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: email@example.com
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."
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! firstname.lastname@example.org
As Fall has rolled around and we are getting well past the Summer slow down that happens every year, when collectors spend time and money on things besides coins (vacations, sports, etc), we are seeing the regular fall "pick up" in collecting activity. In the last few weeks, we have been surprised how many collectors have emailed "out of the blue" requesting this coin or that. This shouldn't be surprise since it happens every year. In August, collectors start slowly returning to their collections, and it only increases as you get into Fall. So, we are glad to see the activity since it keeps us on our toes looking for fresh inventory for our customers, and also just creates a healthy buzz in the market.
We have been listing a LOT of major mint errors on the website in the last few months, in part form a large collection that we have been selling, and also some quality error deals came our way, which has all resulted in lots of off-metals, striking errors, state quarter errors and more being available to our customers. You can expect to see more material as we continue selling the "large collection" we have been selling, and also as coins come back from grading and make their way to the website. It's always nice to be able to offer fresh material to our customers!
If you have a want list, we would encourage you to send it to us. Many coins sell before they make their way to the website, so if we have your want list on file (and if you are an active buyer), you are much more likely to get first shot at fresh coins that come in. This is important, since with the scarcer and more popular mint errors it's frequently the case that the coin is much more rare than the money collectors are willing to spend on it, meaning as soon as the coin hits the market, it's gone.
Our next major coin show will be Baltimore next month in mid-November. If you are attending, it's time to start making plans since it's only a month away. This will be our last show of the year until the FUN show in January. If you are attending the show, please do stop by our table and look at our 5 cases of mint errors--we always enjoy seeing our customers at shows!
A few of the coin we have recently added that our particularly "special" include the following listed below. These are based on price as much as rarity, eye-appeal, and how desirable they are as an error.
1.When was the last time you saw a proof Ike on a half dollar planchet? Very tough coin, and we have in stock TWO offered here! Actually, until now, we've never had a proof Ike on half planchet in stock.
2.Bonded state quarters are rare, and do not often come up for sale. This Delaware example is quite rare, with probably no more than 2 or so examples existing...maybe even just this one (we only know of this example.) https://sullivannumismatics.com/coin/ngc-25c-1999-p-delaware-quarter-2-coin-bonded-pair-ms67
3.Jefferson nickel double-struck off-center on a struck cent. Double-denomination 6c coins we see frequently, but when was the last time you saw one that had a 2nd strike off-center? They are quite rare. https://sullivannumismatics.com/coin/ngc-5c-2000-d-jefferson-nickel-2000-d-lincoln-cent-double-struck-ms66-rd?v=5386
4.Elliptical clip state quarters are relatively common. However, proof examples are scarce. Most proof example are very minor, showing just a tiny amount of the planchet missing. This example is missing a lot of the planchet, and is therefore rare. https://sullivannumismatics.com/coin/pcgs-25c-2007-s-proof-utah-quarter-elliptical-clip-pf66-dcam?v=5391
5.Mated pair sets of dimes are fairly common. Proof examples are rare though, and this is one of the few we have handled. Dramatic, with the 2nd strike mating into the brockage of the 2nd coin. https://sullivannumismatics.com/coin/2-coins-ngc-10c-1969-s-roosevelt-dime-2-coin-mated-pair-pf63-pf66?v=5287
6. 5 Ounce ATBs with minor struck thrus come along on occasion, but not large strike thru and retained coins. This ATB 5 ounce quarter has an incredible, huge piece of plastic struck in and retained in the coin's obverse. https://sullivannumismatics.com/coin/pcgs-25c-2016-5oz-theodore-roosevelt-retained-struck-plastic-ms64?v=5327
7. State quarters are scarce but "available" struck on aluminum feeder finger fragments. However, this 1999 Delaware example is unique as a Delaware on aluminum. It also is the first year for the state quarter series, and so this is an especially desirable coin. https://sullivannumismatics.com/coin/ngc-25c-1999-delaware-quarter-multi-struck-aluminum-feeder-finger-fragment-ms62?v=5229
8.Transtional off-metals are rare, and this 1977-D 40% silver Kennedy is no exception. Something over a dozen examples known, the coin is on the prior years' 40% silver planchet that was being used for 1976 silver half dollar coins. https://sullivannumismatics.com/coin/anacs-50c-1977-d-kennedy-half-40-silver-transitional-metal-au50?v=5313
It's been some time since we have posted in our blog (months in fact!), so we thought we would give some thoughts and updates of things happening here and in the coin market. Over the last few months, we have been having a major overhaul of the website, which has more to do with update "behind the scenes" items in the website's design and stability than it does in any visual or obvious changes. These things are in their finishing stages, and will be going into effect starting next week if all goes according to plan. We are very happy to have this done, since the site will be more robust in handling our customer's traffic (we've had too many customers on at the same time, which effected the site's performance, and we wanted that fixed!) Also, we have some more tools to help us manage the site better for you our customers. You may see some minor changes around the site, but most of it will be the same or minor improvements, with the checkout process improved, as well as some other small features.
The ANA is coming up in under two weeks, and we are excited to be there to see our customers and hopefully buy and sell some errors. This is a tie for "best error show of the year", with the winter FUN being the contender. Both are excellent shows, though, and we always look forward to them every year. If you are attending the show, stop by our table #806. We will have a large selection of mint errors for sale, and will also be looking to buy anything you have for sale!
Overall the error market has been good. We have been able to offer a lot of fresh material over the last few months, but it has been going into collections pretty quickly. Of course, we try to price all our inventory at the current market values, and so from time to time you will see certain errors go up or down in value, depending on where the market is at at any given time. We will be working hard throughout the rest of the Summer to continue to find as much fresh material as we can, and offer great values so keep an eye out for our "new inventory" email alerts (and if you're not signed up, we recommend you do so since the early bird gets the coin!)
Our most recent update of the website's inventory will be our last until after the ANA in a few weeks. If you don't see the errors you need on the website, send us an email and we will be happy to work with you to find the coins you are looking for. Until next time, have a great Summer everyone, and take time to enjoy your error collections!