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Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 08:43

Above: The inner harbor of Baltimore, near the Convention Center where the show was held.

It has been a little over a week since we got back from attending the Baltimore Whitman Coin Show, held Oct 30th-Nov 2nd in Baltimore, Maryland. There was a lot happening at the show, as is to be expected when you have a coin show consisting of a major auction held by Stacks/Bowers, 500 tables of dealers buying and selling, and the excellent location of Baltimore, all of these things make for a good show...or at least, that's the goal (more on that in a moment.) As an error coin company, we are a bit of an "outsider" at coin shows due to our error coin speciality being almost unique at most coin shows, with perhaps only 2-3 other error coin dealers being present, and all the other 499 dealers specializing in general U.S. coins, currency, world coins, ancients, or exonumia. Our clientele is different from the bulk of collectors at shows, and most people who stop by our table give a "wow" and "I've never seen coins like this before", before moving on to buy from the other dealers who deal in "normal" coins. Because of this, we are not as effected by things like "bullion prices", or what the latest Greysheet says the Bid or Ask is, nor are we effected much by the big marketing companies which buy and sell huge quantities of coins (creating huge surges in value in various coins.) No, the error market is a fairly stable market, with health ups and downs in values for the "meat and potatoes" kind of errors, with occasional flurries of intense excitement when a new error coin (e.g missing edge lettering Washington $1 coins) hits the market, but otherwise not a lot of volatility. So, I came to Baltimore with optimistic expectations despite hearing many rumors of a downward trend in "The Coin Market", and I was not disapointed--summed up, it was an excellent show.

Above: a small view of the large bourse floor of the coin show.

So what did other dealers think of the show? I almost always here dealers complaining at shows, but this show really was worse, with most dealers complaining that it was a "horrible show" or "worst Baltimore show ever"." Why was it bad for them? I couldn't answer that with certainty, since "normal" coins aren't what I do, but it seemed to revolve around:

1.Bullion prices dropping like brick off a 100 story building.

2.Too many huge U.S. coin collections coming on the market at the same time, and so drying up the money in the market both from collectors doing retail buying and dealers doing wholesale buying (this also seems to have led to dealers being stuck with lots of coins that collectors have passed on, and which they cannot wholesale or retail without taking a sizeable loss on.)

3.Dealer's having lost lots of money in bullion (yes, I said bullion already, but this is more specific.) 

Were there other reasons? Probably, but those are the ones I heard repeated over and over and the make sense. So why was the error market good at the show? Many of my "regular customers" didn't attend the show (no real reason, just busy with other random things--and I still sold to them, just not in person at the show), but despite that, I had a number of decent sales at the show and even more sales via the telephone/internet. Error collectors aren't nearly as concerned with bullion, error dealers are not affected by it, and unlike "normal" coins, there have been no "major" error collections hit the market for years now. Most error collectors have money to spend, same as always, and as long as they have jobs and the economy is doing ok, they're doing ok. 

Above: Buying and selling errors behind our table--it was pretty much non-stop the entire show.

How was buying at the show? There was generally a lot to buy. Normal coin dealers were trying to move what they could, and collectors were selling so they could have money to buy other error coins. Most of the selling at the show were not from error collectors, but from the non-collecting public or from "normal" coin dealers who were doubtless trying to raise cash. It was a super show for buying, and some of the new coins are now here on the website, while many others have already been placed in collections. 

Above: Sullivan Numismatics booth at the show.

 

 

Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 14:06

 

750 Error Coins for Sale

We have been very busy adding inventory to this website, and have finally got all our inventory up for sale so that there are now well over 750 error coins on the site! It has taken quite a long time to get everything organized, photographed, priced and list on the site, and we are very pleased with the results. The coins are organized by date and denomination. Click on any error category and you will see that there are a number of ways to view the coins, whether by year, price, alphabetically, or newest listing. 

 

Latest news on Mint error coins

We are always getting fresh inventory in. Sometimes it's a collection, sometimes fresh coins from a coin show, or sometimes from other sources, but we will keep you alerted if you sign up to the "News" newsletter. We will alert you when we've added a large group of coins to the site, eBay, or have other important news to share. You can unsubscribe at any time using the link at the bottom of the newsletter (and we of course will never share your email with anyone.) Here is a handy link if you need to subscribe: https://sullivannumismatics.com/subscriptions 

 

Buying error coins

Buying US Error Coins

We are buying errors! If you have any error coins for sale, please contact us for a quote. We sell many tens of thousands of dollars worth of error coins every month, and are always looking to replace inventory. Contact us to discuss selling your collection or perhaps you have some duplicate error coins you want to sell, either way contact us at: [email protected] or (931)-797-4888

circa-1920 minting process video

We have added an interesting youtube video to the site which is well worth your time to watch. The film is a circa-1920 silent video showing the minting process at one of the U.S. Mints. This is a very interesting video because it shows a number of minting processes and procedures which were in place at that time, as well as the conditions that the employees worked under, the equipment they were using, and also how much "hands on" work was done. Machines were not used nearly as much as they are today, although there was obviously a great deal of machinery in use. 

A few notes about the film:
1.Mute it--the background sound is obnoxious.
2.Note the used of scales to weight EVERY planchet. This would explain why clips are extremely rare on early 20th century coins.
3.The planchets being "ring tested" by hand. Until I saw this film, I never knew that was done. Very interesting, and it also would explain why defective planchet coins, off-metals, etc, are nearly unknown on early 20th century coins.
4.The use of the massive screw press for hubbing the dies.

Here is a link to the video (I recommend you mute the sound--the film has some obnoxious background music.) https://sullivannumismatics.com/information/videos/circa-1920-minting-process-us-mint

Thanks,

Jon 

 

 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 07:04
1986 Partial Collar ASE $1

1986 Partial Collar ASE $1 Bullion Coin: https://sullivannumismatics.com/productdisplay/pcgs-1986-1-ase-partial-collar-strike-ms-67

We just uploaded an interesting video (click here to watch it: https://sullivannumismatics.com/information/videos/minting-gold-silver-eagles-west-point )on minting gold and silver bullion at the West Point Mint. This is interesting to watch since it gives perspective and a "visual" of what we normally only read about or hear about. Some things to look for in the video include how carefully the planchets and coins are handled to avoid mint errors, the ASE $1 dies, the individual handling of the coins as they're being struck, and also how that each planchet is weighed (which is why clips are pretty much impossible to find above 1% size on silver eagles or bullion coins.) This level of care is why gold and silver eagle bullion errors are very rare with the exception of the minor strike throughs. When buying silver or gold eagle errors, you generally are limited to: minor laminations, minor strike throughs, partial collar strikes, double-strikes on-center (minor), struck through sanding disc, struck-in foreign objects (plastic, wire, etc.), finning, and of course varieties such as doubled dies, design varieties, etc. A collection of gold/silver bullion coins is very challenging and would be quite an amazing collection if it focused on non-strike through errors. We are always very actively looking to buy all gold bullion errors, and try to keep them in stock (although they usually disappear very quickly from out inventory!)

Since we opened the site, we have received quite a number of feedback about the site--mostly positive! We're going to continue to improve and add more content to the site moving forwards, and if you see any changes or have any suggestions or comments, please feel free to call or email--we love feedback! If you have not signed up for the "News" subscription, you should consider doing so, because whenever we list new coins on the website, we send out an email letting everyone know. This way, everyone can be alerted without having to check the website everyday for updates. We only send out emails when we've added a significant quantity of coins or smaller quantities of coins that are rare/desirable, so that you're not constantly receiving emails in your inbox. We never share your email with anyone, and you can unsubscribe at any time using the link at the bottom of the email.

If you have not already, you should consider attending the Baltimore Whitman Coin Show, which is held October 30th-November 2nd in Baltimore, Maryland. It is one of the best coin shows for error coins, and there are always several error coin dealers there including ourselves. We will be set-up with a table under our company name "Sullivan Numismatics", and will have hundreds of slabbed and raw mint errors for sale. We will also be looking to buy, so if you do come, bring along any errors that no longer belong in your collection, let us write you a check for them, and then you'll have more money to buy coins you really want!

Sincerely,

Jon P. Sullivan

 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 06:01
1998 Lincoln Cent 4-Coin Bonded Set

It has taken a lot of work, but the website is up an running as of a few weeks ago, and we are very excited about it! It has been a project which has been a long-time in the completing, partly due to not always been the most important project on our plate, and also because websites just take a long time to get done. Between revisions and new features, what starts as a "simple project" turns into a much larger project. Enjoy the new site, and if you see any features missing that you would enjoy or that would make the site easier for you to use, please send me an email at: [email protected] 

Most of the inventory is currently on the site, and there just remains 100-200 raw coins as well as maybe 40 or 50 certified coins. We also have coins that are not listed on the site, so if you have a want list, send it to me. All my customers who have want lists with me, and who are active buyers, get first shot at new coins when they come in. That's a big advantage over those without want lists! I sale many coins as soon as I buy them because my customers with want lists have already let me know what they're looking for, and although customers who are looking for the same coins would have bought them, because they didn't have a want list on file with me they lost out. So don't procrastinate, send me your want list today.

We will be updating this blog every tuesday, and also we will be adding a new video on tuesdays as well. If you haven't yet see the video section, it is located in the "Error Information" menu at the top of the homepage. Here's a short-cut to the videos: https://sullivannumismatics.com/information/videos

We have a number of coins on eBay this weekend which will be ending on saturday in the late evening. The lots can be viewed by clicking on the "eBay Auctions" tab at the top of the homepage, or by clicking here: http://stores.ebay.com/sullivannumismatics

Jon