Master Catalog Descriptions

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Proxibid catalogs are accessed when a bidder clicks on the “Coin Category.” This is your chance to lure buyers to your sessions. Don’t blow it.

This catalog copy scares away bidders, laying down rules. Click photo to expand:

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Descriptions reads:

    NOTE: TO ALL BUYERS ITEMS MUST PAID OR PICKED-UP WITHIN 3 DAYS OF INVOICE. ALL ITEMS SOLD AS IS. ALL SALES FINAL!


This catalog header simply states:Don’t miss this auction!
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For those of us who know Mascari, that may be enough. For new bidders, probably not.


Engstrom Auction features a key gold coin in its billboard with a full description of the catalog … and also touts its excellent shipping.

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Huge collection of coins from the estate of an avid and long time coin collector! High number of quality, rare, and unique coins with a wide variety for everyone! Guaranteed to ship next day!


We know it takes a lot of time and energy to post a terrific catalog. But don’t short yourself by skimping on the title page of your auction!


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.

Engstrom’s Four Sizes of Photos


Engstrom Auction, long a favorite Proxiblog seller, shows four sizes of lot photos so that online buyers can make an education decision on how to bid. Several other of our favorite houses also provide the same courtesies. .



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The photo above, originally taken in large pixel size, appears as thumbnail and expansion for the first two sizes. Click on the photo, and it expands again:

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    Because the photo is large enough as a file, you can use the Proxibid full expansion button on the lower right side of the photo for a final fourth expansion, necessary to identify varieties and flaws.

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    Add to these features a 13% buyer’s fee, quality shipping and fine service, and you can see why we patronize Engstrom Auction.

    Would that other coin auctions on the portal learn from this example to increase sales and gain return customers.


    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.

California Gold Replicas, Fakes Keep Selling on Proxibid

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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:

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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):

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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

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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.

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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

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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?

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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.

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

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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.

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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.