New House Vastly Overestimates Coin Values

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We continue to see new houses on Proxibid believe they can guess at or exaggerate coin values in lot descriptions. This one, however, must believe in the hyped values, because he opens with a bid between 50-100% more than retail value of the coins.


Retail value of a 1923 Peace Dollar is $52, not $300-$400 with an opening bid pegged at $100 (inflated more with a 19% buyer’s premium). If a person won this lot on opening bid, the overpayment would tally $67 (without shipping).

Here’s a screenshot of the PCGS retail value for this exact coin:

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The auction house also exaggerates worth of an NGC-holdered coins, as in this screenshot:

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Here’s another screenshot of this exact coin with the retail value set by NGC, the company that graded this particular coin:

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As we continue to state, auctioneers who sell coins need to know how to cite value. PCGS values are high because its standards are among the most rigorous in the industry. NGC, also considered a top-tier company with high standards, commands premiums for its coins. However, its standards differ from those of PCGS, so it is also inappropriate to cite PCGS values for NGC coins.

ANACS and ICG are second-tier, mostly reliable grading companies. You should cite Red Book prices for them.

Here are the URLS:

As we have written in past posts, if you spot gross inaccuracies like the one above, report them to Proxibid and ask the company to alter the Unified User Agreement “4.4 Marketing and Accuracy of Materials” (OUR RECOMMENDATION IN ALL CAPS):

    Seller shall not knowingly misrepresent any items. VALUES OF ITEMS SHOULD BE BASED ON VALID APPRAISALS OR VERIFIABLE DATA. All catalog descriptions must accurately describe the items for sale, and all photos must be original. If Seller uses stock photos, Seller must disclose so in the catalog description as well as in the Special Terms of Sale for the auction.

Until Proxibid cracks down on these practices, as eBay has done, bidders will suffer, and so eventually will the reputation of auction houses that persist in these questionable practices.

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 bad auctioneer lot descriptions and praises the best in recent auctions. (Be sure to click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)


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Booyah BidAlot Auction! for noting that this U.S. Mint product box is damaged, lacking a cover. Depending on the product, such as a GSA Dollar Box, these items also have value.


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Boo! to this auction house for neglecting to note the harsh cleaning on a purported deep mirror prooflike Morgan dollar. The photo is subpar and does not show luster. No coin is as beautiful as a DMPL Morgan and none has ugly when cleaned, as scratches mar the mirror surface, as probably the case here–assuming, of course, that this is a DMPL coin.


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Boo! to this auction company for insisting on selling counterfeit and replica California fractional gold. Beware of these fake California gold products that have plagued the hobby since the 19th century. If you see a bear on the reverse without a dollar or fraction of a dollar designation, it is a fake.


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Boo! to this unnamed auction house that sells vials of gold flake. The gold, if it is gold, is atomic level thin (one of the properties of gold is its malleability). If you run an acid test on the flake, it will dissolve. You are buying a vial of glitter not hardly worth anything except as decoration.


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Boo! to this auction house for hyping bottom-tier and self-slabbed coins as worth gazillions of dollars, or $28,000 in this case, for an 1882-O that is not MS67 but most probably MS62-63, with bag marks readily visible even on the thumbnail photo. This auction house continually hypes these lots using PCGS values, another gross infraction.


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Booyah Northern Illinois Coin! for noting damage, in this case, a wheelmark. This type of damage is often overlooked in the description. That’s not the case here.


PVC Damage

Boo! to this auction house for not noting PVC Damage. That’s the green slime that happens with a coin reacts with an old plastic flip.


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Booyah SilverTowne Auction! for noting rim damage on its coins. Would that more houses did the same!


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Booyah RJ’s Auction! for a detailed list of coins in the descriptions, documented by visual evidence in clear, expandable photographs. A detailed description is always necessary when selling a set of coins, including any missing key dates. All of that is done here.


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Booyah Star Coin and Currency! noting cleaning, so difficult to tell on a gold coin and almost always omitted from the description by a vast number of houses. Cleaning greatly devalues gold, by the way, and is especially important to note and also to depict in a sharp photo, as Star Coin does here.


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. Tomorrow we will showcase the best lot descriptions. 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.

Know Your Key Dates

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We marvel at this auction house that lists so many lots as “rare key date,” wondering what would happen if he actually listed a rare key date. Well, he did. And the language suffered for it.


“Very Fine Very Rare Key Date,” read the lot descriptions for common Type I Buffalo Nickels in low condition, worth only about $25-$50 each on a good day. Then came the 1913-S Type II, a real key date. And the description? “Very Fine Very Rarest Key Date!”

The lot description should have read: “VF Key Date.”

No need to use “rare” with “key date.” All key dates are rare.

Better still, spend some time describing condition, including acid-treated Buffalo nickels, if appropriate.

The more you hype, the less buyers with numismatic experience will trust your events.

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.

Know your steel cents

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There are eight avidly collected issues of steel cents–1943, 1943 Experimental Planchet, 1943 Bronze, 1943-D, 1943 D/D, 1943-D Bronze, 1943-S and 1943-S Bronze–but only five are affordable. Chances are you have a copy of any 1943 cent that looks like copper or bronze.



During World War II, the United States needed copper and so switched the composition of the cent to zinc-coated steel.

The lots above, described as proofs, probably are re-plated with zinc, which also can appear to be double die because of the additional overlay.There are no proof steel cents. Zinc is a bluish silver metal. That’s why the telltale “rainbow” appears on re-plated coins.

If a consignor brings you a 1943 cent that appears to be copper, use a magnet. Your fake will be attracted to it. If not, you probably have a 1948 cent with the 8 cut in half to resemble a 3.

There is only one complete 1943-era set. You can read about that here.

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Yes, it is true that miraculous finds may still be in the public domain. The question you as an auctioneer have to ask is, “Am I really that lucky?”

When in doubt, have a trusted numismatist describe the coin for you before you stretch the truth by guessing.

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.

Note Flaws on Gold Coins

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Gold is a soft, malleable metal prone to scratches, test cuts, damage when removed from jewelry, and other details that decrease its worth as a collectible coin. In the photo above, Capitol Coin Auction notes scratches and marks from being poorly stored for more than a century.


The best houses on Proxibid take pains in lot descriptions to describe flaws in coins, and when it comes to gold, there are many.

In the 1880s, coin scammers tried to pass plated 1883 nickels, or racketeer nickels, as $5 gold, chiefly because the US Mint neglected to put a denomination on the coin other than the Roman numeral V. There were also plated fractional gold, coins holed or bezeled for jewelry, polished gold, and harshly cleaned gold.

All of these and other flaws should be mentioned.

Jewelry Exchange does a great job with this in its lots descriptions. Because the firm deals regularly in gold, it knows the range of damage that can occur. In this example, the lot description notes a $1 gold coin that was removed from jewelry, polished and soldered:

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Another lot in the same auction included jewelry loops that left the rims of quarter eagle damaged:

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This auctioneer routinely ignores damage on gold coins. This one is obviously cleaned and, as such, worth a small premium over the worth of its metal:

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Bidders not only seek gold for its metal content but also for their collections. These buyers are worth more to you than bullion seekers because they buy gold when the price is high or low. Give them the courtesy of an accurate description, and they’ll become return clients and, perhaps, consignors one day.

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.

Allen and Marshall Shoutout

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Viewers of Proxiblog often see posts about self-slabbed and bottom-tier coins hyped by auctioneers to be worth thousands rather than pennies. Often our Honor Roll auctioneers set the record straight in their lot descriptions about these typically overgraded coins.

Suffice to say we had never heard of “Premier Certified Coins.” But we have heard of price guides.

Retail price for a 1909 VDB Red MS67 is $1350. Value of a 1943 MS68 steel cent is $2650.

Even without a blow-up photo, we see hairlines on the 1909 VDB above and spots on the 1943. Our value? About $25 for both coins, and that’s retail.

Kudos to Allen and Marshall for this lot description: “Draw your own conclusions on the grading.”

Which we just did here!

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.

Due Diligence: Another Weaver Auction Trait

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Folks wonder why Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction typically tops our rankings and why the company is often featured on Proxiblog. Here’s a perfect example.


The majority of auctioneers on Proxibid would not have mentioned the scratch, even if it is on the flip (which indicates a quality consignor, by the way). They would take a photo of obverse and perhaps reverse without the trademark sharpness that is essential in telling a coin’s true condition. Moreover, several Proxibid auctioneers would hype the coin as being worth hundreds of dollars at MS 65 … or MS 67 … or even MS68, like this unnamed auctioneer:

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No, Dave Weaver never hypes coins. In fact, in this case, he takes another close-up shot of the scratch so that bidders can see what, exactly, they are bidding on:
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As long as Weaver Auction takes these extra steps, they will earn more than commissions. They will earn trust and return customers.

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.