Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.
|April 2017 Issue|
A Newsletter By:
It’s hard to believe that another month has come and gone. When you read this issue, I’ll have returned from the Baltimore Show. My hopes are that we will have some nice new purchases for your perusal. When I go to a show, I am always on the lookout for nice “want list” coins as well as just conservatively graded pieces to add to our regular inventory. Unfortunately, there are less and less conservatively graded coins on the market. As the cream gets skimmed from the top, the solid and high-end examples are the first pieces to find new homes. It’s an exercise in futility to constantly have to search through low-end and over-graded coins that remain in the market for a long time, but it is now the nature of the beast. The hope is always to be diligent and wade through the commercial fodder for the odd high-end pieces, and that’s what I do at every show.
We do a lot of “want list” searching for our clients. Whenever we are fortunate to be entrusted with a “want list,” we try to inform our clients about the importance of patience. Patience in coin collecting is a virtue! When you are looking for the best coins for the grade, the reward of patience can be great. I have on many occasions passed on ten or more pieces to find the right coin for a client. In many instances, I don’t find the coin that I feel will protect our clients’ interests and preserve our reputation of handling the best coins for the grade. It’s a delicate balance. It costs us business, but our reputation means everything to us.
I’d like to cite two recent examples. A very knowledgeable collector came to me to find a nice high-end gold coin for his collection. I found him a really top notch PCGS MS-66 piece. It took some time, but he was patient. We sent the coin to CAC and it stickered. The customer loved that coin and was happy to include it in his collection. An unforeseen circumstance came up a year later and he needed to sell the piece. He sent it to me and I recommended that we resubmit the coin. Off it went to PCGS after I cracked it out and it now resides in an MS-67 holder. Again, patience is its own reward.
The second example is also about a customer that wants some dated C & D mint gold coins for his type set. Now dated gold is a mine field of alteration and over-grading. I expressed to my associate to explain to our customer that these coins will be hard to find due to over-grading and compromised surfaces and that I would only be comfortable getting CAC approved pieces to protect our reputation and his interests. His response was that CAC is a gimmick. I was a bit shocked and said that CAC coins in most instances bring substantial premiums. If he would take five or ten minutes of his time and check auction records, he will confirm that CAC is no gimmick.
I find that in many instances, when people buy from certain dealers, they try to discredit organizations or companies that are truly consumer oriented. I’ve seen it in the past. When clients were working on Seated or Bust coinage sets, I’d always recommend that they stick with original surface coins for the grade. The uniqueness of character on an original coin is a reward on its own. I can’t tell you how many times a collector would come back to me and say that he or she was told they are all cleaned anyway! Well, obviously, that’s not the case. If you are patient and get the right education, you will not only have coins with superior value but also coins that the most knowledgeable buyers will always want.
Good hunting and I hope you will give us a try to satisfy your “want list” acquisitions.
Partner and owner of Rare Coins of New Hampshire, Inc. since June, 1990 and a full time coin dealer since 1979. Warren is a full member of the Professional Numismatists Guild and a life member of the American Numismatic Association. He was selected by the Rosen Numismatic Advisory as one of the ten leading numismatists in the country for twelve consecutive years. He was selected by PCGS and written up in their newsletter as handling and submitting some of the nicest coins they have ever seen.
A Voice From The Financial World
Suggesting that Rare Coins be an Integral Part of One’s Gold Diversification Strategy
By Paul V. Battaglia
Yes, I noted this article within the body of Kitco.com on Friday, 17 March 2017 entitled: “Are Rare Coins Part of Your Gold Diversification Strategy?” Kira Brecht penned this article. Kira has been writing and analyzing the financial markets for over 20 years, etc., etc., etc. Please, Google her for a thorough biographical sketch of this well-informed individual.
Her article comes right to the point. She plainly suggests your adding all types of MS-63-MS-65 U.S. coins (gold) as part of your strategy. When was the last time we saw such an article, readers?! My point here is that my more investor-minded customers/readers ought to give the article a few minutes of your time.
Such a plug further strengthens U.S. gold (and silver) coins from an individual who has shown to be informed and open-minded. I will return next month with a more expansive article.
My warmest wishes,
Paul Battaglia is the Senior Numismatist and a Life Member of the ANA. He travels with owner, Warren Mills, to the major coin shows across the country. Paul has 50+ years numismatic experience and has been with RCNH since 1990. He also cherishes reading, cooking, language, music, classic cars, lily/orchid culture, chess, economic statistics, differing viewpoints and FISHING.
By Dave Carleton
It’s early in March and I wasn’t going to write my little missive until later this month, but when I came into my office yesterday morning on March 6th and started reading my messages, I was shocked to hear that a person I held in high esteem, Larry Edelson, had passed away on Thursday March the 2nd. Larry has been a contributing editor to a publication called Uncommon Wisdom Daily. We met Larry back in 1999 when out of the blue we started getting all kinds of calls from his readers.
I’ve been approached by many newsletter writers offering to recommend us in their publications. I’ve told them to go for it and then they say, of course we would need to be compensated for any business that results from our recommendation. That always sets me off and I tell them that if you really cared for your readership, you would recommend the best company to your readers just because it’s the right thing to do. It also tells me that in many cases the recommendation is for the company that gives the greatest kickback.
Having said that, Larry Edelson never asked us for a Nickel and he continued recommending us since 1999. I have never shook hands with Larry but Warren has on several occasions. Larry’s recommendation of RCNH was particularly regarding Bullion purchases of Gold and Silver because of our ethics. Warren tried to get him to recommend us for Numismatics and the way I heard it, he told Warren that he’d like to recommend us but he’d also have to recommend a couple other companies and he wasn’t comfortable with any others at the time and that it would look strange to just recommend us.
I’ve followed Larry’s writings about hard assets, gold and silver for over 18 years now and in retrospect he has figuratively speaking “nailed it”. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I wish I had directed more of my investment dollars toward some of Larry’s recommendations but in many cases I got sidetracked with our business. I have told many people about his track record and have gotten lots of positive feedback from them over the years.
I’m really saddened by our loss of Mr. Larry Edelson and would like to express our condolences to the Edelson family. I’ve always looked forward to reading Larry’s perspective on the world and his views will be sorely missed.
David Carleton, a New Hampshire native was introduced to coin collecting by his father and Grandfather in the 50’s. Gold bullion speculation dominated the 70’s culminating in 1980 when focus on Numismatics returned. He became a life member of the ANA , met Warren Mills (his coin Guru) and they cofounded RCNH in 1990.
“I’ve Done My Research”
By Joseph Presti
When I sit with people who have called to bring in their coins for an evaluation, most of the time, within the first five minutes of speaking with them I hear “I’ve done my research and I know” this or that is rare or worth x. Here is a word of advice to those neophytes, you may have done research but you don’t know what your coins are worth.
After I snicker at their veiled attempt to let me know not to rip them off because they know what they are doing, I explain that they can do what they want with my appraisal. Sell all of their coins, sell nothing or sell part of their collection. After they get more comfortable, I show them why their research is often flawed.
One of the more common websites that people visit to value their coins is coinflation.com which I believe is owned by Collectors Universe. This site gives the full actual melt value of U.S. silver coins. Once I evaluate their coins and I make an offer for their 90% silver coins, sometimes they are taken back because their research told them their coins are worth x% more. After I tell them to sell it to the website and explain that the value given on the website is the actual value their silver quarter is worth in a perfect world had there been no wear on the coin. I also explain the website does not take into consideration market conditions. It is then a very simple equation, I know what I can get for 90% silver on the market and I know how much profit I have to make to pay expenses. I subtract one from the other and that is what I can pay.
Another source of consternation are values for Wheat pennies and Buffalo nickels. Once I tell people that I will pay two cents for a circulated Wheat penny and they complain that a website said it was worth 20C, I then offer to sell them as many as they want for three cents. I also tell them for me to get three cents I have to have bags of 5000 coins, they then understand why their 20 Wheat cents are worth two cents. Then I explain about condition and how what they are looking at for values do not necessarily reflect the condition of their coin. They usually get this.
My last and favorite example of how research can get you in trouble was a woman who called with a collection of “very rare” silver dollars worth tens of thousands of dollars. I made the appointment and could not wait for her to come in with her coins. In she came a couple of days later, we sat down and she carefully unwrapped her coins. What she showed me were several circulated Morgan dollars worth $20-$25 each at the time. You could see the disappointment overcome her as she already had the money spent that she was going to get from her coins. After questioning her as to why she thought her coins were worth so much, she explained that she got a Redbook and looked them up. The coins looked “perfect” so she opened her book, found 1880-O $1 and followed the prices over to the MS-65 column and discovered her coin was worth $25,000! Wrong! I then had to show her about grading and what the coin had to look like to be worth that and she got it.
The lesson is know your limits. You would or should not diagnose yourself with an illness from the internet, go to the doctor when you are sick. It is the same with coins, find an expert that you trust and take your coins to them for an appraisal. Know that they are going to have to make some profit when they buy your coins, that’s why they are in business and then make an educated decision. If you cannot find a dealer you are comfortable with or can’t allow them to make a profit then pass the coins along to a family member, but whatever decision you make, don’t look back, keep moving forward.
Questions From Our Mail Bag
By Warren Mills
"Thank you Rare Coins of New Hampshire. Love the newsletter and recently purchased a 1901 Morgan Dollar, very happy. I’m a collector with several new directions in collecting, thanks to all of the staff at RCNH, a collector for 38 years. I recently reviewed the ANA grading standards. That’s the basis of grading and the basics for me. It seems to get a little blurry with 3rd party grading. Isn’t the ANA the grading standard these days?"
Thanks for your question M.T.
I still refer to the Official ANA Grading Standards for United States Coins, myself. However, I find this grading guide useful for circulated pieces only. Keep in mind that even on circulated coinage, the standards on some series has changed. The grading of circulated 20 Cent Pieces and Seated Liberty Dollars are a classic example.
The Sheldon grading system is a point derived grading scale ranging from 1-70. Originally developed by Dr. Sheldon to grade early copper coins, it proved so popular that it was adopted by the general coin community that it became the standard for grading. Today, the Sheldon system is more widely accepted for the mint state and higher quality proof coins in grades 60-70.
I believe that you may be confused regarding commercial and conservative grading. Commercial grading means that a coin may be acceptable from a market grading perspective but not from a technical grade perspective. A commercially graded coin usually will fall apart upon closer inspection. It may be bright due to dipping but the coin may have problems with hairlines or marks even commercially graded toned coins may have nice color but be terribly abraded but at arm’s length, the pieces look fine.
I have found that coins should be graded on a balance perspective. Eye appeal, strike, surface abrasion, luster and originality should all enter the equation. If you have a well-balanced coin that is technically graded as well, you will find that you normally will have a better collection. Keeping these 5 grading criteria in mind doesn’t mean that all 5 will be perfect. In many instances, when I examine a coin from a balance perspective, it will allow me to buy a coin where 4 of the criteria are strong but maybe the strike isn’t full, or the coin may have a bit of a noticeable mark or the luster may not be blazing. I hope you get the point. If you are too technical, you may never buy any coin. By the nature of the minting process, every piece will have a problem. If not, all coins would be MS or Proof 70’s. Try to be conservative with your grading, find a good mentor and buy what you like. If you do these things, others will also appreciate your coins too!