By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics …….
We’d guess every Mid West/Northeast dealer were just thrilled to be out of the wicked weather. In fact, many left home early to avoid all the weather issues. Attendance prior to the show and at the show was strong as we have ever seen it!
As usual, the FUN Staff put on a world class show-with no complaints from anyone.
PRE SHOW ACTIVITY
We arrived Monday afternoon to lot view. Got diverted in the hotel lobby and immediately hooked up with a smaller dealer and did some buying. Then it was on to spend endless hours viewing an endless sale.
Tuesday our “super secret dealer” arrived first thing and was ready to rock. He was telling us how his firm was doing very well through the typical quiet Christmas/New Years period. As usual he made his piles of coins, wrote a big check and then he was off to probably a dozen people waiting to see him. When we walked out of his room, perfect timing for a scheduled appointment-who also bought heavily. We were very surprised how strong the activity was before the show. Usually when everyone is so scattered activity slumps-not this show! We were non stop selling all day. Our big deal happened right after dinner.
Tuesday evening Legend Numismatics bought and sold the amazing $2.5 1796 W/Stars NGC MS65 CAC for a well in excess of $1 million dollars. We were given a firm price. The coin is the finest by 2 points, it had amazing quality, the rarity is extreme, and we felt the price quoted was super reasonable. The deal was done in MINUTES!
We knew from that point on it was going to be a VERY good show!
THE MEAT OF THE SHOW
Funny thing happened when the doors opened to the show for business-activity slowed down. Happens at most major shows, dealers are simply setting up or doing per-arrainged meetings. Usually it take and hour or two to reacquire the buzz.
Wholesale Wed was a struggle. Coins we thought would sell did not, yet some old friends we thought we’d own for eternity did sell. Seemed like “stuff and widgets” were a little price sensitive. Wed kinda spooked us a little.
Thursday was just fine. There was plenty of wholesale and lots of retail to do. Legend enjoyed a record day of selling to collectors. Thursday alone we sold a 50C 1797 PCGS XF45 CAC, $1 1895 PCGS PR67 Cameo CAC (possibly the most colorful one on earth), and a $20 1907 HIGH RELIEF PCGS MS67 CAC - all with in TWO HOURS to collectors at our table! We’re happy if we sell a six figure coin or two the entire show-but 3 that fast? WOW!
Friday was very quiet when the doors opened. We were thinking, OK, show over, the crowd was in yesterday. NOT! After an hour of quiet, all of the sudden we started selling coins to collectors. The sales ranged between $2,000.00-$10,000.00. The day was non stop action. On Friday, we did more individual sales to collectors than ever for one day (not dollar wise, transaction wise).
It was VERY interesting that BIG ticket coins (above $25,000.00) were EASY to sell, while widgets and “stuff” still had weak demand and the prices were not strong. We asked a few dealers we know and they pretty much agreed. We know of one mega FRESH deal (all NGC) that was worth MILLIONS that got broken up and pretty much everything in it sold at the show (there was a killer 1871 1C-$20 Proof set-all GEM)! The prices they got were VERY strong and most coins were six figures. We know of many other SIX FIGURE coins selling at the show. Looks like $100,000.00 is the new $10,000.00 in the coin market.
Even though we did over $1 million in sales (we’re still adding it up), we know we did not have a record breaking show.
Buying was near IMPOSSIBLE. We desperately wanted to buy PCGS/CAC 20th Century BETTER gold-and bought ZERO. We bought ZERO PCGS MS67 CAC Morgans and ZERO PCGS MS66 W/M Saints. The good stuff all disappeared as soon as it hit the floor. We saw a nearly complete $5+$10 Indian set choice/GEM (ALL NON CAC) sell all its six figure coins IMMEDIATELY (the seller claims the 1933 sold instantly)! We had first dibs on three major dealers coins-but they did not have anything really exciting. All we saw walking around dealers cases was widgets and dead “stuff”-exactly what was not hot. We played our hunch right and had kept back at home all of our purchases from a small deal and other NEWPS (like Newman).
THE HERITAGE SALE
What a HUGE sale that was. And it was brutal too. Legend placed $2,583,781.00 in bids and won only $770,448.00. That does NOT include any auction representation. The sales total was above $50,000,000.00!
The two biggest coins were the Brasher Doubloon and the 5C 1913 NGC PR64 (which Legend used to own). The Brasher sold for $4,582,500.00. Many knowledgeable dealers thought the coin would bring $5 million+ (including us). We’re not disappointed and have no fear about the strength of the upper end of the market. This was not really a “collectable” Federal coin. A Brasher (while being very important) is more of an esoteric coin to own. The fact it brought just under what we all figured, is not harmful at all.
The 1913 5C was not a shocker either. As much as we like them (we have owned two) not everyone is a huge fan of the 1913 5C. We think this coin finally hit price resistance. We figured the coin at $2,500,000.00+ the juice so we’re actually surprised it sold for $2,800,000.00+ the juice. Also, another 5C 1913 sold only six months ago.
Lookie what just happened in Newman, you had bidders fighting over the 25C 1795 NGC MS67-which sold for slightly over $1,500,000.00. There are certain things the market is hungry for. The freshness factor is also critical-and this 5C 1913 is NOT fresh (its been around). Plus, its easy to be a sideline quarterback when guessing what these big coins will sell for.
Since “stuff” and widgets were weaker on the floor, they did not disappoint in the auction. As usual, average coins brought slightly better money then they deserved. You could clearly tell the FRESH SUPERB coins as they brought really strong money. Because of the gargantuan size of the sale, we thought it would be weak, in the end it turned out to be mixed with the better coins bringing strong prices.
Of course what we bid on went crazy! Here our some of the lost we bid on and on and lost:
1C 1877 PCGS PR66RB CAC $12,925.00
1C 1895 PCGS MS66+ RD CAC $7,050.00
25C 1822 PCGS PR65 25/50 CAC $229,125.00
50C 1937 PCGS MS67+ CAC $4,993.50
$1 1857 NGC MS66 $98,875.00
$1 1870 PCGS PR66 CAC $44,062.00
$1 1896 PCGS PR68 DCAMEO CAC $76,375.00
$1 1883CC PCGS MS67 CAC $6,462.50
$1 1899O PCGS MS67+ CAC $17,625.00
$1 1922 PCGS MS67 $16,450.00
$3 1863 PCGS MS67 CAC $211,500.00
$10 1864S XF45 NGC $99,875.00
$20 1869 PCGS MS64+ CAC $108,687.00
50C ELGIN PCGS MS68+ CAC $49,937.50
As you can see, the seriously nice coins brought BIG money.
Almost forgot (sale too darn big), the 50C 1838O NGC PR64 CAC did just fine bringing $763,750.00 while the $1 1884 Trade (Ex Legend) brought $998,750.00 (a record price)!