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:

replica1

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:

prox

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.

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.

Auctioneers lose customers, bidders lose $$$ with subpar photos of altered coins

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Well, we finally hit our limit with this Proxibid house that features too many doctored lots with descriptions taken from flips. The photo above cannot be expanded to the extent needed to see chemical dipping and bag marks.



The scarce 1879-S reverse of 78 Morgan dollar was described as brilliant uncirculated. The photo seems to suggest that it might be, and we took the auctioneer at his word.

We can’t be sure, but this is a prime example of a coin dealer reject–a dipped, bag-marked coin worth only a few dollars over silver melt as a “hole filler” in a Dansco album. (Dipping uses chemicals to strip a layer off a coin, giving it an uncirculated appearance that gradually fades to a dull sheen, rendering the coin ungradeworthy.)

Take a look at the photo below. It is the same coin as the one above. We shot the coin with a smart phone, and you can see the difference.

noBU1

We also labeled this correctly. We wish the auctioneer had done so as we lost about $65 on this lot. And if we’re losing money in Proxibid auctions like this, you can bet other people are, too.

We won’t name the auction as this site is educational. Suffice to say that if you are a bidder and cannot discern a coin’s true worth, you may think you’re scoring a bargain on Proxibid when you are not. Your only recourse is to do what we have done–stop bidding on coins in that auction.

Save your funds for auctions you can 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.

Identify the variety in your lot descriptions

1972DD

If a consignor sends you a 1972 double die obverse coin, even in a slab, it is worth noting that only Die 1 of the varieties is avidly collected because of the easily identified spread of the date. The one pictured here is the common Die 3. The difference in values is huge, with a gem Die 1 selling for $500 and up and a Die 3, about $50.

 

As explained in PCGS CoinFacts, to which every auctioneer should subscribe, the 1972-P Doubled Die Lincoln Cent Die 1 is readily visible to the eye. “There are over 10 different doubled dies for the 1972 Lincoln cent but only the Type 1 is considered major. … This variety is very popular and it is also strong enough to see very easily with the naked eye.”

Here’s a comparison so that you can see the much more significant spread in Die 1 vs. Die 3.

1972DD_comparison

The Lincoln Cent Resource provides photos of all varieties of 1972 double dies.

Of course, some cent variety collectors will pay big money trying to complete a set of 1972 double dies. Die #4, very difficult to identify, looks like a regular 1972 cent with a slight variation in the double die. This is rare, not because of the spread, but because there are relatively few of this type and more collectors that want to complete the set.

The more you know about coins and their values, the more bidders will trust your judgment and return to your events as regular 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.

Don’t wait for consignments: Seek them in the classifieds of your local newspaper!

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Like Star Coin and Currency, EBW Coin not only showcases its coins but also its Internet friendly service terms that include ZERO percent buyer’s fees. How does EBW do it? We’ll explain how you can, too.



There’s no question that Proxibidders like low buyer’s fees. EBW Coins sells at zero! It’s not surprising, however. The company has a Wilmington, Mass., office that schedules appointments for anyone with coins to sell. They buy those coins so they don’t have to pay buyer’s fees.

Click here to visit EBW’s home page, which states:

    “We are buying!!! Private office in Wilmington by appointment only. We buy Coins, Currency, Tokens, Gold and Silver Bullion. Please use the links below and contact us to set up an appointment. We also do appraisals for estates and divorces. We can also advise you on investing in rare coins or bullion. … Paying 98-99% of melt on most gold bullion, 100% of melt on Gold American Eagles, and over 100% for pre-1933 gold coins.”

If you’re a typical auctioneer, you may be waiting for consignors to come to you. Or perhaps are not advertising sufficiently to buy estates. However, by placing an advertisement at least once per month in your local newspaper, inviting families with coins to sell to come to your office, you can score a major consignment, lower your buyer’s premiums and compete online with veterans like EBW Coin.

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 Publishes New Book on Coin Auctioneering

Click book cover to place order

Online Coin Auctioneering:
for dealers, estate and eBay sellers

cover_coinauctioneering

This book is intended for estate auctioneers considering or already selling on a portal such as AuctionZip, iCollector or Proxibid. The advice in this new work also pertains to eBay and coin dealer auctions. No matter if you are a mega-seller or beginner, you’ll soon learn that the largest and littlest online coin auctions have these things in common:

    1. They secure top consignments of the most desirable coins.
    2. They secure those consignments with no or minimal seller fees.
    3. They feature sharp, expandable photos of all lots.
    4. They fill out lot descriptions completely and accurately.
    5. They understand numismatics and do not exaggerate condition or worth.
    6. They have safe venues for use of credit cards or PayPal to make online buying secure and convenient.
    7. They have low or NO opening bids or reserves.
    8. They ship cheaply, safely and quickly.
    9. They accept returns on counterfeit and doctored coins.
    10. They focus on customer satisfaction and resolve disputes amicably.

If you’re going to sell coins online, you have to understand Internet and other considerations that you must master to vend lots via a global platform. You also must become a numismatist rather than a hobbyist or estate auctioneer because you’re selling U.S. Mint and world mint products in raw condition or perhaps holdered by any number of companies. You must know how to grade, how to price, and how to describe lots. More important, you must master digital photography—the chief component of successful online sales. Finally, you have to know the business, from fake coins to dispute resolution.

This book covers it all. Written by nationally known numismatist Michael Bugeja, who writes for Coin World, reports for Coin Update News and is a member of the Citizen Coinage Advisory Committee of the US Mint, Online Coin Auctioneering is an indispensable guide. Download a copy from Amazon Kindle today!

New Rankings, 51,000 Views; Proxiblog Takes Hiatus

Top six houses profiled here all offer something special to the coin buyer on Proxibid. Proxiblog, which continues to gain viewers worldwide, will be on hiatus to return Sept. 1, 2014. If you believe we are offering a valuable free service, posting every weekday–more than 700 posts since our inception, with 10,000+ photos–then please consider making a donation to our scholarship fund.


Capitol Coin Auction and Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction tie for first place in our rankings. They do everything right, from accurate numismatic descriptions to vivid photography.

Look at the care that Capitol takes with each lot description, this one showcasing a collection in which every coin therein is graded by auctioneer Brad Lisembee (click to expand photo):

capitol_shoutout

Same holds for Dave Weaver who accurately describes condition of each lot in his auctions. Here’s an example:

weavershoutout

John Leonard of Leonard Auction upholds the same standards as Lisembee and Weaver, providing excellent photos and descriptions. In our view he ranks among the most knowledgeable auctioneers on the Proxibid portal. A screenshot from his most recent auction:

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For sheer number of auctions on Proxibid and the vast array of consignments–you’re apt to find almost any type coin here–few rival SilverTowne Auctions. From rare gold to tokens to slabbed coins and rarities, SilverTowne has it covered:

silvertowne_selection

Best service terms on Proxibid, in addition to sharp photos and low low low buyer’s premium, goes to Meares Auction. Darron Meares is an experienced auctioneer who strives for superior customer service in all of his dealings. Take a look:

meares_terms

Most improved is Back to the Past auction. C. Scott Lovejoy worked with us for weeks to perfect photography. Take a look at this half dollar reverse in which full bell lines are easily seen. Can your auction provide the same detailed digital photography? Would that several on Proxibid could. See the evidence:

backtothepast

Our rankings this month featured most of our old standbys. Several of our favorite houses–Southwest Bullion, Western Auction, Krueger and Krueger–are low in our rankings only because they have not offered an online Proxibid session in the recent past. We value their operations so very much. Also this month one house was dropped because of sale of replica California gold. Two houses were added, A New Day Auction and Allen and Marshall Auctioneers. Concerning the latter, we were impressed with this lot description on bottom-tier holders:

allen and Marshall shoutout

As we always note, our rankings are just that–ours. These are favorite houses. Your experience may differ from ours.

As for Proxibid, we surpassed 50,000 views last month. We approached 15,000 views in the past year. The map below shows our global reach.

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We will be reconfiguring and updating our website during the summer. We also are in the process of kindling a new numismatic book, available soon on our site, for online coin auctions, featuring best practices for selling on Proxibid and eBay. We hope you will download a copy when it becomes available. We hope that you find our site helpful.

If so, please consider making a donation to our scholarship fund, which is why we share our numismatic knowledge with Proxibid auctioneers and buyers, helping defray student debt to ensure the next generation of auction bidders.

Thank you for visiting our site.

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.