Boy it’s dry out there and I am not talking about wanting a drink. The recent Baltimore show was an awakening for the lack of material that was or more accurately was not available.
Paul and I arrived on Wednesday morning and made the rounds of the dealers who we usually see before the show starts and sold most of our nicer coins wholesale. Thursday morning the show opened at 8:00 AM and by 10:00 we began hearing complaints from dealers about what a horrible show it was because of the lack of fresh material. I spent the next few hours looking at auction lots which turned out to be a waste of time not because there weren’t any nice coins but because the few coins I found to bid on went for ridiculous prices. A prime example was a beautifully Wayte Raymond toned Bust 50c in PCGS AU-55 that sold for $2260 (not a typo) plus the 17.5% buyers premium, that is MS-63 money!! Nice coins were bringing stupid money both in the auction and on the bourse floor.
On Friday some dealers started leaving the show by mid-afternoon and by Saturday almost half the dealers were gone. The lesson here is that if there were nice coins available or activity of some sort dealers would have stayed as long as possible to do as much business as they could.
We are being besieged by dealers before the show opens for an opportunity to buy our nice original coins. I’d love for us to place more coins with our retail clientele but dealers are stepping up to pay our prices. It’s a classic catch-22. We step up with great coins but we can’t replace them! Our CAC percentages show how great our coins are. We consistently get 80-90% of our submission stickered. Most dealers at the show say they are getting 5 to 20%.
You will notice our new purchases are very small from Baltimore. We don’t compromise our standards because we want our clients to know they are always getting the cream of the crop. I have to say, we are very nervous about the abundance of certified slag in the market. People are lapping these dogs up too! It’s a shame. Just remember, real quality doesn’t cost, it pays. If you don’t know what real quality is….allow us to show you.
On another note the fear of fake bullion products is fast becoming a reality. We have a client who wanted to trade a 100 oz brand name bar of gold for another form of bullion. We called several bullion dealers that we routinely do lots of business with and were quoted prices within an acceptable range. One price however took us a little by surprise; their price was almost $2000 more than the next highest price with one caveat. Because of the fake bars that have been seen over the past year this dealer would pay the higher price if he could cut the bar in half and melt it in our presence. This should confirm that this potential problem could mushroom in the future and a reasonable alternative would lead to an increasing demand for $20 Liberty and Saint Gaudens coins.
If you want to discuss what we observed at the Baltimore show or what we see occurring in the bullion markets please call one of our numismatists anytime.