Best Naturally Toned Coin on Hype-Bay?

hypebay

Numismatic exaggeration reached new heights this week on eBay when this attractive but all-too-common toned coin was originally listed at a quarter million dollars. The seller later reduced the price to $5,000 before we could get a screenshot. But we still have the evidence as we emailed the link for later follow-up. See it below.



Here’s how the description read:

    A Truly Spectacular Naturally Toned 2000 Silver Eagle, Graded, Certified, and Encapsulated Mint State 67! This Coin with it’s Eye Popping Color as Slabbed is EXACTLY the way I submitted it for Grading Earlier in Sept. 2014! This Coin is “Fall Out of Your Chair Gorgeous”!! The Rich Color Combinations on the Obverse and Reverse are a True Work of Art–Looks a lot like a Kaleidoscope of Colors!! The BLAZING Colors on this Coin Leave me SPEECHLESS!! I have NEVER Seen any other Coin in any denomination, U.S. or Foreign with Such BREATHTAKING Rainbow Tones! Notice the Lighter Hues Coming Down and Across the Obverse of the Coin. This looks like Rays of Sunlight Coming Down from The Clouds—AMAZING!! Buy it Now Or Make Your Best Offer! This is a Once in a Lifetime Coin for the Fortunate Winner!!

Here’s the original listing from the link embedded in our email:

hypebay1

Toned coins and bullion do get high premiums. The most gorgeous Silver Eagles typically sell for $300 on eBay. The most alluring usually come from old PCI slabs. We bought this for $154 and it slabbed at MS68 at PCGS:

hypebay2

We purchased this already slabbed at MS68 for $321:

hypebay3

They’re not for sale, by the way. But, well, we’ll reconsider if anyone is offering $250,000 … or even $5,000!

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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EBW Coin Describes Cal. Gold Correctly

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As our regular viewers know, we monitor Proxibid continuously for correct and incorrect descriptions of California fractional gold. So it was good to read how EBW Coin described a real but damaged gold quarter dollar, incorporating everything we have recommended for four years.



EBW Coin notes the correct designation of this small gold piece, 1871-H BG-857, Round, XF Details. There are several variations for this year, so the “H” after the date is necessary. The correct Breen-Gillio number is used. Some issues in 1871 were octagonal, so the term “Round” is correct, as is the designation and the notation of “Details” or damage to the lot (in this case, solder).

We especially like the lot description. Instead of hype, EBW Coin states the obvious: The coin was removed from a pin and has damage. It is a tiny gold piece, smaller than a dime. And the good advice: If you don’t know exactly what you are bidding on, please do not bid.

We would extend that advice to auctioneers: If you don’t exactly what you are describing, don’t write the description or list the lot because for every genuine coin, there are a dozen fake and replica pieces made of gold plate or brass.

To learn more, view our most popular post: California Gold: Real, Replica and Fake.

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.

Don’t Call Counterfeits Replicas

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This is a prime example of a Chinese counterfeit that is being sold as a replica without the word “copy,” indicating the auctioneer knows about the U.S. Hobby Protection Act.


If your consignor sends you a counterfeit coin and calls it a replica, don’t be fooled. Replicas must have the word copy on the obverse to be in compliance with U.S. Hobby Protection Act. Also, the US Mint has specific instructions on the manufacture of replicas.

We strongly recommend that all auctioneers create a consignment agreement that specifically states that sellers are responsible for all counterfeit coins returned for reimbursement.

Several auction houses already have such contracts. Here is such a clause from Leonard Auctions:

REPRESENTATION OF GENUINENESS. Consignor represents and warrants each item to be genuine. Consignor agrees that any item found to be non-genuine within 30 days of the auction date, will be returned to the Consignor, and upon return, Consignor will pay Leonard Auction, Inc., the net proceeds of the returned item.

Sometimes it takes 2-3 months to prove that a coin is counterfeit. For instance, last year we purchased one that was so skillfully done that we had to send it to NGC for authentication because we would not have been able to prove it was a contemporary copy of an 1869 coin. That cost us $70 in NGC fees, but it was worth the money.

The Proxibid auctioneer took back the coin, to his credit.

In general, the consignor and not the buyer should be held liable for all doctored, counterfeit or otherwise altered coins. Create a contract protecting you rather than focusing on the “All Sales Final” mantra of auctioneers. That does not relate to U.S. Coins and Currency.

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.

When “Report the Item” Fails, It Affects Your Bottom Line

1889-O

It is one thing to report the item and another to rely on the auctioneer to change a misleading lot description. If Proxibid’s “report the item” is going to work, the company has to enforce it on easily verified mistakes. This auction company committed several of them. We reported the items multiple times. Nothing was fixed.


If you’re an ethical auctioneer, especially one of our favorites in the left sidebar and think this doesn’t apply to you, keep reading this post to the last paragraph and you’ll see how Proxibid’s failure to enforce changes of this type affects your bottom line.

We certainly understand that typos and unintentional misidentified lots occur on the portal. Auctioneers or their assistants spend a lot of time typing lot descriptions. What we don’t understand is why some auctioneers won’t change mistakes when they are pointed out via Proxibid’s “report the item” link.

Once again, this doesn’t happen on eBay. The lot is taken down. Proxibid’s persistent “hand’s off” policies–if we notify auctioneers, then we have done our job–does little to affirm its brand of trust.

Here’s another misidentified lot that we reported twice:

1889-S

The auctioneer didn’t change the misidentification.

We think Proxibid did send the notifications.

What can be verified is the auctioneer’s terms of service: “All items sold AS IS WHERE IS, all descriptions provided are for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as creating any representation or warranty.”

Are you kidding? Does that service term allow an auctioneer to describe base metal as gold? Of course not. These errors fall under Proxibid’s service term “Significantly Not as Described.”

By the way, the 1889-O description was not changed on Proxibid during the auction. It sold for $120, about twice as much as an NGC MS63 1899-O was worth. See the evidence:

1889-O_sold

What’s the easier route, Proxibid? To go through dispute resolution or to require the auctioneer to fix easily identified errors in lot descriptions?

Here’s another thing Proxibid has to think about. The auctioneer may have corrected the wrong date for the live onsite crowd but not the online audience. If so, that meant Proxibidders were bidding up the lot that sold onsite for $120.

Because we care about numismatics and Proxibid, we need to go on record with this final statement: Failing to require fixes of this sort undermines Proxibid’s brand of trust.

And when that happens, our favorite auctioneers in the left sidebar suffer because hobbyists migrate to eBay. We don’t want to see that for best-selling auctioneers or Proxibid, either. We support both.

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.

Auction Empire Corrects Flip Info on Cal Gold

calgoldreplica

Ignoring the hyped information on the flip, proclaiming this replica as “gold” and “rare,” Auction Empire correctly labels this $1 value gold-plate fake a “replica.”

On this day in all the Proxibid auctions, you will not find a fake or replica California gold being labeled as the genuine thing. These brass and/or plated counterfeits have been giving the Secret Service fits since the 19th century. They are worth $1 or less. But we have seen phony lots sell on Proxibid for hundreds of dollars.

Our most popular post–California Gold: Real, Replica and Fake, which gets 100 hits per week–set the record straight on Proxiblog a few years ago. Among its recommendations is the requirement that all auctioneers cite the BG number from the Breen/Gillio Book on California Gold.

Brad Lisembee of Capitol Coin Auction shows how it’s done:

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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 To Do If You Buy a Fake Coin Online

What should you do if you purchase a fake coin on Proxibid or eBay and discover it when your options have run out–a few months, or even years, after the sale? What if you buy a counterfeit in a private coin dealer auction online? Or an Internet estate auction?

Portals like Proxibid and eBay have service terms that prevent the selling of fakes. Yet, you can spot dozens on eBay, especially California Gold. You can read about that in Coin World.

In fact, some bloggers routinely post about fakes being sold on eBay. Check out this one.

We buy on Proxibid as well as eBay. Some Proxibid sellers announce that all of their lots are genuine. Here’s an example:

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We especially like “Auctions by Wallace” (screen shot above) because its owner Sheena Wallace understands that all lots must be authentic and that Proxibid’s Unified User Agreement forbids fake coins on the block.

Unfortunately, Auctions by Wallace is the exception on Proxibid. Too many auctioneers on Proxibid and Internet estate and coin sales warn bidders “All Sales Final–No Warranties” in their service terms. When it comes to Proxibid, these auctioneers and their attorneys might read clause 5.16. of Proxibid’s Unified User Agreement:

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.

Sheena Wallace guarantees her lots are genuine not because of the above clause but because it is the ethical auctioneering thing to do.

Many Proxibid auctioneers (as well as eBay mega-sellers and auction houses) are members of the National Auctioneers Association. Before they post service terms, they might want to read their Ethics Code, particularly this. …

For the rest of the article, click here.

One House Changes Lot Description; Another Keeps Calling Paramount Dollar “Redfield”

notredfield

Yesterday we reported that there were two Paramount dollars and one genuine Redfield dollar being sold on Proxibid. The lot above is a Paramount dollar, still listed on Proxibid as a “Redfield.” Redfield dollars are worth a much larger premium than Paramount dollars but because the latter are holdered in the same type of card and plastic, many Proxibid auctioneers call all such dollars “Redfield,” when they are not. We sent multiple warnings to the auctioneers in question, using the “Report the Item” link. Top house SilverTowne changed the lot description. The other auction house did not.


Here is the SilverTowne screenshot with the changed lot description:

paramount

Here is the auction house that did not change the lot description:

paramount1

We’re not going to name the auction, but you can find it out by searching for the above coin.

Our site is educational. We hope this has been of service to you. And we’re proud of SilverTowne for realizing its numismatic error and correcting it, as we knew it would. The other? Perhaps the auctioneer is out of town. Or otherwise engaged. We don’t know. All we do know is that we sent multiple alerts to him using the “Report the Item” link.

We also believe Proxibid has an obligation to bidders–not to mention its own brand of “trust”–to require auctioneers to change obviously erroneous lot descriptions–wrong date, mint mark, etc. In this case, calling a Paramount dollar a “Redfield” is unfortunate, especially if the lots sell with a high but undeserved premium.

This is how a genuine Redfield dollar should look, featured on Weaver Auction (known for accurate lot descriptions):

notredfield1

For more on Redfield dollars, see this article published in Coin World.

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.

Distinguish Paramount from Redfield Dollars

notredfield

At the time this post was written, there were two Paramount dollars and one genuine Redfield dollar being sold on Proxibid. The lot above is a Paramount dollar. Redfield dollars are worth a much larger premium than Paramount dollars but because the latter are holdered in the same type of card and plastic, many Proxibid auctioneers call all such dollars “Redfield,” when they are not. The issue today is once being informed about the mistake, using the “Report the Item” link, will the auctioneer change the lot description?



In this case, as we would anticipate with Dave and Cheryl Weaver–typically our top-ranked house on Proxiblog–they get the lot description correct. See the genuine Redfield dollar below:

notredfield1

The Weaver lot above came from the 407,000-coin stash found behind a false wall in the basement of Reno, Nev., investor LaVere Redfield. The hoard was acquired for $7.3 million in 1976 by Steve Markoff of A-Mark Coin Corp. Markoff chose Paramount International Coin Corp. as a primary distributor of coins from the hoard.

Paramount slabbed the coins in attractive plastic holders with green, red or black inserts. Green is for coins grading above MS65. People pay hundreds, and sometimes thousands, for coins in that rare holder. The other two common inserts, red and black, define two grades respectively, Mint State 65 and MS-60, the only two grades used at the time.

The Redfield dollars sold so well that Markoff decided to slab other Morgan dollars in his special holders–without the designation “Redfield.” Those simply state Paramount. These do command a small premium, but nothing like the Redfield pedigree.

Here’s the second Proxibid auction erroneously describing the lot:

notredfield2

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to see if the two auctioneers who incorrectly described Paramount as Redfield will change the lot description. We used the “Report the Item” link every day for the past four days. We checked this morning, Monday, Sept. 15. The two auction houses with erroneous lot descriptions had not fixed those descriptions.

So this is a test not only of numismatics but also on the effectiveness of the Proxibid link. Will the two auctioneers change their erroneous descriptions?

Stay tuned.

For more on Redfield dollars, see this article published in Coin World.

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.

Proxiblog is sponsored by

Weaver Coin Auction

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction has remained one of Proxiblog’s top houses for four years running, primarily because owners Cheryl and Dave Weaver combine talents in communication and numismatics with a rich history in the auctioneering business.

Weaver Auction is family owned in its 20th year of specializing in selling coins, currency and other numismatic items. The company ranks among the top numismatic sellers on Proxibid (six badges!) for good reason. Their consignments excel. They promote their auctions expertly in concise email advertising. They have low or tiered online buyer’s fees. They specialize in customer service. They ship quickly and inexpensively. Their photography is sharp, expandable and exceptional.

They also treat their consignors with extraordinary service, sending checks within one week and sending consignment lists for good record-keeping. Proxiblog buys and sells with the Weavers.

Another reason for the Weavers’ success is their ability to convey via Internet the excitement of an onsite auction. Their staff is on hand not only to call auctions and serve those in attendance but also to fix technology glitches and insure a safe, secure and trustworthy online experience. The Weavers pride themselves on many long-term customers who have been attending their auctions for years. More important, they also appreciate equally as well their hundreds of online customers.

Dave Weaver, a graduate of the Missouri Auction School, is a licensed auctioneer. Cheryl is the “detail” half of this combo with emphasis on accuracy, scheduling and communication. The Weavers are members of The American Numismatic Association, National Auctioneer Association and the Missouri Professional Auctioneer Association.

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

Don’t mimic clueless consignors

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The auctioneer that sold this damaged lot copied the lot description from the flip, which called this damaged 1901-S Morgan dollar “almost uncirculated” and then had the nerve to quote Red Book values.



This consignor is engaging in wishful thinking. This coin is silver melt with no value except, perhaps, to the heirs of Dee Fearnus whose name is graffitied on the obverse.

Yes, only bidders as clueless as this consignor would fail to realize that the lot description was misleading. But the auctioneer still had an obligation to note the graffiti in the lot description and ignore the consignor’s wishful thinking.

While it is true that auctioneers should advocate in the client’s interest, there is also an obligation to explain why a coin as damaged as this might sell for far less than hoped.

Do you have an anecdote to share about a clueless consignor? If so, share a comment with our viewers. (No names or other identifying information about that client, though!)

Give bidders reading this some insight into what you deal with on a regular basis!

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.