Nearly 20,000 Views, New Rankings!

Proxiblog’s audience keeps growing with close to 20,000 views worldwide in the past year, as bidders register to read about top coin auction houses. Speaking of which, after points were tallied for consignments, photography, lot descriptions, buyers’ fees, customer service, shipping and numismatic knowledge, we were as surprised as you might be in discovering 5 houses tied for highest scores. Listed alphabetically, they are Capitol Coin Auction, Key Date Coins, Silvertowne Auctions, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, and Western Auction.

Note: Regular postings to begin on Sunday, Aug. 5.

Beginning next week, we will do spotlight features on each of these houses, noting what makes them so special–including what practices they follow–so that bidders and auctioneers can benefit from our reviews.

Making her debut in our top rankings is Debra Johnson of Auctions Unlimited, which has one of the lowest buyer’s fees on Proxibid at 10% and which also dropped transparency notices. Midwest Coins also did likewise, and we’re happy to include this fine Iowa house in our rankings. Braden Auction Service also enters our top houses in the sidebar to the right.

While the competition in the Coins and Currency page on Proxibid continued to grow, Proxiblog’s audience also grew in the same five-month time period. Our audience is closing in on 20,000 views. The United States, by far, provided most of that audience; however, Proxiblog’s popularity is growing in Canada, Philippines, India, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The most accessed articles were “California Gold, real, replica and fake” and “Beware Dipped Coins.”

The most popular pages were “Boos and Booyahs!” and “Honor Roll.”

In the past five months we also had 18 total sponsors, with several sponsoring Proxiblog for several weeks and donating funds to our scholarship account. Sponsors include:

We thank these auction companies and numismatic publications for sponsoring Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders! If you would like to sponsor a week’s worth of Proxiblog, email mjbugeja@yahoo.com

Proxiblog Will Return in August

Typically at this time of year Proxiblog takes a few weeks off to recharge our numismatic batteries. You can explore our dozens of articles and more than 250 posts. Meanwhile, we would like to thank our sponsors who have been donating funds to our scholarship account to offset student debt. (If you have college-age children, or are interested in the quality of education, you should read about our concern by clicking here.)

We appreciate our sponsors!


Proxiblog Sponsor

Auctions Unlimited


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


Capitol Coin Auction


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


Click Coins


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


Coin Update


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor



Engstrom Auction


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


GreatCollections


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


GWS Auctions


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


Kaufman Auction


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


Key Date Coins


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor



Krause Auctioneering


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor



James Peterson Auction


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


Leonard Auction


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


Matthew Bullock Auctioneers


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


Scott Auctions


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


SilverTowne Auctions


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


This Week in Coins


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


Western Auction


Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor
Proxiblog Sponsor


We thank these auction companies and numismatic publications for sponsoring Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders! If you would like to sponsor a week’s worth of Proxiblog, email mjbugeja@yahoo.com

Boos & Booyahs: Best & Bad Auctioneer Lot Descriptions

It’s important to be in sync with the Proxibid technology to showcase your photos, hone your lot descriptions, and highlight your consignments for top bids on the leading portal! In the latest installment, Proxiblog laments and compliments best and bad auctioneer lot descriptions during the past week. We will name the best, but you will have to search Proxibid for the bad. (Click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)

One Big Booyah to Capitol Coin Auction for this comprehensive lot description about an encased collection of Morgan dollars. Others might have just left the description at that, but Capitol evaluates each coin and gives a best-guess estimate so that bidders gain knowledge before placing their maximums. Moreover, the auctioneer accompanies that comprehensive lot description with sharp, expandable photos. We can ask for nothing more!


Booyah! to GWS Auctions for jam-packing this lot description with mintage, value, variety and condition. We’ve noticed other auction houses beginning to do the same as an indicator of numismatic integrity. We’re happy to see it!


Booyah! to Liberty Shops for catching a tell-tale mark of a counterfeit coin, even one that the forger made using silver. Some might not put such a coin on the market, but some hobbyists and coin clubs purchase counterfeits as educational tools to help identify fraudulent coins put up for auction or sale.


Booyah Weaver Auction! for noting that this coin has been whizzed, or tooled, even though the flip only says “cleaned”–with a question mark. We have no question that this coin has been whizzed, and we complement Dave Weaver for identifying it in the lot description. (Larger photo used here so that viewers can see the tell-tale smoothing on Lady Liberty’s cheek.)


Booyah Auction Orange! for identifying a scratch on this rare 1914-D cent, a key date. The scratch was small and might have been missed by a bidder. By calling attention to it, the auctioneer is ensuring that the buyer should have few complaints. That’s why lot descriptions are so important.


Booyah Key Date Coins! for challenging the information on the flip and reporting that the coin, a key date 1949-D Franklin half, is NOT almost uncirculated but has been cleaned. This is why Eddie Caven continues to be among the most conscientious on Proxibid. We applaud his numismatic integrity!


Boo! to this auctioneer for calling a brass replica a California gold token. Yes, there are gold tokens, made as souvenirs in the 1930s, but they have distinct markings and need to be tested for gold content and weight. While we’re at it, every auction selling jewelry and coins should purchase a gold tester precisely for this sort of thing.


One Final Booyah! to Weaver Auction for correcting identifying an authentic California gold quarter dollar, as the reverse of the lot shows. Don’t be fooled by consignors selling fake California gold. Use this post as your reference.


Viewers can point us to other candidates for our “Boos & Booyahs!” series. Just leave a comment but follow our rules–all in good fun as a way to inspire accurate lot descriptions on Proxibid.

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.

Boos & Booyahs: Best & Bad Auctioneer Lot Descriptions

It’s important to be in sync with the Proxibid technology to showcase your photos, hone your lot descriptions, and highlight your consignments for top bids on the leading portal! In the latest installment, Proxiblog laments and compliments best and bad auctioneer lot descriptions during the past week. We will name the best, but you will have to search Proxibid for the bad. (Click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)

> One Big Booyah to GWS Auctions for noting that the slab of this coin may have been tampered with. We know unscrupulous persons routinely open, extract and replace coins without breaking holders and even re-glue so that evidence is concealed. But it is not always easy to tell. Sometimes people try to crack open coins for resubmission and decide against that halfway through the process. Brigitte Kruse alerts the bidding audience that the slab has damage, advising to bid accordingly.


One Big Booyah to BidAlot Coin Auction for noting that this coin is holdered by a bottom-tier slabber, also advising to bid accordingly. We have seen some auctioneers quote MS66 and higher Red Book retail prices for basic silver melt coins.


Boo! to this unnamed auctioneer who hypes one of the bottom-tier slabs, claiming that the common 1900-O Morgan is rare and that this may be a good deal when the buyer is close to being cheated in our estimation. Don’t pretend to know coins when you do this.


Booyah! to Larry Fuller at Silvertowne Auctions for not only exposing the bottom-tier slab but also for giving a truer grade. These hyped slabs give the hobby a bad name; Larry makes it all better.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house for hyping what looks like a $50 Morgan as super-rare and perhaps worth the ridiculous price of $6000 on the flip. We wish Proxibid would create a badge for laughable lot descriptions. But this really isn’t a laughing matter, especially if a bidder is a novice and falls for this untrustworthy hype.


Boo! to this auctioneer who showcases a 1922 No D cent whose reverse has three types–two cheap, one rare. When are auction houses on Proxibid ever going to learn that we need photos of obverse and reverse?


Boo! to this unnamed auction house for failing to show the reverse of purported California gold, without which we cannot discern genuine from replica with a price difference in the hundreds!


Boo! YET AGAIN to another unnamed auction house for failing to show the reverse of purported California gold. It may be gold, and that just might make it a counterfeit, which violates the Proxibid user agreement. For more information about California gold, click here.


One Big Booyah! to Scott Strosnider at Scott Auctions for noting a coin might be buffed and therefore damaged and not worth a high bid. Scott’s known for integrity. This is just one example.


Viewers can point us to other candidates for our “Boos & Booyahs!” series. Just leave a comment but follow our rules–all in good fun as a way to inspire accurate lot descriptions on Proxibid.

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.

Boos & Booyahs: Best & Bad Auctioneer Lot Descriptions

It’s important to be in sync with the Proxibid technology to showcase your photos, hone your lot descriptions, and highlight your consignments for top bids on the leading portal! In the latest installment, Proxiblog laments and compliments best and bad auctioneer lot descriptions during the past week. We will name the best, but you will have to search Proxibid for the bad. (Click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)

One Big Booyah to GWS Auctions for noting that this coin is fine 20 and appears to have been dipped, basically making this silver melt, as the 1885-O in this condition has no real numismatic value. We know some Proxibid coin auctions that would have called this deep-mirror prooflike and taken bidders for a numismatic ride. GWS knows coins and does a good job with descriptions.


One Big Booyah to Leonard Auction whose auctioneer John Leonard routinely assigns appropriate grades to hyped bottom-tier slabbers. We’re seeing these awful slabs increasingly on the portal because eBay’s quality control restricts them by not allowing sellers to refer to grades.


Booyah Weaver Auction! for lumping bottom-tier slabbed coins into one low-tier lot without bothering to photograph the inflated grades of each coin … or actually try to persuade bidders that the grades are legit, as some unscrupulous or numismatically ignorant Proxibid auctioneers do.


Boo! Deep Mirror? DMPL? This is flipping ridiculous! This unnamed auction house routinely believes or promotes the ridiculously hyped grades on flips of his consignors. This is basically silver melt. We continue to see Proxibid auctioneers unethically calling ordinary coins deep mirror prooflike (DMPL). For a coin to be deep mirror, it has to reflect type accurately 6 or more inches. To learn how to test for mirrors, read this article.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house for showing pictures of a box rather than the coin … after stating that the coin has golden highlights. We’re selling coins, not boxes. When will Proxibid coin auctioneers understand that photography is everything for the online buyer? Houses that invest in photography get higher bids. If you’re going to sell online, treat that audience with the same courtesies as your onsite bidders.


Booyah Key Date Coins! for noting that the capitol holder states 1951 but 1954 coins are inserted in the holder, a small but important notation in the description and one that shows auctioneer Eddie Caven cares about accuracy in his regular coin auctions.


Booyah Munda Auction! for noting possible light cleaning on this coin. Digital photography often does not pick up cleaning, especially when it is only suspected (usually a dipping rather than a scouring). That’s why we need the auctioneer to inspect the coin and depict it as accurately as possible. It’s yet another method to insure return bidders and, in the end, helps consignors once again because buyers trust the house.


One Big Booyah! to Larry Fuller of Silvertowne Auctions, one of the top graders on the portal, who knows how to list and grade raw California gold coins, one of the most counterfeited coins on the Proxibid portal. We recommend all auctioneers invest in CoinFacts to identify California gold. Quick way to identify authenticity: There should be no bear on the back of the coin where a denomination will be displayed 1/4, 1/2, 1 “dollar.” The word dollar is critical. Bears were a means to sell replicas without being charged as counterfeiters by the federal government. For more information about California fractional gold, click here.


Booyah Leonard Auction! for the second time in a week for clearly identifying fake California gold as replicas. These typically are made of brass, have a bear on the reverse, and are worth no more than a few dollars whereas real California gold can be worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars. John Leonard, like Larry Fuller of Silvertowne, takes time to write accurate lot descriptions so that buyers can bid with confidence.


Booyah Star Coin and Currency! for noting solder on the reverse of this otherwise desirable gold coin. Without such notice, which is also in the title as well as the lot description, a bidder is apt to hurriedly place a maximum price and then complain later upon receiving the coin about the solder on the reverse. Better to deal with this upfront. Honesty as always is the best policy on Proxibid!


Viewers can point us to other candidates for our “Boos & Booyahs!” series. Just leave a comment but follow our rules–all in good fun as a way to inspire accurate lot descriptions on Proxibid.

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.

Big Shout-Out Kudo to GWS Auctions

Last week GWS Auctions was notified that it had listed several fake California gold replicas on its site. The auction company not only removed those lots from the Proxibid block but also telephoned Proxiblog to thank us for informing them. This is in stark contrast to how some other auction houses responded.

For the basics about how to tell fake California gold from the real deal, see this article. Above all, if you are an auctioneer selling coins regularly on Proxibid, we once again recommend a subscription to PCGS CoinFacts. Nothing is as authoritative as this in providing data for you to combat counterfeit replicas or know the most current auction prices for authentic coins. CoinFacts has listed hundreds of examples of California gold, replete with rarity information.

As for our articles on California gold, we not only share our numismatic knowledge with Proxibid auctioneers but also fact-check what we post with some of the top numismatists in the country.

The biggest giveaway that you are auctioning a replica is a bear on the reverse.

Some Proxibid auctioneers continue to offer these fake replicas, gold-plated or brass, even after being informed. Proxibid should take notice of that. Bidders should take notice, too. We have won dozens of lots with companies in the past; if they did not respond to our alert, nor remove or properly identify the replicas, and we will cease bidding any more with them or just bid on coins in holders by PCGS, NGC or ANACS.

In this post, we warned Proxibid auctioneers that replicas from eBay will be flooding Proxibid, as eBay had banned replica sales. Some heeded the warning, some continued business as usual, listing what consignors told them. It is not enough–repeat, not enough–to call a counterfeit replica a “gold token” or “coin,” especially when the auction house has been informed.

Some fake tokens or “charms” indeed are made of gold, but hundreds more are not. If you have tested the lot with a sophisticated precious metal tester (cheap ones say “gold” when a item is “gold plated”), then state that along with the karat designation in the Proxibid lot description. Some 10- and 22-karat charms between the mid 1870s through the 1930s were made of gold, produced before the Hobby Protection Act went into effect.

Some auction houses listing replicas as real are members of the National Auctioneer Association and the Professional Numismatics Guild, among others, with distinct ethics codes. Moreover, it is illegal to sell counterfeits when you have been informed, even if those counterfeits were made in the 1930s (as many of these fake California gold pieces were).

And we applaud houses like Fox Valley Coins, Leonard Auction, Capitol Coin Auction, Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, Western Auction and Silvertowne–just to name a few–for correctly identifying authentic and replica California gold pieces. And we will patronize houses like Christy’s Auction and GWS Auctions for having the integrity to remove lots when informed.

Proxiblog will continue to protect the hobby by raising awareness of our viewers. We value auction houses who appreciate our efforts. We know the hundreds of bidders who visit our site do, based on personal emails to this 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.