on Monday, 13 March 2017 01:45. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

  March 2017 Issue

A Newsletter By:

 

The Rosen Numismatic Advisory:
The Question & Answer That Was Not Published

Answers By Warren Mills


Thank you for the positive feedback from our last newsletter.  Any comments are appreciated.  Please find the freewheel subject from the last question that Maurice Rosen did not put in the newsletter.  Again, I’m not 100% positive about this technique or what exactly is being done, but I had a number of dealers bring it up to me totally unsolicited!  It’s scary if true.  Since we are blessed with some clients that trust us with a lot of money to find the best and most original coins possible, I hope the grading services will scrutinize these expensive coins from past auctions to see if they match up.
 
It wasn’t that long ago that people thought model putty on coins was no big deal.  Then it dried out and left a horrible haze on the coin.  Who knows what can happen to coins in the future!
 

17)  Please use this opportunity to freewheel on any subject of your choice.
 
I have heard rumblings in the market of a technique to remove and hide marks on mint state and proof gold.  I don’t know the particulars but it could be a new laser technique.
 
It’s sad that dealers try to find ways to make money in coins by ruining the stewardship of passing untampered with coins down to future generations.  If a new technique is out there, it could shake the foundation of trust in the coin industry.
 
This can be stopped dead in its tracks!  The grading services have access to their own scans and auction records.  If a coin has been altered in a spot or more, the coin should still be easy to match up from solid auction scans.  In many instances, you can trace coins back ten years or more through auction appearances.  Obviously, I’m not talking about inexpensive coins here.  I’m talking about 5 and 6 figure pieces that are being altered!  Hobbyist for fun can tell most dealers where their coins are coming from or where they’ve been by a quick auction record research.  The grading services could do the same thing and nip these cheating coin dealers in the bud.


To reiterate, this is only something I heard about. I have no specific examples I have seen. It's strictly a matter of making people aware. The grading services have a tough job and they are a great service to our industry. I just want to put a word of caution out there. Coins that have been off of the market for a long time like the Pogue collection I would not worry about. However, more expensive coins that seem to come out of the woodwork should be researched. And you can always consider sending coins to CAC as another layer of protection.
 
*The Rosen Numismatic Advisory, The 2017/2018 Crystal Ball Survey, Part-2.
Vol. 42 No. 1, January 2017.

Editor:

Maurice Rosen

Publisher:

Numismatic Counseling, Inc.

Mail:

P.O. Box 38
Plainview, NY 11803

Office: 

1120 Old Country Road, Suite 306
Plainview, New York 11803

Phone:

516-433-5800

Fax:

516-433-5801

E-Mail:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Subscription:

One Year………….$48
Half Year………….$28
Per Issue………….$10


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.


 

Could 2017 Be The Year?

By Joseph Presti
 
This month’s article is not filled with any profound commentary or insider information but is just my way of thinking out loud.  We are coming down the homestretch of the legendary Pogue sales, arguably the most valuable and highest quality collection ever put together.  What started in 2015 will culminate in May of this year and will probably end what has been an incredible couple of years of fabulous sales.  Not only am I talking about the Pogue sales but the Newman sales as well.  Both of these collections were not only incredible in their own right but were famous for their breadth and quality.

If you examine the fabulous collections that have come to market over the last 20 years it is even more extraordinary.  Pittman, Ford, Newman and Pogue; these are collections that will never be repeated and took years to liquidate.  Not only were they famous for what they contained but they are also famous for the money that they took out of the coin market.  Now, we can discuss at length, whether these sales were good or bad for the market and there are a lot of other factors that have contributed to the market conditions that we have experienced over the last several years but I am focusing on the big name auctions for this article.

When Pogue is completed, these four collections will have taken hundreds of millions of dollars off the market and “flooded” the market with an incredible quantity of coins, paper money and exonumia.  I feel the market has done a good job of absorbing the high quality coins that these auctions have inserted into the market but my hope is that in time, the scarcity of high quality coins will start to be recognized once again.  I know that when we attend a major coin show we have a very hard time locating a double row box of gem quality coins whereas 30 years ago it was not a problem to fill many customer want lists at a show and acquire several double row boxes of gem coins.  Another factor to consider of how long it may be before coin prices start to recover is to ask how many new collectors of classic coins have been created over the last 20 years.  While some collectors may have started collecting by purchasing modern mint products, others could have rekindled their collecting interest by purchasing one or two lots from these name sales and become collectors with a purpose.

So many other factors can contribute to coin prices increasing or decreasing.  On the political scene, what comes out of the White House in tweets, or good or bad economic news from Wall Street or other considerations around the world will affect the prices of coins but one thing all of the famous collections we addressed above have in common is that high quality coins were bought and held for a long period of time and performed fantastically well over that period of time.


 

Proceed with Caution

By Dave Carleton



We are constantly doing evaluations of numismatic coin collections and hard asset accumulations. Often, this occurs in my area of the office because the other options are taken. I get to interact with these folks and it’s always interesting to hear the stories of how and when the material was acquired and the cost. I usually inject a little conversation to fill in the stretch of time it takes my buyers to perform their job. One of the reasons it takes us more time to do evaluations than it used to is because we have to test silver and gold items for authenticity. This is a problem that we have addressed many times in this forum and I suspect we will continue to comment on the subject because it isn’t going away and is actually increasing daily.

We’ve gotten caught buying fake bullion and it’s not a habit we want to continue, so we’ve gone out and gotten state of the art testing equipment to protect ourselves. Warren was doing a radio interview recently and he mentioned our situation and the fact that we needed enhanced testing equipment and we’ve gotten many calls from the radio audience that are concerned that they may be holding fake bullion.

One gentleman came in after the radio show and got all the information he needed to acquire a testing unit. He received it and immediately started testing his gold bullion. Then he called us to report his findings and to thank Warren again for bringing the tester to his attention. I don’t know how many ounces of gold he tested but he did find (3) three that failed the test. There was a Maple Leaf, a Panda (I’m not surprised) and a Philharmonic. The scary thing is that when we asked him what he was going to do with them, he told us that he had already sold them back to the dealer he purchased them from.  Apparently they didn’t test them because they bought them right back and I suppose they’re lying in somebody else’s safe deposit box right now.

I just went to a website that has in the past sold replica gold Eagles and Saint Gaudens, etc. to see if they were still up and running and they sure are. After claiming that the coins are the same weight and size of the REAL coins they say that these are “Folk Art“ and are used for business gifts or souvenirs, right! If a deal looks or sounds too good, it probably is. Buy only from a trusted dealer. 


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.


 

How To Make, Create And Firmly Establish
A True Numismatist For Life

By Paul V. Battaglia


 
With our ranks thinning out on a seemingly daily basis, I have an idea to at least retain the new blood entering our hallowed halls.  This has more than likely been proffered by other writers in our field, but I’d like to contribute just the same.  I am speaking to SELLERS in my article this month.
 
Put yourself in their shoes.  Remember when you first started? I do.  We all had dreams, hopes and, often, impossible goals, but so what!  We were positive and those who first oversaw us, helped stoke our youthful flames.
 
I have fifty years in this business or a total of fifty eight when you count my first exposure to U.S. coins….namely, a well-worn 1890 Indian Head Cent out of my father’s change in 1958.  There are hundreds of other dealers and collectors out there who have more experience than I do notwithstanding the actual years of their experience.  QUALITY TIME, not necessarily QUANTITY of time is key here.  Speak to your people with respect and patience.
 
Share your time at your table or in the office teaching the basic ABC’s.  Yes, I know how tough it is to find coins and make deals today, but each and every customer approaching you HAD A REASON to see YOU.  Were you smiling?  Did you have an air of congeniality about you?  These are powerful attractants.  Give yourself credit, but don’t blow it.  Invite that individual to join and watch you.
 
Find out if the individual is technically minded or needs the basics then go from there.  Speak with a natural smile, an upbeat attitude and some animation to make your points.
 
LISTEN to your newcomer or knowledgeable individual and urge questions from his/her end.  Fact:  We all love talking about ourselves and showing off our stuff.  Give them the stage!
 
I make it a point to walk around our table and ask those who pass by how they have done so far or their thoughts.  I am generally rewarded with someone willing to give me their time, show me their purchases or offer me something to purchase.  Why not?  I am there to work and work takes on many faces and approaches.  Anyone who tells me he/she is not a big spender or suggests my time is above their time is warmly invited by me to have a seat.
 
*The customer IS the reason we are in business and never the excuse.*
 
My business is made up of people in all walks of life.  Sure, I love the big sale and all it takes to achieve it.  However, it is the everyday, hard-working rank and file citizen that establishes the solid underpinning upon which all businesses grow.
 
Security and situation permitting, I will sit on the customer side of the table with customers.  This removes a huge barrier and helps a customer to open up as fully as possible.  Intimidation is something I like….to destroy.
 
EVERY hurricane begins with the lightest of zephyrs.  All numismatists started somewhere in their collections.   Over the past, let’s say, twenty-five years, U.S. auctions have featured named collections that have become household acronyms.  All of those mighty collections began with the humblest of coins-combination-grades.  We carry our original SIGHT-SEEN/ORIGINAL raw coins with us to shows.  I am never surprised to see the numbers of basic collectors, advanced numismatists and DEALERS who pore through our raw goods.  (Yes, we guarantee our raw coins will also grade certify or money refunded 100% less grading/postal fees).  So, I might only sell a humble XF/AU better date Morgan/Peace silver dollar or cool looking 19th Century type coin.  If you have served and thanked that customer for the purchase plus encouraged a want list on the spot, you might receive their future call for an 1879-CC silver dollar or other year rarity in that series….or a call for a 1928-P in the Peace Series.  I am being quite commercial in my rhetoric here, but you will have earned it! 
 
OK, you put in lots of effort, but no sale….statistically, this happens especially with the dearth of worthwhile coins out there.  What’s the alternative, you ask?  Just sit at your table, remain mute and wait for the coin fairy to bestow new buyers your way?  Ahhhh, not happening anymore, sir/madam.  Your hubris needs to be extended outward and it must be inviting.
 
In the end, speaking with more people is advantageous over fewer people who “look” well-heeled to you.
 
Pass along your KNOWLEDGE for it should always, always, always, be shared for posterity.  I have much experience in numismatics, etc. and I can generally hold my own, but am not averse or against calling upon others to assist/correct me.  I have no ego to bruise.  A number of my customers have gone on to greater heights in our hobby and eclipsed me many times over.   WONDERFUL.  I was a part of that, but only regard such as an ordinary facet of my duty.
 
I prefer to recommend books that leave out values, especially for the beginner.  I do not want to embed or imprint this information….yet.  Learn to love, cherish and respect your coins as a fanatical hobbyist first and seek out like-minded individual as well.  Reference books that omit values are my favorite for the hobbyist.  I could rattle off several dozen to cover all series from colonials through U.S. gold (don’t forget exonumia!), but prefer that you, my reader, visit the Whitman Publishing site  
https://www.whitman.com/store and review their selections.  Call them and request what you want for they are quite knowledgeable and will not sell you something you don’t need.  Otherwise, Walter Breen’s Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins is my first pick.  The late Walter Breen was one of our most thorough numismatic researchers and a life-long student of numismatics.  I clearly recall the generous time he gave me when authenticating my 1917 Matte Proof Standing Liberty Quarter and other coins over the years.  His only “price” for such giving of his time was a cold/hot beverage or a dessert item.  I can find no words to thank him enough several decades later….I doff my skimmer skyward, instead.
 
Maintaining an air of EXCITEMENT and ENTHUSIASM with your audience should be strongly nurtured.  Talk, talk and talk about the possibilities with your people, Mr. Dealer.  Find out if QUANTITY, QUALITY or BOTH is in the mind of the individual.  A lot of “stuff” can be a waste of time and money unless funds are an issue.  In that case, I should go for a modestly graded set of coins that match up well and are ORIGINAL.  Above, all, QUALITY is KEY and it exists even in the most humble Poor-1!  I should rather have a few original coins than one high grade coin that is a point off, once cleaned and/or problematic in a main focal area.  Overall balance and harmony should be what you strive for in your passionate pursuit.
 
(Side note to collectors:  Never apologize for your collection no matter how modest.)
 
By taking your time and sharing your experiences with every individual, you will have the deeply earned satisfaction in having served everyone to the utmost and, hopefully, opened new horizons within yourself. 
 
Ultimately, you will stand out in the most positive fashion by all those you met and served with generous EQUALITY.
 
ALWAYS TAKE THE HIGH ROAD AND OFFER THE HIGH FIVE.  (I saw this quote on a Hallmark Greeting Card plaque and subsequently purchased it.)


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.


 

Questions From Our Mail Bag

By Warren Mills
 
All that came in this week were questions of a personal coin nature.  Here is one posed to me by a knowledgeable buyer.
 

I purchased a matte proof $2.50 in an NGC 66 holder that you thought was an easy cross.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work!  We CAC’d the coin and tried it 2 years later and it did cross to PCGS.  Why didn’t it work originally?
 
Thanks B.B.

Sometimes the grading services consider liability in the future on expensive coins.  Matte Proof gold is very tricky.  It’s a specialized area so buyers are really squeamish about buying non PCGS Matte gold.  I don’t blame PCGS.  In my opinion the more careful the better.  However, I don’t think that enough dealers have enough experience with Matte gold to help PCGS or NGC in making determinations.  We are lucky to have one of the foremost authorities on Matte Proof gold as a client.  From looking for him, I’ve scrutinized a lot of coins.  I felt positive the coin would cross.  It just was frustrating to wait so long.  Always remember, a good coin is always a good coin.  It just may take a little while until everyone recognizes them.


We are always happy to answer any questions you may have.  So please keep sending in your questions to me directly or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Thank you.

on Tuesday, 31 January 2017 18:55. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

  February 2017 Issue

A Newsletter By:

The Rosen Numismatic Advisory:
The 2017/2018 Crystal Ball Survey, Part-2

Answers By Warren Mills


Please find in this month’s issue, my responses to the questions from Part-2 of the 2017/2018 Rosen Numismatic Advisory’s Crystal Ball Survey.  The 2nd part of the survey gets a bit more in-depth about specific areas of interest that the panel feels are good buys in different series.
 
As I did last month, I will include the specific questions I was asked and my responses.  The other panel members included John Albanese, Don Ketterling, Rick Snow, John Feigenbaum and Scott Travers.  If you would like to see their responses, feel free to contact Maurice Rosen at the phone or address provided.
 
I want to thank Maurice for asking me to participate in the survey and also for giving me permission to print my responses for our clients and friends to see.
 
At the very end of the survey, Maurice asks us to ad lib on any subject that we feel is important in the numismatic field.  I noticed that this year, Maurice did not print anyone’s ad lib responses.  Well, I did respond and it may be very controversial.  I am weighing whether I should run my ad lib in our March Issue.  I will mull it over in February.  I think you will find it most interesting.
 
The year started off with a bang at the F.U.N. Convention.  Please see our latest show report for the details.  Our warning about the future of counterfeits in our field appears to be clairvoyant.
 
Thank you,
Warren


7)  What are your Best Buys in the area of U.S. Type Coins, copper, nickel and silver, Mint State and Proof?
 
I love Indian Cents, circulated to uncirculated.  Original untampered with, not camel hair brushed, thumbed, nose greased, chemically treated, falsely darkened or lightened, etc.…..pieces.  You get the drift.  Try to make sure Fines and Very Fines actually have a “Liberty” visible!!!  For uncirculated, light brown, more red than brown R&B coins and reds that really are red with original color on all of them.  Reject CAC coins with a lot of carbon flecks.
 
Three Cent Nickel, Shield and Liberty Nickels in MS-66, if any have attractive color…all the better.  It is imperative they be original fresh pieces.  Beware and avoid heavily carbon flecked CAC pieces.
 
I’ve always had a personal affection for “No Motto” Seated quarters and halves, circulated to superb uncirculated, original only please.  Watch out for CAC circulated examples that aren’t original.  I’d also avoid CAC dipped white coins.  They could change color in the holder.
 
I also like slightly scarcer and rare date Morgans in MS-63 to MS-65 condition.  Here, CAC is very important.  Commercialized grading that’s off by a half to a full point is holding the prices down on these coins.

 

8)  What are your Best Buys among U.S. Gold?
 
I like them all….almost.  Pre-1838 original circs are hard to find.  Start looking for fun and you’ll see most are altered and cleaned.  You could start a hobby shop from the model putty you could scrape off of a lot of these certified pieces.  I like C, D & O mint gold the same; great coins and hard to find original.  Buy gold in MS-62 and MS-63 that is strictly graded and CAC’d, preferably for capital preservationists.  I’m also a fan of MS-64 to MS-67 gold and these areas must be CAC’d.  These coins have come down dramatically and in the right circumstances, could do well.
 

9)  What are our Best Buys in Morgan & Peace Dollars?
 
Morgans:  Stick with tougher dates or at least scarcer ones.  CAC approval here is important.  Dates like the 79-O in 63 to 65, 80-O in 63 & 64, 82-O/S in 64, 87-S in 63 and 64, 85-S in 64 & 65, 86-O in 63 & 64, 87-S in 64, 88-S in 64, 89-S in 64, 92-P in 64, 93 in 65, 94 in 64, 94-O in well struck 64, 95-S in 65, 97 in 66, 98 in 66…these are a few examples.
 
Peace Dollars:  1921 in 65, 1922-S in 65, 1924-S in 64, 1925-S in 64, 1927 in 65, 1934 in 65, 1934-S in 65, 1935-S in 64, 65 & 66.  These coins have decent spreads between grades and are fairly tough to find nice.  On all recommendations, keep in mind that “plus” graded coins must truly be better than the solid point grade coin.  Watch out for exorbitant premiums being charged for “plus” coins that have a big spread between grades.  Remember, CAC only recognizes the full point grade for a sticker, not the “plus.”  Registry point seekers distort the pricing for these pieces.  This can be said for the Morgans and many other series of coins.

 

10)  What are your Best Buys in the U.S. Commemorative series, silver and gold?
 
Alabama 2X2 in 66, Grant Star in 66, Hawaiian in 66, Hudson in 66, not porous and nice luster.  Lexington-Concord in 66, Missouri 2X4 in 65, Pan-Pac in 67, nice color, 21 Pilgrim in 65 or 66, Sesqui in 65 with nice luster and minimal porosity.  All are tough issues with nice luster, color and strictly graded are great coins.
 
I like MS-67 coins that don’t have a huge premium over MS-66.  The Pan-Pac $2.50, the 1917 McKinley, the two Grants and Sesqui $2.50 in solid MS-66 could do well.  They seem ripe for a promotion.

 

11)  What are your Best Buys among 20th Century series?
 
I like early Walkers from 1917 to 1933-S.  Go to a show and examine these issues in MS-62 and MS-63.  Then tell me how many you see that are really AU in these holders!  They are under-rated in most grades from XF to MS-64.  They must be strictly graded, original and attractive.  Make sure XF’s have full breast plates and AU’s haven’t been cleaned or re-dipped.  Original MS-62 to MS-64 pieces that are attractive are a challenge in this date range.
 

12)  What are your Best Buys in any other area of your choice?
 
Attractive Barber coins in uncirculated and proof are undervalued coins.  Not many collectors focus in acquiring sets, so they really suffer.  Astute acquisitions of nice original pieces from circulated to uncirculated and proof could be a smart purchase in the future.  It sickens me to see Registry buyers putting together dipped out proof sets of dimes, quarters and halves that are stark white!
 

13)  What specific not-too-difficult-to-accumulate coin or coins would you tag as great 5 to 10 year put-away holdings?  Please explain your choices and their potential.
 
I’ve always like circulated Indian Cent sets and Morgan Dollar circulated sets, less the 1895 proof.  They are fun to acquire and hard to find if you focus on original strictly graded coins.  Here, CAC is not necessary either, but can’t hurt.  However, I find CAC not as knowledgeable on circulated issues as they are on uncirculated and proofs.  Key date coins should be CAC’d.  If you buy a CAC coin it will assure you of better demand and liquidity if you sell a set intact.  Do all you can to work with a knowledgeable few dealers to assemble these sets.
 
I helped a collector assemble a raw set of Indian cents a few years ago.  He worked with me and a so-called expert in the series.  He then decided to have his set certified by PCGS and asked us to send them in.  He sent the set to me for my review and I said that many of the coins he acquired from the other dealer were cleaned and would not grade.  There was no sense to incur grading fees for cleaned coins.  I told him to contact the other dealer and tell him I examined the coins and said they were cleaned.
 
He called the other dealer and said, “Warren Mills said that all of the coins were cleaned.”
 
The dealer said, “You should have told me you didn’t want any cleaned coins!!” 
 
What a business!

 

14a)  Premiums on generic U.S. Gold coins have fallen greatly.  Is this an opportunity for investors bullish on gold or are premiums staying low for a long time?
 
I like these coins.  The wildcard is in the future effect on world currencies, banks, world economics and government manipulations.  I believe the U.S. Dollar will lose its reserve currency status.  That’s one of the reasons why I really think these coins will be important in the future and will have applications for appreciation, preservation, insurance, etc.
 

14b)  What specific issues are your favorites and why?
 
Stick to the larger size pieces: in gold, $5’s, $10’s and $20’s primarily in MS-62 and MS-63; in silver, common date Walkers MS-64 to MS-66 and Dollars in MS-63 to MS-66 could be heavily promoted.
 

15)  What needs to be done to increase the public’s interest in coin collecting?
 
We have to start attracting young collectors.  The ANA may need to develop an app to attract younger generations that can’t get their heads out of their iPhones.  The coin shows are doing more & more to attract younger potential collectors and all coin organizations need to do something.  At RCNH, we give away coins and albums to youngsters, just to try to keep them engaged.
 

16)  What is the long term future for interest in Vintage coins versus Modern coins?
 
I’d like to think that people will recognize Vintage coins as being under-valued and jump in.  However, it appears that the U.S. market is going the same way as the Canadian market.  The overwhelming supply of new issues is taking away from the educational aspect about the historical significance and appreciation of older coins.  You will always have the affluent collections of great coin cabinets being put together by the very wealthy.  But the market doesn’t hear about these collections until they are consigned to auction.  There is less and less marketing being done about older coins.
 
There will continue to be speculation on modern coins. Modern coins will continue to be speculated on.  As more and more people lose money and populations of these coins increase, the profit opportunity will evaporate.  However, the beauty of the designs and high grade will ensure interest in the future.  A lot of money could be lost in Moderns and a lot of money could be made in Vintage.

 

17)  What area or areas of the market are overvalued or too dangerous for investors to pursue?
 
Modern coins for the reasons mentioned above.  The earliest to get to the party and buy first will always have the most chance to make money.  Even the U.S. Mint is trying to stem this tide of speculation by promoters, by limiting the amount a household or individual can purchase at one time.  Also, as populations increase on Mint State and Proof 70 coins, prices will drop.

 
*The Rosen Numismatic Advisory, The 2017/2018 Crystal Ball Survey, Part-2.
Vol. 42 No. 1, January 2017.


Editor:

Maurice Rosen

Publisher:

Numismatic Counseling, Inc.

Mail:

P.O. Box 38
Plainview, NY 11803

Office: 

1120 Old Country Road, Suite 306
Plainview, New York 11803

Phone:

516-433-5800

Fax:

516-433-5801

E-Mail:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Subscription:

One Year………….$48
Half Year………….$28
Per Issue………….$10

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.


He Gets It

By Dave Carleton



I just got off the phone with one of my favorite customers and he echoed a similar call that I received yesterday.

The call I received yesterday was regarding an article Warren posted earlier this week called the “
2017 FUN Show Report.”  In his article, he referenced that he had been asked by one of my customers to review several 1892-O Morgan Dollars, all certified and graded MS-65.  He got back with me and said that there was only one coin worth bidding on and I shared that with my customer, who then proceeded to place what appeared to be a very strong bid.  It seemed that his bid of $6,000+ would easily lock up the coin. It wasn’t even close. The coin traded for almost three times what the others went for and more than 50% more than his bid.

My client had us do this for him on several occasions and he wanted to tell me that the same thing had happened to him on about 90% of the coins that we recommended he bid on.  He kind of blew it when he said that Warren seemed to be a lucky guy when it came to reviewing auction lots.  I’m sorry but luck has nothing to do with it unless you don’t know what you’re doing.  Warren has been totally involved in coins for over 40 years, and the only time he gets lucky is when he finds a coin that’s original, not messed with and for sale.

I got off on this tangent because I just spoke with one of my favorite customers who told me that he was going to a local coin club auction down in Florida this weekend.  He was going to take a bunch of Peace Dollars with him, but not any RCNH coins or CAC stickered examples because they were the only coins that “talked” to him.  He told me that after reading Warren’s bit about the 1892-O’s, he went to the PCGS Pop report and pulled up the images of the coins that went up for auction at the FUN show.  He was able to pick out the nice one, but the differences were quite subtle.  That’s when I told him how important it is to put real eyes on a coin in hand.  

He also shared with me something that I thought was quite flattering.  He said, or should I say admitted, that for quite some time he used to remove the RCNH stickers we’ve applied to the reverse of all the certified coins we’ve sold.  Now, he looks at the RCNH sticker in the same light as a CAC sticker, and to have both on a coin is a real win, win.  I know this sounds self-serving, but it sure is nice to get this type of positive feedback from someone that gets what we’re trying to do. 

Thanks,
Dave  


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. 


Read Between The Lines

By Joseph Presti
 
Over the weekend I was looking over NGC’s website as I often do because they routinely publish informative articles in their news section.  However, I was surprised by a letter published by the Chairman of NGC, Mark Salzberg.  Before you read this article further, you should read Mark’s letter, a link is provided here,
www.ngccoin.com/news/letter/5740/.  I cannot speculate as to the purpose of Mark’s letter, but as an attorney and someone who has been dealing in coins since 1980, I like to get to the truth and I like to think I can hold my own when talking about rare coins. 

If Mark wants to ban PCGS coins in the NGC registry sets, that is his right and I think PCGS does the same.  But to throw rocks at PCGS for their inconsistency of grading and decrease in values because of increased populations, while on the surface may appear to be true, is wholly inaccurate.  To be clear, both PCGS and NGC, I feel have their own issues when it comes to grading coins.  I have seen obviously cleaned coins in both holders and coins with designations that were not as described.  Inconsistencies will happen when you grade as many coins as each company does and the goal is to keep them to a minimum.

Let’s focus on the main points of Mark’s letter, the increase in PCGS populations and decrease in values.  The increase in populations may partially be due to gradeflation, it is a real thing and unfortunate for those dealers who attempt to maintain grading standards as they were 30 years ago when the services started.  Gradeflation just makes it harder for those of us trying to sell accurately graded coins for a fair price.  But another very real factor that could partially explain the increase in populations is the fact that prices for classic, not modern NGC coins that sell in auctions or on a wholesale level are not as high as PCGS graded coins.  The result is that most dealers we know either crack NGC coins or submit them to PCGS for crossover grading.  Those coins that do cross show up on the population report.  The greater the difference in value between PCGS and NGC for the same coin in the same grade, the more there is a chance another coin of that date will be sent to PCGS for grading, thus increasing the PCGS population and lowering the NGC population.

As for values, the several examples given in Mark’s letter can be broken down into multiple sections.  First, we should compare classic coins. Take the 1912-S Liberty nickel in MS-66 cited in the letter.  Did a PCGS MS-66 sell in January, 2012 for $33,000+? Yes, and another sold in August, 2013 for $28,000+. But, Mark failed to point out that an NGC example in the same grade failed to sell against a reserve of $9700 in February, 2013!  One other fact that Mark forgot to include in his letter was that two rolls of gem 1912-S Liberty nickels have been graded in the last year or two by PCGS.  Another example Mark gave is the 1918 Lincoln cent.  True, a PCGS MS-67 Red coin sold in April, 2012 for $12,000.  It wasn’t until June, 2015 that a similarly graded NGC coin sold, for $2350.  To be fair, the price of this coin had been falling and a PCGS graded coin sold one month later for $3055.  How does one explain this? 

The other type of coin in which prices were compared were modern coins.  If you have been a customer of RCNH or read our newsletter over time you know our feeling about modern coins.  Treat them like the plague, stay away from them and do not buy them.  It is only a matter of time before more are graded and the prices collapse.  This is true for both services. 

The reason in my opinion that prices have gone down over the time period cited in Mark’s letter are many.  The market has not cooperated and demand has been weak.  There have been several large, high profile collections to enter the market especially over the last few years and this has taken tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars out of the market and led to a glut of certain types of coins.  There is also the US Mint, the largest coin dealer in the world retailing as many different products as they can imagine, with the result being that many people are now focused on modern issues instead of classic coins. 

Finally, you have the registry buyers.  People putting together registry sets have a habit of paying too high a price for a coin just because it has a certain grade on the holder, not necessarily because it is accurately graded.  Once their hole is filled, then that buyer or market has dried up and the price will fall.  Dealers are not stupid, if they see that a particularly graded coin brought stupid money at auction you can bet that they will now be searching for an example of that coin to cross over or upgrade and sell for a big profit.  Whether Mark wants to admit it or not, PCGS has eaten NGC’s lunch when it comes to marketing registry sets.  PCGS’s set registry is simply more recognized and competitive that NGC’s and this results in those registry buyers paying more money for PCGS graded coins than for NGC graded coins.

Let me again stress that this letter is not meant to favor one company over another.  Over the years I had had arguments with both David Hall of PCGS and Mark from NGC.  But to print only half of the information in a letter and sign your name as an authority figure, in my opinion just is not right.  I would love to hear from anyone who has read this article and who many agree or disagree, my email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


How Does Our Garden Grow?

By Paul V. Battaglia


 
I do mean the growth in and of numismatics, of course.

My recent trip to the F.U.N. 2017 Convention with Warren was cause for both celebration and observance.  The former had to do with more agreeable Fahrenheit levels and the latter with attendees’ personal behaviour toward coins.  Setting aside the disastrous shooting at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, my concern with those who visited our table had me on edge.  Those who know me realize I am not a man who is easily rattled.

Over many years’ time, I have been witnessing a growing number of collectors who carry the weekly, monthly, quarterly and currency sheets.  I was always in favour of this as its birth came as a result of the desperately needed two-tier market commencing in 1994….but, especially, the January 31, 1997 CDN entitled “ALL COINS ARE NOT ALIKE!”  Collectors and investors were finally heeding the call for more EDUCATION based on a dealer’s willingness to be as enthusiastic when buying back their coins as they were when selling them, and at fair prices.  I am now witnessing more price shoppers, yet these price shoppers are known to me and own SIGHT-SEEN material.  This makes little to no sense as ORIGINALITY speaks volumes.  No self-respecting educated coin collector, who settles for nothing less than the Real McCoy, suddenly changes horses in mid-stream.  OK, what am I missing?  Or does my generation have something to do with it? 
 
New blood is necessary to carry on traditions.  If not new blood, then something of instant value-use or promise of same must be forthcoming.  Outside of being Homo sapiens, my generation (Baby Boomer), has less and less in common with all generations born thereafter.  Our digital age will soon become one that embraces and utilizes actual light and yet unknown dimensions, together.  SPEED is overhanging and overwhelming the psyches of those committed to progress.  I see an additional need to implement an initiative to keep and attract what we have in our ranks.  Yes, we do have many steadfast, hale and hearty organizations who work tirelessly on this challenge.  I salute them endlessly for they, one being the American Numismatic Association in 1959 for me, captivated this man child’s heart in those halcyon days when “neato cool” and “wicked” dominated our youthful parlance.

What I have in mind I shall not yet divulge fully in this newslettre.  I have just begun to formulate it in my mind’s eye, hence; it is just an embryo, but I do see it succeeding.  The plan I will propose to assist my superiors in our field is one I have mulled over for a solid year.  As always, I invite our readers to call me/us and speak your mind.  Often, the more salient and seemingly ordinary plans, comments and refinements are the simplest….like the straight line being the shortest distance between two points.

I will reveal more in the upcoming year.  Please….CALL ME for without you, the everyday man, woman, young adult and child, RCNH would not exist.  I am beholden to you for all I have.

My sincerest wishes to ALL.  Paul


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.


Questions From Our Mail Bag

By Warren Mills
 
What is Commercial Grading?
 
This question has been posed many times over the years to me.  When we were at the F.U.N. Show a few weeks ago, we met with two of our most friendly and knowledgeable clients who have met us at the show for the last 15 years.  These guys are not slouches in the rare coin field.  Every year, their assessment of the show gets bleaker and bleaker.  They like to scout around to see if they can find something they may add to their own collections, but also bird-dog out anything that I should look at to acquire for RCNH’s inventory.  Their assessments go as follows:  everything is stripped and dipped and if you find an original nice coin or two, they are usually 2 to 3 times the market price.  Welcome to my world.  It’s hard to find accurate technically graded appealing coins while trying to deliver a good value.

Back to our Mailbag question: What is commercial grading?

Commercial grading is a term that is used to mean market acceptable.  The secondary question is “market acceptable to whom?”   This market acceptability appears to be geared to unknowledgeable buyers.  Coins are market acceptable if they are stripped, dipped, or cleaned and bright white!  Please take a look at the scans of this 1893-CC Morgan Dollar (click on them to see more detailed images).  The 93-CC is a classic collector date.  This coin is in a well-worn condition and should show not only wear but some natural age toning.  It may be light to deeper grey, rose and gold or something that gives the coin antique character.  This 1893-CC here shows wear that is acceptable for a Fine grade.  Yet, it also shows multiple layers of cleaning over the years from the steely bright surfaces and metal loss; not to even mention rim ticks and many scattered surface abrasions.  Yet it wasn’t enough to call this coin Fine….it graded a Fine-15 or Choice Fine!  And we wonder why collectors aren’t learning a thing about grading and stewardship of protecting our well preserved historical artifacts.

I don’t want you to think it’s only a circulated coin phenomenon.  These commercial white stripped coins are all over the hobby from Mint State to Proofs.  A knowledgeable collector may work on his circ type set or series set of coins for decades to find the most original eye-appealing coins to pass on to future generations.  Yet, commercial cleaned, stripped and cleaned coins can be put together in a matter of days.
 
I’m glad there is an organization out there that attempts to identify the solid to high-end coins for the grade, for collectors and dealers alike.  This organization is CAC.  I disagree with CAC’s stance on CACing dipped coins; please see our December interview with John Albanese.  But I’m happy that it’s not just us out there alone preaching the message of high-end coins for the grade.
 
Please read Joe and Dave’s articles this month.  I hope you will be able to understand the tie-in here.
 
Thanks to the dealers that commented on our newsletter to me at F.U.N.  It was very much appreciated.  I didn’t realize that so many knowledgeable players in the industry look forward to it every month.

We are always happy to answer any questions you may have.  So please keep sending in your questions to me directly or emailt
hank you.


 

February Highlighted Coin

 1861 Seated Liberty Half Dollar NGC MS-65 CAC

 $4,875.00

This month’s highlighted coin is a magnificent 1861 Seated Liberty half dollar.  This is also referred to as a “No Motto” half since the motto “In God We Trust” had not been added above the eagle on the reverse until 1866. 

The Civil War had just begun in April, 1861, supplies of goods were becoming scarce and people were getting nervous.  Since paper money had not even been issued by the Federal Government, that would not happen until 1862, all denominations of coins were being hoarded creating a shortage of all coins.  This ultimately resulted in the widespread use of merchant tokens and encased postage as a form of money.  The result of this hoarding, lack of paper money and overuse of coinage resulted in many denominations from the Civil War era being very scarce in high quality.

This particular coin is a fully struck gem that has deep original toning with deeper greens within the devices.  The stars and shield exhibit full detail as well as all of the eagle’s feathers on the reverse.  Unfortunately, because of the complexity of photographing coins, darker toned coins do not show well online and must be seen to be appreciated.  It is only speculation as to how this coin survived in such a state of preservation.  Who knows, it could have been hoarded at the beginning of the war and forgotten about for a hundred years until it saw the light of day again.  However, it survived.  Once found,  someone took care not to clean it or use it and took extremely good care of it.

This lovely coin is graded an NGC MS-65, CAC and will satisfy even the most finicky among us for only $4875.


Please emailif you'd like to order this coin, or if you have any questions or comments regarding it.

on Thursday, 12 January 2017 21:19. Posted in News

It was an interesting show and experience this year!  Paul and I left early on the morning of January 3rd for the sunny climes of Ft. Lauderdale.  It gave us an extra day before the show opened on Wednesday afternoon to do some business and view auction lots for our clients.  One of our clients wanted me to look at (4) 1892-O Morgan Dollars all graded the same in MS-65 condition.  I hope you know by now that we do not care what the holder says.  We need to see the coin to verify the grade!  I thought three of the pieces were commercial over-graded examples and one was a real gem!  The lots go off and the three commercial examples sold for around $3,700 each.  Grey sheet bid is $6,500.  The true gem brought over $10,000!   Wow…that goes to show that if you try and sell great coins, they bring strong money and are in strong demand.  That was the theme of the auction.  Accurate strict for grade coins were very strong and commercial junk was left for telemarketing fodder.

The show opened to a nice buzz of activity.  Dealers were looking for coins.  The next day, collectors came in and were actively filling want lists.  A super fresh group of over 100 crisp original 1932 $10 Indians broke and the nicest pieces were snapped up immediately.  There was a lack of great coins for the grade on the bourse.  You had to work hard to find nice coins.  I wish collectors would try harder to seek education in what they buy.  Many early bust coins were stripped and collectors were purchasing them for their sets.  It’s sad to see because it is the educated buyer that buys the best for the grade and leaves the rest.  Then they end up with a great, always in demand collection when they sell; re-read the 1892-O Morgans in the auction.

Then on Friday, we heard an awful announcement from the message center about the shooting at the airport.  I felt bad because my first thought was how is that going to affect our traveling plans.  I asked the Lord to forgive me and offered up prayers for the people that were adversely affected.  The police presence and heightened security ratcheted up dramatically.  It’s a sad thing to see that society has degraded so much.  The show however, continued to hum along.  Many streets were closed off outside and when we came back from dinner, police motorcycles and tactical unit buses were everywhere, heading to the airport.

Saturday was devoted more to assisting dealers changing flights and conversing about the events on Friday.  One dealer was so tight on his budget that I paid for his flight home!  The folks that run F.U.N. were great.  We asked them for permission to leave early and they said “no problem.”  We wanted to get to the airport early to be sure we could get through security and check if our flights were still leaving on time.  We also had a storm coming up the coast and many flights were cancelled.  However, the Lord delivered and we managed to touch down at the airport before 12:00 a.m.  God was very good to us.

I took some time to speak with some old time dealers that amazed me about the deals that broke years ago.  I may interview some of them for our newsletter.  Scott Travers was kind to invite me to his seminar which he said he would give me recognition, but I was too busy looking for coins.  Overall, F.U.N. was a strong show; the best in years and security was great.

I also wanted to mention that two numismatists from the Liberty Seated Collectors Club brought an 1872-S Seated Half in AU-55 PCGS for Paul and I to see.  It was straight graded, even though it was obviously cleaned.   They asked me to examine the coin.  It was a very deceptive counterfeit!  It was so good that I could not tell.  The giveaway was the die marriage between the obverse and reverse was incorrect.  Also, with lax grading of cleaned coins, diagnostics are removed, so it is harder to tell.  Bottom line….this coin also fooled PCGS.  We’ve been warning for years that a tidal wave of counterfeits is coming.  It’s time to get prepared.  Also, try to buy original coins where diagnostics can be examined.

Alas, our new purchases are a bit meager.  I was able to find some great coins, but many went to our existing want lists.  We’ll try to have them on our website soon.  If there is anything I can help you with, please call or e-mail me anytime.

Thanks,
Warren

on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 14:41. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

  January 2017 Issue

A Newsletter By:

The Rosen Numismatic Advisory:
The 2017/2018 Crystal Ball Survey, Part-1

Answers By Warren Mills

Welcome to our 1st issue of the 2017 RCNH Rare Coin Enthusiast.  As I wrote in our December issue, I was asked to contribute my thoughts on the market in the Rosen Numismatic Advisory.  Maurice does a good job in getting to the heart of the matter with his questions.  Please find information on his newsletter subscription at the end of the article.
 
I’ve included for our readers the questions I was asked and my responses.  If you wish to see the responses of his other panel members which included John Albanese, Don Ketterling, Rick Snow, Scott Travers & John Feigenbaum, feel free to contact Maurice.  If you have any questions about my responses, feel free to call or e-mail me at your convenience.
 
Part One of the responses will appear this month and with his permission, Part Two will be in our February issue.
 
I hope you had a blessed Christmas and all of us at RCNH want to wish you a happy & healthy New Year.
 
Thank you,
Warren


1)  What are the most important issues facing the coin market in 2017/2018?

     1.  How the election is going to affect the market.

     2.  For knowledgeable buyers, I feel a very important issue is the inconsistency in grading.  Will we continue to see an ever growing gap between sight and sight unseen buying?

     3.  Counterfeiting of bullion and certified coin holders.              

 
2)  How should those issues be dealt with and what posture should investors take in light of those issues? 

     1.  Fear is a great motivator.  I normally would recommend a capital preservation strategy of U.S. American Eagle gold & silver as well as U.S. circulated silver coins, pre-1965 and circulated dollars, pre-1936.  However, for the more well-heeled, the semi-numismatic or generic U.S. gold issues could be a wonderful buy.  You can acquire MS-63 and MS-64 Saints for a very modest premium above melt and they are certified for grade and authenticity.  With diligence and knowledge of grading, cherry picked examples may CAC for an added price and demand benefit.  Another important factor to consider is the tidal wave of counterfeits that will enter the market in many bullion related items.  These generic $20’s will be great protection as well.  For diversity, MS-62 or 63 $5 Libs, $10 Libs and $10 Indians would be nice additions too!

     2.  It’s amazing that after the wonderful and much needed certifying of coins, that the grading is still looked at as a problem.  I’m very concerned that commercially graded and off quality coins will continue to be a drag on the whole coin market.  Even the most knowledgeable buyers that have exercised great diligence by only selecting the top coins for the grade are seeing the effects of poorly graded coins in their collections.  Off quality drags down the whole market.

The best way to deal with the problem is to recognize that there really is a two tier pricing market.  It’s a fact…so you deal with it by trying to buy the strictest and most eye-appealing coins for the grade.  If you’re not an expert, seek out CAC approved pieces.  CAC is trying to sticker all the solidly graded coins for the stated grade.  Do I agree with them all, no!  Just pass on any coins that may not appeal to you until you find one that does.

We’ve seen many things happen in the coin industry since the inception of the grading services in 1986.  As less and less vintage coins are certified, the grading services make their money certifying modern bullion and foreign coins. When the vintage coins start to be less available, CAC will ramp up their marketing effort of solid and high end coins for the grade.  When this happens, the gap between the low end over-commercialized junk will widen and premium coins for the grade could escalate dramatically.

     3.  Counterfeiting is going to come on like a tidal wave.  I believe all forms of bullion, except maybe junk silver, will be affected.  As coin dealers you can’t say “who cares.”  This problem will shake confidence in the entire hard asset market... know your dealer.

I recommend obviously looking at PCGS and NGC graded coins.  Stock up on the $5’s, $10’s & $20’s that are certified.  In times of economic uncertainty, they should trade for large premiums.

 
3a)  Dave Bowers wrote in the 9/12/16 Coin World: “Grading is more disorganized that it has been any time in the past 30 years.”  How do you see grading today?

Grading is inconsistent.  It is truly amazing to see that after 30 years, it’s still not right.  Circulated type coins that are horribly cleaned are now being graded without designating them as cleaned!  Ten years ago, about half of the circulated type coins for all series that are graded today would have been called “no grades.”  Mint State coins are extremely commercial.  Today’s MS-65 coins in many instances were yesterday’s 63’s!   Remember the days of NCI graded coins?  They were looked at as a bane to the industry.  Today, they’d be considered a fresh deal with dealers regrading them for upgrades at PCGS and NGC.
 

3b)  What advice do you have for coin investors looking to get their money’s worth?

Find a dealer that not only knows how to read a label, but can actually grade the coin in the holder.  If you don’t trust anyone, start seeing green and gold dots in front of your eyes from buying green & gold stickered CAC coins.
 

3c)  What advice do you have for the grading services to overcome their “disorganized” ways?

Don’t train individuals with little to no experience in coins to be graders, because you can hire them for less money than an experienced numismatist.  I also do not understand why finalizers don’t look at every submission or rubber stamp the submission if two graders agree with the grade.  The other issue are plus (+) grades.  Are these coins really better or is it another way for the grading services to increase their revenue by giving people the incentive to submit their coins for a better grade?  How finite can the grading services split the hairs between MS-65 and MS-66 and all of the full grade points?
 

4)  What undervalued area of the coin market is ready for exploitation that may be realized in 2017/2018?  Please explain and give specific issues you favor.
 
Many series are under-valued, if you look at technically graded coins.  Strictly graded coins with good eye-appeal are what everyone’s focus should be.
 
I think the price compression between grades on larger size gold type coins are too tight.  Like a coiled spring, they could bust out to the upside.  All bets are off if the central banks and governments keep manipulating the bullion prices, but if the metals break out…watch out.
 
Remember the old days of gold commemoratives being promoted every few years?  They’re beautiful and abundant in high grades.  However, there is a larger supply of them available than everyone anticipated.  I feel that MS-67 CAC pieces that are close to the 66 prices are worthy of speculation.
 
Lastly, I love large size Seated Type quarters & halves… ”No Motto” in particular.  This area is a personal favorite of mine in all grades, from circulated to uncirculated.  However, they are not easy to promote.
 

5) The CDN has made great strides improving its price reporting and coverage.  What additional improvements would you like to see?

I’m not impressed at all with CDN.  What great strides have they made?  I find the CDN adding plus or minus signs to specific issues is arbitrary at best.  They recently killed the early Walking Liberty Half series.  Many of the 1917 to 1933 issues, if strictly graded, should be increasing in value…not decreasing.  Again, a classic case of over-graded coins bringing down the true, solidly graded, hard to find standouts.  Isn’t the CDN (Greysheet) supposed to reflect the prices of high-end coins for the grade?  It doesn’t seem that way to me!
 

6a)  Premiums on generic U.S. Gold coins have fallen greatly.  Is this an opportunity for investors bullish on gold or are premiums staying low for a long time?

I like these coins.  The wildcard is in the future effect on world currencies, banks, world economics and government manipulations.  I believe the US. Dollar will lose its reserve currency status.  That’s one of the reasons why I really think these coins will be important in the future and will have applications for appreciation, preservation, insurance, etc.
 

6b)  What specific issues are your favorites and why?

Stick to the larger size pieces: In gold, $5’s, $10’s and $20’s primarily in MS-62 and MS-63.  In silver, common date Walkers MS-64 to MS-66 and Dollars in MS-63 to MS-66 could be heavily promoted.
 
*The Rosen Numismatic Advisory, The 2017/2018 Crystal Ball Survey, Part-1.
Vol. 41 No. 6, December 2016.

Editor:

Maurice Rosen

Publisher:

Numismatic Counseling, Inc.

Mail:

P.O. Box 38
Plainview, NY 11803

Office: 

1120 Old Country Road, Suite 306
Plainview, New York 11803

Phone:

516-433-5800

Fax:

516-433-5801

E-Mail:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Subscription:

One Year………….$48
Half Year………….$28
Per Issue………….$10


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.


Many Gold Coins Are Now Going From Common To SCARCER
And Sometimes, RARER.

By Paul V. Battaglia


 
My inspiration for this month’s article came from author and writer Richard Giedroyc. Mr. Giedroyc is part of the Numismatic News staff.  He has written extensively for them plus has other publications to his credit.
 
I was captivated by his article after a few sentences which is the mark of an accomplished writer.  Mr. Giedroyc stated how many otherwise common/available European gold coin, both classic and modern, were often available for two (2) percent over melt.  The VAT (Value Added Tax) and capital gains tax are (currently) not applicable upon these coins at the moment.  Also, collectors have subsequently raised their grade expectations from VF, upward.  Therefore, this being a buyer’s market of unrivaled singularity, the collector can now afford to reach for an AU or into the BU grades.  DEMAND has fallen off noticeably as well.  Why? Our current economy is dreadful, plainly speaking.  VALUE in nearly all things from hourly labor (and its’ inherent worth) up to most real estate has eroded due to an ever-available glut. 
 
Many of my/our readers can readily cite situations where $20 Double Eagles have traded at melt, sometimes behind melt.  Most of the current auctions have multiple examples of these coins below melt.  Mr. Giedroyc continues by quoting well-known numismatic dealers and those dealers’ firsthand experience with the meeting of these varied coins in his article.
 
This numismatist particularly enjoyed his quip where “…the Bank of Canada in December 2015 ordered 215,000 $5 and $10 gold coins dating from the 1930’s to be melted to help balance the federal budget and avoid raising taxes.”*  (Hmmm, cool, but I thought gold coins were no longer MONEY per some well-known investment firms, some newsletters, many huge banks, etc.?  Yet, someone or somebody bought those gold coins, many of which are numismatic, right?  Right.  Canada’s shortfall was eliminated, right?  Right! To which I must insert Steve Buscemi’s quote from the movie “Con Air” (1997):  “Define irony:  a bunch of…”  Got it?  Good, I knew you readers would.  MY quote here is:  “Gold and silver, satisfying all debts public and private for the last seven thousand (est.) years.“  Numbers do not lie.  Gold & Silver both satisfy DEBT, period.
 
Time for me to make my point.

  • So-called common/available gold coins ARE becoming scarcer with their current destruction.
  • Once gold rises, demand tends to pick up.
  • Once demand picks up so do the prices.
  • Most people adore buying things when the rest of the herd is also buying en masse.  Instead, be a swordfish, not a minnow.
  • Those who are now acquiring the best grades they can afford will enjoy seeing these scarcer to rarer coins (made as such per the tinkerings of misguided economists and QE worshippers) rise in both demand and perceived-actual value.

I would make some room in the 2017 budget for such gold coins.  THIS IS PLAINLY AN OPPORTUNITY, readers.
 
Our table at F.U.N. 2017 is #1524.  Stop by, show me what you have found and give me your opinions!
 
Thanks much, have a fine New Year 2017.
 
Paul
 
My sincere thanks to Mr. Richard Giedroyc of Numismatic News for his generous permission in permitting me to reference his insightful article.
 
*”Gold coins now hitting melting pot.” Posted on November 27, 2016 by Richard Giedroyc


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.


My Lucky Dollar

By Dave Carleton



Well here we are at the beginning of a New Year.  I hope 2016 was a good one for you and I certainly wish the best for all of us in 2017.
 
At this moment, Warren and Paul are attending the F.U.N. Show in Ft. Lauderdale.  They went armed with an extensive “want list” and I hope they’re able to find some nice material.
 
A couple of weeks ago while we were in the holiday mode, I got to thinking about how coins, especially when I was young, were an integral part of my Christmas presents.  My Mom and Dad always put some kind of coin or coin related product in my stocking.  Years later, after PCGS was started, I gave my Dad a certified 1925 Peace Dollar to commemorate his birth year.  He accepted it graciously, but told me that he had a Peace Dollar that he had kept for a long time that was pretty important to him.  I asked what coin he was referring to and he blew me away when he told me the story.
 
The story goes like this…
 
When I just turned 13, I rode my bike to a farm a few miles from my house and asked the farmer if he needed any help getting in his bales of hay.  He hired me and I started making $1.00 an hour.   As time went on, I started working more and more doing everything on the farm.  Over time, the money started to add up and I told my parents that when I turned 16, I wanted to buy a Corvette.  My mother said that it was my money and I could do what I wanted with it. I had a habit back then, and it was to go to the Souhegan National Bank here in Milford and convert my pay into silver dollars.  I just loved the feel and the weight of the coins and I also found that I was less likely to spend them.
 
Fast forward to my 16th birthday and I re-announced my intention of buying a Corvette.  Both of my parents responded with “no way” you’ll kill yourself in a car like that.  I was crushed, but I moved ahead and bought a 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air for $25.00.   I still wanted something cool and I set my sights on a 1961 Corvair.   Unfortunately, I had to cart most of my silver dollars back to the bank to turn them into paper, which is what the dealer requested for the transaction.  I bought the car and drove it off the lot.  I had just come from the bank and had five Peace Dollars in my pocket which I put in the glove compartment.
 
Several months later I spun out on a wet corner, did a 180° and took out a telephone pole backwards.   I took off my eyebrows when my head hit the glove compartment and there was blood everywhere.  Off to the hospital I went.
 
In the meantime, my parents were driving through town when they saw the tow truck bringing my car to the garage.  My mother recognized the car and they followed the wrecker to the lot.  Seeing all the blood made my parents crazy because the tow truck driver couldn’t tell them about the condition of the driver.  My dad cleaned out the car of my possessions and he found the Peace Dollars.  He kept one of those dollars and always thought it to be lucky because I probably should have been killed in that accident.
 
I never knew he did that until that Christmas when I gave him the 1925.  I have that coin now and it has a very special meaning to me.
 
Dave


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.


Questions From The Mail Bag

By Warren Mills
 
M.B. asked:  What should I do with problem coins I bought from a dealer?
 
A new customer recently came in and asked me to review his AU to Unc. Peace Dollar collection.  I said we do all appraisals free of charge and I will be happy to look at them.  He came in with his set and I said everything was cleaned to varying degrees.  I said for expensive coins, and particularly better grade pieces, it is not wise to buy them uncertified.  The 1928 and 1934-S should always be certified for authenticity alone, let alone the grade too!  If I give the dealer that assisted you the benefit of the doubt and say that he didn’t realize the coins he was selling you were cleaned, the proof will be in the pudding.  Take them back and get a buy price for the set.  M.B. informed me that he acquired the coins a while ago over time and hasn’t seen the dealer for a while.  I said it’s a good idea to renew your acquaintance. 
 
He took the set to the dealer who had a handful of regulars in his shop.  M.B. handed him the set and asked him what he’d pay.  The dealer looked at the set and said all of the coins were cleaned to which M.B. said…”I bought them all from you.”  Unfortunately, a deal was not consummated by M.B.
 
If you insist on buying raw coins, get a guarantee like the one we have.  We guarantee that all raw coins, at a minimum, will certify to the grade we sold them as.  I believe we’re still the only dealer in the country that has this guarantee.  Also, before you are in too deep, offer coins back occasionally to see if a dealer stands by his or her product.  Recently, we had a customer that bought a fair amount of 69 and 70 bullion coins for a premium and the dealer did not need them when they wanted to sell!
 
I told M.B. to bring his set back when he can and we’ll look into certifying what we can for him and help him to value the rest.  Thanks M.B.  I wish the outcome had been better.

 
We will have our usual Corner Table at the F.U.N. show this month.  I hope to see you there.


We are always happy to answer any questions you may have.  So please keep sending in your questions to me directly or email Thank you.

 

on Tuesday, 06 December 2016 14:55. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

  December 2016 Issue

A Newsletter By:

My Thoughts On Last Month’s Interview With John Albanese

By Warren Mills


My comments and thoughts about our interview in the November issue of our newsletter with John Albanese, a founder of PCGS, and the founder of NGC and CAC.
 
I think it is important for our friends and clients to get my perspective on John’s answer to my questions.  RCNH has long been known as a company that buys the coin and not the holder.  We’ve always been strong proponents for collectors enhancing their grading skills and helping them to do so.  The proof has always been in the pudding.  We are aggressively pursued by the major auction companies to consign our coins for them to offer for sale.  And many clients that we’ve helped with Registry Sets and just filling in holes for their collections have told us that many of their best coins were purchased from us.  Many of our coins, when consigned to auction, have set record prices for the grade.
 
Please find my thoughts here on John’s answers:

 
Why start CAC?
 
John:   The reason Warren, was because guys like you and me have always bought and selected nice coins for the grade and lower-end coins for grade were dragging down the market.   Lower-end coins punished high end coins for the grade and I saw a need to separate the two so that the non-expert coin buyers could identify solid coins for the grade. 
 
John’s comments here were spot on.  There needs to be some standard that is recognized by any or all coin buyers that separates the lower-end coins for the grade from the solid or high-end coins for the grade.
 
If you have a chance to look at a major auction catalog, you will see many issues that are represented by multiple lots of the same date and grade.  Yet the price differences can be astounding.  Key series to check are Lincoln Cents, Morgan Dollars, US $20 gold pieces and US commemorative halves.  These series usually have multiple lots that are the same date and grade but prices for these coins can vary by hundreds of percent.  Low-end or altered surface pieces will go begging and may not sell.  Average coins for grade may come closer to published bid prices, but indifference to the readily available average coin could lead them to also bring a low price.  Yet a high-end coin for the grade always will shine.  Many beginners think that a white coin must be the most desirable and to a novice it may be.  But a coin that is identified as high-end is where the educated buyer will concentrate.  Now, these coins are being identified by a CAC sticker.  The work is being done for you.  Check prices in major sales for non-CAC and CAC coins and in most cases, CAC coins will command a substantial premium in virtually all series of coins.
 
I may not agree with all CAC stickered coins, but the concept is correct.


How is the market acceptance of CAC coins?
 
John:  It seems like there is wide acceptance of CAC coins and things are progressing for CAC as planned.  CAC approved coins are selling well and in many instances bringing substantial premiums.
 
CAC is providing buyer assurance for people that are not experts at grading.  CAC also posts bids on many coins and is happy to buy them.

 
John’s answer is the same as how I feel about CAC.  The CAC product is widely accepted and many coins bring a substantial premium over their non-CAC counterparts.
 
You can always have experts examine one coin at a time and disagree on whether a piece is solid for the grade or not, but CAC does provide buyer assurance to people that are not grading experts.
 
I feel that CAC does an excellent job of identifying solid coins for the grade with only a few exceptions.


What do you see the future to be for CAC?
 
John:  There are only a finite number of rare coins.  As time goes on, almost every relevant rare coin may be seen.  As the submissions for coins to CAC dwindle, the future focus for the company will be in making markets for CAC coins.  There will be a lower volume of grading and a higher volume of buying and selling CAC coins.

 
I had no idea what John’s answer would be here!  His answer made me very pleased.  There is no denying that there are a finite number of coins to grade.  For years now, PCGS and NGC have done business expanding their items to grade and working off of resubmissions of vintage coins.  Since our market and business consists of buying and selling vintage coins, you can only loosen standards so much before almost every coin graded is low-end to average for the grade.  When submissions to CAC slow, John will ramp up marketing efforts for buying and selling the CAC approved coins in the market.  At that point in time, we could see a significant price increase for those buyers that focused on high-end coins for the grade.
 
We recently did an appraisal for a customer that acquired 13 coins prior to CAC from us.  I recommended that we send them into CAC to see if they would receive a sticker.  Alas, no gold stickers but 12 of the 13 coins received a green bean.  Percentage wise, that’s not bad!


What series of coins has had the highest success rate of passing at CAC and the lowest success rate of earning a CAC sticker?
 
John:  The highest success rate, without looking at figures, seems to be in Proof Three Cent Nickels.  They are a small coin with few hairlines and nice eye-appeal.
 
The lowest success rate has to be with Saint Gaudens $20’s.  Better date, higher quality Morgan dollars also have a low sticker rate.

 
The highest rate of 3 Cent Nickels is great for the nickel collector, I guess!  However, I disagree with the amount of Proof nickel coins that CAC will approve that have a fair amount of carbon flecks.  I would weigh carbon flecks more heavily than John does.
 
As for the lowest success rate, Saint Gaudens and better date Morgans…that’s an important revelation.  Many new buyers to numismatics are attracted to larger size coins that have nice aesthetic appeal.  Morgan Dollars probably have the largest collector and investor base in all of numismatics!  Yet, it is deemed to be one of the areas with the highest amount of low-end to average coins for the grade.  I know just from my pursuit of looking for top-end for grade pieces for our clients, that it can take me years of searching for better date Morgans before I find a coin I truly consider as high-end for the grade.  Sometimes, I examine dozens of examples and I’m still not satisfied with a coin for our clients.
 
We had a buyer contact us that was just starting to assemble an uncirculated certified Morgan Dollar set and wanted us to help him.  We said that we’d be happy to!  Dave called him in two weeks with a few coins and he said “I already completed that set, now I’m trying to decide about what’s next.”  How about learning to be patient for strictly graded coins?
 
Saint Gaudens success rate is no surprise.  The bad thing is to realize that these coins are so over-graded by the grading services, even with the vast quantities that come out of Europe, that CAC lists them among the lowest pass rate of all coins.  How come that is so?  You have great aesthetic appeal with the design, exceptional luster, and great freshness from hoarding and yet they still don’t pass!  My answer here is due to commercialized grading.  If you want a great collection, stick with technical grading.
 

Why do you think that some dealers and collectors
are resistant to CAC?

 
John:  Dealers who have always dealt in higher quality coins fully support us whereas those dealers who only purchase a coin based price alone appear to be resistant to CAC. There is a tendency to look at CAC as the bad guy and not try to emphasize the need for solid graded coins to pass CAC muster.
 
Right now we are at 100% working capacity.  We’ve pulled back our marketing because we are so busy.  Our goal at CAC is to support coins that are solid for the grade and the dealers who have always dealt in higher quality coins.

 
Dealers that are label readers and have no technical grading expertise or believe in selling anything to make a dollar are dealers that handle commercially graded coins.  Their submission success rate to CAC by them or their clients is so low that they have no use for CAC.
 
Collectors that solely buy on price fall into the same category.  However, it’s different for a collector.  In many instances, they are just trying to protect themselves and pricing is one way to do it.  What they really need to do is homework.  Go to a major show and speak with dealers.  Find out how they do business. Ask about affiliations and return privileges.  Get a feel for who you may be dealing with.  Exercise due diligence before you spend a nickel.  Go to a major auction and view coins.  Don’t go to buy!  Make notes on coins and see what prices realized are.  Then ask questions of the auction house or dealers you spoke to before to find out why coins bring the prices they bring.
 
In this market, your best barometer for pricing is to research auction results.  In many instances, the Greysheet or Bluesheet could be misleading.
 

This is a sensitive subject to me.  When coins with a plus are submitted to CAC, do you just judge the coin on the whole grade point or do you take the plus into consideration?
 
John:  CAC only takes the whole point into consideration, not the plus.  The plus on a coin has caused some confusion in pricing.  Also, if registry points were not added to collectors chasing higher points, the plus sticker would bring a much smaller premium.   Look at a 1928-S Peace Dollar:  the spread between a 64 and 65 is so great that a true solid to high-end 64 may be worth a 10% or more premium.  But if it has a plus on it, I don’t see the value when some dealers add a ridiculous number to the price.  A 1928-S in MS-64 is bid at $750, but I’ve seen 64+ coins offered for $4,500!  Dealers in many instances are capitalizing on over exuberant Registry buyers.
 
CAC only posts bids for the solid point grade and in some instances, I may buy a plus coin for my bid on a non plus coin.

 
John left no room for doubt with his answer.  The sticker is awarded based only on the whole grade point.  The “+” or plus does not garner any consideration at all!
 
This answer is important.  I have seen many coins with a plus grade on it that were not as nice as whole point graded coins with no plus at all.  However, it does seem that a “+” (plus) grade coin should have some kind of a premium affixed to it.  Should it be 5 to 15%?  I guess it depends on the series; but above all, the look of the coin.  A “just missed the next grade” coin could command a high premium over a plus coin that does not deserve a plus.  I always tell people to take into consideration technical grade of the coin, eye-appeal, luster and color.  Even the placing of where a bag mark is can affect the price dramatically.  Pricing will never be an exact science, but some plus coins are priced at hundreds of percent higher than the non-plus grade just because the next grade up price may be so high.  In this case more than ever, make sure your plus coin is truly nicer than a real whole point grade or better yet, pass on the piece!
 

Will you ever sticker foreign coins?
 
John:  No, there are many beautiful and significant foreign coins that are great to collect and buy.  But I am not confident in grading them so we will stick to the U.S. issues that we grade.

 
John said “no.”  Not because there are no great foreign issues but, in many instances, world coins can be graded on a different scale. 
 
I think John is sticking to his strength here with US coins only and I agree with him.
 

I have a problem with CAC stickering dipped coins….why do you not hold the line on original coins and not sticker a dipped coin?
 
John:  I prefer original coins.  If a coin is properly dipped and has full luster, CAC  will give it a sticker if it is solid for the grade.  An original coin we are more apt to give the benefit of the doubt than on a dipped coin.  CAC will not automatically reject a coin because it has been dipped.  In order to receive a sticker the coin must have nice surfaces.

 
I have no problem with John’s answer here.  For me, it’s hard to admit that a dipped coin, when done correctly, can still be an appealing and desirable piece.  We preach stewardship and prefer coins remain in their original state.  However, a coin that is dipped in some instances can still be desirable.  There are many dealers that dip everything.  They don’t believe in education or the characteristics of age that make coins unique.  To me, that is a disservice to future generations of collectors that may never become educated about how coins have been stored or preserved for tens to hundreds of years.  Although to me, white is not always right, unless it is original.  But a correctly dipped coin can still be a prize in a collection.
 
I’ve had people call me to assist them with putting sets together for such items as circulated Bust Halves from 1808-1839 in VF to XF white coins and for help in acquiring sets of Seated and Barber coins in uncirculated to superb proof that all have to be brilliant!  In these instances, I’ve had to pass.  The odd white coin…okay, but complete sets just make me feel sad for the future of the industry.
 
I have been asked to contribute to “The Rosen Numismatic Advisory’s Annual Crystal Ball Survey” for this year.  I’ve already completed and turned in my answers to all of the survey questions.  This survey is a good read for anyone that has an interest in numismatics.  Maurice selects a handful of respected and knowledgeable dealers in our industry to ascertain their thoughts about the future of the coin business. 
 
I know you may say, “Why, then, has he asked YOU to participate?” (A touch of humor here!)  Yet, in light of his questionable judgment, I will post in our newsletter his questions and my answers to them, when he allows me to do so.  The first half I may be able to include in our newsletter next month.

 
Thanks,
Warren


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.


 

Quiz: Identify The Coin


Try to identify the coin based off of the close up images below.

 

A.)


Click To See Enlarged Image

B.)


Click To See Enlarged Image

 

(Answers at the bottom of the newsletter)


 

Is The Plastic Worth It?

By Joseph Presti

During the mid-1960’s, silver had risen to a price that made it uneconomical to make coins out of the metal anymore. The U.S. did however, allow the exchange of silver certificate paper money to be redeemed for silver dollars until 1968.  Once the dust settled, the government performed an inventory of their vaults and discovered more than three million silver dollars in storage.  Many of these were original bags of uncirculated coins and a majority were from the Carson City (CC) Mint.  No one knows why most of the coins were from the CC mint but it turned out to be a coin collector’s dream come true.

Below is a chart of what was discovered in the government vaults;

 

Date

Number Discovered

% of Total Mintage in Hoard

1878 CC

61,000

2.7%

1879 CC

4,100

.54%

1880 CC

131,500

22.2%

1881 CC

147,500

49.8%

1882 CC

605,000

53.3%

1883 CC

755,000

62.7%

1884 CC

962,000

84.6%

1885 CC

148,300

65%

1890 CC

3,950

.17%

1891 CC

5,700

.35%

 
*There were also a small number of 1892-CC and 1893-CC dollars in the hoard, but these were packaged in soft packs, which for the most part were for circulated coins, whereas the above chart is for uncirculated coins.

Prior to the discovery of this hoard, many of these CC dates were thought to be rather scarce as one can see by referencing an early Red Book.  The first sale of these coins occurred in 1972 and I have listed the 1972 Red Book value in uncirculated grade for the corresponding dates. Keep in mind that common date uncirculated coins were valued at $4.00 each.

 

Date

1972 Redbook Value

1878 CC

$16

1879 CC

$210

1880 CC

$65

1881 CC

$75

1882 CC

$35

1883CC

$30

1884 CC

$40

1885 CC

$65

1890 CC

$30

1891 CC

$28

 

Once the government decided to liquidate the hoard, the task fell upon the General Services Administration GSA).  These dollars have come to be known as GSA dollars named after the department in charge of the sales.  The GSA packaged these coins in soft packs similar to 40% Eisenhower dollars of the day and hard plastic cases.  If you will, they were the original third party graders.  Each hard pack came with a card with a serial number in the upper right hand corner.  The first two numbers of the serial number indicated the date of the coin, so a card that began with 82 was an 1882-CC dollar.  The hard plastic holders the GSA used were rather bulky by today’s standards, but served the purpose.  The cases were labeled in one of two ways, they either said “Carson City Silver Dollar” or “Uncirculated Silver Dollar.”  The hoard did contain some non-CC coins and these were put in the latter type holder.  These coins did come with a card that did not contain a serial number.  So if you have a card with your CC dollar but without a serial number, it is not an original card and has been swapped out at some point.

Once these GSA coins hit the market, dealers quickly discovered how bulky and cumbersome they were to cart around and began cracking them out to put into more manageable 2x2 flips.  I can remember working for a major wholesaler in the 1980s and breaking out hundreds of these coins, because you could not sell them otherwise.  Then came PCGS and NGC.  For years neither service would grade these coins in the government packaging so what choice did you have but to break them out?  All of this had the obvious result of lowering the surviving number of CC dollars in the original GSA packaging.

Getting back to the title of this article, is the packaging really worth the extra premium over that of a non-GSA dollar?  That ultimately must be answered by the collector.  Some of the premiums for the scarcer GSA dates can be as much as 100%-300% over that of a non-GSA coin in the same grade.  This reminds me of the registry coin chase, bid up a coin to unrealistic levels just because it is the top coin graded, forget about value.  Then when it comes time  to liquidate, the collector is amazed when they can only get a fraction of the price paid because no one really cares about the label, what really matters is the coin.


 

Scaling Back Prognostication

By Dave Carleton



I’m only going to touch on this subject briefly and that’s it.  I think I can speak for many here in New Hampshire when I say what a relief it is to have no more political commercials on TV.  We really only have one major television station in this state and it was saturated with those commercials.  The closer we got to the election, the more intense and frequent they became – then there were the phone calls from the pollsters (at least three a night), which just about put me over the edge.  That was in the evening after work. 

During the work day, I received many calls from people wanting to purchase bullion “before the election,” and wanting to know which way the metals would go depending on the outcome of the election.  My answer was basically, “I don’t know.”  And I didn’t.  It seems like every time I make a prediction on which way the metals are going, I’m wrong.  So I’ve made a resolution to try to not go there.  What I do say to the caller is that if you are thinking of purchasing gold or silver, then go ahead and get started.  My advice is usually to make several purchases over time and that, by nature, would be cost averaging.  Hindsight’s a wonderful thing and it seems so obvious looking back why gold, silver and numismatics performed the way they did.  However, when you’re in the middle of it like today, it’s very hard to predict.  The strong dollar is one wild card that I never used to factor into my buying decisions, but today it’s a huge factor.

Back in 1999, unbeknownst to us, we were recommended by a very prestigious newsletter, “The Weiss Safe Money Report.”  They had done their due diligence and recommended us as a safe place to purchase bullion.  One reason was because we only marked gold and silver up a couple percent over our cost.  They never told us of their recommendation, so we were blindsided (in a good way) with a ton of bullion orders and it has continued to the present time.
 
I remember one of the first calls I got when this recommendation came and at that time I was still unaware that Weiss had touted us.  The call was from a lady who stated right up front that she had no clue about buying gold, but if Martin Weiss said to buy it, then she was going to follow his advice.  I think at that time I asked her who Martin Weiss was.  Anyway, she said she wanted to make a purchase and because she didn’t know anything about gold, she was only going to “stick her toe in the water.”  So, I’m thinking an ounce or two.  She specifically wanted K-rands and wanted me to quote a buy price to her.  I remember at the time that I quoted $326.00 each.  Without hesitation, she snapped back and said, “I’ll take 300.”  I almost fell out of my chair.  I remember thinking if this is just her toe in the water, what would happen if she took the plunge.   
 
Now when I think back on it, I ordered 300 ounces from my supplier without having a nickel of her money.  That was 16 years ago, and my how things have changed.  I would never dare to do that in today’s environment.
 
By David R. Carleton


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. 


 

“One Man’s Junk Is Another Man’s Treasure”

By Paul V. Battaglia


 
This oft-quoted idiom has many other substitutes such as trash, goods, etc., but I believe my readers get the gist of it.  Upon Googling this phrase, I was presented with endless explanations as you can imagine.
 
Specifically, I am referring to junk silver as well as circulated copper, nickel and gold coins….sometimes heavily circulated.  “Treasure” in the actual sense of that word lies within well circulated coins that are often dateless, yet due to their being a one-year type coin, for example, reduces or eliminates many possibilities into a few or just one.  Yes, time and opportunity are necessary in addition to the owner’s willingness to permit your (obvious) cherry-picking.  One way to avoid blowing your cover is to purchase more of that known quantity instead of ONLY the cherry-picked items that your efforts have uncovered.  Many dealers place little or no time in mish-mash hoards, groupings or mixed-bag deals they acquire.  Politely asking to search through these deals can sometimes be rewarded with an affirmative reply.  (By the way, if nothing of interest to you comes as a result of your search, purchase something just the same.  After all, you took up the dealer/owner’s time and you were afforded a privilege, right?  Yes.  Good.)
 
The test of your integrity and honesty will come about once you present the item(s) for pricing IF they hitherto have not been priced, of course.  Most of the time the dealer/owner will give your choice(s) a hard second look.  Whitman’s “Cherrypickers’ Guide” will be pulled into the arena and/or you will be questioned as to why you want the piece(s) or what they are.  Never, ever lie.  BE HONEST, period.  Your forthright answer will often be met with a reduced price by the owner/dealer.  Most important, you will thereafter be remembered for your integrity; trust me on this statement.  I would suggest you make the purchase when a reduced price is offered to show good faith.  If a price is not offered and the piece is pulled away from you, such is the owner/dealer’s option… but that action is rather unkind in my eyes.  After all, you did state your intentions beforehand (there’s that HONESTY thing again).  I feel you earned the right to ask as to why those picked coin(s) were suddenly not for sale.  Be prepared for anything.  I have been escorted out of shops more than once in my fifty years of doing no more than intensely scrutinizing dealer’s stock.  Other owners will ask if you are a dealer, point blank, prior to looking at anything.  If I am refused service, I quickly opt and offer my wholesaler services to them instead.  This has often turned the tide since every owner/dealer also needs other wholesalers with whom they can trade/sell.  Once I established my integrity, I was thereafter then offered the privilege to look at their coins.  (Yup, there’s that HONESTY thing again).
 
I offer and invite my suggestions as to cherry picking these numismatic areas.  Note:  this is by no means all-inclusive or complete.
 

  1. 1793 Half Cent Liberty Cap, Head facing Left. A one year type, but the coin has to be a near planchet state of Poor-1 with no date and virtually no other details. Don’t laugh; I just placed our PCGS Poor-1 CAC green with a friend dealer-collector. I also recall one being cherry-picked at 1982 Orlando F.U.N. out of “a huge mess of non-descript ‘copper coins.’” The dealer probably scanned them quickly, spotted the rarity, and then just paid the asking price without quibble. Smart.
  2. Most worn, dateless (no damage) Half Cent Liberty Cap Half Cents, Head facing Right.
  3. Worn, dateless Flowing Hair Cents, Chain & Wreath reverse of 1793.
  4. Worn, dateless Liberty Cap Cents, 1793-1796.
  5. Worn, dateless Draped Bust Cents, 1796-1807.
  6. Worn, dateless Classic Head Cents, 1808-1814.
  7. Worn, dateless Liberty Head Cents, 1816-1857.
  8. Worn, 1869 Indian Head Cent….could be the coveted 1869, 9 over 9.
  9. Worn, 1873 Indian Head Cent….could be the coveted Doubled Liberty.
  10. Worn, 1888 Indian Head Cent….could be the coveted last 8/7.
  11. Worn, 1894 Indian Head Cent….could be the coveted Double Date.
  12. Worn, 1909-S Lincoln Head Cent….could be the coveted V.D.B. (I have seen a few of these coins where certification revealed an obliterated V.D.B.)
  13. Not too worn, 1917-P Lincoln Head Cent….could be a Doubled-Die Obverse.
  14. Worn, 1922, No D, Lincoln Head Cent….check The Official Red Book and CherryPickers’ Guide for specifics here as to variety.
  15. Not too worn, 1936-P Lincoln Head Cent….check Red Book for specifics here.
  16. Regular 1944-D Lincoln Head Cent….could be the “D over S.”
  17. Regular 1956-D Lincoln Head Cent….could be the “D above shadow D.”
  18. Regular 1958-P Lincoln Head Cent….could be the “Double Die Obverse.”

 
Now….two of my favorites:
 

  1. 1880 Shield Nickel in TRUE Business Strike. Authentication absolutely necessary plus prior review by experts in this field. Most challenging and (often) proves to be a PROOF.
  2. 1916 Liberty Standing Quarter….Miss Liberty’s lower gown folds (her right hand side) are markedly different than all subsequent Variety II quarters. Please, call me/us for particulars. I own five dateless 1916 Standing Liberty Quarters all picked from junk silver.

 
All right, do you get the gist of what I am pointing out?  The above information was gleaned straight out of my current Red Book.  This is not rocket science.  Your sound and common horse-sense will kick into gear upon a simple review of your Whitman’s “The Official Red Book, A Guide Book of United States Coins 2017”* and “Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties of United States Coins.”*  I start each and every day with my A, B, C’s because time and experience have taught me to apply the basics.  One can become daunted with rhetoric and a know-it-all attitude, thereby leading to errors that might have been avoided….or, fondly recalling the initial pleasures in numismatics when one first began….all because you hearkened back to your beginnings.
 
So, get cracking and open up these two basic, wholesome books.  Review your favorite series and become a professional student by embracing those “basic A, B, C’s” into conscious knowledge of an involuntary nature…like breathing, blinking your eyes and swallowing.  At the least, you will be proud of your deep love of this grand hobby.  At best, well, who can tell what each new day brings?  The possibilities are infinite and they do exist.  One final idiom… “If you watch the pennies (should be CENTS!) the dollars take care of themselves.” 
 
As in, “If you start with your A, B, C’s, you will reach X, Y, Z.”
 
Have FUN and give me a call so we can “talk coins.”

 
*www.Whitman.com


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.


 

The 1856 Flying Eagle Cent

By Lou Roten



I remember having a Flying Eagle cent when I was a kid. I don’t remember how it came into my possession. Most of the cents I had, including many Indian cents, came from circulation. I had a very circulated example and was happy to have it.  I do not remember whether it was ’57 or ’58 and was certainly not aware of the large letters, small letters varieties.

Recently my interest in this short series was revived with several examples passing through RCNH. I began looking up prices and found that the PCGS and NGC sites listed the 1856 issues differently. There were no prices for mint state on the NGC site. NGC states on their website that they do not recognize any of the 1856 mintage as mint state.

Oddly enough, on the NGC Coin Explorer discussion of the Flying Eagle cent, the following paragraph appears:

“Flying Eagle cents have proved enormously popular over the decades, beginning with the pattern issue of 1856. It is unclear exactly how many 1856 cents were struck, but the best estimates fall in the range of 800 to as many as 1,500 pieces. Both proofs and business strikes were made, as well as originals and restrikes. All are valuable and have been extensively hoarded over the years, the most famous hoard of which came from the estate of Colonel John A. Beck, who at one time owned 531 pieces.”

Much has been written about these coins as mint states, proofs, restrikes and patterns. The details are probably well known to many of our readers, but not to me. This brief note is just the beginning of my looking into the story of this valuable and scarce coin.

 

Why does PCGS recognize both mint state and proof, while NGC has what appear to be conflicting statements? Snow 3 has been graded by PCGS as both mint state and proof, while NGC does not list Snow varieties. PCGS lists some mint state examples as Snow 3 with most unattributed; then lists the proofs as Snow 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 9
 
NGC main listing does not list Snow die pairings; NGC Variety Plus does not list the 1856 Flying Eagle cent at all and no Snow die pairs are listed.
 
The combined populations listed of all varieties graded by NGC (424) and PCGS (1146) is 1570, a number which certainly includes re-submissions. Of the 1146 listed by PCGS, 300 are mint state, 846 are proof.


Lou Roten - current adjunct instructor - mathematics / physics, Franklin Pierce University; environmental scientist;  fiddler; life-long interest in collecting coins and stamps with some interruptions; very interested in the evolution of the coin making process.


Questions From The Mail Bag

By Warren Mills
 
"I enjoyed coming to your table at Baltimore and Central States to see you and Paul and get some tips on grading and have you review my coins.  Why have you decided to give up your tables and walk the floor at some of the shows?  I’m sure some of your other customers feel the same way."   B.R.
 
Thanks B.R.  It’s an excellent question and one to which you deserve an answer!  It’s just economics.  We could no longer justify the expense of the tables to the business we were doing from it.  Part of that is our fault.  We come in a day early for shows and do a lot of buying and selling before the bourse even opens.  My primary goal at a show is to buy coins.  We use shows as a source of replenishing our inventory.  Everything that I purchase at a show goes back to the office.  If a friend came to us at a show and said he was looking for a coin and I happened to buy a real corker, I’d sell it to him.  However, we never will price new coins we purchase at a show and put it in our case. 
 
When Paul puts the coin in our showcases for the show, our selection of material may be limited.  However, a large factor was how few new collectors are coming into the business to get an education about coins.  Our loyal friends and customers can always page us to see us at a show.  Yet, fewer and fewer people are interested in learning about coins.  I used to spend time reviewing coins for anyone that wanted an opinion on their collection.  We also would have dealers and collectors come by to show us coins for purchase.  Since we have always tried to buy high-end coins for grade, it became an exercise in looking at low-end to marginally graded coins most of the day.  In the end, I found a better usage of my time was in seeing dealers without the anchor and expense of a table.  Corner tables at a major show now run from $1,000+ to $2,000+ per show. 
 
Always feel free to contact me at the office prior to a show and I will be happy to see anyone that would like me to help or review any coins.
 
We will have our usual Corner Table at the F.U.N. show in January.  I hope to see you there.


We are always happy to answer any questions you may have.  So please keep sending in your questions to me directly or email  Thank you.


 

December Highlighted Coin

1907 St. Gaudens $20 Gold Piece 
PCGS VF-30 High Relief - Wire Edge, CAC