New Rankings; 18-Month Views Exceed 40,000 Worldwide!

Proxiblog’s Coin and Currency category added one new auction in the past month, EBW Coins, which features good photography, numismatic lot descriptions and zero percent buyer’s premium (with Greysheet opening bids, however). The big news is that Proxiblog’s audience continues to grow with more than 40,000 views in the past 18 months, raising total views to 55,000 since its inception three years ago.


Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction continues to hold the top spot again this month. The duo of Dave and Cheryl Weaver are doing everything right. Lot descriptions are accurate. Photos expandable. Shipping and customer service just fine.

Our other trusty stand-bys continue to excite us every time they schedule an auction: Capitol Coin Auction, SilverTowne, Leonard Auction, Meares Auction, and Fox Valley Coins.

The big news in our ratings concerns Back to the Past Collectibles and Star Coin and Currency. C. Scott Lovejoy and Jim Haver, respectively, continue to improve consignments, elevating their rankings. Back to the Past, in particular, with its 10% buyer’s fee will challenge any top house in our rankings with more and rarer consignments.

Leonard, Capitol, Meares and Fox Valley all boast great photos, consignments, service and descriptions.

Other houses to watch are A New Day Auction and Auctions by Wallace. Like Lovejoy and Haver, Kendra Stevens of A New Day and Sheena Wallace are continuously improving their events. Now they need top consignments.

Our advice to them is to place a classified ad in local newspapers seeking consignments or offering to buy collections. You’ll be surprised at how far that last recommendation goes, especially when estates are transferred.

Consignments typically are key to our rankings. Any house scoring 24.5 points practices and/or exceeds our Honor Roll standards.

Also keep in mind that our favorite houses are just that–ours. Your experience may differ from ours.

As for Proxiblog, we keep growing. We are in the process of upgrading our site (we hope you like the cleaner look). As the map below shows, we are reaching more viewers in Canada, England and India. Once again, the most accessed post was California Gold, real, replica and fake. That post averages between 400+ views per month.

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We continue to provide best practices and numismatic knowledge to our viewers for free. Please consider making a donation. We are on hiatus at the moment but post every weekday during September-June. We do this for educational purposes, informing viewers about numismatics as well as funding scholarships for Iowa State University students.

Fortunately, we have several of our top houses donating funds to our scholarship account. You can also buy our new work, Online Coin Auctioneering or Basic Coin Design on Kindle. We are extremely grateful. Won’t you consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Iowa State Foundation so that we can continue publishing? Thank you for your consideration!

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.


Back to the Past Collectibles Enhances Photography

We are as happy as the auctioneer when numismatic photography is enhanced at some of our favorite houses so that we can see varieties or devices clearly before placing our bids. Today we praise auctioneer C. Scott Lovejoy of “Back to the Past Collectibles” for working diligently to provide sharp, expandable photos for Proxibid viewers.



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The dual photo above of similar quality 1924 Buffalo nickels shows a before and after effect of enhanced photography. The photo on the left was taken last month, and Lovejoy has labored to perfect his lighting and camera selection over the past several weeks, continuously experimenting until he found the right combination.

“There are so many guides out there about macro photography and in particular about coins,” Lovejoy says. “We just kept at it, looking for the right combination of camera settings and lighting to make it work for us. Took three cameras, three different equipment setups and four different lighting setups before we settled on the current state, and we’re still watching for ways to improve.”

The sharper the photographs, the higher the bids, especially if you have cherry consignments. Some of our favorite auctions have not learned that lesson. (We bid mainly on holdered coins there because of that, as we cannot trust raw ones photographed improperly.)

Here is an example illustrating how photos play a role in bidding:

Hobbyists look for full bell lines that add a handsome premium for Franklins. The abbreviated designation “FBL” indicates a strong strike especially on the reverse of a Franklin Half so that the two lines on the bottom of the bell run unbroken to the crack. (To learn more about that topic, click here.)

Take a look at this photograph of the reverse of a Franklin half from one of Proxibid’s “top sellers.” (Click to expand all photos in this post.)

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It is impossible to tell full bell lines.

Take a look at these two Franklin half reverses in Back to the Past’s March 8 auction on Proxibid; to see how sharp photography enhances the bidding experience.

Despite its glowing luster, which conceals flaws and devices when photographed poorly (not the case here!), this lot does not contain full bell lines:

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This one does:

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Without the enhanced photography, buyers would not fight for this lot in a bidding war.

Lovejoy understands the value of that. “The primary lesson learned, as far as I am concerned, is how important it is to not only seek industry expert feedback, but also remain open to the criticism and keep looking for the best result. People I respect (like you!) had some not kind things to say about poor photos as we worked out the kinks, but we’re far the better for the honesty.

“When I think about how far we’ve come since we started doing coins on Proxibid, it’s pretty amazing.”

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.