If It Is Long Beach, It Must Be Summer-Goldberg Sale Delivers Strong Message

Posted on 6/2/2011

Although the calendar may advise us that it is still a few weeks away, for most American families the Memorial Day weekend officially signals the beginning of the summer season...

Although the calendar may advise us that it is still a few weeks away, for most American families the Memorial Day weekend officially signals the beginning of the summer season, one that is traditionally marked by picnics, cookouts, family outings and long awaited vacations. In numismatic circles the rights of summer can also be marked like clockwork: the exodus of dealers and collectors from all corners of the country, all converging on the sunny shores of Southern California, each ready to wage battle on the bourse of the always well attended Long Beach Expo. As one New England dealer said “If it’s Long Beach, it must be summer.” For many dealers an early sojourn west is mandatory. These numismatic road warriors all need ample time to strategize, update clients’ want lists, and assess deficiencies within their own respective inventories. All are anxious to locate new deals, or be the first to scoop up any accumulations of high grade coins that have been off the radar particularly those not seen for five or more years. Industry pundits while not infallible, tend to agree. While the availability of low end and otherwise unattractive certified coins seems limitless, quality top-tier NGC slabs, especially those in the $5K-$20K range have all but disappeared from the market and remain in strong hands. However, several series, in particular various Liberty Seated denominations, still seem to be tremendous values at current levels. The prevailing feeling is that a modest infusion of new money into the numismatic arena will alter the playing field significantly.

That is why for the majority of visiting numismatists a visit to Beverly Hills to attend the pre-Long Beach sale hosted by the Ira & Larry Goldberg Auctioneers is an absolute must. The scintillating sale featured nearly 3,800 lots of choice US coins, patterns, currency and world coins. Held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Beverly Hills, the three-session US portion of the sale began on May 29 and concluded on Memorial Day, May 30. As always, the popular pre-Long Beach gala hosted by the Goldbergs was extremely well attended. Silent and highly vocal bidders were competing vigorously, raising their bidding paddles or voices in unison. All in attendance were willing to stretch a bit, especially for a chance to take home the vast array of fresh offerings meeting the hammer on the holiday. Early type coins, especially those in high grades, did extremely well. Key dates from most series were also hotly contested on the floor and via internet action. Almost all of the Bust dollars did extremely well; some of the lower grades went relatively reasonably but almost all the rarities went high, and then even higher! All told the US portion of the Goldberg’s sale sent a strong message, reeling in a shade over $5.8 million. Amazingly, a dozen coins captured over six figures each. Totaling over $2.25 million, this group was responsible for nearly 40% of the total sales proceeds!

With only a few days before set up day at Long Beach Expo on June 1, a bevy of dealers could be seen setting up temporary digs in hotel rooms, restaurants, or a sporting event, you name it. One well known east coast Dollar dealer said that he consummated a lucrative Morgan Dollar deal while he was waiting for his luggage at baggage claim at LAX. Another well known market-maker advised me he has to be careful yet swift when pulling the trigger on bullion related deals. “I got hurt pretty bad when silver nosedived a few weeks ago,” he confessed to me. With that said, he reported that he still can’t get enough MS 63 to MS 65 Morgan Dollars to satisfy all his clients. “I still have to stretch and pay a few dollars more, just to fill outstanding orders.”

Listed below are many of the notable NGC highlights from the Goldbergs’ sale, May 29-30:

  • 1877 Indian Cent NGC MS 65 RB $9,488
  • 1898 Indian Cent NGC MS 67 RD $4,140
  • 1922 No D Strong Reverse Lincoln Cent NGC AU 58 $6,325
  • 1955 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln Cent NGC MS 64 RB $4,485
  • 1873 Open 3 Two Cent Piece NGC PF 66 BN $4,600
  • 1894 Liberty Nickel NGC PF 67 Cameo $2,760
  • 1918-S Buffalo Nickel NGC MS 65 $14,375
  • 1874 Arrows Seated Liberty Dime NGC PF 66 Cameo $7,763
  • 1917 Mercury Dime NGC MS 67 FB $3,105
  • 1925-D Mercury Dime NGC MS 67 FB $10,925
  • 1832 Capped Bust Quarter NGC MS 64 $9,200
  • 1952 Washington Quarter NGC MS 68 $3,565
  • 1854-O Liberty Seated Half Dollar NGC SP 63 $54,050
  • 1893 Barber Half dollar NGC PF 68 $10,925
  • 1795 Three Leaves, B-5, Flowing Hair Dollar NGC MS 64 $155,250
  • 1865 Seated Liberty Dollar NGC PF 65 Ultra Cameo $25,300
  • 1882 Trade Dollar NGC PF 65 $6,900
  • 1878 7 Tailfeathers Reverse of 1879 Morgan Dollar NGC MS 66 $11,500
  • 1882-S Morgan Dollar NGC MS 66 DPL $6,900
  • 1995-W Silver Eagle NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo $12,075
  • 1856-S Type III Gold Dollar NGC MS 63 $29,900
  • 1863 Type III Gold Dollar NGC PR 67 Cameo $40,250
  • 1885 Type III Gold Dollar NGC PF 68 Cameo $29,900
  • 1796 Draped Bust Quarter Eagle stars NGC MS 61 $207,000
  • 1915 Indian Quarter Eagle NGC MS 65 $6,900
  • 1798 Large Eagle Draped Bust $5 NGC AU 58 $24,150
  • 1885-CC Liberty $20 NGC AU 55 $10,638
  • 1907 High Relief, Wire Rim Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC MS 67 $123,625
  • 1925-D Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC MS 65 $66,125
  • 1915-S Round Pan-Pac $50 NGC MS65 $115,000
  • 1864 Judd-398 Aluminum Dollar NGC PF 66 $20,700

Whether professional or novice, if you can’t find that key date or superb gold type on the spacious bourse, I suggest that you review the catalog of the Long Beach Signature Auction held by Heritage. The powerful five-session host sale commences tonight, June 2, with the final session closing on June 5. In total nearly 5,400 lots will meet the hammer during the Long Beach week festivities.

The following list chronicles noteworthy NGC selections from the sale:

  • 1937-D Three-Legged Buffalo Nickel NGC MS 65
  • 1913-S Barber Quarter NGC MS 67
  • 1814 Capped Bust Half Dollar NGC MS 68
  • 1836 Lettered Edge Capped Bust Half Dollar NGC PF 63
  • 1892-O Micro O Barber Half Dollar NGC MS 65
  • 1795 Two Leaves Flowing Hair Dollar NGC MS 65
  • 1795 Set Left Draped Bust Dollar NGC MS 62
  • 1884-S Morgan Dollar NGC MS 64
  • 1895 Morgan Dollar NGC PF 67 Ultra Cameo
  • 1855 Type II Gold Dollar NGC PF 62 Cameo
  • 1808 Capped Bust Quarter Eagle NGC AU 58
  • 1795 Small Eagle Draped Bust $10 NGC MS 64
  • 1907 Wire Rim Indian $10 NGC MS 65
  • 1921 Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC AU 53
  • 1912 Saint-Gaudens $20 NGC PF 67
  • 1915-S Round Pan-Pac $50 NGC MS 64

Jim Bisognani has written extensively on US coin market trends and values and was the market analyst and writer for a major pricing guide for many years. He currently resides in Southern California and frequently attends major coin shows and auctions.

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