Southwest Bullion Shoutout

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Every now and then we will showcase exemplary lot descriptions. This one is from our top house, Southwest Bullion and Coin, which continues to improve with each auction! (Click to expand photo.)

This lot description not only contains all of the basics–holder, condition, sharp photo, zero percent buyer’s premium … and retail value. Auctioneer Justin Quinn also puts in red text why NGC values are being used for an ANACS coin with a caution to “bid accordingly.”

Hard to beat this numismatic, ethical lot description. Kudos!

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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Stand-Alone Booyah for Southwest Bullion and Coin

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Every now and then we come across a coin lot description that impresses us. The last one occurred on May 23, 2013, about lot descriptions by Star Coin and Currency. Today we’re recognizing Southwest Bullion and Coin for its description of how to bid on a coin that may or may not bring high values.

Justin Quinn, auctioneer, knows that coins by ICG, a reputable grading firm, can bring high crossover values if re-slabbed by PCGS. (Click picture above to expand.) He doesn’t cite PCGS values for the coins as other auctioneers might do; rather, he states PCGS crossover prices without promising any return on the investment.

This is how many numismatists earn extra income, including Proxiblog. See this Coin Update article to see how.

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.

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY … Proxiblog Will Return Tuesday and is Sponsored By

Southwest Bullion and Coin

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Check out the company’s May 27th coin auction on Proxibid!

One year ago Southwest Bullion and Coin rolled out one of the most competitive coin bidding platforms on Internet, featuring 0% buyer’s fee with flat-rate USPS shipping and APN clearance with no maximum-bid viewing or shill bidding. In the past year the Houston-based company has opened another onsite location in Oklahoma, honed its lot descriptions and sharpened its numismatic photography. It’s a combination that’s difficult to beat.

Auctioneer Justin Quinn inaugurated the new business model in May 2012 with this promise:

    We want our customers to feel comfortable buying from us with the knowledge that they will not be charged outrageous buyers fees, shipping fees, or other hidden fees on invoice after the auction. We also want our buyers to know that they can bid without having to calculate fees on every push of a bid button. We want to bring back the hobbyist and the collector who like attending auctions for the enjoyment with a fully transparent market.

Proxiblog patronizes Southwest Bullion and Coin because of its increasingly appealing consignments–no doubt in part due to having two onsite locations, in Houston and Edmond, Oklahoma.

Here is contact information for the Oklahoma outlet:

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Located at the corner of 3rd and Broadway in Edmond, Oklahoma.
220 S. Broadway, Edmond, OK 73034

Store Hours
Monday – Saturday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Sunday: Closed
Phone: (405) 726-8560
Fax: (405) 726-8561
Email: mike@southwestbullion.com


Here is contact information for the Houston outlet:
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Located at 15115 Westheimer Rd., Suite R, Houston, Texas, Just West of the West Oaks Mall and Highway 6 on Westheimer. Directly across the street from the Big U-Haul Center.

Store Hours
Monday – Friday 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (CST)
Phone: (281) 531-7760
Email: cs@southwestbullion.com


In addition to setting standards on Proxibid, Southwest Bullion and Coin has introduced popular “mystery lots,” surprising bidders with slabbed coins and evoking the hobbyist in them.

In a recent Proxiblog article, Justin Quinn stated:


    “The idea of mystery lots has always intrigued me personally. I see them as a treasure hunt of sorts and a way to spark a particular interest. Coin collecting is an adventure to me, and I have found great enjoyment in finding surprise coins in a group of unsuspecting pieces.”

Southwest Bullion is actively buying precious metals including bars, wafers, and coins. The company also purchases all U.S. Mint products including gold, silver, and platinum American Eagles. It also buys all Royal Canadian Mint products including gold, silver, and platinum maple leafs as well as South African Krugerrands.”

For more information, visit the company’s comprehensive online site.

We thank Justin Quinn and Southwest Bullion and Coin for sponsoring Proxiblog’s scholarship fund to help ease student debt and create the next generation of auction-house bidders!

Weaver Coin and Currency Regains Top Slot

Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, a long-time top-spot holder in our rankings, has reascended to that position based on sharp photos, rare consignments, quick shipping, numismatic lot descriptions and value-added customer service.


We especially value the customer service of Dave and Cheryl Weaver, consummate professionals.

However, competition is keen with our favorite sellers that we find very little difference in the top 10 and routinely bid in their auctions. One might have a slightly better consignment. One may have a special. Another may offer a new service or additional timed auction.

We always eagerly go through catalogs of Western Auction, Leonard Auction, Capital Coin Auction, SilverTowne, and Rolling M. Auctions, primarily because we can find rarities and sleepers (especially the latter). Sleepers are coins that have low mintage. Photography on Western, Leonard and Capital Coin is exquisite, and so we can grade raw coins accurately. When it comes to Leonard or Capitol, we rely on numismatic descriptions, which sometimes are sharper than our own.

Key Date Coins continues to showcase the best photography. We love Eddie Caven’s auctions and admire him immensely; but we hope more consignors will send him premium lots. If you’re looking for Carson City dollars, this is the place, as Eddie always has a few MS63-64 lots in each of his regular sessions.

We’re happy to see Southwest Bullion and Coin back in our listings. Justin Quinn has been enhancing his numismatic descriptions, offering zero buyer’s premiums, and shipping quickly and inexpensively.

Star Coin and Currency continues to improve. Jim Haver’s customer service is among the best on the portal.

We congratulate Liberty Shops Auctions for the volume it is doing on Proxibid, qualifying still as the top coin category seller.

Each month these rankings get harder to do because auctioneers continue to improve. However, some houses are not included–even ones with low premiums and nice items–because they see maximum bids, allow shill bidding, have poor photography (unable to discern grade or luster of coin), continue to offer dipped and/or self-slabbed coins without identifying them as such, or lack APN clearance.

We emphasize that content on Proxiblog is educational. We are not an open-source blog or complaint board, which is why we do not even identify auction houses in our “Boo” section of “Boos and Booyahs.” Also, we emphasize, that our rankings are based on our own experience with an auction house. Consider these are our favorite sellers. Your experience might differ from ours.

As for Proxiblog, we now have surpassed 32,000 all-time views and average 650 unique visitors each month–about the size of a mega auction session. Our most popular post continues to be California Gold, real, replica and fake, which averages 60+ views per week (indicating the concern over counterfeits).

Finally, we invite auction houses to sponsor our blog and contribute to our scholarship fund. We continue to publish Proxiblog for free, without subscription. We have more than 400 posts about coins in our archive and over 1000 numismatic photos. Several auction houses have been especially generous this month and we thank those companies on behalf of journalism students at Iowa State University of Science and Technology.

New Rankings, New Top House

Silvertowne Auctions has overtaken two of Proxiblog’s favorite houses, Western Auction and Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction, to ascend to the top of our rankings, primarily because of the consistently reliable grading and lot descriptions of veteran numismatist Larry Fuller and frequent top-quality coin auctions by Rick Howard.

Back in the top rankings after several months’ hiatus is Matthew Bullock Auctioneers, which has some of the best coin photography on the portal and choice consignments accurately described.

New to the sidebar rankings are Leonard Auction and Capitol Coin Auction, both of which charge more than 15% buyer’s fee and had been excluded in the past from our top houses. But based on those auction houses’ superior consignments, numismatic knowledge and excellent customer service, we have amended our rules and will list exceptional companies like these in our rankings.

Also making an initial appearance is Southwest Bullion, which recently set online buyer’s fees at zero, with APN clearance and flat-rate shipping. We saw auctioneer Justin Quinn add rare and precious metals to one third of his lots, and we bid $15,000+ but failed to win one item, as most lots sold at retail or above. How does he do it? We suspect he is buying consignments directly rather than going through out-of-town coin dealers. Watch for a post on that this week.

Finally, Chaparral Trading Company made our rankings, featuring lower 15% online fees, good photography and other amenities.

You’ll also notice some of our regular top 20 houses missing from the new rankings. After several complaints from peer auctioneers and online coin buyers, we have decided to omit from sidebar rankings any house viewing maximum bids or allowing auctioneer/consignor bidding. We have run a half dozen articles on why these practices are frowned up, even when the auctioneers honestly only want to know where limits on an item are. Problem is, other houses take advantage of these computer-assisted irregularities. We’ve heard all the justifications and excuses. Fact is, ghost-bidding is unethical. Shill bidding is unethical. Auctioneers should know the wholesale value of items, especially coins, and can pass on underbid lots. And if consignors buyback their own coins, auctioneers can penalize them with fees.

For more on this issue, read this article.

In closing, please know that several of these houses seeing maximum bids are entirely reputable. We patronize their auction houses. We admire their auctioneers. But we have to institute this policy in keeping with Proxibid’s own standards and new badge rankings, which add a level of transparency and quality control, sure to enhance the portal’s reputation.

Congratulations to all in the top 20. Competition is stiffer than ever 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.