FIND THE FLAW!

Each of these coins has problems, resulting in our not placing a bid or placing a low-ball bid. Some flaws are based on condition, altering, dipping, hairlines, rim dings or damage. Some coins have more than one flaw. If you can discern the flaw (or flaws) for each coin, post a comment. We’ll disclose flaws tomorrow.

Click to expand pictures


90


1799


1799g


1885


1857

Check back tomorrow for answers. Happy grading!

Did the Auction Company Really Score these Values?

ridiculous

Imagine how rich we would all become selling Morgan dollars worth $50-$100 for $1000 when buyers’ premium is added to hammer price, as in the lots above. Either the auctioneer has found the most numismatically challenged onsite audience in the country, or … well, we don’t know. Do you, Proxibid?

The hammer prices above are as follows:

  • 1886 MS64 PCGS $850
  • 1901-O MS64 PCGS $850
  • 1885-O MS63 PCGS $850
  • 1885-O MS63 PCGS $650

Recent PCGS auction prices, according to CoinFacts, are as follows: 1886 MS64, $82-$129; 1901-O, $83-$108; and 1885-O, $82=$123.

You’ll note as well in the Proxibid catalog listing that each item has an auctioneer’s estimated value at hundreds of dollars more than each coin is worth: $1000-$1200 for the first three Morgans and $800-900 for the fourth, which intrigues us, in as much as both are 1885-O PCGS MS63 coins. PCGS coins are meant to trade sight unseen because of the consistency and accuracy of their grades.

Hmmm.

You’ll also note that these coins were sold “onsite,” meaning that the auction company did not have to pay Proxibid a premium.

What do you make of all this?


Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

Whose Terms Prevail in Online Coin Auctions?

termsofservice

Sellers on eBay are more astute than auctioneers on Proxibid when it comes terms of service, primarily because eBayers want good feedback on their sales. We applaud Proxibid for its decision to begin rating sellers. The portal will release those data later in the year. However, more work needs to be done so that bidders understand which service terms apply, especially in disputes.

You’ll be startled as to how many service terms go into affect the moment you place a bid on a coin. Here is a typical service term from one of Proxibid’s sellers:

    All property is sold “AS IS,” and ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Buyer has no right of return after an item has been declared “sold.”

This particular seller is typical of Proxibid newbies that seem to be signed up by the sales team and then left to their own devices until someone complains to quality control, which is why Proxiblog.org was inaugurated four years ago to uphold numismatic standards on the portal. When Proxiblog began posting, Proxibid had to be convinced that there was something called The Hobby Protection Act and that auctioneers could not sell counterfeit coins as genuine.

To the company’s credit, its Unified User Agreement now upholds numismatic standards when it comes to counterfeits. Some excerpts:

    5. Default Event Terms. 16. If, within a reasonable amount of time, Buyer gives notice in writing to Seller that the lot so sold is a counterfeit and after such notice the Buyer returns the lot to Seller in the same condition as when sold, and establishes to the satisfaction of Seller that the returned lot is in fact a counterfeit, Seller as agent for the consignor will rescind the sale and refund the purchase price.


Another section of Proxibid’s service terms (6.3 Dispute Resolution) notes that if a seller loses a claim “because the item sold is counterfeit, Seller will be required to provide a full refund to the Buyer. Seller liability will include the full purchase price of the item and original shipping cost (and in some cases, Seller may not receive the item back).”

It has been an educational experience between Proxibid and Proxiblog. Proxibid can be one of the best venues to find coins, especially raw ones, from Internet-savvy sellers (most of them eBayers or guild-member coin dealers). A few bonafide auctioneers stand out, including Leonard Auction, Meares Auction, Weaver Auction, Western Auction and others. Visit Proxiblog and see favorite sellers in the right sidebar.

We have bid on, won and returned a half dozen counterfeit coins on Proxibid. In no case did the seller insist that “all sales are final.”

Here is an example:

counterfeit

This was deemed a fake probably made in Lebanon in the 1970s. It was detected using John Dannreuther’s Official Guide to Coin Grading and Counterfeit Detection. book

But service terms do not end there for the online coin bidder or buyer. There are PayPal and credit card service terms, too, and they also involve security or other legal matters. …


For the rest of the article, click here.

Proxiblog is sponsored by …

Certified Rare Coin Auctions


Specializing in stunningly rainbowed coins with the world-class eye appeal


certified


Certified Rare Coin Auctions has one of the strongest numismatic ethics in the business, creating a brand known for trust, integrity and expertise. While other Proxibid auctioneers struggle with shipping, using third-party companies or ridiculous formulas, Auctioneer Shane Jennings ships his coins for free. But that is only one aspect of Certified Rare Coin Auctions’ exemplary service.

Certified Rare Coin Auctions has a select inventory of some of the most beautiful coins ever produced by the U.S. Mint, especially Morgans, with so-called “monster toning.” Of all metals used in coinage, silver is the most reactive to environment, especially when mixed with 10% copper, the common alloy in most American coinage. Advanced collectors especially pay high premiums for monster toning because it tells the journey of the metal–where it was mined (i.e. Comstock Lode discovered in 1859), where it was minted (Philadelphia, San Francisco, Carson City, New Orleans, etc.), where it traveled (provenance: history of ownership).

Then there is the natural beauty of decades or centuries of toning with spectacular colors that blend seamlessly from one hue to another or form unique snowflake patterns that qualify as metallurgic art. When combined with a high grade, coins like the one below–offered in a recent Certified auction–gain in value far beyond normal premiums, validating each masterpiece as an investment in beauty.

certifiedexample

Certified Rare Coin Auctions features some of the finest numismatic photography on the portal. You not only get a sharp photo of the slabbed obverse and reverse of the coin, but also expanded views so that condition and tone can be verified.

Proxiblog has purchased coins from Certified Rare Coin Auctions and can attest to the company’s promise of service. This beauty was purchased with a bid of $229 and resides now in a bank box:
1881S

As its name suggests, Certified Rare Coin Auctions offers coins from the top holdering companies (PCGS, NGC, ANACS, ICG). We encourage you to bid in Certified Rare Coin Auctions through Proxibid. You will never find a hidden reserve. You’ll benefit by reading the company’s lot descriptions. The company has a low buyer’s premium of 15% and a generous 5% cash discount for invoices totalling $3,500 or more.

For more information, contact the company by clicking here.

We thank Shane Jennings and Certified Rare Coin Auctions for sponsoring Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders!

Shoutout to Jewelry Exchange

jewelry_exchange

Appalled as we are with inflated values of bottom-tier slabs, Jewelry Exchange struck back with a lot description that instructs about bidding. We love it. Click to expand photo or read the description below.


    Item Description:

  • TIMES THE MONEY: Lot of 3 genuine U.S. peace silver dollars with high mint state grades assigned by bottom tier grading companies: Hallmark Coin Grading Service, Numismatic Grading Pros, & Investment Grade Coins. MS67? Try BS67! In reality, each coin would grade from about uncirculated to low-end mint state. Educate yourself as to which grading services are respected by the numismatic community & which are not. Certainly, these 3 are not! Buy the coin, NOT the slab. Times the money: bid per piece.

Now compare that to this hyped lot description of an auction company that not only showcases slabs like this but also uses PCGS price guide to state value. Click photo to expand or read the description below.

proxihype1


    Item Description:
    1887-O MORGAN DOLLAR – NAC MS66 (PCGS WEBSITE LISTS A MS66 @ $35,000?)

First, never compare PCGS prices to non-PCGS-slabbed coins. Even for PCGS, NGC, ANACS and ICG, before you bid, always check the latest auction values with a subscription to PCGS CoinFacts.

The coin above not only looks cleaned and damaged, ungradeworthy by PCGS or NGC; it certainly isn’t worth $35,000!

When will Proxibid change its Unified User Agreement to add this clause, preventing hype like this–our recommendation in all caps?

    Seller shall not knowingly misrepresent any items. VALUES OF ITEMS SHOULD BE BASED ON VALID APPRAISALS OR VERIFIABLE DATA. All catalog descriptions must accurately describe the items for sale, and all photos must be original. If Seller uses stock photos, Seller must disclose so in the catalog description as well as in the Special Terms of Sale for the auction.

At any rate, Jewelry Exchange has been a top-rated Proxiblog house for years because of its numismatic lot descriptions and great customer service. We’re thankful for that and salute auctioneers David and Adam Bluestein. (Incidentally, both share their knowledge about coins and precious gems in a weekly radio show, In the Money.)

On Proxibid, they are “In the Know,” as evidenced by this shoutout!


Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

What happened to photos here?

fromthistothis

Sometimes the auctioneer buys a different camera. Sometimes someone new is hired to take photos of lots. One of our top houses went from the best photography on the portal to mediocre at best, posting washed-out over-exposed photos so that condition cannot be discerned.


Washed out photos hide luster, dipping and flaws. We don’t know what happened. What we do know is that we used to bid strong in this auction–not because of the lot descriptions, which tended to be generous–but because of the superior photography. Now we really don’t know what we’re bidding on, and our bids reflect that.

Don’t let your photography lapse. It affects the bottom line more than you know.


Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

Boos & Booyahs: Best & Bad Auctioneer Lot Descriptions

It’s important to be in sync with the Proxibid technology to showcase your photos, hone your lot descriptions, and highlight your consignments for top bids on the leading portal! In the latest installment, Proxiblog laments bad auctioneer lot descriptions and praises the best in recent auctions. (Be sure to click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)


bad

Boo! to this auctioneer who hides certification numbers with a sticker and describes the almost uncirculated coin as MS64.



cleaned kaufman

Booyah Kaufman Auction! for noting this silver three-cent coin is cleaned (they usually are) and in the process of cleaning, damaged because of the thin planchet.


dipped

Boo! to this auction house that insists on taking slanted photos of coins, which unnaturally highlights luster. But not in this case. The dipping is readily apparent.


gemblurry

Another Boo! to this unnamed auction house that calls a coin “gem” while providing a blurry photo so that condition cannot be discerned online.


peeved

Boo! to this auction house for hyping the value of a common coin. When is Proxibid going to crack down on exaggerated lot descriptions?


poorphoto_nophotoreverse

Boo again! to another auction house for only providing one blurry photo (no reverse) yet still calling the lot “gem.” Please master photography, folks, if you hope to sell coins online.


replica

Booyah Mike Peterson Auctioneers! for identifying a coin as a replica. Would more auctioneers do the same, especially on fake California gold.


stained

Booyah Weaver Auction! for noting the stain on this large-sized popular note. Often photos don’t capture flaws on notes, so this description is appreciated.


wrong photo

Boo! to this auction house for posting the wrong photo with the lot description. Double check before you post on Proxibid.


wronglist
Boo! to another house for describing the lot wrong. In this and the above case, use the “Report This Item” link to alert the auctioneer.


crease

Booyah! Star Coin and Currency for noting that the crease is in the holder and not the note. Way to go Auctioneer Jim Haver!


cleanedsilvertowne

Booyah SilverTowne Auction! for noting cleaning on a red Indian head cent. It’s difficult to detect when a coin has residual luster. Dave Nauert discloses the flaw.


Viewers can point us to other candidates for our “Boos & Booyahs!” series. Just leave a comment but follow our rules–all in good fun as a way to inspire accurate lot descriptions on Proxibid. Tomorrow we will showcase the best lot descriptions. Stay tuned!


Proxiblog is an independent entity with no connection to the auction portal Proxibid. Our intent is to uphold basic numismatic standards as established by the American Numismatic Association and the National Auctioneer Association and to ensure a pleasurable bidding experience not only on Proxibid but also on similar portals such as iCollector and AuctionZip.

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