By Laura Sperber - Legend Numismatics
As usual, David Chrenshaw, Lori Hamrick, and staff did an outstanding job (David was out kissing babies and shaking hands prior to set up)! The show was its usual well run problem free event.
Our expectations were low due to Sandy and what we thought were uncertain times in the financial market. We did not think many collectors would show up. NOT! We were wrong on both! Leading the way at the show, was the Colonial market. Its not our market but we saw there were tons of hungry addicts from that sector there to do biz, have club meetings, and hit the Stacks auction (apparently there was a major group of Colonials for sale). Overall, on our side of the fence, collector traffic was moderate. However, we saw several of the biggest "players" who did come to the show to browse and buy what they could.
Typically we do more WHOLESALE than retail at this show. This Baltimore show was flipped for us. We did far more retail then WHOLESALE. In fact, over all, wholesale was lackluster. Dealers did not seem to be spending. If they were buying, they were VERY selective. We could not wholesale any expensive coins over $50,000.00. Our typical fast start prior to the show did not happen. It was unusual that wholesale at his show was so tough. We have no exact reason why wholesale slowed.
Retail was alive and surprisingly well. This was our best retail show in 3 years! We sold FIVE coins ABOVE $25,000.00 on the floor to different collectors ($10 1885 PCGS PR66 D Cameo, $20 1924D PCGS MS65 were two of the 5). Besides the big stuff, we had no problem selling PR67 Walkers through $5,000.00 PR Barber Quarters. Collectors really were more concerned with coin and its quality-not so much its price range. The better the quality, the more the premium they would pay. Wild knockout coins are our easiest sells-regardless the premium.
THE STACKS SALE
Typical auction results-GONZO for great, fresh, and nice coins. DOA prices for dreck. We were blown away Wed AM when we saw how overcrowded the auction room was. We knew there would be strong prices realized.
Some interesting highlights:
3CS 1867 PCGS PR67 CAMEO CAC $29,900.00 (we did the etrade baby shocked look after this was hammered)
H.10 1853O PCGS MS65 CAC $6,900.00
10C 1889 PCGS PR67 CAMEO CAC $6,388.00
25C 1903 PCGS PR67+ CAMEO CAC $11,500.00
50C 1875 PCGS MS66 $14,950.00
$1 1797 PCGS AU53 $21,850.00
$5 1898 PCGS PR67 DCAMEO CAC $92,000.00
$10 1799 PCGS MS63+ CAC $84,000.00
Collectors may have become a little more picker, but when they do see what they want, price is NOT the stopping point. Be aware of this if you have an appetite for great coins. In today's marketplace, they are NOT discounted what so ever!
Hard to say which way its going to play out. However we have heard from many gold bugs lately who are buying again. The general public likes to wait for the herd. A few brave souls are buying some generics. Of course better RARE gold is strong and collectors can't get enough pieces.
We still think gold will break $2,000.00. Its just a matter of time. Funny things happen before elections (like the price of gold slipping). The rise also may have been slowed short term by Sandy.
Our picks are still MS66 CAC Saints. They have a good premium play when demand heats up. Of course we can't get enough of better higher grade gold and all Early gold.
We did NOT buy a SINGLE Common date PCGS/CAC MS67 Morgan or PCGS/CAC MS66 Saint. Of course we looked. No one even brought us anything. Looks like the MS/PR67 Walkers have hit bottom. Demand clearly now is stronger than supply. Prices are inching back up on them. We have just a few Proofs left and are just about sold out of CAC pieces! The market absorbed over 1,000 in the past 6 months. That is impressive!
No, this is NOT a sales pitch.
Now is probably one of the best time of the year to buy. You have small pockets of potential: the Houston Show, the Heritage Houston Sale, and the PCGS Invite Las Vegas Show which includes our PCGS Regency Auction.
By the time the FUN Show rolls around, coins won't be so cheap. The phenomena that happens at FUN is collectors wake up early January due the typically insane sized Heritage Sale and the fact the FUN Show its a must attend huge show. Of course there is the beginning of the year myth that the market comes alive at that time too. Even if activity is "off" at a FUN, the competition for coins is always stronger there, then the end of the year. We do see a price difference of 10-20% on better coins.
So be alert! You can get some great values on rarities today!
Also, we have been asked lately about what sets we recommend to build. These days it hard to successfully build ANY top set. Our suggestion has been to build a great Type set. That way, the challenge of building a great collection is still there. But YOU get to make up the composition. You can include KEY dates or common coins. You can make your set ALL MS or an MS/PR combination. Its all up to you. Plus, the advantage of building a Type set-your not going to grow old waiting for the one coin you need to come around in auction only to see it bid to a level 5x what you figured it for!
Other collections we like PR Barbers 64-67. ALL denominations. We can't write enough what great value these coins represent.