California Gold Replicas, Fakes Keep Selling on Proxibid

fakecoin

Unlike eBay, which banned the sale of replicas like this (though they keep appearing), Proxibid does little to remove these items from its portal. What good is the “Report this Item” link if auctioneers persist in selling these abominable fakes?

Next month one of our favorite sellers, alerted multiple times about selling replica California gold (no, you can’t escape a counterfeit by calling it “token”), will be removed from our sidebar. We also no longer will bid in his sessions. When you see a “bear” on the reverse, you can be sure that the item is a modern replica or, at best, and older counterfeit:

fakebear

We reported the item, and Proxibid alerted the auctioneers’ sales rep. That, it seems, is as much the company can do (and we appreciate that). But if auctioneers persist, the lots remain. All an unhappy buyer can do is come to his senses and dispute the fake as significantly not as described. How many will go through that procedure when months or even years after the fact they are informed about the authenticity of the replica?

What we cannot understand is how auctioneers would rather lose a major buyer like us to continue to sell these replicas that have plagued coin collecting since the 19th century when the U.S. government cracked down on them.

There are jewelers’ token sold in the 1930s. These are not fractional gold but often depict a western scene and are, in fact, low-grade gold. At least McKee Coins, an Iowa coin dealer, attributes that in this lot, noting there is no denomination on the reverse–a telltale sign of a replica (click to expand photo):

fake1

We have been sounding the alert on these fakes on Proxibid for more than three years. This is our most popular post, which enjoys 100+ hits per month.

For a more in-depth article, click here.

For an in-depth article featuring quotations from top numismatist Ron Guth, president of PCGS CoinFacts, click here.

For those buying and selling small denomination gold coins, PCGS CoinFacts is indispensable. It contains a regularly updated, comprehensive list of authentic types with photos to identify variety and value.

We recommend that Proxibid require sellers to list the “BG identification number” for small denomination gold coins. The “BG” refers to Walter Breen and Ron Gillio, authors of California Pioneer Fraction Gold. That book is pricey ($300); best to get a subscriptiuon to CoinFacts. If you cannot find the BG number, you most probably have a fake. If you see a bear on the reverse, you have a fake. If you do not see a denomination–1/4 dollar, 1/2 dol., dollar, etc.–you have a fake or a jeweler’s token (with western scene).

We just reported another fake on an auctioneer site from which we have bought coins in the past. If it is not taken down in a few days, we no longer will bid there as well. Reason? How can you trust an auctioneer who would rather sell a fake than take it down for a favorite buyer?

The more these fakes appear on Proxibid, the more they will erode the company’s brand of “trust.”


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.

Consign to Leonard Auction

leonardauction

Leonard Auction and Appraisers is one of the best venues for consignors. Owner John Leonard is always seeking holdered and raw gold and silver coins and rarities. Read about John Leonard’s evaluation and consignment policies–among the most professional in the business–by clicking here.

Leonard Auction, located in Addison, Ill., is a premiere Chicago auction house and estate liquidation firm that does just about everything right. You will be working with an auction house that puts customer service first, gets great consignments, describes lots numismatically and depicts them brilliantly for the Internet bidder.

Leonard Auction also has detailed consignment policies that secure some of the best coin lots on the Proxibid portal. The company not only knows numismatics but also protects buyers, as this post illustrates, noting the Leonard policy on coin authenticity and emphasizing why Leonard Auction ranks among the most trusted on Proxibid.

Leonard Auction has a reputation for experience, integrity, and superior technology–core values of founder and appraiser John Leonard–that propelled his house to the top echelon of auctioneering. As far as numismatics go, Leonard Auction is the only house we have reviewed to earn an A+ for conservatively grading raw coins. See this post for proof.

John Leonard conducts a series of auctions each month, generally on the third weekend. His Friday night Coin & Currency auction features 300-400 lots of high-end collectible coins, currency, gold, silver, platinum and stamps.

The company’s onsite house has more than 8000 square feet of showroom and office space. As the picture below shows, it is a first-class facility for appraisals and lot inspection.

leonardauction

You can download his consignment form here.

Proxiblog has consigned coins with Leonard Auction in the past and so knows from experience that the auction house relies on advertising, marketing and onsite and floor competition to reach wholesale and often retail levels for lots in addition to sell-throughs.

Leonard Auction uses full color catalogs, advertising and select mailing lists, Internet marketing and online/onsite auction previews.

We thank Leonard Auction for contributing to Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders!

eBay Boo Revisited

sawthelight

The eBay seller who exaggerated the worth of a common artificially colored Silver Eagle may have seen the light about real value, dropping his “buy it now” bid from $1789 to under $20, although he still insists this is museum quality worth $1875 in a condition that qualifies for “Best Museum Quality Period.”


We at Proxiblog navigate eBay for fun sometimes, just to see how some sellers try to obscure value in their lots.

If you see anything similar on Proxibid, just post a comment and we’ll get on it!


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.

eBay Boo!


We spend a lot of time on Proxibid and so disclose hyped lots on occasion, but little on the portal compares to the exaggerations that can be found on eBay, as in this example. The first photo is how the lot is billed to sellers. How many exaggerations do you see? The second photo discloses the number that we see. (Click photo to emlarge.)


This eBayer makes wild claims. How many do you see?

ebayboos

We find five exaggerations:

  1. Not brilliant uncirculated but doctored.
  2. Plain uncirculated and not mint state plus plus plus.
  3. Not Registry worthy, as this coin does not merit any official grade.
  4. Not “monster rainbow” but toned; it takes three colors to be rainbow, and this has only two.
  5. Not “Best museum quality period!” but silver melt.

ebayboos1

More than ever, with enhanced quality control on Proxibid, it is important to know and note true condition of coins. You’re not an auctioneer if you schedule coin sessions regularly on Proxibid: You’re a coin dealer. So know the trade.

As for eBay, well, we peruse it on occasion for sport!


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.

Deciphering Flips: Honest vs. Dishonest


Every now and then an auctioneer gets a real “estate auction” with coins from “a safety deposit box.” The best thing about those consignments is the honesty on the flip, as in this one marked ex-jewelry. CLICK PHOTO BELOW TO EXPAND.
flip_descript


We bid strong in this auction because of the flips. Here’s another from the same session, this one noting the coin is counterfeit:

flip_descript1

Conversely, when we spot flips that greatly exaggerate the condition, we close out the Proxibid catalog.

In another auction on the same day, a consignor in a different auction states this stained and damaged half dollar is MS68, which would have been worth $22,500. This one is strictly silver melt.

fliphype1

Ultimately, it is the auctioneer’s responsibility to state condition as best he can. And if the auctioneer does not know coins, and does not have a friend who does, helping with the descriptions, then that company has to provide clear, sharp, expandable photos with a notice that grades are assigned by consignor.


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.)


bidalot_nobox

Booyah BidAlot Auction! for noting that this U.S. Mint product comes without a box. It is important to state that with Mint products, especially GSA dollars.



cleanednot67rim

Boo! to this auction house for stating that this coin is MS67 when it clearly has been cleaned, is porous (right field) with rim damage (3 o’clock).


leonard_cleaning

Booyah Leonard Auction! for noting cleaning. Leonard Auction ranks among our favorites because of the honesty of the owner, John Leonard, coupled with his numismatic knowledge. He’s one of the best on Proxibid, period.


openingbid

Boo! to this unnamed auction house that really isn’t an auction but an online “Buy It Now” company that ensures with opening bids and 18% buyer’s fee that it will never lose money for any coin it sells on Proxibid. Recommendation: Bidders are better off on eBay.


pluggedplished_braden

Booyah Braden Auction! for noting significant flaws in this lot, including plugging and polishing. Now, if the company only provided photos of obverse and reverse, it might have a shot at our favorite auction rankings.


replica

Boo! to another auction house for calling this a restrike when it is a copy and most probably only gold-plated. A restrike uses the same dies as the original. We guarantee that the US Mint didn’t have “COPY” when it struck the real coin in 1849.


restored_A new day
Booyah A New Day Auctions! for identifying acid restored Buffalo nickels. Watch for a post about this in the future.


rims_silvertown

Booyah SilverTowne Auction! for noting rim damage on its coins. Would that more houses did the same!


scratch

Booyah! Jewelry Exchange for noting a scratch on this coin. Hard to see in the photo but glad to see in the lot description. Truth brings return customers. Hiding the truth brings dispute resolutions.


starcoin_replica
Booyah Star Coin and Currency! for noting that these Confederate dollars as replicas. We’ve seen copies on Proxibid not designated as such. Yet another example of Best Practice!


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.

Consign to Leonard Auction

leonardauction

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT LEONARD AUCTION’S SUNDAY, MAY 18th, SESSION ON PROXIBID–Several Key Date and Rare Slabbed Coins!

Leonard Auction and Appraisers is one of the best venues for consignors. Owner John Leonard is always seeking holdered and raw gold and silver coins and rarities. Read about John Leonard’s evaluation and consignment policies–among the most professional in the business–by clicking here.

Leonard Auction, located in Addison, Ill., is a premiere Chicago auction house and estate liquidation firm that does just about everything right. You will be working with an auction house that puts customer service first, gets great consignments, describes lots numismatically and depicts them brilliantly for the Internet bidder.

Leonard Auction also has detailed consignment policies that secure some of the best coin lots on the Proxibid portal. The company not only knows numismatics but also protects buyers, as this post illustrates, noting the Leonard policy on coin authenticity and emphasizing why Leonard Auction ranks among the most trusted on Proxibid.

Leonard Auction has a reputation for experience, integrity, and superior technology–core values of founder and appraiser John Leonard–that propelled his house to the top echelon of auctioneering. As far as numismatics go, Leonard Auction is the only house we have reviewed to earn an A+ for conservatively grading raw coins. See this post for proof.

John Leonard conducts a series of auctions each month, generally on the third weekend. His Friday night Coin & Currency auction features 300-400 lots of high-end collectible coins, currency, gold, silver, platinum and stamps.

The company’s onsite house has more than 8000 square feet of showroom and office space. As the picture below shows, it is a first-class facility for appraisals and lot inspection.

leonardauction

You can download his consignment form here.

Proxiblog has consigned coins with Leonard Auction in the past and so knows from experience that the auction house relies on advertising, marketing and onsite and floor competition to reach wholesale and often retail levels for lots in addition to sell-throughs.

Leonard Auction uses full color catalogs, advertising and select mailing lists, Internet marketing and online/onsite auction previews.

We thank Leonard Auction for contributing to Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders!