By Laura Sperber - Legend Numismatics
LONG BEACH-32 YEARS AND....
We have been coming to this show for over 32 years now. All we can do now is ask why? It is our sad opinion that Long Beach so long as they have 3 shows a year in this type of market is terminal. We have watched the crowds shrink and now with each show-the dealers give up their tables. Or if they don't give up their tables they move to the far back of the room and pay $250.00 for something in the next town over. Several major East Coast and Mid Western dealers did not even attend.
Part of the reason we still have a table is like many other dealers, we all think we'll miss something (yeah, we are creatures of habit). Plus, many of us still remember the good old days. We did not hear a single dealer who is in OUR league did well-especially with the public (of course you'll read some puffery from others). Sure, if you had coins below $1,000.00 you probably did well, but the players are NOT coming to Long Beach anymore. It seems like ONLY FUN and the ANA Summer show are where the bigger collectors go to actually deal.
Just like with Baltimore, the show promoters do not get it. Having more nice displays and free admissions to a small group only goes so far (why would a highlight display of a coin show be a upside down Jenny stamp?). They need to understand, there is such a squeeze on product (coins), its hard to trade. Collectors have stopped coming because there are so few coins for them so see. So having ONE LESS show per year would make business for EVERYONE much better. Last September we also had a miserable Long Beach, then 2 weeks later we had an amazing PCGS Invitational Show (did 100x better than LB) with only 30 dealers in attendance!
Next year, BOTH Baltimore and Long Beach are at the same time in May/June. We believe that will HURT BOTH shows and will definitely HURT the market. Whoever pulled that stunt was highly irresponsible. Can't wait to hear the excuses. Hope someone wakes up and changes things. Coin shows are NOT the East Coast/West Coast Rapper wars of the past. What they did here is the equivalent to gang shoot out. These promoters need to work together, not like this. Watch, one genius group will move the show a week thinking that is the answer-which it is NOT. Long Beach and Baltimore Show promoters, think about shrinking by one show-maybe the June show! Rebuild it right-and they come (back)! No one wants Long Beach to fade away.
You can guess by the paragraphs above we did not have a great show. Collector traffic was decent, but many people had their hands in their pockets or were looking to see what their Silver Eagle was worth. A dealer friend of ours (who handles coins similar to what we do) said: "held a lot of hands, kissed babies". Most of our buying came from the 5 days prior to the show. Selling too was strong BEFORE the show.
This show was probably the deadest show anywhere we have EVER seen in terms of coins to buy (for us). By Thursday we are in a full spin about the fact we have HUGE Want Lists and had found only three small coins. Even after some collectors came in and then the dealers got coins back from the services, we were not offered any exciting coins. Obviously great coins are in super strong hands. The ONLY place we saw any coins-and it wasn't a lot was the Heritage Sale. There were no major rarities, but the selection was good.
Of course the Heritage Sale was its own entity that does not need a show. The really nice and fresh coins (of CAC coins) brought super strong money. ALL The CAC gold sold for STRONG money further proving the intense demand for ANY CAC stickered GEM Gold. An example: the G $1 1887 PCGS MS68 CAC pop 2. It sold for $27,600.00! We were scratching our head as the under bidders! What surprised us the most about the sale was how strong the Patterns were. We bid on some and actually got blown out!
We know the coin market is currently BONE DRY of really great coins. We think at Baltimore (there is a fresh outrageous Liberty 5C set in auction) you will see a few, but they will be priced "BEYOND MOON MONEY". You won't see ANY quantity of killer coins until ANA. So we can not stress enough that even if you have to pay any stiff premium today, do NOT pass up any great coin. The elasticity of pricing on them is at the end of the rubber band and WILL break soon. Remember, rare coin values are a pure supply and demand market. The demand has been proven to be more than there. The supply is NOT.
What sucker punch! "The gold gods are really screwing around with the price of gold. We all know (or believe) at some point our government WILL continue to print money. The price of gold may have a short term negative dip, but long term you have to think $2,000.00 per oz minimum. Gold jumping nearly $60.00 had little effect on the show other than a few of the generic dealers exhaling heavy!
Even if this does not happen, RARE gold coins are in HUGE demand. Even at the highest dollar values, collectors have want to own these great coins. Of course they will ONLY pay the record money if the coins are CAC'd (before you diss that statement check action records for the past 2 years). There are so few great gold rarities to be found right now anyway. When it comes too generics, its CAC gold or none. Just look at what the MS66 CAC Saints all sold for in the Heritage sale-Lot 5374 a $20 1923D PCGS MS66 brought $2,990.00, while the next TWO lots brought $3,738.00 and $4,025.00. BOTH of those last lots were 23D's PCGS MS66 CAC's! The prices for NON CAC generic gold have fallen to pennies above melt (which is really not a bad deal if you can stomach the quality)!
We do NOT believe prices for gold coins have peaked or are near any where peak. If there was even a light supply, then prices would shoot up as trading would be visible. Since that won't happen, what to pay for gold rarities does involve some guess work and research. Your down side still seems minimal at most even if you have to pay 40% too much.
Before Long Beach we purchased a group of coins we will label the OMG Group! It consists of 12 of the most outrageous Large Cents you will EVER see-including several Naftzger coins. Don't believe? The highlight is a non Naftzger PERFECT 1C 1839 Booby Head PCGS MS67BN CAC! Yes, we raved about the Naftzger coins greatness before. Guess what? These are Naftzger coins that never made it to the market. Many were purchased directly out of the sale. The NON Naftzger coins from this deal are equally as crazy. As you know, most of the coins from the original collection are long gone hidden deep in collector vaults. To be able to have access to these coins again really is a special experience. There are NO other coins of comparable quality in the Large Cent world equal to ANY Naftzger coins! Its not a matter of if these coins meet your standards, its really a matter if YOU meet ours for giving these coins the BEST homes they deserve!
We were able to buy a coin here and there-but no great out of this world rarities. The quality of what we did buy is exceptional and we really, really like the fresh and GEMMINESS (is that word??) of coins like the 1C 1899 PCGS MS66RD CAC or the $1 1882 PCGS MS66+ CAC. We tried really hard to find something for every ones tastes. Remember, we are always looking for nice coins!
WE WILL BE AT OUR USUAL TABLE 555. If you seek auction representation, you MUST contactus no later than June 25th. ALL representationis on a first come first serve basis.
What is written in this report are the opinions of Legend Numismatics. While we will discuss things factually from our point of view, others may have witnessed things different or had different results. We are dealers in the highest quality rarities and CAC beaned coins ONLY.