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Category: Baltimore Show

Cardinal Large Cent Collection To De Displayed Next Month At Whitman Coin Expo

The acclaimed Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation‘s large cents collection, the number one-ranked set of its kind in both the PGCS and NGC Set Registry listings, will be publicly displayed for the first time in the Baltimore-Washington area during the first two days of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo, November 4 and 5, 2010.

The exhibit, co-sponsored by Bowers and Merena Auctions ( and Collateral Finance Corporation (, will be displayed at the Bowers and Merena booth, #1205, during the show.

“It is truly an amazing collection that includes some of the finest known examples of United States large cents struck from 1793 to 1857, said Greg Roberts, CEO of Bowers and Merena. “There are 77 large cents in the set, and many are the finest known for their respective date and type.”

This 1793 Chain Cent (S-2), graded PCGS MS65BN, is one of the highlights of the multi-million dollar Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation large cents collection that will be displayed August 10 – 13, 2010 by Bowers and Merena Auctions and Collateral Finance Corporation at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Boston.  (Photo by PCGS)

While supplies last, visitors to the exhibit can receive a free, 40-page illustrated booklet published by the foundation, “Portraits of Liberty,” that describes the history of U.S. large cents.

Highlights of the exhibit include:

  • 1793 Chain Cent (S-2) graded PCGS MS65BN that set a world’s record in 2005 as the most valuable U.S. cent at the time
  • 1793 Wreath Cent, PCGS MS69BN, the single highest-graded 18th century U.S. coin of any date of denomination
  • 1794 Liberty Cap “Head of 1793” Cent, PCGS MS64BN, described by Logies as “the single finest representative work of early Mint engraver, Joseph Wright”
  • 1803 Draped Bust Cent, PCGS MS66RB, acclaimed by the Early American Coppers society as tied for the finest known Draped Bust cent of any date or variety
  • the record-setting 1842 Braided Hair Cent from the Naftzger Collection, PCGS MS65RD, widely acknowledged as the finest existing “Petite Head” type
  • and another record-setting coin from the Naftzger Collection, an 1852 Braided Hair Cent, graded PCGS MS65RD, and acknowledged as the finest existing cent from its era.

“The Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation is a non-profit educational organization that focuses on the study and publication of information about early coinage of the United States of America. With the valued assistance of Bowers and Merena and Collateral Finance Corporation, this will be the first opportunity for collectors to see these superb-quality, early American cents in person in the Washington-Baltimore area,” said Martin Logies, a director of the Sunnyvale, California-based foundation.

One of America’s leading rare coin auction houses, Bowers and Merena of Irvine, California holds three of the top seven world-record auction prices for U.S. coins. For additional information call (949) 253-0916 or visit online at

Collateral Finance Corporation of Santa Monica, California offers precious metals financing to dealers and collectors on a wide array of bullion and numismatics. For additional information, call (310) 587-1410 or visit

The Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo will be held in the Baltimore Convention Center, One Pratt Street, Baltimore. It will be open to the public on Thursday, November 4, from Noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, November 5 and 6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, November 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Legend Market Report – The June Baltimore Coin Show

By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics

The show turned out exactly how we thought it would be-decent but quiet. Most dealers we spoke to (on our level) did very little. Several left Friday. Yet we know of a few smaller dealers who had nice coins and did VERY well. Collectors did attend, but the usual gang did not show up in any group larger than one or two. Most attendees did not seem to be serious buyers. They came to kick some tires and chat. One dealer friend commented he’d have done better if he rented his coins out to the lookie loos each time they sat down. As usual, the Whitman staff put on a class act show.


The June Baltimore Show is the equivalent of the stock market making a major gain/loss on a lightly traded short day. We do have a serious comment/opinion: While we love the show, absolutely ranking ALL Whitman Baltimore shows as the BEST run, and love having them in Baltimore, having it two times a year might be better than three. The summer show is typically 1/3 the size smaller. Traffic is significantly lighter. For some reason, its always harder to get in and out of town in June (this year we were lucky the O’s were not home).

At this show, very few of the West Coast dealers attended due to close scheduling of the Long Beach Show. For the markets sake, we think a few shows have to give. The reason why we think one Baltimore has go is because of their own Philadelphia Fall show (which they need to move as well since it yet again follows on the heels of Long Beach). Hard for us to believe Whitman does not realize it is the same market. It stretches everyone thin by overloading shows-and this is NOT the time of year to do so. That definitely contributes to why the show was quiet.

We still can sell ALL the great coins we can get our hands on. We know other dealers in the same position. Just having show after show does not help the market if everyone is spent, tired, and needs time to refresh their inventories especially when the public wants to be outdoors.


WOW dreck can slow a show! We saw just about EVERY major dealer at one time or another actually walk the floor seeking coins. They ALL came back pretty much empty handed and shaking their heads. There were few fresh and nice coins in anyones display case. If you had the nice fresh material, it was sold instantly. So there really was nothing but either tired or dreck coins in a lot of cases. That equated to either huge losses or no sales. A few major dealers are now in weak cash flows and have too much dead inventory. But then we all kind of expected this between now and ANA (which means activity and rising prices will slow). Watch the ALL the ANA auctions for a serious amount of retreads.

Bowers and Merena Baltimore Coin Auction to Include Over 3500 Lots

Bowers and Merena will conduct the Official auction of the June 2010 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo. Scheduled for June 16-20, 2010 at the Baltimore Convention Center, the sale will present nearly 3,500 lots of United States coins, exonumia and related items.

According to Bowers and Merena president Steve Deeds: “We have a wonderful sale planned for the June 2010 Baltimore Expo anchored by several important collections and Registry Sets.

In the category of Registry Sets we are featuring the Close to Perfect Collection, #1 All-Time Finest Lincoln Memorial Cents Basic Set on the PCGS Registry and the Weston Collection, PCGS Registry Set #8 in the category Capped Bust Half Dollars Major Variety Set without Reeded Edges.

The Close to Perfect Collection includes many low-pop condition rarities, including some stellar-quality MS-69s and MS-70s from the 21st century, while the Weston Collection features many original collector coins in VF, EF and AU.”

“Among U.S. gold coin offerings,” continued Deeds, “bidders will find the Windermere Collection and its fantastic array of rare-date Liberty Double Eagles and Territorial gold. Leading the way are 1855-O $20 NGC AU-55, 1859-O $20 NGC AU-55, 1860-O $20 NGC AU-58, 1861-O $20 NGC AU-55, 1861-S Paquet $20 NGC AU-50 and an 1852 Augustus Humbert $50 Gold, Reeded Edge, 880 THOUS, PCGS AU-55.

The Fab Five Collection of Early Half Eagles will also entice gold enthusiasts with a selection of five early Half Eagles, a fresh consignment recently certified by our company for the first time and making its first appearance in a major numismatic auction. A historic 1795 Small Eagle Five in NGC MS-61 leads off the Fab Five Collection, and it is an example of the scarcer BD-8 die marriage.”

Concluded Deeds: “Numerous other important rarities can also be found scattered throughout our June 2010 Baltimore Auction. We have a beautiful and rare 1930-S Double Eagle in PCGS Secure MS-65+, a top-of-the-pop 1917 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln Cent, FS-101, PCGS Secure MS-67 RD from The Holdings of Ron Groszmann, a well-known 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar rarity in a PCGS Genuine holder and countless other highlights from Colonial coinage through Territorials. Plus, a complete set of Proof Barber dimes, as well as nearly complete sets of Indian cents, Mercury dimes, Standing Liberty quarters, and a type set with key coinage, all collected in the 1950s and 1960s. No matter what your area of specialization, I am confident that the Bowers and Merena June 2010 Baltimore Auction holds many important bidding opportunities. Enjoy the sale, and good luck with your bids.”

Additional highlights in the Bowers and Merena June 2010 Baltimore Auction include:

  • 1926-S Buffalo Nickel, NGC MS-65
  • 1937-D Buffalo Nickel, 3-Legged, PCGS MS-65, CAC
  • 1797 Draped Bust Half Dime, 16 Stars, NGC MS-64, CAC
  • 1800 Draped Bust Half Dime, PCGS MS-64
  • 1807 Draped Bust Dime, NGC MS-65, OH
  • 1795 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar, Three Leaves, PCGS MS-62
  • 1795 Capped Bust Right Eagle, 13 Leaves, NGC AU-55
  • 1872 Liberty Eagle, PCGS Proof-64 DCAM, Ex: J.F. Bell Collection
  • MCMVII (1907) High Relief Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, Wire Rim, NGC MS-66
  • A Complete 1871 Standard Silver Pattern Proof Set, Half Dime through Dollar, Ex: Garrett
  • 1872 Pattern Commercial Dollar, Judd-1217, PCGS Proof-64 RB
  • 1849 Mormon $2.50 Gold, K-1, PCGS VF-35, CAC—Gold Label, OGH—First Generation
  • 1849 Oregon Exchange Company $5 Gold, K-1, NGC AU Details—Tooled
  • 1883 Hawaii Eighth Dollar, PCGS Secure Proof-63 Cameo (more…)

Ponterio Baltimore Auction to Offer Diverse Selection of Ancient and World Coins, Plus Currency

Ponterio & Associates, Inc., the world and ancients auction division of Bowers and Merena Auctions, will conduct its Baltimore Auction of World and Ancient Coins and Paper Money as part of Bowers and Merena’s Official Auction of the June 2010 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo.

The two-session sale will be conducted June 18 and 19 at the Baltimore Convention Center. More than 2,300 lots will be offered, including approximately 1,500 lots of Ancient and foreign coins and 825 lots of world paper money.

Executive vice president, Rick Ponterio states, “Our June 2010 Baltimore Auction is sure to see strong bidder participation—and competition—among specialists in many areas of foreign coins and paper money. Featured among the coin offerings in this sale are important rarities from many periods of history, ranging from Ancient Greece to the modern era.”

Continued Ponterio: “An example of the diversity in this sale can be found in two of the more important highlights. The first is a very rare Zeugitana, Carthage AV Trihemistater, or 1 ½ Shekel, that dates to the early period of the First Punic War (ca. 264-260 BC). The coin is attributed alternatively as Jenkins & Lewis Group IX Pl.18#392 (same dies) and Muller-Pg.86#66, and has been certified by NGC as AU, Strike: 5/5, Surface: 3/5.”

“We will also present a Yuan Dynasty Zhi Yuan 50 Tael Sycee Ingot that is extremely rare and historically significant,” Ponterio added. “It is dated the 14th year of the Zhìyuán era (1273 A.D.), inscribed with the denomination at upper left and the ruler’s name and date at lower center, Khubilai Khan, the fifth Great Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan (1260-94). It is among the earliest known Chinese 50 Tael Sycee ingot.”


“We have received a wide array of important world paper money consignments for this sale,” stated Bowers and Merena’s director of currency auctions, Matthew Quinn. “A splendid selection of Iranian notes from the 1920s and 1930s figure prominently among the highlights in this auction, and they include a stunning Choice Uncirculated 1 Toman note dated 1.6.1920 and attributed as P-1b. Also of note is a China, Republic, 5 Yuan dated 4.10.1914 and attributed as P-34. The note grades Very Fine and is significant because examples of this type are usually seen only in remainder form without signatures and perforated ‘canceled,’ which is a fate this note escaped. We anticipate strong bidder competition for these and other important world paper money lots in this sale.” (more…)


By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics

Well its not really the summer just yet, but by the way this show was you’d think it was the middle of July!

As always, we have nothing but great things to say about Mary Counts and David Chrenshaw (of Whitman Publishing) and staff for unquestionably putting together a great show. They have everything well organized for both dealers and the collecting public. They have made the Baltimore Show a “must attend” event for everyone.


Sadly, this show was not to be one of their best. We do NOT hold Whitman at fault. It was more market factors and timing (Long Beach was less than 2 weeks ago). Not very many national level dealers attended (many West Coast dealers stayed home). We did not hear of many dealers having even good shows. Our show overall ended up better than we thought-but we were very disappointed in our retail sales. Better gold coins in MS63 and higher made up over 75% of our sales.

Not many dealers had expected this to be a good show. Typically when that happens, the show usually turns out ok. This time, it did not. The strongest activity occurred BEFORE the show with dealer to dealer WHOLESALE. Once the show opened for set up-things immediately died down. It seemed many of the dealers in the room simply did not want to buy and were more intent of selling and raising cash. However, they seemed to be “stuck in mud” because they refused to face reality and sell their coins at the new market levels. Thus activity stalled out. We had never heard so many dealers moaning that they had sold NOTHING as of Saturday morning. (more…)


Bowers and Merena’s Official Auction of the Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention in March Includes Choice AU 1870-CC Double Eagle as Part of the Southerly Collection

1797 Small Eagle $10IRVINE, Calif. – Bowers and Merena Auctions, America’s leading rare coin and currency auction house, makes its first trip to Baltimore in 2009 for the Official Auction of the Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention set for March 24-28. The auction will take place at the Baltimore Convention Center and begins with lot viewing Tuesday, March 24, to Friday, March 27, followed by the three-session auction on Thursday, March 26, at 6 p.m. EDT, and Friday, March 27, at noon and again at 6 p.m. EDT.

The auction is highlighted by two standout, multi-million-dollar collections. The Southerly Collection offers a variety of distinguished coins including a top-notch Choice AU 1870-CC Double Eagle as lot 3909. This 1870-CC Winter 1-A is graded AU-55 by NGC and is the single highest-graded example of this famous frontier-era rarity known to PCGS and NGC. Also raising the bar in the Southerly Collection is a highly elusive 1797 Small Eagle Ten. At lot 3786, this 1797 Capped Bust Right Eagle, Small Eagle, BD-1, HBCC-3175, Taraszka-7, Rarity-5, is graded MS-61 by NGC and represents the rarest of only three issues in the Small Eagle Capped Bust Right Ten-Dollar gold series. NGC Census reports just six, with a mere four finer through MS-63. Lot 3785 is a very rare 1796 Capped Bust Right Eagle, BD-1, HBCC-3174, Taraszka-6, the only known dies, Rarity-4, in NGC MS-61, boasting a population of just nine with just six finer through MS-63.


Baltimore Show Report by Doug Winter


dichotomyI went to this the November 2008 Baltimore show with limited expectations. Having spoken with a number of dealers whose opinions I respect, I knew the buzz wasn’t exactly encouraging. I would say that my overall impression of the show was that it was a little better than I expected but had I gone with normal expectations I would have returned disappointed.

You can’t fault Whitman for anything that went wrong as the show was very well run (as usual). But collector attendance was unquestionably lower than what I would have expected for the last major show of the year and many familiar faces were either absent or were speed-walking through the aisles trying not to be tempted by the coins in the cases.

What was most noticeable at the show was dealer uncertainty and a clear dichotomy in market savvy. While most dealers did want to purchase coins, they were extremely cautious with their purchases. If a coin was fairly priced, something out of the ordinary or appeared on a valid want list, it probably sold. If it was priced at summer levels, not especially attractive or rare and not terribly desirable, it might have been used as a Numismatic Frisbee.

I mentioned a “dichotomy” among dealers. What exactly does this mean? There are a number of dealers (currently around 20-30%) who understand that the economy is lousy and that coins are harder to sell and have adjusted their prices accordingly. But there are still many dealers who appear to be in denial and are either not willing to sell old inventory at lower prices (and take losses) or are pricing new coins based on what a comparable piece might have brought at auction earlier this year. These dealers will either learn the hard, cold realities of a new market or, hey, will be supersizing your value meal by the spring.

How much is the market down since the heady days of late spring 2008? I’d say in many cases between 20% and 30% and in some cases a bit more. But not all coins are down. In fact, I think there are areas of the market that are just fine. As an example, I would be happy to purchase as many nice EF40 to AU50 No Motto New Orleans half eagles and eagles as I could find at levels comparable to what I was paying four or five months ago; as long as the coins are choice, attractive and dates that I consider to be desirable. (more…)

Final 2008 PNG Seminar Scheduled for Baltimore Show

As part of the PNG Share the Knowledge seminars series, Anthony Swiatek will present a consumer education lecture on November 21, 2008 at the Whitman Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention.  (Photo credit: Donn Pearlman)(Fallbrook, California) – The last in a year-long, nationwide series of Professional Numismatists Guild “Share the Knowledge” educational seminars for collectors and dealers will be conducted at the upcoming November Whitman Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention.

PNG member-dealer Anthony Swiatek of Manhasset, New York will discuss, “What Are the Perspicacious Ways to Collect and Invest in Coins and Currency?” The program begins at Noon on Friday, November 21, 2008, in room 303 of the Baltimore Convention Center. A complimentary light lunch will be available for audience members.

“I’ll help collectors learn how not to lose, but rather make money, while enjoying our hobby. It will be an insightful look at reading between the lines of questionable advertised offerings, becoming more enlightened about numismatics, and learning how to detect counterfeit coinage – an apparently increasing problem with some merchandise being offered in online auctions,” explained Swiatek.

Known in the hobby as “Mr. Commem” for his research and writings about United States commemorative coins, Swiatek also is a former President of the American Numismatic Association and a long-time consumer education advocate.

Founded in 1953, the Professional Numismatists Guild is a nonprofit organization composed of many of the top rare coin and paper money dealers in the United States and seven other countries. PNG member-dealers must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic merchandise.

“With the upcoming program in November, the PNG will have conducted ten Share the Knowledge seminars in 2008. Programs were presented at major conventions in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Long Beach and Phoenix. This is a testament to our organization’s motto: Knowledge, Integrity, Responsibility,” said Gary Adkins, PNG President.

For additional information about PNG, call (760) 728-1300 or visit online at For information about the Whitman Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention, go to

Legend Numismatics Baltimore Spring Show 2008 Market Report

Legend Numismatics Market ReportFunny how things work. We expected this to blow away Long Beach, but for us, it ended up the quieter show. Overall, we still did several hundred thousand in business and unlike Long Beach, we did do some retail. The only thing we could not do: BUY COINS! Yet again, the floor was beyond dry. NOTE: We had commented that at the last LB Show you could “bowl down the isles.” An attention seeking know-it-all type dealer who has nothing better to do than troll gossip boards for biz, made some comments on a chat board that this was not true and that we had our backs turned. Well, that was BS and we totally stand by that comment and ALL our observations for the Long Beach show. Ask any major dealer who has attended that show for years, the public attendance is badly declining. There is no specific reason.

The Baltimore Show simply had too many odds going against them this time for it to be a great show. Having a major show the week before was the #1 problem. The overal uncertainty of the economy probably was #2 (i.e high gas). #3 bad luck with the killer heat (weather). And last, #4-many collectors along the East Coast simply are waiting for the summer ANA Show at the end of July (which is also in Baltimore). Dealers certainly were burnt out from all the recent travel. Less then the usual amount of summer dealers attended (so it seemed). Still, everyone who was there clearly tried to make the best of it. If you had nice and fresh coins, they immediately sold the first day or to the first person you showed.

Surprisingly to us, the collector turn out was a little heavier than what we thought it would be. However, it was still incredibly less than what the March show brings in. Many substantial dealers felt (for them) the show really ended by 10 AM Friday. Very few stayed for Saturday. We ourselves did NO business Saturday at all and we were bone tried, so yes, we left early.

We strongly feel this show should NOT be used to measure the market, it was most likely an abberation.

Yet again, we congratulate Mary Counts, David Chrenshaw, and all the Whitman people for working hard to put on what clearly has become the BEST privately owned show in the biz. We just wish circumstances could have been better for them this time around!

Read Full Market Report Here 

Two weeks. Two shows. Too much?

Douglas Winter Market Report – Baltimore and Pheonix

Doug Winter Market ReportI love the Baltimore show. Unlike some conventions that feel like they are in a death spiral, you can clearly sense that this show is fresh, healthy and on the upswing. And this year’s first edition was excellent.

The only negative about this show, at least for me, is the epic day-long schlep that entails getting to Baltimore from Portland. If anyone reading this would like to exchange trips on their private jet for U.S. gold coins please feel free to propose a trade immediately.

I spent two full working days in Baltimore. The first, a Thursday, was essentially a wholesale-only day. As you will probably guess, the usual “it was hard to buy and easy to sell” mantra held to form. Except that this time it was exceedingly hard to buy and really easy to sell. Every dealer I chatted with, even those with reputations for exageration, confirmed this. In the world of nice, interesting coins it’s as dry as the Mojave on the bourse floor!

My second day, a Friday, was more of a retail day. From the opening of the show until the end of the day I had a constant stream of serious buyers at my table. Most walked away with a new purchase or two and most seemed very enthusiastic about the show. (more…)

Whitman Baltimore & ANA Phoenix Shows Host Next PNG “Share the Knowledge” Seminars

The second and third in a year-long series of free Professional Numismatists Guild “Share the Knowledge” educational seminars will be conducted in conjunction with the Whitman Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention on February 29, 2008 and at the American Numismatic Association’s National Money Show™ in Phoenix on March 8, 2008. A complimentary light lunch will be available at both programs.
Robert Rhue
Robert Rhue of Denver, Colorado, a member of the PNG Board of Directors, will present a seminar entitled, “Collecting Coins, Medals and Tokens From the Back of the Redbook,” at Noon on Friday, February 29. The one-hour program will be conducted in room 303 of the Baltimore Convention Center.

“If you want to learn about many interesting areas of numismatics apart from Federal issue coinage, come to this short overview seminar on ‘the back of the Redbook’ (the popular, annual reference, A Guide Book of the United States Coins). Knowledge is king, and knowing more about Territorial coins, Lesher dollars, errors, patterns, Hawaiian coinage and other fun, esoteric areas, might just someday present an opportunity for you that could translate into a pleasant financial reward,” said Rhue.

Internationally known bank note expert, Tom Denly of Boston, also a member of the PNG Board, will present a seminar entitled, “The History of U.S. Paper Money and How to Collect It,” at Noon on Saturday, March 8, at the ANA’s National Money Show in room 102-A of the Phoenix Convention Center West Building. (more…)