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All Posts Tagged With: "Registry Sets"

Coin Rarities & Related Topics: The B&M Auction of the Malibu Collection of Standing Liberty Quarters

News and Analysis regarding scarce coins, coin markets, and the coin collecting community #27

A Weekly Column by Greg Reynolds

I. The Malibu Collection

In Baltimore, on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010, B&M auctioned the ‘Malibu’ collections of Standing Liberty Quarters (SLQs), Liberty Seated Halves and Liberty Seated Dollars. Though I have a strong affinity for Liberty Seated coins, I will focus here on this collector’s Standing Liberty Quarters (SLQs), as his set of SLQs is phenomenal.

Since the collector who formed the Malibu collection wishes to remain anonymous, Malibu will be employed here as the code name of this collector and of his collections of specific series. All the Malibu collections auctioned in Novembers were of business strikes. In January, B&M will auction the Malibu collections of Proof Liberty Seated Quarters and Liberty Seated Halves, in Tampa, just prior to the winter FUN Convention.

II. Malibu SLQ Registry Set

Among the collections that Malibu has formed so far, the Malibu set of Standing Liberty Quarters (SLQs) is the most famous. In the category of “Basic” sets of Standing Liberty Quarters with Full Heads on Miss Liberty, the Malibu collection is the second “All-Time Finest” in the PCGS registry.

All of the quarters in Malibu’s set have a ‘Full Head’ designation from the PCGS, and the FH indicator is best referred to as part of the grade, though it is technically a designation that is considered separately from the numerical grade. An MS65FH SLQ is generally considered to be ‘of a higher grade’, so to speak, then an MS-65 grade SLQ of the same date with a weakly struck head, which is typical for most dates of SLQs. For some SLQ issues, only a very small percentage of those struck have a full head (FH).

In the PCGS registry, the Malibu Collection of Standing Liberty Quarters (SLQs) has a weighted grade point average of “67.92.” Relatively scarce SLQs are weighed more than relatively less scarce dates. The rules of the PCGS registry provide for “bonus points” that are awarded to SLQs with FH designations.

The sixth “All-Time Finest” Basic SLQ set in the PCGS registry was formed by Pat McInally, who was the lead punter for the Cincinnati Bengals during the football seasons from 1976 to 1985. In 1977, 1978 and 1980, he caught a significant number of passes. In the NFL, it is very unusual for a punter to also be a regular receiver. McInally’s SLQ set had a “Weighted GPA” of “67.59.” While “67.59” not nearly as high as the “Weighted GPA” of the Malibu SLQ set, “67.92,” it is impressive. Also, Malibu’s set is the #2 SLQ set in the NGC registry as well, though Malibu did not fully update his listing in the NGC registry and some SLQs that were just auctioned are not listed.

Both the PCGS and the NGC registries provide the most weight to the scarcest dates. Generally, the 1916, the 1918/7-S and the 1927-S are the queens of the SLQ series, closely followed by the 1923-S and then the 1921. The 1919-D and the 1919-S are very rare with a FH, but not rare without. The 1920-S SLQ issue is also relatively rare with a FH.

In the PCGS registry, the “Basic” SLQ sets do not include the 1918/7-S overdate, though the ‘variety’ SLQ sets do. It seems that, according to the PCGS, the 1918/7-S is the only ‘major variety’ in the SLQ series. In my view, the 1918/7-S is an overdate that has the status of a distinct date; it should not be referred to as a ‘major variety.’

In any event, Malibu’s set is ‘100% FH’ in accordance with the rules for ‘Basic’ sets of SLQs in the PCGS registry. The #1 SLQ set is ‘91.89% Full Head’ because three SLQs in the set, including a 1927-S, lack a FH. The Malibu SLQ set is thus the “All-Time Finest” in the PCGS registry that is ‘100% FH.’ Indeed, on the PCGS ‘all-time’ list of Basic sets of SLQs, the Malibu set is one of only five sets that are both ‘100% Complete’ and ‘100% FH’! (more…)

The Dilemma of the Placeholder – Coin Collecting Strategy

By Doug Winter – www.RareGoldCoins.com

PlaceholderIf you collect a set (or sets) and are competing in the Set Registry, the chances are good that you’ve struggled with the Dilemma of the Placeholder. Let’s examine the Pros and Cons of buying a placeholder coin and try to decide whether this is a smart collecting strategy or not.

First off, let’s define what a “placeholder coin” is. I view a placeholder coin as one that you buy as a stop gap. As an example, say that you are assembling a set of Indian Head eagles. One of the few dates that you are missing is a 1911-D. One comes up for sale at auction in a grade lower than what you really want. You decide to buy it anyway because of the fact that it a) fills a gaping hole in your set and b) gives you a sufficient number of Registry Set points that you move up a notch and pass Collector X. Was this is a smart purchase or not?

Let’s look at the pros of buying a placeholder coin. The first is the measure of satisfaction that filling a really nagging hole can give. There is nothing more frustrating for our hypothetical collector than seeing a big ol’ ugly blank every time he looks at his set inventory – especially if he has a nice date run before and after the missing coin. Coin collecting is a very emotional hobby and the Karmic Value of filling a hole is hard to put a value on.

Another pro is the fact that a Placeholder coin might grow in appeal on the owner. I’m going to assume that as a collector you are smart enough to not buy something truly hideous and to at least hold out for a moderately attractive placeholder. You might learn that your placeholder is actually so rare that it represents the only coin that you are likely to have a shot to buy.

For some collectors a placeholder coin represents a practical decision. Let’s say for example that you are assembling a gold type set from the 19th and 20th centuries and that you don’t have the ability to spend $100,000+ on a nice 1808 quarter eagle. In this case, a decent looking coin in, say, an NCS holder with EF sharpness but with signs of an old cleaning at $40,000-50,000 might be a savvy purchase; especially given the fact that an uncleaned 1808 quarter eagle in this price range might take years and years to locate.

For every pro there is a con, so now let’s look at the cons of buying placeholder coins. To my way of thinking, the biggest con about a placeholder coin is the fact that you know you are going to have to replace it. Unless the market goes up in your series, you are probably going to lose money on it when you sell it. Let’s say, for example, that Collector Z buys the mythical 1911-D eagle we discussed above. He purchases one for $10,500 that’s decent but not really a great looking coin due to the presence of some marks on the obverse. A year later he finds the right coin and it’s going to cost him $27,500. Unless Collector Z has a buyback or “trade up” agreement with the dealer he bought it from he’s probably going to take a 10-15% hit on the coin. Let’s say he’s sells it at auction and nets $9,250; a loss of $1,250. This brings the actual cost of his new coin to $28,750. (more…)

The Joshua II Collection of Mercury Dimes is the #1 All-Time Finest PCGS Registry Set and is being sold in Boston

Selling the #1 All-Time Finest PCGS Registry Set in any category is an honor, and Heritage fully appreciates the hard work necessary to put the Joshua II Collection into that position. Completing the all-time finest set, especially in such a popular series, is an accomplishment of the highest order. In a popular series with thousands of collectors, the task becomes nearly impossible.

The consignor of Joshua II did it, and did it convincingly, and with the same style that characterizes his many other Registry leading collections. This set has a collecting background measured in decades, with such uniform quality across the series that the hard work of collecting is almost unimaginable. Heritage has been proud to offer many other collections, of equal quality and note, from this distinguished numismatist. s.

As might be expected from such a high quality set, many of the coins are the finest known of their date. In addition, every circulation strike dime has obtained with the Full Bands designation, and 46 of the 79 coins have the CAC affirmation as well. Each coin grades at least MS66, with the 1939-D, a date called “the quintessential type coin” by David Lange, reaching an astounding MS69 to go along with its full bands. Of course, the overall quality of this set is by no means limited to type coins; the key date 1916-D grades MS67 with full bands, and is one of only seven known in the grade from PCGS with none finer.

A collection like this has innumerable highlights; these are just a few:

All-Time Greatest Collection of Barber Half Dollars to be Auctioned in Boston, Part 1

by Greg Reynolds

On Wed., Aug 11, during the Platinum Night event of the Summer 2010 ANA auction in Boston, the all-time greatest collection of Barber Half Dollars will be auctioned. This set was assembled and consigned by Dr. Steven Duckor.

I. Overview

Here in part 1, I will introduce Dr. Duckor’s collection, mention the last two coins that were added, focus on his 1904-S half, and discuss the evolution of his set of Barber halves. In part 2, the historical and cultural importance of this set will be analyzed, along with references to other landmark sets of Barber Halves, including those of Thaine Price, Louis Eliasberg and the Norweb family. Plus, there will be some additional information in at least one of my Wednesday morning columns. Please read tomorrow’s column.

All of Dr. Duckor’s coins are authenticated, graded, and encapsulated by the Professional Coin Grading Service. During the Spring, the entire set was re-evaluated by the PCGS under the new SecurePlus™ program. Twenty-seven of Duckor’s halves received plus grades, Duckor himself reports, and “one coin fully upgraded to the next grade.”

In accordance with the rules of the PCGS registry, Duckor’s primary set has a “weighted” grade point average of “66.776.” With inclusion of the rare and recognized 1892 Micro O variety, his GPA drops a little to “66.72” The second ‘current finest’ set is owned by Dr. Peter Shireman and it is third on the “all-time” list. My guess, though, is that the Thaine Price collection is superior to that of Shireman. In accordance with current grading criteria, some of Price’s coins would merit higher grades than these received in the 1990s.

I am not referring to Dr. Duckor’s set of Barber Half Dollars as the ‘all-time’ best because it is the number one “All-Time Finest” in the PCGS registry, though this is so. I am referring to it as the greatest collection of business strike Barber Halves of all time because it is superior to any other, better than those that were disbursed before the PCGS was founded, and better than those that include a mix of PCGS and NGC certified coins. I have spent considerable time researching and analyzing the topic of business strike Barber Half Dollars.

Actually, so few collectors have even attempted to assemble gem quality, complete sets of business strike Barber Halves, it was not that difficult to determine that the Duckor collection is the greatest of all time. References to other sets of Barber Halves are central to an understanding of Dr. Duckor’s set. In terms of the culture of coin collecting, Dr. Duckor’s set of Barber Halves is perhaps the most important collection to be auctioned in Boston this August, even though tens of millions of dollars worth of rare coins, including several wonderful collections, will be sold.

Unfortunately, I am not able here to extensively discuss many of the individual Barber Halves in the collection. The objectives of this two-part series are to explain the importance of this set, to provide information about its evolution, to relate it to other sets of Barber Halves, and to discuss the meaning of this set in the context of the history and traditions of coin collecting in the United States. I will mention a few specific Barber Halves in my weekly columns, starting tomorrow.

Mark Borckardt, surely, did an admirable job of cataloguing Dr. Duckor’s coins. I strongly recommend that collectors read the catalogue. Even collectors who cannot afford these halves will find the catalogue to be educational and interesting. In order to understand the coins that a collector possesses, it is necessary for him or her to learn about coins that are not affordable. (more…)

New Registry at NGC for Early U.S. Gold Coins Announced

The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) has announced the addition of a new section to its registry for Early U.S. Gold Coins.

Noted as a pedigree collection and officially named American Independence, it will include Gold Quarter Eagles, Gold Eagles and Gold Half Eagles. It is the first time a new section has been added to the registry in years.

With this new designation, collectors will now be able to register and display photos of their early U.S. gold coins, interact with other collectors, and compete for awards and recognition.

The NGC is the largest coin registry of its kind, widely recognized as the definitive showcase of the world’s most valuable and important coins.

According to Scott Schechter, NGC Vice President, Sales & Marketing, “The newly-created early gold sets in the NGC Registry are definitely among the most difficult to complete. To attempt them is to undertake a long and serious pursuit. This underscores the achievement of the American Independence collection, which consists of high-grade and attractive examples of these challenging coins. As it continues to grow, it should be a milestone Registry collection.”

Tom Pilitowski is currently the exclusive representative of the American Independence collection and owner of U.S. Rare Coin Investments in Port Charlotte, Florida. “This new pedigree of Early U.S. Gold now makes these coins eligible for NGC grading and authentication,” Pilitowski said. “More importantly, it will bring attention to the historical significance of U.S. gold coins that date back to this country’s founding.”

Pilitowski is an expert on early U.S. gold coins and has formed many collections, ranging from an extremely rare 1795 9 Leave Eagle in MS-61 in what has been known as the Denver Collection to several sets of Early Half Eagles. (more…)

PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club™ Launched

Although most collectors and dealers may never personally own a seven-figure numismatic rarity, enjoying and learning about them now is easy and fun with the launch of the PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club™ (www.PCGS.com/Million-Dollar-Coin-Club), a free reference guide available from the Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com).

The “club” presently consists of 210 United States rare coins that have sold at auction for $1 million or more, or would sell for that much if offered, according to the expert opinions of five well-known professional numismatists. The list will be updated four times a year.

“Our estimate for the total current value of these 210 United States coin rarities is $475,515,000,” said David Hall, PCGS Co-Founder and President of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT) who is among the pricing consultants who prepared the list. The other four experts in the group are Ron Guth, President of PCGS CoinFacts; Kevin Lipton, President of Kevin Lipton Rare Coins of Beverly Hills, California; Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas; and Laura Sperber, Co-President of Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey.

Rankings and information in the PCGS Million Dollar Coin Club will be updated every three months online at www.PCGS.com/Million-Dollar-Coin-Club and in a printed, full-color educational booklet when more coins reach that mark and others already in the “club” bring new prices at upcoming auctions. The first edition of the booklet will be available from PCGS at the 2010 Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando, Florida, January 7 – 10.

“The first U.S. coin to reach the million dollar mark was the Eliasberg specimen 1913 Liberty Head nickel 14 years ago. It sold at auction for $1,485,000 on May 21, 1996. Today, there are 210 coins that would bring $1 million or more if offered in the marketplace,” said Hall. (more…)

PCGS To Dispaly All-Time Finest Registry Set of Early U.S. Half Dollars at FUN

1794 half dollar, PCGS MS61 finest known, from the Dale Friend Collection.More than 100 coins from the all-time finest registry set of early U.S. half dollars in the PCGS Set RegistrySM will be displayed at the Professional Coin Grading Service booth, January 7 – 9, 2010, during the first three days of the Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando. The coins are from the collection of Dale Friend of Nevada, and 20 of them are either the finest or tied for the finest ever graded by PCGS.

“This wonderful collection has been assembled over many years. Dale has always attempted to combine the finest technical grade with the choicest eye appeal. Most of these early half dollars have gorgeous, original toning and luster, and are a pleasure to examine,” said Donald E. Willis, Jr., President of PCGS, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

Friend’s basic set collection of circulation strike early half dollars, 1794 – 1839, has been ranked number one in the PCGS Set Registry the past six years. His set with major varieties has been the best the past four years. Both sets have earned the honor of being the number one all-time finest in their category.

“The basic set is 100 percent complete and has a weighted grade point average of 59.831. The early half dollars set with varieties is nearly 90 percent complete and has a weighted GPA of 59.104,” said BJ Searls, PCGS Set Registry Manager.

A total of 101 coins from Friend’s award-winning early half dollars collections will be exhibited at the PCGS booth, #138, at the FUN convention. (more…)

PCGS Set Registry Launches “Everyman” Coin Collections Category

The Professional Coin Grading Service has established a new category in its popular PCGS Set RegistrySM program, the “Everyman” Collections. No coins graded higher than AU58 can be registered in this category.

“The PCGS Set Registry is home to many of the finest collections ever assembled, but some collectors have stayed away from ‘the classics’ because the costs to acquire Mint State or Proof specimens are prohibitive. So, we’ve created a way for all levels of collectors, entry-level through experienced, to enjoy the fun and competitive nature of the Registry without spending a fortune on Gem Mint State coins,” said BJ Searls, Set Registry Manager.

“Major Registry categories will now have a separate Everyman Collections listing where the highest graded entry will be AU58. With Everyman Collections there’s a good chance your set will rank in the top 20 on the first page, rather than near the bottom of the third or fourth page of that group.”

pcgs_everyman The Everyman categories now available are:

o Half Cents
o Large Cents
o Small Cents through 1958
o Two Cents, Three Cents and Half Dimes
o Nickels through 1938
o Dimes through 1945
o Twenty Cents
o Quarter Dollars through 1964
o Half Dollars through 1963
o Silver Dollars through 1935
o Non-modern gold coins

Searls also announced a convenient new feature available as part of the “My Set Registry.”
(more…)

Heritage to offer the Single Finest PCGS 1925-D Lincoln Cent at Long Beach Auction

1925-D 1C MS66 Red PCGS. Collectors of Registry Set Lincolns are mostly keen, sharp-eyed, and deep-pocketed, making “men’s (and women’s) toys” from a series that most of us tried–and failed–to complete inexpensively from circulation coins, popping them into blue Whitman folders when we were young.

ha_25d_lincoln_090209In the highest Registry Set or Mint State levels, some of the various Lincoln cent issues turn the normal relationships between them on their heads.

For example, that ever-elusive 1909-S VDB: It was an immense prize, the rarest and among the most expensive coins in a circulated set. But in MS65 or MS66 Red, while still costly, it is far less expensive (per the PCGS online Price Guide, to which we refer throughout) than the 1914-D, the 1914-S, the 1915-S, or the 1917-S. (We do not mention the 1916-S, because PCGS has never certified an MS66 Red and therefore provides no price.) The 1918-S in MS65 Red costs four times the price of a Gem Red 1909-S VDB.

In the 1920s, some of the mintmarked issues provide even more stark differences. A Gem Red 1921-S costs twice what a Gem Red S VDB goes for. A Gem Red 1922-D (if you can find one) is about half of an S VDB in 65 Red–a bargain, in our opinion–but a 1923-S in MS65 Red will cost three times as much. And of course, the storied 1926-S in MS65 Red, the only one so certified at PCGS, has become a legendary rarity, a coin that we have handled twice.

The 1924-D and 1924-S are a similar story, and so are the 1925-D and 1925-S. Only with the 1927-D (but not the 1927-S) and later mintmarked issues do the comparisons and prices start to become more favorable.

The present Premium Gem Red 1925-D cent is one of just two so certified at PCGS, and needless to say, there are none finer, either technically or aesthetically. This fully brilliant Premium Gem has gorgeous orange mint luster, with bold design details for an issue that is a notorious strike rarity. In fact, the design definition is sharper on this example than on any other we have handled. The surfaces are frosty and pristine, entirely void of marks or spots. The coloration is a brilliant sunset-orange.

Registry Set collectors note: Of the top five PCGS sets, this coin would upgrade all three of the Current Finest Lincoln Cent Basic Sets, Circulation Strikes that display their inventory (PCGS has an option where you can display your set and ranking, but not its components). Two of those sets contain a 1925-D in MS64 Red; the third has an MS65 Red. Population: 2 in 66 Red, 0 finer (9/09).