Capitol Coin Wins “Best Auction” a Second Time

7Best Coin Auction

Capitol Coin Auction has won our award for “Best Coin Auction” on the Proxibid portal, garnering “Best Shipping,” “Best Photography,” and “Value Added” honors with honorable mentions in “Best Descriptions” and “Best Consignments.” This is the second year in a row that Capitol Coin Auction has won the top honor.

A close second, once again, was Leonard Auction. It won “Best Consignments” with honorable mentions in “Value-Added,” “Best Photography” and “Best Descriptions.”

Star Coin and Currency made a great showing this year, winning “Best Timed Auction” with honorable mentions in “Most Improved,” “Best Descriptions” and “Best Shipping.”

Southwest Bullion and Coin also had a particularly successful year in our rankings, winning the competitive “Best Descriptions” category and honorable mentions in “Most Improved” and “Best Photography.”

SilverTowne Auctions won “Best Shipping” and had honorable mentions in “Best Descriptions,” “Value-Added” and “Best Consignments.”

Meares Auction won “Most Improved” and had honorable mentions in “Best Shipping” and “Best Consignments.”

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction had honorable mentions in the important categories of “Best Photography,” “Best Descriptions,” “Best Consignments” and “Value-Added.”

The houses above are runners-up in our “Best Coin Auction” category.

We also praise and recommend our other houses that placed in our various competitions, including:

  • Back to the Past Collectibles
  • Black and Gold Auctions
  • Braden Auction Services
  • Decatur Coin and Jewelry
  • Engstrom Auctions
  • Five Star Auction
  • Fox Valley Coins
  • Gary Ryther Auctioneers
  • Heuckman Auction
  • Jewelry Exchange
  • Kaufman Realty and Auction
  • McKee Coins
  • Midwest Coins
  • Rolling M Auction
  • Schultz Auctioneers
  • Western Auction

We encourage all of the houses named above to continue improving in the spirit of service, competition and community that all auctioneers and numismatists share, serving our clients and memberships. Continue to embrace the ethics of both the National Auctioneers Association and the American Numismatic Association.

We also thank Proxibid for its Internet options, quality control and customer service and all houses specializing in coins. We encourage them to visit these award-winning houses above. We know there are some houses that we missed in our rankings; as always, our experience may differ from yours and you should consider these award-winners our favorites. In sum, we did the best job we could with the available data and hope that you will continue visiting our site and interacting with our clientele, now exceeding 26000 views since inception.

Finally, consider making a donation to our Scholarship Account. (See details on top of the “Rankings” sidebar to the right.) We will continue publishing Proxiblog free of charge and covering Proxibid and the online coin auction industry. Won’t you consider making a voluntary donation to offset tuition expenses for our college students?

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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Capitol Coin Auction Wins … “Best Value-Added”

best value added

Value-added considerations are found mostly in terms of service, which every buyer should read before placing a bid in a Proxibid Auction. Capitol Coin Auction’s terms of service are among the fairest on the portal. We know. We patronize Brad Lisembee’s sessions and have dealt with him for years, mainly because of his standards.

Speaking of standards, we will do a post soon on new ones for auction houses to be included in our Honor Roll pages, which we recently updated. We seldom bid in auctions that lack any of those 10 standards for online coin bidding. (NOTE: If we missed your auction house in our revision of this page, please notify us at this email address.)

We strongly encourage any coin buyer to read terms of service before placing any bid in a Proxibid auction. Bidders and auctioneers alike should read the Unified User Agreement. Contrary to what some auctioneers believe, all sales of coins are NOT final if they are counterfeit.

The Unified User Agreement specifically states:

  • 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.

Capitol Coin Auction, and honorable mention houses listed here, abide by clauses of that agreement. Here are a few excerpts from their terms of service.

Capitol Coin Auction

Sales are final with no returns except for reason of authenticity (proof of non-authenticity is required by PCGS or NGC). … We go to great efforts to ensure that all lots are described accurately and thoroughly, and that detailed photos are provided to assist our bidders. We strictly safeguard access to your information, and all of our employees and contractors have been trained on safeguarding measures and the importance of confidentiality of our customers’ personal information. Personal information that has been collected about you will be safeguarded by us and will be destroyed if not needed. We will NEVER sell, disclose or otherwise provide any of your personal information to third parties, except as required by law.

Jewelry Exchange

Written descriptions of all items are true to our knowledge. Material identified as gold, silver or platinum is guaranteed to be the material described. Gemstones, including diamonds, are guaranteed to be authentic. Branded merchandise is guaranteed to be authentic. When any item is graded, every attempt is made to grade conservatively. … We will do our best to address any question or concern that arises.

Leonard Auction

REFUND POLICY (Coin & Currency Lots): Leonard Auction, Inc. guarantees all items to be genuine (authentic) as to date and mintmark. If a successful bidder has questions as to the authenticity of a lot, the bidder must contact Leonard Auction, Inc. within three (3) calendar days of receipt of the lot. Items removed from their original, heat-sealed Leonard Auction, Inc. holder, MAY NOT BE RETURNED for any reason. No lot may be returned because of a variance in opinion with regards to Items encapsulated and authenticated by a third-party grading service MAY NOT BE RETURNED for any reason.

SilverTowne Auction

Internet buyers are entitled to a return within 3 days of receipt of items. In order to return an item, we must be notified of your intent to return within that 3-day period. We can be reached at 419-943-2612. Items returned will be shipped at buyer’s expense. All returns are subject to a restocking fee of 15% of the purchase price with a minimum charge of $10.

Star Coin and Currency

Our auction house has chosen not to view or have access to bidder maximum pre-bids. We also do not allow or bid on lots to increase amounts. All our auctions are $1 start, absolute, no reserve auctions. All items sell to the highest bidder. Return policy: If an item is not materially the same as pictured and/or described in the auction contact us. We are here to make your auction experience a positive one. Privacy: Any personal data we collect is used solely for processing an invoice.

Weaver Coin and Currency Auction

Tiered Buyer Premium: 5% Gold $20 or other 1 oz Gold 12% Total Hammer Price $2500.00 or higher 13% Total Hammer Price $1500.00-2499.00 14% Total Hammer Price $500.00-1499.00 15% Total Hammer Price Under $500.00. … Items are sold “AS IS”, “WHERE IS” with no guarantees of any kind except for the authenticity of US coins. We will accept returns on counterfeit coins (which we never intend to sell without identifying as a copy) or if we made an error in denomination description. Return requests must be made within 5 days of receipt of the coins. Any coin removed from the original packaging or holder is considered sold & may not be returned.

We congratulate Capitol Coin Auction and our Honorable Mention houses for their emphasis on customer service as expressly noted in their service terms.

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.

Star Coin and Currency Wins … “Best Timed Auction”

Best Timed

Star Coin and Currency, operated by Jim Haver, has improved in descriptions, consignments and photos and so has won our best pick for timed auctions.

SilverTowne Auctions, which won this category last year, set the standard for Proxibid timed auctions, and Star Coin has lived up to it: accurate numismatic descriptions, quality consignments, good photos and great customer service. That said, once again this was a competitive category with Black and Gold Auction a close second.

We are enormously impressed with Black and Gold’s Chuck Price, auctioneer, and his timed sales of coins. We just wish there were more of them.

Also included in our honorable mentions are Hueckman Auction and Schultz Auctioneers, which meet basic but rigorous criteria for timed sessions on the portal.

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.

SilverTowne, Capitol Auction Win … “Best Shipping”

4Best Shipping_SilverTowne

SilverTowne Auction and Capitol Coin Auction win the shipping category because they send winnings to buyers without charging handling fees or higher fees for each additional lot (a practice that baffles us because the more lots a customer wins, the better for the house and Proxibid).

We wish more Proxibid auctions can learn from SilverTowne and Capitol Coin Auction. SilverTowne keeps it simple: “Auction lots will be shipped via US Mail within two business days upon receipt of payment. Packages $10.00 – $1,000.00 will be shipped Insured US Mail. Packages $1,001.00 and over will be shipped UPS.”

Capitol Coin Auction, which won the category last year, has one of the best policies on the portal:

    Shipping Instructions: All items will be shipped via the U.S. Postal Service. The Buyer is responsible for the actual cost of shipping and insurance. Unlike most other auction companies, we DO NOT charge our buyers a fee for handling or packing their purchases. All items are shipped within 2-3 business days following the auction.

Some auction houses on Proxibid refuse to ship in-house, using third parties that require your credit card data (unsafe practice) or charge ungodly fees for coins, even though supplies are free at the US Post Office. Take a look at this post about one such company.

Compare that with the shipping terms of service from our other Honorable Mention houses:

Engstrom Auctions


Coins and jewelry will be shipped via United States Postal Service to locations in the United States at a flat rate of $10 (shipping, and handling) for most orders, which will be added to your invoice. … All packaging is done by Engstrom Auction employees. We double check your items against our packaging slip to ensure you get the correct items.


Five Star Auction

Shipping Instructions: Buyers will pay actual shipping cost with no handling fee. Shipping will be within 2 business days of receipt of payment for item (items) purchased. Your credit card will be charged for shipping at this time. We will ship coins anywhere in the world and shipping will cost accordingly. Multiple items will be combined to save shipping costs when applicable.


Star Coin and Currency

Shipping Instructions: We provide fast low cost shipping to our bidders. We ship most items for $4 or less for all items won. Sometimes additional postal services or insurance may be added to the invoice if need, based upon value, weight, size and destination.


Meares Auction Group

Shipping Instructions: Minimum shipping charge for is $2.00 and the prices will be adjusted with the number of items that you purchase. The prices do not double or triple, but reflect the weight shipped and the distance that they are shipped. For more information you may log onto http://www.usps.com for shipping rates and zone information. We insure packages up to the purchase price.


Jewelry Exchange

Shipping Instructions: Packages valued under $100 are sent uninsured via USPS First Class Mail or Priority Mail; packages valued at $100 to $499 are sent via USPS Insured at the buyer’s risk; packages valued at $500 or more are sent via USPS Registered Mail. Shipping is charged at the USPS published rates.


We congratulate SilverTowne and Capitol Coin Auction and our Honorable Mention houses for their emphasis on shipping inexpensively, quickly and securely.

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.

Leonard Auction Wins … “Best Consignment”

3Best Consignments_Leonard

Leonard Auction, operated by John Leonard of Addison, Ill., has won the category of “Best Consignments,” based not only on the caliber of rarities but also on raw coins that actually grade as described with PCGS or NGC. Fox Valley Coins was a very close second with its Nov. 23, 2013 auction featuring some of the best coins we had seen all year.

Western Auction won the category in 2013 and also in 2012, tying in that year with James Peterson Auction. This year both of those companies were included in Honorable Mention along with Fox Valley Coins, SilverTowne Auctions, Capitol Coin Auction, Kaufman Realty and Auctions, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, and Decatur Coin and Jewelry.

To give you an example of coins that John Leonard routinely offers, look at this slate of brilliant gold coins augmenting top-notch raw key date silver lots.

leonard_consignments

Some of Proxiblog’s acquisitions from Leonard have been profiled in Coin World, as in this piece.

Among the best auctions in 2013 on Proxibid was the Nov. 23 session by Fox Valley Coins. See this slate of Morgans as an example:

FoxValley

The condition of coins in that auction had the look of “age,” lots stored away for decades in some vault or bank box. Bidding was frenetic, with almost every cherry lot selling at retail; or above.

Meares Auction Group also came close to winning with recent bankruptcy auctions. Darron Meares, auctioneer, also has some of the best terms of service on the portal, with low buyer’s premiums.

SilverTowne Auctions consistently offers some of the best lots on Proxibid. It holds more coin auctions than any other company on the portal and thus was a very strong contender.

And our long-time favorite, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, continues to impress us with frequent quality auctions, innovations and new directions.

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.

Capitol Coin Auction wins … “Best Photography”

2Best Photography

Capitol Coin Auction does many things right, but perhaps what it does best is combine excellent digital photography with accurate numismatic descriptions.

Only a relative handful of Proxibid auction houses showcase exemplary coin photography that captures detail, luster and color. Capitol Coin Auction does that better than anyone else on the portal. Here’s an example:

photo_capitol

(This coin, by the way, graded MS65 at PCGS, certification 28957041.)

Compare the above photo with this one below, all too typical on the portal, purportedly showcasing another toned 1880s Morgan dollar:

photo_bad

Now more than ever, sharp expandable photos of obverse, reverse and close-ups of any flaw or variety will be essential on Proxibid because sellers are being rated–not only by us but by Proxibid itself! Auction houses that have gotten away with poor descriptions and blurry photos will be noted as such. In the end, the better the photo the less an auction house has to worry about the numismatic description, although both are indicators of excellence.

Last year’s winner in Best Photography was Key Date Coins, which has not held a recent auction. (We miss you, Eddie Caven!)

Here are photos from Honorable Mention houses in this year’s TOP Awards, showing detail, device and condition (click to expand):

Decatur Coin and Jewelry

photo_decatur


Western Auction

photo_western


Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction

photo_weaver


Leonard Auction

photo_leonard


Southwest Bullion and Coin

photo_southwest


Those wishing to improve their photography should visit this post in Coin Update News.

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.

Southwest Bullion and Coin Wins … “Best Descriptions”

1Best Descriptions

Southwest Bullion and Coin, operated by Justin Quinn–a top-ranked house through much of 2013 on Proxiblog–has won the category of “Best Descriptions,” based on numismatic knowledge–especially the ability to identify flaws and rarities in consignments and to honor basic ethical tenets with regard to value.

As was the case last year, this was a hotly contested competition, as you will see in the Honorable Mentions category, with seven houses also cited for best practices in descriptions. Capitol Coin Auction won this category last year and was a very close contender again this year mainly because of the grading prowess of Auctioneer Brian Lisembee. SilverTowne Auction, a previous winner, also was a strong contender.

Other Honorable Mentions are Jewelry Exchange, Decatur Coin and Jewelry, Leonard Auction, Star Coin and Currency, and Weaver Auction.

Click and expand the picture below to see how Justin Quinn describes value in this ANACS-graded coin.

southwest

Southwest’s accuracy in descriptions led to three separate posts last year:

As noted previously, several Honorable Mention houses came close to winning this year. SilverTowne’s Dave Nauert and Rick Howard continue with succinct and accurate descriptions of flaws as well as highlights for each coin. John Leonard of Leonard Auction is a conservative and respected numismatist; Dave Weaver of Weaver Auction is combining better photos with accurate descriptions; and Jim Haver of Star Coin and Currency does similarly with weekly auctions.

Finally, Dave Bluestein is so skilled in descriptions that he co-hosts a radio show “In the Money” in San Antonio.

Accurate numismatic descriptions are mandatory in Proxibid auctions because online viewers cannot always discern flaws in coins. These houses are aware of that and go the extra mile because the pay-off is 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.