Blog

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 06:31

 

We just got back from a very busy FUN show sunny and warm Orlando, Florida: and it was our best show in probably over a year! The show was busy with both buyers and sellers, and we were surprised how much of both there was at the show. Some local collectors came in, as well as buyers from other parts of the country who flew or drove in to attend this one of the biggest coin shows of the year. It was good to see long time customers and also fellow dealers at the show.

Although there has been softness in the coin market as a whole for the last several years or so, it was a good show for everyone we talked to. No one said they were having a “bad show”, although a few dealers said it was “only ok”, most said it was a very good show with lots of sales. We’d estimate that we sold more at the show than the last several shows combined!

The buying was good as well, and we acquired several double row boxes of slabbed or raw coins, and small groups of other coins. These will be coming out in the coming weeks and months, as they are processed, attributed, priced, and then there are always coins that get sent off for certification (which certification can sometimes can take months to get the coins back.)

NGC 1986 G$25 American Eagle Clashed Die Reverse

1986 G$25 American Eagle Clashed Die Reverse
1986 G$25 American Gold Eagle Severe Clashed Die Reverse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the more interesting coins we acquired included an extremely rare 1986 G$25 Eagle with strong clashed dies on its reverse (one of just a few known for gold eagle coinage), double edge lettering 2019 native American dollar (unique—which we learned later after we bought it), as well as various off-metals, a large number of double-struck/brockage cents, a large number of double edge lettering coins (of the more common sort), as well as many stand alone coins from numerous sellers. One customer brought up an old book of relatively minor mint errors that had probably been housed in the album since the 1960’s or so, and were unfortunately covered in PVC—this type of damage is where “conservation” is invaluable, and also is why collectors should throw out any PVC flips they have. Long term it damages the coins as the PVC leaches onto the coins (but I digress.) These and other coins will be offered first to our customer with want lists (if you haven’t sent yours to us, please do), and then through our website (if you haven’t signed up for out email inventory alert, it might be a good idea since many coins sell quickly.)

It is more and more the case that coins are “online”, and both collectors and dealers primarily do business this way—it’s convenient, easy, and the “inventory” which can be viewed is endless. Most dealers do sell nowadays mostly on their websites, frequently on other online sites, and do mostly wholesale at coin shows. However, because of the vast amounts of business done at shows (particularly wholesale) coin shows will not be going anywhere anytime soon. They’re too important to the hobby, and while some shows will and have disappeared, the shows in good locations, at the right time of year, and properly promoted will always be around since they serve an invaluable wholesale (and to a small degree retail) function. Very well run and attended shows like the FUN show reaffirm our belief in that.

Our next show isn't until the February Long Beach show, and we look forward to seeing any of our customers at the show. In the meantime, we look forward to offering a stream of fresh inventory over the coming month or so!

Friday, November 22, 2019 - 07:41

The Baltimore Whitman Expo last week is the final major coin show of 2019. Most of the time, from now until the end of the year is considered to be somewhat of a slowdown in the coin market, with collectors typically more focused on the holidays and spending on said events. So, the Baltimore show tends to be the last major, active show of the year, with activity in the coin market not really picking back up until the FUN show in January of next year.

Overall, the coin show was good, with a decent amount of both buying and selling. We have some of our regular customers stop by to purchase mint errors for their collections, as well as some of our regular sellers who brought coins they no longer want in their collections, or just random assortments of mint errors brought to us by regular coin dealers, who purchase them but not being active dealers in mint errors, often will offer them to us. "Average" is the right word to describe the show, and we were happy with it.

We did acquire some nice coins there, but also it was nice to just say hi to our customers, fellow dealers, and see interesting coins that were brought by our table. Sometimes very rare or "not for sale" coins are shown for opinions or just for the fun of it, and that is always nice.

U.S. coin dealers (not dealing in errors) seemed to be having a decent show as well. Basically, we kept hearing that it was an average show, or close to it. We didn't hear anyone say they had a "bad show." 

The mint error market is doing well, and overall we think next year will be a good year for us and collectors as well. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write us at: jon@sullivannumismatics.com
 

Jon Sullivan

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 06:15

2019 is here, and we have reasonably good expectations for the coin market this year. Although there is talk about softness in the coin market (and we agree there is), it is still a good market. Collectors are collecting, and dealers are dealing, and as long as prices are in line with the current market coins are selling well and buyers are not hard to find. Some prices are actually higher than they used to be, while others are lower. Good error coins are always in demand, and our customer's want lists take a lot of work to fill because there frankly is not a lot of error material on the market. Yes, there are some good coins coming on from time to time, but there haven't been any major influxes in errors, just pockets of coins here and there for the most part. The reality is, the error coin market is full of affordable although often rare coins. Many error coins that are deemed "common" may only have 100-200 examples known. Rare examples of error coins, which can be had for say $500 may only have less than a dozen examples known. That is an extraordinary level of rarity for the price. Supply and demand in the error hobby generally results in the supply quickly and easily absorbed by demand. Of course, this can also mean that if only a few collectors leave the hobby, a certain segment of the hobby and drop in price quickly. However, this is always remedied fairly quickly as new collectors enter the hobby (and we do see new collectors coming into the hobby, and/or current collectors changing focus and collecting a new series.) As an example, a year or so ago we sold a huge collection of state quarters (one of the largest ever assembled), which although most were easily absorbed by the market, there was a "over supply" for a time in the market, and prices dropped. Now that is completely reversed, and all supply is gone, and prices have returned to "normal levels." We can't find replacement coins because state quarter major errors are generally rare. Take advantage of opportunities in the error market of "oversupply", because they tend to be short-lived! We are very much looking forward to 2019, as the error market is generally good, and there are still fresh errors coming onto the market, albeit at a slower pace than we would like as dealers in errors (good errors are hard to find!) However, we look forward to finding errors for all our customers as we attend coins shows, auctions, and work with our clients. If you have any coins you're looking for or if we can be of service, send an email to us at: jon@sullivannumismatics.com

Friday, June 2, 2017 - 06:41

There is a lot of talk in the last decade about "gradeflation", and it's effect on the coin market. Dealers and collectors are worried about changing standards, and the effect it has on their coins' value. It is this author's opinion that collectors need to go back to their roots, and stop collecting "grades" and instead start collecting "coins." What does it mean to collect a "coin" as opposed to a "grade"? When you collect for the grade, you are buying primarily based on a coin's numeric coin grade; is it an "MS-64" or is it an "MS-65"? That is your concern when you grade-collect. If you are coin-collecting, you are collecting based on the rarity of the coin (e.g mintage of 200 coins vs mintage of 2,000,000), the beauty of the coin's surfaces (luster, toning, spots, etc are more important than the numeric grade), and also based on the history and story behind the coin. Mint errors are collected based primarily on demand for the error type (which could be called the "history or story" of the coin), rarity and last of all, grade (also, grading standards for mint errors are much looser than they are for "regular" U.S. coins.) Error collectors are far more concerned about the coin, than they are about it's grade. They are much more "coin collectors" than they are "grade collectors." This approach also makes a lot of sense for collectors who are collecting non-error U.S. coins. Within any given U.S. coin series, a coin's rarity should be the primary concern, and the "grade rarity", should not matter that much beyond perhaps 3 tiers of mintstate (MS-60, MS-65 and MS-70), with prices reasonably reflective of those grades, but not of that much concern. Things like surface quality, ugly toning/spotting, distracting marks, strike, etc should be more concerning to collectors than a numeric grade number. Grading standards for mintstate coins are unstable and changing, and are actually very hard to even define, so why is everyone buying based on this unstable "grade system" of collecting? Rather than worrying about a coin grading MS-66 over an MS-65, buy a coin for it's physical rarity, overall pleasing appearance, and leave it at that. People seem to be "grade collecting", when they should be "coin collecting."

Friday, November 8, 2019 - 12:13

As the title would suggest, collecting mint errors is something that should be enjoyed by the collector. While this seems like it would be obvious, it's easy to get caught up in various aspects such as paying too much attention to the coin's grade, or being concerned what other collectors may think of the "boring" niche that you collect, or even simply not taking the time to properly organize and look at your collection.

When I began collecting about 25 years ago (it's been that long!), there was not much that was more enjoyable than sitting down and reading the most recent weekly edition of Coin World, or pulling out my relatively small coin collection and looking at the dates and mintmarks that I needed, or calculating what my $75 from cutting lawns for months would be able to allow me to buy at the next coin show. Coin collecting was a blast (and still is) for me, and it should be for all collectors. There so much to enjoy about your collection. The history, the interesting error types that you collect, the rare and special mint error or variety in your collection, or the thrill of the hunt for the next coin to fill another hole in your set. 

So what are some good ways to keep the fires burning in your passion for collecting error coins? Here are a few ideas to keep coin collecting fun:

1.Join CONECA. Error coin collecting is more fun when you have other like-minded hobbyists to share it with. CONECA is the premier error coin club, and is publication Errorscope as well as the networking that can be done through the events and publication are priceless.

2.Subscribe to some periodicals such as Coin World and Numismatic News. Learning about your collection makes it so much more interesting!

3.Regularly checkout online forums such as the PCGS and NGC forums, and read and participate in discussions on your subjects of interest.

4.Attend coin shows. There's nothing like going to a coin show and seeing the many cases of rare coins on display, and being able to go to the auction (if there is one) at the show and see rare coins in-hand. Also, there will be numerous experts at the show which you can show your coins to if you have a question. They are also great places to buy coins, since you can see the actual coin in hand and access it better than you can online.

5.Connect and develop a good working relationship with a dealer you trust. Having a coin dealer who specializes in what you collect in your corner is a tremendous asset. I can't being to say how many rare mint errors I've found for customers who have given me their want list and who I've worked with for years. Many coins never make it to dealer's "regular" inventory, since they go straight into their customer's hands upon purchase.

6.Build a library of books on your subject of interest. Books are invaluable when it comes to coin collecting, since much of the available information on coins is not found published online. Buy and read books on your area of interest.

7.Take the ANA's correspondence course on mint errors and the minting process. It's an excellent way to learn about error coin and the minting process.

8.Attend the ANA Summer Seminars and take the error coin class. It's well worth the time and expense, and the people you meet you will likely stay friends!

We hope you enjoy your error collection, and if we can be of help, just let us know! jon@sullivannumismatics.com