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Legend Numismatics Market Report: The Fun Show

By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics

legend_market_report_logoTHE 2010 FUN SHOW

First, congratulations to the FUN people. Yet again they show that hard work and listening to what we all want can make for a great show. There are only three “MUST ATTEND SHOWS”, FUN, ANA Summer, and of course our own COINFEST. Attendance was as strong as we have ever seen it. The overall activity was healthy too.

LEGEND PAID $1,495,000.00 FOR THE $20 1927-D PCGS MS66!

We had our eyes on this coin since Heritage announced they had it in auction. But a funny thing happened in Decemeber.

Legend is proud to announce in December 2009 it bought and sold the Eliasberg $20 1927-D PCGS MS66. The purchase and sale were by private treaty. The buyer, a real collector happens to be new to coins. The Eliasberg coin is believed to be the FINEST 27-D in MS66.

The reason why we purchased the Heritage coin is 100% proof of what we have been saying. Really wealthy people are trolling for great value. The collector who bought the coin from us did it on our say so. We knew that by placing the Eliasberg coin, there was one less buyer for a 27-D. Thus, we took a “shot” on the coin in the sale and it worked. There is no question we got the “rip” of the auction. 27-D $20’s in MS66 are pretty much a $2 million dollar coin (although this coin is clearly not equal to the Eliasberg coin)! The last time we stalked a big coin like this, was about 4 years ago and we purchased a Ultra High Relief PCGS MS68 for $1.8 million out of a FUN Sale (of which we were immediately offered $2 million). Sometimes people are so confident a coin will bring x, they simply do not follow it.

Legend has now bought and placed THREE MS66 27D $20’s-The Dallas Bank coin (which mirrors the Eliasberg coin), The Eliasberg coin, and the Connecticut State Bank coin (this purchase). We do not think any other dealer comes close to having handled as many.

Also, with this sale, Legend has now placed million dollar coins with SIX DIFFERENT collectors! NO OTHER DEALER (not counting auctions) has come close to that either. Again, its not just bragging, its POWERUL proof as to the strength and more importantly confidence of the participants in today’s market.

LEGEND BUYS THE FAMOUS 1807 ELIASBERG -BLAY 25C PCGS MS67

This is a wonder coin of all wonder coins! We have been trying to buy it ever since the Eliasberg Sale in 1997 (as have many other collectors). It was purchased on behalf of a collector. Collector Stuart Blay purchased the coin directly from the sale for approximately $200,000.00.

Only the PCGS MS 1796 25C could rival this wonder coin. There are no other MS 25C anywhere near it. The coin now resides in a major type set that Legend is building (we also bought the 1806 50C from the Heritage sale for that set). When all is said and done, every coin in the set will be a jaw dropping monster!

Yet again, this coin proves that there is serious money seeking serious coins. This is the exact type of coin the money wants. If we could find more coins of this calibre, we could buy them all and have many happy customers. We are not afraid to “step up” to the plate on unique coins like this. Sorry, we can not divulge what we paid for the coin. We can however state that is was substantial and reflects what we feel the coin would have sold for in auction. When the Type set is complete, it will be displayed.

We thank Mr. Blay for allowing us to buy the coin knowing we had the perfect home for it.

THE 1913 NICKEL

WOW! Congrats to the new owner-who we are told is a finest time coin buyer! We misfigured the coin and never bid. The fact the coin sold for $3.7 million proves how strong the coin market is. Plus, the fact that it was to a totally new buyer, also proves how the coin market has yet again expanded. Heritage did a phenomenal job and actually had THREE serious players on the coin in the end!

Even if you only buy MS66 Morgans, this still means something. It shows that money is flowing into coins with incredible confidence. The impact of this Nickel selling so strong we think will expand the market even further.

THE HERITAGE SALE

KABOOM! The Heritage sale did not have any explosive huge collections. It had many single coins that were phenomenal, a small group of monster Saints, and three coins that sold for well over $1,000,000.00! Platinum Night was incredible!

The room was packed. And it wasn’t packed with lookie-loos wanting to see the Nickel sell. It was packed with real buyers.

Here are some crazy highlights:

The Bickford $10 Gold Pattern $1,265,000.00. This is the ONLY available specimen. The other is in our BRS Legacy Collection

1C 1823 PCGS AU58 $32,200.00
1C 1909S VDB PCGS MS65RD CAC $7,187.00
3CS 1870 PCGS PR66 CAC $7,475.00
5C 1902 PCGS PR67 CAC $12,650.00
10C 1888 PCGS PR66 CAMEO CAC $4,025.00
20C 1876 PCGS MS67 CAC $54,625.00
50C 1806 PCGS MS65 CAC $97,750.00 Purchased by Legend
50C 1900 PCGS PR66 $10,925.00
50C 1945S PCGS MS67 $17,250.00
$2.5 1905 PCGS MS67 CAC $8,625.00
$10 1911 PCGS MS66 CAC $20,700.00
$20 1913 PCGS MS65 CAC $53,187.00
$20 1924 PCGS MS67 CAC $17,250.00

The Jay Brahin consignment of Saints consisted of several coins all of amazing quality. The results for those coins PROVE yet again (yes, another Legend yada, yada) what buying the BEST quality you can afford can do for you.

We went in to the sale with the attitude we were going to buy 3 of the 7 Brahin Saints. We bought only two-and missed one-the 25S because believe it or not, we got distracted by a phone bidder on an upcoming lot! We did have strong bids on the 1929 as well (we sold that coin to Jay). Here are the three we bought:

1924D PCGS MS65 $138,000.00
1926D PCGS MS65 $253,000.00

We couldn’t care less about what any price guides valued these at. You can NOT buy coins like these. The 24D is universally regarded to be a MONSTER MS66 (yes, its graded MS65)! The thing looks like a semi proof like Gold Eagle. The 26D is the sleeper rarity that does not exist. We had an “MB” down next to it and weren’t afraid to step up on it. The 30S was a “no brainer”. We had sold a nice MS64 for $135,000.00 in December. How could this KILLER piece not be worth at least $200,000.00?

BACK TO OUR LAST MARKET REPORT

Some people made fun of our remarks to “buy coins now”. The FUN Show PROVED we were right. We walked EVERY isle at least 3X and could not buy anything neat. You want widgets and dreck? There was plenty of that.

If there is NO supply of great coins, PRICES WILL GO UP. We strongly believe it is only a matter of time now.

Traditionally after FUN collectors absorb their purchases and sit out until around the Feb Long Beach. This year will be different. We saw too many collectors who want to buy coins-NOW. They want to finish their collections (or are just starting them) and they are telling us they have money and want park some of it in coins. The BIG difference is we are still dealing with collectors. These people may be thinking investment, but they are not speculating and causing a bubble in prices.

The rare coin market has unquestionably survived-and even thrived better than all financial markets in the past year! That is amazing.

HOW ARE CAC COINS DOING IN THIS MARKET?

Many people asked us that. The answer is clear: incredible. Just check out the auction results. Unless a coin is a “crack-out”, the majority of CAC coins clearly bring more then coins with out the green bean. CAC is stronger in the marketplace then a year ago and demand is still growing rapidly. Until coin doctoring is eradicated, CAC WILL remain an important part of the market. In fact, we can not sell a coin over $10,000.00 these days without a sticker as demand now calls for it.

SUMMARY

The FUN Show was great! 2010 has started off strong from OUR point of view. Collectors want coins and there certainly is no glut of supply. Great coins are bringing great prices. We see tremendous strength for 2010.

The go-go years of accepting marginal quality, non eye appealing coins are over. The public has spoken, the services are responding and as you see, money is being spent.

As one “billionaire” said to us: there are only a few hundred million dollar coins worth approximately $350 million total: THAT’s NOTHING!!!!!!! He is right, just look how big the art market is for painting OVER $10,000,000.00 each! Again, when there is strength in the upper tiers, it does pass thru the entire market. So the sooner the dreck is gone, the sooner the coin market will see strong gains.

Remember: “there is NO substitution for quality”.

WHATS HOT?

CAC GOLD leads the way (especially GEM Saints-just check the crazy auction prices). Bust material. GEM MS+PR Walkers. Half Cents and Large Cents. Pretty much most coins OVER $50,000.00 (so long as they are priced right, had real rarity, and the quality is there). To us a HOT coin isn’t something we sell. Its something we see is heavily in demand and the prices also reflect that honestly-not being set by a dealer).

WHATS NOT HOT?

MS+PR Indian Cents. We know a small GEM set worth about $1 million was broken up at the show-but the audience consisted of a few players. In auction and on the floor, this area is NOT HOT (if it was, the set would have never made the floor and been sold intact and we were told the dealers wouldn’t put the money up to buy it either). MS Seated and Barber coins. Only a handful of better dates bring strong money. There does not seem to be much overall interest right now. Buffalo Nickels in MS. Patterns are quiet again. We highlight this because we are the largest pattern dealer in the biz. We want to make sure people see we tell it like it is. Dreck not only is not hot, but its barely holding any market. If a coin is even 10% off quality wise, its worth multiples LESS now.

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