By Laura Sperber - Legend Numismatics ........
First off, we noticed that David Hall and crew are working their tails off to try and make Long Beach a better show. It does indeed look like attendance has improved. Still, they have a lot of work ahead of them.
Our show was terrific! No records set-not even close. Sadly, we did virtually NO retail except to two "regulars'. Unless its the FUN SHOW or summer ANA for LEGEND, we just do not see the public coming in to buy. Can't really explain that other than the Internet may have made people lazy and there really is not much other than dreck in so many dealers cases? It seems having a world class auction like they do at those two venues also may help attract serious spending collectors. We didn't not see hardly any "players" at this show this time. Selling to collectors was our ONLY disappointment.
Wholesale was ridiculously incredible. Our very first sale before the show was for a mid five figure coin. From that point until late Friday, we sold soup to nuts. Even some "old friends" sold at pretty strong prices. We did sell SEVERAL mid five figure coins-all but one were gold. Of course gold was red hot and sold the easiest. The big dealers especially were busy buying up all kinds of gold-generic to we had several requests for PR Gold.
Buying had its usual degree of impossibility. We hit the floor hard and went case to case to find coins. Saw a few dealers who only do West Coast shows and made some nice purchases. Overall, much to our surprise, we were able to buy a little (had to really pay up though-which was OK by us). However, we could NOT find the coins we really wanted or much for our HUGE Want Lists (anyone has a AU or higher PCGS/CAC 1794 $1??-need a couple of them). In fact our Want Lists are like the US Debt-growing every day!
A WAKE UP CALL
Collectors need to realize that there are hardly ANY sexy better coins available.. What little that does appear, only does so at FUN and the summer ANA show. The BIGGEST common mistake we see collectors make is to be afraid of paying a premium when the "right" coin is available. We're still horrified by one collector who would not buy a super rare coin in high grade that was all there and then some because he had to pay a 17.5% premium. His argument about if he had to sell and put it in auction it would only yield him XXX below what he paid to us was plain chicken thinking. If you buy a great quality rarity, even if you pay strong you should not get killed-especially if you have to dump within a year. For us, we have always gone by the ideology: paying 30-40% more is fine, when building a great collection. You should NOT be doing it to hold it for only 1-2 years. Your supposed to be buying coins for the long term where substantial financial benefits of 100%++ should happen. Trying to play short term like the stock market can and will lead to some frustration-unless you own the best of the best. Show us ANY collectable or even any stock that does not have some degree short term downside. THINK LONG TERM when it comes to coins!
Another area we greatly struggled with at the show-those pesky MS67 Morgans. There is now NO question the current bids of $675.00 are meaningless for PCGS/CAC MS67 pieces. Even NON CAC at $500.00 is ridiculous. We looked over the entire show and found one PCGS/CAC piece piece for $800.00 and one dealer who had several but wanted $1,200.00 each! That's also ridiculous. We can't believe no else has noticed none of these coin are around and raised bids. We are now raising our bid to $750.00 for PCGS/CAC pieces (ONLY). These have to be a good deal for under $1,000.00 -there is NO supply available. The demand is definitely there. An FYI: we noticed even long sleepy Patterns are starting to wake up-prices got too cheap there too!
Except for FUN and summer ANA these days you can NOT find any really cool coins at shows. You will see a pile of dreck, tired retreads, or overpriced coins. In fact, there wasn't a ton at this past ANA show. That means the markets rubber band on pricing is stretched as far as it can at these levels. Two to three years ago we stopped seeing Bust Halves in MS65, GEM Early gold, 1794 $ in AU, classic rarities (when is the last time a 94S 10C or a 1804 $1 sold?). Now, its gotten to the point we can't buy a simple 80S $1 PCGS MS67 PCGS/CAC-that is insane! We also needed MS66 Saints PCGS/CAC and only bought TWO (NOTE: our sight UNSEEN BID is for $3,650.00 for W/M PCGS/CAC ONLY)! Even nice common coins are not available. The Long Beach Heritage auction more then proved prices are inching higher on everything that's nice-and there were very few sexy rarities for sale in it. We bid about $650,000.00 on coins and ended up with only $140,000.00-something VERY unusual for us (we are super aggressive too)!
More and more people realize the world governments are just printing money beyond what should be tolerable. So people want their assets in items that are physical. Rare coins just happen to be the most liquid collectible in the world. Which is why there is now a huge "black hole" for great coins to fall into. And, its not just collectors from the US. Even Legend has several SERIOUS buyers from overseas who want to buy the BEST rare coins we can get them. Think of today's market as a wake up call. The potential of where coin prices could go is staggering!