Top Houses Get Better; Others Dropped–Views at All-Time High!

Increasingly we’re seeing fewer new coin auctions on Proxibid worth bidding on, relying more on our top favorites that maintain standards in photography, consignments and customer service. Few can beat Brad Lisembee at Capitol Coin Auctions and Dave and Cheryl Weaver at Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction.


For more than a few years we had been listing as favorite houses about a dozen that have maintained 2012 standards … but have failed to improve to 2014 standards requiring sharp photography, reliable lot descriptions and cherry consignments. We read notices on their sites stating, “Tell us how we can be better,” and then see the same blurry photographs or the same inferior lots.

A few houses have been dropped because their consignments have not warranted a lot of interest–consistently, for the past several months. As soon as they get better coins, they’ll likely be back in our rankings.

Technically, we have dropped all houses that failed to earn a 24.5 out of 25.

Despite that news, coin auctions on Proxibid have been exciting. Fox Valley, Capitol Coin, Weaver, Krueger and Krueger, SilverTowne, Leonard, Star Coin, Jewelry Exchange, Back to the Past, Meares, et. al.–who could ask for a better selection!

Even Kaufman Auction is getting coins shipped in a timely manner and posting photos within a week of the event. McKee Coins is improving, as are Auctions By Wallace and A New Day Auctions.

Proxiblog also had one of its best months ever with almost 1500 views in 30 days. See our graph below:

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We continue to provide best practices and numismatic knowledge to our viewers for free. Please consider making a donation. We post daily during the week, which takes time and effort, and do this for educational purposes, informing auctioneers about best practices and viewers about numismatics. With our sponsorships, we fund media ethics scholarships for Iowa State University students.

Fortunately, we have several of our top houses donating funds to our scholarship account. You can also buy our new work, Online Coin Auctioneering or Basic Coin Design on Kindle. We are extremely grateful. Won’t you consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Iowa State Foundation so that we can continue publishing? Thank you for your consideration!

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. (Click pictures to expand and view lot descriptions below.)

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One Big Booyah to Kaufman Coin Auction for identifying a base metal replica being passed off as a genuine 8 Reale Silver Crown.


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One Big Boo to his house for proclaiming “We Are Not In the Shipping Business!” News flash: Your competitors are. Consignors do consider these notices to bidders, and the wise auction house realizes that. In the Internet age, service comes first, and that includes shipping.


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Booyah Decatur Coins! for some of the best numismatic lot descriptions on the portal. Click photo to expand and see how much attention Decatur puts into each lot description, using it as an educational tool. That keeps bidders reading … and bidding!


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Booyah Leonard Auction! Top house Leonard Auction not only ranks among the best numismatic graders on the portal but always includes the word “Details” if there is a flaw in the coin, helping buyers bid with confidence.


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Boo! to this unnamed auction house valuing a silver melt Morgan worth $22 as being worth $1000. Where is this house pulling down numbers from?


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Boo! to this house for noting that the reverse of the coin is toned (but we won’t show it).


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Booyah SilverTowne Auction! for always noting when a coin has been polished or damaged.


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Booyah McKee Coins! for jam-packing information into a short description, including values and condition and state of devices.



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Booyah RitMar Exchange! for accurate numismatic descriptions, including varieties. Way to go!


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Booyah Weaver Auction! for more succinct, accurate numismatic descriptions–not to mention good photos and great customer service!


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.

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 Liberty Shops Auction not only for one of the lowest buyer’s premium’s on Proxibid, 8%, but also for accurate numismatic lot descriptions so that bidders know what they are winning and can place maximums accordingly.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house and consignor. The seller misidentifies on the flip a Morgan 1898 dollar for a rare 1893. (The 8 and 3 do look alike, but on expanding of photo, the two 8s in the date match. The auctioneer copies the flip information without checking. That’s not the case with all auctioneers. Take a look at the next item.


One Big Booyah to Kaufman Auction! not only for checking the date on the Morgan dollar but also for correcting it twice–on the flip and in the lot description. These seemingly small courtesies go a long way in establishing trust.


Booyah Leonard Auction! for noting artificial color on an expensive Isabella quarter. One reason we always bid in Leonard auctions is that we know what we are trying to win. John Leonard provides excellent photos, professionally accurate numismatic lot descriptions, and is well known both in dealer and auctioneer circles. We bid with confidence here.


Booyah Midwest Coins! for noting a rim ding on a desired lot. Rim dings are often missed in scanning a coin for flaws. By identifying them as here, bidders know precisely the condition of the coin, especially if they had plans to send it in for professional grading.


Booyah Munda Auction! for noting that this key-date dime has a flat spot–typically a sign of alternation or, perhaps, damage. The dime’s surface area is small, so the auctioneer once again is providing not only a courtesy but a service to online bidders. We’d like to see more of this on Proxibid.


Boo! Boo! Boo! to this unnamed auction house for identifying a brass replica as a gold token and then not providing a reverse photo to see the bear. It states “Gold content unknown.” (That’s always a giveaway.) We grow so weary seeing auctioneers call replicas and counterfeits “tokens”–a precise numismatic term. This kind of thing led eBay to ban all replicas. Proxibid will go in that direction once bidders start charging auctioneers with violations of the Hobby Protection Act. See this article to tell how to distinguish real from fake California gold.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house for trying to pass off an altered, polished coin as deep mirror worth hundreds of dollars … rather than the silver melt of this lot. Do NOT say DMPL unless you mean it and know how to identify it. Same goes for cameo. See item below.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house for stating that this is a cameo. The obverse is cameo or even ultra cameo; but the reverse is neither, which means the coin isn’t cameo. The proper way to list this coin is cameo obverse.


Booyah! Legacy Auction and Realty for identifying a polished coin. Polishing is an attempt to restore luster into a coin that lacks it. It has ruined millions of coins. Auctioneers should always identify altered coins, especially polished ones that flatten devices.


Booyah SilverTowne Auction! for identifying a difficult to see scratch on a rare coin. Scratches make coins ungrade-worthy at PCGS, NGC and other top holdering companies. That’s why it’s important to note.


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.

More Auctions Spur Competition

By our count, Proxibid coin auctions have increased by more than 30% this year over the same time period in 2011. But there’s more good news. Pictures are improving across the portal as well as consignments. And we have other statistics, too.

We monitor every coin auction on Proxibid every week. We never bid in some auctions because their terms of service or buyers’ fees and shipping are prohibitive. And we purposely avoid three auctions because we question their business practices.

As always, we don’t name the auctions we shun, as ours is an educational site that promotes what auctioneers are doing well.

And wow, are they!

In the past year, we praised 110 auctions in our most popular page, “Boos and Booyahs.” Booyahs–a slang term for “Way to Go!”–outnumbered Boos by two to one, with only 54 in the negative category. What’s more, in the past six months, Booyahs outnumbered Boos by 70%, indicating that auctioneers are spending time honing their photos, lot descriptions and consignments for the Internet as well as onsite crowd.

We have seen incredible consignments at Capitol Coin Auction, Leonard Auction and Western Auction. We have seen numismatically accurate lot descriptions and fine consignments at Weaver Auction, SilverTowne and Key Date Coins. Rolling M Auction and Kaufman Auction are improving on all levels with each auction. Southwest Auction’s zero buyer’s fee, quick and cheap shipping, is causing a stir with sell-throughs above wholesale and even retail on occasion.

There is just so much to tout that we could go on and praise a dozen or more auction houses. We’ll save that for another day.

We credit Proxibid’s quality control, customer service, increasing competition … and, well, this blog with more than 20,000 views and two dozen sponsors within the past year.

Booyah to everyone!

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!


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Auctions Unlimited


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Capitol Coin Auction


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Click Coins


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Engstrom Auction


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Kaufman Auction


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Key Date Coins


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Krause Auctioneering


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James Peterson Auction


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Leonard Auction


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Matthew Bullock Auctioneers


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Scott Auctions


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SilverTowne Auctions


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This Week in Coins


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Weaver Signature Coin and Currency Auction


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Western Auction


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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 Weaver Auction, not only for identifying a US coin minted on a foreign planchet but also describing why the coin might not be grade-worthy. Pretty sophisticated numismatic stuff going on here.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house for listing an 1881-S as 1881 both in the description and in the title. On the other hand, boo to NGC for its silly designation of “S” for both “Silver” and “San Francisco” mint. (PCGS uses $1 rather than “S.”)

Booyah Nevada Public Auction! for noting that these are copies rather than bullion gold. As we reported previously, due to eBay’s policy on copies, many of these so-called coins would flood the Proxibid market. Be sure to note copy or replica when you see one … and consider not selling it if it lacks “copy” on the surface of the item. Anything else may be a violation of the Hobby Protection Act.


Booyah Kaufman Auction! for noting that this coin has a scratch, which often are too faint to see even on the best digital photography. By identifying flaws in a coin, you earn bidder trust.


Booyah Western Auction! for noting scratches. We encourage every consignor to inspect coins for any flaws, the most common of which are cleaning, artificial coloring, scratches, plugs, whizzing, tooling and environmental damage.


Booyah Key Date Coins! for noting that the consignor graded this coin and, perhaps in doing so, left a fingerprint on the surface. Fingerprints detract from a coin’s worth, but again, digital photography sometimes may not pick that up, so we have to rely on the auctioneer.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house that does not provide pictures of the reverse of a coin. We’ve seen this shortcut before, even by some of our favorite auction houses. So we have to call these shortcuts as we see them and hope that the house provides the reverse before auction time.


Booyah Brian’s Auction! for noting that this seemingly rare coin actually only is a plated replica, probably brass, and not worth listing (in our view). True, some folks collect counterfeits but others try to pass them off as real.


One Big Booyah! to Silvertowne Auction for noting that the holder has been cracked and seemingly opened. Sometimes fraudulent sellers slip in a lower grade or problem coin with the same date and mint mark. Silvertowne calls our attention to that.


Boo! to this unnamed auction house listing an 1853 $1 gold as Type II. That rarer type begins in 1854, so this couldn’t be Type II, which features a different Indian princess and planchet size.


Booyah Fox Valley Coins! for noting that a scarce Liberty dollar has been plugged and repaired, a difficult flaw to detect at times and one that an auctioneer needs to share in the lot description.


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.