Auctions Accelerate Market Momentum

Posted on 3/17/2008

The coin market has never been stronger, as the outstanding returns of three recent auctions make quite clear.

A guest article from NumisMedia

The coin market has never been any stronger than it is today and the three most recent major auctions are evidence that there is still more money available than buyers can spend. The quantity of rare coins coming into the market is quickly absorbed and many more rarities are needed to satisfy today’s advanced collectors. The volume of million-dollar coins and high six-figure coins that are being snatched from the marketplace is phenomenal to say the least. The Husak Collection of Large Cents that brought $10.7 million wasn’t the only newsworthy sale of the week.

The auction carousel began just prior to the recent Long Beach Expo with two outstanding auctions, one conducted by Ira and Larry Goldberg and the other by Superior Galleries. Even though many of the coins in the Goldbergs’ 5,000+ lot sale were Foreign and Ancient and do not fall within our scope, there were still plenty of highlights in the U.S. portion. Below are a few selected for their quality and current popularity. You can contact Ira and Larry Goldberg at their Beverly Hills office for complete prices realized.

Coin   Grade   Price Realized
1793 Wreath Cent   NGC XF40BN   $15,000
1857 Sm Date Large Cent   PCGS PR64BN   $8,500
1805 Bust Dime 4 Ber   NGC MS67   $115,000
1916 St. Lib Quarter   NGC MS66FH   $34,000
1918/7 S St Lib Quarter   NGC AU55   $12,000
1818/7 Bust Half Dollar   NGC MS65   $13,500
1827/6 Bust Half Dollar   NGC MS66   $12,500
1797 Bust $ 9x7 Lg Letters   PCGS AU55   $26,000
1858 $1 Gold   PCGS PR65DC   $38,000
1854 $3 Gold   PCGS PR63Cam   $85,000
1848 $2 ½ Cal Gold   NGC AU58   $62,000
1795 $10 Cap Bust 13 Leaves   NGC MS64   $400,000
1887 $20 Gold   PCGS PR61Cam   $46,000
1908 $20 St Motto   NGC PR65   $52,000

Almost simultaneously, Superior Galleries began their Pre-Long Beach Sale with a variety of high-grade rarities from the spectrum of numismatics. However, the most important highlights came from the Turtle Rock Collection of Proof Bust and Seated Dimes. Amazing colors and quality glistened brightly on this segment of the sale. Here are a few of the more important lots with prices realized. Please contact Superior Galleries in Beverly Hills for a complete list of prices realized.

Coin   Grade   Price Realized
1820 Bust Dime Large 0   NGC PR66   $80,500
1821 Bust Dime Lg Date   NGC PR65   $48,875
1827 Bust Dime   NGC PR67   $120,750
1831 Bust Dime   NGC PR66   $55,200
1833 Bust Dime   NGC PR66   $82,800
1845 Seated Dime   NGC PR67   $71,300
1847 Seated Dime   PCGS PR66   $56,350
1855 Seated Dime W/A   NGC PR65   $40,250
1843 O Seated Half   NGC MS65   $32,200
1855/4 Arrows Seated Half   PCGS PR65   $57,500
1854 TII $1 Gold   PCGS MS66   $66,125
1886 $1 Gold   PCGS PR67   $22,425
1893 $2 ½ Gold   NGC PR67UC   $37,950
1813 $5 Cap Bust Gold   NGC MS64   $39,100

With the pre-show auctions concluded, the Long Beach Expo began with very few dealer-to-dealer transactions, since most dealers are looking for many of the same coins for their customers. Bust Halves and Dollars, along with Early Gold, were the most sought-after coins at the show and prices were well in advance of previous FMV levels. There are so few of these coins available that to meet the grading criteria of selective collectors, dealers must be ready to pounce when the right coin becomes available or lose out to the next dealer. Other series that exhibited strong prices were Indian and Lincoln Cents, Barber Dimes, Quarters, and Halves, Morgan Dollars, including Prooflikes and Deep Mirrors.

It was a wonderful week for the auction houses, and Heritage Auction Galleries was not to be outdone. They had so many tremendous highlights that it would be difficult to list them all in this limited space. First to note would have to be the 1838 O Branch Mint PR63 as graded by PCGS. This is an extremely rare issue with just 20 coins minted and may be in the top 25 of the most desirable coins to own. It brought $632,500. Coincidentally, two Large Cents from the Husak Collection sold for the same amount. The 1793 Liberty Cap in PCGS AU55 (S-13, B-20, Low R.4) and the 1794 Large Cent Starred Reverse in PCGS AU50 (S-48, B-38, R.5) were obvious favorites of several bidders at this sale. Very intense action resulted in $10.7 million for the Husak Large Cents alone. Please contact Heritage for overall prices realized.

Coin   Grade   Price Realized
1797 Bust Half Dime 16 Stars   NGC MS64   $38,813
1831 Bust Dime   NGC MS67   $37,375
1916 D Mercury Dime FB   NGC MS65   $40,250
1806/5 Bust Quarter   PCGS MS64   $69,000
1853 Seated Quarter A/R   NGC MS67   $80,500
1896 S Barber Quarter   PCGS MS65   $64,975
1901 S Barber Quarter   NGC MS65   $103,500
1796 Bust Half 15 Stars   NGC MS63   $373,750
1895 O Morgan Dollar   PCGS MS63   $57,500
1854 TII $1 Gold   NGC MS68   $149,500
1879 $4 Gold Fl. Hair   NGC PR65   $201,250
1909 O $5 Gold Indian   PCGS MS62   $46,000
1860 O $20 Gold P/L   NGC AU58   $80,500
1915 S $50 Gold Pan Pac Oct   PCGS MS65   $121,325

Momentum is a very precious component of the coin business. It can be fickle and change in a heartbeat, as we have seen in past markets. However, this market is like none we can relate to in the past. We have never witnessed such depth and strength by so many numismatists. The methodology of today’s collectors is much more advanced compared to previous collectors. There are so many more tools with which to work. We have census reports, in-depth auction price data with historical multiple listings, and, most importantly, the ability to run programs on your computers to identify issues that meet specific criteria. We are not only in a booming coin business, where cash is king; FMV pricing data is also just as important to those who analyze past and future risk-to-reward ratios. We are in a transition where the industry is growing up right in front of our eyes.

This article is a guest article written by:

The thoughts and opinions in the piece are those of their author and are not necessarily the thoughts of the Certified Collectibles Group.

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