Coin Commentary
Our Opinions on All Things Numismatic

November 12, 2018: CRO's View of the Archangel Collection

Don’t look now, but CRO is about to recap Stack’s-Bowers’ recently concluded sale of the “Archangel Collection”, an interesting, mostly high-end, well-pedigreed and loooong off the market offering of colonial type coins and pre-mint patterns assembled by an astute collector in a concentrated period between 1972 and 1984, privately and in significant auctions of the time, and then apparently left undisturbed and never upgraded, added to or otherwise improved for a generation.

And while your author had heard rumors and was vaguely aware that this set was out there, somewhere, I never knew exactly 1) Where, 2) What was in it, and 3) When/if it would ever come to market.

So of course I was extreeeeemely interested to read the initial auction announcement by Stack’s-Bowers many months ago, and to then see scattered highlights of the collection displayed by them at various shows and new, previously unseen high grade colonial images popping up on PCGS Coinfacts as the coins were graded.

At which time I realized that I had seen many of these of these coins before, at least in print, since it turns out a number of them occupied positions of high honor in many of the colonial census lists I had created for each series through the years.

And while I had always assumed that many of these coins were in either well known super-strong, never-to-be-released hands, or perhaps in one institutional collection or other, I was wrong.  Because here they were, available, with your author about to get a shot at all of them - and then post this auction recap starting right now:

With the first notable item in the sale coincidentally the first item offered, lot #7001, among the most pleasing, aesthetic, nicely round, evenly struck, problem free and old-toned New England Shillings you author has seen (all images in this article courtesy of Stack's-Bowers):

Selling for what seemed to me to be a quite reasonable $204,000.  Now, that's well down from the $400K+ high water mark of this type 5 to 8 years ago, but a tick above results circa 2015. And that might well have been a tick and a half (at least), since I know at least one would-be bidder who was unaware this piece was in the sale, and insisted he would have gone a fair bit higher. Oh well.

And then on to lot #7002, a Willow Tree Shilling acquired by the Archangel collector in Stack’s May 1976 Laird Park sale where it was described as “Struck on a full almost perfectly round planchet and toned a lovely silvery gray and blue. EXTREMELY FINE.”:

 
Your author and PCGS had a sliiiiightly different view in 2018, the latter calling this coin ‘VF Details, Tooled’ based on some obvious heavy-duty reworking at the lower obverse which held this piece back to $44,400.

But many other coins in this offering were super choice, including lot #7011, a lovely Pine Tree Shilling, Small Planchet, Noe-17, in a PCGS AU53 slab but looking waaaaay nicer than many like-graded examples we’ve seen:

Other bidders evidently felt the same way, carrying this to $26,400 – which is more like a primo AU58-MS61 price. Can’t say it was not worth it though.

Also selling for a price which belied its grade: Lot #7020, a lovely, original St. Patrick’s Farthing Martlet (that duck with no feet underneath the king) variety graded AU50 by PCGS:

That again looked quite undergraded to this author - more like AU55 - and again that seemed to be at least the prevailing opinion, rocketing this coin to an unprecedented for the grade $31,200.

Followed by a long line of nice, highly graded and surprisingly sought-after Rosa Americana coins with lot #7028, the extremely rare 1733 Pattern 2pence ex Parmelee-Garrett the crown jewel at $132,500:

A price we found entirely justifiable, as there are just 6 known examples of this issue, one of which is permanently impounded in the British Museum, another in the Smithsonian and one which unfortunately went down with the Titanic and is presumably never coming back up(!). And since 2 of the remaining three in private hands are locked up tight, this was the lone, fleeting opportunity for a collector to acquire one for the foreseeable future.

Equally popular here: The Hibernia coins, with lot #7038, the rare, unusual and seldom seen Trident reverse pattern graded PF64 BN ex-Garrett the most expensive:

That brought $90,000 all-in, a price of particular interest to us, since we sold the PF65 BN finest known example ex-Norweb for considerably less than that a couple of years ago.

But while those pieces were strong, that trend did not carry over to lot #7047, the raw 1694 Carolina Elephant PROPRIETORS in MS63 BN ex-Bowers October 1980 sale of the Garrett Collection:

This coin has always been CC #1 on your author’s census of this rare type (just ahead of the only other mint state piece known, a PCGS MS62 BN), so we were stunned to be able to buy it for just $24,000 (since we ourselves paid $47,000 for the NGC XF45 example in the Newman sale in 2014, and had sold a VF30 example in the mid $20,000s more recently). How can we explain the Archangel auction price? No idea. None. Not complaining though!

But perhaps the most baffling of all results in this sale (to me, anyway) would be lot #7088, the 1787 George Clinton Cent graded MS62 BN by PCGS, one of 12 known examples, 4 of which are impounded in museums. Of the 8 in private hands, this is, by all accounts, the 2nd finest example and realized $168,000 here:

Now, while that is not an inconsiderable sum, it sure seemed cheap in the context of the few other recent Clintons that have come to market. Including the finer example in the Newman sale in 2014 graded MS63 BN by NGC which realized $499,375(!). Or the pleasing XF40 PCGS example ex-Garrett which sold in 2015 for $235,000. Or even the F15 PCGS coin which sold at Heritage in 2017 for $152,750. How can that be? Does this mean that the bottom has fallen out of the Clinton market? No, I don’t think that’s it. Rather I think it is a function of some combination of a half dozen factors:

  1. The rarity (and price) of this issue makes it virtually an “NC” (Non-Collectible in EAC parlance) among even some of the serious segment of the colonial collecting community
  2. This is a sufficiently thinly traded market that the presence or absence of one bidder at an auction like this can materially change the result
  3. Some of those active on this day and interested in this issue seemingly had an example they were at least content with, causing them not to chase this piece as a mere upgrade
  4. The presence of many other desirable target coins in this session may have drawn some potential buyers’ eyes elsewhere
  5. Some potential bidders may have assumed this would sell for much more and thus did not give it serious consideration as a realistic purchase option
  6. Something akin to paralysis by analysis, where even those who wanted this coin, had the means to buy it and intended to bid in the sale just simply didn’t pull the trigger

Despite all of that, I think the illogic of this result is undeniable, and will quickly give way to a sale for much more on the aftermarket. And, in our view, it will be worth it.

With our next highlighted lot #7095, the 1787 New Jersey Copper ‘Pattern Shield’ Maris 6-C issue, ex Chapman’s 1904 sale of the John G. Mills Collection, now graded MS63 BN by PCGS which brought $60,000:

That’s a distinct Redbook type and a tough R-5 issue, so when we had an opportunity to buy the finest known and only mint state example known, we jumped all over it (and then sold it off this very site just 4 days later).

Speaking of superb state coppers, it was tough to top lot #7099, the 1786 Vermont VERMONTENSIUM last offered at the 1976 ANA auction as part of a consignment from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, now graded MS63+ BN by PCGS, which realized $84,000:

Of all the coins in this auction, this piece seemed to draw about the most pre-sale buzz, with even those who do not collect or deal in these coins taking the time to go view it. I know this because a bunch of them came and told me about it at the show and right up until I stood in the hallway minutes before the auction. I guess not surprising though, as this has always been among the most beloved designs in the colonial series. Which explains why we bought it.

But while that was undeniably popular, lot #7106, the Standish Barry Threepence ex-Crosby-Massachusetts Historical Society proved a lot less so at just $52,400:

Now, we did not love the look of that coin, but as values go that seemed to be another Clintonian rip of the highest order. I’d say I wish we were the rippers on this one, but our business model has never been to chase things just because they are going “cheap”, but rather to choose the coins we like and want to own and go after those.

A list which definitely did not include lot #7117, the only Castorland Token included in the collection, which was, curiously, a cleaned and heavily hairlined 20th century copy in copper:

So why are we highlighting this piece?  Two reasons: 1) I couldn’t figure out what the heck it was doing in this auction, and 2) It was the single most affordable coin in the entire Archangel offering at $75 (which still seemed like a lot of money to me for this item).

The Washington pieces, on the other hand, were waaaaay nicer, including lot #7124, the 1792 Roman Head Cent ex Stack's 1983 sale of the Roper Collection, now graded PF66 BN by PCGS:

We’ve been trying to buy one of these for a collector customer for several years now, and have been frustratingly outbid on lesser examples in recent auctions.  So we were very pleased, no, delighted, actually thrilled to acquire this pristine, original, well-pedigreed, über-gem example for what seemed a relative bargain here at $114,000.

With the next highlighted item another all original, pop top Washington piece, lot #7135, a brilliant, silvered, near-gem Large Success Token the likes of which we (and others, apparently) had never seen before:

Which may explain why it rocketed to a record for the issue $16,800.  And though we agreed with the grade, and considered this a desirable item, it really was not for us based on the obverse die crack.  While it was as made, it is something we generally avoid based on our preference for coins which, to the extent possible, represent the original designs as the makers intended them (i.e. without big die breaks, huge cracks, mis-strikings and the like). To each his own, variety it is the very spice of life and all that.

With the colonial portion of the sale culminating with the Fugio Coppers, including lot #7142, the finest example we’ve seen of the rare Newman 11-A UNITED over STATES variety graded MS66 RB by PCGS which realized $36,800:

We’ve always liked this issue, as not only is it a rare variety, it happens to be the best made one in the entire series, and even in lesser grades than this is found very deeply struck with bold legends and devices. That’s quite strange; we can’t think of any other rare die rarities in any other colonial series which are better made than their more common brethren.  Can you?

Followed soon after by lot #7151, the 1792 Birch Cent, Plain Edge, graded AU58 by PCGS which realized $660,000:

Obviously a rare and desirable item, and this is the only Plain Edge example known to exist, but we feature it here since it was the single most expensive item in the Archangel Collection by nearly 2x, but still well less than the last (admittedly more pleasing) PCGS AU58 Birch to sell.

With our last highlighted lot #7154, the Libertas Americana Medal in Silver graded MS62 by PCGS:

That was a very striking piece beautifully toned in shades of blue and gold, but not better than 62 in our view. So we were surprised to see it rocket to $156,000, a new record for the grade by about 40 grand.

And so what can we conclude about all of this activity?

There were three big take aways from my perspective:

  1. The most attractive, original and eye-appealing type coins were in super deluxe high demand.
  2. There were bargains to be had, as many of the rare and esoteric issues were soft, even if they were nice examples.
  3. Anything off quality or not very nice for the grade went cheap.

So how did CRO do? We were pleased to buy a bunch of coins, at prices that varied from right around our max (i.e. our category 1 above) to less than half of our planned bid (category 2).  With just a few things getting away from us in a session in which a lot of the heaviest bidding activity seemed to be on coins we were not chasing.

And that's really all we have to say about that.

Coin Commentary Archive

August 31, 2018: August by the Numbers

Great news everyone it is once again time for our annual August by the Numbers article starting right now: 2 SMs and 1 XL:  Shows attended this month, our regular Devens local show, a local Dealers’ Only day at that same venue and of course the gargantuan ANA World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia...

March 13, 2018: Stream of Coin-sciousness

Just back from a surprisingly active ANA show in Irving and yet another illustration that we never really know what we’ll find in our travels, what new coins we’ll sell, or customers we’ll meet, which is why we pretty much have to be everywhere all the time lest we miss something good...

January 31, 2018: Numismatics Meets Cruciverbalism

A Guest Commentary by C. Sloan For daily solvers of the New York Times crossword, coins and money are frequently encountered topics...

December 28, 2017: The Year in Review

Just hours away from the glorious end of 2017 and mere days away from jetting off to Florida for the FUN show where we'll start this train all over again, we have just enough time to revisit, rehash and reflect on everything that has happened in the last 12 months and describe it right here in our annual TYIR article...

September 20, 2017: Stream of Coin-sciousness

As our regular visitors have by now noticed, we’ve made the move from the sliiiightly cumbersome Coin Rarities Online to the streamlined CRO on the site...

August 31, 2017: August by the Numbers

If this is the last day of August it must be time to recap the month numerically starting right now: Just one:  Shows we attended this month – the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Denver...

June 1, 2017: Stream of Coin-sciousness

Ah yes, June, the official start of meteorilogical summer and an inevitable slow down in the coin business...

April 30, 2017: April by the Numbers

Great news everyone, it is time to recap the month of April numerically: 4 and a Half: Coin shows attended (one was a wrap-around that started in March)...

March 26, 2017: Stream of Coin-sciousness

Ah yes, April, a generally pleasant month for most people, but always, A-L-W-A-Y-S (for reasons we cannot explain) the most jam-packed month imaginable on the CRO numismatic calendar...

December 31, 2016: The Year In Review

As we rocket toward the end of another epic year here at CRO it is time once again for us to encapsulate, summarize and compress 12 frenetic months of numismatic activity into one profusely illustrated TYIR article...

November 11, 2016: Stream of Coin-sciousness

Inventory update: We’ve arrived at our intended steady-state website offering of about 200 coins (give or take), in the process beefing up a few areas where we’ve wanted to maintain a more robust assortment, namely Fugio Coppers and gold coins which circulated in early America...

July 31, 2016: July by the Numbers

With just a few days before we head out to the ANA in Anaheim, we’ve just enough time to numerically recap an especially hot month here at CRO starting right now: 26: New people who signed up for the Early Bird this month...

May 6, 2016: Stream of Coin-sciousness

You may notice some new social media logos and links popping up all over the site over the next few weeks/months as we leap boldly into the 21st century (or at least the part of it where people spend hours a day on Facebook, and post cool stuff on Pinterest)...

March 30, 2016: First Quarter Colonial Auction Recap

Editor's Note: A slightly modified version of the following article appeared in the Colonial Coin Collector's Club (C4) Newsletter, but since not all of our website visitors are C4 members, we thought we'd go ahead and post it here for your reading pleasure...

January 23, 2016: Stream of Coin-sciousness

While winter has descended upon us in earnest this month, it has not slowed down the activity level at CRO, with orders coming in at a pretty steady clip, and new coins arriving every day from literally all over the map...

December 31, 2015: The Year in Review

Celebratory trumpets blare forth, it is time to once again revel in another excellent CRO year which started waaaay back in early January in Orlando and finished here in the office 6 minutes ago when we received what is presumably the last order of 2015...

October 31, 2015: October by the Numbers

As we remove our thick, pancake Halloween makeup and neatly fold and put away our usual B. Max Mehl costume, it is time for another installment of CRO’s ‘By the Numbers’ in which we highlight a month numerically starting right now: 0: Coin shows attended in October...

March 30, 2015: CRO's View of the Kendall Foundation Collection

For the second time in just two months, we are delighted to find ourselves in the position of recapping another major colonial-centric auction containing another, ho hum, half dozen New England Shillings...

February 6, 2015: CRO's View of the Donald Partrick Collection, Part I

Forthwith we are pleased to present our usual CRO-style review of the Donald G. Partrick Collection, Part I, which was auctioned by Heritage at the FUN Show this year...

January 1, 2015: CRO's Numismatic New Year's Resolutions

After considerable thought, here's what we've come up with: Develop a better system to track global numismatic auctions this year so we don't miss anything good...

December 31, 2014: The Year in Review

As we stride confidently toward the end of another exciting year here at CRO it is time for us to pause briefly, reflect on the past year and then unleash some of the notable events here in our annual TYIR article...

November 16, 2014: CRO's View of the Eric Newman Collection, Part V

As a continuation of our May 17th Commentary on the Eric Newman colonial auction Part IV, we are pleased to add our thoughts on the recently concluded colonial auction Part V just held in New York...

August 31st, 2014: August by the Numbers

Right before the exciting start of another school year here in New England, it is, yes, time for another installment of CRO’s ‘August by the Numbers’ in which we highlight the month numerically starting right now: Only one: Shows attended this month, though of course it was the Big Kahuna, the Grand Daddy of Them All, the World’s Fair of Money held in, once again, Rosemont, IL...

May 17, 2014: CRO's View of the Eric Newman Collection, Part IV

We recently had the distinct pleasure of attending the sale of the Eric Newman Collection, Part IV (the colonials!), in New York...

April 16, 2014: The Numismatic Fall from Grace

Numismatic Fall from Grace: n(y)o͞oməzˈmatik fôl frəm grās.  noun phrase...

December 30, 2013: The Year in Review

With mere hours to go before the start of 2014, it is once again time to pause, take a deep, cleansing breath and reflect on the always interesting, occasionally exceptional, sometimes record setting, unfortunately unappetizing, deeply heartening and often entertaining things that happened to us in 2013...

November 18, 2013: CRO's View of the Eric Newman Collection, Part II

As our loyal readers have almost certainly heard, seen and experienced by now, last week a significant numismatic event took place in New York in the form of installment 2 of the Eric P...

October 21, 2013: Stream of Coin-sciousness

In the midst of what has to be the most pleasant New England fall weather I’ve ever experienced (unlike some previous years when we were already shoveling snow by this date), business has continued nicely, with steady sales and more than our fair share of interesting NEWPs...

July 21, 2013: Stream of Coin-sciousness

After an action packed early summer which has taken us from Long Beach to Mexico to Kentucky to Edinburgh, Scotland, we are pleased to be back just in time to write this looong overdue installment of the CC...

March 31, 2013: CRO's 'March by the Numbers'

With a mini-lull between tax time and our next show, we have taken the opportunity to crank out another exciting edition of CRO's 'By the Numbers' in which we highlight a month numerically starting right now: Just one: Shows attended this month, though it was that real big one in Baltimore...

January 23, 2013: Stack's-Bowers Americana Colonial Auction Recap

Aaah yes, when the numismatic calendar turns to late January, it can only mean one thing: It’s time for another fantastic Stack’s-Bowers Americana auction held, as always, on fabulous 57th Street in Manhattan...

December 28, 2012: The Year in Review

Let’s see, with 2012 winding down and another fantastic FUN show just about to begin it must be time for another edition of The Year in Review – you know, the all-encompassing piece where we highlight the most memorable (though not necessarily good) things that happened to us in the past year...

November 3, 2012: Stream of Coin-sciousness

Time to take a deep, relaxing breath here at CRO World Headquarters as we head into what will be, without any doubt whatsoever, the busiest November in our super-illustrious history...

September 15, 2012: Stream of Coin-sciousness

Well, it’s been about 6 weeks since the birth of the “new” CRO, which I hope most observers / collectors / dealers and visitors to the website have concluded looks very much like the “old” CRO...

July 30, 2012: Ch-ch-ch-changes

Note that today’s Coin Commentary is presented in CRO’s familiar Point-Counterpoint format with JA’s comments in blue and DW’s in red...

May 19, 2012: Stream of Coin-sciousness

Today was an exciting day at CRO (at least by coin-geek standards), as Dave received our grades back on a recent submission and informed me that they included an unc...

April 26, 2012: The Salmon Classification System for Massachusetts Silver Coins

We are pleased to present this discussion and explanation of the new Salmon classification system for Massachusetts Silver Coins written by Dr...

March 1, 2012: Rosen Numismatic Advisory Crystal Ball Survey, Part 2

As promised, and like clockwork, we are herewith pleased to present the 35th Annual Rosen Numismatic Advisory Crystal Ball Survey, Part 2 for your reading pleasure...

February 1, 2012: Rosen Numismatic Advisory Crystal Ball Survey, Part I

We are herewith pleased to present the 35th Annual Rosen Numismatic Advisory Crystal Ball Survey, Part I, a forward-looking questionnaire sent to a group of numismatic industry heavyweights including John Albanese, founder of Collector's Acceptance Corporation (CAC), William Paul of American Heritage Minting, Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatics, Scott Travers of Scott Travers Numismatics, Doug Winter of Doug Winter Numismatics and our own Dave Wnuck...

December 29, 2011: The Year in Review

If this is the end of December, it must once again be time for an epic installment of TYIR (even though it feels like we just finished writing the 2010 version)...

December 12, 2011: Stream of Coin-sciousness

While the weather here in New England has been surprisingly mild of late, business has been anything but...

September 23, 2011: Stream of Coin-sciousness

Now that we have a few week lull between shows in Pennsylvania, it seems an excellent time to address the following question:  Why do we have two shows in a row in Pennsylvania?  To which the answer is of course:  We have no idea...

August 7, 2011: What is that Red and White Square on Your Home Page?

E. M. of Farmington, MI emailed recently to ask what that red and white square symbol on our home page means...

May 23, 2011: Stream of Coin-sciousness

Ah yes, there is nothing like traveling all over this great land to attend coin shows. But as much as we really enjoy them, there are occasional instances (such as during a 6 hour flight to Portland next to a screaming child) that we wish we could hang out at home more often...

March 31, 2011: First Quarter Colonial Auction Recap

The following article by our own John Agre appeared in the Colonial Coin Collector's Club (C4) Newsletter, but since not all of our website visitors are C4 members, we thought we'd go ahead and post it here for your reading pleasure (though with the addition of a bunch of no-holds-barred editorial comments that we reserved for this site): It’s been a pretty interesting first three months of the year in the world of colonial coin auctions, with significant offerings from Stack’s and Heritage, an interesting piece or two at Bowers and Merena, and an assortment of coins on Ebay ranging from the fairly typical (i...

March 2, 2011: In Memory of My Friend Steve Tanenbaum

I am in shock. My longtime friend, token and medal dealer extraordinaire Steve Tanenbaum, is no longer with us...

January 21, 2011: Stream of Coin-sciousness

Sales continue to be robust around here, which is delightful, except for the part about battling yet another impressive (or impressively disgusting) New England snow storm in order to ship out the latest round of boxes...

December 27, 2010: The Year in Review

And this one really flew by, as it seems like just yesterday we were at the FUN Show back in January of this year laughing at the valet parking attendant dressed like Nanook of the North in 30 degree weather...

November 12, 2010: CRO Goes Hollywood, Part Deux!

That’s right – it is time once again for a recap of my experience as an “Expert Appraiser” (please – hold your applause) on Connecticut Public Television’s Connecticut Treasure Appraisal Fair! Which this year was conveniently scheduled on the Sunday right after the Whitman Show in Baltimore, affording me the excellent opportunity to race home completely exhausted after a busy week, wake up very early the next day, get all gussied up for a possible TV appearance and then zoom to the Mohegan Sun Casino Arena for the scheduled 7 AM start...

August 31, 2010: CRO's 'August by the Numbers'

Good news everyone - it’s time once again for our annual 'August by the Numbers' commentary in which we summarize our business in the 8th month numerically...

June 11, 2010: The Find

Another Original Work of Numismatic Non-Fiction by Dave Wnuck So I’m sitting in the CRO offices one day a couple of weeks ago when the phone rings...

March 15, 2010: Corrections to the Whitman Encyclopedia

As our readers may remember, it was almost exactly one year ago when we wrote a Coin Commentary containing a review of Whitman's then-new Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins...

December 31, 2009: The Year in Review

In the most vivid illustration yet that ‘Time Flies’, we have now reached the end of 2009, our 4th full year together as CRO and, by any objective (or subjective) measure, the best one yet...

November 25, 2009: So you want to be a cataloger, eh?

Well, so did we, which may explain why team CRO is listed in this year’s C4 (Colonial Coin Collectors Club) catalog under the “Cataloging by ...

November 9, 2009: CRO Goes Hollywood!

Well, sort of. I was selected once again to be the official Coin & Currency appraiser for CPTV's Connecticut Treasure Hunt Appraisal Fair, an annual event held this year on November 8th...

September 27th, 2009: We Have a Winner(s)!

We say 'winner(s)' because there are two.  In the first annual CRO "What Does the 'L' Counterstamp Stand for on the 1825 Quarter?" contest, that is...

August 31, 2009: CRO's 'August by the Numbers'

Just 1:  Coin shows we attended. 44:  CRO checks written there. 4 Big Boxes:  Quantity of NEWPs sent out for photography from the show...

July 11, 2009: The Mentor-ist

More Numismatic Non-Fiction By Dave Wnuck Have you ever heard someone described as a ‘natural’ in numismatics?  I have – usually referring to a person who seems to have an intuitive gift for grading, or for coming up with great coins, or for finding ready buyers, etc...

May 21, 2009: Book Review, Part II

In our last Coin Commentary (gee, time sure does fly around here) we reprinted a review of the new Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins by Wayne Homren...

March 25, 2009: Book Review

Recently Wayne Homren, Editor of the fantastic and highly recommended E-sylum (which, in their own words, is described as "a weekly electronic newsletter published by the Numismatic Bibliomania Society for numismatic bibliophiles, researchers, and just plain numismatists around the world"), wrote a review of the new Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins...

March 5, 2009: So you're going to a coin show, eh?

Some time ago a client of ours recommended that we write a Coin Commentary for collectors attending a first show...

February 18, 2009: Notable Numismatic Quotables, Part I

Over the years we've heard and read a number of interesting and thought provoking numismatic quotes from a variety of sources (actually, we've come up with a few on our own, too)...

December 27, 2008: The Year in Review

It's time once again for Dave and me to reflect back on another year of traveling to coin shows and auctions, meeting a lot of nice people, buying and selling cool coins, visiting new cities, using just under 2 miles of packing tape, waiting for hours at various airport baggage carousels, filling out grading forms, etc...

Thanksgiving, 2008: Thank you

Thank you. Thank you to our loyal customers who make it possible for Dave and me to travel around the country going to coin shows and auctions instead of commuting to work at some company that makes widgets and serves as the inspiration for the comic strip 'Dilbert'...

October 1, 2008: Coin Collecting in an Uncertain World

As usual, we're going to tell it like it is in our Coin Commentary. You see, we actually have a number of incredibly clever new topics lined up and ready to go for this section of the site (based on lots of good suggestions by many of our regular visitors), but frankly it seemed odd to post some of them at this point...

July 23, 2008: On CAC

As some of you have already noticed, a number of coins in our current inventory are now identified as having CAC stickers...

July 14, 2008: What are Your Choices for the 100 Greatest US Coins?

That was the question posed to me recently by the good folks at Whitman Publishing. It seems they are hard at work on the shiny new 3rd Edition of their extremely popular coffee table book, The 100 Greatest US Coins, and so they have asked me and a group of other (and I quote) "dealers, collectors, researchers, historians and others connected to the field" to vote on the list...

May 19, 2008: My Love Affair with a Fat, Old Woman

An Original Work of Numismatic Non-Fiction by Dave Wnuck. Shhhhh. Don't tell my wife, but I'm in love with another woman...

March 31, 2008: An Ode to . . . John Agre(?) by Dave Wnuck

This Coin Commentary may sound nakedly self-promotional, but I'd like to tell the folks out there a little about my business partner and the half owner of Coin Rarities Online, John Agre...

February 9, 2008: Colonial Coin Collecting Q & A, Part 2

Waaaaaay back in August of 2006 we wrote part 1 of this Q & A with every intention of adding Part 2 eventually...

December 26, 2007: The Year in Review

As another exciting numismatic year winds to a close, it is appropriate that we look back and reflect on the new friends we made, the coins we bought and sold, the fun we had, the memorable meals we enjoyed, the wonderful grades we received, the bad bus rides we took and the myriad other events which, in total, conspired to make this the finest and most enjoyable year ever in the history of CRO, ever...

November 15, 2007: How Come the Coins Went so Cheap?

I got an email from a customer the other day who had been watching the Stack's 'Amherst & Waccubuc' catalog colonial session online and seeing (with a handful of notable exceptions) very low prices or coins not meeting reserve...

November 2, 2007: Ten Coins we Could Buy and Sell Ten Times

This idea for a Coin Commentary was submitted by one of our customers, and I liked the idea so much that I just started flailing away on the keyboard immediately...

September 10, 2007: So How's the Coin Market? (Parts 1 & 2)

That's a question dealers (including us) hear all of the time from customers. And while responses to this question may vary wildly depending on who you ask, this is our Coin Commentary and here you will get the 'CRO View' (which happens to be pretty well researched)...

July 31, 2007: How Can You Avoid Buying Doctored Coins?

We recently received an email from a collector who was dismayed by the number of doctored, conserved and enhanced coins in TPG holders in the marketplace...

July 4, 2007: Life is Too Short to Buy Ugly Coins

At the recent Baltimore show, I spent a fair amount of time walking the floor perusing the gazillion dealer tables looking for nice coins to buy...

May 27, 2007: The Right Stuff

Is what I saw during a recent visit to view a customer's collection. He graciously invited me to travel to meet him and view his coins, and, of course, I enthusiastically accepted...

April 14, 2007: What should you do with a sub-par coin?

Let's say you have a coin in your collection that really isn't up to snuff. And I don't mean one that is too low grade, or not expensive enough...

March 16, 2007: Why are we talking about trains?

That's an excellent question - thank you for asking. Actually, the answer is quite simple. One of the most informative and important articles I've ever read about coin collecting actually wasn't about coins at all...

Michael Kent Ringo: 05/28/54 - 01/28/07

We lost a good friend and numismatic colleague this week with the passing of Mike Ringo. Most coin collectors and dealers may have never heard of Mike...

January 18, 2007: Should Coins be Purchased as an Investment?

You're in for a treat today, especially since Dave and I totally disagree on this topic. Which means this will be our first Point-Counterpoint Coin Commentary, almost certain to be filled with polite disagreement possibly culminating in pure, unbridled acrimony with computer YELLING in all caps...

December 1, 2006: How NOT to Buy Coins at Auction

We felt compelled to write this week’s Coin Commentary as a sort of numismatic public service announcement after watching all kinds of people buy all kinds of coins at auction over the last couple of decades...

October 10, 2006: Dave Speaks About the Market

Interesting times in the coin market. After an almost unprecedented multi-year run-up in demand, prices and euphoria, we are seeing some changes...

August 30, 2006: Colonial Coin Collecting Q & A, Part 1

An increasing portion of our business is in colonial coins, and so we thought it was about time for us to speak up...

July 18, 2006: One Vote for the 'Box-of-20' Concept

We have been around coins for a long, long time, and we've seen people collect coins of all different kinds in all different ways, from type sets to die varieties to date and mint runs in all series to the odd...

June 9, 2006: Once sold, what item(s) in your inventory will be hardest to replace?

Someone asked us this on the phone today and we thought it was an interesting, thought provoking question...

May 26, 2006: So how much of a premium above sheet levels would you pay for a choice original coin?

Lots of people say they want them. That they value originality. That they hate to see original coins stripped and dipped and ruined...

May 6, 2006: What makes a good client?

Someone asked us this at a recent show and, as is our want, we like to answer particularly interesting or provacative questions right here on the ol' website...

April 16, 2006: Top 10 things we would change about coin slabbing

In no particular order: All slabbed coins would be photographed by the services and would thus be traceable, and it would therefore be impossible to crack out and resubmit a coin and receive a higher grade than the one originally conferred...

April 4, 2006: Do you guys BUY coins for these prices?????

A gentleman came to our table at the Baltimore show a couple of weeks ago, looked in the case for a while, admired a couple of coins, asked a few prices and then with a slightly pained and sarcastic scowl asked me what was apparently intended to be a stinging question: Do you guys buy coins for these prices? The implication of this question was, of course, that our prices are high...

March 19, 2006: Will the last original coin to leave please turn out the lights?

Heres an experiment for you: Go to view lots at a typical major auction. Look through every box of every series and jot down how many original, uncorrupted coins you find...

March 5, 2006: Thoughts on Coin Grading, Part 1

We thought we'd tackle a not-controversial, simple and easy topic like 'coin grading' this week. We’ll start with how we, as dealers, grade and assess a coin: Whether it is in an auction, in another dealer’s case, raw or slabbed, we evaluate a coin by studying it carefully and determining, regardless of the level of wear in evidence, whether we like it or not...

January 15, 2006: Why should I buy from a dealer?

In our experience, this question is typically followed by a statement that goes something like this: "I can just buy from auctions myself, so I really don't need to pay a dealer...

December 26, 2005: The Big Picture

As we’ve had a few days to relax, enjoy the holidays and spend some time with our families, we’ve had a little time to step back and reflect on the year...

 


All Content is Copyright © 2006-2018 Coin Rarities Online, LLC. All rights reserved.
Top Seller Website Software is Copyright © 2004, 2005, 2006 Identry, LLC. All rights reserved.
Error