters to us. We were so happy to have reconnected with a few collectors. Also the interaction with current collectors gives us much satisfaction too. Legend Numisamtics sincerely thanks everyone who came by the show and especially those who visited our table. Its reassuring for us all to see a well attended show with a “buzz”.
ACTIVITY AT THE SHOW
We had to arrive late Tuesday night as our “super secret” first appointment wanted to meet first thing Wed. As usual he spent a lot of money with us. After him, EVERY dealer we saw that day spent at least $25,000.00! That’s unusual too. When the show opened Thursday, things slowed and it was back to the normal grind of running around the floor to buy and sell.
By the end of Thursday we had surpassed our sales goal. Friday blew us away as we sold SEVERAL five figure coins to collectors. Saturday we went home totally exhausted! Our stealth team of sellers did incredibly well too-they too sold a few mid range five figure coins for us.
Buying was near impossible. we did get lucky and buy a few Want List coins. And at the very beginning of the show we got 2nd shot (a crack out guy beat us and got first) on a dealers personal coins (you’ve got to see the 78CC DMPL we have) and we had a few small deals walk up to us from collectors (not everything with Legend has to be zillion dollars).
Late Friday luck really rained on us! Along time dealer friend of Legend walked over a Gold Proof set that contained a coin we have been searching for the past EIGHT years. We have heard of phantom examples but NEVER saw a single piece in any grade: $20 1893 NGC PR63+ DCameo. For those of you who do not know, ONLY 55 were minted. There was a depression in the US that year and a lot of gold was melted. The acquisition of this coin (set) now completes the Simpson Proof Gold Collection (1886-1915).
Another major purchase for us happened at the Stacks auction. We proudly bought the UNIQUE Grant W/Star PCGS PR64! We had tried to buy it last year but got quoted way too much by the former owner who thinks its as cool as a Brasher Doubloon. Our cost from the sale: a super stretch $184,000.00. This coin now proudly resides in the Shalor Colored Commem Collection, also the home of the UNIQUE Proof Missouri (PCGS PR66) and the out of this world Pan Pac Copper, silver, and Gold Patterns. We promise to display a part of the set soon.
The Stacks sale was very decent. It was a mix of fresh and not so fresh coins. You could tell what was fresh was by the prices realized. We know the coins we liked were super premium and the prices went too high for even us to play. Example: the $1 1879 TD PCGS PR67 Cameo CAC sold for $32,200.00 (all in). Yet if someone gave us $35,000.00 we could not find another one.
We do very much expect the market to remain firm. Typically there is a tax time lull. We’re not so sure that will happen this year. Collectors have not been turning coins down they need as they know they possibly will never see them again.
Wholesaling NON GEM or NON CAC lower grade generic gold was like pulling teeth. As gold apparently slowly sinks, so to do the quantities demanded. Thus, the premiums slim as well. As we have said many times in the past, if you believe in gold, you can buy low grade coins for just about NO premium over spot.
We can tell you with out any hesitation, that better gold and GEM better Gold (and some GEM generics) are seriously in demand. The new red hot series (besides GEM $10 Indians), $5 Indians. They have now dried up and we know of LONG Want Lists for them. No one has seen hardly any better dates in higher grades. Prices are firm and in the GEM category some have even moved up! We see MANY Gold Type sets now being built. The supply of GEM CAC gold certainly is minimal at best.
If your speculating in gold, you possibly have missed the big boom. Now its back to slower and smaller ups and downs.
Finally, we have a small portion of our PR Type deal we bought earlier this month ready. These coins have been selling fast. Don’t hesitate much as most pieces are one of a kind and you won’t see anything similar for a VERY long time. We also have some very hard to find 20th Century gold. Our favorite coin is the 1896S PCGS MS65+ $1.00. It ranks as one of the best we have EVER seen (and we are students of the date)! PLEASE ALLOW EXTRA TIME FOR IMAGES to post (sorry, we will not hold coins for images).
While we could not buy a lot at the show or the Stacks sale, what we did buy was the best quality possible! We will NEVER stop telling everyone how important TRUE QUALITY IS! This is why when Legend builds a top collection. it LOOKS and really IS the best you can get. We do NOT sell plastic!
Lincoln Cents-Two major collections were being sold at the show and one in a auction closing this Sunday. Bust coins. DMPL Morgans. Anything high end and CAC sold well in Type. We had many requests for EARLY Walkers. Indian Gold. Commems saw moderate action.
WHATS NOT HOT
OMG-Patterns did not do well in the Stacks sale. That market is VERY quiet. You can get some seriously good deals in Patterns right now. Anything that was dreck was dead. Low grade generic gold was also dead.
NOTE: The comments written here are soley the observations of Legend Numismatics. This is about how WE did and what WE saw from OUR perspective. We are dealers in top quality and rare coins. Other dealers will have difference experiences at the show.