Baltimore Show Update
Sorry for the belated show report. I will endeavor to be more prompt in future e-newsletters.
It was quite an interesting show last week in Baltimore. There were the usual streams of activity from collectors, and dealers, and of course from the Stacks-Bowers auction. But there was one additional stream of activity – or should I say flood of activity. It was caused by the Baseball Hall of Fame coins being released on Thursday and Friday by the US mint right at the show. More about that later.
The activity on the bourse floor was mixed. I heard some dealers say it was very slow; others said it was just fine. Very few said they had record sales or anything close to that. The Spring Baltimore show is one of the big national shows, so expectations are high. Overall it felt to me like this one fell a little flat overall.
From a personal standpoint, the show was very productive. As you will see in this newsletter [and in my next one, cleverly entitled "The Pre-Central States Show Newsletter"], I came up with a number of really cool, desirable coins to offer. So no complaints from me.
The Stacks-Bowers auction was fascinating. A huge catalog, but seemingly about half of it was devoted to material out of the mainstream of typical US numismatics. I love looking at that kind of stuff, so I thought it was just great to view.
For example, I'm not too jaded to admit that it was really cool to hold a Nobel Peace Prize in my hand. Never touched or even seen one before. [Er, Other than the one I won a few years ago. But I'm much too modest to talk about it. And don't bother Googling “Dave Wnuck Nobel Peace Prize,” because they probably misspelled my name or something like that, so you won't find it on the Internet].
I guessed way too low on what I thought that medal would bring. However, I think very few observers thought it would sell for over a million dollars, as it eventually did. How great would that be to have it clanking around your neck at your next cocktail party? I'll bet that is exactly what the new owner is planning to do with it.
At the auction esoteric coin items like counterstamped bust halves went for crazy money. That is remarkable, considering that a few decades ago these items were sometimes found in junk bins in coin shops. Far from considered to be damaged coins these days, the best of them sold for the same prices as choice uncirculated versions would of unstamped coins.
Baseball Hall of Fame Coins Hit a Homer at the Show; No Cat Noises, Please
Many hundreds – perhaps more – of first time attendees flocked to the show to have a chance to purchase these new commemoratives, which were introduced at the Baltimore show. The line to purchase them snaked out the door.
“Quick flippers” - which most of the folks in line appeared to be – reaped profits of a few hundred dollars at the beginning of the show by immediately reselling them to a few dealer-promoters there. That few hundred dollars of instant profit grew to around $1000 (from what I heard) by the time the mint ran out of the supply of gold versions that they had on hand.
A case of mass hysteria? Perhaps like the convent in Middle Ages' France where all the nuns made cat noises for several days? [A true story, by the way].
Soldiers were brought in to quell the nun disturbance long ago. Fortunately, no army was needed to quell anything at the Baltimore show. Once the mint ran out of their on-hand supply, the crowd dissipated. Lots of collectors I know who stood in that line ended up spending that windfall on coins at the show, so I guess that is a good thing for we dealers.
Update on the Dave Wnuck Numismatics' “Empire”
For the one or two of you out there reading this who might be mildly interested, I thought I'd update you on my coin business start up progress.
The website is coming along nicely. Check it out if you haven't visited recently. I currently have 50 coins listed for sale – all with nice color images. My target is to get up to 100 fresh coins in the very near future.
There are many more mundane tasks that still need doing. Tasks such as: designing custom invoices and getting them printed. And writing my Terms & Conditions of sale. These chores – and all the others like them – should prove to be a barrel of laughs when I get to them.
These are a few of the petty tasks involved in starting up any company. And because this really is a start-up, I thought it would be a good idea to copy some of the methods that the big time Silicon Valley start-ups use to entertain, retain and motivate their employees. Even though I am the only employee.
That is why I am currently installing a giant, adult-sized slide near my copy machine. And I have initiated “Taco Fridays”. All you can eat tacos, all day long! That is sure to keep me motivated.
I will tell you that the neighbors didn’t think too highly of my new “No Pants Thursdays” policy though. They are likely jealous that they are not also running a start-up. But in a fit of good judgment (and with the looming threat of a restraining order), I nixed that otherwise sound idea.
And another Lesson Learned
Lesson #1 for me was – “Do not talk about getting all choked up & misty eyed in your coin newsletter unless you enjoy getting a rash of, um, ‘good natured ribbing’ from all of your coin friends at the next show.”
Hoo boy! Time to bury my feelings again, as all us men are taught to do from birth. (Skim over my last e-newsletter if you have no idea what I'm referring to).
Now On to the NEWP's
As in my previous newsletters – these coins are all items that I have gathered up over the last two or three weeks.
The plan is to upload all 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 obtained at the Baltimore show not listed below that I will be offering in my next newsletter. Below you will see some fresh type coins, some wild toners available at reasonable prices, and even one or two high end contemporary counterfeits. Enjoy!
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 happens to be expensive, but it is a rare and important coin.
1826/5 Capped Head Quarter Eagle. PCGS AU50 CAC
This is the key date to this short series, and very difficult to find in any degree of wholesomeness. It is usually the last coin in the series to be added to a date set (along with the 1834, if one is collecting the Reduced Size quarter eagles as well). This is only one of 3 coins to be verified by CAC in all grades combined [see photo below]. $42,500.
NEWPS Too New for Photos (in most cases)
I pledge to upload most if not all of the coins listed below onto my website (with deluxe color images, of course) in the next day or so.
Next week I will be featuring a large group of spectacularly toned commems in the newsletter. So stay tuned for that.
1818 Large Cent. PCGS MS64 BN
The coin retains all of its cartwheel luster and about 20% of its mint red. $1495.
1820 Large Cent. PCGS MS63 BN
Large Date. Slightly prooflike, and has a magnificent appearance as such. $1150.
1844 Large Cent. PCGS AU58.
Even chestnut brown, with much cartwheel luster. A bit tougher date to find like this. $550.
1850 Large Cent. PCGS MS65 BN.
Booming, swirling cartwheel luster (something you cannot say about most large cents, regardless of grade) under tan surfaces. $1295.
1857 Flying Eagle Cent. NGC MS65 [fatty].
A dazzlingly toned example of this beautiful design. Rainbow rings of gold, green, blue & russet come in from the rims on both sides. The strike is bold, with every exacting detail of the eagle and the wreath visible. Even gems of this popular and short series can be ho hum. Not this one. $4500.
1882 Indian Cent. PCGS MS65RB [rattler].
About 40% brilliant red and 0% mellowed red. Stable since it is in the rattler for 25+ years. $425.
1897 Liberty Nickel. PCGS MS64.
Quite special due to the rings of Colorful pastel blue and gold toning on both sides. Great for a toned type set or date set, as toned V nickels are tough to find. $335.
1927 Buffalo Nickel. PCGS MS65 CAC
Super flashy luster, with faint gold and blue hues. Just gorgeous.$325
1947 Jefferson Nickel. PCGS MS66+
Normally not my kind of coin, but this is a toner with vibrant gold, blue and fading to light pink in the centers. Again – nickel coinage is very difficult to find toned, and beautifully toned nickel coins such as this are even tougher. $235
1910 Liberty Nickel. PCGS MS65 CAC.
Flashy, super-lustrous, well struck. $645.
1939 Mercury Dime. PCGS PR66 CAC [ogh].
White, flashy but with a faint patina of gold to show that it has never been dipped. Circa 1990 slab. $425
1942 Mercury Dime. PCGS PR65 CAC.
A pure white obverse and some light golden toning. The obverse has some slight cameo contrast. $265.
1900 Barber Quarter. NGC PF67.
Completely original. With hard mirrors, and lightly toned in variegated gold, green and light blue. Looks like it came straight from an original proof set. $3950.
1808 Bust Half Dollar. PCGS VF20.
For fans of spectacular toning – have I got a coin for you. Rings of gold, green and blue fade to white centers. Expect to be wowed [see photo below]. $495.
1810 Bust Half Dollar. PCGS VF20 [OGH].
Vibrant blue at the periphery fading to gold, gray and white centers. Another coin from a small group of vibrantly toned early type that I came across. $460.
1830 Bust Half Dollar. PCGS VF35.
Small O. Wild concentric rings of brilliant gold, green, and blue toning. Yet another coin for the toning enthusiast. $325
1876 Seated Half Dollar. PCGS AU53.
Vibrant cerulean blue fades to deep gold on the obverse, which sports a near-white center. The reverse has only slight golden peripheral toning. $460
1937 Walking Liberty Half Dollar. PCGS MS65 CAC [rattler].
White, and utterly untouched by human hands for 25+ years. $285.
1941-D Walking Liberty Half Dollar. NGC MS65 CAC [fatty].
Creamy white and lustrous, and nearly perfect. $255.
1945 Walking Liberty Half Dollar. PCGS MS65 CAC.
Faintly golden and blue. $255.
1946-S Walking Liberty Half Dollar. PCGS MS65+ CAC.
A ring of light golden toning fades to creamy, pristine surfaces. $325.
1898 Morgan Dollar. PCGS MS64 CAC.
A spectacular two-sided toner. The prettiest coin in this listing, and that is really saying something [see photo below]. $495.
1921-S Morgan Dollar. PCGS MS64+.
Pure white and oh-so-close to a full MS65 on this San Francisco mint issue (an MS65 would sell for $1,250). $350.
1927 Indian Quarter Eagle. NGC MS63 CAC [fatty].
Rich gold and super lustrous. Like they used to grade them in the early days of the services. $750.
1921 Alabama 2x2 Commemorative Half Dollar. PCGS MS64 CAC.
White, lustrous. Booming luster of the kind not frequently seen on an Alabama. $700.
1936 Norfolk Commemorative Half Dollar. NGC MS66 Gold CAC [fatty].
A ring of light golden russet. Basically perfect. Everyone should have at least one God CAC'd coin in their collection, if only as a conversation and study piece. $695.
1925 Norse Medal. Thin. PCGS MS63.
Full, strong cartwheel with areas of blue and russet toning. $495
1936 Robinson Commemorative Half Dollar. PCGS MS65 CAC.
Light pastel blue toning in the fields serves to highlight the frosted devices. $345.
1925 Vancouver Commemorative Half Dollar. PCGS MS64.
A pure white knockout with the tiniest crescent of toning at part of both the obverse and reverse rims. $595.
1794 Flowing Hair Half Dime. Counterfeit; Struck in Copper. XF [uncertified] .
I cannot say with certainty if this coin is a circulating contemporary counterfeit, so I am not labeling it as one. Nevertheless it is a crude representation, and is struck in copper instead of silver. Ex. My personal collection. $750.
1844 Liberty Eagle. Copper. Contemporary Counterfeit. Very Fine [uncertified].
Quite crude, and very likely meant to pass as a genuine $10 gold coin at the time of manufacture. The only specimen I have seen in all my years of collecting these. $275.
Contact info to reserve coins:
Website - www.DaveWcoins.com
My email address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone - (203) 231-1213