5. I sell coins also:
In addition to buying coin and currency collections I periodically set up at shows in order to sell items in my inventory. During the past few weeks I have worked hard to obtain interesting collector coins. I will have tables at the Charlotte Coin show from February 7-9, and the Ladson show, near Charleston, from February 14-16. This is the first time I will set up on consecutive weeks, and I will have an extensive inventory to chose from, including type coins, proof sets, mint sets, modern commemoratives, bullion related items and Proof silver eagles. Please feel free to stop by and take a look. I love talking about coins!
4. Having some FUN!
We all like to have fun. If you collect coins you might enjoy attending coin shows. Well, one of the biggest annual shows is scheduled to start next Thursday, January 9th, in Orlando, Florida. It is the Florida United Numismatic show (FUN for short). It is one of the largest shows of the year, perhaps even bigger than the summer ANA show. It is always held on the second weekend of the year, and it attracts dealers from all over the Country, many of whom are looking for a break from harsh winter weather (think Chicago).
Heritage Numismatics holds a major auction each year at the show. Six live sessions will be conducted from Wednesday the 8th, through Friday the 10th, including a "Platinum" session on Thursday evening. There are also two internet sessions being conducted on Saturday and Sunday. The "Platinum" session contains approximately 562 coins. They represent the high end of the spectrum, coins that should sell for a minimum of $10,000. Assuming this to be correct, if you mutiply 562 by 10,000, you get a total hammer price of $5.660.000. Then add the 17.5% commission, and you get a total of $6,650,500. But that doesn't even scratch the surface. You see, the very first lot in the Platinum sale is a mint state New York Brasher Doubloon, a gold coin created by Ephraim Brasher around 1787. This coin is the "punch on wing" variety, of which six are known to exist. What is a coin like this worth in today's market? The record sale price for any coin is a bit over ten million dollars paid last year for a 1794 Silver dollar. Can the Brasher Doubloon top that record? As of this writing the bidding on the coin is at $3,500,000, so there is a long way to go.
The Doubloon is not the only star of the sale. Lot 5161 is a 1913 Liberty nickel, one of 5 known, graded PF64. Estimates for this coin go as high as 5 million dollars. So these two coins will probably far exceed the $6,650,500 figure from above. Aside from Platinum night there are thousands of other coins being auctioned. I'm too lazy to count them all, and I certainly cannot predict how many will actually sell. All I know is I am going to have some fun! I plan to be in the audience when the Brasher Doubloon and the Liberty nickel are sold. Like most of you I can only dream about owning one of these rarities, but it will certainly be fun watching the action.
3. THE WHITMAN BALTIMORE SHOW:
Whitman Publishing sponsors 3 annual shows at the Baltimore Inner Harbor Convention Center, called the "Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expo". The two larger shows are held in the Fall and Spring, usually in November and April. A smaller show is held in June. The shows generally run from Thursday through Sunday, and each has a major auction, which has been run by Stack's/Bowers for a number of years. Whitman publishes numismatic related books, and the company has sponsed Expos in other locations over the years, such as Philadelphia and Atlanta. The Baltimore venue has been the most successful, however, and it is considered the third most popular coin show after the Summer ANA show and the January FUN show.
I have been attending the Baltimore show on a regular basis since 1993. I began sharing a table with another dealer in 2003, and this week I will be set up next to Tom Hyland Coins. I have a lot of new additions to my inventory, including gold coins, type coins, better date Morgan dollars, currency and even a few colonial coins. I will be at the show from Thursday morning until late Saturday afternoon.
If you have never been to the Baltimore Inner Harbor, and enjoy coin collecting, try to make one of the shows. Almost all of the major dealers from across the Country attend, and you have a broad range of specialties from Ancients to World coins, paper money (both US and foreign), medals, etc. There is literally something for everyone! The Inner Harbor is a beautiful area with convenient hotels and restaurants. Since 1993 my buddies and I have made it a tradition to travel up Calvert street on Friday evening for an amazing dinner at The Prime Rib. If you decide to attend please stop by and say hello.
2. THE LOW COUNTRY COIN SHOW; WHAT A DIFFERENCE 6 MONTHS MAKE:
The show proceeded on August 2, 3 and 4. It was my second appearance as a dealer there, the first being the February, 2013 show. Then, one of the dealers was selling 2013 silver Eagles for $35. A bargain? Well, yes. There was such a demand for them that by mid-Saturday he upped his price to $36, which was what the other dealers were getting for Eagles. Since then the price of silver (and gold) has plummeted, tanked, nose dived, or whatever you want to call it. Eagles this weekend were selling for 23 or 24 dollars. Mine are sitting in the safe deposit box, while I pray that silver prices will rebound.
Traffic at the show was moderate to light. Most of the action, from my point of view, occurred Friday between dealers. I sold some nice coins and the small amount of bullion related silver that I could afford to market. Saturday, for me, was dead.....a lot of looking but little buying. I bought two nice gold coins that found their way to my table, and a couple of other type coins. On Sunday I sold my remaining bullion related gold coins, sovereigns and a Maple Leaf. Otherwise, there wasn't much action.
Despite all this I enjoy setting up at shows. You cannot anticipate what people will buy, but you get to interact with them, and I certainly enjoy talking about coins. Some people are looking for specific items, trying to fill a hole, or locate something that isn't easy to find. Others are just looking without a game plan. That's one of the great things about this hobby......no two collections are exactly alike.
1. HOW IT ALL STARTED:
When I was 22 I didn't know a Buffalo nickel from a Jefferson nickel. More importantly, I didn't realize that three years earlier (in 1965) the US Mint had stopped producing silver dimes and quarters, and had reduced the content of silver halves by more than 50%. Then I began working as a part-time teller at a bank in Silver Spring, Maryland while attending law school in Washington. Other tellers advised me to "pull the silver" coins because they were worth more. And thus my education began.
I soon became aware of Franklin halves, Walking Liberty halves, Standing Liberty quarters and, yes, Buffalo nickels. I liked the design of the "older" coins, and in my spare time visited the Bonanza Coin Shop in Silver Spring. The owner, Al Bonan, sold me my first Red Book (A Guide Book of United States Coins) and I became fascinated with the early commemorative series of coins. In 1969, I made my first modest purchases, a few commemorative halves. To my recollection I purchased a Boone, a Lincoln, an Oregon Trail, and a Maryland. I knew nothing about grading coins, and the fact that many silver coins had been cleaned to give them a bright, shiny look. I did not own a magnifier or "loupe". All I knew then was that the coins looked nice, and I was excited to own them. It would be nearly 25 years before my formal coin education would begin!