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Legend Market Report – The Mid Winter ANA Coin Show

By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics


More collectors turned out than we thought would come. Dealers wise the attendance was weak. For the dealers who buy and sell coins similar to Legend, said they had weak shows. We heard the dealers who sold cheaper “collector coins” did very well.

Legend had a huge show, but we are not going to count it as normal.

Luckily we bought TWO coins for OVER $500,000.00 each that were on Want Lists. Take away those transactions, we did VERY little selling at our table (although we did sell EVERY Sonnier colored Morgan we brought).

Our stealth selling team did ok, not the usual robust sales they had been doing, but acceptable. And buying, forgettaboutit! The majority of our NEWPS are from deals we purchased at the office.


Yes, you can buy dreck (low end, UGLY, problem coins) easily at this show. One of our friends was saying he had possibly his worst show EVER, but looking in his case, it was easy to see why. This show was the driest we have EVER seen ANY show in our career. Other dealers of our calibre told us the same thing. THERE WERE NO FRESH AND NICE COINS TO BE FOUND. If you had given us $100,000.00 to buy nice Type, we could NOT have filled the order at this show. We also got out bid often in the Heritage sale. Nice coins easily brought strong money.

Our predictions about BUYING NICE COINS NOW, is finally coming to a head. There is nothing out there. PRICES HAVE TO GO UP.

Like many other dealers, we had a “paralyzed” show because we could not find the right coins to trade in. You also had the “wait and see” factor from many WHOLESALE dealers because of PCGS announcement.

It is our strong opinion the UNDERLYING rare coin market is extremely healthy. We know our Want Lists are substantial (again, we bought TWO coins for OVER $500,000.00 EACH for WL’s) and we can not find the coins. However for the next 30-60 days it will seem volatile with minimal action due to the changes by the grading services and the severe lack of coins. The only major show in April is Central States at the very end of the month.

After people have paid their taxes and everyone is more comfortable with the grading changes, watch for prices to start drastically moving up on “better” coins. The prices guides totally are going to miss it. Your best way to track prices, follow as many MAJOR auctions as possible.


The much hyped and anticipated announcement was finally made by PCGS. We think it is a HUGE POSTIVE step forward in the fight against gradeflation and especially in fighting coin doctors. PCGS has this cute little machine that looks like a mini waffle grille that laser images a coin. So they now have a record. Should that coin ever be messed with and resubmitted, the machine will tell them.

They also will FINALLY be bringing more attention to PQ coins. A + will now be added to coins with top technical grades and killer eye appeal. This should help further separate the dreck from the great coins.

The ONLY problem, we do NOT understand the grading. We saw coins that should NOT have had the + while other coins SHOULD have had it and did not. We were totally confused and bewildered. With all due respect to PCGS, we grew up in this business trained to grade only one way using the system that has been in place for well over 25 years. We just can’t stop and change overnight into a confusing 700 point scale. Until we learn the new system and really understand it, Legend will continue dealing the way it always has (looking for the BEST coin in holders) and ALL COINS WILL HAVE CAC STICKERS THAT ARE SOLD BY US. As far as we know, the new + service will NOT effect how CAC stickers coins.

We believe this new system will be work in progress for some time as things are still evolving. The “crackout” guys definitely do not like it, so it must have tremendous potential. We are highly optimistic about what the future holds for these new developments.


We know Commems were trading. We were really out of the loop this show.


DRECK (sorry, but its the term we use)! Can’t help it if the chat room weenies do not want to hear that. But junk is junk and people were not buying the stuff. And again, something like an AU53 1894 50C is NOT dreck! An UGLY MS64 Bust Half is!

Read the Full Market Report Here

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