It was an interesting show and experience this year! Paul and I left early on the morning of January 3rd for the sunny climes of Ft. Lauderdale. It gave us an extra day before the show opened on Wednesday afternoon to do some business and view auction lots for our clients. One of our clients wanted me to look at (4) 1892-O Morgan Dollars all graded the same in MS-65 condition. I hope you know by now that we do not care what the holder says. We need to see the coin to verify the grade! I thought three of the pieces were commercial over-graded examples and one was a real gem! The lots go off and the three commercial examples sold for around $3,700 each. Grey sheet bid is $6,500. The true gem brought over $10,000! Wow…that goes to show that if you try and sell great coins, they bring strong money and are in strong demand. That was the theme of the auction. Accurate strict for grade coins were very strong and commercial junk was left for telemarketing fodder.
The show opened to a nice buzz of activity. Dealers were looking for coins. The next day, collectors came in and were actively filling want lists. A super fresh group of over 100 crisp original 1932 $10 Indians broke and the nicest pieces were snapped up immediately. There was a lack of great coins for the grade on the bourse. You had to work hard to find nice coins. I wish collectors would try harder to seek education in what they buy. Many early bust coins were stripped and collectors were purchasing them for their sets. It’s sad to see because it is the educated buyer that buys the best for the grade and leaves the rest. Then they end up with a great, always in demand collection when they sell; re-read the 1892-O Morgans in the auction.
Then on Friday, we heard an awful announcement from the message center about the shooting at the airport. I felt bad because my first thought was how is that going to affect our traveling plans. I asked the Lord to forgive me and offered up prayers for the people that were adversely affected. The police presence and heightened security ratcheted up dramatically. It’s a sad thing to see that society has degraded so much. The show however, continued to hum along. Many streets were closed off outside and when we came back from dinner, police motorcycles and tactical unit buses were everywhere, heading to the airport.
Saturday was devoted more to assisting dealers changing flights and conversing about the events on Friday. One dealer was so tight on his budget that I paid for his flight home! The folks that run F.U.N. were great. We asked them for permission to leave early and they said “no problem.” We wanted to get to the airport early to be sure we could get through security and check if our flights were still leaving on time. We also had a storm coming up the coast and many flights were cancelled. However, the Lord delivered and we managed to touch down at the airport before 12:00 a.m. God was very good to us.
I took some time to speak with some old time dealers that amazed me about the deals that broke years ago. I may interview some of them for our newsletter. Scott Travers was kind to invite me to his seminar which he said he would give me recognition, but I was too busy looking for coins. Overall, F.U.N. was a strong show; the best in years and security was great.
I also wanted to mention that two numismatists from the Liberty Seated Collectors Club brought an 1872-S Seated Half in AU-55 PCGS for Paul and I to see. It was straight graded, even though it was obviously cleaned. They asked me to examine the coin. It was a very deceptive counterfeit! It was so good that I could not tell. The giveaway was the die marriage between the obverse and reverse was incorrect. Also, with lax grading of cleaned coins, diagnostics are removed, so it is harder to tell. Bottom line….this coin also fooled PCGS. We’ve been warning for years that a tidal wave of counterfeits is coming. It’s time to get prepared. Also, try to buy original coins where diagnostics can be examined.
Alas, our new purchases are a bit meager. I was able to find some great coins, but many went to our existing want lists. We’ll try to have them on our website soon. If there is anything I can help you with, please call or e-mail me anytime.