These Houses Can Grade!

This is the second installment about the need for coin auctioneers to understand grading. The first listed the Do’s and Don’ts of grading. This cites houses that described raw coins so accurately that PCGS, the most rigorous holdering company in the business, agreed with their grades when Proxiblog sent the coins in for authentication.

Silvertowne: 1880-CC. Lot desccribed coin as MS62-63; coin returned by PCGS, MS62.


Matthew Bullock Auctioneers: 1883-O MS64DMPL; coin returned by PCGS, MS64DMPL.


Leonard Auction: 1903 PCGS Old Green Holder, MS64, possible upgrade; coin returned by PCGS, MS65.


Capitol Coin Auction: 1885-O, rainbow color, MS63; coin returned by PCGS MS63.


Fox Valley Coins: 1991-CC, MS64; coin returned by PCGS, MS64.


We have had similar luck with certain auctions sending to NGC, among them, Manor Auctions, Kreuger and Kreuger, Key Date Coins and Engstrom Auction. We have come close on occasion at NGC or PCGS (within a point) with Western, Weaver, Arneson, Meares, Scott and Kaufman auctions.


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.

Scott Auctions wins “Best Shipping” honor

Scott Auctions, a Stephens City, Va., firm, has won Proxiblog’s “Best Shipping” Award, combining great consignments–see his archived Jan. 2, 2012 auction–with $10 flat-rate shipping for all winning bids.

Other auctions have adopted the same shipping policy, but owner Scott Strosnider was among the first to use it for coins, knowing how most winning lots can be sent inexpensively insured with adequate postage through the U.S. Post Office.

Another reason we favored Scott’s house in this close competition is his generosity as one of our most experienced auctioneers. You may not know that he regularly gives advice to other Proxibid houses, sharing his expertise willingly without fear of competition.

Scott’s father, auctioneer Leon W. Strosnider, called auctions for more than four decades. Scott learned the trade from his dad as a child “running clerk sheets and then as leading Ringman. He learned it inside out and from the ground up.”

His auction house was one of our original Honor Roll companies with buyer’s fees of 15%, good photography and, of course, quality shipping.

Why not send Scott a congratulatory note, especially auctioneers who have benefited from his counsel? He’s a gentleman who would appreciate that.

Once again, Scott Strosnider had stiff competition from these Honorable Mention companies: Arneson Auctions, Key Date Coins, Krause Auctioneering, Meares Auction and Silvertowne Auctions.

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.

Key Date Coin is “Most Improved”

Key Date Coin, an Oklahoma house, has been named “most improved” on Proxiblog, with owner Eddie Caven not only learning the portal ropes but also working diligently to master the fine points of numismatics.

You can read his “On the Block” here.

He has spent the year trying to find the right mix of consignments, buyer’s fees (as low as 14%) and specials, going through a period of high opening bids before concluding that low ones trigger competition (now opening at $5 per lot). He has mastered online advertising, keeping his newsletters pertinent, brief and newsworthy.

His digital photography, combined with numismatic lot descriptions (including VAMs), rank among the best on Proxiblog.

He has earned the “Most Improved” status because Eddie is not afraid to experiment to find the right Proxibid ingredients to spark competition while providing fair and informed descriptions of quality well-photographed coins described numismatically. His shipping is fast, usually within a week, and he sometimes even cuts costs if a bidder wins one inexpensive item–a $15 Franklin half, for example.

We hope that bidders reading this post will visit his auction (the next is scheduled Jan. 7, 2012) to verify much of what we have praised. Other auctioneers might send him a congratulatory note in the spirit of NAA collegiality.

We applaud Eddie in winning this award. He had stiff competition from our Honorable Mention houses in this category, which include Auctions Unlimited, Arneson Auction, Culpeper Auction, Engstrom Auctions, Meares Auction and Rolling M. 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.

Arneson Lowers Buyer’s Fee, Rises in Ranks

It’s always a joy to see one of our Honor Roll houses–in this case, Arneson Auctions–having the confidence to become more competitive. When we see the competitive spirit in Proxibid houses, we’ll try to bring it to the attention of our bidding viewers, as in this post.

One of our favorite auctioneers, Jim Arneson of Arneson Auctions (a Deforest, Wisc., house), has lowered his online buyer’s fee to 12%. He hasn’t placed reserves or high opening bids on a good consignment scheduled to run on Proxibid on Nov. 20. He has APN clearance. He also has customer-friendly terms of service, as in these examples:

  • Again every effort has been made to describe & Photograph all items in this sale as accurately as possible.
  • If you have any reservations/doubts about a sale item then please don’t bid on it.
  • WE ARE NOT EXPERTS ON MOST ITEMS SOLD, BUT WE TRY TO FIND AND ANNOUNCE ANY PROBLEMS WITH ANY LOT THAT IS TO BE AUCTIONED. SOMETIMES DEFECTS OR PROBLEMS WITH AN ITEM SOLD WILL BE MISSED BY THE SELLER AND THE BUYER. PLEASE READ THE DESCRIPTIONS AND INSPECT EVERY INCH OF THE PHOTO PROVIDED. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR RESERVATIONS/DOUBTS, PLEASE CALL US AT 608-797-5086 AND WE WILL BE HAPPY TO HELP SOLVE ANY ISSUES ABOUT A LOT.
  • You will be notified at the end of Auction via email with your items purchased. A 2nd invoice will follow soon after with your shipping charges added. Our Goal is to get your items sent to you 3-4 days after the sale. Please call with any concerns.
  • We want you to be happy with your purchases and for this to be an enjoyable experience for you, and for us, and to that end we will endeavor to accommodate any and all reasonable requests. If you have questions about the merchandise the time to ask questions is well in advance of the live auction.

Arneson Auctions also has upgraded its photography to sharp, expandable photos.

Because of the lower buyer’s fee, good photography and friendly terms of service, Arneson has broken into the top 10 of our most favored houses. We intend to bid on Nov. 20 in his auction, and we encourage other Proxibloggers to join us and other houses to consider the benefits of competing in the same proactive manner for the business of online coin buyers.

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.

New Rankings, Brief Hiatus

Proxiblog has updated its auction rankings, with Silvertowne Auctions overtaking Western Auction, due to top consignment as well as buyer’s policies.

Silvertowne, concerned about securing top-quality consignments for its bi-monthly auctions, has one of the best seller policies on Proxibid, with low and even zero fees for coins that bring good hammer prices. Western Auction, still one of the best online and onsite companies in the business, at one time featured a 0% buyer’s fee, increased that to 5%–still the lowest on Proxibid–but recently upped that to 10%.

At 5% fees, Western Auction still would be doing well. Its July 6 session brought amazing hammer prices, with this 1893-S PCI-graded Morgan bringing $2950, or a realized price of $3245, still a bargain for all parties–auction house, seller and buyer.

Silvertowne, operated by Rick Howard of Howard’s Coin Shop in Leipsic, Ohio, features similar high-end items. In its last auction, this raw 1893-S sold for $3200, or $3680 realized, with 15% buyer’s fee. While that fee is on Proxiblog’s high end, Silvertowne makes up for that with expert coin grading and consignment policies. (Note the accurate description on the 1893-S coin pictured here.)

Proxibid will be taking a brief hiatus until mid-month. In two months we have posted more than 30,000 words in several categories, hoping to enhance your summer reading on best practices and more for your auction company.

In closing, we’d like to acknowledge our Honor Roll houses for their standards and practices on Proxibid:

Abal Auction

Arneson Auctions

Auctions Unlimited

Auctions by Wallace

Battermans Auction

Beatrice Auction Service

Beloit Auction/United Country

Black and Gold Auction

C.B. Kaye and Associates

Carden Family Auction Service

Carrick Auction

Crawford Family Auction

Culpeper Auction

Dave Kaufman Realty and Auctions

Furlo Auction Service

Garrison Auctioneers

Gavin Pope Auction and Appraisal

Gold Crown Auctions

Grey Ghost Auction Service

Grubaugh Auction Service

Hi-$ Auctions

Hidden Treasures

United Country/Hudgins

Key Date Coins

Kraft Auction Service

Krause Auctioneering

Krueger and Krueger

Jewelry Exchange and Auctions

Johnny’s Estate Auction Service

Lippard Auctions/United Country

Meares Auction Group

Massart Auctioneers/United Country

Midwest Coins

Phil Cole Rare Coin Auctions

RJ’s Auction Service

Scott Auctions

Silvertowne Auctions

United Country Shobe Auction

Sullivan Auctioneers

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction

Western 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.