“Rare Commemoratives at Great Collections — Young Collection”

greatcollections Proxiblog sponsor GreatCollections is offering in auction top lots from the Young Collection of Classic Silver Commemoratives, the current #1 Registry Set at PCGS for the series.

This high-profile sale of the year is scheduled to take place in October, but bidding is going on now. CLICK HERE to view “Rare Commemorative Coins at GreatCollections – The Young Collection.”


The coins are being featured in October Auctions, with bidding ending for 36 coins each on October 6th, October 13th, October 20th and October 27th. All coins are being sold unreserved!

Silver Commemoratives were issued from 1892 to 1954 to commemorate or memorialize a variety of events, including the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1892 and 1893, several U.S. State Centennials, the Hawaiian Sesquicentennial, the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge Opening, the Battle of Gettysburg Anniversary and the Battle of Antietam Anniversary, among others.

Highlights from the 144-coin set include:

  • 1892 Columbian Half Dollar PCGS MS-67 CAC
  • 1893 Columbian Half Dollar PCGS MS-67 CAC
  • 1893 Isabella Quarter PCGS MS-67 CAC
  • 1900 Lafayette Silver Dollar PCGS MS-66 CAC
  • 1937 Antietam Half Dollar PCGS MS-68
  • 1939 Arkansas Half Dollar PCGS MS-66+
  • 1939-D Arkansas Half Dollar PCGS MS-67
  • 1947-S Booker T. Washington Half Dollar PCGS MS-67 CAC (Ex. WPE)
  • 1950-D Booker T. Washington Half Dollar PCGS MS-67 CAC
  • 1951 Booker T. Washington Half Dollar PCGS MS-67 CAC (Ex. Heller)
  • 1936-D Cincinnati Half Dollar PCGS MS-67 (Ex. Scher)
  • 1936-D Columbia Half Dollar PCGS MS-68 (Ex. Scher)
  • 1936 Delaware Half Dollar PCGS MS-67+ CAC
  • 1922 Grant Star Half Dollar PCGS MS-66
  • 1928 Hawaiian Half Dollar PCGS MS-66
  • 1946 Iowa Half Dollar PCGS MS-68+ CAC (Ex. Scher)
  • 1920 Maine Half Dollar PCGS MS-67 CAC (Ex. Scher)
  • 1936 Long Island Half Dollar PCGS MS-67
  • 1921 Missouri Half Dollar PCGS MS-66
  • 1921 Missouri 2×2 Half Dollar PCGS MS-66
  • 1923-S Monroe Half Dollar PCGS MS-66
  • 1934-D Oregon Half Dollar PCGS MS-67+ CAC (Ex. Scher)
  • 1938-S Oregon Half Dollar PCGS MS-68 CAC
  • 1939-D Oregon Half Dollar PCGS MS-68 (Ex. Scher)
  • 1939-S Oregon Half Dollar PCGS MS-68 CAC (Ex. Heller)
  • 1915-S Panama-Pacific Half Dollar PCGS MS-67
  • 1921 Pilgrim Half Dollar PCGS MS-67
  • 1935 Spanish Trail Half Dollar PCGS MS-67 CAC
  • 1927 Vermont Half Dollar PCGS MS-67
  • 1953 Washington-Carver PCGS MS-67
  • 1936 Wisconsin Half Dollar PCGS MS-68

To register to bid, view highlights or find out more information about the Young Collection, please visit www.greatcollections.com or telephone 1-800-44-COINS (1-800-442-6467).

We thank Ian Russell and GreatCollections for sponsoring Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders!


Competitor Sells $828,000 in Coins During August

California-based Internet coin auction company, Great Collections, sold over $828,000 in certified coins during August. Great Collections, along with Heritage and Teletrade, compete with auction houses selling coins on the Proxibid portal. On occasion we’ll run releases from these major coin auction houses so that Proxiblog houses know their competition and can keep pace.

Great Collections President Ian Russell subscribes to Proxiblog to canvas the coin-buying houses on the portal and to see how they are faring in the numismatic trade. Proxibid’s Coins and Currency Auctions are doing so well as to attract attention from the major houses that only sell slabbed coins from top companies. That said, some of Proxibid’s major clients–such as Western Auction, Silvertowne, Leonard Auction, Weaver Coin Auction and others–compete because of quality consignments and entrepreneurial spirit.

    For the record, Proxiblog buys and sells almost exclusively with Proxibid auctioneers. Russell, who used to be president of Teletrade, is an NAA auctioneer and entrepreneur who established his own company and is securing top consignments. He is a success story, as his most recent press release shared here indicates.

Russell reports that one of the many highlights of the month for his auction house was the Anacapa Collection of U.S. gold coins, which realized $202,178 with a sell-through rate of 96%. This collection included several U.S. rarities, notably the 1866-S Liberty Eagle No Motto NGC AU-55 and 1907 Saint-Gaudens High Relief NGC MS-64.

On August 28th, GreatCollections sold a collection of 20th century gold coins for $66,000. A superb set of Indian Quarter Eagles was assembled over many years by a connoisseur of Quarter Eagles, and it included one of the finest 1911-D examples on the block, depicted in the photo above. Russell says this ranks as one of the highest realizations for an online coin auction during 2011.

“Since our launch earlier this year, we have grown rapidly, increasing both the number of coins we offer and the number of customers we serve,” Russell says. “We attribute this growth to positive word-of-mouth, as more and more collectors and dealers realize that we offer outstanding customer service, a trusted alternative to eBay and other online venues, and absolutely the lowest fees in the industry.”

Buyer’s fees on Great Collections are similar to ones by Western Auction, one of our top-ranked houses. Several of Proxiblog’s top houses offer similarly low consignors fees. The Great Collections fee structure features a buyer’s fee of 10% (minimum $5 per item). Seller’s fee range from 0% to 5%, depending upon the value of the 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.

Common Consignment Courtesies

Proxiblog has consigned coins with more than a dozen Proxibid auctioneers, and the professional courtesies vary greatly, from notifying us about consignment arrival to sending the seller’s check.

Competition for coin consignments is heating up, with more buyers looking to invest in coins to offset an uncertain economy and some 40-plus auction houses meeting our standards with more coin-selling companies coming on board via Proxibid.

And yet only a relative few companies provide these common consignment courtesies:

  • Sending the consignor a contract or emailing a FAQ notifying sellers about fees, buy-backs and other auction house rules.
  • Alerting the consignor that his or her package has arrived safely at the auction house.
  • Providing the consignor with a list of coins being entered in a specific auction, and advising the seller if some lots had to be scheduled for a later auction, as is sometimes the case.
  • Informing the consignor after the auction on how well her or his lots did, with a bill of sales minus any fees.
  • Mailing the check within 7 days of the sale so that consignors can balance their own books.
  • Thanking the consignor for placing coins with the auction house and inviting more business in the future.

Proxiblog has cautioned auctioneers in the past that meeting our selling standards will be requisite as more professional coin dealers sign up with Proxibid, iCollector and AuctionZip. Moreover, online auction houses are competing with major Internet coin-selling companies, including Heritage, Teletrade, and one of the best new sites in a decade, Great Collections, a venture by numismatist and auctioneer Ian Russell, whose customer service and professionalism are exceptional.

Now add a couple thousand eBay coin auctioneers, many of them coin shops and dealers who advertise in Coin World, Coinage, and other numismatic publications.

Rather, we have been seeing a few new and even long-time Proxibid auction houses handling consignments informally, which often require sellers to ask if their coins have arrived safely, how well they did in a sale, and when the check will be cut.

An auctioneer never wants to receive an email such as Proxiblog just sent, using USPS tracking service and asking the auctioneer to please go to the post office and pick up the consignment before it is returned. This particular auctioneer is doing many things right, but exercising common consignment courtesies is not one of them. (Note: Name of auction company whited out as common courtesy.)

Some of the best houses providing all of the above courtesies include Silvertowne, Weaver and Leonard Auction. Moreover, Silvertowne and Leonard Auction are after quality consignments–so much so, that often selling fees are waived if the coins fetch good hammer prices. We’ve featured Leonard Auction before in our Best Practices page.

Waving seller fees (except for buybacks) may be a sign of the future as the more competitive Proxibid houses vy for top coins, leaving the low-ball consignments for the rest.

Currently Proxiblog is consigning only with houses offering Leonard/Silvertown deals.

Here is an email Leonard Auction just sent, soliciting consignments. (Click to expand picture.) Note how the auctioneer has taken pains to provide an Internet worthy photo attached to his email blast with all the factual particulars clearly spelled out. In fact, almost one-half of the entire message is factual with tight concise writing–a surefire way to attract attention … and consignments.

In the end, common consignment courtesies mean return business so that auctioneers do not have to hunt after estate auctions or travel to shows to purchase lots for sale. Coins will come to them, along with more Proxibid business.

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.

Why Proxiblog? Compare Sites

Proxiblog is enjoying a terrific launch because we are providing a needed service–identifying top auction houses selling coins and doing business on the auction portal Proxibid.

This week we were contacted by “Great Collections,” a new online coin venue created by President Ian Russell, a life member the American Numismatic Association and Florida United Numismatists, as well as the National Auctioneers Association. Take a moment to read its promise, which contains these features:

  • Physical Possession:
    We have possession of every coin we are offering for direct sale or by auction.
  • Consistent Professional Photography: Our in-house professional photographers image each item consistently and without image enhancement.
  • Bidding Transparency: We have no hidden reserves, ever. You can view in real time when bidders are bidding against you (although usernames are masked to protect identities). In addition, our software restricts consignors from bidding on their own lots.
  • While bargains are to be had at this innovative site, they can be found more frequently–but with much higher risk–on Proxibid.

    In other words, “Great Collections” doesn’t need a Proxiblog (though we highly recommend it as a Proxibid alternative). We created Proxiblog to help coin buyers navigate the uncharted terrain of the Proxibid portal, which now ranks as world’s largest real auction marketplace. A recent news release states that “Proxibid hosted a record-breaking 2,230 auctions in the first quarter of 2011,” an increase of 20% over the same quarter in 2010.

    The company’s growth also has a downside. Many Proxibid clients are unfamiliar with selling coins, do not provide adequate visuals or accurate descriptions, and on occasion charge buyer’s fees in excess of 20%, potentially negating any bargain. Worse, many auctioneers who sell cleaned, scratched and/or altered coins described as “brilliant uncirculated” will claim that they are not coin dealers and refuse to accept any returns. Several auctioneers take consignments of self-slabbed coins–read this article–and unwittingly even offer counterfeit ones.

    Proxibid does have excellent customer service and works to resolve disputes, but it does so behind-the-scenes. Our own experience is mixed, depending on the auctioneer.

    That makes this blog essential so that viewers become acquainted with auctioneers’ best practices.