on Thursday, 07 December 2017 17:14. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

  December 2017 Issue

 

The 2017 Baltimore Show

By Warren Mills

Welcome to the December issue of The Rare Coin Enthusiast.  November was a whirlwind of activity for us.  We are seeing a huge amount of people coming in with coins to sell!  It got to the point that we were overwhelmed.  Alas, most are the usual instances of boxes of proof & mint sets, along with quantities of junk silver.  Very few people are coming in with any scarcer coins and when they do, we recommend that they consider certifying, CACing or holding on to them if they can.  We put a price on everything, but at some point, we feel that really choice material will enter a favorable up cycle again and that now is not the time to sell.  It is true that the base of clients for top quality coins is shrinking due to the aging demographics.  However, there are a handful of new serious buyers coming in with a more educated approach and striving for quality.  One affluent collector has spent over $100 million in a quest to assemble an Eliasberg Collection of top quality US coins in a very short time!  The future for top quality coins may finally be bright again.
 
The recently concluded Baltimore Coin Show was very good.  I was surprised that I saw a better selection of material than I had seen in the last few years.  It is very strange to be in a market where a wonderful 6-figure coin is actually more easily traded than a nice 4-figure or low 5-figure coin.  This really brought home the point that new buyers are not only interested in top quality, but are learning about high-end coins for the grade.  They are getting their education and entering the market with more discretionary income than most buyers have had to allocate in the past.
 
While I was attending the show, I had scheduled time to review clients’ coin collections and critique what they have been buying.  It’s a pleasure to see when the grading lessons are really sinking in.  One of our long standing clients came to me with a box of interesting key and semi-key dates of varied series of US coins.  I went through them all and gave an analysis of each coin.  His grading skills and market feel are now on par with many dealers in the industry.  He wanted to CAC some of his more expensive pieces, so I selected 10 coins and sent them to CAC for him.  I am happy to report that 9 out of 10 stickered!  The best part of it is that he is so appreciative.  We spend hours of time trying to help people with not so much as a thank you, sometimes going over their items for years and years with them.  Either way, it is rewarding for everyone to see when lessons are being learned.
 
I know that I’ve touched on this before, but a glaring example recently raised its ugly head.  We need to be diligent to help others and not fall into coin traps.  Many friends or relatives may not be collectors, but may actually be funding Golden IRAs and not even telling you about it. 
 
One last note, once again we’ve been asked to participate in the Rosen Numismatic Advisory, Crystal Ball Survey.  Maurice selects a panel of knowledgeable numismatists and asks for their opinion on a bunch of pertinent questions.  As one of the 6 participants, I am honored to have the opportunity.  With his permission, I will ask if he minds that we include the survey questions and responses in our next issue.  I hope you find the survey interesting and informative. 


Modern Proof Gold Rip-Off

By Warren Mills

The following is a case that we were alerted to.  Some of you may not know that there is a consumer organization that is lead by John Albanese, called The Numismatic Consumer Alliance.  Its sole purpose is to help people that may have been caught up in a coin scam.  We at RCNH dedicate our time when alerted to these situations to try and help people get some of their money back.  There is no compensation for it, but it is the right thing to do. 
 
As you all may know, the coin and bullion markets haven’t been good for almost 10 years now.  Coming into the end of the 2008, the market was strong with anticipation of continued activity and then came the financial correction.  The rare coin market stopped dead and the mind set for many people was motivated by fear to buy bullion for protection.  Bullion became harder to find and even with higher premiums, did well until 2011 and then began to fall.  We’ve been waiting for a recovery ever since.  Some people became interested in tangibles with no inclination for collecting, but thought for diversity that it made sense.  We are finding that many elderly people have been approached with starting Golden IRAs and to put Modern Proof American Gold Eagle Coins into it.  The problem is that these Proof Gold Eagles are being promoted as numismatic coins and in this instance, a client paid almost double the going rate that they should have paid. Right now, the premium for Proof Gold Eagles has dropped so much that they are about on par with uncirculated ones.  They may actually be a good buy now, but only at the true current market levels. 
 
If you or anyone you know has funded a Golden IRA in the last few years, you may want to take a look at it.  I hope that we can help this person, but it will be a long row to hoe.  In any case, we only recommend funding these IRAs with coins that are priced according to their bullion content.


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.


Taking The Red Eye

By Dave Carleton

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have an interest in coins. My grandfather collected them, my dad collected them, and then I collected them with a little help from my dad. The first coin my dad and I found that really set a fire underneath me was in 1959 and it was a 1955 doubled die Lincoln cent.

That first big find was the beginning of my weekly visits to the Souhegan Bank here in Milford, to gather cents to review and to return the rolls I had checked out.  I did this for several years with the constant hope to find that elusive 1909-S VDB or the 1914-D or another 1955 doubled die.  The coin I hoped to find the most was a 1943 copper cent.  I never found any of those dates and I was too broke or cheap to purchase them because I actually thought that I would find them sooner or later. I used to look at pennies until my eyes were bloodshot.

I haven’t sat down to look at thousands or even hundreds of pennies in years, but I’ve observed Warren doing it almost daily for the last thirty years.  He doesn’t just look at Lincoln cents; he looks at everything with a passion.  It’s amazing what he has found, especially in the variety category.

My appreciation for what Warren does was reignited last week when a gentleman came in with a collection he had inherited from his father.  Warren did the evaluation and I believe he paid 2 ½ cents for the Wheat Cents and, as usual, he told the gentleman that when we have time to go through the cents, if we find a better date, we would set it aside and pay a fair price for it. We wrote him a check and he was on his way.

Later on that afternoon, the man came back to our office and asked to speak to me as I was the one who scheduled his first appointment.  When I went out to meet him, it was apparent that he was a bit stressed out.  He told me that he had gone home after coming here and he went on his computer to review Lincoln cent prices because he thought that they would have been worth more than 2 ½ cents. He said that while he was researching the subject, he found that a 1943-D Lincoln cent was worth a ton of money and that there was one in the bag of pennies he brought in. Then he pulled out a sheet of paper with all the dates and quantities of each date and, sure enough, there was a 1943-D listed.

I was immediately excited and told him that if in fact it was in the bag, we would have brought it to his attention when we went through it.  Seeing how he was here and the bag of coins was right where it was left when he walked out, we looked though it. While we were looking, I took the opportunity to tell him of the many ways Lincoln cents have been altered to look like 1943 coppers.  Aside from copper plating a steel cent, I believe the next most common practice of producing a 1943 copper is to alter the 1948 by retooling the 8 into a 3. This is what I suspect we’ll find, but we’ll soon find out.  Wouldn’t you know it; we were down to the last handful of coins when I found a 1948-D with a scratch right through the 8 and it was very easy to see how this man had mistaken the coin for a ’43-D.  He had no idea at the time about such a rarity.

I tried not to be a pessimist, but I did mention several times while we were searching that the coin was probably an error as there are only two known as far as I knew, so when it turned out to be a ’48, he was more prepared for the letdown.  After he left, I had to take an aspirin for the massive headache I had behind my eyes. I couldn’t stop thinking about how many thousands of pennies I looked at years ago and now how only six- or seven-hundred would just about kill me.

This rare situation of me going through hundreds of coins made me appreciate what Warren does almost every day.  I still love coins, but I’m finding out that some aspects of the hobby aren’t as easy as they used to be!  

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 Our Mail Bag

By Warren Mills
 
Dear Mr. Mills,
 
I have acquired coins from many different sources over the years.  Now is my time to cash out.  However, I don’t want to sell for a wholesale price, I want to get a retail price.  Will I get a retail price by consigning my coins to an auction?   - G.F.

 
Wow G.F., this is a great question!  The short answer is no.  That is a big misconception about auctions.  Even the largest auction houses have commissions of 20% and the smaller ones can be up to 30%.  If you deliver a quality consignment and know how to negotiate with a good auction house, you can reduce that commission substantially.  However, if your consignment is of marginal quality, you will get less than what a reputable dealer may pay you.
 
Also, never ever consign bullion coins to an auction.  I’ve seen this happen with certified bullion coins that could be sold to a dealer for around $1,300 per ounce, but the consignor only gets $1,000 to $1,100 per ounce at auction settlement, ouch!  Your best course of action is to consult with a reputable dealer.  They will let you know what to consign and assist you with auction placement and descriptions.  This knowledge is very valuable.  You don’t want nice coins lost in a bulk lot or poorly placed in an internet sale with less exposure.  Then you can find out which coins should be sold outright and which coins should be consigned to get you retail or better prices.
 
Merry Christmas and God’s Blessings,
 
Warren

on Tuesday, 21 November 2017 20:25. Posted in News

Suspect Passing Counterfeit Gold

The Numismatic Crime Information Center is assisting the Ohio Attorney General's Office in identifying the suspect pictured below who sold a victim over $12,000 in counterfeit one ounce gold Perth bars. The victim contacted the suspect through a listing on Craigs List.

 

Anyone with information should contact:

 

John Costello
Criminal Investigator - Economic Crimes Unit Consumer Protection Section Cincinnati Office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine
Direct: (513)852-1534
Fax:  (866)461-8089
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or

Doug Davis

817-723-7231

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

 

 

The Numismatic Crime Information Center is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit
corporation. P.O. Box 14080 Arlington, Texas 76094.

This was an email update by The Numismatic Crime Information Center.

on Wednesday, 15 November 2017 15:58. Posted in News

By Warren Mills

It’s always a quick one hour flight to Baltimore which makes it a pleasure to get too!  A major show so close is always wonderful to attend.  I arrived a day early to see dealers that were showing their wares in hotel suites.  It gives me an opportunity to see coins early on that I may miss if I wait for the start of the show and also allows me to get coins that are saved for me by dealers that appreciate our focus for original strictly graded coins.  You have to pay for the privilege but it is well worth it in the long run.  We never want to compromise our standards and this pays off when our clients go to sell their material.  Pre-show, we spent about six figures, I'd call that a good start.

Thursday, November 9th, was the first day of the show.  The weather was very cool and the show seemed a bit slow. I asked anyone that handled nice coins to show me anything of top quality.  We were lucky to find a bunch of nice want list coins for our clients so our new purchase inventory may be a little sparse.

An interesting observation is that for most series of coins, CAC bids are much stronger than non-CAC bids.  The prices for silver dollars are especially shocking.  As an example, 1892-O Morgan dollars have a grey sheet bid of $3000 but a CAC bid of $6000!  This reflects the commercialized grading of this series and the many over graded coins on the market.  Many silver dollars have similar differences in the bid levels.  An interesting note also is that a well struck true 1892-O in gem condition will sell for more than the $6000 CAC bid wholesale!  If CAC holds the line on their standards, CAC should continue to lead the market.  Gold coins that are scarcer also reflect a significant price differential.  The underlying message here is that over grading or commercial grading is destroying the price structure of many series of coins.  Look at the pricing of the silver commemorative series.  Stripping and dipping became the rage and nice MS-63 coins started to get graded as MS-65.  Over population ensues and bidders stop supporting the market, prices drop and then the series goes into free fall.  Franklin halves and Walkers have also been destroyed due to over grading.  Bulk submission gold and dollars have led to competition for grading fees and the services sometimes give the benefit of the doubt for a full point.  Grading needs to tighten up or the market may never recover.  Nice original commemoratives that are attractive still are desirable and real pretty toned coins are incredibly strong but buyers know to throw away the grey sheet when they find the truly superior coin.  The overhang of marginally graded coins drags down everything.

CAC is also not immune to coins that have no business being stickered.  For the most part I love the concept but every coin needs to be inspected with a jaundiced eye.  I saw some CAC coins that I thought did not deserve a sticker.  However, I’d rather have a poorly graded stickered coin than a non CAC coin if I’m a little unsure of my grading.  The other advantage that CAC has over the other services is that if you bring a coin to their attention that does not deserve a sticker they will buy the coin and take the sticker off.  Bottom line, they put their money where their mouth is.

I did spend a few hours reviewing coins for customers to help them with their grading.  I’m always happy to give opinions and pick out any coins that should be sent to CAC, held onto as they are or sold for a better example if it becomes available.  This critiquing is necessary for people to learn about the nuances of grading.

I also noticed that the people walking the floor are less educated about buying coins than they were 10 years ago.  Baltimore was a mecca for older educated collectors that flocked to the show years ago.   As that population aged, the knowledge was not handed down.  That’s why I try to spend as much time with people as I can to impart any tidbits that my help them.

One dealer I greatly respect had cases of affordable coins that he lets collectors pick through with no pressure at all.  When he was at the Long Beach coin show last month, he sold over $10,000 worth of these coins to knowledgeable buyers.  His sales in Baltimore were $143 of the same types of coins.  I asked him for his observation as to why there was such a divergence and he said the customers he spoke to in Baltimore have a fraction of the knowledge than the customers in California have.  I was shocked and I have no explanation for this.

This show surprised me in the sense that it was easier to sell a six figure coin than a low four figure coin.  Does this mean that big money which is normally smart money is picking off the classic rarities while prices are down?  At some point, there should be a filtering down for attractive lower priced pieces.  I don’t remember this phenomenon happening for a prolonged time period in the market before but it is happening now.

There is also one major buyer in the market place that has spent so much money in the past year that he is making some dealers careers.  One dealer I spoke with told me a couple of years ago that he had no retirement plan and didn’t know if he would have to work until his dying day.  Now he is making so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it.  I’m happy for him but again, smart money usually jumps in ahead of the market.  Let’s hope this is the beginning of something good for all of us.

on Friday, 20 October 2017 16:17. Posted in News

 

Pat Whitley sits down with Warren Mills from Rare Coins of New Hampshire. Today's Topic: Counterfieit Gold & Silver Coins.

This was found on the "Wicked Bites" Facebook page

on Tuesday, 10 October 2017 20:24. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

October 2017 Issue

 

Strive for Those Win-Win Relationships

By Warren Mills
 

Welcome to the October issue.  It seems that people are getting a bit more interested in specific ideas and recommendations.  In this issue, I’ll try to address a few things that have been brought up that I hope you find interesting.
 
This month, I had a chance to examine a collection of coins that included most issues in a specific series from 1801 to 1964.  Wow, what a neat undertaking.  I was asked about my interest in the set and my first question was “from where did you acquire most of the coins?”  When I was told from where they were purchased, I said, “It was not for me!”  I hated to do it, but the source of acquisition was known as a dumping ground for marginal coins.  Imagine that – I couldn’t believe I had to pass. 
 
We try to act as stewards for future collections.  I knew right away the degree of over-grading and commercialism that I would see would be a disappointment to both me and the customer.  He e-mailed and said he really wanted my opinion and hoped I would help him.  If someone needs help, I’m all in and so I said I would examine, critique, and price every coin… which I did.  I described and priced everything:  all the brilliant circulated bust issues, and all the circulated pieces that were graded and were mostly one full grade off.  For six straight hours, I went at it.  I came up with a price of just under $75,000 and said that if the coins were more technical for the grade, I would have easily paid well over $100,000. 
 
One of the coins was certified as AU and I graded it VF.  He said upfront he was going to get other offers; yet, I knew that going in and I told him that was fine.  After a couple of weeks, he e-mailed me and asked if I could stretch almost $3,000.  When I considered the hours of work I would have to dedicate to re-grading, a handful I could send to CAC and what I would accept from PCGS as downgrades, I couldn’t stretch.  I was thankful for his kind consideration and giving me the ability to have the final opportunity.
 
I couldn’t believe I had to say no.  If the collection were solid and original, I would have been stretching probably to $125,000.  Yet, I had to let someone else offer these coins to others.  I know that of the 200+ coins in this collection, I could only offer less than twenty to our list of great clients.  I just couldn’t stand behind the rest.
 
The lesson here is on my part – stick with your gut and be nice.  I could have used those six hours.  On the collectors’ part, establish a relationship with a handful of knowledgeable caring professionals!  Anyone can be an order-filler and take one’s money on commercial fodder.  A dealer that cares about their clients and industry wants to have a great relationship and sell the best coins.  This way, they have a chance to help you get real value for your money and a hopeful opportunity to help you make a profit and sell your coins to other customers that keeps the circle going.  In other words, strive for those win-win relationships!


Lesson Learned!

By Warren Mills  

I tried last month to establish a relationship with a new dealer.  He had some coins that I would have loved to acquire if they met my criteria:  #1 original, #2 no damage, and #3 accurate for the grade.  This dealer is a long time advertiser in many coin publications.  I had never done business with them before.  I called the office the first time and no one called me back.  I just thought the coins were sold.  Next month, the same pieces are in their ad.  I called back and spoke to a nice customer representative and told him I was interested in the entire lot, but only if they were original, undamaged, and graded accurately.  If not, I didn’t want to waste my time and theirs.
 
I was assured all the coins were fine.  Since we hadn’t done business before, he asked if I would send a check in full and they would refund on any pieces I wanted to return.  I gave them references, but I said to myself, “Well, they are Coin World advertisers and I’d love to establish a new relationship,” and so I said “okay.”  I sent a check… they sent the coins.  I was mortified at what I saw!  I tried my best to buy what I could, but I then sent back the rest.  Now beforehand, we agreed on a price for each coin.  When I relayed to them over the phone what I was keeping and returning, the rep said “fine.”  A few days later, they called me and reneged on the pricing because I didn’t keep enough of the coins.  Wow, this stuff is still happening!
 
Renege on your word and misrepresent the product???  I’ll let you know how it works out!  Is it a lack of knowledge, ethics, or both?


Partner and owner of Rare Coins of New Hampshire, Inc. since June, 1990 and a full time coin dealer since 1979.  Warren is a full member of the Professional Numismatists Guild and a life member of the American Numismatic Association.  He was selected by the Rosen Numismatic Advisory as one of the ten leading numismatists in the country for twelve consecutive years.  He was selected by PCGS and written up in their newsletter as handling and submitting some of the nicest coins they have ever seen.


 A Lucky Turn of Events 

By Dave Carleton
 
I want to make a brief comment on an observation I made earlier this month.

 A client came in to our office toward the middle of the month. I thought I recognized her and when she reminded me that she had been in here about a year ago, it all came back to me. At that time, she had come in to sell a large assortment of silver-related items --silver rounds, bars and junk (90% pre-1964 circulated coins). The total came to $75,000 dollars and, as I remember, she said that she was raising funds for a project on which she and her husband were about to embark. This time she had 90 ounces of gold to sell and, again, it was an accumulation of a variety of pieces from 1 oz. rounds to 10 oz. bars.

We figured the assortment for approximately $120,000, but we would have to wait to write the check for another 24 hours until our wholesaler tested the larger bars for authenticity as we don’t have the equipment to test those bars that are 10 oz. or larger. She was a little upset because she was hoping to leave with a check in hand that same day. That’s when she told us that her husband’s job had taken them all around the world for the last several years and that the traveling aspect of the job was winding down and they were looking for a nice quiet town in New Hampshire in which to settle.

She apparently had found a “nice little place” and was anxious to put a substantial down payment on it, and that’s why she was in kind of a rush to get the money from the sale of the gold. She had mentioned earlier that they had been accumulating these hard assets for just this purpose.  I remember thinking that it probably was a pretty small place based on the town she mentioned and the fact that they had about $195,000 to spend.

At one point our conversation focused on timing and how when you need the money, it seems like the market isn’t cooperating. That’s when it was mentioned that perhaps her selling of the silver last year was a bit premature. A big smile came to her face and she said that sometimes things work out for the best in strange ways. She then said, “Thank goodness for Bitcoins.”

I must have shown a strange look as I asked her what she meant. She told me that last year when she sold the silver that her son talked her and her husband into buying $75,000 worth of bitcoins and that they were now worth $280,000. She was going to use these funds and the money from the sale of the gold to buy the new house.

I know that we delivered a good check to her the next day, but I have no idea if she was able to sell her Bitcoins. I hope everything went well and I can’t help thinking that her son must have demonstrated some pretty good salesmanship to get them to dive into the Cryptocurrency market.

I seem to remember being offered bitcoins about 5 or 6 years ago for $15.00 bucks. Who knew? I think I’ll just keep buying silver. I even like the fact that it’s heavy.

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 Our Mail Bag

By Warren Mills
 
R.S. posed an interesting question:  Warren, I enjoy reading the articles in “The Enthusiast,” but when are you going to come out with specific recommendations about what people should buy?
 
Thanks for your question, R.S., and the question hit between the eyes!  Everyone has different time frames for holding and collecting or investing objectives.  It’s hard to know what to say when you don’t know the criteria you are trying to meet.  I will try to give a basic idea to coin purchasing success and I hope it will help.
 
First and foremost, establish a relationship with ethical dealers that have a long standing reputation in the industry.  They will guide and help you not only learn about the coins but also help you avoid pitfalls.  Then, enjoy the pursuit.  Try to buy coins with nice eye-appeal.  I don’t mean that you have to become an expert grader - that’s what your dealer will do for you.  Just learn the difference between original and dipped or enhanced surfaces. 
 
When you’re not sure, CAC is a good protective area to consider allocating funds.  Even though CAC will sticker non-original dipped coins, they will still have meat on the coins and they won’t be totally stripped.  Grey Sheet just had a recent article about commercially graded brilliant Morgan Dollars that are white but are over-graded; rest assured, these coins will pull down the prices on Morgan’s in virtually all grades from MS-63 to MS-67.  Have the right coins and you will weather the storm.
 
Try to acquire coins that are under the radar.  In all series there are undervalued coins.  A good source to determine what is undervalued is to examine pop reports.  Look at the coins from the lowest circulated grades to the highest uncirculated grades.  There are many dates in all series of coins that have not been exposed that are vastly under-valued.  I like Indian Cents, but copper coins have been fully exposed.  There are no secrets.  The same is true for nickel pieces.  Everyone knows how rare certain business strikes are in the Three Cent Nickel series or how rare the True 1880 Shield Nickel is in business strike.  However, these coins are exposed.
 
Examine series of coins that you enjoy!  Seated Half Dimes to Seated Halves have many “P,” “S,” and “O” mint issues that are a joke!  They are rare and unexposed.  The same with gold $2.50, $5, and $10 pieces:  there are many “P,” “S,” and “O” mint coins that are under-valued.  In the silver series, the “CC” and rarest dates are coins to buy with an objective of set completion but not as much for investment.  The same is true for most “CC,” and “C” and “D” mint gold:  these coins are exposed, plus there is rampant over-grading and surface alteration.  Do some homework on the above series and you could be a huge winner!
 
I also believe in diversity.  The specialist that is a die-hard for one series and more interested in investment return may have to wait for years for their ship to come in.  That person may want to collect coins from two or more series that are not exposed.  In addition, key dates are coins about which everyone knows.  Look for the under-valued coins in a series.  You may be able to buy ten or more underexposed coins for the price of one key.
 
I hope this answer helps, and keep those questions coming.
 
Warren Mills
 

 

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