by Warren Mills
The Baltimore Show was a little early this year, hosted in October instead of November. The spring and fall shows usually attract more dealers to the convention than the summer. So I was hoping for an influx of many fresh coins than the June show due to the larger bourse. The amount of coins was not the problem; it was the lack of high-end, nice pieces for the grade that gets tiring to see. It’s never easy to find great material unless a collection drops into your lap. So you put your head down and go on the hunt.
I was able to fill coins for some of our trusting want list friends. As for finding regular inventory coins, I came home with a yawning total of 20 pieces. I hope I never get to the point where I compromise my standards just to sell something. There were the scattered offerings of CAC pieces here and there, but they were few and far between. Unfortunately many of the larger collectors are holding CAC coins for themselves and not offering them for sale at the shows. I feel that if you are acquiring coins worth $1,000 on up, it makes no sense to settle for a marginal piece when a CAC sticker will afford you more liquidity and desirability. I know human nature dictates to find the bargain basement deal, but the compromise may cost a lot more in the long run. However, choose all of your coins wisely. I’ve seen many CAC coins that are undeserving of the sticker.
Prior to the show a dealer ordered 3 coins from our inventory to hopefully sell in Baltimore. I asked him how our coins did for him and he said on the first day that dealers came around to the tables, they sold first thing. Keep in mind, these knowledgeable dealers were willing to pay more than our retail price to acquire these coins for their customers! That right there is a statement about RCNH.
A few dealers came up to me at the show and asked for my opinion on coins they either bought or were considering. I am always happy to help dealers or collectors in any way I can. So if you see me at a show or would like to bring in or send something to our office, please always feel free to.
A very knowledgeable and longtime dealer approached me at the show with an interesting concept. He said that he thought that PCGS and NGC should do away with the Pop reports! The average buyer does not realize that resubmissions could throw off the ability to determine true value. One coin he mentioned to me was a piece with a PCGS Pop of 8. A scarce coin, but he knows that that coin was resubmitted at least 6 times, so it is rarer than people really know. His feeling was that why should information be disclosed that a novice could use when it’s taken him 40 years to learn what he knows now. I understand his thoughts, but a truly knowledgeable buyer is always the best buyer in my book. It is great if they pursue the hobby and learn that high-end coins command nice premiums, and that strike, toning, luster and minimal abrasion along with eye-appeal can greatly influence pricing. Seeing numbers in print is helpful, but having a truly superb coin in hand can have a large influence on the price.
Attendance was marginal with no real buzz to the floor but, I left on Friday. Others told me that the public made a good showing on Saturday and some excellent coins found new homes. This is a period of getting while the getting is good. If this market can get off the mat and move up, prices could escalate in a hurry.