On the Block: Brad Lisembee, Capitol Coin Auction


Brad Lisembee, numismatist and auctioneer, has propelled Capitol Coin Auction to the top of our ratings for two years running. We’re proud of his accomplishments because Proxiblog played a role in it. Long ago upon reading our blog Brad lowered his buyers’ premium and focused on photography to accompany his great customer service and accurate coin descriptions. We invited him to tell his own story about Capitol Coin and his success.

Greetings to all and thank you for your interest in Capitol Coin Auctions. We have been in business since 2006, and have been specializing in sales of coins and currency since the beginning. We hold auctions on generally a quarterly basis, and all of our auctions feature floor bidding as well as on-line bidding through Proxibid. Below are some highlights and tidbits regarding our March 1 Coin & Currency Auction.

All of the lots in our auctions come from one of three sources:

  • Estates (people who have passed away and their heirs want or need to sell).
  • Collectors (often older people who don’t have the desire to collect anymore or just want to cash in for retirement funds).
  • Dealers (usually in need of cash flow).

Capitol Auctions does not maintain an inventory for sale, nor do we make purchases for resale in our auctions. In a typical auction, we will have approximately 10 to 12 different consignors. Of those, usually about half are estates, a few are collectors, and a couple are dealers. While probably a fact in most types of auctions, usually the best material comes from estates and the weakest material comes from dealers.

In our upcoming March 1st auction, we have some really nice items that I would like to highlight. From a local estate comes nine consecutive uncirculated 1934 blue seal $10 silver certificates. These were put away decades ago and the heir actually was thinking about taking them to the bank for deposit. We also have 1941 and 1942 proof sets that are housed in old acrylic holders. A personal favorite of mine is the nearly-complete type set in a Dansco 7070 album. While the coins are nice, those albums have been discontinued and are extremely hard to find. I did go into great length describing all the coins in that set so bidders have a good idea what they are bidding on. From the same estate also comes a very attractive 1807 Draped Bust Half. If we had received it with a little more cushion of time, I would have submitted it for grading.

An elderly gentleman in our coin club consigned the unopened box of five 2011 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Sets. He bought several boxes when they came out and said that he needs the space. He also consigned the 1855-S $3 gold piece and the complete set of Mercury dimes (not to be overlooked, as it includes a very nice 16-D).

A California collector consigned the lovely 1878-CC MS64 DMPL VAM-11 Morgan dollar. It’s in an old ANACS holder. The last ANACS-slabbed 78-CC of this grade in a Heritage auction brought just over $1500. This collector also submitted the scarce 1895-O AU53 ($1000+) and the beautiful 1890-O Morgan NGC MS65 (should bring close to $2000). All of these coins are being sold without reserve.

On average, only about 1% of the coins in our auctions carry reserves, as we discourage sellers from placing them as they tend to discourage bidding. In this auction, only four coins have reserves, and three have already passed the reserves in the pre-bidding a week before the auction. While we have over $33k in pre-bids, there is still a lot of meat left on the bone for buyers who attend the live auction either on-site or on-line.

One final note, I was recently asked to be a presenter at the 2014 National Auctioneer’s Convention in Louisville in July. My topic: Selling Coins at 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.


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