Every so often the grading services get it wrong. Well, this time they BLEW it! We recently submitted a gem originally toned Long Island commemorative (see picture) to PCGS for grading. As you can see the coin came back encapsulated questionable color. How ridiculous. This coin is one of Warren’s personal coins that he has owned for decades and comes with the original holder that Long Islands were issued in along with the outer mailing envelope and letter from the issuing authority, how cool. Warren was so upset by this obvious mistake that he took the coin to the ANA and showed it to Don Willis the President of PCGS. Don showed the coin to a experienced former PCGS grader and ANA grading instructor who said that the color was unequivocally original.
Happy to be back from sunny Chicago. I have to admit, for an ANA show it was run very well: traffic police on duty all day, good security, excellent displays and no real problems except for the lack of table covers. Overall, good job ANA staff.
At Rare Coins of New Hampshire (RCNH) we have always preached to buy the coin not the holder but I am going to present a new twist given a recent event that occurred with a customer.
We had a beautiful high-end Very Fine CAC Continental Dollar that we priced about 20% over PCGS price guide levels. We offered the coin to a customer who had it on his want list and it fit every criteria that he was looking for, exact grade, eye appeal, CAC sticker, PCGS graded, etc. He “did his research” and without even seeing the coin made a counter offer which was fair but we felt the coin was worth more. Soon after a dealer who is very knowledgeable about colonial issues called and wanted to see the coin so we sent it out to him. Once he saw the coin he bought it for a couple of hundred dollars under our retail price and more than the counter offer we received from our client.
I have to admit, in this business you have to go a long way to shock me, but I was just shocked. A few years ago, we started a relationship with a West Coast specialist that collected half dimes and dimes. He contacted us because he heard of our reputation for selling the strictest graded coins with nice eye-appeal.
Boy it’s dry out there and I am not talking about wanting a drink. The recent Baltimore show was an awakening for the lack of material that was or more accurately was not available.
Paul and I arrived on Wednesday morning and made the rounds of the dealers who we usually see before the show starts and sold most of our nicer coins wholesale. Thursday morning the show opened at 8:00 AM and by 10:00 we began hearing complaints from dealers about what a horrible show it was because of the lack of fresh material. I spent the next few hours looking at auction lots which turned out to be a waste of time not because there weren’t any nice coins but because the few coins I found to bid on went for ridiculous prices. A prime example was a beautifully Wayte Raymond toned Bust 50c in PCGS AU-55 that sold for $2260 (not a typo) plus the 17.5% buyers premium, that is MS-63 money!! Nice coins were bringing stupid money both in the auction and on the bourse floor.