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All Posts Tagged With: "market report"

Some Observations About the 2010 Boston ANA Coin Show

To be perfectly frank, I hate coin show reports. I hate to write them. I hate to read them. I don’t care what restaurants a dealer went to and what they ate and I don’t really care that Dealer X spent this much money on those coins at the show. That said, I also know that the ANA is the show that everyone who didn’t attend wants to know about. So, with these people in mind, I thought I’d share a few random observations about the ANA.

On a scale of 1-10, I’d rate this show as a solid 6; possibly a 7. Overall, I’d say a was a tiny bit disappointed. I was expecting the show to be an 8 or a 9 because of the fact that it was the first ANA in Boston since 1982 and the fact that Boston is within a few hours of huge numbers of serious collectors.

I go to coin shows primarily to buy and from a buying standpoint I was reasonably pleased. I bought some great coins. These include an 1854-O double eagle in PCGS AU55, the Garrett specimen of the 1808 quarter eagle (graded AU53 by PCGS) and over fifty crusty original 19th century gold pieces, most of which have already found their way onto my website. I would have liked to buy more buy, hey, that’s what I say at every show; even when I’m wondering how I’m going to sell all the great coins I just bought. And, yes, this paragraph is self-promotion.

Attendance seemed good and the mood among dealers and collectors seemed upbeat and positive. I didn’t have any little old ladies walk up to my table with a New England shilling in a cigar box ( a fella can dream, can’t he?) but I was fairly pleased at the number of fresh coins that I was able to purchase on the floor.

I participated in three auctions. The Stack’s sale contained an interesting fresh deal of Liberty Head eagles and prices were amazing (more on this in a future blog). The Bowers and Merena sale was reasonably strong but prices were mainly reflective on the quality of the coins. In other words, nice coins brought good prices while schlock sold cheaply if at all. The Heritage sale was strong although prices didn’t seem as off the charts as in years past. With the exception of the eagles in the Stack’s sale the coins brought basically what they were worth. That sounds trite but, in past ANA sales, many coins brought alot (stress alot) more than they were worth. Alot.

In the area of rare gold, I noticed some definite market trends. Early date (i.e., pre-1834) gold was almost non-existent. Even the low end, overpriced stragglers that had been overhanging the market seemed to have disappeared. I can’t remember an ANA at which I saw fewer early gold coins nor a major show that I purchased fewer.

There was extremely strong demand for Type One double eagles. The coins that nearly everyone seemed to want were common and somewhat better dates in AU50 and up, especially in the $2,000-7,500 price range. Demand was also strong for interesting Type Ones in the $10,000-20,000 range. Its hard to say what demand was like for expensive, really great Type Ones as there were almost none to be seen at the show. (more…)

THE BOSTON ANA SHOW – Market Report by Legend Numismatics

First, we would like to congratulate the ANA and its entire staff for putting on a great show. Unlike so many previous years, this show was more open to everyone. We heard no real complaints about the show itself.

Legend Numismatics also wishes to thank all of our friends who stopped by our table to do biz or say hi.

We also wish to thank the ANA for displaying the Simpson Bickford Pattern Collection and for NGC for displaying the Simpson $10 1804 Gold J-33 and silver $10 1804 J-34 (worth $6 million combined)!


We were wrong. This was NOT the incredible “blockbuster” we had expected. However, we will declare it was the next best thing: a GREAT SHOW! From the time we set up (within the first 15 minutes we had a serious crowd of buyers at our table) until the very last coin we sold Saturday afternoon (a six figure coins too), activity was pretty much non stop. It was interesting the lulls came Wednesday morning and Thursday morning. You could easily tell when a new wave of collectors arrived in town. We have not heard about the attendance, but we’d bet anything it was far more than last years ANA in LA.

Legend had our BEST show EVER. BUT, we will only categorize it as great because our big customers stepped up (which we do not really count). We ended up spending nearly $8,000,000.00! Our sales were OVER $6,000,000.00. Needless to say, we have a blizzard of paperwork that will keep us working 23 hour days for the next week or so. Still, we sold more McClaren coins than ever and we sold dozens of coins from our cases. Our average invoice from the show to collectors was about $7-14,000.00. That’s rare these days, but that was the least we expect from an ANA Show.

You WILL LOVE our NEWPS. We searched hard and bought only the “best” of the “best”!

So far this August, business for Legend has been staggering. We see little let up in the strong demand for quality coins. We doubt this will change anytime soon (however in late August there is small summer lull).


We find this true story interesting. Dealer #1 is a long time wholesaler who basically is a “sheet”/CCE buyer. He does not sell great quality but does sell a lot of generic gold and other less expensive items (and yeah a lot of dreck). Dealer #2 is an up and coming retail dealer who sells real quality.

On Saturday we chatted with both. Dealer #1 was devastated he had a horrible show. But then we looked in his case and he just drecky stuff left to sell. Dealer #2 grabbed us and complimented us on saying how strong the show would be,. Dealer #2 had his best show ever.

The fact that one is wholesaler and the other retail is NOT the difference. Both have coins on display, both will do business with anyone who walks up to the table.

It was an issue of QUALITY. We have been telling you dreck is become totally undesirable. Which case would you buy from? A case with a few beautiful coins, or one with many ugly looking ones? Quality does rule. We cannot stress enough that if a coin is not 100% all there, its worth MUCH less-if wanted at all. (more…)

Legend Market Report – THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

Even though it was very volatile, the first half of 2010 was pretty amazing in the coin market. Gold hit an all time record price in excess of $1,200.00. A new “worlds most expensive coin” was crowned when the 1794 $1 PCGS MS66 sold for $7,850,00.00. We witnessed many coins hit record price levels at auction. And the hobby took several huge steps forward to self police itself (we still have a long way to go in that area). In all, we saw a lot of positive events happening.


We’re going to step out on a limb with a bold prediction. The second half of 2010 will be the strongest on record barring any major catastrophes or gold suddenly taking a prolonged plunge.

We can say that with total confidence from being a real “insider’ in the marketplace. If you thought that hamburger ad from years ago: “wheres the beef?” was dramatic, then just watch as time goes on and EVERYONE asks, “where are the coins”?. Right now there are many series we could not start or even finish MS64 or higher sets in. Gone are the days when we’d be offered one or two truly GEM Bust halves or rare high grade Morgans at a show. Rare gold? First, you have to wade through all the dreck to find the nice properly graded coins. Even then you won’t find many that are truely rare. Demand is not slowing one bit. The hobbies standards have changed back to the original ones that meant a GEM is a GEM.

To set the momentum, we believe that this years Boston ANA Show will be the BEST SHOW EVER. There has not been one held there since 1982-and that was a great show. Pent up demand in the area sure will help. People forget, back in the last 60’s-late 70’s, Boston had been the heart of numismatics. There are still many great collectors and incredible collections hidden up there. Plus, it seems everyone knows someone who lives there. We have heard of far more people going to attend than last years disaster in LA.

The coin market is actually quite healthy. Supply does NOT exceed demand. And demand is not weak. We think a small problem that does exist (and always has) is the fact no matter how many time you tell people, the coin market is NOT like the stock market. Yes, it is volatile on a short term basis, but you can not expect it do rise 10-15% every year. In reality, coins are a VERY long term hold. Even we have said 5 years, but realistically, its more like 10+ to feel the full effects. Just study the great old time collections. They put coins away for 30+ years and they blew away all other investment returns when they sold. The better the collector, the better the return.

Our optimism is not a case of a dealer hyping the market. In case you haven’t noticed, Legends customer base is affluent and can buck market trends easily, so we do not need to hype anyone or anything for sales. We see what really goes on and we report it to you like it is. The first half of 2010 we unexpectedly had RECORD sales. In June alone we SOLD $10,000,000.00! That’s a real number. In fact, in a few weeks (before the ANA Show) we will be making the first of SEVERAL major announcements concerning major acquisitions or sales we have done recently. If we could find the coins (we’re not even talking about the big game trophy stuff), our sales would be $20,000,000.00 immediately!


Geez is this market crazy. The swings gold has taken recently have even stumped the group we call “forever gold bugs” (if gold is up-they say it will never stop going up, if its down, they buy all they can). We have still seen the bottom line of the large players continuing to stay their courses and buy. In the recent Heritage FUN Auction, ALL MS66 CAC $20 Saints sold for $3,750.00-$4,000.00. In fact, ALL CAC gold sold WELL ABOVE the current levels. You know it was not dealers buying the coins (for a fact we know of TWO MAJOR groups who are buying ONLY CAC MS65 or better generic-semi-generic gold). The quality DOES indeed make a huge difference in the case of gold coins. These days its easy to tell why one MS66 Saint is $2,700.00 while the others sell for $3,750.00 or more! Do NOT think for a minute the cheaper one is a bargain-we have a saying, “sometimes cheap is not cheap enough”.

Legend Announces Purchase and Sale of the SECOND FINEST Set of MS Seated Dollars

By Laura Sperber as Part of the Legend Numismatics Market Report

While everyone is waiting for the “big announcement” from PCGS, we have an important one of our own!

LEGEND NUMISMATICS IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE The purchase and sale of the SECOND FINEST Set of MS Seated Dollars

Having built and sold the all time finest ever collection of MS Seated Dollars left us hungry for another challange. Little did we expect the challenge would come in the form of another MS Seated Dollar set!

For the past few years Legend has been building the second finest set of MS Seated Dollars. Only the FINEST PCGS/CAC GEMS on the market were included. This collector was inspired by our #1 set and wanted to build a set as close as possible. We are extremley proud of the collection we built him. A few of the highlights of this incredible set are: 1840 PCGS MS64, 1853 PCGS MS65, 1868 PCGS MS66. The purchase price was well in excess of $1,000,000.00.

The new owner of the collection is our own limited partner, Bruce Morelan. His love for MS Seated Dollars never faded after selling his collection (which ranked as the third highest dollar value transaction for a collector assembled set-in excess of $10,000,000.00!). He and Legend will be searching hard for the few pieces were never included in the first set, and to make this second collection as complete as possible. Legend relishes the challange Bruce has given us.

As you can see, the principals of Legend deeply believe in the market and have put huge sums of money into it. Its our strong feeling that NOW is truely one of the BEST times buy properly graded, eye appealing,truely RARE coins. You can not go to major shows now and even major auctions and find anything cool in any frequency. Coins like GEM MS Seated Dollars just are not around.

We look forward to completing this set, we love the challenge. If you have or know of any FINEST KNOWN PCGS MS Seated Dollars, email or call Legend. We are also highly aggressive on ALL rare high grade PCGS/CAC coins. (more…)

The Size and Scope of Today’s Rare Coin Market

By laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics

The following is a portion of Legend Numismatics Market Report………

“Its drives us nuts when we read the misinformation from a bunch of “know it alls” on chat rooms who think they have collective power in the marketplace. Here is why they are aren’t even a pimple:

Heritage Rare Coin Auctions (the worlds largest) and Blanchard and Co (the worlds largest telemarketer of coins) combined we believe have OVER 250,000 UNIQUE active collectors on their lists. Both of them do heavy marketing to the outside world. Both of them are helping to continually expand the rare coin market. There are several other huge telemarketers who do substantial business-but we just wanted to point out how big these two in particular are.

There is also a little thing that Al Gore created: the Internet. That has to be good for over 1 million plus people buying rare coins in some fashion. There are hundreds of coin companies they can go to. There are several places they can now find to help them learn about coins. Even though it is a dangerous pit, Ebay is probably still one of the largest entry points to the coin market.

When Legend comes home from a major show, we know that between 10,000 and 25,000 UNIQUE visitors check out our web site the first week. We have been steadily gaining new customers-and lately we have seen a small wave of people brand new to coins who want to spend big (like the collector who bought the Eliasberg $20 1927D PCGS MS66 from us in December). These people have money and they want to put it in something solid. For many reasons, coins fit the bill. Our customer base numbers in the THOUSANDS. We are not out to be the biggest retailer. The way we operate, supply would inhibit us anyway.

We chatted with a real billionaire at FUN about the market. He had been seriously thinking about putting $50,000,000.00 million in. In the end, he knew he could not buy the coins he wanted. A number I like that would have driven prices up dramatically overnight-just by word of mouth that someone is trying to spend a huge amount. We have been telling everyone how we know of a few seriously big monied players who are slinking around today looking to buy “big game” rarities. The collector who we purchased the other $20 1927D PCGS MS66 (FUN Auction) for $1,495,000.00 did so because he thinks its cheap. After he bought it he asked us: “got anything else?”. If we could find the coins we could sell $10,000,000.00+ instantly and easily. (more…)

As the 2009 Coin Market Comes to a Close, Where Are We and Where Are We Headed?

By Doug Winter –

With the year nearly over, we are heading towards a slow few weeks in the coin business followed by what is certain to be an interesting FUN Show in January 2010. As we close the year out, I thought it would be interesting to look at a few points and ask where we are and where we’re headed.

dw_may09_5wvalueI have been through some odd coin markets (1982-84 and 1992-1994 come to mind) but what we are currently experiencing is pretty much unique. We are seeing a market where coins that were considered unfavorable a few months ago (bullion and semi-numismatic) are now what everyone wants and “real” coins are as hard to find as at any time I can remember.

The demand for generic U.S. gold, especially double eagles, remains as strong as I have ever seen. The premiums are as high as I can remember. As I write this, gold spot is at $1,140 per ounce (after having broken the seemingly unreachable $1,200 barrier last week) and an average quality MS60 to MS62 Saint is trading for $1,600-1,700. This 40%+ premium over melt for a low-end Saint is easily the highest I can recall and I think it’s pretty remarkable considering that you had to beg people to buy the exact sort of coins a few months ago at a 10% premium.

I am beginning to see some profit taking in the generic market and I think this will continue for a short period, possibly evaporating the premiums. That said, with the current sad state of the American dollar and the worldwide demand for gold, I wouldn’t be stunned to see gold break $1,500 in the next few months and a lower quality Saint to be worth close to $2,000 (!)

What about the rare coin market? It is, in its own way, experiencing topsy-turvy conditions not dissimilar to generics. The big difference is that there is good supply in the generic market but very limited supply in the rare coin market. (more…)

Legend Numismatics Mid October Rare Coin Market Report

By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics

The coin market seems to be doing just fine-and maybe even gaining a little strength.

legend_market_report_logoLast week we were knocked down pretty much by illness in the office. It was a bigger deal for us to lift our heads than any coins. So we did not do much in sales, nor did we attend any shows. Can’t even say we did much on the phone either. However, we did have numerous sales off our web site (click and buy) and we did send our coins with a stealth selling team to the Silver Dollar Show in Saint Louis. Unfortunately we’re still a bit under the weather and this week we will be at half strength at best.

Off the web we sold coins ranging from a McClaren coin for $295.00 to a $9,000.00 coin. An FYI about the McClaren deal: in the three months we have been working on it, we have SOLD coins to SEVERAL HUNDRED different collectors. The actual number astonished us. Our guess is we will sell about 11,000 coins direct to collectors. Two weeks ago, we did sell 25,100 BU Morgans to a dealer in a substantial transaction. We are saving only the BEST coins for offering to our customers!

A lot of people ask why we need stealthy sales people at shows. Dealers are a wacky bunch. If you look at some the wrong way they get spooked. There is one bigger dealer who once said to us, “if you can’t sell it how can I”. Well he has since bought many coins from us via our sellers. Plus, the team can canvas the floor with more time and energy then we could since our main object is to buy. It surprises many people when they find out Legend actually one of the bigger WHOLESALERS around. We feel WHOLESALE is a critical function for our business-but retail is ALWAYS our #1 operation. Legend has also stopped consigning its coins to auctions as we have seen little in terms of good results. Old fashioned face to face selling is much cleaner and better. Do note, that we do NOT give out consignors coins to our team without disclosing so.

Each one of our sellers sold a single coin for at least $10,000.00. ALL reported VERY good shows-which is important information to us and our customers. We don’t know much else until Tuesday when we get the checks and paperwork! They said some generic gold was being bought (a week before the big gold houses weren’t even buying because their inventories were so bloated). We did not hear of any big Type selling-it sounds like that are is still a little weak. Morgans had some life and we know Walkers are still selling strong!

Legend Market Report – EARLY OCTOBER

By Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatics [Excerpt]


legend_market_report_logoWe see things firming up. We were amazed at how many NEW collectors have bought from us since September 1. No, its not just the McClaren coins. They want nice coins. We have not heard anything about speculation. Most are starting sets. Some just like a certain design. They are not buying token cheap coins-several bought low five figure pieces. The main thing, these people are buying coins. We have even seen some old friends come back who we haven’t seen in months or the past year. While demand is firming, there is no wholesale dumping of collections that we have heard of. In fact, we wish there was-the biggest problem right now is finding neat coins. Where are all the GEM Bust Halves, MS65 Seated Dollars, or PR Gold pieces?

The market should firm up even more between now and the end of the year. There will continue to be certain areas of weakness (unfortunately MS+PR Barber coins still seem sluggish), while other areas-like long suffering commems may finally have hit price points so low they have to move up. There are definitely more people today building nice Commem sets that we have heard of than at any other time in the past few years.

And gold, well generics are doing the correction we told you about. You will see MS65 Saints fall another 10%-even if gold goes up (the movement of gold is by traders, not pure demand). MS66 Saints have held and are still in demand. Last week, we posted two better MS65 $10 Indians PCGS MS65 CAC-we wish we had 7 of them! That’s how many of them we could have sold. So long as the coins are not in an area that ran up to high, gold is a safe place to be and will continue to firm. Just watch the rags to see which common gold coins are now falling.

Remember, buying rare coins is not a short term flip. You buy them for the long term. The long term is really forever- maybe one day in 15 years you happen to notice they have gone up dramatically (unless your dealer has called you in between). There is no set time limit. The trick is to BUY THE BEST QUALITY YOU CAN AFFORD AND HOLD. EYE APPEAL IS EVERYTHING. Even if you buy 5 MONSTER MS65 Morgans and hold them, you should do well. Buying ugly coins cheap will not get you anywhere near the % returns great coins will achieve. The coin market had walked a very dangerous path until two years ago. Grading was almost out of control and the coin doctors did serious damage. Today, the coin docs are a bitter bunch who still try hard, but do not get as much through as they used too. The grading services realize they need to be alert not only for their own sake, but for the future of the entire coin hobby. Because of this, we see more consumer confidence and more buying down the road. As long as the speculators are wiped out and true collectors rule, the coin market will enjoy steady slow rises.

Expectations For The Coming Long Beach Show

By Doug Winter –

I first thought about writing this last week and when the question of “what are my expectations for the September Long Beach show?” popped into my mind, the immediate answer was short and sweet: “Expectations? I have no expectations.”

generic_gold_blackBut that was before gold made its inexorable sprint towards $1,000. Suddenly, the no-go coin show might grow some legs.

Do I think that $1,000 gold is going to bring a stampede of buyers into the show? Possibly but this answer has a big asterisk. And this asterisk is as follows: there will probably be a larger than average crowd at Long Beach but that vast majority of these people will be browsers, tire-kickers and lookie-loos. Will some of these newbies (or resurrected buyers) come prepared to spend? Possibly but I would assume that the typical man-off-the-street at Long Beach is looking to buy a Saint or two and not a piece of Proof gold or even—gasp!—a Dahlonega half eagle.

The most noticeable effect of gold’s sudden spike will be felt on the wholesale level.

Many collectors don’t realize this but gold prices have been driving the wholesale coin market for quite a few years. The reasons are simple. Many of the biggest players in the wholesale rare coin market are also big players in the generic gold market. They have clients who are marketers and these marketers sell a lot of coins like MS65 Saints and MS63 Indian Head eagles. When the gold market is hot, orders for these generic coins skyrocket. The position of generics that the wholesale dealers own suddenly increase in value and cash flows improve accordingly. And fat, rich, happy coin dealers tend to buy more rare coins.

The retail segment of the market tends not to realize that dealers, in some ways, are the biggest coin weenies of them all. Every dealer has a list of dates or types that he/she is a sucker for and they will buy these coins purely on “spec” just because they like the coin. As an example, I am willing to support the market for a coin like an 1861-D gold dollar not because I necessarily have it pre-sold but because I like the story behind the issue enough that I want to own nice examples of this issue when they become available. But in a generics-on-steroids market like what we are in right now, dealers who typically might pass on an 1861-D dollar could have interest in this coin. (more…)

Rare Coin Markets in August 2009, Part 2

By Greg Reynolds

This is the second part of my August market report (Read Part One Here) regarding scarce or rare U.S. coins, with a focus on bourse activity at ANA Convention in Los Angeles in early August, along with references to pre-ANA and ANA auctions. This part mostly includes analytical comments from experts relating to copper, nickel and silver coins, along with some passages relating to very rare gold coins. Analytical remarks of mine are found herein as well. I suggest reading Part 1 first. Next, please see my companion article on the growing price gap between high end and low end coins.

Numismatic landscapeIn addition to a relative increase in demand for high end coins on the bourse floor at the ANA Convention, there was intense trading in many areas, partly because there was so little fresh material available. Most market participants, who properly recognize the current levels, are cautiously optimistic about the near future. There is a good chance that underlying market levels will hold steady or increase slightly over the next few months. Keep in mind that I am talking about pre-1934 scarce or rare coins, or condition rarities, not generics or bullion items.

The market for generics is driven by speculators, and mass marketing operations, and has little to do with coin collecting. Generics are very common, often hundreds of thousands or millions are known of specific coin issues, and collectors only buy a small percentage of them.

Since numerous market participants in 2009 are gradually adjusting, or refusing to adjust, to the lower levels that have prevailed for months, it would be easy for some to get a false impression that coin trading is very slow and demand is falling. Volume is considerable, and, on average, market prices were holding steady or increasingly slightly. Most of the market declines occurred in the last quarter of 2008 and the spring of 2009. Many of the declines were not then recorded in price guides, which are becoming relatively less useful for scarce or rare coins.

John Feigenbaum has “seen Morgans drop quite a bit lately. Buffaloes are soft as is Proof type.” Steve Contursi agrees that the market for “Proof silver type is soft.”