My Baystate Coin Show Market Report
Confession time: I wasn’t very excited about setting up at the Baystate show this time around. Up until a few days before the show began, I was on the bubble as to whether I would even set up at that show; I was thinking of just walking the floor to look for fresh coins for my fledgling website instead.
Setting up turned out to be the absolute right decision. Big time.
I don’t often get choked up, especially when talking about a coin show. But I have to admit that I am getting a little verklempt as I write this (please Google: Saturday Night Live + Verklempt to understand this obscure reference]. You'll read why below.
I had a great experience on the dealer-to dealer side at the show. More importantly, I had a phenomenal experience dealing with collectors while there.
Get Yer ‘Fresh Meat’ Right Here
First the scoop on dealer-to-dealer activity. Let's call a coin show what it is – dealers have 90-99% of the same coins they had at the end of their last show. That is simply the nature of our business.
The exception to this rule is when a new dealer sets up at a show, or when a collector rents a table to sell off parts of their collection. “Fresh meat” is the crude coin dealer term used to describe such a situation. [Hey – now you learned one of our ultra-secret coin insider terms. Who says this newsletter is a complete waste of Internet space? Next week: the ultra-secret coin dealer handshake is finally revealed].
I have always been the carnivore in these situations – I have never been the meal. But let me tell you – being the meal is pretty doggone fun. All my coins have been purchased within the last month or so, and I have gone out of my way to purchase fresh coins that have been off the market for a while whenever possible.
You see, there are dealer sharpies who run around at the beginning of every coin show throughout the USA looking for fresh coins to pick off. I hadn't really thought about it before (I focus on bringing fresh coins to collectors, not dealers), but “fresh meat” now describes me as well.
So when I started putting my coins into the showcase at the start of the show, a few of these sharpies noticed and started jostling for position, and even had a few semi-unfriendly words to say to each other. It was great fun to be on the other side of the table for a change to watch.
You see, being “picked off” is perfectly fine with me. I consider it an advertising expense. At future shows these dealers will seek me out and pore over my inventory right at the start, since they likely made money from their purchases from me at this show. And since my plan is to turn over my inventory much faster than just about any dealer in the coin business, this might become a regular occurrence. We shall see...
Aw Jeez – Here Come the ‘Water Works’
Now for the collectors. At the show I had many collectors come up to me and say, “I’ve been looking at your website. It seems to be getting a little bit better each day.”
The first two times somebody said that to me, I asked them: “Um, are you sure it was my website? It has only been up maybe 3 weeks or so.” Sure enough – they said it was. Several more collectors came up to me later on and said pretty much the same thing. I was flabbergasted. I wasn't sure the site was getting that many eyeballs on it, to use an Internet term. (You see? You're picking up more useful slang just by reading this e-newsletter).
Several collectors I have known for many years came to the show to aggressively buy and sell coins specifically with me. And they did. A few dug some neat coins out of their collections specifically to sell to me, so I can have some cool and fresh stuff to populate my website with.
This is where I get choked up a bit. We coin dealers get very bad press – most of it well deserved. To have collectors sell me some of their prized coins just to give me a boost in my new venture ... well, let's just say that means a lot to me.
So when people ask me if Baystate was a good show in 2014, I tell them: HECK YEAH!
I should also tell you that the crowd was substantially larger this year, as compared to last year. Perhaps that is due to the “new” location in the Boston suburbs catching on a bit more with collectors, but the people who attended were serious about finding coins for their collections. These were not tire kickers. I'm guessing that a lot of dealers had a very good show at Baystate this time around.
Now On to the NEWP's
As in my previous newsletter – these coins are all items that I have gathered up over the last week or two.
The plan is to upload these coins to my website. In the meantime, readers of this newsletter will be the very first to eyeball these offerings. I have many more coins that I purchased at the Baystate show not listed below that I will be uploading to the site as I log in and photograph my new purchases, so check those out as well in the coming days.
The “Making the Grade” Featured Coin:
In each newsletter I pick out one coin to highlight. It doesn't have to be expensive; it just has to be interesting.
Here is the pick of this newsletter. It is not one coin but an entire six coin, perfectly matched gem proof set of the year 1892 – the first year of Barber coinage:
- 1892 Morgan Dollar. PCGS PR65 CAC [see image below].
- 1892 Barber Half Dollar. PCGS PR66 CAC.
- 1892 Barber Quarter. PCGS PR65
- 1892 Barber Dime. PCGS PR65 CAC
- 1892 Liberty Nickel. PCGS PR66 CAC
- 1892 Indian Cent. PCGS PR65 RB CAC
NEWPS Too New for Photos (in some cases)
1819 Large Cent, Small Date. PCGS MS62 BN.
This coin is a stunner, with both sides showing significant prooflike tendencies. I have owned this coin once before, and it is truly something unusual. Breen's book on proof coins mentions a few specimens from famous collections described as proofs; these were later determined to be prooflike business strikes. Looking at this coin, I can see how such a mistake could be made. [see photo below]. $2850.
1850 Large Cent. PCGS MS65 RB.
N-15, r-2. This coin is about 75% mint red on both sides, with substantial cartwheel luster. A very tough date to find with this much red. $2150.
1865 Indian Cent, Fancy 5. PCGS MS66 RB CAC.
This is another one of those “Red & Brown” cents that is 98% red, with just the slightest mellowing of the red on the crest of the cheek. I love these kinds of coins, because it is almost “cheating” –the price of a full red one in this grade would be $22k, and it wouldn't look all that different than this coin. $3750.
1913 Lincoln Cent. PCGS PR64 RB.
Fresh looking, lustrous and more than half red. $1150.
1913 Buffalo Nickel, Type 2. PCGS PR66.
Silvery in color, with a faint blush of gold. Buy this and the 1913 matte proof Lincoln above and have a great start on the full 5 piece proof set! $3350.
1841 Liberty Seated Half Dime. NGC MS65.
Quite beautiful, with rings of multicolored toning fading to white centers on both sides [photo available]. $1800.
1821 Small Date Dime. PCGS VF35.
A perfect “circ cam” look with light gray toning on the raised areas and dark gray toning in the recesses of the design. $650.
1853 Liberty Seated Dime, Arrows. NGC MS65 with “star” designation.
Translucent coppery gold toning with hints of green on the obverse. The reverse is toned in concentric rings with a pure white center. Fully deserving of the NGC “star” designation [photo available]. $2950.
1927-D Standing Liberty Quarter. PCGS AU58 CAC.
This is one of those AU58's that look choice uncirculated at first glance. Near white in color with just a hint of gold, and fully lustrous until you see faint friction with a loupe. $275.
1807 Capped Bust Half Dollar, Large Stars. PCGS VF35 CAC.
O-114, rarity-3. Light gray in color that deepens just a bit around the periphery. $1575.
1819 Bust half Dollar. PCGS AU55.
O-119, rarity-2. Beautiful sky blue and light golden gray in color, with some semi-prooflike luster in the protected areas. $1450.
1830 Bust half Dollar, Small O. PCGS AU50 CAC.
Crusty gold and gray, with perhaps half of the cartwheel luster remaining. $465.
1832 Bust half Dollar, Small Letters. PCGS AU55.
Deep gold and gray with much crust, which indicates to me that it has escaped being “futzed with” for the past 182 years. $595.
1921-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar. PCGS XF45.
The key to this popular series. Over the years I have hunted for wholesome specimens in every grade from Very Fine to MS64 (I have never owned a gem, though). They simply don't come up very often. If you ask serious collectors of Walkers, nearly all of them would say that the '21-S is the last hole to be filled in most sets. Here is a grand opportunity. $5,750.
1941-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar. NGC MS65 CAC [fatty].
One of the earlier NGC slabs with a light green label and no bar code. Oh, and the coin is really nice as well, with full luster, a good strike and just the faintest of golden toning. $275.
1945 Walking Liberty Half Dollar. PCGS MS66 CAC [OGH].
Pure white, highly lustrous and pretty close to no defects, just as you should expect at this lofty grade. $245.
1881 Morgan Dollar. PCGS MS65 CAC.
Silky, delicate pink toning as one sometimes finds when pulling silver dollars directly from an original mint bag. The toning deepens to a slightly hazy deep blue at the rims [photo available] $795.
1925-S Peace Dollar. PCGS MS63 [rattler].
Very lustrous, with no major marks. Housed in this holder for over 20 years. This and the following two peace dollars were purchased from the same source. $350.
1927-S Peace Dollar. PCGS MS63 [rattler].
Quite lustrous, with just the barest hint of golden toning. Housed in this holder for over 20 years. This and the other two peace dollars were purchased from the same source. $795.
1928-S Peace Dollar. PCGS MS63 [Two Piece OGH slab].
Again, very lustrous with hints of golden toning. This and the other two peace dollars were purchased from the same source. $695.
1894 Liberty Eagle. PCGS MS61 [ogh].
Very lustrous, and remarkably free of marks for this grade. $895.
1863-S Type 1 Double Eagle. PCGS AU55.
A desirable Civil War date. About 30% cartwheel luster remains on the obverse, while the reverse sports about 70% mint luster. There is one copper spot that covers star #6 on the obverse. I suspect that the recent discovery of the Saddle Ridge Hoard will do something to the demand side on these earlier dated $20 libs. $4950.
1859 Pattern Half Dollar. Judd-235, in Silver. PCGS PR62.
Rarity-5. Struck in silver. Anthony Paquet's design for the Seated Liberty series. Liberty is seated left. Her left hand rests on an upright shield, and right arm extends to support a fasces. The reverse features an eagle with outstretched wings, and a scroll inscribed E PLURIBUS UNUM cascading down the animal's breast. An attractive, larger sized, earlier dated US pattern coin at an affordable price point. $2250.
(circa 1780) USA Continental Army button. Pewter. Very Fine (uncertified).
This is an original, Revolutionary War "USA" Continental Army Button, 19 mm in diameter, made of Cast Pewter, with a natural patina. The simple design of this button, consisting of the monogram initials USA surrounded by a rope border, inspired the design of the Bar Copper. Most details remain sharp, the cast line is very sharp and distinct on the underside. The original shank remains intact, and there is some typical roughness to the face and edges. Collected by some numismatists as a “go with” (or substitute for) piece for a Bar copper. This one was surely excavated., like nearly every genuine one I have encountered. Unlike the vast majority of those, this one has it's full, original shank, and shows much less “environmental wear” than most. USA is full, complete and bold. This is attributed as an Albert GI 2 AV, 19mm. If you only want one, this would make a good choice. Guaranteed genuine for life, of course [photo available]. $650.
'1783' Libertas Americana Medal in Copper. Electrotype. Choice AU [uncertified].
A well made, high quality electrotype copy of this famous and desirable medal. Milk chocolate brown, with just a touch of wear on the highest points and no lead showing through anywhere. There is even a little “prooflike” surface in the protected areas of the design. Perfect for a collection of top quality colonial era electrotypes, or for someone who desires a Libertas Americana medal but likes the idea of saving $10,000 or so by buying this instead. Purchased from an unknown Superior Galleries auction, lot #2059 (auction tag included) [see photo below]. $650.
1837 Classic Head Half Eagle. Contemporary Counterfeit, Gilt Copper. Listed in the Judd Pattern Book. Fine (uncertified).
An enigmatic coin that for a long time was considered some sort of pattern by Dr. Judd, and listed in the Appendix of the Judd pattern book. Very shallowly engraved, but based on the detail and the few flecks of gilt that still remain I would grade this coin Fine. Perhaps half of the edge reeding remains. It appears to have circulated for some time – likely as a $5 gold piece at first; later perhaps as a copper of uncertain denomination. Fascinating and extremely rare; this is the only specimen I have come across in 30+ years of collecting such pieces. This specimen is from my personal collection of contemporary counterfeit US coins [photo available]. $975.
Contact info to reserve coins:
My email address – email@example.com
Phone: (203) 231-1213