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News

November 2017 Baltimore Show Report

By Warren Mills

It’s always a quick one hour flight to Baltimore which makes it a pleasure to get too!  A major show so close is always wonderful to attend.  I arrived a day early to see dealers that were showing their wares in hotel suites.  It gives me an opportunity to see coins early on that I may miss if I wait for the start of the show and also allows me to get coins that are saved for me by dealers that appreciate our focus for original strictly graded coins.  You have to pay for the privilege but it is well worth it in the long run.  We never want to compromise our standards and this pays off when our clients go to sell their material.  Pre-show, we spent about six figures, I'd call that a good start.

Thursday, November 9th, was the first day of the show.  The weather was very cool and the show seemed a bit slow. I asked anyone that handled nice coins to show me anything of top quality.  We were lucky to find a bunch of nice want list coins for our clients so our new purchase inventory may be a little sparse.

An interesting observation is that for most series of coins, CAC bids are much stronger than non-CAC bids.  The prices for silver dollars are especially shocking.  As an example, 1892-O Morgan dollars have a grey sheet bid of $3000 but a CAC bid of $6000!  This reflects the commercialized grading of this series and the many over graded coins on the market.  Many silver dollars have similar differences in the bid levels.  An interesting note also is that a well struck true 1892-O in gem condition will sell for more than the $6000 CAC bid wholesale!  If CAC holds the line on their standards, CAC should continue to lead the market.  Gold coins that are scarcer also reflect a significant price differential.  The underlying message here is that over grading or commercial grading is destroying the price structure of many series of coins.  Look at the pricing of the silver commemorative series.  Stripping and dipping became the rage and nice MS-63 coins started to get graded as MS-65.  Over population ensues and bidders stop supporting the market, prices drop and then the series goes into free fall.  Franklin halves and Walkers have also been destroyed due to over grading.  Bulk submission gold and dollars have led to competition for grading fees and the services sometimes give the benefit of the doubt for a full point.  Grading needs to tighten up or the market may never recover.  Nice original commemoratives that are attractive still are desirable and real pretty toned coins are incredibly strong but buyers know to throw away the grey sheet when they find the truly superior coin.  The overhang of marginally graded coins drags down everything.

CAC is also not immune to coins that have no business being stickered.  For the most part I love the concept but every coin needs to be inspected with a jaundiced eye.  I saw some CAC coins that I thought did not deserve a sticker.  However, I’d rather have a poorly graded stickered coin than a non CAC coin if I’m a little unsure of my grading.  The other advantage that CAC has over the other services is that if you bring a coin to their attention that does not deserve a sticker they will buy the coin and take the sticker off.  Bottom line, they put their money where their mouth is.

I did spend a few hours reviewing coins for customers to help them with their grading.  I’m always happy to give opinions and pick out any coins that should be sent to CAC, held onto as they are or sold for a better example if it becomes available.  This critiquing is necessary for people to learn about the nuances of grading.

I also noticed that the people walking the floor are less educated about buying coins than they were 10 years ago.  Baltimore was a mecca for older educated collectors that flocked to the show years ago.   As that population aged, the knowledge was not handed down.  That’s why I try to spend as much time with people as I can to impart any tidbits that my help them.

One dealer I greatly respect had cases of affordable coins that he lets collectors pick through with no pressure at all.  When he was at the Long Beach coin show last month, he sold over $10,000 worth of these coins to knowledgeable buyers.  His sales in Baltimore were $143 of the same types of coins.  I asked him for his observation as to why there was such a divergence and he said the customers he spoke to in Baltimore have a fraction of the knowledge than the customers in California have.  I was shocked and I have no explanation for this.

This show surprised me in the sense that it was easier to sell a six figure coin than a low four figure coin.  Does this mean that big money which is normally smart money is picking off the classic rarities while prices are down?  At some point, there should be a filtering down for attractive lower priced pieces.  I don’t remember this phenomenon happening for a prolonged time period in the market before but it is happening now.

There is also one major buyer in the market place that has spent so much money in the past year that he is making some dealers careers.  One dealer I spoke with told me a couple of years ago that he had no retirement plan and didn’t know if he would have to work until his dying day.  Now he is making so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it.  I’m happy for him but again, smart money usually jumps in ahead of the market.  Let’s hope this is the beginning of something good for all of us.

Testimonials

  • “They finally arrived! I just opened the package and I must say that I am the proud owner of the finest specimens yet to grace my fledgling commem collection.....jaw dropping beauty with nary a mark on 'em. Thank you for providing me the opportunity to purchase them…. You folks have always provided me with some really prime examples but this set is beyond all of my expectations. Again, I offer my thanks to you and all of the gang at RCNH, and I look forward to future dealings with you.
    K.N.
  • "Received Oregon commemorative yesterday. Love it, what a beauty. I never really was attracted to white coins, but when you buy original white coins from RCNH I can see why people seek them out. Others in the past were probably tampered with and that's why I never sought them out because they didn't look anything like the white coins from RCNH"
    K.W.
  • "Thank you very much for your time today I hope you have a Merry Christmas thanks for your professionalism and I look forward to dealing with you in the future"
    M.F.
  • "A joy of purchasing from RCNH is the consistent quality of the individual coins. From a lower grade raw coin to a MS66 CAC each coin has pristine original surfaces; natural toning; and accurately graded. I've never been disappointed with a coin from RCNH. Thank you for being unique in the industry."
    T.S.
  • "We have done business with RCNH for several years. They are very kind and extremely generous, not only with their time, but also with their knowledge. They have spent many hours combing through our collections of mostly unspectacular coins giving an honest appraisal on any coin that was even slightly more than average. Couldn't have asked for more time and effort than they provided. It's worth it to us to drive almost two hours to meet with them because we trust them and enjoy the interaction."
    R.L.
  • "Just opened the parcel and its BEAUTIFUL!! the surfaces are original and I especially like the subtle violet toning near the date, it is very well struck and exhibits tons of luster on both sides it puts to shame my other 65 that I had purchased from... a couple years back (I should of returned it when I bought it dang it) On a similar vein I received some good news on my latest NGC submission when my 40D garnered a D/D VP 503 MS64 grade I was hoping for 65 but?? oh well at any rate thanks again for the follow-up call and will talk later and good luck at Baltimore."
    Robert
  • "I just wanted to let you know how happy I am with the 1956 Franklin proof half dollar I've recently purchased in PR-66. (PCGS) It's beautiful! I was also very pleased to get a personal letter on your letterhead stating that this coin had the potential as a PR-67! I've had occasion to look through the website and will definitely be making future purchases! Thank you, and keep up the great work!"
    L.C.
  • 1893 Columbian and 1897 Morgan

    "The latest two coins I ordered arrived on Saturday. The 1893 MS-64 Columbian half is nice. It's certainly good enough to warrant addition to my collection-about what I expected from the photo. The 1897 Morgan looks exceptional in the photo and your description also raised my expectations even further. At first glance, the toning on the obverse looked a bit darker to me than the photo. Looking at it under magnification with proper lighting, however, I'd say it matches the photo rather well. The reverse looks like the photo to the naked eye and under magnification-absolutely stunning! This may be the best coin in my collection. I mentioned on the phone that my daughter is a metalsmith and likes toned Morgan dollars. She was rather ecstatic about this Morgan. I'm glad I called you about this coin before it got snapped up by another collector. Thanks."
    C.A.
  • I Love My Saint!

    "For the past four years I've had RCNH in pursuit of a "nice" common date MS67 Saint. One might reckon this endeavor to be easily achieved within a year, when accounting for the modest population in this grade. However Warren's strict grading standards precluded us from settling on just an ordinary 67. When I recently received word from Dave that Warren found a coin he liked, I knew it would be technically superior. When I opened the box and pulled my coin out, I was looking at a stunning Saint with incredible eye appeal. Ultra clean, original, and with rich color. This is unquestionably one of the finest Saint Gaudens in existence. Thank you Dave and Warren. Indeed, you did it!...I love my Saint!"
    D.A.
  • My Deepest Respect

    "...Finally, my deepest respect goes to you and everyone else at RCNH. As I have already told you, I would probably stop collecting if RCNH did not exist."
    T.S.
  • High Standards

    "Wow! What great coins that arrived today. They exceed the high standards that I expect from RCNH..... Great doing business with you."
    J.P.
  • Far Surpassed

    "My package arrived today and it was packaged so well it took me 20 minutes to open it up but it was worth the wait. Just when I thought you were not paying attention to my want list my representative called me with a coin. It far surpassed anything I could have bought or have seen in years. Thank you very much."
    D.L.
  • Superb

    "Wow! When I saw this coin on your website I immediately ordered the coin online... When it arrived in the mail I said to myself "Oh my; I can't believe it!". A superb 64 indeed...to me it looks MS-65 any day of the week. Your coins are everything that customer testimonials say they are and I will definitely be diligently watching your web site! Thank you!"
    J.T.
  • Problem Free

    "I don't know how you do it. The 1797 Half Dime you just sent me is fantastic! Original, nicely toned, problem free - I don't know how you find early U.S. coins of this caliber.
    T.S.
  • Consistently Accurate

    "Hi, I wanted to tell you how pleased I was with the five coins that arrived. They are exactly what I have come to expect from Rare Coins of New Hampshire. Your descriptions are consistently accurate and the grading is on target. It is comforting to purchase coins and know that the quality and originality will be there. There is no fear of purchasing problem coins from your firm because you just don't sell them. I appreciate the wide-range of grades and prices that you offer to fill the niche of virtually any collector who values original coins with plenty of character"
    E.R.
  • Customer Service is Your Number One Priority

    "It is with a great sense of satisfaction that I write you today. It seems that customer service is your number one priority and I am truly grateful for that. Dealers can be short with you, they can sell over graded and lower quality material just to make a buck. At RCNH, the opposite is true and as a consumer I am convinced of your philosophy, it is palpable. Scans and nice descriptions, emails and follow-ups accompanied the sale. It's nice to buy good coins. It's even nicer having a quality experience to go with it!"

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