RCNH will be located at table 1116 at the the January F.U.N. Show in Tampa, Florida from Wednesday 1/6/16 to Saturday 1/9/16. If anyone would like to come by and say hello or have coins appraised, free of charge, please feel free to stop by table 1116.
Over 200 Years of Combined Numismatic Experience at Your Disposal.
|December 2015 Issue|
A Newsletter By:
MY COIN JOURNEY PART VI
By Warren Mills
In our November newsletter, I shared my professional background through the early 1980’s. In 1982, I resumed my numismatic career with Steve Ivy Rare Coins in Dallas, Texas. Steve’s mother was in the real estate field and she set me up with an apartment. I flew into Dallas and the next morning showed up at the office. There was a minor problem, I had only spoken to Steve off and on for almost two years and nary a soul knew who I was or that I was coming.
Finally, I was let in and was told that I could not work in the security area because there was no office for me. That’s where all the coins were. Steve is a cagey dude so I have no idea if this was a test, but I was a determined and unbowed individual. I asked if there were an unused phone and a jack into which I could plug and if I could have some space on the floor to work. I literally meant the floor with people walking by and around me.
I finally had a space, a phone and a working phone jack to call my “office”. I asked about some names of sales leads to call. Mike Sherman, who now works for Collectors Universe, was the Security Manager, and I was informed that the market was so soft in 1982 that leads were scarce and distributed to their existing sales staff. My response wasn’t to wallow in pity – I’m not a “woe is me” type of guy. I said, “give me all the dead leads and problem clients you have that will never do business with your firm again, and I’ll start selling coins.”
Mike brought me a box with hundreds of names and phone numbers. The notes on some of the folders and lead forms were priceless. Many who were previously contacted actually “threatened bodily harm or worse” if they were ever contacted by the company. Those were the first people I called! While I was speaking to one of these irate and unfriendly leads, one of the numismatists came in to introduce himself. Later on, he brought in another numismatist, and both listened to me as I called the ‘dead leads’; they both went back to Mike Sherman and said to find this new guy an office in the security area, even if it means throwing you (Mike) out! So Day One was full of fun and surprises, but I made the best of the situation.
Paul and I were off to Charm City, or is that Harm City? We arrived on Wednesday…the day before the show and were treated to glorious weather and temps in the low 70’s. From the airport, we went to dealer setups outside of the convention center to buy and sell coins. Both buying and selling were slow. It seems that there are a number of factors that are contributing to a lack of nice material in the market; and also a lack of liquidity. The Pogue and Gardner sales are taking a lot of money out of the market place. These Super Sales have many great coins and collectors in some instances are spending a year or more of their allowance to coins in these sales. Factor in the weakness for gold and silver and this is contributing to sluggish sales. Many dealers are waiting for something to act as a catalyst to get the coin market back in gear. It also acts as a Catch 22. If you have nice coins for the grade and the demand is off, you don’t want to sell premium quality for commercial grade prices. As a result, many dealers are holding back nicer coins for better times. So you should be able to deduce by now that pickings were slim. This also affects dealer liquidity. If someone is holding their good material back and not spending money to preserve some cash, the market and the show gets stagnant. Some of the larger dealers did not even show up! Many of the dealers that have a diverse mix of soup to nuts were selling generics just to raise cash. So overall, it was a quiet show. I’m thankful for the dealers that held a few choice examples aside for me or it would have been a bad show. We will be putting up new inventory soon but it will be spread out over a couple of weeks while waiting for some of the coins that weren’t CAC’d to come back with stickers, I hope?
The auctions were conducted by Stack’s Bowers and appeared to go well. The material we had in the sale was very well received and some of the prices we received for our lots were shockingly high. There were also a couple of lots that we were disappointed with but overall, our results were great!
Attendance was low with no real buzz in the room. Many collectors and a couple of dealers came up to our table and said they really enjoy our newsletter. I was happy to hear that. We try to mix education and market awareness along with past experiences to give everyone our perspective. If you aren’t familiar with our letter, go to the website and check it out. Any feedback or questions you would like answered would be appreciated.
Please feel free to offer us any coins you are thinking of selling. I am happy to look at them with no obligation. Last month I recommended to a couple of our clients that they resubmit one coin each. Both upgraded 1 point which added an extra $14,000 to one and $4,000 to another.
I really love the concept of CAC coins. It offers a layer of protection and the possibility for increased liquidity. In Baltimore, I examined coins for dealers and collectors in both the auction and the bourse floor that shocked me? Remember, CAC is run by people. You still must grade the coin…not the holder or sticker. Coins sometimes get stickered that shouldn’t, plain & simple, and vice versa. Give me a nice original coin for the grade every time, PCGS, NGC or CAC, knowledge is power.
Coin Rarities & Related Topics: News and Analysis regarding scarce coins, coin markets, and the coin collecting community, #301
A Weekly CoinWeek Column by Greg Reynolds ……..
Last week, the 300th installment of this series was published. I have been having a wonderful time viewing, analyzing and writing about terrific coins, many of which I dreamed about before I became an adult. I continue to be concerned, however, that many coin rarities have been or will be harmed by coin doctors, rarities that present and future generations of collectors may wish to cherish.
Rare coins are part of our culture. There will be more demand for rare coins over the long run if people are warned about coin doctoring practices on an ongoing basis and the problem is further contained.
Publicly addressing this problem is beneficial to the coin business in addition to being beneficial to collectors. Doctored coins often chemically transform over a period of months or years such that they become obviously disturbed.
“A collector may buy a coin that looks great at first. Five or ten years later, doctor-added substances may become obvious,” remarks Warren Mills, who has been a full-time coin dealer for thirty-six years. “A couple of weeks ago, I looked at a PCGS graded MS-65 High Relief Saint $20 gold coin that had putty all over it,” Warren relates. “What I am supposed to tell the client?”
Over 200 Years of Combined Numismatic Experience at Your Disposal.
|November 2015 Issue|
A Newsletter By:
MY COIN JOURNEY PART V
By Warren Mills
It was a time when I had about two years under my belt of amazing fun and learning about my hobby and new profession. It’s great to truly love what you’re doing for a living. However, I felt that I could not compromise my ethics. The coin market peak of April 1980 was followed by a very prolonged crash and pricing adjustment. It’s hard for a large company with huge expenses to cut those expenses all at once. It’s like a large ocean liner making a turn at sea. It really takes time.
At that time, I was working with some of the greatest numismatists that were ever assembled. Now this great team was asked by their management to sell coins that were way over-graded and a poor value. Were they to do this, this would be a compromising of their integrity. Many couldn’t do it and left or were let go if they complained. The company decided to hire professional salesmen that worked on commission and let the professional numismatists go. Unfortunately, it was too late. The ship was sinking and the new hires just picked at the bones of the carcass to fatten their wallets at the expense of customers and the company that hired them.
In 1978, I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree from Bentley University. Now I had to decide if I should pursue my major or continue to give coins all of my effort. I decided to take courses at Boston University’s Metro College and do coins part time. When I left the company, I had an offer to work for Kagin’s. I didn’t know too much about Kagin’s, so I thanked them and decided to start my own company and called it Mills Numismatics. It was nice to work on my own, but I hadn’t acquired enough knowledge to truly make a living at coins. I really was just dabbling in the field.
A few months after leaving New England, Steve Ivy began calling me. It was an honor to have a prestigious numismatist offering me a job. He informed me that if I accepted, I’d have to move to Dallas, TX. I told him I was not interested in moving, but I appreciated the opportunity. It was a surprise to me that Kagin’s offered me a position and now Steve Ivy was interested. It must have been the hand of God keeping me on the path. So for a year and a half, I declined Steve’s generous offers to give me an opportunity and continued to dabble and go to school. Then I began to realize that at some point the coin market would come into a new upcycle and since I loved it so much, why not get back into it!? And what better way than to get established with another big firm and wait for the new upcycle in coins. So at the end of 1982, off to Dallas I went for a wonderful new numismatic adventure and what an adventure it was!
What happened next was most interesting. I’ll share details in our December newsletter.