Hidden Treasure on Engstrom

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As an auctioneer, ever wonder why a seemingly common coin goes for hundreds more dollars than it is worth? Could be you have a hidden treasure? We spotted and bid on one last week in Engstrom Auction. (Click to expand photos.)



Pictured above are three common 2008 Silver Eagles. Why did they sell for more than $400 with buyer’s fee?

Answer: One of them was the rare 2008 reverse of 2007 Silver Eagle, pictured below:

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We entered a small bidding war with the winner, but let him take it as the coin reached retail.

The 2008 reverse of 2007 Eagle has a “U” in “United that differs from the “U” in common 2008 coins. You can read more about how to spot one by clicking here.

This is an example about why auctioneers should read Proxiblog and Coingrader Capsule on Coin Update News. We will tell you how to spot similar treasure in your own consignments.

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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Decatur Coin Featured in Coin Update News

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Coin Update News, one of the most accessed numismatic websites, has featured a Proxibid auction by Decatur Coin and Jewelry, noting how dealer Bennie Strumpher grades coins rather than holders, and as such, offers choice consignments from his buying trips.

Earlier this month we sent five SEGS coins for crossover consideration at PCGS, noting that they were purchased from a reputable coin dealer known for grading prowess.

Decatur Coin and Jewelry has a reputation for purchasing the best coins regardless of holder. In addition to a detailed lot description for each coin, dealer Bennie Strumpher notes that each coin came from one of his special buying trips, had “attractive high eye appeal” and “superior quality for the assigned grade.” In his coin-show searches, he and his team only buy 2 out of every 100 coins they inspect. He adds, “All of these coins we would buy for our own collections, so keep in mind that each coin offered here has to get past our eyes before it gets to yours.”

Decatur Coin is one of our trusted sellers because Bennie can grade, regardless of holder.

To read the entire article, click here.

Happy 1st Birthday to Us! Proxiblog surpasses 15000 views in 6 months!

We will let this map speak for itself–click to expand–showing 3400 views in the past six weeks with 15000 worldwide views in the past six months. We thank our auctioneers, our sponsors and Proxibid bidders.

In one year we have posted 200 articles and 450 photos. Our worldwide viewership is growing in Canada, Great Britain, India, the Philippines, and Australia.

We have advocated successfully for transparency notices, counterfeit detection, quality photos on both sides of the coin, accurate lot descriptions and so much more.

There is a virtual book in Online Auctioneering on our Articles Page. Our most popular page is “Boos and Booyahs.

We also have raised more than $1000 in the past six weeks for our scholarship fund!

We want to thank our scholarship sponsors, which include Weaver Auction, Western Auction, Key Date Coins, Scott Auctions, Leonard Auction, GreatCollections, ClickCoins, Coin Update News, Engstrom Auction, James Peterson Auction and Krause Auctioneering. If you would like to sponsor a week’s worth of Proxiblog, email us

Also, we now list 90 auction houses on our Honor Roll page. When we launched this site in May 2011, we only had 11 such houses, an indication of the competition that exists now on the portal.

Finally, we want to thank all of our viewers, our auctioneers, bidders and Proxibid employees who patronize our site. We rely on you and appreciate you more than you know, as you are contributing mightily to the hobby and helping auction houses and coin dealers transition to the Internet.

Coin Update News Focuses on Proxibid


As more people purchase coins online, especially from auction portals, it is vital that they read terms of service. Overpaying for coins on television has hurt the hobby in the past. Overpaying on Internet can do more damage because the auction company may have access to buyers’ data, including credit card information.

We continue to see practices online that concern us, from over-graded coins by self-slabbers to counterfeit and altered lots by questionable sellers.

Coin Update viewers might be interested in recent developments on one of the largest auction portals in the country, Proxibid.

For the rest of the article, click here.

Improve Your Grading Skills!

This is a two-part article about the importance of grading coins properly in Proxibid auctions. Grading coins is part science, part art, but if Proxibid auctioneers are going to sell coins regularly, they might develop a deeper knowledge of grading.

There are ways to improve your numismatic knowledge, and doing so will increase your profits, consignments and return customers over time.

Although Proxibid may schedule 70 coin auctions per month, fewer than a half dozen houses accurately grade coins. A few houses know coins and hype lot descriptions, calling slider coins “gem” and brilliant uncirculated coins “deep mirror.” Don’t be swayed by extensive numismatic sounding lot descriptions if those descriptions don’t hold up to grading standards.

Here are ways to improve your knowledge of coins:

  1. Read numismatic magazines like Coin World or online ones like CoinLink or Coin Update News.
  2. Subscribe to CoinFacts whose photography and coin encyclopedia are the best numismatic tools on the Internet.
  3. Attend classes, seminars and educational programs by the American Numismatic Association.
  4. Learn how to submit coins to top grading companies, such as PCGS and NGC.
  5. Grade each coin in consignment by using standards as illustrated by PCGS Photograde Online.

Here are some things you should NEVER do:

  • Never list a consignor’s grade in your lot description without noting it is not your grade; rather, correct over-enthusiastic consignor descriptions especially when they exaggerate on flips.
  • Do not use PCGS Price Guide or Coin Values price data on coins unless they are graded by PCGS (for PCGS holdered coins) and Coin Values (for PCGS, NGC, ANACS and ICG).
  • Never hype coins, exaggerating details, scarcity or other intrinsic value.
  • Stop pretending that every coin in every auction has come from a safety deposit box of a recently deceased octogenarian.
  • Invest in a good digital camera, make sure you have proper lightning, capture luster and never alter a photo to make the coin seem better than it actually is.

In the next installment of Proxiblog, we will identify auction houses that graded accurately–so much so, that their raw coins graded at the same level or higher by PCGS.


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 Goes International: New Rankings and Sponsors

In as much as Proxibid registers bidders from around the world, small wonder that Proxiblog–which covers the portal’s coin auctions–also should go global. Click picture to expand, and you will see where our 1500-plus views came from in the first 21 days of March.

Our site has logged 13,000 views in the past six months. What does this mean for those who follow our blog?

First of all, those who have sponsored a week’s posts on Proxiblog–GreatCollections, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, Western Auction, James Peterson, Krause Auctioneering, Leonard Auction and Scott Auctions, to name a few–are getting their “donation’s worth.” Companies that sponsor our site for a week simply visit this link and typically make a tax-deductible donation from $10-$1000.

This week we will feature our first numismatic publication, Coin Update, as official sponsor.

Our most popular posts include “Boos and Booyahs,” “Articles” page (a virtual text in online auctioneering), and the series on “Consignor Viewing and Maximum Bid” policies.

All the while we have been keeping track of coin auctions, sparking new rankings in the right sidebar. Several of these auction companies are thriving because of ever better consignments, sharper expandable photos, inexpensive shipping and monthly specials.

All meet our Honor Roll standards of 15% or lower buyer’s fee. These houses also typically invest in APN clearance and schedule regular coin auctions, in some cases, a half dozen or more per month.

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction remains doggedly in first place, primarily because Dave and Cheryl Weaver surprise us each month, be it with snappy online advertisements, shipping specials, expert photography, accurate lot descriptions, and low online buyer’s fees (10%, with occasional discounts on gold).

Western Auction continues to hold on to second place with superior consignments, photography and quick, inexpensive shipping.

We’ve seen continuous improvement in Meares and Rolling M. Auctions, with Engstrom Auctions gearing up for more enhancements in the coming weeks, soliciting bidder feedback–nice touch, that!

Other top-ranked houses typically do not see prebids or allow consignor bidding. We still include those in our rankings because of our own transparency about that, especially our top-viewed series on the topic, as referenced above.

If you are an auctioneer, we hope you will continue to visit Proxiblog for best practices. If you are a bidder, we hope that you will find our posts informative on how and where to spend your numismatic money. And if you are a sponsor, or would like to become one, we thank you on behalf of college students, easing their debt with scholarships and ensuring the next generation of bidders.

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.

Altered Coins on Proxibid

This is a short post that exposes the bad and the good on Proxibid.

In the past month we have received four lots of doctored, dipped and ungradable coins. In two cases, we believe, the auctioneers oft-stated exclamations that they are not coin experts resulted in coin doctors sending them fraudulent consignments. That, coupled with acceptable (for Proxibid) but still substandard photography, hid the alterations.

In another case, we believe, the way an auctioneer photographs coins is to blame as he typically shoots coins against a black background with strong lightning, a technique that unintentionally hides dipping.

We no longer will purchase any coins from him or those who sell, even once, altered coins, as their judgment cannot be trusted, especially with their all-sales-final terms of service.

Some of the doctored coins were so skillfully done that they escaped our detection. As we frequently resell coins to Proxibid auctioneers, we sent them to one of our top houses and, in our view, the best grader in the business, Larry Fuller from Silvertowne Auctions.

He returned the coins to me with a note. See for yourself.

See why we keep advocating for sharp photos and better terms of service on Proxibid that allow for returns of fraudulent (and often criminally liable) sale of altered coins.

We will post in the coming weeks an article from Coin Update News discussing these issues in detail. Stay tuned.

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.