Baltimore Show Review 11/4/10 – 11/6/10
There was a large attendance for the show that gave each day a nice buzz in the room. The spring and fall shows in Baltimore are must attends for any serious dealer or collector. These shows are only surpassed by the exceptional F.U.N. show in Florida in January.
The auctions continue to be very, very strong. In many instances prices realized are so high there is no rhyme or reason. I can only speculate why. But first of all, many coins that come up in the auctions are just not available on the bourse floor of a coin show. There are many that are available in both arenas but it may be that buyers are less comfortable interacting with dealers to acquire coins. They feel that the competitive bidding in auctions assures them of future and current market value. However, they are not factoring in protective reserves and shill bidding. I know of affluent clients that have cost themselves multi thousands of dollars by not having a professional represent them. Unfortunately, I have seen dealer collusion also cost people money. If you find an honest, competent dealer, learn what to do to get the most value for your money. For a reasonable fee, you could save thousands of dollars in the long term and forge a rewarding life long relationship.
It amazes me how many people are willing to compromise to save a few dollars. We displayed at our table a diverse group of coins. Without looking, a potential customer asked our price on a piece. We offered to let him see it but he refused and just wanted the price. It was $20 more than he could buy an NTC coin that was the same grade. Note that NTC is a third tier grading service not recognized by any reputable dealer. I tried to explain that his liquidity could be seriously compromised by purchasing the NTC graded coin but he just wanted the cheapest price. This is the epitome of penny wise and pound foolish. He didn’t want to listen to anything else. I’m sure when he tries to sell, he will feel violated and ripped off. It’s not that hard to learn if you are willing to open your ears and then eyes.
A dealer friend I’ve known for about twenty-five years mentioned to me that he had an opportunity to buy a 1911-D $2.50 in a PCGS unc. holder and early green label to boot! I said be very careful about low unc. to medium unc. 11-D’s. Nearly all I’ve seen have been worked on to various degrees. If the coin is honest, it could be a re-grade candidate. He works for a large established company and had one of his associates bring the coin over to me. I wasn’t too hopeful because I’ve seen badly altered pieces all the way up to MS-65. Imagine paying that tens of thousands of dollars for a coin that could be seriously compromised and it happens all the time. Alas, his low unc. was altered but I helped him and his associate see why. Remember, an expensive coin doesn’t mean a nice coin!
I want to thank all of our client and dealer friends that stopped by to ask for opinions and help. It is for you stewards of the hobby that RCNH is in the business. Your thanks and continued trust are a great reward in a sometimes frustrating business.
P.S. We were asked this year to participate in the Rosen Numismatic Advisory “Crystal Ball” survey. When the issue breaks, let us know and we will provide you with our questions and answers.