Thankfully it’s over. It started and ended the same way….with a whimper. Don’t get me wrong, we were deluged the day before the show and the opening day, for dealers mainly. We sold almost $200,000 worth of coins and purchased $725. Most of that was dealer to dealer. Where have all the retail collectors gone? I am seriously thinking about giving up our table and just doing Wednesday and Thursday. Paul & Joe did the show for us. I took the time to stay at the office and rest my trick knee. On Wednesday I received a call from a prominent dealer thanking me for having not just new fresh material but also fairly priced coins. It was nice of him to call me from the show.
Some of you may have read about our frustration with PCGS and the original Long Island 50c that we sent for grading during the ANA (see our 8/28 article). Well I am pleased to say that after we sent the coin in directly to Don Willis, President of PCGS they graded the coin MS-66. Pictured below is the same coin in both the “genuine” holder and the MS-66 holder.
It is just a shame that it took two submission fees and postage to and from California and the time involved to get the grade correct. We are fortunate that as a dealer we know how to navigate the politics of grading but what about the individual that cannot capitalize on the contacts they have in the business?
I spoke with a client that I met about 15 years ago. He’s a nice man that loves coins but not an astute grader. I told him any time he needed help to let me know. He’s never spent much money with us but about once a year he’ll call to ask me if it’s okay to send up a batch of coins for me to grade. I say “sure” and charge him nothing just to help hone his grading skills. We actually do that for a lot of clients! He asked me if I remembered when we met. I said “I know where we met.” His response was “I tell everyone I know that is into coins the story.” I have to paraphrase now: “I came to see you and offered you an Isabella Quarter for $300. You said if you bought it, you’d be stealing it from me. That it is really worth more than ten times the number and that it should be certified. So I gave it to you and you sent it to PCGS and it graded MS-66.”
Every so often the grading services get it wrong. Well, this time they BLEW it! We recently submitted a gem originally toned Long Island commemorative (see picture) to PCGS for grading. As you can see the coin came back encapsulated questionable color. How ridiculous. This coin is one of Warren’s personal coins that he has owned for decades and comes with the original holder that Long Islands were issued in along with the outer mailing envelope and letter from the issuing authority, how cool. Warren was so upset by this obvious mistake that he took the coin to the ANA and showed it to Don Willis the President of PCGS. Don showed the coin to a experienced former PCGS grader and ANA grading instructor who said that the color was unequivocally original.
Happy to be back from sunny Chicago. I have to admit, for an ANA show it was run very well: traffic police on duty all day, good security, excellent displays and no real problems except for the lack of table covers. Overall, good job ANA staff.