on Tuesday, 06 June 2017 01:16. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

  June 2017 Issue

A Newsletter By:

 

THINK LONG TERM

By Warren Mills


The Pogue sales have ended.  What a collection of numismatic treasures.  When it was done, over $106.5 million of coins crossed the auction block.  Keep in mind, that does not include two pieces that the family decided to keep that would have pushed the total to over $120 million.  Wow, it shows that top quality for the grade and wholesomeness still rule the day among knowledgeable buyers.

There are lessons here to be learned for all collectors of rare coins.  The following is a list any buyer of coins should consider.  These are listed in no particular order, but try to focus on all of them at some point.

  1. Be patient with your acquisition.  Most collectors want to have everything yesterday!  This simply does not work when trying to assemble a strictly-graded collection on a piece-by-piece basis.  The exception to the rule is when you are fortunate enough to buy an intact collection from one knowledgeable buyer that knew what they were doing.  When you rush the process, you are more apt to settle for marginal quality.  Always remember, you are assembling a collection that will appeal to the most knowledgeable buyers in the business.  Top quality is always in demand.
     
  2. Try to work within a budget.  If you are comfortable, exceed it on a nice piece, which is fine.  Stretch where you find it prudent to do so or you may never get the opportunity again!  However, if you see a magnificent coin that you must have, you may not want to blow your allotment for the next few years on one piece!  However, I would not discourage someone from acquiring their coin of a lifetime, if they would have no regrets in the future.  Objectives can change and flexibility is a must in building a set.  The joy of ownership on a special piece can last a lifetime.  If the objective is a complete set or bust, then you need to exercise discipline.
     
  3. Find a mentor….one who really loves the hobby.  Usually, a short conversation will allow you to determine if this person is knowledgeable, wants to exercise good stewardship, and will spend the time to educate you.  I have spent countless hours working with collectors that have never done a lick of business with us.  Some will think nothing of tying you up for hours at a show or auction just to pick your brain.  Unfortunately, I find this to be the norm.My advice is that if you are that self-serving and don’t care or respect a dealer’s time, at least be courteous and thankful.  When I look at a dealer’s inventory, I do everything I can to try and buy at least one coin.  I want them to know that I’m appreciative that they took the time to allow me a chance to find a coin I may need for a customer.
     
  4. Look at a lot of coins and make notes.  This is especially true at auctions.  Large auctions are a treasure trove of coins for your viewing pleasure.  Pick a series or a few in which you have the most interest and make detailed notes.  Focus on color, luster, eye appeal, etc.  Then, attend the auction and watch who is buying the lots.  If only dealers are spending, it may mean that the coins are going cheap or that knowledgeable eyes recognize the exceptional quality of the coins in the sale.  If they are going to the book, it may mean that the quality is marginal and a reserve has been set.  If they go to the phone or internet, it may mean that dealers are bidding that way so they cannot be seen or some heavy-duty customers are jumping in.  The final step to assess these auctions is to go on the bourse floor and ask dealers their assessment of the sale.  In addition, ask if they saw a few of the lots that you really liked and get feedback from them on what they thought of the same lots.  However, don’t monopolize a single dealer’s time.  This is how they make a living.
     
  5. Don’t be intimidated.  Some buyers wonder if a dealer will give them the time of day if they are buying coins for less than $100.  Remember, it takes a lot of raindrops to make a puddle.  If I could sell a hundred $50 coins at a show or out of the inventory from the office, I’d consider that to be a successful day!  Years ago, I had a couple of collectors come in to show me (2) Indian Cent sets.  They were both labors of love for them.  The coins were wholesome and fresh and I examined every one of them in each set.  A handful could be replaced, but overall, they were exceptional.  I asked each collector if they wanted to sell their sets multiple times… they declined.  I asked if I could get first shot when they sold.  One was a VG to Fine set and the other was a rock solid XF to Choice XF set.  I wanted them both!Quality is always in demand.  If they went to a dealer that only handled $10,000 coins and up, they may not have been well-received.  However, a dealer with a knowledgeable collector base for bread and butter coins would crawl through glass for them.
     
  6. Think long-term with your acquisitions.  Market cycles are like the tide -- you cannot stop it.  You may acquire the odd pieces that rise in a down market, but that’s the exception to the rule.  That’s the reason why you want to buy exceptional coins for the grade.  Unforeseen circumstances could come up and you need to raise money.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen collectors try to sell the usual cleaned, re-worked, and over-graded coins in a pinch and have been told by the dealer from which they bought the coins, that he can’t use the coins!  If you learn your lessons well, nice coins are always wanted and needed.  It just may not be at the price for which you were hoping.  Low-end PCGS & NGC coins can go begging, too!
     
  7. If you don’t have time to learn or have trust issues, but you love coins, warm up to CAC, which focuses on solid coins for the grade that may be the top 25%.If you are skeptical, check auction records and you’ll see that CAC coins perform very well.  I don’t agree with all CAC-stickered coins and I feel that in some instances that they should have stickered coins that they didn’t.  Yet overall, they provide a necessary service in this very specialized field.

These are just some areas of focus.  A case can be made for others, but consider this a thumbnail sketch for success.

I hope to interview some of the longtime dealers in our field.  I find their stories and experiences to be incredibly interesting.  Years ago, one dealer bought 656 Pan Pac $1 gold commems in one collection!  If you would find these stories of interest, please let me know.

One May 17, Catherine Bullowa passed away… she was an icon in the business.  Imagine all the neat experiences that she took with her to the grave that no one will ever know!


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.


Modern Treasure Hunters

By Dave Carleton



I’ve always been supportive of any young coin collectors and anyone that’s trying to cultivate an interest in numismatics with these youngsters.  I’ve spoken with the Cub Scouts, the Boy Scouts and several of my sister-in-laws 3rd grade classes.  We’ve had lots of occurrences where a parent will come in for an evaluation with their kid, but the children have absolutely no interest in the coins at all and would rather play with their wireless devises.  It wouldn’t be fair to say that all the kids are like that.  Some show a real interest and if so, I’ll give them some interesting coins like an Indian cent, a Buffalo nickel and maybe a colorized State Quarter.  They love those colorized coins, but I tell them that they’re just for fun and it’s really not cool to alter coins like that.

As I drove into the office this morning I saw a man and probably his son, metal detecting and it reminded me of a camping trip I took last fall on the coast of Maine.  My brother-in-law brought his metal detector with him and we went out searching.  It was late in the fall and there weren’t many campers so we were searching different sites, especially around the picnic tables. I couldn’t believe all the things we were finding.  While we were searching, we picked up the attention of three boys that were camping with their parents a few sites away.  They approached us and asked what we were doing and we told them that we were looking for Pirate treasure, but really anything we could find.  They asked if they could join us and we said that they could if they had permission from their parents.

This is the point of my story…the boys went wild!  Every time the detector buzzed, the boys would dive down and start digging.  Coin after coin was found and even though we never found anything of real numismatic value the excitement was building.  Most of the coins were corroded Lincoln cents, Jefferson nickels and Roosevelt dimes but we found about a hundred.

Needles to say, I was trying to get a little bit of numismatic education in while all this crazy digging was going on.  It wasn’t of course all coins we were finding.  We found a bunch of tent pegs, combs, tooth brushes, earrings, and a Swiss army knife.  Up until we found the knife, we were letting the boys keep the coins, but when we found the knife a big brawl ensued over who would get it.  We had to end our little hunt as the boys were out of control and we told them that my brother-in-law would get to keep the knife because it was his detector.

So now it has just occurred to me that metal detecting is probably one of the best ways to introduce kids to coins.  The metal detector has head phones, a buzzer, a digital screen and all kind of adjustments, just the things that attract kids these days.  Now that I think of it, I’m going to go out and get one. 

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.


My First Experiences with Early Copper and US Currency

Lou Roten

 

I have spent most of my education time here at RCNH examining coins, attempting to get some understanding of surface conditions; for example:
 
-  Trying to recognize what differentiates an AU-58 from an uncirculated coin, searching for, at least for me, what can be elusive evidence of rub.
-  Recognizing a cleaned silver coin with no toning just to produce a ‘bright’ white surface.
-  Recognizing a toned silver coin that has been cleaned and allowed to tone on its ‘brand new’ surface.
-  Tilting a coin under good lighting to finally reveal tiny hairlines resulting from whizzing or brushing methods.
-  Understanding that planchet flaws are interesting features of the minting process and not necessarily a factor reducing the value of a coin, rather maybe an enhancement.
-  Examining coins for die cracks and clashes; repunches; misplaced dates and mintmarks which often just barely appear in the denticles.
-  Learning about copper “woodies” in the Indian and Lincoln cents series.
 
Grading is another story – As you all know, too much goes into grading a coin, and I may never learn enough.
 
Recently I went to a local coin show determined to begin my education of early copper coins.  I sat down at a vendor’s table and said I would like to look at his tray with early copper cents from 1796 to the 1830’s. He quickly obliged, opened the case and handed me the tray.   I sat with my loop thinking I had the time to examine a wide range of dates and several series, looking at them one-by-one; the early coins were mostly pitted while the surface conditions gradually improved in the later dates.  The prices ranged from a few hundreds to several thousands of dollars. The dealer came over to ask if there was anything he could do; I told him I was just learning about early copper and that I was probably not prepared to buy anything right now because I had just begun learning about these coins.  I identified myself and that I worked for RCNH, having only recently joined them.  Instead of asking me how he could help me learn about his coins, he told me he was not going to let me sit there much longer.  I folded my tent right then and there.  If his table had been busy and he needed the chair I would have no problem moving on but, he was not busy at all. I do understand competition, but there is nothing proprietary about coins.  I do think it is healthy to develop good business relations with many dealers.
 
One key point, all his copper coins were in “2x2” stapled holders with penned grades.  I observed that the coins were all shiny, having an almost polished appearance, with no originality that even I could see; no dirt – i.e. in spite of his written grades on the cardboard holders, almost certainly professionally un-gradable.   A “2x2” cardboard holdered coin costing several thousands of dollars is at the very least suspect and at worst a problem coin.  There is no other reason for such a coin not to be graded and protected in a modern Third Party Grader holder.
 
I also wanted to look at some US currency, generated by my introduction to the 1896 Educational series $1, $2 and $5 (‘the banned in Boston note’) dollar notes – just beautiful examples of that period’s engraving.  I stopped at a small table loaded with US currency, and having been asked what I was looking for, I told the dealer that I was new to currency.  He spent almost an hour explaining US currency, showing me many examples and educating me on conditions.  I moved off when a customer needed help, and returned to our conversation when he became free again.  He was very patient and did not at any time ask me to leave.  I had also identified myself and that I was working at RCNH.
 
The latter is the kind of dealer we should all look to work with. RCNH is such a dealer.


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 Our Mail Bag

By Warren Mills

Should a collector/investor ever purchase a non-CAC coin?
-D.M.


Thanks D.M. 

Yes, however the majority should be CAC’d.  Why pass on the assurance of a coin being solid for the grade that’s been examined by a founding member of both PCGS and NGC?  As a collector and dealer, I try to send in most of our coins that I purchase for inventory if they are $300 or more.  Why?  To protect the interest of our customers.  A CAC sticker will enhance demand and liquidity in most cases.  However, I must offer a caveat.  CAC may sticker an unattractively toned coin or a coin that’s been over-dipped.  They may sticker a coin that is circulated and does not have original surfaces or is cleaned and through aging has toned over the cleaning.   All coins should be examined individually.  Watch out for CAC copper and nickel with lots of carbon flecks.

The reason why I say yes is because if your coins are mostly CAC’s and your non-CAC pieces are rare and/or just miss coins with nice appeal, they will be desirable.  Classic rarity still commands lots of interest.

I recently acquired ten gold coins in MS-63 to MS-66 grades.  None were CAC’d.  I sent them in and they all CAC’d!  So there is also the possibility that a non-CAC coin has not been sent in.  For the sake of your protection and value for the buck, I’d recommend a good mentor give you an opinion on a non-CAC coin, too!

Please keep those questions coming and if you prefer that I just answer anything for you privately, I’m happy to do so. 
Also, if there are any areas of the coin business you would like us to address in the newsletter, let me know!  So please keep sending in your questions to me directly.

Thanks,
Warren

on Tuesday, 02 May 2017 00:28. Posted in News

  May 2017 Issue

A Newsletter By:
Rare Coins of New Hampshire's Logo

Some Thoughts From Warren

By Warren Mills

Protecting the interests of our clients sometimes costs us money!  I know as a business person, you may read this and be skeptical. I’ll give you an example in a moment.

First, I would like to recommend that you read Joe Presti’s excellent article about consigning a collection to a local auction.  The job of the auction house is to acquire consignments to keep the lights on, I get it. They can also give an added incentive by agreeing to rebate some of the commissions or include the nicer coins in a more prominent sale.  Recently, a large well established auction house succeeded in getting a nice collection for one of their sales.  Good for them.  However, it was not all good for the consignor.  Why have collectors consign certified bullion coins to an auction?  After commissions and fees, the consignors usually receive 15-20% below melt!  I feel these firms should have a sense of obligation to tell customers to sell the graded bullion coins outright instead of increasing the commission to the auction house by selling them in an auction.

When we were at the FUN Show in January, a family of four came to our table and asked me what I would pay for eight early Bust coins that were PCGS and NGC graded.  I said that I loved two of the coins but the others, even though they were graded, were not original and exhibited varying degrees of cleaning or alteration.  I was then told that the two coins I loved were acquired from us at Rare Coins of New Hampshire and that the client was a customer of Dave Carleton’s.  I put a price on the two nice coins and told the family that I would put a value on the other pieces just to establish a basal value.  I would buy the whole collection but my prices on the other six coins would reflect a price that would allow me to wholesale the unwanted coins.  If I lost money on them, so be it, I would have the cream of the collection to retail.  I recommended that they keep all eight coins together and offer them as a lot.  The two nice coins would make the deal more desirable to others who may look at the coins. I gave them the name of two or three other dealers that are more commercially oriented sellers and told them to take the highest offer.  I’m sure I could have convinced them to sell the two coins I liked back to us, but from day one, we feel we have an obligation to protect and help our clients.  It’s simply the RCNH way!


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.


Don’t Outsmart Yourself

By Joseph Presti

There was recently a local auction that included some nice Draped Bust $5 along with a host of other coins, bullion and paper money.  The local dealer community, as usual, bid up the coins to unrealistic levels because some of the material was fresh and there is a great need for these types of coins.  However, when you get through adding the 23% buyer’s fee to some of the prices realized the prices paid were a little top heavy.

So, after the auction, the gossip lines opened up and the dealers started talking.  Come to find out a local dealer had bid on the collection two years earlier.  Being nosey, I called him to get the scoop on what happened, what he bid for the coins and why he did not get the deal.  I have known this dealer since I was 15 years old and he is nothing but a straight shooter so when he tells me something I can take it to the bank. 

The story he related is one I have experienced many times in the years I have dealt in rare coins and I may have written about it here as well.  A family brought the collection to my friend including the early five dollar coins.  He told me that the coins and paper money brought exactly what he offered two years prior!  The unknown here is why did the family decide to consign the collection and pay a hefty seller’s commission versus sell it to the dealer?  There are several assumptions we can make as to why they would have made this decision.  May be they felt that the dealer’s offers were too low or possibly felt that selling at auction gave them access to a wider range of people interested in their coins.

I can almost understand selling the coins at auction but what I don’t understand is why anyone would want to sell K-Rands and 100 oz. silver bars at auction and pay a 15-23% seller’s fee.  My friend told me that he only made an offer on the coins and paper money, not the bullion.  Since the prices realized were equal to his offer, the consignors netted 15-23% less because of the commission charged by the auction house.  In this case that amounted to $20,000-$30,000 less than if they had accepted the dealer’s offer two years prior.  I don’t even want to consider the bath they took on the bullion.

There is a lot of information available especially on the internet, so much so that it only leads to confusion.  Realize what you don’t know and do not try to determine what your coins are worth unless you have specialized knowledge.  More important decide on a dealer you trust for an honest evaluation and offer.  If you are not going to trust the dealer you bring your coins to please don’t waste their time or yours.  As a seller, you have to allow the buyer to be able to make some money when they buy your collection, which is why they are in business.


For The Love Of Coins

By Dave Carleton


 
I love coins, always have and always will.  I love to hold them, look at them and wonder where they’ve been.  I often wonder how a “key” date got so worn before someone identified it for what it was.  I like the people that collect coins and the people I work with who share my passion for coins.  Along with the physical aspects of coin collecting, I also enjoy reading the history surrounding all the different types of coins.  There are many really great numismatic authors out there who have done incredible research into the many aspects of our hobby.  I’d like to mention an article that I just read and that I thought was not only educational but a pleasant story as well.   
 
The April issue of Coin World is honoring the 225th anniversary of Congress’s establishment of the Federal Mint.  The cover feature is written by a very prolific numismatic author Joel Orosz.  I enjoy his writings because of both the depth of research and his ability to weave an interesting story in a very understanding and entertaining way.  The article entitled “Jefferson’s morning walk” dispels, right off the bat, a belief that I had and I believe many other collectors have had, that America’s first coinage, the Half Dismes, were made from some Silverware donated by Martha Washington.  Mr. Orosz’s research shows from Thomas Jefferson’s personal memorandum book, states that on the morning of Wednesday July 11th 1792 Jefferson withdrew $75.00 worth of Silver from his personal bank account to be coined into 1500 Half Dismes. Two days later on Friday, Jefferson picked up the coins from the subcontractor who made them as the Federal Mint was still under construction and was not ready for coin production.  According to the story, Jefferson left Philadelphia with his daughter that Friday to travel the 250 miles to their home at Monticello. He spent many of the Half Dismes traveling and when Congress convened in the fall, all the coins had been distributed.

This was just the latest article that got me excited about coins and their history. There are plenty of excellent numismatic writers with great sources for stories like this. The Numismatist, the monthly publication from the ANA will certainly have an article that will appeal to just about every collector. I’m going to read one right now by David Lange.    

Enjoy,
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.


My Experiences With The 1936 & 1937
Proof Washington Quarters

By Paul V. Battaglia


 
Well, my experiences have been rather few and far between, but educational most of all.  My points, on which I shall elaborate further, are the instances where I encountered not only original specimens but ATTRACTIVE and ORIGINAL pieces. 
 
I have seen very few of these dates in original condition.  Of those that were original they were technically correct, yet too dark in coloration.  The few that were not very dark possessed splotchy, non-descript, occluded neutral shades that were plainly ugly-blah.  Or, I saw specimens resembling lighthouse beams which, as we know, have been stripped of their natural toning.  I have to surmise the reason for dipping out those pieces was primarily due to the coin being ugly and/or very dark.  “Totally stripped out white” as well as “dark environmental damage”…is one superior to the other?  Two schools of thought exist on that subject.  Personally, I would pass on BOTH CHOICES and wait patiently for the right coin.  I generally pass on coins that have been turned into permanently damaged specimens.
 
Also, I have seen a minute number in both dates that were both original coupled with natural hues.  I wish that I had not passed on those very few in years gone by.  Readers will now ask, “OK, Paul, why the fuss and WHY so much attention about a coin within a proof set that garners little or the least attention??”  Granted, the Lincoln Cent, the Indian Head Nickel, the Winged Liberty Dime and the Walking Liberty Half Dollar all have their huge following.  I am certain an unknown number of collectors also back these quarters, but I have yet to be cognizant of them….honest.  Are there so few of these proof quarter dates rating “pretty” that nobody cares?
 
My conclusion and my opinion:  both dates are highly underrated, possibly forgotten and deemed to be an overall insignificance in numismatics.  My choice for an upcoming rarity is the 1937, not the 1936 which, of course, has proven it to be the ultimate acquisition proof set in so-called contemporary proof sets.  Those sets I have seen most often have a rather poor looking or blast white quarter.  The strength and following on all the other pieces greatly outweighs the quarter’s visuals…unfortunate, but true.
 
NUMBERS….yup, they are on-line but they do need to be seen and reflected upon by readers and collectors just the same.
 
1936 original Proof Quarter mintage:  3,837
1937 original Proof Quarter mintage:  5,542
 
1936 PCGS PR pops total in all grades:  969
1937 PCGS PR pops total in all grades:  974
 
1936 PCGS pops in PR65: 251: PR66: 164; PR67: 25, PR68: 15 and PR69: 1
1937 PCGS pops in PR65: 289; PR66: 274 and PR:67: 104
 
PCGS Proof Cameo:  None
PCGS Proof Deep Cameo:  None
 
NGC Proof Cameo:  None
NGC Proof Ultra Cameo:  None
 
NGC 1936:  No CAC designation
PCGS 1936:  65: 2 and 66: 6
 
NGC 1937:  No CAC designation
PCGS 1937:  65: 1; 66: 11 and 67: 12
 
(Please note that there are currently no varieties of these dates in proof, but both dates, in business strikes, have a single doubled variety that is extremely rare…start looking through junk bags of quarters when that privilege is extended to you!!!)
 
There, done with what I consider to be pertinent numbers, but correct me if I left out something of importance, please.  Keep in mind that all population figures have been skewed for many years.  Obviously, these numbers became incorrect through cracking out otherwise already viewed-recorded coins to simulate a hitherto “new sub”, re-coloring, re-surfacing and submitting said coins through creative outlets.
 
PRICES….
 
All over the board as to be expected with higher/highest numbers to be construed as probably?  Being SIGHT-SEEN QUALITY due to that coin’s  1) Immediate, positive visual impact on the viewer because the coin required no more than the classic “2 second look”  2) Hopefully, FULL ORIGINALITY and  3) Affordability.  The last is often the killer, the stopper, the decider, which has nullified so many purchases.  After all, we do have budgets.  Therefore, I am not going to come on like some arrogant fat cat and have you throw your budget out the window.   Should you come across either date in the series, try, try, try and try to work out a layaway plan.  These two dates represent the rarest quarters in the 1936-1942 (inclusive) proof set series.  Settle only for those coins that possess a combination of original/naturally attractive toning, are graded and pass the SIGHT-SEEN test!  Ask me about this TEST!
 
CAC green and gold stickered specimens receive higher or highest attention as a general, not conclusive, rule of thumb.
 
Above all, enjoy the hunt and thrill of knowledge.
 
Paul
 
P.S. “Show respect even to people who don’t deserve it; not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of yours.” – Dave Willis


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

This question was actually posed to me by a long-time client of ours over the phone.

Please let me set the stage.  We assisted the client with the assemblage of an Indian cent set.  He originally wanted a raw set and then decided to get them all graded by PCGS.  Our raw coins certified fabulously.  Many of the others he acquired from other dealers came back as cleaned!

Now, he is onto Washington quarters.  As an enthusiastic collector, he wants the coins sooner rather than later.  We try to help everyone acquire the strictest graded coins in the market place which puts us at a disadvantage.  Patience is truly a virtue in the coin business.  The client had me look at other dealers’ certified coins and I have not seen any that I thought weren’t over-graded or commercially graded at best.  Recently, I looked at three Washington quarters for him from a large retailer.  Two of the coins were graded MS-65 and the other was MS-66.  The NGC-65 had a foreign substance like tape residue on the obverse and the PCGS-65 had a long wipe across the upper one-third of the obverse.  The PCGS-66, had a wipe on the cheek.

Here is the question at last,


Warren, I looked at the short set of B.U. Washington quarters that I bought from you and many of the coins have small marks and maybe a slight wipe.  Why are you rejecting coins like these that are certified for me?
- G.D.


Thanks G.D. for the question.

Brilliant uncirculated coins in sets will normally grade MS-61 to MS-64.  Sure the odd AU-58 or MS-65 may turn up in a nice B.U. set, however, I expect a large difference between an MS-62 or MS-63 quality coin when compared to an MS-65 or MS-66.  In my opinion, a wipe is inexcusable on a MS-65 or better coin, period.  I know that Washington quarters, aside from a handful of dates, are very affordable and inexpensive in MS-65 or better. However, it does not justify over-grading a coin because it is inexpensive.  If you settle for commercial quality, you will never learn how to grade technically.  I’m sorry that, your Indian cent set was not a lesson learned, but we will not compromise our standards and sell coins any other way.  If the coin is not good enough to put in RCNH inventory, it is not good enough for our clients.

Next year at the F.U.N. Show, feel free to bring any coins you wish to our table and I will be happy to help you understand the nuances of certain grades.  If a new grading service replaces PCGS or NGC, you’ll be glad to have strictly graded coins.

 
Please continue to send your questions.  Also, if there are any areas of the coin business you would like us to address in the newsletter, let me know!  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,
Warren

 

 

 

on Thursday, 06 April 2017 22:45. Posted in News

Thankfully, I made it back from harm, I mean charm city!  It was a nice flight into Baltimore but I had to return in a snow storm.  Overall, it was a show of promise.  Many more dealers than usual were looking to aggressively buy coins!  That’s a complete change of attitude from the last few years.  The show itself didn’t start until Thursday but right out of the chute on Tuesday, dealers started buying…and I mean heavy.  It carried over to Wednesday and by the time the show started on Thursday, everything fresh was gone!

If I may give our clients a tip, usually dealers start to buy and store up nice inventory months in advance before the average retail customer.  So if you see a coin you want or need, get it now.  Chances are it will be more expensive later.

We didn’t light the world on fire but we did buy some nice pieces.  Our inventory will probably be updated on Monday.  If you are looking for something specific, call us ASAP.  We may have it and it may not make it to Monday to list in inventory.  I was able to buy a handful of nice “want list” pieces and I did help a few clients by grading their collections for them at the show.  I am always happy to help anyone that needs it at a show.  Please ask ahead of time and if I’m attending the show you are going to, I’ll be happy to meet with you.  There was a fairly good attendance at the show but most customers kept their hands in their pockets.  The majority of business was dealer to dealer and it was strong!  I bought about 20 non-CAC coins and sent them to CAC.

The Blue Moon Collection was sold in Baltimore at auction and did very well.  Once again, the focus on original coins from that collection proved that untampered with, strictly graded coins rule the day.  It’s been that way for a long time.  However, many original coins that dealers buy don’t stay that way for long!  If it’s a clean coin, it will be dipped and resubbed.  I wish CAC would change their stance of stickering dipped coins.  It just encourages the practice and hurts the stewardship in the industry.

I was looking at a dealer’s inventory and a retail dealer sat down beside me and asked if the dealer whose inventory I was viewing brought any boxes of off-quality over-graded slabs that he could buy cheap and sell expensively!  Unfortunately, many dealers have that attitude.  We, at RCNH, would rather buy and sell top quality right off the bat.  We want to appeal to the most knowledgeable buyers in the industry so our clients, upon liquidating, have the best chance at making money.  Not educating or fooling a customer is not right but it’s a common practice.

It would be nice to see an uptick in prices.  It’s been a long time.  I’m hoping that with the last Pogue sale being finished in Baltimore, that there will be discretionary income entering the market and not being saved for a big auction event.  Great auctions are few and far between usually, but the last few years have seen some of the greatest collections ever assembled enter the marketplace.  Now may be the time when collectors re-liquefy themselves and a market uptick follows.

Our new newsletter is on our site.  Please check it out and let me know if there is anything you’d like me to address.  We will have a new Coin World and Numismatic News ad in the Central States editions.

 

Thank you.

Warren

on Tuesday, 04 April 2017 14:08. Posted in News

Over 200 Years Of Combined Numismatic Experience At Your Disposal.

  April 2017 Issue

A Newsletter By:

"Want Lists"

Answers By Warren Mills


It’s hard to believe that another month has come and gone.  When you read this issue, I’ll have returned from the Baltimore Show.  My hopes are that we will have some nice new purchases for your perusal.  When I go to a show, I am always on the lookout for nice “want list” coins as well as just conservatively graded pieces to add to our regular inventory.  Unfortunately, there are less and less conservatively graded coins on the market.  As the cream gets skimmed from the top, the solid and high-end examples are the first pieces to find new homes.  It’s an exercise in futility to constantly have to search through low-end and over-graded coins that remain in the market for a long time, but it is now the nature of the beast.   The hope is always to be diligent and wade through the commercial fodder for the odd high-end pieces, and that’s what I do at every show.
 
We do a lot of “want list” searching for our clients.  Whenever we are fortunate to be entrusted with a “want list,” we try to inform our clients about the importance of patience.  Patience in coin collecting is a virtue!  When you are looking for the best coins for the grade, the reward of patience can be great.  I have on many occasions passed on ten or more pieces to find the right coin for a client.  In many instances, I don’t find the coin that I feel will protect our clients’ interests and preserve our reputation of handling the best coins for the grade.  It’s a delicate balance.  It costs us business, but our reputation means everything to us.
 
I’d like to cite two recent examples.  A very knowledgeable collector came to me to find a nice high-end gold coin for his collection.  I found him a really top notch PCGS MS-66 piece.  It took some time, but he was patient.  We sent the coin to CAC and it stickered.  The customer loved that coin and was happy to include it in his collection.  An unforeseen circumstance came up a year later and he needed to sell the piece.  He sent it to me and I recommended that we resubmit the coin.  Off it went to PCGS after I cracked it out and it now resides in an MS-67 holder.  Again, patience is its own reward.
 
The second example is also about a customer that wants some dated C & D mint gold coins for his type set.  Now dated gold is a mine field of alteration and over-grading.  I expressed to my associate to explain to our customer that these coins will be hard to find due to over-grading and compromised surfaces and that I would only be comfortable getting CAC approved pieces to protect our reputation and his interests.  His response was that CAC is a gimmick.  I was a bit shocked and said that CAC coins in most instances bring substantial premiums.  If he would take five or ten minutes of his time and check auction records, he will confirm that CAC is no gimmick. 

I find that in many instances, when people buy from certain dealers, they try to discredit organizations or companies that are truly consumer oriented.  I’ve seen it in the past.  When clients were working on Seated or Bust coinage sets, I’d always recommend that they stick with original surface coins for the grade.  The uniqueness of character on an original coin is a reward on its own.  I can’t tell you how many times a collector would come back to me and say that he or she was told they are all cleaned anyway!  Well, obviously, that’s not the case.  If you are patient and get the right education, you will not only have coins with superior value but also coins that the most knowledgeable buyers will always want.
 
Good hunting and I hope you will give us a try to satisfy your “want list” acquisitions.


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


A Voice From The Financial World
Suggesting that Rare Coins be an Integral Part of One’s Gold Diversification Strategy

By Paul V. Battaglia


 
Yes, I noted this article within the body of Kitco.com on Friday, 17 March 2017 entitled:  “Are Rare Coins Part of Your Gold Diversification Strategy?”  Kira Brecht penned this article.   Kira has been writing and analyzing the financial markets for over 20 years, etc., etc., etc.  Please, Google her for a thorough biographical sketch of this well-informed individual.
 
Her article comes right to the point.  She plainly suggests your adding all types of MS-63-MS-65 U.S. coins (gold) as part of your strategy.  When was the last time we saw such an article, readers?!  My point here is that my more investor-minded customers/readers ought to give the article a few minutes of your time.
 
Such a plug further strengthens U.S. gold (and silver) coins from an individual who has shown to be informed and open-minded.  I will return next month with a more expansive article.
 
My warmest wishes,
Paul


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.


Larry Edelson

By Dave Carleton



It’s early in March and I wasn’t going to write my little missive until later this month, but when I came into my office yesterday morning on March 6th and started reading my messages, I was shocked to hear that a person I held in high esteem, Larry Edelson, had passed away on Thursday March the 2nd.  Larry has been a contributing editor to a publication called Uncommon Wisdom Daily.  We met Larry back in 1999 when out of the blue we started getting all kinds of calls from his readers.

I’ve been approached by many newsletter writers offering to recommend us in their publications. I’ve told them to go for it and then they say, of course we would need to be compensated for any business that results from our recommendation. That always sets me off and I tell them that if you really cared for your readership, you would recommend the best company to your readers just because it’s the right thing to do. It also tells me that in many cases the recommendation is for the company that gives the greatest kickback.

Having said that, Larry Edelson never asked us for a Nickel and he continued recommending us since 1999.  I have never shook hands with Larry but Warren has on several occasions. Larry’s recommendation of RCNH was particularly regarding Bullion purchases of Gold and Silver because of our ethics. Warren tried to get him to recommend us for Numismatics and the way I heard it, he told Warren that he’d like to recommend us but he’d also have to recommend a couple other companies and he wasn’t comfortable with any others at the time and that it would look strange to just recommend us.

I’ve followed Larry’s writings about hard assets, gold and silver for over 18 years now and in retrospect he has figuratively speaking “nailed it”. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I wish I had directed more of my investment dollars toward some of Larry’s recommendations but in many cases I got sidetracked with our business. I have told many people about his track record and have gotten lots of positive feedback from them over the years.

I’m really saddened by our loss of Mr. Larry Edelson and would like to express our condolences to the Edelson family. I’ve always looked forward to reading Larry’s perspective on the world and his views will be sorely missed.  
   
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.


“I’ve Done My Research”

By Joseph Presti

When I sit with people who have called to bring in their coins for an evaluation, most of the time, within the first five minutes of speaking with them I hear “I’ve done my research and I know” this or that is rare or worth x.  Here is a word of advice to those neophytes, you may have done research but you don’t know what your coins are worth.

After I snicker at their veiled attempt to let me know not to rip them off because they know what they are doing, I explain that they can do what they want with my appraisal.  Sell all of their coins, sell nothing or sell part of their collection.  After they get more comfortable, I show them why their research is often flawed.

One of the more common websites that people visit to value their coins is coinflation.com which I believe is owned by Collectors Universe.  This site gives the full actual melt value of U.S. silver coins.  Once I evaluate their coins and I make an offer for their 90% silver coins, sometimes they are taken back because their research told them their coins are worth x% more.  After I tell them to sell it to the website and explain that the value given on the website is the actual value their silver quarter is worth in a perfect world had there been no wear on the coin.  I also explain the website does not take into consideration market conditions.  It is then a very simple equation, I know what I can get for 90% silver on the market and I know how much profit I have to make to pay expenses.  I subtract one from the other and that is what I can pay.

Another source of consternation are values for Wheat pennies and Buffalo nickels.  Once I tell people that I will pay two cents for a circulated Wheat penny and they complain that a website said it was worth 20C, I then offer to sell them as many as they want for three cents.  I also tell them for me to get three cents I have to have bags of 5000 coins, they then understand why their 20 Wheat cents are worth two cents. Then I explain about condition and how what they are looking at for values do not necessarily reflect the condition of their coin.  They usually get this. 

My last and favorite example of how research can get you in trouble was a woman who called with a collection of “very rare” silver dollars worth tens of thousands of dollars.  I made the appointment and could not wait for her to come in with her coins.  In she came a couple of days later, we sat down and she carefully unwrapped her coins.  What she showed me were several circulated Morgan dollars worth $20-$25 each at the time.  You could see the disappointment overcome her as she already had the money spent that she was going to get from her coins.  After questioning her as to why she thought her coins were worth so much, she explained that she got a Redbook and looked them up.  The coins looked “perfect” so she opened her book, found 1880-O $1 and followed the prices over to the MS-65 column and discovered her coin was worth $25,000!  Wrong!  I then had to show her about grading and what the coin had to look like to be worth that and she got it. 

The lesson is know your limits.  You would or should not diagnose yourself with an illness from the internet, go to the doctor when you are sick.  It is the same with coins, find an expert that you trust and take your coins to them for an appraisal.  Know that they are going to have to make some profit when they buy your coins, that’s why they are in business and then make an educated decision.  If you cannot find a dealer you are comfortable with or can’t allow them to make a profit then pass the coins along to a family member, but whatever decision you make, don’t look back, keep moving forward.


Questions From Our Mail Bag

By Warren Mills
 
"Thank you Rare Coins of New Hampshire.  Love the newsletter and recently purchased a 1901 Morgan Dollar, very happy.  I’m a collector with several new directions in collecting, thanks to all of the staff at RCNH, a collector for 38 years.  I recently reviewed the ANA grading standards.  That’s the basis of grading and the basics for me.  It seems to get a little blurry with 3rd party grading.  Isn’t the ANA the grading standard these days?"  

M.T.

 
Thanks for your question M.T.
 
I still refer to the Official ANA Grading Standards for United States Coins, myself.  However, I find this grading guide useful for circulated pieces only.  Keep in mind that even on circulated coinage, the standards on some series has changed.  The grading of circulated 20 Cent Pieces and Seated Liberty Dollars are a classic example.
 
The Sheldon grading system is a point derived grading scale ranging from 1-70.  Originally developed by Dr. Sheldon to grade early copper coins, it proved so popular that it was adopted by the general coin community that it became the standard for grading.  Today, the Sheldon system is more widely accepted for the mint state and higher quality proof coins in grades 60-70.
 
I believe that you may be confused regarding commercial and conservative grading.  Commercial grading means that a coin may be acceptable from a market grading perspective but not from a technical grade perspective.  A commercially graded coin usually will fall apart upon closer inspection.  It may be bright due to dipping but the coin may have problems with hairlines or marks even commercially graded toned coins may have nice color but be terribly abraded but at arm’s length, the pieces look fine.
 
I have found that coins should be graded on a balance perspective.  Eye appeal, strike, surface abrasion, luster and originality should all enter the equation.  If you have a well-balanced coin that is technically graded as well, you will find that you normally will have a better collection.    Keeping these 5 grading criteria in mind doesn’t mean that all 5 will be perfect.  In many instances, when I examine a coin from a balance perspective, it will allow me to buy a coin where 4 of the criteria are strong but maybe the strike isn’t full, or the coin may have a bit of a noticeable mark or the luster may not be blazing.  I hope you get the point.  If you are too technical, you may never buy any coin.  By the nature of the minting process, every piece will have a problem.   If not, all coins would be MS or Proof 70’s.  Try to be conservative with your grading, find a good mentor and buy what you like.  If you do these things, others will also appreciate your coins too!
 
Please continue to send your questions.  Also, if there are any areas of the coin business you would like us to address in the newsletter, let me know!  
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,
Warren

 

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.

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