Archive for December, 2009

Dream coins

Posted on December 28, 2009 by 1 Comment

I’ve seen my share of great coins.  As a professional numismatist for over 33 years, an employee of PCGS since 2004, and as a cataloger of coins (and auctioneer for most of the big auction houses), I’ve been exposed to incredible rarities that most numismatists can only dream of.  I’m not bragging…I’m merely pointing out that even after decades of experience, there are some coins that I dream of, too.

One coin I’d love to see someday is an 1841-O Half Eagle.  Mint reports show a small mintage, but those are believed to have been 1840-dated coins.  No 1841-O Half Eagle has ever appeared on the market.

If you have one (a real one, please…fakes don’t count),  let me know and I’ll catch the next flight to your place.

In the meantime, what are some coins you dream of?

Filed Under: News

PCGS Members Only Show

Posted on December 21, 2009 by 3 Comments

The most recent PCGS Members Only show concluded this past Saturday.  These are really great events that are enjoyed by everyone who attends.  As you can guess by the show title, the shows are restricted to PCGS Collector Club Members and PCGS Authorized dealers.  This creates an intimate and friendly atmosphere and promotes a lot of serious buying and selling opportunities.  Millions of dollars in coins trade hands at every show.  It’s hassle free.  There’s no public to navigate through or tire kickers getting in the way of your dealings.  Of course the fact that these shows are held in Las Vegas at the Palazzo Hotel provides a rich and varied venue that can be enjoyed by both you and your spouse.

We are pleased to announce that we have negotiated four Members shows at the Palazzo for 2010.  These shows will be held in February 17-20, May 12-15, July 21-24 and December 15-18.  Mark your calendar and we hope to see you there!


Filed Under: News


Posted on December 21, 2009 by 2 Comments

Hello Everyone…

Our crack IT department just made me aware of the PCGS Blog, so I thought I’d jump on board and say hello.  I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts about coin collecting, coin grading, numismatic theory, etc.  I’ve been around coins for several decades now, I’ve written a few books, auctioned off a few hundred million dollars worth of rare coins, owned or sold some neat items, and I’m now in the enviable position of running the PCGS CoinFacts division at Collectors Universe.  Right now, I’m working on gathering images, Condition Census information, and narratives for a really neat project that we hope to announce at the FUN show (I wish I could tell you now, but you’ll just have to check back).

This whole blogging thing is new to me, although I have to admit to being more excited about it after watching the movie, “Julie/Julia” (the story of a cooking blog based on Julia Child’s recipes).

So…welcome to the PCGS Blog and I hope to “see” you again soon!

Filed Under: News

The Rare Coin Market’s Seasonal Cycle

Posted on December 19, 2009 by No Comments

The rare coin market has a very strong seasonal cycle. Basically the coin market is slow in November and even slower in December. I believe that during the holiday season people are thinking about things other than coins. This has been the case for the four decades that I have been paying attention. The only time I remember that rare coins were hot in November and December was in 1979, and that was at the tail end/blow off top period of the massive 1976-1980 bull market when gold and silver were going bananas and the rare coin market was in pure white heat.

Interestingly, rare coins are currently “unseasonably hot.” Action at shows and auctions has been pretty good and dealers are all telling me that they are doing quite a lot of business. While it’s not 1979/80 by any stretch of the imagination, things are definitely much better than they usually are at this time of the year.

The other part of the coin market’s seasonal cycle is that action is usually hot and heavy in January. The year always starts off with the annual Florida “FUN” show, the second biggest show of the year (after the Summer ANA show.) There’s always several massive auctions at the FUN and there’s a lot of pent up demand that translates into action on the bourse floor. I look to this year’s FUN show to be a very important indicator of what 2010 could have in store for rare coins. I’m currently quite positive about the coin market. I like the November/December heat. I like the retail sales activity. I like the fact that dealer inventories are somewhat slim in terms of the “good stuff.” I really like the action in the gold bullion market and I of course hate what the government is doing to the value of the U.S. dollar. So I think coins are going to be strong in 2010.

But I’m a hard money guy who’s very bias towards rare coins so maybe you should take my enthusiasum with a grain of salt. But if you are in the area, check out the Florida coin show January 6-10. Or check out the auction action online. Both Bowers and Merena and Heritage are having auctions.  I’ll blog here at the PCGS blog from the show and I’ll give you a summary of what I saw with a blog right after the show.

Have fun with your coins in 2010!


Filed Under: Market Prices